Showing posts with label 10 Days of Heat 2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 10 Days of Heat 2017. Show all posts

Thursday, August 31, 2017

So Now We Wait...

This is the 10th and final day of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by 
P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is New York, New York. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

"Over here," called Charlie, standing in front of a rusty door. "Other than a loading dock with a garage door, this looks like the only way in...or out of the building. What does that tell you?"

Kyle looked around, stroking his chin, "No one gets in without whoever's inside knowing about it. Do we stake it out and see who shows up?"

"Or leaves," says Charlie. I'll get some agents down here to blend in and keep an eye on the place. We will meet back up with Alex and Bobby to see what they found out." He pauses, taking a bag and some tweezers from his pocket and collects a cigarette butt. "This may be nothing but you can never tell what might turn out to be a clue."

The four agents piled into a booth at a restaurant on the other side of town and began to compare notes.

"So what did you guys pull out of the woodwork today?" asked Charlie.

"We hit four auction houses, but the first three don't count. I think we hit pay dirt at the fourth" grinned Alex. "A place called Tranquility Imports." 


"Tranquility Imports" That's kind of a sissy name for the kind of scum we're looking for," smirked Charlie. 

Yeah, I thought that was an odd name for an establishment walking the fine line between legal and jail time. Turns out it's a family business going back generations. It is run by Sato Yasahiro, the third in the family to bear that name. Yasahiro means 'tranquil child'. After his father died and the current Yasahiro took over the business, changes were made."



"So these changes are perhaps what leads you to believe this may be our guy?" inquired Kyle.

"Not our guy, so much as the guy who knows the guy, and let's just say that the elder Yasahiro is probably not smiling down on the new business plan," said Bobby, reaching for the plate of fries. "What did you find?"

"We found a grungy warehouse that fits the bill for shady dealings. We put some undercover guys on stakeout," replied Charlie, glancing at his watch. "It's almost the witching hour when bad things get worse."

As if on cue, Charlie's cell rings. "Yeah, what have you got? Okay. What did they look like? I see, got it. Thanks."

All eyes were on Charlie. "Alex, can you describe Yasahiro for me?"

"Stocky, about 5' 8", black hair pulled back into a queue. Dressed in black with a red tie and gold cuff links," complied Alex. "Did they see him?"

"Maybe. There was another guy there too, bald, likely in his 50s. One of our guys posed as a drunk sitting propped up next to the building behind the dumpster. He was wired and picked up a bit of conversation about how to get a particular piece for some rich American."

"The bald guy was driving a rental with New York plates so they checked with the rental agency. It was rented to a Nikolai Petrov, who just happens to be our dead Russian. I'm going to have a piece of evidence checked for prints and DNA. Maybe we'll get a hit." said Charlie. "I'm thinking the bald guy is SAD."

"Yeah, I'd be sad, too, if I was bald," joked Alex. 

"All right, get some sleep tonight. Hopefully, tomorrow we can prove the connection between Yasahiro and the bald guy.

The next morning Alex's burner phone rings. "Hello. Yes, this is Alan. I see. Yes, a week will be fine. Thank you very much. Jasmine will be very happy."

"That was Yasahiro. He says he has met with his contact and they should be able to have it within a week, and he would be in touch to arrange payment and delivery," Alex reported to the group. "In addition to the piece being rare, expensive and difficult to obtain, it is also in Hirosaki. So now we wait."

Charlie smiled over the rim of his coffee cup, "Excellent! In the meantime, we'll quietly continue our undercover investigation. We need to know when and where the deal will go down so we can be in place ahead of time."

"At least this one is on our turf," said Alex. "That's a relief after the last case took us all over the country. Plus I got shot."

"Look at it this way, Alex, you got to meet a pretty girl," said Charlie, thumping him on the back.

To be continued.



If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In the Good Old Summertime

This is Day 9 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Best Summer Memory. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

I'm not sure if the prompt is meant to be just this summer's bet memory, or the best-ever summer memory. Either way, there is no one best memory so I'm going to walk down memory lane through some of my fondest summer memories, in no particular order.

Parasailing in the Gulf of Mexico at Madeira Beach, FL. The experience takes you from flying across the water in a speed boat to sailing hundreds of feet above the Gulf. It was so peaceful up there, and the sounds of the city and boat seemed miles away.

Photo from Pixabay
Zam's swamp tours in Louisiana. It was a slow boat ride through the bayous and back waters of Louisiana where we saw fish, alligators, turtles, Nutria, and lots of birds. After the boat tour, we got a tour of the back yard, which was filled with alligators. There was a talk, but the guide was speaking Cajun French, and I didn't get most of it. It was there we had our first taste of alligator, and we've been eating it ever since. Here is a video from an actual tour.


Tom and Jerry's air boat tour on Lake Panasoffkee in Florida. That was an hour-long tour which took us on slow winding paths through tall grass to speeding across the wide open expanse of the lake. It was beautiful, and yes we did see alligators, turtles, and yep, more birds.

My photo from the Tom & Jerry Airboat

The fascination with water and boats continues. While vacationing in Maine one year, we took a sailboat tour out of Bar Harbor. It was a large sailboat with 3-4 masts. If you love boats and you've never done a tour like this, you should. We did a similar tour in Norfolk that went around the Harbor. That was an evening tour, and it gets chilly even in the summer.

Photo from Pixabay

Not to be forgotten was our trip to San Diego, and of course, the Pacific ocean. No trip is complete without a visit to Coronado and the famous Coronado Bridge.


Photo from Wikimedia
Are you sensing a theme here? What are some of your favorite summertime memories?


If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Boom! It's Fireworks.

This is Day 8 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Fireworks. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.


Fireworks, that brilliant display of colorful lights illuminating the night sky, preceded by a large bang and some crackles as the pattern unfolds. I could research about what makes fireworks go boom and what makes the colors, but the answers are just a Google search away.

Typically summer is the time for fireworks. Here in the U.S. they dominate the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve, and in our area are often seen after baseball games and at the fair. There are even worldwide fireworks competitions. I didn't know that.

This year for the Forth, a neighbor put on a 30-minute display from his yard, interestingly enough, across the street from a city fire department. I'm sure they enjoyed the show as well. We had the best view from the vacant lot next door. We watched, mesmerized, as the sky exploded time and again until the smoke was drifting lazily across the street.

It was a perfect Fourth of July evening, not too hot and no mosquitoes to mar the experience. It was one of the best fireworks displays we've seen in a long time. I know the picture does not do it justice, but I was more interested in just enjoying the show than trying to get a good shot.

Where do you go to see fireworks?

If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sunset Haven

This is Day 7 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Camp Life. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

Hey guys, this is a tough topic. I have never been camping. I never went to summer camp as a kid. The closest I've ever come to camping is driving through a campground and going to an RV show.

Image from Pixabay*
Having said that, back when I was a kid, my parents and I would visit relatives up North each summer. My aunt and uncle lived in New Hampshire a few miles from the coast, so occasionally we would go to the beach. Other times, we would drive to their "camp" on a lake in Maine. The camp consisted of a red wooden building complete with a picnic table, lawn chairs, and some old kitchen cabinets. That was so long ago I don't recall if there was electricity.

We used an old 55-gallon oil drum cut in half lengthwise as a grill. The menu was hot dogs and hamburgers, likely accompanied by garden-fresh veggies, and homemade cookies, cake or pie.

There was no running water so we had an outhouse. It did have a regular toilet but you had to use a hand pump to fill the tank to flush. It was a courtesy to pump after your visit so it would be ready for the next person.

While there were tent platforms out back, and perhaps a loft inside, we never stayed over night. That doesn't mean we didn't have our adventures. One day we drove all the way out there only to find that we had forgotten to take the key. Daddy and my uncle had to take the door off the hinges, which shows just how secure the place was, but it was so far off the beaten path and this was back in the 70s...things were pretty safe.

On another day, we strapped a row boat on the top of my uncle's station wagon and took it to camp. As far as I know this wasn't a large lake, but maybe a brackish water lake or pond or possibly even an inlet or cove on a larger lake.  There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then so my memory isn't exact.

Anyway, Daddy, and my uncle and I went out in the boat. I was probably about 12 and at that time I couldn't swim. Of course there were no life jackets in the old row boat. We all managed to get back safely after our excursion across the lake to look at the big rock on the other side where there was a snake happily sunning away. Fortunately my aunt did not come with us. She probably would have screamed to be heard clear down to the main road. To say that she didn't like snakes was an extreme understatement.

Other activities included fishing, exploring and picking wild blueberries, visiting with the ducks that came by sometimes, and swatting mosquitoes, because, after all, this was Maine...in the woods, on a lake, in the summer.

So while I haven't really experienced any actual camping, this was my camp life experience at Sunset Haven.

*I have actual pictures of Sunset Haven, but it would take way to long to find them for this post.



If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Let's Make A Deal

This is Day 6 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Achorage, Alaska. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.


"Just for grins, who is it our scuzzy art dealer was supposed to have murdered?"and by the way, where did we come up with these accessories," asked Alex as he strapped on his Rolex and adjusted his silk tie.

Pulling on his coat and setting a hat atop his head, Charlie said "A lot of these things were from old busts, where the perps are long gone and there were no relatives found to claim them. As to the who, it was apparently a colleague. 

As I understand it, he was a Russian collector and there was an exchange of goods somewhere in Alaska...Anchorage, I believe. Anyway, the deal went south and our scuzzy art dealer, let's call him SAD, shall we. So SAD allegedly offed the guy, took the goods and the money."
"That's a scenario that plays out way too often," replied Alex. "But if the murder victim is Russian, wouldn't the Russian authorities want SAD, or for that matter why wouldn't we, if the murder happened here?"

"In some cases, yes, but the Russian was a legal resident of Tokyo at the time of his death, therefore it makes it Japan's problem. Because SAD is currently operating in the U.S. I bet there are any number of things we could charge him with, but getting justice for the murder is our priority.

"Hey guys, you ready?" asked Kyle, who had just appeared in the doorway looking like Charlie's right-hand man. Bobby, on the other hand, looked like Alex's nerdy cousin, a part he reluctantly played, but was rather good at.

"Ready!" said Charlie, "Everyone got their roles down? Time to hit the streets. Alex, you and Bobby start with the auction houses. You have your list of those rare, hard-to-come-by items that should pique their interest. The object is to ask for something the legitimate dealers can't get, and maybe they will know someone who knows someone."

"In the meantime, Kyle and I will check out places where SAD might be doing business and try to make a connection. Let's go!"

"Welcome to Morton's Auction House. My name is Victor, how may I help you?" asked the proprietor with great formality as Alex and Bobby entered the room.

Not expecting such posh surroundings, Alex cleared his throat, "Um, yes, well I am looking for this or maybe this" as he hands Victor a couple of pictures. "I have heard many good things about Morton's, and I thought perhaps you could help me. I would like to procure one of these for my fiancée as a wedding gift."

Victor stared at the pictures for a long moment then said "I am afraid these items are beyond our resources. I am sorry. Perhaps another, shall we say, less prestigious establishment may be able to help you. It is not that the items you seek are not worthy of our House, it is just the means by which we would have to acquire them that renders us unable to assist you."

"Thank you very much for coming in, and good luck in your quest," responded Victor graciously as he escorted them to the door.

That scenario played out similarly in the next three auction houses. "Well," said Bobby, "that's four down and how many more to go?

"Who knew there were that many auction houses in the city," complained Alex. "I hope Charlie is having better luck."

"Next up is Tranquility Imports. I think that is our winner," Bobby said confidently.

They drive to a less fashionable neighborhood to find a rather ordinary brick building with a small sign that read Tranquility Imports. "This doesn't look like the others, but that may be a good thing since we have struck out everywhere else, said Alex as he looked around. "Let's see if we can get in."

"Hello," called Bobby. "Are you open for business?"

Momentarily a man entered from another room. He was dressed in all black, save a red tie and gold cuff links.

Good afternoon gentlemen, I am Sato Yasahiro, proprietor of Tranquility Imports. What can I do for you today?

"Hello, my name is Alan Wainwright and I'm looking for these items, handing Sato the pictures. I have been turned down at the last four places I tried. Can you help me?" inquired Alex, watching him closely.

"If I can, can you afford my services?" said Sato, watching Alex equally as closely. "This type of item is extremely rare...and extremely expensive. It would take a certain amount of, shall we say, effort, to acquire either of these artifacts. Are you comfortable with that?" asked Sato, implying that all would not be aboveboard, just what they were hoping to hear.

Alex glanced at Bobby and saw they were on the same page. "Yes, that would make my fiancée very happy. It is to be a wedding gift."

"Very well then, let's talk business." Sato indicated an office to the left.

Meanwhile Charlie and Kyle, on a tip from one of their contacts, are poking around a warehouse on the less savory side of the city, oddly enough, not far from where Alex is making his deal.

"What do you see here, Kyle?" as they walked cautiously along the building that takes up a full city block. 

"It's what I don't see. Surely there is a door around here somewhere." Suddenly there was a loud noise coming from inside the warehouse. Both men instinctively reached for their guns, then stopped. "That wasn't a gunshot," said Charlie thankfully. "Let's keep going. This seems like the kind of place we might find SAD. 


Stay tuned for the next part coming up August 31.
==============================================




If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Living the Beach Life...one vacation at a time.

This is Day 5 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Beach Life. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

I live four hours from the nearest beach, and yet only see the waves and smell that unmistakable scent of the sand and sea a couple times a year. You know that soul cleansing revitalization that comes from having the sand between your toes, listening to the waves and watching the pelicans soaring gracefully one moment and diving headfirst into the water the next.

This first video is a compilation of photos taken in St. Augustine, FL a few years ago while vacationing with friends. It was a picture-perfect trip.



This was filmed later that same year in Madeira Beach, FL. There are some spectacular sunsets over the Gulf and this one was amazing.



Yes, I do enjoy the beach life, and while we typically go to Florida, my home state also has some amazingly beautiful beaches.

These were taken at Oak Island, NC this past June. 



Where is your favorite beach?

If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Diving into the deep end?

This is Day 4 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Diving into the deep end. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.


Nope, not me!
Unlike going off the deep end, diving into the deep end is entirely within your control. Control being the key word here. I like to be in control of my circumstances, and I am not a risk-taker, so there are a number of things you won't find me doing.

Among them are diving into any body of water, or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane (or boat), unless of course doing so is significantly less dangerous than remaining where I am. In which case I will likely expire from fear anyway.

And should you ever find me doing any of the above-mentioned things without extenuating circumstances, you will know that I have, indeed, gone off the deep end.





If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Green Is The New Orange

This is Day 3 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Orange. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

First I'd like to direct your attention to our den window, covered by a sheer orange curtain. In front of the window is one of Sophie's favorite places. 



Now on to something nearly as sweet. Oranges, my favorite being the Navel orange. They are not, however, just the simple fruit from which we get our morning OJ, so here are some interesting orange facts I had not heard before.

What came first, the color or the fruit? The fruit, which derived its name first from the Arabic naranj, then coming to English as narange in the 14th century.

Did you know oranges unknown in the wild? They are a hybrid of tangerines and the Pomelo, also known as the Chinese grapefruit. They were green instead of orange. Today Vietnamese oranges and Thai tangerines are green on the outside and orange on the inside. Aren't they pretty?


Image Source: jonathaninchina
Since oranges are a subtropical fruit, the climate plays a major role in their color. In cooler climates, they will turn orange when the weather cools. In hot climates, however, they will remain green.

How can I tell if my orange is ripe? Well, not by the color, no matter where they are grown. You see, an orange, if left unpicked, can stay on the tree until the next season. Because of fluctuation in temperature, it can change from green to orange and back to green without affecting the quality or flavor of the fruit.

A ripe orange should have thin, smooth skin with no soft spots. It should also feel heavy for its size.

To make oranges more visually appealing to the consumer, green oranges can be exposed to ethylene gas, such as produced by bananas and apples, but his does nothing toward ripening the fruit.

If you like oranges, what is your favorite variety?

More about all things orange here.


If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Going Under!

This is Day 2 of the First Annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Tokyo, Japan. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

The continuing adventures of FBI agents, Charlie and Alex.

Charlie grinned as he hung up the phone. "Wow, that's new. Interpol wants us to help track down a Japanese art dealer."

"Okay, I'll bite," replied Alex who had been lounging in the doorway, "Since when does the FBI track down art dealers?"

"Since the art dealer deals in stolen art and is also a murder suspect in Tokyo. They want us to find him and send him back," Charlie said shaking his head. "I think we're getting singled out for the unusual cases."

"That couldn't be because we have been racking up results and solving unsolvable cases out the wazoo, now could it," quipped Alex. "I mean just look at these new digs" waving his hand around to indicated Charlie's new office. "Way to go lead agent in the Atlanta field office."

Always ready to dive into a new case, Alex asked,"So where do we start? What do we know other than the dude is Japanese, a murder suspect and apparently here in the city since we're the ones who got the call."

"Interpol is sending us the file." Charlie grinned again, "In the meantime, we are going to work on our cover." 

Now Alex was the one grinning. "I thought you'd like that idea," said Charlie. "Just remember, nothing ever goes as planned." He thought for a moment, and said "I'll be a shady art dealer and you can be a rich collector. That should get some attention of the unsavory kind. I'll have Sheila get us a list of museums, auction houses and art dealers so we can start playing our roles."

"A rich art collector, huh? I like it," said Alex striking a pose.

"Don't get too carried away now. This guy's a murder suspect and I expect he'd like to stay on the outside of the iron bars," Charlie cautioned. "Now speaking of bars, let's go get a couple cold ones while we plan our strategy."

"I second that," said Alex. "Are you driving?" 





If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It Looked Good To Charlene!

This is Day 1 of the first annual 10 Days of Heat writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is On a hot summer's night. Please join me in checking out the other hot stories.

As is often the case, the start of the challenge arrives to find me staring blankly at my screen. The gun is fired, they're off and I am scrambling to catch up. It has been a busy summer (and a hot one, too, hereabouts). However, I've never missed a challenge day yet, sometimes flying by the seat of my pants and clinging to the last shred of my sanity, so without further excuses and whining, here we go.

After one look at today's prompt, I immediately felt relief. I have an out. Actually, I have an earworm, which I will happily pass along to all you unsuspecting souls. You're welcome. 😉

We were browsing around the store the other day...yes earworms can linger for days. Anyway, they were playing some pretty good music, none of which I remember...except this one.

They were farm kids way down in Dixie
They met in high school in the 'sixties.
Everyone knew it was love from the start.
One July in the midnight hour,
They climbed upon the water tower,
Stood on the rail and painted a ten foot heart
In John Deere green, on a hot summer night.
He wrote Billy Bob loves Charlene in letters three foot high,
And the whole town said that he should've use red
But it looked good to Charlene in John Deere Green.
They settled down on eighty acres,
Raising sweet corn, kids and tomatoes,
They went together like a hand and a glove.
On a clear day, from their front yard,
If you look and know what to look for,
Off to the east you can still read his words of love
He wrote Billy Bob loves Charlene in letters three foot high,
And the whole town said that he should've use red
But it looked good to Charlene in John Deere Green.
Now more than once the town has discovered
Painting over it ain't no use.
There ain't no paint in the world that'll cover it,
The heart keeps showing through.
In John Deere green, on a hot summer night,
He wrote Billy Bob loves Charlene in letters three foot high.
And the whole town said that he should've used red
But it looked good to Charlene in John Deere green.

Performed by Joe Diffie
Songwriters: Dennis Linde
John Deere Green lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LC



I hadn't heard that in years, but wow that took me back and had my feet tap-tapping right there in the store. I mentioned to hubby that I felt sorry for anyone who had to view the security videos.

For anyone wanting revenge, please feel free to leave your own earworms in the comments.



If you enjoyed this post, please leave your calling card in the comment section or click the visitors box below to let me know you stopped by.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...