Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Getting Inked or Not

The prompt for Day 2 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge is Inked.

When Gina picked up her daughter after school, Tamara told her mom she wanted a tattoo. "I'm thinking about a spider web and a black widow hanging in the center. 

When her Gina said no way, Tamara brought up the age-old reasoning of every teenager, "but Mom, Jody has one." Jody was a new kid at her school and she was also goth. "Hers is really cool, and she said it didn't even hurt...much." Gina wasn't sure she liked this new friendship and felt Jody might be a bad influence on Tamara.

Her mom responded with the parental logic of, "so if everyone else walked off the cliff, would you follow?" This was typical of many of their mom/daughter discussions, and usually resulted in Tamara huffing off to sulk, and her mom sighing in disbelief at the stubbornness of teens.

"Please" begged Tamara again.

"No! For the last time NO. You are not getting a tattoo" her mom said emphatically. To her it was absolutely unthinkable to "decorate" one's body in such a manner, besides, no one under the age of 18 could get a tattoo without parental permission.

The final word had come down. "No one in this family gets inked! End of discussion!"

When they got home, Tamara marched into the house and to her room where she promptly slammed the door.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Cheese Man

This is Day 2 of the 2018 edition of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaaPlease join us this month on our writing journey. Today's prompt is Mac and Cheese. 

Today we are talking with Mac, the Cheese Man (no, not the mobster from The Golden Girls).

R2R: So, Mac, how did you get into the cheese business?

Mac: My high school sweetheart was Swiss and so beautiful I just melted. 

R2R: How does that relate to cheese?

Mac: Have you ever heard of Gorgonzola? 

R2R: Yes, of course.

Mac: She comes from the Swiss Family Gorgonsen.

R2R: Did you ever study abroad?

Mac: No, I just told you I had a girlfriend. But I did go to Switzerland for a while to apprentice with her grandpa. While I was there studying my butt off, she ran off with the milkman. Now I hear they're making cheddar together.

R2R: I bet that left you bitter. I'm surprised you stuck with cheese after being treated like that.

Mac: You win some, you lose some. I was dumped like moldy Feta, but I'll always have Brie.

R2R: So that's your cheese of choice?

Mac: No, Brie is my dog. I'm partial to aged cheeses myself.

R2R: What are your plans for the future?

Mac: I wanna open my own cheese joint. I plan to call it CHOMPS ELSIE

R2R: May I ask why "CHOMPS ELSIE"?

Mac: It stands for Cheddar, Havarti, Oma, Muenster, Provolone, Swiss, Emmenthaler, Limburger, Saga, Inverness and Edam. You know like that fancy French place.

R2R: I see... Yes, well that is creative.

Mac: Too cheesy?

R2R: It is exactly what I would expect from Mac, the Cheese Man. It has been a pleasure talking with you today. Good luck and may the cheese be with you.

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Imagine That!

This is day 18 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Imagine that...

Originally published November 15, 2009, I tweaked it for today's challenge post.

Image Source: Pixabay
Imagine that we could vacation on the moon. I heard recently that there is water on the moon.  Now why it has taken NASA and a whole host of scientists 40 years to discover this, I'm not sure.  But what a breakthrough.  This could be the resort of the future, the Lunar Riveria.

Let's think about this.  We need transportation, shuttle pilots, flight attendants, gourmet food service and in-flight movies, which means more shuttles, larger accommodations, more pilots (read astronauts) and flight attendants. To build the resort, we need engineers, architects and plumbers trained in minimal gravity design...think toilets.   We don't want that stuff flowing upstream now do we?

As for electricity, how would we produce that in space.  Burn coal?  Can't.  Fire won't burn without oxygen.  Besides we've already polluted one planet.  Let's hope we've learned something.  As far as I know, there is no wind on the moon, so wind-generated power is not an option.  I know, how about giant solar panels so we can capture solar energy and store it.  If you can store solar-heated water, and power lights and radios, there should be a way to power other things.  This is not new technology.  The concept of solar energy has been around for many years.  As a child I had a solar powered radio - actually I still have it, and it still works.  However, the methods of collecting it, storing it and using it have surely improved over the years.

All of these measures are of little consequence, if we cannot breathe.  This brings us to greatest obstacle - how do we get oxygen in adequate supply for survival?  Possibly large tanks of oxygen and a distribution system?  Too bad we can't pipe it in like natural gas. Picture that pipeline!  To go outside one would need to don a space suit in order to survive the lack of air pressure.  Otherwise all the liquid in your body would boil, and what happens next would not be pretty.  There is an up side to this.  The fashion designers would all be competing to come up with the hottest new line of space apparel. Good-bye itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini.  I guess space age swim suits would kinda take the fun out of things - at least for the guys!  That's a argument for indoor swimming pools - heated with the solar panels, especially given that there is an approximate 500 degree swing in temperatures on the moon's surface.  Bottom line is step foot outside without protective gear and you're dead!

At this point I am thinking we need a much larger shuttle system involving cargo transports for the building materials, oxygen tanks, solar panels and storage units, contractors, etc. and that is just to provide life-sustaining structures.  

Speaking of life-sustaining measures, what about food? In such extreme conditions, crops can't be grown or or livestock raised, so all food would have to be transported from earth until we can figure out climate controlled farming.  This would definitely require more transports and create more jobs.

This is just the beginning... Financially speaking, your Lunar Riveria getaway will make a Hawaiian vacation seem like a trip to Walmart, and cause your credit cards to expire on the spot.  So, who's paying for this adventure?  There are many questions unanswered...after all we just discovered that there is water on the moon.

Also see A Lunar Vacation, Part 2.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bears, Beans and Beer

This is day 14 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Bears, Beans and Beer.

Having no critical case for the first time in months, Charlie decided his team deserved some time off, so a long weekend was in order.  He and Alex and some of the other guys decided to go camping, get in a little fishing and enjoy some real down time. These were all single guys whose lives were, for the most part, dominated by their demanding jobs, leaving little time for a social life. Alex was the exception, but he was between relationships at the moment, although Jenna did cross his mind now and then.

"Let's set up camp here," Charlie suggested.  "It is close to the lake with plenty of trees for wood and a clearing for building our campfire. It looks like there is enough light left to put up the tents, build the fire pit and catch ourselves some dinner."

"Hey Alex," called Bobby, "You want to tell us what it was like  for you and that pretty little gal to be rescued by SWAT?"

Alex glared at his friend, "I've already explained what happened. You try being kidnapped, drugged, blindfolded and locked up.  Not funny."

"Let it go," said Charlie, "we're here to relax - no shop talk, no cases.  Kyle, you ready to go see what we can pull out of the lake, while these young 'uns finish setting up camp." Kyle grinned.  He and Charlie were only a few years older than Alex and Bobby, but sometimes they exaggerated the span, just to get under their skin...good naturedly, of course.

As the last of the light faded, they still hadn't caught any fish so they headed back to camp. Alex had the campfire going, anticipating some tasty grilled fish.  Seeing the glum faces approaching him, He shouted "I guess it'll be beans tonight," reaching for the frying pan.  He popped open a couple cans of beans and tossed in some vienna sausage.

"Where's the beer?" called Kyle. "After two hours of sitting there feeding the fish...I swear one even broke the surface and thanked me for his dinner...I sure could use a cold one - or three."

"Over by the log," replied Bobby, "wanna toss me one, too?"

With plates filled with beans, sausage and the bread Charlie had grabbed at the bakery on the way out of town, they sat around the campfire eating and swapping stories, the tales growing taller with each beer. Camaraderie at its finest, taking in all that mother nature had to offer, and tomorrow was a brand new day.

The fire put safely out - it wouldn't do for FBI agents to start a forest fire - the men turned in. Charlie and Alex were sharing a tent as were Kyle and Bobby.  The tents were set up with the entrances facing one another.

It was peaceful with the crickets and tree frogs rhythmically chirping their nightly chorus.

As dawn broke, the men stirred and started digging through the fire pit for coals to get the fire going for breakfast.  Soon bacon was sizzling, the aroma wafting on the morning breeze. 
"Charlie that's some mighty fine coffee.  It'd curl my hair if I had any left," laughed Kyle.

Bobby went to fetch the rest of the bread for toast, and came racing back pale and empty handed. "I saw bear tracks behind your tent," looking at Charlie.

"Did you leave any food out last night?" asked Charlie calmly.

"I don't think so...I don't know, maybe.  Uh oh." Bobby groaned.

As they stood there debating whether to pack up and leave or hoist their food from a branch and just go fishing, they heard a rustle  and all four heads turned. 

More rustling, twigs snapping, imaginations soaring.  Four FBI agents straining to see into the woods. Bobby spots something moving, "BEARS!" Three FBI agents draw their guns, staring, waiting. "Bobby" shouted Kyle, "WHERE ARE YOU?"  

"Up here, b-be-bears." Bobby was perched 20 feet up a tree.

About that time out of the underbrush walked the biggest.....wild...Turkey.

For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh
The Morning After

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Friday, January 16, 2015

The Morning After

This is day 10 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is The morning after.

"Hey Alex, you don't look so good," observed Charlie, "where were you yesterday?"  Not much got past Charlie.

Image Source: Wikipedia
"I guess you haven't heard.  Well, in a nutshell, I was having coffee with an angel, and the next thing I know I had been manipulated into staking out her lunch date who turned out to be a member of the mob, as was her ex-boyfriend, and she was involved.  They kidnapped us, blindfolded us and took us to an abandoned building.  Since we were outnumbered and to protect the girl, I went along thinking I could gain an advantage but they jabbed us with a needle and it was lights out. While we were out, they took the flash drive and were probably going to come back and finish us off after they verified what was on the flash drive."

"After we regained our senses, it took us an hour to get the blindfolds off.  They took my gun, badge and Jenna's purse. Fortunately for us they neglected to take my phone so I dialed 911. The police traced the call and sent officers, but they were ambushed when they arrived and were pinned down in the alley.  Jenna was freaked out by the gunfire and was screaming like a crazy person."

"The officers called for reinforcements and in the meantime, I tinkered with the A/C vent to see if I could crawl out and free Jenna.  Once up there I saw that it was barely wide enough to crawl through...dang near got stuck a couple times.  I came out in a hallway about the time that SWAT arrived. Nothing like the FBI being rescued by SWAT."

"They thought I was one of the mob at first since they had taken my gun and badge.  After we got that cleared up, we were questioned, and the henchmen were carted off to await their attorneys. Did I mention my head is still throbbing?"

"Well," said Charlie, "you lived to see another day."

"You know what they say...there's got to be a morning after," Alex quipped.

"So, are you going to see her again?" grinned Charlie.

For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
The Last Laugh

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Eli, Where Are You?

This is day five of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Invisible.  This is a continuation of my series following the life of Eli.

Eli and his friend Paul were knocking back a few beers and playing pool at the Come As You Are Saloon when in walks this stranger.  Now strangers aren't an unusual sight at the CAYAS, but this one was different. He had a ominous air about him and a crescent scar across his left cheek. His eyes were dark, almost daring someone to mess with him.

Image Source: Wikimedia
Eli and Paul watched as he worked his way to the bar. "Bartender, I'd like a pomegranate martini." 

When they heard that, Paul burst out laughing.  "A pomegranate martini?  What kind of a drink is that for a man?"  

"Shut up, Paul" urged Eli. "What kind of idiot are you, anyway?"

The stranger turned and stared at Paul.  It was a dark stare.  An evil stare. He started walking toward them, glass in hand. He stops mere inches from Paul, tosses back the martini and slams the glass on the table, sending shards of glass flying.

In a low voice that belied the intensity of the moment he remarked almost casually, "That wasn't very nice." 

By this time Eli wasn't feeling very confident about the outcome, and wishing he could suddenly become invisible. 

"My friend didn't mean anything" Eli interjected, hoping to defuse the situation. "Sometimes he can be a bit crass, but he's totally harmless. By the way, my name is Eli, what's yours?" Being friendly couldn't hurt he thought.

"Name's Rico" growled the stranger, and I don't take kindly to being laughed at," gripping the stem of the broken glass. "I ordered this for my old lady."

Paul never knew when to leave well enough alone and asked, "Then why did you drink it?"

Again that dark, evil stare.  "So I could do this" as he raised his arm. "Nobody laughs at me in front of my woman!"

At that point, Eli again wished he were invisible.  As Paul was about to feel the wrath of Rico, he called out "Eli, where are you?"

"What's the matter with you, I'm right here, but not for long. Run!" shouted Eli.

Both men turned and stared. They'd heard Eli shout, but there was no one there, and Paul asked again, "Where did you go?"

Eli reached out his hand to wave, "over here", and it was his turn to freak out. He couldn't see his hand.  He looked down, he had no legs. He looked in the mirror.  No reflection. "What the...?"

Eli, he said to himself, stay calm and don't say anything...just leave.  Gotta try and figure this out.

What do you think happened to Eli?

If you want to catch up on Eli's adventures:

The Princess
Eli and the Redhead 
The Winged Woman

Meet Eli's Mother

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Quote of the Week

This is day one of the January writing challenge hosted by P.J. at the 'lilhoohaa blog. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery.  Today's topic is Spilled MilkSince today is Monday, it's time for my weekly quote, and most obvious is:

Don't cry over spilled milk. - Benjamin Franklin

This was also attributed earlier to 17th British historian, James Howell.  

Image Source: lunatheninjakitty
It is thought that this phrase stems from European folklore which holds that fairies like milk and will drink up any spills left behind.  I guess that's saying not to worry if milk is spilled because the fairies will clean it up.  I wonder if they had chocolate milk?

February 11, 2015 is "Don't cry over spilled milk day".  Who knew?  In celebration, let it serve as a reminder to not stress over things that have happened which we cannot change.  The past is just that...the past.  Let's not waste energy worrying about it, and look forward to a new day, and a new year, with a positive attitude.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Playing With Words

Rule #1 This is just for fun.

Choose a letter A-Z

Write down the first 5 words that come to mind beginning with that letter. Don't think of anything except that they start with that letter. Totally random, non-related words are better. Don't use variations of the same word such as bake, baking, baker, or groups such as food, feast, flavor.

Next write a poem or micro post of about 50 words, or up to 10 lines for a poem.

This is a fun mental exercise - not creating a masterpiece, so take about five minutes and see what you come up with.  

Rule #2 Please share your gem in the comments section.

Image Source: sweeter-than-reality

For mine I chose H.

My words were:  hollow, hump, heavy, heart, hook

Upon a hollow log
Sat a heavy frog
He jumped and jumped
Over the mossy hump
Bless his little heart
That old frog was smart
Until he landed in the brook
And he got caught
Upon an old fish hook

Friday, February 28, 2014

It's A Wrap

It is the 28th and final day of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is And then my brain exploded.  Congratulations to all the other participants.  We made it!

As the sun sets upon the 2014 30 minus 2 Days of Writing Challenge, we take a look back at the past 28 days.

We laughed, we cried, we lied, some made it, some faked it.  It was chaos, it was a dream, but it was no accident.

We ate gouda, and drank vodka and left the empty bottles all over the floor.  Hint, hint, we need a maid.  

And then she said, "damn, did you post that on Facebook"?  How did you find out? Uh...there are things best left unsaid.  

We fended off zombies, aliens and succubi which left us scatterbrained, naked and lost.  Some developed temporary insanity and played Dylan tunes endlessly.  Can you turn that down? My ears are ringing!

We took this challenge on one bite at a time, and it tasted like chicken. Some swore in their best Shakespearean English that they would participate in another challenge when Hell freezes over. Others just went incommunicado.

We shared good times, made new friends, and caught up with old friends.

But when all was said and done, mon cerveau a explosé!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Alligator's Anonymous

It is day 19 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Tastes Like Chicken.  Now fly on over to WWFC for more tasty treats.

"Hi, my name is Albert, and I'm an alligator."

"Hi Albert!  Would you like to tell us a little about yourself and what brings you here?"

"I don't taste like chicken.  I hate it when people compare me to a such a fowl creature."  
Image Source:

"You tell it Albert.  Let it all out!"

Albert continued.  

"I am strong and powerful, and I eat chickens.  I will not be compared to the likes of those scrawny-legged wimps.  They are just...well, chicken. Where do you think the phrase chicken-hearted comes from."  

Clapping and cheers errupted from the others which validated Albert's feelings. 

"Whoo...You go Albert...Yeah!"  

So what else can you find when you Google "tastes like chicken"?   

Behold!  A band named Tastes Like Chicken.

Click here for the full clip.

Edit:  Sorry, they made the video private.  Too bad it was great music.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Colombians

It is day 18 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Liars.  Truth or lies?  Check out WWFC for the facts.

Agent Shore sat as his desk, a phone in one hand and a cup of strong, black coffee in the other.  This case was eating at him.  "I've questioned every man, woman and chimpanzee. I've turned over every stone from here to hell and back, and no one knows anything.  Just a bunch of liars!  Somebody knows something and I'm gonna find out."  Sometimes Charlie got a little dramatic when a case got down into his soul.

"Who you talking to Charlie" asked his partner.

"Hey Alex.  I'm still digging through the evidence from that crash, but it's just not adding up. I've got boxes of files, dozens of transcripts, including the black box.  Feel like jumping in," he asked?  "Two heads and all....  I know I'm missing something.  I'll order some lunch.  Feel like Chinese?

Image Source: Ksayer1
"Yeah, I'm in and Chinese is fine...make sure you get some of those hot peppers.  And get some extra fortune cookies too...I've got a date tonight," quipped Alex.  

"Okay, let's get down to business.  What do we know?"  Charlie got them back on track.

"Well, we've narrowed it down to two intended targets.  Tomas and the pilot, what was his name? Rafael?  Raul?  Whatever...who assigned him to this flight? Terrorist plot?

"Maybe it's a terrorist attack but I don't think the pilot was involved and I think Manuel was just plain lucky.  No, Tomas was going to work on some contracts so we need to find out who he was dealing with.  Maybe someone wanted those negotiations to fail."

"So, we're going to Colombia, huh Charlie?"  It was more of a statement than a question.


"What about my date?" complained Alex.

"What did the fortune cookie say?"

"Congratulations! You are on your way"

Beyond the Window
Risky Business
Aliens, Really?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Aliens, Really?

It is day 14 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is It has to be aliens.  If your brains are still intact sail over and check out the other alien transmissions over at WWFC.

After clearing the wife, the driver and the pilot who had the good fortune to have the flu, he went to question the housekeeper.

"Good afternoon ma'am.  I am looking for Angela Perez."

"I am Mrs. Perez" replied the woman, wiping her hands on her apron.

"I'm Special Agent Charles Shore, FBI  and I am investigating the crash of Flight 0070.  I understand your employer Tomas Garza was on that flight.  Can you tell me the nature of his business in Colombia?"

"Only that he had to meet with some important people in Colombia.  It was a very important meeting.  I packed his suitcase for him."

"Do you know if he was involved in anything illegal" 

"Oh, no, Mr. Tomas would not do anything illegal" replied Angela sadly. "Mr. Tomas is...was a good man."

"Do you know who anyone who might want to harm him?" pressed Agent Shore.

Image Source:  Wikimedia

"Aliens," she said with certainty.

"Why do you say that, ma'am?"

"They are after our brains, you know.  They're out there just waiting for suck out our brains."

"No ma'am, those are zombies, and I'm certain this crash was not caused by the undead.  It is for the real dead that we are trying to get justice.  Thank you for your time" replied Agent Shore, as he turned to leave.

"No, Wait!  You don't understand,"  her face pale beneath her tan.  "They make you do things.  They take over your body and make you do terrible things."

"What kind of things?" he asked, not believing her, but curious as to where she was going with this.

"They said if I tell anyone about them they will suck out my brains.  They will put this metal hat thing on my head with wires on it and flashing lights and tubes in my ears and my brains will be scrambled."  

"Ah, brains and eggs...oh forgive me.  [who said FBI agents have no sense of humor]  So, tell me why do you think they caused the plane crash?"

"Not them...ME" shrieked Angela.  "They made me do it, and now they will be coming for me."

"Why would they want to bring down an American plane?" he asked, but Angela's eyes had glazed over.

Agent Shore was pretty sure Angela was a nut case, but he wasn't ready to let her off just yet in the event that she was actually involved in some way, and this was just a ploy to avoid prosecution.

However, at the end of the day, he was no closer to finding out who was behind the crash, but had ruled out Angela and the brain-sucking aliens.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Give Me a Hint

It is day 7 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Hint, hint.  So take a hint and go check out the other participants at WWFC.

"Oh please tell me.  I'll just die, die I tell you.  Won't you even give me a hint.  I've gotta know.  Oh please, pretty please" begged Charlie.  

"Never!  Not in a million years" replied his older sister. "You'd just blab it everywhere.  Nope, not a chance."

"Patty" complained Charlie, "I'd never tell.  I promise...cross my heart.  You're so mean.  You never tell me anything."

"Charlie, you really want me to tell you something" teased Patty?

"Sure" said Charlie, all ears.

"Get lost" she responded, frustrated at her little brother's persistence.

"Gee, I can take a hint" he grumbled as he shuffled away.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Madness

It is day 3 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Temporary Insanity.

George had settled into his recliner, his dog at his feet, the remote in his hand, and beer and snacks at the ready.  Just as the game was getting underway, his wife, Deanna came in to adjust the blinds and ask if he wanted anything else.  "George" she said, "Guess what I just read on Facebook? Jeanne posted a link to an article about a woman who just flipped out and tried to strangle her husband while he was watching the Super Bowl last year, but fortunately he overpowered her and called the police.  Isn't that just crazy?"
Image Source:  Camilla

"Yeah, that's nuts", George agreed.  "Some people are real whack jobs.  I'm glad you're not like that.  You don't mind me watching the games do you?"

"Of course not, dear" she crooned, "after all a man needs to relax and feel that his home is his castle."

"By the way, what happened to the woman?" he inquired.  "That was attempted murder.  Was she she in jail?"

"Oh my no!  On her attorney's advice she pleaded temporary insanity and was acquitted.*  She then divorced him and took the dog."

George eyed her cautiously.  The game was going on but he wasn't watching.  He just sat there staring at his wife.  Finally he spoke.  "Honey, how would you like to have lunch at Emilio's and maybe go to a movie?" he asked as he switched off the TV.

*This rarely ever happens, and most are committed to a mental institution.

Now go visit WWFC for more creative insanity. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Risky Business

It is day 2 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is It Was No Accident!

A while back I wrote Beyond the Window for Magpie Tales, which I used as an inspiration for this story.  It ended by telling us "what happens next will free them both."  I wouldn't exactly say they were "freed" but I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Big Room, 1948, by Andrew Wyeth
Maggie sat in a quaint outdoor restaurant lunching with several friends, the sun was shining and the tea was sweet.  It was the first time she had smiled in months.  The images that had penetrated her dreams and haunted every waking moment were beginning to blur as time marched forward, taking her reluctantly with it.

Six months earlier she had been coping with the day to day ups and downs of her husband's business, a business that provided well for her but at the same time left her with unanswered questions.

"I have to go to Colombia for a few days, maybe a week" said Tomas.  "There are some contracts that I must see to personally.  When I get back, we will take a trip.  Anywhere you would like to go.  I will even make the arrangements myself."

He is trying, she thought, and smiled her thanks.  "I'll think about it and let you know what I decide" Maggie responded, yet unconvinced the trip would actually take place.

Tomas packed his bag and called his driver to take him to the airport where he boarded the plane.  

"Welcome aboard sir" called the pilot.  

"Where is Manuel?" asked Tomas. 

"He came down with the flu, sir, and I am filling in until he recovers.  Enjoy your flight."

"Thank you."  Tomas proceeded to his seat, and after they were airborne, he asked the flight attendant for a scotch and soda.  His drink finished, he tipped his seat back for a nap.  He was tired and it would be a late night.

As he drifted off, his dreams turned to Maggie.  He saw tears in her eyes, and flowers.  There were so many flowers.  Where was she, and why was she crying?

About that time there was a loud boom as the plane lurched sideways, and there was a gaping hole where the forward bathroom had been.  The explosion had taken out the left engines, the wing was in flames and the pilot was dead.

NTSB investigated, and eventually the voice recorder was recovered.  There was nothing to indicate any mechanical malfunction or human error.  Further scrutiny found the remnants of an explosive device among the wreckage which was believed to have been detonated remotely.  Investigators were still trying to piece together what happened and determine who the intended target was.  Was it Tomas, the dead pilot, or Manuel who was sick with the flu?

Back in Miami, a representative of the NTSB and an FBI agent meet with Maggie.  

"Mrs. Garza, we are so sorry for your loss.  We want you to know that the crash was no accident, and we are continuing our investigation.  Is there anything you can tell us about your husband's business?"