I pray everyone had a wonderful and joy filled Christmas! It is my most favorite time of year!
I would love to have the time to write a new Christmas story, but since I am a "newbie" writer, I don't have stash to draw from. I do have this story - just a plain old mystery fiction.
Sorry - but this is too long for a one time post. Part 2 will be posted next week. This was my first attempt at fiction. I have always written narratives from Bible Stories and devotionals. So, bare with me on the roughness of this one.
I am posting this on Thursday because I will be traveling on Friday. So go to Patty's blog for today's host.
The Red Stone Mystery
When she it, she was in shock. Fear gripped her heart, and the pain of the past lodged in the pit of her stomach.
She had to hide it! Her survival instincts kicked in. There was no thought to make sure of wise decisions. The decisions were all preservation based.
She quickly swept it under the rug. “No”, she thought, “That wouldn’t do. The lump could be seen.” Fumbling like a victim looking for car keys, she grabbed it and ran for the hall closet. She felt her way to the back of the closet. Placing her hands and knees on the floor, she found the small nook she had seen last week while cleaning.
She breathed a sigh of relief. It couldn’t be seen. If she kept her cool no one would ever find out.
She backed slowly out of the closet. Standing to her feet, she glanced around instinctively, even though she knew the apartment was empty.
While washing the few dishes, her mind strayed to the contents of the corner in the closet. Who put it in her apartment? Why? Could it be…..?
The bowl slipped from her hand and fell to the floor. The breaking glass echoed in the lonely house. Numbly she began picking up the pieces. She was looking but not seeing. She picked up the last jagged fragment, and blood began oozing from her finger. But what was bleeding worse was the torrent of memories now flooding her mind.
She was nauseous. How could this all be resurfacing now? It had been so long ago.
She bandaged her finger, drained the dishwater, and went to lie down. She would sort out her plan from the comfort of her bed.
Adrienne Miller was not the most beautiful woman in the world, but neither did she need a paper bag over her head. Her natural curly brown hair frizzed more than she wanted, but all in all she knew how to manage it into some striking “dos” that, along with her big brown eyes and long eyelashes, captured many a second look from others. It didn’t hurt that she was 5’9 and weighed 130 lbs. Her long legs had long passed the gangly stage and were now an asset she had learned to appreciate.
Ms. Miller, as her associates at the prestigious advertising agency knew her was somewhat on the shy side. She had a few friends, but always managed to elude the chummy bff status of her acquaintances.
Kent Green, from the layout department, had been determined for some time to get to know the shy Ms. Miller. He desperately wanted the privilege of calling her Adrienne and learning the likes and dislikes of the quiet and unassuming manager of the new accounts division.
He made up stupid excuses to walk by her department. If there was ever a need for a document transfer between the two departments, he favored the printed version, hand delivered by himself, over the simple email submission. So, when he saw the ad layout for the new automotive account, he swiftly printed it, marked the email, and carefully placed the glossy black and white proof in an envelope.
Glancing at the mirror hanging by his doorway, he checked his appearance. This was not the time for spinach in his teeth or dip on his face. Today was the day. He would casually ask her to join him for coffee in the break room. He already knew her favorite latte and just happened to have it hidden in the back cabinet.
The “chance” meeting went flawlessly on Kent’s part. Adrienne, on the other hand, couldn’t believe she was about to spend her usual moments of solitude with the gregarious layout department supervisor.
The next 15 minutes were crucial to Kent’s plan to unlock the “Adrienne” mystery. He effortlessly guided the conversation to her obvious love of art. Adrienne surprisingly found herself chatting easily about Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Manet, and her two favorites Cassatt and Morisot. She caught herself just before she mentioned her trip to Paris to visit the private Morisot collection at the Chateau du Manet. She recovered by picking up her latte and sipping slowly so that Kent would ask another question.
Back in her office, Adrienne smiled at her coffee break “date” and was looking forward to dinner on Friday with Kent. If Adrienne had a best friend, she wouldn’t believe the course of the last half hour of Adrienne’s life! The only down side was her almost faux-pas regarding her ancient trip to Paris.
As the day wore on her happy thoughts from the morning slowly changed into the usual torments from her past. “What was I thinking? I can’t let anyone get close to me, especially now that it is in my apartment!?”
By the time she walked through her front door that evening, Adrienne was an emotional wreck. All she wanted to do was check the hall closet and make sure it was still safe in its corner. Then maybe, just maybe, she could have a few minutes of peace. She hoped she could sleep through the night.
She hung up her coat, tossed her keys on the table and kicked off her heels. Her eyes had been on the closet since she walked in the door. It was as if a force were drawing her to the closet. “Just one quick look. That’s all. Then close the door and forget it!”
Adrienne subconsciously held her breath as she eased the closet door open ever so slowly. She would have to get down on her hands and knees again to make sure it was still secure in the corner. Crouching on all fours, she peered to the corner.
It was at that precise moment, that horror struck her.
It was gone.
Falling backwards, she had to crab-walk out of the confined space. Her knees were shaking as she stood to close the door. Her hands were trembling also. As if it would help, she kicked the door to make sure it was secure.
Bile was creeping up her throat as she suppressed the need to vomit. She blindly walked to her bed and fell into it. Loneliness, her only companion for a long time, now gave way to fear. And fear had set up residence in her heart. There would be no evening meal tonight. No television. There would be nothing but the painful realization that her traumatic past had found her and the past had no intentions of leaving anytime soon.
Whether she realized it or not, it was now monopolizing her thoughts.
The one thought that was hurling itself against her mind was “Someone knows where I am. They have been in my apartment, not once, but twice!”
An old, familiar feeling settled in, the creepy, crawling awareness that she might be in danger. “Could they see her even now?”
She sat straight up with the adrenaline rush of her lifetime. “What if they are still here in the apartment?”
With every limb of her body trembling, she slowly opened her nightstand drawer and fumbled for the revolver her father purchased for her years ago. Adrienne placed it in both hands just like he had taught her. Shaking, she began a careful inspection of her home.
Fifteen minutes later she was convinced that whoever had been in her apartment had left. She calmed down somewhat. She picked up the phone half a dozen times to call her father, but each time decided against alarming him prematurely.
Finally she opted to just go to bed with the revolver in the drawer beside her and 911 on speed dial.