Rainy Day Fund

Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island.  And most who knew it had ever existed, believed it to have fallen into ruin a hundred years ago. Only the McClean brothers knew the truth. And today was the day they were cashing in.

Greg tied the skiff up in the cove on the west side of the island and Scott and Matt followed him up the cliff.  The only entrance was built into the rock wall itself, an expertly hidden door that, once opened, revealed a steep staircase winding to the courtyard and castle above.  As they hiked up, Greg had to ask Scott a question.

“You never said who was with her.”

“What?” 

“When you walked in on Tammy. Who was it? You never said.”

“Oh.” Scott lowered his head. “It was the pastor.”

Both brothers groaned. “Ah, man!” “That is just wrong…”

Once in the main castle, the brothers went to a tiny side room where they positioned themselves to move aside the stone alter under the window.

“Guys, are we sure this is okay? I mean, I’ll figure it out.” Scott looked at his brothers, trying to read any sign of resentment on their face.

Matt gave Scott an exasperated look. “Why else would our father, and his father, and his father before him have started this? It’s our rainy day fund, and you, my brother, are having one hell of a rainy day.”

“Besides,” Greg chimed in, “you’re only taking interest, it’s not like we’re cutting into the original investment. If you can pay it back, fine.  If not, it’ll make itself back in five years, give or take.”

“All right then.” Scott positioned himself at the alter and all three brother heaved it to the side, exposing a shallow pit filled with gold bars. “Thank God I never told Tammy about this…”

Source: Mondays Finish the Story – October 5th, 2015

Escaping Miners Hill

Miner's Hill

The only residents remaining in the small town of Miners Hill are spirits.  Most folks think it’s been that way for decades, but it’s only really been true for a couple a years.

Two years ago, I found her eatin’ stale bread outta the dumpster. I dragged her in the bakery and ordered her to wash up.  She refused to say anything that first day as she stuffed blueberry muffins and croissants in her mouth, washin’ it down with some OJ.  Over the course of that first year, I learned bits and pieces as she helped me knead dough and sweep floors.

She had a Ma and a Pa and a baby brother. How they came to live in Miners Hill she couldn’t remember, they had always been there.  A supply truck came in once a month with an order her Ma would place over the phone.  She and her brother would play in an old playground, complete with rusting swing set and creaky see saws and merry go round.  Her Pa, well, she didn’t much talk about him that first year.  But by the time she told me the whole story, I think them spirits in Miners Hill used her Pa for their own devices.

This piece is inspired by The Blog Propellant Friday Prompt and is an edit of a post originally written on May 25, 2015.

Ye Olde Seaport Tour

“The A&B Building was made entirely from driftwood. Built in 1899, it’s builder, Nathaniel Charles Styron, was acclaimed by many as an architectural genius. He was rumored by many more to be a practitioner of the dark arts.  The closest examination of the structure can not explain the apparent fusion of the driftwood that the strongest hurricanes have not damaged.  Nor can anyone figure out how the roof does not leak, even though it has no thatch, tar or shingle. The current owners have invited studies from Duke, NC State and UNC, but modern science has yielded no acceptable explanation.

“Of course Mr. Styron’s personal affinities for keeping no less than three young female “assistants” on hand 24 hours a day did not quell rumors of dark magic and certain other… Improprieties. Neighbors have reported hearing a woman’s screams come from the second floor windows. Several eyewitnesses have claimed to see a scantily clad woman standing on the second floor balcony looking out towards the inlet. But no one can explain how the A&B house is still standing.

“Now, if you will follow me, we will travel down the block to the house where Blackbeard infamously hung his fourth wife and is said to have buried her body beneath the stairwell…”

Source: Mondays Finish the Story – Sept. 28th, 2015

The Mango Tree House

She lived in a mango tree.  Kyra never planned it that way, but here she was.

“Daddy, can I have a tree house?” a seven year old Kyra begged every day that summer. Finally, Daddy responded, “If you want it, you have to build it.  I will help, but it is your responsibility.”

They went to the torn down barn. She could have as much wood as she wanted and earn building supplies with chores.  Kyra agreed, she loved working the land.

That first year,  Daddy helped her construct a basic platform with a rope ladder and an old tarp for a roof.  She studied all the construction books at the library.  The next year, up went walls and a solid roof.  A second room was added the following year, followed by a deck.  By the time Kyra was eighteen, she had a her very own mini-dream-home nestled in that mango tree.

At twenty-one, her Daddy offered her the farm and the house. She said, “I’ll take the farm, you keep the house.  I  have my mango tree.”

 

Source: Mondays Finish the Story – Sept. 21st, 2015

The Trials and Tribulations of Being Max, Episode 1

Life was not going the way Max wanted.  By all rights, he shoulda had his normal Tuesday tuna treat this morning, but apparently Mom had forgotten to share that important detail with the neighbor.  Besides that, the neighbor had a smelly stupid dog that just loved Peaches and the two of them together thoughT that ganging up on Max was just about the funniest thing ever.  Stupid dogs.  So far they had cornered him behind the toilet, under the bed, and “treed” him on top of the hot water heater.  This was cruel and unusual punishment, no way around that.   

As he slunk through the house he tried to decide the best place to poop, to make sure Mom understood this was unacceptable.  Outside the litterbox?  Beside her chair? On top of her pillow.  That’s the answer.  He was gonna lay a big old poop right on top of her pillow.  That’d really show-

He snapped his head to attention as keys jangled in the door.  Peaches was already at the door, jumping and whining and carrying on like her long lost friend was waiting on the other side.  And sure enough, Max could hear the neighbor’s dog pawing the door as her owner wrestled with the locks.  They are not going to mess with me again today, he vowed. In a flood of inspiration he had the perfect idea and ran to the window.

He thought he found the perfect hiding spot…….

Mondays Finish the Story - July 27th, 2015

Mondays Finish the Story – July 27th, 2015. 

The Tangled Web I Weave

Note: This is a twist on my original post The Webs We Weave.

What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. Elizabeth!,” rapping the ruler on the edge of my desk as she walked by, Mrs. Wilby ignored me snapping up in my chair with a bleary look on my face.

“Yes, Mrs. Wilby?” I quickly regained my composure.

“How do you interpret Sir Walter’s statement?” She Turned and leveled her no-nonsense stare directly into my eyes.

The truth was, I was having a difficult time remembering what Mrs. Wilby had said just prior to rapping on my desk.  

I must be more tired than I thought.  Usually I could just close my eyes and still pay attention, but that was getting harder and harder.  I’d been waking up at five am every morning to do my paper run, then get to the coffee shop two blocks from the high school by six forty-five, where half the jocks in school stopped by to exchange money for completed homework assignments and papers.  I quickly reviewed the assignments, noting how much I was charging for each type.  This morning the tenth grade  book report was due, so I had spent extra hours in the night writing five reports on The Great Gatsby, three reports on  The Last of the Mohicans, and one on Sense and Sensibility.  I gave Chaz a long, hard stare when I handed that one over.

Before the reports, I told my Dad I was going to Joe’s and biked the four blocks, where I made sure to make small talk with Joe’s Mom before going up to Joe’s room and slipping him a twenty, climbing out the window without a word, down the tree and backtracking ten blocks to Jen’s house.  I quietly snuck through the side door and down into the basement where I tutored Jen for her calculus test the next day.  Then it was over to Lenny’s house, because he was going to fail chemistry if I didn’t help him.  As long as their parents didn’t see me and mention it to my father I would be fine.  I just had another half year to keep this pace, and I would have enough money to get to Florence, pay for tuition and get settled, before my Dad even realized I wasn’t in Cambridge.  A smile played on my face.  I was accepted at the Florence University of the Arts School of Fashion & Accessories Studies & Technology.  Screw MIT.

“Miss Garrett,” Mrs. Wilby was clearly annoyed. “What did Sir Walter Scott mean?” 

I leveled my gaze directly at her.  “He meant that when we decide we must withhold information, it is very likely that one lie will lead to another lie, and then another in order to keep the original information withheld from the intended party.  He is observing that many times to lie is more complicated than to tell the truth.”

“And therefore we can conclude….?”

I smiled.  “The lie had better be worth the complications.”

In response to the “fiction folks” Creative Nonfictional Fiction: Let’s Play!.

PS Click here to see my comments and thoughts on both parts of this challenge.  

I would also be remiss if I did not note that the prompt inspiring my original version of this story came from Monday’s Finish the Story.





The Webs We Weave



What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. Jason!,” rapping the ruler on the edge of his desk as she walked by, Mrs. Wilby ignored Jason Bennett snapping up in his chair with a bleary look on his face.

“Yes, Mrs. Wilby?” He quickly regained his composure.

“How do you interpret Sir Walter’s statement?” She Turned and leveled her no-nonsense stare directly into his eyes.

The truth was, Jason was having a difficult time remembering what Mrs. Wilby had said just prior to rapping on his desk.  

He must be more tired than he thought.  Usually he could just close his eyes and still pay attention, but that was getting harder and harder.  He’d been waking up at five am every morning to do his paper run, then get to the coffee shop two blocks from the high school by six forty-five, where half the jocks in school stopped by to exchange money for completed homework assignments and papers.  This morning the tenth grade  book report was due, so he had spent extra hours in the night writing five reports on The Great Gatsby, three reports on  The Last of the Mohicans, and one on Sense and Sensibility.  He gave Chaz a long, hard stare when he handed that one over.

Before the reports, he told his Dad he was going to Joe’s and biked the four blocks, where he made sure to make small talk with Joe’s Mom before going up to Joe’s room and slipping him a twenty, climbing out the window without a word, down the tree and backtracking ten blocks to Jen’s house.  He quietly snuck through the side door and down into the basement where he tutored Jen for her calculus test the next day.  Then it was over to Lenny’s house, because he was going to fail chemistry if Jason didn’t help him.  As long as their parents didn’t see him and mention it to his father he would be fine.  He just had another half year to keep this pace, and he would have enough money to get to Florence, pay for tuition and get settled, before his Dad even realized he wasn’t in Cambridge.  A smile played on his face.  He was accepted at the Florence University of the Arts School of Fashion & Accessories Studies & Technology.  Screw MIT.

“Mr. Bennett,” Mrs. Wilby was clearly annoyed. “What did Sir Walter Scott mean?” 

Jason leveled his gaze directly at her.  “He meant that when we decide we must withhold information, it is very likely that one lie will lead to another lie, and then another in order to keep the original information withheld from the intended party.  He is observing that many times to lie is more complicated than to tell the truth.”

“And therefore we can conclude….?”

Jason smiled.  “The lie had better be worth the complications.”

Escaping Miners Hill

Miner's Hill

The only residents remaining in the small town of Miners Hill are spirits.  Most folks think it’s been that way for decades, but it’s only really been true for about two years.  

It’s been two years since I found her eatin’ stale bread out the dumpster and dragged her in the bakery and ordered her to wash up.  She refused to say anything that first day as she stuffed blueberry muffins and croissants down her mouth, washin’ it down with some OJ.  Over the course of that first year, I learned bits and pieces as she helped me knead dough and sweep the floors.

She had a Ma and a Pa and a baby brother. How they came to live in Miners Hill she could not remember, they had always been there.  A supply truck came in once a month with an order her Ma would place over the phone.  She and her brother would play in an old playground, complete with rusting swing set and creaky see saws and merry go round.  Her Pa, well, she didn’t much talk about him that first year.  But by the time she told me the whole story, I think them spirits in Miners Hill wanted her Pa for their own devices.