Nathan 157

Before intermission was over Jim was alerted to Emma’s disappearance.  Martin hurried to his side and whispered in his ear.  Jim was furious.  Jesus Christ!  How did it happen?  When?  He continued questioning Martin who hadn’t witnessed her disappearance until he managed to break through the milling crowd to get to Jim.

Taking Jemma’s hand he held on then leaned toward Sarah and Jake, “We have to go, now.”

“What is it?  What’s wrong?”

“No time to explain, let’s go.”  Between him and Martin, they hustled the family to the waiting car.

Jemma stopped short, “Where’s Emma?”  Panic filled her eyes. “Emma!” she called loudly.

“In the car, please, Jenna.” Once they were inside and Martin was at the wheel, Jim explained his concerns.

“I found this.”  He held up the note Emma had left behind.  “It indicates Julie had been abducted and Emma was to meet up at the airport with the sender of the note.”

“Jessop!  Jessop’s got Emma?  What about Julie and…”

“The others are fine.  My men are with them now.  It was a ruse to get to Emma.”

“Oh my god!” Jenna shook and tears filled her eyes.  “This can’t be.  She didn’t just go with them did she?”

“I’ll find out more when I get back to base.”

“Does Nathan know?”

“He does, yes.  He’s the prime target of course.  They’ve used Julie to get Emma to get to Nathan.”

“Is he on his way?”

“Yes, he’ll be here in 12 hours or so.  He was half way to Maryland when I informed him of the situation.”

“I don’t know whether to be relieved or scared.  They could get him too.”

“Nathan can take care of himself.  I’m sure it’s Jessop and his cohorts and once they contact Nathan, he’ll place a tracking device on his body that I can follow.  We’ll get them both home safely.”  He pulled Jenna close and hugged her.

Jake and Sarah held onto each other, fear in their eyes, but a look of hope when Nathan’s name was mentioned.

Page 158                                                                                              Page 156

Nathan 156

No sooner had she skidded to a stop by the double doors at the far end of the airport than two men appeared, each grabbing an arm and hustling her through them and into a waiting car.  Emma took note of their appearance committing each to memory.  She couldn’t get a clear look at the driver as the divider between them was up.  No one spoke.

Emma asked where they were going but other than a sneering look in her direction, they completely ignored her presence.  The only time she was on their radar was when she moved.

They finally told her to put her head down and placed a black bag over it and she could see nothing at all.  She took a couple deep breaths in anticipation of what was to come.  One of them pushed her upright again as they continued wherever they were headed.

Emma determinedly listened hoping to glean their whereabout from anything she could hear.  Unfortunately, the music they were playing was blasting and she couldn’t hear a thing and the ride was comfortable and smooth telling her little about speed direction or impediments like railway tracks or speed bumps that could assist with a direction.

It seemed like hours before they finally stopped and as one man got out the other gave her a shove in his direction and she slid across the seat and out.  Both of her arms were grabbed in vice-like grips and she was impelled forward nearly losing her footing on the uneven ground.  She got the feeling they wouldn’t care whether she fell or not but someone said something in a muffled voice and their grip tightened and they hauled her up several steps.

She was suddenly surrounded by the fragrance of flowers, African Violets if she wasn’t mistaken … a hot-house of some sort.  As she was dragged along, the smell of potting soil and fish meal assailed her nostrils.  She was halted abruptly turned and shoved onto a chair.

“Emma, at last, we meet.  How wonderful.  I knew you’d come.  Your Achilles heal is family, of course, why wouldn’t it be.  Nathan’s is you.”

“I take it that’s why you’ve abducted me.  Where is Julie?”

“Safely ensconced in her family’s arms, I’m sure.”

Emma’s sigh of relief was audible.  “I see that pleases you.”

“I can’t say I’m not relieved.”

“No, my dear, you were my target.  Having you means I hold all the cards.”

“It simply means you have me.  Nothing more, nothing less.”

“You underestimate your worth, Emma.  That doesn’t sound like the woman I’ve come to know.”

“You know nothing about me.”

“Oh but I do, dear Emma. I have made it my goal to study you, to know everything about you.”  He rattled off several facts that anyone could obtain, her life was practically an open book.  Minus a few chapter’s she’d recently added such as the self-defence Nathan had correctly instructed her on.  Her journalistic and photographic memory added a perception he’d never understand.  Knowing her family was safe and sound was all that mattered to Emma.  She could handle herself.

“You’ll remain here in these humble surroundings until Nathan comes for you.  Relax.  You are among friends!”  he laughed at his own joke thinking himself quite amusing.

“Of course we’ll have to make some adjustments.”  With that, her arms were lifted and shackles placed on both wrists.  “Should you require the amenities, they are to your left, please feel free to use them.  I’m not completely without heart.”

He turned and left and Emma listened to his receding footsteps until the nearly silent swish of doors indicated he’d left.  The black bag was ripped off of her head and she blinked until her eyes became accustomed to the light which was minimal at best.  She watched her two captors saunter toward the far doors and they too disappeared.

Time to take stalk.  The shackles were solid with five-foot chains attached giving her some room to move. Indeed there was a bucket should she require it and a long table with planting implements, nothing more.

Page 157                                                                                           Page 155



Nathan 155

The family decided on an outing and along with Jim headed out for the evening to see James Hunter six, a soul-blues band from Essex, England, touring and recording for more than a decade.  It was hinted that Allen Toussant, Sharon Jones or Van Morrison may be in attendance since all three were avid fans. Jenna was a fan and had been for years and since everyone loves music, they were all as eager to attend the event as she was.

Heading out, their discussion was animated as they entered the limo.  Jim was attending alongside them and Martin would drive and stand guard.  Jim attended to all the protection before they left and double checked as they drove to the event.

Settling into their seats, they talked were talking in hushed tones even though many hadn’t taken their seats as yet.  Excitement ran high, the air filled with the electric anticipation that filled the room.  The lights dimmed twice signalling the group was about to take the stage and everyone scurried to their seats while exchanging muffled.

The show began with an introduction, which proceeded with great fanfare and humour and had the audience completely involved.  Before long the group began and silence reigned, you could have heard a pin drop.

It was just before the first intermission that a note landed on Emma’s lap.  She quickly scanned the area but due to the number of people milling about, it was impossible to tell where it came from.  Turning her attention to the note, she slowly opened it, half dreading what she might find.

It read, “If you want to see Julie again, meet me at the airport now!  You and only you. I’m a man of my word, you should know that by now.”  Emma’s hands shook as she valiantly attempted to appear calm and not let her feelings show.  Inwardly she was quaking.  Dear god in heaven, not Julie!  How the hell had he managed to get to that delightful baby?  What of her parents? A thousand questions flittered through her mind, the least of which was how to notify Nathan without causing havoc panic and dire consequences.  Uppermost in her mind was the threat.  She couldn’t allow anything to happen to that sweet baby!

Turning to Jenna she whispered, “Ladies, I’ll be right back.”  Jenna nodded and turned her attention back to Jim while Jake and Sarah were chatting with a couple they were acquainted with from back home.

Emma made her way to the washroom, then scanned the area looking for Martin.  He was surrounded by a crowd of people, his eyes trained on the family.  He obviously hadn’t noticed her departure so she hustled toward the entrance and on outside.

Flagging down a cab, she gave the driver instructions to head to the airport and prayed she was doing the right thing.  It took forty-five minutes to arrive, traffic was heavy, bumper to bumper and she barely breathed the entire trip.  She tossed cash at the driver and raced into the airport.

The moment she was inside she noticed a sign that read, “Emma Banks!”  Making a bee-line straight for the sign she said, “Yes, I’m Emma Banks.”  The sign holder handed her an envelope and turned away.

The note’s instructions directed her toward the far end of the terminal.  Emma wasn’t thinking clearly, simply reacting out of fear.  Her journalistic thought processes halted.   All she could think about was somehow getting to sweet innocent Julie and freeing her.

Page 156                                                                                               Page 154






Amy’s heart quickened when she thought about meeting him again.  Their short liaison had been intensely satisfying, romantically exciting and fulfilling, reaching depths of her soul she hadn’t known existed.  Today they would meet again for the first time in four years since being forced to part as a result of pressure from jobs, inter-continental travel and family.  A true modern Romeo and Juliet scenario with her family and his divided through their family businesses. Still, the heart wanted what it wanted.  The moment she looked into his eyes, she would know where they stood and whether their “relationship” such as it was stood a chance.

Markus walked toward her, tall straight and as handsome in her eyes as she had remembered.  It was a very public venue. Immediately, his arms opened and he wrapped her in a hug as full of love, longing and desire as the last moment he’d held her.

He would fight for her, for them.  Amy was who he wanted.  Irregardless of family ties, concerns and threats, if necessary, he would walk away from them and their small minded constraints.  Markus was relieved at finding the light in her eyes hadn’t changed either.  She obviously wanted the same thing as he did.

Together, unitedly, they would make this work.  He’d squirreled enough money away to start his own business branching out making the possibility a reality.


“Markus, it’s been forever and yet it feels as though but a moment in time.”

“You are prepared for this and all it entails?”

“Indeed I am.  It won’t be easy unless they come around, but we’re worth fighting for.” She reached up and kissed him with passion promise desire and a finality that couldn’t be denied.

“This is it then.  It’s you and me, us against the world?”

“If it comes to that, Amy, we will win.”

Arm in arm they turned and walked toward their future, together.






Murals of Chemainus

I love murals.  I finally found the pictures of murals I took eons ago in Chemainus on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.  Here is the first installment.  These are all copyright pictures taken by me.  Enjoy.








Poetry and Short Fiction Contests




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It’s amusing, watching them grow

Becoming aware, and in the know

The center of the universe they are not

They like us are simply little black dots

Infinitesimally small like specks of sand

In the great scheme of things not so grand

Simply a part of all that once was and now is

So miniscule, yet important in the final analysis

Able to affect changes, influence and persuade

All that would come after, a message conveyed
















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I had umpteen ideas about jiggle,  however, I settled on an amusing anecdote about my family.  For years when the children were small, we had finger food night.  Since we all got to choose a meal per week, there was a constant variety to choose from.

Since I’d never eaten frozen or canned food, it was all as fresh as the shelves at the local grocery store could provide, they were used to eating veggies. Oh but if I had a garden!  We did for a time, and that was heaven.  Back to the story.

Needless to say the kids were delighted with finger food night because the diversity of food was endless… every vegetable imaginable with a homemade veggie dip or plain, fruits (mostly in season).  I had to get creative in the winter as my kids loved winter vegetables but only cooked.

It gave everyone a night off from cooking and dishes and was readily accepted by all.  Then came the night of the surprise.  Oh I suppose I should mention that finger food night was usually Friday night.  Therefore it was a great start to the weekend.  Dinner was enjoyed with next to no clean up involved and the weekend began.

I digressed to mentioning Friday’s as this gave me plenty of time to add one surprise to the forthcoming dinner.  On the night in question, unbeknown to my family, I was adding “Jello”.  When the first section of the meal was complete and everyone was nearly full, I pulled out a big bowl of jello, which I quickly divided into bowls and brought  on a tray to surprise everyone.

You can imagine the hilarity that ensued as each of us tried to pick up the Jello that wiggled and jiggled around the bowl.  We chased it with fingers, clinched them together, the efforts and contortions were hilarious.  At times the intensity on little faces nearly brought me to tears (little tongues settled into the corner of their mouth, concentration high) to dropped jaws, it was a complete delight.

They would dive at the jiggling jello, scoop, use both hands and finally one of them thought to suck the jiggling jello out with their mouth.  I can’t quite remember any other dinner that was quite that much fun.  Jiggle jello, jiggle.



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She’d never felt more alone.  A solitary aloneness in a relationship where love and friendship should flourish. Yet she felt as parched baked and thirsty as if she were sitting alone in the midst of the Sahara Desert.

“What went wrong?”

“Nothing, we’re perfect as we are.”

“That’s what you think?”

“Yeah, I don’t see anything wrong with our relationship.”

“I’ve already explained my feelings on the matter and you simply don’t get it.”

“I don’t, no.  I provide, work hard, you want for nothing, what more could I give you?”

“How about love, affection, a meaningful hug, great sex?”

“What you’re saying the sex isn’t good?”

“I’m saying you don’t have any emotions about anything, not what’s happening around you, your life, our marriage, you don’t even have an opinion on what you want to eat.  Passable is enough for you.  It’s not enough for me.”

“Then I’d say you have a problem, not me.  I can’t believe we’re having this conversation period.”  Paul shook his head and walked away.  “Women, who could understand them?”  he whispered quietly.

Adrian loved that he provided for her, he was right in that she wanted for nothing.  Still, they had long since stopped enjoying anything in common.  Their life had become drab, dull, boring.  He gave nothing, expected nothing – he simply existed.  All the promises he’d made about what their life together would be like had long since vanished.

She wandered aimlessly like

A shriveled presence so ghostlike

Existing day to day not really there

Felt not seen unheard but aware

There had to be more than an existence now arid

No moisture of romance, presence unheralded

Wandering aimlessly dreams at an end

Standing on a bookshelf, an empty bookend

Nothing in common, not a spark of need

No conversation or interaction to proceed

Emotions like anger, laughter, love, affection

All so empty, surrounded by feelings of dejection

How could he not understand a woman needed more

Than the daily drivel and slamming of a screen door

Vibrance, lushness, thrills and unexpected surprises

A walk in the park, holding hands, sparks tantalizes

The human soul and love from deep within

Keeping you warm, she desired this more than anything







An unescapable prescipice


In her romantic conjuring, the gently falling flakes of crystalline snow captivated with promises of a soft feathery hinterland that quickly turned barren concrete and brick into a make-believe world where untold possibilities awaited.

Structure and form softened as the darkly lit world united under a blanket of potential fun transformed everyday sounds into muted copies of themselves and a simple walk left angels and footprints behind hinting at fun and delight of the lighthearted spirit of those that went before.

A beautiful ethereal season brought to life in an instant played out in her mind as she witnessed the now dense flakes falling around her.  Death came to all sooner or later.  In her case, it came sooner than expected.  Her playful romp landed her on a precipice from which there was no escape.



Baby a plethora of uses :)


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Lines from well-known songs using “baby”

Steve Miller Band, “Keep rocking me baby”

Frankie Valli, “I love you baby!”

Taylor Swift, “Cause, now baby, we got bad blood”

Jeff Beck and the Big town Playboys, “Her name is baby blue”

The Supremes, “Baby, baby, baby, don’t leave me”

Mac Davis, “Baby don’t get hooked on me”

Perry Como, “Sweet dream baby”


An affectionate term used by some

Expressing love, used without qualm

Meaning your dear, special, and precious

Lifts your spirits, you simply feel delicious

While some say it and sexy it sounds

Others may try it but strangely it confounds

There’s something missing in translation

When not accompanied by love’s expression




Nathan 154

Jessop rarely drank, but when he did, he drank heavily.  He was listening to his own voice, unrecognizable even to himself.  He wobbled and staggered around his den talking to the objects surrounding him.  “Youuu, yuuuur mine now.  Yuuur mine, nooo one can shtake that now…not een youuu Nafan.”

He needed to sit.  He went for the chair and missed falling on his butt on the floor laughing at himself.  He’d dropped his bourbon on the way down and momentarily searched for it before giving up and falling on his back asleep in an alcoholically induced haze.  If anyone was listening, they’d have heard muted snoring.

When he woke on the floor curled in a fetal position, he was momentarily at a loss.  Then he remembered damning himself for his stupidity and loss of control.  Nathan’s fault!  It was all due to his disgustingly infernal meddling.  Damn him!  He raised on one arm, lifting his still heavy body from the floor to a knee then up.  Heading through the door he set the lock and scuttled up to his bedroom to shower and change.

He’d have to wait for his head to clear before checking on his current plans.  Damn Nathan to Hell! his mind screamed.

Nathan had been in meetings for the better part of four days and exhaustion wasn’t just nipping at his heals, it was threatening to swallow him whole. He decided he’s sleep for a few hours then call Emma.  He felt chagrined at his neglectfulness but still, it couldn’t be helped.  He’d make it up to her upon his return.  He smiled at the thought as he allowed himself to drift off into sleep.

He’d been sleeping all of ten hours when his cell went off alerting him to possible problems and danger.  Quickly rising he answered.  “I’ll fly out immediately.  Meet me at my cabin.”

His driver delivered him at the plane and within 40 minutes he was flying out.

Page 154                                                                                               Page 152




What a relief!  Knowing is.  It never ceases to surprise me how far the mind will take us in the wrong direction when we don’t have answers.  For instance, unknown aches or sudden and unaccountable pains can lead our mind into territory that is frightening, overwhelming,  allowing us to worry needlessly.

Questions about a relationship when the significant other acts strangely (out of character) for no apparent reason often causes us to doubt ourselves and feel insecure, making the reality of the given situation feel insurmountable.

When someone says you do this wrong, that wrong, something else wrong, your never good enough, right enough, exact enough, always pointing fingers in your direction (even though you know deep inside it’s not true) you may take it on.  Remember when someone points a finger at you, there are three pointing back at them.  That’s usually a good indicator of what the reality is.  If someone cares, they don’t point fingers at you, they help you question the reality of your situation to clarify it, not place blame.

Of course for some things, it’s true there is no answer, certainly not to why, in most cases. That one can drive you crazy.

When you know what is and the reason for it, you can cope.  You automatically find answers to living with what is and gain perspective and settle.

I don’t know about you, but I find in any given situation, I don’t question the other person’s motivations or reasoning, but I question mine first.  Once I have answers as to where I am, what I’m thinking and feeling, then I ask questions of the other individual.  Their answers relieve my mind considerably even if they aren’t answers I wish to hear.

Knowing gives you such power, protection, perception.  I guess my thought on this is to ask the question, accept the answer and then move on.

I had to mention this in response to Elaine’s prose for the day.  Those of us that take responsibility seem to question ourselves first, others secondly.  Without answers, we will tend to feel guilty, take on unnecessary blame and carry a lifelong burden that isn’t ours to carry.

I have to mention how proud I am of any individual able and willing to look in the mirror and face themselves and the painful truths of what life was dishing out, what they’ve overcome, and continue forward. Able to move forward with the knowledge of who they really are, the depth within.



Nathan 153

Jim was nowhere to be seen when they re-entered through the side door.  Odd!  They went in search of their parents and found them working on the puzzle.

“Good morning my lovelies, how are you?”

“Good. Jenna and I were dancing to some new music she’s put together, it is absolutely exquisite.”

“I heard a little of it earlier when I passed by but I didn’t want to disturb the creative process so I kept going, but it sounded heavenly.  Seems to me she’s got a winner there,”  Jake responded.

“Did you really like it dad?”

“Yeah, there’s something completely appealing about it, draws you in.  It sure did me.”

“You guys had breakfast yet?”

“No, just coffee, but my tummy is rumbling so I figured I’d have to do something about that.”

“How does home-made pancakes with true maple syrup sound along with a side of sausages and bacon?”

“I’m in.”  Jake rose from the table and said,” I’ll get started on the bacon.”

In the kitchen he asked about Nathan and whether Emma knew anything more than what Jim had explained.

“No, I don’t.”  She sighed heavily.  “Not quite sure what to make of that.”

“I’m sure Nathan’s got a lot of irons in the fire and he’s busy with that.  He’ll contact you soon as he can.”

“Yeah, I look forward to it.”

Jessop was displeased.  His efforts had worked but not as well as he’d expected.  He stomped around the weight room.  He’d hoped to divide and conquer and get his hands on the Banks family, Emma in particular that despicable little… he wasn’t sure what term to use.  Troublemaker too tame, since she was beautiful, well bitch!  She’d screwed up his plans and his life.  He’d have to come up with something equally compelling to make her pay.

Nathan’s unlimited resources were making this far more difficult to accomplish than he’d anticipated.  Time to call in the heavy hitters.  It would be a one-time payoff, more than he’d bargained on, but it would work.  It had to.

Page 154                                                                                                 Page 153

Rhythmic Nathan


The rhythmic sounds emanating from the main living room drew Emma forward.  There she found Jenna swaying to classical music while humming a modern beat that worked well with the original sounds.  Leaning against the door jam and closed her eyes, she immediately visualizing a room full of dancers undulating to the delightful tempo.  It was a pleasing mixture that harmonized beautifully together. When she opened her eyes, Jenna

When she opened her eyes, Jenna was dancing a lyrically smooth sustained movement across the room in time to the music she was humming.  She looked almost ethereal, light and happy.  The music became lighter, Gravevine, Hitchback, Jazzwalk ending with a Releve, pretty movements depicting the lighthearted flavour of the music.  She couldn’t help but join in and when Jenna noticed her, she smiled at her with pleasure as they grasped hands further uniting their movements.

When the song ended, she hugged Jenna.  “It’s been awhile since we danced together.”

“Too long, but it was fun,”  Jenna agreed.

“Something new you’re working on?”

“Something like that.  Have a million ideas floating through the recesses of my mind.  Wanted to get them down before I forget or more likely move on to something else.”  She smiled deprecatingly.  “I’m known to do that.”

“It was lovely, really lovely.  I enjoyed watching you and couldn’t help but join in.”

“It’s something new I’m working on to add to the music I’ve already put together.  Want to hear it?”

“Absolutely!”  They listened to the tracks Jenna had made thus far, and they were unique, beautiful and inviting, a real mix of what you could loosely call “pop” jazz and classical but with a rhythm that was completely captivating.

“Oh my god, Jenna, that is truly beautiful.”

“I’m loving it.  Just not sure what kind of a market it would invite.  To be completely honest, I wouldn’t care if it didn’t sell, because I love it that much.  I’m going to run it by the powers that be, see what they say.”

“Big thumbs up from me, I can see it being wildly accepted on many levels.  Not just dance studios and dancers, but the public at large.  It’s new, different, modern, and special.  I still have it bouncing around in my mind.”

“That’s good to know.”

“Hey, you interested in a jaunt?” At Jenna’s nod, they headed outside and began their walk.

“You heard anything from Nathan?”

“Surprisingly no.  I realize he’s crazy busy at the moment, but I’d hoped he’d call.”

“Your right, he’s probably up to his eyeballs with arrangements.”  Taking Emma’s arm in hers, she hugged her close.  “You have something special here, Emma.  Nathan adores you so I’m sure that’s all it is.”

“You’re right, of course.  I keep thinking I should check in with Jim, and then I let it go.  Jessop’s gone off the deep end and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he made a move on Nathan, even though I’m hopeful it would be a futile endeavour.  He seems incredibly resourceful.”

“Seems to me he’s motivated by insanity.  That could mean he’ll start making mistakes and as Jim said, that’s when they’ll catch him.  Crazy is as crazy does!”

Emma smiled remembered the old saying they’d often used when something bazaar occurred.  “Thanks, Jenna.  I guess I needed to hear that.”

“My pleasure.”




Nathan 152

They were momentarily stunned into silence at the information.  Emma was the first to speak.  “I have to admit I’m shocked.  I can only imagine Nathan’s reaction, he must feel hurt at heart thinking someone close to him was not trustworthy.”

“I’m sure he does, but that’s not his only concern.”

“What do you mean, Jim?”

“Since the individual in question had inside knowledge, it puts our men at great risk.  We’re not sure how much information was divulged and where it stops.”

“Does he know Nathan’s in Italy?” Emma asked concerned.

“Undoubtedly.  That’s not our major concern, though.  Nathan’s capable and surrounded by his own men who’ll protect him at all costs.  Our real concern is what his next target is.  He knows Nathan well, how his mind works.  With the inside information he’s got, he can use that against him.”

Before he could finish his thought, his cell rang.  “One moment, I have to take this.” He got up and immediately walked to the den.

“If his target isn’t Nathan, then what is it?”  Jenna asked perplexed.

“I’m not sure, but Jessop will consider all possibilities and hit at what he considers a weak spot.”

Jim re-entered the room.  “Well, we know his target.”

“Who, where, what?”  Jake asked rising to his feet.

“Your cabin.”

“What happened?” he took a step forward agitation clear.

“He tried firebombing it.  My men put it out before it got going and the culprits were caught red-handed, handed over to the authorities.”

“How much damage?”

“The far corner, the garage was hit.  Fortunately, my men were able to put the fire out before it got going, but there is considerable damage inside and out.  It didn’t reach the house proper.  We got lucky on that one.”

“Perhaps I should return to the cabin.  I have an arsenal there.”  Jim’s face was suffused with angry red at the thought they’d attacked his home.

“Jake, we have the situation under control.  If you go, you’ll be an added incentive to attack again, or Jessop might consider taking you hostage.”

“I feel helpless and angry.”

Emma jumped up, “I’m so sorry papa.  I never dreamed it would get this far.”

“How could you?  How could anyone?  Jessop is a loose cannon, striking at whatever and wherever he wishes.”

“If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that we can now tie the incidents at the galleries plus the strike on your home indisputably to Jessop.”

“How so?”  Sarah asked.

“He used the same type of device on three of the four locations.  The men at the cabin are scared and talking.  Most of it is here say, but we’ve gleaned enough information to use in court to tie the incidents together and to Jessop.”

“But is that enough?”

“No, but it’s a start.  When we tie the warehouses to him too, he’s done.”  Jim smiled at the thought.

They pondered the situation for a minute and Jenna walked to Jim, “I’m glad you are you and know what you’re doing.  I’m not sure how I’d react otherwise.”

“It’s what I do, Jenna, literally, put out fires.  No pun intended.”

Jenna hugged him close.  “When is Nathan returning?”

“As soon as he finishes up, a day, two at the most.”

Page 153                                                                     Nathan 151




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Sometimes a hideout is all we need

Whether a good book that we read

Or some beautiful music to get lost in

Refreshing our soul from deep within

A place we escape to be alone

While we ascertain concerns on our own

A place of solitude or seclusion

In order to find a complete solution

For that which concerns or worries us

To get perspective, no need to discuss

The issue that confronts us a decision made

To sort truth from fiction a personal crusade







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Glitz or glam or glitter

Sparkle twinkle or shimmer

There is a romantic appeal

Whether on silk or stiletto heal

A sky full of stars that twinkle above

Reminiscent of courtly love

There certainly is attraction and appeal

Even when the occasion seems surreal

Glitter captivates imagination and delight

Adding something special, it’s a wonderful sight

That little sparkle of candlelight

Adding pizzas, truly a highlight

Of a special dinner with a significant other

Or with family on occasions enjoying one another













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Sitting on the octopus, round and round we went

Faster and faster with no end to the torment

A blur of lights and people passed me by

The operator laughed as I let out a cry

The ride went on and on, round and round

As my screams were lost in the sound

Of music, laughter, people chattering

No one to hear my incessant clamouring

To stop the ride and let us get off

Each time we whizzed by him he did scoff

Spent from screaming and dizzy as hell

We got off the ride, knees shaking as well

Never again to enjoy the rides at the fair

A risk too frightening, still a nightmare







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Interesting how the lingo has changed

Different words used and exchanged

Interpreting thoughts and feelings of others

While interacting with babies or grandmothers

Whether translating the language of youth

From the time of that first baby tooth

At the supermarket you hear

Someone speaking quite near

In a language quite foreign to you

Trying to help them understand and get through

Here’s a poem I grew up, no idea where it originated but it’s hilarious

(I’m sure only those of you over a certain age will remember) hope you enjoy.

Groovy, man, Groovy

Remember when hippie meant big in the hips
And a trip involved travel in cars, planes, and ships?

When pot was a vessel for cooking things in
And hooked was what grandmother’s rug might have been?

When square meant a 90-degree angle form
And cool was a temperature not quite warm?

When roll meant a bun and rock was a stone
And hang-up was something you did to the phone?

When fixed was a verb that meant mend or repair
And be-in meant simply existing somewhere?

When neat meant well-organized, tidy, and clean
And grass was ground cover, normally green?

When lights and not people were switched on and off
And the pill might have been what you took for your cough?

When camp was to quarter outdoors in a tent
And pop was what the weasel went?

When groovy meant furrowed with channels and hollows
And birds were winged creatures like robins and swallows?

When fuzz was a substance that’s fluffy like lint
And bread came from bakeries, not from the mint?

When jam was preserves that you spread on your bread
And crazy meant balmy – not right in the head?

When swinger was someone who swung in a swing
And pad was a soft sort of cushiony thing?

When far-out meant distant, way up in the blue
And making the scene was a rude thing to do?

When dig meant to shovel and spade in the dirt
And put-on is what you would do with a shirt?

Words once so sensible, sober, and serious
Are making the freak scene like psychodelirious.

It’s groovy, man, groovy, but English it’s not.
Methinks that our language is going to pot.













Nathan 151

Everyone was excitedly anticipating their walk in the park, hopping into the limo, their chatter was unending.  First on the agenda was the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture followed by the Museum of Pop Culture and lastly the Seattle Art Museum, a little  ‘something’ for everyone.

Emma smiled at Martin who was “on-point” as it were, stiff, watchful, definitely on guard taking the job quite seriously.  He was coordinating with someone constantly, every fifteen minutes (whether it was Jim or someone else) didn’t matter.

They entered the Art Museum were half way across the entrance when all hell broke loose.  and Martin immediately herded them into a group toward the far corner pulling his weapon calling for assistance.  Within a matter of seconds, a group of men and women rushed toward them crowding around the Banks.  They encircled the family and laid a hand on a shoulder of each of them, pushing and manouvering them through the front door into the waiting limo parked at the entrance.  They didn’t have time to think let alone see anyone or anything in the rush to the vehicle.  The moment they were inside, the car started up and raced away momentarily throwing them off balance. The window between the driver and passengers opened. Jim was at the wheel.  “Sorry about that, ” he announced. “Had to move quickly.  We got word Jessop was making a move and he’d sent a crew after you.  Undoubtedly it would have been made to appear a robbery attempt gone wrong while taking you as hostages.”

“How the hell did you find out?”  Jenna was agog while everyone else stared open mouthed.

“We have a mole.  I’ll explain once we’re safely home.”

As they watched several black SUV’s approached and surrounded the limo.  “It’s alright,” Jim stated, “they’re with us.  An extra detail to get us from point A to B in one piece.”

“Is this seriously necessary?”  Jenna was shocked.

“Unfortunately, yes.”

Giggling she said, “Now I know how the President feels.”  Everyone understood it was her nervous response to the situation.  Jim couldn’t help but smile in the mirror at her.

They returned to Nathan’s in record time.  Jake asked, “Did you have this set up beforehand?”

“Yes, I did.  It was Nathan’s idea and he was right.  He had a feeling Jessop was on a roll and would make an attempt the moment he became aware you were out and about.”

“How would Jessop know?”

“Let’s sit down with a beverage and I’ll explain.”

Curiosity got the better of them and they silently followed his direction.  Coffee in hand, seated in the living room, Jim began.  “We spread some stories about regarding events you were supposed to be attending.  A group of thugs showed up at two of those locations.  Today, we announced you were going to the attend an event downtown, but let slip where you really were.  There had to be an inside source, a mole if you will, reporting to Jessop.  He made the call to Jessop and since he wasn’t aware of our monitoring system, or let’s say the extent of our monitoring system, was caught red-handed.”

Emma was almost afraid to ask, “Who?  Who was it?”

“A member of the kitchen staff who replaced another that went on maternity leave.  Not sure how they got passed out intel but it happened.  We have our inside man and we’ll get further information on Jessop’s plans.”

Page 152                                                                                   Page 151





Nathan 146

Emma paced.  Inner turmoil in full swing.  It was unlike her.  Jenna watched and waited.  Finally, on her 10th pass,  Jenna asked, “So what you going to do about it?”

“About what?”

“The reason your pacing.”

“Hmm. I’m not sure.”

“That’s not like you at all, Emma.  You are one of the most decisive people I know.  You know what you need to do.”

“Where’s Jim?”

“He’s checking on his men.”

“Ok.”  Emma sent an absent-minded smile Jenna’s way before walking past her toward Nathan’s den. Jenna smiled thoughtfully.  “My work here is done.”

Emma knocked on the door.  Jim bade her enter.  “Jim, sorry to disturb you.”

“No problem Emma, what’s up?”

“I can’t let Nathan tackle this alone.  How long would it take to get the jet back and ready to go?”

“I’d happily make arrangements for your departure.  However, it’s not something I would suggest you do right now.”

“Why, what’s happened?”

“I just received word that all three of Nathan’s galleries have been hit in succession.  The Paris Gallery sustained minimal damage, but Italy was bombed, I would imagine some sort of incendiary device, placed inside, which caused considerable damage.  Nathan’s on his way there now after securing police protection.  Our men will be on location before he lands.”


“Most certainly.  It would require another level of protection if you joined Nathan.  He can take care of himself, Emma.  Your going would add another level of complication I’m afraid.”

“Point taken.  Damn it, Jim, I feel helpless.”

“I understand that, Emma.  Nathan will handle the situation better knowing you’re here, safe and sound instead of worrying about the eventuality that Jessop could get to you or harm you.”

“Isn’t there something I can do?”

“Take Jenna and your parents on an outing, anywhere, the park, shopping, a gallery, something to entertain them, keep their minds occupied.  I’m sure they’ll be feeling the strain as well.”

“I can do that.”

“Martin will accompany you.  I need to stay and co-ordinate with Nathan and others.  I’ll join you as soon as I am able.”