Nathan 152

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.

Nathan 151

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.

 

 

Nathan 150

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.

 

 

 

Quicken

Quicken

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.

“Amy!”

“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.

 

 

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Poetry and Short Fiction Contests

Center


Center

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jiggle

Jiggle

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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.

Arid

Arid

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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

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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.