Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Dawn of Reality

   It feels so wonderful to be loved, Lindy murmured as she sprayed herself with perfume. Infatuated with J.T.'s intense love-making she had stayed in Minneapolis longer than she had planned, and still lived in the hotel. Her thoughts were on the special night she had planned; chanpagne and strawberries and a new CD.
She smiled at herself in the floor length mirror as the vibrant green dress swirled effectively just above her knees, and sheer black nylons and patent pumps accentuated her shapely legs. She excitedly ran down the stairway and hopped in her new car and raced out of ramp.
   On the ten minute drive to J.T.'s apartment in the nearby suburb, her thoughts rambled over songs they had danced to in the weeks they had been dating. She sped along now in anticipation of the night and parked next to his car in the parking lot. When she reached to get her bag of groceries out of the back of her BMW, papers lying scattered on the ground next to his vehicle caught her eye. Curiously, she put the groceries down and gathered them up, then picked up a wig and a pair of glasses.
   As she studied the papers, she gaped at a page containing detailed reports of her every move!  Then, found check stubs from the First Federated Insurance Company made out to Jud Thurman, incidentally, which was her company.  Identification and a social security card made out in his name.
   She stood frozen as a chill swept up her back and the warmth of her silk dress turned to ice as she realized something ominous was going on.
   Then she realized, it was those brown eyes! That's why there had been something so familiar about the two men. And as if burned, she dropped the wig, glasses and papers to the ground, left the champagne and strawberries on the curb and ran like hell to her car.
   My God, J.T. was Jud Thurman, the insurance man!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Meet Reed's best friend

   Tanner Burk had spent months looking for Sierra's killer and had found only one sure detail. It had been a red car that had forced her off the road! He sat at his desk and slid the files over and went over them one more time. Somewhere in here is the answer, his instincts told him.
   There were three cases he had been working on: John Lund, whom he'd sent to prison for book-making. Then a personal issue of his own investigating the chief of police. And also John Thomas, a thief and con-artist who was also residing in a prison.
   Burned out and restless, he grabbed the files, locked his office door, got in his car and headed north to see his friend and former college buddy, Reed Conners. Finally, away from the busy turmoll of the big city and into the country of cattle and grain farms.
   The traffic had thinned and his thoughts went back to the time when he had decided he needed a secretary to sort out his messy office. Sierra Ames had answered his ad and exclaimed, "I've just finished my business course, and this will be my first job using my secretarial skills, and I can see you need me!"  Now she had been gone for nearly a year, but at times he swore he could still smell her perfume in his bed. As Reed's ranch came into view, Tanner stretched his cramped and tired body and looked forward to a cold beer with his friend.
   The fading sun sent long shadows over the roof of the brick ranch-style house, and the closed blinds promised coolness inside. Reed had given up his office in downtown Willeston, several years ago, and only took special cases at his home office, but now  it was surprisingly quiet. Too quiet!
   How long had it been since they had talked? Months, Tanner guessed. The last time he had been here to the ranch, the place had been alive with cattle in the pastures, ranch hands working the fences and the cook in the kitchen creating wonderful aromas of Spanish dishes. Now the brown and white Herefords were gone and the grass had grown tall in the pastures.
   As a criminal attorney, had Reed run into trouble?
   Tanner walked back to his car, then stood for a minute and looked around at the quiet lonely place, then began to drive, his thoughts in shambles.They had talked about getting together and going fishing in Wisconsin that last time they had talked about Sierra's death, but he remembered now, that was a long time ago.
   The small town Tanner had grown up in lay just ahead of him as he anxiously barreled down the highway hours later, and desparately needing to see family, he checked into the Dew Drop Inn, tossed his bags on the bed and went out again on the one and only street to the Rex Cafe.
   Home Cooked Meals, a blackboard proclaimed, and he stood for a moment in the entry and gazed about.  Slelves laden with crafts created by the locals, another sign said; knit afghans, quilts, flower arrangements and small trinkets tumbled from tables. He walked quietly up to a familiar figure and whirled the woman around in a dance step.
   "Hello Aunt Julia," he whispered in her ear. The lady's aged face crinkled in a smile as she fell into step with one of her favorite nephews. Tanner smiled at this woman who had been like a mother to him after his parents had died suddenly when he was a young boy. 
  That night however, he slept fitfully on the hard mattress in his motel room, and finally at the first hint of dawn, gave up all thoughts of resting and went outside hoping to catch an early morning breeze.
But it was hot and still!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Meeting

Lindy had slept a few hours, then began to toss and turn. The hotel walls were closing in on her after the long months of waiting for her insurance claim to come through.  She'd bought a shiny new black BMW, and she needed just one good night of sleep before she got on the road, on the way to her new life in California. She punched the pillow in frustration and mumbled, maybe a drink would help her sleep. She tossed the covers aside, pulled on her designer jeans, a new red silk shirt and her high-heeled sandals, then hurriedly applied her make-up and fluffed her hair.
Downstairs, the crowded hotel bar overflowed out into the lobby while the band played the top forty songs. The air was filled with smoke and colognes, mixed with the charged up expectations as the beautiful people mingled. She found a stool at the bar and ordered a brandy manhatton. And as she sipped, her thoughts wondered back to her past. A hundred years ago it seemed.
Lindy Lewis was in her early forties. She'd worked hard to pay her way through college, and later, traveled around the country working for the Grand Hotels, then had gotten married. She leaned into the bar now as she held the cocktail glass to her lips. Lost in thought, her blue eyes saddened at the memory of her husbands death and the end of that wonderful secure era. The brandy burned her throat and warmed her stomach, but didn't take away the familiar ache as she looked longingly at the couples on the dance floor. And she didn't notice a man take the stool next to her or know that he had been waiting just for her.
She turned to him as he said, "Hi, My name is J.T." He was dressed in jeans, and a white v-necked sweater.
Dark hair curled over his temple. "So, whats your name beautiful?" he asked as brown eyes gazed into hers. 
A frown crossed Lindy's face for a fleeting moment as something seemed familiar about him, but she pushed that thought out of her mind and thought she'd just been paranoid for far too long worrying about things.
Smiling she replied, "Lindy."
"Lindy," he said then, "Would you like to dance?"
"J.T. I would love to," she said.  And the sensuous look he gave her as he stood up sent shivers of heat through her body. A feeling she had frogotten.
The band swung into a slow love song as he took her hand and led her onto the dance floor. The beat of the drums echoed in her ears as they swayed to the music. When the number ended, he kept his arm around her waist, and his hip against hers as they walked back to their seats. As she settled on her stool, he bent over and kissed her, then traced a finger over her face, circling her lips.  Enthalled, she leaned closer and inhaled his cologne.
J.T. raised his glass and said,  "Here's to us, Lindy, we were made for each other," and they danced away the night, each time their bodies straining closer.  
"Why don't you come up to my room for a nightcap," he asked then, and having drunk more than she normally would, Lindy threw caution to the wind and agreed and they walked to his room holding hands.
Soft music played on the radio as they sat on a davenport in 310 and J.T.talked about being transferred to Minneapolis from New York and his job at IBM.  Lindy was absolutely taken by his charm, but for a moment again, she wondered why his eyes seemed somewhat familiar. But she promptly forgot the uneasy thought as he took her into his arms.
Just this once, she thought as he began kissing her. It had been so long since anyone wanted her, and minutes later, opening her shirt, he did things with his tongue to her nipples that sent rapturous pangs of joy to her senses. Then covering her belly with more fluttering kisses soon time stood still as a new world opened for her. And J.T. began making love that was so intense, so erotic and so extremely personal she was beyond protesting and her body pulsated with rocking emotions as her world exploded into a million fragments sending an ecstasy of tremors through her body.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Stalk

   Not too long before, pissed and broke, a man had just gotton out of prison. His fine clothes, cash and easy life had gone down the drain, but, he dreamt of millions still out there that was just waiting for him. For a price a prison pal had promised and gotten him a new identity and now, hunched over on a barstool he was deep in thought.
   Insurance companies, he mumbled and slapped a hand down hard on the stained wood remembering a conversation with another cell-mate, who, by the way was considered one of the slickest swindlers in the pen.
   Yeah, he mumbled, I need to get myself a job in one of those goddamn insurance companies and have a front. And now months later, he ran up the stairs to his apartment and slammed the door.
  She's got the money! She's loaded and tonights the night, he whispered to the walls.
   It had been the hardest work forty-six year old John Thomas, alias Jud Thurman or J.T. had ever done. But again visions of new cars, cash and Las Vegas danced through his thougths.
  Okay Lindy Lewis, he whispered to the walls, get ready for me!
   It was Friday night and J.T.'s plan was ready for action!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Several Months Later

  The phone rang with a aggravating shrill this late summer morning breaking into my dream.  I reached out from under the covers and fumbled among the books and junk I had scattered on the bedside table and answered.
   "Good morning Miss Lewis," the hotel operator said, "there's a gentleman here to see you.  He says his name is Jud thurman.  Shall I send him up?"
   I sat up, instantly awake.  My God, Jud Thurman, the insurance man! The months of waiting were finally over. This was the day I had dreamed of, yet dreaded, if things didn't go as I had planned. I swept my hair out of my eyes, alert but cautious.
   "Would you ask him to wait ten minutes?" I asked. Then clunking the telephone down I jumped out of bed, ran into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and pulled on a pair of jeans and a sweater. My red hair hung in flattened strands. I looked at myself in the mirror and Lordy, I really did look pathetic. But that was good!
   Well girl, this is it I whispered to my pale reflection.  And I forced myself to take three slow breaths to calm my shaking nerves and opened the door to a man with short brown hair, gold framed glasses over piercing brown eyes, and dressed in a blue pin-striped suit.
   "Come in Mr Thurman," I said and patted my hair, and straightened the shabby clothes I had purposely saved for this. "Excuse my appearance," I went on, "you see everything I had was lost in the fire."  My voice trembled and his eyes swept over me quickly.  And to cover my nervousness I added, "I'm still trying to forget the horrendous sight of my house and all my things burning."
   He cleared his throat after saying,"Miss Lewis, I'm sure it's a trumatic time."  He then unbottoned his jacket and sat down in one of the two easy chairs in my room. Then soberly began taking papers out of his briefcase and aranged them in neat piles on the table between us. 
   Early morning traffic hummed just outside and faint wisps of exhaust crept in through the open window.  My bed was unmade and magazines, a take-out carton and an empty soda can lay scattered haphazardly around my cramped, faded Southwestern decorated room.
   My heart thundered in my chest and I was sure he could hear the thudding crashes banging against my ribs, as I sat perched on the edge of my chair, then I held my breath as he began.
   "Miss Lewis," he said, "after  a thorough examination and verification, my company concludes the fire was caused by a short in the wiring which ignited your painting supplies."
   I exhaled slowly trying to control my nerves.
   Jud Thurman then placed the papers in front of me and said, "I'll need you to sign these papers please, and then I'll have the check ready for you!" 
   I grasped the pen he handed me and signed my name on the specified lines, sure I was going to faint from fright and anxiety. Without hesitation, he handed me the check then and left wishing me good luck.
   I closed the door after him and stared at the check. My God, it was over and I had one million dollars!  And like a kid, I hopped up on my bed and began to bounce, up and down until my hair stood up wildly on my head and my breath ran out.
   I'm rich, I'm rich, I'm rich I sang and then clamped my hand over my mouth when I remembered I was in a hotel and the walls were thin.
   Now, finally I could start my new life.  My dream!