Saturday, April 27, 2013

Escape to an Adventure (2)

   Julia left the next day, amidst another snow storm and falling temperatures. And a few hours later, when they landed in Hilton Head SC the pilot had said "the temperature is 83 degrees.  Enjoy the sun folks.
   She walked out of the airport and was suddenly transported into a world of color and warmth. She threw off her trenchcoat as she waited with her luggage for a taxi. The sunshine blazed on the green palm trees, the palmetoes and yuccas. Julia looked wide-eyed at the brillance of the azaleas blooming everywhere. She could smell the ocean and the lovely dampness of the salt air.
The sun warmed her as she waited near the curb and stepped back as a white limousine swung around the corner and came to a stop beside her. She looked around excitedly thinking some famous person, a movie star even must be there. A young man got out dressed in black and wearing a chauffer's cap.
   "Are you Julia Mason," he asked?
   "Why- yes I am," she said hesitatingly.
   He flashed a big smile and opened the car door.  "Well, I'm new at this job and this is my car, so hop in."
   "But I didn't ask for a limousine, I can't--," And Julia stepped back suddenly tongue tied by the grandiose situation.
   "Don't worry, Miss Mason, my rates are the same as a taxi."
   "Well," Julia paused, "okay then."  And he closed the door and loaded her suticases in the trunk.
   'Where are you staying," he asked then.
   "It's called the Surfside."
    "Great place, Miss Mason, you'll enjoy it there."  And the big car moved out into the traffic.  In a few minutes, Julia relaxed and sat back. She fluffed her hair and reached in her purse for the new pair of designer sun glasses. With a grin, she thought, if my friends could see me now!
   "Is this your first trip, Miss Mason," the driver asked?
   "Oh yes," Julia answered breathlessly.
   "How long will you be here?"  He asked then as he drove but as Julia happened to glance up she saw that he was staring at her in the rear-view mirror.
   "Two weeks," she answered but began to feel just alittle bit uneasy.
    "Miss Mason, I can show you around. You'll love the beach. Oh, by the way my name is Reno."
   "Well, thank you Reno," Julia said not wanting to offend this brash young man.
    Her villa was on the second floor and he carried her bags up to the door, then looked her over openly as she  hurriedly paid and tipped him, glad to finally close the door.
   The rooms were done in floral prints, the furniture was coral cane and the accessories were tropical.  Large glass doors opened out to a deck which overlooked the ocean. The view was breathtaking. Julia had never been this close to the water or this far away from home before, so this was a first.
   She threw her suitcases on the bed and began to hang her clothes, but changed her mind.  Hell, she thought recklessly, I'll can do this later, I'm going down to the beach. 
    She slipped out of her sensible brown traveling clothes and put on her new white shorts and a halter top and grabbed her sunglasses and set out. So excited and intent on seeing the water, she didn't notice her new-found friend casually strolling in the same direction.



Friday, April 19, 2013

Escape to Adventure

   The blow lashed across her bare chest and wrenched a scream through her swollen lips. She twisted in pain but the bonds held fast.
   "Please let me go," she whispered.
   But the man didn't stop, didn't listen to her pleas. He raised his arm again, this time holding a knife.
   She closed her eyes in horror and her world tumbled as she realized she was going to die now, alone and far away from home. Her clothes were torn, her body battered and her vacation had turned into a nighmare.
    Julia Mason was forty-four years old. As a teacher, she was usually content to stay at home after busy days dealing with children and sometimes, upset parents. Years ago, she'd had a relationship with a fellow teacher, but that had ended abruptly and left her devastated with grief. Julia was a conservative person and her wardrobe consisted of no nonsense styles, all in drab colors. Her brunette short hair had strands of gray and laugh lines framed her brown eyes.
   Time flew by for her as she went about her busy life, though for a long time she'd had a fantasy. But, to act meant stepping out undaunted into the unknown.
   Could she really do it, she pondered? While not to, meant never knowing the jewels of the future. In a few years she would be fifty years old, and what had she done with her life? She made up her mind, the time had come.
   The northern winds tore at her clothes as she ran into her house. The skies were gray and leaden with freezing rain and the predicted snow. It was December and Christmas loomed ahead with time-off from school. She tossed her heavy coat on a chair and called her friend at the travel agancy.
   "Maryann, this is Julia."
   "Hi, whats up?" Maryann greeted her in her usual cheerful voice.
   "Listen girlfriend, I've decided to go on a two week trip, to Hilton Head, South Carolina."
   "Well, for God's sake, its about time you went somewhere. But what made you decide to go there?"
   Julia took a deep breath and replied excitedly, "I've always dreamed about seeing the south."
   "Well, my friend, you'll love it! The weather is tropical and the history goes back to the Civil War."
   "Wonderfull and I'd like to leave tomorrow Maryann. And can you find me somewhere to stay, right by the ocean?"
   "You know, Julia, I've just gotten some new brochures and there's a lovely complex with villas for rent right on the water."
   "Thats it!" Julia's heart beat faster as she began to dream about her adventure. She was going! The south, with its plantations, the ocean and the warm sun beckeoned.
   This called for a celebration and ice clinked in a glass, then brandy and mix splashed as she made a manhatton. The bottles were old, left over from a party she'd had years ago.  Her phone was glued to her ear as she reached into the back of a drawer and found an old pack of cigarettes she'd hidden from herself and only saved for special occasions.
   "You're lucky to be able to leave now," Maryann exclaimed, "if I ever get my bills paid up, I'm going somewhere too."
   "Marry that man or finish that book and either way you'll be rich!"  Julia reminded her friend and took the first swallow of her drink and wrinkled her nose.
   "Well maybe--" Maryann ventured. "I'll call you back with your itinuary, it probably will be a few hours"
   Julia took her first drag of her cigarette and coughed and sputtered, then sat back and relaxed. Now she'd have a chance to wear those clothes she'd bought on a whim last year. Daydreamed of using them someday. And after a few sips of her drink, thought daringly, maybe I'll even meet a man!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I will be bringing you another short story to while away your time until we do get spring!
Stay tuned.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blinded (5)

   "Abby, Abby open your eyes!  Take a deep breath."  And Abby moaned, then opened her eyes.
   "You're okay, now just breath slow and easy," a familiar voice comforted her.
   "Olaf, what-," she tried to sit up, then saw she was lying outside on the ground in her front yard.  The scenery swirled around her and she had a spliting headache.
Holding her head as she sat up, she managed to ask, "what hapened?"
   "It's the furnace. Just stay still while I'm go back in and open doors and windows and air your place out.  I'll be right back."
   Her feather down-filled blanket was under her on the snow covered ground and Abby pulled it around herself and lay still in a daze.
   "Abby, I'm taking you home with me and Emma will make you something warm to drink," Olaf said as he helped her to his truck.  She was still too confused and weak to argue.  Getting there, both of her neighbors fussed over her and settled her on their couch for the night.
   "You sleep and I'll go over and lock up."  Olaf  reassured her.
   The next moring, Abby awoke with a start.  She draped a blanket over her shoulders and followed the mouth-watering aromas of fresh coffee and cinnamon rolls into the familiar country kitchen where Olaf and Emma sat talking in hushed tones.
   "Good morning," Abby said.  "I'm sorry I don't know what hapened last night."
     "Here sit down and eat something."  Emma smiled at her young friend and brought her a cup of coffee and a roll.
    "Abby, you were gassed!" Olaf boomed unable to contain his news any longer.
   Emma shushed him.  "Let the poor girl eat."
   "What?" Abby looked askew at her friends unable to comprehend.
   Olaf's fist hit the table. "Someone tried to kill you Abby! When I went back last night to lock up I checked the furnace.  And do you know what?  I found a loose gas pipe."  He hit the table again with his fist. "I can guarantee it wasn't like that before."  His face was beet red.
   "I know you had the gas company check the furnace this fall Olaf."  Abby said trying to console him.
   "This was done recently. On purpose!  Lord, it's a good thing I saw your car and decided to go over tonight and bring you some wood.  Jesus, I recognized that ungodly rotten egg smell as soon as I got up to the door!  You'd have been a goner if I had waited until today to come over!"
   Reaching over for their phone, Abby said, "I better give them a quick call and get them over to make repairs."
   Olaf was still shaking his head and said,"your sister and that handyman of yours, didn't have any trouble when they were here a few days ago, course they didn't stay over there too long."
   Abby's hand froze in mid air as she was dialing the telephone.  Her face paled, as she asked, "Lisa and Jonathon were here?" 
   In a curious way, this still hadn't felt real until he told her that. Until now, she hadn't connected this  to her own personal safety.
   But good Lord, had her own sister really done this?  She had to face it, that it was true!  It wasn't just a childish whim of Lisa's to take over her business, but her sister and the man who was Abby's former lover, had been deadly serious about getting rid of her too!
   Sickened by their betrayal, Abby fought back her tears while her good friends fussed over her sadness. Then she made a decision and without a doubt in her mind, declared, "they will not get away with this.  Olaf would you please call the sheriff for me?"