Can't find my website (piercebooks.com)? Sorry, I have decided to shut it down in order to focus on this blog page. All the same information but updated regularly! Thanks!

Check out all my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year?

Why do I make New Year's resolutions?  I always do, and I never keep them.  Never.  Then I feel bad about not accomplishing my goals.  Even simple ones.  Mine are the same as everyone else's, I suspect.  Eat better, exercise more, be more patient with my kids, finish that project, book, ...fill in the blank.  But I never do.  Not for more than a couple of weeks.  So why do I keep making them?  Some small , optimistic part of me buried under all the cynicism?  And if I don't make any resolutions this year does that mean I have lost all hope?  That this is the best I can do?
Is the real reason I don't keep them because I don't believe I will?  A self fulfilling downward spiral?  Is that just a personality flaw or human nature?

I wish I had some nice happy wrap up to this post, but I don't.  What I would like to know is if any of you actually kept your resolutions last year?  And if so, how?

That being said, if I were going to make resolutions, I would actually only make one:

Be More Disciplined.  It would solve all my 'issues' - eating, exercising, writing, keeping up the house, keeping up with email, interviews, review requests...


Friday, December 2, 2011

A look inside Rachel Pendelton's Head!

Ever want to get inside Rachel Pendelton's head (lead character of The Devil's Game)?  Stop by here and read the character interview.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sample Sunday November 20


This is a sample of Manhunt, the first of two short stories in The Hate:


1

Right now there is a massive manhunt for me. There’s almost no chance I will be found, but just in case, I need to set the record straight. I know you think you know what happened. I mean, it has been all over the news for days. The country in mourning, shocking act of violence, and on and on. But you only know what they told you. But once I tell you everything, tell you the truth, you’ll be thanking me. I’ll be a goddamn hero. Not that anyone will admit it. Doesn’t matter though. I’ll be long gone.
So like any good story, I have to start at the beginning. I know you’d prefer me to just cut to the chase. But there are some things you need to know first.
Bear with me, you’ll be glad you did.

2

First, you should know some things about me.
I hate people. I hate small talk. Trying to find something to talk about with a bunch of strangers I’ll never see again. No thanks.
I like being alone. I’m happy alone. I don’t want to be married and pop out a couple of whiny, germ filled kids. I don’t want anyone around telling me what to do or making me feel bad about what I am doing; i.e. a husband or boyfriend.
If I want to stay up till three in the morning eating double stuff Oreos while watching St. Elmo’s Fire then that’s what I goddamn well am going to do. If I want to lay in bed till noon or not shower for a couple of days, well, you get the idea.
If I feel the need for some companionship i.e. sex, I go pick up a guy at a bar. It’s pretty easy because, in all modesty, I’m hot. Not just attractive. An actual stone cold fox, at least to enough of the population to matter. I can say that because I had nothing to do with it. All genetics. All big blue eyes, full lips, blond, tall, and lean. So sex, no problem. And since I don’t really like people or small talk, I pretty much scope out the bar for an attractive unattached guy and ask if he wants to go to my place. I’ve never been turned down.
No one spends the night. Last thing I need in the morning is some smelly guy with bad breath bothering me for something I had plenty of the night before.
Also, I’m filthy rich. I hadn’t planned on ever working for a living, but who knew I’d find something I enjoy so much. What do I do? I kill people. For money. I know what you’re thinking, but who gives a shit. Not me, that’s for sure. If it makes you feel any better I don’t kill kids, no spouses just because a divorce will cost too much (selfish bastards), but other people.
It’s not hard, partly because of my looks. I can get into a lot of places with no questions asked. And partly because I’m ahead of the curve on intelligence. Not a genius, but pretty damn smart.
Maybe it goes without saying that I don’t have any friends, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t have any friends. And I don’t mean I don’t have any close friends. I don’t have any. I think it’s because I’m rich and beautiful and that intimidates people.
Or, it’s because I’m a bitch. I don’t care about people’s petty problems, I don’t take shit from anyone, and I don’t tell people what they want to hear.
So, why am I telling you all of this and why do you care? Because, I just killed the President of the United States.

The Hate is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for FREE

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sample Sunday November 13


Secrets excerpt:

Chapter 5

I went to the bedroom got a backpack from the closet and threw in enough stuff for a couple of days. Jack and I couldn’t stay here and, these days, even the crappiest hotels required ID and money.
I lay on the floor, stomach down, parallel to my side of the bed, reached under my nightstand, and pressed a hidden release button. The decorative piece on the front popped out and I pulled open the hidden drawer. Of course Jack didn’t know about this. I’d hoped I would never need it. I removed a bundle of cash, some fake ID’s and credit cards, and a small black zippered case. There was also an untraceable gun, but why use it when I had the killers? I put everything back the way it was and returned to the kitchen.
I could see he was in a different position then when I left him. And the knife was teetering on the edge of the counter. God, what a stupid mistake. I was out of practice.
Oh, so close. It must be killing you that you almost had that knife,” I said, squatting down next to him.
You got your information. Just give me the knife,” he said.
Why would I do that?” I asked smiling. “So you can come back and finish the job?”
I wonder what his last thought was before I shot him between the eyes.

Chapter 6

The hard part of killing someone? No, it's not the actual killing. It's the cleanup. What a mess. Cleanup had never been part of my job, but now there was no choice. Luckily the rug had soaked up most of the blood and mess. He rolled up nicely in it. Like a pig in a blanket. Just a little blood on the floor, and on my clothes.
The sound of the doorbell startled me.
Startled by a doorbell? Man, I was out of practice.
What now?
Careful not to be seen by anyone who might be looking in the glass surrounding the door, I went into the second bedroom and looked out the window. In front of the house was a black and white cop car.
Shit,” I whispered. The doorbell rang again.
Just a minute.”
I ran to the kitchen and looked around. Blood on the floor and a dead body rolled up in a rug. No way to talk myself out of this one. But I had an idea. I stripped off my clothes and piled them on the rug.
I ran to the door and opened it a crack, just enough for them to see I was naked. “Yes?”
These two guys were good. They didn’t show any reaction, though the short one was suddenly very interested in something on his fingernail. “Sorry to bother you Ma’am, we had a call about possible shots fired. Can we come in?”
Shots?” The surprise was real. Someone heard that and called the police. This was a better neighborhood than I thought.
Oh, uh, sure. Could you just give me a second to grab some clothes? I had a little accident in the kitchen.”
Sure,” the tall one nodded.
I closed the door and ran down the hall. Lucky for me Jack cared about the decor of the house and had a runner in the breakfast nook that matched the kitchen rug. I rolled the runner up tight and stuffed it into the end of the rug that was facing out. It wasn’t perfect, but on quick inspection, it would look like a large rolled up rug.
I opened the refrigerator and grabbed a jar of jelly.
Grape! And a plastic bottle. Why didn't I like strawberry? This is really not my day.
I dumped the jelly over the blood on the floor and smeared it around a little. I took a clear glass from the shelf, wrapped it in a towel, and tapped it with a rolling pin, then sprinkled the pieces around the jelly and the open end of the rug. After grabbing my bathrobe from the laundry room I returned to the door.
Come on in,” I smiled.
What’s your name, miss?” The tall one asked as they entered.
Gwen. Gwen Michaels.”
Did you hear any shots, Ms. Michaels?”
No, I’m afraid not. I haven’t been home very long though,” I said, walking down the hall. They followed. “Just long enough to drop the jelly,” I laughed.
Anyone else here?”
No, my husband's not home yet,” I said.
Just you and your husband live here? No one staying with you?”
No, just us.” Shit. I saw some drops of blood in the hall. How did I miss that?
Oh crap,” I said grabbing my finger then a towel from the counter. I find people like it less, subconsciously or not, when women swear. I don’t typically clean up my language for anyone, but I did have a dead body on the floor.
What?” they both had their hands on their guns.
I wrapped the towel around my hand. “I must’ve cut my finger on the glass,” I said pointing to the drops of blood in the hall.
They looked, but weren’t very interested. “Mind if we look around?” the tall one again.
Not at all.”
To their credit, they didn’t leave me alone. For all they knew I was a crazy lady with a gun. The short one stayed in the kitchen with me while I rinsed imaginary blood from my hand, while the tall one took his time looking around the living room. When he was done he nodded to the short one and he went to check out the bedrooms. They weren’t casual and they weren’t talking, so neither did I. Forcing small talk is a great way to say something stupid. Something that would make them suspicious.
Then again, wouldn’t a normal person express some curiosity? Wouldn’t they try to get some more information out of the cops? I wasn’t sure so I stayed quiet.
Sorry to have bothered you,” the short one finally said when they finished looking around.
No problem. Better safe then sorry, I always say.” God, could I sound like a bigger idiot? “Could you lock the door behind you?”
I tiptoed to the window in the bedroom and peeked out.
After they drove away, I double checked the door lock and breathed a sigh of relief.  

Secrets is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sample Sunday The Devil's Game



CHAPTER 1

I found another one.”
It’s hardly a surprise that you would find something you spend your days looking for,” Dr. Gloria Pike said, setting down her pen and leaning back in her chair. They had been through this before.
I don’t.”
Let’s not pretend. Aren’t we past this?”
Patient X didn’t answer, and Dr. Pike knew there would be no more talking until she apologized.
Sorry, please continue.”
It was a man and woman. Too old to be students. Maybe training. Maybe working on a project. Anyway, it was clear she was the boss, and he was in love with her.”
What made you think that?”
It was so obvious. The way he kept looking at her. Hanging on every word. His eyes all over her face. Desperate and waiting for something, some sign. Even when he was laughing, moving closer, it was there. He wanted her so much.” The patient paused, staring out the window. “His eyes were blue. So blue.”
And her? In love with him?”
No. Definitely no. It was like a sad little dance. He would move in; she would move away. She never touched him. Even when he gave her many openings.”
How did you feel, watching them?”
The patient paused as if the answer required thought. “Excited.”
Why?”
You know why.”
Yes, I do. Do you?”
No answer.
What did you do?” Dr. Pike asked.
What I always do. I followed them.”

CHAPTER 2

And the Academy Award for the best animated short film produced by a hungry grad student goes to…” Rachel could hear her heart rushing through her ears. This was it; it had to be. She was the only hungry grad student nominated this year. This was her best film. All her hard work was about to pay off in spades. But why was it taking so long to open the envelope? Wait, why is Gwyneth Paltrow making out with Billy Crystal? Open the envelope! Open the damn envelope!
The sound of Billy and Gwyneth giggling into the microphone was slowly replaced by the low hum of an alarm clock. Rachel swore several profanities as her hand slapped at the snooze button in an attempt to put an end to the irritating sound.
Coffee,” she said out loud to her empty room. She decided to bypass her usual morning routine of fresh fruit and yoga in light of her heartbreaking loss. Especially since it was probably the only award nomination she would ever get, awake or asleep.
As she sat at her desk/art space/kitchen table savoring her heavenly cup-of-joe, her day slowly began to jell inside her brain. Today was Tuesday, which meant video production and calculus. One she loved, the other she loathed. It was heaven and hell in the span of four hours. This was her third attempt at advanced calculus, and without it, there was little hope of getting a full-time position at Mad Media Animation Studio. She was determined to get a “real job” before she turned twenty five, if for no other reason then to hold her head a little higher when her dad asked her if she needed a little extra cash, you know, to help pay for those two “artsy-type” degrees she got.
If it weren’t for Justin, there would be no hope at all. He had come to her rescue in the second week of the class, sensing her utter panic. He was incredibly gifted at translating calculus. He was also incredibly gifted at annoying her. It was so strange the way he stumbled over every word when he was talking about nothing. But open up a math book and he transformed into a loquacious chatter-box.
Speak of the devil,” she said when she heard Sonny and Cher sing out “I got you babe” from her cell phone. Justin’s ringtone was her private joke. It referred to the movie Groundhog Day and Bill Murray’s reaction at hearing it every morning at the same time. Reluctantly, she picked up the phone and punched the little green button.
Hey, Justin, you’re up early.” She could hear his thick nasal breathing on the other end.
I just wanted…um.. Hi Rachel,” he said in his usual disjointed manner.
Hi, Justin,” she said. “You wanted to ask me something?” she prompted when he didn’t respond.
Yeah, I…how are you…I mean are you ready for the test?”
Rachel knew she was dipping her toe in dangerous waters with Justin. He was obviously not tutoring her for the fifteen dollars she made him take each time. And he wasn’t the type to come right out and ask her for a date so that she could politely refuse him and they could move past it. Oh, no. He just kept the possibility of it dangling out there like a smelly gym sock she was constantly having to politely side-step.
I’ve been completely honest! she told herself over and over. But deep down she knew it was going to end badly. It was going to end badly because as annoying as he was, he had a heart of pure gold. He loved kids and dogs. He was finishing some kind of new teaching program designed for inner-city school kids. He was funny sometimes, though not usually on purpose. And under all that God-awful geekines, he was actually kind of cute.
Don’t go there, Rachel, she told herself.
Yep, I’m good, Justin. But thanks for calling,” she said in an I’m going to hang up now kind of way.
Do you eat? I mean have you…or are you going to eat breakfast…do you want to meet… for coffee?” By the time he had gotten that all out, Rachel had finished her cup and was working on a second.
Is something on your mind, Justin?” Be direct, be honest.
Yeah… well…I mean no…not really.”
Well, I’m glad everything’s okay. I’ve got to get going; tons stuff I’m way behind on. But I’ll see you later at class, okay?”
Yeah, okay,” he stammered.
She ended the call not waiting for his reply. She took a deep breath as she felt the caffeine pumping through her veins, accelerating her heartbeat. She walked over to the huge living room window and looked out onto the busy metropolitan street she lived on. It was a gorgeous spring day, perfect for a jog. She knew that her calculus class always went better when she’d had a good workout before hand. It helped keep her calm and focused. Not to mention the fact that she’d wimped out on her yoga this morning. If only she could muster up some motivation. Maybe a jog to the Steam Punk CafĂ© for some iced Chai. Yes, that would do it. There had to be a reward in there somewhere or she’d never make it out the door.
Oh crap!” she said out loud. Justin. He loved the Steam Punk. As a matter of fact, he was the one who dragged her in there for her very first cup of iced Chai.
I don’t drink weed water,” she had politely explained under her breath as they stood in line.
Just trust me,” he had said to her with an ear-to-ear grin. Since there wasn’t much else on the menu that was fit for human consumption, she let him order – and pay.
Here, try this,” he said, his puppy-dog face bright with anticipation. God, he could be so annoying!
The taste was unlike anything she had experienced. The exotic spices were smooth, sweet, and spicy all at the same time. And after a four-mile jog, there was nothing more refreshing. She gave a heavy sigh as she imagined the sweet luscious taste.
Screw Justin!” she said. “I have every right to do whatever the hell I want!” And, of course she could always pretend she was happy to see him.
She began her usual pulling of dirty clothes from the hamper in search of some decent sweat pants and matching gym socks. As she was rummaging, she noticed a pungent order coming from something in her hand. It was a pair of underwear and a bra that smelled bitter and musty, but strangely familiar. She tried to remember the last time she had been out bar hopping. It had to have been at least three weeks. Note to self, she thought, tomorrow is laundry day.
As she was closing the door on her way out, she felt hot breath on her neck right before a strong hand grabbed her shoulder.

The Devils Game is available for 99 cents  from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Fortune Teller and Writer's Block

I have been tweeting a little bit about my serious case of writer's block.  I can usually come up with several ideas for short stories and flash fiction but for the last three weeks, nothing.  NOTHING!!!  So, here is what I am going to do.  Below is what I had hoped would be a fun flash fiction story.  What I propose is you read it and give me suggestions on the ending.  If I use your idea, I'll gift you a copy of one of my books (your choice).  Or you can feel free to just leave a comment on the story, or writer's block in general.
Thanks for playing!


The Fortune Teller

“C'mon, it'll be fun,” Beth said, tugging her best friend, Audreys' arm.
“A fortune teller? Really?” Audrey said.
“Sure. I did it last year and everything she said came true.”
“First, no one can see the future. They use your responses to figure you out. Second, even if she was really good it's unlikely to be the same woman. This is the carnival. They probably pick up whoever they can along the way. In fact they probably just rotate out the jobs. She gave you a fortune one day, then was working the ring toss game the next.”
“No. The lady selling tickets heard me telling Robert I wanted to go to the fortune teller and she said their lady is the real thing. She's been with them ten years. When people find out she's coming they line up to see her.”
“Whatever,” Audrey smiled.
“Well, we're going. You need some fortune telling.”
“It sure couldn't hurt,” Audrey said. Her business was failing and she had some big decisions to make. Not that she would listen to a stranger, but still, it could take her mind off her troubles for a little while.
To Audrey's surprise there was actually a line to see the fortune teller. She had no desire to wait, considering it was hot and crowded but Beth bought them some soda's and let her use her smart phone to play on the internet so she agreed. It's not as if she had anything better to do anyway.
Thirty minutes later they entered the fortune tellers tent. It was really small and dark, with just a little round table surrounded by three chairs. The only light came from a round clear ball on the center of the table. The ball wasn't in any holder and Audrey wondered what kept it from rolling off the table.
Sitting in the chair opposite the entrance was a small woman dressed in a black caftan dress. Her hair was black and long with streaks of gray, but it was her eyes that kept Audrey from moving forward. They were black and cold and seemed to pierce through Audrey.
“Don't worry,” the fortune teller said, smiling.
Beth took Audrey's hand and pulled her to the empty seats.
“It's your fortune you want told then,” the woman said to Audrey. It wasn't a question. She laid her right hand on the table, palm up, and indicated Audrey should take a hold. Beth nudged her and she grasped hands with the woman.
“Ah,” she said looking into the crystal ball. “You're business is failing and you are thinking of closing it.”
Audrey pulled her hand back. “How...how could you know that?”
“It's what you paid for, isn't it? For me to see things.”
“But, it's impossible!” She looked at Beth. “You told her. You came here earlier and told her.”
“I didn't!” Beth said.
“My dear, I have people waiting. Do you want your fortune read or not. It doesn't matter if you believe it.”
Audrey looked at the woman, then back at Beth.
“C'mon Audrey. It's harmless.”
Audrey reached out and took the woman's hand again.
“You need to keep your business going,” she continued, looking back into the crystal ball. “If you can just hang on a few more months, everything will turn around.”
Audrey thought of the big contract she had been waiting on. She was sure it had fallen through and they had gone with someone else but what if...
“And, oh, how nice. You will meet the love of your life in the next twenty four hours.”
This time Audrey smiled as she pulled her hand back and stood up.
“Thanks anyway miss, but now I know you're a fraud.”
“Oh, and why is that?”
“Because I am already married.”



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sample Sunday October 2 Love Thy Neighbor

Today's sample is part of a fun Halloween short.


Katy Ross and Missy North
present
The 2011 Halloween Costume Party
The Most Killer Party of the Year
October 31
8493 Silver Dollar Lane
8p.m.
No children allowed


You will come, won't you JoAnn?” asked Katy, JoAnn's neighbor. JoAnn looked at Katy and was reminded again of that woman in those 70’s Vidal Sassoon commercials. The tall, lean woman with the long silky black hair. The hair JoAnn had always dreamed of having instead of her own stringy blond. On top of that Katy’s skin was so perfect it seemed unreal. JoAnn really wanted to ask what kind of makeup she used but was afraid the response would be none. And it just wasn't fair to be so effortlessly perfect.
Yes, you will, right?” said Missy, JoAnn's deceivingly southern belle-like other neighbor. Missy was, well, Missy. Physically she was easy to describe, of course. She was quite petite, not an inch over five feet and not a pound over one hundred, with waves of thick brown hair and large hazel eyes. But to describe her personality, that was difficult. At first, she seemed the picture of a southern lady, all soft spoken and sweet. But two weeks ago JoAnn heard her tell Sam, who lives around the corner, that if his dog poops on her yard one more time, she would cut him. And from the way he scrambled off, he seemed to believe her. Maybe it was just because she was holding a freshly sharpened pair of yard trimmers, or maybe it was because she just seemed quite serious. There was no doubt she knew how to use garden tools, pruning away at the bushes like they had offended her by daring to grow out of sync.
No, there was definitely something more to Missy, thought JoAnn.
We are so sorry for the late notice but, we forgot you didn't live here when the invitations were mailed.”
But I've lived here for two months. How early do these invitations go out?” JoAnn asked. JoAnn and Jay had barely opened the first box when Missy and Katy had showed up at their door. Katy lived to the right and Missy to the left. They brought a basket of treats, asked a few general questions, then left with a promise of getting together when they were more settled.
After watching them walking back and forth between their respective homes nearly every day JoAnn bit the bullet and invited them over. But after that morning of coffee and gossip they'd hardly spoken to her, despite JoAnn's attempts to get together. She'd replayed the conversation in her head for weeks, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I mean sure, it was painfully obvious they didn't have much in common; Katy ground her own flour for goodness sake! Who did that? But JoAnn was a live and let live kind of person. They were neighbor's after all. They should be looking out for each other.
This is the party of the year! We send these invitations out four months ahead of time.”
Though it's hardly necessary. No one would miss one of our parties,” Missy said, laughing. Katy put her arm around her and they laughed together.
You don't have plans, do you?” Katy asked.
Nothing you can't change, anyway, right? I mean this is the neighborhood party. You can't miss the neighborhood party!”
No. No, we don't have any plans. I just...it's going to be hard to come up with a costume on such short notice. I mean, today is Halloween.”
Oh, you can come up with something. I'm sure it will be fine,” Katy said, patting JoAnn's hand.
Well, we have to go. Lots of preparing to do. See you tonight.” And off they went, arm in arm, not an easy feat considering the height difference.

********************

Look at this,” JoAnn said, handing Jay the invitation. “Katy and Missy caught me outside. They apologized for the late notice. Said we weren't here when the invitations were mailed.”
Weren't here? Well, how early did they send the invitations?”
Four months. It's the party of the year,” JoAnn said in a poor imitation of Missy's light southern accent.
Jay laughed. “Sounds like a big deal.” He looked right at her. “Sounds just like what you've been waiting for.”
Yes, it does,” Jo Ann smiled. “I am surprised though. They’ve been giving me the cold shoulder since we had coffee that morning.”
Ever figure out what that was about?” Jay said.
Nope,” JoAnn said shrugging.
Well, what does it matter anyway? They're a little...”
Little what?”
Intense if you ask me. I was out washing the car the other day and they both came up asking me all kinds of questions.”
Questions?”
Yeah, like how did I like the neighborhood? Was my job working out? Did I think we would be staying here very long?”
JoAnn laughed. “They're just trying to make small talk.”
It wasn't the questions. It was their tone. I don't know. They’re just...”
Intimidating? Yeah, they come on pretty strong. The only time Katy speaks to me is to give me recipes, even though I told her I don't like to cook. And Missy gave me the name of her yard guy.”
So?”
Three times.”
Oh. Maybe she's forgetful.”
Well, at least they invited us. This will give us a better chance to all get acquainted. But what about costumes? The party's tonight. Oh, I'll bring some of those TGIF appetizers. You know, they sell them in the frozen section now.”

********************

JoAnn, what an interesting costume,” Missy said. “Katy! Katy! Come over here.”
Despite the crowd, Katy had no trouble hearing Missy and came right over.
Well, isn't that...interesting,” Katy said.
That's just what I thought,” Missy said.
I just threw it together,” JoAnn said, laughing.
Yes, I see. Now what are you exactly?” Missy asked, giving JoAnn the once over.
I'm Jay. See the pocket protector, the glasses. I mean, I'm not really Jay, but an exaggeration. You know, the stereotypical computer geek. Though what does it say that he had all this stuff just laying around?” JoAnn laughed again.
Katy and Missy exchanged a look.
But, wow, you guys look amazing,” JoAnn said. “Where did you find such elaborate costumes?”
They were both wearing witch costumes. Not like the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz either. No, No. These were a fabulous display of black velvet lined with silk, red for Katy and purple for Missy; tall pointed hats with delicate lace draped down to their shoulders. And makeup that only enhanced their natural beauty; no green face with strategically placed warts for them.
Find?” Katy said.
We made them, of course. Like we do every year,” Missy said.
Sounds like a lot of work. You know the price has come way down on costumes lately. You can pick them up for like twenty bucks now. Plastic, easy to clean.”
Twenty...” Katy said. Missy grabbed her hand and squeezed. They did that a lot. “Yes, yes. But we enjoy the process. Now where is Jay?”
He’s coming,” JoAnn said looking back toward the door. “Oh, there he is.”
Where is his costume?”
He’s dressed as Jay also,” JoAnn said laughing. “Sorry, costumes just aren’t his thing.”
Not his thing!” Katy said.
And what are these?” Missy said quickly, changing the subject again.
Oh,” JoAnn said holding out the tray she'd brought, “they are those little TGIF quesadillas. Have you seen them before? In the freezer section. I just love them. Friday dinner has never been so easy, huh!”
Oh my God-”
You didn't have to do that JoAnn,” Missy said, cutting Katy off mid sentence, “we have all the food taken care of already.”
Oh, it was no trouble. Really,” JoAnn said holding out the tray. “I know you guys make food all the time, what with an organic food business. You know I didn't realize you two were the owner's of Cassie's All Natural Pies until just two weeks ago.
Well, thank you. I'll just put it over here,” Missy said taking the tray and placing it in the butler's pantry.
How about a drink?” Katy said.
The adult magic words,” JoAnn said. “I’d love one.” She took the skeleton hand cup from Katy and tried a sip.
Mmm what is this? Kool-Aid and vodka? No, tequila?”
Katy choked on her drink. “Are you making a joke? This is a blackberry thyme margarita. The thyme is from my garden and I hand crush the blackberries. It’s all natural.”
Well it's good,” JoAnn said, taking another drink. “Maybe a little sugar would sweeten it up a bit. Oh, I see Eliza's here. I'm going to go say hello.”
Kool-Aid...really...” JoAnn heard Katy say under her breath to Missy.
Don't worry. It will all be over soon,” Missy replied softly.

********************

You can find the rest of this fun story for free on Smashwords

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#FlashFriday The Hundred Dollar Bill


The Hundred Dollar Bill

“Dude I can't cash this.”
“What?” said Jeff.
“I can't cash a hundred -it's a cup of coffee for Christ's sake,” the barista said shoving a hundred dollar bill at him.
“A hundred?” Jeff said confused. Where the hell would he get a hundred? He barely had the ten he put in his pocket every Thursday night. He hadn't even looked at the guy when he handed him the bill. Jeff searched his pockets for the ten, but came up empty.
“But...it's all I've got.”
“Sorry,” the barista said, not looking sorry at all.
“Fine,” he said, taking back the hundred, “forget it.”
Every Friday for the last year Jeff bought a vanilla latte, grabbed a paper, and paid to ride the bus to work. He looked forward to it every week. Instead of a reheated cup of the swill his wife called coffee, and a carpool with a bunch of grouchy men with hangovers, he had twenty minutes of peace.
Where the hell did this hundred come from? he thought, walking toward the bus stop, until he realized he had no money for the bus. They required exact change or a pass, neither of which he had.
Well, this sucks, he thought irritated at this disruption in his routine. And now I'm going to be late for work. He weaved in and out of the crowds of people as fast as possible but still didn't make it until eight forty. Forty minutes late.
What a start to my weekend. No coffee, no quiet ride to work, half an hour late. Of all the times to find a hundred! Why couldn't it have been last Friday at the bar? Never thought I'd wish for less money.
Wish for money...the thought lingered. What was it about that saying.? Oh, the fountain. He'd been so drunk he'd forgotten until now. His buddy Bill had won five thousand dollars with a quick pick lotto ticket and they all went out to celebrate. Jeff thought Bill would at least buy a round, especially since he was the one who had insisted they go to a fancy hotel bar instead of their usual dive.
“Somewhere the drinks aren't watered down and the waitress ain't a grandma,” he'd said. So they'd gone. But that cheap bastard didn't pay for a thing. Stupid overpriced beers. His tab had cleaned him out. Didn't even have money for a cab. His wife had to come get him. While he was waiting he'd thrown a penny in the lobby fountain and wished for more money.
But that's crazy! There's no such thing as a wishing well.
“Keats is looking for you,” Jeff's coworker, Robert said, interrupting his flashback.
“Of course he is.”
“You getting in on the football pool or what? Today's the last day.”
“That's right!” he said reaching into his left pocket. He'd put an extra ten in his left pocket for the football pool. Today was the last day to get in. But that ten was gone as well.
Hey, can I catch you after lunch?” Jeff said. What the hell was going on? What happened to his cash?
Wishing well...
Wishing well...
No! It couldn't be! There's no such thing as a wishing well. Was there?
But what if...what if there were...he could go back...make a real wish...
C'mon focus!
Maybe he could run out at lunch and break the hundred.
But he couldn't. Keats caught up with him. “Hope you brought your lunch because your working through it today. Unless you want to make up the half hour tomorrow, at regular pay, not overtime.”
So no coffee, no bus ride to work, no lunch, and no football pool! Where the hell did that hundred come from? This is crazy. There was no such thing as a wishing well.
But...where else would it come from? Money didn't magically appear out of nowhere, right?
What if...what if...
It would solve everything...
What would it hurt to try? Just stop by and make a wish...
I could swing by tonight. It was Friday, just like last time.
By the time his shift ended he had decided he would do it. He would go back to the bar and make a real wish. It was crazy, but where else could the money have come from? When he was able to catch a a ride home with some guy who'd stayed just the ten minutes late Jeff needed, and happened to be heading Jeff's direction, he just knew his luck was changing.
He walked into his house with a big smile on his face.
“Hey baby,” his wife said when he walked in. “You must have found my little surprise?”
“What surprise?” he said hanging up his coat.
“The hundred dollars. I put it in your pocket when I got back from Bingo last night. I won two hundred dollars and thought I would share the wealth. You know, brighten up your day a bit.”

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