Monday, January 23, 2017

The start of a new mystery story? From a prompt at at WVU Forum

It started innocently enough as a little white lie. Well, perhaps not so little. But white lies are told to protect the recipient, aren’t they? So when Bill told Betty that he’d be happy to accompany her to a party given by her boss.

He knew Simon Blessing as an arrogant man who took pleasure in ridiculing anyone who came within ten feet of him. Exposing himself to an evening near the nasty man wasn’t really his idea of a good time. Still, it was Betty who asked. And he’d do anything to please her. So he told her he would accompany her.

Perhaps Betty didn’t know how venomous her boss could be. Was it possible he acted differently in the office? Wasn’t that the most likely place for him to put down his inferiors?

He wore his best suit, and stopped for some flowers for Betty. She greeted him at her apartment door with a smile. Her blue dress brought out the pale color of her eyes. He gulped. “You look lovely.”

They drove to Blessing’s home, one of the large mansions in the best part of town. They parked in the circular driveway and climbed the wide staircase. It looked like every light of the house was on. Bill rang the bell as he tried to calm his nerves, but he adjusted his tie and smoothed his hair. Not a sound came to them.

He pressed his lips together and used the knocker. The sound of brass against wood was louder than it should be. Still, no one came to the door. Bill reached out hesitantly and turned the knob. It moved easily in his hand and the door swung open. There on the parquet floor lay Simon Blessing in a pool of blood.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Hope 2017 will be good for you all.

Here's a new piece from an inanimate POV. As a jumping off point, I’ll use a poem I wrote many, many, many and even more years ago in high school (one of the few things I remember fondly from those days):


A floating feather when it falls will take its time to reach the floor
It takes its time because it knows it might not ever fall amore
Not rushing with a man’s great speed to reach a goal that he may seek
The floating feather knows that in expecting it is at its peak

This is the story of a feather that escaped during a pillow fight. It was one of many, their spines, called rachis, curved like gentle smiles.

The grayish white little plume began life on a goose. Plucked from its first home, it was stuffed into a suffocating ticking. For many years, along with its fellows, it supported a heavy head without bending or breaking. Then one day, inside its casing, it was tossed through the air. Collision with another pillow weakened a seam just enough for it to wriggle out.

It floated high up in the air. Such a sense of release, such freedom. A slight breeze blew it and buoyed it until it started drifting. Lower and lower, side to side, enjoying the gentle ride, while others of its kind glided around it.

It had no need to rush. No goal. This was better than anything that had happened to it in many years. No pressure, no shaking. Was there a way to continue in this state forever? To reverse direction? It caught another zephyr. The feather didn’t care what caused it, only that it rose again, but not to high to be caught in the sharp blades of that whirring thing above. The smile of its spine became a grin. The pillows had collided again, giving forth another onslaught of gray and white feathers. Giggles filled the air along with the fluffy plumes.

Some of the newly-freed feathers sped to the ground, but not this one. What would the floor provide for it? Would it be able to move again? Would it be picked up once more stuffed into the ticking of a pillow or something even worse? It had heard from others that many were used to fill coverings for people and taken out into the cold, expected to keep the wearer warm and dry while they froze. It shivered at the thought. But soon it remembered it was warm and happy, taking its time, floating on air, and inching downward to the distant floor.

Below, the other feathers formed a soft landing pad. The longer the feather took to reach them, the more feathers would pile up to break its fall. No sense speeding up. A lazy drift downward was best. How many others had dropped it didn’t know, since it couldn’t count, but lots. It grinned at them.

One other feather kept pace with it. Instead of racing each other to the finish line, they tried to see which would take the longest. But a feather that was released after them, bumped against them both and they struggled to keep from descending with it. A flutter kept the feather aloft a while longer.

It expected that eventually it would join the others that had fallen to the ground, but it wanted to enjoy this freedom while it could. It danced like the lightest ballerina, catching every draft.

“What are you doing?” A loud blasting noise coming from the head it had help support for so many years was followed by a gust. A roar, a groan, and then the sound of pillow hitting pillow ceased. “We were just playing.” No more feathers joined those remaining in the air. As some united with those already on the floor, fewer and fewer stayed aloft with it. The plume didn’t mind if it was the last to reach its ultimate end. Nothing would ruffle it. This bit of down was staying up.

Sure it would be nice to be with others of its kind, the ones already lying peacefully on the ground, but it didn’t want to give up its liberty, its independence just yet. It fluttered and drifted ever lower.

But nothing lasts forever. It sighed as it neared the others already on the ground. Still it smiled as it settled on the soft cloud of other feathers. What a wonderful journey, a journey better than its end.