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Monday, July 27, 2015


Welcome! Today's word prompt is "bloom". Maggie's story continues. Thank you for stopping by. Please return to the fabulous Tuesday Tales authors HERE

“Bloody hell, you say,” Maggie said, dropping the empty bucket.
Before he could move, the phone rang again. He answered it, his voice shaking. All she heard was his side of the conversation, which consisted of “ yes” and “no”.
When he hung up, his eyes filled. He looked straight at her, grasped the table and muttered, “Bloomin’ hell. It’s gone down and they’re all dead. Passengers, crew. The lot.”
“Oh no. No, John, no, no, no. Say the Missus is okay. She’s in hospital, right?”
A shiver mixed with a tremble and shot through Maggie’s body. John simply stared at her, his face as white as snow, and shook his head.
“Gone, Maggie, my girl. Gone. I’m sorry.”
A lump formed in her throat as she tried to wrap her mind around the truth. Her knees wobbled. John caught her as she pitched forward. Once in his arms, she sobbed into his shirt.
His chest heaved as he cried with her. When she could take a breath, she closed shaking fingers around his biceps.
“What are we gonna do?”
“That was Alfred, Mister’s brother. He’s coming over.”
“I don’t know. Seems as if he’s got to call the lawyer.”
“Penn will be home from school in half an hour,” she said, chewing on a nail.
“Good lord, Mr. Penn!” John lowered his head to his hands.
“We’ve got to tell him.”
“I don’t know. Maybe we should wait for Alfred,” John said.
“We can’t. He’ll know. We can’t lie.” Tears broke through again as she realized Penn had lost both his parents at once. “My poor boy, my poor boy.” Maggie shook her head.
John poured two snifters of the Mister’s private stock of brandy and handed one to Maggie.
“Bottom’s up, old girl.”
The liquid went down smooth, warming her on its way. When they finished, she washed the glasses, glad to have something to do. Maggie glanced at the clock and her heart raced. The lad will be here any moment. Terrified, she retreated to her quarters.
The front door opened. A male voice sang as the lock clicked closed. Maggie clung to John, squeezing him around the middle. He tightened his embrace. They stood totally silent.
“Maggie?” Penn called from the kitchen.
Her breathing shallow, she slid their door open and ventured into the hall. Penn came by, carrying a plate sporting half a ham sandwich. He carried the rest in his hand and took a bite. With a full mouth he greeted the housekeeper. She nodded, attempting to smile.
When he had swallowed the food, he spoke.
“I didn’t get a text from Mom that they landed okay. She’s silly about that stuff. But she always reports in. Like something might happen? Yeah, right,” he sniffed.
Maggie froze, the blood drained from her face. Penn glanced at her, then stopped. “I don’t mean to be a wuss, but did you hear from her?”  


Monday, July 20, 2015


“Maggie, which should I wear? This pants outfit or the dress?”
“Traveling in a dress? Not too comfortable, I’d say,” Maggie replied, as she dusted the lampshades in Mr. and Mrs. Roberts’ bedroom.
“You’re so right. I’m nervous about this trip. We’ve never been away from Penn for three weeks.”
“We’ll watch over him.”
“I’m sure you’ll take good care of him.”
“He’s a teen. Good lad, but rebellious. He’ll get over it.”
“I hope so. Pants outfit it is.”
 Maggie packed Anne’s clothes in a chic, tiger-striped suitcase. The women chatted, comparing notes, piecing together the tidbits Penn shared about his life and his feelings.
“John says he saw Penn talking to the same redheaded girl three afternoons in a row, when he picked him up. Said her name's Emma,” Maggie said, folding a blue nightie.
“Emma, huh?” Anne smiled.
“He’s gonna be a real ladykiller. Such a handsome boy.”
“And sweet, too. Don’t you think?” Anne brushed her hair, then handed the brush to Maggie.
“The sweetest.”
“At least he was until he hit puberty. I’m hoping he’ll return to the child I adore, and soon,” Anne said, grinning.
When the bags were packed, Maggie retreated to the kitchen to tend the special dinner she was preparing. Roast duck and pan roasted potatoes, a family ritual meal before his parents took a trip.
Penn breezed in with John after school. He opened the fridge.
“Your plate is on the table,” Maggie said. “Now don’t be gettin’ in my way.”
Penn picked up the plate with a grilled cheese sandwich, carrot sticks and two homemade, chocolate chip cookies. He grabbed the glass of milk with his other hand.
“Thanks, Maggie.”
The dinner went off perfectly. The Roberts’ were leaving at six the next morning in a private plane bound for Central America. John was up at five, sipping coffee. At five thirty, he left to bring the car around.
“Have a safe trip,” Maggie said, when Anne gave her a hug.
A sleepy Penn yawned and scratched his chin as he joined them. There were hugs, kisses and promises made all around before they left the apartment. Maggie and Penn went back to sleep. The alarm went off at eight as usual. When John returned from dropping Penn at school, Maggie had made Eggs Benedict.
“Quiet day,” John said, sipping his coffee.
“Got some cleaning to catch up on.”
“Can I help?”
“Finish that book you’ve been readin’. I can manage.”
He helped clear the table and shooed her away from the dishes. As she gathered her cleaning things, the phone rang.
John answered it. “Roberts residence.”
Maggie glanced up, but stopped what she was doing when she saw his face turn pale.
“Right. Thank you.” His voice was almost a whisper.
“What? What?” Maggie stopped moving.
“Their plane’s gone down.” 

Monday, July 13, 2015


Welcome! This week is a picture prompt and a limit to only 300 words. Maggie's Story continues. Thank you for coming. 


“Penn, you’re fourteen, time you learned to walk your own dog,” John said, handing the leash to the teen.
“Do I have to?”
“You do, darling boy. Your mother would be proud,” Maggie said, opening the back door to their fabulous country mansion in upstate New York.
“Come on, boy.” Penn led Lucky, the golden retriever, out the back door. John tagged along behind with Maggie.
“Fine day for a walk, milady.”
They headed for a path lined with tall trees. Penn threw a ball for the dog, who promptly caught it and brought it back. He laughed as the animal wagged his tail.
“I love to see him with Lucky. Such a happy lad,” she said.
“That he is. Even though his father makes no time for him.”
“Hush. None of our business,” she said, taking his hand.
“Don’t make excuses for him.”
“At least he has his mother.”
“Until he takes her on this long vacation.”
“That’s a year away.”
“Why don’t they take the boy?” John steered them to follow in Penn’s path.
“He’s unruly. Teen, you know, John. What were you like?”
“Me? Perfect lad. Respectful. Honorable. Studious.”
Maggie burst out laughing.
“Can’t fool you, can I?”
“Okay. I did have one brush with the law. But only one.”
“Look at our boy. Easily the most handsome boy in his school. And the smartest.”
“Best athlete, too.”
“If his father only knew.”
“Probably better than his old man.”
“Certainly is.”
“Ever miss having our own?”
“Let’s not talk about it. We have him. That’ll have to be enough.”
John sighed. “Right, as usual. You know, the day you’re wrong the world’ll explode.”
“Silly boy!” She pushed him, playfully.
John kissed her hand. “My Maggie, smartest of all.”
“Married you, didn’t I?”

Monday, July 6, 2015


Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. The word prompt is "flexible." This week, Maggie and John's story continues. Don't forget to return to the excellent Tuesday Tales writers through the link below. 


  Maggie and John had Sunday afternoon off. Usually they went out, but the inclement weather had them remaining in their quarters. Mr. and Misses and little Penn had gone visiting.
“Brunch, I think Misses said,” John said, opening the newspaper.
Their little suite of two rooms was comfy. There was a wood-burning fireplace in the sitting room and a new, queen-sized bed in the bedroom. Maggie was stretched out on the sofa with a crocheted blanket keeping her snug. John was sitting in a rocker, his legs crossed, perusing the news.
“No good news today, my girl.”
“Isn’t that usually the case.” She sighed. Restless, she pushed the blanket down and swung her legs over. She wore a skimpy shift she used as a nightgown in winter. The howl of the winterish wind rattled the panes and made her shiver.
“Nasty out there,” she muttered.
Looking up she spied John’s gaze. The heat he generated made her nipples harden. A slow grin spread across her face.
“I’ve got an idea how to beat the winter blues.” He stood and moved to the cushion next to her. ­
“Do ya now?” She smiled up at him.
He lowered his mouth to hers and snaked his arm around her waist. Love for John pushed all other thoughts out of her head.
It didn’t take him long to disrobe.
“I was watching some acrobats on telly.”
“Were you now?” She replied.
“Oh my. Some of the things that woman could do. Reminded me of you,” he chuckled.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean she was…let’s say, flexible?”
“Imagine her husband is a happy man.”
“What did you have in mind?” She rested her hands on her hips.
“Oh, I don’t know.”
“You do so. Come on. Tell me.”
He leaned over and whispered in her ear. Maggie giggled.
“Why John! What a naughty thought.”
“Isn’t it grand?” He grinned like a schoolboy who brought an apple to the teacher.
“We could try it.”
Just as he got her into the position he wanted, and entered her, the front door to the apartment shut.
“Damn,” she muttered.
“Did ya lock the door?”
Maggie nodded. She held her breath. “Quick. While we still have a moment.”
“Do I have to?”
“Better quick than nothin’.”
“Point taken.”
After a few moans, the pair was satisfied. A young voice drifted their way.
“Where’s Maggie and John?”
“I imagine they’re having some private time,” a female voice said.
“Not without me,” young Penn piped up.

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Monday, June 29, 2015


Thank you so much for coming. Don't forget to go back to Tuesday Tales and read the excellent stories there. Maggie's story continues this week. 

* * * * * * * 

Penn hated when his parents fought. Luckily his apartment was big enough for him to escape. This was the same old argument –about his playing baseball. Maggie, John, and his mother tried to sneak him out to games, but his father had come home early one Sunday to an empty house.
The farthest room was a tiny one. It was a large closet his dad had had fashioned into an art studio for his mom. 
When he was little, he’d sneak in so quietly no one knew he was there. He’d look at all the paintings, chalks and watercolors is mother painted.
Even when he was little, he didn’t touch anything. He knew if he did, he’d be banished. Just being in that room, he felt his mother’s presence, her joy, her warmth, her love. 
Now he was older. So he picked up a piece of chalk and found a pad of paper. He sat cross-legged on the floor and began to draw. 

Maggie had discovered his hiding place, but never gave him away. Since the boy did no harm, she protected his secret. Maggie and John had retreated to their quarters when the quarrel began. But when it simmered down, the usual way –with Anne retreating to the bedroom in tears, Maggie went hunting for Penn.
She opened the door to the studio, soundlessly.
“Whatcha got there, my boy?”
Penn jumped. He turned to face her, trying to hide the pad behind his back.
“Nothing,” he lied.
“Come on now. Give it here.” She motioned.
He stiffened, but handed over the drawing. She looked at it and at his dirty hands.
“Don’t touch your clothes, son. This isn’t half bad.”
“It’s a dog. A shaggy dog. Wish I had a dog, Maggie,” the boy blurted out.
“And a mighty fine dog it is,” she said, taking his hand.
She led him to the bathroom to wash up, then tucked the picture under her arm.
“It’s not finished.”
“Let’s find a place for it in your room, then.”
He nodded. She took him to the playground while Mr. and Mrs. made up in the bedroom. After dinner, she joined John in their rooms.
“Boys an artist, like his mum,” she said, unbuttoning her blouse.
“Really? That ought to bust up his dad more than baseball.” John hung up his jacket.
“He’s good, too. Got talent. Kinda raw, but with a few lessons.”
“Don’t even breathe a word of it, Mags.”
“I know,” she said, pushing down her skirt. “Mister wouldn’t like it. Gotta be business.”
He patted her behind. “Fancy a tussle?”
She grinned at him. “Best offer I’ve had today.”
“Better be the only offer you’ve had today.” John chuckled.
“Think the boy'll be an artist?” She pulled down the covers.
“Over his dad’s dead body. Slide down this way, girl.”