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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TUESDAY TALES ON WEDNESDAY THIS WEEK

Confessions and Lies has been cancelled this week. Instead we have Tuesdays Tales. Some writers chose to continue with the ice cream prompt as they are into their stories. The prompt for this week is: the post office. 

I have posted intro sentences to the writers short stories with links to click on to get to the rest. My blog will follow at the end here. Click on the word "here" to read the rest of the story of each author.



FELICIA ROGERS (ICE CREAM & POST OFFICE):
Two weeks. Two weeks until Harrison’s Ice Cream Parlor reopened for business. The new counter tops shone beneath the incandescent bulbs. The coated walls carried an odor of fresh paint. The tiled floors gleamed after the extreme buffing.   CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...


J. GUNNAR GREY (THE POST OFFICE):

“William.” Mum paused in the library doorway, keys in hand. She wore her best silk traveling suit and a twist of pearls, overdressed for a quick delivery of her younger son to the next town although I liked the color. Poised as she was on the balls of her strappy sandals, chin in the air and eyes alive, she seemed to hover on the verge of something long desired and all-too-long out of reach. “Charles is leaving for school.”   CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...


J. F. JENKINS (THE POST OFFICE):

Instantly, I recognize the handwriting and my stomach starts
to turn itself into knots. The significance of the jawbreaker and the bracelet clicking in my head.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...


KAY SPRINGSTEEN (ICE CREAM & THE POST OFFICE):
Kevin halted his steps at the gate, as intrigued by the nicely rounded rear end as he was by the fact that the woman was playing in the dirt behind her house.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...



JEAN JOACHIM (ICE CREAM & POST OFFICE):
The Post Office story follows Chapter Two of the ice cream story, "Mint Chip"


Ice Cream

Nina and Clint met when they collided at The Creamery and Clint's mint chip ice cream ended up on Nina's shirt. After cleaning herself up, Nina introduced herself to Clint and discovered they both like mint chip ice cream. Here is the last paragraph and chapter two of  "Mint Chip" :



“Can I at least buy you a cup of coffee to make up for the
shirt I wrecked?”

“Why don’t you come over and I’ll make us both
some  coffee. Some noise in my too quiet house would
make me feel better.”

“Great. Meet you there,” he said, finishing the last of his
cone.


Chapter Two

        Nina returned home before Clint arrived. She ducked into the bedroom to change. While she had her shirt off, she took a look in the full length mirror on the back of the closet door. Trying to be objective, she admitted she didn’t look too bad. Everything may have been a touch lower than it was ten years ago, but she still looked good.

        Rummaging through her drawer, she found a raspberry tee shirt, rather low cut and slipped it on.

        Don’t be ridiculous! He’s ten years younger than you! Grow up.

        But she brushed her hair, refreshed her make-up and inched the shirt a little lower, giving her cleavage some exposure. Nothing wrong with flirting. I need practice and he’s perfect since he’ll never be interested in me!

        She descended the stairs quickly, a new lightness to her step and got busy in the kitchen. While she was rummaging through the refrigerator for something more than coffee to serve, she heard the doorbell at the back door. It was Clint.

        “Coffee smells delicious,” he said, sniffing the air as he walked into her kitchen.

        He stopped and looked around.

        “My kitchen next door doesn’t look anything like this. This is awesome,” he said, running his hand over the granite counter top and looking at the pristine oak floor.

        “We renovated the kitchen last year.”

        “I love the light green on the walls,” Clint said, his gaze traveling from the recessed lighting to the country artwork, finally settling on her.

        He looked her up and down, unashamed to be sizing her up, his brown eyes lighting up when they met her big blues. She fidgeted with the hem of her tee shirt, her gaze dropping to the floor trying to remember why he was there, totally discomfited by his appraisal.

        “Coffee! Yes…it’s ready,” she said, glancing at the pot.

        “Can I help?” Clint offered.

        Nina shook her head as she took out two mugs with country prints on them and put them on the tray with the sugar bowl and a small pitcher of milk.

        “Sit over there,” she suggested, pointing to the snug booth carved into the alcove.

        Clint did as he was told. Nina poured the coffee into the mugs and took the tray over to the table, concentrating on keeping her hands steady and wondering why she was so nervous all of a sudden. This isn’t a date! He’s a neighbor. You’re being friendly, neighborly. It isn’t a date…is it?

        After moving the mugs, milk and sugar to the table, Nina slipped into the booth opposite Clint, raised her mug,looked up at him and asked,

        “At the risk of being mundane, what do you do, Clint?”

        “I teach English, high school English. But I’m here this summer to write a play,” he admitted, embarrassed.

        “A play! How fabulous!”

        He looked up at her, surprised.

        “That’s wonderful. I’m an actress. What are you writing about? Can I read it? Can I help by reading aloud? It would be good practice for me,” she babbled on.

        Clint’s smile seemed to reach from ear to ear.

        “I haven’t written it yet, but sure…I’d love to have you read…maybe even help me write?”
        “I’m no writer,” she said, looking down at her mug.

        “I don’t know if I am either,” he laughed.

        “Tell me what it’s about,” she said.

        “The story is about a man and woman getting a divorce. They have a child who is manipulating them, trying to get them back together by behaving badly…” he paused.

        “Is it working?”

        He nodded.

        “She’s making them work together to get her back on track and while they are, they fall in love again.”

        “What a lovely story…” she said.

        He looked down at his mug, raised it to his lips and drank. She watched his face carefully.

        “None of this is based on real life, is it?” she asked.

        He shook his head.

        “Six months ago, when I got the idea, I wished it was, but now I know it can’t be so…no, not based on real life.”

        “Can I play the wife or am I too old?”

        “Nothing old about you,” he said, sweeping his gaze down to her waist and back to her eyes, lingering on her chest for a moment.

His eyes connected with hers producing a spark of electricity in her, reddening her cheeks. While his gaze held hers, he slowly smiled as if seeing her for the first time. Feeling heat from him, she blushed deeply and her mouth went dry as his gaze settled on her lips.

“Ice cream?” she asked him, feebly.

“Mint chip. All because of mint chip,” he said, covering her hand with his.

(To be continued)


Post Office
PRIORITY MAIL
By
Jean Joachim

 Chapter One
             When Sandy agreed to come to Pine Grove for the summer to help out her Aunt Clarice who had her hip replaced, she never dreamed so much drama could be going on in a small town. Sandy was filling in for Clarice at the post office for the summer months until her aunt could get her bearings and come back to work. Sandy worked every summer in the post office during her school years in Portland, Oregon, where she lived with her parents until she graduated college.
            Last summer, Sandy set up housekeeping with Dennis, her college sweetheart, until she found him cheating on her this past April and moved back in with her parents. Sandy was still recovering from the break-up and her parents thought it a Godsend for Clarice to send for her. The young woman was looking forward to a change of scenery.
            On her first day, she met Bill Wilton, the man who picked up and dropped off packages. Bill was about thirty years old, handsome with brown hair and blue eyes and built like an athlete.
            “You’re Clary’s fill-in?”
            She nodded.
            “Nice,” he said, looking her over.
            Sandy blushed and continued to look around, getting familiar with where everything was.
            “I come in here twice a day, Sandy, once to pick up and once to deliver.  Which one will it be for you, sweetheart?”
            She stared at him as if he was speaking Chinese.
            “Just jokin’, babe. Calm down. Relax, you’re cute but I’m not going to attack you or anything.”
            She smiled as he tipped his hat and was out the door with a load of packages. Sandy opened the mailbag Bill brought with him and began to sort the letters and small packages. When she was done it was ten o’clock. People began to come by and check their post boxes for mail. Although Pine Grove was a small town, at least forty people had post boxes. Sandy watched them enter.  Cecelia Wright, a woman of fifty years, opened her box and squealed with delight as she pulled out a small package.
            “Grandkids!” she said to Sandy as she carefully ripped open the package and shared the photos from her daughter.
            Sandy smiled and cooed over each photo until someone needed service. She sold stamps and weighed several packages before Allison Gray came in. She had trouble getting her key in the lock as her hand was trembling.
            “Allison’s waiting for a letter from Rob. Her fiancĂ©,” Cecelia whispered to Sandy.
            Sandy cocked her head, giving Cecelia an inquisitive look.
            “He’s in Afghanistan. She hasn’t heard from him in over two weeks.”
            Allison opened the small door to the post box and didn’t see anything. She reached her hand into the box and moved it around to make sure there wasn’t something small in there she couldn’t see. By the time she pulled her hand out, tears had started. She gave Cecelia a small smile, wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and left quickly.
            Cecelia packed up her photos and smiled at Sandy.
            “Welcome to Pine Grove, honey. We’re small but you’ll be busier than you know.”             Sandy spent the rest of the day selling stamps, helping re-wrap packages and distributing the shopper to box holders. Late in the afternoon, the door opened and a young man came in.
            “Fifty priority mail stamps and envelopes, please,” he said.
            Sandy looked over the counter at him. He was blond, about six feet tall with bright blue eyes and maybe twenty-eight years old, she figured. He propped the door open as he hauled in box after box of small manila envelopes.
            He dropped the last box in front of the counter and looked up at Sandy. She couldn’t taker her eyes off him.
            “I’m Price Quincy,” he said, extending his hand.
            “Sandy Franklin,” she said, taking his warm, dry hand.
            “You’ll be seeing a lot of me. I have a mail order fishing business,” he said.
            “You sell fish through the mail?” Sandy asked, chuckling.
            “Fishing equipment. Particularly flies,” he said with a laugh.
            “Flies? Like the ones I kill with a fly swatter?”
            He shook his head and laughed heartily.
            “Hand-tied flies for fly fishermen. Stuff like that.”
            “Oh, oh, I see,” Sandy said when she clearly didn’t.
            “You’re Clary’s replacement? Where are you from?”
            “Portland, Oregon.”
            “Big city girl, eh?”
            “I suppose so,” she said, leveling her hazel eyes at his.
            She tossed her light brown shoulder-length hair at him and he smiled. His smile lit up his whole face, rivaling the reflected sun off the lake for brightness. Sandy almost lost her cool.
            “Welcome to Pine Grove, smallest town in the county,” he said.
            “Thanks,” she said, “now how many of these stamps did you want?”
            Sandy sold Price the stamps, gave him the envelopes and stayed after closing helping him to pack the merchandise.
            “Do you send out this many packages every week?”
            “Only in the fishing season and then, only in a good week.”
            Sandy turned away and smiled where Price couldn’t see her. She was happy he would be back every week. She had no intention of telling him Bill would pick up so many envelopes.
            “Do you mail these on the same day every week? I could have things ready for you if you do,” she offered.
            “It depends on the orders. You’ll know about my orders because you’ll be putting them in my box…box 52,” Price offered, looking her over when he thought she wasn’t looking.
            “How long does it take you to fulfill them?”
            “Depends on the order. I tie flies in advance but orders vary. I can’t always predict what will sell.”
            “You make a living ties and selling flies?”
            “That and taking people fishing. I’m also a writer, but that is an uphill battle.”
            “Have you been published?”
            “One book…a non-fiction on fly fishing,” he said.
            Sandy laughed.
            “That’s why you have so many orders, eh?”
            “I guess. I’m trying fiction now, though. I’ve been kicked to the curb by about ten agents so far. Summer is my big season for flies…my writing takes a backseat until winter sets in.”
            “But it’s always summer somewhere, right?”
            “Don’t you want me to write?”
            Sandy blushed.
            “Of course. Do whatever you want…just sayin’”             “I’m keeping you past closing,” Price said, looking at his watch.
            “I don’t mind.”
            “I’ll bet Clary’s wondering where you are. Can I give you a lift?”
            “Sure, thanks,” she said, taking her purse and locking up the stamps and money drawer.
            Sandy walked slightly ahead of Price, who watched the sway of her hips with interest. He opened the door for her, glancing at her legs as she got in and her skirt hiked up.
            “What are you going to do when Clary gets well enough to come back to work?”
            “Haven’t thought that far ahead yet.”
            “Maybe you’ll stay here then?”
            “Maybe, but why? I need to work and this job goes back to Clary in two months.”
            “Maybe you could do something else?”             “What?”
            “I…don’t know…but you never know.”
            “I won’t rule it out, but won’t count on it, either.”
            He dropped her at the door. Sandy saw Clary looking out the window as she thanked Price, got out of the car and started up the front steps.
            “Who was that drove you home?” Clarice demanded as soon as Sandy came through the door.
            “Price Quincy, why?”
            “No reason,” she said, smiling.
(To be continued)

If you like these stories, try "Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights" a sweet contemporary romance available for only $3.99  at
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Astraea Press
           

3 comments:

Kellie Kamryn said...

All those stories sound great and I loved your excerpt! Wish I had time to stop by and read more from them all. I'll make more time later :)

kayspringsteen said...

Flies? Like the kind I swat? heh heh heh...cityfolks. Now you got two stories I need you to finish, lol.

K.T. Bishop said...

You have a lot of good stuff here!