Welcome! We're back this week with more of Maggie's story. The word prompt is "key". Thanks for coming. Don't forget to read the other stories by fine writers. Click on the link below to return to Tuesday Tales.
“Mr. Roberts isn’t feeling well, Maggie. I’m not going to join you at the farmer’s market. Could you make him some chicken soup?”
“Of course Missus. Do I have to drive?”
“John will drive you.” Anne Roberts smiled then went to attend her husband and son.
Maggie made a face. Have to ride with that bloke?
John opened the back door of the Mercedes for her, then slid behind the wheel.
“I feel stupid riding back here,” Maggie shifted in her seat.
“You want to sit next to me?”
“Pfft! I’d rather walk.”
“Six miles there and back?”
“Anything to get away from you.”
“I’m not all that bad, am I?”
“You…you took liberties.”
“Can I help it if I was overcome by the lure of a pretty woman.”
“Bosh! Think you’re such a charmer, don’t you?”
John chuckled. “Not with you, I’d guess.”
“I’m on to your wily ways.”
He pulled into the parking lot of the farmer’s market, and opened the car door before Maggie could.
“Don’t be doin’ that. People’ll be starin’.”
“It’s my job.”
“Just quit it, okay?” Maggie slapped his arm lightly. “Wait in the car. I won’t be long.”
The booth with fresh flowers was bursting with blooms in bright pink, deep red and pure white. Maggie plucked a bouquet of summer flowers in an array of colors for Anne.
Next was the cheese booth, a very white counter with a few cheeses on display. Maggie moved easily from booth to booth, picking up fresh carrots, celery and onions for chicken soup. After buying two loaves of fresh rye bread and a Pullman white for Mr. Roberts, her arms were full. On her way to the car, she tripped. The bags of vegetables popped up from her arms and landed on the grass, spilling onions everywhere. The breads bounced. An attractive, middle-aged man bent down.
“Let me help you.”
“I’ve got it,” she said, giving him a suspicious glance, while she gathered up vegetables.
“A pretty girl like you? Your keys.”
Maggie frowned. Masher.
Before she could utter a word, someone else spoke.
“Back off.” She turned to see John standing behind her with the loaves of bread in one hand.
“I saw her first.”
“That’s what you think. I’m adept at fisticuffs. Run along.”
“Fisticuffs?” The man laughed.
John fisted his free hand and swung it into the man’s belly. He bent over, gasping for air.
“I warned you. Come along Maggie,” he said.
She gathered up the last few carrots and let John lead her away.
“Never fear, my dear. When you’re with me, you’re safe.”
She looked at him with raised eyebrows. “Maybe, but who’ll keep me safe from you?”