Continual Resort #10|Checking Traps

Continual Resort #10|Checking Traps

businessman talking over phone

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Donny finally managed to compose his list of ingredients for his new entrée idea although he was quite perturbed by the days events. Not knowing how this weekend would play out and not caring much, Donny gave Sandy the heads up to let everyone else know that he was taking the rest of the day off and would not be back until Tuesday. In an odd way, he did find some comfort in being able to take time to gather his thoughts on all that was happening in his life. He also felt better about being able to plan on seeing his daughter during his time off. It would give him a chance to casually question Sheralyn about what she may or may not know about Linda’s sneaking around.

He truly did not want to become suspicious and cause things between himself and Linda to blow up again, but he could not help but wonder because his father had actually told the truth – for once. Donny was determined to not let his family issues to destroy what he had with Linda, but still…he needed to understand what was going on right under his nose.

Pushing all doubts aside before leaving work, Donny thought about John, because he would be stopping by the store on the way home. “I guess I’ll hook old boy up today.” With an ample ‘to-go’ box in a bag, Donny quickly headed towards Walmart so that John’s meal would still be reasonably warm once he received it.

“Awww, so you remembered me after all! Thanks man!” John graciously took the bag from Donny who was happy to be of some use to the man who sat regularly in front of the store…asking and hoping for help from somewhere – anywhere. John smiled. “Is this that mah-hee-mah-hee thang that I had at your place that day?”

“Well John, it ain’t really my place…I just work there.”

“Really? Yer shit’n me! Well…if that ain’t yer place then it damn shore oughta be, but whoever owns tha place is damn smart, I’ll tell’ya that.” Donny chuckled and smiled before answering.

“Yeah, uh…it’s actually my dad’s place. He worked a long time and went through a lot of shit to get there too, so I sorta learned what I know from him.”

John already knew full well the information that Donny had freely and unknowingly given him before he left. John was sure that Donny knew nothing about how his father had actually ‘worked his way up’, but as soon as the fitting season arrived, the perfect storm would blow into all of their lives without warning, and John vowed that he would either live or die  through it – satisfied.

**

With her last client happy and gone, Linda quickly and thoroughly cleaned her utensils and station before heading to her mother’s house to tell her the good news about the meeting with the agent from the Angel Investment program. Sheralyn answered her daughter’s excited rapping and doorbell ringing; curious about what had caused Linda’s elated actions.

She brushed past her mother and headed for her usual seat at the kitchen table.

“Oh, mom I don’t have time for coffee right now. I’m so excited I could just burst! ”

“And that is exactly what looks like will happen if you don’t spit it out, but aren’t you forgetting something – or should I say – someone?”

“Oh, my goodness mom…I’m sorry. Bri must be asleep because she didn’t come to the door with you as usual.”

“Well, you’re right and I’m glad that she was asleep because you would have knocked the poor child over and stepped on her on your way in. I barely managed to keep myself standing.” Sheralyn smiled knowing that Linda had very good news, so she calmly sat at the table, waited, and listened. “So, what’s all the hoopla about?”

Linda composed herself a bit and began to explain the call from the agent who would be aiding her in the start-up of her salon. She explained in great detail her conversation with Steve and asked Sheralyn if she would keep Brianne another day so that she could attend her meeting the following day to which her mother agreed but noticed that Linda had not mentioned Donny.

“Well, I’ll say it this way…I’m really happy for you and I’m very hopeful that you know what you are getting into, but this does seem a bit hasty. On the other hand, this may well be the break that you need, but you do know to not let anyone rush you until you have all aspects in place mentally and otherwise, right? I also notice that you apparently have not spoken to Donny about all of this – right again?”

Linda calmed down considerably, realizing that she had not fooled her mother through all of her animated gestures and fast talking in hopes that Sheralyn would not question her about the details that she had purposefully omitted. Although she suddenly did not want to have this discussion, it was inevitable so again, the explanations accompanied by some meager excuses began. Linda told her mother that she had not yet had a chance to speak with Donny but would be sure to tell him a little ‘white lie’ about her having to work late on Saturday. She explained that it was not time to discuss everything with him as yet, because she wanted to make sure that she was actually ready to move forward. Promising that she would in time tell Donny everything and that he deserved to know because their finances depended on it, Linda somewhat gave assurance that things had to be this way for the time being. Sheralyn held a look of skepticism, but accepted what she was told for fear of putting a damper on Linda’s gleeful demeanor, but despite all, she still needed to delve deeper.

“So what you’re saying is that I should not make mention of your plans for tomorrow and after you’re sure of all of this, you will have a talk with the father of your child? Linda, you know that I don’t like lying about anything no matter how crucial it may be, but I guess I’ll have to let it slide this time…I just don’t understand why he can’t know beforehand.”

“Oh mom! Can’t you see? Like I said, this really is happening kind of fast and I really need to be absolutely sure of everything involved. It’s not that I think things won’t work out. The agent – Steve, is so nice to me and he explains everything so plainly. This program is on the lookout for potential entrepreneurs and they help people in the community so I’m actually just being extra careful. You know how I am…I have to see it through to the end before I spill the beans. Steve has already made it clear that I won’t be rushed into anything and there will be some involvement in learning the ropes which is a good thing. He assured me that he would be with me every step of the way with anything that I needed to learn and that I wouldn’t have to worry about being funded and left without knowing anything else afterwards. Mom, you’ve just got to do this for me this one time!”

By this time, Brianne awakened to the noise of her mother’s pleading and came into the kitchen for a hug and kiss, glad to see her.  She climbed into Linda’s lap, nestling her little head comfortably into her mother’s bosom and went back to sleep. Linda rocked her lovingly as Sheralyn spoke again.

“Sweetheart, I’ve known you since before the day you were born…there is still something you’re not telling me. I’m not willing to drag it out of you so I’ll just voice my suspicions. I’m sure that you already know what I’m talking about, but please tell me that this Steve guy looks like an ogre and has no other hope in life besides whatever he is doing to earn money. Her daughter gave no answer. “I thought so. Linda, you’ve got to stop this fantasizing and make up your mind about what you really want for your life. You’ve done this sort of thing ever since you were a girl and though you are still young now, you are living a grown-up life. Please don’t get yourself into any trouble. I know that you and Donny were on really shaky ground not too long ago, but you guys seem to have done well since then. Make up your mind and let business be business…don’t go out on a whim simply because you are letting your imagination get the best of you.”

Linda almost cringed at her mother’s ability to read her and be precisely right in her thoughts and suspicions.  “Damn”, she thought. She couldn’t get anything past her mother. Linda had indeed enjoyed Steve’s attentiveness and gentleman-like qualities when they’d met in person. Their phone conversation had induced even more ‘getaway from reality’ images in her mind about this stranger falling hopelessly in love with her and taking her away to live a rich and blissful life on an island far away from the norm. Fully aware that these scenarios were merely a portal through which she could temporarily erase that fateful night when her baby’s father raised his hand to her in a brief yet violent spell of anger and distrust, Linda iterated that she was and would continue to be faithful to her relationship and that she was well aware that everyone made mistakes, especially due to the fact that she had thrown the first several blows. She and Donny would be just fine, she told Sheralyn, but inside she asked herself, “Won’t we?”

*

That night, they were free in their own ways, but both had and hid their reservations about their circumstances. Donny’s frustrations followed him home. Thoughts of his brother’s remarks and nasty attitude along with his father’s  impromptu syrupy sweet friendliness that was sure to morph into an explosive and disastrous poster child for parental fuck-ups ran back and forth in his memory despite the mixture of liquor and herbal smoke invading his psyche only to induce an urge to release all. Linda’s high gave her the same urge to release the build-up of excitement, nervousness, and apprehension from all aspects of her day at work and with her mother.

Relaxed and willing, their lovemaking occurred in heated throes , though not from passion as much as the need to be free if only for a brief span of time. Their tryst soon became a hurried abruptness which would have failed Donny in Linda’s behalf had it not been for her savior – her imaginings that enabled her to reach the pinnacle of pleasure that had almost escaped her. Despite an unexpected yet satiated end to this episode of physical action, Donny was able to detect that Linda had a lot on her mind just as he did. She told him that she would be working late the next day after he spoke about his trying day. He accepted her statements and understood that her schedule was the reason for Brianne’s absence. Donny showed no inhibitions about their conversation though his suspicions grew. He had to keep his cool to avoid the potential for another argument, so he again kept his feelings hidden. Trying to see things as positively as possible, he looked forward to being able to sleep in late on Saturday and visit his baby. He also mentally broke himself down enough to take Donald up on his offer to save his material until that Monday. Still apprehensive about riding around with his father, Donny kissed Linda goodnight, turned over, and they both slept…anxious to experience what the events of the next day would bring.

**

Donald had finally convinced Jesse to take her meds. For some reason, she had no intentions on going through this process, but gave in to her husband’s admonitions. He wet a cool hand towel to place on her forehead while continuing to try to encourage her of the wonderful weekend that they were sure to have. Their son would be over, and hopefully everyone would be present at church on Sunday to stand under his voice as he led the congregation in an earnest prayer, and they would all have dinner at Robertson’s.

“Don’t worry dear…everything is going to be all right. You just rest now, Jesse…I love you.”

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Aside

Private

There is a place where noone else can go except me

Unless I let one in, no other can be

This space is reserved for those who identify

With me when I laugh, when I shout, when I cry

Not many are invited, this place is private you see

I guess you could think of it as a symbolic VIP

Invitation only

Eliminates being lonely

Sign in and hang your coat

Main rule – don’t come to gloat

About what I have or what I don’t

Your visit will not go well, no it won’t

My bouncer is my soul and will throw you out

Our meeting is not about class, certainly not clout

I am willing to share with all walks of life

But non-mutual competition begets envy and strife

You are who you are just as I am – let it be

Should it be so easy to ruin your acquaintance with me?

I think not, just have some coffee, beer, even tea

Where it goes from here, who knows – we’ll see

Otherwise I can simply sit here by myself

Not contemplating on status or wealth

This is not what life should be geared towards

Rather happiness, satisfaction, and peace – moving forward

If you’d like to join me, you’re welcome to

When you arrive, let right be what you will do

Make the best of your day as well as mine

After all, what is better than spending quality time?

It has to be living as you are and not fretting the rest

Where is your private place? When you find it, don’t settle for less

 

Aside

Continual Resort Part #8 – Hopes Undone {From the FWF Prompt}

I hope that you all enjoy installment #8 of my story Continual Resort – Hopes Undone. This installment was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday image prompt…it was freaking PERFECT for what I wanted to convey with this new character!!! You’ve done it again Kellie – thank you much! <3…I hope you all enjoy, here goes!

Continual Resort | Hopes Undone

jackson wedding

Image courtesy of Kellie Elmore

At the sound of the dial tone, Chelsea grinned a satisfactory smile knowing that she had thrown Donald for a loop. He had no idea that she would be calling him after all of these years, but she felt that he was well deserving of any bad vibe that she could send his way. After all, he had given her bad vibes all of her life and couldn’t care less. It simply was not fair for this man to have been allowed to have complete control over her life and not even be present in it, but her own mother was to blame. “Money talks and bullshit walks – you can do whatever you please once you’re grown.” Chelsea would never forget what her mother had told her and she eventually learned to live those words as well.

Her mother now lived in a nursing home after having a stroke four years ago. Chelsea had tried to care for her at home, but simply could not deal with this difficulty along with her mother’s attitude which had become even worse after she became ill. The nursing home served its purpose well enough and Chelsea kept up with regular yet brief visits to make sure that her mother was being cared for properly. It was not that they didn’t care for each other, but her mother’s attitude towards life had caused  their relationship to not be as one would expect a single mother with only one child to be. Things were so different when she was a small girl…back then she was a prized possession…later, a spoiled brat, but all of this changed during her teenage years.

Chelsea grew up with almost everything that she wanted, but the collector’s item dolls gave her no pleasure because she was not allowed to play with them. The dance lessons kept her occupied, but still did not replace the time that could have been spent enjoying a real family. The modeling classes proved that she was indeed the envy of the other girls because of her beauty, and her designer clothes made a nice cover for the unopened book that was her heart.

None of these things that other kids complained about not having fulfilled the emptiness that she felt. She was sure that this emptiness was what drove her to rebellion. Chelsea felt that she’d been nothing more to her mother and father (who she knew of but seldom saw) than a trophy lying dormant on its own personal shelf. Cutting school, drinking, smoking, and ‘being fast’ was her way of receiving the attention that she so needed, and for a while it actually worked – or so she thought.

She had grown tired of the jealousy and angry looks from her peers. Her job had been to be beautiful, look pretty for the camera, and win more awards, but high school had taught her that these things were no so much admired by all. Learning the hard way to either fit in or fight, Chelsea decided that she would go the non-violent route and began to let others influence her actions. Her grades began to fail, and the guidance counselor was constantly setting up conferences with her mother about her behavior.

This was right up Chelsea’s alley, because she relished those nights that her mother would fuss over her; almost pleading with her to straighten up or she would have to call her dad. Little did her mother know that this was exactly what Chelsea wanted.

Donald began to spend some weekends with her, showering her with more gifts on top of what he already provided through her mother. Although her interest in these things had begun to wane, she would still take whatever she could get from her parents and still be as fancy as her untouched dolls. She had become just like her mother. Get all you can while the getting is good was her main goal for attention as well as things, but after a time, when she most needed her parents’ love and understanding, they let her down miserably. Once they thought that she was improving in school and had begun to act better in school, the visits from Donald stopped. The late night talks with her mother ended also, but she went through the motions and acted as she should in school. She had to get her act together now because she had fallen in love.

The quarterback of the football team needed her by his side – especially for homecoming. They were the king and queen of the court. Despite continued jealousy from other girls, most of the school was glad to cast their votes in her behalf. They were the perfect couple and this attention made Chelsea feel as if she were on top of the world. She was the envy of everyone and Gary belonged to her. She realized that at the beginning of their relationship that he simply needed a pretty girl on his arm, but over time they had grown very close. She was glad that she’d had at least some experience with boys, so there was no problem with ‘going all the way’…Chelsea was sure that this was what made Gary stick to her like glue. He had not been like the other boys who were just trying to build their reputations. Gary was different…his family had money and his parents were much like her own in that they were basically interested in his being a winner and not much else. Their phone conversations became longer as they spoke on what they actually wanted out of life which seemed to be each other…they talked about being together forever.

Chelsea had been so afraid to tell Gary about her pregnancy that she waited until Class Day. She would be graduating with honors and could not wait to be seated on the front row to show how she had improved over that couple of years to come out on top despite her past. After the program was over, Gary’s response to her news was shocking to say the least. He had offered to marry her. “You know my folks got money shooting out of their asses, so we’ll be taken care of. You can live with us and I can still play college ball. Believe me, my folks have already let me know that if I ever got myself into a ‘situation’ to not worry. It’s alright, I love you!” Chelsea kissed him passionately outside of the gym in front of several onlookers and decided that she could now tell her mother the great news.

“You little bitch! Do you realize what you’ve done?  Here I am trying to make something decent out of you and you went and screwed up everything, but don’t think for one minute that you’re gonna fuck me outta my money!”

While Chelsea did not quite know how to react to her mother;s seething anger, she thought that she may as well act like the woman that she now was. “What can you actually do about it? I’m a grown woman now and I’m getting married. I won’t have to be under your thumb ever again and there’s nothing you can do about it!” She made this statement to her mother knowing full well that there was plenty that her mother could do about it, but she would make sure that this did not happen. No longer would she be a pawn for her mother’s pockets. She had a way out and she also had real love – there was no way she would let anyone get in her way.

“Oh, really…we’ll see about that.”

That very night, Chelsea’s mother called Donald to tell him that they had an ’emergency’.

*

Realizing that she had lain awake all that time going back over her life, Chelsea made herself comfortable in the king sized bed in her hotel suite. “Get some rest beauty queen…one’s been down for four years, but there’s one more to go…I am going to enjoy this. Let’s see how it feels for you to have all of your hopes undone, dear old Dad.”

Rolling over under the luxurious covers, Chelsea slept.

Aside

Continual Resort Part #7 – Acquaintances

businessman holding briefcase

Image courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net

John was led to a small booth in a private corner. He had asked to be seated in the smoking section due to his liking for a ‘square’ immediately after a meal and he was quite comfortable with the confined quarters which was surprisingly cleaner that he’d expected. Most smoking sections were often neglected seemingly as a rule as if to somehow convince smokers that they were helpless nicotine addicts who did not deserve to enjoy a nice meal in the same conditions that non-smokers enjoyed while still being charged the same.

He did not order an appetizer for the tomato soup had served its purpose as he proceeded to tell his waitress that he would have the day’s special with water. After thanking the waitress for his meal and upon being served, John savored the aroma that wafted straight from the plate to his nose. “I guess it’s pleasure time”, he said with a grin and dug in; knowing the compliments given later by him would be sincere.

John stifled the burp that escaped his digestive system…”Shit, that was good.” He spoke quietly as others watched him.  By this time, the waitress had made her rounds back to John’s booth. “Was everything okay for you sir?” John answered in his deep country accent, “Aw, yeah! Ever’thang was just fine! I ain’t had a meal like that in well…forever, haha! Jus’ happened ta run up on a lil cash, so I thought it fittin’ that I have a decent meal and ended up here. Matter of fact, I thank I’d like’ta pay my compliments to’tha chef if’n it’s alright with’ya.” The waitress giggled a little at the accent, but was glad that this man had enjoyed himself if only for the first time in his life. She felt as if she were but a small component contributing to the glimmer of light beaming ever so slightly in his otherwise dark and unfortunate lifestyle.

Just a tad apprehensive about what she should do exactly, Sandy decided that she would ask first before taking it upon herself to lead him to the kitchen area as John pulled his shades down with a questioning look in his eyes. The look compelled the compassionate young waitress to accommodate her customer who had given her a generous tip. She immediately went to the kitchen area to inform the staff about her customer. Donny was acting head chef and would be running the kitchen on this night and throughout his work week after introducing his new dish and putting Derrick in his place. “Listen, watch, and repeat, dude.” Derrick knew full well that he had to do as Donny told him if he intended to efficiently carry on later that weekend while accepting compliments that Donny had earned.

After a few minutes, Sandy returned as she said she would to lead John to where he wanted to be. “Are you ready sir?”

“Shore am, miss! Jus lead tha way!”

**

“Awww, naaawww! It’s John ain’t it?” With a short laugh Donny hurriedly wiped his hands on his apron before shaking hands; in total shock while also pleasantly surprised to see  John standing before him which meant that this poor man had bought himself a decent meal. He quickly pushed back the question of how the beggar had found his way downtown; realizing that people in this situation were city-contained nomads who mainly traveled a pedestrian’s tedious journey. Any suspicious reservations that Donny may have had about John were now gone because he knew that this man had nearly worn himself out to simply live a dream that the majority thought commonplace and took for granted on a regular basis. Elated that he had once again made John’s day brighter, he also told the beggar that his dinner was on the house.  If this dude can come in here willing to pay for his shit, I’ll be damned if I ain’t gonna bless him some kinda way! Donny’s religious upbringing mixed with his somewhat negative everyday outlook did not hinder him from being charitable.

“Ain’t this a surprise! Did you walk all the way down here? If so, then all I can do is thank you by lettin’ you have that dish on the house, man. You didn’t have to come back here just to compliment me… everybody deserves a good meal.”

“Well I shore do thank’ya! Hell, if I’d known you cooked like that, I’d be settin’ out there upside that Walmart beggin’ for leftovers…I don’t think Id’n ever had nothin’ that good b’fore! They both laughed at John’s joke.

“Actually John, that can be arranged. I’m gonna remember this the next time I see you in the hood. You oughta be able to catch a bus now that you don’t have to pay for dinner, so be safe once you get outta here. Ready for the tour?”

Donny had no problem showing the ragged man what he did for a living while also explaining that he was an aspiring writer to which John actually encouraged Donny to follow his dream. Their discussion was friendly and John was sincerely interested in what Donny told him. It gave him a sense of who this guy really was. Gathering this information would also benefit his investigative endeavors.

The two men laughed and shook hands again. John already knew the chef’s name, but he asked again. He felt that Donny was a genuine soul. However, he still had to do what he came to do.

The tour was a brief one, but it had allowed him to carry out his mission in both the kitchen as well as the office. Surveillance would be no problem, and all of his plans would be put into motion by tonight’s performance.

In their own separate existences,  John and Donny had a feeling of satisfaction once the night was done. They had both done their jobs, while also sharing the same comforting feeling of accomplishment due their expertise despite neither of them knowing the full truth about each other – especially on Donny’s end.

Upon returning back to his shack in the woods,  John made a quick call to simply say, “Done.”

**

Later that night after closing, Donny came home to wait for Linda to return from taking Brianne back to Sheralyn’s house. It did not take long for her to return and she was in a good mood. She made drinks for the both of them while Donny rolled an ample joint. Over several drinks and one more smoke, they discussed the events of Linda’s day with their baby as well as Donny’s evening with surprise as well as some unexpected excitement.

Linda had said that she was proud of Donny for keeping his brother in line, both of them knowing if these two ever actually engaged in a real fight that Donny would more than likely be the winner, but she was so happy that everything went well with the special. Linda’s inward thoughts about Donny and Derrick fighting were outwardly expressed by a long and seemingly uncontrollable laugh at the mental picture that had emerged in her mind. Donny knew that it was simply because she was high and ended up laughing with her. “Yeah, you right baby…his ass would be grass!”

The couple also discussed Donald’s absence which happened more and more each week. “You know my dad…ain’t no tellin’ what kinda mess he’s into – probably some ratched female again, but who cares…I did my thang!” Linda promptly agreed just before the subject of John’s appearance at ‘Robertson’s’ came into the conversation. Linda laughed as Donny repeated John’s jokes in his mocking accent. They both agreed that they now knew where the money that they had given John had been spent on, and for that, Linda was glad that their beggar had a nice day which they had contributed to. They both went to bed wondering what their next visit with John would be like.

***

Donald had made his deposit at the bank and sped home to get to his office. He could not be late for this call, nor for dinner. He seriously was not in the mood for Jesse’s questioning him about why he was always so late coming home when the boys were the main ones running the restaurant nowadays. Knowing that his wife was prone to a reaction of suspicion, he would simply tell her that everything was alright and that he’d had more business to take care of than usual and that everything at ‘Robertson’s’ was just fine.

As usual, he ate his dinner and talked with his wife until she was ready to take her meds and go to bed. With a sigh of relief, Donald realized that he was actually on time and went quickly to the bonus room which was conveniently upstairs; set off and away from their bedroom. Derrick only came back to use his old bedroom (which was also upstairs) when he needed money, to talk about business, or to vent his frustrations about his brother. He had not needed any money lately because Donald had raised his salary yet again, trying to ease Derrick’s frustrations which came from living above his means, but his father did not care. As long as Derrick did as he was told, he had no qualms about the boy’s behavior. Every young man needs to sow his wild oats is what Donald always told Derrick and he obeyed this command religiously.

Now settled in his office with the privacy that he so needed, Donald made a phone call. “Is this a good time for you?” Upon a positive answer from the receiver of this call, the awaited discussion began.

“Well…now that’s out-of-the-way, what kind of news do you have for me tonight. I need to know if we’re making progress because it’s time to get the ball rollin’. The money’s ready so I just need to know when you are, and it better be soon.”

“Sir, these things take time. I have to work my way up to – ”

“I don’t want to hear anything more about time! Time is something that we are running out of! I am not paying you to work your way up do a damn thing. You are getting paid to do exactly what I tell you, so maybe you should rephrase whatever you were about to say.” Everyone that Donald knew was familiar with his pushy attitude. His wife, children, and business partners alike. He did not accept ‘no’ very well as an answer to anything.

“Well, alright sir. My plan was to speak with her again on next week, because she did sound hopeful and agreed to speak with me again, but I guess Friday would be more to your liking. I’ll make my proposal on that day and see how she reacts, but you’ve got to understand the other aspect of the situation. If you are expecting more from this, it will take some time. Please believe me when I say that I have a good plan in mind.”

Donald was somewhat calmed by the explanation. “Now that’s better. Yes…Friday sounds much better…right on time in fact. I’ll make sure that the checks are written up for you so that next week, everything will be in motion and I assume that you know what to do about the other.”

“Yes sir…don’t worry, I have everything under control.”

With a short condescending laugh, Donald answered, “Well that’s where you’re wrong Steve. I, Donald Robertson have everything under control and the plan that you speak of is actually my plan, so I would be much obliged if you would keep that in mind from this day forward. All you need to do is be ready with your briefcase, your nice suit paid for by me, and your wavy-ass hair. Understood?”

Steve’s answer was a simple – ‘yes sir’ before they both hung up. Donald leaned back in his swivel chair while twirling an ink pen, smiling in satisfaction to what would occur in the near future. She’ll go for it…I’ll bring the trashy side out of that bitch yet. What are you gonna do then son? Haha…you’ll do exactly what I say, that’s what you’ll do. 

Donald’s thoughts followed him to bed where he found his wife sleeping as soundly as always. The coming weekend would go as he commanded, they would attend church as usual, and all else would soon fall into place. He laid down and let out a comforting sigh just when the telephone by his bedside rang. “What the hell…hello?”

The voice on the other end made Donald freeze. He thought his heart would stop right then and there while propped on one elbow.

“Why, hello dear father…your precious illegitimate daughter is back in town and can’t wait to see you.”

“Chelsea?”

“Of course it’s me daddy! You know, the one who was never allowed to live anything except what you demanded? Yep, I’m the one – unless there’s another one out there somewhere, but the one you’re speaking to now is Chelsea – glad to be talking to you again. You haven’t forgotten me have you? Of course you haven’t, you just wished you could, but that won’t be happening. Anyway, you’ll be seeing me soon…but I won’t be setting up an appointment with you like everyone else apparently has to, so let’s just say that I’ll see you on – whenever.”

Donald slammed the cordless so hard

on its receiver that Jesse stirred in her sleep. He assured her that he’d knocked the phone down while reaching over to put his glasses on the nightstand. Donald’s wife turned over and went back into her deep slumber while he stared at the ceiling in astonishment. This cannot be happening, but it is. “I’ll take care of this too.” Donald quietly made the statement to himself before drifting off to sleep…not so much at ease now.

 

Aside

Continual Resort| Part 4 – ‘Sunny Days’|Free Write Friday Prompt

Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt (from last week – I’m late ) was very helpful in giving me a nice twist to add to the story which will come up later, so for the fourth installment of Continual Resort, I am bringing in this new character – John…here goes!

‘Sunny Days’

walmart-man

walmart-man

“Hey Mom!” Linda had  already called Sheralyn on her cell to let her know that she was around the corner and would be pulling up into the driveway. Sheralyn always made sure that she had her car port door unlocked for her daughter’s prompt arrival. Linda was happily greeted by her mother and two-year-old Brianne who waddled towards her ‘ma-ma’ in excitement with arms raised in contemplation of being picked up, hugged, and kissed. The three of them made their way to the kitchen table where Linda and her mother had their usual heart-to-hearts about nothing in particular most of the time unless they happened to be taking a trip down memory lane wondering about what had become of Stanley, but this type of conversation did not take place often. They would both end up saddened by the issue of not having the benefit of ‘knowing’, so usual day talk consisted of how Brianne was progressing with learning her colors, animal names, and anything else that would put a smile on their faces – especially when Sheryl was present with her sarcastic yet hilarious sense of humor. Sheryl and Linda both knew that Sheryl’s jokes were often the product of a broken heart in the process of finding a way – any way possible to heal from her own painful existence.

Thoughts of the past always managed to hang over their heads like a giant weeping willow branch that could not be lifted at least until some distraction – funny or not came along to change the scenery.

“Coffee’s ready…here you go.” Linda accepted the hunter green coffee mug from her mother who then set her own mug on the table before sitting directly across from her daughter.  “Well, I was thinking about getting my ends clipped today, but I think that I’ll just let it try to grow out a little more.” Linda took care of her mother and sister’s hair. She had received her license from the Missouri State Board of Cosmetology two years earlier and was working at a local strip mall salon a few miles shy of the apartment complex that she lived in with Donny. It did not take long for Linda to build up a nice clientele with her first customers being her mother and sister. After a year of working at ‘Sweet Styles’, Linda’s following had grown due to her passion for her craft and her knack for keeping herself current with the latest trends in technical skills. She had been able to attend several of the educational shows that had come to Kansas City and she always made sure that she had enough money saved up each year for any continuing classes on haircuts, styling, or equipment that would help keep up her clients’ word of mouth praise around town which regularly brought in new customers.

Sheralyn kept her own supply of products at her house because she rarely visited the salon. Linda’s work week span went from Tuesday to Friday, because she always took off on Saturdays for her mom knowing that she would be bringing her baby back home with her for the rest of the weekend. By her not having to style her mother’s hair on this particular Saturday, she would have some extra time to make a full day with Brianne. She couldn’t wait to take her shopping for snacks, a new outfit, and the toy of the toddler’s choice.

Linda lightly bumped Brianne on her knee as the happy child nibbled on a post-breakfast snack of animal crackers. “Well in that case, I don’t have to break out my new shears. I just bought some new ones last week…can’t wait to use’em.” Sheralyn smiled at her daughter knowing that she had such drive towards being successful in the beauty industry that the young woman could almost taste it. This middle-aged mother felt such a sense of pride in having been able to work her way up to not needing government help that she vowed to herself that when the time came for Linda to branch off into creating her own business, she would be there to help her come hell or high water. They had been through so much and she could clearly see that Linda was doing her best to create a better life for her child that it did not move Sheralyn by having to keep Brianne through the week so that Linda could work at the salon. The daycare center that she had found for her granddaughter was nearby and had a good reputation. Brianne’s time at daycare fit perfectly alongside her ten-year job as the current head custodian of the high school in the same area as the daycare. Sheralyn made sure that she saved most of her income tax returns to live comfortably during the summer although she still worked at the school through the majority of summer months. Her frugality over the years when her children were young had taught her well in the art of saving so that her now small but quaint home could be paid for.

Both women realized that the dream of Linda’s salon may be far off, but they still had faith that this dream would become a reality.

While they talked, Sheralyn made herself a salad for lunch. She assured Linda that she needed nothing from the store and that she could begin her day with ‘Annie’ as she called her rambunctious grand baby. Once their casual conversation was done;  Brianne announced her readiness to ‘ride wit ma-ma’, so Linda gathered her baby’s bag and they headed off to Walmart which was directly across from the strip mall.

She loved the freedom of having a large enough clientele which allowed her to pay a weekly booth fee as opposed to working on a commissioned basis like she did in the beginning. She could work any day that she pleased and take off just the same. They stopped by the salon to speak to her co-workers who always seemed to be glad to see the baby before they made their way across the parking lot to enter Walmart. Linda found a red and white polka dot short set and picked up some chips and juice packs to go with their sandwiches for lunch.  Brianne picked out a small wading pool as she always did at the start of summer.

Linda also picked up a pack of smoked turkey slices, cheese, and some fruit as well as the usual jug of orange juice. She would not have a drink until Brianne had played enough to fall fast asleep shortly after her bath that night.

During their little weekend shopping excursions, they always passed by the same man who would be sitting quietly in front of the store. He would speak to her and say ‘Hi, cutie’, and ‘Bye, cutie’ to Brianne as they made their way in and out of the store, but Linda made it a point to come out with at least two dollars to give him before she left. She maintained this ritual in remembrance of the hard time her parents had caring for their family until Sheralyn had found a job as a janitor.

The man at the store would thank Linda for the small amount of cash as usual and they would be on their way, but this time was different. He did wait until they came out of the store, but he actually had a question for Linda just after she handed him his two dollars. “You know miss, I wanna thank you for what’cha do fer’me every week. It ain’t yer job to be handin’ me money like that, but an old coot like me thinks that it’s mighty nice of’ya! You’re such a sunny lil lady, so I just wannid ta know – how’s life been treatin’ya?” At the very moment that he asked, he removed his shades and gave her a piercing look. His eyes were pools of green curiosity accompanied by a serious look while awaiting her answer.

Linda had her bags in one hand while holding Brianne’s hand with the other. She was completely taken aback by this change of events. He had never asked her anything. She didn’t even know his name for goodness’s sake! However, her mind went to the fiasco that had triggered Donny’s angry outburst the night before, but she was definitely not going to spill her guts to this perfect stranger regardless of how courteous he was. Why was he looking at her that way?

“Oh…well, life’s been treating me just fine…by the way, did I ever get your name?” He answered with a smirk and a nod…”Aw, yeah…the name’s uh – John. You and the lil one can call’me John, yeah…that’s what’the name is.” He smiled and then looked down at his feet which were tapping a rhythm as if to unheard music. “You sure life’s been treatin’ ya okay girl?” Linda was speechless for a moment at his repeated question, but at Brianne’s yell, “SHUN,” Linda stuttered a bit before uttering, “Oh, yeah…I’m – I mean – we’re doing fine. I’m getting ready for a fun day with my baby today, so I’d better be going now.” “Yep, today is fun day fer ya. Make sure that it’s a real good’ern too girl.” John made a funny face at Brianne which made her giggle a bit before Linda walked off; trying not to look as if she was in a hurry to get away. The baby waved at him…Linda turned as she walked away to see John’s big smile as he too waved back at them.

Aside

Bad Blend

I scribbled this down one night while seething in anger. I am looking at it now and it is difficult to read my own handwriting when in that state, but I finally made out the words…here goes.

Bad Blend

My world is my mind,

My life lives in three hearts

My cubbyhole is a box

In which I shall not depart

Although I peek outside

Every now and then

My senses become numb

And can’t say ‘stop’ or ‘when’

Don’t do that again!

After the fire, there are no ashes,

The ‘calm’ disintegrates

I don’t see what I see…

Sad truths are instantly erased

But appeasement

Follows and soothing words sweep up like a broom

The reality of what went wrong

Keeps me from darkest darkness;  impending doom

Though not entranced by shiny objects – rings and things, they all glisten

From sticks to bricks – they all hurt

Except for when I don’t listen

Staying the course can be a many splendor thing

But if not careful, splinters pierce veins

This pain deeply stings

I forgive, but cannot forget

Forgetting is graciously God’s elected job

I am relieved to know that this truth is set

While I without fear violently rob

The thief that comes in

To steal, kill, and destroy

The circle of my love, washed in anxiety

Somehow I maintain naturally induced joy

The spigot of eternity awaits me through dogged faith

I shall remain bold

For fear of becoming lukewarm

As opposed to keeping myself hot and from turning cold

There is a river that flows continually from within

Please let it do what it does –

Undisturbed

To avoid creating new sin

 

This was a little weird for me…I’m still not sure what I was actually trying to express, but I do know that it came from deep inside a burning heart and a mind that was filled with anger and hope all in one mixed up package.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

Free Write Friday|Kellie Elmore – Continual Resort

I have so enjoyed everyone’s short stories from last week’s Free Write Friday|Kellie Elmore’s prompt that I decided to try the free style short story bit out, but couldn’t resist the urge to rhyme so here is a mixture of the two!

Continual Resort

The sound of the rustle of tall weeds awoke him as his eyes opened to a rolling cloud filled with dust which signified the immediate misery that assailed his thoughts upon becoming coherent of his new surroundings. He knew exactly where he was…alone…again. In an attempt to breathe in a sigh of usual acceptance due to the state of his current solitary existence, the humidity in the air stifled the process of inhalation, howbeit; at a relieving exhale, that feeling of deliverance returned as always.

“Well, this is a new one for me…

never thought that here is where I would find myself to be…”

He could feel thick patches of dirt sticking to his back as he raised himself up on one elbow to be still just before sitting up; legs outstretched in front of his weary body. Flailing one hand at his back to knock off the dirt, he noticed that his bare legs had practically baked under the heat of the sun. The smell of his own souring sweat filled extremely dry nostrils, and as if involuntarily, one hand reached up to pick strands of burnt grass – also causing even more grains of dirt to fall from the stickiness of his hair which was now matted with heat, sweat, and natural products of the elements. No birds flew or sang happily overhead as he again raised his eyes to the sky only to be blinded yet comforted by the sun and its brief incapacitating power of causing him to not be able to see what was in front of him. He did not want to see…neither did he want to feel anything now save the heat that seared his skin and the discomfort of the thickness of the hot and lonely atmosphere in this place.

“No pain, no gain

I guess that I should be content, 

but it would be nice to have a little rain.”

Just after this thought escaped his enclosed mind, the long and dusty billowing cloud opened ever so slightly to release a slow pattern of warm to lukewarm raindrops that without warning turned into a tepid downpour; washing away all that previously adhered. This refreshing coolness rejuvenated and strengthened him enough to where he was able to place himself on all fours in order raise momentarily on his knees. At a quick glance at the ground upon becoming upright was when he was struck with the realization that not a stitch of clothing covered his bare, sunburned, and now not so dirty body. The earlier happenings before his arrival here must have been a real doozy, but in this moment – the past did not matter regardless of how late whatever had happened not long ago entailed. His immediate assumption was that his nakedness must have meant that he had succeeded in another escape from an insurmountable pain to which there was no choice but to be catapulted into some other realm in order to keep from totally losing it. He could actually feel the freedom that he so desperately needed to survive and under the welcomed, rainy torrent – feeling stronger now and with outstretched arms, he belted out a solemn sincere prayer under roaring thunder to whomever – be it himself or another who had been the author of his prompt escape from confusion…

“Oooohhh, thank you – I SO needed this,

I have been cleansed – could this be bliss?

Whatever it was, it is now gone,

Though I am alone – my strength is damn strong –

But still, not damned to a living of NO;

Through You – I’ll always have somewhere to go!

Why should I care if it’s there or in this crazy place?

As long as I return while able to save face!”

It seemed as if it had never happened when the rain, wind, thunder at the same time suddenly stopped! All that was left from this particular episode of subconsciously self-endorsed elopement was to the right of him, a small puddle in which he could see his reflection at first sight of turning to look into it. Peering into this nature induced impromptu mirror revealed the faces of an obedient yet mischievous child that morphed into a rebellious but depressed, hurting but creative teen, which finally evolved into the gift, artist, poet, victim, philosopher, warrior, and then – the monster! Not much to his surprise, these changes came in that exact order although he was well aware that each image shown on the water was a true replica of the many facets of himself. Though slightly perturbed at the monstrous side of his reflection, he was still aware that it had been born from his past as well as his presence of which he was at the moment – totally free from. He completely refused to give up this feeling of self-vindication from past woes despite the fact that this rebellious and retaliatory presence was prominent. Now deep in thought at the possibility of the necessity to find a way to cancel out the monster, he suddenly became viciously irate at himself for not having an inkling of an idea of how to go about this much-needed process. He prayed again:

“This must be the calm that comes after the storm,

Why do I see myself as anything but the norm?

Will I ever reach the heart of my true self that was meant?

Or should I just waste the rest of my time not well spent?

Why is the hate so strong –

So prominent in my life?

Could it be from having no mother – no wife?

Regardless, this is not who I truly should be…

My time shall forever be spent finding me.”

With a sense of relief, he stood in full stance…the birds began to fly and sing, a cool breeze made the tall weeds dance.

The dusty cloud now clean split apart revealing blue skies…it’s bright colors drowning out past woes – inner cries.

Taking in a long deep breath from clean air physically and mentally soothed;

Giving new light to a better outlook and the strength to not be moved,

By the pain of abandonment felt by a boy suffering from rejection;

The presence of the man having slaughtered the monster created from constant dejection.

Now exhausted from this journey, he lay himself down and fell into a deep sleep

Covered in tall weeds that made a soft bed temporarily for fresh dreams to keep.

He did not worry at all about his eventual return;

To life where truths hurt and harsh realities burned.

He knew that to continue was the plan to survive;

Knowing that there would always be a continual resort whenever hard times arrived.

 

 

 

It took me a while, but this was truly a blast, thanks to Kellie Elmore rocking the FWF!! 🙂

Aside

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