Who is killing me with kindness and how have they done this dastardly deed? My delightful friend and supporter, Sheri Degrom, and with two blog awards.
The first award, the Word Press Family Award is a relatively new award. It was developed by Shaun of http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com.
The second award is the Dragon’s Loyalty Award.
Sheri was kind enough to write and advise me she felt compelled to send me not one but two awards on the same day. Read her post for the explanation of each award.
I pass these along to anyone who feels they have earned said awards. Be my guest please. However, you are not permitted to “ping back” either of these or any other awards to me for the rest of your natural life, so help you Hannah.
Five or ten or seven things … interesting or boring facts you don’t know about me. As if I haven’t shared enough?
Okay … I don’t like chocolate. So there. I don’t care if most females wallow in chocolate when they are depressed. I only eat chocolate once a year at Christmas and then it had better be Belgian and expensive or keep it.
I often skip to the end of a book and with kindle I fast forward the arrow to the end. Why? Because some books aren’t that interesting but the damn plot gets me hooked.
You can ditch the birthday cake and give me a giant tub of butter cream. I could actually dive in head first and eat my way up … boy wasn’t that a double entendre??
I’d rather travel cross country in an RV, on a train, take a paddle boat the entire length of the Missippissi or go on a river ride down the Colorado River than go to Paris.
I have a secret love affair with all things cowboy. Strange? Yes, for a Brooklyn kid that is truly strange. But my father, the naturalized American citizen was the biggest cowboy fan I’ve ever met. And a bow-legged true life cowboy reached out and pulled my son from near self-destruction … thanks Billy.
For at least half of my adult life I was a closet conservative. Sorry, but that’s what they call survival.
I think women have every right to lie about their age. We get discarded by Madison Avenue soon enough. If you look younger, why spoil the moment with the truth?
I never told the truth about my chronological age. When I was younger, I lied and said I was older. When I got older, I lied and said I was younger. In the spirit world I am the eternal child.
There you have it, several boring or inconsequential facts about me you could have lived a lifetime not knowing.
Next week I will do one of my Rambling blog posts where I discuss a variety of writing issues, including a relevant discussion on the journey to publication by my best blog friend, Christi Corbett.
This week’s prompt was contributed by Casey Clifford, a warm, sensitive and talented writer who has given me inspiration and the hope that no matter what the odds, we make it when we decide to never give up. Thanks, Casey.
Her sentence is: 2 AM–I killed two people today.
Bath Beach, Brooklyn … 1983
The three girls sat in a circle in Katelyn’s attic bedroom. Today Evelyn, two years younger and the baby of the three, celebrated her thirteenth birthday.
Kate sat between the other two and said, “We are all now officially teenagers.”
Eve asked, “Can’t we cut the cake first, Kate?”
“Blood oath now, cake later.”
The other two knew, Eve was the one they had to protect. The eternal innocent, Eve trusted too easily, too fast, and never saw trouble until it ran over her.
Eve furrowed her brow. “Is it gonna hut?”
Katelyn, the natural leader and the brightest of the trio, was the one they knew would make it at anything she felt like doing. And what Katelyn felt like doing was making more money than any of them could imagine.
Kate produced a pin and a pack of matches. “Naw, you won’t feel a thing.”
Brenda jabbed her in the ribs. “Don’t lie to the kid.”
Brenda, dark and sensual, and built beyond a young boy’s fantasies, knew even then how to make them pay for it. Jaded, Brenda only trusted the two sitting with her today.
“Zip your drawers.” Kate returned the jab. “We are going to take a blood oath.”
After she properly sterilized the pin, Kate grabbed each of their hands, and before they could protest, pricked each finger, then her own. For a silent moment, they sat with their fingers pressed to each other, their blood symbolically mingling.
“Now, we are sisters. And no matter what happens, no matter where we go, we will always be bound by blood.”
“Cut the damn cake.” A cloud of smoke billowed from Brenda’s long filtered cigarette. “I’ve got places to go.”
Eve sucked on her finger and sniffled. “I love you guys. Promise me you’ll always be there no matter what.”
Brenda and Katelyn said in unison. “No matter what.”
Monterey, California-Twenty-five years later …
Kate sat on the terrace that hung over the cliffs in the back of her house. For twenty-four hours she had been unable to quiet the white noise that buzzed inside her brain. She paced and worried. “Christ’s Church, Eve.”
She thought about her sisters and their blood oath. The memory of that afternoon was like the indelible ink her mother used to write on her clothes when she went to camp. No matter how many times those clothes were washed, the printing remained stubbornly on the inside labels. Memories, she knew, were like her old camp clothes, indelibly inked into the brain.
She fingered the letter. It was 2AM “I killed two people today.”
Eve’s plea for help came exactly twenty-four hours after Kate had completed one contract and accepted the next. She had already booked a flight to Honolulu with a connecting flight to Hong Kong.
Promises to blood sisters were like her contracts, they were irreversible and absolute. She tried Mica’s number again and left another message.
Like millions of people, Eve had never ventured farther than five square miles from where she was born in Brooklyn. She married a boy she met in high school, had four kids in four years, and spent endless hours in various emergency rooms for the next twenty years.
Brenda had used her beauty and considerable charm to marry and divorce two men who paid well to have her keep their secrets. Brenda was very good at collecting and keeping men’s secrets, especially the kind hidden behind closed bedroom doors. After shedding husband number two, she intended to sink her roots into the newly ploughed soil of her latest conquest.
Kate used the excesses of her generation to amass a fortune. Kate was an expert, the agency’s “cleaner.” If another contractor made a mess of a job, she cleaned up and “fired” the contractor.
Kate flipped open her cell and dialed. “Brenda, we’ve got to get to her now.”
“So what happened to Hong Kong?”
Kate folded her legs under her and lifted her airline ticket. She should have been headed to the airport, and not pulled into a vortex of teenage promises. But she knew they had to rescue their little sister.
“Fuck, Hong Kong.”
“You’re giving up a deal for the kid?”
“I’m doing another deal pro bono,” She flipped the ticket in the trash. “Get her out of the hospital before he finds her again.”
“Where should we meet?”
“Take her to my grandparents’ cabin in the Catskills and wait for me.”
“Stupid kid loves him.” Kate heard Brenda let out a long sigh. “Kate?”
“You can’t love a rabbit dog.”
Kate was packing when Mica finally called. She told him what had happened and what she needed. “I don’t like this Kate. You get involved in something personal and you’ll blow your cover.”
She finished packing her carry-on. “Can you make the drop for me by tomorrow or not?”
“I’ll take care of it through the usual channels.” He asked, “Can you make a connection from New York?”
“No, damn it. Take me off the grid for a few weeks. You owe me.”
Mica delivered the package as promised. This time there was no hefty deposit into an off shore account. She considered this job a labor of love. “And long overdue.”
A month later, she got a call from Mica. “How did it go?”
She walked out to her grandparents’ porch and looked out at the wide mountain lake. “I did a Hoffa on him.”
“Your services are needed elsewhere.”
Kate looked into the cabin at her blood sisters. There was a part of her that wanted to stay and enjoy the rest of the summer in the mountains. But duty called and the money was good. “I can make it to O’Hare by mid morning tomorrow.”
Eve was on the sofa, still foggy from the pain killers. “What will I do now?”
They sat on either side of their little sister and Brenda said. “You’ll stay here for a while. Then we’ll set you up in North Carolina with your daughter.”
Kate laughed. “Tell her a rich friend died and left you a bundle.”
Tears spilled onto Eve’s cheeks. “Ah you guys are the best.”
Kate nodded. “Yep. I get paid to be the best.”
How far would you go to protect a friend?
And pray … tell me one little known fact about yourself.
fOIS In The City
Each month, I will feature another flash fiction from the sentences contributed in April. A recap is in the feature page above my header.