Archive | November, 2013

Chapter Twenty-Five: The Cabin

24 Nov
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

L C couldn’t wait to see Nathaniel. She was literally bursting with things to tell him. Everything from tentative arraignments with caters for the wedding to the trip to Europe suddenly sprung on her by the Langlins.

She did not have to do much that morning. She had done most of it the night before. Pretty much just get in the car and head up the hill. She expected to be at the cabin by daylight. When she turned off the main road to go up the hill she could just see the outlines of the tree tops against an almost blue sky.

The road started out a potholed blacktop that eventually became gravel that slowly disappeared into well rutted hard dirt. Her headlights showed a strip of tan dirt in front of her bordered by a strip of green that darkened into the deepest black. It was then she saw the figure just as she rounded the corner. She slammed on the brakes, although she had been traveling under fifteen miles per hour.

She would have sworn she had not taken her eyes off the road, but by the time she stopped the figure was gone. She had the impression of a young, gangly male.

Quickly rolling down the window she listened. Something was plowing through the bushes. Clumsy noises, but she wasn’t sure how a scared animal would sound.

L C rolled up the window and went on.

As she turned the next corner she looked back. She would have sworn she saw the same figure in the road watching after her. Then the figure was gone.

L C suddenly had pictures run through her mind of movies she had seen where a lone couple were stranded in a remote place, a country cabin, an island, a mansion, somewhere in the middle of nowhere – Just as she and Nathaniel would be soon – While some pack of punks or killers were hounding them.

And there was no cell phone service up here. And no land line at all.

Should she go back? Anything could happen. Or have happened. Nathaniel could be dead up there in the cabin by now. All bloody and icky. L C shuddered.

She had decided she had watched too many late night movies. Ones where the heroine did something stupid, others where they tried to tell the police something was wrong but the police wouldn’t believe them because they had no proof, and the list went on.

Truth was even if she had clearly seen a gangly teenager on the road there was no reason for the foreboding she felt. None at all.

She had to concentrate not to speed up the old dirt road. She did not want to get stuck and have to walk three miles in.

When she finally reached the cabin the sun was poking its nose out its nighttime blanket and there was color once again in the world. The lights shining from the windows reminded her of a Kinkade painting. She thought of Kinkade as a modern Currier and Ives without the snow. She wondered how either of them managed to get so much detail into a picture.

As soon as she stopped the tiny car the Langlin’s allowed her for her own use and to transport “Little Zena” around in, Nathaniel was at the picturesque door of the cabin and he was opening it.

He looked like what he was, a man who headed his own department: Dark eyes, dark hair, square of face and jaw, neither plump nor muscular, but competent. Business suits looked as natural on him as two piece bathing suits looked on L C The only thing that contrasted with the image of a suave executive was a small scar just behind his left jaw, barely under his left ear that looked like a burn mark.

He explained the scar in a self depreciating manner, “When I was eighteen I thought military life was a lot more adventurous than college plus the promise they would pay for my education when I got out. That is the upside. The downside is that most of military life is boring unless you are getting shot at. Unfortunately it gives a lot of people a free ticket to shoot at you. We were on a mission. We got shot at.” He pointed to the scar, “That is what a close call looks like,” and then he smiled.

He stood at the door smiling now. She was relieved to see him, and literally fell into his arms.

He laughed, “Whoa, babe, I have hot coffee here.”

“I’m just so glad to see you.” Now she felt silly discussing a young man she wasn’t even sure she saw when everything seemed so normal and safe.

By the time they had finished breakfast she had forgotten about it. They discussed the Langlin’s emergency trip and he seemed more interested in understanding why they needed to make it than in whether she should go or not. She could not get a straight answer out of him whether she should go or not or how he felt about her going and she was becoming frustrated.

When they were ready to go swimming she suddenly had a picture of a bunch of young hoodlums hiding in the bushes watching them. No telling what they might be planning. She told  Nathaniel about the young man but he seemed unconcerned.

“Not much chance they would get up this far. If they drove up we can hear them. Nobody walks that far now days.”

Hearing it put that way made L C laugh at herself and her fears.

Still she did not take out her skimpiest two piece bathing suit. She wore the one with the over skirt and semi jacket top. Intended as a quick cover up so a gal could go straight from a dip to the night club without really changing, or vice versa. Quick–on–the–draw modesty if needed.

The river here walked softly around a little elbow that served them as a pond, pouring in from more shallow, faster waters, and disappearing into shallower, faster waters providing a nice background of tinkly white noise that helped comfort and relax.

A frog on the bank announced himself.

Right here was a pool sized area of peace and calm that was deep and slow, reflecting the green of the trees and the blue of the sky while still allowing them to see the fish scurry away when they approached too close.

Once she had looked up and seen a deer looking back at her.

There were no deer today, but there were plenty of chirping birds, the rustling of leaves, and the smell of fresh growing things. Soon she had forgotten every worry in the world.

Laughing and racing up to the cabin they both looked at the door at the same time. It was open. They both stopped laughing. They both stopped moving. They looked at the door, then they looked at each other. Nathaniel motioned for her to wait, but she chose to follow close behind him instead. He became intent on what he was doing and ignored her. She knew he was watching ahead of them so she tried to watch everywhere else, just in case, so on one could sneak up behind them.

To herself she cursed the fact there was no cell service up here.

He pushed the door open slowly. He looked through the crack by the hinges to see if anyone was waiting behind the door. They weren’t.

L C wondered if it would not be a better idea to just get in the car and go, but felt it was a bad idea to distract him. After all he was the one who had been in combat, not her. Still … Leaving a situation that could turn in any direction imaginable seemed like the best idea to her.

Pictures of possibilities ran through her mind. Whoever was here could have tampered with the car. Leaving them stranded inside and even more vulnerable to whoever was outside of it.

They could get in the car and drive to the police station, or at least a phone. Leaving whoever was here alone and safe to rifle the place, take what they wanted and be gone for up to three or four hours. Plenty of time to do anything they wished.

Get the police up here only to go inside and discover the door had been opened by a raccoon who was inside calmly munching potato chips.

It gave L C a feeling of confidence when Nathaniel strode over to the fireplace and grabbed the fireplace poker with a sure hand, no diffidence. He held it, not like a baseball bat, but with his hands spread shoulder width apart, like a man who had held similar instruments before and was able to use it.

There was no one in the house. Nothing was missing. Things had been moved around as though someone had been looking for something, but what?

They searched themselves. Pictures were moved, furniture was moved. But none of the drawers had been opened, places where  a normal thief would look first. A chest of drawers had been moved away from the wall, otherwise it was undisturbed. As L C started to shove it back into place she looked down and saw the edge of an oblong wooden box underneath. It had been stuck underneath where it would not be seen without knowing where it was at.

She pulled the box out and looked at it. It looked similar to an old-time cigar box. Inside was a revolver. It was almost as long as her forearm. She took it out. It wasn’t loaded. The bullets were in a box of their own below the barrel. She turned it over. On the barrel was stamped “Smith and Wesson” and underneath “44 magnum.”

She looked to the door they had entered: To the fire-place: To the chest of drawers. The fireplace was on the far side of the room. The chest, and the gun, was almost within reach of the door. He could have had the pistol out, loaded, and ready in almost the same amount of time it took to get the poker. The revolver would have provided a lot more security; so why hadn’t he gotten it instead of heading to the poker?

L C held it up for Nathaniel to look at.

“This yours?”

“No. Not mine. Never saw it before.”

She laid the revolver, the box, and the bullets out on the top of the chest for him to look at.

“I let a friend of mine use this cabin every once in a while.”

“Why would he need a gun like that in a quiet nook like this?”

“He probably carries that when he hunts bear. He just forgot to take it back with him.”

“What do I do with it?”

“Put it back.” He showed no further interest.

“What about whoever ransacked the cabin?”

“What about them? Probably just that kid you saw.”

“What if they come back?”

Nathaniel shook his head, “He won’t. We scared him off. That is why the door was open. We were noisy. He heard us laughing and high tailed it. I think there is another cabin a few miles from here. Maybe he will hit that if he finds it.”

“Should we call the police and tell them?”

“Tell them what? There is a kid wandering around who didn’t steal anything? Who may or may not find another cabin to ransack? They won’t want to come all the way out here for that. They will ask us to go in to make a report. The last thing I want is to spend half a day sitting in a police station over nothing.”

She agreed, but the fun of the day was somehow gone.

Later, as they were eating breakfast she mentioned the odd incident she had at Stanhouser’s Market. He listened intently, chewing on his food. He said nothing until she had nothing more to say on the subject.

When she was finished he pushed his plate back. After a minute’s consideration he said, “This weekend has gotten off to a horrible start. I suggest we try again next weekend. Or maybe I will meet you and we can go somewhere else. There is a little town I haven’t been to in a while. Maybe we could go there.”

“How about we could go there now?” L C felt her eyes click and felt a stab of emotion go through herself. She had planned on this entire day and night alone with Nathaniel and did not want to let go of it.

“No. I think I need to go clear some things up. And I think you should go with the Langlins tomorrow. It will do you good.”

“In that case I will go now,” she said, feeling abandoned for the second time in the same week. And she did, leaving the dirty dishes on the table and in the sink for him to clean up.

(c) 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter Twenty-Four: The Briefcase

17 Nov
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

 

 

Lonnie was smart. He knew he was smart. He had always known he was smart. When he put his mind to it. Course he didn’t always put his mind to it. Most things weren’t worth putting your mind too.

His mother and father. They were wrong. Yeah. Way wrong. They said the drugs he had used had killed off all his brain cells and he would never be as smart as he used to be again. But they were so wrong. Even while he was on drugs he was smart and he had proved it.

Course he had to do something after he saw what had happened to Cody. Even his stuck up parents would probably wanted at least a joint if they’d seen what he had.

Too bad he couldn’t tell them how smart he was but then he would have to tell them all the rest and that would not be a good idea. No it would not.

After he found the body he headed over to Cody’s house as fast as he could and cleared out everything that was incriminating. Cody didn’t live in a real house. He lived in a garage that wasn’t even attached to the main house. If you knew how, and Lonnie did, you could go in and out through the alley without anyone seeing you.

The alley was unpaved and hadn’t been gravelled in years. It was passable if you had an older model car that wasn’t so close to the ground. Bushes grew untrimmed. They would scratch the sides of the car so you wouldn’t want to take a new one down it anyway. The bushes afforded plenty of hiding places, great to disappear into if the cops were looking for you.

A perfect place for someone who bought and sold drugs or worked for the CIA.

After he got the most obvious stuff out he started on stuff where a CIA agent might conceal something important as something innocent. Even if he thought it might not be incriminating but it might be he cleared it all out. All the electronics, cameras, computers, every DVD, CD, papers. He got everything out of the house as fast as he could.

Then he started taking stuff just because he could. After all Cody wouldn’t need it any more and Lonnie was his best friend.

Cody wouldn’t even care if all he did was trade the stuff off for drugs. Hey, they were friends, right? Cody would want him to get high, wouldn’t he?

It was starting to get dark and he was going back for another load. When he saw movement.

Lonnie discounted the police. They would go in the front way. Might be somebody about a drug deal though and Lonnie did not want anyone to see him here. He ducked behind a bush and waited.

It wasn’t a druggie and it wasn’t the police. It was Mr. Penn. He was looking for a back way into Cody’s garage. Eventually he found it.

As soon as he did Lonnie slipped past the way he had come and looked for a car that did not belong. It didn’t take him long to find it. It was the same car he had followed when he tailed Cody and the CIA agent out to the safe house. On the front seat was a briefcase.

Lonnie didn’t see any need for subtlety. If you parked a car looking like that in a neighborhood looking like this you were asking for trouble. Might as well give him some.

He picked up a rock. Smashed the window. Grabbed the briefcase. Stepped back into the alley and faded into the bushes. He had to stop himself from giggling as the car burst into a horn honking, light flashing, rooting tooting complaint over the intrusion.

If anyone had bothered to look, by the time they had, Lonnie would have already been safely concealed. In this neighborhood no one would admit to seeing anything anyway.

Two minutes later Mr. Penn came running down the alley to see to his car.

Thirty seconds later he stood in front of the smashed window naming the people who did this to him every swear word in the unprinted dictionary.

Lonnie thought to himself, “A man in a suit shouldn’t even know those words.”

 

 

© 2013 All Rights Reserved

Chapter Twenty-Three: Hurry!

9 Nov
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

 

L C’s first shock was discovering, depending on the household, the servants, and the nanny herself, her position occupied a sort of no-man’s-land between servant and family.

Being introduced to the staff was formal, which did not surprise her. Mrs. Langlin told the assembled servants, “This is L C Davenport. She is to be our new nanny. I wish that you make her as comfortable as possible.” She then went on to introduce each servant by occupation and name. Names and occupations L C forgot as soon as she heard them.

She did notice for the first time that Mrs. Langlin sometimes talked “funny”, or “from a superior postition”. It was later she was to discover that good English, such as L C spoke, was not sufficient for associating with people of certain classes. Correct English was a must. This meant knowing, and using, the subjunctive tense where appropriate – A tense L C’s English teacher had told the class was archaic and almost unused. What it meant in its simplest terms was that while L C had never heard anyone in her life say, “If I were you,” Mrs. Langlin would find it almost impossible to use the incorrect, “If I was you.”

Then Mrs. Langlin told L C, “Please make yourself at home while Guinny naps.” and promptly disappeared.

When L C turned around so had the rest of the staff.

The house was huge. It was also beautiful, but L C preferred to go outside and look at the property. On the back porch she met the butler. She could not remember his name, but his uniform was unmistakable. He was muscular, not portly, but managed to look like he was born into the uniform suit of a butler.

She smiled at him.

He did not return it. “Anything I can do for you miss?”

“My name is L C. You aren’t old enough to call me miss. I’m not sure you are older than I am.”

“The last person who held your job felt it would be presumptuous of the staff to call her by her first name.”

L C laughed. “Presumptuous?” She did a small pirouette. “Sounds like she thought she was better than everyone else.”

“That she did, miss.”

“Miss. There is no one else around. Do we have to be formal with each other? Am I supposed to call you ‘Master Butler’ or something.”

“No. Nor do Mr. and Mrs. Langlin care so long as there are no outsiders around. So long as it is respectful.”

“So can you respectfully call me L C? I mean it can’t be that much different from working in a beauty salon. Everyone does their job to keep the business going, right?”

“You worked in a beauty salon?”

“No. My aunt works for Jessica Bain in her beauty salon.”

“I see. I have met her. Very nice lady.”

“So tell me, isn’t a nanny part of the staff?”

He looked at her oddly. “L C is it? Each letter pronounced separately? Let us go to the kitchen and have a cup of coffee. I think you would like to meet Missy Mousy the cook.”

“Missy Mousy?”

“We call her that. Partly because she looks so mousy, and partly because she refers to all her ex-boyfriends as frogs.”

He was right about her looks. She was a squarish woman who looked like she would climb into a cupboard and hide if anyone said “Boo.” The kitchen itself was warm, friendly, and smelled of fresh bread. The butler, who said he had been called Bixby by everyone he’d known for as long as he could remember led her to an immaculate table reserved for those Missy Mousy allowed into her kitchen.

She made no bones about her dislike of the prior nanny.

Later, when Mrs. Langlin came into the kitchen she found L C at the end of the counter happily peeling carrots. Her only comment was, “I do not believe I have ever in my life seen a nanny do that.” Guinevere was scraping up the peelings and putting them away.

“But Mrs. Langlin, helping in the kitchen is part of being a girl. May I bring Guinevere down here some time and help her bake cookies?” L C and Guinevere grinned at each other.

Mrs. Langlin eyed the cook, “How do you feel about this, Martha?”

“Every little girl should know how to make cookies, ma’am.” Missy Moussy answered without looking up from the dough she was rolling out. Her voice was tentative.

“Then I see no harm in it.” She turned back to L C “Please have Guinny to the pool in half an hour. Do you swim?”

“Yes, but I don’t have a swimsuit here.”

“Check in the bathhouse. There is bound to be one that fits you.”

Nowadays L C and the rest of the staff were very much like family, and she was learning new things every day. Such as the front door. It was a huge thing, brass decorated, double, and always opened by the butler. Her predecessor had insisted on using it as her right. The Langlins could have told her not too, but did not, and Bixby could have complained, but he would not. When L C got to know him better she teased him about his aversion to using contractions when he talked, but he never relented and never used words like “didn’t” or “can’t” in place of “did not” or “can not”.

L C went around to the side door and entered like the rest of the servants. It was a pleasant Saturday morning.

The second she opened the door she could feel the charge of excitement in the air even though no one was around. There was no one in the kitchen either. That was the most unusual, there was always someone in the kitchen.

Guinevere came rushing in, yelling and dive bombing L C. “You are gonna go, aren’t you? You gotta go. Mommy said it is up to you.”

“Whoa. What are we talking about? Go where? When?”

Little Guinny jumped out of L C’s arms as quickly as she had landed in them and ran off yelling, “Mommy, mommy, mommy.”

L C followed.

“Oh, there you are.” Mrs. Langlin was wiping her hands. She was a naturally svelte woman who did not need clothing to make her look slimmer, more professional, or more sophisticated, yet all of her clothes were privately tailored to do just that. “I know I told you we would give you advance notice when left on trips, to give you time to put whatever you needed in order, but something really important has come up and we have to leave to Europe on a flight Monday. I do hope you can come with us and Little Guinny is looking so forward to you being with us.”

L C was taken aback and said nothing.

“We will be gone some time. At least a month. We need to stop at Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and end up in England.”

“I, uh, I see my fiance tomorrow morning.”

“I am sure he will not mind. It will be a wonderful opportunity for you to see places you have not seen yet and meet new people. Now if you will excuse me I have a trillion things to do. Perhaps you could take Guinny to your Aunt and have her hair done. It will give her a feeling of being grown up and getting ready for the trip while keeping her from underfoot.”

“Certainly, ma’am.”

She rounded up her small charge and headed to Jessica Bain’s beauty salon. Under normal circumstances L C would have loved the idea of cavorting off to Europe, even on the shortest of notices. But she was in the middle of making plans to get married.

How was he going to feel about that?

How did she want him to feel about that?

Her mother would tell her to go. She wanted to go. All of her aunts would think she should go, especially Aunt Emerald who would insist nothing should stand in her way.

But should she?

L C had one eye on a magazine, the other watching Little Guinny to make sure she did not get into anything. Everyone seemed to know her and everyone seemed to love her. Including her aunt’s odd colored parakeet, named Tabby. The colors of its Peaches, gold, grey, brown, and white, did somehow look like a tabby cat.

Guinny wandered around talking to the staff and the patrons as though she were in fact the owner making everyone feel at home. And she always studiously watched what people were doing and how they were doing it.

Guinny had been having a quiet conversation with an elderly blue haired lady when the woman said distinctly, “You are not allowed to watch that show, remember.”

“Am so.”

L C put away her magazine, neatly on a stack of others, and went to them. “Hello. I’m L C, Guinevere’s nanny.” L C thought about saying “Her new nanny,” But then thought better of it. L C wasn’t a new or an old anything. As of now she was Guinevere’s nanny.

“I see. Her last nanny would not allow her to see that Zena show. She said it was way too violent.”

“I think it does a girl good to be exposed to the idea of a woman being just as capable as a man in a man’s world.”

“What a name to call herself though. Zena. A so-called warrior princess. What kind of a self-image is that?”

“What kind of a self-image is the name Guinevere to live up to? She was the husband of King Arthur and was the lover of his best friend, Sir Lancelot.”

“You seem to have strong opinions.”

“There is no point in having weak ones.”

“Is Guinevere a bad name?” Piped the little voice from below. The old lady looked at L C as though to ask, “So how are you going to handle this?”

L C smiled, “It is a wonderful name, honey. But you are not your name. It is just something you have, like a dress or a car or a house. Zena would be Zena even if she were named Guinevere and Guinevere would be herself even if she had been named Tom.”

The old lady nodded. “You must have Emerald as your hair dresser. She talks like that.”

“Emerald is my aunt.”

“Then there is no point discussing anything with you. Much as I love Emerald, and I know she is brilliant, and a wonderful beautician. The sad fact is she does not have a reasonable bone in her body.”

 

 

 

 

© 2013  All Rights Reserved

 

Chapter Twenty -Two: One Down and Counting

3 Nov
BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading  TheMapThinker.com

BTW when you are done reading this chapter. If you think thinking is fun; if you think philosophy should be for everyone try reading TheMapThinker.com

Damn. That was a haul. Guns. Drugs. Ammunition. And the way he acted he was not legit. He was a drug dealer, or a burglar, or something else on the sly. Which is what I waited so patiently for. Someone alone, with guns, who had something to hide.

Waiting paid off.

Pretty sure I killed him. But did that count?

It wasn’t face to face. Somehow that was very unsatisfying. It did not feel real. And when my target died it had to be face to face. He had to know who killed him and why. Otherwise it would be just like shooting a deer during hunting season. It would not be personal. It would be “just business.”

Okay, that guy may be dead and I may have done it, but I’m not going to count it. I need to do it and tell them face to face why they are dying.

I shot a couple of animals. That was easy. Explaining to them why they were dying was silly so I skipped that part. Although some of them just stood and looked me in the eye while I pointed the revolver at them. That was a bit creepy.

However I went ahead and pulled the trigger.

She was different though. And so easy to get in the car. I just drove up. There was no one else around but the two of us. She was dressed on the trampy side, enough to make a man look at her, but a lot of girls who weren’t in her business dressed a lot more provocative.

I knew she worked the corners because I had spent a lot of time cruising around and watching. I was getting worried because time was getting short. I needed to get it done before it was too late. But I did not want to pick one of the trades girls up when people were around to see.

So easy to get her in the car. “Do you want to help out a virgin,” I asked, smiling.

“Hey, Honey, virgins cost extra. Five hundred dollars, one hour tops.”

I pulled a big wad of bills from my pocket, rolled them into a tube bigger than my hand and stuffed them into the cup holder between the seats.

“Half hour and you will be finished,” I told her with a straight face. She slid in the passenger seat. Peeled off five hundred dollars and put the rest back. “Where we going?” she asked.

“Little place right off the road. Five minutes away.”

I drove behind an old house. The owners were gone visiting a sick family member. She didn’t say anything as we got out. She did not comment the back porch floor was covered in plastic. That was so I could wrap her up in it later and no blood stains would be left.

I pretended to be reaching for a key. Instead I was getting the revolver.

(C) 2013, All Rights Reserved
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ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

War By Other Means

Politics & Philosophy

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

stillness of heart

MUSINGS : CRITICISM : HISTORY : PASSION

The Guilty Preacher Man

abandoned illustrations

matchtall

A tall women amazon model WordPress.com sit

Three Wise Guys

Best not to think about it

Mister G Kids

A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

The Judy-Jodie and Kelli Memorial Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Financial Life Coach

Your Financial Life Coach

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Dysfunctional Literacy

Just because you CAN read Moby Dick doesn't mean you should.

Top 10 of Anything and Everything - The Fun Top Ten Blog

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

ajrogersphilosophy

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Thoughts

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