Monday, April 30, 2012

Writing Prompt - Flower

When Claire rowed the boat up to the beach, she was exhausted. She prided herself for being in good shape, but nothing could prepare her for the strenuous rowing expedition she just pulled off. She worked harder than the brief time she had a fitness trainer yelling at her, another get-in-shape-fast scheme that didn’t fare well. Nothing made you move faster than when you thought you were running for life, away from a murderous honeymooner. She jumped out the boat, her bag over her body crisscrossed, so she wouldn't lose it this time. She spotted Nancy on the beach coming toward her.
            "I've never been so glad to see someone I know," Claire blurted out as she hugged her friend almost knocking them down on the sand.
            "What happened? This better be good, Tess O’Neal's workshop on police procedurals is about to start in a few minutes. I wanted to go to that."
            "I could've been killed, Nance. You can order the cd later. I might be involved in a real police procedural. Real, as in real life." She stomped off toward the hotel with Nancy on her heels.
            "Well are you going to tell me what happened?"
            Claire stopped in her tracks and looked around.  "I don't want anyone overhearing me. I think I might've walked in a murder."
            "What? What did you see and who was killed?"
            "You know the honeymoon couple at the hotel..." Claire recanted her encounter on the island in a low voice to Nancy.
            The two picked up the pace and walked into the plush hotel. The inside was just as beautifully decorated as the outside grounds. The spacious lobby and surrounding walkways were layered with island trees, native sculptures and wood carved furnishings that looked as though were designed for royalty. The two women walked through the busy lobby towards the elevator bank. Claire saw a few familiar faces in the crowd, and would normally join them, but instead she ducked into an elevator hoping they didn't see her. She needed time to unwind and process what had happened. Nancy was right beside her, too stunned to say anything.

            Nancy had her card key in hand when they reached the door and quickly swiped it open. Claire walked into the room and knew exactly what she wanted, she went to small refrigerator they requested for their room and pulled out the bottle of red wine, half full from the night before.
"I don't care if it's before noon, its four o'clock somewhere in the world. After all that, blood…I need a drink to relax."
            "Don’t' close that," Nancy reached for the bottled before Claire re-corked it. "After hearing that story, I could use a drink too."
            The two discussed what they should do next. Claire was afraid she'd been seen, and didn't want to do anything to put herself in danger. While Nancy protested that she didn't really know what she saw. She needed proof before she could do anything.
            A knock at the door startled them both, and then Nancy laughed walking to the door. She looked through the peephole and saw what appeared to be a man holding a bouquet of exotic island flowers in front of his face.
            "Who is it?" Asked Claire, sloshing her wine around in the plastic wine glass.
            "I don't know. Someone's holding flowers. Who is it?" Nancy asked from behind the closed door.
            “Special delivery for Claire.”

            Claire heard the voice from the hall and almost dropped her glass. "Oh no, it's Sam. Just what I need to complicate things." She went to the door, and looked through the peep hole. She saw the flowers hiding his face, but his well-toned body was in full view. She recognized the fashionable black jeans he sported like a uniform, and wore so well she didn't mind seeing them every day. But not today.

She opened the door, and he extended the flowers to her, "A peace offering before you resume the last fight we had," he said as he strolled in the room as if he owned it.  He reached over to plant a small kiss on Claire cheek.
            "Thank you, they're beautiful." He quickly kissed the other cheek before she had a chance to object. "What did you do, just get back from France or something?"
            "No, your cheek just called out to me."
            Sam Stewart a successful author of thrillers and spy novels. He and Claire met at a writer’s group, critiqued each other’s work and even collaborated on a couple of stories together while on their road to publication. Along the way they also had a brief relationship, which Sam thought ended a little too soon.

            While Sam and Claire got caught up, Nancy noticed a message light on the room phone on the night table. She picked up the receiver to hear the message. “This message is for Nancy Wells,” said a muffled voice with wind in the background. “Whatever you think you saw on the little island today, you’re mistaken, so just please go about your business and forget about it, and I’ll forget about you.” The call ended and she almost dropped the phone.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Island Surprise Continues

Tuesday Tales story using car, limo as writing prompt

Claire stood behind the lush tropical trees, held her breath and watched the bridegroom as he finally walked away in the opposite direction. Great, Claire thought. Hopefully she could get back to the boat without being seen. She retraced her steps and hurried back to the beach.

While she ran through the jungle, her bag strap caught on a branch, drawing Claire and her bag back like a sling shot. Her bag turned upside down, fell and spilled most of its contents. She reached down, tossed her lunch and notebook back in the bag as quickly as she could. She rose to her feet and continued on her way back to the beach. But wait a minute. Things didn’t look quite the way she remembered. She stopped again, breathing deeply from running and tried to get her bearings. She got turned around when she picked up her things. Claire tried her best to remember which direction she came from. Did she make a right turn?  She hoped this was the correct way. All of a sudden she came upon a banana tree she recalled seeing earlier, and practically wanted to reach around and hug it.

A few yards later she was at the beach and saw the little row boat waiting for her. She dragged the boat in the water, and bruised her legs a bit as she jumped in. She threw her canvas messenger bag down next to her, picked up the oars and rowed as fast as she could away from the island headed towards the big island. After she was more than what she estimated shooting distance to be from the island, she put one of the oars down and fished her smart phone out of her bag. Thrilled to see signal bars, she speed dialed Nancy her friend and roommate for the conference.

            “Hey, where are you? You’re missing a great buffet. The workshops are going to start soon,” Nancy cell yelled over the phone with loads of ambient sound in the background.
            “I’m in a row boat, making my way back to the shore. I think I’m running for my life. Can you meet me in a few minutes at the beach behind the hotel?” Claire continued to row with the phone cradled between her chin and shoulder.
            “Sure, I’ll meet you. What do mean running for your life? Did they have cocktails at that island, because you sound a bit strange?”
            “No, there were no cocktails, at least not for me. I might be exaggerating a little, because I’m very excited. I saw something that scared me to death.”
            “All right, I’ll be there soon. Relax, you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately. I was hoping this conference could act as a mini vacation for us.”
            “Yeah me too, till I think I might’ve walked in on a murder.”
            “A what? Oh, come on out here in paradise. I’ll be there soon.”
            Claire said bye, tapped end call and tossed her phone in her bag and continued on her way.
            As Claire paddled on, she recalled the last time she saw the newlywed couple. Last night as she, Nancy and Barbara Reynolds another writing buddy, were entering the hotel, the couple were leaving in a limo. She recalled it must be nice traveling first class on your honeymoon. She thought they were probably going out on the town for dinner since they had no luggage.
             Back on the little island, Dan Roberts stood the beach with the towel around his neck. He watched as the small white row boat raced across the inlet to the other shore. He marveled at how fast the woman was traveling.
He was totally unaware that she was on the island, and wondered what she saw. He reached in his pocket, and pulled out the pen he found on the ground on his way to the beach. It was a purple ball point pen with flashy black and blue stars, the copy on the pen read Nancy Wells, paranormal romance with a twist, Midnight Rising. She must be here for that writer’s conference.
“I’ll be seeing you, Nancy.” Dan put the pen in his pocket as he watched the tiny boat disappear.

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