As a writer you know you are going to have days where you need to back away from your project and take a breather. It comes with the territory. Let's face it, we all need a break. After a few days, or however long it takes, you come back to it with all sorts of ideas. Fresh eyes are best, right?
Well, what happens when you do take that brake only to stare blankly at the paper in front of you or eye-twitch the computer screen. You’re sure the flashing cursor is mocking your blank mind. "Ha, ha, ha," it says. "You thought you could do this but you can't!" Cue face slamming to desktop.
You see posts on Facebook from pages of other authors talking about how they are moving forward with their projects; editors, publishing, release days and …. wait, what? You are going to send to an editor? Already?
Yeah, I've been there. In fact, I'm there right now. I keep staring at the next chapter. Blankly staring at the chapters. I keep wondering if I've even made the right decision to write. I don't know what I'm doing! What if no one ends up liking it? What if I'm wasting my time? Is what I'm writing even worth the headaches it's giving me? What if I keep at it and finally publish only to find out that no one wants to read it? *eeeekkk*
Scary, right? It almost makes you want to put that pen down right now and say, "I give!" But, wait! It doesn't have to be that way. Maybe you just need the break. Look, we've all been there. I thought I had this thing handled until I realized I needed to dial it in and when I did *slam* <—– that was/is me….walking head first into a brick wall. I'm so lost right now. I feel as if I could walk away from it forever and no one would care. Who am I to think I could possibly produce anything worthy of your time? Time is, after all, precious these days. It should be worth it. It should be gripping, suspenseful, tug at your emotions a little, fun…and if I don't think it is, you won't think it is. *insert sad face*
Look, the last time I checked, we're all human. We all have emotions, we all have feelings. Yes, there will be moments of doubt, that's natural, none of us are perfect. But, don't stop writing. Taking a break is fine, but always come back. You can’t get better without practice. And know that you aren't alone.
So, go write because you have a story to tell and I want to read it. Even if it's just a few words you get down, that's okay. Because those few words will still be more than what was there the day before.
Hmmmm, that is an interesting question. Why do I write? We all do it for different reasons. It sure isn't for money because I have yet to publish and I know it will take lots and lots of time before I make any money off my books, if any at all. And we all have our own take on what drives us to write. Yet, I do it everyday and I enjoy it. So, I'd like to share what drives me.
I WRITE BECAUSE I CAN CREATE
I love listening to a song and just imagining a moment. Example: I was listening to Missy Higgins song Secret (which I L.O.V.E., by the way, you should go listen to it) and I couldn't help but let my mind drift. I imagined a couple meeting in a small town. They find they have a lot in common and before they know it, they fall in love. When she finds out he's running from something and has a sinister past that comes back to haunt him, it's too late for her to get out. She's in too deep. Before she knows it she's involved in things she'd never dreamed of; a cover up, a scandal, and a murder that wasn't supposed to happen. The guitar pinging in the background of the song flashes images of gunfire, car chases, running and darkness surrounding them as they bury a body in the woods.
You've got a secret...don't cha babe?
See what happened there? Go listen to it...tell me what the song tells you.
I WRITE BECAUSE I GET TO CONTROL WHAT HAPPENS
No, I'm not a control freak. ...Really, I'm not... *shifty eyes* But, isn't it nice to set your story somewhere you want? What if you wanted to learn more about New York. Well, heck set it in New York and get to the internet. Imagine every thing you'll learn about a place you'd love to visit! Or maybe you want your main character to have different profession than you. What if you always wanted to be a doctor or an airplane pilot? Or maybe you'd like the small town girl to get the rich city boy to pay attention to her. You get to live through your characters, it's so much fun!
I WRITE TO PLAY MATCHMAKER
Among other things, that is. I get to bring them together, in what ever way I want. They could meet in a diner, or by accident at a restaurant. There are so many possibilities with this. How would you have your two love birds meet? Do they fall in love right away? Or does it take some time for them to realize that they like each other let alone love one another? Is there a past that hinders one of them to not want a relationship? There are so many ways to bring them together.
I WRITE BECAUSE I LOVE PLOT
And plot twists. When I started my story, I didn't know exactly where it was going to take me. All I knew was that I wanted to have a boy and a girl come together somehow. I knew I wanted their path to be difficult for them. But, what I hadn't planned on were the twists and turns they'd take me on. It's an everyday adventure. And just when I think I have it all figured out, it gets twisted again. But, it all comes together in the end...or does it? *dun, dun, duuuuuun*
I WRITE FOR YOU, THE READER
This is most important of all because I am a reader myself. I love a well written plot with characters I can fall in love with or hate with a passion. I try to take that into consideration when I am writing. Would I want the story to go this way? Does this make any sence? Do these people seem likable? I actually finished the first draft about twelve chapters in and scrapped it taking bits and pieces into my draft I'm working on now because I didn't like the plot and where it was going. I wasn't into it anymore so why would the reader? Thankfully, I've surpassed that now and am on chapter fifteen of the re-write and I have to say, I do like where it's going now.
What ever your reason behind wanting to write, do it. You'd be surprised what happens. ;)
“No, Mr. Malone, you don’t know her. You do know that she was a mark. You also know you messed up that job for your father. Going down there wasn’t going to do you any good. She’s not going to know who you are. What were you going to go down there and tell her? What would that accomplish?”
I shook my head, my hands raking up through my hair. “Shit, Lois, you knew about that? I never talked about it.”
“I knew all of your father’s jobs. I had to take care of the details for him. Who do you think booked flights, had rentals ready, got hotel rooms. Your father most certainly didn’t. All he knew how to do well was what he was paid to do: get rid of evidence, do away with those who needed to be dealt with.”
I sighed looking up at her, “You never said anything before.”
She shrugged, “Why should I? It never came up before. I figured you knew considering how I handle things for you now.”
I didn’t know how to respond to that. She did handle everything. I don’t remember the last time I booked a flight, made a reservation, or went looking for anything. Everything I ever needed was taken care of almost before I even knew it needed to be done. And I never questioned things, until now.
“Okay, Lois, you’re right, once again,” I stood up and walked back to the closet. “Could I get a little privacy so I can get ready for my meeting?”
“Absolutely, Mr. Malone, I’ll see you in ten minutes to go over what you need to know.”
Meetings went on all morning long keeping me busy. Advertisement was set, banners being printed as we speak. T-shirts, ball caps, stuffed horses with each of their individual names and numbers printed on their saddles were being mass produced. Things like that sold fast and made tons of money for the track.
I didn’t think of her again until I met up with Frank at lunch. He was the one who had set all this up, I figured he’d be the best bet to find out where they came from.
“So, d’you see the final horse I got for Saturday?” he asked innocently, his nasally Boston drawl not hidden one bit, as we waited for our lunch to arrive.
“Saw the feed today,” I stated.
“And,” he fished.
“You know what I want to know. I need to know where you found them.”
“A contact of mine.”
I took a deep breath, “You know that’s not good enough, Frankie. I need to know, is your contact a man or a woman?”
“Look, Vic, I can’t give you any info, but I know the horse is all good. I got the paperwork, its pedigreed and shit,” he proceeded to pull out an inch thick manila folder. “So, that’s the one we’ll use, yea?”
My phone vibrated in my pocket, “You know I hate it when you’re all secretive and shit, makes me nervous. Besides, I gotta look this over before I know if we’re good,” I told Frank and answered the call. “Hello.”
I listened for a moment. “Understood,” I replied and hung up.
Our lunch arrived and I stood up.
“Gotta go now?” Frank asked as the plates were set down on the table. “But the food just got here.”
I removed a hundred dollar bill from my pocket and sat it on the table, “Sorry, Frank. And I’ll need you to go back to the stables for a two-o’clock meeting with Tidwell. We need to finalize everything for Saturday & Sunday.”
“You got it. Consider it handled.”
I nodded at him before leaving. The best thing about Frank was his loyalty and the fact that I could count on him whenever I needed.
I reached the address I had written down screeching my black Audi R8 to a stop. I glanced out the passenger window to the one-story nineteen fifties style house. Yellow paint was peeling off the eves, the grass was patchy some spots brown from lack of water. Overgrown bushes partially hid the raised porch which was a good thing considering the screen door was barely hanging on. Weeds freely protruding from the cracks of the driveway; for sale sign wavered in the breeze, taunting prospective buyers to take a chance and realize it’s potential.
Potential? In this shit-hole called suburbia? Just picture that god-damned annoying male enhancement commercial and you’ll know exactly what kind of hell I’m talking about.
I grabbed the backpack I had sitting in the seat next to me, thanks to Lois it had been ready and waiting for me at the office. I shook my head and smiled, I really don’t know what I’d do without her.
Placing a ball cap on my head, brim forward, I pulled it down slightly as I got out of the car. Glancing up and down the road as I stood, I noticed that there wasn’t a soul in sight. Not even a parked car in the street. It was always kind of odd when I came through neighborhoods on a week day when the drones were off at work. Still, I couldn’t take the wayward chance that some nosy fucking housewife might be looking out a window trying to catch the latest neighborhood gossip.
Throwing the backpack over my shoulder, I walked up the driveway of the house heading straight into the backyard. Directly to the back of the property was what used to be a six-foot chain link fence that separated this residence from an empty field. It was sagging now and I easily scaled it and turned to the left carefully counting the houses as I passed. I reached house number twenty-three and climbed over the fencing and walked up to the back door.
I knocked twice on the glass window and a man, probably in his thirties answered the door, a flimsy chain keeping it from opening more than a few inches. I stifled a laugh. Did he really think that the people he was trying to get away from would bother to knock? Or be deterred by the archaic security device?
His eyes were wide and they darted back and forth over my shoulder. Satisfied I was alone, he moved aside, removing the chain for me to enter quickly; shutting, locking it and replacing the chain as I walked past. Eyeing one last time through the curtain, he turned to follow me through the kitchen to the dining room table.
“You’re flight has been booked,” I informed him as I sat my backpack on the rectangular butcher block dining room table pulling out a laptop, photo printer and manila envelope. Opening the envelope I pulled out a pair of gloves and put them on. Reaching back into the backpack I withdrew and expanded a black felt backdrop attached to a stand.
“Stand here, and try not to look so frightened,” I ordered.
He walked over standing right where I had instructed. After snapping the picture, I tossed him another shirt.
“Go put that on and go shave or something.”
He stared at me for a moment, his hand reaching up rubbing over the stubble on his jaw. Stupid fucker wasn’t going to listen then I wasn’t going to waste my time. Neither one of us had the time for his hesitation. I wasn’t here because I wanted to be, I was here because I was asked to be.
He turned and left the room as my mouth opened to verbalize my thoughts. He was lucky I heard him start the water.
I plugged the camera into the laptop and downloaded the picture I had taken. It printed quickly and I carefully cut it down to size. Gently placing the picture in the square box on the blank driver’s license and making sure it was sufficiently in place, I peeled off the backing of the laminate placing it carefully over the top. Now it looked legitimate having the state seal hologram plastered all over the front of it.
“How’s this,” he asked returning to the room.
I paused from my work and looked over at him. He’d not only shaved his face but he had slicked his blond hair down and to the side.
“That’ll work,” I simply said gesturing for him to stand in position again to snap the final picture.
Finishing up with both sets of identification I handed him his new driver’s license and passport. He looked them over and seemed satisfied.
“Now, just one more thing,” I said pulling out a small black device. “I need your hands.”
He looked at me skeptically and stuttered, “Wha, wha- why? Wha, wha- what- what is that?”
“Look,” I sighed allowing every bit of annoyance I was feeling to show through. “I thought you wanted my help. But, it’s obvious that you would rather those,” I stopped short of saying how I really felt. “Those People that are looking for you to actually find you. So, why don’t I just leave now since that’s what you want and I’ll just take my work with me? I don’t do shit half-assed. I don’t get fucking questioned. You don’t like what I’m doing then you go figure this shit out for yourself!”
My Father had tried to teach me that you didn’t lose your temper with the client. You didn’t disrespect them with foul language when you were in their house. They were frightened and half the time didn’t know if what they were choosing to do was the right way to follow through with things. They were counting on me to steer them in the right direction, to be the voice of reason because right now, their thoughts were clouded with the speculation of what would happen to them with either of their choices. I was supposed to reassure them that all would be fine if they just calmed down, listened and did as I instructed.
But sometimes they didn’t listen. Sometimes they didn’t pay any attention until they realized that if they didn’t do what I was telling them to, they would be figuring all this out on their own. The choice was simple, you either wanted my help or you didn’t. To prove my point I started gathering my things and putting them back into the back pack. I reached for the ID in his hands and panic flooded his face.
“Here,” he said placing his shaky hand out to me. “Here, just … just do what you have to do.”
Shaking my head I grabbed his hand and explained to him what to do. I only hoped he was paying attention.
“Now, forget about who you were. He doesn’t exist anymore, you understand? You’d better be paying attention to what I’m telling you because one wrong move on your part will ruin everything I’ve done here for you today.”
I paused and looked at his face, he nodded vigorously.
I worked each one of his fingers across the scanner as I continued, “You’re going to take the cab that will be outside shortly. It will take you to the airport. You will have a ticket waiting for you there under your new name. Inside this backpack,” I instructed and turned to pull out a smaller backpack from the one I had carried. “Is everything you will need for a couple of days. After that, you are on your own. Absolutely, under no circumstances are you to contact anyone back here in the states at any time, you understand? If I need to get a hold of you for any reason I know how to contact you.”
He nodded quickly.
“The information on the hotel you are to check into, your new social security card, birth certificate, who you are, where you came from, it’s all in here and you follow it all as I have written it - no variations. I’ve transferred all your funds into a new account, but for a while it will look as if you haven’t moved a penny. I will send you that new account information in a couple of days. Meanwhile, there’s some cash to get you through. Try not to bring attention to yourself for at least a few months, maybe longer. Let this thing over here blow over. You understand?”
He nodded again.
“I’ll let you know when it’s safe for you. I don’t do shit twice. You fuck this up … you’re on your own.”
A horn blared outside.
“You’re taxi is here. Go and don’t forget what I told you.”
He scrambled for the front door throwing the back pack over his shoulder. Pausing before walking out he looked back at me, “Thank you.”
I waved him off and quickly started gathering my equipment making sure not to leave anything behind. I couldn’t miss so much as a scrap of paper. A wayward chair or an askew curtain could signal someone had fled in a hurry. My Father always said anything you left behind was like leaving a piece of a puzzle. The more pieces there were, the better the chance for solving it.
I walked into the bathroom and picked up the towel that he’d left lying on the counter top. I wiped down the mirror, sink and the faucet where water had splashed. I picked up the bottle of shaving cream and wiped it with the towel as well placing it back into the medicine cabinet. I cleaned the razor and put it away. Opening up the cabinet below, I took a fresh towel and neatly placed it in the ringlet of the holder on the wall. I found the hamper in the bedroom and tossed the used towel into it.
Remove all traces of urgency.
Placing the ball cap back onto my head, I pushed in the chair at the table and threw my back pack over my shoulder walking to the back door. I peeked out the window before opening it. Removing the gloves, I walked away shoving them into my pocket. Quickly retracing my steps back to the car, I made my way out of this hell hole and headed back toward home.
Things were so different when my father was around, when I was a young, punk kid.
“Yea, okay, I understand,” I said into my phone, my voice thick with sleep. I blinked my eyes to try and focus and realized darkness was surrounding me indicating it was still the middle of the goddamned night. Not that my father ever gave a shit what time it was when he called.
“I am up, I’m going, Jesus fucking Christ!” The sleep in my voice now replaced with annoyance. “Whatever, I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
Fuck! I hated doing this shit. This middle of the night bull shit was getting ridiculous. Just because I was his fucking son meant he was expecting me to just jump out of bed the second he called. I was an adult now, just turned eighteen, but yet I didn’t seem to have the balls to tell my father ‘no.’
Bullshit. This was going to have to change fucking fast, ‘cause I needed my goddamned sleep.
I looked at the time on my phone as I closed it. Holy shit, it was just after two in the morning? Two in the motherfucking morning?! Just an hour ago I’d finally fallen the fuck asleep.
Yet, here I was pulling on my boxers and jeans that were balled up by the night stand and grabbing the shirt that had been thrown over the back of the chair. I didn’t usually leave my clothes all over the room so careless and shit. The sheets rustled and movement from my bed caught my attention. I turned to see the reason for the mess.
“You’re leaving?” She asked sleepily yawning. Her long, brown hair cascaded over her shoulders as she sat up propped on an elbow. Her other hand modestly covering herself. “Was that your father calling again?”
“Yea, I’m sorry Mo Chuisle, I’ll be back soon. I promise,” I apologized as I pulled my shirt over my head.
I couldn’t help myself, I leaned in for a kiss good bye before I left. She tilted her head upward as our lips met softly at first. Nothing with my girl was simple, there was a hunger that neither one of us could deny. She let go of the sheet, her bare breasts exposed, as she wrapped an arm around my neck raking her fingers up through my hair. Our tongues intertwined, her sweet strawberry flavor momentarily making me forget just why I was leaving.
She moaned and I felt myself react, my pants suddenly tighter. “You have no idea what you do to me.”
She smiled against my lips and said, “I bet I could take a wild guess,” and kissed me again. “Go, and get back soon.”
“I’ll get back faster if I’m thinking about you lying in my bed…naked,” I teased as I pulled away and walked from the bedroom.
Grabbing my keys and my wallet, I walked into the garage to the Buick. There wasn’t any way I ever took the Beamer on these calls. Anytime my Father requested me it was gonna be messy.
I pulled up to the house my father had said to meet him at seeing his Victory parked at the front steps. Why he drove his bike and not his car made me insane. He did this to me all the time. If he’d driven his car, I wouldn’t need to be here in the middle of the night. I was sure that he did this shit on purpose.
I pulled up to the curb and took out the supplies from the trunk of the Buick that my father had instructed me to collect from his supply room. Walking up to the house I could hear the muffled sounds of frantic blubbering about how things didn’t mean to go so far and how she thought the shit wasn’t loaded.
Great, some bitch was freaking out.
Walking around to the back of the house I opened the unlocked door and let myself in. I set the bucket full of supplies on the counter top and went to see why the fuck I was here.
“Make her shut the fuck up,” I heard my father say his voice calm and collected.
“Tess, baby, please be quiet so he can do his job,” a male voice responded to my father’s request.
Her rambling ceased, but her sobbing didn’t as I rounded the corner from the kitchen to the living room. My father was standing by a God-awful floral printed couch over the slouched body of a brunette. Blood was oozing from the perfect circular hole in the middle of her forehead. A hand gun sat on the wood coffee table, an empty casing resting beside it. Tess, the dumb blond bitch that pulled the trigger, stood with her head buried in the shoulder of an older man. His graying beard did not hide the frown creased deeply into his leathery face. It was obvious he was not happy about the situation she’d put him in.
“Good you’re here,” my father said his when he’d noticed I’d entered the room. “I need you to back your car up the driveway. I’ll meet you out back. You brought the supplies I asked for?”
“You bring everything I asked?”
I nodded once again.
Without another word I walked back out to my car. I’d been through this enough times to know when he was done with me. Throwing the Buick into reverse, I maneuvered it up the driveway as close to the back door as I could get it. My father met me with the body in his arms wrapped in a plain white sheet. Fuck, why did he always make me do this part? Our eyes met as I opened the trunk. I leaned in and pulled up the carpeted lining revealing a compartment just big enough to place the body. He placed her in it and closed the trunk.
“I’ll stay and clean up. You go back to my house. Take care of this and I’ll meet you there when I am through,” he said quietly.
I knew my Father acted insane at times, he had to in order to do what he did, but this was beyond anything I’d ever seen or heard before. How could he be even thinking such a thing?
“If you don’t have it in you to do it, I will,” he stated coolly.
“What…how… why now,” I stammered realization slowly sinking in. “No, wait, I can’t, you can’t…”
He was not listening. How could he even be talking about doing this to her? Could he not see what she meant to me?
“Someone has to. No one can know. I tell you this, yet you choose not to listen. You chose to bring her into this situation. Now we have to take care of it. If you can’t, I will.”
“No!” I yelled. “I love her, you can’t! I won’t let you!”
“Son, you’re young. You don’t know what you are talking about. You don’t know love, you don’t know what’s best for you.”
“I’m eighteen! I’m old enough!”
“You’re young!” He barked slamming his fist to the table. “And foolish and irresponsible!”
My blood was boiling. All I could see was red. How dare he suggest we do anything to hurt my girl. He thinks he knows what’s best for me?
“You have no idea what love is yet.”
My teeth ground together with each of his words, my nostrils flared with each violent breath I took.
“She. Has. To. Go.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. My mind shut down allowing my body to just take over. This person in front of me was threatening someone I cared about. He was no longer my Father, he was the enemy. My hands balled into tight fists and without another word I took a swing. I was going to nail this fucker right square on the nose. Lay him out and buy us enough time that we could escape. We could leave and never look back. I knew enough to get us by.
I was so ready to feel the satisfaction of my knuckles meeting his face. I just wanted the joy of seeing him fall to the ground. My plan was foiled when an inch from slamming my fist into his worthless face, I was stopped. A huge dark mitt wrapped around my wrist and in one fluid motion, I was face first on the floor, hands behind my back, a boot in my shoulders.
“You do not have to like what we have to do,” my Father said into my ear as I struggled to breathe against the pressure on my chest. “But, you dohave to respect the decisions that I make because they are only made with your best interests at heart. I wish you could see that. I expect you to break all ties with her and you are NEVER to see her again, understood?”
“No,” I squeaked out.
I felt the boot push harder as I fought to say the word he was waiting to hear. I wasn’t willing to give in, not yet.
“How hard are you going to make this, son?”
The boot pushed harder. Shit if he pushed anymore he’d step right through me. And knowing what he was about to do, I really didn’t give a rat’s ass if he did.
“Until his foot fucking stomps through my God-damned chest and stops my beating heart, cause, that’s what this fucking feels like,” I choked out writhing in one final attempt to escape, which of course got me nowhere.
My Father sighed, “Fine, have it your way, you stay here and I’ll take care of it. Greg, make sure he doesn’t leave this room until I return.”
Greg’s deep baritone simply answered, “Yes, sir.”
I felt the car slow and come to a stop. I’d been so lost in my memories I hadn’t noticed that we had arrived. Looking down, I saw my fingers mindlessly rubbing the charm I still wore around my neck. Not even ten years had passed and yet, it seemed like a lifetime ago. Whoever said time heals is a fucking liar.
Justin, my new driver, cleared his throat. I’m sure he was wondering if he should interrupt or not. I missed having Troy as my driver. He wasn’t afraid to speak up. It was always so difficult to get the new staff adjusted to the way I liked things around here, but I owed Troy a great deal and giving his little brother a home seemed like a small price to pay. So I used every ounce of patience I could muster.
I looked up seeing he was watching me through the rear view mirror and I forced a smile for him as I let the charm fall back to my chest. I really was trying to make him feel comfortable, I wanted him to feel as if he had a home here, but I couldn’t baby him forever. I don’t have time for that kind of bull shit.
“Justin, why don’t you go ahead and take the car back to my place. I’ll be here all day today and there’s no sense in you hanging around when I’ve got your brother here. I’ll just have him drive me home today. I’ll be fine.”
I sighed and placed a hand on his line-backer sized shoulder, “Justin, I know you’ve only been here for a few weeks, but, when we not in the presence of clients or patrons I don’t want the formalities. I insist you call me by my first name.”
“Yes, si-,” he let out an exasperated sigh. “Sorry, I mean, yes … Victor… I’ll get the car home and await further instructions.”
“You will do no such thing. You go back to my place and stand down soldier,” I smiled at him and squeezed his over-sized shoulder. “I am around you fuckers twenty-four seven so I don’t want to start thinking my name is ‘sir’ and I have to give ‘further instructions.’ Go relax, read a book, take a nap, play some video games. Hell, jerk off for all I care. Maybe it will help you relax.”
I exited the vehicle poking my head back into the window, “But, if you do the latter, please, just not on my couch.”
He chuckled, “You got it, Victor.”
Because of the extensive military back ground of the men I hired it was hard for them to shake what had been pounded into them during their training. Not that I was trying to make them soft, I just couldn’t stand the sound of being called ‘sir.’ My Father was ‘sir’ and I was most definitely not like that bastard.
I entered the secret pin and placed my thumb on the print scanner that was needed to open the door to my second home, Malone Stables. Before my father had passed away I’d never believed that it actually existed. He’d talked about it here and there, but doing what we do, sometimes the lines of reality get blurred and I was never sure exactly what was fact and what was fiction.
At the time I figured that it was another one of his fake companies, a front for his other life. After a few months of going through the books and experiencing a few seasons here it was obvious he’d been trying to change for me. And I stress trying. Who knew he was capable of running a legitimate business. Well, about as legitimate as my Father could be.
Too bad it was too little, too late. It took me a few years, but I finally got the place cleaned up more or less and got the books straightened out somewhat. Most bets that took place now were from real people off the street, the way it should be. Not the mob bosses and biker gangs dirty money. It was tough, but most respected my decision based on the past they had with my Father. I still had a few I had to deal with. Hence the reason for the men I hired and the backgrounds that I demanded they have.
“Mr. Malone, good morning,” my ever eager to please Secretary greeted me with a smile from behind a small desk in the corner of the quaint lobby area. “I do hope you’re doing well this morning.”
“Good morning, Lois,” I greeted back stopping for a moment before I went to my office. “Thank you, I am doing as well as can be expected on three hours of sleep.”
“Another long night?”
I sighed, “Sometimes I wish I could just turn my phone off. How is it that there is trouble nearly every night this week?” I asked not really searching for an answer and tried to duck away into the hallway down to my office.
I was not going to get away so easily, I could hear the quick click of her heels on the tile floor behind me as she struggled to keep up. My schedule was in hand, I was sure.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Mr. Malone. I hope your day gets better. Um, your final competitor for this weekend’s race arrived this morning at eight and is settling in at the North stables, stall number fourteen. At ten is the final meeting with the advertisers for race day. You’ll need to make your decision on the banners and the possibility of air advertising. They have to know by the end of your meeting because today is the deadline to get them signed, you know. At noon is your lunch with Frank and then you have a two o’clock with Tidwell Industries about the design of the trophy and the inking of the photographer.”
I stopped abruptly and turned around to find her glasses on the edge of her nose, her face buried in my appointment book. She had a pen in her left hand and a pencil tucked behind her right ear. So obviously she was not paying attention and didn’t see that I had stopped causing her to crash into me and bounce off of my chest. Her glasses fell crooked on her face and a strand of grey hair fell across her eye. She reached up to straighten them without missing a beat.
“How do you do that?” I asked the corner of my mouth turned upward slightly in amusement.
Lois smoothed down her light pink blouse and answered her tone stone cold serious, “It’s what you pay me to do, Mr. Malone. I keep track of your day to day and-”
“No not that,” I interrupted waiving my hand in front of me for her to stop. I tried not to laugh at her serious tone. I pointed to the appointment book, “My whole schedule came out without a single breath. How do you do that?” I asked laughing slightly.
Lois had apparently enjoyed the late sixties and early seventies as she failed to realize that fashion changed in the later decades. It was apparent in the knee length polyester skirts she wore on a daily basis with blouses that buttoned snug to the top. Her hair also was stuck in a decade long ago, but was now sprinkled with silver strands. She had been my father’s eyes and ears when he was unable to be at the stables in person. I pondered for a moment wondering if her coldness was due to the fact that she was now old enough to be the bosses Mother? Did that bother her? Or was my Father that callous that he’d made her this way?
There really was no need for Lois to act as she did. I’d never asked for anything different than I expected from the rest of the staff. In fact, if anything else, I did more to make sure she was well taken care of, especially after all she had to put up with my Father all those years. I didn’t approve of his way of running such a cold place to work. He’d turned these people into robots that show no emotion.
Everyone seemed to cower when I first walked in like I was my Father’s boy coming in to pick up where he left off. As if I didn’t already think he was a prick. I didn’t need anyone keeping track of my daily schedule or running off for my coffee or any of the other millions of things she did around here that I didn’t really know she did. But, this place ran smooth as silk and, I had to admit, it did ease my mind slightly that Lois was handling things so I could attend to more pressing business. Besides, she wouldn’t hear of it when I suggested anything otherwise.
“I hadn’t noticed, Mr. Malone,” she answered straight-faced. “I’ll try to be more aware next time.”
I sighed, “No, Lois, that’s not … I didn’t mean … Oh, never mind.” I gave up, “Just, tell security to send me this mornings feed. I want to see who our final competitor is.”
“Yes, Mr. Malone,” she stated. “And, just so you know, she, I mean they, are still here.”
“Thank you, Lois. I’ll have a look at that feed, see just what Frank considers to be a decent competitor.”
“You’re welcome, Mr. Malone,” she said and spun around on her heels heading back to the reception area.
I shook my head at her. We’ve had many women owners come through here. It wasn’t that unusual, although most of them did slightly resemble their racing counterpart. I shuttered at the memory of races past. I just observed from a safe distance.
Normally I was the one who set up the line. I usually knew everything about every one of my race horses. What was their lineage, their pedigree? Who were their respective owners and how many years they’d been in the business? How many horses did they own? What was their experience with racing? Who did they hire to train the horse? How long ago had they hired the trainer? How long had he been working with horses or if any had won in the past? Who provided their veterinary care and what, if any, medication was the horse on? Who was the jockey?
So it left me a little uneasy that this latest addition was added without my seeing them first. I’d left this decision up to Frank because I’d had a client to take care of and there was a final slot that needed to be filled. I trusted him, but I hoped I wasn’t going to regret that decision.
I unlocked my office, flipped on the light and closed the door behind me. Walking to the far left corner of the room I picked up the remote control that sat on the edge of my desk top and clicked the power button. The mechanical whir of the forty-two inch monitor lowering from the ceiling filled the room. I sat down the remote on the rectangular, mahogany coffee table that sat a few feet away from my desk and planted myself on the dark brown leather love seat. I smiled when I noticed the piping hot cup of coffee sitting there on a coaster prepared just the way I liked it in my favorite mug.
I laughed and shook my head. Lois. I don’t know how she did it, but I didn’t really see a way I could get by without her. She thought of everything.
I picked up the mug just as the footage began. There wasn’t any sound. The microphones were never activated unless I ordered them to be. Having state of the art high definition color security cameras with fifty-two times optical zoom that could allow me to count each hair on your arm was okay, but apparently the law does not like it when you use the ultra-sonic microphones to record voices without people’s permission. I’d learned that firsthand, so it was used at my discretion.
I blew on the hot liquid and watched as two people walked in the stable with their horse; a man and a woman. The slightly overweight pot-bellied man with a thinning hairline, I deduced, was the trainer. The woman walked on the other side of the horse; only the top of her brunette head visible, hair pulled up into a ponytail that bobbed softly up and down. She held the reigns and every so often reached up to rub the horse’s neck.
My eyes fell to the horse momentarily while I patiently waited for a better angle. He was a beautiful steed, dark brown, tall. He had big round eyes, and a long flowing black mane and tail. He walked with magnificent purpose and I couldn’t wait to see him run on the track. It seemed Frank had done well.
The camera followed them to the stall and I finally got a view of her. Well, the backside of her and it wasn’t a half bad angle. She wore a yellow t-shirt that was like a second skin clinging to the inward curve from her rib cage to her hips that met with a tightly hugging pair of deep dark blue jeans that rocked back and forth with every step.
Interesting, I don’t think I’d ever seen such a young owner before that was female. Or, quite frankly, one with a body like that. All of the female owners I’d ever met before were older, middle aged, and were taking over for their husbands that had passed away. Not many were owners by choice and those that were, well, let’s just say that they wouldn’t have to ever worry about having husbands.
I watched as she disappeared into the stall guiding the horse inside with her suddenly anxious for her to return. I waited with bated breath on the edge of the couch for her to reappear unable to look away until I could see her. Why was the intensity of the need to see what she looked like more powerful than anything I’d ever felt before? Finally, the camera focused on her face as she reappeared, as if knowing I wanted a closer look.
The second I saw her face, the sip of coffee I’d just taken was blown all over the floor.
Flashbacks again. Evil flashes to a past that I couldn’t control, a way of life that was forced upon me. A day I was told to do something just as awful as being told I had to ‘get rid’ of my girl.
The California job. Or as I liked to call it, my first fuck up. I was in my early twenties. It was my first job alone after he’d ripped my girl from me, which is why I probably fucked it up. My father had been working with me for a few years trying to make me forget. He thought I was ready to go out on my own, he thought it would do me some good.
He thought wrong.
I still remember the tinge of regret I felt knowing I had to make her disappear. And I don’t mean disappear like in a new identity, a new life, like I do now. My Father did things very differently, he had been very clear that she was to NEVER be seen again, that NO part of her was to ever be found. I guess I didn’t pay very good attention the day he was telling me the rules because I didn’t stick around to make sure the job was complete. Maybe I couldn’t bring myself to believe that my first kill was actually a woman. A woman who unsettlingly reminded me of the one I had lost at his hands.
My Father was a sick, sick man.
Was it possible? Had she survived? If it was so important that she be taken out and made disappear, why hadn’t it come back to me that I was unsuccessful?
She smiled at the frumpy older man she’d come with and walked back over to him. I couldn’t control it, her smile made me smile. I wasn’t able to see who else was with them, but whomever it was, they were talking their ears off. It had to be my stable manager and for once I was grateful for him being so chatty because it meant I could see her that much longer.
I remember spending hours just looking at that face. Studying every mannerism. Devouring every expression. Burning every detail to memory. I couldn’t help comparing her to my girl. It was eerie how similar they were.
They both had were brunettes, although I think my girls hair was a few shades lighter.
They both had brown eyes, but my girls were deep dark pools that I could never stare into anymore.
They both had this infectious smile that could light up a room.
Maybe that’s why I’d had such a hard time with it.
I had to memorize everything about her before going. I wasn’t allowed to take the photo with me. So I took to memory every freckle that spotted her nose. I had to know by heart that her eyes were indeed brown, but lightened slightly sometimes to an almost greenish hue. Her height, date of birth, favorite food, favorite color, worst fear, schools she attended, all the details that could get me close if I needed to.
I drank in the musical sound of her laughter that I listened to on the tapes of conversations she had so I’d know who her friends were, what her plans were, what was her day to day schedule?
I studied her every move knowing she stopped at Starbucks at seven fifteen every morning on her way to work and ordered a vanilla iced Frappuccino with an extra shot of espresso and hold the whipping cream topping. Every Tuesday she came home thirty minutes early as to not get stuck in traffic and to catch her favorite television show. On Friday nights she went out to dinner with her boyfriend, usually an off the beaten path Mexican restaurant, and every Saturday afternoon was spent with her best friend. They’d get nails done, walk past jewelry stores, and checking out the latest sales at department stores trying on dresses or shirts or pants.
That’s when it all hit me. She was someone else’s girl. It was like everything coming full circle. Since I couldn’t get rid of my girl, he was to have me get rid of someone else’s girl. Did he want me to know how it felt?
I tried to stay focused because I did have a job to do, but it also made it that much more difficult knowing what I was doing. I had gotten too much information. So had I slipped and made a mistake? I thought I’d had a flawless plan so I wouldn’t have to be there first hand. By the looks of things in front of me now, I sure as hell had done something wrong.
I got up from the couch and took a few steps toward the television to get a closer look and at the same time, she glanced upward looking directly into the camera. I froze.
There was no doubt in my mind now that this was her. But, how could that be? What was she doing here? My hand reached for the screen and ghosted across her face in front of me as she turned away.
Without thinking and not knowing exactly how old this feed was I flew to the closet and changed from my suit into jeans and a grey t-shirt. I placed the black leather shoes I had worn in neatly on the lower shelf and slipped into some white sneakers I kept for the days I did go down to the stables. Considering they were still bright white, it was obvious I didn’t go down there often.
I glanced at my watch. I had exactly thirty minutes until my meetings were to begin. That should be enough time to go see her in the stables and formally introduce myself. And figure out what the fuck to do now. I knew who had ordered her hit those years ago and they still came around from time to time for the races. If they saw her, I wasn’t sure what would happen. Would they recognize her? I couldn’t take the chance that someone would pick up on it. Fallout for something like this wasn’t something I wanted to experience.
I opened up my office door only to be greeted by Lois who had her hand in the air as if she was about to knock. Her mouth fell open when she saw I’d changed and she quickly closed it.
“Your ten o’clock,” she started and I could hear a tone a lot like I was going to be scolded at.
“Yes, I know, I haven’t forgotten. I’ll be back in time,” I interrupted knowing exactly what she was going to say.
“But you never-”
“I know,” I stopped her mid-sentence again.
She cocked an eyebrow.
“We had a new arrival this morning.”
“Yes, Mr. Malone, that’s what I told you. Didn’t you get the video feed? I told them to send it right away,” she questioned.
“Yes, I did.”
“Was it not good quality? Something wrong with the camera? Should I have Lonnie check it out?”
“The feed was fine. You know how I am. I didn’t set this up so I’m curious.”
“And it has nothing to do with the fact that the owner is a rather pretty, younger woman whom might look vaguely familiar?” she asked crossing her arms across her chest giving me that look.
Shit, I felt like I was trying to get around my Mother. And what did she mean by vaguely familiar?
She swooshed her hand at me pointing into my office not giving me a chance to ask questions, “Get back in there.”
I opened my mouth to argue, but she arched an eyebrow in challenge. She really was like my Mother. I turned, slumping my shoulders and went back into my office just as she was asking.
“Lois,” I started when we entered my office, but she cut me off shutting the door behind us.
“Uh, uh,” she said tisking at me. “What exactly were you going to say? Did you have a plan in mind?”
“No, but-” I started to try to argue.
“Don’t give me that.” She wasn’t going to let me get a word in edge wise so I sat down on the couch and simply listened. “I told you they were still here precisely because I did not want you going down there, not so that you could go make a fool of yourself.”
I buried my face in my hands, elbows on my knees. “I know who she is, Lois. But, how do you know?”
____________________________________ Copyright 2012-2013 All contents on this site are protected by copyright. Except as specifically permitted herein, no portion of the information on this site may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from A.L. Davis. Visitors or users are not permitted to modify, publish, transmit or create derivative works of any material found on this site for any public or commercial purposes. What does this mean? Please enjoy the stories, and respect the copyright.
I drove out to Highway 64 heading north and exiting on Paris Pike south bound. After a few more miles I spotted Uncle T’s car and pulled into the parking lot where he said he would be. I stopped the van next to his ’84 silver Honda Accord, my Uncle standing there leaned against it.
“Hey, Uncle T, what’s up?” I asked and jumped out of the van.
I didn’t get two steps away from the van before I got pulled into a gigantic bear hug.
“Hey, kid, good to see you,” Thomas said as I struggled to loosen his grip.
“Always good to see you, too,” I laughed. “So, why are we here? What’s the scoop?”
“Ahh, straight to business,” Thomas said letting me go chuckling. “That’s what I like about you.”
“Yea, well, you know me. All work and no play,” I said looking around his shoulder, across the parking lot at the track behind us.
“Nothing gets by you, does it, Love?” he joked. “Actually, I’m not so sure what’s going on, that’s why I called you here, Ms. Reporter. Can we, um, can we talk about this in the van?”
“Sure,” I said studying my Uncle carefully before slowly walking around to the back and opening the double doors. His smile was tight. His eyes darted back and forth, looking over his shoulder at the track and back to the van.
It wasn’t like Uncle Thomas to act secretively about our next story. His boisterous attitude about getting me my next break was usually contagious. But today, with him not being up front about what we were meeting for made me curious and apprehensive at the same time. Most of the time our stories were on robberies or homicide investigations or we would attempt to tackle a scandal with the latest debacle within the nation’s government. It was always a story where we came in after the bad guy had left. What could he possibly have in store for me here?
Thomas motioned for me to climb inside first. He followed right behind me, closing the double doors as he got inside. Over the years Uncle Thomas and I had worked hard setting up the back of the van with surveillance equipment and recording devices to help with our stories. We had wireless taps that I’d wear on occasion for the few stories Thomas felt comfortable letting me take undercover. Thomas said it made him feel better about me going undercover when I wore the wires because he could listen in and pull me out if he needed to. I just cared that I could finally do some real investigating and it helped that it gave us evidence we needed for our cases if we ever had to turn someone in. We sat down on the two swivel seats and I waited for my Uncle to speak first.
“Muirnín,” Thomas started. He was reverting into his native tongue. That only meant one thing; he was nervous. “You know I wouldn’t involve you in anything that I thought would put you in any danger, right?” Thomas asked the slight Irish accent shining through.
I nodded knowing that it was true. Uncle Thomas treated me like I was his own daughter. It showed in the affectionate way he endeared me and his fierce protectiveness. I was willing to bet that even he didn’t know how deep we’d have to go. He also knew I wouldn’t be able to pass up the story, no matter the danger. This was just the opportunity I had been waiting for. Something told me that this might be bigger than anything I’d been involved in before.
Thomas sighed, rubbing a hand over his thick grey hair. He hesitated before continuing, “About a week ago I was here when I overheard something, someone talking about the races coming up. I’ve always had my suspicions, but never any proof.”
Over the years I’ve come to notice that Thomas O’Brien’s Irish came out when he was nervous, his agitation seemed to cause him to forget his English. He’d been in the states for about forty years now, not like he was fresh off the boat. Something was troubling him. I tensed up wondering just what that was. Uncle Thomas would never put me in direct danger if he could help it and that was the only thing that gave me any confidence to try to do this.
“What did you hear?” I asked to keep him talking.
“For years, now, I’ve suspected that there might be somethin’ going on. Every race on this track seems to not go the way all the stats show it should. But, after what I heard the other day, I’m sure of it now,” Thomas paused shaking his head. “Someone is determining the winner before the race even starts.”
“Wire me up,” I blurted without thinking and Thomas’ head snapped up. “I’ll go in there and see if I can figure out a way in. It’s what I do, right?”
“I’m not going to let you just walk in there. Especially after I heard that the owner of this place might be behind it all,” Lou was getting worked up, his Irish accent getting thicker.
“I’m not going to just walk in there and ask them what they’re doing or how they’re doing it. Don’t they have races scheduled for what, next weekend?” I asked suddenly more interested in who exactly he was talking about. I opened a cabinet and pulled out a box full of ear pieces and microphones. I could get in there and poke around.
“Ay, they do,” Thomas responded and was now helping me pull out a small microphone and ready it to record in the van.
“So, I need to see if I can find out how this whole horse racing thing works. I need to know how to get a horse in a race. And the best way to do that is going in looking for help,” I paused and turned on the best southern accent I could muster. “Could y’all help a girl get her filly in y’all’s race?”
Thomas looked at me, concern on his face, “Now, Dear, you can’t just walk in there and expect to get a horse in on such short notice. It’s a private stable, some of those horses in there have been on a waiting list for years. These people, if they knew what you were doing or who you were… So help me if they harm a hair on your head,” Lou said with a protective tone shaking his fist to the sky. “Wait, Love, you don’t even have a horse.”
“Oh, Lou, how long have you been working with me now? You know me better than that. And I know you better than that. You work on getting me a horse and you’d better get one fast. I’m about to enter A Ghra Mo Chori in the next race. Oh, and I’ll need you to line me up with a jockey too.” I said quickly as I put a hearing device in my ear, pulling my hair down around my face to hide it and jumped out the back of the van. I turned around and saw Thomas’ perplexed look. I knew if I didn’t leave soon and try out my plan he’d try to stop me after it all sunk in.
“Thanks, Uncle T!” I said smiling and shut the back doors of the van. I turned toward the race track and took a deep breath. “Well,” I muttered to myself and walked away toward the race track. “Here goes nothing.”
I jogged across the parking lot and hopped the fence. I took a moment to smooth out my shirt and run my hand through my hair attempt to tame it. I brought my hair back around my face, checking the ear bud and started walking slowly toward the stables.
I took a deep breath, “Testing, testing.” I quietly said into the mike that was pinned to my shirt.
“Loud and clear, Love,” came the response.
I walked slowly into the stables, “Hello?” My word echoed through the building with no response so I stepped inside.
The smell of manure mixed with hay and leather filled the air. Horses whinnied and pawed the ground as I walked by as if in greeting. I looked around for a sign of anyone in here but only saw the horses poking their heads out of the stalls. I crept through taking in the competition when a brown head with a perfect white star on his forehead poked out right in front of me.
“Well, hi there,” I whispered reaching a flattened hand up to his nose. I glanced up at the ornate name tag above the stall. “Lucky, huh?” I asked the extra friendly horse as I pet him, “do you live up to your name?”
“That he does,” a voice said startling me from behind.
‘Shit,’ I thought to myself hoping he didn’t just hear me talking to the horse. I hadn’t thought to use my southern twang as soon as I got in here.
“Why, is this your horse, sir?” I asked mustering up the best southern belle I could, and kept my eyes on the horse.
“Naw, jus’ look after ‘em.” The man answered with a thick southern drawl. I heard the gravel under his feet as he walked closer.
I turned smiling. He was only a few feet away from me. Tall, lanky with a long-sleeved grey shirt rolled up to his elbows. Steel blue eyes narrowed on me. He wore jeans with a belt buckle the size of his hands, tan cowboy boots with a Stetson to match. A cigar hung out of his mouth, a squared shovel in his left.
He removed the cigar before asking, “Can I help you?” He stopped right beside me and the horse.
“Oh,” I continued. “So you work here? At the stables?” I inquired.
“Yes, Ma’am. I run them here stables.” He answered. Then the questions quickly started to me. “Which are private stables, I might add, little lady. Might I ask what you are doin’ in here?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I apologized trying to put on my best show widening my eyes and bringing my right hand to my chest. “I didn’t realize. I just was lookin’ ‘round the track and happened here. I thought I’d see what kind of competition we’d be up against. And to see what kind of facilities we’d be utilizing.”
I watched as his eyes roamed over me trying to figure out if what I was telling him was to be trusted. I couldn’t tell if he was buying what I was saying or if he was reading through my bullshit. His gaze was making me slightly uncomfortable and I fought hard to keep a smile on my face.
I reached out my hand and introduced myself, “I’m so sorry, I haven’t even introduced myself, how terribly rude of me. My name is Claire. Claire Montgomery.”
He took my hand in his and shook, “Nice to meet you, Claire. The name’s Wyatt. Now you mind telling me which one of these horses is yours again?”
“Oh, he isn’t here yet. I had to make sure that these were suitable stables for him first. I wanted to make sure he’d be in good hands. You could understand that. And I can tell, he will be in quite capable hands with you, sir.”
“I hadn’t heard nuthin’ ‘bout any new ‘rivals. You sure you came to the right place?” Wyatt inquired as he puffed on his cigar and scratched his head. “I usually know e’erythang that’s goin’ on ‘round here.”
“Well, you are the number one stable in Kentucky, right?” I was hoping this was going to work. Come on southern charm, “See, that’s where I need your help.” I pouted, “See, we been racin’ him at some of the tracks back home in Oklahoma and he’s just been winnin’ all the time. It’s embarrassin’ really. And we were thinkin’ that maybe he’s ready now for some of the big boy action. But, I just don’t know how to go about gettin’ him in. I was hopin’ maybe you could help me figure it all out.”
I saw Wyatt’s eyes light up as I talked about A Ghra Mo Chori. He took a couple of puffs off his cigar again. His eyes narrowed as he looked at me. I was hoping he was trying to figure out how to get our horse in the race, or at the very least to just getting a glimpse of him. If Uncle T did this right I was sure all we had to do was amaze him on the track.
“Did you bring him with you?” he finally asked.
“He’s at my private stable with my trainer. It’s not far from here. But, I’m lookin’ to keep him close to the track, somewhere I can train him easy.”
“Bring em by this afternoon, one o’clock. I’ll have someone take a look at ‘em, maybe run ‘em on the track, see what he can do. You got a jockey?”
“Yes, sir,” I lied with a smile. Boy, was I hoping Uncle T pulled through with his contacts.
“Well, all right, then,” Wyatt said holding out his hand to me. “We’ll see you this afternoon.”
“Thank you so much, Wyatt. You have no idea how much this means to me givin’ him a chance to race on your track,” I tried to sound extremely grateful taking his hand with both of mine giving him a huge smile.
“Thank me later after we see what your horse can do. You ain’t in the race yet.”
“You will not be disappointed,” I assured him as I walked out of the stables. I waited until I was in the sunshine before I muttered under my breath, “I hope.”
I walked over to the race track to look things over quickly on my way out. First reason I decided to go this way was that I wanted to look truly interested in the track if Wyatt was watching me leave. I couldn’t have him catch me jumping the fence. I looked at the soil, touched the railing around the track. I looked up at the sun and over to see how it shined down on everything this time of day.
Second reason I came this way was that I wanted to see who was around; look at faces, who was training today, who worked here, maybe even catch a glimpse of the elusive owner. This was my excuse to be nosy. No one seemed to look out-of-place or unusual. There was a grounds keep tending to the lawn in the middle of the track. Another on a tractor smoothing the dirt. No one was loitering around in the stands, they were empty.
I turned around to give the stables one last look as I headed to the eastern exit. Walking slowly backwards I noticed a group of men heading for the stables. I paused, squinting trying to make out their faces. It was too far away to clearly make any of them out. They were all sharply dressed in slacks and pressed white shirts with ties.
I watched the group of five men as they approached the stables appearing to be discussing something, laughing occasionally. I could faintly hear their voices from across the track because it was so quiet, but not quite good enough to make out any words. They stopped just outside the stable doors and man dressed in dark-grey slacks with a tan button up and a burgundy tie motioned for the other men to continue inside the stables before him. He waited for them to all enter and he brought his hand up to run through his hair gripping a handful of it while he paused by the entrance.
His gaze landed my way. Could he see me blatantly staring at him? My heart pounded keeping the eye contact. Seconds passed before he sighed and followed them in.
He seemed nervous. Investors, maybe?
An uneasy feeling filled the pit of my stomach. Something felt off wrong. I could see the scowl on his face before he had entered the building. I waited for him to walk through the door before I turned and jogged away.
“So, did you find me a horse?” I asked my Uncle as I jumped into the van.
“Ay, and I got you a jockey,” Thomas sighed. “I sure hope this works. The filly I found hasn't ever raced professionally, but from what I’ve heard he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with someday. He’s a little young, but I’m hoping with Jimmy riding him, he’ll be able to handle anything this horse can throw him.”
“Jimmy?” I asked curiously. “I thought he retired a few years ago?”
Jimmy had won many races in the peak of his career. He was the best jockey around and Uncle T’s best friend. Jimmy would be there for him at the drop of a hat, no questions asked. I was hoping that Uncle T’s hunch was right.
“He’s not racing professionally anymore, but he is teaching the art of jockeying at one of the local stables,” Thomas informed me. “He is looking forward to racing again.”
“Well,” I said as I jumped into the driver’s seat of the van. “You heard the man. We need to go meet A Ghra Mo Chori and bring him to the track for a little show. We’ve got to get back by one. Go get your car, Uncle T. Let’s drop it off at the station on our way.”
Copyright 2012-2013 All contents on this site are protected by copyright. Except as specifically permitted herein, no portion of the information on this site may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from A.L. Davis. Visitors or users are not permitted to modify, publish, transmit or create derivative works of any material found on this site for any public or commercial purposes. What does this mean? Please enjoy the stories, and respect the copyright.