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And finally… the conclusion

Week 5 of the 100-words-per-week Serial Novel (which is technically Flash Fiction) exercise at the Writing Forum has come and gone. Over a month ago, I’m afraid [1].

Still, I owe you the conclusion to my wee story [2]. So, without further ado, the end of What Price, Charlie? (Working Title)

Amber hooch was the hardest to fake.

That’s what Edna the waitress had told Charlie the night the raid evacuated them to the alley.

He called her Daisy. She was beautiful and a little helpless, like the flower.

And, tonight, he needed one-hundred proof courage to ask her out. One perk of working in a gin joint was the gin, amber colored or otherwise. He didn’t care that it was made in someone’s bathtub.

He downed his drink. But before he could utter a word, the muscled brute they called The Doctor walked in, marched right up to Daisy and grabbed the back of her hair, holding her captive.

“Are you a common tramp, now Edna? Are you? I’ve seen you with that piano boy.”

The man wrenched her across the counter toward him. “We made a deal, doll. Remember? As long as you’re my gal, your family don’t go down in flames. That’s what we call in the business an In—” slap “—fie—” slap “—night—” slap “—Agreement. You got that, Edna? Constant. Forever.” He shoved her backward, the movement causing her to stumble.

“Now, bring me some brown. I’ll be in my office.”

****

In a weird show of forced diplomacy, Charlie had waited behind the club as Daisy asked instead of bashing in the Doctor’s face with his elbow. Now, he watched in amazement as his gritty blonde walked toward him, head high.

“Run away with me Daisy. We can have a happy life somewhere that maniac will never find us.”

“And leave my family here to suffer? I can’t do that, Charlie. I’m sorry. The Doctor has documents falsely implicating my father in a bank heist and I’m the only thing between him and jail.”

“Then we have to get those documents!”

They chose the evening of Frank Capone’s funeral–a lavish, invitation-only affair for the city’s most twisted and greedy, the Doctor among them—for the caper.

Charlie slid the key Daisy handed him into the lock, grateful they’d brought the lantern despite its grainy radiance.

“It’s just over here, in the office,” she whispered.

A match sizzled from within the dark room. “That you, Doll? I’ve been waiting for you.”

Daisy shoved Charlie toward to door. “Go! I’ll be alright. He loves me, remember.”

She raised the lamp. “I wanted to surpri—”

Gunfire erupted and Charlie watched her fall.

****

Charlie was alone in the cemetery. Her funeral was yesterday.

Hours after her death, he had formulated a plan, knowing the police would not deliver justice. Even now, the project to sabotage the Doctor’s organization was underway, cryptic pieces of the puzzle falling into place.

He plucked a petal from the daisy he clutched in his hand, let it flutter to her grave, then plucked another. “Kill the bastard. Kill him not,” he intoned, mocking the rhyme. “Kill the bastard. Kill him not.”

A gust blew the blooms off the mounded dirt as the last petal fell. “Kill the bastard.”

Sources & Notes

  1. Somehow, April is over and May has come and gone. Funny how time flies when life happens.
  2. Week 5 addresses the story element Denouement and requires use of at least five of the six given words: sabotage, even, cryptic, blow, imprint, project. According to LiteraryDevices.net, denouement is: “derived from the French word denoue, which means “to untie.” Denouement is a literary device that can be defined as the resolution of the issue of a complicated plot in fiction. The majority of examples of denouement show the resolution in the final part or chapter, often in an epilogue.”
  3. Featured image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
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And then what happened?

Some writers are blessed with the innate knowledge of where their story is going. Others just write and let the story take them where it will.

In the writing world, there are two main camps of fiction writers. Plotters and Pantsters1. The former has the story mainly plotted out, either on paper or some lucky few have all that incredible knowledge in their heads. Pantsters, however, don’t bow to the conventions of linear time. They just write whatever story bit is in their head at the moment and sometime later, by invoking some weird kind of magic, move the scenes around to create a story, i.e. they write “by the seat of their pants.”

Continue reading
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Washing Day

 

This morning I started a load of laundry, then came upstairs to work on this blog post. In a minute, I’ll go downstairs, move the load to the dryer, then enjoy thirty minutes of reading while I wait for the clothes to dry. Another fifteen minutes to fold and Voila! Laundry Complete.

Can I tell you… Rose is more than a little jealous of me. Not only does her wash day routine take longer than two hours, every bit of which is spent on her feet, there’s not a blasted book in sight anywhere.

No, if ever there was a chore designed to make a poor farm wife wish she’d never left her posh upper-middle class life, laundry is it!

And no wonder. Just look at all the steps involved, Continue reading

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A tub what?

This Sunday is Easter. So I was looking for Easter hats for Rose. [As an aside, don’t you wish hats would come back in vogue? All those frilly Easter hats, especially from the 40s, look like so much fun.]

But, back to the matter at hand… As I was saying, I was looking for Easter hats, perusing the Sears Catalog when a phrase I saw as I whizzed through pages stopped me in my tracks. Continue reading