“Charles, I hate for Adelaine to be stuck in that boarding house.”
“She needs to test her wings, Esther. That’s how young women do it in this day and time. They get a room and a job.”
“But that secretarial position, darling. It seems so demeaning for our daughter,” Esther said.
“Now, now, Esther. Adelaine thinks she can live on her own. Let her try.”
“She needs to be meeting respectable young men in our home.”
Adelaine already had a respectable young man very much in love with her who called on her nightly at the boarding house.
“Janice, you did it again,” Stan cried.
“I’m sorry, Stan,” Janice said. “I didn’t mean to overfill the cup.”
Stan, the cook, was thinking that he was going to have to fire Janice. She just was not a good waitress.
The diner was full for lunch. Many professional people grabbed lunch at Stan’s Diner and he liked for his service to be impeccable. Janice was sloppy with her work, but she was not an experienced waitress. He was just giving her a chance because she couldn’t find any other job.
Meanwhile, Janice was embarrassed. She really needed this job. She was serving a woman in a booth alone. She was so nervous, afraid she would do something wrong. Suddenly, the woman she was serving spoke to her.
“Young woman, could I speak with you?”
“Yes,” Janice replied.
“Is this your chosen career?”
“No. I was an English major in college and can’t find a job.”
“I’m a writer,” the woman said. “Why don’t we talk about you working for me?”
Janice started to smile.
Janice was glad to get out of the house. Her weekly trip to volunteer at the Red Cross was one of her only activities where she actually went somewhere. Not only did she feel useful there, but she had other people to talk to.
Janice had caught the city bus at the bus stop near her home. She lived alone. Janice’s husband passed away two years ago. She had little extended family and they didn’t have much interest in her. She had some friends, but she didn’t expect them to babysit her. She tried to fill her time the best she could. She didn’t even know her neighbors.
When she got to the Red Cross office, she sat down at her desk and started doing the administrative chores she was assigned. It was rewarding. As volunteers came in and out, she got to talk to her friends. One of her friends asked her to go to lunch later in the week. She happily accepted.
She took the bus back home at the end of the day and resumed her solitary existence. She was a reader, a writer, and she did beautiful needlework. She supposed it was enough.
The little Blenheim spaniel ran to greet every visitor that came into the old bookstore. Josie bent down to pat her. Josie had one book she wanted to find and she was told she might be able to find it here.
She started down a row of books marked “Fantasy.”
“Odd,” she thought to herself. She didn’t recognize any of the books. Some smaller books were lying on the floor around a stool, so she sat down and started reading. Later, she realized two hours had passed and she was almost finished with the book. The shopkeeper walked up to tell her he was closing for the day, but she could come back the next day and read.
As Josie walked home, she mused on what a wonderful book she’d just read, but she didn’t recognize the title or the author. She read a lot of fantasy.
She went back to the bookstore the next day. She only had 20 pages left to read in the book she read yesterday. She started reading and the same thing happened. Two hours later, she was still reading the book. The book was growing longer, and even better, every day. A real-life fantasy.
Tonight had been high school graduation for Jacob’s class. Mom, Dad, and Sara, his sister, had been there to watch him walk across the stage. He was pretty proud of himself. It had been a struggle at times to get to this stage.
Jacob had straightened up and graduated with straight A’s. He had slipped up tonight. After graduation, he had gone out for a while with friends and had a few drinks. He was walking home.
He was only two houses away from home. A car pulled up and a guy jumped out and tried to pull him in the car. He started fighting and yelling. He was just about to lose the fight and he felt someone pulling back and he heard Dad yelling in return. Dad had heard the commotion. The car sped off and he fell to the pavement. Dad picked him up and held him. He saved him again. He’d been watching out the window for him to come home.
She had escaped him. She found a room in this hotel over 100 miles away. Why was her judgement always so poor? Why did she always end up with the wrong man? She was still shaking as she put a few things away and went to shower. Those were questions she had tried to answer for years.
After showering, she realized she hadn’t eaten much in two days. He had yelled. Then pouted. Then yelled again until she was able to sneak out. She dressed and went down to the restaurant.
She was eating. Suddenly, a voice behind her said, “Surprise!”
Photo credit to Dale Rogerson
Ruth barely heard something ringing. It was the blood curdling phone call in the middle of the night. Ruth was so startled she dropped the phone. She picked it up and heard her sister talking between screams. Someone had broken into her house and attacked her.
“Come,” she said. “Please help me.”
Writespiration 52 Weeks 52 Words
Swedish Lapland had never been a duchy and had never had their own royal family until Prince David came to the castle there and brought beautiful Princess Signe. There was a celebration when they arrived in Lapland with the citizens coming from far and wide to welcome their monarchs. They finally felt a part of Sweden.
Princess Signe had been trained in music and could play many musical instruments. She particularly enjoyed playing the harp. Often in the summer evenings, Prince David would invite the citizenry to the courtyard to hear the Princess play the harp.
One such evening, Princess Signe was playing and a goblin jumped out of the corner of the castle and atop her harp. She screamed and stood up as the goblin threatened her with a terrible illness. She had been taught how to deal with the creatures of Sweden and pulled out her silver necklace with the silver cross. The goblin screamed and fled.
The beautiful music in the castle continued.
She couldn’t wait to get dressed and go for her run. She didn’t run in the city where she lived. She ran in the country. Her run every day kept her emotionally healthy. She needed it now more than ever.
It was a short drive and in 15 minutes, she was there. She parked her car and ran to the dirt road that was her track. It felt so good to be here. The road was two and one-half miles, so she ran five miles total.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps near her. She looked around and there was Murphy, her German Shepherd. But, Murphy had died a year ago. It seemed to be a pale copy of him running along beside her. There were footsteps on her right. It was her dad who had died five years ago. It was also a pale copy of him. He smiled at her. She felt great peace.
The three of them kept running. She knew they were there to help her. Her mother had died one week ago. She felt they were there to tell her everything was all right. When they got to the end of the road, they disappeared.
Ruby didn’t understand why things kept disappearing. Her hairbrush. The book she was reading. She hadn’t found either of them. It was only she and Ralph in the house. He wouldn’t take those things. What need would Ralph, her husband have for them? He was as puzzled as she was.
Today, her Christmas cactus was missing. Ruby felt like she was losing her mind. Could it be dementia? She even looked around outdoors and there it was. Covered with frost. She snatched it up, taking it inside. She knew something was very wrong.
As she went inside, she heard Ralph on the phone and stopped when she heard the words “nursing home.” She realized he was talking to his brother about her. They were planning on putting her in a nursing home and Ralph had been setting her up.
She would show him.