#52weeks52stories “John & Stella – A Limerick”

theives

Weird week. Hard to concentrate. Too many personal things to deal with, especially with the mister’s and my mom’s health.

Didn’t want to give this week a pass though, so this is my brain under stress. 😀

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#52weeks52stories: Week 32

Word prompt: triplet

Word count – 125

Reading time – 30 sec

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There once was a man named John

Who was always working a con

On the day he met Stella

John became her fella

And the two began life on the run.

~~~

They grifted in Boise

They scammed in Poughkeepsie

With the law on their trail

John and Stella decided to bail

And spent four days in Reno getting tipsy.

~~~

The duo hid in a cabin in Truckee

And John just knew he’d get lucky

But they weren’t very cautious

Now Stella is nauseous

Looks like these two are having a baby.

~~~

Nine months later the triplets came

John knew he had to up his game

So he taught them the ropes

Raised them not to be dopes

And they’re still bringing fame to his name.

~~~

 

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “Mercedes Benz” – Janis Joplin

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “drive/driving.” 

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Still going my own way with this week’s theme to post this Janis Joplin classic which has been a part of pop culture for almost five decades.
Mercedes Benz was written by Joplin and the poets Michael McClure and Bob Neuwirth at Vahsen’s, a Port Chester, New York bar, on August 8, 1970 during an impromptu poetry jam.  The lyrics were inspired by the first line of a song written by McClure, “Come on, God, and buy me a Mercedes Benz.”  Janis would sing the song for the first time at a concert later that same night.
The song is about the search for happiness by the pursuit of worldly goods. It’s a classic hippie rejection of the consumerism that was already a big part of American society.
Recorded in one take two months later, Mercedes Benz  would also be Joplin’s last recorded song.  She died three days later on October 4, 1970 of a heroin overdose. Janis was just twenty-seven-years old.
The song has been covered dozens of times by artists and groups around the world including Elton John, Taj Mahal, and Pink, and used in countless movies and advertising campaigns. Many may be unfamiliar with Joplin and her music but most have heard this song at least once since its release.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

~~~~~

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Mercedes Benz

by Janis Joplin

Written by

Intro]
I’d like to do a song
Of great social and political import
It goes like this

[Verse 1]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

[Verse 2]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me
I wait for delivery each day until three
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV

[Verse 3]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down
Prove that you love me and buy the next round
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town

[Verse 1]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

Compiled from SongFacts.com,  Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google.

“I absolutely loved this novel.” Amazon Reviewer

Best Int 5 stars

~~~

Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, under-served child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.

~~~

Amazon US http://bit.ly/BestInt

Amazon UK http://bit.ly/BestIntUK

Amazon CA http://bit.ly/BestIntCA

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/BestIntAU

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/BestIntGR

~~~

#52weeks52stories “Whose Right is it Anyway?”

Whose Right is it Anyway banner

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#52weeks52stories: Week 31

Word prompt: saw

Word count – 2581

Reading time – 4 min, 10 sec

~~~

The paramedics burst through the bay doors rushing the gurney down the hall while firing off details to the ER team.

“Male, white, 59 years-of-age. He was using a rotary saw with a frayed cord in his garage. The saw overheated, the frayed wires arced and shocked him. His son said he tried to drop the saw as he was falling but he didn’t let go in time. His left arm is almost completely severed at the elbow. His eyes are open but he’s unresponsive. His wife, Carol, is on the way and,” he tilted his head toward a young man entering behind them, “that’s his son, Will, twenty-two. Watch out for the attitude.”

Shouts from ER staff filled the area as the wounded man was pushed into the trauma area and transferred to the treatment table.

“BP’s 70 over 40, thready pulse.”

“Breathing is rapid and shallow. Respiratory is on the way.”

“Sir? Sir? Can you hear me, sir? What is the patient’s name?”

“Dan Henderson.”

“Mr. Henderson? Can you hear me? Do you know the date?”

“Get him typed.”

“Lab is on the way.”

“IV’s are placed.”

Trauma doctor Tim Koskins tried to assess the wound without removing too much of the pressure dressing. “Do we have a history?”

The paramedic held up his clipboard. “No hypertension, diabetes, asthma or known allergies. That’s all we got.”

“Thanks. Start a norepinephrine push and page Dr. Cole, stat.”

“What are you doing to my father?”

Without raising his head, Dr. Koskins spoke to the nurse at his side. “Would you mind? Please?”

RN Rayanne Downes stepped away from the table. “I’m on it.”

She approached the frowning young man.

“It’s Will, right? I’m Rayanne and we’re trying to assess and stabilize your dad to get him into surgery. They may be able to save his arm, but the clock is ticking. Let me show you where you can wait -”

“I’m not leaving my dad.”

“Will, sometimes it’s easier on family -”

I’m not leaving my dad.” He glanced over her shoulder. “What’s he doing?”

Rayanne turned around to see vascular surgeon Aric Cole had arrived and was examining Dan Henderson’s arm. She turned back to Will.

“Dr. Cole will lead the team who reattaches your father’s arm.”

“No.”

“Excuse me?”

“No. He’s not touching my dad. Tell him to step away.”

“Will, what is the prob -”

“No blacks, none. Or Mexicans or Muslims. And only Asians from Japan or China… none of those shit-hole countries.”

Rayanne Downes had dealt with hundreds of people who refused treatment for a variety of reasons during her twenty-four years in nursing. However, this arrogant young man was going on her short list of most outrageous.

She backed away, unable to mask the contempt in her eyes.

Rayanne walked over to the doctors and murmured something the rest of the staff couldn’t hear. However, they all knew it wasn’t good when both men stopped examining Dan Henderson to stare at his son.

Aric Cole and Tim Koskins exchanged smirks before Aric left the table and washed his hands in the corner basin.

Tim worked to control the rage building inside his head, knowing to lash out at the young man would only make the situation worse.

Instead, he gave instructions to Rayanne for Mr. Henderson, then approached the man’s son.

Will Henderson smirked as he puffed out his chest.

“I suppose you’re gonna give me a lecture on tolerance and loving my neighbor now, right?”

“No. I wanted you to know that other than the injury he sustained, your father appears healthy, which works in his favor.”

“So, what’s the problem?”

“The type of injury is the problem. He’s in danger of not only losing his arm but his life. His blood pressure is too low, his pulse and heartbeat too fast. He’s in shock and has lost a lot of blood and -”

“Yeah, he’s in bad shape. So, why aren’t you over there helping him?”

“Because the doctor you don’t want to treat your father is his best chance to come through this alive and with his arm intact.”

Will Henderson scoffed. “You doctors all stick together, good or bad. I don’t want some affirmative action scholarship darkie anywhere near my dad. So, you get him stable and into surgery – “

“I’m not a surgeon.”

“This is a hospital! I’m sure there are surgeons all over – “

Koskins’ patience ran out. He turned with clenched fists and walked away from the belligerent fool before he decked him.

“Hey. Hey!”

Not trusting himself enough to get close to the kid again, the doctor looked over his shoulder.

Will pointed at a nurse next to his dad hanging units of blood from the IV pole.

“What’s she doing?”

“Your father has lost a lot of blood. Lauren is preparing a transfusion for him.”

“She needs to step away too, and where did that blood come from?”

Tim glanced over at Lauren, but the pretty young African-American RN was already walking away from the table.

“Lauren, wait. Please.”

She stopped near the door and exhaled roughly. She folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the wall, her angry glare focused on Will Henderson.

Dr. Koskins addressed Rayanne. “Is Mr. Henderson responsive yet.”

“No, doctor. He’s still foggy and confused.”

“How’s his BP?”

“Not much improvement, doctor.”

“Increase the norepinephrine.” He turned to Will. “Your father needs blood… now.”

“You still haven’t told me where it comes from.”

The doctor threw his arms out at his sides. “The hospital blood bank.”

“No, I mean are you sure you’re giving him blood from his own kind?”

“His own kind?”

“You know. White.”

The trauma staff froze and stared at Will Henderson, incredulous.

Tim Koskins shook with rage. Not looking at any particular staff member, he spoke through gritted teeth.

“Get someone from admin in here. Now.” He took a step toward the defiant man.

“Blood is stored by type, not ethnicity.”

Will threw up his own arms, amazed. “And that’s the problem. That’s why our people are getting so many strange illnesses. You mix our blood with theirs.

Tim was done. “We don’t work in ours and theirs here. Our job is to help everyone anyway we can. If you’re refusing the transfusion, you have to sign a form. But know you’re jeopardizing your father’s life.”

Before Will could respond, the doors behind him opened and the medical receptionist entered, an attractive but harried middle-age woman close at her heels.

“Doctor, the patient’s wife is here.”

Seeing her son first, Carol Henderson stopped and grabbed him.

“William, what’s going on? What happened?” She noticed Tim Koskins and rushed toward him. “Doctor? Are you working on my husband? How is he? What happened?”

Tim reached out and gripped her arm to steady her. “Yes, ma’am. I’m Dr. Koskins. We’re trying to stabilize Mr. Henderson and slow the bleeding.”

“Bleeding…”

“I don’t have all the facts, Mrs. Henderson, but your husband has a partially severed arm.”

Carol drew back in horror, covering her mouth with her hands. She looked past the doctor to her husband lying on the treatment table.

“W-What -”

The doctor gripped her arm again with a firmer hold. “Mrs. Henderson, time is very important right now. May I speak with you in private, please?”

He led her to a small consultation room. Will tried to follow.

“I need to speak with you alone, ma’am.”

Will tried to protest. “Hey, wait a minute. This is my family – “

“Now is not the time, William. For God’s sake, just wait.”

No one missed the glare the distressed woman threw at her son before entering the room.

Time stood still as the ER team continued to work on Dan Henderson while casting looks of worry at the closed consultation room door and looks of contempt at the chastened young man still smarting from his mother’s reprimand.

Four minutes later, the door opened. Tim Koskins took one of Carol’s hands into both of his.

“Thank you, Mrs. Henderson. Wait right here. There are forms for you to sign, and I’ll have a patient advocate come and sit with you.”

Overwhelmed and eyes brimming with tears, Carol Henderson nodded once.

Koskins turned to his team, issuing a flurry of orders.

“Page Dr. Cole back to Trauma. Alert surgery the patient will be there as soon as he’s stable.” He glanced over at Lauren still leaning against the wall.” The transfusion’s not going to start itself.”

He hadn’t finished his sentence before she was at Dan Henderson’s side looking for a vein in his uninjured arm.

Carol watched the team move around her husband, every movement with determined purpose.

She only caught glimpses of Dan’s face, but she didn’t miss the large blood-soaked bandage on his arm.

Or the small puddle of blood on the floor.

She watched a nurse lean over and say something to Dan, but he didn’t respond. The nurse tried again, and Carol saw Dan’s lips move but she didn’t hear anything.

Clutching her bag in one hand and her chest with the other, Carol stepped closer to the table.

Dan was speaking, but it was gibberish and made no sense.

The tears she’d held back fell as her heart broke for the man she’d spent more than half her fifty-two-years with.

Tim Koskins raised his head and saw the poor woman falling apart.

“Folks hang on just a second.”

He reached out his hand, motioning for Carol to come closer.

She stepped around Lauren securing the needle in place with a Tegaderm. Standing at her husband’s head, Carol was grateful to be near him.

The doctor encouraged her. “It’s okay. Go ahead. Talk to him.”

Gripping his shoulder, Carol leaned close to his right ear.

“Danny? I’m here, honey. You’re going to be okay, sweetie. These good people are giving you their best.”

Dan Henderson took a large gulp of air.

Tim Koskins motioned for her to continue.

“They’re taking you to surgery, sweetie and you’ll be back to your old self in no time, and then I want that four-star lunch you promised me.”

Soft chuckles from the staff stopped seconds after they began when Dan Henderson turned his head for the first time since arriving for treatment.

Carol leaned over farther so he could see her face. Her tears flowed faster seeing tears in his eyes.

“You’re going to be fine, baby. And you’re wearing a suit to lunch.” She kissed his cheek and the staff was in awe of the recognition and love in their patient’s eyes.

Rayanne swiped a tear from her face. “There are some things modern medicine will never be able to do.”

Carol squeezed Dan’s shoulder again. “I’ll be here when you get back.” She stepped away from her husband’s side just as Aric Cole rushed back into trauma.

“Surgery is prepping, ortho and anesthesia are ready. We’ll stop at radiology on the way for a couple of scans and x-rays. How is the star of the show?”

“BP and pulse are improving, doctor.”

“That’s what I like to hear.”

Koskins and Cole stood off to the side talking for several minutes. Tim tilted his head and Aric’s gaze followed to Carol Henderson. He smiled, then looked toward the unit doors. Will Henderson was still there, but his stature had diminished. His shoulders were slumped and his hands were shoved deep into pockets.

Aric approached Carol. “Mrs. Henderson, I’m Dr. Cole. I’ll be leading your husband’s surgical team.”

“Dr. Koskins told me you’re tops in the city and you started in Afghanistan. I know my Danny’s in good hands.”

Aric Cole looked over at Koskins then leaned closer to his patient’s wife. “I’m putting him in charge of my PR team.”

Carol smiled. “Dr. Cole, about earlier, about you treating my husband – “

“Ma’am, it’s forgotten. Your husband’s health and full-recovery is the focus and always will be. The procedure will be long, but we’ll keep you updated. I’ve called in a special patient advocate to stay with you. Daria Melrose. We worked together in the middle-east and she’ll take care of you and can answer some of your questions.”

“Y-You did that… and arranged all those things I heard you mention even after my son – “

He cut her off. “Mrs. Henderson, the procedure is the most important part, but it’s not the only part. We have to have everything in place to give your husband, or any patient, the best opportunity for a full recovery. And we have to take care of family because you’re the first level of support.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

“You’re welcome. We’ll talk again soon.”

He returned to the charts and monitors surrounding Dan Henderson. His vitals were improving.

A young nurse appeared with a clipboard and an electronic tablet for Carol’s signature in several places.

After signing, Carol glanced at her son. He still looked like a sullen child upset over not getting his way. Gone was the shy, introverted child who had trouble making friends. So desperate for acceptance, Will latched on to the first group which welcomed him—an alt-right group of hate-mongering racists who weren’t above using violence to deliver their warped messages. Carol was disgusted but she walked over to him.

“Mom, you don’t understand.”

“What, William? What don’t I understand? That you were taking advantage of a situation and exerting your authority over something you know your father wouldn’t want? Is that what I don’t understand?”

“You and dad won’t take the time to listen. If you did, you’d understand it’s past time we took a stand and stop letting these liberals walk all over us – “

“Stop it.”

“No, mom, Mr. Milner said – “

“Stop it, William.”

“But mom, Mr. Milner said -”

“Shut up! Mr. Milner said this, Mr. Milner said that… I’m sick of it. Your dad and I raised you and told you the right things, and this hateful jackass erased it all from your head in less than a year.”

“Mom, you’ve missed the big picture – “

Carol’s soul shattered. He was lost to her.

“William, the big picture is you had no right to overrule your father’s rights. He was unable to speak for himself and it was your duty as his son to act on his behalf, not your own twisted agenda.”

He tried to respond, but she continued.

“All that garbage propaganda you spout talking about rights miss one key point—your rights are no more important or come before anyone else’s. I-I…  could have l-lost my husband today because of your selfishness. What has – “

“Mrs. Henderson, I’ll show you to the surgery lounge. Daria Melrose is there waiting for you.”

Carol smiled at the receptionist. “Thank you, I’ll be right there.”

“It’s going to take some time for me to find forgiveness in my heart for you, William, and I can’t be around you right now.”

She reached up, took his face in both her hands and pulled him close, kissing his forehead.

“I love you. But I miss the bright-eyed, compassionate kid I raised with the easy smile. You? I don’t know who you are, so easily swayed by words and believing in whatever you’re told. But if that is the case, please believe me when I tell you-you’re an idiot.”

Carol Henderson walked away, leaving her only child standing there in confused disbelief… and alone.

~~~

 

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “Tequila” – Pee wee Herman Dance

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “drink.” 

 ~~~~~
Still stretching the theme to something to drink, there’s no way I could pass up the iconic dance scene from the 1985 big screen hit, Pee wee’s Big Adventure.
In the movie, Pee-wee enters a biker bar for one large wine and to make a phone call, but the outlaw motorcycle club threatens to kill him after he accidentally knocks over their motorcycles. Pee-wee makes a last request, dancing to the song Tequila. His dance wins over the bikers, who give him a motorcycle for his journey. (Pee-wee crashes his motorcycle immediately afterwards.)
The version of Tequila used in the movie is the original recorded by 50s group The Champs, and written by band member Danny Flores (as Chuck Rio). It was a number one song in 1958 and won the 1959 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance.
“Tequila” is the song’s only lyric.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

~~~~~

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Tequila

by The Champs

Written by

 

Compiled from SongFacts.com,  Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google.

Camp NaNo Update Day #31

Camp NaNo Update Day #31 bannet

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It’s hard to imagine how early writers ever completed and published anything with the tools of their time.

Sharp styluses, quills, and rods of graphite wrapped in string were used to write on papyrus, clay, slate, wood, and parchment.

But then writing was also limited for the most part to scholars and academics, church leaders, and monarchies… as was reading.

Of course, writing has withstood the test of time and is no longer an instrument of a privileged few.

Today, everyone writes. It’s a necessity even on the most basic of levels.

We write to communicate, educate and inform. You don’t have to be a writer to write but if you are, regardless of if you were dragged, pushed, or went voluntarily, you’ve fallen down the writer’s life rabbit hole.

What’s down there?

The tips! The advice! The techniques! The best practices!

And, the tools of writing, because why we write hasn’t changed. But, the way we write? Most definitely, and it continues to evolve.

Just as reading is a personal experience, so is writing. We learn the basics in school then put our own spin on it… much to the chagrin of teachers. (My constant use of ellipses would get me into a world of trouble with my junior high school English teacher, Raymond Rosa.)

Some writers will not write one word of their manuscript until they have a full outline, complete with scenes.

Still, others grab a cup of coffee, sit down to their laptops and start writing a story.

There is no right or wrong way.

A writer needs to find what works best for them; what bests helps them achieve their goals in their writing journey.

Will you use WORD, Scrivener, Quoll, or yWriter?

Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Hemingway, or Autocrit? Paid or free versions?

Writing group or beta readers?

Self-published, hybrid, or traditional?

Fan groups? Free Content? Written resources? Mentor?

The list is endless and doesn’t even include websites/blogs, newsletters, or social media.

Most writers will work their way through these tools and aids until they stumble upon the winning combination.

And that’s the important part – what works for you. Not your writing partner; not the guy who just had a bestseller; not the lady who teaches creative writing or your favorite author.

Writers often create their own setbacks when they mimic the writing process of someone who’s had recent success and do not get the same results. They believe their work isn’t as good or they’ve done something wrong.

And nothing could be farther from the truth.

Just as no two people read the same book, no two people write the same book. Even if it’s same genre, same trope (or nonfiction), the writers are different so why expect the same results?

Yes, there are rules on the mechanics of writing, but, as I’ve posted before, you can get away with occasionally breaking some of them.

But how you do it is completely up to you.

My Favorites Tools

Scrivener (for Windows)

Hemingway (paid) used with free versions of Grammarly and ProWritingAid. (Still undecided on renewing PWA or going with something else.)

Jutoh (formatting)

Adobe Creative Suite (now Creative Cloud), Canva

The Writer’s Lexicon, Volume I and Volume II by Kathy Steinemann

Emotional Beats by Nicholas C. Rossis

Polish Your Prose by Harmony Kent

Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass

Writer Unboxed

The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn)

~~~

Camp NaNoWriMo is history. If you participated, whether or not you reached your set goal, I hope you had fun with it and even gleaned useful strategies/practices… because NaNoWriMo begins in NINETY-TWO days! See you there! 😀

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Day 31 word count – 52,964

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©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Camp NaNo Update Day #30

Camp NaNo Update Day #30 banner

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Thanks for hanging out with me during July 2018 CampNaNoWriMo.  I learn something every time I start a new project and Sins of the Mother has turned into a major education.

I’ll wrap up tomorrow so, for now, here’s one last excerpt from Sins of the Mother.

~~~

Sally tried to relax as she sat on the tailgate of the ambulance.
The paramedic who’d introduced herself as Ruby, frowned while taking Sally’s blood pressure.
Sally attempted to lighten the mood. “Will I live?”
Ruby continued to frown.
“Your blood pressure is running low and your pulse is rapid. Not unusual for what you’ve been through, ma’am. But add the nausea, fatigue and enlarged pupils, and I believe you’re suffering from mild shock. You should be seen by a doctor.”
Overwhelmed and on the verge of tears, Sally Bennett pleaded. “I believe you, Ruby and I’m not trying to be difficult, but I just need this night to end. I don’t think I can handle anymore sitting, waiting and endless questions.”
Ruby glanced from Officer Holland to her partner, Mackie and back to Sally. Her face softened. “I understand, ma’am. But you should also know shock can mean blood isn’t reaching your organs the way it should and can trigger a cardiac episode hours or even days after a traumatic event.”
“I understand, but I just want to go home. I promise if I feel worse, I’ll get to the hospital. And even if I don’t, I’ll call my doctor as soon as his office opens.”
Ruby held the clipboard while Sally signed the refusal of transport document, then turned to Holland. “Take care of her and don’t let her drive.”
“No driving. You got it.”
He helped Sally from the tailgate and they approached the Ramirez home. “I’ll find an officer inside to follow us in your car when I take you home.”
Sally didn’t hear him.
Three feet from the front door she froze in her tracks and Officer Holland felt her body trembling.
“You don’t have to do this, Mrs. Bennett. Tell me where your things are and you can wait with Ruby while I get them.”
Several minutes passed before Sally responded, staring at the front door.
“I’m going in. Graciela and her daughter have to come back here and live. I can go in long enough to get my things.”
Allowing her to set the pace, Officer Holland entered the home behind Sally.
She was floored by all the activity.
Sally had only seen the Ramirez home in the muted and subdued lighting required by Graciela’s vision problems. Now, every room light and lamp appeared to be on. People moved around rooms, drawing on notepads and taking pictures. She entered the hallway, finding it also full with members of law enforcement. However, all eyes focused on Sally and moved to the side, allowing her to pass.
Making sure Officer Holland was right behind her, Sally headed for the guest bedroom.
Sally swiped a hand over her ear as the buzzing returned.
The hallway appeared to stretch out in front of her, making it take twice as long to cover the short distance.
As she passed Graciela’s room, Sally’s stomach rumbled and she pursed her lips staving off another wave of nausea.
A flash of light from inside Graciela’s bedroom caught her attention and before Sally could stop herself, she turned and looked inside.
Her attacker’s body still lay on the floor at the foot of Graciela’s bed surrounded by the coroner and his staff.
Sally’s view was obscured by the crowd and all she could see was his head.
His face was turned away from her as more photos were taken to identify him.
She looked at the thick, wavy chestnut hair with fine strands of gray and a sense of familiarity returned.
She knew this man.
Sally entered the bedroom, but Officer Holland grabbed her by the hand. “Ma’am, you don’t want to do that.”
She pulled from his grasp. “I have to,” and before anyone could stop her, Sally Bennett pushed her way through the crowd and stared down at the dead man.
The buzzing in her head roared.
She opened her mouth to scream but there was no sound.
Crime scene techs tried to cover the assailant’s face, but it was too late.
Brian Holland strode through the crowd trying to get to his charge, but Sally backed away into the corner.
The boiling bile in her gut would no longer be denied and erupted from her as she turned and faced the wall.
Sally slumped to the floor clawing at her chest and the burn left by the offensive acid.
Officer Holland tried to help her up but she scooted away… toward the still body.
The small crowd looked on in confusion and horror as Sally stroked the dead man’s hair.
Her voice returned and mournful, pitiful wails filled the room.
Sally’s mind snapped and surrendered to the comfort of the darkness as she stared into the lifeless eyes of her husband, Frankie Bennett.

~~~

Day 30 word count – 51,749

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©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Camp NaNo Update Day #29

Camp NaNo Update Day #29 banner

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It’s ironic I crossed the fifty-thousand-word mark before the end of the challenge when it wasn’t my goal.

Remember, my project was to add 30K to an existing WIP.

Which now means… I have too many w-o-r-d-s.

The first draft edit will be epic. Darlings will be killed… or at least removed, to be reincarnated as blurbs and teasers somewhere down the line.

~~~

Time for another unedited excerpt from Sins of the Mother.

~~~

Exhausted and annoyed, Sally Bennett wanted answers.

Two hours after fighting a masked attacker for her life, three different detectives approached her three different times asking the same questions.

But no one would answer her questions.

Who was the attacker?

Had he been arrested?

How did he get inside the Ramirez home?

She understood they had a job to do but it didn’t annoy her any less.

Sally was comforted knowing Graciela was safe.

She interrupted the attack on Graciela before the intruder could do any real harm, but at Sally’s urging, the gutsy senior citizen allowed paramedics to take her to the emergency room at the hospital where Estelle worked.

Her adrenaline rush gone, Sally sat like a leaden weight on neighbor Nina Arrens’ sofa wrapped in a blanket.

The kind woman who’d pulled Sally and Graciela inside her home misread Sally’s earlier shivers for cold instead of fear and had been trying to keep her warm ever since.

Two of Sally’s interrogators stood near the door taking furtive glances in her direction as they spoke.

The embers of anger smoldered in Sally’s chest.

Calm down, Bennett. This is the job they do every day.

But violence in her life was something new to Sally and she didn’t appreciate being treated as though she did something wrong.

She wanted to go home.

No, that wasn’t true. Frankie was away and she’d be alone with her thoughts at home. She needed her husband, or one of her children, or at least one familiar face who knew her before the worst day of her life began.

A third detective joined the two watching her.

Sally didn’t recognize him, but he also stared at her while trying to act like he wasn’t.

Her jaws tightened as her anger grew.

He walked toward her, taking a pad and pen from his jacket pocket.

“Mrs. Bennett, I’m Det. -”

“No, I didn’t know the man. No, I don’t know how he got in, and no, I didn’t notice anyone watching the house earlier in the evening.”

She smirked at his surprised reaction.

“I guess my detectives have been pretty thorough tonight.”

“Only at asking questions. They suck at giving answers.”

Sally knew she was being rude, but her frazzled nerves were at the breaking point.

“Touché`.”

He sat down on the sofa next to her, resting his elbows on his knees.

“I’m Detective Sergeant Gavin Marks and I do apologize if it’s seemed like my squad is ignoring you, Mrs. Bennett. We’re still trying to sort things out.”

His apology did nothing to calm her.

“Like what?”

“Well, the city’s been on edge ever since the attacks on elderly women began. At first glance, Mrs. Ramirez’s case fits.”

“At first glance?”

“Yes. While the other victims were alone in their homes, they were all senior citizens in poor health or recovering from illness or surgery. This case fits… except for your presence.”

“Me? What’s this got to do with -” She froze, realizing what he meant.

“So, you’re saying the attacker expected Graciela to be alone? But how? I was subbing for another woman from our service. And we were only needed because Estelle Ramirez couldn’t change her shift.”

Det. Marks considered her before continuing.

“That narrows things down even more.”

Sally let the blanket fall from her shoulders as she scrubbed her hands over her face. Confusion wasn’t mixing well with her fatigue.

Then she got it.

Her mouth gaped open at the thought. No, it wasn’t possible.

“Det., you think Graciela was targeted through Angels Assist? That’s crazy.”

“Like I said, we’re still sorting this out, but I’m trying to keep an open mind.”

“But there aren’t many men associated with the agency—no male volunteers, and all the male staff members are up in age too. They work as drivers and deliver meals.”

He made a few quick notes.

“No one’s mentioned that to me tonight. It’s worth looking into.”

Sally bit her lip lost in thought, trying to figure out the connections.

Marks cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry, Det., did you say something?”

“I’m sure you’re exhausted, ma’am, and I promise to get you home soon. But, please, walk with me through this to see if we’re missing anything. Okay?”

She exhaled roughly. “Okay. Fine.”

He glanced at his notes again before beginning.

“Estelle Ramirez made the eye surgery appointment for her mom twelve days ago. She also put in a request for the week off from her job the same day.

Human Resources approved her time off the next day, with the exception of the current shift because the other two charge nurses were already scheduled off. The HR department posted the shift on the hospital extra-duty website for three days, with no takers. Before committing to the rest of the time off, Estelle called the eye clinic to if it was possible to move her mother’s appointment. It couldn’t be done, but one of the nurses there told her about Angels Assist… and that’s where you come into the story.”

“Well, not me exactly.”

Marks frowned, puzzled. “I don’t understand.”

“I work part-time as a services scheduler for the agency. There are two of us. Mona Ingram set up Graciela’s overnight with Kristen, one of our volunteers. After the last attack, her husband insisted she quit. Her call was routed to me yesterday and when I couldn’t find anyone… I took the position.”

Marks was silent for several minutes, adding to his notes before continuing.

“You do that often, Mrs. Bennett… cover appointments?”

Sally shrugged. “Once or twice a month—depends on the workload versus personnel.”

Gavin Marks rubbed his brow, mulling over these new details.

“Is something wrong, Det.?”

“Remember I said this case fits the attacker’s profile at first glance?”

“Yes.”

“Well, it’s a wide glance. After two months, we still haven’t found a connection in the first four attacks… or a lead.” He stood. “But I’ll get my people on this when the city wakes up.”

He signaled to a uniformed officer in the foyer. The large African-American man walked over standing next to Gavin Marks, acknowledging Sally with a nod.

“I know you’ve declined medical treatment, Mrs. Bennett, but I don’t think it’s a bad idea for you to go in and get checked out.”

“I’m fine, Detective, really. He didn’t hurt me. Just rattled my nerves.”

“Then I’ll let you go, but I’ll try to answer some of the questions you asked my detectives.”

Sally frowned.

“Your attacker was carrying no identification, so we don’t know who he is. Crime scene techs found the framing around the dining room window stripped away. He probably used a crowbar or screwdriver. And no ma’am, he hasn’t been arrested because he’s dead.”

~~~

Day 29 word count – 50,329

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