Monday, March 20, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT - REUNITED continues... #romance




Welcome! This week we have to write to a picture and use only 300 words. I picked this one. And I'm continuing the story, Reunited. Scroll down to go back to Tuesday Tales and the other stories, and to my website. Thanks for stopping by. 


*****************************  

Cassie awoke, and stretched. She smiled. Today, she’d be supervising the set up of the farm for shooting the program. She had a week to get everything done before Mike and the crew showed up. Slipping out of bed, she grabbed her robe, and padded into the kitchen.
The smell of brewing coffee tantalized her taste buds. Rummaging through the fridge, she located a loaf of “health” bread and made a face. Still, she grabbed the loaf and her sugar-free jam. She hated the taste of that cardboard, masquerading as toast. Slathering on strawberry jam with some artificial sweetener which made it sickeningly sweet, she grimaced as she faced her breakfast. She’d have to eat real food when shooting began, or subsist on this crap off camera.
She sipped her coffee as the phone dialed Ned.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Hi. When is the set-up crew scheduled to arrive? Today’s first day. I’m heading out as soon as I get dressed. What time should I expect them?”
“Crew?”
“Didn’t you arrange for a crew?”
“There’s no budget for a crew, Cassie. You’ll have to do it yourself.”
“Well that sucks.”
“I’m sorry, baby, but we’ve cut the budget to the bone just to get this thing in the can.”
She stuck out her lower lip and plopped down on a chair.
“Damn.”
“I know, I know. It’s not what you wanted. After we close the deal, they’ll be money for a set-up crew and you’ll be treated like a queen.”
Mollified, a small grin crept across her face. “Okay, then.”
She grabbed a shower, then jumped in her car and hit the Palisades Parkway. She tooled along the pretty highway speeding toward Pine Grove. First, she stopped at the grocery store. She bumped into a cart maneuvered by an older woman.
“Cassie Newsome? Is that  you?”
Laura Dailey trained keen eyes on the young woman.
“Yes, it’s me.”
“Well, look at you? You’re even prettier. Moved back to town?”

“Not exactly,” Cassie hedged. 
























































#noraroberts
#eloisajames

Monday, March 13, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "LEMON" - REUNITED CONTINUES!




Cassie finished up and hit the road. With no difficulty, she found the rental office that held the lease for Quincy farm. There was a sign outside a small farmhouse that pointed to a door on the side. She knocked.
“Come on in. I’m in the kitchen,” called a female voice.
Cassie entered a charming home painted bright colors. The smell of bread baking beckoned her to the kitchen. She stuck her head in.
“Mrs. Rogers?”
“That’s me. You are?”
“Cassie Newsome. I called about leasing the Quincy Farm?”
“Oh, sure, sure. Come on in. I’ve just put up a pot of tea.” The woman gestured to a round oak table in the center of a generous kitchen. “You like bread?”
Cassie nodded, her mouth already watering at the tempting aroma.
“I got some here, fresh baked. One loaf is cooled enough.” The woman sliced off two slabs and put them on plates. A half stick of butter rested in an old fashioned dish. Cassie spread and watched it melt.
“Lemon or milk?” The woman asked.
“Milk, please, Mrs. Rogers.”
“Everyone calls me Ellie. Nice to meet ya,” she said, sitting down across from Cassie. “So tell me, what do you need a farm for?”
“It’s only for four months.”
“We only do six month rentals.” Ellie’s brows knitted.
“Oh, that’s okay. We’ll pay for six months. No problem.”  
“Good.”
“How come you’re renting out the farm, instead of living there? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Have you tried to make a living off a farm?”
Cassie shook her head.
“Yeah, well, we didn’t do too good. It’s Joe’s mom’s place. She passed five years ago. We gave it a go for as long as we could. Then moved back here. Joe’s got a job at the garden supply store. I sell bread to the coffee shop in town. We make out okay.”
“Many people want to rent a farm?” Cassie’s curiosity overcame her shyness.
“You’d be surprised. If you only need it for four months, we’d like to have it back for Christmas. We have a family that always comes up here for the holidays. City folk. They bring their kids. They say they’re looking for an old fashioned experience.”
Cassie smiled, then cast her gaze to the floor. She remembered one great Christmas. It was before her dad deserted them, when he still loved her mother. She must have been four or five. The little house had been filled with tantalizing smells of gingerbread and cinnamon, of apples cooking and meat roasting.
By the summertime, her father had had a huge fight with her mother, knocked her around a bit and taken off. No matter how hard her mother tried, Christmas was never the same. When she left, Cassie stopped even acknowledging the holiday.
I see you’re not married, right? So what do you want with a big ole farmhouse?”
“Actually, it’s for a television program.”
“You gonna film a show there?”
Cassie nodded.
“Wow! We’re gonna be famous? That’s unbelievable.”
“If the network picks up the show, we might be back again.”
“Want to see the place?”
Cassie nodded. 
“Can we go now?”
“Of course. Finish up. I’ll get the key.”
Ellie left the room. Cassie finished her bread. She’d never eaten anything so delicious in her life. She drained her cup and wiped her lips. Ellie chattered about the farm all the way down the street.
When Cassie stepped out of the car, she sighed. The word “perfect” came to mind.


Thank you so much for coming. Click here to return to Tuesday Tales and this to go to my website. 

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Monday, March 6, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - REUNITED - TREE #romance #tuesdaytales






Welcome! This week's word prompt is "tree". I am continuing with my story, "Reunited." Scroll down to return to Tuesday Tales or hit my website. Thank you for coming. 

***************************

Cassie returned to her apartment, poured a glass of wine, stripped off her clothes and slipped on a shift before she called Ned. Stretched out on the sofa, she dialed.
“How’d it go?”
“Well hello to you, too.”
“Come on, give.”
“It went fine. He’s in.”
“Good girl!”
“So, what’s next?”
“I’ll send him the contract. You start scouting sites.”
“Late dinner tonight?” She asked, sucking in her lower lip.
“Tonight? Too much to do. Maybe tomorrow. Send me his address. Love you. Gotta go.”
The phone went dead.
Cassie scrounged up a frozen dinner from the freezer. She poured another glass of wine and while she ate, searched the Internet for the right location for the shoot. What would be a likely place for her to hang with Mike? She closed her eyes and images flashed through her mind. She saw a barn and a pond. No, it was a lake. And trees, lots of trees. The rope swing Mike’s dad hung in a tree on their property jogged her memory.
“Okay, rural,” she said, typing into the Google search bar.

After discarding several places as too basic –she refused to use an outhouse –she found the perfect spot -- a log cabin on fifty acres for rent. With two bedrooms, a giant fireplace in the great room, a good kitchen and two bathrooms, this was ideal. The price wasn’t cheap, but hey, it wasn’t coming out of her pocket.

The show had to be right and the setting, romantic or why waste their time? She clicked on the slideshow and perused the pictures of Quincy Farm. There were fields, a large garden not far from the house. Rocking chairs on the porch and a tree swing added rustic charm.
She shot off an email to Ned:

                 Going to see Quincy Farm for the show. I’ll be on
                 the road for the next few days. Talk to you as soon
                 as I know anything.

She snuggled into bed, hugging her extra pillow. Excitement at taking her dream to the next level filled her veins and she found it hard to sleep. Various scenarios with Mike on Quincy Farm floated through her imagination.

After so many years in the City, getting back to the country, to her roots, brought happy anticipation. Although the place wasn’t far from Pine Grove, where she and Mike grew up, she was light years ahead of the insecure, little girl who’d left town when she was eighteen and had never returned. Did she yearn to go back? No way! She was right where she needed to be, taking control of her life and reaching for the moon.  

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Monday, February 27, 2017

TUESDAY TALES. - Word prompt "Air" - "Reunited" continues #romance




Welcome. This week's word prompt is "air". I continue with the story, "Reunited". I hope you're enjoying it. Scroll down for the link to return to Tuesday Tales and my website.

*************************

“As I was saying, it’s a program about bringing people together. Unscripted, reality TV. So, you’d never know what was going to happen. I mean the viewer wouldn’t. Of course, the producers would have the reins.”
“What do you mean, ‘have the reins’?”
“They’d be in control. I mean if people started fighting, like a knock-down-drag-out, or something. They’d step in.”
“What if they started ripping their clothes off and making passionate love?”  Shocked at his own boldness, he sensed color heading to his face.
“Why, Mike! You made yourself blush,” she said, laughing.
“Answer the question.”
“Of course they’d step in. We don’t want the show to be yanked because it’s porn, or something.”
“I see. So, it would be okay to do that in private?”  A small smile curled his lips.
“Private is private,” she grinned. “I think that kind of tension, sexual tension, will keep viewers glued to their sets. They’ll want to know if they slept together or not and the next day, the way they interact, will probably reveal the truth. But we can’t have that on camera.”
He nodded. “I get it.”
She took a deep breath and let it out. “So, would you be interested?”
“You want me to pretend to fall in love with you for a trip to the Caribbean?”
“It’s not that tacky. Honestly. It would help me out so much. If we could capture an audience, the program would get a contract.”
“Are you a producer?”
She nodded. “I am. Along with Ned Collins. We’re the founders, the creators of the show. But we’d be the main producers. Or Ned would. Guess I’d have to step back a bit if I was on camera.”
“This Ned guy. Who is he?”
“A friend.”
“That’s all?”
“Yep.”
She couldn’t meet his gaze. He didn’t believe her. So what if this Ned guy was her boyfriend? I mean they’d only be pretending to fall in love, right? He certainly wasn’t ready for a relationship. So this might be perfect. Getting him out of the house would make his mother happy. And she was right. He’d been hiding out for a long time, licking his wounds.  A wicked idea crossed his  mind. How far would Cassie be willing to go to make this show a success? Would she sleep with him? The idea gave him a twinge between the legs.
“It’s all going to be make-believe? Just for the camera?”

“Of course. I mean, I don’t know you at all anymore. It’s been ages.”
“So that means you couldn’t possibly fall in love with me, right? Guaranteed?”
“Nothing in life is guaranteed, Mike. Who knows?” Her eyes twinkled with mischief. God, he’d missed that, all these years.
“It’s stupid. Crazy. Idiotic,” he paused, “I’ll do it.” His rational self jumped up and down inside his head, screaming to back off, run, as fast as he could. But he’d already committed. The idea of doing something totally spontaneous and dumb appealed to him. He’d led such a staid life. He hadn’t taken a chance on anything since he last hung out with Cassie.
He’d forgotten how insane life was with her, how much fun. Living in the funk he’d been in, hadn’t done anything to help him. He needed a jolt, something off-the-wall. And this was it. If he got to sleep with Cassie, so much the better. But even if he didn’t, he’d get to spend time with her. Her natural energy and enthusiasm might lift him up the way it always had.
With an alcoholic father, tension had always been in the air. His mother, tight-lipped and grim most of the time, tried to make up for it. She worked hard at a local restaurant, waiting tables and tending bar. The atmosphere at home when he was growing up was dark. Cassie shone like the sun in his life. After school, they’d hang together and she’d get him in some awful messes. But they always ended up laughing about it.

Cassie had brought life and excitement to his days. Damn, he needed something and maybe she was it. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - PICTURE PROMPT





Welcome! This is picture prompt week. And I  have to keep this to 300 words only. I'm still with "Reunited". Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales and my website. Thanks for stopping by.

*********************

Mike looked at the pretty, young woman. What she was presenting was ridiculous. About to raise his hand for the check, he remembered what awaited him at home. The empty room haunted him. Yes, his sister had cleaned out all of Patty’s stuff. But he still felt her presence there. He’d tucked away her favorite bear, Briny, in the closet.
And the room still had her sweet scent. His wife and his little daughter, just six and the light of his life died in a car crash two years ago. Mike had gone to therapy. He’d taken a long trip, tried everything to forget, but there was no way he could ever forget her shining smile, and effervescent personality.
He sat back. He’d listen to Cassie for a while longer. As crazy as her idea was, it kept him from going home. He ordered another drink. Maybe by the time, he’d be tired enough to sleep without waking up and ending up in her empty room.
“Sorry, my mind wandered. What were you saying?” She had grown more beautiful over the years. And the shy little tomboy now flashed significant cleavage his way. Who was he to ignore what was on display? That would be rude, wouldn’t it?
As he watched her explain her dream, her lively expression, broad smile, and sexy body sucked him in. Maybe he’d shuffle back a few years and get what he’d wanted so bad ten years ago -- one glorious roll in the hay with hot, little Cassie Newsome. Maybe she’d make him forget what he had lost that stormy day in February.

He took her hand in his, and focused on her words. Could something this totally insane save him? Who was he to doubt Cassie’s ambition and determination? Damn it. She turned him on. 


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Monday, February 13, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "LOVE"


Welcome! The word prompt this week is "love". How appropriate! I'm continuing with the story "Reunited" this week. Hope you enjoy it. Scroll down for links back to the great stories at Tuesday Tales and my website. 
Thanks for stopping by. 

******************************

Cassie arrived at the bar first. She learned that, on a blind date, being there before the guy meant you could scope him out and if he looked really bad, you could hide in the ladies room and sneak out the back door. It gave her the upper hand.
This time was different. But she needed to be in control here because there were big stakes involved. If the program “Reunited” took off, she and Ned would be multimillionaires. This had to work.
Mike walked in wearing a blue, button-down shirt, dark gray slacks, and a tan corduroy sports jacket. Having filled out some since high school, he looked good. She smiled and waved. He noticed her, raised his hand and headed for her table.
When he sat down, he didn’t lean over to kiss her cheek or even shake hands. There was something different about Mike. She didn’t know what it was, but she sensed it.
“You look great, Mike. Life must agree with you,” she said.
He shot her an odd look and a half grin. “I’m doing okay. You look terrific. Even better than in high school.”
Cassie laughed. “We were such good friends, but just friends.”
“Maybe you were. But not me.”
“No?” Her eyebrows shot up.
“I had a huge crush on you.”
“You did?” Her voice registered genuine surprise.
“You didn’t know? Really? And when I trumped up that story about Mary Callahan, I thought for sure you’d see right through it.” He grinned.
“A story? She wasn’t after you?”
“No one was after me. But I knew you’d rescue me if you thought I was in trouble.”
“Got that right. So agreeing to go to the prom with you was just because you wanted to go with me?”
“In the worst way.”
“Why you little fibber! You fooled me completely.”
“Worked, too,” he replied, raising his hand for the waitress.
“Sure did. I had no idea.”
He’d crushed on Cassie? That threw her, it was unexpected. But not now, as he sat across the table from her, aloof, sizing her up. Did he think she’d embarrass him about the prom? She’d had a phenomenal time, but it had simply come too late to do much about it. She had gone to college in Oregon and he had attended a university in Maryland. Even their vacations didn’t dovetail. He was on trimester while she was on the traditional two-semester schedule.
Warmth surrounded her heart. For an instant, she wondered where she would be, if they had attended the same school. His admission changed everything. Remembering sneaking a beer or two and making out with Mike in his car, she had assumed he’d been drunk and made out with her because that’s what you were supposed to do. It had changed her, the way she’d felt about him, but she was too shy to say anything. 
He’d gone to be a counselor at a sleep-away camp and she’d waitressed all summer. Cassie had been ready to give up her virginity to Mike, but never got the chance. The question of where they would be today if they’d started dating sooner or stayed together brought a sting of tears behind her eyes. Would they have fallen in love?
His dark brown eyes connected with hers. She wondered if he could read the regret there? Probably –so she lowered her gaze to her wine. This wasn’t going the way she’d hoped it would at all.

“So, tell me. Why did you want to see me? The anticipation’s been killing me. What’s up, Cassie?” 

Monday, February 6, 2017

TUESDAY TALES - REUNITED continues #romance #amwriting


Welcome! This week the word prompt is "metal". I'm continuing with the story "Reunited" 
Scroll down to the link to return to Tuesday Tales and read the other stories and to get to my website. 
Thank you for stopping by!

*******************
After a call to the reunion committee, Cassie secured Mike’s phone number. She paced, thinking about what she’d say, her opening line.
“Hey, Mike, It’s Cassie. Remember me? Hey, Mike, remember your old friend, Cassie Newsome? Hey, Mike, wasn’t that prom a blast? It’s Cassie.” Nothing pleased her. She opened a bottle of red wine and poured a glass, then continued pacing.
She stood by the window, gripping the metal security bar, and remembering their senior prom night. The whisperings at school were all about hotel rooms, types of condoms and giving it up for the first time. Cassie’s first boyfriend, captain of the football team, had pressed her for sex. She’d only been fifteen at the time. When he found out, he dumped her, to avoid trouble.
She ended up bouncing around to a science nerd, a shy boy named Nathan. Nathan had been the smartest kid in the class. By then, she was seventeen and curious about sex. She’d coaxed him into going all the way one steamy July night. When he parents found out, they threatened to cut off his college money if he didn’t give up “that cheap trick, Cassie.” Reluctantly, he broke up with her.
More humiliated than heart-broken, she’d sworn off guys. Then Mike came along. They became friends. When he asked her to the prom so he could turn down Scary Stacy, she’d agreed. With Mike, she’d have a good time and there’d be no parental disapproval or pressure for sex. She’d enjoyed herself more than she had expected. After that they went to different colleges and lost touch.
She took a long breath, poured another glass of wine, then dialed.
“Hello?”
“Mike?”
“Yeah. Who’s this?”
“It’s Cassie Newsome. You might not remember me, but we went to the senior prom together.”
“Cassie? You’re fucking kidding me. Oops. Sorry.”
“No problem. Yeah, it’s me.”
“Well how the hell are you?”
She took a sip and smiled. “Just fine. You?”
“Okay. You going to the reunion?” he asked.
“The tenth? Wouldn’t miss it.”
“Me, too. Guess I’ll see you there. We can catch up then.”
“Wait!” She sensed he was about to hang up. “I’m going to be in your neighborhood for work,” she lied. “I was wondering if we could have a drink together.”
“Oh, that’s why you called? Sure. When?”
They made arrangements. When she hung up, she called Ned.
“I made contact with Mike.”
“Great.”
“I’m meeting him tomorrow night in D. C. for a drink,” she said.
“Fantastic! I know you can set this up, baby. We’re on the way.”
“Right.”
“So what are you doing on the phone with me? Shouldn’t you be catching a train?” He asked.
“Of course. See you in a few days,” she said and hung up the phone.