Thursday, February 28, 2013

#28 Is that all

I have  to apologize because work/life has been incredibly busy the past week so I have not been able to comment on many of your posts... I am hoping to be able to take some time this weekend and "catch up!"

Gert told Enis to head on into the diner and that she would follow shortly. She picked up the phone and punched in the numbers. She heard Rich answer with his usual curt hello.
“Rich it’s Mama” said Gert.
“Hello ma, what’s up?” said Rich.
“I don’t know how to say this so I’ll just spit it out. Son, Livie’s here.” Gert said listening for his reaction.
“Livie? Who’s Livie?” said Rich perplexed.
Gert sighed inwardly, relieved that he hadn’t lied to her all these years. Her fear had been that she’d been denied being a grandmother. “Well son Livie says she’s your daughter.”


“Ma, is this a joke?” said Rich.
“Son, this is not something I would joke about.” Said Gert.
“Ma, tell me everything this woman has said to you, I need specifics. In my line of work I have to be very careful.” Rich said with a steely edge to his voice.
Gert relayed everything she knew about Livie, she also described what she looked like and told him that she was letting her stay in Rich’s cabin.
“Is that all?” asked Rich.
Gert said yes and Rich told her that he would be home by the end of the day and to not let on who he was when he arrived.
“Let me assess her without her knowing who I am” Said Rich. “If you get the opportunity, go through her wallet and write down anything you can find in her identification and text me the information. I’ll run a check on her.”
“You’ve grown hard Richard” said Gert saddened that her son had grown to be untrusting, but understanding why.
“In my business that’s how you stay alive Ma” said Rich.
The line went dead and Gert looked at the phone frowning. Could Livie have been lying?

Joe woke up the next morning and turned on the morning news. He made a cup of coffee in the little coffee maker in the room and headed in for a shower.
After showering & dressing he headed across the street to the diner and once again sat at the counter. He ordered the special and watched the news on the TV behind the counter as he ate.
Just as he was finishing his cell phone rang. It was Bud, his car would be ready that afternoon, as luck would have it his part distributor had extra of the parts needed and Bud wouldn’t need to order the parts after all. Joe smiled and agreed to come by around 3:00 when Bud said it should be ready.   

Things were looking up Joe thought. He finished his coffee left his money on the counter and headed back to the motel. He stopped by the office and asked if he could check out late and explained about the car. The owner gave him the thumbs up and Joe headed back to his room to do some work.
Just before 3:00 Joe headed the quarter mile down the road to the service station, paid for and picked up his car. He headed back to the motel and checked out and hit the road again. He figured it would take him about 4 hours to get to Wolf Creek and hopefully not much longer to find Livie.

That morning Livie went in to help out at the diner and Gert greeted her with a smile. Later that morning while Livie was busy, Gert found an opportunity to go through Livie’s wallet and sent the information to Rich via text.  She hoped her son was just being overly cautious and that Livie was who she said she was.

Later after the breakfast rush she sent Livie on an errand to pick up the mail at the post office across the street and she went in the back to talk to Enis. She explained what was going on and told him to not let on that he knew him when Rich came in around supper time.
“Do ya think she could be lying Gert?” asked Enis.
“I hope not,  I hope I’m not that bad a judge of character” said Gert. “Imagine, a granddaughter Enis!” exclaimed Gert. “Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”
Enis smiled and gave Gert a hug. He hoped to God that this young woman was who she said she was.

Richard Anderson,  checked the data base for any information on Livie. As a high ranking officer in the Special Activities division of the CIA it didn’t take him long to run the security check. He had years of experience leading units of highly trained men who performed unconventional, and often high-risk missions. It had been a solitary life which at times he regretted, but once in, he had moved swiftly through the ranks. People depended on him because he was good at what he did.

As he read through all of the information he found about Livie, it took him back to his younger days with the CIA. He had been careful not to have any long term involvement with women. Knowing that any one of his missions could result in death made him sensitive to the risk he would put a family in. So through the years he had stayed mainly unattached.

Except for Jackie; Livy’s mother.

He closed his eyes briefly remembering her face. He was sad to hear that she was now dead. At the same time he was angry at Jackie. She had never told him. The timing was right. Now it made sense why she had put him off fifteen years ago when he had tried to contact her.
He shoved all of the information he had about Livie, including a picture from her driver’s license and headed for his car. He had to catch a plane to Montana and get to Wolf Creek.

Is that all?
No I don’t think so… this story will continue. But there is no way I can neatly wrap it all up and finish it in one last post.
So my friends, you’ll have to check back from time to time to see what happens. ;)
What is that saying?
Leave them wanting more? ;)

This is just one of many stories written by a group of  talented writers for 30 days minus 2 - check them out over

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#27 And that’s why I got drunk

Thanks so much for everyone's kind comments yesterday- each day this story changes- I have absolutely no idea where it is going. This is just one of many stories written by a group of  talented writers for 30 days minus 2 - check them out over

Gert watched the play of emotions cross Livie's face and smiled kindly. "Hells bells child you have been through the ringer" said Gert. "So what made you up and leave your home"?

"There was nothing left there for me Livie said sadly. "I don't have any brothers or sisters and it's always been me and my mom. With her gone there wasn't really anything keeping me there. I was able to sell our house and my mom had invested cautiously through the years so while I'm not rich, I can take the time to search for my dad" Livie said.

Gert looked at Livie intently, "Is you father here in Wolf's Creek?" asked Gert.

"I hope so, but I'm not sure if he still lives here, the last address I found went I went through my mom;s things was postmarked 15 years ago."

Gert asked "What is his name?"

"Richard Anderson, do you know him Gert?" asked Livie hopefully.

Gert looked surprised but quickly composed herself sighing heavily, "Oh child, Rich did live here, before he went off to work for the government. As far as I know he hasn't been back here in five years, hell I'm not even sure if he still owns his property. I know he had it up for sale for a while. His place is still empty."

Livie's face was crestfallen she had never expected that he wouldn't be here. She looked at Gert and forced a smile. "You wouldn't know where he is now would you Gert?"

"No child I am mighty sorry, but I don't. But I may be able to find a way to get in contact with him. Give me a few days to work on it"

Gert felt ashamed at the look of hope that came over Livie's face.

Later that night as Gert was getting ready for bed she thought about Livie wondering if the lie she told the girl was really in her best interest. She had been shocked to hear that Rich was her father. Rich had never said that he had a daughter- hell did he even know he did? What to do, what to do Gert thought. 

This revelation had taken years off of Gert in an single instant. She was amazed that she hadn't given away more. But she had to figure out what to do, if she didn't give Livie some kind of information about Rich then she was liable to leave and Gert would lose the only chance she might ever have to get to know her granddaughter. A granddaughter she thought with a smile. What a wonderful surprise.

Enis shuffled in and asked her if she needed anything. Gert asked him to bring up the bottle of Old Grandad and a glass with ice. Enis just looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "Gert, you don't usually have a drink during the week" he said.

"Are you gonna bring it or do I have to come and get it? " Gert said gruffly. Enis hurried to bring it not wanting to agitate Gert any more than she already was. 

The next morning Enis woke Gert up to get ready for work. "Gert are you getting up?"

Gert groaned and held her head. "Lands sakes Enis why did you let me drink last night?"

"Gert you were in such a way I knew that to try and talk you out of it wasn't gonna work, what had you so upset sugar?" asked Enis.

Gert was careful not to let on what Livie had asked about, Enis would learn soon enough that Livie was looking for Rich. Enis was a kind soul and he would understand but she just wasn't ready to tell him. Rich had been born to her first husband, who had died in the war. Enis thought of Rich as his own and had been a great step father, but just for a little while this was a secret she needed to keep to herself. 

She looked at Enis and said "That sweet young Livie,  poor child has had a rough time of it Enis, thinking about all she's gone through, that's why I got a tad bit drunk."

Enis brought her some aspirin and a large glass of water. "Gert if you are under the weather I'll call Cora again and tell her she has to come in. You are just too kindhearted for your own good."

Gert gulped down her aspirin and said "Dammit Enis you'll do no such thing, I'll be ready in two shakes."


Joe flipped through the TV channels. It was getting closer to dinner time and he decided to walk down to the grocery store. The snow had stopped and the plow had gone through so he could walk along the edge of the road.

Once he made it to the grocery he got a cart and started down the isles. He decided to get enough snacks to help carry him through a few days. He grabbed some Doritos, Oreo s, a six pack of beer,  a bottle of Jack Daniel's, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo. As he put his stuff on the conveyor belt he added a package of beef jerky, some chap stick and a couple of Milky Ways. He ran his credit card through the  machine and signed the credit slip. The clerk a middle aged woman wearing a tag that read "Millie" looked at him and said "You that young man who has Bud working on that car?"

Joe glanced up and said "Yes ma'am I am."

"Guess you're stuck aren't ya sonny?" said the clerk.

"Yes ma'am I am" said Joe with a slight smile.

"Well don't you worry sonny, Bud'll do right by ya, he's a wonder with cars."

"I sure hope so ma'am" said Joe.

By the time Joe made it back to the motel he was freezing. He had stopped by the diner and got a dinner to go. He decided to warm it up in the microwave in the room. He poured himself  healthy shot of JD and downed it while he waited for his food to heat up. If nothing else this forced time here would provide a well deserved rest. He'd been working almost non stop for weeks, and that was part of the reason for the misunderstanding with Livie and why he'd missed her train. 

He heard the beep of the microwave and got his food out. He put it on the small table in the corner and grabbed a beer and sat down to eat.

Looking down at the food he took a swig of his beer suddenly not hungry. He looked at the bottle of JD wishing he had made different choices. He took another another swig of beer and turned on the TV. As he made his way to the bed he grabbed the Doritos and JD and began eating the Doritos between sips of beer.

He found a hockey game on TV and thought about how his actions must've seemed to Livie. 

Even if he did find her, getting her to even talk to him might be hard. For all he knew she might refuse to even talk to him. God he had screwed things up majorly this time. 

Looking at the bottle of JD he reached over and screwed the top back on and put it aside. That was NOT going to help. He remembered long ago watching his dad use the bottle as a crutch, nearly ruining his life one shot at a time. 

When his mom died his dad had lost it, and used to say that is why he got drunk... finally he realized that he wasn't going to do anything but numb himself with the alcohol. Those were rough years and he didn't want to follow in those footsteps. His dad almost lost everything.

Joe watched the game not really seeing it. He had muted the sound, the only sounds he heard were the occasional car whooshing by through the slushy road outside and the the whir of the heat kicking in on the rooms register. As he crunched the Doritos he began to formulate what he would say to Livie when he saw her.

If he wasn't already too late.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#26 Deal with it

Join all of the talented writers for 30 days minus 2 over

I wish I had half the ability of the other writers who are participating in 30 days minus 2 . There are some immensely talented & special writers that I am fortunate enough to join in this challenge.Writing is not something I find "easy"- I do multiple drafts of some of my entries, wonder how much I should say, how honest I should be... I read the other entries and often find my posts lacking. Guess I'll just have to deal with it.


Livie found herself four hours later, tired with a sore back and feet and way more respectful of the job a waitress does. While most of the customers she waited on were nice enough, trying to be upbeat while running her ass off was hard!
Looking over at Gert however and seeing the older woman keep going as hard as she did made her realize that she needed to continue helping out Gert as long as she needed her.  It was the least she could do since Gert gave her the cabin to use.
She gave the counter one last wipe down and then heard Gert telling her to get a drink and come sit with her. She grabbed a soda and sat down with her. 

"You did good child" said Gert with a smile.
 "Livie took a sip of her soda and said "Thanks, it was way harder than I expected it to be".
Gert looked her over and said "Yes it is but the secret is to just stay positive, friendly and do you best". If you don't mind me asking, what kind of work are you used to"?
Livie smiled and said "I am a teacher, I've taught elementary school on and off the past seven years. The last two years I only substituted because I was taking care of my mom. She had cancer and passed about four months ago".
Gert took both of Livie's hands in her own, her knarly, veiny hands soft to the touch as they gently clasped Livies'. "Oh sweetheart I am so sorry to hear that, hopefully she didn't suffer"?
Livie nodded and said "no, they were able to keep her comfortable till the end".
 "And you child, are you ok"? Asked Gert.
"It has been very hard but yes I'm dealing with it" Livie said softly. 
Bud looked over the car muttering under his breath the whole time. Joe stood anxiously to one side watching, listening, not understanding what Bud was saying.
 Finally he said "Can you fix it"?
Bud looked up, pushed his cap farther back on his head and replied "Hell yeah I can fix it".
Joe looked visibly relieved. He said "That's great, is there any way it could be ready by tomorrow morning"? 
Bud looked at him and said "Sure, if I had the parts you needed, but I don't, I'll need to order 'em""
Joe's face fell. He said, "How long do you think it'll take"?
Bud scratched his head and said”Well that depends".
"Depends on what?" Joe asked.
"It depends young man on if I can locate the parts in Billings and if the weather cooperates to get 'em here. Once I get 'em it’ll take me a day or so to work on it".

Joe's face fell again”So you're telling me I am looking at two or three days"? Said Joe.
"More like four or five if you're lucky" said Bud.
Joe gave Bud all of his information and Bud towed his car back to his garage. As Joe watched his car disappear down the road he went back into his room frustrated. He did not like this one bit but there was nothing he could do about it. He was in the middle of nowhere, no car and stuck here for at least a few days. Fortunately he had a place to stay. The whole situation sucked but at least he could do some work on his manuscript, he might as well deal with it.



Monday, February 25, 2013

#25 Fact or Fiction

Join all of the talented writers for 30 days minus 2 over
I'm taking a break from the story...
When I was a kid I remember watching Star Trek and thinking how cool all of the stuff they had to communicate and get around was.

What was fiction...
is now fact?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

#24 Confucius

I was going to stop, how in the world was I going to incorporate this prompt?  I'll give it a shot. Now shoot on over and join all of the talented writers for 30 days minus 2 over at

Livie listened to Gert as the cook Enis came out to talk to her. She hoped Gert’s sitting with her wouldn’t get her into trouble.  
 Enis looked to be about Gert’s age, weathered and gray haired wearing a big food smudged apron. 

You ok Gert"? Asked Enis.
“Enis damn it, leave me be, I’m fine, I swear to God you watch me sharper than those knives you use. I’m just talking to Livie here” said Gert with a smile.

Enis looked at Livie, bobbed his head and said “Ma’am” before turning to Gert and saying “Now Gert don’t get your panties in a bunch I just wanted to let you know that Cora called and said her boy Seth was sick and she can’t come into work for the lunch crowd”.

“Well damn”, said Gert, “that poor baby, Cora has had her hands full with him.”
Enis looked at her and asked “Should I call Elsie?”

“No she’s visiting her sister down in Virginia City, I’ll stay through lunch” said Gert.

“Now Gert you know what the doctor said” said Enis worriedly.

She looked imperiously at Enis and said “I’ll thank you to keep your opinions to yourself Enis Eugene Shrugg”.  Enis sighed and shrugged his shoulders and shuffled back to the kitchen mumbling about women being so contrary.

Livie looked at Gert and asked “I hope you sitting here isn’t getting you in trouble”?

“Trouble”? Gert said, “Child Enis and I own this place, Enis is my husband  he's just a worry wart.”

“Oh” said Livie smiling, and then she noticed Gert’s rheumy looking knuckles. 

“Could I help out?” asked Livie. 

Gert looked at Livie and asked “You ever waitressed young lady”?

Livie looked at Gert and said “Well no, but I could try, that is if you could first direct me to a motel where I could put my things. I could be back before lunch”.

“We ain’t got no motel child” said Gert. She saw the flicker of dismay on Livie’s face.  Livie unconsciously bit on her bottom lip and worried the napkin in front of her. 

“Is there somewhere I can rent a room”? Asked Livie.

“No child, at least not now, Ethel who runs the boarding house is visiting her daughter down in Florida and won’t be back for a month” said Gert. 

Livies’ face fell again. Gert watched her then made a decision.

Gert said “I own a small cabin around the corner back towards the woods by the train station; my tenant left a month ago but you’re welcome to stay there in exchange for helping out here till Cora’s’ boy is better. The place isn't much but it's clean”.

“Really”? Said Livie, thankful to the old woman. “It’s a deal”. 

Gert grimaced as she got up and slowly walked back to the kitchen taking a key off of a hook by the phone. She brought it back to the table and gave Livie directions to the cabin, told her to turn up the heat and asked her to be back by 10:30. 

Livie agreed, put on her coat and scarf, gathered up her things and headed for the cabin.

The crisp air blew wisps of hair as she made her way back the frozen road to the small cabin set back against trees. Her shoes crunched in the packed snow as she made her way to the cabin. Thankfully someone had plowed and she was able to make it through to the cabin. She used the skeleton key to open the front door and dumped her bags inside the door. As she looked around the small cabin she found the thermostat and turned the up the heat. Moments later she heard the furnace grumble as it kicked in before hearing its purr as it came to life. She walked through the cabin; it consisted of a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.  
This was actually perfect thought Livie. The furnishings were worn but clean. She opened up cabinets in the kitchen and found the basics, glasses, plates, bowls and the like. As she looked at the old Frigidaire refrigerator she noticed all the different magnets on the front, one holding up what looked like a paper from a fortune cookie. She read “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” ~Confucius. 

She smiled and took her bags into the bedroom. She sorted through them finding a pair of jeans, long sleeved t shirt, socks and a pair of sneakers. After she changed she went into the old fashioned bathroom tiled in pink and white and smiled into the mirror as she brushed her hair and pulled it into a ponytail. 

I did the right thing coming here she thought. Then she glanced at her watch and saw it was time to head back to the diner. It had begun to snow again. She pulled on her coat and scarf and gave a prayer of thanks for the kindness of strangers, then squared her shoulders and headed out to go help at the diner. Waiting tables can’t be that hard she thought.
Joe woke up to the shrill sound of his phone’s alarm. He stretched at first uncertain where he was, then looked around the room rousing himself from his deep sleep. Then it came back to him… Livie.

He got up and went into the bathroom, when he was done he flushed the toilet, washed his hands then threw some water on his face to wake up. As he walked back into the motel room he ran a hand through his hair. 

I need to figure out how to get to the next stop, he thought. He pulled his laptop out of his backpack and found that thankfully the motel had an internet connection. He booted up his pc and began looking up the best route to go.
His stomach rumbled and he looked out the window seeing a diner across the street. He got dressed and went over to eat.  The snow had stopped and he saw that the roads had been plowed while he had slept. 

He found a seat at the counter and ordered his food. A TV was on behind the counter and he listened to the weather report. It didn’t sound good. There was a front coming in from the west, and it was forecasting more snow and ice.

He was just east of Billings. He needed to continue west on route 94 and by his calculations it would take him about 4-5 hours to get to the next stop. He finished up, paid and headed back to his motel room. Since there were no real towns for a while he figured he’d better pick up some food for the ride. He decided to drive down the road the small grocery store he’d passed on his way in to get some supplies before checking out. 

He got in his car and turned the key. 

Nothing. No, don’t do this to me, not now he thought. 

He waited a moment then tried again, still nothing. His head dropped to the steering wheel. Of all times for his car to break down, this was not good.

Joe sat up and thought. Ok, this is a minor setback, I’ll just find a mechanic and get it fixed, things could be worse this could’ve happened alongside of the road.

He got out of his car and walked over to the motel office. The clerk came out and Joe asked “Where can I find a good mechanic, my car won’t start”. The clerk jotted down a number on a post it and handed it to him and told him to try Bud down at the gas station. Joe thanked him and went back into his room and called the number on the paper. After ringing several times a voice finally answered “Bud’s”. Joe explained the situation and was happy when Bud said he would stop by in about an hour.

With nothing left to do Joe turned on the TV and flipped through the stations. He paused on the History channel and watched for a few minutes. The program was about the Chinese philosopher Confucius. From time to time some of his most famous sayings were transposed on the screen. One caught his eye. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  

Joe smiled, just what I needed to hear he thought. 

Then there was a knock on the door. Joe got up and opened the door to an old man in overalls and a heavy coat, wearing a hat that said “Bud’s Service” on it, a cigarette hanging out of one side of his mouth.
“Ya got a bum car for me to look at”? Bud croaked.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

#23 Absurd

This is day 23 of the absurd creative writing challenge.

Join all of the talented writers for 30 days minus 2 over at

Gert watched the pretty young woman then headed over and offered her more coffee.
"Thanks" she said looking up. Gert took in her delicate features, the deep blue eyes and curly blond hair.

 As Gert refilled her coffee cup she said "So I know everyone in town, where are you from miss?”

 "Back east" she said.

 "Do you have a name?" Gert prompted.

"Oh I'm sorry, yes" she said looking shyly down, "its Livie".

 "Well Livie" Gert said, "It's nice to meet you, is someone meeting you here?"

Livie looked down again, biting her lip unconsciously and holding her hands tightly together. The older woman had a kind look to her. Gert glanced over her shoulder at the construction workers who called out a goodbye, and looked back at Livie.

"May I?" She gestured at the booth.

 "Oh yes, please do" Livie said.

 Gert settled down with a grimace. "Damned knees, I'm getting too old for this".

Gert looked at Livie, "So what brings you to Wolf Creek child?"

 Undecided how much to share Livie simply said "I needed a change".

 Gert snorted and said with a smile, "Well child not much of a town here for someone as young and pretty as you but welcome".

Livie sipped on her coffee and said "Thank you", feeling at peace with her decision for the first time.
It was absurd because she had no job here, nowhere to stay, but somehow she knew it would be alright.
As he left his second stop he knew he needed to stop and rest. The roads were beginning to get fuzzy. He needed to sleep. That paired with the now steady snow was making driving dangerous. This was absurd he had to stop. He was liable to fall asleep at the wheel and end up in an embankment.

He saw a sign for a motel two miles up the road and decided to stop and get some sleep. He was half way across Montana now and there were only two more towns she could've gotten off at.

As he pulled into the motel parking lot and parked his cell phone rang. He glanced at the caller i.d. and sighed... his editor, he had to answer this.

"Hello Stan" he said.

"Joe, I got your manuscript and have some questions, do you have a minute?" said Stan.  Joe sat in the cooling car and answered Stan's questions, concise in his explanations. He and Stan had worked together for five years now and they had this routine down pat.

"Just so you know Stan, I'm gonna be out of town for a while, something’s come up".

"Everything ok bud?" Stan asked.

"I hope so Stan thanks. Don't worry I'll have the next installment to you by the end of next month, I have my laptop with me, I'll email you in a day or so".

They ended the conversation and Joe got out of the car and checked into the motel. Once he was in his room he took a blistering hot shower and fell into bed. He plugged in his cell phone and set his alarm for five hours- that should be enough. He laid back down and was asleep almost at once. As he drifted deeper he smiled in his sleep dreaming of a girl with blue eyes and blond hair... his Livie.