You know she is coming. The Mother of All Bitches.
You thought, if you hide in a dark place and lay very still she might miss you. It never seems to work that way. With the lights, she arrives.
Your skin is starting to tingle. It won’t be long now. She stays longer each visit. You hope for a different side this time.
Oh, your family has been very helpful, although you can detect a certain disbelief that she is not as bad as claimed.
You have heard acupuncture helps, but no time for that… the auras are getting worse.
The photo prompt comes from A Writer’s Perch this week. Lora Mitchell was good enough to send Rochelle a pic from her New Year’s Celebration. After reading Rochelle’s story, click on the Frog to see other Friday Fictioneer’s takes.
And now Dear Readers, it’s time for another installment of Fiction Relay… The Continuing Saga of Suzi. To see where we last left Suzi and Sam, go to Deliah’s Blog and catch up.
And now, back to the story…
“We need you.”
Their fear permeated the room, and slammed into Ephraim like a freight train full of bad memories. He had not dreamt of this meeting, in fact had not thought of them for some time… until tonight… and sure as hell did not need to ask how they had found him. They had that ability, as did some of the others.
This was not the assured Daniel he remembered, now holding out the photograph with a tremble. And little Suzi, well she wasn’t little anymore.
“Take it, please. They’re coming.”
Ephraim knew the photo was taken at the orphanage Mr. Sanders had founded in Kentucky. One look and the past flooded out of the image. The five pals growing up together. Raised in the restaurant, then split up to work in different areas of the business. Some climbed the corporate ladder, while others like Raj still tended the fryers.
He was correct in his investigation of the crime scene at the diner. It made perfect sense now. Melissa had been in Research and Development at the time. News of the theft had been suppressed those many years ago. They had all suspected, as she would have had access to it, and then she disappeared.
The gristly murder of a little known short order cook had taken a familiar turn when Ephraim found out that Gino had been turning out fantastic tasting, although familiar, fried chicken. A taste of herbs and spices spilled on the counter confirmed it. But, how had a nondescript diner like Maisy’s landed such a talent? The answer hit home like a 100 pound bag of flour when he discovered the identity of the owner. Melissa. She held the secret to Gino’s success with the bird, a secret stolen years ago, and just now surfacing. But where was she? The outline on the floor, was that her? He knew it wasn’t Suzi, for she was standing here before him. With Daniel. Surveillance photos, taken by Corporate, had placed Suzi as a waitress and Daniel, now called Sam, as a much too frequent diner at Maisy’s. Ephraim suspected Sam had been enlisted to track down the stolen secret recipe. So who had it? Melissa, Suzi or Sam? And what of Raj, could he be far behind? These questions raced threw his head as he looked at the photo.
A quiet knock at the door.
In case you would like to start Suzi’s story at the beginning… The Fiction Relay Homepage
Noted romance novelist Dawn is up next…
Chairs… or lack of.
It was down to ergonomics now. Douglas had his proven recipes, and even decided on the background music. But to lure people in to clack away on the next Great American Novel required comfort. And, Doug planned big. Soon maybe the next Canterbury Tales or something for Bollywood… as he was going global with his empire. Colors, fabrics and shapes danced in his head, as did slogans, jingles and logos.
The honking horn broke his reverie. Doug slid open the window and put out his tip jar. The silver mini-van pulled up with his first customer.
A beautiful photo prompt this week by Rochelle‘s friend, Jean Hays, who created the Ab Fab stained glass panel. When I was in Sacramento, I lived on Fulton Ave. I wonder what is at 708? Maybe this coffee shop.