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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hearts Aflutter?


     They spent the rest of the evening in stilted conversation, trying hard to ignore the unsaid words hanging thick in the air between them.  Maureen pleaded fatigue somewhere near 10 PM, and they went their separate ways; Maureen to her borrowed room, and Kevin to the attic to put together a make shift bed.  The sloped roof made the room cramped and stuffy, and he spent most of the night tossing and turning in both discomfort and worry.  The alarm at 5 AM was almost a relief, and when he left the rectory for early Mass, the house was dark and quiet, and the door to his occupied room was solidly closed.

      The new morning hours slipped quickly by.  6 AM Mass was short and reserved, and afterwards, Kevin puttered around the church grounds and sacristy, opting not to return home in between.  He figured Maureen would probably prefer to sleep in on her first day of vacation, and was pleasantly surprised to see her among his parishioners at the 8:30 liturgy.  Afterward, he changed quickly, expecting she'd wait for him, and that they'd walk back to the rectory together, perhaps even share breakfast at the diner down the street.  Instead, he found the church empty, and disappointed, he walked home alone.

      The heavy aroma of frying bacon hit his nose the moment he opened the door, and strangely, the dog was nowhere to be seen.  He found them both in the kitchen, Mo attending to a sputtering skillet, and Basil underfoot, waiting for her to drop a slice or two, and not bothering to even acknowledge the priest's presence.

     "Hey, you're home.  Perfect timing.  Sit." she ordered, pulling out the kitchen chair, and motioning
her brother into it.

      "What's all this?  It's your vacation.  I should be making you breakfast."

      "Spare me.  You are by far, the worst cook I've ever known.  I'd rather not start my visit with a case of the shits.  Come on, eat up.  It's getting cold."

       On any other day, he would have responded with a scolding about her less than lady like verbiage, but instead, picked up a fork and dug into the plate of eggs and bacon, not wanting to ruin this moment in any way.  She fixed a plate for herself, and settled in across the table, tossing the dog a chunk of cooled bacon.

      "So, how is it?" she asked, smearing a pat of butter across her wheat toast.

      "Terrific!  You always know how to get my eggs just right.  But where did all the groceries come from?  I know for a fact the fridge was empty when I went to bed."

       "On my ride over here last night, I saw that there was a small deli about two blocks away.  So, while you were saying early Mass, I walked over there and picked up a few things.  Unfortunately, they don't carry any Irish Bacon, so I had to settle for this generic stuff.  Just not the same.  Sorry."

        "Oh, Maureen, it's fine.  Wonderful, in fact."  He reached across the table, and squeezed her hand. "Thank you. Truly.  Having you here...well, it means a lot.  I've really missed you these last few months.  It's been ...rather tough adjusting here."

        She squeezed back, and gave her brother a sad smile.  "I missed you too, Kev.  Nobody else in the family understands me like you."  She pushed her eggs around the plate, but said nothing more, seemingly lost in her private thoughts.

        "Mo, is there something you're not telling me?  You've seemed out of sorts since you got here.  What's wrong?  You know you can tell me anything."

        She shook her head, and placed nearly her entire breakfast on the floor for the dog, who was more than willing to finish her uneaten meal.  "Nothing, Kev.  Nothing's wrong."  She got up from the table and refilled her coffee cup in an attempt to avoid looking at him.

        "Damn it, Maureen.  Why won't you tell me?  We've never kept secrets from one another.  Not ever."

        "Look, Kevin. Just drop it, okay?  I don't want to talk about it.  I'm here for a nice vacation.  Don't spoil it with your badgering.  I'm just totally not in the mood right now for any sanctimonious bullshit."

          Before he could work on her further, the front door bell rang, and he made his way to the parlor to answer it, the dog yapping at his heels.  He peered through the beveled glass, and opened the door.

       "Hey, Sheriff.  What brings you to Holy Family this morning?"

       "Morning, Fr. O'Kenney.  I just came from the courthouse with some news about Tessa Pepper's trial.  Got a minute?"

       "Sure thing.  Come on in.  Can I get you a cup of coffee, or some breakfast?"

       "No thanks, Father.  I didn't mean to interrupt your meal.  Just thought you should know about
the new court date."

       "It's no bother,  Sheriff.  In fact, there's somebody I want you to meet."  Grabbing the Sheriff's arm, Kevin guided him into the kitchen, where Maureen stood near the kitchen sink.  When she saw the two men, she wiped her hands in a dish towel, and ran a hand through her red hair to pat down any errant curls.  "Sheriff Beckett, this is my sister Maureen.  Maureen, this Ted Beckett, the town's Sheriff.  Ted was the one who so graciously looked out for me after the shooting."

          Maureen took the Sheriff's offered hand, and with a smile, countered, "Well then, Sheriff, you have my most sincere gratitude.  Kevin's my favorite brother, and I was worried sick about him.  I'm so glad he had someone like you around."

          To Kevin's eye, it seemed as if the Sheriff held his sister's hand a bit longer than was necessary, and yet Maureen was in no hurry to pull it back.  He may not have been an expert on such matters, but from where he stood, it appeared that the Sheriff and his sister were...well...flirting.  The way she titled her head to one side while she curled a lock of hair around her finger was a dead give away.  He had seen her do the very same thing, a dozen times, in front of some unsuspecting lad who was sure to lose his heart.  And it was also obvious that the Sheriff was taking notice.

          "You're most welcome, Miss O'Kenney.  I'm glad I was able to help."  The Sheriff leaned against the counter, and put his hands in his pocket.  "Your brother's been a great asset to this community."

           Kevin made a face while he listened to the Sheriff lay it on thick, but a glance at his sister verified that she was eating up the attention.  He felt like a third wheel in his own kitchen.

           "How about I fix you a nice breakfast, Sheriff?  It's the least I can do, and people tell me I make a pretty mean cheese omelet."  She gave him a wink, along with a brilliant, double dimpled smile, and pulled out the chair Kevin was sitting in only moments before.

           "Well, now.  How could I ever resist such a charming invitation from such a lovely cook?  I'd be delighted, Miss O'Kenney."

            "Oh please, Sheriff.  Call me Mo.  All my friends do."  She set a a large cup of hot coffee in front of the man, and pushed the sugar bowl across the table.

            "Only if you promise to call me Ted."

             "It's a deal...Ted."  She giggled, and turned to work on her guest's breakfast.

              During the whole encounter, Kevin wrung his hands.  This was not good.  Not good at all.
The Sheriff was spoken for, as the woman living in his house attested to.  And his sister?  She had a life back in Boston.  The last thing he needed was for her to come to town and break a few hearts.

             He needed to immediately sit down and do damage control, but the land phone in the parlor rang, and he excused himself to answer it, knowing full well that no one was paying a bit of attention to anything he was doing.  It was Gerta Williams, Holy Family's Director of Religious Education, with a litany of problems concerning the behavior of the current class of students.  It was several minutes before he could work his way through her issues, and when he finally returned to the kitchen, he found the Sheriff and his sister laughing over their conversation.

             "I hope you don't mind, Father.  I was just telling Mo about the time you thought Tessa Peppers was having a heart attack, and she broke your nose during your attempted CPR."

             "Oh, Kev.  You never told me that story.  It's hilarious!"  She leaned over and touched the Sheriff's arm.  "Kevin has a way of getting himself in the craziest situations.  This one time, when he was in the 8th grade, he..."

              Putting up his hand to halt his sister's sharing of his most embarrassing moments, he begged, "Please Maureen, I'm sure the Sheriff doesn't want to hear my life's history."

              "No problem, Father.  I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with your sister.   And I can't remember when I had a better omelet."  He turned and looked at Maureen, " But if we're going to get back before noon, Mo, we better get a move on."  He rose from the table, and placed his plate in the sink.

                "Going?" Where are you going?"  He had left the room for only a few minutes, and already the situation had spun rapidly out of control.  Damn.

                "I was just telling Ted about the lack of decent produce at the grocer down the street, and he offered to show me some of the 'hidden gems' here in Dollyville.  I didn't think you would mind, Kevin.  You did say you'd be tied up with church business until dinner time.  This way, I can get a little tour of the town, and still pick something nice up for supper."

                  She looked so earnest and pleased, he didn't have the heart to rain on her parade, even though he was fairly sure this whole thing was a train wreck waiting to happen.  "Sure, Momo.  If that's what you want"

                 She leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek.  "Thanks Kev.  You're the best." Turning to the Sheriff, she added, "Let me just grab my jacket and purse, Ted, and we can go."  She practically skipped out of the room, leaving an awkward silence between the two men.

         "Don't worry, Father.  I'll take good care of her for you.  And I doubt we'll be gone long."

           He knew he should say something to the Sheriff about his concerns.  At least bring up Cassie McKreedy's name, and gently remind the man that he was supposedly engaged to be married, and not free to be spending time with the pastor's sister.   But he worried he'd look foolish and old fashioned. What if they were just being polite on his account?  His sister and the Sheriff were sure to think he was just being an over protective big brother, so instead, against better judgement, he just nodded, and said, "I'm sure you will, Sheriff.  I do want her to have a good time while she's visiting."

           Maureen appeared, purse and jacket in hand, and with a final wave, the two were off, leaving a troubled Kevin alone in the rectory parlor.  He watched them pull away in the Sheriff's patrol car...a large knot growing in his stomach, and a headache making a permanent home somewhere in the back of his head.  It was going to be a very long two weeks.

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus










Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Shout Out Oct. 21st

A Sunday "Shout Out" to...

      ...all the new followers who signed on this week.  Thanks for the support.  I added your names to
      the drawing for the teddy bear rug, and if you left a comment, I put you in twice.  Hope the
      translator gadget makes reading the story easier for many of you.  I certainly appreciate all the
      mentions on your own blogs.

       ...Judy for creating Maureen's beautiful luggage.  You can find her mini things for sale on Ebay
       under the seller name "judia41 (14112)"

       ...once again to Beverley of for doing such a lovely job painting    
       Maureen's face, and assembling her.  It's uncanny how much she and Fr. Kevin look alike.  Hope
       you like the traveling outfit I designed for her.

Have a great week everyone!  Look for a new post next Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Meeting Maureen

      It wasn't as if he hadn't given Mo's visit any thought.  All week, he had planned on straightening things up around the rectory, doing some shopping, and working out the sleeping arrangements.  Unfortunately, parish business had gotten in the way.  There had been Confirmation interviews,  Pre-Cana conferences for three different fall weddings, and a committee meeting with a very raucous discussion on whether Holy Family should offer Sunday afternoon Bingo games.  The later had nearly come to blows, and required Fr. Kevin to step in and act as referee.  A final decision had been put on hold until next month, and with that problem shelved for a bit, he could finally worry about matters at home.

      Times like these, he wished he had the perk of a housekeeper, at least a few times a month.  He had gotten spoiled at St. Benedict's in Boston, a large parish that boasted not only a full time cook, but a cleaning lady three days a week, and a secretary Monday through Friday.  Normally, he didn't mind taking care of himself.  The privacy and quiet that came with living alone was worth the extra work.  But with his sister due tomorrow afternoon, the cupboards bare, and the sink full of dirty dishes, he wouldn't have minded an extra pair of hands.

      Pulling himself away from an additional cup of coffee, he trudged upstairs to change the sheets on the bed, and give the room an all over dusting.  As the shoe box rectory only offered one bedroom, he'd need to offer this space to Maureen, and figure out just where he was going to camp out while she was in town.  The original plan had been for him to sleep on the sofa in the parlor.  It was long enough to accommodate his six foot frame, and reasonably comfortable.  But the arrival of that damn hell hound had made that decision impossible.  There was no way he was going to wrestle the dog for that space, especially with his baby sister around to witness and snicker about.

       Mulling ideas in his head, he gave some thought to the small attic room.  It was well insulated, had a small east window, and was wired for electricity, allowing somewhere to plug in his laptop and TV.  Though ridiculously cramped, it would have to do for the short duration of Maureen's visit, and for his favorite sibling, he was willing to make the sacrifice.   That problem solved, he plugged his ipod into his ears, and got to work on the mess in the kitchen.

        Two hours later, he had made solid progress throughout the house, and was nearly finished tidying up the parlor.  The dog, it seemed, was freaked out by the vacuum, and Kevin took a bit of guilty delight in the animal's obvious discomfort.  It took every bit of his self control not to tease the shaking Westie by pushing the roaring machine toward the dog in retaliation for the fresh teeth marks on his nose, and he decided an extra rosary was in order for even contemplating the action.

      Between the noise from vacuum, the bass of Motley Crew in his ears, and the booming thunder of the storm raging outside, Fr. O'Kenney failed to hear the incessant ringing of his doorbell, and the heavy pounding on wood frame.   If not for the dog's scratching and jumping at the front door, he would have remained oblivious to the figure standing on the front porch in the pouring rain.  He pulled the ear plugs from his head, and dust rag in hand, went to see who was there, slightly annoyed to be stopped while he was totally in the groove.

      The petite red head, hand on hip and sopping wet, looked decidedly pissed.  "Nice of you to finally answer the door, Kev!  I'm soaked to the skin.  Why the hell didn't you meet me at the train like you promised?"  A puddle formed around her dripping umbrella, and she pushed the pile of luggage closer under the eaves of the porch to keep it out of the blowing rain."

       "Mo?  Geez, what're ya doing here today?  You're not supposed to be here until the 21st?"

        "Today is the 21st, you dumb ass!  I just spent two hours in front of the train station, in the pouring rain, waiting for you to come get me.  I tried calling your cell about 20 times, but you didn't pick up.  I ended up having to take a cab over.  Good thing the driver knew where the church was, 'cause I sure as hell didn't."

        Kevin reached for the cell phone in the pocket of his jeans, and sheepishly remembered that he had left it in the sacristy when changing after morning Mass.  "Oh Maureen, I'm so sorry!  Honestly, I thought tomorrow was the 21st.  I even made arrangements to borrow a car to pick you, and take you to lunch. I don't know how I screwed this up.  Here...let me help you with your bags."  He hefted two of the larger ones under his arm, questioning her need for so much luggage for a two week stay, but wisely deciding against commenting on it.

        He pushed open the door with his left foot, and ushered his sister through the foyer and into the rectory parlor, where Basil barked and growled at them from his perch on the sofa.

        "Is that your new dog?   He's adorable, Kev.  Here boy..."  She bent over, and put her hand out for the Westie to sniff.

         "Be careful, Mo.  That dog is on the vicious side."  As if to make to a liar of him, the dog lept off the sofa and trotted over to his sister, tail wagging and barking ceased.  After a few sniffs of her hand, Basil laid in front of her on the floor, belly up, and waiting for a tummy rub.

       "What a good puppy you are.  Such a cute little doggie...yes you are."  She crooned to the dog, who still on his back, let out whimpers of contentment.

       Kevin watched in glum silence, deciding once again that he really hated that dog.  Turning his attention to his sister he asked "Are you hungry?  I planned on going shopping, but didn't get to it yet, so the fridge is pretty bare.  But I could call out for a pizza, or Chinese if you'd like."

      "Chinese is fine.  You know what I like.  And I'll take a beer if you got one."  She planted herself on the sofa, dog firmly ensconced on her lap, she unconsciously scratching its ears, and the dog completely under the spell of his new mistress.

        Fr. Kevin ordered the food, opened two bottles of Guinness, and joined his sister in the parlor, taking care not to sit anywhere near the dog, who eyed him with suspicion from Maureen's lap.  For the next two hours, they chatted and laughed about family gossip. Mo came equipped with an iphone loaded with photos of the various nephews and nieces, and he enjoyed catching up on the ones he hardly saw.  He asked after his mother, and six brothers, and she dutifully filled in the missing information, carefully avoiding anything having to do with her own life.

      When they had their fill, and were all talked out, he asked, "Shall I give you the fifty cent tour?"

     They walked from room to room, he commenting on the changes he'd made since his arrival, and she nodding in agreement.  This struck him as odd, as Maureen usually had a decisive opinion about anything and everything.  Maybe it was the long trip down, or the maybe the stress of being left in the rain.  Whatever it might be, his sister seemed out of sorts, and he wondered why that was.

      When they arrived at the second floor bedroom, he was pleased that she really seemed to like the room.  He had taken great pains to make it as "female" friendly as he could, removing his books, and parish ledgers, and replacing them with copies of her favorites magazines, a decent vanity set he had purchased new, and a box of Godiva chocolates, a favorite passion of his sister.

      "It's lovely Kevin.  Thank you for going to all this trouble.  But if this is the only bedroom, where are you going to sleep?"

       "Oh, don't worry about me.  I'll be fine.  There's a small room on the third floor.  I'll fix something up there for myself.  It'll work out, you'll see.  I can put up with anything for a few weeks for my favorite baby sister."  He waited for a hug, and was surprised to see her face fall, but she offered no explanation.  "You make yourself at home, Mo.  I'm gonna go get the rest of your things, and drag them up here."

        It took several trips, but he finally brought up the last suitcase and plopped it next to the dresser.
Trying to coax a laugh from her, he joked, "Geez, Momo, you brought enough stuff to last five months.  
How much war paint does a good Catholic girl need?"

       She flushed a deep red, and turned away.  "I wasn't sure what to bring," she mumbled.

        The Maureen he knew would have had a snappy comeback on her tongue, and would most likely have turned around and socked him in the arm.  This quiet demeanor was totally out of character, and not for the first time, Kevin wondered just what it was his little sister was not telling him.

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus




Wednesday, October 17, 2012



(Doll, bear, furniture and accessories not included in this contest )

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Special  Sunday"shout-out"to...

      ...   Jaz of for becoming a follower and featuring my blog in her weekly blog wrap-up.  Check out her site for great minis from "down under".  Thanks too for sharing images of your awesome "Red Room" ala Fifty Shades of Gray.  It' s an inspiration I'll aspire to, as I try to create my own for an upcoming chapter.

    ...Maria of who has listed my blog and give away on her awesome site.  Hope to have half the wonderful followers you do some day!  Please give her beautiful blog a look see!

   ...Beverley Senatore of "dollsbybeverley".  She created the "Cassie" doll featured in today's post, and Fr. Kevin's sister Maureen. (soon to make an appearance) Bev sells on Etsy and Ebay, as well through her own website.  You can purchase her dolls pre-dressed, or unadorned to finish yourself.  "Cassie" was dressed by me to give her that thoroughly modern "fashionista"  look I thought fit her character.  But I do think Bev's hand painted face catches Cassie's bitchy side, don't you?  LOL

    ...all my new followers, whose blogs and websites I will be checking out in the next few weeks, and listing in the "shout outs".  You have all been entered in the free give away contest for followers. 

Thanks to all for you continued support.  It is a thrill to know that through this blog, I can share my love of minis, and my need to write, with wonderful people around the globe.  Doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

       "Shust a little accident, Mish McKreedy.  What can I do for you?  It's not an emergenshy, I hope?"  He gingerly stuck one end of the hoodie into his left nostril to stem the bleeding, and wiped his lip with the other sleeve.

       "Oh heavens no, Father.  I just called to see how you were doing.  You know, just a little chat."

       Kevin glanced at the time on his cell phone.  10:55 P.M.  Who the hell called someone at this hour just to chit chat?   At least not someone you weren't really good friends with.  He wondered if the Sheriff was at home.  "Gee, Ms. McKreedy, that's ah..very thoughtful of you.  I'm doing just fine."

      "Now Father...we've talked about this before.  You must call me Cassie.  After all, we're almost like family and I ...and Teddy of course.  One big happy family."

      The thought of being part of Cassie McKreedy's inner circle made him shudder, but he wasn't quite sure why.  She had always been exceptionally nice to him, though rather pushy.  Still, there's was something just a bit off about her, and damn if he could figure out why.  Ted Beckett seemed like a guy who wasn't easily fooled, and if he found her to be an honest, caring person, why should Kevin feel differently?  Mo always told him he jumped to conclusions.  Maybe she was right?  He tried to put his doubts aside, and make an honest attempt to try and like the young woman, if only out of respect for his friendship with the Sheriff.

   "You're right...ah Cassie.  I did promise I'd try to be less formal.  I guess it comes with the job."  He tried a short laugh, but it came out sounding forced, and he blushed, glad that she couldn't see his phoniness on the other end of the line.

    There was a short pause, and she continued.  "Speaking of your job, Father O'Kenney, how are things down at Holy Family?  Have you hired a new gardener yet?"  She must have realized the bluntness of that particular question, and apologized.  "Oh my.  I guess that came out sounding rather
nasty.  You know...being that poor Mr. Rivera died so tragically.  His murder on the front lawn of the church was so awful.  But really, Father, that church is just too much for you to handle by yourself.  Especially after your assault. You really could use the help, is all I meant.  Take things a bit easier"

     "I appreciate your concern, Ms...I mean Cassie.  But as a matter of fact, I'm feeling much better these days.  And I do enjoy the yard work.  Let's me commune with the Lord's creation and all."  He silently groaned, sounding pretentious and preachy even to his own ear.

      "Well, if it's a question of money, Father, I'd be happy to help you with the church finances.  I've been told I'm quite good at squeezing a dollar."  She giggled and went on.  "Plus, I'm going stir crazy sitting at home doing nothing.  Teddy's always gone on county business, and I could use something to fill my days.  I don't think my sweetie wants me working full time, but I'm sure if it was to help you, he'd be perfectly okay with it.  Oh it would be so much fun!  You and I working together to make Holy Family a shining star in the community."

       Kevin stood stunned, not knowing what to say next.  Her offer had come straight out of the blue, and he wasn't sure how to drag himself out of this situation.  There was no way he wanted to spend time with Cassie McKreedy on a daily basis, and thoughts of giving her any control over church business made him slightly queasy.  But he certainly did not wish to offend her, or Ted Beckett, so he needed to tread cautiously through the next part of the conversation.

        "Well, um...that's quite a generous offer.  But I couldn't tie you up like that.  I'm sure you have a hundred things to do the wedding"  Genius, he thought.

        "Oh don't be silly, Father.  I have plenty of time for that.  Teddy and I haven't even set a firm date yet.  And of course, helping our good friend is way more important.  Just let me know when you want me to look over your books.  You'd have to bring them here to the house, though.  I'm still dealing with my agoraphobia issues, I'm sorry to say."

         Trapped in a corner, his nose swollen and bleeding, the priest could do little to resist.  "I guess I'll call you sometime in the next few weeks.  We can...uh..set up some dates or something."

        "That's wonderful. I know we'll get along just fine, you and I.  Oh, that reminds me, Father O'Kenney!  I almost forgot why I really called.  Teddy and I are having a little get together.  Sort of an informal engagement party on the 26th of October, and of course we'd both would be devastated if you weren't there.  So you simply must come!"

        For the first time in the conversation, Kevin felt as if he might have some room to wiggle out from under Cassie's bossy thumb.  "Gee Cassie, I'd love to come.  Unfortunately, my baby sister Maureen is coming to visit from Boston that week, and I couldn't possibly leave her alone in a strange town.  But I sure do appreciate the invitation, and I'm sorry I won't be able to attend."

         "Oh but, Father, that's not a problem at all.  You just have to bring your little sister with you!  I can't wait to meet her.  After I said before...we're just like family, and I've always wanted a baby sister."

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teddy Bear Rug Give Away

                                                  1st  Ever Give Away!

       In celebration of six months as a Google Blogger, I'm holding my very first Mini Give Away Contest!  You can win this beautiful, handmade teddy bear rug for that perfect spot in your mini child's room or nursery.   The rug is of original design, and carefully Russian needle punched by yours truly, giving it a very natural, in scale appearance.  Done in shades of ivory, cherry red, yellow, green and light brown, it is sure to bring a touch of whimsy to your box room or dollhouse.

        To enter, sign on as a "Follower" of this blog.  It's that simple!  Double your chances by leaving a comment on any of the upcoming posts. (Sorry, only two entries per person) Contest begins on October 9th, and ends on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, at 9:00 PM USA Central time.  Winner announced on this blog, Wednesday, November 7th, 2012.

      Give Away includes the teddy bear rug only.  Furniture, doll, bear and accessories not included in contest.

        Wishing you all the best of luck !

Vicki aka Madame Mystery


Sunday, October 7, 2012

       Fr. Kevin O'Kenney was a happy man.  Comfortably spread across the parlor sofa, remote in one hand, sausage pizza in the other, he was surely the picture of male contentment.  With the dog still sound asleep on the pillow under the window, he could finally enjoy a quiet evening of deserved down time.
    With expert marksmanship, he flipped back and forth between channels, a wandering eye on both the Celts and Knicks game, and an old Austin Powers movie that seemed inherently funnier after finishing the last of the weed hidden in his sock drawer.  The fact that the sandwich bag was now completely empty, was a problem he'd leave to ponder another day.

      Somewhere before the end of the second quarter, Kevin thought he heard a slight tapping at the front window.  Moving aside the drapes, he was mildly surprised to come face to face with Brian's turned up fairy nose pressed firmly against the pane of glass.  It had been weeks since the priest had seen or heard from the little man, and he had almost begun to believe he had imagined the whole thing.  Now, with his hot breath fogging up the window, it was pretty obvious the figure outside was not an easily dismissed figment of his imagination.

     With a pointy finger, Brian tapped the glass and gestured towards the snoozing dog across the room. Kevin shook his head, and grasping the handles while balancing the left over pizza on his lap, cracked  the window open several inches.

      "Come on in," he invited, "the dog's out cold.  Won't be bothering either of us for at least the next few hours."

      The clurican put his chin in his hand, thought a moment or two, then slipped over the sill and landed with a plop onto the sofa next to his human companion.  "Aye, laddie.  I be wantin' to know just how you got the wee beastie to stay so quiet an' unawares of yours truly?  Fairy folk and doggies are not known to be much of friends."

       "So I gathered.  And this particular dog doesn't seem too fond of me either.  Let's just say I took care of his excess anxiety."  Kevin chuckled at his own joke.

        Brian looked quizzically at the young man, then turned his attention to the pungent aroma hanging in the air.  Sniffing, he asked, "I ken smell that ya been at that fine tobacco again.  Should ya be willn' to share, I'd be most appreciatin' a bit of a smoke meself."

       Kevin grimaced and apologized.  "Sorry ole' man.  I finished the last of it earlier this evening.  If I had known you'd be dropping by..."  He let the words hang in the air, remembering his childhood warnings about making fairy folk angry.

      The wee man frowned, and then poked a bony finger into Kevin's gut.  "I guess I'll be settlen' for a nip of your best Irish whiskey then."  He leaned back into the sofa, and propped his feet up a nearby throw pillow.  "And don't you be stingy with your pourn' hand, boy."

        With a sigh, Fr. Kevin pushed himself off the cushions, and trudged to the kitchen.  Reaching into the cabinet over the sink, he pulled out a juice glass, and thinking better of it, added a second glass, as well as the bottle of coveted Jameson.  The fact that he wasn't weirded out by the scene unfolding in the parlor, made him positive that his mental health had sunk to an all time low.

        Into one glass, he poured an inch of whiskey for himself, and the other he filled half way, thought a bit, and added a splash more.  It was his hope that if Brian had his fill, he would happily be on his way, and would leave Kevin to his evening of quiet solitude and bad habits.  Tumblers in hand, he returned to the parlor to find the pint-sized man examining a slice of pizza, up close and personal.

        "Help yourself there, pal."  Annoyed, the priest sat down and handed the sidhe his tumbler.

         "Much obliged, lad."  Raising the glass in toast, he exclaimed, "Slainte", and tossed the whiskey back in one long swallow.  Sighing and smacking his lips, he turned his attention back to the snitched
slice of pizza.  "What be this bia in the box?  Looks a fright, but smells most intriguing."

         As politely as he could, Kevin pulled the box back toward him.  "It's called pizza.  Sorta like an open sandwich type thingy.  I don't think you'd like it.  It's not sweet at all."

        Brian brought the slice tentatively towards his lips, took a sniff, and then bit off a large piece. With a look of disgust, he swallowed a mouthful, and dropped the remaining portion back into the box. "Loc na mhuice!"

        Holding back a smirk in fear of offending, Kevin looked to the sputtering man trying to wipe his tongue with his sleeve, and innocently asked, "I guess you didn't care for it?"

        "Tastes like pig shit, boy!"  Unbearable!  "I'll be needing a wee bit more whiskey now.  Ta wash away the bad taste, ya ken?"  He pushed the tumbler back toward Kevin, and folded his hands across his belly.

        Now thoroughly exasperated,  Fr. O'Kenney made his way back to the kitchen, refilled the glass, and handed it to Brian, who was now pacing the room, picking things up, putting them down, and undoubtedly, weighing the theft value of each item.  Deciding it wasn't worth the worry, the priest turned his attention back to the basketball game, the now cold pizza, and his shot of the Jameson's.

     A few moments later, Kevin noticed the fairy staring intently at the sleeping dog across the room.
He gave the dog a slight nudge with the toe of his boot, but the dog remained motionless.  Leaning down, Brian put his ear to the Westie's chest, and shook his head.  "You assured that this here little beastie is among the livin', laddie?"

       "Of course he's living!  He's just doped up and sleeping.  Honest."  But having second doubts, he crossed the room, bent over, and tried to listen for himself. He gave the dog a hearty shake, but there was no response from the animal.  At that moment, a million horrible thoughts crossed his mind.  What would he tell the Sheriff?  The Bishop?  And Tessa Peppers?  How would he ever explain it was only an accident?  The woman hated him already.  She was sure to track him to the ends of the earth to avenge what she would think was the deliberate murder of her dog!  Shit!  He'd have to leave town!  Leave the country, for that matter!

        "Ya think maybe ya'd be wantn' to do something for the poor doggie, lad?"  Brian looked at him with a half smile, a strange reaction to situation at hand.

         Kevin did the only thing he could of think of at the moment.  He knelt down, and with his hands gently pressed on the dog's chest, began CPR, frantically spitting out every prayer he knew, and asking divine forgiveness and mercy for one of the stupidest blunders he had ever committed.  The seconds seemed like hours as he counted and pressed. It was in the third rotation that suddenly he thought he might've seen Basil's chest heave on it's own.  He bent further down, and put his ear to the pup's mouth to see if he could feel any breaths escaping.  Face to face with the animal, Kevin saw it's eyes flutter and then open wide, a growl escaping from the dog's pulled back lips.  Before he could move his unprotected face backward, the now surely awake and heavily breathing dog lunged forward, and with one hard snap, bit the surprised young man squarely on the nose.  The very same nose it's mistress had broken only six weeks earlier.

          Kevin grabbed for his face, blood running down the front of his shirt, and searched frantically for some napkins or paper towels.  He looked around for Brian, hoping the man might offer some aid, but he was no where to be found, having escaped through the cracked window seconds before.  Using the ends of his hoodie to the sop up the blood, he heard his cell phone ringing in the front pocket.  Digging it out with his free hand, he didn't recognize the number, but answered it anyway.


          "Ah, hello.  Fr. O'Kenney?"


          "Hey, Father, it's Cassie McKreedy.  Did I catch you at a bad moment?  You sound funny."

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus