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Saturday, August 10, 2013

We Need a Plan C

               

An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author    

The garden at the Park West
      Kevin could feel the beads of sweat trickling down from around his hairline, and could only guess at the shade of red coloring his face.  No one should ever have to witness the scene he just had the misfortune to see.  And anyway...who the hell planned that kind of "thing", and didn't make sure the door was locked?  Knowing Beckett, he probably did it on purpose.  Because he could.  And although the man was supposed to be his friend, and now his sister's husband, it didn't change his conviction that the guy could be a real asshole when he wanted to be.

      There was no way he was going back down that hall to look for a mop, so instead, headed back to the ballroom.   A few busboys were in the process of finishing the accident's clean-up, and people were beginning to find spaces at their respective tables.  A search among the guests for Roxanne proved fruitless, and for the second time today, he wondered where she had disappeared.  He had come so close to apologizing.  To finally making some type of amends, and putting that whole awful memory behind them both.  Then he had to go and screw it up by being the world's biggest klutz, dragging this dreaded moment out even longer.

       Not in the least bit interested in dinner, he thought he might step out for some air.  Clear his head, and regroup his thoughts.   From the corner of his eye, he could see his brother Patrick, and Jamie's wife Katie, having a heated discussion.  Kate waved her her hand, and motioned him over, but not up for being the family negotiator, he ignored her, and slipped quietly out the east door.  The rain had finally stopped, but the night air was thick and humid, full of the wet, green smell of summer growth. And... something very much else.  Rounding the corner of the building, and acknowledging the security guy on duty, Kevin moved toward the hotel's deserted garden, using his nose to follow the familiar scent.
  
       The on-again- off- again down pour had made the grounds swampy, and he could feel his shoes squishing in the mud, next to footprints belonging to some one else.  He was pretty sure he recognized the sweet, smokey odor, and expected to see an errant hotel employee catching some RR on his or her break.  So it was with pure shock that he entered the small clearing, and found himself face to face with his nephew, Colin.  If Kevin was surprised, than his nephew was mortified.  Startled, he gave a slight jump, then quickly stuck the arm with the joint behind his back.

     "Uncle Kevin!  Geez!  You can give a guy a heart attack sneaking up on him like that."

     "Colin?  What in the world do you think you're doing?  Your father's going to kick your ass if he catches you with that stuff."

     Still trying to hang on to any vestige of innocence, Colin stuttered, shifting his feet, and avoiding looking directly at his clergyman uncle.  "My parents know I smoke."

    "Not weed, they don't.  I'm sure of that.  Your mother would have a fit, and your father...well, lets just say it would be ugly."

     "You're a priest, Uncle Kevin.  You're sworn to secrecy.  You guys can't tell on people."

     Kevin made a face.  "That's only during the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Not family weddings."

     Realizing the gig was up, the young man tried appealing to Kevin's compassion.  "You're not gonna tell them, are you Uncle Kevin?  It would cause such a fuss, and everyone is already all crazed.  You know that my dad brought a date to this wedding, right?  Knowing full well mom was gonna be here by herself.  The two of them have been shooting daggers at each other all day.  And everyone else in the family has put their two cents in. It's like a freakn' zoo in there.  Ya gotta cut me some slack."

      "Just what were you thinking, Colin?  This stuff is..bad for your health.  As well as illegal.  You know better than to behave like this.  Besides, I could smell it the minute I walked around the corner of the building.  That means just about anyone else could too.  You're lucky it was me who came out here, and not your Uncle Jamie or Matt.  They'd have plenty to say.  Now, hand me that thing, and go get yourself inside.  They were just about to start serving dinner."

      "So...you won't say anything?"

      "No.  Not this time.  But you have to promise me you're going to make better choices from now on."

       With obvious relief, the young man pounded the priest on the back.  "Thanks, Bro.  You're the best.  You've always been my favorite uncle."

       "Uhm...yeah.  I'm sure I am."  Grinning, he added, "You better get going before someone comes looking for you."   Reaching out, he took the unfinished joint from the boy's hand.  "I'll get rid of this for you."

        Colin shook his hand.  "I really appreciate this, Uncle Kev.  You're a life saver."  With that, he turned and made his way back, his dress shoes creating mucking sounds with every step.

      When he was sure that the kid was all together gone, Fr. Kevin parked himself on a wrought iron bench under a large oak,  safely out of the sliver of light thrown by the solar panels set along the path.  For a minute or two, he listened for the arrival of anyone else, contemplating the surrendered treasure in his hand. Satisfied he was alone, and convinced that the weed was a heavenly reimbursement for a genuinely awful day, he leaned back and took a deep, thoughtful toke.
Fr. Kevin enjoys his unexpected "gift" in the hotel garden

____________________________

      Tucked away in the small storage pantry of the hotel kitchen, it took several minutes for Cassie to process the whole series of unfortunate events that led her to this point.  Until that moment, things had been working themselves out rather nicely. Despite odd looks from a handful of waitstaff regulars, she had been able to situate herself near the bottles of champagne set aside for the pre-dinner wedding toast.  Popping the cork, and blocking the view with her body, she poured a generous amount of digitalis into the liquid.  Then, using her thumb, covered the bottle and gently swished it, dispersing the poison throughout the bottle's contents.  Busy with their own duties, no one paid much attention, as she set the bottle on the tray, along with the goblets decorated in ribbons and flowers for the bride and groom.

    Lifting the tray with both hands, she moved toward the ballroom, and in route, was stopped by a middle-aged woman with the word supervisor embroidered across the right pocket.

     The woman looked at her curiously.  "That's not for the bridal table, is it?"

      Cassie nodded, head tilted in an attempt to keep the woman from viewing her too closely.  "I guess so.  It has the toasting glasses for the bride and groom on the tray, so I assumed that's where it was meant to go."

       "Damn it!  Doesn't anyone around here read the memos I send?

        Working to keep her face blank, Cassie apologized.  "I'm sorta new.  I...I guess I didn't see that."

        "Well, honey.  I'd advise that if you're planning on keeping this job you better get your head out of your ass, and check the event board.  The memo is posted there too.  There is to be no alcohol served at the bridal table.  Sparkling cider for the toast.  Grape Juice for dinner.  By the client's order.  Apparently the little Mrs. is in the family way."

       That notion had always been there, hidden in the back of her head.  It made sense to the fact that this wedding seemed to have come out of nowhere, and in such a big fucking hurry.  But it was the first time she had heard the news spoken out loud, and it rankled all the way to her toes.  How Teddy had ever been so stupid, she couldn't imagine.  The red haired slut must have set him up.  Wouldn't even surprise her if that had been that cheesy priest brother of her's idea from the start.  Holding the now useless tray, her hands shook with rage, and her teeth ached in her mouth from grinding them against one another.

       "Well, don't just stand there gawking like an idiot!  Go re-set the tray with the cider.  And be quick about it.  They're going to be serving dinner soon."

       Moving on instinct alone, Cassie dumped the champagne down the sink, despite glares from the other employees who were counting on a little left-over toast of their own.  Boo-fucking-hoo for them.  She might be a girl with direct "goals",  but that didn't make her your run of the mill common murderer.  They should count their lucky stars that she had a conscience.  Grabbing the cider, she unscrewed the top, and fumbled in her pocket for the remaining digitalis.  There was only about a third of the bottle left, and mixed as it was, she wasn't sure if it would be potent enough to take care of business.  If nothing else, it would make a handful of people very ill, convince them they were having heart attacks, and ruin any plans for a pleasant evening.

       Then, she had stepped into the ballroom, and almost ran smack into the back of the goofy priest, who was parked at the end of the bar, talking to the nosey bitch from the ladies room.  She and the woman had unfortunately made brief eye contact, and concerned that the busybody psycho would say something, she left the tray on the stand, and went to hide in the kitchen until the two moved away from that spot.  Only seconds later, there was a huge crash, and the sound of breaking glass, and even though the logical side of her knew exactly what had happened, the still hopeful side held out for it to be something other than the tray.  There was no way she could go back out there, and check for herself.  The commotion would have every eye in the place focused on that very spot.  She instead had to make do with information gleamed from the coming and goings of various busboys, who explained in broken English that, yes, someone had knocked over the tray with the cider and glasses.

       The whole thing was like a rerun episode of a bad cable sitcom.  Too fucking unbelievable to really have happened.  She had made three attempts to meet her goal, and all of them had gone south for one stupid reason or another.  Now, she was completely out of the poison.  Not a drop left, and Plan B forever unattainable. But there had been no time for ranting or raging.  The kitchen door swung open, and the brunette from the restroom stepped in, calling out for someone to bring a mop.  Not wanting to be involved in any confrontation, Cassie slipped unseen into the small storage pantry, and hid behind a shelf.  From that vantage point, she could barely make out the conversation between the busboys and the woman, but it was obvious enough, despite the broken Spanish, that the crazy bitch was looking for the woman with the short gray hair.

       Now, her only recourse was to leave the hotel.  Pronto, before the woman alerted anyone else to her presence.  When she didn't hear the girl talking any longer, she opened the door a tiny bit, and looked around.  Things had gone back to normal, the staff moving to get dinner out to the tables.  She slid quietly out of the pantry, and casually walked toward the kitchen's service entrance, and slipped out the door.  Strolling at a normal pace, she held her breath and walked toward the parking lot in the direction of her car, passing a multitude of security men still on duty, who paid little attention to her departure.

     It wasn't until she was sitting in her car, hands pounding the steering wheel, that she let herself rage. There was no way she was leaving this stinking town without some tiny shred of self satisfaction.  An up close and personal message was out of the question, as was returning to the Park West.  Both options had become far too risky.  That left the C-4 as a last ditch opportunity.  The question now was...where and how?

____________________

     Eyes closed, lost in his thoughts, with the creeping mellowness of the moment, Fr. Kevin didn't notice the mucking sound of approaching feet until the figure was directly on top of him.  Startled, he opened his eyes, and jumped up, nearly burning his fingers on the glowing embers.

     "Sonofabitch, Roxanne!  You scared the shit out of me!"

      Her heels sinking into the wet grass, Roxanne stared at him a moment, confused, and then began to laugh in high pitched, pleasant giggles that seemed to have no end.

      When she didn't stop after a few seconds, Fr. Kevin commented.  "Okay, Rox.  It's not that funny."

       Catching her breath, she explained, "Oh, but it is!  I'm sorry for laughing, but you're standing there looking all official in your priest suit, your dress shoes all covered in mud, swearing like a sailor, and holding a joint.  It's just too much.  I couldn't help myself."  She sat herself on the bench he had just vacated.  "Honest, I didn't come here to snoop on you.  I was looking for someone else, smelled the smoke, and thought it might be her."

        Plopping down next to her, he countered, "Well, I have nothing to say in my defense. Not a thing. My behavior is abominable, and I hope you'll accept my sincere apology."

       "Don't be silly.  You have nothing to apologize for.  What you decide to do is your own business.  I'm certainly no one to pass judgement on somebody else."

         "Your very kind to say so, Rox.  But I have no business being out here getting high, while my family is celebrating Maureen's wedding day inside.  Or for using that kind of language in front of you. Again, I'm very sorry for my actions...all of them"

        She smiled and nodded, wondering if they were talking about the same thing anymore.  She had come here for the sole purpose of hearing him apologize for the way he had hurt her fifteen years ago.  But now, sitting here in the dark alone with him, hearing the sincerity and embarrassment in his voice, she just wanted the subject matter to change.  "Hey...while you were out here, you didn't happen to see a woman come by, did you?  Very petite, with gray hair and thick glasses?"

       Fr. Kevin looked at her strangely, puzzled over the dramatic shift in the conversation.  "Uh...no. It's been just me for about twenty minutes or so.  After the accident with the tray, I went looking for a mop, but...didn't find one.  When I went back to the ballroom, I tried to find you, but didn't see you anywhere.  I decided to come out for...some peace and quiet."  He decided it was best to leave Colin out of the story as promised.  Besides, it would be hard to admit that he had really copped the weed from his kid nephew, and had decided to smoke it himself.  Rather shameful when you thought about it too much.  "Who is this woman you're looking for?"

       "Oh...just someone I met in the restroom.  Works for the hotel.  I'm concerned because I think she might have some trouble with domestic abuse."

       "Really?  Did she tell you that?"

       "Not exactly.  But she had this horrible bruise on her face.  It was pretty fresh, and she was trying to hide it with make-up.  Plus, she was wearing a disguise.  Like she didn't want anyone to know who she was.  I'm familiar...I mean...I know someone who was in that same situation.  It's very scary."

        At the mention of the word "disguise", something clicked in the back of the priest's mind.  "What did she look like?"

         "Like I said.  Short gray hair, brown eyes, thick glasses.  Very small in stature.  Only about 5'."

          "How did you know she was wearing a disguise?"

          "Well, when I saw her in the bathroom, she had long dark hair...almost black.  Had it pulled up into a tight pony tail. And she wasn't wearing glasses.  Later, when I saw her come out of the kitchen with the tray, she had short gray hair and those thick frames. But I knew it was the same woman.  We caught each other's eye, and I could tell she recognized me.  Then before I could say anything, you bumped...well, the tray tipped over, and I got distracted.  You left to find the mop, and I went into the kitchen to find someone to help clean-up the mess, and to check on that poor lady.  But nobody seemed to know anything about her.  That's when I thought I'd check outside."

         Even with his brain a bit muddled by the weed, anxiety grew within Kevin's gut with each passing word.  The petite body build, and dark hair sounded too much like the horrible Cassie McKreedy.  He couldn't imagine how she would have gotten through all this security unnoticed, but he wasn't taking any chances.  Sticking out a hand to help her get up from the bench, he explained, "You need to come with me, right now.  We have to find the groom, and tell him everything you just told me."

         Roxie took his hand, working to ignore the little flip her stomach made at their contact.  "Tell the groom?  You mean Maureen's husband, Ted?  Why would we need to bother him about this poor woman?"

         "It's a long story.  I'll fill you in while we walk."
Fr. Kevin and Roxanne discuss the strange woman

________________________________

     After much configuring back and forth, a decision was reached.  It wasn't the best of plans, but at this point, it was the only viable option she had.  The security here was, as expected, very light, with only two men walking the perimeter.  Parking two blocks away, she pulled off the chef's jacket and the heavy wool pants, leaving her stripped down to a sport bra and boy cut panties.  In the dark, it would give the appearance of someone out for a run, and hopefully, it's bareness would catch the attention of the men on duty. Gathering the rest of her supplies into the small fanny pack, and slipping into the too large running shoes she had found in the trunk of the stolen car, she proceeded to put Plan C into action.

  Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
  All Rights Reserved    




     

       



 

   

 


      

12 comments:

  1. parece que esta chica tiene planes para todo el abecedario, pero me alegro de que todos le esten fallando
    pobre padre Kevin , nadie le da un respiro
    espero que encuentren pronto a Ted y puedan evitar una desgracia

    besitos

    Mari

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    1. Hola Mari!

          LOL ... tienes razón ... Cassie tiene un montón de ideas. Todos los malos! Gracias a Dios por Padre. Kevin. Él es un buen tipo.
          Gracias por leer. Estoy tan feliz de que te gusta lo que escribo!
      Que tengan una semana preciosa,
      Vicki

      Hi Mari!

      LOL...you are right...Cassie has lots of ideas. All bad ones! Thank heaven for Fr. Kevin. He is such a good guy.
      Thanks for reading. I'm so happy you like my writing!
      Have a lovely week,
      Vicki

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  2. Thanks to Fr Kevin lives have been saved and it seems that he is the only one on alert :)))( if he can smoke weed what else can he do ;)) Can't wait to find out what plan c is. Fantastic post as always.
    Hugs Maria

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    1. Hi Maria,

      : ) I love Fr. Kevin! He was my first character, and even today, he is still my favorite. I think he is a very human priest. Loves his vocation, but doesn't forget who he is...faults and all. I try very hard to be sensitive to how I portray him.

      It thrills me to no end that people can take about my characters as if they were real people. Makes me feel I'm doing something right. : )

      Hope all is well with you and yours!
      Sending happy thoughts,
      Vicki



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  3. Too funny with the weed! What would Colin think if he'd stuck around a few seconds longer to see good ole uncle Kevin smoking down his joint?!? I bet it would have shocked the poor kid quite a bit. It's also kind of funny that Roxie caught him in the act. At least she's not going to judge him.

    I like that plan C will involve C4. I don't know why that somehow tickles my funny bone. Must be the sick sense of humor I have ;-) So, I'm trying to figure out we're she is setting it up and will it explode???? Glad something so mundane as Kevin's clumsiness threw off her plan at the last there.

    This Thursday I go in to see the ortho guy for my four week checkup and see if I'm allowed to ditch the boot if everything is healed fine. I'll keep you posted. When does school start again? Oh by the way I like your idea of keeping a journal or writing something down every week. That's a good idea and than I could see if I even like doing it. Thanks for the idea. Talk to you soon!

    Your friend,

    Susan

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    1. Hi Susan!
      Always good to hear from you. I am glad you enjoyed the scene with Fr. Kevin and Colin. I was laughing out loud (literally!) as I wrote it. I could just see the whole thing in my head. And there was no way the good Padre was going to let good weed go to waste. LOL I also thought it was an interesting way for Roxie to see Kevin more as a human being. It's been a long time since they really had any contact. Lots have changed in their lives since high school.

      I am looking forward to the C-4 scene. It has required lots of research on my part to write it as realistic as possible. But that's all I'm saying about that. : ) I have to set things up for future poss.

      I am excited that you are trying the journal idea. It is a method I have advised for some of my students. It will give you a chance to see what type of stories, poems, or articles you might want to write. Who nows, maybe one day soon, I will be reading your stories!

      Hugs to you, (and healing thoughts too!)
      Vicki

      PS Hope the ortho guy has good news for yo. I have appt with my "hottie doc" in two weeks. : )

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  4. AHA!! There IS a Plan C!! Oh dear, Cassie, what more will plague you???

    I guess if there was a family member who caught you toking, it would be best if it were someone who can relate. Could have been worse. Kind of funny, actually, because now Kev gets the spoils. Wow.. he sure was on his toes with Roxie and her story. Will Ted save the day?!?!

    Tbh, I did read this on Saturday but sooo busy lately. Will be around next weekend. Moving woes...

    <3,
    B

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    1. Hi B,

      There is ALWAYS a Plan C...lol. Cassie's not going anywhere without leaving a little souvenir. Or maybe a big one. Who knows?

      Hugs to you,

      Vicki

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  5. Whew! I am So glad you got rid of the digitalis! And now we just have to overcome the "c-4"?? I am afraid I am such an innocent..... I have only the vaguest inkling that it must be some kind of explosive? I don't watch TV... and try to keep my reading to the realm of Design Mags and Historical Romance....! (I am a wuss... I admit it!) But I really am enjoying your characters and LOVE it that Roxanne is the one who stumbles on Kevin in his "fallen" condition! I also think it is Awesome that Roxanne is the sharp one trying to become a P.I. even if she does misinterpret the signs... at least she notices them!!! I can't wait to see what other adventures you have in store for us!!!

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    1. So glad you are enjoying the ongoing drama. These characters have become close "friends", and I am trying to "do right" by them with interesting dialogue and plot developments, as well as working to keep to their unique personalities.
      And you're right...C-4 is a type of explosive, and something I had to research before writing about. If the government is keeping track of what's "googled" on people's computers, I might be in trouble. LOL
      Thanks for reading,
      Vicki

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  6. You sure have a wild imagination. Your story just keeps taking wild turns. I can't think of what you have in store next!
    hugs♥,
    Caroline

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    1. Hi Caroline!

      Yes, I've always thought that this story was like a blank canvas of sorts...one I could paint on with words. I do have a general outline, but sometimes, I just want to have some fun. And Cassie is just the girl to let me do it!
      Thanks for the support,
      Vicki

      PS Love your latest cottage with the crooked roof!

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