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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wedding Jitters and Famous Last Words

Attention Dear Readers...

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

                      Thank You

                                             
Roxie shops for a dress
     The pile of dresses on the hook kept growing, along with her building frustration.  Roxanne Spinelli pulled the lime green sun dress over her head, and slapping it on a hanger, added it to the growing collection on the dressing room door.  This was utterly ridiculous.  She had spent less time buying her first car, then she was spending on finding this friggn' dress.  It was just a wedding, after all.  Not a damn coronation.  And it wasn't like Dollyville, Massachusetts was the height of the fashion industry any how.

    With a sharp rap, the pesky sales woman was back with a vengeance.  "How we doing, sweetie?  Any of those a possibility?"

     "No!  They all look like shit on me."  Then remembering that none of this was the woman's fault, she added, "I'm sorry.  Do you think you could bring me the other bunch of size 5s?  The ones I left near the cashier?"

      "But didn't you already try those on, dear?"

      " Yeah, I did.  But I'm thinking that maybe a couple of them were okay.  I can't remember."

       There was a moment's pause, and the woman, determined to salvage some of the past two hours with a sale, forced a cheerful "No problem" from her lips.

        Maybe this whole fiasco with the dress was a sign she should forget about going to Maureen O'Kenney's wedding.  Just not show up.   It wasn't as if anyone there would miss her.  And it was even more doubtful that there'd be a decent opportunity to talk to the groom about a future job as a Deputy.  Not in the midst of his own wedding reception.  Plus, staying home would allow her to put off having to face Kevin.  Or rather, Fr. O'Kenney, as it now was.  Sending last minute regrets...a bad case of the flu...work problems...whatever...would save her from dealing with what was sure to be a lot of awkward moments.

        But the thought made her guilty, as if she were some type of quitter.  A coward.  She had just spent time with Maureen at her bridal showers, and had promised, on her honor, that she was going to show up to this circus.  Mo had even arranged for her to share an overnight room with her Maid of Honor, Allison, who always seemed up for some fun, and who had begged for the company.  To back out now, at this late date, would be rather rude, and surely hurt Maureen's feelings.  Besides, she was curious to meet her friend's future husband.  Despite the fact that he was heir to some big ass fortune, information on the internet about him was sparse, and the few images she found were several years old.  One thing was sure, if he still looked anything like he did in those photos, Momo was a hell of a lucky girl.

      The clerk returned with the stack of requested dresses, beaming a I-need-the-commission smile, and dragging along a few size 7s...on a lark...reminding her the store offered free alterations if needed.  Locked in the tiny cubicle, Roxie held up one dress after another, not even sure what was appropriate for "a good friend marrying a rich guy" kind of affair.  For the most part, she was either at school, where the dress code consisted of leggings, jeans, and t-shirts, or at Ruby's, where clothes weren't a huge part of the evening.  She had plenty of apparel for going out to the clubs, and a set of favorite field clothes she wore when she was doing surveillance for her small investigative jobs, but none of those seemed right for the impression she wanted to make.  She sure as hell didn't want something that screamed "Exotic Dancer" when she walked through the door, or anything that made her stick out, for that matter.   Blending in was the key, and on how to accomplish that objective, she wasn't sure.
   
     Amidst the generous harvest of styles and colors, Roxie managed to narrow the field down to four suitable choices, each one completely different from the others.  Sighing, she tried every one on again, fretting and fussing in front of the mirror, and wishing she had brought some one along for the benefit of a second opinion.  

_______________________________

    It was altogether a shitty week.  Finding Cassie in his house last Thursday was a gut-clenching shock, and made him rethink the quality of his security.  Up until then, he had been comfortable that his general anonymity, and the expensive wireless system, had been enough to keep him secure.  But the fact that she had so easily breached it, proved that he needed a serious update.  And soon.  If an amateur like Donaghue was able to enter his home without him being aware, then a trained operative would find it child's play.  Not that he expected anyone to come looking for him here in Dollyville, but there was no reason to take unnecessary chances.

    The more pressing issue was what to do with the psycho bitch who didn't seem to take "Fuck Off" as an answer.  He had rounded her up, and dragged her out of the house as quickly as possible, and as far as he knew, no one had seen them.  He had spent the wee hours of the morning driving to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut, where he unceremoniously dumped her at the gate, bought a one way ticket back to Daytona, Florida,( her supposed home base), and watched as she boarded the damn plane.  Once Donaghue was air borne, he contacted an associate who owed him a favor. Assurances were made to keep the nut job under constant surveillance until the wedding was over, and the newlyweds left for their honeymoon.  After that, Beckett would need to deal with the woman on a more permanent basis, but at the present moment, his focus could remain on the upcoming wedding.

     He had spent the rest of that weekend taking care of general business at the station, and touched based with the powers that be about where he'd be traveling, and how long he would be unavailable.  When Sunday finally rolled around, he was mentally ready to pick Maureen back up from Boson, and begin his final week as a single male, while ending it as a husband.  Arriving at her brother Jamie's home, it was obvious that the Mustang was not equipped to cart home all the crap she had accumulated
during the bridal showers in her honor, and arrangements were made to ship all the things to his house in Dollyville, where he had no idea what they would do with three electric frying pans, several sets of crystal stem ware, and an array of cutesy ice buckets.  The bride herself was overflowing with quips, complaints and bitchy commentary about the visit, and by the time they arrived back home, he found himself nursing the start of a nasty tension headache.  If, in that moment, Beckett had even the slightest idea of what was to come in the week ahead, he might have worked harder at convincing his bride to throw tradition to the wind, and elope with him to Vegas.

________________________

       The thought of his entire family's arrival, and his sister's journey to the altar, gave Fr. Kevin a bad case of heart burn, which he was pretty sure had now turned into acid reflux disease.  Since that night
at the gas station, where he had the misfortune of seeing Beckett driving around with a strange woman , he had polished off  an entire bottle of antacids with virtually no relief.  Even now, the burning sensation churned up from his belly like hot lava of the volcanic intestines.  He spent several sleepless nights tossing and turning over the question of whether he should say anything to Maureen, or confront the Sheriff himself, but came to no decision.  There was little doubt that neither of them would appreciate his interference, and if turned out to be a harmless coincidence, he'd feel like a complete ass, and an even bigger trouble maker.

        He even thought about calling up one his older brothers, and asking their advice on the delicate matter, but couldn't decide who it should be.  Patrick was the logical choice, but as far Fr. Kevin could tell, his eldest brother thought Ted Beckett walked on water, and that Maureen had hit the husband jackpot.  Kev could dig up a body in the man's front lawn, and Patrick would still probably shake the guy's hand, and welcome him into the family.  He thought about pulling Jamie to the side and speaking with him, but worried that he'd blab to the rest of the family.  Jamie was awful at keeping secrets, and until he was 100% sure Beckett was at fault, the fewer people who knew, the better off they were.

       So, when his future brother in law pulled up to the the church's front steps, unexpectedly, the afternoon before the rehearsal dinner, Fr. Kevin took it as divine intervention that he was meant to set things straight about the events of that questionable night.

___________________________________
                                     
Fr. Kevin and Beckett have words
      Beckett had spent most of the day dealing with the arrival of the O'Kenneys in Dollyville. The clan had arrived en masse by car and train, and he had spent the better part of Friday hassling with the logistics of settling them all into the Park West.  The family, plus a few odd friends, took up an entire floor of the hotel, and everywhere he turned there were children of all ages.  Babies, toddlers, small kids and teens over ran the hallways, the fitness room, and had solidly taken over the small indoor pool.  The O'Kenneys were obviously a fertile bunch of good Catholics, and he shuddered to think that his own future might include a brood of look alike rugrats.

       By the time 2 PM rolled around, he simply had enough of the handshaking and back slapping from Maureen's brothers, and the unending twittering and fussing of their wives.  He professed a need to check in with Fr. Kevin over at the church regarding tomorrow's ceremony, and begged off an invitation to join them all for a beer in the hotel's tiny bar.  What he really wanted, was a to share a Guiness and a few minutes of peace and quiet with the only O'Kenney, besides his bride, that he felt comfortably enough to chat with, and he was pleased to find Fr. Kevin alone at the church.

      "I bring greetings, Padre, from your family.  They seem to have handily taken over the Park West."

      "So I hear from Maureen."

      Feeling a definite frost in the air, Beckett worked at warming up the conversation.  "The blushing bride seems to be taking all the excitement in stride.  I left her giggling over lunch with all of your brother's wives."

       "Yeah...I guess it must be a joy to live unawares of the sordid details."

        Beckett looked at him with narrowed eyes.  "Just what is it your implying, O'Kenney?"

        "You tell me, Sheriff.  You're the one who keeps his cards close to his vest."

       "Hell, Kev!  Stop talking in friggn' metaphors, and spit it out.  You got something to say, just go ahead and say it.  I thought we were beyond this game playing bullshit."

        Kevin stopped his polishing of the stained glass, and stared at the man with the best evil eye he could muster.  "I saw you."

        For an instant, Beckett looked confused, and then his face froze into an emotionless mask.  "You have me at a disadvantage, Father.  I'm not exactly sure what you mean."

       "Last Thursday night.  I saw you.  At the gas station.  With a woman in your car that was definitely not my sister.  The sister who was back home in Boston celebrating her upcoming marriage... to you."

        If the Sheriff was surprised at Kevin's revelation, he didn't show it.  "I see.  And if I told you that there is a logical explanation for what you saw, would you trust me, and leave it at that?"

        "Not a freakn' chance, Beckett.  I've been agonizing for a solid week as to whether I should go ahead and break my sister's heart with this information."

         "You didn't mention this to Maureen, did you?"

        "No.  I just couldn't bring myself to tell her.  How do you say something like that to someone you love dearly.  It would kill her to know you're cheating on her."

         Beckett tisked in disgust.  "I wasn't cheating on Maureen.  It's complicated."  He ran a hand through his hair, uncomfortable with the discussion.

        "Well, sure.  That's explains everything.  Thanks so much."  Fr. Kevin's sarcasm turned to anger.  "You must think I'm six shades of stupid, Beckett.  I've had it up to here with your secretive, need to know answers.  I don't live with my head up my ass.  I'm well aware of what was going on, and implying that what it was you were doing is beyond my feeble comprehension is just damn insulting."

        His face grim, Beckett warily explained.  "Look...it wasn't a strange woman in my car.  It was Cassie.  Donghue.  McKreedy. Whatever name you wanna use."

         "So that makes it better?  She's your ex!  What reason could you possibly have for her being in your car in the middle of the night, other than picking up where you left off?  I need to put a stop to this whole wedding, before Maureen makes the biggest mistake of her life.  Pregnant or not, she doesn't need an asshole like you in her life."

         "For Maureen's sake, I'm gonna forget that you just said that, O'Kenney.  Otherwise, I might have to rip your head off your shoulders.  There's no fuckn' way I'm carrying on with that crazy bitch!  She was in my house when I got home last Thursday.  She somehow managed to jam the security system, and sneak in.   She was down in my...um...basement.  Damn well shocked the living crap out of me.  She even drugged my dog!  The woman's off her nut.  Completely and utterly living in some freakoid fantasy world."

        This turn of events left Fr. Kevin not sure what to think.  "But why did she come back here?  She must understand how risky it is.  Marzano can't have given up on looking for her.  And why didn't you just arrest her?  For breaking and entering.  Then she'd be safely locked up."

      "I thought about arresting her, but decided against it.  For one, I couldn't hold her very long on a simple B and E.  She'd post bail and be out in less than 48 hours, and with the wedding in a week, I needed her gone on a more permannent basis.  Plus, I wanted to spare Maureen all the scandal her arrest would probably bring.  You know how things are here in town.  You can't fart without everybody knowing about it.  That's not the kind of publicity you want on your wedding day.  I thought it best if she just went away."

     "So where is she now?"  It was Kevin's to be wary.

     "I drove her to Hartford, and put her on a plane to Daytona.  Supposedly that's where she's been for the past three months.  I watched her board, and then take off.  I'm 100% sure she's not within 500 miles of Dollyville."

     "Yeah, but what makes you think she isn't gonna just turn around and come right back.  If she's obsessed like you say, she's not gonna give up that easy."

      "I've got that covered  You needn't worry."

      " Shit, Beckett!  I'm still gonna worry!  Don't you think you ought to warn Maureen about all this.  Especially if this crazy woman is hell bent on coming after you, or anyone attached to you.  This definitely puts my sister at risk."

      "I absolutely do not want Maureen to know about any of this.  She deserves the wedding she's dreamed of, without having to look over her shoulder every five minutes.  Plus, all the extra stress can't be good for she, or the baby.  Maureen is my own concern, and I'll do what I think best for her. There's no logical reason to alarm her.  I've hired security to follow Cassie from the moment she landed in Daytona.  They've been on her every minute since, and have orders to prevent her from leaving Florida, in what ever manner necessary.  Once Maureen and I return from our honeymoon, I'll try to come up with a more permanent solution.  But until then, I'm confident the problem's being adequately handled.  Leave this to me, Kevin.  I know what I'm doing."

Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

There's still time to help Roxie select the perfect dress for Ted and Maureen's wedding, and be entered in the give away!  See the  Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 post for more details!



     




     

     

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Sneak Peek and Give Away Offer

 
Roxie goes shopping at Boston's Mac Macy's
    The pile of dresses on the hook kept growing, along with her frustration.  Roxanne Spinelli pulled the lime green sun dress over her head, and slapping it on a hanger, added it to the growing collection on the dressing room door.  This was utterly ridiculous.  She had spent less time buying her first car, then she was spending on finding this friggn' dress.  It was just a wedding, after all.  Not a damn coronation.  And it wasn't like Dollyville, Massachusetts was the height of the fashion industry any how.

    With a sharp rap, the pesky sales woman was back with a vengeance.  "How we doing, sweetie?  Any of those a possibility?"

     "No!  They all look like shit on me."  Then remembering that none of this was the woman's fault, she added, "I'm sorry.  Do you think you could bring me the other bunch of size 5s?  The ones I left near the cashier?"

      "But didn't you already try those on, dear?"

      " Yeah, I did.  But I'm thinking that maybe a couple of them were okay.  I can't remember."

       There was a moment's pause, and the woman, determined to salvage some of the past two hours with a sale, forced a cheerful "No problem" from her lips.

        Maybe this whole fiasco with the dress was a sign she should forget about going to Maureen O'Kenney's wedding.  Just not show up.   It wasn't as if anyone there would miss her.  And it was even more doubtful that there'd be a decent opportunity to talk to the groom about a future job as a Deputy.  Not in the midst of his own wedding reception.  Plus, staying home would allow her to put off having to face Kevin.  Or rather, Fr. O'Kenney, as it now was.  Sending last minute regrets...a bad case of the flu...work problems...whatever...would save her from dealing with what was sure to be a lot of awkward moments.

        But the thought made her guilty, as if she were some type of quitter.  A coward.  She had just spent time with Maureen at her bridal showers, and had promised, on her honor, that she was going to show up to this circus.  Mo had even arranged for her to share an overnight room with her Maid of Honor, Allison, who always seemed up for some fun, and who had begged for the company.  To back out now, at this late date, would be rather rude, and surely hurt Maureen's feelings.  Besides, she was curious to meet her friend's future husband.  Despite the fact that he was heir to some big ass fortune, information on the internet about him was sparse, and the few images she found were several years old.  One thing was sure, if he still looked anything like he did in those photos, Momo was a hell of a lucky girl.

      The clerk returned with the stack of requested dresses, beaming a I-need-the-commission smile, and dragging along a few size 7s...on a lark...reminding her the store offered free alterations if needed.  Locked in the tiny cubicle, Roxie held up one dress after another, not even sure what was appropriate for "a good friend marrying a rich guy" kind of affair.  For the most part, she was either at school, where the dress code consisted of leggings, jeans, and t-shirts, or at Ruby's, where clothes weren't a huge part of the evening.  She had plenty of apparel for going out to the clubs, and a set of favorite field clothes she wore when she was doing surveillance for her small investigative jobs, but none of those seemed right for the impression she wanted to make.  She sure as hell didn't want something that screamed "Exotic Dancer" when she walked through the door, or anything that made her stick out, for that matter.   Blending in was the key, and on how to accomplish that objective, she wasn't sure.
   
     Amidst the generous harvest of styles and colors, Roxie managed to narrow the field down to four suitable choices, each one completely different from the others.  Sighing, she tried every one on again, fretting and fussing in front of the mirror, and wishing she had brought some one along for the benefit of a second opinion.

_______________________________

     Poor Roxie!  She's been in that dressing room for several hours, and could really use your help in deciding which dress is right for Ted and Maureen's upcoming wedding.  Can you offer her a second opinion?

     Below are photographs of her final four choices.  Select the one you think is the best choice for the Dollyville nuptials, and leave your suggestion in the comment space.  Keep in mind, all the dresses will receive "alterations" before the big day, and accessories will be added once the right dress is chosen.  Roxie will abide by your decision, and the dress with the most votes is the one she'll wear in that post.  In addition, just to make this a bit more fun, every reader who comments will be entered into a drawing for a surprise give away.  (Which neither Roxie or I have a clue as to what it might be, but we're both sure I can find something nice to tickle your mini fancy in my ever growing stash)  Voting ends July 6th, and only one vote per reader.

        Rox and I look forward to hearing from you!  Just no bitchy comments about her large feet, or thick ankles, okay?  She's very sensitive about that. 

Thanks for all your help!

Dress # 1 - Soft summer silk
Dress # 2 - White linen with blue trim
Dress #3 - Pink print cotton sundress

                                 
Dress #4 - Sleeveless geometric print


           Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
           All Rights Reserved



 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Surprise Parties

Attention Dear Readers...

   Although this story is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content is suitable for adults only.  Please be advised.



An surprise intruder at the Beckett home

    
     The house was quiet and dark, proving that the nasty housekeeper still took her day off on Thursday. A quick look at incoming video feed on the cellphone, showed Beckett's car safely parked in the designated spot, and a light still burning in his office window.  It appeared that Dollyville's Sheriff was busy catching up on neglected paperwork, while the bitch was out of the way in Boston.

    Moving silently toward the back of the house, the lithe figure in black skirted the motion detectors,  leaving the landscape in dark shadow.  Through the dining room windows, on the right side of the building, one could see the front door panel blinking, and knew, as predicted, that the security system was armed.  This was, of course, no ordinary home system the likes of ADT or Wells Fargo, but rather a complex set of alarms and sensors that was meant to discourage more than your everyday thief.  Running on a wireless connection, the technology was set to an unknown frequency code that was difficult to break.  Difficult...but not impossible.

      It was Beckett's vanity that would make this challenge happen.  The security expert would have surely suggested hard wire for the installment, it being twice as difficult to over ride.  But that intrusive method meant drilling into the original hard wood floor, and trim, of the 150 year old home, and his sense of aesthetics, and need for perfection, wouldn't allow it.  He instead decided on the wireless option, confident that the code's complexity would thwart any attempted break ins.  Or so he believed.

       The intruder pulled a small device from a back pocket, and began entering a series of numbers and letters.  This toy had cost way more than anticipated, but came with a solid guarantee insuring success.  It's designer had insisted that his invention would jam any frequency code , regardless of how difficult or complex.  But there was always the possibility that in his paranoia, Beckett had added another layer of security.  Sweating in the dark, heavy clothes, the figure watched and waited for all the digits on the screen to turn to zeros, signaling that the system was in over ride.  It took several minutes, but eventually satisfied with what the screen was showing, the intruder slipped in the house's rear entrance without notice.  Once safely inside, the power on the hand held device was terminated, and the building's security was again safely armed, given no outward signs that it had ever been tampered with.

________________________________
                             
A surprise visit from Brian
      It had been a long time since he had come out back like this.  Seemed as if once Maureen and Beckett had announced their engagement, his days were split between pastoral duties, brotherly advice and wedding planning, with little time for anything else.  Fr. Kevin leaned back in his lawn chair, savoring the last few tokes of his joint.  With his sister back in Boston under Jamie's watchful eye, and Beckett bogged down in his Sheriff and groom-ly duties, it felt good to just sit out here and enjoy some  uninterrupted down time.
   
     He knew he should feel guilty about getting high, but the past few weeks had left him feeling pressed and anxious, disconnected from his prayer life, and in need of mind escape.  In a week's time, his entire family would roll into Dollyville.  Descend on his life like a fast moving storm, and funnel cloud suck every bit of energy and calm right out of him. Then, there was that looming meeting with Roxanne Spinelli he was dreading beyond belief.  It all weighed like a ton of bricks on his head, and if this moment of solitude and relaxation helped him gear up for what was ahead, he was going to damn well enjoy every puff of it.
   
     It was hard to believe that he had been Pastor for over a year now.  What had started off as a heavy yoke around his neck, had blossomed into something more like a comfortable mantle.  He felt a tie to his parishioners, and they to him, and Holy Family finally felt like a vibrant faith community.   He owed much of that to his sister, Maureen.  She had this unique ability to make people feel important and needed, a part of something bigger.  It was her confidence in him, and her rallying of the flock, that had truly made the difference.   Now, his little sister was getting married.  Moving on, and starting a life apart from her family.  And he still wasn't sure how he felt about all that.

      He had known Beckett a lot longer than his sister, and still hadn't figured the man out.  He could be charming and affable one moment,  bossy and intimidating the next.  Ted put on moods and personalities like a second skin, and shed them as the moment required.  The more Kevin thought about it, the more he came to realize that he only saw what the man wanted revealed, and truth be told, it bothered him.  Over the past several months, the two of them had forged a tentative relationship, and he enjoyed the Sheriff's company more than he did that of any of his brothers.  Beckett treated him as an equal, not pulling his punches, or tip-toeing around his collar, and had proved his loyalty on a number of necessary occasions.  Still, there remained a nagging little worry in the back of his mind that couldn't be shook.

     Despite his misgivings about the Sheriff's secretive past, he was satisfied that the man seemed to genuinely care for his sister's welfare.  He couldn't speak to any personal romantic feelings, as that was never discussed between the two of them.  But it was obvious that he was extremely protective of her, and more than willing to take on the responsibilities of husband and father.  And there was no mistaking Maureen's feelings for her intended.  She was crazy about the guy.  Lit up like a lamp whenever he was within fifty feet.  Beckett could read her changing moods like no one before him, and seemed to have a sixth sense about what she was up to next.  Without a doubt, it was obvious that his baby sister was happy, very happy, and because he loved her dearly, he worked at pushing any lingering thoughts about secret pasts, unanswered questions, and awful hidden rooms toward the back of his mind.

    Rising from the lawn chair, Fr. Kevin intended to head back to the rectory, and see if he couldn't hunt up the fixings for a sandwich.  As cliched as it sounded, weed always made him feel ravenous, and he hoped there was something in the fridge to suit his needs, despite his having put off a trip to the grocery store for far too long.  His course of action was delayed by the arrival of Brian from beneath the low hedges in the church's rear garden.  He hadn't seen the wee man in almost four weeks, and was a tad grateful that he chosen this moment to make an appearance.  Kevin preferred talking to the sidhe when he was thoroughly high, rather than when he was cold, stone sober. It made him feel less crazy, and gave him the excuse that he wasn't quite in control of his normal faculties.

      "Top of the evenin' to ya laddie.  I thought I smelt that fine tobacco. You was plannin' on sharin' a wee bit, weren't ya me boy?"

        Kevin routinely thought that giving marijuana to fairy folk was probably a bad idea.  But there was no way he was going to risk the wrath of the sidhe by refusing to show proper hospitality and respect, and he handed the tiny man the roach clip, and what was left of the joint.  "Saved this just for you, my friend."

         "Go raibh maith agat.  You be a good laddie, Caoimhin."  Inhaling, Brian settled himself comfortably in the grass, his back to a large rock.

        The priest nodded his appreciation for the compliment, and lowered himself back into the lawn chair.  There were certain rules of etiquette required when dealing with any member of the sidhe.  If Brian appeared for a chat, Kevin was expected to stay and chat.  To do otherwise, was to risk insult, an unwise decision Kevin was knowledgeable enough to avoid.

        "So Caoimhin, cad e ag deanamh buartha duit?"

        Slow in translating the Gaelic, it took him a moment to answer.  " What makes you think I'm worried?  I'm fine.  Every thing's great."

        The small man grunted in response.  "Himself speaks nonsense, he does.  I ken smell the fretting a mile away.  You ben hand wringing since sun up.  A waste of time, it tis."

         "Okay, fine.  I admit you might be right.  I do have a lot on my mind. I can't help but worry, Brian.  My sister's getting married next week, and well...she hardly knows this guy.  I'm not sure I even know him.  I want her to be happy, but I'm wondering if she isn't making the biggest mistake of her life.  And I feel like I'm partly to blame for this whole mess."

         The clurichaun continued to puff on the last of the joint, watching the fireflies flicker in the growing darkness of twilight.  Several seconds passed before he answered.  "Tis not your decision to make, laddie, nor your path to walk.  You kenna change what will be any more than ya ken change the movement of the night sky.  What will be, will be for certain.  Frettn' about it will not change her course.  Or yar own."

          Brian's statements always frustrated Kevin, as they made perfect sense while making no sense at all.  Without thinking, he questioned the ancient, little man.  "Can you at least tell me if..."  And then he froze, not finishing the inquiry, and realizing the error of his ways.  Asking a favor from the sidhe...any favor at all...meant that Brian could ask a favor in return. One that could not be refused or renegotiated. And if Celtic legend were true, then the clurichaun's request would far exceed the one from the desperate mortal.

         The fairy looked at Kevin shrewdly.  "Ya be askin' for a look at what will be, Ginger?  That be a fairly large favor ya 'd be committn' to."

         Fr. Kevin shook his head fiercely in denial.  "No, I'm not really askn'.  Just thinkin' out loud is all.  Please forget about it, okay?"

         Brian searched the priest's face, and satisfied, nodded.  "I will then not be rememberin' what it was ya spoke.   Of course, tis much easier to forget when one's belly is happy full.  Ya wouldn't happen to have a wee morsel or two, would ya, Caoimhin?"

        With a sigh, Fr. Kevin rose from the lawn chair, and headed toward the rectory to see what he might rustle up for the two of them, leaving the wee man chuckling in the dark over the innocence of mortals.
________________________________

       By the time Beckett pulled into his driveway, he was thoroughly exhausted.  He had been up and out of Maureen's apartment well before 5 AM, and at his desk working long before the sun rose.  There were several hours of paperwork that he needed to get through before he could focus on personal business, as well as a rather difficult conversation with the powers that be.  In addition, he had needed to deal with the transfer of three prisoners from his holding cell to the county jail, and was required in court all afternoon for testimony.

       Then, he had insisted on personally driving Maureen to Boston to spend the weekend with her brother, Jamie, in preparation for three days of bridal showers and pre-wedding festivities.  The round trip had taken nearly five hours, and there were still things he needed to deal with at the station, thus it was well after 11PM before he arrived home... tired, hungry, and generally cranky.  He was glad Helen, his housekeeper, was off on Thursdays, leaving the house quiet and calm, and relieving him of the obligation to make any type of conversation.

     Secretly, he was glad to have Maureen gone a few days.  When she was around, she drove him to distraction, and made him question his declining self control.  But now, with her away, going on 4 hours and 23 minutes, he felt out of sorts and agitated, and the whole set of contradicting feelings just ended up pissing him off.  It had been much simpler before she had plopped into his life.  Until that moment, he had easily found plenty of willing female company, without the burden of emotional entanglements.  When he grew bored with a particular scenario, he would send the woman off with a reasonable parting gift, and that would be that.  No fuss. No muss. No long good byes.

      He worried that as he aged, he might be getting soft.  It was hard to understand how he had let himself get tangled up with all that relationship bullshit... not just once, but twice.  An issue that had been recently pointed out, in great detail, by his superiors.  Of course, they were two opposite sides of the coin.  With Cassie, it had been all about sex and control.  She had known every dark corner of his psyche, and shamelessly pandered to it.  Well enough to make him think that's what he wanted on a daily basis.  Her abrupt departure had made him realize just how deep he was sinking, and he shuddered to think of where that path might have led him.

      With Maureen it was different. Why, he couldn't say.  There was still that overwhelming need for control, but mixed in was a desire for her approval.  Something that hadn't ever been there before.  In the past, it had simply been about him.  Period.  He did exactly as he pleased, and damn with the consequences.   But now, he found himself delighting in daily opportunities to make her happy.  And that bothered the shit out of him.  Still sitting in the car in his driveway, he tisked in disgust.  What he needed was a good, long assignment.  Something detailed and dangerous, where his focus needed to stay on the job at hand, and not on the way he had mucked up his perfectly good life.  Once this wedding nonsense was finished, he's talk to someone about getting back out in the field.  The sooner, the better.

     As he made his way across the lawn, he thought it odd that he hadn't heard Maggie's barking when he pulled up to the house.  Usually, the large German Shepard would be at the door, growling out a warning to whoever was on the other side.  Tonight, the silence that greeted him was a tad ominous, and he felt the adrenaline start to pump.  Shrugging it off, he pushed at the buttons on the security panel, and waited for the alarm to disengage before opening the door.

        "Maggie?  Where are you girl?"

       He waited for the sound of her tags jingling, or her toe nails on the hard wood floor, but the house was silent.  On alert, his hand went for the Glock in his shoulder holster, and he began moving around the house, sweeping all the rooms in the front of the first floor, and then moving to the second.  When he could find nothing out of the ordinary, he made his way back down to the kitchen, the dog no where in sight.  Quietly, he pushed open the door with his foot, wide enough to see an opened bottle of 2002 Dalla Ville Cabernet, and two wine glasses, on the granite counter.  For a second, his stomach dropped, and then he holstered his gun, and headed down to the basement.

        The door to the Red Room was slightly opened, the padlock he had added after Maureen's snooping, lying broken, and hanging, from the latch.  He pushed on the solid wood, and hesitating just a moment, walked inside.  She was in the corner of the room, her back to him, swinging the ceiling chains back and forth .

        "What the shit are you doing here?  And where the hell is my dog?"

         She turned to face him, all dark hair and red lips, a khaki trench coat belted at her waist.  "Nice to see you too, Teddy."  Smiling, she undid the knot holding the wrap in place, and let it slip off her shoulders, and into a puddle at her feet.  She was completely nude, except for a red braided around her neck. Before he could open his mouth and form any words, she gracefully dropped to her knees. her arms out, and wrists offered.

       Though her eyes were downcast, and her hands were held in front where he could see them, it felt as if she had reached up and forced her fingers into his skull, tickling and wiggling all the dark places he had worked so hard to keep in check the past six months.  He could feel his pulse pounding in his temples and throat, and the air in the basement room felt thick and wet.  With a shake of his head, he grabbed her by the wrists and roughly pulled her up to standing position, not at all shocked when she sucked in her breath, and then sighed.  Reaching down, he grabbed her coat, and tossed it at her, attempting to smother the moment.
   
      "What the hell do you want, Cas?  And how the fuck did you get past my security?"

      Not willing to concede defeat, she throw the coat on the bed, and padded naked across the room, her image reflected in the mirrors on both the ceiling and wall.  "Now, is that anyway to treat an old friend, Teddy?  After I've gone to so much trouble to come see you."  She positioned herself on the bed, wrapping the chains around one arm, and patting the spot next to her with the other.  "Why don't you go fetch the Cabernet I brought, and we'll sit and chat a bit.  You can tell me all about the plans for yet another wedding."  She laughed, low and throaty, but there was no joy or sincerity in the sound.

       Ignoring her, he walked to the opposite corner, where he noticed her clothes and a small back pack piled on a chair.  "We got nothing to discuss.  You left.  I moved on.  Never gave you a second thought.  End of story."  He rummaged through the backpack, and locating the signal jammer, crushed it under the heel of his boot.

       "So, we're all domesticated now, are we?'  She spat out the words, the submissive personae now totally absent.  "Face it, Teddy.  You are what you are. Kinky and messed up.  Just like me. You'll never be happy with the vanilla fluff.  That's why you've left this room just the way it was before I left.  You didn't even take my painting down!  You knew I'd be back, and you left this room untouched, because this is what you want."

       He turned, and walked to where she was sitting, his face a stone mask.  "Don't flatter yourself, Donaghue.  I don't give a shit about you.  Frankly, I doubt I ever did.  You were nothing more than a passing curiosity.  A convenient lay, and a mediocre one at that.  When you walked out, you did me a big favor.  Saved me from tossing your droopy little ass out of my house."  He threw her clothes into her lap, and threatened, "You got two minutes to put these on, or I'm throwing you bare ass into my car, and dumping you somewhere on the side of RT 44.  Are we clear?"

       Eyes narrowed, and filled with seething anger, Cassandra Donaghue began to pull on her clothes, her brain storing every second of this moment for future reference.

                       
A surprise visitor in the Red Room

______________________________

        Fr. Kevin looked down at the assortment of junk food on the counter, and watched as the night clerk rang each item up.  Not a bad haul for a neighborhood gas station.  He would have preferred something more along a standard food group, but after midnight in Dollyville, beggars couldn't be choosers.  He hope there was something in this menagerie that Brian would find satisfactory, while he himself would make do with a Red Bull and a bag of flamn' hot potato chips.
   
         Sack in hand, he left the service station convenience store, and pocketed his change, before  heading back to the rectory.  The streets were, for the most part, deserted at this hour of the night, so the car pulling up to the pumps caught his eye.  Doing a double take, he was surprised to see Beckett's black Mustang, and for a second, was happy with the thought that he wouldn't have to walk the six blocks back to the rectory.  As the Sheriff got out of the driver's side to come around to the pump, Kevin opened his mouth to call out to the man, and then abruptly stopped.  Once Beckett was out of the  car, he could clearly see to the other side of the vehicle, where plain as day there sat a person in the passenger seat.  At 1:00 in the morning. A dark haired figure, obviously a woman.  And not his sister, who was safe and sound in Boston, about 120 miles away.

       Tucking himself in the darkened shadows behind a post, Fr. Kevin watched his sister's fiance fill his tank, then pull out of the gas station, and head directly out of town, a strange woman in the seat next to him.
                 
A surprised Fr. Kevin watches from in front of the gas station

Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

   



       


     

     
     
      

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Sneaky Peek 6-19-2013

                                 
An intruder at Beckett's home
    The house was quiet and dark, proving that the housekeeper still took her day off on Thursday. A quick look at the incoming video feed running on the cellphone, showed Beckett's car safely parked in the designated spot, and a light still burning in his office window.  It appeared that Dollyville's Sheriff was busy catching up on neglected paperwork, while the bitch was out of the way in Boston.

    Moving silently toward the back of the house, the figure in black skirted the motion detectors,  leaving the landscape in dark shadow.  Peeking through the dining room windows, on the right side of the building, the panel near the front door was blinking, making it obvious, as predicted, that the security system was armed.  This was, of course, no ordinary home system the likes of ADT or Wells Fargo, but rather a complex set of alarms and sensors that was meant to discourage more than your everyday thief.  Running on a wireless connection, the technology was set to an unknown frequency code that was difficult to break.  Difficult...but not impossible.

      It was Beckett's vanity that would make this challenge happen.  The security expert would have surely suggested hard wire for the installation, it being twice as difficult as wireless to over ride.  But that intrusive method meant drilling into the original hard wood floors and trim of the 150 year old home, and his sense of aesthetics, and need for perfection, wouldn't allow it.  He instead decided on the wireless option, confident that the code's complexity would thwart any attempted break ins.  Or so he believed.

       The intruder pulled a small device from a back pocket, and began entering a series of numbers and letters.  The toy had cost way more than anticipated, but came with a solid guarantee insuring success.  It's designer had insisted that the invention would jam any frequency code, regardless of how difficult, or complex, it might be.  But there was always the possibility that in his paranoia, Beckett had added another layer of security.  Sweating in the dark, heavy clothes, the figure watched and waited for all the digits on the screen to turn to zeros, signaling that the system was in over ride.  It took several minutes, but eventually satisfied, the intruder slipped in the house's rear entrance without notice.  Once safely inside, the power on the hand held device was terminated, and the building's security was again safely armed, given no outward signs that it had ever been tampered with.

______________________________

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Punishment, Poles and Pending Conflict

An Important Note for my Readers...

   Although this blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content is strongly recommended for adult audiences.  Please be advised.    

Park West Hotel, Dollyville, Massachusetts
(Could that be Beckett's Mustang parked out front?)
    By the time Beckett reached the hotel lobby, all he could see of Maureen was a flash of green dress and red hair disappearing through the revolving front door.  He thought about going after her on foot, but quickly changed his mind.  There was no damn way he was going to chase her down the street like some friggn' dog catcher after a run away puppy.  He'd pick up the Mustang from the valet, and follow her in the car.  In the meantime, he figured she wouldn't get very far in those spiked heels.

     Standing in the afternoon heat waiting for the valet, he silently fumed.  Just what the hell was her damn problem?  Against the sound advice of his own attorney, he had been exceedingly generous with the arrangements.  If he suddenly found himself dead, she'd be a very wealthy woman.  And if they ended up becoming just another divorce statistic, Maureen O'Kenney would still live very comfortably indeed.  There was no reason at all for her to carry on as she did.  It was silly, childish and extremely disrespectful, and when he caught up with her, he sure as hell was going to tell her so.

     Not for the first time, he questioned his sanity over the decision to marry this tiny, vanilla cupcake.  He liked his women experienced.  Compliant.  Obedient.  She was none of those things.  In fact, there were times he thought she purposely did the opposite of what he asked, simply to see if she could get a rise out of him.  An outright brat, who obviously didn't know the first thing about submission.  He ought to have his head examined for mixing it up with her in the first place, and if he still had a half a brain in his head, he would call the whole thing off.  Pay child support, and drag his sorry ass out of the line of fire while he still could.

      Beckett looked at his watch, and began to pace.  It was taking too damn long for them to bring the car around.  By now, she might be several blocks away.  Wandering around in those ridiculously sexy shoes.  What if she turned an ankle?  Tripped over a stone, and fell on her face?  And was it all that sensible for someone in her condition to be hiking around in this oppressive summer humidty?  Not to mention the unwanted attention she was probably garnishing in that clingy, little dress.  A wrong turn here or there, and she could end up in some lousy neighborhood.  And it would be his damn fault for being shitty about the car.

    When they finally pulled the Mustang around, Beckett throw a $20 at the kid, and began moving slowly around the streets nearest the hotel.  He eventually located her about eight blocks away, now barefoot, and carrying the Louboutons in her hand.  Maneuvering across traffic, he pulled up at a corner where she was waiting for the light to change, and rolled down the window.  "Get in the car, Maureen."

     She shook her head vigorously, side to side, refusing to speak.

     "I'm asking nicely.  If you don't comply, I will put you in it myself, and I guarantee you will not enjoy the way in which I do it."

      She hesitated a moment, and then spoke.  "Just leave me alone, Beckett.  This won't ever work.
We're just postponing the inevitable, and everyone knows it.  That's what this afternoon is all about, isn't it?  Getting everything in order for our sure fire failure."

       Voice still calm, he leaned closer to the passenger window.  "I do not wish to have this conversation on a public street corner.  Get in the car.  Now."

      Turning away, she began to move across the street against the light, but caught sight of him putting the vehicle in park, and opening the driver's side door.  Seeing the look on his face, and realizing he was actually coming after her, she backtracked to the car.  "Okay. Okay.  I'm getting in.  See?"  She dropped unceremoniously into the bucket seat, and waited for him to say something, but instead, he remained grimly silent.  For the next ten minutes, she attempted to start a conversation, even going as far as to try and goad him into a response with accusations and insults. But Beckett stayed tight lipped and mute, his face offering only a slight hint at his annoyance.

      Eventually, they pulled up the drive way of his home.  Parking the car, but leaving the engine running, he finally turned to speak to his bride, whose frustration at being ignored was bubbling over.  She opened her mouth to begin a new tirade, but he held up a hand, suggesting she stop.  "This will be a very short conversation if you keep on the path you are heading.  I have a handful of questions, and I expect you to answer them calmly and honestly.  Can you do that?"

      Eyes welling up, she nodded her consent.

      "Good girl.  Question #1.  We had a discussion similar to this one the last time you did a runner. From my house...at night...without a word.  Do you recall that conversation?"

       Again, she nodded, not sure where he was going with his line of questioning.

      "And what was the result of that debate?"

       Hesitating a moment, she mumbled.  "I promised you I wouldn't do that again."

       "Correct.  And what did we decide would happen if you broke that promise?"

       Not liking the direction of his questions, she narrowed her eyes, and folded her arms across her chest.  "This is ridiculous.  You know very well what was said."

       "I need to hear it from you."

       "Forget it, Sheriff.  I'm not some five year old you can scold and intimidate with reverse psychology."

       Shrugging his shoulders, he put the car in reverse, and began backing out the driveway.  "Okay, Maureen.  Conversation over.  I'm done."

      Suddenly fearful that he meant he was done with her, and recalling the last time they argued like this, she protested, grabbing his arm as she spoke. "Wait!  Don't leave.  I'll answer.  Just stop."

       He watched her face, and satisfied she was serious, put the car back in park.  "The question again is... what did we both decide would happen if you broke that promise?"

       Looking at her hands, she replied in a whisper.  "I would willingly suffer the consequences."

      "Nicely done, Maureen.  Now, only more question to go."  He thought about reaching for her hands, but decided against it.  "Do you want to marry me?"

       "Of course I want to marry you!  I love you to pieces.  But...it's just..."

       "There are no 'buts' Maureen.  Excuses are nothing but negotiation.  You either do...or you don't."

       He could see the wheels turning in her head, and wondered whether he had misjudged her.  The quiet in the car grew to monster proportions, and he asked again.  "So, yes or no?  Do you want to marry me?"

      She sighed heavily.  "Yes, Ted.  I want to marry you."

      He would never admit to anyone just how relieved her answer made him, but their conversation was far from over.  "Then, if you've made such a monumental decision regarding your choice of a spouse, you must surely trust me enough to have your best interests at heart, correct?"

       Still hesitant, she answered, "Yeah.  I guess so."

     "Then trust me when I tell you that you need to sign that pre-nup.  It is necessary for your own security, as well as mine.  And if it turns out we never need it, then no one would be happier than me.  But, I need to have things settled, Maureen.  It's who I am.  And it's gotta be my way."

       "Fine, Ted. Whatever.  I'll sign the damn thing.  But I want you to know...I don't care about your money.  I never cared about your money, so this whole damn thing is a waste."

        "That's good to hear, darln'."  He leaned over the console, and kissed her.  A lot gentler than he wanted.  Then taking the ring from his pocket, slid it back on her left finger, and kissed each of the tips.  "Gimme a sec here, sweetheart.  I have to call the two gentlemen we left sitting at the Park West."

         She giggled, letting her heart return to a normal beat, and listened to him talk to his attorney.  When he was finished, she looked at him, confused.  "Why did you tell them we'd be back in two hours?  It'll only take about fifteen minutes to get back to the hotel."

        "We're not quite finished here, baby."

        She looked at him quizzically.  "We're not?"

        "Nope.  There's that little matter of consequences for taking a runner on me."

         "But...but..."  She turned red, and stammering, explained, "I thought we talked through everything.  And you were okay."  Stalling, she brushed a lock of dark hair from his forehead, and ran a hand down his cheek.

         "We did.  And I am.  Quite satisfied, actually.  But a promise is a promise, Maureen.  I expect you to keep your word."  He left the driver's side, and came around to open the door for her.

          "You're serious?   Ted...I...I thought you were just teasing." Her breath hitched, and she turned a deep shade of pink.

           "I never tease about consequences."  He put out his hand for her to take.

         Reluctantly, she took hold of his hand, and let him pull her out of her seat.  "You mean...like now?  Here at your house?"  Planting her feet, she whined.  "This is weird, Ted.  We can't.  Your housekeeper is here.  She'll hear us."

         "Not here.  Off on Thursdays.  So...it's just you and me, sweetheart."
   
         "But your lawyer...and Patrick...are waiting for us back at the Park West."

         "You heard what I told them.  They know we won't be back until 5.  Right now, I would guess they've made themselves comfortable in the hotel bar.  Lawyers are used to delays. Comes with the territory.  I wouldn't give it another thought."

          "Ted, I don't think..."

          "Seems to me I do recall someone saying something earlier about postponing the inevitable."  The corners of his mouth turning up in a wicked grin, he punched in the security code, and opened the front door.  Turning to Maureen, he swung open his arm in mock invitation. "Shall we, darlin'?"
                                                    ***************
          Two hours later, O'Kenney and Beckett, along with their respective counsel, convened at the Park West Hotel.  If anyone noticed that the bride was giddy and flushed, and wearing her dress inside out, no one mentioned it.  And the fact that she refused a chair, and instead choose to stand throughout the rest of the proceedings, also went without a comment.  The focus remained solely on the fact that the pre-nuptial agreement was signed, sealed and delivered, allowing the wedding plans to move forward, much to the relief of the woman's attorney, and elder brother.
                                               
Maureen O'Kenny signs the pre-nup, under the watchful eye of brother, and counsel, Patrick

________________________________

"Ravishing Roksi" on the pole at Ruby's Lounge
(PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF WILDWOOD DOLLHOUSES)

     It was slow for a Thursday.  By 11:00 PM, the club was normally filled with patrons getting a jump on their weekend celebration.  Strangely, on this particular night, the place was a virtual wasteland.  Two old guys, each nursing a half empty glass in front of them, sat near the stage, their eyes glazed over like victims of a hypnotic trance. On the pole, Roxanne Spinelli spun while working the math in her head.  Smaller audience meant less tips.  Less tips meant she probably was going to be late with the rent again.

      To the strains of Black Velvet, by Alannah Myles, wailing in the background, Roxie shifted her weight to her left leg and moved into a Front Hook Spin, followed by a full Carousel Straddle.  This point in the routine called for her to unsnap and toss the bra part of her costume as she slid to the right of the pole.  But in the mood she was in, there was no damn way she was going to parade her boobs for the two lone geezers drooling at the stage's railing.  Not tonight, anyway.  As the song neared it's end, the shapely brunette grabbed the brass, and with perfect precision and grace, dismounted with a Shoulder Mount Inversion, landing on the floor with a dramatic back flip.

      The tiny audience answered her performance with a weak attempt at applause, obviously disappointed with Roxie's less than full disclosure.  "Tough shit." she murmured under her breath.  "You morons got more than your money's worth already."  Grabbing a towel off the rack behind the stage's curtain, she headed for the dressing room.  She had 45 minutes before her next call, the last of the night.  If all went well, and she wasn't interrupted by the nonsense of the other girls, it was remotely possible she'd be able to get through several pages of tomorrow's assigned reading.

       "Cuttin' corners again, Rox.  You know how Ruby feels about that."  Stepping in front of her, Jake Kresky, the club's stage manager, blocked her passage.

       "Come on, Jake.  Cut me some slack.  The place is empty.  It's just those two losers who've been here since 9, sucking on the same watered down drink since they walked in."

        "A customer is a customer, girlie.  They pay the $20 cover, they can sit there until they fuckin' grow  roots.  And if they come to see "Ravishing Roksi", they're entitled to see all of her...including her tits.  We got a reputation to uphold.  Ruby runs a tight ship, and by now, ya need to get with the program.  You're no damn newbie, Rox."

       "Quite blown' smoke up my ass, Kresky.  You and I both know I'm the best there is on the pole. In all of Boston.  That's just plain fact, and everyone, including Ruby, understands that.  I bring more revenue into this dump than any girl here."

        "I'm warning ya, Spinelli...lose the attitude.  You got the moves, but you're damn well closin' in on 30, and it ain't gonna be long before gravity takes over.  Then nobody's gonna want to see your bony ass, and saggy boobies, shaking it up there on that stage.  You'll end up workin' the morning slot, and wrestling the other sorry shits for lap dance tips."

       Fighting with Kresky was like pissing in the wind.  Whatever she lobbed at him would eventually come back, and hit her square in the face.  The asshole had Ruby's ear, and if he complained long and hard enough, her skill wouldn't matter a bit.   She'd find herself out on the street before she could say jack shit, and right now, she needed this job.  Between rent, utilities and tuition, every penny was accounted for, and there was no room for sudden unemployment.  Turning her back on the man, she flipped him the bird, and made her way to the dressing room.

       In one sense, he was right.  Her attitude of late did suck.  For good reason.  Only two weeks into the summer semester, and she was already behind.  She had a paper due in her Crime Analysis class, a lab to finish in Forensic Studies, and a ton of reading on the subject of juvenile defenders.  Not to mention the part-time investigating she did for some of her neighbors.  She had promised Mrs. Wong that she would try to track down her grandson, who had left to move into the Chinatown area, and from whom the family had not heard a word in six weeks.  And she told Mr. Khajami in apartment 6B, that she'd follow his wife, and find out where she disappeared to every afternoon, promptly at 2.  Throw in her time here at the club, plus the needed rehearsal, and she might as well give up eating or sleeping.

      None of that could be helped.  She was gonna chase this dream, or die trying.  From the time she was kid, she had wanted to be a detective.  A gun- toting, trench- coat wearing, hard boiled PI.  The kind she drooled over in hours of mystery stories, and found in the likes of every character from Nancy Drew to Phillip Marlowe. In the endless hours of cable channel reruns of Perry Mason, Ellery Queen and Magnum PI.  It had been her salvation during the bad times.  The moving from place to place.  The new schools.  The shunning, and embarrassment of having a jail bird father.  Through it all, she had set her mind to what needed to be done, gritted her teeth, and dove in head first.

     When she graduated from high school, there had been no money for college.  Daddy was already in prison, and Mama was barely hanging on.  Her grades were good, but not extraordinary, and despite an amazing amount of skills in gymnastics and cheer leading, there were few scholarship offers.  The hand full of schools that had been semi-interested offered partial tuition, but not nearly enough for a girl whose family could not ante up a single dime.  So instead of packing up for a college adventure, she was picking through pages of help wanted ads, filling out applications, and hitting the pavement, business to business.

      Her first job had been as a waitress at Mike's City Diner on Washington Street.  It was a grueling, dog-eat-dog job, and at first opportunity, she looked for something better.  She found a position as a dog groomer, then as day care worker, and finally at UPS as a package handler.  It was during her time at Brown that she and a friend decided to take an evening pole dancing class as a lark.  With her years of gymnastic training, she found herself to be a natural, and with the instructor's encouragement, decided to try and go pro.

     After a ten minute audition, she was hired on the spot by Big Al's, a small gentlemen's club in the South End neighborhood.  There, she quickly made a name for herself, and after only four months on the job, was recruited by Ruby Wheeler to make the move to her popular spot, promising more pay, and a larger percentage of tips.  The fact that she made her living as an exotic dancer, taking her clothes off and dancing for strange men, gave her absolutely no pause.  It was simply a matter of working toward a goal, and she had long ago given up worrying about what people thought of her.  Their opinion mattered little, and any hesitation was lost as her bank account began to grow.

      When she had saved enough money, she enrolled as a part-time student at Boston College, listing her major as Criminal Justice.  She had done her homework, and knew Massachusetts law required that she work in professional law enforcement for three years before applying for a PI license.  And no decent municipality would even consider hiring her until she earned her BS in Criminal Justice.  Taking  two or three classes at a time to hold down the costs, and working the needed night job at the club, it had taken her almost five years to get to this point.  She needed only one more semester to graduate, and then she could finally start the journey to actually becoming a real private investigator, with a plan to start her own firm.

       In the mean time, she practiced on her neighbors and friends, doing little jobs for free.  Just last week, she had finally been able to help prove that a man suing her landlord for personal injury was, in fact, faking his symptoms.  And only a month ago, she tracked down a dead beat dad for one of the girls at the club.  There was no doubt she had a knack for this sort of thing.  A six sense for getting to the bottom of things, and working in law enforcement a few years was only going to sharpen her skills. Thus, the key to this whole plan, was landing a job as a police officer.

       Getting accepted to the police academy here in Boston was a pipe dream.  The waiting list was ridiculously long, and she didn't have a single connection to help move her long. She wasn't about to go gray waiting to make the cut.  And even if they did admit her to the program, once they found out how she had put herself through college, it was unlikely anyone would ever take her seriously.  No, she needed to branch out.  Leave the Boston area, and look for a position in some small town where she could start fresh, and learn the ropes.

       It was for that reason, and that reason alone, she accepted the invitation to Maureen O'Kenney's wedding.  It wasn't as if she didn't think of Mo as a friend.  They had reconnected a few years ago, after running into each other on the campus of Boston College, and made a point of getting together every six weeks or so.  It was even Roxie herself who suggested to the broken hearted Maureen that she leave Boston awhile after the whole affair with the boss debacle came to light.  She was happy that her childhood friend had moved on, found someone special, and made a life for herself. But going to the wedding meant a high probability of running into her brother, of having to come face to face again with Kevin O'Kenney, and the thought made her queasy.

       She hadn't spoken to Kevin in almost fifteen years.  Not since that September morning in the halls of St. Bridget's.  And despite the years that followed, and all the lousy, rotten things that had happened, the memory of that encounter cut like a knife.  She had heard through the grapevine that he had gone on to the seminary, and remembered people on Facebook mentioning his ordination, but after that, lost track of the family entirely.  It wasn't until she had met up with Maureen, that she found out he had been assigned his own parish out of the Boston area, and breathed a sigh of relief.  It was unlikely she'd run into him in her line of work, and she sure as hell wasn't going to trek down to the middle of now where to see him say Mass any time soon.

        But here she was, willingly placing herself in a position that required her to face ugly teenage demons.  Maureen undoubtedly told him what she did for a living, and she could picture him congratulating himself on the fact that he had avoided a fall of grace under the temptation of the neighborhood Jezebel.  The image wanted to make her puke.  Grabbing a robe from her locker, she slipped it over her shoulders, and belted it at the waist.  Finding a quiet corner of the dressing room, she pulled out her textbook and highlighter, and got busy on her assignment for tomorrow's class.

     The dream was all that mattered, and the only reason she was willing to risk emotional flagellation.  Upon receiving the wedding invitation, and personal note from Maureen, she had Googled the prospective groom, and was surprised to find that he was Dollyville's Sheriff.  A Sheriff in a small town, where just maybe, if she were lucky, and begged her friend's influence, she could land a job in law enforcement when she finished her degree.  If suffering this wedding meant networking that option, she would do it.  She'd take the chance, and Kevin O'Kenney be damned.

                                               
Roksi's last stage performance of the night
(PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF WILDWOOD DOLLHOUSES)

       Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
       All Rights Reserved

CREDITS, INFORMATION AND A GIANT THANK YOU...

    ROXANNE SPINELLI'S CHARACTER WAS INSPIRED BY THE WORK OF THESE FABULOUS ARTISIANS.  I HAVE INCLUDED CONTACT INFORMATION BELOW.

April and Ron Gill, of Wildwood Dollhouses, who created the whole building and scene, including the awesome three-way infinity mirrors, revolving stage, and special "club" lighting.

Contact them at WWDHMS@aol.com for information on this piece, and other wonderful dollhouses.  You can also find and "like" them on Facebook under Wildwood Dollhouses

Bev Gelfand who created the lovely "Ravishing Roksi"

For information on her other dolls, or custom work, contact her at info@longefellowesdesigns.com

Cat Wingler, who created the gentlemen patrons shown in the club.

For information on her other dolls, or custom work, contact her at catwingler@ec.rr.com

                             
The outside of Ruby's Lounge
(PHOTO COURTESY OF WILDWOOD DOLLHOUSES)


   AND JUST ONE MORE THING...

                           

       I wanted to make note of Maureen's outfit today...only because it gave me such a headache.  I wrote the scene last week with a description of her wearing "a soft green, jersey knit", not realizing what a pain that would be to create.  I do not excel in doll fashion, and after three failed attempts, I almost gave up, and planned another scene.  But last night, I tried this last ditch attempt at dressing her, and I'm rather pleased with the results.  Not a jersey knit, but clingy enough to give the effect.  And you'll never guess what her dress was made of.  Give up?  It started life as one of those scrubby bath gloves from the dollar store, cut and pieced together.  I rather like how she looks.
        Unfortunately, I had to sew her into that dress, so I hope she likes it.  She will probably end up wearing it for the next few posts. (Well, maybe not the shoes.  She's already complaining those Loubouton stilettos are killing her.  LOL)

     



     

     

       

   
 


         

     

       

     

     

   

     



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Sneak Peek "Teaser" Post


   Happy Wednesday Dear Readers!

        Because it is Wednesday, and I am on summer break, I've decided to give you a little "Sneak Peek" look at Saturday's post.  (Which promises to be a nice long one!)  Enjoy this little "teaser"...things are heating up in Dollyville!




Outside the Park West Hotel, Dollyville, Massachusetts
Might that be Beckett's Mustang out front?

      By the time Beckett reached the hotel lobby, all he could see of Maureen was a flash of green dress and red hair disappearing through the revolving front door.  He thought about going after her on foot, but quickly changed his mind.  There was no damn way he was going to chase her down the street like some friggn' dog catcher after a run away puppy.  He'd pick up the Mustang from the valet, and follow her in the car.  In the meantime, he figured she wouldn't get very far in those spiked heels.

     Standing in the afternoon heat waiting for the valet, he silently fumed.  Just what the hell was her damn problem?  Against the sound advice of his own attorney, he had been exceedingly generous with the arrangements.  If he suddenly found himself dead, she'd be a very wealthy woman.  And if they ended up becoming just another divorce statistic, Maureen O'Kenney would still live very comfortably indeed.  There was no reason at all for her to carry on as she did.  It was silly, childish and extremely disrespectful, and when he caught up with her, he sure as hell was going to tell her so.

     Not for the first time, he questioned his sanity over the decision to marry this tiny, vanilla cupcake.  He liked his women experienced.  Compliant.  Obedient.  She was none of those things.  In fact, there were times he thought she purposely did the opposite of what he asked, simply to see if she could get a rise out of him.  An outright brat, who obviously didn't know the first thing about submission.  He ought to have his head examined for mixing it up with her in the first place, and if he still had a half a brain in his head, he would call the whole damn thing off.  Pay child support, and drag his sorry ass out of the line of fire while he still could.

      Beckett looked at his watch, and began to pace.  It was taking too damn long for them to bring the car around.  By now, she might be several blocks away.  Wandering around in those ridiculously sexy shoes.  What if she turned an ankle?  Tripped over a stone, and fell on her face?  And was it all that sensible for someone in her condition to be hiking around in this oppressive summer humidty?  Not to mention the unwanted attention she was probably garnishing in that clingy, little dress.  A wrong turn here or there, and she could end up in some lousy neighborhood.  And it would be his damn fault for being shitty about the car.

    When they finally pulled the Mustang around, Beckett throw a $20 at the kid, and began moving slowly around the streets nearest the hotel.  He eventually located her about eight blocks away, now barefoot, and carrying the Loubouton's in her hand.  Maneuvering across traffic, he pulled up at a corner where she was waiting for the light to change, and rolled down the window.  "Get in the car, Maureen."

     She shook her head vigorously, side to side, refusing to speak.

     "I'm asking nicely.  If you don't comply, I will put you in it myself, and I guarantee you will not enjoy the way in which I do it."
                                                                     

To be continued...