Back in June, I had an idea to run a special contest to newsletter subscribers only--an original short story written by moi in which he/she would be the central character. Well, many brave souls entered and the winner was announced.
I'm finally getting around to publishing Part I of the short story, Family Heirloom, featuring reader, Lisa Ackel Judge.
Here it is:
It was a dark and stormy night . . . nah, scratch that. It was actually a beautiful summer evening. You know the kind: mid-August and the heat of the sun has finally abated, a cool breeze showing up in its place. Lisa Ackel Judge sat on her porch, listening to the birds squabble over who got to the tree first while her bunny, Charlie, hopped around her ankles. She scooped him into her lap.
“Hard day, Charlie? It feels good to relax now though, doesn’t it?” she scratched between his ears. “Not that you need much relaxing. Don’t think I don’t notice you spend most of your day lounging in my bed.” Charlie wiggled his pink nose in response, giving his right ear a good scratch with his fluffy foot.
Lisa rested back in her chair, a tall glass of green iced tea with honey in hand. The tea was sweet and delicious and after swallowing a sip, Lisa leaned her head back in her chair. Work was crazy busy as always, her boss piling more and more work onto her plate until it threatened to snap neatly in half. Lisa sighed, and opened the magazine. She’d been wanting to read it the past four nights but had been too tired.
The first article was a quick read and Lisa was moving on to the second when she heard it. A siren splitting the quiet air with its screech, startling Charlie who bolted for the front door. Lisa stood slowly, holding both magazine and drink while letting the rabbit into the house. A police car zoomed past, followed by two state troopers.
Damn. That didn’t look good.
Lisa walked inside, wishing she had a police scanner but settling instead for a quick browse on Facebook. If there’s something going on, some news in the community, she’d be sure to find it here first. Maybe not completely accurate, but information none the less. She woke the computer and logged in, browsed the feed of her friends’ vacation photos and posing kids smeared with birthday frosting.
“Trouble at The Salon,” said a post by an acquaintance in city government. Credible source. Lisa read on. “Heard there’s a break in. Anyone know what’s happening?”
Lisa’s stomach lurched and she flew to the door, one hand grabbed for keys, the other her purse. Charlie narrowly missed being plowed over by flying feet as she ran to the car. Keys in ignition, hands trembled. Cranked but got no response. Lisa took one deep, steadying breath and tried again. This time it caught.
Come on. Come on!
Yellow lines marking safe passing zones blurred into one long string. Her foot pressed to the floor, heartbeat threatening to shatter her ribcage.
Please, please, please.
The Salon was located on Main Street in St. Albans. Police cars surrounded the area, yellow plastic tape stretched haphazardly around the premises. Lisa had left the car running, barely jamming the shift into park before she’d run toward the building. An officer stopped her near the yellow tape, arm across her chest. Lisa glanced over and saw the eyes of a pretty, young police woman boring into her own.
“No one is allowed in there, Ma’am. You’ll need to wait behind the line, please.”
“Officer, you don’t understand, my. . .”
A loud pop emanated from the beauty salon followed by a chorus of screams.
To be continued . . .
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