[Writer’s note: What began as a writing prompt — photo and first paragraph — has become at least the start of a story. I will endeavor to add short sections to it, at lest as long as there is some interest. It might be a little rough in parts, but that’s because it is coming “hot off the press,” which could be part of the fun of it. In the meantime, you are free to jump off from any part of this story thus far and write your own version. Click Holly’s Corner below to get Parts 1 – 10.]
by David E. Booker
“And you carry around a rolling pin because it is the latest in fashion accessories?”
She lowered the pin. “I don’t believe in guns.”
“The same can’t be said for threats.”
“Do you always speak your mind?”
“I try to. Saves me having to remember things.”
She smirked again. She was a plump-but-not-fat redhead who stood probably five-seven or so. I did my best to guess with her sitting in my one overstuffed client’s chair. She wasn’t wearing any heels, little or no makeup, and the end of her nose and her nostrils flared like the loops of a three-leaf clover. She was a strawberry blond with freckles that almost worked to make her look younger than she was.
She caught me staring. “Get an eye full.”
“Enough to describe you to the police should you point your pin at me again.”
She smiled, then laughed. The small crows’ feet at the corners of her eyes. They made her face more pleasant.
“Ooohh, my head….” Rachel leaned forward and brought her hands up to the sides of her head. The rolling pin clattered to the scuffed and marred hardwood floor. Another mark wasn’t going to be noticed.
Father Brown stepped in carrying a glass of water and what looked like a couple of aspirin. When Rachel looked up, he urged her to take them. She hesitated, and then accepted. He turned and left the room.
She looked at me. “Do you always provide your clients such service?”
“Father Brown has a knack and since you are not my client, he does it for non-clients, too.”
She had started swallowing the aspirin, then stopped.
“He … naht … chilf … masqaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauhhh.”
I nodded. “Yeah, that one.”
She started choking.
Too late. She jerked forward and threw up on my rug. It was a yard sale special, so it wasn’t my favorite color or pattern, but I couldn’t afford a new one.
Father Brown rushed back into the room, bucket in hand, but Rachel had wretched her last bit of food out and onto the rug. She had a few bits of spit for the blue plastic container.
She looked up, saw him, and recoiled back in the chair, her feet swiping through the vomit.
(To be continued.)