It was such a treacherous time that no one could be trusted. There was infiltrators from King Ebsen’s legions of Red Guard all throughout King Landry’s kingdom. Anyone without a solid and known bloodline was suspect. Trying to wage a war became more of a process of thinning out suspected malcontents and traitors. So much so that a mechanical device became a trusted tool.
The first dozen or so times the heavy gate was used for its purpose the effect was chilling. The process of removing those who fell victim was something etched into the minds of those tasked with the job, sure to remain on their minds forever.
The king knew this could not go on for long. The truth was that too many questions remained even after the sentence was imposed and there was no way to rectify the errors. King Ebsen was going to win their struggle and envelop King Landry’s pride and joy. Unless, King Landry thought, he could rig the gate just so.
This was one of Professor Hollin’s favorite days. After a semester of teaching classic history to college students he got to entertain a class of six year olds as they toured his home city. Over a decade he had come to absolutely love this day. At first he declared he had no business doing such, but a little girl eight years before had changed his mind with her imaginative interpretation of his city’s storied architecture.
Now he looked forward to the six year old perspectives. Stopping in front of classic piece he asked his young charges what it was about.
“He is giving his friend a high five,” Mario suggested.
“No, he is petting his dinosaur,” Luisa chimed in.
“He is learning football, but doesn;’t know it means no hands,” Luigi added.
“I think the sun is in his eyes, like it is in mine,” Carolina said, her little hand failing to filter the bright sun on her face.
Hollins motioned for the youngster to come toward him out of the bright light. Yes, this was so much more fun than listening to the college class with their pompous, know-it-all attitudes.
When I began my construction business I wanted to use my great grandfather’s hammer and pliers. He built nearly an entire town with his tools. Many of the tools did not survive him and his five decade career, but these did. I have no illusion they could last my career, if it lasts as long as his, but I could start with them.
I wish his knowledge was something that could seep from those tools into my hand, enter into my blood stream and find my brain. I know I will learn many things that became second nature to him as he completed each job along his path. Many of my tools are technologically superior to his, meant to make the job easier, but all the physics are still the same.
Angles, leveling, solid foundations and more won’t ever be replaced by a fancy tool. Only careful measurement and the willingness to question every move are the best ways to ensure good projects.
I think my favorite sound is the old worn steel of great grandfather Will’s hammer driving the nails home. Yes, That is a sound for the ages.
Tom Richardson was a good detective. One that followed orders. These orders weren’t that difficult to follow and understand. In place fifteen yards from the scene of this latest crime all kinds of thoughts poured through his head. He was glad Sophie was away. She could and would solve the murder in Perry Bay.
But eventually she would return to the office and catch wind of this. Captain Redmond ordered him to stay silent, shut her out. The last time this madman struck it nearly brought her down. The evidence was plain enough to know HE had returned. Sophie’s Devil.
Thanks to all for your great support of last week’s post. I am trying to develop a signature character that I can base a series on named Sophie Marcus. She is a mid-30s detective genius. She will have the same kind of irritating quirks all detectives seem to bring with them. This is not a serial, but another stand alone piece I may weave into her first long form work.
Jerome never had seen belly dancers, at least not in person. When he imagined it he chose to rely on the one image burned into his mind, that of a beautiful Barbara Eden in her genie outfit. So one could imagine his excitement when he saw their would be belly dancing in this three hour dance recital.
When the music began Jerome sat up in anticipation, but ten seconds later he sank back dejected. There was no Barbara Eden to bee seen anywhere near the stage. Instead it resembled a cruel joke. There was plenty of belly on display.
I am not sure this came off as funny as I intended, but it is a true story. At least seven or eight years ago I attended one of these marathon dance recitals and the belly dancers that made their appearance were nothing like Barbara Eden either. Without being unkind they were just a little older than a belly dancer in their prime.
Benjy wanted to find Katrina’s ring. The girl was all he could think of day or night. She was the mesmerizing kind of beauty that rewrote the narrative of a man’s life. Yes, he knew Alvin felt the same. Once they were the best of friends. But that was during elementary school and even middle school. But in high school the rivalry began. It had been true through sports, academics, and forensic meets. But none of that could hold a candle to this struggle. Katrina was a saint in her demeanor and could not be unkind to either boy. She only could devise this plan to decide. She hid her ring somewhere in the Seaside Park and she promised whoever retrieved it would have her heart.
Benjy tensed when Alvin’s familiar form popped up on a lower section of the trail. The choice to begin up high now seemed more risky than when he was alone here. If Alvin found the ring there he would never forgive himself.
“YAHOO!” he heard Alvin say just as he fished a golden ring out of the sand near his feet.
Both ran in a full sprint back to the small covered shelter where Katrina waited patiently.
There was a pained expression on her face when they approached.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t just do one and disappoint one of you,” She said.
Sophie Marceau loved details. At first it baffled her uncle. Yes that uncle, the homicide detective who could never pull a card trick. Then he turned her on to the masters, Poirot, Columbo, Holmes, Jessica Fletcher and Monk.
As she studied the scene of the latest murder her mind whirred beautifully. “It’s the daughter!”
“How can you possibly know that from staring at that collection?”
“It’s a gift,” she smiled.
“I disagree,” Tom, her partner said.
“Same bet as always?”
“Are you kidding? Have you any idea how much I owe you now?”
“Brothers and sisters of the Royal Order of Flying Dragons, I now call this meeting to order. I want to first thank all of you for assembling in this hallowed place, where our forefathers saw their greatest defeat. ROFD has struggled for too many years under the oppression of the Ninth Kingdom, but that is all soon to be so much history!
Our numbers are legion! Our power never higher than it is today. The alliance with the little dictator on the Asian Peninsula has proven to give us more fuel than ever before!”
Lucius and Sydnor listened to the Big Dragon Who Thought He Could as he powered through this “huff and puff” speech. They were members of the Shadow Six, the espionage wing of the ninth Kingdom, here to make sure the BDWTHC led his forces to the certain defeat they required.
“Little does he know the Billionaire President is going to remove the little dictator on the Asian peninsula. Then all their precious fire juice will disappear!” Lucius said, tugging at his dragon suit to assure their stealth.
“Boom, boom then no juicey!” Sydnor laughed heartily.