Grandpa Joe loved having Davey over for the weekend. The kindergarten aged boy had a great imagination and could spin a tale worthy of the best story teller in the world. Grandpa Joe knew something really good was in the works because Davey had been consumed with activity all morning. He had been flipping through photo albums, seemingly more enthralled the more he looked.
“Grandpa Joe did you like school?”
“Yes. Don’t you?”
“Sometimes. When we learn about animals I do.”
“Before long you will be able to read stories about all kinds of cool things, like cops and robbers and knights and dragons.”
I wish I could have gone to school back when you did,” Davey said smiling as his mind worked.
“Yes. I think we could have had a lot of fun.”
“Well we did not have that fancy new school bus to ride like you do,” Grandpa Joe said.
“I know,” Davey said.”But the way you had was much more fun,” Davey proclaimed.
“Yep. Grandma Pam said you are so old you rode a dragon to school!”
Alexa had a nearly terminal case of envy. Since she was a pre-teen is was always about having what others had no matter the cost. Her dad was fortunate to be the director of the local bank and had the job that allowed him to satisfy his only child.
Alexa’s mom warned her husband they were setting her up for failure as an adult, but Alexa knew how to work her dad, getting whatever her heart desired.
Then along came Lenny, the one who captured her heart. Lenny was a grease monkey with barely five pennies to jingle in his pocket. Alexa wanted Lenny in her life, but Lenny had no hopes of providing the life Alexa desired. When they visited the Hexadome Complex in Stuttsbury Alexa was enthralled. This is where she wanted to live.
“I’m sorry Alexa, but the math just doesn’t work,” Lenny told her.
Three months later Alexa slid her hand into Abe Benton’s, Abe was the owner of the Hexadome and the only one who could give her this desire. Her mother’s prediction had come true.
The girl behind the counter suppressed her smile as the young boy returned, huffing and puffing from his latest sojourn to find a portable version of a black light. His friend Hardy told him that the girl, yes, the one he had pined for all year had left her phone number on these bottles. She was a puzzle aficionado, and loved the mystery of figuring things out. If Bart was going to win her heart he had to be able to match a challenge of minds.
What he did not know was that the spunky blonde wearing the name tag that read Christina was the best friend of his dream girl, Holly and wanted Bart to find the number. She agreed to Holly’s demand to make him work for it, but she was willing to assist any way she could. She never uttered a word during his search, but used her eyes and subtle audible gestures to guide him.
Bart looked at the prize in front of him in the form of seven digits. His hand shook as he punched the buttons on his phone. He thought his heart might stop as the phone rang once, twice, three times and then she answered.
It had been five days since anyone had seen The Man from Barleyfield. Everyone knew him, oh yes everyone. He was the one who handed out $100 bills on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some said he was a billionaire real estate developer from the northeast, others though they heard him speak of Gulf of Mexico shrimping boats while still others were sure he owned big timber operations in the American west. Wherever the money originated he seemed to have plenty.
Every morning the crowds gathered by the Penley River channel to watch the dragging operation. His little white rowboat still bobbed on the water anchored in place where the authorities believed The Man from Barleyfield was last seen. Before long the crowds began to diminish. The excitement of the free money soon ebbed away and people talked about The Man from Barleyfield less and less.
On a train platform in Seattle a man in a worn sport coat set a old hounds tooth hat on his head, straightened his tie and set out on his right foot toward a new adventure. It took almost seven months to get rid of the $30 million he had swindled from First National Bank in Fargo, but now that it was gone he was ready to begin his life anew.
“County Hotel, really?” Metzer said chomping on his unlit cigar. “Who do they think they foolin’?”
“I dunno. I guess the way this backwards country runs the citizens don’t question it. But I ain’t getting crap with this parabolic microphone. There is definitely shielding going on.”
“That means the boss is inside there. How we extract her from there without getting all of us killed or captured is going to be rough.”
“It’s a good thing I brought the heavy armor,” Louis grinned.
Ten minutes later they had their gear in hand, ready to make their attempt. The reconnaissance reports told them their boss would be on the eighth floor. Eight floors with who knew how many trained killers awaiting them. But Carlie Benson wasn’t just any boss. She fought to keep these two, her best spy team together even when everyone up and down the organization screamed for their heads.
There was another special reason they were willing to risk their lives. While they didn’t know it they were both risking their life to rescue the girl they loved.
“You know Louis, you are the only one I could count on to do this,” Metzer said.
“Right back at you buddy. Let’s get after it!”
For Al’s weekly adventures based on the photo supplied by one of the locals. I had to go this way when I saw the phot0, perhaps because I am reading a Mitch Rapp book, but it just seemed the way for me.
“So let me understand you King William. You want me to rally the Knights of Canterbury so we can make a five day journey to the opposite coast just to sacrifice ourselves for your pleasure?” King Wallace asked incredulously.
“I assure you King Wallace, the sacrifice is not without it’s merit, but no, I expect you to defeat the Black Knight before you reach the coast. If you do not and he reaches Echolfield to merge his army with the Count’s we are all lost!”
“No, no, no that’s not it at all!” Mrs. Cuddy said as she walked into the center of the U shaped tables where her teenaged cast of the spring play rolled their eyes again. This was the eighteenth reading attempt and this was the furthest advance before she stepped in to give her critique. At this rate they would never get a chance to perform the ninety minute full version.
“Drew your voice has to be commanding! King William is supposed to be inspiring.”
“I’m sorry Mrs. Cuddy, I just can’t stop thinking about drinking what’s in that cup!” Drew said.
“The skull cup? Oh silly boy that is just tomato juice.”
“Oh, they said it was real blood from a goat!”
The room erupted with laughter and Drew’s face turned crimson.
Papa Bear crossed his arms as the credits rolled up the screen in their cave. The long awaited big screen version of the most famous tale of all time left a really bad taste in his mouth. Mama Bear tried to breathe in as quietly as possible as she anticipated his wrath. For Baby Bear the story seemed just right, exactly as he remembered.
“Who would ever believe Cumberbatch as a bear? I said get Clooney or Pitt, but no they had to have the Brit.There is no British speaking bears I have ever met.”
“Oh honey, I thought he was wonderful. So was that Keira Knighley. I have always loved her since Love, Actually. How did they ever convince her to play such a distinguished character as me?”
“Another Brit,” Papa groaned. “Since that Downtown Abbey everyone is up and down the stairs crazy.”
“Papa it is Downton Abbey and it is about the upstairs life compared to the downstairs one of English aristocracy,” Baby Bear said. “I think they did a fabulous job. I loved working with Jennifer Lawrence. She was the perfect Goldilocks.”
“Oh dear it is probably because she had a pet bear growing up in Kentucky !” Mama Bear said.
As I wrote this I happened to think I might offend some of you from Allistair’s neck of the world, but I mean this as a purely humor piece with no intent to offend. I hope you all find the humor I tried to insert. I look forward to the continuation of Sunday Photo Fiction and pledge my help to make sure it can.
“So she will signal us it is okay by dousing the lights?” Cal asked.
“Yes,” Mike nodded. “When the lights go down that means she has reached the control room where she can also disable the electric gate. Once that happens we are home free.”
“If she doesn’t get caught,” Cal stated the obvious, the worrisome part of all of this adventure. So far Carrie was regarded as a friend to the state, an asset really. Her father was the man in charge, so she had great latitude in her movement, one of the big reasons Mike befriended her.
Being labeled as subversive meant their lives would never know freedom. Mike and Cal could not stomach that kind of life, so they were about to embark on a harrowing attempt to race the thirteen miles from here to the border and freedom. If they could get out of this first enclosure. Everything depended on Carrie and her stealth.
Cal looked at his watch and back at the lights. It was past the time they agreed on for her to make her move. Had there been complications? Was she discovered? Was she really with them?
Charlie would stand as long as his mother would allow looking at the collection of Christmas village houses in the window of Kramer’s department store. Not much calmed his overwhelming autism induced spells, but this certainly did without fail. Camille Hardy wished she could buy what her son saw so she could take it to their home, but a single mother working two jobs just barely was able to scrape by these days. Instead she pulled him away from his fascination and into a nearby thrift store.
Christmas for Charlie was always hard. She never was able to ask him what he wanted because he could not tell her. She knew the untouchable collection of his desire would be his dream, but the four pieces they brought home would have to suffice.
Camille pulled her robe tighter as she made her way from the kitchen the next morning to start Charlie’s seventh Christmas. She saw him playing happily on a nearby table. Tears began to run down her cheek when she heard him singing his favorite Christmas tune. On the table his four new pieces plus an angel tree topper were arranged just right.
Charlie turned and smiled as Camille approached. Christmas was here!