Thursday, September 30, 2010
Welcome to The Great Chocolate Conspiracy! Chocolate Digestive biscuits have disappeared from the shelves right across the eastern seaboard of the USA, and now the shortage has spread to London. Detective Chief Inspector Sam Adamson and his international team of investigators from the Metropolitan Police’s Confectionery Crimes Unit (CCU) have been tasked to solve the mystery.
This is the fifth installment of this multi-part flash fiction story that originated during a chat between the authors on Twitter. You can read how it all began here (links to all the installments will be added to the author list as they are posted).
The next installment will appear on Friday, October 8 at Jim Bronyaur's site. You can keep up with developments in the meantime by following the #GtChocCo hashtag on Twitter.
Trying to pass through the gate to the State Department was another matter. The Crumblies stared out the windows of the SUV at the hundreds of protesters lining the street, their picket signs carrying messages such as 'Save our Chocolate' and 'It's a Government Conspiracy.'
DCI Adamson spotted one bloke with a sign reading 'It's All Your Fault' who seemed to lock eyes with him, even though the windows were heavily tinted. He shivered and tried to reposition his bad leg.
"Are you feeling well?" DI Marier asked.
"I'm fine. Don't coddle me."
Marier rolled her eyes and Juniper smirked.
Adamson turned to La Paglia. "Is there any damn coffee in this State Department of yours?"
Agent La Paglia sighed and reached into her pocket, fingers wrapping around the Snickers bar still waiting for her. What she wouldn't give for a taste right now, but that would be rude.
"There's a coffee shop inside. Since I moved the time for the briefing, we'll have a few minutes to spare—that is, if we ever make our way through this crowd."
Professor Motley drummed her fingers on the armrest as the car inched forward. "Are we sure they still have coffee?"
"I've been assured that they do. Please be patient everyone." La Paglia wondered if she'd still have a job tomorrow if the Crumblies behaved badly in the briefing, not that she could blame them.
Once they passed through security, the team sat down at a table in the corner while La Paglia fetched coffee for them.
"I'm still bothered by the perpetrator being one step ahead of us," Juniper said. "Wouldn't that suggest someone at this table is a spy?"
"Speak for yourself," Marier said. Her face reddened as she stared at Juniper.
"I'm just saying it would be logical to look at all possibilities. I know it's not me, as I can write a better rhyme than that."
Professor Motley spoke up. "It is something that can't be dismissed."
She turned to Adamson. "How much do you really know about DI John Hawthorne, for that matter?"
"He's a bloody thorn in my arse," Adamson grumbled. "But I can't believe that any one of us could be the culprit. None of us are loons…are we?"
Marier patted her boss on the shoulder. "Of course we're not. And as much as I hate the implications, Juniper's right, we can't throw anything out."
La Paglia walked over with a tray of little styrofoam cups, setting it down on the table. She sat down with a weary sigh.
"This is the last of the coffee, I'm afraid. This morning's delivery truck arrived empty."
The team grabbed their cups and drank in unison, grimacing at the burnt flavor. La Paglia's beeper went off and she excused herself from the table, walking over to a house phone. She ran back to them a minute later.
"Hurry up and finish your coffee."
"Why?" Adamson banged his fist on the table. He wasn't in any rush to get to the briefing. "Can't a man enjoy a cuppa, even if it does taste like boiled socks?"
"The briefing's been cancelled—"
"That's the first good news I've heard all day."
"—and we're on our way to the airport." La Paglia gave Adamson a stern glance for interrupting her but he only raised his cup in salute and smiled.
"Where are we going now?" Juniper asked.
"To a small town in Texas called Tumbleweed Junction."
"Why there?" Marier replied.
"Crumblies, I mean, CCU, if you'd all be silent for a moment I'll explain. The sheriff there found a full box of chocolate bars sitting on his desk when he came in this morning, with a card addressed to the CCU."
"Has anyone touched the box at all?" Professor Motley asked.
"Yes, unfortunately. When he stepped out of the office to make the call to us, one of his deputies removed a candy bar. Apparently, the man is addicted to chocolate."
Adamson's stomach churned, knowing what happened next. He'd have to live his bloody nightmare all over again.
"And it exploded, right?"
La Pagila nodded at him, her mouth set in a grim line.
"We don't have any details yet, only that he's in the hospital."
"Why is the perpetrator leading us to Texas?" Marier mumbled.
"Yes," Juniper said. "It sounds so dusty."
"I've asked Agent Bronyaur to meet us at the airport with your luggage. I hope you don't mind."
Juniper and Marier shared a glance, each thinking of the lacy thongs they'd left lying on the floor. Professor Motley caught the exchange and smirked.
"That'll teach you both to pick up your underwear."
"There's no time to waste." La Paglia looked at her watch. "We'll just make it as it is."
They hurried out the door, Adamson realizing he hadn't seen so much as a glimpse of D.C. before being whisked to another part of the country. He crawled back into the SUV with a sigh. Maybe if they solved the case in Texas, they could go see one of those rodeos while they were there.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The boys are still partying at Cathy and Dave's reception (and I've been editing all week) so I thought I'd trot out the first #fridayflash I posted on this blog.
The blood still dripped from the windowsill. Soon the shadows would obscure it completely. No one would be the wiser then. The deed would be lost, not to be discovered until morning. By then, he would have his alibi ready, no longer thinking about the satisfaction that came from rending flesh, nor the pleasure derived from hearing the pop and crunch of bones.
Indeed, by morning he might not even remember this night. That was his way, after all. The morning light would hit his face, showing an innocent composure. But tonight…tonight he still recalled everything that had transpired.
It wasn’t his fault, not really anyway. They shouldn’t have led him to it, shouldn’t have given him the opening to such temptation. They knew what acts he was capable of, but chose to ignore his inner nature, believing that he had been rehabilitated by the docile life forced upon him. In the morning they would discover the truth. This might be his last night of freedom.
He saw the moon rise now. The light spilled across the windowsill, hitting the blood stains. The dark blotches stood out on the carpet to his eyes, but they wouldn’t be noticeable to anyone else…not until daybreak anyway.
What should he do with his last night of freedom? Run? Look for more trouble? No, he finally decided. He was too weary for that. He would just sleep and wait for the morning. Whatever accusations came his way wouldn’t really belong to him anyway. They knew his nature. It was their fault. They shouldn’t have left the damn bird sitting on the windowsill in the first place. What did they expect a cat to do?
©2009 Laura Eno
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Deanna Schrayer of The Other Side of Deanna kindly bestowed her "I'm A Literacy Builder" Award on me, in honor of International Literacy Day. I'm thrilled to be recognized in such a fashion.
The rules are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Display the award logo on your blog site.
3. Tell us five of your favorite words and why you like them, (add as many as you like).
4. Pass the award on to three bloggers you feel are excellent literacy builders, and link to their sites.
5. Contact the bloggers you’ve chosen and let them know about the award.
Written language is richer than the spoken word. Some of my favorite words are those not used in everyday conversation, such as:
I'd like to pass this award on to:
Karen at Miscellaneous Yammering for her poetry, stories and wit,
Cathy at Life on the Muskoka River who always has something worthwhile to say,
Pamela Jo at There's Just Life who pokes fun at her spelling skills but forges on anyway with a variety of subjects that entertain.
What's your favorite word? Feel free to leave it in the comments.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Death roared into the driveway on his chopper, arriving at the strange address that Lucien had given them for his annual luau.
"Did he tell you why he picked Canada this year?" Chronos asked as he held his robes away from the hot tailpipe and removed his helmet.
"No. He didn't say why, but I suspect he has an ulterior motive. He always does. In the meantime, let us enjoy ourselves, my friend. I can smell the roasted pig from here."
Death hung his helmet on the handlebar and they walked around to the back, where the festivities were.
They found Evil talking to the DJ, one of the special demons he brought up for the event. Lucien spotted them and hurried over.
"I'm glad you both could make it."
"What are all of these humans doing here?" Chronos looked about in surprise. "Is that a wedding party over there?"
"Well, yes. I agreed to cater their wedding reception."
"You what?" Chronos and Death both said in unison.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Lucien muttered.
"And if one of the guests just happens to fall into your fire pits…?" Death glared at him, his eye sockets starting to glow.
Lucien held his hands up. "I wouldn't take the bride or groom, of course."
Chronos turned his hourglass, freezing the scene. "Explain."
Evil chomped down hard on his cigar, curls of smoke rising from his head.
"Look, I was desperate. The bride wouldn't give Jeeves back unless I catered her reception. She's one mean dealer."
Chronos noted the admiring glance Lucien shot in her direction. He seemed rather taken with her.
Death grabbed a bowl of peanuts off a table and tossed one of his favorite snacks in the air.
"You can't have any souls here."
"No. And how did you explain the succubi?"
Lucien shrugged. "They're dressed like hula girls. Can you please restart time now?"
Chronos looked at Death and shrugged, resetting the hourglass. Time started once again.
"I hope the bride knows what she bargained for."
Lucien rubbed his hands together. "It's going to be one helluva party."
©2010 Laura Eno
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Run, don't walk, over to Deanna's site right now! While you're there, have a long look around. She blogs on a number of different things, including hijinks on riding lawnmowers.
The Other Side of Deanna
Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Deanna!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
*see me jumping up and down, scaring the dog and my husband*
If you don't already follow her blog, you are missing out on a daily dose of fabulous posts that concern writing, publishing, book reviews and the occasional mermaid story. She also has a FREE newsletter you can sign up for called Doing It Write…and don't you just love the name of her blog?
Straight From Hel
Go. See. Her. Now.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I apologize for not getting to these sooner. My only excuse is I'm focused on writing, so please forgive my tardiness. I would like to thank each of you for thinking of me, so without further ado…
Aidan from Aidan Writes gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Aidan!
Mari Juniper of mari's randomities bestowed the Sweet Blog Award. Thanks, Mari!
Anne Tyler Lord of Don't Fence Me In gave me both the Versatile Blogger Award AND the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you times two, Anne!
Carol Kilgore at Under The Tiki Hut gave me the From Me To You Award. Thanks, Carol!
Alan Davidson from Conversations From Land's Edge bestowed the Strange Award. He knows me too well… Thank you, Alan!
Pamela Jo of There's Just Life gave me the You Deserve A Star Today Award. Thank you, Pamela Jo!
There are various rules and whatnots that I will ignore anyway and I plead
permanent temporary insanity in my schedule for not passing these along right now. Thank you all for your generous recognition. It's what keeps me writing. Please visit these unique blogs. Each one has something different to offer!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
"Admit it. You let Lucien win Jeeves back in the poker game."
Chronos smiled as Death pretended not to hear him, the tunes of Death Cab for Cutie vibrating through his skull from the iPod he wore.
"Okay, I'll quit asking. We should leave anyway so Matilda can clean the house."
Death removed the ear buds and dropped his jaw in a smile.
"I have a client to meet soon. You want to go with me?"
"Sure. I've got time."
They rode Death's Harley down to Earth and into the parking lot of a pre-school. Chronos blinked back moisture as they entered the building and Death sat down next to a little girl coloring at a table. These were the hardest ones to accept, but Death showed the kindness that made him a true friend.
"Good morning, Katie." Death picked up a blue crayon with his phalanges. "Do you mind if I color in the sky while you're working on the trees? We don't have much time to visit."
"Sure, Than-an-t…I can't say your name."
"Just call me Death, honey." The innocent always recognized him for who he really was.
Chronos wiped the tears from his eyes. Maybe he shouldn't have come after all.
Death finished coloring the sky for her and then stood.
"I have to go now." He patted the warm flesh of her hand with his cold bones.
Chronos sniffed and Death handed him a tissue.
"Will I see you again?" Katie asked.
"Yes, but not for a long time. Thank you for letting me color with you."
Death turned and headed for the door, Chronos following in confusion.
"She wasn't your client?"
"No, my client just had a heart attack out on the sidewalk."
"Then what were we doing in here?"
Death swung his radius and ulna around Time's shoulders.
"I wanted to color. It's the special moments in life that give meaning to death."
"Oh. Sorry for blubbering." Chronos rubbed his nose, embarrassed by his emotional outburst.
"No, my friend," Death said gently. "It's your compassion that I value most in our friendship. I would do anything for you."
"Does this mean you'll let me drive the Harley back home?"
Death laughed, the sound rattling his rib cage. "No. I would like to keep valuing our friendship and another dunk in the lake might seriously strain it."
©2010 Laura Eno