Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Chapter 316 What should I do?

“Omigod, omigod, omigod.... what should I do? What can I do?” Violet mumbled to herself, her heart beating frantically in her chest. “How can I stop this...this...”

“Just don't panic,” Richard said.

“Don't panic?” she said through gritted teeth. “This woman whom I barely know is about to kill herself and all you can say is don't panic?”

“She doesn't really want to do it. She just thinks it's her only option. You have to convince her it's not, that's all,” he said.

“Oh, is that all?” Violet said, dripping sarcasm. “Then after I'm done with that easy task, I can wave my elderwood wand and POOF, world peace magically transforms the planet.”

“World peace will have to wait,” Richard said, placing a calming, ghostly hand on her shoulder. “This is more important at the moment, Violet. Just look at her. Does that look like a woman who wants to die?”

Violet didn't have the slightest idea what a suicidal person looked like. She only knew that people intent on living don't usually heap morphine pills--enough to knock an elephant on its ass!-- next to their evening tea. Violet bit down on her bottom lip and watched Mrs. Beckel casually flipping through an old photo album still humming a song...a familiar song that she couldn't quite place.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Chapter 315 The Cottage

Meanwhile back to Violet:

“Now, where were we? Ah yes, how we came to know dear Richie,” Mrs. Beckel said. “He was practically our son...really he was, even if he did have his own parents. Of course, they did pass, God rest their souls, all too young and rather tragically, too...poor dears. We, in a way, took their place. He used to come by nearly every day just to say hello and ask if we needed anything done around the house. He liked to help my Henry with the yard work. He learned quite a bit from Henry. Oh, that started about... Richie was, oh, I'd say six or seven years old.”

“Really? He never told me,” Violet said, glancing for the third time at her watch. It was getting late, but she didn't see any polite way of getting out of this quaint little cottage. Mrs. Beckel—bless her heart-- was quite the talker and it didn't help that she was deaf as a doorknob. She seemed to be trying to get her life story out before it ran out-- a sure sign of the isolation often seen with senior citizens.

“Can't be too isolated. She still has her husband,” Violet muttered under her breath. By this time she knew the old woman wouldn't hear her unless she actually shouted, so she was in no fear of being heard. Violet suddenly frowned and looked around her as Mrs. Beckel continued with her monologue. Where was Mr. Beckel anyway? Didn't he know they had company?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chapter 314 Where is she?

“Where is she?”

Jocelyn, who glared out the window of Victor's house where the Christmas party was in full gear, was in near panic-mode. She impatiently watched for her dearest friend to finally get there. She hadn't seen Violet since she got married and that was well over a month ago...longest time they had ever spent apart except when she went back to Mississippi to be with her dying mother.

“Who ya talkin' 'bout, Mama?” Aaron asked, peering out the window too, his twin brother doing the same.

Jocelyn turned to smile at her newly acquired sons who stood side by side as always. She still got such a kick from being called Mama.

“Violet, of course. She should be here by now,” she said, concern giving her voice an edge.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chapter 313 Never mentioned it before

Violet drove home on automatic, her thoughts everywhere but on the road in front of her. A small stack of gifts, all from her many thoughtful friends and co-workers, sat in the seat beside her making her smile slightly. She had just come from the employee and volunteer Christmas party at Weston Botanical Gardens. It had been lovely to see everyone and their families having a great time and enjoying the fruits of their labors. All the elaborate decorating, massive planning and hard work implementing it all was not just for the thousands of holiday visitors to the decked-out conservatory plus the festive outdoor light displays.

Violet had dutifully handed out carefully crocheted and knitted scarves, shawls, mittens and hats, plus dozens of colorful tins filled with tasty home baked treats and everyone seemed happy. The mood at the party was jolly, the music joyful, the food and drink good and plentiful, the entertainment spirited and the hearts warm and gracious. In a word everything was Christmassy.

So why was Violet feeling so melancholy?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Chapter 312 Several reasons for that

Come on, Mom,” Kenny said, after pounding on Violet's back a few times to make her stop choking. “I'm all grown up now. I can take it. The fact that my mother has a fiance is okay with me.”

I don't have a fiance!”

New boyfriend then,” he said with a careless shrug.

I don't have a boyfriend either!” she shouted.

For the luvagod, Mom,” he said shaking his head. “Stop this. You never tell me anything that's going on in your life, but that doesn't mean I don't know everything anyway. You are NOT the only person from back home who talks to me, so....”

Like who?” she said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chapter 311 Going home

Violet had just finished tying a decorative bow around the last gift she needed to wrap when she heard a car door slam just outside her window.

Goodness, that can't be Sophie back so soon,” she muttered as she placed the small package under the Christmas tree with all the others and went to see whose footfalls she heard crunching up the gravel path. Before she reached the front door, it flung open.

Merry Christmas, Mom!”

Kenny!” she gasped.

That's me!” he said, closing the door on the frigid blast behind him. “Your long lost baby boy is finally home. Still love me?”

She laughed and rushed to him. “What do you think, you silly boy?” she said. “I've missed you so much, Kenny.”

He scooped her up in a bone crushing embrace. “I've missed you, too, Mom,” he said. “Mom, are you getting smaller or am I getting bigger?”

She laughed and kissed him. “Probably both. Oh, Kenny, it's so good to see you.”

Good to be back home.” 

Let me look at you,” she said, stepping back slightly. “Still thin as a rail, and what is it about beards all of a sudden? Must everyone look like Grizzly Adams now?”

Who?” he said, shrugging out of his coat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chapter 310 Can't fool me

Sophie continued looking out the window long after Ronnie drove away and his taillights  turned the corner and were gone.

Can't fool me, Ronnie,” she whispered. “You put up a good front, but I know you're hurting. It wouldn't bother me so much except Rachel just isn't worth it. How I wish you could love me  as much as you loved her.”

She scowled at the unfairness, then looked up to the clear sky. It was filled with twinkling lights. Her blue eyes widened and it didn't take long for a smile to appear. It was a beautiful sight.

Maybe Ronnie actually was star gazing,” she said with a slight giggle. She had forgotten how many stars could be seen in Catalpa Valley on a clear night; billions of them! She hardly saw any in Miami, not with all that ambient light around the university and in major cities.

She wondered if she could wish on a billion stars and if it would make the wish that much stronger therefore more likely to come true. Well, why not? Why did it have to be wishing only on the first star you saw?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chapter 309 What hurts the most

That was an awesome performance, Sophie,” Ronnie said as they started for home. He glanced at her and frowned. She hadn't acknowledged him in any way. She merely sat there staring out the window. This was very odd.

He tried again.

I thought because it was country music night that I would hate everything they played,” he continued. “There was lots that I never heard before, of course, but I really liked what you did though.”

He glanced at her again, but he barely got a shrug out of her. What the hell was up with her now?

Try it one more time.

I especially liked that one that went...  …What hurts the most...was being so close...watching you walk away...nothing much left to say..…♪ ♫

Sophie finally seemed to wake up. She sighed, shook her head and said, “Having so much to say and watching you walk away,” she corrected.

Yeah...that's it,” Ronnie said, smiling to himself. He knew getting the words wrong would get to her. “Who does that again?”

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chapter 308 Under Advisement

The thing is, Simon,” Violet said, drawing in a deep breath before biting her lip. “It wasn't really an escape so much as it actually, my father kicked me out of the house.”

Simon choked on his tea. “Your father kicked you out of the house?” he repeated. “What could you possibly have done to deserve that?”

Uh...well...finial disobedience I suppose.”

Excuse me?”

She smiled ruefully. “Jane Austin called it finial disobedience when you went against... parental tyranny,” she said shrugging. “He found out about Richard and...”

Simon blinked, his mouth agape. “Are you kidding me? Your father kicked you out because you went to a football game with a boyfriend, the same guy you eventually married?”

Oh, that was just part of it. My father didn't think Richard was good enough for me, but it was a bit more than that...quite a bit,” she said evasively.

I'm sorry, but sneaking out a few times to see your boyfriend is not enough to get you kicked out of your house. Surely it wasn't permanent?”

You would think so, but yes, it was,” she said. “You couldn't imagine it because you have parents who practice unconditional love. My father did not...I discovered.”

Monday, June 20, 2016

Chapter 307 Tell her Life story

How in the world had Violet gotten herself into this mess? All she had intended on doing was cheer up Simon, but now she was expected to tell her life story—a particularly embarrassing part of it anyway.

She wasn't even smart enough to think of a way out of it. She knew Simon was too slick to allow her to do that, but she had to try. Oh, bother!

Simon came back to the breakfast counter and sat on the tall stool which he vacated before setting the kettle on to boil. He was now carrying two fragrantly steaming cups with the tags of herbal tea hanging out of them. He set one in front of Violet and pushed the tiny teddy bear shaped honey jar in front of her while he sat down and stared at her with an expectant expression on his face, a face which now looked considerably more happy than it had just a few minutes previous.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chapter 306 Do you Wanna talk about it?

Violet was emerging from Georgiana's bedroom with a huge smile on her face just as Simon was coming out of his own. Her smile faded at the sight of the morose expression on his own face.

Hello, Simon,” she said, tentatively. “I hope we didn't disturb you too much with our giggle-fest.”

He shook his head. “Not at all. It was good to know somebody has something to be happy about,” he said.

She frowned. “Surely it's not as bad as all that, Hunny?” she said.

He half grinned. “Don't mind me, Violet. It's how I handle disappointment.”

Um...Sophie said Cassie's father was being rather difficult tonight,” she said, with a slight grimace. “Of course, she used far more colorful language than that.”

Do you know Mr. Bellarosa well?” he asked, stuffing his hands in his front pockets leaning on his door.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Chapter 305 She doesn't know anything

Sonovabitch,” Ronnie muttered, after looking at his phone. In disgust, he tossed the it away from him and strapped the seat belt on with undue force.

What's wrong?” Sophie nervously asked, slowly fastening her own seat belt as he started the truck. Had he, she wondered, finally discovered she had deleted some of his texts, the pornographic ones?

Nothing,” he said before taking in a calming breath as he pulled out of the driveway and letting it out slowly as he turned onto the dark road. “So, tell me, who's gonna sing with you tonight?”

Um...I don't know if you know him. We sang together the other night. Palmer Kimble?”

I didn't get to see you sing that night, but I heard you were great. Yeah...I think I remember him from school. Couple of grades above us, right?” he said.

Just one. He has a band now, kinda,” she said, biting her lip and staring at Ronnie's phone. She picked it up and turned it over as she pulled off her wooly hat.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Chapter 304 How'daya like that

Well, how'daya like that?” Marty said staring at Morris who was cuddled on the comfy sofa with the boys; Julian on the right and Peter on the left, both sound asleep and Morris tying in vain not to nod off too. It was a losing proposition.

Winkin, Blinkin and Nod,” Violet whispered with a giggle.

I was so sure all that chocolate was going to rev them up and look at them now,” Marty grumbled.

Yes, but you didn't take into account the calming effect of the hot cocoa,” Victor said, scratching his head before looking toward Violet for her take. “Whaddaya think? Should I wake them up for baths?”

Monday, May 23, 2016

Chapter 303 How it should be

Ronnie barreling down the stairs nearly plowed over his grandmother and also Violet as they emerged from the kitchen.

Ronnie, dear,” Marty said, offering her cheek for an apologetic kiss. “Do please use a bit of decorum.”

Yup, I of these days,” Ronnie said grabbing his boots as Marty walked away shaking her head.

House on fire?” Violet asked.

No, I'm like totally late for work!” he said, shoving his feet into the cumbersome boots.

You seem to like it, huh, your new job?”

It's awesome!” Ronnie said, grabbing a coat, shrugging into it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chapter 302 I wish I had my mom

Violet went to the kitchen table, placed the last remaining slice of pepperoni pizza on a plate, tossed the empty pizza box onto the counter and sat down, indicating to Georgiana to sit in the adjacent chair.

But aren't we gonna clean up?” Georgiana asked, dutifully climbing onto the proffered chair.

This seems a bit too serious a chat for distractions. You look too serious, anyway,” Violet said. “How about I warm this up in the microwave and you can eat it while you tell me what's bugging you, okay?”

But I'm not hungry,” she replied, eying the pizza as if it planned on contradicting her.

How about we share it then?” Violet said, taking it to the microwave. “I'll take the part with the crust and whatever you don't want to eat.”

Crust is the best part,” Georgiana said, and to prove it she snatched a piece off Peter's plate, dipped it in some ranch dressing and took a bite.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chapter 301 Back to Normal

Violet didn't know whether to laugh, cry, call the paramedics or perhaps a blacksmith—if such a thing was even available in Catalpa Valley in this day and age. Realizing that none of those things would likely help in the immediate moment, she did the only thing which could. She shouted to Ronnie for help.

What's up, Viol...holy shit!” Ronnie said staring in shock at his grandmother in full Mary Queen of Scots garb with a shiny pile of metal at her feet. “Wait... Is that Profess... I mean... is that Grampa???”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chapter 300 Isn't that cool

Google images: 

When Violet arrived at Victor's house, she spotted what looked like a totem pole made up of the eager faces of three cherubs peering at her from the glass panels on the side of the front door. She smiled and waved at them—the totem pole merrily waving back-- and as she climbed the steps the door flung open.

Hi, Violet!” the disassembled totem pole shouted, pulling her in and each telling her something of vital importance—in their minds anyway.

Ya wanna see the cars I got from Reggie?” Peter said, tugging the sleeve of her coat.

Reggie toll us we got more grandparents. Isn't that cool?” Julian said, tugging on her other sleeve.

Uh...Reggie is who again?” Violet asked, removing her hat and gloves.

Our other dad,” Peter said casually.

Our first dad,” Julian corrected.

Our biological father,” Georgiana corrected the correction.

Oh, I see,” Violet said, gauging the varied reactions of each child. Peter seemed indifferent at best, Julian appeared excited and delighted, and Georgiana was obviously worried and anxious. “So, you met your father. How did it go?”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Chapter 299 Too Much BS

Victor stared at Ronnie in a stunned silence, his heart sinking. He certainly did not expect this. He had simply asked Ronnie to explain why he didn't think higher education was for him. A simple four year stint in any university of his choosing for the purpose of becoming a productive member of society—was that too much to ask for? 

Apparently! In fact, Ronnie thought going to college was —to use his phase-- too much BS to deal with. Not what the average parent wants to hear, mind you.

Though Ronnie tried to keep it dispassionate, his explanation quickly became a rant of epic proportions. Who knew he had it in him? Surely not his father from whom he had kept all these thoughts and feelings.

I mean...geeze, Dad, it's bad enough that you're not supposed to say anything that isn't politically correct, but now they're trying to punish people for being something they can't help being,” Ronnie said, shaking his head.

Excuse me?” Victor said.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Chapter 298 The next logical place

Ronnie left his brothers back in his room after promising he'd return to play with them and he bounded down the stairs looking for his father.

Dad?” he called, looking around for him in the living room, family room and kitchen, but Victor wasn't in any of those places. Ronnie ran down the hall to the den --the next logical place-- and found him at his massive desk, a Manila folder open in front of him. He was flipping pages with a menacing scowl across his face.

Dad, are you...?”

Victor held his hand up stopping Ronnie in his tracks. “Tom, you really need to explain this before I rip you a new one.”

What? I did what ya axed me to do,” a plaintive voice came from the speaker phone. “You said look for that dame's husband and I did and then I looked for the kids' deadbeat dad and I found him too. At first I thought you said they were the same person but...”

Monday, March 28, 2016

Chapter 297 All of you

As the laughter subsided, Reggie continued to smile staring at them all. “You... would you mind if I...uh... could I take a picture of you?” 

What for? Didn't ya like the pictures we just gave ya?” Julian said.

Oh, no. I love those, Julian, really I do, but I want a picture of all of you  together, with your dad... your family,” Reggie said.

That... That's real nice,” Georgiana said, staring at Reggie. Then she smiled at Victor. “Can we, Daddy?”

Of course. Peter, come sit on my lap,” Victor said. The other kids gathered around him and they all smiled for ...well, not the camera. Reggie used his cell phone and he took several shots.

Thanks. Now I can show my....everyone,” Reggie said, as Linda brought them the bill and he reached for a it. “Oh, I'll get that.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chapter 296 This changes everything

Victor felt his world shift beneath his feet as he averted his eyes from Reggie who, overcome with emotions he must have had bottled up for years, was now quietly weeping into his hands . Victor felt for the young man—this very young man, barely older than Simon as per the date of birth on his license. He certainly didn't seem like a heartless clod who wouldn't want anything to do with his kids. More's the pity for Victor, but it must be a good thing for the kids...right?

This changes everything, he thought... or at any rate it had the potential to do so. Georgiana suddenly grabbed Victor's hand, taking him out of this thoughts.

I didn't mean to make him cry,” she whispered, her own eyes tearing up.

I know, Sweetie. It's not your...”

Reggie suddenly stood up and walked away from their table.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chapter 295 You are such a liar

You are such a liar!” Georgiana shouted.

Victor held up his hand, indicating he would handle this. “Who are you...really?” he said.

Reggie wiped his mouth on the cloth napkin and set it down. “Reggie Silber, just as I said. I have no reason to lie,” he said reaching for his wallet, extracting his license and handing it across the table to Victor. “I'm Georgiana and Julian's real... biological father.”

Victor alternately looked very carefully at the license and stared at Reggie. “Have any other form of identification?” he asked suspiciously.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Chapter 294 Upside-down and inside-out

Victor glanced anxiously at Georgiana who sat shotgun in the car beside him clutching a new, soft and furry, bright pink Teddy bear. She stared at the bear, her expression grim, shocked and confused. Her brothers on the other hand, buckled in their car seats in the back, were the exact opposite. They could not have been more delighted, carefree and happy. They had finally met their father, after being so curious about him, and they liked him prodigiously...or perhaps they just liked the toys he had brought for them. The jury was still out on that score.

Are you all right, Honey?” Victor quietly asked, already knowing the answer to that was a resounding NO! How could it be otherwise when the world as Georgiana had known it had just been turned upside-down and inside-out?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chapter 293 Fully loaded

Know what this reminds me of?” Ronnie said, and without waiting for a reply he burst into song.

♩ ♬ …Road tripping with my two favorite allies, fully loaded we've got snacks and supplies …♪ ♫ 

Sophie laughed and quickly joined in.  …it's time to leave this town, it's time to steal away. Let's go get lost anywhere in the USA... let's go get lost, let's go get lost …♪ ♫

I certainly wish they would get lost,” Simon said from the back seat.

Cassandra nudged him with her elbow. “Oh, stop. They sing great together. We don't even need the radio with them around!”

Yeah, but we could use a mute button,” Simon replied. “So where is this secret place you're taking us, Ron?”

Friday, February 26, 2016

Chapter 292: You Don't look so good

Dad, you don't look so good,” Simon said, putting his cell phone down. He went to the counter grabbing a cup and filled it from the coffee pot. “Here, you need this more than I do.”

Thanks, Simon,” Victor said, gratefully taking the coffee and slumping down at the table.

I'd ask if you had a rough night except I know you went straight to bed after putting the kids down for the night,” Simon said. “Can't be that taxing, can it? Or...Are you ill?”

No, barely slept... had one stupid dream after another,” Victor said, rubbing his tired eyes.

Simon grinned. “Dad, need I remind you you first have to be asleep in order to dream? So technically you were just wasn't restful,” he said.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Chapter 291 Victor gets Scrooged

Mmm, what is that lily-white girl thinking? She should be hitting that fine looking man every chance she gets,” Jocelyn murmured while watching Victor sleeping, a lustful gleam in her silvery eyes. She pulled the sheet down exposing his chest and smiling broadly, she pulled it further down. “Mmm-mmm, look at that muscle.”
She then burst out in song.
♩ ♬ … It's raining men, Hallelujah! It's raining men, Amen…♪ ♫

Oh, crap! Victor recognized that voice too, and it was hardly better than the last one. He seriously didn't want to deal with another episode of...what was this? Getting scrooged seemed about right. Perhaps, he thought to himself, if he ignored her and kept his eyes closed this apparition would fade away or something. Then he felt the sheet slip ever so slowly down his nude body.

Hey, where did his pajamas go? He always wore them now that he had little kids who occasionally got frightened in the middle of the night and liked to sneak in and sleep their fears away in his safe, welcoming bed.

As he debated what to do, Jocelyn switched to a new song.  …Baby, baby when I look at you I get a warm feeling inside...I feel for you,I think I love you …♪ ♫ and that's when Victor felt her hand on his ...let's just say skin.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Alternate Violet part 6: Foiled again

Victor stepped onto his front porch, blinked into the sunlight, stretched, and yawned. It had been a week since the first crazy woman had stepped out of the bushes and fired 15 shots into his chest, and then fed him to polar bears. A full six days since the second crazy woman had followed him around town taking pot shots at him, her aim substantially worse than that of the first lunatic, who hadn’t missed even once.
He remained intact throughout the second assault but a flag pole, a coffee cup and Violet’s house had suffered collateral damage.
Ah, Violet, he thought; just about time to drop over and be obnoxious for the sweet girl’s benefit. He really was feeling like his old self again!
A loud “Hwooomp” sound detonated somewhere around the side of Victor’s house, from the vicinity of Mrs. Dinwiddie’s Russian olive hedge.
“Hwooomp? What the hell is “hwooomp?” muttered Vic, as he stepped around the corner of his house to find out.
It was, of course, the sound of a wormhole in space-time slamming shut but how was Victor to know that? He recognized the next sound though. It was that of someone pulling the starter rope on a gasoline engine, followed by a stifled curse, another pull, a LOUDER curse, a THIRD pull and then a muffled roar as the engine caught.
It seemed to Vic that Mrs. Dinwiddie was making good on her long threatened intentions of trimming the hedge, but, damn her eyes, he was co-owner of that hedge and he intended to make his feelings on the subject known.
He strode toward the hedge in question.
“Excuse me, my good man!” he called to the as yet unseen presence on the far side of the hedge.
His good man picked that moment to step through the opening which had been left in the olives to form a gate between the Romanov and Dinwiddie properties. There was a great deal of good man, at least 6’ 6” and 300 lbs. was Vic’s guess, strikingly dressed in work boots and a blood spattered apron over what appeared to be denim overalls. But it was the mask that hooked Victor’s attention. It was made of leather, covered his good man’s face, and appeared to have been crafted…from another face??
Victor froze, staring.
The apparition stared back, then raised the saw and charged, howling inarticulately.
“Be careful with that thing! Shouted victor, I’m an attorney and…”
Whatever else he was saying was drowned in the roar of the saw as the giant goosed the gas.
Victor flung up an arm, defensively and
The giant swung and
Victor watched his hand, trailing bloody streamers, spin off into the sunlit sky and
He felt a blow to his neck and then he was flying up, up, spinning and then at the apex of his flight, looking down to where a crazed giant swung an enormous chain saw at a still standing headless corpse and
The world went black.
The saw ran for a very long time.
There, thought the giant as he switched it off. Forty five, maybe fifty pieces at least. No band aid gonna help poor Vicky-Boy!
He smiled a smile unseen behind the now bloody mask.
“Never send girls to do a serial killer’s job” he said to no one in particular.
He took two strides and vanished.

Had he stayed just a bit longer he might have observed tiny rivulets of blood, streaming from one severed Victor-bit to another and the strands of nerve filaments that followed.
It’s difficult to discourage a pig headed lawyer. Violet knew this all too well.
The boys and girls at the Shed?
They were learning.

©2013 Mac Pike All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chapter 290 Dreams

Victor sighed as he plopped down on his pillows. He stared up at the ceiling and wished for the gazillionth time that he had someone—we all know who-- warm in the bed next to him.

You never know...Violet might have stayed tonight, had you bothered to ask,” Heidi said.

Dream on, ” he muttered to himself. 

He had to admit, it had been simultaneous elation and torture to have Violet in the house, but there was nothing to be done about her. She was a lost cause and he really ought to move on.

Question and with whom?

He'd have to find someone to date...several someones perhaps... anyone decent! This life he was leading of the celibate, saintly type was wearing thin. It wasn't going to get him what he wanted and it certainly wasn't going to gain his kids the mother they desperately needed which, as evidenced by the boys hogging Violet at dinner and Georgiana confiding in Violet and not so much in him, was clear to him now. His one attempt with the crazy Helen and her gruesome teenage daughters had failed miserably, but did it follow that another try would bode as ill?

Alternate Violet part 5: Kill the Bastid

Delacroix slapped the back up magazine into the ancient Colt and put 7 more in Victor's chest where he lay, motionless, on the blood stained deck.

"Let's see you get up from that, you bastid" she muttered.

Turning to the nearest worm hole she had to 
pause briefly to let the family of hungry Polar bears exit. The largest one flashed her a crooked bear-grin.

"Gee thanks, Lacey!" He said.

"Bon apatite" Said the killer, and vanished.
 Lacey was cleaning her antique 1911 Colt. There was a knock at the shed door. It was Mr. Bear. He looked sheepish. It was an odd look for a 2000 lb. carnivore.

"C'mon in," said the ever, er, occasionally cordial Delacroix.

"Erm. No thank you. Too many trophy heads on the wall. I don't want to tempt fate."

"This is FaceBook." observed Lacey, "I've been told that the average FaceBooker has the attention span of a gnat. Was there something you wanted?

"I have bad news. It's the lawyer"

"Ah! The late Victor you mean?"

"Yes. Or rather, no. There was a bit of a problem. You put an awful lot of lead in him. Little Winkle broke a tooth."

"She's still a cub, and has her baby teeth. Is that all?"

"No. Have you ever eaten a lawyer?"

"Not as such, an African spitting cobra is about as close as I've come. Why?"

"Well, they upset the tummy. Me and Ma and little Winkle and Frosty had some, how to say this...rather disappointing bowel movements."

"Oh I AM sorry to hear that, will that be all?"

"You don't understand. They were, er, runny. And have you ever seen mercury on a glass table top? How it will all run together into a single silvery mass? Well that's what our poop did. Only not silvery."

Lacey was getting a bad feeling...

"Once it had formed into a single malleable mass it assumed a lawyer-ish shape and mode of locomotion, and trotted off toward Catalpa Valley."

"You're shittin' me?"

"No, I shat him. You weren't listening."

"What does it take to kill this guy?" mused Lacey, who was generally very good at it.

"I dunno, but next time leave us out. Our tummies hurt."

"So sorry. Come back in a week I'll have a stegosaur haunch for you."

"Ooh! We like stegosaur haunch! G'bye Lacey!"

"So long, Mr. Bear."

Lacy closed the door and looked ruefully at the pistol on the table.

"Maybe a flame thrower?" she muttered.

Victor stumbled, regained his balance and walked up the sidewalk to Violet’s front steps. A newspaper lay at the bottom of them. He stared at it, trying to recall just what it was. Then he remembered. It was Violet’s newspaper. 
He felt so…queer. As if his mind had taken the day off. He didn’t remember driving here, although surely he hadn’t walked. Had he? And that dream kept playing over and over in his mind like a scatological version of Ground Hog’s day. First the hail of bullets, then the polar bears and then the hideous rite of passage through four separate sets of bear intestines.
It was simply unbearable.
He bent for the paper and several things happened at once.
He heard a sharp sound, like the crack of a muleskinners bullwhip. Seeming to pass just over his head, the crack morphed into a loud knock, like a heartfelt hammer blow on a plank. This also was right over his head. Additional sounds of collateral wreckage ensued, apparently from inside of Violets house.
Several seconds later came a sound Victor knew well. It was the sound of Violet venting her spleen and threatening to vent someone else’s as well.
Victor stood up, newspaper in hand. He looked at the porch pillar in front of his nose. It had a largish hole in it. The hole had not been there a moment before.
“Be damned.” said Victor.
Violet burst through the door, eyes wide, face flushed. She stopped abruptly when she spotted Victor.
“Victor what…”, she began, but Victor interrupted.
“There’s a hole in your house”, said Victor, grinning affably and pointing at the pillar. 
“Yes!” said Violet, “there is a whacking great hole all the way through my house including the outside wall here,” she slapped the siding where a hole about the side of a quarter lined up nicely with the porch pillar, “the kitchen cabinet and my second best soup tureen, the living room wall, Great Aunt Smother’s cuckoo clock – took cuckoo’s head clean off – and through the far window. The big one. The expensive one. What the hell did you think you were doing?”
“Don’t blame me, I was retrieving your paper for you, “said Victor, “Hey look! I’m a spaniel! Anyway next thing I know there’s a hole in your house. Want your paper?”
He extended the paper, weaving side to side and grinning maniacally.
“Victor?” said Violet, “have you been drinking?”
“Not since Bendem, Ouvre and Schtickem’s “We Won A Class Action Lawsuit” party three weeks ago. I had Sherry.”
“You don’t drink wine!” said a startled Violet.
“No I had scotch and soda. Sherry is their receptionist. Violet, I want to tell you could learn a few moves fr…”
“Victor you a-hole! Why the hell did I blow up John Yearly and waste a perfectly good bomb in the process? You, you cad! You bounder! You, what is the term of opprobrium I am groping for here? You Lawyer!”
She calmed, but only slightly. Gesturing at the hole in her porch pillar she said, “Don’t you realize somebody took a shot at you?”
“Is that what happened?” Victor sidestepped awkwardly, teetered, then got his feet back underneath him.
And focused on Violet. “Be the third time today then; I was wondering what was going on. I stepped out of my front door and something spanged off of the flagpole. Then later at the 7 – 11 I put my cup of coffee on the roof of the car and it just seemed to, I dunno, vaporize in front of my eyes. Damn good cup of coffee too, might actually have been fresh.”
“You’re delusional,” said Violet, “wait here a sec.” 
She entered the house.
When she reemerged a few moments later she held a pair of binoculars and a drinking straw. She handed the former to Victor.
“Try not to drop them,” she said. “They belonged to great great Uncle General Gordon. It’s all that remained to the family after Khartoum.”
“General Gordon was an uncle of yours?” asked Victor.
“In a manner of speaking, sorta. He was related to the family my Grandpapa burgled these from. Close enough.”
“I guess,” said Victor.
Violet gently slid the drinking straw through the hole in the porch pillar and looked through it. A blood shot eye glared back at her.
“Victor! Get out of the way!”
“Oh! Sorry love!”
Victor busied himself trying to peer through the bullet hole in the siding. With her view temporarily unobstructed by the legal community Violet was able to follow the line of sight that lead through the straw, across the road, up the immaculately trimmed lawn that formed the hillside to a rather impressive patch of what some folks like to call delphiniums.
“Hmmm.” hmmm’d Violet. “I’m calling the cops.”
Plucking a mobile from a pocket in her apron she did just that.
“Violet…” Victor was gesturing vaguely at the hillside across the street. 
There was movement by the delphiniums.
Retrieving the binoculars violet saw that a woman dressed in part at least in camouflage gear and carrying a rifle had stepped from behind the flower bed.
Violet, who now knew much more now about firearms of all types than she had even a year before watched as the stranger worked the weapon’s bolt. Something flashed in the sunlight as it fell to the ground. She closed the bolt and hooked the carrying strap over one shoulder.
Raising binoculars of her own she studied the house, almost immediately spotting Violet watching her. For what seemed like eternity but was really only a few seconds the two studied one another. Then the shooter dropped her binoculars, raised her outspread hands in a “What are you going to do?” gesture, took two odd little hop steps to her left, began a spin and…
Her disappearance was accompanied by a kind of dull “whoomp” sound, as of air collapsing into a vacuum, loud enough to be plainly audible even over the 100 yards or so which separated Violet from the would be killer. 
Right on cue, the police arrived."

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