Emily: Supper #fiction

Emily groaned quietly, The supper table was just as chaotic as the great hall had been this morning.

Her father was quite plainly barmy — at this moment he seemed to think he was dining with an Indian rajah, her brother was eating with his fingers, surrounded by adoring dogs, and her mother was ignoring everything, alone at the foot of the table, concentrating on her food as though she were dining alone.

Emily decided she’d rather eat in silence than Bedlam, and picked up her plate and sat down next to her mother.

They ate together companionably. Emily noticed her mother never even blinked at the antics at the other end of the table, not even when her father jumped up on the table and began belting out a bawdy song at the top of his lungs, to the howling delight of the dogs.

Soon after that, her mother’s plate was clear. She laid her knife and fork neatly atop it. Emily decided she was also done, and did the same. Her mother rose and said, “Come upstairs with me, dear. I think we have much to discuss.”

Previous Installment

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Emily: Grim Tidings #fiction

The detective was baffled. He had traced Emily to the Irish ferry, but no one had seen her after disembarking. She seemed to have vanished into Ireland. The body of James Wilkes had been buried in the pauper’s cemetery after his family could not be traced. And Christopher Harrison, usually known as Chris, was nowhere to be found, alive or dead.

He sighed and stretched out his legs at his desk. It had been a long day, chasing after people who disappeared just as you thought you would lay a hand on them.

He sat up quickly as his door opened. A young man came slowly and hesitantly into the room.

“Detective Wilkes?” he asked.

“Yes, that’s me.”

“I know where you can find Chris.”

Emily: Storm Shelter #fiction

The taxi pulled up in front of the crumbling mansion. Emily frowned. It had been ten years since she last saw the family home, and it seemed there were even more shingles missing from the roof than before. Soon, there wouldn’t be a roof. Well, hopefully she would be long gone before that happened.

She hopped out of the taxi and paid the driver. “You sure you don’t want me to wait, miss?” he asked doubtfully.

“I’ll be fine. You must be new around here. This is my family home. I grew up here.”

He frowned more. “I heard about the girl who up and left ten years ago. Things aren’t the same, miss. I’ll just wait a few minutes.”

Emily smiled at the over-protective driver and bounded up the front steps. What a considerate little man. As if she couldn’t handle her own family. She opened the front door, and walked into pandemonium.

A scrawny naked man ran past her, as three maids stood by, shrieking. The naked man was pursued by a large woman who might be a housekeeper, by her dress. “Get back here, Lord Pultney. You cannot leave the house without your bath!” That awful old man couldn’t possibly be her father. She must have heard wrong in the chaos. She continued to stare at the hall. A person dressed up in a fuzzy dragon suit cavorted in the rear of the hall, surrounded by at least three, maybe five, barking dogs. The only person Emily recognized was her mother, coming down the stairs in the regal manner she remembered so well.

Emily opened her mouth to speak, just as a noisy crash resounded. She looked toward the noise, and saw a large crystal vase of flowers lying smashed on the floor.

“Stop!” The woman on the stairs bellowed that single word, and everyone in the hall froze in place.

She continued, in a slightly lower tone. “As you can see, we have a visitor. Samantha has chosen to grace us with her presence once again. Silence!” This last, as everyone started speaking at once. “Father, go upstairs and get dressed at once. Morgan, get out of that ridiculous costume and come greet your sister. Mrs. Lawn and the maids, you may return to work.”

Emily watched as her mother’s orders were obeyed in silence. Obviously, her mother would be her best shelter from the storm of family chaos, but could she count on her mother after all she (Emily) had done over the years?

Emily: Flawed ( #fiction )

Emily was ready to cry. It turned out that her plan to come to Ireland and hide out with Jim had a fatal flaw — while she had been in England, he had hooked up with Wendy, and Wendy had moved in with him in the flat. Now there was no room for Emily. Okay, Jim and Wendy had been making heroic efforts over the past few days, but the couch just wasn’t working for Emily any more.

And Jim was having a lot of trouble hiding his irritation with Emily over being pregnant. Yes, it was time to move on. But where? Where could a criminal girl go, when she was pregnant, her ex-partner was hooked up, her current partner was dead, and some very scary people were after her?

Emily paced the tiny apartment, thinking, all morning. Jim and his new girl were out, and she had the place to herself. Finally, she accepted the inevitable. She would have to go home.

Emily: Stranded (Fiction)

Emily tapped her foot angrily. How could Chris do this to her? He knew he was supposed to pick her up at 3 from the welfare office. She could only hope that he was delayed by a new job. After 20 minutes, she picked up her bag and started walking. She hated her heavy, pregnant body, that made everything that used to be a joy into a chore.

She trudged down the road, grumbling to herself. Suddenly she heard, “Can I help you, miss?” She turned to see a car pulled up beside her. The man inside was middle-aged and balding, but his eyes were kind.

Emily smiled despite herself. “Oh, no thank you. I’m fine.” The man shrugged, like it was no big deal. But he didn’t pull the car back into the driving lane and speed off. He stayed right behind Emily, idling along. She felt sick.

Suddenly she found all that running energy from before pregnancy. She sprinted down the road, listening to the car rev behind her. She swung into the police station, panting.

The officer at the desk eyed her. “Can I help you, miss?” she said.

“A man was following me in a car,” panted out Emily.

The officer frowned and went to the glass doors of the entrance. Then she gasped, “Run!” and bolted back towards Emily, dragging her through a door just as the front entrance exploded in glass.

To be continued . . .

{These vignettes were inspired by prompts at Daily Writing Practice. Go ahead and visit and see what other amazing writing is going on.}

Emily: The Questionnaire (Fiction)

Emily sighed as she filled out the questionnaire. Nothing was going right lately. She had been so happy the night of the celebration, but then they had to run and return to the road. Now it seemed that she and Chris should have been more careful, with the result being a baby. There was no way she could raise a child on the road, thieving as she went, so here she was, filling out forms for government assistance while Chris was out looking for a job. This was not how it was supposed to have turned out.

To be continued . . .

{These vignettes were inspired by prompts at Daily Writing Practice. Go ahead and visit and see what other amazing writing is going on.}

Emily: Branching Out (fiction)

Emily dug furiously in the dirt under the spreading tree. ‘Chris, it’s not working out. I think we’re going to have to try Plan B.’

Chris replied, ‘I’m sorry, Em. It seemed like such a great plan to branch out into being cat burglars. I guess it’s back to roaming the roads again.’

Emily’s shovel clanged on something. ‘Good. It’s still here.’

She dug more slowly until they could lift out a large metal box. They brushed off the dirt, and opened it up. Inside lay colorful gypsy clothes. They stripped off the clothes they were wearing, changed into what was in the box, and shrugged into the rucksacks from the bottom of the box. Their old clothes went in the box, and they reburied it, carefully replacing the sod on the hole when they were done. Before dawn, two young travellers swung onto the road, brushing away their footsteps with leaves.

To be continued . . .

Introducing Emily (fiction)

{Note: I often write for the prompts over at Daily Writing Practice. This is the beginning of a short story that was inspired by the prompts over there. The first installment is the continuation of a piece written by Marc, who runs the site, so I include his piece in italics.}

Celebration prompt:
Emily moved through the crowded house, sharing wide smiles with every person she bumped into. The music was too loud for actual conversation, but that was fine by her. She’d never been any good at small talk.

The kitchen was stuffed full of people snacking on the spread on the counters and table, but she still managed to make her way to the fridge without resorting to yelling Fire! at the top of her lungs (though she was sorely tempted at least twice). Once there she secured two ice cold bottles of beer and made her escape to the back deck.

Things were much quieter out there, just a few smokers braving the chill to feed their addictions. Emily kept moving, using the shadows and grey cigarette haze for cover. Without a backward glance she was out the gate and striding down the alley, opening a bottle as she went.

Big house parties full of anonymous faces were always a great source of free booze.

Chris joined Emily at the corner, swinging along with her as she turned onto Oak Street. She passed him the second bottle without a glance. She knew who he was, knew his hand would be there to receive it as sure as hers would be there to give it.

They clinked bottles as they strode along. “To another successful raid,” Chris said.

They swung up the steps to their building, and dove to opposite sides of the steps as they each realized something was terribly wrong. Chris rolled right, Emily rolled left, and they crept through the side yards to the back alley, where they rose to their feet and ran like hell. They wouldn’t be getting home tonight, after all.

To be continued …

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