Emily: The Burglar Jo #fiction

Jo was very, very good at her job, burgling houses. Not quite as good as Chris and Emily at their height, but still very good. She didn’t know it yet, but that tiny bit she was lacking was putting her in danger. Because, you see, the bit she was lacking was the bit that kept Chris and Emily from ever being tracked home. Someone had followed Jo home last night. And that someone had ratted her out to both Detective Wilkes and Mr. Big’s second-in-command. Now they were looking for her.

Read the rest of the Emily series.

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Don’t mess with Black Jack #fiction

Note: I was inspired by what Marc wrote in response to his daily prompt over at Daily Writing Practice today. You might want to read Marc’s words first.

The hitman was smirking at her. She was sure of it. She glanced around the seedy bar one more time. Now the bartender was glaring at her. Geez, what was with everyone tonight? Just ’cause she wanted to get rid of her husband …

Forget it. She’d do the job herself. She stood abruptly, throwing some money on the table. “Thanks for your time, mister, but I’m not going to need you after all.” She turned away, pretending not to notice her companion’s eyes narrow ominously.

He lunged forward and wrapped his forearm around her throat. He hissed in her ear, “It’s not as simple as that, lady. You don’t mess with Black Jack.”

She struggled, but soon went limp. He checked her pulse. Good, she was just out, not dead. He tied her up and left her in the back room of the bar with a note.

When she woke up, the first thing she saw was the note propped in front of her. It said, “I bet you can get out of there. When you do, your husband will be dead. You know what you owe me. Don’t mess with Black Jack.”

Emily: Detective Wilkes Makes Waves #fiction

Detective Wilkes sat back in his chair. He felt puzzled. He had been back at headquarters a full day now, and everything seemed normal. But every time he suggested working on the case of Christopher Harrison and Emily, nobody wanted to talk to him. His partner had suggested a doughnut run, his supervisor had suggested some filing, and the department secretary had jumped up and run off, muttering something about needing the little girls’ room. It was all very odd. Perhaps it was time to make some waves around here.

He started asking questions. Not among the office staff or his fellow detectives, obviously, but among his informants, the casual hangers-on of the streets and businesses around the precinct house.

He had no luck. No one had seen anything suspicious, nothing at all, honest, Detective, wide-eyed. He knew enough to distrust the wide-eyed look, but it didn’t help much when he already had suspicions.

Then quite by chance, he ran across the entertainer who’d done a comedy act a few weeks ago in the pub across the street. A nervous chainsmoker, he wasn’t from this part of the country, he was from Scotland, oddly enough, and he saw no reason not to talk to the local police.

He had chanced to see a very well-dressed woman in heels striding into the precinct house late at night, perhaps around one in the morning. He thought it odd how well she looked so late at night.

He was shot dead the morning after talking to Wilkes, at the train station, by persons unknown, as he prepared to board his return train to Glasgow.

Read all the preceding Emily stories here.

Emily: Waiting for the Storm #fiction

Detective Wilkes gripped the phone tightly. The dock pay phone handset had a slightly fishy smell, but he ignored that as he braced himself, waiting for his superior’s yell of anger.

But when his superior spoke, Wilkes was shocked, for the man’s voice was soft, and if Wilkes hadn’t known better, he didn’t seem upset at all. “Well, it’s too bad you just missed them. I’m sure you’ll pick up the trail soon. Keep me posted when you find them.”

As Wilkes hung up the phone, his brows drew together in a puzzled frown. If he didn’t know better, he’d think something was wrong at headquarters. Perhaps he should go investigate?

Note: Read the rest of the Emily stories here.

Emily: The Assessment

Detective Wilkes felt quite pleased with himself as he stepped off the ferry. The mysterious young man had proved not to be Chris, but rather someone who had helped him flee after the attack in the Kentish flat. But he did know where Chris had ended up, which is how Detective Wilkes had come to be disembarking from the Jersey ferry on a sunny afternoon.

He passed a tall, imposing woman waiting with her two teenage children to board the ferry. As he moved down the docks, he realized the girl was pregnant. He suddenly realized if his initial assessment had been wrong.

He bolted back down the docks, hoping to talk to the little group, but it was too late. They were gone, and the ferry was pulling away on its return journey to Dover. He turned around again, heading out into the Jersey countryside towards the last known address of Christopher Harrison, hoping desperately he was wrong.

Note: Read the rest of the Emily stories here.

Emily: Hidden Gems

Chris’s jaw dropped. Emily smiled sweetly. “Weren’t expecting us, were you?”

“Nnno, actually,” stuttered Chris. “I I I … was going to come looking for you today.”

It was Emily’s turn to look stunned. “Really?”

“Yes, my darling,” and Chris took her into his arms. Their hug was interrupted by a throat being cleared.

“As much as I am enjoying this touching reunion, I would prefer to remove myself from the doorstep.”

Chris looked around in surprise at the haughty voice. Emily jumped. “Oh, yes, Chris, I’d like you to meet my mother, Helen.”

Her mother had been quite insistent about using a pseudonym. “We don’t know who he’s been talking to, dear, or who will find him later. It’s bad enough as it is, how much of our private business we will have to tell this young man.” Emily preened at the use of the word ‘our’ and agreed.

Chris stood back from the door and ushered them into the tiny stone cottage. He arranged three chairs in front of the wood stove.

As they seated themselves, Helen spoke. “I suppose I shall have to tell you what this is all about. You two children have been caught up in an ongoing feud between two criminal gangs, mine, and my arch-rivals. The other gang is searching for the trove of hidden gems I stole thirty years ago, when I was about your age. I hid them, and no one has seen them since. But my rivals have caught word of them, and will not rest until they find them.”

Note: Read the rest of the Emily stories here.

Emily: Jersey

The sun slanted through the narrow cottage window onto Chris’s face. He rolled over and groaned. What was he doing here on Jersey, milking cows? Why had he ever thought this was a good idea?

As he pulled on his pants and staggered out to the barn, he remembered Emily and the fun they had had together, robbing banks. But the fun had quickly leached out when they went on the lam and she got pregnant.

He had ended up here when some very scary people had come looking for them and tried to kill him. They had been very angry when Emily wasn’t home. He chuckled, causing the cow he was milking to turn her head inquisitively, remembering slipping out the bathroom window as they yelled in the front room. Belatedly, he wondered why they had wanted Emily. Was she alright? Was their baby alright? He didn’t think it was time for the baby yet, but perhaps it had come early.

By the time the milking was done, the milk truck had come and gone, and he had cleaned everything up in readiness for the evening, he had just about decided to catch the afternoon ferry and go look for Emily in England.

Harry down the road could do the milking awhile, and what if his life was at risk? He should be a man and go find Emily. He would go after lunch. But as he slid a pan onto the stove to heat up some lunch, there was a knock on the door. He answered it nervously. There stood a very pregnant Emily and a woman he didn’t recognize, though she looked awfully like an older version of Emily.

“Hello, Chris,” Emily said with a slow smile. “I found you.”

Note: Read the rest of the Emily stories here.

Emily: Bingo

Bingo! The magic word echoed across the hall, eliciting groans from the other elderly ladies. Emily leaned across the table to her mother, Lady Pultney, and hisses, “Remind me again why we’re here. And why that b***ch with the purple hair keeps winning?”

Her mother hissed back, “Patience, my dear daughter. It’s all in the timing.”

As the purple-haired winner returned to her table, Emily wondered about the purple hair. Was it a bluing rinse gone bad? Or a signal of some other kind? Her musings were cut short by the woman stumbling against her mother.

“Oh, so sorry, dearie,” the woman shrieked. “Just lost my footing there a moment.” She clutched at the table and Emily’s mother, trying to right herself. Lady Pultney helped, and the old woman was soon on her way through the rows of tables.

The next round of bingo was beginning, but Lady Pultney rose and motioned to Emily. They quietly made their way through the hall and out to the parking lot. Once in their vehicle, Emily drew breath to speak, but her mother motioned her to silence. They rode back home without speaking.

Once in her sitting room, Lady Pultney turned triumphantly to Emily, holding a bingo card. “Here we are, my dear. The directions to your young man.”

Emily stared in astonishment. “It was a drop all along? It was set up?”

“Don’t goggle, my dear. Of course it was. You don’t think I have become so decrepit as to actually enjoy bingo?”

Note: Read all the Emily stories here.

Bingo! Emily #fiction

Bingo! The magic word echoed across the hall, eliciting groans from the other elderly ladies. Emily leaned across the table to her mother, Lady Pultney, and hisses, “Remind me again why we’re here. And why that b***ch with the purple hair keeps winning?”

Her mother hissed back, “Patience, my dear daughter. It’s all in the timing.”

As the purple-haired winner returned to her table, Emily wondered about the purple hair. Was it a bluing rinse gone bad? Or a signal of some other kind? Her musings were cut short by the woman stumbling against her mother.

“Oh, so sorry, dearie,” the woman shrieked. “Just lost my footing there a moment.” She clutched at the table and Emily’s mother, trying to right herself. Lady Pultney helped, and the old woman was soon on her way through the rows of tables.

The next round of bingo was beginning, but Lady Pultney rose and motioned to Emily. They quietly made their way through the hall and out to the parking lot. Once in their vehicle, Emily drew breath to speak, but her mother motioned her to silence. They rode back home without speaking.

Once in her sitting room, Lady Pultney turned triumphantly to Emily, holding a bingo card. “Here we are, my dear. The directions to your young man.”

Emily stared in astonishment. “It was a drop all along? It was set up?”

“Don’t goggle, my dear. Of course it was. You don’t think I have become so decrepit as to actually enjoy bingo?”

Congratulations … #fiction

“Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars!”

Sarah backed away quickly from the annoying little man. She was used to the salespeople being pushy at these commercial trade shows, but he was a bit too persistent. And such a ridiculous pitch, too! A free trip to Mars, indeed.

Sarah’s foot hit something hard behind her and she staggered and fell over a stroller. The salesman advanced on her again, the fluorescent lights glinting on his oily, slicked-back hair.

“Ma’m, wait ma’m, just let me explain.” He came closer, holding something out towards her in his hand. Sarah suddenly recognized it as a hypodermic needle. She scooted backwards away from him, hoping to lose him in the crush. He continued to advance and Sarah screamed. Why did no one else in this mass of people realize he was attacking her? She kept on screaming as the needle came closer and closer to her bare arm …

cross-posted from Daily Writing Practice

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