A Catch-Up Affair (Interactive Story Continues)

 

Chapter Two

 

 

The four-some now seated in chairs around the large oval oak table as the waiter retrieves the menus.

“I will get your orders in.” And the short black man walks away.

Julie’s brown eyes carefully study the faces around the table as she slowly sips at her wine. “So, Brad,” and turns them solely to the man sitting to her right, “What on earth have you been up to since I last saw you?”

Brad grins as he leans back. “Nothing exciting.  Just work.”

“Doing what?”

“Integrated marketing.”

“Marketing, huh?” She purses her lips, “For whom?”

“Altvision Communications.” He replies as he bit into a breadstick.

“Wow, one of the four media giants.” Her smile widen as she fingers her glass.  “You must be one of the lowly assistants working his way up the career rung by now.”

He chuckles, “Hardly. Try the Director of the Marketing Department.”

“Di-rec-tor…my heavens, that’s a far cry from being a lab rat with Dalton Co-Op.”

“A lab rat?” Eddie’s hazel-green eyes sparkle as he stares at Brad across the table.

Brad lets out a laugh, “That’s Julie’s way of calling any desk clerk who worked for Dalton back in the day.”

“They were directly responsible for polluting all the lakes upstate which cost taxpayers well over a billion dollars.”

“And you don’t feel the least bit guilty for forcing them out of business and driving hundreds of people out of work?”  Brad asks, the smile now gone.

“What they were doing was criminal, and it was my job to expose them.” Julie’s eyes now slits.

“Yeah, well, the timing couldn’t have been worse.” Brad grabs another breadstick. “You could have at least waited until after Christmas to break the story.”

“Are you a reporter?” Eddie’s interest now piqued as he focuses on the curly red head between Brad and Laura.

Julie shrugs, “Yeah, a crime beat reporter,” and takes another sip of the red wine.

“You don’t sound very enthused.” He says.

“It’s a job.”

“Don’t let her fool you, Ed.” Brad points a half-eaten breadstick at his friend. “Journalism’s in her blood just like her father, and her grandfather.”

“I see.” Eddie drinks from a bottle of beer. “A generational legacy that you don’t seem to relish much of.”

“It comes natural, and it made sense at the time.” She says.

“Writing comes natural to Julie all right.  Did you know she’s also a published author?” Laura smiles at Julie who frowns back.

“Oh, really?” Brad says, “What do you write?”

“Guilty pleasure.  Let’s not make a big deal out of it.” Julie replies.

“She writes horror.” Laura answers for her friend.

“A crime beat reporter slash horror writer.  Wow, never saw that one coming.” Brad sneers.

“Whatever.” Julie flicks her long hair off her shoulders and turns to face Eddie. “What of you?  Let me guess, an international spy?” She asks in a leering tone.

“You’re not too far off the mark.” Eddie replies. “I’m a freelance Threat Analyst.”

“What the heck is that?” Julie’s nose crinkles at him.

“Mainly I hunt the web for any malicious activities, and put a stop to them.”

“That sounds–interesting I suppose.” Julie says.

It was Eddie’s turn to laugh as he drinks more of the beer. “Oh, it can get very interesting.”

“What about you, Laura?” Brad asks.

Laura leans forward as she studies the flickering candle at the table’s center which casts shadows across her fair face. “I’m currently doing my Forensic Pathology Residency at North Peak’s Regional Medical Center.”

“Fascinating.  We have a budding doctor with us.” Brad smiles at her.

“You did it.” Eddie says. “You’ve accomplished one of your dreams.” His warm smile causes Laura’s cheeks to color.

“It’s still a work in progress, but yeah, I’m getting there.” She returns his smile.

His expression then grows more somber. “I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. I never meant to leave like that.”

Laura shrugs, “You had a family emergency that required you to leave the country.  Besides, it was for the best.  For us, anyway.”

Eddie nods. “You’ve always been so understanding, Laurie.  You deserve someone to be equally so.”  His accent now more pronounced.

“Oh my, here’s our dinner!” Julie blurts out as the waiter came to their table with a tray full of food.  “I’m starving!”

 

End of Chapter Two

 

Be sure to vote below!

 

 

*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive  🙂

Advertisements

Story Sunday: The Bench

 

He stood

before the bench where he last saw her

Shadows from nearby trees nearly engulfing it

as the sun lowered in the smoke-glazed sky

She had on her gray pantsuit with a silky blouse

its’ color matched her sea-blue eyes

He set the ash-covered helmet on the wood

and as if pressed down with a heavy weight, he dropped

to one knee and bowed his head, tears trickling down his grime-stained face

Fires he could fight, but not the monstrosity he witnessed on that fateful day

One by one, his brothers fell as with the towers

Did she too?

Perhaps she’ll suddenly appear like an angel he knew her to be-

or, was she lost somewhere in the rubbles of mangled steel and crushed cement?

Time’s no man’s friend

For he was a fool to think he had plenty

and now she’s gone

 

*I created a video for this story.  It can be accessed here: The Bench

 

One-Liner Story Saturday: This Thing Called Life

 

 

A young woman who lost her parents, one to infidelity and the other to a war in some foreign land, must choose between a childhood dream and her familial responsibility…real life sucks.

The Romance Genre (Poll)

It is really possible to write “clean” romance that do not sound cliched or cheesy?  Inquiring mind wants to know!

Would You Read More (a short story share)?

dark woods

She hurt all over. Inside and out.

She wore no shoes against the jagged rocks on the trail, and no jacket against the skin-biting cold of the late autumn air.  She ran away so quickly there was no time to grab anything.

The pain in her chest throbbed as she tried to ignore it. She hated feeling this way.  It was a nagging reminder of all she had lost.

She stumbled on as she kept her back to the destruction that lied behind.  Black smokes rose to the sky as the putrid smell of burnt flesh permeated her nostrils.  Bile burned in her stomach as she covered her cracked lips with a dirt-streaked hand.

Images and thoughts tried to force themselves into her mind, but she shook them away.  No, she can’t face them now.  They would break her into a million of pieces; pieces that she could never put back together.

A snarled tree root suddenly snagged a foot as she tripped and fell to her knees with a whimper.  The impacted skin burned, and something warm trickled down that foot.

She brushed the once golden-brown-now-mud-caked hair away from her pale face, and stared down at herself.  The left pant-leg now torn which expose her ankle completely. There was a gash on top of the foot where blood oozed from.  As she sat on the icy, hard ground, she debated with herself on whether she should bother to continue.  With an injured foot, she’d either be an easy prey, or die from an infection.

Stifling back the urge to scream, she pounded the earth with both fists.  Hot tears blinded her as her teeth ground together.

Life was so unfair!  What has she done to deserve such a cruel fate?  What?!

The snapping of nearby branches startled her as she sat up and peered ahead.  All she saw was a thick canopy of dark hardwood trees.  A moment later though there were several shadows moving within them.

The predators have found their prey.

“N-no!” She rolled over on her knees and stood up. She then scanned around but realized that it was too late to run.  She reached down and grabbed a sharp-edged rock.

And waited.