Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Evening For Two

On a star lit evening, a horse drawn carriage came to a stop in front of Hotel Westminster Concord. A proper young woman emerged, wearing a long petticoat with a hoop skirt and a blue bonnet adorning her long tendrils. The hotel doorman took her hand and helped her out of the carriage while the driver went to the back to grab her luggage. A telescope captures all of this from across the street where a man heads out his door toward the hotel.

“Right this way, Miss,” the doorman said, taking her arm.

Inside, Senator Crittendon awaited his new bride. He was anxious to see her since it had been a month. President Lincoln had him busy on his new Emancipation Proclamation, which kept him out of town. It also kept him in the way of a lot of controversy, for there were many people against this. Suddenly all of those thoughts vanished as he saw Emily heading his way.

Rising to meet her, he drank in her beauty and said, “Why hello there Mrs. Crittendon.”

Curtseying, she flashed a brilliant smile, “Hello there Mr. Crittendon.”

As they sat down he asked her about her trip which she said was fine. He tried to tell her about the goings on in the White House to which she stopped him.

“No business tonight, honey.”

“Fine by me, sweetheart, the night is ours.”

Suddenly entering the hotel was the mysterious man in a top hat. He took a seat far enough away from the Senator as not to attract attention, but close enough so that he could make out what was being said. He removed his hat and glanced at the newspaper on the table stained with coffee rings. “Senator Crittendon and President Lincoln to sign Emancipation Proclamation!” the headline screamed. This made the man fumble in his seat as he grew angry. Almost forgetting why he was there, he glanced back at the happy couple.

“I saw Aunt Starla while in Virginia,” Emily stated as she took a sip of her freshly ordered wine.

“And how was she?” Senator Crittendon replied taking in his Scotch.

“She was fine, asked about you. She is always saying you work too much and I can’t say that I disagree with her.”

“Emily you know how important it is now that I am with the President more. This Proclamation will make history.”

“It’s also dangerous, John. There are many people against this and I don’t want you in harm’s way.”

‘He already is,’ thought the man across the way. He knew Senator Crittendon and President Lincoln were the only two people in the way of this Proclamation.

“Why don’t we head to dinner? I have reservations at Beardslee Castle,” Senator Crittendon said.

Grinning, Emily asked, “Just what do you have planned tonight?”

“You’ll see,” he replied.

‘You certainly will,’ the man thought.

As the couple headed out to the horse and buggy, the man followed them out. He decided he would walk to where they were headed. It was brightly lit as it was a full moon out tonight. Taking out his pocket watch, he glanced at the time. 6pm. Plenty of time before his next rendezvous’.

He slowed his pace as he saw them get out at Beardslee Castle. After waiting for them to head in, he went in after and got a table for one. He was a few feet away, but was an accomplished lip reader so that shouldn’t be a problem.

“Why do you have to keep talking about this? I thought this was supposed to be our night!” Emily suddenly exclaimed after they had been there 20 minutes or so.

“I am sorry honey, it’s just really weighing on my mind. Did you know that I received a death threat today? A DEATH THREAT!”

As Emily gasped, the man just smiled at his handiwork.

“You should have the secret service protecting you as well.”

“They are where they should be … with President Lincoln.”

As their food arrived, neither one of them were in the mood to eat. Slowly picking at her food, Emily said words of comfort to her new husband. She knew she was being selfish, he was under a lot of stress, but so was she and he didn’t seem to notice that. The Senator spoke kind words back and the man thought to himself, ‘they better enjoy their last meal together.’

Paying the check, Emily went into the restroom, kissing her husband on the way.

“I will get the carriage ready,” he called after her.

Now was the time. The man exited the restaurant and headed across the street to the deserted building. Pulling a rifle from his trench coat, he positioned him on the 3rd floor. He waited patiently for Emily, he wanted this to happen in front of her. After securing a clear shot, Emily emerged from the restaurant and gave her husband a final kiss. A single shot rang out. The Senator slouched down, blood stains following. Emily screamed. People flooded the area yelling for the police and an ambulance.

The man only smiled, as he headed down the stairs, rifle put back away. He went out the back of the building so as not to attract attention. His next stop: Ford’s Theater where the President would be taking in a play.

by Renee Furlow. Not to be copied or removed without permission.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A short story by me

“To Be Sure” a story based on fact by Renee Furlow©
Not to be copied or removed without permission

Standing at the ticket counter, she impatiently tapped her credit card as the clerk fiddled with her unmoving terminal.

“And it was just the one ticket, right miss?” the clerk, “Jane”, yelled loud enough for the entire line of people to hear.

“Again, yes, just the one,” she replied, flashing a casual smile at her now audience. She had offers of loved ones to go with her, but she had turned them down. This was a trip she had to face on her own.

To be perfectly honest, “Jane” could have taken all day and it wouldn’t have bothered her or mattered in the least. She was in no hurry to reach her destination. It was a place that she never once wanted to set foot in again. Twelve years ago she had left and never looked back and had zero regrets about that decision.

“Miss? Miss?” “Jane” snapped her from her thoughts by requesting her credit card.

Taking her ticket, she went to the airport bar. She needed something to calm her nerves down a bit and, though it was out of character for her, a good, stiff drink sounded divine.

“Tequila and tonic please,” she requested as she sat down, eyeing the people around her.

Her thoughts floated from her unusually strong drink, to her loved ones she was leaving for this trip, and then to the young father and little girl sitting a table not far away. People had always told her she had to have come from something, though she felt she had come from nothing. Except for her daddy. Taking another sip, she thought about him and his resonating light that still shone in her. She was only truly happy in her childhood when she was with him. Everything from his loving hugs, to their unique games, and to their routine “Scooby Doo” viewings. She caught herself actually smiling.

“Another?” the bartender asked causing her to realize her drink was already gone.

“Oh, um, …”

“You looked a little lost in though there. Drinks disappear that way.”

Laughing, she checked her watch. “Maybe just one more.”
“Sure thing. Must have been some good thoughts.”

“Yes,” she said looking down, “My Dad.”

“Close to him?”

“Yes. I mean, yes I was. He passed away 27 years ago.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Must have been some man to still be able to make you smile like that.”

“He sure was.”

“FLIGHT 1842 TO DALLAS NOW BOARDING AT GATE 23,” the intercom announced.

Reaching for her purse, she grabbed her wallet, “That’s me.”

Waving his hand, “Drink’s on me, enjoy the flight.”

“Maybe the flight,” she said and headed off to board the plane.

As she sat in her window seat, she admired the billowing clouds rolling by. They seemed to resemble the hands of the Gods and she longed for one of them to hold out her daddy for her. Things, she thought, would have turned out much differently had he not been taken from this life so soon. He had passed away at the young age of 35. She was now 38. She couldn’t believe the gap in those numbers. So close they were, yet so far away. She rang for the flight attendant for some water. She decided it was time for the prescribed Xanax. She hated traveling in general, even long car rides, but especially this trip. Her doctor understood and encouraged the use of the pills as needed. She had a feeling they just might be her best friends on this trip. Sighing, she rested her head against the window, waiting on the little pill to do its large task.

There was no one seated next to her, so she didn’t feel quite so closed in, which was helpful. She didn’t really know what to expect when the plane landed, both from her mindset and from the city itself. Though her birth certificate proved otherwise, Dallas was never home in her mind. It had become a representation of fear, sadness, grief and disappointment. Her thoughts suddenly became muddled as the Xanax began taking its job seriously. Her eyes fluttered a few times before finally closing.

“Do you plan on being white trash your entire life?”

“What are you talking about?”

“No college means white trash, but I guess you really don’t give damn about who you are or how it represents me. You have never been much more than worthless anyway!”

“This is unfair!”

Jolted awake by the flight attendant, she rubbed her eyes in hopes it would erase the latest memory that crept into her dreams.

“We will be landing shortly, please fasten your seatbelt,” the attendant said with a smile.

At least she had slept the entire flight. That was at least one part of this godforsaken trip out of the way. One more day before she would be right back here. After gathering her small bag from the overhead compartment, she grabbed a taxi and was on her way to the Holiday Inn. She chose one that was just enough out of the way that she wouldn’t run into anyone she knew. That was most definitely the last thing she wanted to do. It felt strange to be back in this city, seeing the familiar street names go by as the cab sped for its destination. To be here alone was also a bit scary, but this trip was most certainly meant to be a solitary one. There was no sense dragging anyone else into this mess. Her family had understood.

After checking into the hotel under a different name, she reached room 316, and after a quick check of the room itself, she double locked herself in. She could never be too careful in this city. Sitting on the bed, she smiled to herself knowing she was somewhat safe from all of the precautions she had taken. That anominity made her feel a tiny bit on the safe side. That was not an emotion easily felt in this town that was for sure.

Glancing at the clock, she realized she only had two hours to be ready. Reluctantly, she opened her bag and took out the one outfit she had brought and then headed for the shower. A good hot shower would most certainly ease her tension. Showers usually did that for her. Before entering the bathroom, she double checked the locks on the door to ensure her security.

At roughly 3:00, she was in another taxi headed to Restland Funeral Home. She had two things to do once arriving: visit her father’s gravesite with some fresh flowers, and then, go view her mother’s body. It felt almost wrong that she be there as well. To be placed where her father was seemed such an honor, one that her mother didn’t deserve. That was in her mind, anyway. She would never say that aloud. But, there was nothing she could or would do about where her mother was to be buried. One, she didn’t want to be involved and two, she didn’t want to be involved. The less she had to do with any of this mess, the better off she would be. She figured the pros of having her mother at least put to rest somewhere outweighed any possible cons there might be.

After paying for the taxi, she headed for the gift shop where she purchased a bouquet of a dozen blue carnations, her daddy’s favorites. A young gentleman in a golf cart took her to the section where her father’s gravestone lay, and she spent a good amount of time there just reflecting. Reflection of her memories with him, thinking about the horrors of living with her mother, and thinking of her family back home whom she would have loved for him to meet. Checking her cell phone for the time, she decided it was time to head to the viewing room. She didn’t want to be there when anyone else might show up, she wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Upon arriving at the building, she couldn’t help but think this could all be one big joke in order to get her back in town. She wondered if she would get to the room where her mother lay and she would jump and yell “Gotcha!” Insane thoughts, she knew, but all too real in her mother’s mind. Following the funeral director’s route, she arrived at room 23 and with apprehension and hesitation, she peeked around the room to make sure no one else was there. She stepped one foot inside and immediately felt like the little girl who was “not good enough” and “a failure.” These thoughts were embossed on her psyche and she couldn’t help but feel them at this time. Walking further into the room, she saw it was an open casket and felt relieved in a way. At least she would be able to actually see her in her forever restful state. She slowly approached and saw her mother lying there, graying hair with a bad dye job. She was pale and had little make-up on, which was the norm. She was wearing one of her signature house dresses, the blue sleeveless one with the white flowers adorning it. She remembered the mornings she would see her in the kitchen and she would be taking her multitude of pills wearing that dress for what seemed like many days in a row. She had a crinkled brow, making it appear that she went out of this world the same way she lived in it. No jewelry was present, she just appeared plain and distant. The same feeling she evoked in life.

Deciding she had seen enough, she exited the room wordlessly. She had nothing to say, just like the last 12 years. There were no more words that could possibly have changed anything about their relationship. And she was fine with that. She had let that part go many years prior.

Calling for a cab, she waited impatiently in the foyer. She didn’t want to risk anyone recognizing her. She just wanted out. And fast.

“She hasn’t had anyone come to see her.”

“Excuse me?” she asked the director.

“The woman you just saw. Viewing has been open since noon and you are the first to come by.”

Startled, she couldn’t believe she had the time wrong. The next thought was not one of surprise. The way she treated everyone around her, she actually understood why no one would come. Her mother hadn’t exactly been known for holding onto many friends during her tumultuous life.

Seeing the taxi arrive, she thankfully stood up to leave.

“No one should go out alone. You are a good person,” the director said as she walked out the door.

She only smiled as she exited the lobby. She didn’t know just how “good” she was, but she did know she had to come. She decided then and there she wouldn’t stay to see the funeral actually happen. Seeing her mother lifeless and cold was enough.

Upon arrival at the hotel, she phoned the airport to change her flight to that evening instead of tomorrow morning. She was successful and the flight was in 2 hours. She cleaned up, changed and threw what little she had unpacked back in her bag and then called her family to let them know of her change of plans. She felt an absolute sigh of relief wash over her and she had to sit down a moment and catch her breath. Collapsing in the plush chair by the window and the too-loud air conditioning unit, she began to feel her eyes grow warm with the impending tears. She let them out. It was no ordinary cry. She wept. She let out all of the years of anger, hurt, rejection and betrayal. She even raised her voice with an occasional “oh my God” as the tears flowed.

The difference was these were not tears of sadness. These were tears of relief. It was over. The years of constantly glancing over her shoulder had come to and end. She felt absolute relief she would never hear the phrase, “You are such a disappointment to me” from her mother again. The torment, that, even though she hadn’t spoken to her in 12 years, had finally found a way out of her system. Just as quickly as the tears arrived, they departed. She stood up, wiped her face, grabbed her bag and headed for the airport.

“Miss? Can I get you anything?” the flight attendant asked as she settled herself in another window seat.

Thinking for a second, she replied, “No, no thank you,” knowing that she wouldn’t need the Xanax now. Even traveling seemed easier now.

Arriving back home, she decided that she had earned another Tequila and tonic from the airport bar. She said down and noticed the same bartender.

“Back again so soon?”

“Fast trip.”

“Tequila and tonic?”

Smiling ,she nodded.

“How’d it go?” he asked, setting her drink in front of her.

“Actually, fine. Really okay.”

“Why do you say it that way?” he asked as he cleaned the glasses.

“My mother died. That is where I went, to view the body,” she replied, taking a huge drink.

“I am so sorry to hear that. Were you close?”

Laughing, she answered, “Not at all.”

“Then why did you go?”

“I had to be sure.”

“Of what?”

“That it was over.”

The bartender silently understood some of her internal thoughts. “And is it?”

Finishing her drink, and leaving some cash on the bar, she stood up to leave.

“Finally. It is.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


We moved last week from a really crappy 2 bedroom 1 bath house that didn't have central air or a dishwasher ... to a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with cental air and a dishwasher!!! This whole place is open and bright and really makes me feel closer to the Goddess. The house itself is my inspiration!

Austin is doing really well at his Dad's .... there are kids his age at the apartment complex so he gets a lot of chances to play. Which is nice. He also plays with his step brother and step sister when they are there every other weekend. His grades in school are amazing! The lowest grade he has so far is an 80! I am so very proud of him and I miss him so much!

I re read The Red Book by Sera Beak on Sunday ~ Cover to cover. It was so spirtually enlighting that I felt charged up to get back into my Wiccan traditions.

Anyway, that is the latest from me ... Will post more soon!

'Til the next haunt ......