Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 4 – The Date

The Look of Love was in his eyes

“This is not a date, understand?”

Ritchie smiled.

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing. I understand that this is not a date. I am not to buy you a milkshake, a coffee or a burger. I am not to offer to you any of my fries.”

“Good. We understand each other.”

“I am not to look at you or talk to you. I do not know you. My heart is not to pound when my gaze falls upon you. I am not to fantasize about holding you in my arms.”

She stared at him through aviator sunglasses. Her right hand twitched by her holster, the fingers of her left tapped the top of her nightstick. “You can stop that kind of talk right now, understand?”

His smile never faltered. “Officer Ladd, you called me, remember? I did what you asked. I did what you wanted. I did what you told me.”

“I know.”

“I did not pursue you.”

“I said I know.”

“I sat on my couch in my sad little hovel, staring at the phone, cold cup of coffee in my hand, holding my breath and hoping each ring would be you.”

“This is a stupid idea.”

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Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 3 – Porkchops

Wise Kitty

Hecate, lying stretched out on the couch, reached one paw into the last bit of sunlight coming through the picture window.

Phyl ran her fingers through the cat’s fur. “What you looking at?”

Hecate blinked lazily.

“Comfortable, are we?”

Hecate purred like a tiny electric motor.

“Of course you are. I’ll bet you’ve never wanted a man.”

Hecate sighed and continued purring, gently quaking the cushion.

“Of course you haven’t. You’re a cat. What could you want with a man? For that matter, why don’t you sit in my lap and make us both happy?”

Hecate rolled onto her back, her legs still stretched out, purring, her eyes on Phyl.

“You’re a slut, you know that?”

Phyl’s mobile said, “Hey, Sister, Pick Up! Hey, Sister, Pick Up!”

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Sheldon, The Jewish Christmas Tree

Holiday Greetings from Sheldon, the Jewish Christmas Tree

We found out today our Christmas Tree is Jewish.

There was nothing overt. Nothing obvious. We found out the hard way.

First, Susan and I don’t celebrate Christmas so much as celebrate Solstice. It’s not that we’re Pagan or Wiccan, we simply prefer to celebrate Nature’s events. Much less confusion regarding days and dates, no variations on a theme, no Orthodox versus Reformed, no Baptist versus Catholic, no Sunni versus Shia, et cetera.

I mean, if you’re pagan you’re pagan you’re pagan. Pretty much a Wood Spirit is a Wood Spirit, a Guide is a Guide, a Totem is a Totem and so on.

Part of our Solstice celebration involves getting a tree, lighting it, putting gifts around it.

Sound like Christmas?

Guess again. Christians stole those ideas.

We got a tree at the Rotary. They sell trees every year in the shopping center parking lot.

We put it up, we were decorating it, Susan sipped some wine, I tippled a bit of Scotch. We started singing some Pagan Wodes (you can find them and hear them if you know where to look). Pagan Wodes tend to be simple. Religions, when they started, borrowed from them. They were easy to sing, everybody already knew them, tack on a Jesu or whatever and you were good to go. The modern wodes make use of modern musicianship. Quite interesting, they.

So there we were, singing. One or two choruses in, we hear a soft humming.

Every once in a while the humming would be interrupted by a word or two in Yiddish.

Continue reading “Sheldon, The Jewish Christmas Tree”

Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 2 – Flowers

Persistence is a virtue. Unless it’s stalking.

[[just so you’ll know, I’m not satisfied with this yet and am open to suggestions for improvement. Thanks.]]

Phyl returned to Station House 4 after two weeks on a Bahama beach with nothing but the occasional “Another pink drink, José” to disturb her. One night, okay, she invited that Adonis-tall, blue-eyed, curly haired, broad-chested José to her bungalow but other than that, nothing but peace, tranquility, the gentle lapping of waves and as many Nora Roberts books as she could fit on her Kindle.

It was glorious.

She had not missed The Bunker, which was what everyone on the job called Station House 4. She had not missed the high, reinforced warehouse walls, windowless until the third story, the security, the claustrophobic interior that sorely needed remodeling or at least some paint and new floors, she had not missed her squad car with no interior door handles in back and the close-meshed, heavy-gauge steel caging separating her from whatever perps she’d apprehended or the multitude of now necessary electronics that surveilled her as much if not more than anyone she was questioning.

She stood outside the Officers’ Entrance and hesitated. Her silver ID bracelet weighed her left arm down like a bucket of cement. The entrance’s surveillance camera clicked her presence. Whoever was on desk would recognize her but if she didn’t open the door within fifteen seconds all the auxillairy doors would open and the Host of Heaven would come out, weapons raised and going for bear.

Standard procedure. An officer might be compromised and not willing to admit the bad guys such sacred entrance.

A heavy sigh. Two weeks was not enough. Except she missed Hecate, her gray haired Abysinna-something kitty. Phyl heard a faint mewing from a dumpster one day on patrol, checked and found a freezing ball of fur, eyes not yet open, curled on a soiled pizza box.

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Grafton’s Ghost-Child

Even unto the Seventh Generation

Grafton turned the knob on his daughter Cloe’s bedroom door so slowly, thankful for the patience that came so naturally to him. The doorknob would sometimes crick and he didn’t want to wake her, just peek in to watch her sleep, make sure she was snug under the covers. Sometimes Amanda would open the window in their daughter’s room to let the night air in and Cloe would curl up into a tight little ball, just her nose exposed and forming a little steam tent.

She was adorable.

His hand turned past the crick, he opened the door slowly. Sure enough, a few icy snowcrystals blew in as he entered and Cloe was beginning her curl into a ball. Like her father, she was patient. It would take about ten minutes before she was done, never waking once. Grafton had watched her do it.

As he entered, Cloe’s Merchant-Ghost looked up. It was sitting in a recliner beside the nightstand next to his daughter’s bed. It was reading a book – Grafton could see it in his hands. It had to be as ancient as the merchant ghost itself – it’s eyes emitting that odd red-yellow light to illuminate the pages. The Merchant-Ghost nodded, its tree-like body and bark-like skin folding as it moved, then went back to its reading.

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