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Today we have the next chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Mug". Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!
Wind in White Birch
Sharing a man with his dream sucks. I spent the next twenty-seven days having a text message/phone contact relationship. While hearing his voice a few times a week was nice, it did not replace being in his arms or feeling his mouth on mine. I cursed at not only the physical distance between Jonah and I, I also placed a few hexes on that damned lodge. As soon as I would cuss the log cabin, I would feel terrible. Jonah was beside himself with anticipation.
He had managed to scrape together enough money for the down payment with some financial assistance from the government, a rather substantial small business grant from the Seneca tribal council, and his own hard-earned savings. The grant from his tribe came with one small stipulation: He must hire capable and certified guides from the Seneca nation once he was in the position to expand his guide services. A wise addendum to their cash I had thought when Jonah and I had been talking on the phone one night. Jonah was certainly behind offering his tribesmen good paying jobs. He just had to get the clientele to be able to do so.
February was a dismal, grey, cold month in Pittsburgh. I was at work and feeling frumpy. My pants were all too tight due to water weight gain, so I was stuck in what I term my ‘Menstrual Clothes’ which encompassed anything with an elastic waistband. Cramps rolled through my lower belly, my back ached and some jackass was arguing with me about the price of a civil war anthology. The man glaring at me had no idea of just how close he was coming to having his face ripped off by the cranky cougar.
“….saying is that I can buy this for my eReader for half of what you`re charging. I think you should meet or beat the price that the online store is charging.”
I glowered at the squat man with the bulbous nose and pockmarks. He raised his eyebrows triumphantly.
“Sir,” I said through clenched teeth. “We are not that super online store. We`re a brick and mortar business that has to charge more, but what we offer in return cannot be found in any cold, computer run-“
“What you offer? What is that? A miserable clerk that can`t even smile when I come in to plunk down my hard earned cash? Keep it." He slammed the book to the counter, making Bongo Cat lift his head from his nap as well as making my mug of tea jump. “I`ll buy it online.”
The bells over the door tingled angrily as he exited. I flipped the ass off then buried my head in my hands before my forehead hit the counter. The store phone rang. I whimpered but pawed blindly about, wondering why the hell it was taking the Midol tablets so long to work.
“Tomes A ‘Plenty, your fiction is our addiction,” I mumbled, staring through the glass counter top at the assortment of local authors books we were pushing. Do the big super online stores do that? Do they back indie authors and small presses? Do they hold book events, writers groups, or book clubs like we do monthly? Do they donate books to charities, daycare centers, or spend time promoting library book sales?
“Dana, is there a parking spot outside your store? Never mind, I see one.”
I moaned then heard the horns blaring as my grandmother cut across traffic to dive into a parking slot. The phone slid from my fingers to the floor, my grandmother`s voice asking if I knew anyone that drove a green Audi.
“Stop futzing Mary, I just bumped it with the Caddy,” Grandma `s voice rose from the dangling receiver. I contemplated making a run for it. I could slip out into the alley in back then hide in Peggy`s Fabric Hut next door. The old women could not find me and lecture me if I was hidden among the taffeta. Yes! My mind cried for freedom much like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. I lifted my kilt (It was a skirt but the Scottish theme was prevalent in my mind) for the mad dash. Then I recalled that they knew I was here. So I waited, head on counter, for the arrival. It came a few moments later with a gust of winter wind, a yipping dachshund, and the aroma of mentholated rub.
“….you should have left your name and number, Helen. That`s the Christian thing to do.”
“No, that`s the stupid thing to do. And who are you to preach to me about Christian attitude, Mary Shevchenko? Wasn`t it you that charged the Presbyterian minister a dollar more per nut roll than you charged Father Wikowski?” my grandmother fired back.
Come on Midol, please?
“That was only because nuts had jumped from one batch to the next!” Mary argued. I spotted a long dog wriggling about by my feet. Herr Poopbottom was convulsing with unbridled elation.
“You sure did nudge the Presbyterian preacher’s nuts, Mary,” Jo-Jo snickered.
“I`m allergic to nuts,” Aunt Elizabeth chimed in. Sighing resolutely, I picked up my head. Aunt Josephine`s dog began leaping into the air, barking wildly. I peeked upward. Bongo Cat was perched above us with flattened ears and wide eyes.
“Josephine! It is not proper to be discussing the man parts of an ordained minister or any other men of God,” Aunt Anne gasped. Fighting the smile I slid from the stool, scooped up Herr Poopbottom, got my face washed, and then made my rounds of greeting kisses. Aunt Mary`s wrinkled cheek was hot with embarrassment when I bussed it. I hugged the sweet old thing close.
“They`re just teasing, Aunt Mary,” I whispered past the huge gold earring clasped to her earlobe. She smiled and patted my hand tenderly. “So, did I sleep through Valentine`s Day or are we celebrating St. Patrick`s Day a month early?” I asked, eying the Jolly Green Hobbit that was my grandmother. She was emerald from her eye shadow to her plastic green Crocs.
My grandmother carefully removed the green scarf from her flaming red beehive. “Don`t be flip, Dana Marie,” she snipped, draping the gossamer scarf around her neck.
“We went to the mall and bought Mary beads!” Aunt Zizzy announced as I got her seated on a folding chair used for book club nights.
“Then we went to the bulk food place so Anne could buy four cases of canned cherries. Who the hell buys four cases of cherries?” Jo-Jo asked, waddling over to the soda machine for a Mountain Dew.
“I use them for pies,” Anne sniffed, lowering herself onto the stool I had vacated. “If you ever took the time to do something besides play bingo, shake your leg at truckers, or watch those damned dirty daytime serials you`d know what women do with canned cherries!”
“So, is that Jonah man coming down this weekend?” my grandmother asked. I tensed. This was rapidly becoming a sore spot between her and me. “If not, why don`t you come to the Moose on Saturday night? They`re having a Valentine`s Day dance. Albert Robinson`s son from McKeesport will be there with his band.”
“I`m sure Jonah will make it down for Valentine`s Day,” I said, moving among the Clairton Corp, each one with wrinkled brows, bitten lips, or pinching the loose skin of their necks.
“They play slow dance music,” Aunt Elizabeth offered, remarkably clear and lucid today. “He has red hair,” she added as an incentive. Her husband Robert had been a ginger and she was partial.
“Don`t let her talk you into nothing!” Aunt Jo spat, glaring at my grandmother, “You just hold tight for Jonah. The man`s busy trying to get his future lined up, Helen. You want Dana here to turn her back on a man that`s working to be his own boss?” Jo-Jo hugged me sideways, my arm pinned to her ample chest.
“No, I want Dana to find a man that will give her the time and attention she deserves,” Madame Leprechaun responded. Sadly, I was beginning to feel like maybe – just maybe – my grandmother was right. I certainly felt like I deserved more than text messages and hurried phone calls where nothing but business and loans were discussed.
I rolled my head to the left to rest it atop Aunt Jo-Jo`s wiry silver curls. Sharing a man with his dreams sucks.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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