Office Scrooge

 

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Ian and Gina met in the break room around ten o clock! It has been a rough morning and coffee was needed. The talk around the coffee machine was animated. The room was buzzing with excitement. Gina inserted herself into the group.
“What’s going on?”
Fred, the droll accountant looked at her, a smile on his usually serious face.
“Didn’t you check your emails, we’re getting a visitor today.”
“A visitor, who’s coming Santa Claus?” Gina laughed at her own joke.
“No Valerie is paying us a visit.”
“Valerie Street? No way! Have you met her before?”
Fred’s eyes filled with tears, “Not since before George and Ethel died. She used to play with my kids at the company picnic.”
Ian joined them, “What do you think she wants?”
“Maybe she’s going to sell the Company?”
“Maybe she will,” Fred replied
The noise in the break room escalated as folks talked about the purpose of the long overdue visit.
“Don’t you have anything to do?” The piercing voice was that of the Desiree, the CFO. It commanded instant silence.
“I don’t want to ask anyone to work over Christmas, but I will if I have to.”
Fred spoke up. “We’re excited to see Valerie this afternoon. She’s been away too long.”
Desiree rolled her eyes, “For goodness sake, do you really think she want’s to talk to you folks. She’ll be coming to check on the company profits. I’ve arranged a meeting with leadership, headed by me. You won’t see her. Now get back to work, I want her to see a well run ship, not a gossip shop.”
“We would all like to…”
Desiree held her hand up. “I believe I said get back to work, now do it!”
Ian, Fred and Gina walked along the hallway together. A miserable silence replaced the excited buzz.
“She’s unbelievable!” Ian said. “A real life Scrooge!”

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Street Talk – A Christmas Story

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The office of Street Talk Magazine sat on the edge of George Street Memorial Park in a small town in Northern England. The Park was named after George Street, founder of Street Talk Magazine. It was dedicated to him in 2001 after he and his wife were killed in a car crash. The drunk driver, who hit them head on escaped unhurt, so did Valerie, the Street’s ten-year old daughter.

George and Ethel Street had only one child and thankfully they’d left a very detailed will to make sure she was taken care of. All profits from the thriving magazine went into to a trust until she was old enough to make decisions. The Magazine was run by a trusted team of long time employees in the meantime and continued to be successful. After the tragedy, Valerie fell off the face of the earth. Local media were interested in her for a while, and tried to track her down, but they soon lost moved on to other stories.

*************

It was a cold December morning. Small particles of ice fell from clouds that looked so full they wanted to burst.
“Snows coming!”
“What, oh Morning Ian, I thought you were on vacation this week.”
“Should be, but our new CFO needed me here to go over some figures for last year.”
The two Street Talk employees hurried through the park, clouds of breath escaped their mouthes as the talked.
“Jesus its cold!” Gina said “Look, that homeless woman is under the bridge. Surely she’ll die out here.”
At the edge of the park, on the cold stone ground, sat the solitary figure of a woman. Her hood was pulled over her face. Neither Ian nor Gina knew what she looked like. They knew she was female because of her voice.
“I’m going to give her enough money to go and buy breakfast somewhere, she needs to get out of this cold.”
Gina took a ten pound note from her wallet. Crouching down she handed it to the pitiful figure. A grateful voice floated from the hood of the old coat she wore. “Thank you and God bless you”
“Here, take my coffee, I haven’t touched it” Ian said as he gave her his Starbucks.”
The woman looked up at them and for the first time they saw her face. It was grimy and tired looking, but it was young. They were both taken aback.
“Merry Christmas!” She said.
Neither of them spoke until they were out of earshot.
“She’s our age, ” Ian said. “I wonder what happened to her.”
A voice from behind interrupted them, loud and thoughtless
“You shouldn’t give money to street people, they’re likely to have all sorts of diseases. I’m going to call the Tim in Security and see about getting here removed. She has no right being here. It’s a disgrace. They should find a place to put people like her.”
It was Desiree, the new CFO. She bulldozed past them, her expensive high-heeled boots piercing the morning silence as they stabbed the ground.
“Bitch!” Gina whispered as the followed her into the building.
“Careful, she’ll hear you, she already fired her analyst for less.”

Thank you!

As a change from the Ghost Stories I normally post, I’ve decided to tell you all how thankful I am.

What am I thankful for? My friends, my family and my life.

I’m thankful for my lovely home in Colorado, where I sit and look at the mountains as I write this blog.

I’m thankful that although it’s taken me 57 years to get here, I’m finally writing. My novels may never may me rich and famous, but they make me happy. I’m thankful to you all for reading them and leaving comments and reviews.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving everyone and remember to be Thankful.

CIMG0059

Thankful for my lovely home and the critters that come to visit.

 

Christmas Ghost by the fire?

It was Christmas Eve 1998 and the first Christmas in our new house, well new to us anyway. After a lovely family evening together I was the last to go to bed and lingered by the fire, enjoying its warmth. Suddenly  the aroma of gingerbread filled the room. It was a wonderful smell but where was it coming from? Puzzled, I made to switch on the lights but froze when I heard a noise behind me.

chair

Turning around, I saw the shadow of a little boy. He was in the old wooden rocking chair by the fire eating the gingerbread cookies we had left on the hearth for Santa. My heart missed a beat as the child turned and looked directly at me whilst sliding off the chair. As he walked in my direction I realized he was not looking at  me at all. His gaze was fixed on the Christmas Tree and passed right through me to reach it. It was a strange feeling, but not unpleasant.

He sat on the floor for a while mesmerized by the tree. Smiling, he reached out and touched the ornaments one by one, making them jingle like sleigh bells.

Decorated-Christmas-Tree-2Then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone. Had I imagined it? I was pretty tired. Maybe wine mixed with tiredness allowed my imagination to play tricks on me? I lingered for a while, but there was nothing to see.

CHRISTMAS MORNING

“Mummy, MUMMY! Come on get up its CHRISTMAS!” It was my daughter Louise shouting excitedly from downstairs. I washed quickly and grabbed my robe. “Oh mummy look at all of these presents, Santa must think I’m nice this year”.

I smiled at her excitement. Les walked sleepily downstairs. “Daddy, Santa left things for you too” Louise proceeded to open her gifts, throwing paper over her shoulder as she did so. Les followed me into the kitchen and grabbed some orange juice while I put the kettle on to make a cup of tea.

“I’m glad you remembered to eat the cookies last night. I forgot about them and our smart little girl would be suspicious if the cookies were still there” Les said as he walked back to the Christmas tree.

I looked across at the hearth, and the empty plate that had once held three gingerbread cookies. “It wasn’t me, or Santa this year” I said to no-one

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My first short story ‘Girl on the Beach’ is currently available on Amazon. My upcoming novel ‘Dead of July’ is currently in the capable hands of my editor, Amy Eye. It will be released in March 2013.

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Mothers Past and Present

Mother Teresa

We all know this is mother Teresa, not my mother, but someone I would like to remember this mothers day, along with Princess Diana and of course Phoebe Ethel Newman – My Mother.

Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died within a week of each other in 1997, neither will be forgotten. Not so many people knew my mother passed, who passed away in April of 2002.

I miss her.

I didn’t think I would because she lived in England and I am here in the US. We only spoke on the phone every couple of months, and that was when I called her. She was in her eighties, getting forgetful, and would tell me the same thing over and over again. I wasn’t as understanding as I should have been, I wish I could go back in time and tell her things, but I can’t.

When I am alone, I sit and talk to her, and then laugh at myself because I would catch my mother alone in a room, seemingly talking to herself at times. I would ask her what she was doing and she would answer “Talking to Grandma”.

We all become our mothers eventually.

To everyone out there, whose mothers have passed away, spend a couple of minutes taking to them, I am sure they will hear you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The first family

A blanket of white feathers falls from the sky, it’s snowing

 

Stars like diamonds on a blue velvet gown

Shine from above

The majesty of the season is everywhere

 

Christmas is all around us

Not in gifts or parties, but in spirit

You feel Christmas from deep within

Christmas is family and love, Christmas was never lost, just mislaid.

Happy Christmas!