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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Fine”

“Fine. I am fine.” Maybe if Anna said it enough times, she’d convince everyone, as well as herself.

Kendall just looked at her, though. So did Susan, Cassie, Ashley, Lila, and Lora. And even Jess. She could tell from those looks that none of them came even close to convinced. She kept her gaze focused on Kendall, though.

“You don’t look fine,” Kendall finally said.

Hadn’t she just gone through this with her mother that morning. Why did everyone have to say that? “Well, I am. Is this what you girls talk about during girls night when I’m not here? How each of us look.”

Kendall let out a laugh at that. “My brother is such an idiot.”

Anna wasn’t going to argue with it. She wasn’t exactly keen on him at the moment, either. “What makes you say that?”

Kendall shook her head then slid an arm around Anna’s shoulders. “He told me what happened when you showed up at the house yesterday. He was worried, about Raina and everything that’s going on. But, that’s still not a good reason for the things he said or pushing you away. Like I said, he’s an idiot.”

Anna shook his head. “No, he’s not. He’s just worried about getting Raina back.”

Kendall pulled away and stared at her. “He did. Last night. That’s where he was headed, though he wasn’t sure what the outcome of that meeting was going to be. I figured you would have heard at the diner.”

Anna shook her head. “I didn’t work today.”

“Well, that makes sense then, I guess. The battle isn’t over yet, Kacy won’t let it be. But, they know he didn’t hurt Raina, so she’s back home where she belongs.”

“Good.” That was good. Even if her heart still ached for the way Morgan had pushed her away, it was good that Raina was back.

“Come on. This is supposed to be a fun night. Tomorrow you can figure out how to tell my brother what an idiot he is.”

“Stop calling him that,” Anna said with a little laugh.

“I’m his sister,” Kendall said, giving her shoulders a quick squeeze before stepping away. “If anyone’s allowed to call Morgan an idiot, it’s me. Now, let’s get this party started. And don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.”


Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “fine” any way you’d like, and bonus points if you use it as the last word of your post. I used it as first and last. Ha! This happens in this month’s main project, High on Loving You, part of my Kurztown series. All the other women in this scene have already had their own stories(Kendall and Susan in one together). I’ve got almost 3/4 of the story written(I was working on it last year but set it aside until I finished some other ones when I decided to concentrate on one project at a time).


Story a Day September: Day 22 – “Discrepancy”

I used the “a character’s boss is doing something illegal” again for today’s prompt. This one is with Anna, from High on Loving You, one of my current WiPs, who comes on her boss acting rather suspicious.


Anna couldn’t believe she’d left her gloves in the office. She’d thought she left them in her coat pockets, like she usually did. But, had been halfway down the street before she realized they weren’t there. She could have just finished walking home. She had another pair of gloves there. But, these were new, and her favorite pair.
Morgan had gotten them for her for Christmas.
She stepped through the back door and into the kitchen. Their evening cook whipped his head up and around to look at her. “Anna,” he greeted. “You know you are allowed to stay away for more than ten minutes.”
She flashed him a grin. “But, whatever would you do without me?” He laughed, and she said, “I just realized I left something in the office. I’ll be out of your hair in just a minute.”
He rubbed a hand over his gleaming head. “Not much room to hide up there.”
She laughed again then headed out of the kitchen. There was a light on under the office door. That wasn’t right. She knew she’d turned it off before she’d left. And she could have sworn she’d locked the office door as well. Only one other person should have the key to that door.
She turned the knob. Unlocked. But, she clearly remembered locking it. And Nora hadn’t had plans to come in as far as Anna knew.
She pushed the door open and sure enough, Nora sat there at the desk. She glanced up, her eyes wide. “What are you doing here, Anna?” Nora asked. “Your shift was over like fifteen minutes ago.”
She didn’t need her boss to tell her that. Anna was the one who made up the schedule. “Left my gloves here, I think. Was just coming back for them.”
“Okay then,” her boss said, relaxing a little. “Why don’t you just get them and go. You already spend more than enough time here.”
Someone had to be around to manage the place. And Nora had put most of the responsibility for that on Anna’s shoulders. Not that her pay had been adjusted to reflect that. But, that was fine. She liked the work anyway.
Anna cast another look at her boss as she bent to pick up the gloves laying on the floor. They must have fallen from her coat at some point. She could see Nora’s foot tapping under the desk. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the woman so agitated.
“Something wrong?” she asked when she’d straightened again. “I didn’t even think you were coming in today.”
“I can come in to check on my own business without being questioned, can’t I?” Nora snapped.
“Of course,” Anna said. “I was just surprised to see you.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be. I don’t completely ignore this place.”
“Of course not,” Anna said. Except most of the time, it seemed that was exactly what she did. “I didn’t mean anything by it. I’ll just get going.”
Something wasn’t right. Anna looked over each of the columns again. This definitely wasn’t right. She knew she’d put these numbers in correctly. She always wrote down how much was in the bank bag before she locked it in the safe for the night.
But, their deposits for the last month were off. Totaling a couple hundred dollars in discrepancy.
She was the only one who handled that money. And she knew she couldn’t have screwed up this badly. She must have made a mistake somewhere with the numbers.
She pulled out her calculator and ran the numbers again. Everything came up the same. So, it wasn’t her calculations that were off. And she was always so careful about writing the numbers down right.
But, obviously she hadn’t. She just couldn’t come up with another reason for this money to be missing. She and Nora were the only ones with the key to the office or the combination to the safe. There was no other explanation.
She’d just have to figure out where that money had gone.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Whether/Weather”

“Weather be damned,” Anna said, grabbing her coat off the hook. Damn snow. But, it was almost Christmas, and if she didn’t go now, she’d be going to the mall on Christmas Eve. And there was no way that was happening.

It had stopped coming down so hard at least. She shouldn’t have a problem getting out there, as long as the roads had been cleared.

She pushed her door open then stumbled back as a figure loomed over her on the porch. “Morgan,” she said, her hand on her chest, “you scared me.”

“Sorry,” he said, his voice gruff. “I wasn’t expecting you to come out right that moment.”

“Of course. What did you want?” Morgan didn’t usually just come over to her house. No matter how much she wished he would.

Even with her porch light on, his face was in shadows, but she saw the worry flash through his eyes. “Have you seen Raina? Kacy called and said she can’t find her anywhere around the house?”

“You mean she actually looked for her this time?” Anna blurted and caught Morgan’s grimace.

“Apparently. trust me, I ripped into her about that last time. I still can’t believe she went all night not knowing her own daughter was missing. And that the judge wouldn’t even consider rescinding the unsupervised visitation after that. Apparently she hadn’t put our daughter in enough danger.”

Anna reached out and laid her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry, Morgan. And no, I haven’t seen her. The last time she hid out in the diner kitchen. Why don’t we go down and check there?”

“Thanks, Anna. Raina is…she’s my everything.”

“I know, Morgan. We’ll find her. If she’s not at the diner, we’ll call out some people to search. But, we will find her.”

They had just headed down the street when someone called out his name. They turned and saw Morgan’s sister’s girlfriend waving at them from her porch. Morgan stood where he was, but Anna tugged on his arm. “We have to find her,” he said, his voice strained. “Not visit.”

“And maybe they can help,” she reminded him.

When they reached the porch, Anna saw a little face peering out from behind the doorframe. And she let out a long breath. “Thank God.”

“Raina, come out here,” Morgan said, his voice  trembling. His daughter ran to him, and he dropped to his knees to gather her close. “You had me so scared,” he said. “You have to stop doing this.”

“I’m sorry,” she cried. “I just want to go home with you.”

“Not tonight,” he told her. “You have to go back to your mom’s tonight. But, I’ll be picking you up tomorrow night and bringing you home. Okay?”

The girl looked very much like that was not okay with her. But, she nodded. Morgan took her hand and headed for the sidewalk. He glanced back at Anna. “Thanks.”

“I didn’t really do anything,” she said.

“You kept me from totally losing it,” he said.

She watched him walk away and let out a sigh. “I should get going. I still have to finish my shopping.”

“You getting something special for Morgan?” Susan asked with a laugh.

“Like he’d even accept it from me,” she muttered. “Anyway I’ll see you around. Thanks for taking care of Raina.”

“She’s practically my niece. I don’t need thanks.”

Anna headed off, walking back to her house to get her car. And, yes, she was going to get something for Morgan, whether he would accept it or not.


This Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use weather/whether in any way we wanted. I’m plotting out Morgan and Anna’s story right now, so I figured I could write about them and this just kind of took off.

Story a Day: Day 22 – Diner

Anna unlocked the back door of the diner and twisted the knob, the cold of the metal nearly soaking right through her soft gloves. Winter. Yeah, she couldn’t definitely do without it. She shivered as a blast of wind blew snow against her neck. Well, she’d had a chance to move, and she’d blown it. Now, she was just going to have to deal with it.

She flipped the lights on as she stepped into the kitchen. The left one flickered erratically for several moments before it finally stayed on. Anna blew out a breath. She’d have to mention that to Dana once again. Maybe her boss would finally see fit to get it fixed. Likely not since that would mean spending money on something the customers never saw.

Anna shook away the bitter thought and went to hang her coat and purse up in the little closet at the other end of the kitchen. She also stowed her heavy winter boots in there, changing into the shoes she’d wear all day at work. Once she got all the prep work done, and the diner actually opened for business, she’d be out running the register and waiting on tables. For now, she had some time to herself. She switched on the radio on the counter then got to work.

She didn’t mind that their cooks didn’t like coming in early. It was her favorite time of day anyway. And this was all so simple anyway. the dough was already prepared, she just had to separate it for bread and rolls and put them in the ovens. Take fresh vegetables out of the refrigerator and slice. Make sure everything was ready before the breakfast rush came in.

She pulled some of the sticky dough off her fingers before sticking them under the water. It ran down her hands swirling away into the drain. running the rough cloth of the towel over them, she swayed to the beat of the song on the radio. No one else was here, so she sang along with one of the older songs the radio still played by Lila Corelli. Anna giggled softly as she hauled out the tray of veggies, grabbing several small containers out to store them in once they were diced, sliced, or cubed. It wasn’t Lila Corelli anymore, she’d been Lila Akeley for the last four months, but no one cared since she left Nashville. Just like they wouldn’t have cared she was one of Anna’s best friends.

She’d just cut a green pepper in half when one of the lower pantry doors creaked open. The knife fell from her hand, and she was just glad she hadn’t sliced a finger off. Then, the strawberry blond head popped out of the pantry, and she put her hand to her chest. “Raina,” she said. “how in the he…world did you get in here?”

“I came in last night when Courtnay took the garbage out.”

Their newest dishwasher and general clean-up person. Anna would have a talk with her about being more observant. She picked the little girl up. “Where does your dad think you are?” If Morgan had realized she was missing, he’d be frantic. She doubted the town would be so quiet then.

“Mama had me this weekend,” the girl said, her voice such a soft whisper, Anna almost couldn’t hear her. “She brought a friend home last night, though, and he scared me. But she said I couldn’t go back to Daddy’s til Sunday night.”

Anna wanted to fist her hands, but with the girl in her arms, there was only so much she could do. How could that woman not realize her daughter was gone? Hadn’t she tried to tuck her in the night before? No, probably not. Raina had just recently gotten the cast off from breaking her arm when her mom had left her alone to go on a date. So, she wasn’t even sure why this surprised her. “You want to stay with me while I finish getting this ready? I’ll just send your daddy a message to let him know you’re here.”

Raina’s face brightened at that. Whether because she liked helping in the kitchen or she really didn’t want to go back to her mom’s, Anna wasn’t sure. She didn’t care either. If she saw this as a safe place, Anna wouldn’t make her leave.

She sent a message to Morgan, letting him know what was going on then put her phone back in her pocket. She imagined he’d show up soon enough, wanting to be sure his daughter was unharmed. Until then she’d let Raina give her a hand. And hopefully Morgan would be able to use this in the ongoing custody case. Maybe the system would finally see the harm that woman was doing to her daughter and finally do something about it.

She could hope, at least.


That turned out longer than I thought it would. I’m working on plotting Morgan and Anna’s story today, so I used the Story a Day prompt for that. I didn’t know Raina was going to show up, though.

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