Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Case of Greed - Part Two

10 Word Exercise #7
Diaper, syringe, documentation, coffee, staples, manifestation, night, cold, wages, politics
She had virtually no interest in hospital politics. Put a diaper in one hand, a syringe in the other and Claire was a happy woman. With the manifestation of the new breed of nurses, more concerned about wages than they were about patients, Claire Hanson stood out.
“How are we doing today, Mrs. Townsend?” Claire asked as she walked into the private room of Mrs. Philomena Townsend, carrying Kona coffee – one of the staples to a nightshift worker's evening -- for two. Philomena had been admitted to Hawaii General Hospital night before last and what with the background information Claire had been given on Mrs. Townsend’s case, she couldn’t say she blamed her for having that wild-eyed, distrustful look about her.
How on earth anyone could’ve diagnosed Philomena Townsend as a schizophrenic was beyond Claire’s grasp but she knew if anyone could help the Townsend’s it was Dr Walter Gaines, Claire’s boss, and long time friend of Philomena’s husband, Mr. Job Townsend. Dr Gaines was the leading expert in the U.S in the field of Psychiatry and would be, Claire hoped, Philomena’s saving grace.
Had it been a different time, different place Claire believed that she and Philomena would have been fast friends. They were both driven by hard work, strong ethics and the love of a good man.
“The chocolates tasted funny.”
“What was that?” Claire asked as she handed the packets of sugar and cream over to Philomena.
“I remember now. I told Job the chocolates tasted funny,” Philomena said. “My friend Holly is going to be so upset when I tell her that I got food poisoning from her gift; that they’re what caused this mess I’m in.”
Clearly, though Job Townsend was a husband on a mission discreetly gathering documentation to disprove his wife’s recent diagnosis by Dr John Price, he’d failed to tell Philomena the cold hard truth; that it was Holly Ryan he most strongly suspected of trying to do more than discredit his wife or that he hated to think on what would’ve happened had his chocoholic wife not stopped after only one bite of the belladonna-laced confection.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Case of Greed

10 Word exercise #6

Chocolate, candles, hurricane, beach, lei, disestablishment, fissure, schizophrenic, lava, tectonics

He wasn’t exactly ecstatic to leave discussions of tectonic plates, lava rock and fissures behind for the next two weeks but Job Townsend was taking his wife, Philomena, on vacation to Hawaii. It wouldn’t be easy to spend time in the state built on old lava rock and not be doing research, but the last thing his wife needed was to hear him talk shop.

She’d recently been given a diagnosis, a diagnosis that could end her career, of being schizophrenic, something he found hard to believe and had told the court-appointed Dr Price as much before walking out of his office holding a crushed Philomena by the arm.

Philomena Townsend had been on the cutting edge of some pretty dicey work at her law firm. The very rich defendant was attempting to claim disestablishment in the paternity suit the L.L.P Law firm had taken on on behalf of his ex-wife - a long-time client; a case Phil (as her colleagues called her) was on the verge of winning before her first and only, but very embarrassing, episode.

Standing before the judge and jury, primed for her closing argument, she went from Hurricane Phil to a puddle of tears leaving a path of destruction in her wake. When her world finally righted itself, it was to find Judge Wright banging his gavel, ordering her to be removed from his court room, and she was not to be allowed back in without an assessment by Dr Price.

Job had that ‘there’s something rotten in the State of Denmark’ feeling about the whole situation. He’d had to promise Dr Price that he would watch over her carefully and see that she got her medication for everyone’s safety to get him to agree to Job taking her out of State on vacation. With Job by her side, and the letter of permission from Dr Price, she’d walked through the doors of L.L.P Law and taken a two-week vacation...which they were only too happy to grant. All but one of her Associates treated her as they always had, with dignity and respect.

A lei hanging around her neck and the smell of the beach hanging in the air would go a lot farther than the medication Job left sitting at home on the nightstand. He placed the candles one by one about their room as his wife lay sleeping on the balcony facing the ocean, and as he lit the candles each in turn he pictured the fire he was about to light under the bottoms of the key characters that had put in motion the plot to discredit his wife.

One for Judge Wright, one for Dr Price, one for Senator Platz – the defendant, and saving the biggest and best for last, was for Ms. Holly Ryan. Ms. Holly Ryan, the Junior Associate and false friend secretly yearning to be in Philomena’s shoes, also the slime keeping Senator Platz’s bed warm and the one responsible for sending the box full of 'good luck' chocolate to his wife that when analyzed contained the hallucinogenic that set their whole plan in motion in front of witnesses.

Ms. Holly Ryan didn’t know it yet, but by the time he was done, it would take her and her cohorts a lifetime to be rid of that one bite of chocolate...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rumours Lie Broken

10 Word Exercise #5
Basket, rickety, yellow, anvil, alcoholic, snow, tremendous, candlelight, yarn, pizza

The candlelight glowing softly from the windows cast a yellow glow on the path I walked, guiding me through the deep snow to the beautiful two-story house. Where once stood a set of rickety, old stairs, there now gleamed newly painted wood. “Yes!” My now exhausted and beyond-cold limbs exclaimed. With the tremendous effort already placed on them to carry me and my basket of yarn this distance they were profoundly grateful not to have the added worry of falling through rotten wood.
I could see him sitting there as I looked through the window. I looked to the floor rather gauging the safety of knocking but before I could turn tail and run, the door flung open and there he stood. If the look in his eyes told me anything, it was that I’d just poked the proverbial bear with the sore paw. “What do you want? If you’re here for the church, turn around and save your breath. Well, SPEAK! I don’t have time for little church mice.”
The smell of pizza wafting to nostrils I had thought were frozen had been enough to warm my courage. “I’m not here for the church. My car broke down. Yours was the only light I could see.” A hit in the face with an anvil would’ve surprised me more than the turnaround old Mr. Farley took.
“Well, why didn’t you say so? Step on in here,” he said as he ushered me into his home, closing the door behind me. “I assumed the way you’re dressed, well...never mind that. I was just sitting down to dinner, come and join me.”
I couldn’t rely on the part of my brain that clanged warnings to me at times like that. It was too frozen to even clink. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I had to stay on my guard until my poor body thawed.
“Rumour has it that I’m an alcoholic. I’m not you know, so don’t worry your pretty head,” he said as, with perfect dexterity, he handed me a slice of pizza and a glass of what looked like brandy. “People around here don’t know squat.” That my brother was the cop who escorted him off the street not two weeks before to keep him from taking a drunken stumble headlong into traffic was a fact better kept to myself, but before I could come up with an appropriate response, he continued.
“I’m an epileptic,” he said. “A night in a drunk tank is not going to change that. And most people around here know very well that imbibing would work against my seizure medication.”
Well knock me over with a feather, I was not expecting that. I’d arrived there that night hoping Roy Farley would be sober enough to call me a tow truck but instead left feeling guilty for having believed the worst of a man I’d known nothing about, but for the lies from the rumour chain.
My two-year tenure with Mr. Farley proved to be more beneficial than once I thought, for I now live in that two-story house with an outlook on life as new as my surroundings. All because I’d befriended a gruff old man one stormy night, and soon after was hired to be his caretaker. 
Many of life’s lessons I learned as I watched age take over a once proud man; a man who among other things, taught my previously jaded self that anyone can tell a story but only you can decide what you believe.

The End

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What Price Vanity?

10 Word Exercise #4

Halcyon, Facetious, Epiphany, Cantankerous, Fishing, Amongst, Fortune, Resemblance, Beautiful, Haunt

Halcyon days were had by none while the cantankerous woman abided. Her desire to be the most beautiful woman in the world had her endlessly fishing for compliments. Very few wished to be in the company of this facetious woman. Those few who did did so hoping to one day share in her vast fortune.

Until the day, while staring at her resemblance in her mirror once again, she had the epiphany that changed her life; that amongst her followers was only one who’d stand proudly before her and call her friend. And, in a vain attempt to be liked, she gave away all but a few of her nicest finery to young women she believed would spend their time in awe and envy of her.

Why her past continued to haunt her, she could never decipher.