Percy, the great lawyer, expert toastmaster, had no words.
He peered across the city from his temporary office. He had very little time to see the “City of Love”, with a merger that was looming over him. Once it completed, he sat back and took a breath.
He opened his briefcase and pulled out another folder. Looking through the paperwork, he sighed. He glanced at the Eiffel Tower, then at the Arc du Triomphe, and finally pushed the paperwork into the auto shredder.
He pulled out his phone and hit 1.
“Honey, Merger’s done. Set up the counseling appointment. I’m there. ”
(Author’s notes: Well, after a harrowing day, I passed my driver’s test. I spent today, the day after, applying for jobs in my area. Hoping to find something relatively quickly, but who knows what the job search may bring. In the meantime, I’m bringing up music and revisiting old artists I never thought I’d see again. Here’s one of them, to enjoy today’s Fictioneers with.)
(Author’s Note: Things can change in a week. Currently, I am waiting for my visa number to be issued. Upon that, I apply for a visa and head back to teach students in Korea yet again. I will likely be gone by the end of December and starting to teach at the beginning of January. So, I will be back to writing lots of newer stories, along with writing other things that won’t be published here. Today, we have another fictioneers event that seems like it’ll be quite fun.)
The crunch awoke Paul from a dead slumber. Grumbling, he walked down stairs. He nearly reached the bottom when he froze.
Paul looked into his 16 year old daughter’s face, surprised that she found his old college mascot costume.
“Charity! How did you get that?”
“I found it. Now tell me about this!”
“Well, I went to a local college here. You know it as the big university now. Our mascot was a yellow chicken. I did this to help pay for my tuition.”
Charity flipped her hand, knowing there was more.
“It was also the costume I wore when I first met your mom.”
“And there we have it.”
“She didn’t like it. She was a sour girl the day that she met me…”
“And how many years now?”
“19 wonderful years…”
Author’s note: A welcome to all the new followers of Music and Fiction, especially those who are on the new Facebook page (can be found at THIS link), and from Twitter.
Angelia (aka “Nothing But A Photograph)
by Miles Rost
Colin Marchese did not know the pain his father went through.
Dominic “The Dom” Marchese was a major gangland figure in Cincinnati, Ohio. He made a name for himself, and was on the way to being a big name. Something changed in 1988, however, and 15 years later, the shell of “The Dom” had just been laid to rest. His college-aged son, the inheritor of the estate, sought to get the family fortune out of the “family business”, just like his father in the later years.
But Colin still had questions.
Why did my dad suddenly turn from his path? Why did he become so…distant?
Part of being the inheritor of the estate, he was able to see the contents of his late father’s desk. No one besides himself and one trusted confidant, who died months before, ever went into it.
He opened the main desk drawer, and immediately found a small leather-bound notebook. It was well-worn, and when it was opened, the smell of his dad’s pipe tobacco rushed into his nostrils. He turned the yellowed pages of the little book until a date caught his eye: December 14, 1987. Colin stood up from the desk and walked to his favorite chair in the corner, looking out toward the small pond on the estate.
December 14th, 1987,
Ah, bella! I met the most wonderful lady today. Flying from Genoa to London, to the Big Apple, it was a treat to see this beautiful vision. Her name is Angelia, and she was my stewardess for this flight. Belissima! She’s such a sweetie. Her family is Italian, they’re actually from a village near my own, but she’s been living in London for a long time. She makes things so sweet around here, and she’s going to be on the flight to New York! I’m hoping to get a chance to talk with her more.
He paged further through the journal to see more about this ‘Angelia’ that seemed to capture his heart. He soon enough found an answer in a later entry.
March 27th, 1988,
Ah, the trees are blooming their beautiful flowers today. They are very bella serra. Angelia and I spent a weekend together, going through the old haunts of New York. I showed her Lugee’s Pizza, which is now some sort of sandwich plane. Nothing like Katz’s, though. I showed her that place. She seemed impressed by the fact I could pound the pastrami down like no other. Wait until later on tonight. Heh heh.
Colin had to laugh, reading the rest of the entry. Apparently, Dad liked her a lot, and he decided to show her how much. He decided to read on through 1988 to see where things went wrong.
December 20th, 1988
Angelia called me just before I went to bed. She said that she’ll be flying back and spending Christmas with the family. I am hoping little Colin can take a liking to her. It’ll be the first time he’ll meet her, and it is important if she’s going to become the new mother of my children. I love her very much, and I cannot wait to make her the new Mrs. Marchese. She’ll be perfect for the family, perfect for the biz, and she’ll make the new empire proud.
He smiled, though he was a little fuzzy on who she was because he didn’t remember meeting her, even though he was 4 at the time. He turned the next page, and read. The mirth that was on his face dropped as he read on.
December 22nd, 1988
I cannot believe it. Morto infinito. I am crying so much. The news just said it. Pan Am Flight 103, the flight my beautiful Angelia was on, blown up over Scotland. Why? Why, God? Why did you take her away? She was going to be my wife! I just… <scribble> I don’t <scribble> get the bastards. I don’t know what to do…
Colin realized, much too late, that his dad’s turn to introspection and reservedness was caused by this. He looked for more information, more reaction, when he came up to the last page.
January 2nd, 1989
She left me with nothing but a photograph. All I have of my bellissima, my beautiful Angelia, is a photograph. I don’t see how I can go on. She was everything, just as much as Diana was before she passed on. I just don’t know where to go from here. My kingdom for my bellissima.
He looked at the next page, and instead of writing, he found a photograph of the woman his father had pined for. The one who was the love of his life, and the one who moved him to eventually slow down the family operation. His father was right, as she was a very beautiful woman. Beautiful brown hair down to her shoulders, dressed in the powder blue Pan Am uniform that hugged every single curve of her Italian frame, and a smile that could warm the coldest heart.
“She would have made a wonderful mother,” he said to himself, out loud, as he looked out the window. He had business to do, but he would have to remember to take a trip to Scotland to give his possible mother the honor due her from the family.
15 years ago, Charles Martin stood on top of an outcropping over Lake Superior and yelled out to anyone who could hear him on the lake.
“I WILL NEVER, EVER, GET MARRIED!”
Charles was a frustrated man. From the time he was young, everything he wanted to do was thwarted in some way. He had a dream of becoming a congressman, and the corruption of those who he looked up to left him in disgust. He had a dream of going into the NFL and becoming a great running back, and a torn ACL in high school killed his career before it could even start. Before that day, 15 years ago, he was engaged twice. Both times, the women left him.
“You are just not right for me after all.”
Charles was so frustrated by these dumpings, and his incredible bad luck during his teen years, that at the age of 24, he made his proclamation to God, the world, the water, and anything that could hear him.
Those 15 years gave Charles a chance to get himself on a better track. He graduated from college, toured the United States, and later left for China to teach Mathematics to university students.
He and his fellow teacher, Shen-Wei, sat in a bar and joked over a couple of Qingdao beers.
“Man, I could never live in the US again. They’re just falling over flat. Being here…it’s close to heaven,” Charles said, his speech slurring slightly from the amount of beers that he has.
“China can be good place for people. Not exactly heaven, but it has great beer.”
As they laughed at the botched reference to an old Wisconsin tavern tune, a young lady walked up behind Shen-Wei and tapped his shoulder. She asked a few things in Chinese to him, and he replied brusquely. She nodded, and walked over to Charles.
“I told your friend, you are very handsome,” she said, in broken English.
Charles eyed her up and down, to get an idea of who she was. As he finished giving her the scanning eye, he noticed a small tattoo on her shoulder. The tattoo was of a celtic cross. He started to feel a bit fuzzy, as he looked down at his own shoulder. He remembered getting a similar tattoo years ago, without even thinking about things.
“Where did you get the tattoo?” he asked her, skipping all pleasantries.
“Korea. I got idea in vision.”
By this time, the fascination had gone by. However, his heart wouldn’t let him leave it behind just yet.
“What is your name?”
“Shen-Zhen. In English, I am Cindy.”
After that first meeting, Charles went home and sat. The image of that celtic cross on her shoulder, in the same exact place as his, made him wonder.
He tried to forget her, but everywhere he went in the city of Qingdao, somehow she was there. Even if she didn’t talk to him, he still saw her dead in his sights. Slowly, but surely, he noticed that he liked going places and seeing her there. He didn’t know what he could do. He made his vow. Did this mean that he was falling for someone again?
The answer to his question happened about 2 weeks after the last encounter, 6 months after their first meeting.
He sat in a park in Qingdao, looking around and just resting. He had seen Cindy earlier in the month, but started to avoid the bars. He just wasn’t interested in drinking cheap beer anymore.
He looked up from his bench and straight into the deep dark brown eyes of Cindy.
“Cindy…what are you doing here?”
“I came to find you. You haven’t been around.”
“I decided to give up drinking and bars.”
Cindy smiled, and sat down.
“I think of you. You make me happy.”
Charles’s head swung her way quickly.
“What do you mean?”
“There is famous poet here, many years ago, said something important. “A man who says he never marries, will find love when he doesn’t want it.””
“Not another Confucius says…”
She looked at him and turned a small bit of fire on him.
Highway 101 was always one of our favorite roads. The meandering curves from Tillamook on down to Lincoln City, the high cliffs of Cape Perpetua, and the sudden rise and fall at Del Norte Redwoods were always memorable, especially if we were traveling in the harsh winter weather.
Traveling down that 101, you’d find a little small area off to the side of the road. It’s a small rest area of sorts, but for folks like us, we could have stayed there forever. The memories of those times when we stopped off at that rest area, they come flooding back everytime I look at a travel book.
The first memory was a solo trip down the coast, but it was the second memory that made the rest area south of Port Orford one that will be seared in my mind for eternity. It was upon the summer winds that I heard a certain melody. It was a mix of a sing-song call of a beautiful lady, the roar of the ocean, and the squawking of a seagull. One wouldn’t think that those in combination would do anything, but to say the very least, it was as close to a possible mating call that I could have ever dreamed. As newlyweds, we had to take every moment when we had a chance. And while it could have turned into a scene from the movie “From Here To Eternity”, it didn’t.
It’s been a few years since the last time we went to visit that little ol’ rest area. Being busy with work, and my beautiful wife doing her charity work, we always say that we want to go back and keep making more memories. Maybe this summer, we’ll go back and try it again. Though, I think we’ll be more careful not to traumatize the poor young couples that will come down to visit as well. If you want to find us, we’ll be on the beach.
Brian Mulgrew looked at his fiancee, and smiled broadly. As he sat in the chair, holding her hand, he looked into her eyes and showed her a look of longing that he had for her.
Sarah Borain looked up at him. She was short, almost tiny, but she was a spitfire. She was in a beautiful wedding dress, and smiled as she looked into his eyes and showed him the look of desire that she had, the storms that were brewing in her eyes. Her long blonde hair was put up in two beautiful braids that stretched around her head. She looked like a princess with a crown of laurels.
There was only a few family members there, and they were just as happy and smiling broadly as the couple they came to see.
The minister came out from a side room. The door clicked, and echoed through the room.
“Dearly beloved…” he started, as he went through the predictable rigamarole that one would see during a wedding. The ceremony didn’t take very long, all of 15 minutes. But those in attendance would say that it was one of the most heartfelt ceremonies that they saw, because of it’s simplicity.
“Do you take this woman, Sarah Borain, to be your lawfully wedded wife? To have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, for as long as you both shall live?”
“Then by the power vested in me, the state of California, and the California Department of Corrections, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
They both kissed for a good long time, knowing that it would also be a long time before they would be able to kiss again. As they finished the ceremony, the warden of the prison came in and nodded to the couple. It was that time.
“Honey, it’s my time to go back,” she told her new husband.
“I know. It’s a shame that you’re still in here for five more years. But, once you get out, we’ll do things well. My business is taking off, and once it gets to a good point, you’ll be in as my secretary.”
She smiled, as she turned to go. She didn’t want to leave him, but she had to change her clothes and get back to her cell. Before she finally left, Brian was able to give her one last kiss through the metal fencing.
That day would be a tough one for both Sarah and Brian. As he left the grounds of the California Institution for Women and headed home, he knew that he would not be able to hold her like he wanted to for five more years. But, through it all, he knew that he would survive. As for Sarah, it was at this time that she felt all the regret for what she did and how her actions were going to keep her away from her husband.
They needed to be married, and now they were. Only time would tell how good the marriage would last, especially with someone in prison.