Covert Novelist

Home » Short Stories

Category Archives: Short Stories

Critical Error 75

Christina stepped back wiping tears from her cheeks.  “Don’t tell mom!  She’ll worry if she knows I’m upset.” Paul smiled, ‘like mother like daughter’.

“I think the telling should be yours, Christina.  She needs to know that her life matters to you and perhaps she’ll be less inclined to take unnecessary risks.”

“I know, that thought crossed my mind too.  I could see her offering herself up as bait just to catch this creep.  I’m afraid of, more than anything.”

“I’m watching her closely, Christina.  I won’t allow her to do that.  We have the situation under control.  We pushed the process along, further and earlier to force his hand.  She’s completely surrounded by law enforcement, whether she realises it or not and she can’t make a move we won’t know about.  Should this creep get close enough, we’ll take him down.”

“Thanks, Paul.  I appreciate that more than I can say.”  Paul smiled warmly before adding, “We have you covered too, Christina, and Andrew.  I won’t let anything harm you.”

“I know you’ll do your best Paul.  And by the way, I think your good for mom.  I’m glad you came into our lives.  I see good things for you two.  More, I want good things for you two.  Mom deserves someone special, who cares about her.  She hasn’t had that, probably never if I’m honest.”

“She has you, Christina.”

“I know, but I meant on the romantic side of things.  Gives me hope too.”

As conversations went, this was as touching and encouraging as it gets, Paul thought.  One hurdle down.  Now, if only Andrew felt the same, it would be a real bonus.

Eilea walked in toward the end of the conversation and heard Christina’s remarks about her and Paul and what she’d observed regarding her mom’s needs.

Wrapping her arms around him from behind, she hugged him close.  “Perceptive, isn’t she?”

Turning, Paul agreed.  “She does you proud, Eilea.  Incredibly observant,  she cares about her family, and is moved deeply by your current situation.”

“I’ve felt honoured on more than one occasion by each of them.  I’m not sure I can take credit for it, as they are individuals who have made choices.  Good choices so far.  I take comfort in knowing I may have assisted with a guiding hand, but they are now young adults and the choices and decisions they make are their own.”

“Well, I beg to differ.  I’ve seen young people act out and commit unspeakable acts of cruelty, steal, lie, cheat raised by caring parents and others that practically raised themselves because their parents were indifferent, uncaring, or too involved with their career to consider the results to a child.  At some point, it is about individual choices, but I really believe they copy your outlook actions and expectations more than make choices.  Eventually, they feel comfortable and strong enough to make them by themselves.”

Eilea sighed contentedly.  “She’s right about one thing, you are not only important to me, but I didn’t realise exactly what was missing until I met you.  You’re pretty special.”  She sealed the thought with a heart-stopping kiss that set him back on his heels.

Perfume


Perfume

Cal found her intoxicating.  It wasn’t one thing but many.  Her effervescence, her joie de vivre, the way her eyes lit up when she encountered something exciting interesting or moving.  How tender her heart was, that moved her to run to any child hurt or crying to pick them up if they’d fallen down.

When he stood near, he was immediately lost in the scent of her perfumed hair, her long slender neck beckoned a touch a kiss a taste.  He was madly in love with her.  Could barely keep his hands off of her, wanted her desperately.

This was his wife, the love of his life!  The woman he adored from sun-up to sun-set. He could well imagine them in their 80’s and he’d still feel the same. She was the love of his life there could be no other.

He’d created a perfume just for her that embodied all of what he associated with her.  He desperately hoped his perfume “Amelia” would please her as much as him and evoke her pleasure.

Amelia knew something was up, the look in his eye told her of expectation and excitement.  She walked toward him a smile upon her lips, a question in her eye.

He held out a beautiful little bottle shaped like a diamond.  “You finished it?”

“Indeed, and what’s more, it’s yours.”  She lifted the perfume and read her name.

“Oh, Cal!  I don’t know what to say!  I’m completely honoured.”

“Try it, my love, see if it’s you.”

She did. And it was.  Perfection in a bottle she’d said before falling to the floor unconcious.  He looked on in horror!

 

Critical Error 74

Christina snagged Paul early the following morning.  “Can we talk for a minute?”

“Sure, Christina, what’s up?”

“I thought I’d check into the mind-set if that’s possible of the perp.  I don’t get it.”

“Ok, go on,” Paul urged.

“According to what I’ve found, there are four types of stalkers.

The Rejected stalker – is a result of a breakdown in a close relationship (usually but not limited to sexual partners) and can include family members, close friends or others

The initial motivation is – either attempting to reconcile the relationship, or to exact revenge for a perceived rejection.”  She went on to list them as:

  • ” described as ambivalent about the victim, sometimes appear to want the relationship back, are clearly angry and want revenge on the victim.
  • some protracted stalking becomes a substitute for the past relationship as it allows the stalker to continue to feel close to the victim
  • and is the stalker’s attempt at salvaging their damage self-esteem

Ok, I get that.”

“And?” Paul urged.

“The next kind are rejected stalkers ambivalent toward victims.

  • sometimes clearly angry out for revenge
  • sometimes to help them feel close to the victim
  • in other times to salvage their damaged self-esteem

“Another is the intimacy seeking stalker and  arises from loneliness and lack of close a confidante.  Their victims are usually strangers or acquaintances in a stalker’s desire for a relationship.

  • Frequently their behaviour is fuelled by a severe mental illness
  • revolving around delusional beliefs about the victim, like a perceived relationship (even when none exists)
  • to establish an emotional connection and an intimate relationship. The stalking is maintained by the gratification that comes from the belief that they are closely linked to another person.
  • “So far so good,” Paul said.

    “The Incompetent Suitor stalks out of loneliness, lust and can target strangers or acquaintances.

    • their talking is described as a way of getting a date or short term relationship
    • they stalk for brief periods but
    • they are blind or indifferent about a victim’s distress
    • relattable to cognitive limitations or poor social skills

    And lastly the Predatory stalker which arises from deviant social practices and interests.

    • usually male and victims are usually female strangers he’s sexually interested in
    • stalking usually initiated to gain sexual gratification (e.g., voyeurism targeting a single victim over time)
    • also used to obtain information about a victim as a precursor to sexual assault
    • the stalking is both instrumental and also gratifying  because it gives them the sense of power and control they get from targeting an unsuspecting victim”

    “I’ve been studying these “types” for awhile.  It seems to me this guy has crossed over, if I’m reading this correctly. He doesn’t seem to fit into any particular category.  He’s been stalking mom for months, sent the letters, photos, etc.  He hasn’t approached her and doesn’t seem like he’ll quit.  He’s moved into threatening and physically hurting those close to her.  My question is, is this possible?”

    “I know as much about stalking as you do for the most part, Christina.  So far your assessment is right on target.  He’s crossing all kinds of boundaries and what boundaries there are don’t exist.  He doesn’t or hasn’t sent any notes apologizing so I don’t think he understand what he’s doing.  I also agree his goal is an intimate relationship with your mother (obviously perceived only in his mind).  He’s proven dangerous and threatening.”

    “I know that psychologists suggest none be treated as criminals, but for my money, when we catch this guy, he will be.  He’s physically hurt you and Brandon, his threats are real, he pretended to send a bomb but couldn’t quite follow through.  Whether that was fear for himself or any “imagined” concern for your mother’s welfare is debateable.

    “So does that mean he’ll try to kill mom when he realises she doesn’t want him?”

    “I wished I could tell you otherwise, but I figure that’s the scenario that exists, yes.”

    “Then please, shoot him!”

    Paul walked toward Christina and opened his farm wide and she walked toward him and fell against his chest and he felt more than heard gentle sobs. Wrapping his arms tight around her he said, “I have no intention of letting this miscreant get away, Christina.  He’s a low-life criminal intent on harm.”

     

Zany #AtoZChallenge #amwriting

 

2017 Badge

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of coming up with a new word for each letter of the alphabet, in my case “emotions”.  Thank you all for reading and hopefully enjoying. I look forward to the next time round.

Larissa was looking with eager anticipation to her first televised show, “Zany by Degree” starring, none other than, herself.  She’d invited a mix of some exceedingly well-known and obscure comedians willing to participate. There was something for everyone, or so she hoped.

Her agent had suggested she bite the bullet and take an offer from a local tv station.  At first, she’d rejected the idea but after giving the matter serious thought, decided, what they hey, why not?

She’d gained a large following and kudos from some of the best who applauded her zany sense of humour and crazy off the wall antics even though she’d never stooped to vulgarity or swearing, her jokes seemed to leave them laughing in the aisles.

Everything was in place, she stood tall waiting momentarily – it was time.  She went to face the audience and welcome them all for attending.  Following her opening monologue she introduced the line-up and brought her first guest out.

The following morning, her manager called and whooped into her ear, “Pick up the paper, read, read!” he extolled.

“Zany was right.  You can’t miss the next show, “a must” that will leave you feeling warm the heart and leave you laughing for hours.”

She was tickled pink glowing with her first success of which she hoped there would be many.

 

Youthful #AtoZChallenge #amwriting

Jessie was 91 and joked she didn’t look a day over 90 and proud of it.  What a ham, what a delight.  She held court three days a week at Marisa’s boutique arriving at ten am and leaving precisely at three considering her day well spent.

Her stories were timeless, energetic, scandalous (for her day), impromptu, and vital told with pizzazz and joy.  Perhaps that’s why she was so spry and her memories so clear. So much so that even the young would sit enraptured by her tales. Wistful longing upon their faces perhaps seeing themselves sailing along on one of her adventures.  On occasion, Marisa was caught up in the story and felt cheated as she listened to her delightful whimsical memories wishing she too had lived a doing or dare existence.  Today was no exception.Jessie was so vivacious, so infectious you wanted to be there, part of each story.

Perhaps one day she’d write them all down before it was too late and they were lost. Marisa was a bit of a story writer herself and hoped to corner her and suggest the possibility and what a privilege it would be to be her ghost-writer, re-telling each just as Jessie had related them.

Jessie wandered into her home pleased with herself.  After removing her coat hat and gloves, she sat down in front of her table.  Looking down, she smiled.  All her stories were neatly handwritten in a beautifully bound book.  She wrapped it carefully in brown paper, wrote Marisa’s name on it and tied it up with string.

That’s how they found her, as if she’d fallen asleep at her table.  Marisa had sent a couple of local men to search for her as she hadn’t arrived for her daily story telling session.  They brought the book with them and handed it across.  Marisa dissolved into tears.  She’d miss Jessie, as would all her patrons.

News spread fast, and they gathered at the boutique to pay their respects.  Marisa opened the brown paper and saw the beautiful stories Jessie had written and shared,  staring in disbelief.  Her handwriting was exemplary, her tales immortalised forever.

The community paid to have the book redone, all proceeds to go to the Jessie scholarship fund for other eager young writers, many of whom were present daily.  A delightful legacy indeed.

Xenophobic #AtoZChallenge #amwriting

Anna welcomed everyone.  She was a natural at placing guests and new arrivals at ease.  Hiring her was the best move Frank ever made.  Youthful, vibrant, seeker of life, that summed up a part of who she was.  Loving and caring following closely behind.

Other’s held the position before her, showing xenophobic tendencies (stranger fearing) as he described them.  Not so Anna, thankfully.  Every visitor to his humble abode was welcomed with open arms.  He found her a constant delight, refreshing, open.

Still, he hadn’t been able to make inroads into her heart.  With him, she was standoffish, distant, on alert.  He wondered why.  A gentleman from start to finish, he took his cues from her, responding accordingly.  Frank remained careful, holding her at arm’s length, never crossing boundaries or moving too fast.

He valued everything about her.  With time, he hoped she’d see him in a different light but short of asking her outright and endangering the fragile gift of friendship they currently shared, he was at a loss. Dare he risk losing her by asking for more?  Time, he’d give it a little more time and then he’d make his move.  Perhaps time would provide the answers he sought.

 

 

 

Warmhearted #AtoZChallenge #amwriting

Daniel smiled.  He’d found her Achilles heel.  She was his ticket.  Being a great manipulator he always struck the vulnerable at their weakest point. Hers was warmth.  Ava was discerning, that was obvious.  Still, he was a better actor he was sure of it.

The warmhearted act had won her over, finally.  It was a fight, but he was the victor and soon he’d gain entrance into that glorious golden inner circle of the elite he’d ached to be part of since he was a teenager and first understood the have and have not principle.

Daniel was meticulous in groundwork and therefore did his homework.  There wasn’t much about Ava he hadn’t ascertained either through reading about her or through accessing her closest friends.  Each eagerly extolled her finer points.  All except Vanessa that is.  She constantly eyed him as though he was a bug to be crushed.

Little did he know that Ava’s friends had her back and while she hadn’t asked them to, they’d done some digging of their own.  What they’d found disturbed them to such a degree they’d called a “family meeting” and brought her to the office.

Ava was shocked when she saw all the stony faces.  “What’s up?  Something catastrophic occur in, the 12 1/2 hours since we last spoke?”

“You could say that,” Darren responded.  “Come, sit, there’s something you need to know.”

“What, it takes 12 of you to tell me?” she asked with a half laugh.

“In this case, yes,”  pausing for a large intake of breath he said, “read this, don’t say anything until you’re done.”

Dumpstruck!  Completely side-swiped.  This she hadn’t seen coming.  Well!!  Looking at the concerned earnest faces around her, the shock still evident she said, “Well!  Thank you.  Thank you for caring, for having my back.  I never thought…I didn’t do my homework it seems.”

“Didn’t want you getting in any deeper unless you knew what you were up against.”

“Thanks, thanks everyone.  I’ll take care of this, obviously.”

Daniel bounced through the door in eager anticipation.  Yes, this was his moment!  Ava had never invited her into the inner sanctum before.  Progress.  He was to find out otherwise very shortly.  Broadsided by a bus on steroids.  That was how this was going down.  Vaness smirked.  Poor form, but she couldn’t resist.  She’d disliked him on sight.  She’d saved her best friend from trouble and heartache.  Her word alone might not have been enough, but with everyone in attendance, it had been.

She nearly laughed out loud when the swagger turned into a skid and his face registered shock as they stood in unison surrounding Ava.  The jig was up. No easy way out now you creep, she thought.  Good riddens to bad rubbish!

 

%d bloggers like this: