Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dick's Anniversary - The Flash Fiction Challenge 2016 | Challenge #2 Assignment Group 54 - Romantic Comedy/A Pediatrician's Office/A Blender

Dick’s Anniversary

Dr. Richard Tomlin pulled into his reserved space outside the overly white, sterile looking, office building on another bright, humid morning. He had a full 30 minutes before his first appointment. He had finished his morning at the local hospital with no snags, checked on the new mothers and the new babies and found no irregular issues, and was able to skate out of there quickly.
Walking into his office Tomlin felt energized and ready to fly through the day. He set his stuff down in his office, turned on his computer, then grabbed his ID badge and walked toward the kitchenette area as he fastened it to his shirt. It was then, he saw it.

A brand new Vitamix 5200 series blender on the counter next to the coffeepot, which was already brewed and about half empty. The blender did not belong there. It was a disaster.

“Hello Dr. Dick,” said Nurse Tomlin, as she came up behind him and grabbed his ass.
“Why… why is that blender here?” he replied.
“Did you not have a good morning?” she asked, and kissed him on the cheek. “I saw the blender in your office this morning and set it up. You planning on makin smoothies at the office on the regular? The girls will love that.”
“Teresa,” Tomlin sighed, “It’s not for the office.”
“It’s for home?”
“It’s for you for our anniversary next week,” Tomlin squeaked out.
“Oh,” Teresa said, coldly, with just a twinge of murder in her voice. She turned around and walked toward the reception desk, talking back to “Dr. Dick” over her shoulder. “Good that you remembered our anniversary this year, sorry I spoiled the gift.”
“Teresa? Come on.” Tomlin stammered.
“You got a patient in 10 minutes, Dr Dick. You should get ready,” she barked back.

Tomlin bit his tongue. What was wrong with a blender he thought, the most expensive blender on the market? She wanted smoothies as much as he did, he knew. Leaving the blender set up where it was and bringing in some stuff for fruit smoothies around the office would be the best thing to do now, he knew. Smoothies were the magic of his day. But, what to do for his anniversary, he did not know.
A decade ago when he first met Teresa ideas weren’t as hard to come by, he thought, going back to his office and settling into his comfy desk chair.

“My brain has gotten stuffed up,” Tomlin muttered.
“What was that?” asked Nurse Mitchell as she stuck her head in his office. “Brian Stratford is your first patient,” she said. “He is ready in exam room 2.”
“Julie, wait…. uh… what was your favorite anniversary gift ever?” asked Tomlin.
“Well, I mean…. cutesy stuff is fine, just going doing something to remember it, make a memory,” she said and closed his office door.
Tomlin wondered if smoothies in bed for a week was enough of an experience to give his wife, to make her mark their 9th year of marriage as the best one yet.

He got up and walked to exam room 2, he spent 15 minutes with Brian Stratford and his mother and found Brian had an ear ache and prescribed some antibiotics.
It was good to have a mother who could soothe her son and keep him in check during appointments, Tomlin thought. Some mothers are useless, only good for checking their cell phones, which they can’t turn off for a whole 10 minute appointment so they can be involved with what’s happening to their kid. Maybe too many whiney kids and substandard parents each day is what made he and Teresa not too concerned about having a family. It made him and Teresa a complete unit, all by themselves, no additions needed.

He returned to his office and stared at his computer looking at the empty area of the screen where he needed to enter in a friendly, helpful, trustworthy blog on his website. Procrastinating he checked his e-mail and the American Academy of Pediatrics website and then he saw an ad with smiling woman. The woman smirked a bit, just a hint of teeth and her eyes sparkled, exactly like Teresa.
Pressing a button on his phone Tomlin told the staff to reschedule all appointments in the last week of the month.

After another ear infection appointment Tomlin went into the kitchenette and got a cup of coffee with lots of sugar and lots of cream. He then unplugged the brand new blender and leaned against the kitchenette counter waiting for Teresa to walk by. When she did he put down his coffee, picked up the blender, and threw it on the ground at her feet. The blender snapped into broken bits, Teresa jumped back and “Dr. Dick” wore a huge grin.
“What the hell Richard,” yelled out Teresa, jumping away from the broken blender garbage on the floor. “You are gonna have to buy a new blender now, all the staff were ready for smoothies.”
Tomlin turned red, his eyebrows furled, his heart raced and he blurted out “Teresa, we are going to Spain for a week for our anniversary.”
“We what…”
“I just bought us tickets to go to Valencia, Spain the last week of the month,” Richard told his wife, cautiously inching closer to her and making himself open for a kiss or a hug.
“What about..”
“Everything is being rescheduled, I’ma take my vacation at the hospital and we are gonna go, and experience the beauty and seduction and romance of Spain.”
“I like Spain,” Teresa eeked out, as she smiled.
“I know you do,” Richard said, wrapping his arms around her and planting a huge kiss on her.

“Stop grabbing that nurses ass, and go buy us a new blender,” Julie yelled from down the hall where the other nurses and staff watched, giggled and smiled approvingly.  “Hurry up your next appointment is in 45 minutes.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stop Breathing By The Seaside - The Flash Fiction Challenge 2016 | Challenge #1 Assignment Group 54 - Mystery / A Wharf / A Dog Collar

Stop Breathing By The Seaside
Two detectives investigate a murder on a wharf and find the solution in the dead man’s stomach.

“This guy died from his stomach tearing open, probably someone kicked it in,” Dr. Daniels spat, cold and clinical, into the phone. “There are signs of violence and fighting.”
“Ok, let me know if you find anything else,” answered Detective Jones.
Jones hung up the phone and sighed in exasperation.
“What did the doc say?” asked Detective Smith.
“There was a fight,” Jones answered.
“Surprise surprise, wanna head down to the crime scene and see what we can find in the daylight?” Smith asked.
“Yeah,” Jones said as he set down his coffee mug with a thud. “Let’s go be cops.”

Smith pulled out of the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, Jones sat beside him juggling a dozen jelly donuts and two vanilla coffees. The coffees and donuts were evenly dispersed between the stomachs of the two detectives as they parked illegally in front of the business offices of the Widgery Wharf and Port Facility. The smell of the sea and fish stung them as they opened the car doors on this muggy July day.

Built two centuries ago, the wharf was still a thriving fishery and working waterfront, with fishing boats, house boats, seafood processors, boatyard repair places and lobstering operations going along right beside the trendy bistros and condos.

“I got a call about a dead fisherman, last night, around 11:30,” said Wharf Operations Supervisor Dick Jacobs. “One of the guys was on his way home and saw Jimmy laying on a pier. Same thing I told the cop last night. I got a busy day today, we got an artisan fest on Union Wharf next to us.”
“You got time to make us a list of the places Jimmy Stock sold lobster too,” Jones asked.
“Yeah, the fest starts at 10 a.m., I got a bit, I’ll write some down.” Jacobs began scrawling chickenscratch on a sheet of paper and handed it to Jones. “I really didn’t know Jimmy all that well, so that list may not be complete. But if I think of any others I will call you.”
 Smith handed Jacobs his card, asking if Jacobs knew of any enemies Stock had. Jacobs snatched the list back from Jones and wrote BILL GREEN at the bottom of it.
The detectives thanked Jacobs for his help and told him they would be at the wharf all day, investigating the crime scene and checking the lobster places.

“Nobody liked him,” said John Frost. “But I don’t think anybody would kill him.”
“What about Bill Green,” asked Jones.
Frost chuckled a bit and considered a second then said “Maybe Bill would do it, Jimmy was sleeping with his wife and rubbing his face in it, but I don’t know.

“Yeah, Jimmy left here last night around 8, he said he was going to meet with Bill’s wife, but I don’t think he did,” said Jesse Stone. “Jimmy was on his way out, and we were trading niceties and in walked a big block of a man, square and bulging everything, and he asked Jimmy to step outside… something about a loan.”
“Did you recognize the big guy at all?” asked Smith.
“I’ve never seen him before. Most of the fishermen are in good shape, but this guy was a gladiator-type, he probably spent most of his time in a gym,” said Stone.

“Jimmy gambled a lot, he was trying to find somebody to loan him money to redo his boat too,” Tyler Grace said. “Most of the old school guys still use wooden traps, he wanted to upgrade. Nobody would give Jimmy a loan though, he was a mean guy, weatherbeaten, dirty talking, didn’t care for frivolous things and didn’t really care for people he didn’t need. He was kind of a dick and he wasn’t making tons of money. Hell, none of us are nowadays, with the environmental rules and the climate changes and everything else.”

Jones and Smith walked back toward the crime scene on the fishing pier. There was a husband, some gamblers and who knows who else after Jimmy Stock. One lead sounded as good as the other. Women always lead to murder. Money always is a crime. The detectives didn’t know which lead to chase first.

Smith’s cell phone rang and he stopped to answer. Jones kept walking and he saw a man in his 20s, scruffy, wirey, coming toward him walking a small dog. The dog ran up to Jones as he stopped at the end of the crime scene pier. Jones scratched the dog’s ears and asked the owner what kind of dog was it.
“It is a labradoodle,” answered the scruffy man.
“Have you had it a while, just walking it down here without a leash,” Jones said. “I could never get my dog to do that.”
“Just got it today,” the scruffy man answered. “I haven’t even named it yet.”
“What’s your name man?” asked Jones.
“Ely, Ely Cumberbatch. I live in those condos over there,” Cumberbatch pointed to the pricey condos abutting the wharf. 
“You walk down here a lot?” asked Jones. “I’m with the police department, investigating a murder down here last night.”
Smith walked up and Jones introduced his partner to Cumberbatch. Smith stopped, a shocked smirk on his face, and murmured something to his partner.
Looking uncomfortable Cumberbatch excused himself and tried to walk away, but Smith had his gun out and was standing in his way.
“My partner just got a call from the morgue,” Jones said to Cumberbatch. “The guys down there found a dog collar in the stomach of the man who was killed on the pier last night. The tag said the dog was named Tulah, and it belonged to Ely Cumberbatch. So, why don’t we head to the station and you can tell us about your walk last night.”

“That asshole kicked my Tulah. Kicked her in the stomach and she died a few days later. I had to make him pay,” growled Cumberbatch.