Tag Archives: Fiction

An Editorial Intermission – The Old Mill

reflection

(This is an editorial break in the series The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Lyndsey 2 (Part1).  The Table of Contents is here)

I have to pause the story for a moment.  As you know, this is a rough draft, and at the beginning I posted as I wrote, sometimes posting within minutes of writing the last word.  Of course there were times that I realized that I needed to go back and edit.  I did change a few little things in the posted chapters, but I’ll wait for the next draft for most of the changes.  In the mean time, I found that I need to talk a little bit about Gill and Lyndsey so you can understand some of what happens as we go on.  Over the course of their conversations they talked about their jobs (or at least they are going to have these conversations when I do the next big off-line edit of earlier chapters).  Here is a just a quick description of what you missed (because I’m adding it to earlier chapters offline and it isn’t part of what you read):

Gill is a first level manager/supervisor for a team of software developers at a mid-size software firm, LMDF (don’t ask me what it stands for 😉).  The seven developers under him each have between one and four projects, depending on size and complexity.  There is a pool of around 35 coders/programmers that work on the projects.  There are four others at Gill’s level.  His manager, Kunhal, is coming up on retirement and Gill has been shadowing him and will most likely take his place.  Three of his developers are local (Nashua), the other two are at a remote location in Brattleboro, VT.  The other two work remotely.  The actual coders are all over the world, though many are based out of the Nashua or Brattleboro offices.  Most of his time is spent doing administrative work, but he works with each team (seven developers) once a week using teleconferencing (videoconferencing) technology.  He also likes to sit in on a SCRUM meeting with each development team at least every other week. Continue reading

Shore – #writephoto

shore

Shore – Photo by Sue Vincent

I looked at the faces around the dinner table.  There wasn’t a spark amongst them, they all looked tired and about ready to fall down on the spot.   It had been rough going and the future didn’t look any easier.

That was it.  Something had to be done to keep everyone upright.  After dinner I sat and thought about it.

It was obvious that we as a family were unstable and likely to collapse, and that we as individuals were almost as bad.  I knew that I was pretty close to that point where the gravity of the situation might take over.  I needed something to hold myself together, to prop me up.  I knew that if I was stable, it would be the first step in keeping us all upright.  One solid beam could do it.

But how do you fix the foundations of a person and a family? Continue reading

Sean (Part 2) – The Old Mill

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 2 of a two part chapter.  Part 1)

— —

A hand fell heavily on my shoulder.

“Hey Gill, having trouble finding them?”  It was Bill’s voice.

I was looking into an empty black space, no people were visible, no woman and no children.  I turned to look at Bill.  There was only him there, no other men.

“Uhm yeah, Bill.  Coming in from the bright outside my eyes just didn’t want to adjust.  I’m still a bit blinded.”

“Here they are.”

Several garden rakes, a hoe, a spade and a yard rake were leaning against the wall just inside of the entrance to the main building.

“Oh, I must have walk right past them.  No wonder I didn’t see them.  I was looking over there.”  I pointed past were the woman and children had been, into the dark far corner of the building.

“Here, I’ll grab a couple,” he said.  “You take the rest.  Let’s go, the air in here is unhealthy.” Continue reading

Sean (Part 1) – The Old Mill

Old Mill on two Rivers

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Bill Wallace.  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 1 of a two part chapter)

— —

Bill pulled into my driveway at almost exactly 8:30. I was out of the door before his truck came to a stop.  I climbed in and set my travel mug next to his.

He almost immediately started talking about a neighbor of his that I didn’t know very well.  It was typical small town gossip and complaints.  He had barely gotten out of my drive before I picked up my mug and sipped my coffee, just nodding at the appropriate places and saying, “A-huh,” when needed.  I only half noticed that we were headed up to Amesbury Center until we turned to take the road that avoids the main village.

“We’re going to the Goode Mansion, aren’t we?” I asked.

Bill smiled.  “Ay-yup.”

I had wondered why he asked me to come with him; now I knew. Continue reading

Enigma – #writephoto

enigma

Tortor was a warrior and understood how the world worked.  He shook his head as he looked around the earthworks and the stones.  He approached the man who was obviously in charge.

“Hey you, what’s your name?”

The man slowly turned and studied Tortor as if he were an insect.

“They call me Tim, Tim the Enchanter.  What do you want, Tortor the Stonehead?”

Tortor’s mouth dropped.  It wasn’t just the insult, but he had no idea how the man knew his name.  Regaining control, he tried to drill holes into Tim the Enchanter with his eyes.  Failing that he said, “Look here, Tim, I know a thing or two about defense.   The ditch needs to be on the outside of the earthwork, not the inside.  What good is this going to do when the defenders can’t reach the wall and the attackers will just climb right over it as if they are out for a Sunny-day picnic?” Continue reading

Final Celebration

dale-rogerson-pizza

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

I knew there was trouble when she left a message that she was celebrating our 15th anniversary.

It had been 15 years since the divorce, not the marriage.

Hey lady, we split because you had the affair, not me.  If my second marriage worked and yours didn’t, well, I’m sorry.

She didn’t answer or return my calls.  That was bad.

I used my spare to key to enter her apartment.  It was filthy.

I found the partially eaten pizza with the powder on top, the empty medicine vials and the half bottle of wine.  Then I saw the body.

Word count = 99

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo provided by © Dale Rogerson.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky.

Bill Wallace (The Old Mill)

hollis-barn

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Jessica (2) (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

— —

“Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace, for having me over for dinner,” I said as we sat down to eat.

“What, are my mom and dad here?” Mr. Wallace said.  He glanced around, as if his elderly parents were hiding someplace in his house.  Then he looked sternly at me.  “How long have I known you, Gill?  Maybe 20 years?  I’m Bill and this is Nancy, OK?  20 years.  That’s a long time.  Yeah, I remember back then, Jess talking about you…”

“Bill…”

“…all of the time and Nancy and I wondering who you were.  Finally, Jess introduced us.  It was good to meet you.  I really thought you guys would get married…”

“Bill!”

“…and was surprised when her talk about you changed.  Back then I wouldn’t have minded you as a son in law…”

“Bill!”

“…and it certainly would have been better than what we ended up with.”

“Bill…”

“Of course, here it is, 20 years later and I might just get you as a son and law yet.  And I’d be proud to call….”

“William!”

“OK, OK, I’ll quit embarrassing our guest and our daughter.”  I looked over at Lyndsey.  She was blushing brighter than I was, but she winked at me when she saw my look.  I knew she was reminding me that she had warned me.  “I don’t understand what’s wrong, anyway.  Guys like plain talk, don’t we Gill?” Continue reading

Jessica (2) (Part 2)

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Jessica (2) (Part 1).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note 2 – I split this chapter in half to make for shorter reading.  This is the second half.)

After Jessica left, I had a quick dinner and then took a walk.  Walking always helps me think things through and clear my mind.  After that conversation with Jessica, I certainly needed to clear my mind.  I had been avoiding School Street since the first time I ran into Mrs. Adams and so, as usual, I stayed out of the residential section and walked into the village.  Main Street is always empty after 5 PM, so i had the village to myself.

“Hello Gill.”

I turned around.  Izle was coming up behind me.

“How are you doing this evening?” I asked.

“Fine.  Are you OK?  I saw you go in the mill with that woman.  Let me look at you.”

Izle squinted and slowly scanned me from head to toe.  I had changed into jeans and a sweatshirt, but I could only think of Jessica’s once over when I first saw her that afternoon.  Yet Izle was not flirting or being sexual at all.  There was something else.  It was like she was trying to see inside of me.

“Look at me,” she said.  Her voice was forceful, unlike I’d ever heard it before.

I looked and her eyes grew big as she stared into mine.  I had never noticed it, but her eyes were odd, almost purple in color, and had a strange fire.  I turned away after a few seconds.

“Good, you’re OK.  I was worried.” Continue reading

Stones – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“See here,” wise Beandor said to his young pupil, Therry, “This arch, though appearing so weak, is very strong.  Although the walls may crumble, unless the keystone is disturbed, the arch will stand and bear weight.”

Beandor used his staff to tap the keystone of the arch.

“This arch has allowed people into this temple for over a thousand years, protecting our town of Kernsh from every attack.  Look at this ancient place, overlooking the mighty ocean, it appears weak, and yet it is so strong, like our people.  Our fair country, Aladia, seems fragile, and yet it is just these points that keep it whole.”

Therry studied the arch.

“That is a point of power,” Beandor said.  “Knowing where the keystone lies.  Often the seemingly weak is really the strong, and yet there may be one point, the keystone, that holds it all together.   With the weight of the building pushing this stone down, making it stronger, do you know how to remove it?  Once you do, power over this building is yours.  When confronting an enemy, always try to figure out his keystone.  It may not be the leader or the bravest warrior, just as the keystone of Kernsh is not the castle or mighty Verith, our protector.” Continue reading