dontravis.com blog post #628
I hope you enjoyed the reading from Donald T. Morgan’s novel Mounds. If so, let him know at email@example.com.
Today, we’ll have the first installment of a new short story. Hope it provides some entertainment, however brief. Here goes.
A BLOODLINE OF SAINTS AND SINNERS
Prince Marcus Drexell sipped his fernet con coca and replaced the snifter—his choice of glassware despite the need for ice—on the table at his elbow before leaning back in his easy chair. Prince was his Christian name, not a title, a sobriquet conveyed by parents bewitched by a long bloodline stretching back to Eastern Europe but masked by the Germanic name Drexell. Long though that lineage might be, it was rife with both aristocrats and plebeians, saints and sinners. Prince had not bothered to consider where he fit in such a hierarchy.
Closing his eyes, he pressed forefingers to temples and muttered, “Come. Come to me.” The mantra became a chant to the ether. “Come to me, come to me, come, come….”
Intoning his command, he envisioned a slender blonde woman, her hair worn long, heart face alternating between a luscious smile and a pert, puckish frown. Most called her pretty, but to him she was lovely. Lovelier than he’d met in… well, in a long, long time. Her breasts, sharp and pert—not heavy and sagging like so many men admired—intrigued him, commanding first glance each time he saw her. Her aquamarine eyes were as green as the ocean off the coast of Miami. Wide, feminine hips, slender shoulders… and that neck. Long and white and flawless. He liked long necks on women. Graceful. Regal. Swan like. A sign, at least to his mind, of good breeding.
He took another sip of whiskey and cola before resuming his incantation.
Precisely one mile away, Miriam Hindleson started in her chair in a third floor flat of a brownstone facing a small, charming park softly lit by circles of lamp glow. She blinked. Had she dropped off? After examining the book in her lap, she decided not. Her eyes fell right on the place she’d last read. And Marta Molnar’s The Secret Life of Sunflowers, the story of Vincent van Gogh’s sister-in-law, certainly didn’t put her to sleep. Move her to tears? Yes. Rip unexpected laughter from her throat? Often. But put her to sleep? No.
After eating and bathing earlier in the evening, she had looked forward to a calm night of reading. Now, she was edgy, constantly shifting position in search of physical comfort. Miriam laid the book in her lap and examined her arms. Horripilated. Why? What was wrong with her? At times she felt as if a voice hovered at her ear, speaking, calling, yet unheard.
She shook her head. She wasn’t prescient. Not given to premonitions, and certainly not that imaginative. “Go away,” she muttered aloud, responding to something she didn’t understand. “Leave me alone,” she added for good measure.
Deciding a cup of hot tea might help her settle, Miriam rose, enjoying the feel of satin as the sleeping gown moved over her knees. She made her way to the kitchen and puttered with the tea kettle. Maybe she should have gone to the theater with her friend Lorena. Or accepted Prince Drexell’s invitation for dinner. But no, she’d craved quiet and relaxation this evening.
An image of Lorena Montrose brought a smile. The civil engineer Miriam met at work three years ago had become her best friend. They’d bonded instantly, growing so close they seemed to know what one another thought, finished one another’s sentences. Serious and efficient at the office, the brunette from Nebraska morphed into a mischievous pixie the moment they left the workplace. She was fun, and she attracted men like flies.
Prince was another matter… one a bit more unsettling. Unsettling how? If she could figure that out, perhaps she would know if she liked or detested the man. At the moment, that was up in the air. Handsome, erudite, witty, cultured. What not to like? But the lawyer could raise chill bumps on her arms just as she’d experienced a few minutes ago. Lorena impishly said that was what love did to a woman. But somehow that didn’t seem to be the gooseflesh of love.
Enjoying the hot tea as she returned to the book, Miriam sought to reclaim the calm of her earlier evening. For a bit, she succeeded. Then came that insistent message… if that’s what it was. At one point, she did nod off, waking with a start. Strange that she could fall asleep while every nerve in her system seemed to be fired. It must have happened again, because she grew aware that she was standing in the hallway, fully dressed, a coat across her shoulders, handbag in her clutches.
That frightened her. She’d never walked in her sleep before. Upset with herself. Miriam determined to get back into her gown, or at least a lounging robe, but, instead, sat back in her chair, fully clothed. She was certain that was what she did, yet sometime later, she became aware of standing on the front stoop, locking the door behind her. Why? She decided to return to the house immediately. Instead, she found herself on the sidewalk walking the long block to the Avenue. Why? That’s where she could find a taxi, that’s why.
What in the world is going on? Strange things, eerie things… that’s for sure. Let’s see what develops.
Stay safe and stay strong.
Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say... so say it!
Don't forget to check out my BJ Vinson murder mystery series starting with The Zozobra Incident and ending with The Cutie Pie Murders:
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See you next Thursday.
New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time
New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. US Mountain time.