In Someone Else’s Shoes

Although I’ve been rather absence of late, several other fine writers from around the globe continue to participate every week by writing 100-word stories based on a photo prompt. You can join the Friday Fictioneers too by writing your own story or simply reading along.

2015 11 17 CE AyrCopyright CE Ayr

In Someone Else’s Shoes

Agent Lauren Schrecklich turned onto Pershing Road as she waited for her Bluetooth to connect. She took a deep breath and prayed Senior Agent Morales would pick up.

“Schrecklich. Talk to me.”

“Ben’s checking out the locker at Union Station. I’m headed to Missy B’s. Too many people there might recognize him.”

“Good call. But you’re on your own. No heroics tonight.”

“Yes, sir. But . . . “

“I mean it, agent.”

“No heroics. So I can ditch the high heels?”

“Not a chance. You have to fit in.”

“Yes, sir. Operation Tomboy to Drag Queen commencing immediately.”

***

Want to read more? Follow links in the word salad to your right to read more about Agent Lauren Shrecklich.

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Under the Clock

Yes, this is my response to the week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt. It’s a little later than usual, but as today happens to be Friday, you could say I’m right on time.

Before we proceed with the usual excitement, I want to take a moment to celebrate. Although I married my wife before God, family and friends on a lovely May afternoon four years ago, today my state and my entire country finally recognizes our commitment to one another. To all the haters out there, I’ll simply say, “I’m sorry you feel so insecure in the love that you have in your own life. My love and my marriage is but one among millions. It is personal; it is real; it is a lifelong commitment. I pray you will someday find something as wonderful to keep you warm in this cold world.” To everyone else, I say, “LET’S CELEBRATE!”

Love Flag

The regular programming for the week is part of a challenge in which about 100 writers from all over the globe participate each week. Below is the photo prompt to which each of us respond with our own 100-word stories. You are welcome to participate by reading and commenting as well as by writing your own story to post on your blog. My story this week weighs in at 99 words and catches up with one of my favorite characters in my hometown of Kansas City. This one is meant to stand alone, but you are welcome to read other stories about him by clicking on “police chief” or “Ben” in the word salad along the right side of this blog.

Copyright Kent Bonham

Copyright Kent Bonham

Under the Clock

The hands of the clock in the grand hall slid passed 11:00 as Ben strode into Union Station. The legendary timepiece hung as he had always seen it—silent as the grave, an irony not lost on the undead police chief.

“Under the clock.” Ben muttered the phrase to himself. A pungent odor halted him 40 paces from his destination. Garlic. Leftovers, he assumed, glancing toward Harvey’s. Then he caught sight of the aroma’s source—ropes of garlic hanging above the shops in the station’s foyer. Someone knew something. He wouldn’t rest easy until he discovered who and what.

The Maryville Encounter

Author’s Note: I’m fully aware that most of you were expecting this post to be my response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, and I promise to have that posted before the week is out. However, the prompt this week got me back on track with my Lauren Shrecklich saga, so please bear with me. Let’s join her as she stands outside the trailer of Maryville’s former chief-of-police. (Although this portion of the story should be able to stand on it’s own, you can click the links throughout to catch up with the tale thus far.)

The Maryville Encounter

Lauren absently played with the second button of her blouse. Beneath it, a crucifix lay next to her pounding heart. She held Ben’s gaze, alert and conflicted.

In Washington, two men, both superiors, were expecting different outcomes from Lauren’s journey west. Senior Agent Michael Morales, the one she trusted, had told her to trust this particular vampire. Director Lukke, apparently unaware of any vampiric activity, expected her to be taking out an art theft ring in Kansas City. He would be unpleased to learn of any deviation in her prescribed itinerary, but that wasn’t the reason Lauren didn’t like this detour. She took a deep breath and resisted the urge to touch the scars on her neck—two deep punctures set about an inch apart.

“You’re here for the information about the art theft issues in Kansas City?” Ben held the trailer door open wider. Lauren nodded in surprise and reluctantly accepted the vampire’s invitation to step inside. Immediately, her gaze fell on a pile of papers and photographs spread across his kitchen table. Clearly, he had been investigating the art crimes longer and more extensively than anyone at the Bureau.

Lauren’s mouth gaped. Ben shrugged. “I don’t need much sleep these days, and obviously, I can’t get out much either.”

“You certainly have more information than I’ve been able to uncover. I just hope it’s what we need to break this thing open.”

Twenty minutes later, Lauren was driving back to Kansas City, this time with an undead police chief riding shotgun.

“Vivian isn’t the only one who will recognize me if I join you at Missie B’s.”

Ben’s comment broke into Lauren’s train of thought. She drove a few more miles in silence. “Right.” She paused. “So . . . “

“What if you drop me off at Union Station? I can determine if we are correct about the stolen art while you case out the drag show.”

“That sounds like a plan.” As dangerous as it seemed for Lauren to be driving through the Missouri countryside at night with only a vampire for company, Ben made decent company. At least she could talk to him. None of the white-collar agents in Kansas City had been read in concerning local vampire activity—not as far as she knew, anyway. Besides, this wasn’t the type of information you just spring on another field agent without proper clearance.

Interview with a Police Chief

First, please allow me to apologize to any readers who are feeling neglected these days. I’m working extra hard these days and have been short on time and energy. Thanks for coming along to read and comment. I appreciate you, and I promise I’ll be back mingling soon.

Now, it is time for Friday Fictioneers, and most of you know the drill. Write a 100-word story based on the photo prompt. Then join the rest of us by reading and sharing your thoughts. This week’s photo comes from the inimitable Jennifer Pendergast of Elmo Writes.

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Author’s note: It’s been a while since we’ve caught up with Lauren Shrecklich, and today she’s meeting another of my characters for the first time. I think you can enjoy this story on it’s own merit, but feel free to follow the links to read related stories.

 Interview with a Police Chief

Darkness enveloped the small Missouri town as Lauren turned south on Railroad St. She pulled up to the trailer home, and her cell phone rang.

“You found the place.”

“Yes.”

“Ben is not your mark.”

“But isn’t he . . .”

“A vampire? Yes, but he’s working with us. He’s been successful in eliminating several sexual predators, and I have reason to believe he has other insights to share.”

Lauren disconnected the call.

The trailer door opened before she knocked.

Agent Schrecklich.”

Lauren gasped, recognizing the face of Maryville’s former police chief—the one recently killed in the line of duty.

Taking a Bite Out of Crime

This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for October 31. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. The photo prompt this week comes from Melanie Greenwood. My piece this week weighs in at 98 words. I’m returning to the story of Ben, former police chief turned undead. You can read the other story about Ben here.

2014 10 31

Copyright Melanie Greenwood

Taking a Bite Out of Crime

Ben found it incredible that his conscience remained silent as he used the stolen key to gain entrance to the police station. The attack that stole his mortality along with his reflection had left him desperate to maintain a sense of integrity without an internal moral compass.

Tonight, the former police chief sought justice. Unable to bring it about directly, he chose an indirect method. Ben reached into his knapsack to pull out a sheet of paper and two photographs. By the light of the emergency exit signs, he located the head detective’s inbox and deposited the evidence.

Encounters of the Second Kind

I’m dreadfully late in posting my response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, and it’s been several weeks since life has allowed me to participate. However, I’m back with a story from the Lauren Shrecklich saga, this time from someone else’s POV.

Every week, people from around the globe participate in the Friday Fictioneers challenge. This week, my photo is featured as the prompt, and many writers have already submitted their 100-word stories. Play along with us if you like. The more the merrier. My story this week weighs in at 113 words (making up for all the words that have been missing over the past month).

20140926 Marie Gail Stratford

Cheri hadn’t stopped thinking about Lauren since she met the petite FBI agent on a flight to BWI. As she slipped into the South End pizza parlor to meet with her writers group, Cheri did a double take. There stood Lauren. Cheri occasionally ran into passengers near her Boston home, but this stroke of luck surprised her.

Throughout the evening, Lauren remained aloof, avoiding Cheri’s gaze. At the meeting’s end, she finally made eye contact. “You should find a new writers group,” Lauren snapped.

Cheri swallowed the fury rising in her throat, turned, and fled the restaurant. She blinked, trying to see past the tears into a dream that had become a nightmare.

Pigeon Holed

This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for August 15. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. My piece this week is just slightly overweight at 111 words. I trust Rochelle’s henchmen will allow me to keep all of my remaining fingers this week, however, since a few of my previous flashes have come in under weight.

2014 08 15

Copyright Jan Wayne Fields

Pigeon Holed

Director Lukke hoped the news would devastate Morales. The agent’s services would now be rendered from behind a desk.

Ever since he and Peters had investigated the case that landed Lauren Schrecklich in Mass General, Morales had been uncontrollable—jetting off to take care of white collar crime on location rather than putting in the usual hours of research.

The director chalked it up to some juvenile infatuation. Still, Morales had managed to get Schrecklich a position with the agency. “Let’s see how he takes to being her handler,” Lukke muttered to himself. The orders came from above, but the director hoped this would give Morales enough rope to hang himself.