Anyone who has been over to Ruth’s blog knows that she has organized a fiction story meme. She has submitted chapter one and now I, and hopefully others will add chapter two. I hope somebody will pick up from mine and write a chapter three. And so we hope it will go. The rules are simple:

  1. Anyone writing a chapter three needs to link to me, as “Chapter Two” and back to Ruth as “Chapter One.”
  2. Label your chapter as “Chapter Three.”
  3. Leave you ending open, so someone can pick up and go where they want to with the story so far.
  4. Leave a comment on Ruth’s blog under her Chapter One so she can is aware you have written a chapter.

That’s the rules. So here is the link to Ruth’s Chapter One. With that I’ll offer my attempt, recalling to everyone that I have no talent at fiction writing whatsoever, but it seemed like a fun thing.


As I began the daily ritual of getting ready for the day, the dream wafted in and out of my mind. As all dreams do, the more often I went through it, the more bizarre and unintelligible it became. Truth be known, I don’t think Dad and I ever played cards once in our time together, such as it was.

Mostly I remembered the comings and goings. The goings were bad, mother tight lipped, me struggling to hold back the tears. Daddy always told me to keep “a stiff upper lip,” and take care of Mom. I would watch as the cab drove out of sight, often, if the weather was at all warm,  I would run down the sidewalk outside our house, thinking somehow he wasn’t gone as long as I could keep that yellow cab in sight.

The homecomings were the best. Dad would burst through the door, duffel bag in hand, throwing it down and scooping me up into his arms in one motion. Mom always seemed to be coming from the kitchen, a dishtowel in hand. Dad would make room and the three of us would hug. Then I was down, and with that wink of his, delving into the bag looking for the gift he never failed to bring home.

The joyous comings lasted only a few days, then Mom and Dad were back at it, the fighting over his job. Mom was just tired of going it alone so much while Dad wildcatted around the country and then even further afield. He always said the same thing, “Ruth, a man’s got to make a living. This is what I know. I can’t work in your father’s hardware store, it’s just not how I’m made.” She would start to cry, and run off to the bedroom, and Dad would sigh and go sit on the back porch.

Well, that was a lot of years ago, Dad had died when I was still a kid, killed in one of those freak accidents at an oil rigger. We had moved in with Gram and Gramps, and that was that. Funny how I had concocted such a weird dream about him. I never could figure out dreams, and I had no time to try to figure out this one.

Elliot would be home today, at least if the weather was okay and his flights were on time. He should be somewhere over the Indian Ocean about now. I was hoping to pick him up at the airport in the afternoon, but as I said, that depended on his connections going well. Elliot, if he was anything was a person you could count on, and he said he would call at the office during his flight change in L.A. I could expect him in around 4 p.m. and pick him up at O’Hare. Plans would be altered should his flights be delayed.

I hated to fly. Always had, though never had I ever had even a scare in the sky. Funny how some things you just don’t like doing. I smiled, flicking mascara on my light lashes, hoping to give my eyes some “depth.” This should be a hell of a day as they say. First time I was going to be in charge, and to tell the truth, I wasn’t a bit scared of that. Plenty of people would have been. Plenty would have flown ten flights, rather than going to do what I was heading off to.

Instead, I found myself singing along with the radio. “So bring me two pina coladas, One for each hand, Let’s sail with Captain Morgan and never leave dry land. Hey troubles I forgot ’em, I buried ’em in the sand, So bring me two pina coladas, She said good-bye to her good timin’ man.” That reved up my juices as I slid into work clothes. Good old Garth, always gets my engine running in the morning.

And Elliot, blessed Elliot was coming home! I laughed, thinking “it is not good for woman to lie alone in bed at night.” I grabbed the keys and headed out the door, still singing at the top of my lungs, “Let’s sail with Captain Morgan. . . .” I did not hear the phone ringing inside. I was already to the car.