Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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The Medium – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jack and Jen stood in the living room of their new home and heaved a sigh. It had taken a few weeks but they had finally finished unpacking everything. Jen took a look around the room, making sure everything was where it should be – photos on the walls, books on the bookcase, knickknacks on the shelves and in the curio cabinet, Fluffy’s dog bed in the corner, … With a nod of approval, she collapsed on the couch. Jack joined her a moment later.

“Finally,” Jack said. “I though we’d never finish.”

“I know. But we did. And now, this place can finally start to feel like home.”

“Yeah.”

It was getting late, so the couple decided to retire for the night. As they left the living the room and were heading to bed, a small figurine in the curio cabinet turned slightly toward them.

In the middle of the night, Jen woke up, thinking she’d heard footsteps outside the bedroom door. Heart pounding, afraid someone had broken in, she roughly shook Jack’s arm to wake him, then told him what she’d heard. He shook his head, sure she’d just dreamed it, and was about to tell her that when Fluffy jumped down from the bed and ran to the door. Then he heard the footsteps outside the door, too, clear as day. 

Jack hurried to the door and yanked it open. Fluffy ran out into the hall and towards the living room while Jack peered up and down the hall for who was walking around. To his surprise, no one was there. Confused, he checked each room along the hall, but found no one. He then made his way towards the front of the house to check there. When he got to the living room, he found Fluffy sitting in front of the curio cabinet, staring intently at it. Some of the figurines had be turned around inside it. One of the photos was hanging cockeyed on the wall, as well.

Stunned, Jack called out for Jen to come see it. When she arrived, she gasped in shock. “What’s going on, Jack?” she asked fearfully.

“I don’t know, Jen. I know what it looks like, but it can’t be. Can it?”

“Surely not,” she replied, but finding it hard to discount her eyes.

The couple returned to bed but found it hard to sleep. The next few days found more strange happenings. More things moved around. The sound of footsteps continued, along with the occasional whispered voice. Even an odd shadowy figure began to be seen.

When Jen awoke one night to see the indistinct figure of a older woman standing beside her, she screamed. The figure vanished as Jack awoke with a start and Fluffy sat up at the foot of the bed, instantly alert.

Jen tearfully recounted what she’d seen, and Jack decided they had no other choice but to do something about the problem.

The next day, Jack did some online research and made a few phone calls. The following day, a middle-aged woman arrived at the house. Jack let her in and introduced her to Jen as Linda, a local psychic medium he’d asked to come take a look at the house and possibly tell them what was going on. Jen started to tell her what they’d experienced but Linda held up a hand and walked purposefully to the living room. Jack and Jen followed.

“This room is where the majority of the experiences have been, correct?” Linda asked as she placed a hand on the curio cabinet.

Jen nodded but explained that things had happened throughout the house. She and Jack then led her around the house to let her get a feel for the whole place. Then they returned to the living room.

Linda took a seat on the couch, closed her eyes, let her breathing slow and her senses reach out around her. She began softly asking questions of whatever might be there.

After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and looked at Jack and Jen. She gave them a small smile. “You have nothing to fear,” she told them. “I have sensed no evil here, only the presence of one spirit. She tells me her name is Martha, and she used to live in this house. She didn’t mean to scare you. She was only trying to let you know she was here. She asked me to tell you that she’s happy to have you living here with her, as she’s been lonely and she likes you, and she hopes you will stay.”

Jack and Jen released breaths they didn’t realize they’d been holding. Relieved to know there was nothing bad in the house, they agreed to try living with Martha as long as she kept activity to a minimum, believing they could handle a little minor spiritual activity once in a while.

As the medium took her leave, Jack and Jen thanked her for her help, and Linda told them to call her if they ever needed her help again. Jack didn’t think they would, but he said they would if they did. Linda gave them a smile that seemed genuine but for some reason also made Jack feel a little uneasy, then drove off.

As Jack watched Linda drive off, he shrugged, thinking he’d imagined things, and he and Jen headed back inside the house.

Things in the house were peaceful for Jack and Jen from then on, with only a little ghostly activity from Martha now and again.

At least, for a while…


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “medium”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 10/2020


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The E-Collar – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Lucy set the cat carrier down and shut the front door. Then she took the carrier into the living room and set it on the couch. A little black cat mewed from inside the carrier as she rummaged in her large purse.

A tortoiseshell cat wandered into the living room and over to the couch. She looked up at the carrier and asked the black cat, “How did it go at the vet, Salem?”

“It wasn’t too bad, Patches,” Salem replied. “I don’t remember some of it, for some reason, but Mom says my big boy surgery went well. So I guess now I’m a big boy.” He purred a little at the thought.

Patches seemed to smirk as she said, “Oh, yeah, you’re a big boy now, Salem. Do you even know what happened during that surgery?”

Salem stopped purring abruptly, not liking Patches’ tone. “No. What?”

“Don’t you feel pain in a certain location?”

“Yes, a little. They gave me some drugs, I think, to dull the pain.”

“Think, Salem. What’s in the area where you’re feeling the pain?”

Salem focused his attention on the location where the pain was. After a couple of moments, he realized what Patches was referring to and understood finally what had happened at the vet.

Salem began yowling from the carrier, upset at what he’d been put through, and Patches watched in amusement.

Lucy then found what she was looking for in her purse and pulled it out. It was a clear, plastic E-collar that the vet had given her to put on Salem to keep him from messing up the stitches from his surgery. Patches saw it and her amusement grew.

Lucy opened the carrier and took out Salem, who squirmed in her hand and yowled more. She put him in her lap as he continued to struggle, and with minor difficulty managed to fit the E-collar around the black cat’s neck. Then she set him on the couch and took the carrier away.

Salem sat on the couch, miffed at his situation and biting at the collar as he tried to figure out a way to get it off. Patches laughed at him.

“What’s so funny?” Salem asked grumpily.

“You look like a satellite dish, Salem. Or a lamp.”

“Ha ha. Very funny, Patches. How about you do something a little more comforting, huh? I mean, I did just have you-know-what done.”

Patches jumped up on the couch, went over to Salem, and leaned against him. “I love you, lamp,” she quipped.

Salem rolled his eyes. “Shut up, Patches,” he replied.

Photo is from my Pinterest

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “collar”:


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Sharp As A Tack – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jenny opened the backdoor and stepped outside, calling for her poodle puppy Shasta to follow her. The little apricot puppy did as asked, barreling out the backdoor after her owner. Jenny’s boyfriend, Michael, followed after them. Jenny had said that poodles were a smart breed, so he was curious to see just how smart the energetic fuzzball was.

It was a pretty, sunny Autumn day, and a light breeze was blowing through the trees. Occasionally, a red or yellow leaf would drift to the ground. Jenny stood in the middle of the yard as Shasta ran circles around her, eager to play.

“Shasta,” Jenny called. “Come here!”

Shasta continued to run around Jenny while letting out small yips of excitement.

Michael chuckled from the back porch.

“Shasta!” Jenny called. “Come! Sit!”

Shasta stopped running and looked up at Jenny, her head tilted quizzically to one side.

“Shasta, sit!” Jenny repeated firmly, pointing to the ground in front of her. 

Shasta stared at Jenny again, then sat down. Her rear had barely touched the grass when she spotted a squirrel in the yard by the back fence. Shasta instantly took off after it, her little barks echoing across the yard as she ran. The squirrel jumped the fence and scurried up the nearest tree. Shasta stood at the fence, barking up the tree at the squirrel.

Jenny heaved a sigh and shook her head.

Michael laughed and said, “Oh, yeah, she’s as sharp as a tack, Jenny!”

“Stop laughing, Michael,” Jenny replied. “She’s still a puppy and we’ve haven’t been working long on her training. Just you wait. I’ll have her doing all sorts of tricks.”

At the fence, Shasta was jumping up and down, trying to figure out how to get over the fence and get to the squirrel. Michael saw her and snickered. “Sure,” he told Jenny. “I’d like to see that.”

They turned and started to head inside. They didn’t see Shasta spot a pile of junk not far away that was leaning against the fence and start to make her way towards it, intending to climb up it and over the fence.

As Michael and Jenny started to head inside, Jenny called for Shasta. Shasta paused on top of the first piece of junk, gave the squirrel in the tree a brief look of longing, then ran off to follow Jenny inside.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “sharp”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 5/2020


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You’re In My Spot – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Blackie walked into the living room and over to the recliner. The black cat spotted the tortoiseshell cat, Snickers, curled up in the chair. Blackie let out a low growl.

“That’s my spot,” Blackie said. “You’re in my spot.”

Snickers opened his eyes and yawned. “I don’t see your name on the chair, ‘Sheldon’,” he quipped snidely as he stretched and changed positions.

“I was sleeping there, Snickers. I just got up to go use the litter box. Now get out of my spot.”

“I don’t think so. This is my spot now. Go sleep somewhere else.”

Blackie hissed and prepared to jump up into the chair to fight Snickers. Then he spotted the tortoiseshell cat’s favorite catnip mouse beside the chair and had a better idea.

Blackie carried the catnip mouse over into the middle of the room and began playing with it. Snickers noticed and stood up in the recliner.

“Hey!” Snickers whined, “that’s my toy! You can’t play with that!”

“Really?” Blackie replied while he held the mouse with his front paws and kicked it with his back paws. “I didn’t see your name on it.”

“Let go of it right now!” Snickers yowled, his back arching and fur bristling.

“Or what?”

Snickers jumped from the recliner and ran towards Blackie. Blackie quickly dropped the catnip mouse and got out of the way. Snickers picked up the catnip mouse and started playing with it, murmuring “Mine, mine” as he held it in his mouth.

Blackie retreated to the recliner, reclaiming his spot and curling up to sleep.

 

 

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Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory (image found during Google search)

 

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “spot”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 8/2020


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That Fuzzy Thing – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Julius!” called Lisa as she came into the living room. “Come here, Julius! I have something for you!”

Down the hall, Julius was napping. His ears perked up at the sound of her voice and he got up from his bed. He ran into the living room excitedly, eager to see what Lisa had brought him.

When he got there, he saw Lisa standing in the middle of the room with something small and black in her hands. “What is that fuzzy thing?” he thought. “Is is a toy? It must be a toy. Yay! A new toy!”

Having decided that, his tail began to wag and he panted expectantly.

Lisa approached the fluffy white dog. “I’m glad you’re happy, Julius,” she said, holding the fuzzy thing towards him. “Here you go.”

Julius sniffed the black thing in her hand, and reared back slightly in shock. “That doesn’t smell like a toy!” he said to himself. “That smells like a…”

The fuzzy thing stirred in Lisa’s hand and two small yellow eyes popped opened and a small mouth opened wide in a yawn.

“…cat!” Julius finished his thought.

“Say hello to your new brother, Marcus, Julius!” Lisa said, setting the black kitten down in front of him.

“What?!” thought Julius, staring at the kitten.

Lisa stepped back to watch the two interact, hoping there wouldn’t be any fighting but ready to intervene if needed.

The kitten faced Julius and gave him a stern look. “Look here, dog,” he warned. “I may be new here, but let’s get one thing straight. I’m a cat and you’re just a dog. That means I’m in charge here. Got it?”

Julius crouched down on the floor and stared at the kitten. He could tell that it had tried to tell him something, but he didn’t understand what it’d said. He did pick up that the kitten seemed to have a bossy air about it, though. He decided he’d humor it, for now anyway.

Taking the dog’s silence and peaceful attitude as acceptance, Marcus simply said, “Good”, and wandered off to begin exploring his new domain.

 

From my Pinterest

 

 

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “zz”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 20/2020


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Spay/Splay/Spray – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Where’s Gidget?” Lana asked as she dragged the carrier out of the closet. “It’s almost time for her spay appointment.”

“I don’t know, Mom,” called Jenny from her bedroom, where she was splayed out on her bed and scrolling on her cellphone.

“Well, could you help me find her? I don’t want to be late getting her to the vet.”

“Fine,” Jenny said with a huff, setting her phone aside and getting up from her bed.

Lana put the carrier by the front door and joined Jenny in the hunt for Gidget. They looked in every room of the house, in every nook and cranny they could think of, but couldn’t find the calico cat anywhere.

Lana was frantic. The time for the vet appointment was growing closer and closer. If they didn’t find Gidget soon, she’d have to reschedule and that would be quite a hassle. She grabbed the phone and as she got ready to call the vet, she was mentally tried to figure out when would be a good time for a rescheduled appointment, when her busy schedule might be open for an appointment around the time it would be okay again for Gidget to be spayed.

Just as she was about to hit the dial button, Jenny called out, “Found her!” from the kitchen.  Lana ran in and Jenny pointed at the refrigerator. Gidget was crouching on top of the refrigerator, doing her best to hide from them, having sensed the vet trip coming.

“Oh, great!” Lana groaned. “How’re we going to get her down?”

“I have an idea,” Jenny said, and she ran from the kitchen. A minute later, she returned with a spray bottle in her hand. “I’ll spray her with some water to chase her down. Then when she’s down, you grab her and put in the carrier.”

Lana gave her a skeptical look, but agreed, having no better plan of her own.

Jenny walked up to the refrigerator, reached as high up as she could, and sprayed water in Gidget’s direction. Gidget hissed as some of the water reached her. She tried to back away from it, but the wall blocked her. With no other option, Gidget jumped down from the side of the fridge to the small counter area beside the sink. Lana quickly grabbed her before she could get away.

Gidget yowled and squirmed as Lana carried her from the kitchen. Jenny followed and hurried in front of them so she could get the carrier and hold it for her mother. Gidget tried to fight back, but Lana won and stuffed the calico cat in the carrier.

“Thanks, Jenny,” Lana said over the plaintive yowling from the carrier.  “I couldn’t have gotten her without you.”

“You’re welcome, Mom. Good luck at the vet. I hope you won’t be too late.”

Lana thanked her again and walked out the front door with the carrier. Jenny could still hear Gidget’s yowls as she shut the door behind them.

 

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This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “spay/splay/spray”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 30/2020

 


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Kitchen Chaos – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Preheat the oven to 350 degrees,”  Susie muttered as she read the directions for the cake. “Okay.  Then grease the pans and coat them lightly in flour. No problem.”

She set the box aside and turned on the oven to preheat. Then she gathered the eggs and oil and set them aside on the small kitchen island where she was going to be preparing the mix. Then she got the shortening and flour and pans out and set them aside.

As she was gathering everything together, her black cat, Sable, came into the kitchen, curious to see what she was doing and if there was any yummy food involved.

Sable approached the kitchen island as Susie was greasing up the cake pans. She watched Susie set the greased pans down and pour some flour into the sifter. Intrigued, Sable stood up on her hind legs and reached up to the island’s counter top, trying to get a better look at Susie’s actions.

Unfortunately,  Susie has inadvertently put the bag of flour very close to the edge of the counter top and Sable’s paws bumped it. The flour bag tipped over. Sable jumped away quickly, but not quickly enough. Flour still managed to cover the curious kitty’s head. With a startled cry, the cat darted away to cower in a nearby corner

“Oh no!” Susie cried out, setting the sifter down and staring at the mess. “Sable! What did you do?!”

Susie looked around and spotted the cowering cat. She chuckled. “Oh, Sable! You look like you belong to the Uruk-hai now!”

Sable glared at Susie as she continued to laugh. When she stopped laughing, Susie cleaned up the mess, then cleaned up Sable and gave the kitty a treat in apology. Then she went back to baking her cake. Sable continued to supervise, but from a safer distance.

 

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Image found on the Me.me website

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “directions”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 2/2020


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Prince…Valiant? Valium? – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Princess Valerie and her retainer, Ingrid, had gone out for walk in the royal gardens to enjoy a lovely spring afternoon. The weather couldn’t be better, and the various flowers were beautiful to behold.

As they walked, they chatted about different things, as women will do. They were having such a nice time and not paying close attention to their surroundings that they soon found themselves outside the castle grounds.

A large field filled with wildflowers was spread out before their eyes. Princess Valerie gazed at it, taking it all in with a huge smile on her lips. Ingrid, however, urged the princess to turn around, knowing how dangerous it was for them to be away from the castle grounds.

Princess Valerie ignored her and ran off into the field and began picking wildflowers. Ingrid shook her head and walked towards her, intending to talk some sense into the princess.  Neither noticed the dark spot high in the sky coming closer and larger with each passing moment.

Just before Ingrid could reach her, the black dragon swooped down from the sky and scooped Princess Valerie from the field in one its huge claws. The princess screamed as the dragon flew off with her.

Ingrid cried out after the princess, and as the dragon got farther and farther away, she heard the princess call something out to her. It was hard for the older lady to make out clearly what she said, though, because of the distance.

As Ingrid ran back towards the castle the sound the alarm, she tried to figure out who it was the princess had asked her to summon to rescue her.

When the dragon returned to its cave, it stuck the princess high up on a ledge where she would be hard pressed to escape from, then settled down on the floor next to its large pile of gold and jewels and stared up at its new trophy.

“You won’t get away with this,” Princess Valerie told the dragon.

“Oh, really?” the dragon replied, its rumbling voice echoing in the cave.

“Yes. Once my champion, the prince Valiant, arrives, I shall be rescued and you shall be dead, oh dragon.”

The dragon chuckled. “We will see about that. I have dispatched many a ‘champion’ in my time, girl. I shall do the same for yours.”

The dragon settled down and began to nap, and the princess settled down to wait.

After a while, the princess wasn’t sure how long, she could faintly hear the sound of a horse’s hooves outside the cave entrance, followed by the sound of armor clanking, and she quickly got to her feet. The dragon also heard it and woke up, it’s bright yellow eyes intently watching for the intruder.

Princess Valerie watched as her armored rescuer came inside the cave, eager to see her champion fight to save her from the dragon. But as he came into view, her eagerness fell to disappointment. “P…Prince…Valium?” she said. “What are you doing here? I told Ingrid to summon Prince Valiant!”

He turned to look up at her and raised the visor on his helmet. He stifled a yawn and replied, “Yes, well, I was surprised by the summons as well, my lady, and thought there must have been some mistake. But one such as I can’t refuse a royal summons or refuse to come to the aid of a damsel in distress.” He stifled another yawn. “So here I am, come to rescue you.”

“But…but…” she stammered.

He lowered his visor and turned to the dragon. He raised his sword and said, “Now then, dragon! Prepare to die!”

The dragon opened its large mouth. Flames flickered at the back of its throat.

Valium, the valiant would-be rescuer, suddenly dropped the ground, startling the dragon. The dragon stared in confusion, wondering what trick he playing. Then the sound of snoring reached its ears. The dragon shook its head sadly and decided what to do. There would be no real fun in just killing and eating him like this, the dragon thought, so instead it picked Valium up and left the cave, flying off and leaving Valium to sleep in the middle of the woods far away.

Upon returning to the cave, the dragon told Princess Valerie, “I hope your next champion is more of a challenge.”


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “val”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 25/2020


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Practice Makes Purrfect – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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The sun had started to rise and the birds began their morning songs after waking from their nightly slumber. Below them, in the bushes and grass growing around the trees, the other forest creatures began to awaken and begin their morning routines.

Not long after the forest awakened to a new day, a warning cry from some birds rang out, followed by a loud and frustrated mew.

“Dang it!” spat the young ginger tabby kitten as he sat underneath the tree, staring at the spot between two roots where the mouse he’d tried to catch had been before it slipped away.

“Don’t worry,” said the long-haired silver cat as she walked up to the kitten. “You’ll get the hang of it soon enough, Rusty. You’re doing fine. You just need more practice. Remember what I’ve taught you. Now, stand up.”

“Yes, Misty,” said the kitten, doing as he was told.

“Good. Now, listen closely. What do you hear?”

The kitten was quiet as he listened to the forest. “Birds are chirping high in the trees,” he said after a few moments. “There are some squirrels chattering in some trees nearby.” He paused a moment and focused his gaze on a bush close by. “There’s something moving under that bush.”

“Good. Now, sniff the air and see if you can catch its scent and identify it.”

Rusty did as Misty instructed. “It’s another mouse,” he said.

“Good. Now, remember what I’ve told you about stalking and pouncing, and get ready. And don’t be so impatient this time.”

Rusty crouched low to the ground, making sure his belly and tail didn’t drag and make noise. He slowly made his way towards the bush, keeping his pawsteps light and noiseless on the ground.

“Good, good,” Misty said softly and encouragingly as she watched her pupil.

When Rusty got close to the bush, he paused and watched for the mouse. The leaves and grass near him began to move, and Rusty crouched and prepared to pounce, his back end moving slightly as he adjusted his legs just so to give him the correct strength and lift.

The unsuspecting mouse darted out from under the bush, and Rusty made his move.

The mouse never knew what hit him.

Rusty looked down at the mouse caught in his claws and purred.

He picked up the mouse in his mouth and carried it back to Misty, his tail held high in the air.

As he dropped the mouse on the ground at Misty’s feet, she purred and said, “Well done, Rusty. As I told you, practice makes purrfect. You are going to be a fine hunter.”

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “practice/practise”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 18/2020

 


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Of All The Gin Joints – Stream Of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Liam and Mick sat beside each other at the bar with half-empty beer steins in front of them. The place was rahter crowded, even for a Friday night. There was hardly an empty seat in the room, and Liam and Mick had to almost yell to be heard over the din of conversation and loud music.

During one of the rare lulls in background noise, the door to the pub opened. Liam and Mick turned to see who the newcomer was, and Liam almost spit out the swallow of beer he’d just taken.

Terri, a strikingly pretty redheaded young lady, walked in and headed their way.

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she had to walk into mine,” Liam said, quoting Humphrey Bogart’s famous line from Casablanca.

“I know, right?” Mick replied. “What are you going to do, Liam?”

“She’s my ex-girlfriend, Mick, ” Liam said, watching her weave her way through the crowd towards them. He tried to sound tough, but didn’t quite pull it off as he added, “She broke my heart. What do you think I’m going to do?”

“I know what you probably should do,” Mick said as he watched Liam watch Terri with a look of longing in his eyes. “And I know what you’re probably going to do instead.”

Terri walked past them and took a seat at one of the few empty tables in the back, and a few moments later Liam got up and walked over to her. Mick watched as Liam talked to her for a moment, then sat down across from her at the table. They talked for a few minutes, then got up and slipped out the back door.

“And I was right,” Mick said, shaking his head sadly. “He just never seems to learn.”

Mick sighed and turned back around to finish his beer.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “joint”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 11/2020