Flash Fiction Friday: The Secret Admirer

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Photo by Allie on Unsplash

“Junk mail, bill, junk mail, bill, bill. Wait, what’s this? A letter? Who writes letters nowadays?”

Reina grabbed her letter opener off the counter and opened the envelope. She pulled out a single sheet of high quality stationery that resembled ancient parchment paper. She unfolded it and read:

My dearest Reina,
Your beauty captivates me. Your smile bedazzles me. The thought of talking to you leaves me tongue-tied, so I decided to write instead. I get queasy in my stomach every time I see you. I want to speak to you, but I’m afraid of making a fool of myself. I long to find out what things we have in common. I hope to gather enough courage to speak to you soon.
Your Secret Admirer

Reina picked up the envelope, examined the front of it—no return address—local postmark. Who could have sent this—a coworker, regular customer? Was it some kind of joke? What if it was a stalker? Whoever it was knew her home address.

The next day Reina analyzed every interaction with the waiters and her regular male customers. Every smile and big tip had her wondering, ‘could he be the one’. When Craig, who came in twice a week, winked at her, she nearly spilled a cup of coffee.

She checked her mail right after work, sorted through it, searching for another letter, but found none.

Two days later, another letter arrived.

My dearest Reina,
Your smile lights up a room. Your laughter is like the Pied Piper’s music to my heart. You hold me spellbound.
In my next letter I will name a time and place for us to meet. Please give me a chance.
Your Secret Admirer

When the next letter arrived, Reina hesitated to open it. Was she ready to meet this guy?

My dearest Reina,
Though I remain nervous, I am determined to meet you face to face.I hope you will come to Pascal’s Friday night at 7 p.m. Tell the maitre d’ to show you to the table of the rose. I will be waiting for you.
Your Secret Admirer

Friday, Reina searched her closet and decided on a simple blue dress that complimented her figure. She wore matching blue sandals, grabbed her formal handbag and keys, and went to her car.

As she drove, her stomach filled with butterflies. At Pascal’s, a valet parked her car, and she walked into the restaurant, the butterflies performing ballet inside her.

The maitre d’ greeted her and asked about her reservation.”

“I’m meeting someone. Could you please show me to the table of the rose?”

“Ah yes, right this way.”

He led her to a table next to a large window with a fantastic view of the city lights. A gentleman rose from his seat at the table.

Reina gasped. He was incredibly handsome with brown hair and eyes the color of caramel. He looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t quite place him.

He held a deep red rose out to her. “For you m’lady.” He smiled and Reina’s heart melted at the sight of the dimples that indented his cheeks.

She took the rose, and he came and held her chair for her to be seated.

When they were seated, she couldn’t hold her tongue any longer. “Have we met before?”

“No. I moved into the apartment building across the street from yours three months ago. I’ve seen you coming and going. I had lunch at Mickey’s a couple times but was never lucky enough to be seated in your section. I asked my waitress your name.”

“You mailed letters to me from across the street?” She quirked an eyebrow.

He grinned. “I’m afraid I prefer old fashioned romance.”

“You still haven’t told me your name.”

“Oh, do forgive my thoughtlessness. I am Griffin Wallace.”

“Well Griffin Wallace, you certainly do know how to grab a lady’s attention.”

“I hope I will be as good at holding your attention.”

The intensity in his eyes set the butterflies dancing once again. “Your first note mentioned getting to know what we have in common, and it looks like the first thing would be an appreciation for good food. Though I have only been here once before, I do love the food here. Not to mention the fact that you obviously enjoy Mickey’s. I hope you won’t be too uncomfortable ordering for me?”

“You do know how to set a man’s nerves on edge. Having only just met, I have no idea what foods you like and dislike. At least tell me, do you have any food allergies?”

“Good question. No, I don’t, and I’m not a picky eater.” She smiled and noticed his shoulders relax.

When the waiter came to take their order, Griffin ordered duck with pears for him and beef fillet filled with kale, almonds, feta, and parmesan for her, both with a side of baked butternut squash with pomegranate seeds.

The food arrived a short while later and they began to eat. After a few bites, Griffin watched Reina.

“Do I have food on my face or something?”

He smiled. “No. I was just wondering if I had chosen well for you?”

“Very well.” She raised a forkful of beef fillet and slipped into her mouth.

After dinner, they exited the restaurant together, and the valets brought their cars. Griffin escorted Reina to hers.

“Do you like the theater?”

“Movies or live productions?”

Griffin grinned. “Either.”

“Yes to both.”

“Would like like to accompany me to see “Hamilton” at the Dunkirk Theater next Saturday afternoon with dinner after?”

“I’d love to.” She slid into the driver’s seat of her car.

“One more thing, Reina. Do you think next Saturday we could go together in the same car?” His eyes sparkled.

“I wouldn’t want to impose on you and make you travel so far out of your way to pick me up.” She let out a little giggle.

Griffin grinned and watched her leave before climbing into his own car.

Thursday’s Thoughts, Questions, and Comments About Writing

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

ATTENTION: #WritingCommunity:

I have decided to add a Thursday post each week just for you. This post will focus on thoughts, comments, and questions regarding writing, and I hope most of the thoughts, comments, and questions will come from you.

I posted a link to this blog on my Twitter page yesterday asking writers to give me thoughts and/or questions they’d like to see discussed. I’m also asking you to write in the comments below, what thoughts, comments, and/or questions you’d like to see discussed here, and I hope you will participate in the discussions. It will be a great way to help and encourage one another as writers.

I hope to have our first discussion here next Thursday.

Happy writing!

Timeless Tuesday: What was Happening in 1860?

The novel that I am working on is set in 1860. That is the year the Pony Express began. How did it begin?

William H. Russell, one of a trio of men who had a freighting company known as Russell, Majors, and Waddell created the Pony Express. They were business partners in Missouri. They had a lot of experience hauling cargo and passengers. They took an interest in government mail contracts as they already offered a stagecoach service that provided mail between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Russell was convinced that a horse relay, a Pony Express would be a money-making endeavor. His partners, William, B. Waddell and Alexander Majors were not so sure. Without the approval of his partners, William Russell committed to opening the express mail service on the central overland route in April 1860.

So the three partners started a new company, the Central Overland California & Pike’s Peak Express Company (C.O.C. & P.P.). This was the official name of the Pony Express. The company had just 67 days to hire riders, station keepers, and mail handlers, and to buy horses, food, and other supplies and distribute them to stations along the route. Some of the stations weren’t even built or located yet.

However, homes stations were established every 75 to 100 miles. These homes stations would house riders between runs. Smaller relay stations were established every 10 to 15 miles to provide riders with fresh horses.

Many of the stations were upgraded from existing stagecoach stations, while some had to be built from scratch. They began with 86 stations but expanded to 147 stations by mid-1861.

Alexander Majors organized the route into five divisions, numbered east to west. The first leg of the route ran from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory on the Platte River.

This is the leg of the journey that my main male character has a part in.

A Weight of Reckoning by C.S. Wachter

A Weight of Reckoning: Sequel to The Seven Words by [C. S. Wachter]

A Weight of Reckoning by C.S. Wachter is the sequel to “The Seven Words” series. This series and sequel are a fantasy series that follows the life of Prince Rayne through many difficulties and hardships even as he serves as the Chosen Light Bringer of the One.

A Weight of Reckoning, as all of the books in this series, is very much a good vs. evil story. In A Weight of Reckoning, Rayne must face evil before his long-awaited wedding can take place. The question is, “will he survive this time?”

As in all of “The Seven Words” series, A Weight of Reckoning grabbed my attention right from the start and held my attention until the very end. The characters have become like friends as I have read this series. When you follow a group of characters through five books, if the author has done their job, you feel like you really know these people and they will have become people you care about. That is what C.S. Wachter has accomplished.

A Weight of Reckoning is also full of adventure and suspense, along with a touch of romance. There are unexpected twists that will surprise you. C.S. Wachter even manages to find a way to include some humor and wit, a welcome reprieve from the struggles Prince Rayne endures.

C.S. Wachter has a way of painting pictures with words, so that the worlds in A Weight of Reckoning, and “The Seven Words” series seem real, and the character descriptions bring the characters to life, not just physically, but their personalities are all distinct as well, making them leap off the page.

I have written reviews for the previous books in the series as well. To find them simply click on the “Categories” arrow in the side bar, select “Book Reviews” and scroll until you find them.

If you enjoy Fantasy stories, good vs. evil stories, and stories with adventure and a bit of romance, you’re sure to enjoy A Weight of Reckoning and the entire “Seven Words” series by C.S. Wachter. This was C.S. Wachter’s debut series and I look forward to more to come.

 

Timeless Tuesday: History of My Setting

In my upcoming novel, the story begins in St. Louis, Missouri in 1860. The city of St. Louis was founded by Pierre Laclede Liguest on February 15, 1764.

St. Joseph, Missouri is where my main character moves in Chapter two. At this time, St. Joseph was already a fairly busy town with the California Gold Rush bringing people east to west in 1848 and the railroad having been established in St. Joseph in 1859. 1860 saw the beginning of the Pony Express in St. Joseph which was the eastern end of the Pony Express route. As a matter of fact, on April 3, 1860, the day the Pony Express made its first delivery, the first rider left from St. Joseph.

Because of St. Joseph’s location near the Missouri River, St. Joseph would continue to grow in the following years.

In my novel, you will note that I took some “creative liberties” since I write “historical fiction”, and when my character arrives in St. Joseph, it is not yet a large, busy town, but that begins to change about halfway through the novel.