A Second Chance – TT ‘steel’

TT_bannerHere’s another snippet from A Second Chance, the prequel to My Wildest Dreams, the first book in A Growing Wings series.

In A Second Chance, Jenny suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and is grappling with a flurry of thoughts and emotions about it. This scene takes place several months later as she and three friends, two of them psychic, spent several weekends in a row trying to find the body of a murdered woman. This week our prompt is ‘steel’.

For more fascinating story snippets from the wonderful authors in the group, return to TUESDAY TALES here.


The alarm rang much too early for a Sunday morning, my one guaranteed day off. “This is the third week in a row. Ugh, this is getting old,” I grumbled to myself. I hit snooze, thankful for another five minutes of slumber before that obnoxious ringtone would interrupt me again.

Four snoozes later, I groaned and finally rolled over and sat up. I debated about skipping my morning shower. If this Sunday went anything like the past two, we’d all be filthy and sweaty by the end of the day. I headed towards the shower anyway.

There’s something about wanting to be clean and fresh for a girls day out, knowing that at least two of the four of us would be dressed to impress, especially Nancy. I don’t care how casual the outing was, Nancy always looked like she’d stepped out of a fashion magazine. Carla, well she’d be in her typical tie-dyed t-shirt and jeans. Her attire never wavered. With Gail it was hard to tell. Sometimes she dressed in nondescript slacks topped with a nice ordinary blouse. When she was trying to prove how ‘psychic’ she was, she’d morph into Wanda the Fortuneteller, complete with crystals draped around her neck and bangles filling her arms.

I opted for my own off-duty uniform. Blue jeans, of course and my favorite gray t-shirt with dragonflies flitting all over the front of it. When I opened the door and realized how chilly the morning air still was, I returned to the bedroom and added an open Levi shirt with rolled up sleeves.

By the time I pulled into the parking lot where we all were meeting, I saw I was the last one there. The other three were standing around Nancy’s BMW chattering as if it had been years since we’d seen each other, instead of the single week that had passed.

“Hello!” All three called out to me. There was a brief pause in the conversation giving us time for hellos and hugs, and then Carla started talking again as if my appearance hadn’t happened. “I was thinking we could drive around the lake first to see if you pick up on anything, and then go to the old barn again.”

“Yes, the lake,” Gail broke in. “I was talking to some friends about it and it kept coming up that’s she’s buried under water. Under a bush.”

Her phrase caught my attention and I looked up to see if anyone had noticed it. ‘Talking to her friends’…hadn’t we all agreed that we weren’t going to mention our informal investigations to anyone else? Weren’t we going to keep quiet, until we found something concrete?

No one else seemed to notice. All three were talking fast and furious, as if each were trying to monopolize the discussion. My head bobbed back and forth, listening to all of them, with an occasional nod or ‘Uh huh’. Which wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I have a lot of thoughts and opinions, but when others dominate the conversation, I quiet down. This wasn’t a new occurrence with this group of friends. I’ve always been like that. The more animated the rest of the people get, the less I interject. Especially this early in the morning. I’d be perfectly happy if morning occurred, say, around noon.

TF_old barnHowever, even when I’m still half asleep, that doesn’t mean I don’t realize when I get cut off in conversation, nor does it mean it doesn’t bother me. We’d been together for several hours as we first walked around a cove area at Lake Lewis, and then moved to the old barn. After repeatedly being talked over, my aggravation level was increasing from a slow simmer to a rolling boil. We sat in the old barn, eating sandwiches we’d picked up at the sandwich shop where we’d met.

Gail was peering off in the distance, consulting with her ‘guides’. “She’s in here. She’s buried in this barn.”

Hmmm, I thought she’d been telling us how she was buried at the edge of the lake and was now under water. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut anymore. “But…what about the…”

“No. She’s here. They’re telling me that he buried her in here.”

“But Gail…didn’t you…”

“I know for a certainty.”

Carla wrapped her trash up and pushed it in the plastic bag. “Where in here though? This is a big barn.”

I tried again. “But I thought…”

“I brought my pendulum. Let me see what I get with it.” After digging in her pants pocket unsuccessfully, Gail stood to retrieve her divination tool from her slacks.

“Gail, didn’t you say…”

She turned her back on me and started pacing the length of the barn.

Clamping down the rush of steam that threatened to explode from my ears, I rose and stomped out of the barn. I didn’t trust myself to open my mouth right then, or something ugly was bound to pop out of it. Standing in the bright sunlight I closed my eyes and basked in the warmth, away from the chattering magpies inside. I let the angriness subside and seep out of my limbs into the earth beneath me.

Nancy’s quiet voice spoke beside me. “What are you doing out here by yourself?”

“Trying to calm down.”

“Gail? She can be a bit dramatic sometimes.”

Rustling footsteps behind us approached as the other two joined us in the neglected field surrounding the ramshackle barn.

“The dramatic doesn’t bother me. It’s repeatedly being talked over and interrupted.” I spoke louder at the end of my sentence, making sure that the others could hear me as they got closer.

“But you never speak up,” Gail said. “You’re always the quiet one and the rest of us are so loud, we just tend to take over.”

“I can be loud too,” I protested. “Next week I’ll be the noisy one.” I spoke with steely regard. I was going to be too. Next week, I vowed, I’d talk up a storm and rule the group with my chatter.

On the drive home I was already contemplating the hat I was going to make that week. Maybe even a t-shirt…I was going to proclaim my noisiness to the world, or at least to those at our next outing.

TF_Acceptance signMy newfound plans lasted until I crawled into bed and picked up the book I’d been reading. In One Man’s Love Story, Jason Hughes had a statement that stopped me in my tracks. “…it is about feeling a oneness and unity between body, mind, and soul, and perfectly accepting ourselves just the way we are.”


Just the way we are.

I am not the noisy one. To think that I could suddenly transform myself into a talkative, boisterous woman taking control of the group and not letting them get a chance to talk is disregarding myself. It means I am not accepting myself just the way I am.

Despite this revelation, I did proceed with my plans to make a special ball cap to wear the next week. When we met at our usual parking lot the next Sunday, I was sporting my newest creation. Topping my head was a black ball cap, embellished with paint and rhinestones. ‘I’m the QUIET one & PROUD of it!’

TF_acceptance quote

September 2015

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