Thursday, December 27, 2012

Temple of the Jaguar

Jaguar Temple
Featured in the book
Treasure of the Jaguar Warrior
Mystery of the Mayan Sun Calendar

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Blind Date

The Blind Date

   Grandma sat at the dining table, a shot gun on her lap and her false teeth in the water glass at her elbow. It was a regular Sunday dinner . . . with the exception of the blind date.
   Brooke’s eyes were wide as she looked at her grandma across the table. “What do you mean you invited Betty’s son to dinner?”
   “He’s just back from the war,” she explained.
   “But you knew Charles was joining us.” Brooke rubbed at her throbbing temple. Why did Grandma have to choose now to be herself?


   “Is that the bell?” Grandma asked innocently.
Great, just great! Brooke opened the door to both of the men who stood there. One held flowers. The other held a bottle of sparkling water. “Please, won’t you come in?” She stepped aside. “Charles this is Betty’s son—”
   “Jack and I have met,” Charles stated crisply, handing her the bottle as he headed down the hall.
   “Seems I’ve come at a bad time.” Jack remained on the stoop, the flowers still in hand.
   “Not at all.” Brooke smiled awkwardly, trying not to notice the twinkle in his light brown eyes. “We would love it if you’d join us.”
   Brook couldn’t help but notice how the brilliant smile he gifted her with lit up his whole face.
   “For you.” He handed her the bouquet and entered.
Feeling suddenly out of sorts, she led him to the dining room. “I’ll just go get a vase for these,” she said before she left for the kitchen.
   Grandma eyed the gifts that Brooke had placed on the table. Leaning forward, she grabbed the fake flowers in the arrangement in the center of the table and tossed them over her shoulder, replacing them with the fresh ones. “There . . . I just love it when gifts go together.”
   Charles gasped as he watched her open the bottle of water and pour it over them.
   “Do I smell Brussels-sprouts?” Jack asked conversationally when the room became too quiet.
   “They give me gas,” Grandma stated flatly.
   “How delightful,” Charles sighed in distaste.
   Jack chuckled, “I’ll just have to brave it.”
   “That’s my boy!” Grandma smiled. “Don’t let a bit of hot air,” she glanced back at Charles, “stand in your way.”
   Brooke returned with a vase in hand, noting the new arrangement. “Grandma, are you behaving yourself?”
   “Of course,” Grandma replied. “Shall we eat?”
   Brooke seated herself, noting Charles’ sour expression.
   “You know my second husband,” Grandma said, making not so idle conversation, leaning forward, and spearing a slice of roast, “thought himself a scholar. Most boring man I’ve ever met.” The shotgun on her lap suddenly exploded, blasting a hole in the wall. Startled, she knocked over her water, which splashed over the other side of the table. . . . Her teeth slid off the edge with the tide.
   Charles stood with a yelp, brushing the false teeth off his lap in horror.
   “Whoops!” Grandma hollered. “Just patched that up, too, darn-it!”
   “Well!” Charles glared across the table, his trousers soaked.
   “I’m terribly sorry,” Brooke started.
   “Don’t bother!” he interjected, tossing his napkin to the table. He stomped down the hall, slamming the door in his wake.
   Grandma glanced over at the other two. “Pass those potatoes, will you?”
   Jack grinned over at Brooke before they both dissolved into laughter.
   “Well now, you have to admire a man with a sense of humor. My last husband and I laughed together for nearly forty years.” Grandma smiled wistfully. “So how many children are you going to have?”
   “At least a dozen.” Jack winked at Brooke with a wide grin.

This was written for a 600 word or less competition.

The Heist

The Heist

   “What’s this?” Rock eyed the rust bucket with distaste.
   “A sidecar,” Damien stated the obvious.
   “What is it about getaway car that you didn’t understand?”
   Damien revved the motorcycle’s engine, grinning wider as the sound echoed through the back-alley of brownstones.
   Rock looked over his shoulder, swearing under his breath as the men standing on the corner glanced over with interest.
  “You comin'?” Damien tossed him the small pith helmet. “Diamond’s not going to steal itself.”
   “Sometimes I wonder if you’re really a boy genius.” Rock cast him a dubious glance as he fastened the chin strap and climbed into the cramped sidecar. The body of it dropped against the tires as his weight settled against the frame.
   “Who you callin’ a boy, ol’ man?”
   “Don’t push it,” Rock warned as Damien pulled back on the throttle. The old relic lurched forward, the back tire groaning in protest. “Couldn’t you have at least found a riding lawnmower?”
   Damien’s laughter was lost to the engine’s roar.

   “How much longer will this take?” Rock checked his watch as Damien attached wires to the leads in the control box and clicked a few keys.
   “Quicker than it takes your Viagra to kick in.” Damien snapped his laptop shut. The dim blue light went out leaving them in darkness. “See?”
   They both switched on the infra-red night vision goggles they wore.
   “Now I do.” Using hand signals Rock motioned for silence. They easily maneuvered past the glowing lines that crisscrossed the house. Using skills he’d honed in the Special Forces along with some he’d learned elsewhere, they arrived at the study. . . . Boy genius handled the safe.
   A moment later, Rock held the huge diamond up, weighing it in his hand. In that instant the lights clicked on, illuminating the room as two men and a woman came out of the adjoining one.
   “Excellent.” The older woman smiled before turning to the man who stood next to her. “As you’ve seen from the hidden cameras we’ve installed, there are a few glitches in your security system, Senator. With the improvements we’ve recommended, there shouldn’t be any problem with insuring your diamond with Anderson’s firm. She glanced to the other gentlemen who nodded.
   “Impressive to say the least, Mrs. Karakas.” Mr. Anderson stepped forward to take the diamond Rock offered up.
   “My boys are the best!” She beamed.
   “I can’t thank you enough,” the senator said with relief. “I can sleep better tonight knowing the problems I’ve been having are over.
   “Sure thing.” Rock smiled, he was more than aware of the problems. He’d planned them. “Now that your assets are safe, we’ll take our leave.”

   “You boys get it?” their mom asked a moment later when she joined them on the curb outside.
   “Of course.” Rock handed her the small chip that they’d come for.
   “What do you take us for, amateurs?” Damien laughed. “When the senator sells those government secrets tonight, a new version of Zombie Destroyers will reign supreme.”
   Seeing her confusion, Rock spoke up, “After they insert the altered version of the stolen intel, the new virus boy genius here has developed will take over their hard drives, making them wish they were dead.”
   “Now that I’d like to see.” Their mom chuckled. “Well done.”
   “Anyone up for a hamburger?” Damien suggested just as a red Jaguar rounded the corner, stopping in front of them. “Natasha,” he whispered in awe.
   Wearing a smug grin, Rock looked over at the younger man. “I’ll have to take a rain check. As you can see, my ride’s here, and the night is still young.”

This was written for a 600 word or less competition and I challenged myself to see how many twists I could create in that short span. . . . I only managed two. Maybe next time. :O)