Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"A Brilliant Ride" by Lisa J. Mitchell

ON SALE for $2.99

A Brilliant Ride
by Lisa J. Mitchell

A Brilliant Ride by Lisa J. Mitchell is ON SALE for $2.99 (save $3.00) to 5 September. Take advantage of this offer while you can.

Penelope's "pinch me" lifestyle is proving a lot more stressful than she anticipated. Suddenly murder is the new game in hoity-toity Chatsdale, and Penelope and her upper crust clique are fearing for their lives. With two murders, betrayal, dark secrets and a philandering husband, she’s going to need more than a cocktail to propel her out of the madness. Enter Brilliant, a dreamy hero with a halo. With his zany zest for life, unconventional tactics, and gentle encouragement, Penelope realizes there's more to life than country clubs and designer handbags. Join Penelope for the ride of her life as she sets out to create her perfect dream come true.
Mitchell uplifts and entertains with side-splitting humor in this magical story of one woman's journey to find true love, passion, and take control of her destiny. A Brilliant Ride is a fast paced romp filled with mystery and intrigue, hilarity and inspiration. This laugh out loud story encourages women to have a little fun, have a lot of faith, and believe in their dreams.

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”


            It’s a crisp autumn day and I’m sitting with my three closest girlfriends at the Regal Rock Bath and Tennis. And I’m learning a lot. Evidently Pinot Grigio is a very potent truth serum.
            “Jackie, please…pull yourself together,” I said and pushed another tissue into her shaky hand. “Come on, it’s ludicrous. Ted doesn't have the guts to change the part in his hair. He would never venture into The Bucket.”
            “That’s the hottest club in New York, very Rock ‘n Roll A-list,” Claudia added while surveying the Regal’s extensive menu.
            “I’m locked in a nightmare,” Jackie whimpered, her sharp chin quivering like jelly.
            “Just stop. You’re being paranoid. Honestly, for the past two years you’ve done nothing but complain about how boring the man is. Just yesterday, you said you’d rather watch butter melt than spend another minute with the ‘Milky Drip.” I suppressed a giggle.
            “That’s true, Jackie. You did say that,” said Phyllis.
            Like a pin to the eye, a vision of Ted burning up the dance floor hit me, and I winced. “Surely you’re mistaken.” I patted her jumpy hand. The last time I saw Ted he was wearing thick tortoise rimmed glasses, chinos pulled up to his breast bone (cinched
 in with a narrow canvas belt embroidered with tiny pink crustaceans), and strappy rubber sandals…with socks. Need I say more?
            “Please tell me you’re kidding.”
            “I’m not,” she sniffled, her puffy green eyes brimming with tears.
             Jackie, a gorgeous redhead with piercing green eyes, was this week’s excuse for a pow-wow. She put out the 911 to discuss an earth shaking disaster, her husband Ted…better known as the “heel.” And trust me, when Jackie calls, people jump. She’s a force - like a Twister- and always, and I mean always, gets whatever she sets her sights on. The fact that she walks all over people to achieve her desired result is something I personally overlook…I try not to be under foot.
            Jackie is a knockout. She’s super-duper glamorous, wisecracking, and colorful - her mannerisms expertly exaggerated, her speech purposely drawn out and magnificently affected. In short…she looks like money. Even her walk screams trust fund.
            We met years ago at a splashy New Year’s Eve party on the Upper East Side. Back then, she was considered the new “it” girl within that tightly woven set known as New York Society. Coming from the well-known Stacker family, a line of oil magnates who made their way to New York after the Big Crash (a welcome installment with their bags and bags of Texas cash), Jackie had that particular kind of refined flirty sexiness that comes from southern stock, combined with the slick polish of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
            After a lengthy (boozy) stint on NYC’s party circuit, Jackie spent a year in Paris pursuing her dream - creating a “big” name for herself in the art world. During this time, she enjoyed a brief marriage to a wealthy older gentleman who lavished her with the finery of France and allowed her to dabble in various art forms, which in Jackie’s mind included getting her hands dirty…sculpting a number of male models. The marriage was not successful and promptly ended when Monsieur Chantel, sufficiently embarrassed by Jackie’s artistic ventures, wrote a sizeable check to ensure her removal from his chateau and his life. She was successful, however, in making a name for herself…not one I can repeat.
            So, Jacqueline Stacker Chantel promptly returned to New York, opened her own gallery, filled it with her own abstract works, and enjoyed the “artistic” side of the swinging city (where anything goes). I vividly remember her first exhibit. She dominated the floor resplendent in a shimmering gold halter dress, her flaming mane rippling down her back, as paparazzi snapped away feverishly trying to capture the sought after Socialite in all her fiery glory. The collection, entitled Amour Darling, was startling as well…ten massive canvasses streaked with red and black, a psychedelic orgy of irreverent strokes.
            “That two-timer!” Jackie’s voice echoed, causing the cream of the crop to turn and stare.
            Mrs. Nugent Lillygrass shot us her very best look of disdain, and Claudia retaliated by flashing her dazzling emerald cut in her direction. “Take that!” she mouthed and smoothed her sleek blonde bob with a purr. It seemed to put the old dowager in place.
            “Teddy has been living a double life,” Jackie wailed. “It’s true, I’m telling you. I’ve been finding things…you know…evidence.”
            My eyes widened in amazement as Jackie ticked off her list of clues.
            “Credit card statements, phone numbers, hotel bills, gift receipts, and a set of keys which - SURPRISE - don’t fit my lock!” She drained her Pinot.
            “To top that off, last night I found a pack of…condoms.”
            “No!” Claudia gasped in a theatrical manner and held her heart.
            “It’s true,” cried Jackie. “And after my recent procedure…there’s no need for that kind of thing!”
            “We’re going to need more wine…”
            “Please. I must have been delirious; I never should have left The Upper East Side. I should have known better…what was I thinking…moving to the sticks? My life has become a stagnating waste,” she moaned and threw her perfectly manicured hands up in the air. “We should all be back in New York. Culture to these hillbillies (Jackie looked around at the blank faced, blasé women enjoying the Regal’s particular ambiance and sneered) is band night in front of the public high school, or a poetry reading at the Garden Club by that dinosaur, Audrey Freehope. What are we doing here? What the hell were we thinking?”
            “Darling, we do not live in the sticks; for crying out loud, Jackie.”
            “Hardly,” Claudia said, trying to convince herself.
            “Well, this suburban hell hole is getting on my nerves, so damn boring. No wonder; even boring Teddy thinks it’s boring. My life is in the toilet,” she groaned.
            “Oh, daaaaaarling, we’re in shock…utter shock. We had no idea.”
            “It’s been agony; total misery!”
            “You’re a saint…Mother Theresa.”
            “He doesn’t deserve me; I’m too good for him.”
            “Are you jumping…?”
            “Er, I mean to conclusions,” I said shifting in my seat.
            “Yes, darling, I mean, you married him because he was safe, remember…not like the others?” Claudia and I exchanged a knowing glance.
Safe in Jackie’s book meant a man she could leash and dominate into puppy dog submission (spending every dime the helpless slob had), whilst convincing him he was without a doubt the luckiest man on the face of the earth to be in her company, not to mention her bed.
            “Oh, who would want him?” my words tumbled out.  “Er…I mean, you’re always saying he’s…lackluster.”
            “He is! He was! Oh, you never know, do you?”
            “No red flags?” I asked, twisting my wedding band.
            “Here’s a red flag for you. Sources tell me he’s been to every nightclub in town - with a tween! Imagine that! He must be some kind of professional con artist or something.”
            “Yes, sources,” she wailed and snapped her bread stick in half.
            “We are total Splitsville!”
            “I don’t believe it,” Claudia replied, slipping her small gold compact out of her handbag. She surveyed herself with a smile and traced her upper lip with her pinky, ensuring her shimmery nude lipstick was perfectly placed. She then took another moment to admire the enormous diamond studs drooping from her lobes. Happy with her pristine reflection, she purred and clicked the compact closed, then tossed it back into her monogrammed satchel. “It’s just a blip,” she said plainly.
            “Oh yes, Claudia’s right, it’s just a passing thing,” said Phyllis, her eyes locked on a waiter with a large silver tray. “Yums…has anyone tried the artichoke tart?” she queried and licked her puffy glossed lips. “I’m absolutely famished.”
            Jackie wasn’t having any of it and let out a long, exaggerated sigh followed by another swig of wine.
            “Hey, I know,” Phyllis squealed, “maybe the two of you should sign up for that Tantric weekend?”
            “Oh yes…it’s all the rage,” said Claudia brightly.
            “You’ve been?”
            “No, but I hear it’s very liberating...”
            “Oh, Jackie, it’s the answer. It’ll teach Teddy a little self-control…if you know what I mean.” Phyllis winked.
            “Please, I’m nauseous.” Jackie held her stomach and moaned. “My colitis is starting up.” A faint gurgling sound emanated from her direction.
            “Tantra sounds like the spiritual version of S&M,” I said. “I think it’s dangerous.”
            “Oh loosen up, even Frank’s gotten into it,” replied Phyllis in that surreal matter-of-fact way she uses when discussing something totally off the wall.
            “Frank? Ha, ha, ha…that’s hysterical. You’re, kidding, right?”
            She wasn’t. Phyllis is what you would call progressive. Free from inhibitions, she’s colorful to say the least. A middle-aged, old money, debutante turned hippie, she’s perpetually outfitted in pricey, theatrical ensembles purchased at the finest boutiques on Madison Avenue. Trust me; these costumes have a sort of exotic chic not many can pull off…sort of Vogue meets Tofu Daily. She’s gutsy (or delusional, I’m not quite sure). She thinks nothing of popping out to the grocery in a chartreuse sari, feathered headband, and a pair of 6-inch platform heels, bravely combating the raised eyebrows of conservatives by rubbing her third eye and whispering an affirmation.
            I should point out that money - a lot of money, especially old money - allows for a broad array of quirky and irrational behaviors. This could explain Phyllis’ carte blanche attitude when it comes to self-expression...and wardrobe.
            Aside from her diverse attire, Phyllis is really quite pretty. She’s petite - sort of waif-like - with very long, dark, stick-straight hair, large brown eyes that always seem to be open too wide, and a smile that turns up ever so slightly at the ends, giving the hint of a delicious secret- sort of Mona Lisa gone psychedelic.
            Phyllis has been married to Frank Triola for the past four years. Jackie says he’s a character (gangster) straight out of the Goombah Chronicles. I think he’s a big softy. Frank’s in Oil, as in Olive, and made an absolute killing when everyone got on that Mediterranean kick. He’s a large, gregarious man and a little rough around the edges. That said, he’s only tolerated at the ultra-snobby Regal Rock because he’s married to Phyllis, who, as everyone knows, is one of the Cowl heirs…as in Cowl Necks …billions there.
            “He’s a BOOB,” Jackie’s voice sounded out like a bugle, snapping me back with a jolt.
            “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Mrs. Carrington Johnson put one arthritic finger up to her pursed blue lips and raised her eyebrow high, while her cronies loudly cleared their crinkly, bejeweled throats. “Do you mind,” she creaked.
            In response, Claudia narrowed her eyes like a mosquito zeroing in for a sting.
            “Those old bags should be on treadmills instead of sitting here throwing canapés down their turkey necks; their triglycerides must be sky high.” Raising her glass up, she toasted the sour looking group, “Bottoms up.”
            “Oh, but Claudia, my darling, not everyone has your kind of self-discipline,” Phyllis sang and placed her hands together, slowly bowing to Mrs. Johnson’s table. “Namaste,” she whispered.
            “Please. That battle-axe, Johnson, gives me a pain. She thinks she’s all that after she got her band.”
            “No, Lap...how else do you think she dropped all that weight?”
            “Oh, Claudia, you’re a hoot!”
            Claudia grinned broadly and leaned forward, adjusted her gazillion dollar tourmaline enhancer, pointing it directly at Mrs. Carrington Johnson for added leverage. Her eyes flashed as the geriatric group turned away, humbled by the imposing piece of jewelry. “That should shut them up for a while,” she grumbled.
            Claudia uses her astounding arsenal of jewelry like weapons of mass destruction. And, trust me, she has a ton of it - amazing jewels in every shape and color from the most famous design houses in the world. Half of her immense collection was handed down from the generations of grand women in her iconic family…the rest is from Paul, who spoils her senseless. She has a special temperature controlled room with glass showcases and elaborate alarm systems just to store all the bling - totally state of the art.
            Aside from her love of gems, Claudia is very passionate about staying in shape. Thus, she is the self-proclaimed jock of our coterie. I mean, she’s a total fitness fanatic, obsessed with being in the best physical condition a person could possibly be in, spending hours perfecting her body and her circulatory system. As a matter of fact, she was the first person in our township to acquire her own private, personal fitness trainer. Of course everyone has one now, but back then it was quite sensational. We would all drive by to sneak a peek when three times a week he rolled up on his Hog in front of her large French Normandy with the swirling twin turrets, wearing black leather chaps over his athletic wear…very motivating.
            In contrast to Phyllis’ Mona Lisa in sari look and Jackie’s Technicolor beauty, Claudia is icy. She has a trendy beige appearance - hair, face and eyes representing different shades of pale; the perfect canvas for showcasing her rock collection. She’s married to a very successful plastic surgeon, Paul Peterson - the nip and tuck man to the Stars. Jackie says he can make anyone look twenty years younger, and she should know…
            “Oh, damn!” Jackie’s false eyelash fell into her Pinot Grigio, and she fished it out with her dessert spoon. She looked at the damp thing, which resembled a drowned spider, and started to cry again. The whole thing looked so pitiful; I closed my gaping mouth and reached out for her hand. Like Claudia, she too was bejeweled, adorned with a massive, intricately carved gold ring with a large blue stone set in the center. It was new; at least I had never seen it before…a bit gaudy for Jackie’s taste, I thought.
            Her outfit, on the other hand, was killer. She was tightly wrapped - leaving little to the imagination - in an exquisitely cut black cashmere dress. I tried to calculate the time and expense involved in Jackie’s total look. Not only was she draped in luscious cashmere, but her perfect size six feet were adorned with gorgeous black suede pumps featuring four-inch Lucite heels. A hefty silver cuff hung from her small wrist, and a matching - very large - organic shaped brooch was pinned high on her right shoulder. Mental note to me: search for Lucite heels.
            As I took it all in, I could feel envy quickly casting its spell on me, dragging me deeper and deeper, until…
            “Beauty lies within…Beauty lies within,” a voice rang through my head. I glanced around the table nervously and shifted in my seat.
            “Look within,” the voice thundered.
            There it is again!
            Trying to compose myself, I took a deep breath and ran my fingers through my freshly glazed hair. Clay, my hairstylist, insisted it was the color of the season…Sunny & Share. The name sold me.
            I gave it a little flip and tried to focus.
            “Perhaps an aura cleansing…or no…better yet…an ear coning!” That was Phyllis, distracting me from my inner clamor. “You know…a buildup of wax can lead to pressure on the brain, which can sometimes cause irrational behavior.” Her eyes widened.
            “Um, Jackie,” I cut Phyllis off, “it’s not like you to be so insecure, darling. Maybe you should hire a private investigator. You know, have Ted professionally followed. There’s probably a very simple explanation, and until you have something solid - you know, concrete proof - I don’t think you should fall apart like this.”
            “Yes; totally!” added Claudia, a look of excitement shooting across her face. “You need dirt…”
            After a twitch and a look that could peel paint, Jackie whipped around and summoned the waiter with a quick flick of her porcelain hand. Within seconds he was at our table.
            “Yes ladies. What can I get you?” He stood at attention, like a soldier, his back straight as an arrow. “May I suggest starting with a steaming tureen of octopus bisque…or a nice salad…perhaps field greens with pecorino shavings?”
            “More wine!” Jackie bellowed.
            “Yes, of course, madam.”
            “I’ll just have a plain salad to start,” I said, reviewing the menu.
            “Yes madam; Radicchio, Mesclun, Watercress, Endive, Escarole, Arugula, Swiss Chard or Dandelion?”
            “Lovely choice…and for your main course, madam? May I suggest our Paupiette of Black Bass, in a lovely caviar and wild root sauce, with a side of truffle risotto?”
            “Can you repeat that?”
            “Pen, please! We’ll be here all day,” Jackie growled.
            “Sorry…I’ll have the salmon, grilled.”
            “For you, madam…anything.” His eyes twinkled.
            “What’s with this guy,” Claudia whispered out of the side of her mouth. “I’ll have the soup and seared tuna - not too well done,” she said flatly, giving him the once over.
            “Bring me a steak,” Jackie roared, “and make it rare.”
            “Indubitably.” The waiter clicked his heels and smiled.
            “I’ll have tofu,” said Phyllis.
            “Tofu, madam?”
            “Just tofu?”
            “Yes. And more Pinot.”
            “Very well. Your wish is my command,” he sang and turned on his heel.
            “That took long enough…” Jackie grimaced.
            “You’ll feel so much better after you eat something, you’ll see.” I squeezed Jackie’s hand.
            “Yes; your blood sugar is low,” Phyllis added.
            “Oh look. There’s poor Cathy Greenheart.”
            We all turned and waved.
            “Oh dear. She looks haggard.”
            “Well, it’s no wonder. I heard she had to sell her entire Hermes scarf collection.”
            “Yes, can you imagine? It’s too awful to think about.”
            “She lost every dime in that Ponzi scam,” Claudia whispered.
            “Do you think she’s had work done…?” We all turned to scrutinize.
            “Definitely. Thank God she had that done before she went broke.”
            “Oh yes…thank God.”
            “Well. It’s a good thing she has deep, caring friends like us.” We waved again and smiled.
            “Absolutely; we must make it a point to take her out for a manicure or something…”
            “Oh yes. And let’s send her a gift…something useful…like a silver tray or monogramed napkins…”
            We put our heads down for a moment of silent reflection.

            I took advantage of the solemn moment and surveyed the club. It was autumn, and the Regal was packed with Club Ladies, most likely chatting about fundraisers, the popular fall fashion show, or where they were spending the holidays. I wondered how many tables were discussing philandering husbands…Probably 75%; I estimated.
            Over to my left, I spotted the Regal’s manager, Charles, casually walking over to a table of chatty women with the house phone in his hand. Color drained from my face as I watched him hand it over to a woman idly rifling through her handbag…but not just any handbag.
            No - holy moly macaroni - the handbag of all handbags!
            The holy grail of handbags!
            The gold standard!
            The TIGER!!!
            Divine intervention! My foot tapped uncontrollably. The coveted Tiger Bag! My eyes glazed over as I was instantly whisked away into the land of extravagance and beauty, imagining ownership of the magnificent work of art and the respect and envy it would undoubtedly demand…like knowing the secret handshake. Oh, the doors that would open if it were securely tucked under my arm. My mind raced like a runaway train. That bag is soooo gorgeous.
            My name is on a wait list, with about 5,000 other women, all of us more than happy to dish out barrels and barrels of cash for the sensational accessory. Its stripes mesmerizing and bringing out the animal in me, I envisioned the rectangular bag with its genuine 14kt gold chain link handle and matching tiger’s head closure by my side, and let out a little “roar.”
            “What? Pen, did you say something?”
            “Oh, er…yes, bore. Ted is such a bore,” I quickly replied.
            “Beauty lies within…beauty lies within…,” the annoying voice boomed through my head again.
            “Oh, enough, already,” I said loudly, pulling at my collar. If only that voice would stop nagging at me.
            “Pen, what are you going on about?” Phyllis asked with a puzzled expression.
            “Er…enough speculating,” I blurted out. “It’s going to turn out to be something innocent…you’ll see. You can’t fall apart like this.” I cleared my throat loudly and picked at my cuticle, my eyes locked on the superb masterpiece. I wonder if the Tiger has a matching wallet. Oh, oh…and a card case, and maybe a cell phone holder, a makeup bag and a…lipstick holder! I made another mental note.
            Jackie was staring at me, the gold flecks in her green eyes dancing around like tiny flames. I gave my Sunny & Share a nervous flip and tried my best to ignore her.
            Meanwhile, Claudia darted her eyes over to the Tiger and kicked me hard under the table.
            “Beauty lies within, beauty lies within…” Ahhhhh, it’s that voice again. I shook my head, trying to lose the haunting chant, but it was useless.
            “Darling, have you seen my new Salvatore Caracas?” Claudia pulled my attention back. “It’s a dream.” Her eyes twinkled.
            “Salvatore Caracas!” My ears perked up like a bunny.
She pointed to the pale pink scarf casually draped over her shoulder and purred.
            “Oh my….it is dreamy.” I put my hand out hoping to feel the exquisite piece of silk.
            “Oh yes. It’s a one of a kind…and signed! Paul got it for me when he was in Barcelona, at that Botox convention. Darling you know Salvatore Caracas is just….”
            “Excuse me!” That was Jackie, her voice hitting a new high. “It’s all about me, today…remember?”
            “Er….yes, sorry…”
            “Well, if you ask me,” Phyllis said flatly, “I think you should try clairvoyant counseling. It might give you some insight into Ted’s psyche,” she shrugged her shoulders.
            “Psyche, you mean psycho! Earth to Phyllis…Teddy has gone over to the Dark Side! Keep up for God’s sake.” Jackie contorted her face and put her glass down with a thud. A splash of wine hit the crisp white tablecloth, and I noted how some stains, even small ones, have the capacity to keep growing…seeping in deeply - very hard to clean up.
            “Maybe marriage counseling…Sam and I...”
            “Oh Pen, give me a break,” Jackie groaned. “Honey, you need to take the rose colored glasses off. Wake up and smell the perfume…”
            “Excuse me?” I shifted in my seat, feeling incredibly self-conscious.
            “Jackie, you really need to calm down. Your aura is so murky,” Phyllis pulled her pashmina around her shoulders. “It’s going to take you days to balance and cleanse,” she said. “You really should look into some relaxation tapes.” She flipped her hair casually.
            Reaching boiling point, Jackie shot her a look that could kill and mumbled something about vegans. “Look,” she blew out hard. “It’s just…you’re sooooooo damn sweet, Pen. I wish you weren’t so naïve, for crying out loud.” The vein in her forehead popped out and she massaged it with her slender fingers. “Oh I’m sorry. It’s that cradle robber, Ted. He has me in a state of emergency!” Her electric green eyes flashed like neon lightning bolts.
            “Well, hire the P.I. and get some facts before you go septic,” I mumbled, avoiding her glare.
            “Yes, of course, Jackie. Pen is absolutely right,” sang Phyllis. “That’s exactly what you should do!” I watched with amusement as Phyllis picked up her monogrammed R.R.B.T. damask napkin and carefully polished her 14kt gold peace sign pendant. “My family has everyone followed,” she said, admiring the pendant’s shine.
            “Oh yes. It’s standard practice. They’ve got people following people following people. You can never be too safe.”
            “Er, that’s encouraging,” I mumbled, distracted by the loud buzz of conversation from nearby tables. The Regal was jam packed. Glasses clinked, diamonds sparkled, and laughter could be heard bouncing off the chintz covered walls. If only these walls could talk, I thought, and smiled to myself. After all, Chatsdale, and the Regal in particular, is the stomping ground for a unique circle of elite upper crusts…escapades are plentiful. If the outside world were privy to some of the shenanigans going down in this insulated haven, lives would be ruined. Fortunately, faux pas are kept under wrap. You see, the crème de la crème are a clannish group, and what happens in their hoity toity circle, stays in their hoity toity circle. Every measure is taken to insure an impeccable reputation.
            Of course, this is a privileged level of protection. You can’t buy your way in or bribe your way in. You’re born into it. Outsiders, or worse yet, nouveau riche are simply not tolerated in this highbrow arena. One can marry in, but that offers a much lower level of protection, a sort of limited Membership, if you will. Money is no guarantee in. Only a very select few are guaranteed admittance into this world of the pampered and privileged. There are two criteria: noted blood line and a certain level of education. For instance, your trust fund could be skint and your heat turned off, but if your family has a good name and you graduated from a good school, you’re in like Flynn. I know this, because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth and Capwell blood running through my veins. Something Mother never lets me forget.
            Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad group to belong to. There are perks. For instance, there is a certain level of entertainment, and things like addiction, adultery, fraud (and a host of other indiscretions) are overlooked. You see, there’s a strict oath of secrecy within this exclusive society.
            But the walls…the walls of the Regal could tell many a tale…like when the governor’s wife, Jocelyn Peabody, was caught smoking a joint in the Ladies Lounge with the towel boy. And the time Janey Carmody was seen entering the dining room with her skirt inside out, after her meeting with the pool director. Alas, these forbidden tales remain hidden from the public, locked inside the walls of the Regal and the many other swishy clubs frequented by my social circle.
            “Finally,” Jackie bellowed and tutted loudly.
            The waiter was back.
            Taking a better look at him, I noted he was quite handsome with dancing blue eyes and shiny dark hair that sprung up in soft curls. He had a sharp chin, high cheekbones, and his skin had a lovely glow. He maneuvered around our table like a cat and threw our dishes down like a card dealer. Before I could blink, he was at my elbow.
            “It’s a brilliant day. Don’t you agree, madam?” It was more of a song than a statement. “It’s great to be alive.” He inhaled deeply and exhaled loudly.
            “Er, yes; just lovely.” I gave a little crooked smile.
            “There’s something in the air.” He grinned broadly.
            “Yes, it’s called heartbreak,” Jackie sniffled.
            “That’ll be all.” She waved her hand.
            “The world is a garden ready to sprout the seeds of your imagination,” he chirped. “Simply place your desires into the cosmos and watch them grow to fruition.”
            “Yes madam. Now, should you require anything further - anything at all - just beckon. I will heed the call faster than the flip of wren’s wing.”
            “Er…yes, well. I think we’re good.” Jackie creased her brow.
            “That was interesting…”
            “There’s something about that guy,” Jackie mumbled, her eyes taking him in.
            I made a note to speak with the manager.
            Meanwhile, Claudia was becoming increasingly excited, and her eyes took on a strange glow. “If you want my advice…leave the bastard…but only after you gut him!” Claudia was certainly relishing the thought of Ted being cored like an apple. “Take him to the cleaners!” she wailed and stuck her fork into her seared tuna with unnecessary force.
            “Shhh, Claudia, lower your voice,” Phyllis whispered, fingering her large peace sign.
            “Hang ‘em by his…!”
            “Claudia! You’re creating a scene...”
Take it from a lady who has been there, this is a true to life description of a small town with lots of money. It was a fun read and spot on too. I hope to hear more from this writer.

About the Author
Lisa J. Mitchell is an American writer, residing on the East Coast with her husband, two sons, and her Shih-Poo. She's worked in Advertising, Fashion, and Sales...but found writing to be her absolute passion. When she's not tapping away at the keyboard, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a new recipe, enjoying time with her family, or having a laugh with dear friends. She loves to interact with her readers, so please visit her at the links below.


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