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Chapter 35: An Outsider Again

clubhouse35

Blue number twenty-one halted at the bus stop. Knowing he had to wait a while before another blue twenty-one would arrive, he said, “My bus is here. See you tomorrow.”

He really wanted to go home. Working for Matthias was harder than working in his ex-company. The pay was more, but so was the work. Still, Zach was not in a position to complain. Hoping to catch the bus, Zach was ready to break into a jog when Guinevere grabbed his wrist.

“Wait,” she said.

Zach wanted to insist, but the bus was quick to decide he was not worth the wait.

“Looks like you need to catch the next one,” Guinevere simply said.

Heaving a silent sigh, the question of what Guinevere wanted was at the tip of his tongue. But before he could voice it, he spotted Wayne heading toward them.

“Gwen? What’s the matter?” Wayne called out.

“Finally! Zach here is really busy. It’s hard getting him, you know,” Guinevere replied.

Having no clue what was going on, Zach gave Guinevere a questioning look.

“Hi, I’m Wayne. Zach, is it?” Wayne immediately stretched his hand out for a shake.

Playing along, Zach took the handshake and answered, “Yes, I’m…”

He had no idea how to finish his sentence. What was he to say?

“He’s going to be in-charge of the food at our wedding. The chef we have now is giving me some problems. You don’t mind, do you?” Guinevere quickly said.

Completely bewildered, he was not sure on how to respond. It was obvious Guinevere was making up a story. For whatever reason, he didn’t want to be a part of it. Unfortunately, there was no way he could escape.

“I don’t mind. Is that all?” Wayne said.

“Hold on. I need to make a call,” Guinevere replied and walked away.

Where was she going? It seemed like she wanted to drag it out. Zach was certainly not up for it. He wanted to stop playing pretend.

“So, you’re a chef?” Wayne asked.

“Well,” Zach paused and took a quick glance at Guinevere. She was not lying when she said she needed to make a call. “I like food.”

Wayne nodded with a chuckle. “If you need to confirm anything, just do so with Gwen. I’m fine with whatever you put on my plate.”

“Yea, sure. I’ll do that.”

“Great. I’m actually meeting a friend, so I’ll excuse myself.”

“OK. It was nice meeting you.”

“You too,” Wayne said with a smile. He did not wait for Guinevere to get off the phone as he headed back toward the building.

When Guinevere finally ended the call, she turned to Zach with a wide grin.

“What was that all about?” Zach immediately asked.

“Oh, nothing. I’ll handle the food thing. You can just show up and take credit for it.”

“I don’t want to do that,” Zach stated.

“Just play along. If not for me, do it for Jodie.”

“What does Jodie have to do with this?”

“She’s helping Richard, I’m helping them. It’s complicated.”

No matter how complicated the situation was, he wanted to know. The three of them being tangled sounded improbable.

“Tell me,” Zach said, challenging what he thought to be fiction.

“Nah. It’s very messy. By the way, do you like Jodie? You’re always doing things for her,” Guinevere tactlessly changed the topic.

“What?”

For a brief second, Zach forgot the main reason why he was still talking to her. Her question was so unexpected that it caught him off guard.

“Please, it’s so obvious,” Guinevere added.

“Stop.”

“I knew it. You do!”

“What? No,” Zach immediately replied.

“You’re blushing,” Guinevere teased.

“I’ll pretend tonight did not happen. Goodbye,” Zach said and stalked off.

He was not going to put up with her any longer. He wanted to go home and sleep it off. Unfortunately for him, it was almost impossible to forget Guinevere’s words. If he was being completely honest, he was actually not sure how he felt. The uncertainty was enough to keep him awake.

The following morning, Zach received a text message from Ms Leona. She told him to be at the poolside after lunch. As he made his way to Skypeak, he took his mind off last night’s incident and wondered what the next task would be. When he finally arrived at the poolside, he spotted Richard lounging on a pool chair and Matthias taking shade under a large umbrella.

“It looks like the ladies are late today,” Richard said, when he saw Zach.

Having spotted a notice about the pool being closed for the day, it was no surprise that he found no other clubhouse member in sight.

“It’s very unlike Jodie to be late,” Richard added.

“Wow, you sure do know her well,” Matthias said.

“We’re best friends now. You know that.”

Matthias chuckled and shook his head. He then walked to the opposite side of the pool and took a seat. Zach could not help but dwell on the exchange between the two of them. It seemed as though they knew something he didn’t. In fact, he felt like the only one being left out. What did the four know that suddenly made them friends?

Curious, Zach wanted to find out. He was not usually a busybody, but Jodie was seemingly involved it in. Perhaps Guinevere was right. But whatever the truth was, he wanted to be up to date first. Since neither of the ladies were present, it was either Richard or Matthias. And Zach had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 34: Lie To Me

clubhouse34

On Tuesday morning, she received a strange call. On Wednesday noon, she found herself in a café. Guinevere never thought such a day would come, she never thought she would agree to it either. But she was curious as to why one of her least favourite people would want to meet her. All Jodie said was, “It’s not about me or you, it’s about someone we know.” And without hesitation, Guinevere said ‘yes’.

Guinevere contemplated that morning, on whether to be early, on time, or late. It was such a meaningless decision, but she could not help herself. She and Jodie had a mutual dislike for each other, and it resulted in her consciously wanting to protect her pride. Even if Jodie couldn’t be bothered with it, she was. In the end, she decided to be late.

When Guinevere entered the café, she found Jodie seated at the far corner. Stalking with her head up high, she waved for a waitress to follow as she headed to the table. Once seated, she ordered a salad and a cup of green tea.

“On a diet?” Jodie asked.

“For the wedding,” Guinevere replied. “Have you ordered?”

Jodie nodded and tapped on the tall glass of iced coffee on the table.

“What’s your reason?” Guinevere asked.

“I’m not on a diet,” Jodie stated.

Guinevere did not reply. Her pride had taken a hit. The conversation also started off cold and awkward, and she knew it would not warm up any time soon.

“Thanks for coming,” Jodie said.

“Well, you said it’s about someone we know.”

“Yes.”

“Are you going to tell me who?”

“This might seem strange, but…” Jodie paused. Guinevere noticed her hesitation, which made her even more eager to find out. Somehow, she knew Jodie hated their conversation more than she did.

“But?” Guinevere prompted.

“But I need your help with Richard.”

“What do you mean?” A series of inaudible questions continued on in Guinevere’s head. Where was Jodie coming from? Why her out of everyone Jodie knew? Heck, why Richard?

“Richard came to me and asked me for help. He needs some information from Wayne.”

Guinevere narrowed her eyes and asked, “Does this have anything to do with Richard’s family?”

Jodie nodded.

“Oh, so you know,” Guinevere said. She never expected Jodie to help someone like Richard. It was beyond her character, or at least, the character Guinevere concluded on.

“And so do you?” Jodie asked.

“Yes, of course. I’m guessing he wants to know what Wayne was doing with his father?”

“Yes.”

“You want me to ask Wayne? You know that’s-”

“No,” Jodie interrupted. “We both know him well enough to know that wouldn’t work. I just need your help to distract him while I retrieve the information.”

“How would you know where to find it?”

“He writes a journal on all his cases, and he keeps that journal in a safe in his office.”

Guinevere could not believe her ears, not because she was surprised that Wayne did such a thing, but because Jodie knew about something she didn’t. Wayne never once mentioned about a journal, and she was not happy about that.

Hiding her childish jealousy, she asked, “How are you going to access the safe?”

“I have an idea on what his password might be,” Jodie answered.

Immediately, Guinevere found herself struggling to tame the green-eyed monster within her.

“Will you help me?” Jodie asked.

This time, she hesitated to agree. Aside from the growing dislike she had for Jodie, who obviously knew Wayne better than she did, she was not sure if it was worth risking her relationship.

“You really have nothing to lose,” Jodie added.

“You might be right. But I’ll think about it,” Guinevere stated.

She ended the conversation there. She called for the kitchen to pack up her lunch, and left the café without another word. But that night, she surprised herself when she sent Jodie a one-word message: OK.

Guinevere agreed she had nothing to lose, and she wanted to help Richard. He was having a tough time and she felt sorry for him. She and Richard were probably more alike than Jodie. And if there was one thing she could be proud of that day, it would be that she understood the heartache of being be born with a silver spoon.

On Friday night, Jodie and Guinevere met outside of Wayne’s bank. The plan was for Jodie to meet up with Wayne, then have Guinevere call Wayne out of the building to buy Jodie some time. Ten minutes after Jodie had gone to meet with him, Guinevere got into action. It took a lot of pleading, but she managed to convince Wayne she had something urgent to tell him.

As she waited under the starless sky, pacing up and down by the side of her car, she saw a familiar face. He was walking by the side of the road, heading toward the bus stop. Hurrying to him, she asked, “Going home from work?”

Zach stopped in his tracks and turned to her direction.

“Oh, hi. Yes,” he simply replied.

“Were you told about tomorrow’s task?”

“No. I guess Ms Leona will inform us tomorrow itself.”

“I guess so.”

Guinevere was about to let Zach go, when she heard Wayne calling to her. In that split second, she felt a wave of panic. She never really thought of a good excuse as to why she called him out. Guinevere said it was urgent, but there was nothing urgent she could lie about.

Her mind was mostly blank, except for two words: wedding and Zach. How was she going to pull those two together? Did she really want to bring Zach into it? She knew that if she gave Wayne a lame excuse, he would find it strange and start questioning her. He might even end the conversation and return to his office. The options were limited. Guinevere had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Dr. Slubgob’s Letters

Slubgob

The fireplace crackled softly in his quiet mahogany themed office. He had just returned from a class graduation ceremony and he was too lazy to move from his chair behind the desk, even if he was starting to get a chill from the lack of heat in the room.

He often blamed his age for his inability to stay on his feet for long hours, but it was simply a lame excuse. The fact was, Slubgob had grown to be rather sluggish after his retirement and it was not a trait to be celebrated, unlike his apathetic personality. Nobody could blame him though, for he had nothing else better to do these days. He was filled with head knowledge and the lack of fieldwork left him reading old dusty books to kill time.

Having surrounded himself only with books, Slubgob was rather surprised when he received the invitation to the graduation at Tempters’ Training College for Young Demons. He actually thought the invite was out of respect. But when he found his seat three rows from the stage, among the bored, agitated and noisy parents, Slubgob knew he was there to be made fun of. Makallous, the newly appointed principle, had invited him just so he could whisper among his fellow subordinates of how the ‘old one’ had finally left his glory days to rot in an office.

When Slubgob realised the childish plot, he decided to keep his ego and remained seated throughout the ceremony. He didn’t want to give Makallous anymore joy in seeing him leave.

Joy, what do any of us know about joy, Slubgob thought.

Finally finding himself so close to a sneeze, Slubgob hurried to the fireplace and added more wood. The temperature was fluctuating these days and Slubgob could only suspect more victories from the enemy. He hoped their father below had not suspected the change, for if he did, they would all be in trouble. Though none of them would end up taking a beating as bad as Makallous.

The imagery of Makallous being punished made Slubgob smile. Why would Slubgob be in trouble when he did nothing, nothing at all?

This sedentary lifestyle isn’t so bad after all, Slubgob concluded silently, returning to his desk.

As he reclined in his chair, ready to catch a shuteye, he noticed a letter sitting on top of his stack of reread books. Scribbled on the brown envelope was his name and when he turned it over, he saw no seal or name of whom it was from.

Slowly taking out the letter, oddly finding himself not at all interested at what it had to say, Slubgob found himself staring down at three words, so poorly written that he started to wonder if he now needed glasses.

“Please help him,” Slubgob read aloud, after a few attempts of trying to piece the alphabets together. Signed beneath the three-word letter was an initial, one he recognised all too well.

That would explain the bad handwriting, Slubgob thought.

Bledbrush was a very old friend who fell from grace. He lost both his hands after he failed a special assignment that was personally handed to him by their father below.

Perhaps he wrote the letter with his feet. The sudden flashes from his rusty imagination made Slubgob laugh.

“Oh Bledbrush, this is your job,” Slubgob said with a sigh. Slubgob did not need to guess whom the letter was referring to as he began thinking about his godson.

Bledbrush had a son named Vilefire. Vilefire was part of the graduating class that morning, and at the memory, Slubgob recalled not seeing Bledbrush among the group of parents.

Where was Bledbrush? Was he in trouble?

Bledbrush used to be a good friend, until he messed things up. The community was kind enough to accept his son, but Bledbrush was no longer welcomed at family barbeques or invited to any festive celebrations. He went from the number one Tempter to the number one outcast, and in Slubgob’s honest opinion, he deserved it.

Bledbrush was to lead his patient away from the enemy, but instead, he lost him to the enemy. That patient ended up leading an entire generation in the enemy’s ways, wasting all efforts and destroying all future chances of winning any of them back.

Pitiful… Pitiful Bledbrush. Should I help him? Slubgob asked himself.

With such a father, Vilefire had no choice but to fend for himself. Forced to make up for his father’s abhorrent reputation, the boy could definitely use Slubgob’s help.

“That’s a poor way of asking for a favour, Bledbrush. The enemy forbid, your manners are appalling. But… I’ll help you anyway,” Slubgob said, as though speaking to someone across his desk.

Just as he had decided on that, a knock came from his office door.

“What is it Mrs Gregious?” Slubgob asked, slightly annoyed at the disturbance. His caretaker knew better than to disturb him at any time of the day.

“I have a letter for you, sir,” Mrs Gregious said, as she opened the door and hurried to his desk to hand him the letter.

“Another one?” Slubgob was surprised at the amount of attention he was getting that day.

Mrs Gregious nodded and left without saying another word.

Not hesitating, Slubgob tore the letter open and read.

Dr. Slubgob,

This is to inform you of the disappearance of former Tempter Bledbrush.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, you are to report immediately.

Demons who withhold information will not be spared.

Signed,

Dartloath

(Captain of the H. G Security)

“Ah. Well done Bledbrush, you angered our father below. You should think twice about making it a hobby,” Slubgob said, as he shook his head in disappointment.

That explained the letter from Bledbrush, and Slubgob was glad that Bledbrush’s letter was just that. Anything more would get him in trouble.

Contemplating on what to do next, he decided to give Dartloath a call. If Mrs Gregious decided to speak about the mysterious letter he received earlier, he would not be able to have a day without the Hell’s Ground Security knocking on his door. So, he decided to come clean.

That night, Slubgob invited Dartloath over for dinner. Dartloath was not as old as he was, but the towering demon was well into his age. He also had a scar on his right eye, making it the eye no one dared to look into.

“Doctor, I know you are one with little friends and surely I am not one of them. What is the reason for this dinner?” Dartloath said, just as he emptied his glass of wine.

“You have enjoyed my food and now you fear not in jumping into questions and reasons. I respect the thickness of your skull, Dartloath.”

“I waste no time. I am a busy one.”

“Of course. Well, earlier today I received a letter from Bledbrush, he-”

“Does it say where he is?”

“No. He simply asked me to look after his son, who happens to be my godson. But, I think I do know where he is.”

“You do?”

“Yes.”

“What are you waiting for? An invitation to dinner at my house instead?” Dartloath did not like waiting, it seemed.

“Tell me this first, what are you planning to do with Vilefire?” Slubgob replied, as he took another bite at his red meat.

“We’re keeping him under surveillance. Bledbrush might attempt to contact him and vice versa. We-”

“Now, tell me what Bledbrush did that made him run,” Slubgob interrupted, completely ignoring the steam that was rising from Dartloath’s head. Literally.

“It’s confidential. Our father below gave orders not to disclose any information on Bledbrush’s offense.”

“How interesting.”

“So, where is he?” Dartloath snapped.

“Well, since Bledbrush is not down here, he must be up there, frolicking with our fellow patients,” Slubgob replied with a smile.

“Do you think this is funny, old one?”

“No. I’ve simply told you all I know. Now if you would excuse me-”

“Where’s the letter from Bledbrush? I want to see it,” Dartloath interrupted him this time.

“You won’t be able to read it. He writes with his toes now that he has no hands,” Slubgob casually replied as he got up from his seat. “Just take my word for it. I called you here, didn’t I?”

“I’m not sure what your reason is for such an invite. You know, it is true what they say, a lonely, bored old one is what you are,” Dartloath replied without hiding his spite. As he stood up, he tugged his suit and left without even thanking Slubgob for the delicious meal.

Not taking any offense, Slubgob returned to his office and decided to write a letter to Vilefire. With a mystery as such, he foresaw less idle days in his office and it excited him. Slubgob could also put his knowledge to the test and do a real field task at last. If it got him in trouble, he could always pretend to be senile.

Pulling out his favourite fountain pen from his desk’s drawer, Slubgob stared briefly at the flickering shadows that dominated his office before he began to write.

Dear Vilefire,

You are probably wondering why I am writing to you. To be honest, your father sent me a letter asking me to help you. I suspect it could mean to help you in your new assignment, but it could also be a plea to keep you from harm’s way, now that he has fallen from grace again.

I know I have not been a very good godfather to you, but I am not one to build relationships. As you might have heard from your lecturers in college, or even your fellow classmates, I am as unfriendly as an alligator and as cold as a snake.

Oddly, I find myself writing a letter to you, hoping to do your father one last favour. He was once a good friend and a good Tempter, and you would do well not to forget that.

Of course, I will not barge my way into your mediocre life, but if you would like my assistance, I am sure to have more head knowledge than anyone you have met.

Write back to me once you have decided. There is no rush, only the time wasted to do great things for our father below.

Your willing Godfather,

Dr. Slubgob

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

You have just read Chapter 1 of Dr. Slubgob’s Letters. Want more? Grab the entire novella HERE!

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Book Teasers

 

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Chapter 33: Too Quick To Answer

clubhouse33

For the first time in her life, she was not going to clock in to work. That Monday, she decided that her company could run itself. Jodie had to prepare for the worst after all. If things go badly with her case, what she had built would not crumble in her absence. But taking the day off was not just for the sake of testing her company’s independence, it was also to get Piper ready.

Jodie woke up pretty late that morning. It was a rare occasion for someone like her. When Piper knocked on her door around lunchtime, she decided she had enough of lazing around. Piper had gotten a lot of things done in the hours Jodie wasted, including preparing lunch.

“You don’t have to do this,” Jodie said. “You’re my guest.”

“And that’s why I have to. You know me. I hate freeloading,” Piper replied with a smile.

“You’re not. Let me-”

“No. Let me. Just relax while I’m here. You have enough on your plate already,” Piper interrupted as she placed two plates of stir-fried noodles on the dining table.

“Yes, definitely enough for lunch,” Jodie replied with a chuckle.

Piper smiled and took her seat. When she gestured Jodie to follow suit, she said, “I still can’t believe Neal’s parents. I remember meeting them once and thinking they were such a nice couple.”

“Trust me, I sometimes wonder if they’re the same people.”

Piper nodded. “Never mind about them for now. I’m curious about something else.” She placed her chopsticks down and asked, “Who’s that guy at the airport?”

Jodie smiled and shook her head. There was nothing to hide from Piper, so she said, “One of my competitors from the clubhouse competition.”

“Oh, you guys close?”

“You’ll be surprise. Suddenly, all five of us are best friends.”

Piper raised an eyebrow and Jodie added, “I’m joking. Our lives just seem to cross paths after we started the whole clubhouse thing.”

“How’s that going? The clubhouse competition.”

Jodie shrugged. She did not know how it was going. Was she doing well? Is she in good standing because she completed all her tasks? How was she being judged? Jodie had no idea and the conversation she had with Matthias on day one came to mind. Yes, it certainly felt like someone was playing with them. And just when she decided to share that thought, the doorbell rang.

“Must be Matthias,” Jodie said.

“Oh, good. I’ll clear up,” Piper replied.

“No, just leave it,” Jodie responded, even though she knew Piper wouldn’t listen.

Hurrying to the front door, Jodie took one quick look around her living room to make sure it was organized. Finding nothing to put in order, she welcomed her guest… Or should she say, guests.

“Hey,” Jodie greeted, and then immediately, she asked, “what are you doing here?”

“Wanted to see where you live,” Richard answered with a grin.

Jodie turned to Matthias and he answered on cue, “I couldn’t leave him at home. I don’t trust him with my things. Sorry.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t cause any trouble,” Richard added.

Reluctantly, Jodie pulled the door wider and gestured for the two to enter. When they did, Piper exited the kitchen. She first had a wide smile on her face, but shortly after, she gave Jodie a questioning look.

“Oh hey, remember me?” Richard asked.

Piper nodded her head.

“How can she forget?” Jodie asked on her behalf.

“I made quite an impression, eh?”

“I’m sure you did,” Matthias stated, before heading up to Piper and shaking her hand. After introducing himself to her, the two headed to the sofa.

“You want anything to drink?” Jodie asked.

“Water is fine,” Matthias answered.

“I’ll get it,” Piper said as she jumped to her feet.

“No. Sit. He needs to brief you on my case, ” Jodie immediately responded.

She did not wait for Piper to argue as she headed to the kitchen. Least expecting to be followed by anyone, she almost had a heart attack when she found Richard quietly standing by the kitchen door.

“What?” Jodie asked.

“You didn’t ask me what I wanted,” Richard answered.

Jodie sighed. “What do you want to drink?”

“Water is fine.”

Nodding, she retrieved three glasses. While filling them up, she saw Richard walking toward her from the corner of her eye.

“I need to ask you something,” Richard said, stopping at the kitchen counter.

“Go on.”

“I need a favour.”

“What kind of favour?”

Jodie did not like beating around the bush, so if he needed something, she rather he told her. Whether or not she said yes, that was another question altogether.

“I need your help to get some info for me. You see, your friend Wayne-”

“You want to know what Wayne is doing for your family?”

“Well, more of like, what my family needs him to do. I’m stuck in limbo right now, and I need info to help me take the next step. If you know what I mean.”

She knew what he meant. But was she going to do it? Wayne was never going to hand over confidential information to her, but she did know where he kept them. Not knowing why, she found herself agreeing. Perhaps it was because she felt completely useless at the moment, and helping Richard would mean otherwise. Or perhaps she just wanted to even the score.

“OK,” Jodie said.

“Wow, I thought I would have a hard time convincing you.”

“You’re in luck today.”

“Thanks, I owe you one,” Richard said, as he picked up the glasses on the table.

“No, we’re even,” Jodie corrected.

“Oh, that’s right, I almost forgot.” Richard gave her a smile and a wink, before heading out.

Rolling her eyes, Jodie remained rooted to the spot. She grunted at the thought of what she had to do, before wondering why she agreed to do it in the first place. What was she thinking? It was too late to change her answer.

Knowing that Richard’s request was not going to be easy, she pulled out her phone ready to call for help. It was either Zach or Guinevere – Zach because she trusted him, Guinevere because she could be of better assistance. Jodie had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 32: Truth Of The Arrival

clubhouse32

Morning arrived with a splitting headache. He had expected it of course, and he only had himself to blame. Richard wanted to sleep it off, but Matthias would not stop nudging him.

“When do you intend to leave?” Matthias asked.

Richard groaned before asking, “Can I not leave… ever?”

“Get up,” Matthias replied.

Pulling himself into a seated position, he immediately found his eyes struggling to focus on his surroundings. It was metaphorically perfect, since he could not find solid ground in his current predicament either.

“Do you have coffee?” Richard shamelessly asked.

To his surprise, Matthias was already holding an extra cup in his hand. Nodding in gratitude, Richard took it from him and inhaled the aroma.

“So, when do you intend to leave?” Matthias repeated his question.

“Where’s Maddie?” Richard casually changed the subject.

“She left.”

“Aw, man. I wanted to get her number.”

“Don’t even think about it,” Matthias snapped.

Richard chuckled and added, “I’m joking. She’s not my type.”

“Thank the heavens,” Matthias said sarcastically and Richard gave a wide grin.

Fortunately for Richard, Matthias seemingly forgot his first question and walked to the dining table. Staying put, as any effort to stand would only cause his head to hurt further, Richard finished his cup of coffee silently. When he was done, he looked up at the clock above the television and asked, “Don’t you have to go to work?”

“I took the day off. Don’t you have to be at work?” Matthias replied.

It was 11a.m and Richard thought about his job as his father’s substitute. Oddly, he received no calls from his assistant, so he knew his father did not need him anymore. Wondering if he should still show up, his stomach began to growl at the lack of breakfast.

“I’m starving. Do you have anything to eat?” Richard asked instead.

“Why don’t you answer my question first?”

There was no escaping Matthias this time, as he flipped the newspaper shut and waited for an answer.

“Come on, it’s still so early. Feed me and I’ll tell you,” Richard attempted to negotiate, knowing full well it was pointless.

“Tell me or leave,” Matthias simply responded.

“Fine. They don’t need me at work. Now can we eat?” Richard gave in and got to his feet. It took him a couple of seconds before he could put one foot forward.

“I’ve already eaten.”

Hearing his reply, Richard let out a loud groan and plopped back onto the sofa.

“You’re such a child,” Matthias added.

“Yea, yea,” Richard muttered and shut his eyes.

He was indeed a child, a child that had to raise himself. There was no parent in his life to help him grow up. No one cared enough to teach him. After seeing his mother the night before, he knew she was as cold as his father. He could still remember her face – expressionless, without a hint of emotion in her eyes.

How could she though? Richard wondered. How could she not care? He actually thought she loved him, but her leaving abruptly was enough evidence that she didn’t.

“Here,” Matthias said, interrupting Richard in his thoughts.

When he opened his eyes, he found Matthias handing him a plate with a sandwich.

“You made this? For me?” Richard could not help but tease.

“No. Maddie did.”

“Ah, that sweet child,” Richard said, reaching for the plate. But just as he did, Matthias pulled his hand back.

“Speak of my sister again, and you’ll starve,” Matthias warned.

“I’m sorry,” Richard responded before snatching the plate from Matthias.

The moments after that carried on in silence, as Richard gobbled down his sandwich and Matthias finished his coffee. When they were both done, Richard cleared the dishes in hopes to use his actions as a reason to stay. He really hoped Matthias would let him live off his sofa for a while, or at least until he knew what to do. Richard had no plan on how to deal with his family’s situation, and he was clueless as to what actually went down after their arrival.

Did they add Gabriel into the family registry? Did his father rewrite his will? Will Richard have nothing? At that moment, he cared more about his future than the unanswered past. By the time he was done with his thoughts and the chore, Matthias strode up to him and asked, “So, how long do you intend to stay?”

The restructuring of the sentence gave Richard hope.

“Not long. Just for a while.”

“What’s up with your family?”

“What makes you think something’s up?”

“You got drunk in my house, you don’t want to leave, and Jodie called to check in on you.”

“Jodie called? Never thought she cared,” Richard said. He did not hide his shock as it came off as an honest surprise.

“So?” Matthias prompted.

Richard hesitated. His story might sound shallow to Matthias, but he needed a reason to stay. So, he decided to fill him in. By the end of the storytelling session, Matthias asked, “What’s your plan?”

Richard had none. He thought for a few seconds and gave the best answer, “If I know exactly what my parents are doing, then maybe I can tackle the situation better. That’s my plan… for now.”

“You said Guinevere’s fiancée was with them, right? He should know,” Matthias stated.

“But would he tell? I’m sure you know the answer to that.”

“I’m not asking you to ask him. Someone close to him can do that for you. Someone like Guinevere… or Jodie.”

Matthias made a good point. If that was what he wanted to do, Richard needed to ask for someone’s help. How much information can he obtain from them, that’s another thing to worry about. For now, Richard had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 31: Chicken And Beer

clubhouse31

Ding Dong.

Matthias wasn’t expecting any more guests. So, you can probably guess his surprise when he saw Richard at his doorstep.

“What are you doing here?” Matthias asked.

“Came to visit,” Richard replied as he ushered himself in.

“I doubt that. What do you want? How do you even know where I live?”

Shutting the front door, Matthias quickly followed after him.

“The file I found in my father’s safe, remember?” Richard said with a smile, before he plopped onto the sofa.

Matthias grunted at the memory. He hated his information being out there, and he hated it more that Richard had a copy of it.

“It’s late. What do you want, Richard?” Matthias asked.

“Aw, come on, can’t you show me some hospitality?”

An unquestionable ‘no’ was at the tip of Matthias’ tongue, but before he could say it, his bedroom door opened. Richard immediately jumped on the opportunity and asked, “Oh, am I intruding?”

Maddie stood at his bedroom doorway, with a look on her face he knew all too well. It was the look of curiosity before the cat got killed.

“Yes, you are,” Matthias answered.

“Who is this?” Maddie asked.

“Nobody,” Matthias replied. Then turning to Richard, he said, “Time for you to leave.”

“Sorry, didn’t know you had a lady friend over,” Richard responded and got up from his seat.

Matthias was about to silently celebrate Richard leaving, but unfortunately, Maddie decided to clear the misunderstanding. “I’m not a lady friend. I’m his sister.”

Immediately stopping in his tracks, Richard turned to Maddie and gave her a smile. “Sister? I didn’t know Matthias has a sister. And a stunning one too.”

“Go flatter yourself, Richard,” Matthias said.

“Hey, I thought we were buddies. Why didn’t you tell me you have a sister?” he asked instead.

“We’re not buddies.”

“After all we’ve been through?”

Matthias narrowed his eyes at Richard, daring him to say another word. But Richard took it as a challenge and strode to Maddie instead.

“Name’s Richard. What’s yours?”

Ready to answer on his sister’s behalf again, he found himself being interrupted by the ringing of his phone. Seeing who it was, he gave Richard a glare before walking aside to answer the call.

“Is there a problem?” Matthias asked.

“I just want to check if Richard’s with you,” Jodie said over the line.

“Er, yes, he is. You didn’t send him here, did you?” Matthias asked with a chuckle.

“No. I saw him at the airport when I went to pick up Piper. Something happened there between him and his family. I’m just… concerned. A little. So, yea.”

“Don’t worry, he’s fine,” Matthias said with false cheerfulness, as he watched Richard and Maddie engage in what seemed like an interesting conversation.

“Do you have beer? I could use some,” Richard called to Matthias.

“Excuse me,” Matthias said to Jodie, before replying Richard, “No. Go get your own.”

“OK, wanna come along?” Richard turned to Maddie.

“No, she doesn’t want to come along,” Matthias replied. But Richard pretended not to hear as Maddie agreed.

“Sorry Jodie, I need to go,” Matthias quickly said, as he watched Richard and Maddie walk out the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow, as planned.”

When he ended the call, Matthias hurried after the pair. By the time he locked the house door, the two were already entering the elevator.

“You have class tomorrow, Maddie!” Matthias shouted, chasing after them.

“Nope, not tomorrow!” Maddie replied. And just as he had expected, she closed the elevator doors before he could even reach them.

Grunting in annoyance, Matthias contemplated between going after them and waiting for them. When he gave his sister a call, she briskly told him they would be back soon. Knowing the character of Maddie and Richard, he dragged himself back to his home. And not long after, they returned with not just a dozen beer cans, but with two boxes of fried chicken too.

“Bought some for you,” Richard casually said as he placed the convenient stall haul on the coffee table.

“No thank you,” Matthias responded.

He usually did not admit defeat so quickly, but he was too tired to continue fighting that night. So, he sat on an armchair and watched his sister and Richard chomp down their late night snack. A few hours later, the two of them were finally done. Maddie had passed out on the sofa, and Richard was mumbling to himself with a beer can in his hand.

“This mess,” Matthias muttered.

Heading over to Maddie, he piggybacked her to his bedroom. When he re-entered the living room, he heaved a heavy sigh. Matthias was really tired but he forced himself to clean the untidy state. After he was done, he stared at Richard briefly and wondered what he was going to do with him.

There was no way he could send Richard home at that hour, in such a condition. From Jodie’s call, he knew something was up. And as much as he hated to think so, he might be all that Richard had. Shaking his head, he left the unwanted guest on the sofa and retreated to his room.

Matthias decided to make up his mind when morning came. He was either going to ask Richard was what going on or he would get Zach to handle him. There weren’t many other options. Matthias had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2015 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.
 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Original Works

 

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The Devil’s In Town

As promised, a new book has finally clawed its way onto my digital bookshelf. I now present to you, Dr. Slubgob’s Letters!

Dr Slubgob

When a demon flees, a favour is requested, and the hunt begins, the truth becomes the only answer. 

After the disappearance of former Tempter Bledbrush, Dr. Slubgob receives a letter of plea to guide Bledbrush’s son, Vilefire, in his new assignment. But that short letter stirs up curiosity in the old demon’s soul and his quest to find the truth of Bledbrush’s disappearance begins.

Set in the world of The Screwtape Letters written by C.S Lewis, get ready to dip into the boiling waters of hell and uncover the fate of these fallen angels.

Sounds interesting? You can grab the e-book HERE at 1.99$.

If you’re one of the first few to read this post, then you’re in for a treat. I’ll be giving away 10 free copies using the code: devilsadvocate. The first 10 to use it will get a 100% discount off the book. So be quick!

Aside from that, I would like to give a shout out to Jason Lee. He is a graphic and motion graphic designer and he designed this book’s cover. Click on his name to check out his portfolio. Should you need his expertise, be sure to tell him I sent you :)

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy this new novella! If you would like to leave a review, you can do so on its Goodreads page. Happy reading!

*Dr Slubgob’s Letter was initially a blog series that ran on this blog in 2013. After much editing, it is now in the form of a book. 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Original Works

 

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