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Chapter 66: Sleepless Night

clubhouse66

He knew. He pretended not to, but he knew. And when she finally asked, he decided to tell.

“Richard and I believe your business partner, Neal, is alive,” Matthias said.

Jodie frowned. She didn’t believe him.

“Mr Lee spoke to his assistant about it. His assistant was supposedly heading to the hospital Neal is at, so I got Zach to bug him,” Matthias added.

“And why couldn’t you guys tell me this earlier? Why keep it a secret?”

“Because it isn’t confirmed.”

The reason wasn’t a good one, but he simply wanted to have all the facts ready before letting the cat out of the bag. Half-truths did no one good. Unfortunately, Jodie wasn’t buying it. His effort to seem reliable and trustworthy again, especially after he dropped Jodie’s case, had proved useless. And from her expression, at that very moment, he knew he took five steps back from his one step forward. Clearly, he went about it the wrong way.

“Right. So did you learn anything from the assistant?” Jodie asked.

“I haven’t checked the recording. I can-”

“I’ll go through it, if you don’t mind.”

“It’s still running though.”

“I have a feeling the assistant isn’t at the hospital any longer. So whatever that’s been recorded will do.”

Matthias held back a sigh and shrugged. He was curious to know if Neal was really alive, but he was in no position to ask. So he retrieved the memory card from one of the black boxes and handed it to Jodie.

“Thanks,” Jodie said. And that was all she had to say.

When Jodie shut the van door behind her, Matthias inserted a blank memory card into the same black box. If the assistant was with the Lees, Matthias only needed to listen. Deciding to eavesdrop, he flicked a few switches and brought the assistant’s bug to the main screen. It was black – there was nothing to see. But the audio bar peaked, and Matthias quickly reached for the headphones. Just as he was about to slip it on, his phone rang.

There was no name and he didn’t recognise the number. So he ignored it and pressed the headphones firmly against his ears. A second after the ringing stop, it rang again. Deciding to turn his phone off, he turned over and saw a familiar name on the screen.

Briefly leaving the assistant’s left jacket pocket, Matthias answered, “What’s happening?”

“Hello Matthias.”

“Gabriel?”

“It seems you and my brother get along fairly well, seeing as you answered his call and not mine.”

Matthias thought of asking for Richard, but quickly decided against it.

“I don’t have your number in my phone,” Matthias said.

“Even after I gave you my business card?”

There was no point lying then. He didn’t verbally turn down Gabriel’s offer, but he’d already made up his mind being at Skypeak that day.

“Yes. Why? Do you need me for something?”

“Of course, why else would I be calling? So, what do you say about representing my family in this mess?”

“I’d rather not be involved.”

“Really? I thought we could help each other out. You know, clean each other’s messes.”

“I don’t have messes.” As soon as those words left his lips, he regretted it. “I clean messes, not make them,” Matthias promptly added.

“So I’ve heard. I’ve also heard that sometimes the cleaner gets blamed for the missing ring.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“Why do you say that? I’m just looking for an opportunity for us to work together.”

“I don’t work with undeveloped minds. Teenagers especially.”

Gabriel laughed. And then through the line, Matthias heard Richard.

“What’re you doing with my phone?” Richard asked.

“Talking to your friend,” Gabriel answered. “Matthias, I’ll send you the address. Swing by as fast as you can.”

Before Matthias could decline, the line clicked dead. Shortly after, a message beeped in with GPS coordinates. In disbelief, Matthias chuckled. Gabriel’s gameplay was something Matthias had never encountered – perhaps heavily influenced by his age. Proceeding to turn his phone off, another unexpected call came through. This time, it was Guinevere.

Grunting, Matthias was about to shut Guinevere down when she burst into a frenzy of words.

“I need you, Matthias. I don’t trust my family’s lawyers. Please follow me to the station. I need to see Wayne.”

“What makes you think I can help?”

“You know your way around the law. I’m sure you can get me a few minutes with Wayne. Please, Matthias. I know it’s late-”

“Yes, it’s late. Lets do this tomorrow.”

“I can’t wait till tomorrow. What if something happens to Wayne while the Lees are being questioned?”

“He can take care of himself.”

“Just help me, please?”

Matthias sighed and made a mental note to never date a woman like Guinevere. He was sure Wayne didn’t want to see her. But Guinevere wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Still, Matthias couldn’t simply agree to her request. If he did, he’d have to appear before Gabriel, only to show he wasn’t siding with him. Or perhaps he should go and represent the Lees, just to see if he could find out more. He’d also save Wayne from Guinevere’s pestering. Either way, he wasn’t sleeping that night. Matthias had to choose.

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

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 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 21, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Raccoon | Bento | Adventure

racoonbentoadventure

Pastures of pleasant green rushed by in a motion blur. There were no more high-rise structures and honking cars, only shades of green against the pale blue. It was a gorgeous masterpiece. Even the blotching patches of grey couldn’t ruin its beauty, since rain was never the bane of a great adventure.

“This is exciting, isn’t it?” I asked.

My brother grunted and shifted in his seat beside me. He attempted to find a comfortable position for a nap, and settled with his head buried in his folded arms on the tray table.

“Goodnight,” my brother mumbled.

“Sleep tight!” I chimed.

In wonder of my brother’s constant need to sleep, I retrieved my homemade bento box from my bag. Sticky rice, grilled fish fillet, pickled vegetables, and a side of fresh berries, it was the perfect lunch. I briefly contemplated on saving it for later, but one can only ignore the grumbling of the stomach for so long. Snapping my wooden chopsticks apart, I dived into my meal.

“Are you- why are you eating now? You just had breakfast,” my brother said.

“I’m hungry.”

“Why are you always hungry?”

“Why are you always sleepy?”

“Whatever.”

My brother returned to his nap while I devoured my meal. I couldn’t wait to finish it. I wasn’t starving, I was just in a hurry. I was in a hurry to shake my brother awake. I was in a hurry to hop off the train. I was in a hurry for it to begin.

Who would have thought this day would come? I’d dreamt of it for so long – ever since I uttered my first word. Watching my brother come and go in his adventures always made me envious. Now finally being old enough to join him felt surreal. And there was no way I could stifle my excitement. Unfortunately for me, time was taking its time.

As my brother snored in what seemed like an uncomfortable rest, I stowed my tray table and returned to staring at the colourful streaks. One hour later, I was still staring at the colourful streaks. I knew sleep would speed up time, but my mind, raging with wild imagination, couldn’t shut down. So I stared. Even when the train rolled into a station another hour later, I stared. I stared until something caught up my eye.

It had bristly, zigzag-patterned fur of brown and beige. It was quick on its four paws, and if not for my staring, I wouldn’t have spotted it.

Jumping to my feet, I said, “I need to get down here!”

“Wha-what?” My brother groggily looked out the window and shook his head. “We’re not there yet.”

“I know, but I need to get down here.”

“Sit down.”

I tried to push past my brother, but his broad, hunched over shoulders made it impossible for me to even slip past him.

“Sit down. The train is about to move,” he repeated.

“No! I need to get down here!”

“Stop being a child and sit down.”

“I’m not a child.”

“Then prove it and shut up.”

“No!”

To date, I cannot explain why I acted in such a way. I don’t know why I bit my brother on his forearm, forcing him to his feet. I don’t know why I shoved the stunned conductor out of the way, as I jumped off the train. I could’ve been left behind, with nothing but the clothes on my back. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

“Are you crazy?” my brother yelled, as our train left without us. “I’m taking you home. I don’t know why I agreed to this.”

“Yea, yea.”

Whatever my brother had to say then, I wasn’t listening. My pulse was racing. My palms were sweaty. My eyes were peeled in search for the raccoon-like creature. And there it was again, its bushy tail disappearing behind a humming vending machine.

“Over there!” I shouted. “Give me my bag.”

My brother stood defeated, as I snatched my bag from him. Whether or not he followed me to the Pocky dispenser, I didn’t care. What mattered at that time was the creature. I needed to catch it.

“Come out, little guy,” I coaxed, as I unwrapped a chocolate bar. “I have some candy.”

Breaking the bar in two, I heard a scrapping of paws behind the machine. I knew it understood me. Placing the chocolate bar on the ground, I slowly reached into my bag once more. While my heart pounded madly in my chest, I grabbed what I needed and cautiously pulled it out of my bag. With the creature now in sight, watching my every move, I had to be careful.

“Come on now,” I said.

I was ready. All it needed to do was take a few steps closer.

“Come on, little guy.”

“That’s not going to work,” my brother said.

“Come have this treat. It’s really yummy.”

My brother chuckled. And then without warning, he stomped his feet and shouted, “Go!”

Without contemplation, the creature obeyed. It darted off in a second, leaving me with what have could been.

“What’s your problem?” I snapped. The sudden lost of hope crushed my heart and brought me to tears.

“That’s not how you catch a Pokemon, dimwit.”

“I’ll catch ‘em however I want to catch ‘em!”

“Then you’ll never be the very best.”

At those words, I held back a sob. At those words, I grasped the reality of my great adventure. Yes, I was only a ten-year-old wannabe Pokemon Master. But if I wanted to be the very best, I couldn’t jump off trains to chase zigzagoons whenever I saw one.

“You done crying?” my brother asked.

“Yea. When’s the next train coming?”

“In half an hour. Are you hungry? Do you want my bento box?”

Nodding my head, my brother and I both agreed I could be a child for another half an hour. But after that, I was going to be the very best… that no one ever was.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Raccoon, bento, and adventure were words given by zoey808. For the record, Nintendo and PokemonGo are not sponsors. In fact, owning a Windows phone has deprived me of the opportunity to relive my childhood. Thankfully, I have a wild imagination and typing skills. Without those two, I would never have the chance of being a Pokemon Master.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. I don’t know what those three words can inspire, but all you really need is ‘a wild imagination and typing skills’. I’m sure you have that.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 65: Betting On The Truth

clubhouse65

“What did he say?”

Jodie strode over to Guinevere, who was sitting by the poolside staring blankly at the deep blue. It took her awhile to find her, and by then, Jodie knew Wayne had long gone.

“Nothing,” Guinevere replied.

“He didn’t say anything at all?”

“He wouldn’t answer my questions.”

“Well, at least we know he’s fine.”

“He didn’t mention anything to you?”

“No. And I don’t expect him to tell me anything unless I’m involved.”

Guinevere looked up at Jodie. Her thoughtful expression replaced with apprehension.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I wasn’t implying anything.”

“I wasn’t either.”

It was true. Jodie wasn’t implying anything, but Guinevere’s sudden defensive response reminded her of the thing she didn’t know about.

“Are you sure? Because-“

“We should check in with Matthias,” Guinevere interrupted. And without another word, she stalked off.

When Jodie and Guinevere arrived at the van, Zach and Matthias were already scrutinizing the footage. They played back the ballroom scene for the two of them and narrated as the seconds ticked by. Jodie had witnessed the fiasco in person. Yet somehow, the scene played out differently from a different angle.

Mrs Lee was seated beside Mr Lee, oblivious to what was about to happen next. She reached for her wineglass and took a sip when the ballroom doors swung open. In came the detectives followed by Wayne and the clubhouse security. Instantaneously, everyone rose to their feet and began their murmurs. Mr Lee demanded an explanation, and the detectives waved their warrant. They reached for Mrs Lee, but she flung her arms in defence. For a few seconds, the detectives and security tussled. Then the detectives took a step back and warned them about resisting arrest. The Lees had no choice and Mrs Lee unhappily gestured for the detectives to take the lead. As she stalked out of the ballroom, so did her entourage.

At the second replay, which Guinevere requested, Jodie watched where Wayne had been. He stood behind and away from the commotion. The detectives paid little attention to him. And that was a good sign. He wasn’t going to lose his position and he wasn’t going to prison. At least Jodie had one less thing to worry about.

“This is all Wayne’s doing,” Matthias deduced.

Guinevere shifted uneasily on her stool.

“Matthias is right. He’s fine. You’re fine,” Jodie said.

“It’s not over yet. Zach is still a target,” Matthias replied.

“Did any of you manage to call Richard?” Zach asked.

Guinevere was the first to retrieve her phone to make the call. A few seconds later, she shook her head.

“It’d be great if kept us updated,” Zach said.

“It’d be great if I wasn’t left out of the loop,” Jodie added.

Before anyone could naively ask what she meant, Guinevere abruptly stood and bumped her head into the top of the van. Cursing under her breath, she shuffled past Jodie to the exit.

“You alright?” Zach asked.

“It’s late and I’m tired. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow,” Guinevere replied, as she hastily hopped off the van.

“We’re all tired. We should call it a night,” Matthias said.

Zach nodded and excused himself. He left as quickly as Guinevere did. Unfortunately for him, he’d have to sprint to get away from Jodie. That is if Jodie wanted to confront him again. It was at least a twenty-minute walk to the nearest bus stop.

Turning to Matthias, Jodie asked, “We have footage of the main foyer, right?”

“Yes, why?”

“Can I have a look?”

Matthias shrugged and pulled up the said footage while the shareholder dinner was in session. Either he was playing dumb or his brain was too tired to decipher Jodie’s intentions. Which was hard to believe.

“Rewind it to an hour before the dinner,” Jodie said.

“Why?”

“I need to check on something.”

Oddly, Matthias did as he was told. He rewound past Zach’s encounter with Mr Lee’s assistant and only stopped when Jodie told him to. He was obviously not going to confess without being asked.

“Do you mind?” Jodie asked, gesturing at the controls.

“Sure. What do you intend to find?”

“I don’t know.”

As the footage rolled, Jodie slowed it down to when Zach bumped into Mr Lee’s assistant. Zooming in to where the two made contact, Jodie spotted Zach’s hand brushing past the assistant’s pocket. Unfortunately, the camera wasn’t at an angle to capture the act clearly.

“What are you looking for?” Matthias asked.

Jodie turned to Matthias and smirked. To think she even had a drop of slyness in her blood was laughable. At least now she knew. Trusting Matthias was impossible, but there wasn’t much of a choice to begin with. The only thing she could do was hope he’s a good person.

“Nothing,” Jodie said. “I’m calling it a night. Thanks.”

“Sure. Goodnight.”

Exiting the van, Jodie glanced at her watch. Zach left ten minutes ago, and Jodie could still catch him before he got on the bus. Would he cave and tell her what she needed to know? Or should she turn around and ask Matthias for an answer? Matthias might lie but he might also see no reason to if asked. Jodie had to choose.

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

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 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 7, 2016 in Original Works

 

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The Patreon Project

patreonproject

Have you heard of Patreon?

Patreon is a place where artsy-fartsy people share their work, and patrons (that’s you!) come and support their artsy-fartsy-ness. Patrons will commit an amount of money every month to support the creator in their hard work and creativity, giving the creator more time to create and less time worrying about paying the bills. Simply defined, it’s a crowd-funding site without the restriction of time.

Many artsy-fartsy people have been using this site for years. From YouTubers, illustrators, podcasters, musicians, to writers and bloggers, some of your favourite creators are on Patreon. Today, I officially hop on this bandwagon (and hopefully, I can be considered as one of your favourite creators too:) ).

So, what is this Patreon Project?

Well, for many years, I’ve been creating fictional tales and posting them for free on my blog. I enjoy doing it and I love sharing my stories with you. However, I recently thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to earn some money from my stories?‘ Yes, my stories are meant to be free, but maybe someone would like to throw a penny or two into my hat. Hence, the Patreon Project.

The Patreon Project is me taking a step closer toward achieving my dreams of becoming a full-time author. Honestly, I’m scared. What if you think I’m not worthy of your patronage? What if this post blows over your head? But chasing my dreams requires me to take bold steps, and even if I fall face flat and break my nose, I’ll take those step anyway. Even if no one wants to support my artsy-fartsy endeavours, I’ll keep trying… I’ll keep swimming.

This… is the Patreon Project.

Now, you’re probably wondering, are there perks of being my patron?

Of course! I’m not going to leave you empty-handed. Come on, I’m not like that. So here’s what you’ll get:

– *Updates on, and chapters of, work-in-progress.
– Un-blogged and never-before-published stories.
– Discount codes and free eBooks.
– Advance digital copy of self-published books prior to publication.
– Have a book dedicated to you.

*I’ve not told many people about this, but I’m actually working on a new piece of work with an artist. I’m really excited about it! But because we’re still in the early stages, I haven’t said anything yet. However, if you’re a patron, you’ll be the first to hear about it once it’s confirmed (which most likely it will be). You’ll also get to read it first!

So yes, being my Patron has its perks.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to hear me out. If you don’t mind, please check out my Patreon page as well. You can support me at whatever amount you wish. If $1 is how you roll, then for that $1 I’m very grateful. Every dollar contributed brings me closer to my goal, and to have your support in this journey is a huge honour.

Thank you for considering this. And thank you in advance to my future patrons. Do know that without you, I am but a boat blowing its horn in the storm. You are the ship that helps me sail on.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Writing Journey

 

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Chapter 64: A New Tide

clubhouse64

“Richard’s in-charge,” Guinevere announced.

“What?”

“You shouldn’t have followed me.”

Before he had an appropriate response, Guinevere hurried out the exit leading to the ballroom. Jodie didn’t stick around either. She gave him a shrug and went after Guinevere. Grunting, Richard took a quick look around, and as though they’d not heard anything, the staff carried on with their chopping and dicing, ignoring him altogether.

“Well, I guess you guys don’t need me then,” Richard said.

It seemed they’d rather not have him around. And honestly, he didn’t mind their cold shoulders either. Turning on his heel, as he was ready to ditch the task he didn’t sign up for, a sudden ruckus rose from the ballroom. Some of the kitchen staff shuffled to the door for a look. When the yells reached an un-ignorable decibel, all of them cluttered by the doorway. Curious, Richard joined them too. Unfortunately, no ordering and demanding cleared a path for him.

Dying to know what the commotion was about, he decided to go the other way around. Exiting the kitchen, he jogged past the whitewashed walls and quickly arrived at the fork leading to the carpeted hallway. There, he ran into Guinevere again. This time however, she wasn’t alone.

Guinevere strode past him, dragging a man with her. They were in a heated conversation, with the man making obvious attempts to get away. Richard watched as he briefly contemplated on what to do next. But the decision wasn’t difficult that night. While the couple bickered, Richard heard the shuffling of footsteps by the hallway. Those footsteps were accompanied by the self-glorified claims of the woman he still called ‘mother’.

“You will regret this. I know people in high places,” she said.

“You have the right to remain silent. You should consider exercising it,” a man replied.

“I have the right to have you fired,” she retorted. “And let go of me, I can walk on my own.”

Looking toward the hallway, he saw a group of men leading his mother to the foyer. He figured they were the ones Guinevere saw earlier. Richard was now, without a doubt, certain they weren’t on the guest list. As he strode to the fringe of the hallway, intending to follow after the clean-shaven detectives, his route was blocked off by men in black suits. Like a procession, the escorts marched after his mother in attempts to prove she was indeed a powerful woman. And to no surprise, they weren’t alone.

There was another group of suited men tailing behind them. These men were part of his father’s entourage. They swept along like an ocean current, forcing Richard to remain rooted. While he waited for them to past, he caught a glimpse of his father and Gabriel. And just as they drifted by, something he least expected happened. The men halted. Followed by a moment of silence. A moment long enough for Richard to wonder if time had actually stopped.

“Am I invited?” Richard asked.

His father remained tight-lipped, while Gabriel turned to him.

“Unfortunately, yes. Try to keep up,” Gabriel said. As though his words were a cue, the procession continued.

“Well, isn’t this fun.” Richard slipped into the group and slowly fell behind. He didn’t want to be part of the escort, nor did he want to walk beside his father. So he followed from the back, as they entered the foyer and exited the clubhouse.

Outside the building was a train of black, tinted sedans. The chauffeur held the first car’s back door open, and his father swiftly entered. As Gabriel took a step after his father, he gestured to Richard and said, “Get in the front.”

Richard chuckled. Being ordered around by Gabriel wasn’t something he could get used to. Even if they weren’t blood related, Richard was still much older. Having decided to decline the offer and move to another car instead, Richard found his plan stumped when Jodie called after him.

Jodie shuffled down the steps, and without bothering to catch her breath, she asked, “Did you – did you see Wayne?”

“Wayne?”

“Guinevere’s fiancé.”

“Oh, that guy? Well-”

“We don’t have all day,” Gabriel interrupted. “Who is this?”

Did Gabriel not know who Jodie was? Richard wasn’t buying it. “Everyone knows who this is,” Richard replied.

“Right. But not everyone should,” Gabriel stated, before slipping into the car.

As the chauffeur closed the door, Richard imagined Gabriel and his father watching – waiting to see his next move. What Gabriel said made sense, if one was playing their game.

“Do you know where he is?” Jodie asked.

Richard was sure they could hear him from inside the car. Even if they couldn’t, the men standing around him weren’t deaf. Was it a good idea to be friendly with Jodie at a time like this? Should he just brush her off? Yes, he did see Wayne. But the odds of him still being cornered by Guinevere were low.

“You know who I’m talking about, right?” Jodie shifted uneasily. He knew, that she knew, he was contemplating.

Seconds turned to minutes. And the longer he thought about his decision, the more questionable it became. Richard had to choose.

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

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 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 23, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Desk | Engine | Butterfly

deskenginebutterfly

“What’s wrong, Captain?” I asked.

“Our butterfly isn’t working,” the Captain replied.

I strode toward him and spotted the fragile machine lying lifeless on the work desk. The Captain wore a monocle strapped around his head, as he leaned in for a closer inspection.

“I can handle this. The men up deck are waiting for your instructions,” I said.

“All right. Come up once it’s fixed.”

“Yes, sir.”

I watched the Captain exit the cabin before turning to the mechanical critter. Unmoving, it was harmless. But I knew, that once its wings fluttered, it had the power of a God. I also knew, that once it breathed again, the adventure would be over. Still, I got to work.

Unscrewing the top exoskeleton and removing the protective case, I found the source of the problem. There was a deep dent on the butterfly’s engine. It must have had a collision for it to receive such damage. Using a pincer, I detached the heart-like device and lifted it out of the shell. The Captain would be proud.

“You’ll be fine, little one,” I said.

Heading to the shelf across the work desk, I dug through boxes of mechanical hearts. It didn’t take me long to find the perfect fit. In fact, I didn’t have long. Giving the butterfly a new heart, I hit the reboot button and watched as its buggy eyes lit up while its wings flitted in the air.

“Hello there. I’m sorry there isn’t much time to rest, but you’ve got to get to work.”

Cupping my hands around it, I hurried to the top deck where everyone had gathered. When I arrived, our ship steered to face the large volcanic island. We were still far from our enemy’s sight, but they were not far from ours.

Under the pastel moonlight, the island was covered with specks of ember. The glows of the flames illuminated the stone buildings, as the shadows of its people drifted along the walls. I could almost see them. I could almost hear their cheerful music and their oblivious guffaws. I could almost smell their savoury meat pies. Oh, if only they knew what was coming.

“Is it fixed?” the Captain asked.

“Yes, sir.”

I gently placed the butterfly onto the Captain’s palm and immediately, the crew shuffled in for a look.

“You’ve done good,” the Captain said.

“Thank you.” I beamed.

“You just might be ready for the ship.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really.”

The men around me gave me pats on the back. Working and fixing the Unschuld was my lifelong dream. When I met the Captain for the first time, he told me the Unschuld was mine. But before I could own it, I had to learn everything I could from him. And while I did, he promised to protect the vessel for me.

“Thank you!” I exclaimed.

“Now, we must end this quest. Shall we set the butterfly free?” the Captain asked.

“Yes, sir. Set it free.”

The Captain nodded and released the butterfly along the sea breeze. For a while, the butterfly tumbled in the wind. But after a few flaps, it piloted itself in the right direction. A hundred times quicker than its living siblings, it made its way to the island. And as it did, I watched it closely… until the darkness swallowed it whole. From then on, I had to use my imagination.

The butterfly landed on a wooden dock. It gracefully folded its wings and stood motionlessly while the world carried on in its ruckus. The gears in its tiny body began to work, powering a different machine – its brain. Firing electrons to the special chip in its head, a mellow hum swept across the island. No person heard it. No person knew. The people basked in their last moments of ignorance before BAM!

“Raise the flag and blow the horn!” the Captain ordered. “Today, we claim this island as ours!”

The men roared in excitement and I roared along with them. Unschuld and her sisters speared through the waves toward the volcanic island. The final moments of the quest had begun. As the island’s machinery exploded to the surface, the men on-board unsheathed their swords and loaded their guns.

“Are you going to fight today?” the Captain asked me.

“Yes, sir!”

“Then don’t hold back.”

“Yes, sir!”

“Show me what you’ve got!”

“Yes, sir! I’ll-”

“Dinner is ready!”

I looked behind me and then back at the Captain.

“Ignore her,” the Captain said. “We have a battle to win.”

“I made meat pies. Your favourite. You two can continue playing later,” she said, stepping on deck.

At the intrusion, the Captain’s shoulders slumped and so did mine.

“But mum, we’re-”

“After dinner, ok? After dinner you can fight those monsters-”

“Pirates,” the Captain corrected.

“You can fight those pirates and claim their booty. After dinner.”

I wanted to insist that the battle had to happen then, but she was more powerful than any butterfly we’ve encountered. Even the Captain said nothing. He gave in and told me to wash my hands before coming to the dinner table.

“We’ll play later, ok princess?” the Captain said.

“Ok.”

“Make sure to wash your hands properly.”

“Ok.”

“Use soap.”

“Ok dad, ok.”

“It’s Captain, not dad.”

The Captain gave me a narrow stare and I giggled.

“Yes, sir!”

“Now that’s my little pirate.”

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Desk, engine, and butterfly were words given by live60. Now what a coincidence it is that this coming Sunday is Father’s Day. Since I wrote a Mother’s Day story for this challenge, I thought it only fair to write a story for all the fathers out there too. Fingers crossed, I hope I captured the heart of a father with this story.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. Whatever you’d like to write, write. I know it can be quite a challenge, but it is a challenge after all. I find it challenging myself, but I’m always surprised with what I can come up with. So give it a shot.

Happy Father’s Day to all! And happy writing to you.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 63: Uninvited Guests

clubhouse63

She said nothing as she accompanied Zach to the loading bay. Once they’d arrived, Matthias gestured Zach into the van while she returned to her job. She gave the list of courses and dishes a run through. And by the time she was done, she had a paper cut and the guests were already gathered in the ballroom.

“We can start serving the appetizers,” Guinevere said.

The kitchen began its scrambling. Seconds later, the service staff entered the ballroom with hors d’oeuvres. In and out they went, refilling their trays, as the chatter of the rich and powerful rushed through the swinging doors. Guinevere was tempted to take a peek, but before she could even get close to the exit, her name would be hollered. Once all the guests had settled down, she gave up.

While a welcoming speech went on in a distance, the grills were fired up and a mixture of smells quickly filled the air around her. It made her stomach growl, but only for a while. Time was non-existent in the kitchen and soon she was calling for the entrées to be served.

Who knew running a dinner service would be this hectic. She always thought reality shows were scripted and she never forgave a slow service. After that night, she still wouldn’t forgive a slow service. However, she did decide to extend her grace period – that was kind enough of her.

After the guests were done with their entrées, there was another speech. By then, Guinevere had lost all interest in the entire agenda. She simply couldn’t wait for the night to end. Knowing there was going to be more speeches and the introduction of the new heir of Wilhelm Group during the main course, she called for a break. To her surprise, no one took her seriously but herself. But that didn’t matter.

Guinevere excused herself to the hallway outside the kitchen, and briefly contemplated on checking in with Matthias. It wasn’t about seeing if he was doing his job, it was simply hoping he’d discovered something new. Why would she put herself through hell if there was no reward? Fingers crossed, she made her way to the loading bay. Seeing as there was enough time, she took a casual stroll. But just as she walked past a connecting hallway, she saw someone that made the seconds rush by.

“Wayne?” Guinevere hurried after the figure. As she stepped onto the carpeted hallway, she was greeted by the back of black coats. There were seven of them and one silhouette was undoubtedly her fiancé.

Guinevere thought of calling his name, but two questions held her back: who were the other six men and why were they headed for the ballroom? If she wasn’t mistaken, there weren’t a group of six men on the guest list. Jogging back to the kitchen, to get a better look from the other side of the ballroom door, Guinevere ran into Richard.

“Whoa, what’s the hurry?” Richard asked.

“Is there a group of six on the guest list?”

“No. Why?”

“I saw a group.”

“Well, they could be here for, I don’t know, a game of golf?”

“No, I don’t…”

Guinevere couldn’t expect Richard to understand where she was coming from. And the more she spoke to him, the more time she wasted.

“Nevermind,” Guinevere replied.

But knowing Richard, he wasn’t going to leave the conversation hanging. He tailed her like a curious cat as she brisk walked to the kitchen.

“What’s so special about the group?” Richard asked.

“Forget it,” Guinevere said.

“Come on, if they’re suspicious, I can inform Matthias.”

“Matthias, that’s right.” Guinevere halted in her steps. Maybe she should visit the van – the cameras would’ve caught the faces of the men.

“That’s what I’m saying,” Richard replied.

“Whatever you’re saying isn’t important right now,” someone else joined their conversation. Jodie had exited the kitchen into the hallway where they were standing. It seems they’d both developed a habit of barging into each other’s conversations.

“What’s the problem?” Guinevere asked.

“A complaint from a guest. Your service staff served her steak when she requested for salad.”

“We’ll just replace her dish. How’s that a problem?”

“It isn’t… for the common men.”

Despite the sting, there was no comeback for Jodie’s remark. Even Richard said nothing and simply shrugged. Guinevere would’ve attempted to justify the pettiness, but on that day, she couldn’t be bothered. She needed to find Wayne.

“So you’re just going to stand there?” Jodie asked.

“I need one of you to cover for me,” Guinevere replied. “Please, just help me handle this.”

“That’s cowardly,” Jodie said.

“No, that’s not why. Just help me hold off the guest for a while. I’ll be right back.”

Neither of them lifted their hands to volunteer. So Guinevere reached for their arms and dragged them into the kitchen. The shock at her sudden brashness left both Jodie and Richard speechless. Guinevere was surprised by her own actions too, but chose not to respond. Her plan was to call out one of their names among the kitchen staff – announce the new person in charge – and leave the scene. As irresponsible as it would seem, she had no time to explain. The simple plan needed immediate execution and Guinevere had to choose.

 

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

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The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 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 9, 2016 in Original Works

 

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