THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 117

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 117

…Roy takes a sip of his drink, staring at it like the artichoke bit him in the nose, “Now that is an interesting tasting Bloody Mary……rum?”…

The best place to find out about a new town is to talk with the bartender.

They do go downstairs after changing out their $USs for $Jamaican. The 1 to 6 ratio means Francine’s purse will be toting their stack,

“This is like Monopoly money, hand over 50 $J for a drink, that is an arm & a leg!?”

“Please ignore Dr. Roy, he specializes in amputations.”

“Yes, I would like a Bloody Mary with an artichoke and a saw,” Roy is playing.

“Make that two, good man….” she supposes a name with a face, “Hold the artichoke for mine.”

“Jimmy, eet’s JimmyD,” is the Oasis Bar’s fixture bartender… among other things at the SILVER SEAS RESORT & HOTEL. At any given time you can find him doing just about anything.

“Okay JimmyD, didn’t we see you at the front desk when we checked in?” they had arrived frazzled and unaware of new appearances.

“2 towsand sorries 4 da rooms bad, maid queet on spot. Red eye peeple catch us weeth pants down.”

Roy takes a sip of his drink, staring at it like the artichoke bit him in the
nose, “Now that is an interesting tasting Bloody Mary… rum?

“Yes we uze Ovaproof een everything, dunt be dreenking 2 miny.”

“Say, we did not book a tour, so we will need some help getting around the island, any suggestions?”

“Roger!” he gestures at a husky man at the other end of the bar to come over. “He eez da best driva on dee island; Roger da Dodger, who drives a Chevy and friend to da lodger.”

“That is quite a tagline Roger,” a hand is extended. “I am Roy and this is Francine,” who shakes the new character’s hand as well.

“It is nice to meet you,” he responds with a West Indies accent, but it is clear he has been educated elsewhere. “Here is my card:”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 117


page 111

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 116

…“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”…

“I have a million credits stored up in my account and it’s burning a hole in my purse. I believe that you need new swim/tennis shorts and my bikini has a strap that is about to let loose.”

“You don’t have to buy me stuff, I can get by.”

“Not with me! And I’ve always wanted to have a guy to buy things for.”

“What about Larry?” He dares to go down that road.

“Let’s not go there. I am not in a good spot on that subject.”

“As long as you deal with him straight-up, after all you did agree to marry him somewhere along the line.”

“He knows where I stand Roy. I walked out on the station, violated my contract, and told him I was leaving the country with you. I think he gets the hint. If that makes me a coldhearted bitch, then so be it.”Related image

“Hey, I’m not trying to push my luck and I certainly do not want you to change your mind. If you are a coldhearted bitch, then I guess that I have taken a liking to coldhearted bitches.”

“C-H-B is harsh, but I’m not that same cutthroat TV reporter who called NASA out of the blue. It appears that you’ve made an honest woman out of me.”

“Speaking of acronyms, c-h-b you’re not, F-blank-B stands for what?”

“Nothing.”

Francine Nothing Bouchette… boy your parents had low expectations.”

“I didn’t get a middle name; in fact I changed my name for television. In my high school yearbook, Francesca Boucheletta was voted “Most Likely to Be Famous”, but no way that was going to happen with an Italian name like that; sounds more like a wine & appetizer.”

“An Italian with a French name?”

“How about you Roy?” He wasn’t to get off that easy.

“My Great-Great Grandfather Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged in London for dismembering his wife.”

Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen

Francine immediately does an Internet search for the name, “I do not see the family resemblance.”

“I don’t know about that, but my parents did not want me to go to medical school… and I get queasy at the sight of blood, but I do like a bloody Mary from time to time and it is noon somewhere… want to join me F blank B?”

“The best place to find out about a new town is to talk with the bartender. We need to see what’s happening around here.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 116


page 110

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 115

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 115

…And here I pictured you as a pale, wimpy science freak the first time I talked to you on the phone…

— When sleep finally comes to her and him, it is deep and long.Pink Bubbles Sticker by Douglas Schatz for iOS & Android | GIPHY

In the dim light of day, Roy untangles an arm that has been wrapped around Francine like a twist tie and looks for his PDA to see if he had set the alarm. His device reads 9A which opposes the noon-like high blue sky. He chooses to trust the earlier time, so no need to rush cuddling time.

Tick-tock – tick-tock and ten o’clock causes him to stir. His restless movement alerts his bed-buddy, who prevents his escape by employing the old kiss-tummy-to-neck trick. It works.

“And where do you think you’re going mister?”

The acid test for beauty is the morning wake-up. Without makeup, jewelry and clothes orImage result for grade a shower, contacts and hair gel, is the way God intended adult men & women to see each other. Francine is a solid A through Roy’s eyes and Roy rates an A-, because he sleeps like he is weightless {all over the place}, but that is why the king-sized bed was invented.

“We are burning daylight and we don’t want people to get the wrong impression.”

“We are on vacation, the rest of the world can be damned,” she brags, playfully running her fingers through the hair on his chest, yes chest. “How is it you are so tan?”

“I have a small boat on the Gulf; go out after Red Snapper and Groper on Saturdays.”

“Two aircraft and now a boat that I suspect is not a skiff. What else don’t I know about your life?”

“I play http://www.ExpertScrabble.com with Braden and I enjoy long walks in the desert.”

“And here I pictured you as a pale, wimpy science freak the first time I talked to you on the phone.”

“I also play tennis and golf and love God.”

“I adore tennis have taken a couple of golf lessons and a 38 footer stocked with bait ‘n beer is my idea of a great weekend.”

“That is God, tennis, and beer ‘n bait in that order. I drive up to Lakewood Church in Houston when I’m in Texas.”

“I’ve been there back in the Osteen days, but with my weekend schedule I have trouble squeezing in time for God.”

“And when you’ve been up in space, it is hard to think about anything else but God.” He forgot to mention Mars.

The more she learns about Roy Crippen the more she is impressed. She doubts that there is a more well-rounded man in the United States of America, and she is trapped on this deserted desert island with that very man — well not so deserted or arid.


THE RETURN TRIP

Image result for deserted island artwork

Deserted Island by Jacek Yerka

Episode 115


page 109

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 107

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 107

CHAPTER SIX

Timeout

…“He is not just any guy, he’s twice the man you are and BTW, who puts up with a woman who stonewalls her fiancée for 5 *_*_*_*  years?”…

2x-the-man-001

True to her word, Francine Bouchette has packed up her future and stuffed it into two underused Samsonites; but she will be lucky to get out of Houston with her head atop her shoulders.

As she may have guessed, given the element of surprise, lack of warning, the upcoming February ratings slotting, and her jilted fiancée, she has upset the KHST 13 apple-cart. She does not care for threats, but she is threatened with disciplinary action for “breach of contract”.

Her United Talent agent is beside himself, given his income is tied to his clients and she is his biggest.

“They will take you off the anchor desk.”

“Go ahead.”

“They can reduce your salary by 75%.”

“I can live on $250,000.”

The intended (Larry) weighs in on her irrational behavior, “You are throwing away your future, for what, a guy you just met?”

“He is not just any guy and he’s twice the man you are. Who puts up with a woman who stonewalls her fiancée for 5 f***king years?”

So it is and that is that. With him watching her pack everything from a bikini he had
bought her and she never wore, into two duffles stuffed with evening wear and lingerie (Larry), KHST VP is left standing aghast and agape, watching his fragile pride walk away from her penthouse without turning or looking back. The only thing she does do, is issue the following order, “Make sure you take anything that you value, leave your set of keys in the foyer and lock the door on the way out.”

She takes a taxi to William P. Hobby Airport and pity the poor driver who has to handle her crammed to the brim hard suitcases and hefty Hilfiger bags. She neglected to ask the helicopter owner whether there was a weight limit. —


THE RETURN TRIP

Image result for william p. hobby airport houston tx

William P Hobby International

Episode 107


page 101

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 100

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 100

…You seem to be quite popular with the ladies Roy, you know, pot roast and old lace…

ladies-night-001

“Here are the New Mayflower heroes, together again,” a stray female employee from LSC/Okaloosa and longtime crusher on Roy speaks with a hint of sarcasm. “Doesn’t a heroes-001crisis make for strange bedfellows?”

Roy has been deflecting loosely-founded assumptions with phrases like, ‘not dating’, ‘a misunderstanding’, ‘they are just friends’, etc… etc……

“In that case Roy, the next time you come over to Lovell, I’ll have a good “home cooked” dinner waiting for you, you remember where I live right?” The woman is smug, glaring at Francine as if to imply that the TV personality has rudimentary domestic skills.

“Yes, I mean no, well maybe I will keep that in mind,” he replies diplomatically, having dated the older woman briefly, but not more than once, that is if you don’t count that Christmas party in ‘22.

After the parade of miss-takers and assumers has dried up, there comes the arsenic-and-old-lace-001opportunity for the rubber to hit the road. “That was very sweet of you, including me with your gift that is,” her words mitigate, her intentions questionable. “You seem to be quite popular with the ladies Roy, you know, pot roast and old lace,” she cannot resist countering that panhandle (FL) pussycat.

“She was a decent secretary, but as for her cooking?”

“I’m giving you a hard time Roy. Like I said, it was nice to include me, but I did look a little clueless, some warning would have helped me not look so… clueless.”

“I was caught off guard when I saw you walking in right behind me. I thought it would be a thrill to have you giving them a gift… my lame reasoning behind that gadget and the card, I love those boys.”

“And they love you, that is plain to see, you are a great guy.”

cell-phone-001“Can I get you another drink?”

“One more, then I need to be going. My phone is lighting up my purse.”

“The station calls you on your days off?”

“No, I have been avoiding my fiancée, some boring media banquet he wanted me to go to. Sometimes he treats me like a station commodity, not a future wife.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Image result for clueless artwork

Clueless from #lordmesaart

Episode 100


page 95

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 88

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 88

…So what does shy and conservative Roy Crippen do next? He utilizes an isolated corner of Colony Mission Control to plant a very intentional kiss on Francine’s unsuspecting lips!…

 

“T-minus 00:05.00 and counting all systems go in the launch of the deep-space New Related imageMayflower. The sky is high and we have two important people waiting for us.”

Braden next-to-last call illustrates the emotional nature of the coming mission and the dedication of the space program as a whole.

“What do you say we find ourselves a front row seat,” Roy puts an arm around her, “I know the guys in the box office.”

She rests her head against his cozy clavicle and together they walk away from the smoky mess back on the tarmac, like two teenagers fresh from a movie midnight double feature.

double-feature-001

The several hundred yards, indulgingly used to unwind, has eaten most of the time left in the fast-ly fleeting midnight launch of the New Mayflower. As they and their military entourage re-enter Colony Mission Control there is a trifling two minutes remaining until liftoff.

So what does shy and conservative Roy Crippen do next? He utilizes an isolated corner of Colony Mission Control to plant a very intentional kiss on Francine’s unsuspecting lips!

No inhibition, no resistance, and no time left to speak. Actions always speak louder than words.t-minus-to-launch-001

“T-minus 00:00:30 seconds, gantry is clear,” green and go…. ”we have liftoff of the New Mayflower rescue mission to Mars with Commander Rick Stanley at the helm.”

A distinct sense of pride washes over Roy as he and Francine watch the deep-space shuttle knife its way into the night sky. To pull this together is such a short period of time is a feather in everyone’s cap. Amid the exhilaration of a successful gantry getaway, each and every person has stowed their prayers in its cargo hold, a petition that includes keeping the McKinneys alive long enough to benefit from NASA’s hasty rescue mission.


THE RETURN TRIP

First Kiss by Jeffrey Koss

Episode 88


page 83

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #307

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #307

…“If she turns you down Mr. Ford, you could pick me?” volunteers Dr. Jane. It appears that Friez is thawing…

my-project-21-001

“As far as anyone outside this hospital is concerned, Sara Fenwick is just another patient, is that understood?”

All heads nod.

“… Which means, we don’t want to read about “Constance and Ace” helping their friend become a Constance Caraway-001prima ballerina or anything to do with the fountain of youth.”

“Are speaking about little old me?” Lyn asks with a coquettish tilt of her head.

  “You got away with exposing secrets once before, acting all innocent and ignorant, so don’t think we aren’t watching you.”

“I’m flattered by the attention, Ben, but Bob and I are about to start another project as soon as we feel Sara is safe.”

“From this time forward, we control who knows what and when. The general public wouldn’t know what to do with information about Sara.”

Vertical-001 “You have my word, Ben, my wife will behave herself,” Mr. Ford assures.

          Carolyn Hanes has to think over what she just heard. “Wife? That means we’d have to be married and the last time I checked–.”

          “We can take care of that here in Washington. They have a chaplain and a chapel here at the hospital. What do you say?”

          “Wouldn’t we be spoiling a perfectly good friendship?”

“If she turns you down Mr. Ford, you could pick me?” volunteers Dr. Jane. It appears that Friez is thawing.

“He slurps his soup, Dr. Jane.”Vertical-001

          “So do I.”

          “He has a trick knee.”

          “I can fix that.”

          Hmmmm, I got it, she thinks. “All his underwear and socks have holes in them.”

          “Lyn?” Bob steps in.

          “Darn… socks I mean!” one last try for the doctor.

Lyn always has to feel like she is in control, even when she is not, hence her bantering with Dr. Friez. Even though this marriage thing is not her idea, secretly having considered it in rare quiet bravomoments, she is cornered.  “Since I seem to have competition Bob, I think it’s time we got hitched, fly-boy!”

The conference room erupts in raucous applause. The once stern and professional staff are quickly becoming like family. The coming years, the ongoing contact, with Sara at the center, will only reinforce that kindred ness.

horizontal-line5

Image result for capitol balletAt the gymnasium in another wing of the huge hospital, Sara is being coached by the choreographer for the Capitol Ballet. She will be happy for Lyn and Bob, because her memories of love and life are but a faint flickering ember. One night in Ceylon took care of that.


Alpha Omega M.D.

ceylon-001

Episode #307


page 290

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #299

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #299

…“She was quite a dish, I hear. A bronze skinned beauty with fetching brown eyes that could consume a mere mortal man,” she says with a writer’s flair…

Beautiful Caribbean by Colin Garland

Beautiful Caribbean by Colin Garland

I know you and I never really talked about it… but we were lovers.”

There, she said it out loud.

Ford has had to deal with the notion before this moment; yet another slightly askew aspect to the last half of his life. “I figured as much, watching you two interacting on the Clipper and such.”

Lyn takes a step back. “No wonder that subject never came up. And to think I was terrified of what you would think, if you knew about us.” It wasn’t that Lyn never liked men. She and Sara just kind of happened. “Then why did you? … You asked me to the reception?! … Oh I get it divide and conquer! Get those girls apart and you would win my heart, was it?”

on-my-mind“Well, sort of. I really did need an escort you know and you do clean up real good,” even though he had his hands full at the time. “I was quite taken with you Lyn, I must say, but the heart thing was not foremost on my mind. And my 2nd officer, Rod, he wouldn’t stop talking about that Sara woman. Yes, we had been away from base for a while, but we were both unattached. No harm in trying.  It seemed like a natural fit for the evening and we didn’t have any expectations. Hell, we were staring 12,000 miles of  in the face… half the world away from New York and no charts to guide us.”

“I was just giving you a hard time Bob, you guys were perfect gentlemen.” More than that, she recalls she had a great time and liked the feeling of being on a man’s arm for a change. “You know, this is a great-great story, one that should be told. It would be a shame to let it slip into the cracks of history.” The gears in Lyn’s brain were grinding away. Constance Caraway could use some time off, The Hawaiian Spy-001surely having to do with that Ace Bannion guy, so, “Would you be open to collaborating with me…”

“Isn’t that what your book The Hawaiian Spy was about?”

“I meant collaborating on a book about you … and the flight of the Pacific Clipper. A story like that almost tells itself. And I can get it right from the horses’ mouth. I’m regret missing the last half of your odyssey.”

Ford inserts a pregnant pause in the previously running conversation. There is more to the story than she wants to know. He waits for the right time to let slip a gem, “But then you would find out about that girl in Port ‘O Spain.”

Lyn counters by subtly raising her eyebrows. She maintains a matter-of-fact facade. “She was quite a dish, I hear. A bronze skinned beauty with fetching brown eyes that could consume a mere mortal man,” she says with a writer’s flair.

Image result for writing with flair   How cool was that?

Now he is confused. He thought he coming of as ‘I was only kidding’, but there was that one night when they were refueling. It could have been that homemade rum, or consuming relief that they had made it across the Atlantic Ocean without tasting its salty water, but he didn’t remember why he awoke in this woman’s bed.

What he did not know, is that Lyn was merely guessing. He says nothing.


Alpha Omega M.D.

writers-flair-001

Writing with…

Episode #299


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #298

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #298

…What began in Ceylon has landed Bob Ford in the midst of a dream; some of it good, some of it bad, all of it surreal…

Image result for surreal art images

Exploding Raphaelesque Head by Salvador Dali

Bob Ford has been down this slippery path every step of the way. If it were not bizarre enough to be caught on the wrong side of Pearl Harbor, eleven years ago he lost a passenger named Sara Fenwick to what he thought was a random act of foul play. Now today he is looking up into the sky he has flown for decades, wondering where one of those flying disks is going to turn up next.

He has mixed emotions about the creatures that are in those ships, poking, probing, and playing God as they go about their merry way. God forbid that these out-of-this-world creatures ever choose to do Earth harm.

memory-lane

Yet, if not for “them”, he would not have had continuing contact with Carolyn Hanes, the woman who would become his new wife; no New Mexico, no Vincent Smith, no Newt Swakhammer, no vanishing women… hence no Mrs. Ford.

What began in Ceylon has landed him in the midst of a dream, some of it good, some of it bad, all of it surreal.

“When Sara gets back this time, and I cannot believe I’m going to say this, but I think we should tell Sgt. Smith what is going on. One of these times she won’t come back and we will be kicking ourselves in the ass for not trying to get help. We don’t know how to deal with things like this and I’m not sure we should suffer in silence.”

“He could be demoted to Corporal Smith by now. He hasn’t handled this whole mess very well, because if he had, he would have kept Sara from the beginning and none of this would have ever happened. I think the whole bunches of them were caught off guard.” If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a very merry Christmas, she thinks. “In a way, I wish I never had gone there.”

Ouch  Ouch, that hurts Bob, “Without New Mexico, you would be without one interesting book and one terrific guy, I’ll have you know!”

“That’s supposed to be my line, mister. What has happened to that humble, quiet Bob Ford? Has he been abducted as well?”

“I don’t remember anything about last night.” His face goes blank, feigning a vacated mind… bad choice. Last night was pretty memorable in the romance department. It gets him a punch in the arm. Ouch. Seriously, maybe they will do a better job of protecting her? We don’t even know when she was snatched this time, or if the aliens have her at all. Maybe she forgot where she was and is just plain lost. We are running out of options.”

“I know, Bob, but I feel like we are abandoning her. She doesn’t have any friends beside us.”

          “What about her family?”

          “Her mom and dad are dead and her brother won’t have anything to do with her, ever since she moved in with me. He could not get past how close we were.” Lyn draws a deep breath from a hidden part of her being. “I know you and I never really talked about it… but we were lovers.”

          There, she said it out loud.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Looking Back

Episode #298


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #242

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #242

…You don’t think that I’m going crackers, do you, Lyn?…

Going crackers-001

“Oh, Lyn,” using her pet name, “I don’t know what I would do without you,” declares Sara, Cobblestone (olla)-001subsequent to hugs and kisses therapy, currently in the cuddling mode. “When I left the house this morning, I thought it was going to be a quiet day.”

“I guess we will have to make this day quiet, Hon. I rang up Jenny Hawkins. She said was happy to get out Friends & Lovers-001of her stuffy apartment and come to work. All you have to do is tell me what designs you want her work on between customers.” Carolyn Hanes, a writer by trade and not an unaccomplished one at that, has much to do with Sara’s success as well. She is organized, detail oriented and proactive, all of which help her help Sara and her business. It does not go unnoticed.

You don’t think that I’m going crackers, do you, Lyn?

“Not any more than normal!”

“Oh, you! You would think I would have learned my lesson by now.” She mockingly pounds her partner’s chest, formerly cradling her head with bosomy comfort. “Really, I am very serious. Do you think I could have invented that bloody body in my mind?”

“Well, there are your dreams, the ones that have you flying like a bird,” an example only known by someone close. “I have vivid dreams as well, you know where I naked on a Roman daybed and you and ten lovelies are fanning and feeding me grapes. But yours seem to be real to you at the time and mine is merely a polygamous fantasy.” As a friend, it is Lyn’s duty to be honest and writers tend to be amateur psychiatrists anyhow, without the shingle dangling outside the front door.

“You don’t need ten other women tending to you, dear one,” Sara urges.

 “Yes, yes, you keep telling me that, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming.”

There is little chance that either of them would abandon one for another.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #242


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