Starting Over – #1

Welcome to TUESDAY TALES.

After completing Rosemary’s story last week, I was going to continue with the next ‘Posie’ in the group. But then … my flighty Gemini side kicked into high gear and urged me to try something new and outside of my comfort zone. Today’s snippet is the start of a new WIP, tentatively titled ‘Starting Over’.

Victoria moves to Oak Grove, a tiny town in north Texas, looking for a new beginning. From her quaint antique store on the town square, she encounters more drama than she ever expected. In the midst of getting to know her storekeeper neighbors and learning who she can and can’t trust, will she find the one thing she’s not looking for, true love? Stay tuned each week to find out.

This week’s prompt is: Ride.

Enjoy – and feel free to leave a comment. Click the link here to go back to the main Tuesday Tale site for more entertaining story snippets.

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STARTING OVER

To all outward appearances, Oak Grove was a small, bucolic Texan town. When she moved there, Victoria didn’t realize how much drama and deceit she’d encounter on the courtyard square.

oak grove_iris depression glassVictoria stood at the front window of Serendipity arranging a new display of Iris patterned Depression glass, one of her favorite designs. She stopped, holding the rare pitcher in hand, and gazed across the street to two fellow merchants standing near one another in an intense discussion. They probably didn’t think they were noticeable, hidden in the dappled shade of the oak trees lining the courthouse set in the middle of the square. They didn’t realize that the view from Victoria’s antique and collectible store had a front seat view of their secluded spot.

From Victoria’s position near her window it appeared that Hank, the owner of Hank’s BBQ Grill on the opposite side of the square, and Jacqueline, the owner of the trendy clothing store next door, were very close friends. The intimate gestures – the way they touched each other’s shoulders and the way they held their heads so close to one another as they spoke – caused Victoria to speculate. She wondered if Hank’s wife knew about this obvious interest in Jacqueline.

Now, she wondered if she’d made the right decision about running away to Oak Grove. But she couldn’t look back now. Every cent she owned had gone into this new business venture. She’d made all this effort to disappear and leave her old life behind, including the pilot and all of his lies. She had had to keep moving forward with her plan. Although, she had no intention to ever trust another man again.

She thought that a new start in a quiet, non-descript town was the perfect solution. She’d spent weeks driving through dusty little burgs set far off the main roads and highways. Every chance she got, she’d jump in the car for a ride through the countryside. She found towns she didn’t know existed. Some were mere blips on the scenery, while others spread out and occupied more space. A few had silly whimsical names, such as Rhome and Ponder. Others were a little larger, with the central part of town filling several blocks, such as Mineral Wells or Bowie.

Most towns showed some promise for a new start. Yet they all had something lacking. Not big enough. Too big. Too far away. No prospects for commerce. Only a farming community. Too close to the highway. Nothing available. Great space but too expensive. Too flat, too barren. No atmosphere.

Oak Grove_shady sidewalkAnd then she’d stumbled upon Oak Grove, nestled back in the country midway between Denton and Roanoke. It was close to Texas Motor Speedway, yet far enough away that the high traffic volumes shouldn’t impact the community. There was a small town square, with the common courthouse-in-the-middle configuration, encircled by small businesses on all four sides. Stands of post oaks and flowering crepe myrtles shaded the town, bringing relief from the intense Texas summertime heat.

The neighboring town to the east, Bluebonnet Hills, was filled with huge 6 and 7,000 square foot McMansions accented with driveways full of Expeditions, Lexus’ and Jaguars. The homes there screamed ‘I’m rich! Look at me!’ The few miles of meandering road between the two towns kept the ostentatious lifestyle out of arms reach, yet Bluebonnet Hills was close enough that its residents regularly showered their money like confetti upon the nearby communities.

The best part of the road trip on this particular day was the ‘For Sale’ sign hanging in the front window of Serendipity. All those years of haunting dusty bins at other antique and collectible stores could come in useful.

Within 30 days the papers were signed and the store including its lease and all the merchandise now belonged to Victoria.

A glimpse of Jacqueline striding across the street; her long dark tresses bouncing with each step, jolted Victoria back to the present. As Jacqueline passed by the front window, she jumped as she noticed Victoria standing there, a red flush spreading quickly up her neck and across her face.

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