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Just Kidding…Not! (Picture Prompt)

Hello romance readers! Today’s Tuesday Tales post is from a new April Fool’s Day romance, Just Kidding…Not! This short story is another holiday romance set in the small historic town of Oak Grove Square. In this story we meet Irene, the owner of the local bookstore, Pageturners. A healthy lady, striving to live a balanced life in mind, body and soul, her April Fool’s joke brings an unlikely and unlooked for love to her doorstep.

This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. Picture prompt snippets are short, only 300 words, so it will be quick reading this week.

After reading this snipped, return to TUESDAY TALES here to read more tales from a group of talented authors.

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We had four pictures to choose from. This is the picture I chose to use as my prompt for the latest addition to Just Kidding…Not!

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“I’ve got all day. There’s nowhere I have to rush off to. What’s your brainstorm?”

“I was thinking about having a party here. For the kids. An April Fool’s Day party.”

“You lost your mind, girl? Inviting kids in to play pranks?”

Irene threw her shoulders back and puffed up her chest. “No, I have not, Samuel Bateman…you old stick in the mud.” She swatted at his shoulder as she passed by, as if reassuring him that she was teasing. “I think it would be fun. Here, let me show you some ideas I had.”

Irene dug in her tote bag and pulled out a legal pad filled with scribbles. She looked up in time to see Sam rolling his eyes in exasperation. “What in the world do you have against kids?”

“Not a thing. Long as they behave themselves. Seems you’re setting them up for mischief with this party plan of yours.”

Running her finger down the page, looking at notes she’d furtively written while sitting in a merchant’s meeting that had droned on for longer than she’d liked, she began reading off a few of her ideas. “I thought we’d do two parties. A morning one for the younger ones. There’s lots of great books I can read them…”

“Wacky Wednesday. By Dr. Seuss. That’d be a great one for April Fools.” Sam interrupted and looked pleased with himself for his contribution. He smiled as he started to catch Irene’s enthusiasm.

“Good idea! I like it.” Irene grabbed a pencil and added the title to her notes before continuing. “Then an early afternoon party for the older kids. With food for their party. Like pancakes…but they’d be itty-bitty pancakes.” She circled her thumb and forefinger to make a circle no bigger than a quarter.

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Just Kidding…Not!

Hello romance readers! Today’s Tuesday Tales post is from a new April Fool’s Day romance, Just Kidding…Not! This short story is another holiday romance set in the small historic town of Oak Grove Square. In this story we meet Irene, the owner of the local bookstore, Pageturners. A healthy lady, striving to live a balanced life in mind, body and soul, her April Fool’s joke brings an unlikely and unlooked for love to her doorstep.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘train.’

Return to TUESDAY TALES here to read more story snippets.

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Just Kidding…Not!

Irene hurried into Pageturner’s, the bookstore she owned on Oak Grove Square. Letting the door bang shut behind her, she rushed over to the tiny heater sitting on the floor behind the counter. Holding her arms out, she rubbed her hands together briskly. “Brrrr! This February weather can go. I’m ready for summer.”

Pageturners.pngSam, the elderly gentleman that helped her out part time, sat on a stool next to the source of warmth. “And then you’ll be jawin’ on about it’s too blasted hot, or too muggy, or too something.”

“You know me too well.”

“Afraid so. You’re just like my daughter was. Always complaining about the weather.”

“You miss her.”

“Every day. With every breath. Same as my wife. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them and wish they were still alive and sharing my life.”

A sly grin inched across Irene’s face. “And here I thought you had a thing for Bertie, down at the quilt store.”

Sam laughed and slapped his thigh. “Shore ‘nuff do. Doesn’t mean I love my Nellie any the less. I still love my wife with every fiber of my being. But I’m not dead too. I can love her and still hold a little flame for Bertie. Not that she’s given me any hope. I don’t think I’m ever going to make any progress with that stubborn gal.”

“Maybe you ought to give up on Bertie and find someone else.”

Sam shook his head in dispute. “Naw. I’ve set my cap for her. Giving her chase is enough for me. I don’t need to find anyone else. Besides, I doubt if I’m up for a new love at this late stage of my life. Too hard to train someone new.”

“Samuel Bateman! I can’t believe you just said that.”

“What? It’s the truth. Gotta train the little woman. ‘Pert near everyone knows that.” The lopsided grin and the twinkle in his eye hinted that he wasn’t serious about his words. “Speaking of loves, love, so when are you going to hitch up with a handsome young man?”

“Ha! Like that’s going to happen anytime soon.” Irene shrugged her jacket off and went and hung it on the coatrack just inside the bookstore’s front door. “There’s not a hint of romance headed my way. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I’m happy with my life the way it is, thank you very much. I have this bookstore that I adore. I’m blessed with good friends. I love my yoga classes and my gardening. My cats. And best of all…I have you, Sam.”

Sam gingerly stepped down from the stool and stretched his arms out, twisting from side to side. “These books aren’t going to keep you warm at night, girlie.”

“Nope. That’s what the cats are for.” Irene laughed. “Just kidding.”

Sam merely closed his eyes and shook his head in mock disbelief. He headed towards the coat rack to retrieve his jacket.

Irene stopped him as he lifted a hand to grab the black leather coat. “Hey, Sam. Real quick before you go. I wanted to run something past you. Something that came to mind while I was at the merchant’s association meeting.”

“I’ve got all day. There’s nowhere I have to rush off to. What’s your brainstorm?”

“I was thinking about having a party here. For the kids. An April Fool’s Day party.”