Tag Archive | Serendipity

Starting Over #9

Tuesday TalesWelcome to TUESDAY TALES. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘pretty’.

Today’s snippet is part of a new WIP, tentatively titled ‘Starting Over’.

The story of Victoria and her antique shop in Oak Grove Square continues. Earlier in the tale, Victoria purchased a trunk full of old items from a handsome, but seemingly cold and uncaring, man. He enters Victoria’s life again, coming with an odd and surprising gift, a packet of old love letters. His appearance in her life leaves her full of conflicting emotions.

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

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OGS_icy daySleet fell all night matching the cold ache wrapped around Victoria’s heart. In the morning a pristine icy, white veneer covered the neighborhood. Pretty – but oh so dangerous to drive in. This California girl wasn’t going to risk it. She wasn’t going anywhere. Even the Texans, and the other ‘transplants’ that lived on her street weren’t chancing it. No vehicles passed the house until two days later when a bright winter sun rose to warm the frosty shell.

At least the ice storm had stilled the construction at the end of the block. “Take that Mr. Burdett, Mr. Cold Hearted Developer,” she spoke aloud. She laughed softly to herself, picturing the shiny blue BMW Roadster he drove attempting to navigate the icy roads.

A few hours later, the crunch of tires advancing slowly down the street announced the eminent return of ‘normal life’. The ringing cell phone a little later seconded that motion, even if it was just Heather from City Hall, calling to postpone the first merchant’s meeting until the weather cleared.

The following day all that remained of the winter interlude were remnant patches of icy in the shady spots. Cars sported filthy, muddy films from driving on the sanded roads. And of course, the news – and Facebook – was covered with all the jokes about a little ice or snow can shut down the entire state of Texas.

After a few lazy days camped out at home, it was nice to be headed back to Serendipity and Oak Grove Square. Victoria felt relaxed and refreshed. But after tallying her checkbooks in her down time, she desperately needed some customers and a nice trickle of revenue. Hopefully this new merchants association that was holding its first meeting would help her, and the other business owners in the square.

It must be nice to be Mr. Developer with all of his money and a lucrative business, she thought. Damn! Why did he keep sneaking into her mind like this? She’d only seen him twice and was not impressed with him. He was arrogant, cold, and unfeeling. So, why did his face keep popping up at the oddest moments? Damn him!

Trying to banish the unasked for images in her mind, Victoria pulled into her parking space behind the businesses. She was surprised to see so many vehicles already filling up the small lot. Walking over to City Hall she surveyed the sleepy little town. No one appeared to be open yet, except for Java Time.

When she walked into the city’s meeting room she knew why. Almost all the seats were already taken. She spotted an empty spot next to Marie, from Three Tarts Bakery and made a dash for it. On her way past, she spotted Hank and Jacqueline, heads tipped close together in intent conversation. Her curiosity almost got the best of her as she halfway wished there was an empty chair there, just so she could observe the two for amusement. She did hesitate a little as she passed by, but they were talking so low she couldn’t overhear any of their conversation.

She slipped into her seat just as Holly approached the front of the room.

Marie leaned over and whispered, “I’m glad you made it. I was I’d see you here today. There’s something I’d like to ask you after the meeting.”

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.