Hi! I'm Crystal - nice to meet you!
I have a business blog for Relax Consulting and a personal blog that focuses on life's events and turning life's lemons into lemonade and features book reviews and guest bloggers/authors. My 'blog dresser' if you will needs another drawer. A drawer where I can store poems, short stories, and other literary works I have written. This way, the 'dresser drawer' that was meant for lemonade thoughts can stay filled with only those thoughts, and similarly, the 'dresser drawer' filled with business information for Relax Consulting will not be bogged down with things that don't belong.

Now that we got that out of the way - enjoy! (and if this isn't what you are looking for, best of luck with your future endeavors and I hope one of my other pages meets your needs)


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Short Fiction "I Love Your Garden"...

As with any fictional work, there is a bit of truth hidden beneath the fictional facade - may you enjoy this piece and feel free to leave your comments and suggestions at the end!


I Love Your Garden...

Monday, July 8th 2013

I suppose I should begin by telling you a bit about myself. My name is Bonnie and I live in a modest home in a very quaint town in Missouri. Anniston, Missouri to be quite exact and when I say quaint, I mean small. The population is just over 200 and judging by the number of widows in my book club I would venture to say there are more men than women around these parts. Anniston is so small that I drive 13 miles to church every Sunday to attend Concordia Lutheran Church in Sikeston (where there is also an Aldi grocery store that I stop at on my way home). Everyone round these parts knows everyone else - or so I thought...

That was, until the day an older gentleman pulled up in his light blue Buick LeSabre. I thought he was lost, so I set down my garden gloves (I was weeding which is pretty customary for this retired lady most afternoons) and walked to the sidewalk near where he was parked. Instead of asking directions, he simply said "I love your garden". To which I replied "thank you" and we both smiled before I drove away. I truly didn't think much of it because I do enjoy gardening and take a it of pride in the looks of my home. Oh, don't get me wrong, forty years ago I might have been flattered and thought he was checking out my girlish figure, but I am an old woman with 5 grown children, 12 grandchildren, and my first great grandbaby on the way. Of course he was admiring my garden because my figure leaves much to be desired and there is no amount of that expensive face cream capable of smoothing out my wrinkles.

I went back to pulling weeds while enjoying some chirping birds in the near by trees. I had nearly forgotten about the visitor until someone cleared there throat and scared me out of my skivvies. It was my neighbor Florence and there she was with two glasses of sweet tea standing just a few feet away. I invited her to take a seat and the two of us began chatting easily as usual. The tea tasted delicious and I hadn't realized how hot the day had become.

"Who was your gentleman visitor Bonnie?" Florence asked with a grin.

"You know Flo, I don't really know. Just some old man complimenting my flowers or something of the sort." I answered while shrugging my shoulders.

"I've seen him here before you know?" Florence told me as she wrinkled her wrinkly forehead into a sort of frown.

We sat chatting for a bit and it turned out she noticed him over a week before and she swears he had one of those fancy phones with a camera and that he had taken a picture of my house. I could hardly believe anyone would be so interested in my gardens they would bother taking pictures. I finished my tea, hugged my dear friend and neighbor goodbye and retired to my recliner for the remainder of the evening.

Wednesday, July 10th 2013

"I'm about to go stir crazy, it's been raining steady since early Tuesday morning and my arthritis is killing me." I confessed to my daughter on the phone late Wednesday afternoon.

"Oh mom - just take it easy. I know you want to be out in the garden, but enjoy a good book or something to pass the time." she said with a sigh.

I finished reading the third chapter of "Strange as the Weather has Been" by Ann Pancake and set it on the end table just as the doorbell rang. It took me a moment to move the afghan off my lap and get my old knees to work properly. I headed to the door, unlocked the deadbolt and politely answered the door. To my dismay it was the same elderly gent from earlier in the week. This time he handed me a red rose and a pink
rose. I said thank you and he was saying you are welcome but at the same time was turning to leave. He's my age so I wouldn't say he scampered down the walk, but it seemed he was gone in an instant. I locked the door again, shook my head in dismay, set the flowers in the sink, and went back to my comfortable chair.

No sooner had I sat down and placed that worn afghan across my lap and the phone was ringing. It was Flo wondering why the Buick LeSabre was back at the house. I told her about the unusual exchange and she insisted I call Jimmy right quick. I didn't think it was worth worrying about, but I knew my son Jimmy would know for sure. He's the fire chief for the Anniston Fire Department which is just a few blocks from my house (over on Walnut Street near that lovely old Victorian with the wide porch). I dialed Jimmy and told him about the visits and about Flo's instincts that this man was up to no good.

"Mom, you need to install a security system." Jimmy said in a tone that let me know he wasn't making a recommendation, he was insisting.

"Oh sweetie, what do I have here that anyone might want?" I asked in all sincerity "a few old photo albums? or do you think it's my oatmeal cookie recipe he's after?"

"Mom. This is NO laughing matter. I'm stopping over tomorrow at 1 and we can talk this through. Do you have the door locked?"

"Of course I have the door locked."

Jimmy told me the weather was supposed to clear up and he didn't want me out gardening until after he had arrived. I shook my head at the thought I was in any danger and we ended the call with my promising to stay safely tucked inside the house until he arrived for lunch the following day.

Thursday, July 11th 2013

"It's not like mother to make plans and not follow through. I fully expected she would have a pan of brownies, pitcher of sweet tea, and a salad waiting for me." said Jimmy as he walked through the kitchen looking for a note of some sort.

I could hear his voice but I was unable to move. My head was throbbing and I was all too aware that I was tied to a chair in my own basement, but how I got here I can hardly say. All I can do is pray that whoever did this to me doesn't get there hands on my boy and whoever it is that he brought with him. That's when I heard that familiar voice and felt warm breath on my ear "I Love Your Garden..." and my head was spinning once again and I felt the warm sticky blood trickling down my wrinkly cheek.