But it’s a Lovely Tree

Sometimes I catches ’em and sometimes I don’t.

Pretty much a metaphor for life, that.

At least some people think and say so.

I probably did once, myself. Once meaning “for a long period of time.”

Now, not so much.

One of my teacher/mentors told me “Always look for the good” and that, to me, is brilliant.

Something doesn’t go your way?

You can spend time agonizing over it – and note, learning from it is not agonizing over it. Don’t beat yourself up, and do explore it. Figure out what happened and do what is necessary so it won’t happen again.

Learn, grow, explore, understand, become.

In this case, perhaps the lesson is to remove all the trees?

nah.

The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 42

And more coming together.

The Alibi – Chapter 42

 
Morelli and Vox drove back to the orchard to the murmur of the AC and the twinkle of a clear nightful of stars. Vox remained quiet the entire drive and Morelli, keeping his eyes on the road, grew increasingly uncomfortable with the silence. Gio Fortuna aka John Chance went quiet and you never knew if he was sitting beside you, a thousand miles away, listening to a conversation only he could hear, seeing how things would play out, and Morelli, wanting to coax Vox out of his silence, offered the obvious. “Long day, huh?”

Vox swallowed hard a few times and wiped a tear from his cheek.

Morelli spoke just above the whisper of the AC. “Tissues in the glove box.”

Vox nodded at an approaching exit. “Turn. Here.”

Morelli looked at the exit. “Is this a different way to your orchard?”

“Okay if we. Go to. The horse. Rescue?”

“You know how to get there?”

Vox grunted and ran his hand over the top of the dashboard. “Clean. Machine.”

Morelli quietly sang, “Penny Lane is in my ears and in my –

Vox turned to him. “Penny Lane?”

“Oh, come on, you don’t know Penny Lane by the Beatles? Magical Mystery Tour? Really?”

“We need to find. Penny Lane. How do we find. Penny Lane?”

“The Penny Lane the Beatles sang about? It’s in Liverpool, England. What’s – ”

“Penny Lane is a person?”

Morelli slowed at the bottom of the ramp. He had his answer. Despite Vox’s protestations, he was Gio’s student. “Which way? And who you talking to now?”

Vox pointed. “Penny Lane is a person. Who’s important. How?”

“You talking to the dead guy again. I get all skeevy when you do that, you know? And what’s at the horse place we need? Or you need?”

Vox indicated another turn. “Horses don’t hit me. When I tell them. Things they need to. Know.”

Morelli sighed. “Yeah, that could’ve gone better. You really pissed her off. I didn’t know you spoke Italian.”

“I spoke. Italian?”

Morelli slowed for an approaching stop sign. “Keep this up and I’ll believe you when you say you don’t know what you’re doing. Do you know what you said?”

“Not a. Clue. Hey!” Vox enunciated each syllable. “More RELL ee. You must speak. Italian. What did I. Say?”

“Hey I’m second generation Italian-American. I can do family names and cussing. Beyond that it’s a crapshoot. Something about her daughter, her daughter’s marriage, and her granddaughter. That’s all I could make out. I’m good with family nouns and cussing. not with verbs, adverbs, adjectives. I can ask about bathrooms. That’s about it.”

Two pickups towing horsetrailers passed them going the opposite direction. “We close?”

They rounded a curve and Vox pointed.

“Yeah, guess we are.” Morelli pulled into a parking space and turned off the ignition. “Are we here just to say hi to the horses or is something else going on?”

Vox exited the car without acknowledgement of any kind and entered the main barn. Horses in the field nickered and pranced to the fence. Those in the paddock stretched their necks over the rail so Vox to touch them as he passed. Bright flood lights threw long angular shadows of Vox and the horses.

Morelli leaned back against his Impala and watched the shadows move and merge like alien dancers on some sacred landscape. He whispered, “They’re greeting a freind.” He ran a hand through his thick hair. “Probably say hi to friends and something else.”

He pushed off and followed as Vox entered the barn and remained outside, a witness to the mystery, not a disciple.

Horses stuck their heads out of their stalls and nickered as Vox approached. He stopped roughly mid-barn, arms outstretched, hands open and forward. Some horses shook their heads, others whinnied, some stomped their hooves, one or two snorted. They nickered, they nodded. Some lifted their tails and shit. One or two peed. Quaterhorses, Morgans, Thoroughbreds. Breeds Morelli couldn’t identify except from beer commercials. All wounded, scarred. One missing an eye. One hopping on three legs. Morelli shuddered.

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Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery)

Hecate and The First, Second, Third, Fourth, and possibly Fifth Edition

We thank you for your patience.

I feel I should precede that with something like “All our customer support personnel are busy helping other callers now…”

I’d be much happier if the statement was something like “All our underpaid, overworked, undertrained, foreign-based staff who are concurrently making dinner, changing diapers, or doing something much more important to their survival are confusing and confounding the bejesus out of other increasingly enraged customers…”

But you, dear reader, were patient with me with last week’s Raccoon Butts, and I thank you.

The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 41

Yep, definitely coming together.

The Alibi – Chapter 41

 
Ginni held her keys in her hand as she walked from the elevator to her condo. She kept her buttocks tight to keep a tampon in place.

She couldn’t remember Briggs being so…violent? He was always demanding but most of the time he expected her to do all the work. The only difference was when he drove the hershey highway. He actually expected her to do office work when she was bent over, her skirt pulled up around her hips, her hands filing folders or typing when she wasn’t bracing herself against his desk.

Sick fuck.

But this time?

This time he practically lifted her off the ground with his thrusts.

All three of them.

What the hell was his problem this time?

And when he was done?

“Go clean yourself up and get back to work.”

She so wanted to say, “Yes, Massah. Thank you, Massah,” but kept her mouth shut.

Thank god she kept an extra set of clothes in the office.

Her mobile rang her mother’s TXT as she turned the key and opened her door. “Not now, Mother.”

Inside her condo, her mother TXTed again.

She threw her mobile, pocketbook, and briefcase on the floor, undressed on her way to the bathroom, left her clothes where they dropped from her, and turned on the shower full and redline hot.

Her mother TXTed again.

“Fuck off, Mother.”

A steaming shower, a vigorous shampoo, a full lathering of shower gel, and a generous smothering of her skin with body lotion followed by her thickest, most plush, bathrobe.

What else?

A good Oban, neat. Double. Yeah

Her mother TXTed again.

“Oh Jesus Fuck, Mother.”

She picked up her mobile.

“What the fuck?”

Her mother TXTed her the entire time she was in the shower.

“MUST MEET NOW!”

The same message every thirty seconds.

What, did she have it on autodialer or something? Had someone hacked her mother’s cellphone and given the info to robodailers?

She called and got voicemail.

She dropped the robe and got into sweats and trainers.

Somebody knocked on her door.

“Mom?” She opened the door without looking to see who was there. Her hand fumbled coding her lock. “That you, Mom?”

No answer.

She looked up.

A late middle-age guy, clean shaven, nice tan, dusty brown hair sliding towards gray, gave her a great smile while his bright gray eyes gave her a once over. The way his eyes moved and the way he smiled, she wondered if he had x-ray vision.

She moved back behind her door and braced it with a foot and both hands. “What is it? I’m in a hurry and need to be somewhere.”

“Yes, your mother’s. Correct?”

Her hands relaxed slightly. “Are you with police? Is my mother okay?”

“May I come in?”

Whoever this guy was, he seemed the polar opposite of Lane. Lane was smooth when it served him while remaining an asshole through and through.

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Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery)

Raccoon Butts

Sometimes I don’t check my equipment properly.

Disastrous for a pilot and diver, potentially frustrating to a would-be wildlife photographer.

I thought I was capturing videos of kits munching, but no, I caught photos of raccoon butts.

Except for the first one.

All that one needs is some white robes and you’d have a Wild version of The Last Supper (wonder if they had pasta…)
(and i jest both times).