Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 6 – The Parole Hearing

Dead or Alive. Preferably Dead. Very Dead. Extremely Dead. Completely forget that “Alive” part, okay?

The wooden chair screeched across the hardwood floor as Phyl pulled it under her. She’d placed her small, black leather purse on the green topped officers’ table in front of her. It looked like a little black island in a puke green sea. The table reminded her of industrial breakroom tables; functional but not inviting. She shifted her purse as she sat, placing it before her but not so far in front as to claim space, not setting a boundary. Her stomach gurgled quietly and she glanced around to see if anyone noticed. No one had.

A guard, the one who met her in the parking lot, absently caught her eye and smiled. He had her move her car to a roped off area next to a construction trailer then escorted her to the parole hearing. He didn’t say much but did chat her up a bit, commenting on her deep blue skirt, cream colored blazer and sky blue blouse, offering that it highlighted her hair and eyes.

She wondered if her outfit was too tight. She didn’t think it was. It was all tailored but not form fitting. She wasn’t wearing her boobshirt. Low, functional heels, not CFMs. Schwab suggested this outfit.

It was okay. She could do this. She exhaled, picked up her purse, opened it, removed a protein bar, closed her purse, giving each act a separate, metered and precise effort.

Porcino was not getting out.

If he got out, she’d risk it all and kill him.


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Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 5 – Sisters

If you can’t confide in your sister, who can you confide in?

“How’s Ol’ Elevator Butt?”

“We kissed.”

“Oh my god. Where?”

“For christssakes, Sandy. On the lips, of course.”

“You kissed your cat on the lips?”

“Goddamn it, Sandy. No. Ritchie. I kissed Ritchie on the lips.”

“Oh my god, Phyl. Where?”

“I just told you, on the lips.”

“No, I mean where?”

“Burger Bob’s.”

“Is this a joke? Your first date was to a burger joint with screaming kids and yelling parents? Some hot date, sis. Burger Bob’s. Whoa. Did you frolic on the jungle gym when you were through swallowing each other’s tongues?”

“I can’t tell you anything, you know that?”

“Details, Little Sister. I want details.”


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Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 4 – The Date

The Look of Love was in his eyes

“This is not a date, understand?”

Ritchie smiled.

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing. I understand that this is not a date. I am not to buy you a milkshake, a coffee or a burger. I am not to offer to you any of my fries.”

“Good. We understand each other.”

“I am not to look at you or talk to you. I do not know you. My heart is not to pound when my gaze falls upon you. I am not to fantasize about holding you in my arms.”

She stared at him through aviator sunglasses. Her right hand twitched by her holster, the fingers of her left tapped the top of her nightstick. “You can stop that kind of talk right now, understand?”

His smile never faltered. “Officer Ladd, you called me, remember? I did what you asked. I did what you wanted. I did what you told me.”

“I know.”

“I did not pursue you.”

“I said I know.”

“I sat on my couch in my sad little hovel, staring at the phone, cold cup of coffee in my hand, holding my breath and hoping each ring would be you.”

“This is a stupid idea.”


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Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 3 – Porkchops

Wise Kitty

Hecate, lying stretched out on the couch, reached one paw into the last bit of sunlight coming through the picture window.

Phyl ran her fingers through the cat’s fur. “What you looking at?”

Hecate blinked lazily.

“Comfortable, are we?”

Hecate purred like a tiny electric motor.

“Of course you are. I’ll bet you’ve never wanted a man.”

Hecate sighed and continued purring, gently quaking the cushion.

“Of course you haven’t. You’re a cat. What could you want with a man? For that matter, why don’t you sit in my lap and make us both happy?”

Hecate rolled onto her back, her legs still stretched out, purring, her eyes on Phyl.

“You’re a slut, you know that?”

Phyl’s mobile said, “Hey, Sister, Pick Up! Hey, Sister, Pick Up!”


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Ritchie&Phyl (A Celebration of Life) Chapter 2 – Flowers

Persistence is a virtue. Unless it’s stalking.

[[just so you’ll know, I’m not satisfied with this yet and am open to suggestions for improvement. Thanks.]]

Phyl returned to Station House 4 after two weeks on a Bahama beach with nothing but the occasional “Another pink drink, José” to disturb her. One night, okay, she invited that Adonis-tall, blue-eyed, curly haired, broad-chested José to her bungalow but other than that, nothing but peace, tranquility, the gentle lapping of waves and as many Nora Roberts books as she could fit on her Kindle.

It was glorious.

She had not missed The Bunker, which was what everyone on the job called Station House 4. She had not missed the high, reinforced warehouse walls, windowless until the third story, the security, the claustrophobic interior that sorely needed remodeling or at least some paint and new floors, she had not missed her squad car with no interior door handles in back and the close-meshed, heavy-gauge steel caging separating her from whatever perps she’d apprehended or the multitude of now necessary electronics that surveilled her as much if not more than anyone she was questioning.

She stood outside the Officers’ Entrance and hesitated. Her silver ID bracelet weighed her left arm down like a bucket of cement. The entrance’s surveillance camera clicked her presence. Whoever was on desk would recognize her but if she didn’t open the door within fifteen seconds all the auxillairy doors would open and the Host of Heaven would come out, weapons raised and going for bear.

Standard procedure. An officer might be compromised and not willing to admit the bad guys such sacred entrance.

A heavy sigh. Two weeks was not enough. Except she missed Hecate, her gray haired Abysinna-something kitty. Phyl heard a faint mewing from a dumpster one day on patrol, checked and found a freezing ball of fur, eyes not yet open, curled on a soiled pizza box.


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