Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Take Aim. Chapter Two: Clear Sightlines

I want to welcome you back to our latest Progressive Story Project. Take Aim, our fourth project, is another single cohesive piece of fiction written collaboratively by a number of bloggers. Each writer takes a turn, building on what's been constructed by the authors before them and adding their own voice and perspective to the story. Sound like fun? It is. Both to write and to read.

Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written by a group of bloggers, each contributing to but not controlling the story | Presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #collaboration #MyGraphics

I started this story having no idea where it would go. Each time it returned to me, I read the newest submission with awe. It has taken on a life of its own. With twists and turns the story is coming together. The protagonist is taking on a persona. The story is building.

As always, I've identified the writer and provided a link to their blog before each section. Be sure you stop by their blogs and see more of what they have to share.

Before you start today's chapter, be sure to read Chapter One: You Can Run. And now on to Chapter Two.

Take Aim, a Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written by a group of bloggers, each contributing to but not controlling the story | Presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #collaboration #MyGraphics

Take Aim.
Chapter Two: Clear Sightlines

"So this is where you are trying to tuck yourself away? he began. "I thought I made myself clear the last time we spoke! You can run, but you can't hide. Time to pay up, honey!"

Holy crap! I honestly thought I'd gotten rid of the mob for good after my plastic surgery last year. My face looks completely different, I have cut and dyed my hair. I lost 20 pounds, and not only did I modify my appearance, I changed my name! How could they have tracked me down this time?

"Let's not do this here" I said. "I was just heading out, so walk with me!"

There was no way I was going to invite that man into my apartment, and I was definitely not getting into a fight in the staircase. Especially not in this building!

Just as I was grabbing my keys, phone and purse, I heard steps approaching from the lower floor. I felt trapped, but something told me the welcome wagon was the least of my problems right now.

Donny Donut walked down a few steps ahead of me so he was the first to encounter my other neighbors, an elderly couple very elegantly dressed, British as it turned out judging by their accent.

"My, our landlord didn't tell us there would be a boyfriend" they started. "We do hope your intentions are serious and you will make an honest woman out of her. We do not approve of ever changing fellows coming to our house!"

If only they knew about Donny and his fellow gangster's intentions . . .

A truck in the alley below backfired and scared the beejesus out of me. I almost jumped completely out of my skin, and did jump off the mattress on the floor. Good land! What a nightmare. So much had happened since moving to this tiny place, add to that the weirdos in the building AND that meatball sub mixed with the 1920's gangster movie late last night had had an adverse effect on my subconscious.

Yes, I had lost weight, cut my hair, changed the color and even changed her name, but owning the mob money?! Never! I was much too frugal and sensible for that nonsense.

I walked through the den of boxes and found a towel and my shampoo and was heading to the shower when my cell rang. Who the heck? No one had this new number . . . oh wait, I had put in some applications so maybe, just maybe, it was a job interview.

I answered the phone, "hello, Rachel speaking." That still sounded so strange. The voice on the other end said, in a much too cheery voice, "HI Rachel, so glad to have caught you, this is Mike over at the local cafe. You came in yesterday, remember, of course you do" he ran on, "so I was wondering since you look like you might be a regular if you'd be interested in a job?

Wait . . . what? "How the hell did you get my number?!" What are you, some kind of creepy stalker?!

The line was silent. Mike cleared his throat. Ugh. I apologize. That, well, no I'm not a stalker, but I am friends with your landlord and I kinda asked a few questions about you. SO the cat's out, I need help, you're new to the area and need a job. With that being said, are you interested?"

I started to hang up, but I really did need a job. I cleared my throat sighed and said "you know what Mike, I'm sorry, I'm a little on edge. I tell you what, I'm about to hit the shower so let's say I'll come over and talk to you about this "job" in . . . let's say an hour?"

Mike responded much too quickly "YES! Ugh I mean that will be fine, thanks and I'll see you in an hour." he hung up.

This may not be a good idea, I thought as I stepped into the shower but I needed something and it was a start.

I walked into the cafe an hour later, fully expecting the worst. I needed this job in the worst way, but I couldn't shake this feeling that something big, something major way about to happen. The feeling of uneasiness is something I've become familiar with, but one I was anxious to kick.

Stepping up to the counter, I asked the young lady if I could speak with Mike. From the kitchen area came a man who looked so familiar I forgot how to breathe. Standing at just over 6 feet, with dark hair and features, he was shockingly handsome. There was something about him, something  . . . mysterious yet familiar.

"Rachel! Thank you so much for coming and I apologize for the confusion," Mike said with a rich, baritone voice that held just a hint of an Italian accent. It sounded so familiar, the memory drifting to my mind from the dream last night. Donny Donut! That must be why I dreamt of an Italian mobster last night! I heard his voice yesterday when I came in or dinner.

Shaking his hand, I felt all of the tension and nerves from earlier drain away from me.

Jenniy of Climaxed

I went through the motions of the interview in a daze, my emotions in chaos. Mike could have passed, at first glance, for the man I was runnning from - the man that I had fallen so hard in love with in my early 20s and who had, over the years almost killed me. Even now I can feel how badly my body aches to feel his arms around me even while knowing that if he had a couple of months, couple of weeks, even just a few days, we would be back in that cycle. Honeymoon phase, abuse, apology, rinse, repeat. Over and over and over for years until I finally got the courage to admit to myself what was happening and, no matter what he said, I deserved better.

Five years ago now. It didn't seem like it, but I figured that was a side effect of always being on the go, of moving, running, changing all the time. I've lived a handful of lives over those years, and I don't imagine I will ever stop running unless Matthias finally gives up. As of yet, he hasn't. Five years and he still searches and chases and gets too close for comfort, forcing me to do it all over again, Five years later and he still controls the direction of my life. So I'm resigned to a life without the degrees I earned, without much work experience, without references and a plan for the future. I live one day at a time, one life at a time, and so far it keeps me safe.

The problem, really, is that even thought I know he will eventually kill me (and I do know that), I don't trust myself to not give in, to not let him. I've given up everyone I have ever known except random contact with family and I am just. so. tired.

All the nutty but well-meaning neighbors and hot, accented bosses can't change the life I'm living, and part of me is absolutely ready for someone to save me from it by any means necessary. I keep telling myself that line of thought is bullshit. But is it?

~  ~  ~  ~  Be sure to come back a week from today for chapter three of Take Aim  ~  ~  ~

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  1. Oh my goodness, what a story! I'm pretty glad it's fiction. Then again for some people it is all too real.

    1. Yes, I agree, glad it's fiction but I know it's all too real for some people.

  2. This is turning out to be one of my favorites so far! I can't wait for the next chapter. If you need more from me just let me know!

  3. Yay! I can't wait to see how it all turns out!!

  4. Now this would have all that wasn't already hooked, hooked, just saying

  5. But I want to know what happens NOW!!!


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