The Poker Game

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

A mysterious stranger comes seeking shelter from a blizzard.

Sturdy little hands opened the recipe book. Mina had another month to go before she turned nine, but her mom had to work late tonight, like a lot of nights lately. That meant supper would be Mina’s job. She didn’t mind. She liked cooking.

 

She just wished she could make something good. She wanted to cook like the chefs on TV, making things like veal with scallions or four cheese ravioli. But the stuff in the TV kitchen was not the stuff in her mom’s fridge. "Tonight Chef Mina will show you how to bake chicken thighs, boil potatoes, and-and do something really great with carrots," she announced to an imaginary camera.
 
Mina dug a small packet of taco seasoning out of the cupboard. Maybe that would taste good on the chicken. One chef had put maple syrup on baby carrots. But she wasn’t sure. Their maple syrup tasted pretty bad on pancakes. It would taste worse on carrots. She studied the  carrots again, then put them back in the fridge. She didn't like carrots anyway.
 
Looking out the window, she could see the snow blowing sideways in the dimming light. It had been just sprinkling down when she walked home from school, not even sticking to the roads. Now it lay thick on everything.
 
Her homework waited on the table. She would do it after the chicken went into the oven. She wished she could just go watch TV, but Ms. Stallings loomed up in her imagination with her glasses on a chain around her neck. She would peer at your homework through them, and if she didn’t like it, she would look at you over them and call your name in front of the entire class. She’d sent a note home today to complain about her homework. “Slapdash effort, sloppy handwriting, bad spelling. Mina must improve her work.” Her mother would never see that note. Mina decided to improve on her own, before Ms. Stallings demanded a parent-teacher meeting. But what was “slapdash?” Something bad, she thought as she sprinkled the taco seasoning over the chicken.
 
She put the chicken in the oven and looked out the window. The wind blew the snow in big loops and veils, and a car parked near their house had become a lump of white. Mina hoped that her mom would get home all right. Mina peeled two potatoes and put them in a pot of water, then turned on the TV to watch while she did her homework.
 
Just the news. She reached for the remote to change the channel, but then the news lady said something strange. “…a snow emergency for the county. Police are saying: If you are in a safe place, stay there.”
 
How was her Mom going to get home? As if in reply, the phone rang. It was her mom. “Honey, have you seen the weather?"
 
"Yeah, it's awful."
 
"It is. I can’t get home tonight.” She sounded nervous.
 
“Mom, I don’t want to be all by myself.”
 
“You can do this, Mina. You’re a big girl now. There's plenty of food in the fridge. You won't have to go to school tomorrow, but watch the clock, and make sure you get to bed by nine.” Her mother’s voice became firm. “I can’t talk any longer. I had to borrow Maxine's phone, and she's got to call her kids too.”
 
Mina slowly set the phone back into its cradle. The kitchen and living room were lit, and the TV still yammered in the living room, but it felt like the rest of the house had just gotten darker, and quiet.
 
Maybe she should call her dad. He had a big truck, and he could come get her. She dialed his number.
 
When he answered, she forgot about the quiet house. “Dad, Mom can’t get home. Can you come get me?” Of course he'd come get her, and she'd stay at his apartment. She could bring the chicken over, and they'd eat in front of the TV. Dad had plenty of movies.
 
But he said, “No, sorry, honey, I’m snowed in.”
 
“But, Dad, you’ve got that big truck.”
 
“It’s a big truck, but it’s got no traction.”
 
“It’s always okay when you go off-roading.”
 
“That’s mud, honey. Different from snow. Well, I gotta run.” He hung up before she could say anything else.
 
She held the phone a long time. The news still babbled in the background, about accidents all over the place and how much more snow they were going to get.
 
Mina made a plan. She would run upstairs, turn on all the lights, grab her unicorn and a blanket, and then run downstairs again.  She would sleep here on the couch, with the TV on. The newslady was pretty, and she had a nice smile. Maybe she would talk all night.
 
Somebody knocked at the door.
 
Who could it be? The knock came again.
 
Checking to make sure the chain was still on the door, she pried it open.
 
A man stood there. He stammered, “I’m sorry, but my car got snowed in. Can I use the phone?” He might be her dad’s age, with brown hair and blue eyes that looked warm in his face.
 
Her mother had told her never to open the door to strangers. But this man looked normal and anyway, his coat was covered with snow.  She'd heard about somebody who was out in the snow too long, and he nearly died. And the doctor had to chop his fingers off. She finally nodded. “Okay.”
 
She led the way into the kitchen. “There’s the phone.” She hoped the doctor wouldn't have to chop his fingers off. “I’ll fix you some cocoa.”
 
He looked at her in surprise as he dialed. She’d made it a command. Then he spoke into the receiver. “Yeah, I’m near Fourteenth Street, but I got a dead battery, dead phone--snow’s shut everything down. Can you get to me? ... Yeah, I was afraid you’d say that.” He looked at the kid, on a chair now, digging around in the cupboard for a mug.
 
By the time he hung up she had put a packet of instant cocoa into a cup. “My mom doesn’t let me let in strangers,” she announced, “but I didn’t want you to die or have your fingers chopped off.”
 
He blinked twice. “I appreciate that. Where are your Mom and Dad?”
 
“Mom’s stuck at work, and Dad doesn’t live here. I fixed dinner for me and Mom, but she won’t be home. So you can have it. If you want it. But it’s the only thing I fixed, so you can’t have anything else. What’s your name?”
 
He seemed to hesitate, like he couldn’t remember. “Anthony Parker.”
 
“I’m Mina Barrow.” She extended her hand, and he shook it. Then she went to the table. “I have to do my homework. You can watch TV, if you want.”
 
He stared at her for a second, then he went to the living room and sat down. She went to the table and looked at her homework again.
 
It felt better to have another person in the house. Anthony didn’t talk, but it didn’t feel so quiet anymore. She remembered how it had been back when her parents were together. Her dad would watch TV while her mom fixed dinner. Now she felt funny, like Dad was back home again and everything was back like it was before.
 
In the living room he watched the news. The regular streets were being ignored; the plows were busy just keeping the freeway clear. This was not at all what he planned. But he was indoors at least, and he was glad about that. Now, what about this kid?
 
Something went Ding, and a young voice announced, “Dinner’s ready.” He reported to the kitchen, where Mina was hauling out a pan holding two pieces of baked chicken. They each got a chicken thigh and a potato. It wasn’t the best, but what could you expect from a pint-sized chef?
 
She read over a textbook while they ate in silence. He felt grateful that Mina seemed so utterly incurious about him.
 
Mina finally looked up from her textbook. “What’s slapdash?” she asked.
 
“Dunno.”
 
She pulled the teacher’s note out of her book and handed it to him. “Why are you giving this to me?” he asked.
 
She explained like he was a little slow. “My teacher gave me this to give Mom. But I’m not going to. You’ll be gone by the time Mom gets here, so you can read it.”
 
He took it and looked it over. “I think she means you need to write neater and check your spelling.”
 
“How do I check my spelling?”
 
He shrugged. “Dictionary. You can look up slapdash too.”
 
“I don’t think we have a dictionary.”
 
“Well, you need to get one. Learn to spell. It’ll make your teacher shut up.”
 
“I’m sick of homework.”
 
He seemed to think a minute, then he pulled out a pack of cards. “I don’t suppose you play poker.”
 
“My dad does. I don’t understand it, though.”
 
He dealt them five cards each. “As long as I'm stuck here, you might as well learn five card draw.” He put his cards face up. “Put your cards face up too, so I can show you how this works.” He looked at her cards. “You’ve got a King, two deuces, Five of Hearts, and the Joker.”
 
“What does that mean?”
 
He sighed. “I can’t explain this. Just play along until you figure it out. Keep the Joker and the King. Put a Deuce back on the table.” He took one away from her. “Deuce is—uh, garbage, unless you get a Three and a Four. Take another card.”
 
The game fumbled along until Mina started to understand, and he picked up his cards. “Okay. Now hold your cards so I can’t see ‘em. If you get a good hand, don’t let it show on your face. And you have to guess what I got.”
 
She frowned at the cards in her hand. Then she looked back at him. “Where did you learn to play poker?”
 
“My dad taught me when I was a kid.”
 
“Do you have kids?”
 
He frowned. “Yes. I have a son.”
“Do you have a daughter?”
 
“No.” He laid a card down.
 
“Are you married? My mom’s single.”
 
He raised one eyebrow slightly. “Pay attention or I’ll win this game.”
 
She bent back down over her cards, looking up at him now and then, trying to guess what he held. He laid down a three. Deuces were garbage, so he must not have any twos. Or fours.
 
He looked up at her suddenly, bright blue eyes searching hers. "Trying to guess what I got?" He grinned. "You'd win this one if you knew what you were holding."
 
She studied her cards again, wondering what he meant.
 
He wondered what to do. The kid was a huge complication.…and now somebody else was knocking at the door. More complications.
 
Mina looked up in surprise, and Anthony twisted around his chair. She saw something silvery glint under his jacket, but she couldn’t tell what it was.
 
Mina went to answer it. It was Bill Grysinski, her mom’s boyfriend.
 
She hated Bill. At first she had been indifferent to him. After all, her dad had a girlfriend, so why shouldn’t her mom have a boyfriend? But Bill was fat and he ate all their food. He left a mess everywhere he went. He stunk up the bathroom. And he would stare at her when her mom wasn’t looking. She didn’t know why he stared like that, but it made her feel creepy.
 
“How did you get here?” she asked. She hoped he would notice she didn’t say Hello or Hi Bill or How are you. She just wanted him to go away, and if he died or got his fingers chopped off she would be happy.
 
“I drove in my truck.” He stepped past her into the house. “Corinne called and told me to check up on you.”
 
“I’m fine,” she said. “You can go home now.” But he had already stepped into the kitchen. He saw the man sitting there and said, “Who are you?”
 
Anthony stood up. “Name's Parker. Got stuck in the snow.” Mina wished her mom would like Anthony instead. He wasn’t fat and stinky and he didn’t stare. But now the look on his face frightened her, and she decided maybe her mom shouldn’t like Anthony after all.
 
Bill sat down at the table. “Mina, fix me some coffee.”
 
Anthony said nothing, and Mina went and got out the coffee can. “It’s almost empty,” she announced.
 
“So?”
 
“My mom needs it to wake up in the morning.”
 
“She won’t be here tomorrow morning. Make me some coffee.”
 
Anthony spoke. “Looks like it’s going to be a long night.”
 
“I guess so,” said Bill. “I'll be sitting with the kid, so you can leave if you want.”
 
Anthony glared at him. “I didn’t come here to baby-sit. As much as I’d like to leave, my car’s under four feet of the white stuff.”
 
“I can dig it out,” said Bill suddenly.
 
Mina looked at Anthony. She hoped he wouldn’t leave her alone her with Bill. The thought made her skin crawl.
 
Anthony glanced at her for an instant. Then he said, “You could try. But I don’t think you can dig a trail for me all the way back to Buffalo.”
 
“Guess not.” That shut up Bill.
 
“You play poker? We’ll deal you in.”
 
Anthony sat down at Mina’s spot. “Kick out the kid. Let’s play for real.”
 
“I didn’t bring a lot of money.”
 
“Aw, come on. Let’s make it interesting. Mina, get us a couple of beers.”
“What about the coffee?” she asked.
 
“I’ve changed my mind. Pour out the coffee and get us a couple of beers.”
 
Anthony said nothing. He didn’t seem like he even cared.
 
She went to her room and worked on her math. She hated math, not as much as she hated English, but she wished she just had science. They were on Diseases right now, and every time she read about a new one, Bill got it. So far Bill had caught influenza, measles, smallpox, and Ebola. The Ebola had killed him horribly, and Mina gave it to him again every night. Sometimes she would throw in smallpox to make it worse. She wondered if there was any disease worse than Ebola.
 
Down in the kitchen the men were playing Texas Hold‘em, and Grysinski had started his fourth beer. Parker saw that the guy wasn’t too shabby as a poker player, whatever his other faults might be.
 
Everything was going wrong tonight. First the weather, then the kid, and now this tub of lard.
 
“Hit me,” said Grysinski. He said it loudly, and he looked very cheerful.
 
“Have another beer?”
 
Grysinski shook the empty can, and nodded.
 
The fridge was nearly empty except for two twelve-packs of cheap beer, but apparently Mina’s mom wanted Bill to be happy. Pathetic.
 
He looked out the window. “Hey, it’s finally stopped snowing.”
 
From his spot at the table, Grysinski pushed the curtains aside. “I’d say you’re right. We’d better go dig out the cars before the plows come along.”
 
“They won’t be here for awhile. We’ve just started this hand.” He put the beer in front of Grysinski. He’d switched to water, himself, but if the slob wanted to get sauced up, so much the better. “Loser shovels the driveway.”
 
Eventually he threw the cards down in mock disgust. “Fine, fine, I’ll start the driveway while you dig out your truck.”
 
“Knock yourself out. Sorry Corinne doesn’t have a snow-blower. She’s always whining how broke she is.”
 
“I don’t mind shoveling. It keeps me from turning into a lump of lard.”
 
The slob glared at his trim waist. “Watch your mouth,” he said, his voice too loud. He slowly got to his feet, stumbling toward his coat as Parker opened the door. Already he could feel the temperature dropping; well enough. Folks wouldn't be sightseeing, just shoveling and hurrying inside.
 
Mina heard the door shut, and she looked out of her window. She could see Anthony starting to clear the driveway, while Bill was digging around the truck. She decided to go brush her teeth.
 
When she came back, she could still see Anthony digging, but Bill was nowhere in sight. Maybe he’d come in? She locked her bedroom door. She didn’t know why she did that, but she always went to her room and locked the door if she had to be alone in the house with Bill.
 
She put on her pajamas and curled up under the covers, listening to the scrape, scrape, scrape of Anthony’s shovel. Mom made a different shovel sound, short little digs. Anthony sounded strong, stronger even than Dad. Her mother would be surprised when she got home. Bill would say he did it, of course....
 
Mina heard her mother calling her. She opened her eyes, to see watery sunlight streaming through the curtains. Her mother called to her again. “Mina? Mina, open the door.” She sprang out of bed and unlocked the door, wrapped her arms around her mother.
 
“You’re home.”
 
“Yes.” Corrine still wore her coat, and it felt cold. She must have just walked into the house. Her mom hugged her tightly, then pulled back, stroking her hair. “Where’s Bill?”
 
“I don’t know.”
 
“His truck is outside.”
 
Mina wondered where Anthony was. Should she mention him? Her mother might get mad.
 
They looked all over the house, calling for Bill. They looked outside. It was the strangest thing, and then a policeman finally came out and looked at Bill’s truck. Mina thought the policeman was silly to check there. Though of course Mom had already checked the attic, too.
 
Wherever Bill was, he must still have the keys, because they weren't inside. The policeman said the truck was blocking traffic, so he opened the hood and fiddled with something that he said would start the truck. But it didn't. The policeman said he'd call a tow truck. The tow truck man was busy, so evening came before the truck finally got moved. And that’s when they found Bill.
Actually Mina found him. She'd been watching as the tow truck man attached a big chain to the bumper of Bill’s truck. She watched the chain grow tight, while the tow truck pulled and pulled, slowly bringing Bill’s truck out of the mound of ice left by the snow plow. She stared at the spot where the snow had actually melted a little, leaving patches of street visible underneath.
 
Something was sticking out of the ice. It looked like the hand of a big doll. The tow truck man came back again to look at the chain, and she called to him.
 
She pointed to the big pink hand. “What’s that?”
 
The tow truck man stared, and then he started to look upset. “Uh, honey, why don't you go inside.” He went up the driveway with her and pounded on the door as she went in. “Ma’am,” he called to her mother, “You need to dial 911.”
 
A bunch of policemen came out and took a lot of pictures. They slowly dug Bill out of the ice. A policeman came into the house, and asked Mina to sit at the table. He was huge, not like Bill, but huge with muscles and a big belt with things all over it. One of those things was a gun. He could shoot somebody if he wanted.
 
“What happened the night Bill was here?”
 
“It snowed.”
 
The policeman seemed to stare right through her, like Anthony did when he was trying to guess what cards she was holding. She stared right back with wide eyes. Grown-ups didn’t really care what kids saw or thought. This policeman would give up and go write notes or something.
 
But he kept staring. “It snowed. What were you doing when Bill came?”
 
“Fixing supper.”'
 
“Did Bill eat with you?”
 
“Yep,” she said quickly. The policeman wrote something down.
 
“What did you eat?”
 
“Chicken and potato.” The policeman wrote again.
 
“What time was that?”
 
She frowned. “I don’t know.”
 
“Did he say he was going to leave?”
 
“No. I saw him shoveling around his truck, though,” she said helpfully.
 
“Do you like Bill?” asked the policeman suddenly.
 
She glanced at her mother. “Yes,” she said.
 
The policeman’s face didn’t change, but she didn't think he believed her. “My name is Officer Garrett,” he said. “We’ll talk again.”
 
The next day school was open. She was sitting in class when the lady at the office called her name over the intercom. “Mina Barrow, come to the office, please. Mina Barrow, come to the office.”
 
She’d never been called to the office before. When she got there, the principal was standing there, waiting for her with her mom. Officer Garrett was there too. Was she under arrest?
 
They all went into the principal’s office together. The policeman didn’t even wait for her to sit down. “Mina, you didn't tell me the truth.” He sounded sad. “I need to know, what happened that night? Was it just you and Bill there?”
 
She glanced at her mom, who said, “Tell the policeman everything, Mina.”
 
“I don’t want to get in trouble,” she whispered.
 
“I promise you won’t get in trouble,” her mother said. “Just tell Officer Garrett what happened.”
 
So she told the whole story, about Anthony and the poker game and how Bill showed up and she went to her room after she got kicked out of the card game and then she saw them both shoveling.
 
“So it was Anthony who ate the chicken.” Officer Garrett nodded, like everything made sense now. “Now, I have a question for both of you. Did Bill own a gun?”
 
Her mother nodded.
 
He pulled out a plastic bag that held a silvery-looking pistol. “Was it this one?”
 
Her mom looked uninterested. “I never saw it, to tell the truth. He just told me he had one.”
 
“We found another one at his house. But this was the gun we found in his pocket.”
 
Mina remembered the silver thing under Anthony’s coat.
 
Three weeks passed, and Mina hoped that maybe the police had forgotten all about Anthony. It was nice not to worry about Bill coming over. Mom didn't buy any more beer. Mina hated the smell of beer.
 
But then Officer Garrett came back. He sat in the kitchen with her mom, but Mina sat next to the air vent in her bedroom and listened closely. A man in a wheelchair had been shot a few blocks over.
 
He had been dead for at least a week by the time they found him, and it had taken another two weeks for some tests to come back. The tests showed that the bullet came from the silver gun.
 
They did tests on Bill, too. They had immediately found out that Bill didn’t eat the chicken, which was how Officer Garrett knew Mina wasn’t being honest. But they’d also learned Bill was drunk when he died.
 
Officer Garrett was talking. “The guy in the wheelchair who got killed was a con artist who hurt himself up in Maine, running a scam. He had people all over New York mad at him, so we got a whole bunch of folks to talk to. But first I want to get hold of this Anthony Parker guy.”
 
“You think he did it?”
 
“Likely. But I can’t get to him yet, so, with your permission, I want to do the next best thing and talk to Mina again.”
 
She shrank into herself as she heard them coming up the stairs. He saw her sitting next to the vent and seemed to smile, but the smile was gone as soon as she saw it. “You know what we’ve been talking about, don’t you, Mina?”
 
She said nothing, so he continued. “Tell me more about Anthony Parker. What did he look like?”
 
He sat down on her bed. It was like he was saying he wasn’t going anywhere until he got the full story. She considered making something up.
 
“Don’t make anything up, Mina. Tell me what he looked like.” He looked kind of funny sitting next to her unicorn. She tried not to smile.
 
“He was tall.”
 
“How tall? Stand up and hold up your hands as tall as he was. Stand on the bed if you need to.”
 
She thought, then held up her hand a little shorter than Anthony really was.
 
“What color were his eyes? Imagine him looking at you, and then tell me.”
 
“Brown,” she said.
 
Officer Garrett looked sad again. “Mina, did you like Anthony? Was he nice to you?”
 
She stared at the floor for a while, but she finally nodded.
 
“Did you like Bill?”
 
“Yes.”
 
He asked again, like he didn’t believe her. “Did you like Bill?”
 
He was staring at her with shining eyes that seemed to know everything. Finally she admitted it. “No. I hate Bill.”
 
“Mina!” her mother cried. “How can you say that? You know Bill was always nice to you.” She turned to Garrett helplessly. “Bill had a few rough edges, but he was a good person. He was so kind to me.”
 
Mina couldn’t stand it any more. “He ate all our food and he stunk and…”
 
Officer Garrett held up his hand. “All right, all right. You didn't like Bill, and I'm sure you had good reasons. But, Mina, tell me anyway what Anthony looked like. Maybe he was nice and Bill was mean, but Bill's dead and Anthony's missing, so you have to tell the truth.”
 
Finally Mina told him what Anthony looked like. “But he shoveled our driveway,” she added. “And he taught me how to play poker.”
 
“We’ll take those things into account.” The policeman smiled a little, and he turned to go.
 
She had to ask. “How did you know his eyes weren’t brown?”
 
“Every time you lie, Mina, it shows. You’ve got so many tells I don’t have time to go down the list.”
 
“You play poker too?”
 
He suddenly grinned, and his whole face looked nicer. Then he was gone.
 
A few days later Officer Garrett came back.
 
Again Mina huddled next to the vent while he talked to her mother.
 
"Did you find that man?"
 
"I think we did, but ..."
 
"Do you need Mina to testify?"
 
"No, no. The guy we found is dead."
 
Silence for a moment. Then her mother's voice. "If it's him, then good."
 
Anthony? Maybe they found somebody else. She knew the police said he'd murdered Bill, but--maybe he hadn't. Maybe it had been an accident. Maybe Bill got hit by the snowplow and got buried under the snow that way.
 
Officer Garrett spoke again. "I don't know for sure yet. The name on this man's driver's license was Kyle Milson. He's got quite a record. Well, had a record. His wife didn't look too surprised when we showed up. She said he lost his job, got in with some guys  looking to make a quick buck or two. That's about the time she said he started turning nasty. After awhile she stopped asking where the money was coming from."
 
"You think he was a hit man?" asked her mother.
 
"It looks like he'd do anything for some quick cash. We learned some more about the other guy, the guy in the wheelchair. He ripped off one old lady whose son, well, her son put out a hit on him. And Milson was an associate of his. If Mina can just give me a positive I.D., then we'll know. I have a photo of him with me."
 
"Well, I'll take you on up to her room." Mina heard chair legs scrape on the kitchen floor.
 
She clutched her knees as she heard them clumping up the stairs. She hoped it wasn't Anthony. Don't let it be Anthony. Don't let it be Anthony.
 
Her mother stepped through the open doorway, with Officer Garrett close behind her. He glanced at the vent. "All right, Mina." He sat down next to her on the floor. "So, here's that photograph I want you to look at."
 
She heard herself say, "I don't want to look." But Officer Garrett had already put the photo in front of her.
 
She saw Anthony again, sitting next to a pretty lady. Between them stood a boy older than Mina, with Anthony's blue eyes.
 
"Is this Anthony?" The policeman's voice sounded strange.
 
She closed her eyes against the picture, and nodded as she sank her head down to her knees.
 
“Mina, I’m sorry.”
 
"Why?" Her mother sounded angry. "Why should anybody be sorry about him? What about Bill? My Bill..." Mina lifted her head, ready to scream to her and Officer Garrett how she hated Bill. But then her mother started crying. She didn't know why, but she started crying too.
 
The policeman reached up to the bed and pulled down the stuffed unicorn. He put it in Mara's arms and she nuzzled the soft plush. Finally she buried her face in it.


Submitted: March 02, 2009

© Copyright 2021 Helena Parris. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Valenwolf

Wow, that was shocking. I loved all the twists and turns. I liked the whole story and actually got into it. The only criticism I can offer is in the opening sentence you refer to her hands as skinny, for some reason that made me first picture her as sickly. I would try maybe slim instead, but over all I really enjoyed reading it and I'm planning on checking out the rest of your work.
Great story.

Fri, March 6th, 2009 5:22pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Valenwolf. She's supposed to be a bit scruffy, but if she's hauling pans out of the oven on a regular basis, I suppose her fingers wouldn't be skinny. Now I'm going to dither back and forth the rest of the day about it. Skinny or not, skinny or not...well, I'm glad you enjoyed the story anyway!

Fri, March 6th, 2009 10:28am

Jacob B

That was great I'm actually a big fan of yours after this.

Fri, March 13th, 2009 1:44am

Author
Reply

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thu, March 12th, 2009 7:03pm

swimFire

That's really good :)
I loved all the twists, you never knew what was going to happen next.

Fri, March 13th, 2009 2:19am

Author
Reply

Thank you! I tried to keep it interesting while still making sense.

Thu, March 12th, 2009 7:21pm

Dumey

Hey there! Liked it a lot!
Keep up the good work!

Fri, March 13th, 2009 7:11pm

Author
Reply

Thanks! I'll try.

Fri, March 13th, 2009 12:19pm

darkessnova005

im so...shaken. i thought that anthony would be a nice guy!!! aww man. very nice work though. =)

Sat, March 14th, 2009 4:08am

Author
Reply

Sorry to disillusion you! But that was the point. I wanted to parallel Mina's insecurity and fear of being alone with that of her mom. Mina latches onto Anthony as a father-figure, and Corrine clings to Bill as a boyfriend. Neither man deserves it, but Mina and Corrine each see only what they want to see. When presented with evidence to the contrary, they refuse to accept it. Mina finally "gets it" many years later; Corrine never does.

Sat, March 14th, 2009 7:00am

Vicky1234

Wow, I really liked this story. I liked how you kept adding detail that would change the story so much.

~Vicky :D

Sun, March 15th, 2009 12:58am

Author
Reply

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

Sat, March 14th, 2009 7:10pm

jdixon312

this is a good read. kept me interested. keep up the good work

Fri, March 20th, 2009 1:31pm

Author
Reply

Thanks--I'm working on it!

Wed, May 13th, 2009 6:59am

Lollypops

Good work! There was a great plot there, and it kept me intrigued throughout the entire thing (which isn't easy thing to do). I could imagine every one of those characters and it seemed that each had a different but strange personality. The end really surprised me though, it was an interesting twist. Keep up the good work!

Fri, March 20th, 2009 4:11pm

Author
Reply

I'm glad you found the characters interesting. I wanted to explore them more, but this is a short story, not a novel. Same thing with all my short stories. I wish I could make them longer. But then, novels are harder to read than short stories!

Wed, April 1st, 2009 6:06am

Juan Penn

Very good story. You have a talent. The plot was good and believeable. Like your Panther story it held my intrest.

Sun, March 22nd, 2009 7:02pm

Author
Reply

I'm glad you liked this one too. If you're ever in the mood for a novel, try The Man in the Darkness. (I'm now plugging it shamelessly.)

Sun, March 22nd, 2009 5:14pm

Laura Plum

Hi There. The thing I liked about this story was how it was written all the way through from her perspective. You kept the language simple and realistic for a nine year old, with details and small twists to keep us entertained and interested. Nice write.

Sun, March 29th, 2009 1:59pm

Author
Reply

Thank you. That was the hard part, writing it from a child's perspective.

Sun, March 29th, 2009 12:44pm

ALifeOfSportsIsAGoodLife

Wow! That was awesome! Thanks for posting it! Can't wait for another one of your great pieces to come out!
Good luck in the future!

Love,
Katie

Mon, March 30th, 2009 4:12am

Author
Reply

Thanks! A new plot is starting to simmer in my brain as I type.

Mon, March 30th, 2009 6:51am

honeyyocat

Dude that was wayyyy!!!!!! cool I like the twist of the story,Keep upthe good work

Mon, March 30th, 2009 6:08am

Author
Reply

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. (I haven't been called Dude since college...)

Mon, March 30th, 2009 6:50am

Lady Elizabeth

A foreign story in an everyday setting. Strange, but very intriguing, as all good short stories should be.

Mon, March 30th, 2009 10:06pm

Author
Reply

Thanks! Nothing is quite so weird as a weird thing in an ordinary place.

Mon, March 30th, 2009 5:35pm

Pratibha

THIS DESERVED ALL THE ATTENTION IT GOT !
I WAS HOOKED ON TO IT EVEN IF IT WAS TIME FOR BED....
AWESOME...
u r a great story teller...will come back for more...

Wed, April 1st, 2009 4:24am

Author
Reply

Good! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Wed, April 1st, 2009 5:59am

Starmling

I was glued to this from the first paragraph, the twists and turns really made it dramatic and suspenseful! Good job!

Sat, April 4th, 2009 10:57pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for reading it and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Sat, April 4th, 2009 6:06pm

tammanna

wow, i was so into it...i never heard my mom shouting....and now i am returning after being scolded like anything...but i dont regret such scoldings if i got them because of such awsome stories...
good luck and keep it up...

Mon, April 6th, 2009 5:18am

Author
Reply

Now, now, I don't want your mom getting mad at you on account of my story! But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Mon, April 6th, 2009 9:12am

Aqi96

love it

Mon, April 6th, 2009 1:11pm

Author
Reply

good

Mon, April 6th, 2009 9:10am

N J Dodds

Hey this was really good, enjoyed it. I have a new novel currently, give it a read and let me know what you think :) cheers

Mon, April 6th, 2009 3:35pm

Author
Reply

Glad you liked it; I'll stop by and take a look.

Mon, April 6th, 2009 9:09am

scott 37

Great piece. I really like the point of view of Mina, nice touch, nice twist.

Tue, April 21st, 2009 5:36am

Author
Reply

Glad you liked it!

Tue, April 21st, 2009 6:58am

semaj notwal

that was great you ate a very good writer i loved that story u should right a novel hope u write another one just like it im new so i dont have a story yet but i will soon

Tue, April 21st, 2009 6:18am

Author
Reply

Glad you liked it; I've written one novel and have another in the works. I look forward to reading your material. Let me know when you have something up!

Tue, April 21st, 2009 6:57am

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