The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.
The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.
This month the words are supplied by Margaret Adamson and Sue and can be found here.
This week's words are:
1. Hang onto your hat
2. A penny for your thoughts
I haven't used either of these, this chapter kind of got away from me, I'll make sure they get into next week's story, but here is chapter fourteen of Tom's Memories, now known as:
Lost and Found:
Ed glanced at Bruce and wondered suddenly if mentioning Tom's name had been a mistake. Not many people knew he was here, the Police certainly needed to be told soon and with Sara being deliberately evasive, Ed realised he should be too. More so now that he knew Stephanie had been having nightmares about Frank. Then again, they only had Bruce's word about the nightmares, they could have been ordinary dreams. What did they really know about Dr Bruce Jones and his wife anyway? Ed didn't recall hearing anything about where they had come from or how long they had been planning to spend at Shark Cove. They weren't seen around town much either. Andrea hadn't ever been to Curly Cuts, nor had either of them shopped at the Post Office Market.
"A photographer?" asked Bruce. "where is he from?"
"I'm not exactly sure," said Sara. "There's a home farm somewhere upstate, his parents grow fruits and vegetables, they have a few chickens for eggs. Oh! Look at the time!" she pushed her chair back and moved toward the fridge. "I really must get the vegetables started." Bruce recognised the signal and also stood. "I should be getting back too, I told Andrea I wouldn't be long. She's making plans for a trip to the city soon and needs my input. Interesting to hear about Stephanie's paintings and her use of colours, that's definitely a change for the better. I should review her case and think about new approaches to her treatment. Like staying here more, as you've suggested. I'll see myself out, thanks for that wonderful cake Sara."
Ed and Sara listened for Bruce's car leaving, then looked at each other. "You thinking what I'm thinking?" said Ed. "That we should keep Tom out of sight for a while?" said Sara. "Yep. But that's not going to be easy, he's already been seen in town and he's there now bringing his parents here." Sara said " I've got a funny feeling about Bruce now. We've never known him or Andrea well, they don't socialise and he never mentions anything about that hospital, not even gossip about any staff. I don't think anyone in town knows any more than we do either." "You're right," said Ed. "All we know is that he's treating Stephanie."
Sara pulled vegetables from the fridge and began peeling and chopping. "Would you check on that roast beef Ed? It should be about done, you could move it to the bench near the carving knife and cover it with some foil to keep it warm and turn the oven up a bit for the potatoes to be roasting." Ed knew Sara was prattling on as a way to close off an unknown fear, she'd let her subconscious sort things through and there'd be intense conversation later. He had his own thoughts to sort out and thought maybe talking to Tom and his parents would help. The sound of unfamiliar cars made him look out the window and see a battered old Jeep driven by Tom, followed by a dark green sedan driven by a man who was clearly Robert, going by Tom's description. Tom helped Vanessa out while Robert removed a suitcase from the back seat, then Tom took his camera bag from the Jeep and they all came to the door. Ed and Sara were both there by then and opened it before Tom could knock.
"Hello, hello," with big smiles. "Come in, Tom's told us all about you, I feel as if we know you well already," said Sara. "Good of you both to come," said Ed. "I'm Ed Saunders, this is my wife Sara, come into the sitting room and rest a bit. I have a feeling we're going to be doing a lot of talking." "It's very lovely to meet you both," said Vanessa. "I'm Vanessa, but please call me Van, it's what I'm used to. " I'm Rob," said Robert exchanging a hearty handshake with Ed. "We'd love a sit down, been wandering around the town a bit, Tom's shown us the Post Office Market and where Curly Cuts is."
"I'll make a pot of tea," said Sara. "Unless you'd prefer coffee? We only have instant right now, that fancy cappucino machine has broken down, lucky for us it isn't tourist season right now."
"Tea would be wonderful," said Vanessa. "Can I help bring in cups and saucers?" "Oh would you?" said Sara. "It's been a long time since I've had a woman's help in the kitchen. Not since Melissa died. There's been a girl or two from town to help out when tourists stay but that's not the same. They're like chattering magpies those girls, all gossip and no substance it seems." "I know what you mean," said Vanessa. "They'll grow out of that though, the years between school and steady jobs go fast enough. Tom has only recently been more man than boy himself." Sara set a plate of shortbread on the tray alongside the cups and saucers and Vanessa carried it to the sitting room while Sara followed with the teapot. Ed and Robert looked up as they entered and both smiled at the women they loved. "Look at those happy faces," said Robert. "Ten minutes in a kitchen and they're best friends already." "Where's Tom?" asked Vanessa. "Putting away his camera," said Ed. "He'll be right down. I feel I've made a new friend myself, Rob. We're looking forward to hearing all about Tom's earlier years from you two. "We only know what Tom has told us," said Sara, "and of course the time he was here as a child."
Tom entered carrying the duct-taped shoebox of memories and placed it on the sideboard before pouring himself a cup of tea. "What is that wonderful smell coming from the kitchen?" "Roast Beef" said Sara. "I do hope you'll all stay for dinner, I've cooked extra vegetables in case." "We'd love to," said Vanessa. "Rob loves a good roast dinner." "He sure does," said Tom. "I've seen him eat until he couldn't stuff in another mouthful." Big grins from everyone and it was decided. Right then a new family was formed. Conversation flowed like a waterfall. The home farm, Rob and Van's drive to the coast, "closer than we thought," laughter about Tom's first attempt to drive the tractor, tales about the Scenic Retreat, how Jim and Melissa died before their dream of a Bed and Breakfast could be realised. "This is the Melissa you mentioned in the kitchen?" asked Vanessa.
"Yes," said Sara. "They bought this place from us and kept us on as help, we never wanted to leave here anyway, so that was the original plan and they were happy about it. Their daughter Stephanie had a breakdown when they died and then another one the night Tom was taken."
"Where is she now?" asked Robert. "There's a small private hospital just one valley over, Steph's there under the care of a Dr Bruce Jones and his wife Andrea." said Ed.
"She comes here quite a bit," said Sara. "This is her rightful home and Ed is teaching her to paint as part of her therapy, but she hardly talks at all, has an emptiness about her. I'm sure she knows who we are though, she seems comfortable being here."
Tom said, "She used to babysit me sometimes, but I don't remember her at all. Of course I haven't seen her here yet, that might help." "We're not sure how Stephanie will react though," said Ed. "She was very friendly with Frank and Cherie, that's Tom's parents, his other parents, and Steph was broken up so much over what happened that night. It was her that found Cherie dead and with Tom looking so much like Frank, we don't know what seeing him might do. Will it shock her or will it wake her up?"