Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DAYDREAM (12/08/16)
- TITLE: Is There a Spouse in the House?
By LINDA GERMAIN
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The rush to be the first to marry seemed to drive them straight into embarrassing situations with no forethought of applying prudence or patience to their goals.
The last spectacle before they faded from gossip’s fickle cycle involved a desperate bid to gain attention from the new single doctor in town by making an appointment for a physical. Never mind that he turned out to be a veterinarian.
For a while, after the hilarious attempt to corner him, they paraded every stray cat and dog they could find through the door to Dr. Joseph Huggins. He suffered their antics with patience and good humor. He even half admitted that one of them was kind of cute, and certainly not boring.
All the foolish sibling competition and bickering took its toll. Cissy moved twenty miles away to a town called…for some unfathomable reason…Place.
A year passed. As far as Cissy knew, skinny little Bordinea still believed that Mister Right would appear and announce, “I’m here at last.”
After Cissy had finished her few duties each day in the office of the only Private Eye in Place, she spent lazy hours gazing out the picture window as she pondered and pretended and hoped. It never occurred to her she was very much like her sister.
Duke’s Detective Agency was upstairs over the Place Banking and Trust Company. Her boss’s real name was Clarence, but he thought Duke sounded tougher.
Clarence-Duke was a strange little guy who tried to pattern himself after the smart talking gumshoes of old movies. The standard Fedora hat gave him a retro image of confidence. Nonetheless, he had a steady business. He was married to a sensible lady and had five kids and one on the way. Go figure.
Day after day, with the boss gone here and there, Cicely Dillard leaned on the window sill and stared at the clouds, or rain, or snow as she fantasized about how and when her knight would sweep her off her feet and into his castle or condo. While she stared and dreamed, she also prayed. It seemed like the best thing to do.
One morning, after she had watered the big Ficus tree in the corner and made fresh coffee, she noticed the man in a trench coat leaning against a lamp post. He seemed to be staring in her direction. She stepped back so fast her cup sloshed hot liquid on her foot. Quickly, she took off the wet shoe and hopped to her desk.
After some deliberation, curiosity got the best of her, so she crept back for another view of the mysterious stranger. He wasn’t there. Before she could return to her seat, the door creaked open, and there he stood!
Oh, my! She knew this man. He did not recognize her.
She had lost a lot of weight while living in Place and had learned to dress with a modicum of class. She looked like a stork standing on one leg while trying to stay balanced.
He began with a timid, “I’m uh…uh…”
Cicely Dillard took a deep breath.
“I know who you are.”
“Yes. The question is, why have you been skulking around across the street?”
“Hey, wait a minute,” he blustered, “I do NOT skulk! I was trying to get up the nerve to engage a detective.
Without warning, Cissy began to lean in the wrong direction. Clearly, this was not going to be one of her finer moments.
Trench coat man leaped to her defense and tried to break the fall. That good-intentioned maneuver sent the ugly tree sprawling. It slammed him in the head and knocked him out. He landed beside her.
The security guard from downstairs came running. He assumed some bad situation was in progress where a gun might be needed.
She calmly informed him, “Stand down, Sir, and please call an ambulance for two.” She was pretty sure some part of her was broken.
When the handsome man on the floor opened his eyes, she was laughing so hard he realized this was the right girl.
“Oh, Doctor Joe!” she whispered. “What took you so long?”
Clarence-Duke was sorry to lose her, but she was needed back home.
“By the way,” she asked Joe in the emergency room “Is there any chance you have a single brother?”
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