Rose pressed in the last bit of stuffing, stitched the final seam, and began to focus on the details.
Cute buttons for eyes, black thread stitched just right for mouth and nose, and most important, the hair. Long, luxurious curls of black that tumbled from head to waste completed the work.
Everything was just right. Perfect.
She lay the doll atop a pillow and turned her full attention to the pin cushion. She selected a long silver prick with delicate fingers, and pressed it through the doll’s chest and into the pillow below.
Rosie wrung her hands and began reaching before forcing a stop. She leaned back with a hint of a smile. Her cheeks bloomed red.
The game was simple. Everyone writes their wildest fantasies, pops ’em into the jar, and shakes ’em up. Then the “fun” starts. The fun was figuring out who matched what fantasy, one at a time, until they were all found out.
Rosie glanced at Ken. He smiled wide in return, a knowing twinkle in his eye.
This somehow calmed her.
“Everyone ready?” Barb asked before emptying her wine. “Time to play.”
So this is retirement, Frank thought., his tools scattered before him.
He had dreamed of retirement for years and all the things that he would no longer have to do once that time came. Banish early mornings and the workday for starters. Retirement meant relaxing, or so he thought. But here he was, up since the crack of dawn, working on this… thing. And when this is done, there’ll be another thing waiting.
Who knew honey-do lists grew at the speed of light?
“I’ll never catch up,” he grumbled. “I’ll have to go back to work to rest from retirement.”
“Tickets,” the attendant called from down the aisle. The train began to sway as it picked up speed.
Kev held his tickets in easy reach and tried not to look at the scrolling landscape. Train travel. He hated it, and everyone that knew him knew that. He had been sure to drop it casually into conversations over the last few months as the investigation ramped up.
The attendant took and tore Kev’s ticket. “Thank you,” he said handing back the stub.
“No,” Kev smiled. “Thank you.” He relaxed. It would be days, maybe weeks before they even suspected the train.
Jeremiah took the package and walked a little distance to the river’s edge, hopped from rock to rock and settled down where the rushing water could rumble around him.
Warm sun forced the long tan coat he wore off, so he folded it neatly and laid it beside him, clear of the water insuring it would be dry for the night’s cold. It was a good coat, showing a few holes from years of wear, but it would be good for years yet.
Settled, he looked to the sky, mumbled a few words of thanks, and unwrapped the turkey sandwich.