Friday, January 26, 2018

Carrie & Carrie

Here's one The Fuzz was working on for a local writer's group.
He figured he might as well share it here.

So enjoy




Carrie & Carrie

© 2017 The Littlebranch Papers


"Yeah, I know who you are - and you still can't come in here," the burly cop told her, blocking the elevator doors.

Carrie folded her arms across her chest and stared at him icily.  She knew officer Parker, and it would be pointless to try to sweet-talk her way past him.  He had never forgiven her for her report on the "Miller Scandal".  True, he had not been implicated himself, but it had all been going on right under his nose.  He still blamed her for his not making sergeant.

"Go away, Carrie.  No-one gets in but the doctor."

She stepped back as he took a step toward her.  But he only reached inside and hit the button for the lobby.

Just my luck, she mused as the car began the descent to the lobby.  But then she had another idea.  Carrie quickly punched the button for the next floor down.  As the door opened she touched the button to close the doors again.  She doubted that Parker would notice that the the elevator had made a stop as it continued down empty.

As she stepped into the crowded corridor nobody paid her much attention.  Most of the employees were familiar with Carrie.  She was often at the hospital for her stories on the local news channel.  She scanned the faces in the corridor until she recognized Carlos pushing a laundry cart.

Carrie took him aside.

"What's with that patient upstairs?" she asked quietly.

"We're not supposed to talk about it," he answered, glancing around nervously.  "I don't know anything."

"So, what do you know? Carrie asked with a smile, stepping closer now.  Carlos, she knew, could be sweet talked.

"I know we had to move everyone else off of that ward," he told her.  "It was a pain in the ass.  She must be contagious."

"Then it's a woman?"

"I don't know, Carrie.  That's just what I heard."  Taking another look around he added, "Look I gotta go - I got work to do."

"One more favor?"

He just sighed.  "What?"

"Room number?"

"602"

"Thanks, Carlos," she said with her biggest smile.

"Yeah… Sure," he mumbled walking away.

But of course she wasn't satisfied.

*

Carrie waited until she was sure no-one was watching, and stepped into a small room.  She slipped out of her skirt and put on some scrubs.  She put her phone into the pocket and picked up a clipboard.  You can go anywhere if you are carrying a clipboard, she thought to herself opening the door.

Nobody paid any attention as she made her way to the end of the corridor.  Opening the door, she stepped into the stairwell.  The door clicked shut behind her as she started up the stairs to the sixth floor.

The door was locked of course.

Carrie's editor did not always approve of her methods.  But he was not one to question exactly how she had gotten a story if it was big enough.  And she was sure she was onto something big this time.

She took a key from her pocket smiling smugly to herself.  A locked door was no problem if one had the key.  And Carrie had her little bag of tricks.

Through a small window she could see officer Parker at the other end of the corridor.  He was facing the elevators and intent on the phone in his hands.  Playing games she thought sarcastically, or watching porn more likely.

Opening the door she closed it quietly behind her and stepped over to a medical cart in the deserted hallway.  She began wheeling it nonchalantly toward room 602.  She nearly lost it once when the cop looked up at her, but forced herself to keep walking.  But Parker didn't recognize her in her scrubs and went back to his phone.

At room 602 she left the cart at the door and stepped inside.

The room was quiet save the occasional beep of a monitor.  There were two beds, an empty one near the door, and another with the curtains partially drawn around it.  She couldn't see the occupant.  But she could see a small table under the TV which was turned off.  On it was a half finished painting of some mushrooms.  A wooden bowl of them lay there as well.

The painting looked professional even in it's unfinished state.  She took a picture of the table with her phone.  Carrie saw nothing remarkable in the mushrooms themselves.  But all she knew were the ones in the grocery store, and she didn't care for them anyway.  Still, she couldn't resist an urge to reach with her finger and touch one.

She quickly withdrew her hand when she heard someone in the corridor.  When she heard the door-latch click she panicked.  There was no way out but that one door.

Almost without thinking she pulled the curtain around the empty bed and got onto the chair beside it.  She drew her legs up so not to be visible below the screen.  She struggled to control her breathing and tensed up as she heard voices.

"That's funny, I thought those curtains were…" it was a woman's voice, interrupted by a man.

"Doctor Morris," he said abruptly, "We need to know what happened here."

"Well," she began hesitantly, "we're just not sure yet."

Carrie already had her phone out and was recording.

"This woman was found in a secluded area of Willow Creek Park."  It was the man again.  "She was in this condition, but there is no evidence of foul play.  What's wrong with her?"

"She appears to be in a coma of some kind.  I'm sorry lieutenant, that's all I can say."

"That's all?" with irritation.

"Well……"

"Well what?

"I… we… We think it may have something to do with these mushrooms.  Nobody seems to know what they are.  She was painting them.  As you can see the brush is still in her hand… She won't let go of it."

Carrie heard a snort from the detective before Dr Morris continued with a bit more confidence.

"Her name is Carrie…"

Carrie started at this and didn't catch the rest.  No matter, she thought, I have it all on the phone.

"…she works with a mycologist out of San Fransisco.   We have notified him and he is on his way now.  Until he arrives there is nothing we can do but monitor her and watch for any changes."

Carrie began to relax a bit as she heard them leaving the room.  Slowly she came out from the curtain and approached the other bed.  Her attention was drawn to the paintbrush in the woman's hand.  On a whim she reached to touch it.  It came away easily in her hand.  It almost seemed as if it had been handed to her.

In surprise Carrie turned to look at the other Carrie.  With a gasp she realized that the woman could have been her twin.  There was a mirror visible through the open bathroom door.  Carrie saw her own reflection and saw the other woman's face staring back at her.

Stepping back in shock she heard the door latch and hid again.  This time it was only a nurse checking the patient's vitals.  Carrie heart was pounding in her chest.

As soon as the nurse left, Carrie cracked the door open and peeked out.  The nurse was still in the corridor, but talking with officer Parker.  Both their backs were to her.  Her heart was still pounding as she made her way toward the stairwell.  It was a struggle not to break and run.  As the door clicked shut behind her she leaned against the wall, legs trembling.  Slowly she slid to the floor, breathing heavily.

When she had finally calmed down, and made it back to the room on the floor below, she realized that she still held the other Carrie's paintbrush in her hand.  She tossed the scrubs into a corner and put on her own clothes, tucking the brush under them.

Carlos saw her in the corridor.

"What's happened to you?" he asked with concern.  "You look like you seen a ghost."

"Look, Carlos," she said in a shaking voice.  "You never saw me here today, okay?"

"Sure, Carrie, whatever you say."

He watched as the elevator doors closed behind her.  Then went back to his work, shaking his head.

"That girl is crazy," he mumbled to himself as he swept the floor.

*

Carrie didn't go back to the office.  In her apartment she emptied the remains of a bottle of vodka into a tumbler, and downed half of it.  She realized that she had been rubbing her fingertip on the side of her skirt.  It felt funny, kind of itchy.

Carrie stared at the paintbrush on the counter in front of her.  She had a sudden urge to paint.

Rummaging through her closet, she found an old paint set that she hadn't used since college.  There was nothing to paint on.  But it had become a compulsion now.  Desperately she looked around her kitchen.  She grabbed the large cutting board.  There was no question of what to paint.  She opened her phone to the picture she had made at the hospital.

*

Carrie couldn't move.  But she could hear everything around her.  She recognized the voices of Dr Morris and the Detective.

"She was found like this in her apartment," he said.  She had the paintbrush in her hand.  We don't know how it got there.  And she had painted this!".

Dr. Morris took the cutting board into her hand.

"Why it's exactly like…" and here her voice trailed off.

*

The room was quiet now.  Carrie felt the words rather than heard them.


"Now we are together at last"

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gardening Stuff

The Fuzz has not been keeping up with things here… that's just a fact.  Let's just say that he has a lot of personal issues these days.  Perhaps they might be a subject for this blog someday…
But then I wouldn't hold your breath.

There was some actual winter weather here in the Old North State lately.  But things have warmed back up just a bit and The Fuzz has been thinking about gardening again.
Since it is only The Fuzz himself at this time, a large garden is unnecessary these days.  So he has been working on converting everything to raised beds.
This project is to provide a little greenhouse and maybe get a jump on Springtime…
…could be worth a shot.

There were already some PVC frames under the house from a previous attempt at this.  So rather than starting from scratch, Our Fuzz decided to modify those.
This was accomplished by shortening the original "A frame" design, and adding 45° elbows to match the width of the new beds.  All these sections are slip-fitted so they can be reconfigured when needed.
"Clear" plastic was draped over the new frames and weighted down at the sides with bricks, making it easy to open on hot days -
which we might have eventually.

And so…

Voila!
A Mini Greenhouse.

This is heavy-duty plastic though…
The Fuzz is considering perhaps going with a lighter gage befor any planting. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Warmth

One for the Poetry Corner


Warmth


I wake in the predawn
Peeking from under the comforter

The room is dark and cold
Breath steaming unseen in the chill stillness

Under these feathers is my nest
A fledgling still
I hug the pillow
Curl into a ball

And savor the pleasure
of

Simply being warm

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Seeing Into Things...


Here's one The Fuzz has been working on for a writer's group he's been hanging with to keep off the streets these days.


Seeing Into Things...

"I'm just worried about him, Billy."

"Look, Daisy, I'm meeting him in a few minutes. Everything will be fine."

That wasn't her real name, but I have called her that ever since we were kids in grade school. At first it had just been a tease, but the name had stuck.

I hadn't recognized the number when she called. That was odd. I had just finished talking to Jeff and was getting into the car to go meet him. I almost didn't pick it up.

Daisy had sounded worried. And Jeff had been acting odd lately. As I started the car I recalled last Friday evening. They had invited me for dinner. That was not unusual. The three of us have been friends since middle school. I often join them for dinner and a movie at their home. I live alone, myself.

And Jeff had been acting strangely that night. He kept making excuses to leave the room, and would stay gone for an unusually long time. It was obvious that something was bothering him, and it made me uncomfortable. I was relieved when Jeff had finally called today. He asked me to meet him privately at our old swimming hole by the river. He wanted to talk.

But he had sounded desperate. "You're the only one that can help me," he had pleaded. I was glad to put on my cape and fly to the rescue.

Jeff's truck was already there when I arrived. This was a popular spot in the summer, but we would be sure to be alone at this time of year. Following the path, I recalled those lazy summer days when Jeff, Daisy and I would join our friends here to escape the summer's heat. I had thought I was in love with her then. But to Daisy, I was always "like a brother" as she put it. I realized that this was meant as a compliment, but still...

And in the end she had married Jeff.

When I saw him, Jeff was sitting in our old place, a log overlooking the river. He was holding a half empty bottle of Jack Daniel's - which accounted for the odd way his truck had been parked. I sat down beside him. Jeff passed the bottle and we didn't speak.

"Jeff... what's eating you?" I finally asked.

"Nothin', man," Jeff replied. "What are you talking about?"

"It's just that Daisy said..."

"Daisy said, huh?" Jeff said taking another long pull of the whiskey.

After a long pause and another drink Jeff spoke.

"I got a big problem," he began. "I need help bad."


"At work?"

I knew that Jeff had a high-stress job. Daisy had told me of her worries that Jeff would crack under the pressure. But I knew Jeff, he was tough. It had to be something else.

"You want to talk about it?" 

"No, dammit!"

"You called
me..."

"You can't help."


Jeff suddenly stood up throwing the empty bottle into the river. He had a wild look in his eyes as he turned toward me.

"You are the problem!"

"What the hell are you talking about?" I demanded facing him. He shoved me back and I fell over the log we had been sitting on.

"I know all about you and Daisy," Jeff told me waving Daisy's cell phone.

The pieces began to fall into place as I lay looking up at him. This was why Daisy had called from her neighbor's phone. She had told me that she couldn't find her phone or car keys.

My phone began to ring in my pocket.

"Give it to me!" Jeff demanded. He was holding a pistol now. Reluctantly I handed the phone to him as it continued to ring. As Jeff took the call I prayed it was anyone but Daisy.

"Bitch," was all he said, tossing the phone into the river.

"You thought I was a fool," Jeff said now, as I struggled to my feet. "Well, now who is the fool?"

"Jeff, this is crazy. We never... Daisy loves you... she is only worried about you."

"Worried that I'd find about you two!" he replied in triumph. "It's too late now for your lies!"

"Jeff," I pleaded, "Think what you're saying!"

"I'm done thinking," he said coldly raising the gun now.

I was surprised at how far one can see into the barrel of a pistol when it is pointed at your face.


Just for fun of course!






Thursday, November 16, 2017

When Cats Prowl

Here's one from the archives
The Fuzz was going through some old sketchbooks


Just for fun

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Air Show 3

Here comes another one

This is the B-17's big brother

The B-29

It was one of these guys that dropped that first A-bomb and ended the war.

She made a few passes so folks could get a good look.

And lastly…
Back on the ground.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Air Show 2

One of the things The Fuzz liked about this Air Show was getting to see some of these old warbirds in the air.

Here come one now

And now a bit closer…
This one is an icon of the 2nd World  War.

The B-17 of course!

The partial cloud cover made for some great pix

You may notice she's got some company in this one…
But that will be for a later post.

And one last look at her on the ground