Writing Makes Me Feel Alive
Eighteen years ago, I found I could write a decent editorial, and short story after taking some writing courses. I expanded my projects to longer pieces of fiction, enjoying the research process as much as putting together characters, scene descriptions, and dialogue. So far I have managed to have two fiction novels published. "Blood And Eggs" a crime/horror published in July 2011. "Sweeten The Pot", a spicy contemporary romance was published in March 2013. The more I write, the greater my passion for writing builds. In the last two years, I have added specific platforms to my passion. On Word Press, I write blogs on issues that I feel outraged about, the link: http://penandstick.wordpress.
CHAPTER ONE - 2010
A tall black curly haired gentleman wearing a two-button Brooks Brothers custom suit crafted in Mongolian cashmere climbed slowly out of a silver stretched limousine parked in front of a historic majestic building in the Beaux-Arts tradition. The eye-catching front carried out in Portland stone, the two upper stories were embraced by an Ionic order of plain-shafted columns raised on unmolded pedestals. He took his two hundred dollar sunglasses off to get a good look at The Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London. An aristocratic gentlemens club comprised of the upper class and very affluent with different political views, different interests, and different professions. Senator from Virginia, USA, Charles Mead entered the stately structure teeming with an atmosphere of distinction, poise, and extreme wealth, he seldom felt on Capitol Hill.
He was approached by a short redheaded man wearing a red jacket with a royal insignia sewn onto his left pocket just below the well-tailored lapel. "Can I be of service to you, Sir?" Each word uttered in precise timing with a sing-song Welsh accent.
"Certainly, I have a meeting with Sir Terrence Percy." The senator said, flashing his engaging smile.
He was led to the east library on the first floor where the impressive rose garden can be viewed from the series of window treatments styled from the Edwardian days. No interior artificial light needed, the sunlight provided a natural golden sheen to the furnishings surrounding the small intimate room.
"Sir Percy, your guest from Virginia has arrived." The polite attendant announced, then bowed to take his leave. The wealthy aristocrat, CEO of The Nero Group stood up confident possessing a look of high breeding, but demonstrated some eccentricities. Revealed immediately, his attire somewhat inconsistent, his suit jacket off, his fire-engine red Baker City waistcoat did not much match his more modern cut of pants, pleated with a quarter-inch cuff at the bottom. "My good man, so join us for tea. We can discuss issues at hand over the finest brew and some sweetbreads."
After ten minutes of small talk, 'how was your flight? your accommodations are in order not too far from here, and..."These two gentlemen on my right are regional directors in the states from our expanding divisions - Bruce Abernathy and Lowell Gibbons." A tall slender older man wearing the same red jacket brought in a silver tray containing all they needed for their olfactory needs.
"Senator, are you familiar with The Nero Group?" Sir Percy asked, his short cropped hair white as snow glistened in the golden light. His thin lips opened to show the noticeable gap between his front discolored teeth.
"You started this corporation in 1992, services of catering, environmental cleaning, and laundering that now in 2010, the company possesses the worth value of thirty billion. You turn the public sector institutions into private sectors that employ workers, giving them a flat wage scale, very few benefits, and skirt any sign of advancement." Senator Mead said as he brought Percy's colleagues to a shocked expression. They thought maybe the senator's acute candor would offend their leader.
A tension rose, then lingered for only a brief time as Sir Percy leaned back in his brown leather chair to break forth with a hearty bellowing laugh. "You have a clever sputter of insight, senator! You have the look and honesty of a pretty black Irish, but carry yourself like a bloody Royal!"
"Sir Percy, as more states passed the 'Right To Work' law, your take on big business coincides with a majority of our new policies put into motion since the Economic Crisis in 2008. I have reliable sources saying the Midwestern states are ripe for an empire such as yours to snatch up service sectors of hospitals, prisons, and schools. A vantage point, a strategic move exists in Central Indiana." The thirty-nine year old Republican eloquently explained, his sapphire eyes sparkling with enthusiasm.
"Why Central Indiana?" The pale middle-of-the-road in the looks department, Bruce Abernathy asked, sitting looking puzzled.
"The region once a prestigious hub for the Automobile Industry has been gutted when GM and Delco Remy closed a number of assembly plants. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low, property taxes have fallen onto the dwindling residents, who desperately need to stay employed." Mead smiled, delighted in his clever rhetoric, making some visible headway.
"Can you guarantee legislature cooperation to our distinct guidelines?" Sir Percy asked, at the same time glancing down at his silver chained pocket watch attached to adjoining pockets of the waistcoat.
"Sir Percy, I was a college chum of Senator Will Morton of Indiana. He is Republican, very pliable to our ways of thinking about privatization. The other senator is Democrat Andrew Fischer, who can be overruled by the seven district Congressmen and women." Mead concluded, very pleased with himself. He rewarded himself by greedily gorging himself on the buttery square cake-like bread.
"Bruce, you can give Senator Mead the check now." Sir Percy said as he passed on a two million dollar check to the Cheshire cat smiling senator. "My good man, this is for your upcoming re-election campaign. Ironically, your government is embracing King George III regime after all, a turn around. I should say, what!"
Beautifully timed, the white-haired attendant returned to clear the table with the business matters at a close. "Chester, this is for your trouble." Sir Percy said, handing Chester a hundred dollar bill.
Taken aback, Mead was shocked and impressed at the excessive gesture. "That is the height of service. The last tip I left was to a waiter in Georgetown, a twenty. My wife and I were dining with a table of eight."
"Free enterprise is such a gas! When you've got it, you can afford to be excessive." Lowell Gibbons, a blonde youthful executive spoke for the first time.
Next chapter introduces the main character of Ava Hester, and the first appearance of the phrase, "Insect Politics".
CHAPTER TWO - FOSTER, INDIANA
Ava Hester struggled to push her cleaning cart down the winding corridors of St. John's Memorial Hospital's massive basement. With each ascending step forward maneuvering a heavy loaded metal cart, pain gripped her pelvic area on into her inner thighs. Perpetual agony seized her fifty-nine year old frame, as though she had undergone the gruesome torture device prevalent during England's reign of the Tudor Dynasty, the Rack.
There was no time to be giving in to her immediate malady, she had her orders from radio message from her supervisor, Mitch Fareway. He wanted her to check the recently cleaned dismissal rooms on 6South to inspect the work. Despite the difficulty her hips letting out a muffled popping sound underneath her navy blue scrubs, she slid into the basement Elevator 11 like a graceful dancer. Taking a deep breath, "Well, it's gone for now. Thank you, God!" Ava spoke out only herself to hear. The time was seven-fifty p.m.
She parked her car close to the service elevators nestled in front of the locked janitor closet. Marilyn, a friendly mature large brown-eyed African-American floor secretary manned the floor's front desk. The nurses and nurse attendants behind her were taking a break eating and laughing during their Friday night pitch-in.
"Hey, Marilyn, how's tricks?" Ava asked as she glance over the Environmental Tally Book. Marilyn chuckled, then filled her in. "You will see your gals got to ten dismissals in record time. We seem to be good for now."
Ava made her way to Room 631, the first of the rooms to inspect for the nightly quota. Passing Room 601, a lingering foul odor hit her in the face. She heard a squeaky wilting voice, "Nurse, help me! I had an accident, nurse!"
What the Environmental Senior Housekeeper discovered in 601 caused all her senses to react in a silent revulsion. There laid an elderly woman appeared so frail, as a victim of the German concentration camps during the Holocaust in World War II. The sight on the sheets and the odor was explained why the poor woman was in such distress. The sheet underneath her ruffled soiled gown was soaked in watery feces, and making its descent to the floor under her bed. Ava, despite the ever-increasing mess moved closer to the woman's face to hear her better. "My bag burst. I've been laying here for what seems like hours."
The patient's eyes were sunken in. Ava could make out a faint filmy color of hazel. Suddenly, looking deeper at this woman, she knew who she was. Beatrice Tibbitts, the author of mysteries that had received widespread notoriety for the last three decades. Her connection to this woman brought her back to when her children were in high school. She took a creative writing course from Beatrice.
"Mrs. Tibbitts, I will get you help. Just hang on, one moment." Ava pleaded, then raced to the nurses' station. Typical everyone on staff still gorging themselves on buffalo wings, loaded baked potato skins, and carrot cake.
"Look, Beatrice Tibbitts in Room 601 needs help, Stat! She's been lying in her excrement for hours!" Ava shouted above the endless chatter and annoying female cackles of laughter. Marilyn was the only person to reassure Ava was well among her rights to shout at them. "Is there anything I can do?"
After two corpulent nurse assistants in red violet skin-tight scrubs moved toward Room 601, Ava grabbed her cart. Beatrice, frail as she proved to be, with assistance was able to make it to the shower for a 'sits bath.' Ava cleaned every crevice and surface that was affected by the vile mess. Beatrice was put back in her cleaned bed, freshened by Marilyn putting on white laundered sheets and a clean lightweight comforter. The four air in the room much vacated, Beatrice's tubing changed and secured, she began to recognize her savior. "Ava Hester, are you still writing?" She asked as she enjoyed a glass of cold water.
"Yes, I am. Not getting published, my daughter Betsy is a literary agent for LittleJohn in the heart of San Francisco. I've sent her finished manuscripts for three years now, no favorable response." Ava said as she pulled one of the room chairs closer to the patient's bed.
Beatrice laid there, her eyes stared hard at Ava. "My dear, have you ever heard of 'Insect Politics'? Survival of the Fittest, the infirmed and the elderly to be systematically wiped out. Keep writing, you are strong enough to tell the story. I remember, you had promise." She said then lowered her head and closed her eyes into an exhausted repose.
Evening shift at its eventful end, the shock of seeing her former writing teacher in such a wasted human state deeply disturbed Ava. A puzzlement developed on the ride home, Beatrice probably in the last stages of bowel cancer plagued by confusion from all the medicine she was under. Her body totally taken over by the disease, emaciated beyond reason, but her mind seemed intact. Her words rang with the intelligence that made her the well-known writer her large circle of readers knew.
This tragic encounter began Ava's journey of discovery as leading corporations blatantly were allowed to distribute damaging additives in the food supply: processed foods, factory meats, and soda beverages that the public grew addicted to. Ava's first born, Betsy proved to be one of the conflicted relationships Ava encountered on her ongoing discoveries. Later in the book, Betsy changed completely where her mother was concerned for reasons she discovered that 'Insect Politics' was going on out West at a rapid rate.