Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cold Sunday...

It's blustery and COLD here today.  The temperatures are to drop to 4 degrees tonight and we live in a motorhome!!

Actually, we are doing fairly well so far.  My husband thinks I'm daft for wanting to winter in the Northwest, but here we are and here we stay since there is no way to move now.  He mentions Florida, Hawaii, Arizona and Texas with a far away look in his if trying to tell me something.  What a great sport he is.  Down side is that I have bronchitis and am trying to get well again.  Up side is our son is cooking dinner for us tonight so I will get to see the grandkids (that's Ben and Sophia) and will have no dishes to do.  Hee Hee.

I made my Iowa version of Tiramasu from a wonderful English shortbread, homemade vanilla custard and bananas.  Guess there will have to be whipped cream as well.  Can't wait 'til dinner.  Hope you are all having wonderful weekends, that you dream of sugar plums tonight and that the coming week is prosperous for one and all.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a bit of my writing with you.  This is an opening to a short story that I will be trying to publish.  I hope you enjoy it and feel free to give me your feedback.

 (Copyrighted Material.  Duplication or Unauthorized use of the following material strictly prohibited under law.)
(Excerpt from)
The Bulls & The Blood
C Hummel Kornell

                        The body was heavy, almost too heavy.  A final shove propelled it forward across the fence and into the pen.  Bulls scattered from the unexpected intrusion.  Shadows concealed the hurried retreat to a car hidden nearby.  The ignition switch and interior lights had been disabled to allow undetected entry.  In minutes this place would be far behind.  Pulling a handkerchief from a jacket pocket to wipe away the victim’s blood before opening the car door, the fallen lighter went undetected.

            The crowd roared approval as Bill displayed the dismount he was famous for, landing on his feet and bowing to the audience.  Muscular with a stubborn set to his jaw which accentuated his dimples and dancing green eyes, he was a vision of raw strength packaged in a pair of well-fitting Wranglers.  He was a cowboy, a World Champion Bull Rider.  The powerful Brahma trotted toward the catch pen as Bill reached to retrieve his hat, waving it at the spectators and bringing a renewed cheer.  Grinning in appreciation he neared the chutes.  Two burly Sheriff’s deputies stepped forward, cuffed him and began—
            “You have the right to remain silent…”

            “I don’t understand what I’m doing here, Sheriff,” his head pounded from the lack of sleep and food.  Last night had been a nightmare and now this—
            “You’re a suspect in a murder case, cowboy.  Where were you last night between midnight and 6:00 a.m.?”  The overweight Sheriff swallowed the last bite of donut, wiping sticky fingers on his pants.
            “I’ve already told you, I was asleep in my truck at the rodeo grounds.”  He caught the Sheriff’s smile at the loud sound of his stomach growling.
            “Hungry, boy; want a donut?  Tell you what, you come clean with us and I’ll see to it you get fed.  You keep up with this innocent act and I’ll keep you here ‘til you’re old and grey.”  A loud belch accentuated his statement causing the deputy to snicker.
            He’d had enough, he needed to sleep and he was done playing around with these clowns.  “No thanks, Sheriff, I don’t want to look like you.  I could use an attorney and a phone call right about now.”
            The tone in the room changed to one of controlled rage as the Sheriff ordered him taken to a holding cell until the call and an attorney could be arranged.

            Through a sleepy haze she reached for the phone, coming wide-awake when she heard the frantic voice on the other end.
            “Hey, Angel, I need you.  I’ve got some trouble here, can you come?”
            She’d never heard Bill sound like this before.  “What’s happened, where are you?”  The bright lamplight hurt her eyes as she searched for a pen and paper. 
            “Babe, I don’t have long, I’m in jail in Santa Fe.  Get all the money together you can and get here, quick.  They’re cutting me off, I love…” the phone went dead.

‘World Champion Cowboy held for murder of jealous husband’, the USA Today headlines glared from the newsstand.  Quickly she rented a car, got directions to the county jail and minutes later stood facing a Sheriff’s Deputy across a cluttered counter.
            “What do you mean I can’t see him?”  Emotions boiled while she fought not to lose control and cry.  “I’m his fianc√©, he asked me to come.”
            “Sorry, little lady, I don’t care if you’re Queen of England, if you ain’t his attorney or his priest, you ain't going in, Sheriff’s orders.”
            She lost the battle.  A tear spilled slowly down her cheek as a tall man wearing a fringed jacket, boots, cowboy hat and huge silver buckle stepped to the counter beside her.  His features were Native American but his eyes were crystal blue, creating a mesmerizing face.  He gently patted her shoulder while flashing credentials at the Deputy whose expression changed to one of disbelief. 
            The newcomer’s south Texas drawl resonated through the waiting area, “We’ll see the young man in question, now.”
            “Uh, yes sir.  Just a minute, please, I’ve got to get the Sheriff,” the deputy disappeared through a door.
            The Sheriff appeared somewhat flustered as he approached.  “Mr. Whitman, what can we…”
            “First, we want to see my client.  Next I want to see all the files pertaining to his arrest.  When is the arraignment scheduled?” 
            The Sheriff barked orders for the prisoner to be brought to a private interview room returning his attention to the man he’d called Mr. Whitman.
            “Prisoner’s not to have visitors.  This is a murder, you know.”
            “I’m Mr. Cornell’s attorney, Sheriff; I assume his rights are not being challenged here?  He’s allowed to have an attorney isn’t he, due process and all?   I’d like to discuss the matter of his questioning without counsel present. I assume transcripts of that questioning will be with the papers you are quickly compiling for me?”
            Some of the air had been let out of the Sheriff, but he made one further attempt to take charge, “You’re the attorney, who’s she?”
            “She’s my assistant.  I always have an assistant present when I speak with clients.  Any problem, Sheriff?”
            The Sheriff made a futile gesture with his hands, “Give him what he wants, boys.  I’ll be at the house having dinner.” 
            They were ushered into a room where the files were already displayed on a conference table.  Bill stood shackled and waiting. 
            “Is this really necessary, boys?”  Whitman began shuffling through the files, “I’d like to have those removed.  I’ll take full responsibility.”  The deputies removed the handcuffs and ankle chains.
            “Thanks, boys.  You can leave us now.  I’ll give a holler if we need anything.”
            His hand thrust forward toward Bill who took it in greeting.  “Howdy, son, I’m a big fan.  In case you don’t already know me, I’m Chance Whitman.  You might have heard of me from my rodeo career, but I’m a fair attorney as well.  I’m here to represent you.  I know your name, son, but who is this lovely young lady?  From the trouble she was having out front I assume you two are old friends.”  He flashed a smile.
            “Yes, sir, I know who you are, on both accounts.  It’s a real honor to meet you.  This here’s Angela, most everyone calls her Angel.  I’m not sure we have enough money to pay for your help.” 
            Chance laughed at the last remark, “No, son, I don’t suppose you do.  For right now let’s just say I’m one cowboy helping out another.  We can get into more details on why I’m here later; right now we need to figure out what’s happened.  I’m assuming you didn’t really murder this guy.”  Angel drew in her breath and both men smiled at her.
            “No, sir, I didn’t.  All I did was offer him some sound advice in front of about a hundred eye witnesses.” 
            There was that laugh again, “Well, hell, son, I thought we were going to have a tough time convincing a jury you were innocent.  If we only have to prove to a hundred eye witnesses that what they thought they saw or heard was really not what happened, we’ve got it made.  Should be done by tomorrow at the latest.  Now, kiss the girl, pull up a chair and start at the beginning.”


  1. It's hard to imagine you writing about murder and negative people/actions..But here it is, and it's good.

    I'll say ,however, something as a reader only, as I am no writer. If it's just the opening to the short story, then it's a bit too long. Remember, we live in the 'instant' era. Before starting to read (even a blog), people take a look first at the length of the piece.

    Good Luck with its publishing!

  2. Duta,

    The first paragraph is the opening (hook). I felt it didn't provide I attached more. The actual story is less than 2500 words. I agree, this is an 'instant' era we live in, which in many ways I feel is too bad. As for me writing about murder and negative people/actions, I have always been an observer of people and their natures. It has long intrigued me how humans can commit the random acts of violence portrayed in our news. I am an avid reader, including the mystery and thriller genres. While the majority of my writing is in romance (I am always a sucker for 'happily ever after') I love the mechanics of creating a mystery. This one was crafted for a contest and I will now either attempt to place it as a short story or flesh it out for a book.

    I so appreciate your responses to my postings. It's difficult to know if what one creates is good or bad. Honest opinions is all we have to go on.

    May you have Peace and Love during this Christmas Season.


  3. Coni, This is captivating. Caught my interest and curiosity immediately and wanted to keep reading to find out its resolution. Very well written to this point. Interesting. Hope to read more of the drama developing in this mystery. Ruth B. from NH

  4. Ruth,

    Thanks so much. Writing, like art, is my passion. I guess I really have a lot of passions! Life is never dull. If you really would like to read the remainder of the story, I am happy to forward it to you.

  5. You have it finished? I certainly would like to read it. I'm an avid fan of well-written mysteries. For 6 yrs. I worked at our local library and read all the really good mysteries. By good, I mean ones that create questions, slowly reveal intricate twist and turns, interesting, likeable, and sometimes flamboyant characters, etc. Iris Johansen is one of my favorites, but I have a large number of others.

  6. Ruth,

    I'll get it organized and forward you a copy. Iris is a wonderfully talented writer. My main genre is romance, but this was a submission for a contest and had to be a mystery. Difficult to set up and solve properly in under 2500 words! To me the story needs to be 'fleshed' out more (my husband says my motto is always 'More is Better') LOL. He wanted me to turn it into a full novel and I might. Let me know what you think.