Oh. My. Dog! #54

Posted: February 24, 2019 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Paul Cairns noted the barely visible movement of Lady Barker-Worthington’s left brow. “Charlotte – your expert of choice? Everyone else in this family is more worthy of providing expertise on any given exhibit.”

“I agree. Yet – this is about a Viking artefact.”

A look of absolute disgust briefly crossed the lady’s face. “Mortimer, inform Charlotte that she has visitors.” She stood, and picking up her trade journals, she headed for the door.

Lynx seemed utterly unfazed, whereas Paul Cairns tried to remember if he had ever met someone as ill-behaved.

Hurried steps and “Lynx, this is really you!” interrupted his train of thoughts. The young woman hugging Lynx was the opposite of her mother, outgoing and kind. Lynx whispered something in her ear.

“Lynx, Mir Cairns, please follow me to our Viking collection.”

The Viking collection was in an annexe of the building, Charlotte and the cleaning staff were the only ones who knew its exact location; moreover, it was not monitored by security devices.

Charlotte used her key and let her visitors in. “All right, tell me what’s going on!”

“There was a break-in at the plant nursery, someone used something with your initials. Please show Charlotte the photos, Paul.”

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Oh. My. Dog! #53

Posted: February 17, 2019 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Lynx, we need to talk to Charlotte.”

Sure thing, Mr Cairns. First, we need a plausible reason and second – a suitable attire.”

Bud laid his paw on my knee.

That’s brilliant!” Fondling Bud’s ears I elaborated my plan.

Lynx was thrilled. “Mr Cairns, would you mind playing my uncle?”

Not in the least, my dear. And it’s Paul. We should stop with that formal nonsense, don’t you think so too, Annie, love?”

Mrs Cairns – no, Annie! – seemed pleased. “I couldn’t agree more, Paul. Let’s raise our mugs and celebrate this special moment.”

A few minutes later Lynx left for a change of clothes, Annie sent a grumbling Paul to dress up appropriately for their visit at the Barker-Worthingtons.

Thanks to announcing their visit beforehand, a gleaming borrowed Jaguar, Lynx and her charming smile, she and her “uncle” Paul were allowed along the driveway to the house. A butler in livery opened the front door and led them to the salon.

Lady Barker-Worthington, it is so lovely to see you again!”

Lady Barker-Worthington reciprocated the niceties with a smile that did not reach her eyes.

And the purpose of your visit is the Worthington collection, because…?”

“We need Charlotte’s expert opinion.”

Oh. My. Dog! #52

Posted: November 3, 2018 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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“Difficult – what kind of difficult?”

“How can I best explain it, Lynx? Well, let us say they breathe money. They consider themselves above all – untouchable. They do not only have friends in high places, but they own them. We cannot just knock on their door. To even get near the premises is ‘Invitation only.’.”

Mrs Cairns looked troubled. “Perhaps you should not follow that line, dear. If they feel threatened, they might file a complaint. This would stick to your profile forever.”

“We cannot let them get away with it!”

Mr Cairns chuckled. “Not so fast, Ken. We do not know if Charlotte is involved here. As you mentioned, it might have been stolen. The Barker-Worthington aren’t known for donating…”

“Charlotte and I were classmates for a few weeks. She was funny, always open for pranks. Then we were told that she transferred to a more appropriate school. After what you just told us, Mr Cairns, I assume that she enjoyed her freedom a little too much for her parents’ taste.”

“I am convinced that they want to keep their daughter under control. They do not want their reputation harmed.”

“Despite that, Charlotte wants to have fun – even with burglary.”

Oh. My. Dog! #51

Posted: October 21, 2018 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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While we were talking, Mr Cairns hat quietly joined us at the table. When I started explaining Bud’s finding, he got really excited.

“We know that they checked if they could enter the premises without getting caught! That they wore gloves is annoying; on the other hand, the mud has effectively destroyed all possible evidence.”

“Another question is how to prove it. We cannot tell anybody about Bud’s gift.”
Lynx agreed with me. She stared at the mirror, taking in how it was attached to the stick. Frowning, she grabbed a napkin and lifted the mirror for a closer look, turning it in different angles. You could have heard a pin drop when she finally smiled into the round.

“We’ve got ourselves a clue!”

She pointed at the initials C.E.B.W. “This belongs to Charlotte Elisabeth Barker-Worthington. She might have given it to a friend.”

“It might have been stolen – or even donated.”

I had hardly finished talking when Bud laid his paw on my knee. I recognised the young man from the other vision. “Is this Charlotte?”

Bud went over to Lynx. “Yes, that’s her.”

Mr Cairns sighed, “The Barker-Worthingtons are difficult. We need to plan our approach with care.”

Oh. My. Dog! #50

Posted: October 7, 2018 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Mrs Cairns busied herself with creating mouth-watering sandwiches while her husband treated us to fresh coffee. When our landlady finally took her seat I realised how rattled she was. I looked at Lynx expectantly. “All right, I tell you what happened.”

We arrived before the plant nursery opened. Together with further customers – all preparing for the garden show – we waited to be let through the gate. At first, everything seemed to be as it should be. Then we entered the hall where they keep their rare conifer transplants – and two-thirds of them were gone! The owners were devastated. As they were about to ring the police, another customer approached them with bad news: their newly bred tricolour rose liners had vanished as well!”

Mrs Cairns sobbed and her husband hurried to hug her.

One of the police officers assumed insurance fraud, especially as the Pride of Britain is priceless. A few minutes later, they found evidence that steered their minds in a different direction. There were traces of tyres and shoes; apparently, the suspects had tried to erase the clues only half-heartedly.”

I interrupted her flow. “They may have been interrupted – maybe they heard something unexpected that made them rush!”

Oh. My. Dog! #49

Posted: July 22, 2018 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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Lynx left a few minutes later, and having digested my third mug of coffee, Bud and I headed for the park. “Nothing better than running to get the fatigue out of your system, don’t you think, Bud?”

As usual, I had an old knotted leather-belt with me – Bud loved chasing for it. After I had thrown in for the second time, Bud returned with the belt and something muddy which he carefully placed in my outstretched hand. I carefully removed some of the dirt. Weird. A broken mirror tied to the end of a stick. Bud laid his paw on my knee.

I’m not sure what to think of this, Bud. Let’s return home, running will hopefully clear my mind.”

***

Bud directed me through the gate towards the garden hose, he was eager to get the mud out of his fur and – off the mirror/stick contraption.

***

When Mrs Cairns and Lynx returned an hour later, the car was filled to the brim. Both looked exhausted so I rushed outside to help them. Mrs Cairns invited us for a treat. She exchanged some quick glances with Lynx, urging her to tell Bud and me about their morning at the plant nursery.

Dear friends and readers,

Cover: Neighbors!
by Karen Oberlaender

It has finally happened: My second book, Neighbors!, was published today, June 19, 2018 as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords. As many of you may know, the book is a flash fiction series, focussed on Sheriff Jim Burrell and a peculiar case. It also comprises a bit of fan fiction: author C. S. Boyack lent me my favourite protagonist of his works, Lisa Burton, to support Sheriff Jim.

I hope you will take the time to check Neighbors! out at your retailer of choice or at Smashwords, where you can buy and download the book in the typical ebook formats.

Neighbors! is available at many retailers. Mobi format is available at Smashwords.

Buy/download links:  books2read.com/u/3G9dg8

I am looking forward to your feedback and reviews.  🙂

Best wishes,

Karen

Dear friends and readers,

After following a flash fiction prompt, I was easily convinced by a reader’s comment, that the story should continue. (How it began…)

I loved writing about sheriff Jim Burrell and his team, including Lisa Burton, C. S. Boyack’s unique protagonist of Wild Concept. Dear Craig, I still feel honoured that you allowed my piece of fan fiction. I can imagine to continue the story – with a different case of course – if you readers want it.

During the last months I took my time to format, re-edit, etc., and Smashwords accepted Neighbors! for their Premium Catalog.

Cover: Neighbors!
by Karen Oberlaender

Neighbors! is available for pre-order in all e-formats:  books2read.com/u/bP5RAx

Publication date:  2018-06-19

Enjoy reading the episodes at the coffee machine or in the lift (perhaps I should say elevator – as Neighbors! is set in the USA 😉), or just wherever else you like to read.


Peace, coffee, and a cheesecake.  🍀☘

 

Oh. My. Dog! #48

Posted: April 29, 2018 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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I woke to the smell of coffee. Not sure if I was hallucinating, I squinted; broad daylight, the scent of coffee and cinnamon rolls seemed to be real. Noiselessly, I leant on my elbow. Lynx was sitting at the table, reading, a coffee mug in her left hand, her right hand petting Bud’s head. His head rested on her leg, both were completely at ease, and I just loved the sight of it. My growling stomach gave me away. Lynx looked up, smiling. I got up and Bud trotted over to greet me, then he directed me towards the bathroom.

Ten minutes later and freshly showered I finally was allowed a seat at the table, fresh coffee and a delicious cinnamon roll. I was glad that the case was over, still feeling a little exhausted – lack of sleep had taken its toll.

Not in the mood for adventures, right?” Her eyes sparkled as she said it, even Bud seemed to be grinning.

What’s your plan?”

Besides learning for the upcoming tests, I promised Mrs Cairns to help her stock up for the garden show. An extra pair of hands is required.” Lynx smiled infectiously and Bud produced his silent bark.

Oh. My. Dog! #47

Posted: February 18, 2018 in Flash Fiction, Oh. My. Dog!
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All of a sudden I felt worn out, therefore I accepted Mr Cairns’ offer for a ride. Jones promised to return my bicycle the early afternoon.

It was a relief to snuggle into the front passenger seat. I stole a glance at Mr Cairns’ profile – he wasn’t exhausted, just thoughtful.

I woke with a start as Mr Cairns stopped in the driveway. I wondered if Mrs Cairns was all right, she had been way too pale earlier. When we stepped into the kitchen, my landlady’s cheeks had a more natural colour. She intently watched as Lynx drew a mindmap and explained its content.

Mr Cairns watched his wife with a loving smile. She stood and he took her in his arms. “Everything is fine, my dear.”

What about you, Ken?” Lynx wanted to know, her voice devoid of fear.

Awfully tired, otherwise great.” I suppressed a yawn.

Lynx grinned. “Time for a nap, it seems.”

I waved at Mr Cairns, knowing that he was about to tell his wife a mild version of the events.

Lynx half-carried me home. I fell on the bed, oblivious of Lynx and Bud’s leaving for a quick walk, and their return a while later.