And The Winner Is…

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Dream, Love
Tags: , , ,

MFBS_logo_2It was an ordinary October evening when James and Angela Ferris Wheeler returned from their weekend trip to Brussels. On the way inside, Angela retrieved their mail from the letter box. Once inside their flat, she deposited the letters and flyers on the sideboard by the entrance door. Taking care of their trolleys and freshening up took some time. James went to the kitchen to heat up the lasagne he had prepared before they left. The delicious lasagne and their favourite wine would guarantee a relaxing ending of a wonderful weekend. Angela had returned to the letters. She sorted through them and gasped. There was a letter from the Most Fascinating Books Society. Angela hurried to the kitchen and held out the letter to James. She couldn’t speak, she just knew that it had to be something big. James took the letter, recognised the sender’s logo, turned pale, started trembling. “I’ll open it for you, James.” Angela took the letter back and carefully opened it with the elegantly chiselled letter opener. James couldn’t believe his eyes. ‘Dear Mr James Ferris Wheeler, we are overjoyed to inform you that your novel Dagger In The Rock has been nominated for the MFBS Award 2013. The ceremony will be held in the Royal Hall at Eden University. Evening attire is required…” And the date – in a week!

“Nominated!” James pulled Angela in his arms and sobbed.

“You deserved this more than anybody else, James! Look at all the stuff you had to handle all on your own.”Angela kissed him tenderly.

The settled at the table, gobbling down the cooling lasagne, thirstily gulping the no longer chilled wine, debating what was to be done before the event. Finally, James unlocked his tablet and started a list:

  • buy suit at Reginald’s (Angela insisted that this occasion required a tailored suit)
  • buy tie (Angela asked him to strike it through as she had already bought an adorable silken bow tie – because “you never know…”)
  • wash the car
  • have hair cut.
  • calm down (Angela insisted, she knew her husband well)

After they went to bed, James couldn’t sleep. His dream come true – at last. Much later, exhaustion got the better of him. He dreamed that he was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event, feeling great. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…”  – “…seven o’clock in Western Europe, it is going to be a sunny day!” Angela switched off the radio alarm clock. James cursed. Angelia questioningly looked at him. “You have been tossing and turning all night long. Do you think I could sleep?”

During breakfast James told his wife about his dream. Angela stifled a giggle and immediately apologised. “It is exciting for both of us,” she explained. They drove to the tailor’s. Normally, Reginald’s did not accept customers without prior appointment. For such a special occasion, they were willing to make an exception to the rule. Angela explained the occasion as James was at a loss for words. The tailor measured James, entered the data in his computer and presented them with 3-D-models of different colours and fabrics. Angela realised that James wanted to ask for prices. One look from her quieted him. She showed the tailor the bow tie she had brought. The tailor was pleased as it was also made by Reginald’s. The bow tie’s data were also entered and the model updated on the screen. They favoured one design, two fabrics and three colours. The tailor produced samples. James favoured the slate grey fabric with a slight shimmer. “An excellent choice, James!” They were asked to come back on Thursday.

Angela was driving as James obviously was mixed up. She decided to brew him teas known for their soothing effect. In her mind she went through her pantry, checking for soul food. At home she prepared a light lunch, brewed enough tea for James to last until the evening and left for her office. After he had called her four times within ten minutes she decided that she had to take the week off. She summoned her co-workers Helen and Dave for a quick meeting. Fortunately, they could take over her appointments for this week without major issues. Angela thanked them and promised a bonus.

When she got home, James was running around in the flat. She had hardly been home for more than ten minutes when she realised that James’ nervousness was already driving her crazy. After dinner, she prepared some hot brandy. Normally, half a cup did the trick and made them sleepy. Afterwards she felt truly relaxed and took James with her to the bedroom. Angela slept as soon as hear head hit the cushion. James tossed and turned for a while, then everything was quiet. He dreamed that he was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event, feeling great. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…”  – “Knock, knock.” The doorbell. They deemed it funny when they saw and heard it the first time. Whenever someone rang the bell it sounded like he or she was knocking. Angela had been up for a while, answered the door and was handed the groceries she had ordered an hour ago.

During breakfast James told Angela about the repeated and once again interrupted dream. “Poor you!” she said as solemnly as she could muster and kissed him. James was restless. Finally, Angela told him to show her the shoes he intended to wear. He brought her two pairs. Angela sighed. Both pairs were less than appropriate. They set off to the shoe shop. They entered the shop and James immediately settled on a chair, looking as if he didn’t have a clue about what was going on. Angela and the shop assistant fetched some pairs, helped James put them on, and urged him to walk a few steps. The third pair seemed comfortable enough, they paid and drove back home. Angela felt exhausted. A quick dinner, hot brandy, and off to bed was all she could imagine. James finally managed to fall asleep. He dreamed that he was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event, feeling great. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…”  – “Hallelujah, hallelujah…” the telephone rang. James moaned. He should have selected a different ring tone.

The following night he dreamed again that he was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event, feeling great. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…”  – “Woof, woof, woof!” The neighbour’s dog. ‘I just want to know who the winner is!’ This morning he was not only pale – he was grouchy even as they drove to the tailor’s. The suit fit perfectly. While James changed back to his other clothes, Angela paid the bill. The tailor carefully checked the new suit, straightened it and even carried it to their car where he carefully placed it in the rear. They rode back in silence. When they settled for the night, both immediately slept. At the end of another night of tossing and turning, James dreamed that he was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event, feeling great. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…”  – Sirens wailed outside. James was furious.

During breakfast he told Angela about the dream. She was more understanding than the days before. “This is important for you, I know that. Tomorrow is the day. Hold on, my dear!” She held him close for quite a while. Later he agreed to go for a walk in the park. He normally liked the park as it was close to the sea. In suitable weather, you could see far. He visibly relaxed, holding her hand all the time. It was nearly as it had been before. He just didn’t utter a single word. That night, after a delicious dinner, the now usual hot brandy, they settled for the night, James holding Angela close. They soon were fast asleep. Around 6 o’clock Angela could no longer sleep. She silently got up, switched off the radio alarm clock to let him sleep for a while longer, and went to the kitchen to have some coffee. After all this tea, she finally needed a coffee. Thunder rolled in the distance. Meanwhile James dreamed that he was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event, feeling great. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…”  – Thunderbolt and lightning stirred him from his sleep. The thunderstorm lasted for more than an hour. Then James took a shower and shaved. The day seemed to last forever.

Late in the afternoon, Angela drove them to Eden University campus. The event was well organised. They were directed to ‘their’ parking space, escorted to the Royal Hall where they were served ‘their’ champagne, escorted to ‘their’ seats. James saw the other nominees, waved at them, and smiled. Finally he, James, was sitting there in the crowd, wearing his finest and brand new suit and the silk bow tie Angela had given him for this event. He felt great. She was sitting to his right, gorgeous in her charcoal grey dress and the decent turquoise accessories! He had seen the admiring glances directed at Angela, his beautiful wife. Georgia Cartwright, last year’s winner presented an adorable show, presenting all nominees with some stills. James liked her style, however, this time his patience was wearing thin. He wanted to know if he had finally made it. Writing his novel had been a piece of cake, publishing had been an ordeal. He, usually hiding behind a baseball cap and tinted glasses rather than talking to passers-by, had to actually talk to agents, specialists, and worst of all – to his potential readers. Despite these horrible months his book sold. It had climbed to the top within days. He tried to forget his prior novels. They collected dust in the booksellers’ storerooms. James refocussed on Georgia’s speech. She concluded it by opening the envelope, saying: “And the winner is…” Fanfares sounded. “This year’s winner is George Forrester for Don’t Go That Road and…” The spotlight searched for and settled on George Forrester, who jumped up, kissed his wife and bounced toward the stage. Inside James’ head everything went blank. He slumped in his seat. Georgia continued “James Ferris Wheeler for Dagger In The Rock!” James never heard her say these beautiful words. The spotlight searched him and settled on Angela’s tear streaked face, as she was cradling her husband’s lifeless body in her arms.

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