Monday, September 23, 2013
Shades of Pink Teaser - Flock That! by Ellie Heller
Every day until the end of September, I will post here the blurb for one of the stories from the Shades of Pink charity anthology, as well as a teaser, and a short bio for the author. The anthology will be available on October 1st, with all proceeds going to breast cancer research but you can donate today and get it 5 days early! I invite you to come back, share the links for these teasers, tell your friends about it... It's all for a good cause! And if you tweet about it, you can use the hashtag #shadesofpink :)
Today, a glimpse from Flock That! by Ellie Heller
When Shannon's condo yard is filled with pink flamingos, she knows who's responsible. Damn her friend's interference! To avoid any trouble Shannon has to face Bryce, the man who dumped her without so much as a phone call. He tells her there's a good reason for his actions. Yeah, right.
Shannon McKiplock did a double take at the sea of pink out her window. No, no, no! There couldn't possibly be plastic flamingos covering her postage stamp of a yard. No way Anya could have moved that fast! Just last night, they'd joked about the flamingos over sangrias on the back deck. Anya thought it a perfect way to get Bryce's attention. Shannon wasn't sure putting the decorations up in her staid townhome community was the kind of attention she wanted.
Coffee mug in hand, Shannon opened her front door, dreading what she'd find. It was bad. Her small patch of grass was indeed an undulating patch of shocking pink plastic flamingos. At least three-dozen birds marched in offset rows, covering the entire surface. Her stomach sank, and the nutty aroma from her coffee, so pleasing a minute ago, twisted her gut.
This “surprise” flocking was sure to be the final straw with the homeowners’ association. This time, she’d no doubt receive a fine or whatever they did when they’d had enough. The infraction was on her head, despite the fact she was the recipient of the action, not the instigator. Then again, she was sort of the instigator, but she’d been joking with Anya when she announced the bright pink birds would be just the thing to get a rise out of Bryce, the condo association’s president and her ex-boyfriend.
Although, calling Bryce an “ex-boyfriend” was a bit generous. They’d only gone on half a dozen dates before he’d simply stopped calling and disappeared from her life. Of course, Shannon could have called him, but his timing had been diabolical. She’d been hit with the emotional tide of clearing out then selling her mother’s house, made all that more difficult as everything was still in probate. When she’d finally come up for air, several weeks had passed, and it would have been, well, awkward for her to call to say she’d just realized he hadn’t called. Besides, what would she have said? ”I know you haven’t called in two weeks but I’d still like to go out.” Clearly, he hadn’t felt the connection she had.
Shannon pulled her phone out of her pocket and noted the illuminated icon for a voice message. The call probably had come through while her macaw, Sinatra, and her pair of cockatiels, Davis and Martin, were screeching in displeasure at her cleaning and rearranging their cages. Anya had probably counted on something of the sort.
"Hi." Anya sounded as frenetic and breathless as always. "Heading up to the in-laws’ cabin with the kids. Hopefully, by the time I get back on Monday, you'll be talking to me. But it needed to be done. Stop waiting for him to notice you're there. Grab life by the horns and head over there and take charge of your life."
Shannon would kill Anya for this. What she hadn't shared was she didn’t have the money to pay any fees the association might assess for this transgression. And, good Lord, if they threatened her with legal action, she’d be totally screwed.
And, joy; here were the Beckers, heading up her walk. Mrs. Becker’s coifed, white hair glinted in the morning sun while Mr. Becker paraded along with his usual fedora and cane. He looked even more skeletal than usual. The man had lost more weight, something he couldn’t afford to do. They stopped, Mrs. Becker in front, as always, her hands clenched tightly on the handles of her alligator purse. Behind her, Mr. Becker swayed and looked like he might totter before he finally came to a halt.
“We didn’t know you supported 4-H, how lovely.” Mrs. Becker’s slight smile had an edge to it, as if saying something nice grated on her nerves. Her nose wrinkled at Shannon's attire. Or it might have been the smell; Shannon had just cleaned out her birds’ cages.
“My friend, Anya Stinson, does." Shannon stood straight, as if she'd didn't have bits of millet chaff dusting her, not to mention who-knew-what-else. "She’s the one who sent these to me.”
The smile disappeared. “Good. Then you can call her and ask her to remove them.”
After living in several cities east of the Mississippi, but never quite out of the snow belt, Ellie Heller has settled down in SW Ohio with her three kids, two dogs (one of whom thinks he's a cat) and one cat (who thinks he's a dog). Her current release is A Matter of Fate published by Crimson Romance. You can find her on the web at www.elliewrites2.com.