Joy in the Normal – #WOW555

This week’s prompt is designed to show joy. Specifically, “to provide some expression of joy.” My main character this week experiences joy in the “normal” everyday experiences in life. Some back story is needed – but I’ll wait til the end for that. In the meanwhile, look for the voting to go live on Saturday morning!

There was nothing more that John enjoyed than playing with his grandchild; well his wife’s grandchild that is. He held the two year old up in the air and smiled at his squeals.

“Put me down, pawpaw, put me down!” he laughed.

Finally, John gave into the demands and put him down. He was glad to be able to play with Freddy while Mary was out. “Mary,” he mused a bit and then laughed out loud. Only the family knew who Mary really was; it had taken a lot of name changes for her and the family to feel safe. Finally, life was normal.

The tug on his shirt brought him back to the moment. The two year old’s blue eyes shone brightly as he looked up at John. “Play hide n seek!” he insisted.

John laughed. “Ok. You go hide. But stay in the yard!” Freddy always hid in the same place when they played. He covered his eyes and counted out loud to ten. “Ready or not, here I come!” He looked around the yard as if he didn’t know where Freddy was. The giggles gave him away.

Then he saw three suits. He hoped they were Feds. They wouldn’t do anything in front of Freddy. Freddy didn’t realize that there was anything wrong. John picked him up and gave him a hug and kissed his cheeks. He turned around, displaying Freddy to the suits. He hoped that if they were mob they would respect family.

He’d been expecting this since he had heard that Morelli was singing. He had hoped he was safe, they found him anyway. While he was displaying Freddy, one of the suits pulled back his jacket to show his gun. Feds. They didn’t want him to try anything. He breathed a sigh of relief.

He sat down still holding Freddy. He motioned for the Feds to join him. “How can I help?” He asked, wondering which murders they were going to pin on him. Then he looked at Freddy and said, “Freddy, go play in the sand box for a few minutes.”

The lead Fed smiled as Freddy ran past, then she got serious. “Aldo Rossi, we want to question you in the murder of Frances Johnson.”

“You do?” he asked with a smile. He knew that Mary would be home any minute now. She would finally learn this part of the truth. “Freddy!” he called. “Come on back! Let’s go inside and wait for Nana.” Freddy ran to him. He turned to the Feds. “We’ll be more comfortable inside. Besides, you need to meet my wife.”

The Feds looked at each other and shrugged not understanding why Aldo was enjoying this so much. They followed him inside and sat down. “My wife should be here soon.”

The car pulled up in the driveway and Mary carried two bags of groceries in the door. She stopped when she saw the suits. “John?” she looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

“They know my real name, Mary. They just don’t know yours. Introduce yourself to these agents.”

She looked at him and he smiled and nodded. “Hi, I’m Frances Johnson. And you are?”

They would have a lot to talk about later.

So, the back story: John, aka Aldo Rossi, is a retired hit man. In fact, his wife Mary, aka Frances Johnson, was supposed to be his last contract. (Why would be a whole nother story.) While he was researching and preparing for the kill, he began to realize some of her fabulous qualities. He couldn’t make the kill and so decided then and there to get to know her personally and find a way to save her. Thus, the marriage, the name changes, and retirement from the hit man’s union. Imagine the amusement of John when the Feds want to talk with him about the murder of the only contract he didn’t fulfill; the person whom he actually married.

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Missed

So, after a week when I couldn’t come up with anything for the #WOW555 contest, I came up with something. How good is it? Well, that will be for you to decide! For this week’s prompt, your story must feature a strong woman in a moment of weakness. Check here for the latest updates, stories and the opportunity to vote! Please note that liking my story here will not count as a vote! You must go to Wendy’s place (see above link) and vote sometime between 8:00 Saturday morning and 6:00 Sunday night.

 

Mary hated cleaning. She looked at the mess and sighed. She’d need a while to clean up this mess. “Oh well,” she thought, “better get started. Then I can get out of here.” She looked under the kitchen sink and found the cleaning supplies. The worst stain was in the living room and she attacked that first. She started scrubbing and realized it would need to soak so she headed back to the kitchen and spot cleaned the drips on the kitchen floor.

She rinsed her rag and headed back into the living room to finish cleaning that stain, then stood up and grabbed at her back. It was a bit sore from the cleaning and she still had more to do. She headed towards the hall closet. The vacuum cleaner was ready and waiting. She pulled it out of the closet and turned it on. She almost didn’t hear the phone ring over the roar of the vacuum cleaner.

She turned off the vacuum cleaner and headed to her purse. She looked at the number on the phone and grimaced. Some clients were just so impatient. “Yes, John. I’m finished. All I have left is some cleaning.” She rolled her eyes at his response. “All I can say is that you’re the one calling me. I should be able to meet you in an hour so you can pay.” She tapped her foot. She didn’t like wasting time. If she had known he was going to be this much trouble, she would have charged double. “Of course I’ll let you see my handiwork. You’re dealing with a professional.” She stifled her laughter. “No, you don’t want to get me mad, that’s right. See you in an hour.”

She looked at the phone in disgust and went back to vacuuming. This place looked like it had seen a fight. That wouldn’t do. She vacuumed and straightened up as she walked through the living room and kitchen. Finally, the apartment was cleaned to her satisfaction. She carefully placed the cleaning supplies back under the sink. Then she took the vacuum cleaner and emptied it into her garbage bag before putting it back in the closet. She hated having to take the trash with her, but it did prevent complications.

“Now, to make final arrangements,” she thought. She looked at John’s former business partner sitting quietly on the couch. She looked around the area and smiled; nothing made it look like he had been dragged across the floor and placed there. She pulled the note out of her purse and looked at it, trying to find the best place to put it. Then she gasped. The note was written by a left hander. She had forgotten that he was left handed and shot him through right temple. She blinked back the tears that began to appear unbidden. She swore at herself. “All that work,” she said out loud. “All that work and they’ll know right away that he didn’t kill himself!” She picked up the trash, stomped out the door and headed to her car. She wouldn’t have time to stay in the city and savor her kill this time.