H is for “Hale” #nanowrimo #fiction

“From the smell of fresh soap on him, it was clear that he had just stepped out of the shower. His dirty blond hair was still wet and pulled up into a messy man bun. I never liked the whole man bun trend but on him…”



Katie The Goddess? I like the sound of that! And I forgive you for hanging up on me before,” Meghan laughed after I had called her back. “I’m sure that you would look hot in nothing but your birthday suit and grass skirt. Maybe the dream you had is some kind of sign.”

“A sign of what?”

“Maybe it’s a sign that you are in a better head space – you know, less stressed. You definitely sound like you’re coping better than when you left.”

“I am! It’s really bizarre how it hasn’t been too difficult to forget that I’m sick being here in paradise.”

“Hmmm…maybe being naked means that you’re shedding your inhibitions and opening up to new beginnings. I’ve got a friend who is deep into that dream stuff so I’ll ask her. What are your plans for tonight?”

“I bought a bunch of groceries at Foodland and plan on making myself a nice meal. Steak, creamy mashed potatoes, garlic bread and some stir fried veggies just because I should have something healthy. And the pièce de resistance will be the pint of double chocolate and fudge ice cream that I’ll have for dessert. Dinner on the balcony, listening to the ocean and making a list of all the things I want to do while I’m in Maui is going to be my fun for the evening.”

“Good for you! But that ice cream sounds far from organic Kate.”

“Nope, it’s not organic. I’m done with that! All those years of eating organic and look what it got me? 12 to 24 months left on my clock. From now on, I’ll be indulging on whatever I damn well please as long as my clothes will still fit,” I joked and Meghan laughed along with me.

“At least you’ve got your sense of humor back…uh…which I plan on ruining right now by asking you this next question. Have you thought about getting a second opinion when you get back?”

I smiled at how Meghan was persistent even from thousands of miles away. I paused for dramatic effect before answering.

“Yes, I made that decision today.”

“Oh my God! I’m so happy to hear that! What made you change your mind?”

“Again, it sounds strange but it was a combination of that dream and a song I just heard. Strange but true. I just need to live in the now right now. And when I get home, I’ll live in that now when I go back to the doctor.”

“I’m ecstatic! Oh no, I’ve got to go now. I’m meeting you-know-who for lunch so I’ll give you a shout tomorrow, okay? Enjoy that scrumptious dinner of yours. Wish I was there with you!”

When we hung up, I finished cooking everything except for the steak which I wanted to do last. I set the balcony table for one and took out the bottle of Maui Splash I had scored. But just as I was about to put the steak on the grill, I noticed something flash from the corner of my eye, something the size of a small mouse crawling along the edge of the far wall.

Photo credit: glennshootspeople via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

I immediately screamed and backed up against the counter. Whatever it was stopped dead in its tracks as if to observe me. When it began to slowly move, I almost let out another scream but stopped myself. The last thing I wanted was for the neighbors to call security. Now, I was in a face off – I wasn’t moving and neither was whatever that thing was.

What the hell was I supposed to do?

Taking a deep breath, I reminded myself of that old lady’s words on Diamond Head summit.

You can do anything you put your my mind to

That creepy crawly thing couldn’t kill me, that is, unless it was poisonous or something… but I was already headed for dead so I had to at least try to do something.

I grabbed a dish towel, approached it like a ninja on my tip toes and as gently as possible so that it wouldn’t get away, I flung the towel over it like a fisherman casting a net. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until the towel started moving slightly.

Oh God…Oh God…Oh God…What if it escapes?

And that’s when I remembered that Jennifer had put some guy’s number into my cell – a nice man who lived in the complex.

“Galen, Galen, Galen…” I muttered as I scrolled through my cell until I found his name.

What was I supposed to say to this stranger without looking like a freaking lunatic?

I was going to look like a helpless woman who needed a man to rescue her but since I wanted to go to bed that night without wondering what that thing was all night so I had no choice. I bit the bullet but texted this stranger to avoid sounding like a blithering idiot.

Hi Galen. My name is Katie. Jennifer and Joshua gave me your number in case of an emergency. This is going to sound really stupid but I think that there’s a mouse in my place and I need help to get rid of it.

I waited for a reply, wondering what I would do if he didn’t respond or wasn’t even at this place.

Please respond, please respond, please respond…

When my cell pinged, I was overjoyed.

Hey Katie! Yes, J & J told me about you. Sounds like you’ve got yourself an emergency to me. 🙂  What hale are you in and what’s your hale number? Give me ten minutes. I’ll be right over.

I quickly texted him my information, surprised that I even remembered that “hale” meant “building”.

As I stood watch over the dishtowel, it wasn’t until I heard the doorbell ring that I realized that I was about to invite a strange man into my condo. It dawned on me that not only could he be some kind of rapist, but he could be a mass murderer. But at that point, I had made a choice and had to have faith in J & J’s words.

I rushed to the door, swung it open and found myself face to face with Mr. Handsome, the man I couldn’t get away from fast enough at the pool looking down at his cell.

I was speechless.

Photo credit: Foter.com

You? You’re Galen?”

He smiled like the cat that ate the canary as he extended his hand for me to shake.

“Yes, Galen would be me. And you’re Katie. Nice to meet you – again.”

From the smell of fresh soap on him, it was clear that he had just stepped out of the shower. His dirty blond hair was still wet but pulled up into a messy man bun. I had never liked the whole man bun trend but on him…

“Well, you were right about us probably bumping into each other again. And from the look on your face, you didn’t realize that it would be so soon, right?”

Again, his smile was infectious and I caught myself smiling with this Galen at my door.

“Serendipity, I guess,” I managed to squeak out.

“I don’t need to guess. It is definitely serendipity. Now show me this emergency Katie.”

I let him in and when he brushed past me, I quickly closed the door.

Besides that creepy crawly thing in my kitchen, I now had to worry about just how dumb I would make myself look before the night was over.

Continuation – I is for “Islandology”

©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

If you liked this piece and want to see more like it, please click on “Like” and/or “Comment” below and share with others who would also enjoy it. I plan on making this story into either a short story or a novella so you can sign up for my mailing list here to get the latest news on when it’s completed.












17 thoughts on “H is for “Hale” #nanowrimo #fiction

  1. “I grabbed a dish towel, approached it like a ninja on my tip toes and as gently as possible so that it wouldn’t get away, I flung the towel over it like a fisherman casting a net….”

    Absolutely dying laughing over this!!! 1) – I could picture Kate doing this; and 2) Pretty sure I’ve done the same move! LMAO!

    Excellent installment! Glad Kate’s good judgement won out and she made the call for help. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Well…that thing that night near my desk was actually a grasshopper or cricket, or so says Mr. Humanitarian! (Aren’t men supposed to know the dif?) But, it was HUGE, and it glared at me. It had to die!

            The thing is the laundry room was a spider; dining room – spider; patio – spider…and I don’t even want to hear about the outdoors belonging to THEM! But the thing in the sink early that morning? THAT was a scorpion!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I am 2 days behind but I’ll catch up this weekend. My issue is that I write in “scenes” so it messes with the wordcount at times. I post my # on IG from time to time. And you? How goes?


          1. I must say that the process has helped me get somewhere with something – a story taking turns that I had not expected. But suddenly lots of other stuff has got in the way and I really can’t see me getting much further this month. But it has been valuable nonetheless

            Liked by 1 person

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