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Story Start — Untitled — Part 1

Simple Living often means that instead of watching television, you take up other activities like reading, crossword puzzles, or even penning a short story or two.  I thought that you might enjoy reading the start of a story I wrote.  Just for fun… it doesn’t even have a title.  Any title suggestions would be welcomed.


To think that Helen worked as a pinup girl in the forties and fifties, Evelyn pondered from the shade of the sugar maple in the backyard.  Dark soil clumped on her trowel as she stabbed the stubborn weed roots in Miss Helen’s veggie patch and tried to imagine the wrinkly old gal as the foxy young thing from the photos.  Evelyn glanced over at the dozing Miss Helen curled up in an Adirondack chair with a copy of Ladies Home Journal and wondered if anyone else in the retirement village knew her secret.  She guessed not.  Men were already a scarcity at the Sheltering Arms Retirement Community and if the ladies knew that Miss Helen was a former pinup — well, it would be disastrous.  Little old ladies, particularly the kind living in retirement communities, were merciless gossips.

Just last weekend, the impeccably dressed Barbara Goodlin came to Helen’s to discuss the upcoming garden tour.  Evelyn cleaned Barbara’s house and often listened in on the hateful woman’s phone conversations.   Barbara had a shopping addiction that was out of control and Evelyn knew it because she’d discovered credit card bills for tens of thousands.  Evelyn knew all kinds of things about the residents.  She considered it a perk of an otherwise miserable job.

As the ladies chatted, Evelyn investigated Helen’s desk drawers while pretending to dust.  It was there that she discovered a scrapbook from Helen’s modeling years.  She turned the yellowed pages with care, her fingers tracing over the white edged photos with their thick cardboard backing.  A long-legged, smooth skinned Helen smiled into the camera, often with handsome G.I.s throwing an arm around her minuscule waist.  Some of the pages contained posters, drawings, and rough sketches of Helen as she leaned against airplane wings, fences, cars, and horses with turned up skirts and garters. One particularly risqué photo featured a demure and topless Helen holding a rifle above her head. Miss Helen had a secret.  A BIG secret.

Miss Helen’s house was not originally part of the retirement community.  She’d lived in it for at least forty years as far as Evelyn knew.  Helen sold the house to Sheltering Arms for almost nothing with the understanding that she would be a member of the community.  The Craftsman-style bungalow looked so smug next to the duplexes the retirement community installed all around it.  When Helen died or moved to the Sheltering Arms Nursing Care Facility her bungalow would likely be replaced by one of the mock-adobe cookiecutter Flintstones houses.  Evelyn knew that Helen was quietly working to declare the home “historical” so that Sheltering Arms couldn’t bulldoze it.  Evelyn admired Helen’s spunk and much preferred her to the catty Barbara Goodlin.

Evelyn’s spade hit something solid and made a grating sound that had her teeth aching and her mind leaped forward to the present. She dug a gloved hand into the hole which was quite deep.  Probably one of the armies of little toy soldiers or matchbox cars planted by Helen’s great nephews, she thought.  She felt the offending object and wrapped her fingers around it to bring it up.  As her fingers unfolded and the dappled Virginia sunlight trickled over her cheerfully-patterned gloved hand, Evelyn stared in horror and curiosity.  It was a finger bone.  The only reason she knew it was actually a finger bone was that it wore a manly college ring and she’d spent far too many Saturday nights at home in her PJ’s watching CSI reruns.

It appeared that Miss Helen had more than just one big secret.  Of course, so did Evelyn.

Click here to be taken to the next segment of this story.

  • Meadowlark - Absolutely love it! And I wouldn’t just say that. I have always loved the pinup posters and nose art and always imagined what those girls were like now.

    Can’t wait to read more.ReplyCancel

  • Kath - This is going to be one of those great anticipating reads!!! The ones that you check often to see if there has been an update!!

    Love it, Lacy!! I cant wait to see who that poor finger belonged to……………ReplyCancel

  • gingela5 - Oh that’s great! keep going–keep going! And I love cowgirl pinups!ReplyCancel

  • Michele - This is so great!

    Oh why, Oh why did you have to stop?

    Waiting with bated breath,

  • Momisodes - Yikes! What a surprise and cliffhanger! Can’t wait to read more 🙂 Very well done.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Sue - Finger bones huh? well we all know they are connected to a wrist bone and an arm bone and oh my goodness what will she find? The whole background of a retirement home is a great idea! Looking forward to the rest of the story (to quote Paul Harvey)ReplyCancel

  • CrossView - Now that’s an interesting cligghanger! Who knew there was so much going on in the lives of such innocent looking elderly faces…

    Now when is Part II? You’ve piqued my curiosity…. =PReplyCancel

  • Lynnie - Ew!!!! I was thinking it would be a ring, but not with a finger on it! Well, I certainly hope you plan to FINISH this story as now a whole bunch of curious and irritated people are going to be knocking at your door if you don’t! Nothing like a severed finger to make you feel like holing away for a couple days and just reading the whole book!
    Needless to say, spectacular beginning! I’m hooked.ReplyCancel

  • Paulette - ohhh I love it! And now we need more…you do have more, right??

    Very nice start, can’t wait to read more.

    You just have so many talents Lacy, it’s fun getting to know you and discover them all.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Ann - LOVE IT, Lacy!!! I don’t have a title for this bit of intrigue but cannot wait to hear more!ReplyCancel

  • marky - What.. no page 2??
    This is great..I was just starting to get lost into the characters..
    Lacey you are a very gifted lady! I hope you tell us the rest of the story 😉ReplyCancel

  • Barb - Lacy…Lacy…Lacy…I am NOT surprised that you could write such an incredible story…the beginnig of one…I have LOVED every word you write…EVERYTHING! I love your style, your descriptions, EVERYTHING! I always feel like you are talking directly to me..
    This story “in the making”…is another talent to add to your portfolio! (I can’t wait to read more! ~Actually, I was expecting the hard surface the trowel hit…to be a chest full of treasures…I know..so predictable…)
    Do you realize there are scouts “out there”…picking up people with talents for various things? (I discovered a blog the other day…a young mom, her book is being published in Feb ’09…she was ‘found’ through her blog just this summer!)
    You, as I have said before, should have your own TV program….somehow…that needs to be addressed… Hmmmm brain working here…hmmmm…
    And your writing talent far exceeds the norm….it is a tough business though from reading blogs of writers…but I think YOU could handle it…and accomplish it!
    You are my Lacy! Go Girl! The sky’s the limit!
    ~Hugs & Prayers~
    Momma BarbReplyCancel

  • becca - love it! can’t wait to read more.

    as for a title…hmmm….arsenic and old lace? oh wait that is already a movie…a good one too. how about…garters and garden trowels? that doesn’t really work either. you may have to wait till the end for a title.


  • Marlene - Dear Lacy,
    When I went onto your post I was totally blown away. Is there nothing you can’t do? You are so gifted indeed. Where did you find the time to learn all of these gifts? I do indeed like your story and I and A.J. are looking forward to reading some more. You make life so interesting Lacy. I am sure that Joshua is never sure as to what he is going to eat and now what he is going to read. Just think of all the good things you are doing. Keep up the great work. I am sure He is very happy with you. lol Love AlwaysReplyCancel

  • Leah - OMGosh Lacy – I cannot wait to find out what happens next! So I guess the next thing we can expect from you is that you will become a famous published author with kick butt novels?

    I didn’t get a chance to read this earlier when I was here; kitties were both meowing like crazy!ReplyCancel

  • Rosa - I love it! A great plot and story! Very exciting!

    You are very gifted…



  • amyb - what a great beginning! i totally lose myself in stories (one of the reasons i had to stop reading so much) and i am hooked! please don’t keep us waiting for long!

    seriously though, you are such a talent!

    i’m not good at titles.

    what about “pinup secrets”ReplyCancel

  • Dawn - Very entertaining and intriguing. You are a gifted writer. I clicked between the two pinups on the sidebar hoping one was part 2 only to be disappointed. Didn’t stop me from going back and for a couple of times just in case;-). Keep up the good work.ReplyCancel

  • marky - BTW.. I left you something on my blog! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - Oooo, what fun! I know you have more. I’m a sucker for continuing sagas. I think it is a result of too many Nancy Drew books. I can’t wait to hear what’s coming.ReplyCancel

  • Happy Mommy - Ok come on Lacy please write more! I love a good mystery! How about naming it Virginia secrets…ReplyCancel

  • Story Start—Untitled—Part 2 : Razor Family Farms - […] so you’ll have to read Story Start–Untitled–Part 1 to know what this whole story is actually about.  Anyway, here’s the second installment […]ReplyCancel

  • Story Start—STILL Untitled—3 : Razor Family Farms - […] you are new to this story, then you will want to start from the beginning. Click here to do so. And please, help me out with a title. It’s driving me batty. Let me know what you […]ReplyCancel

  • Story Start Part 4 : Razor Family Farms - […] you are new to this story, then you will want to start from the beginning. Click here to do so. And please, help me out with a title. I’m afraid I am clueless when it comes to […]ReplyCancel

  • TomPier - great post as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Bill Hogg - Lacy – this is well done. You have created a level of suspense that makes your reader want more. It has been well edited with is nice! My only read suggestion is to increase your font size so old farts like me don’t get a headache!ReplyCancel

  • Bill Hogg - Hi Lacy – a very nice read. Confusion in the first paragraph, switching from Evelyn to Sue Ellen? Who is Sue Ellen.
    Last sentence if first paragraph would read better split up, period after Community. If …

    I know that this is an intro, but somehow you might think about interspersing some dialogue in with the narrative. The narrative is excellent with great imagery.ReplyCancel

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