The Lapel

“The interview will commence in ten minutes so you need to go over there and fix his lapel.”  489_bc54ba7c-c087-4d6b-9b4e-e7ffd9bce37d

Rhea was mortified.  “I can’t,” she protested.

“Don’t be silly,” Angela snapped.  “You’re responsible for making sure that the guests look good in front of the camera.  Now get over and fix the lapel or you can kiss your job goodbye.”

“All right,” Rhea muttered under her breath.  “There’s no need to threaten me.”

“I’m not threatening you.  I’m not the one who will fire you if you don’t do your job.”

Rhea took a deep breath and smiling apologetically, she approached Ciaran Dankworth, the popular British television actor.  “Mr. Dankworth, I’m sorry but, I need to adjust your lapel.  May I?”

He smiled and nodded.  “By all means.”

She leaned over and fixed it, catching a whiff of his cologne.  It was unnerving and thrilling at the same time being that close to him.  She was a big fan of his.  She followed him on Facebook, read and watch all of his interviews.  When she learned that he was going to be here today, she was beside herself with excitement.  She wished she could ask him for his autograph or have a photo taken with him but she didn’t want to be a nuisance and her boss, Beth would come down hard on her like a ton of bricks.  Beth always reminded her that she had to be professional at all times and never bother any of their guests with requests for autographs or photos.

She straightened away from him, her heart thudding.  “It’s all fixed now,” she said.

His eyes met hers in a direct gaze.  “Thank you,” he said in that amazing voice of his with the posh British accent, most commonly known as the Queen’s English.

“You’re welcome.”

“What is your name?”

“Rhea.”

“Well, Rhea.  I would like to properly thank you for getting me all fixed up for the camera.  Would you object to having dinner with me?”

She gaped at him.  “Dinner? With you?”

“Yes.  After the interview.  I will have my driver take us to The Ivy.  That is if you don’t already have plans.”

“No, no.  I don’t have any plans at all.”

“So, we’re set for dinner at The Ivy?”

“Yes, yes.”  She heard Beth’s voice and quickly left the stage.  It was all a haze.  She couldn’t believe it.  She was going to have dinner at The Ivy with Ciaran Dankworth.  She was so tempted to tell Angela and Beth just to see the expressions on their faces but she held her tongue.  She stood in the wings, waiting for the interview to commence.

It turned out to be the best one she had seen so far.  Beth was beaming and when the cameras were shut off, she shook his hand again very enthusiastically.  “That was a smashing interview,” she gushed.  “I can see the ratings going through the roof.  Thank you so much, Mr. Dankworth for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to do this.  We are very appreciative.”

“It was my pleasure,” he replied.  “I wouldn’t have gotten to meet you, lovely ladies,” he said looking at her and Angela.  “Or your assistant, Rhea who has agreed to have dinner with me.  I hope you don’t mind me whisking her away,” he added when he saw the expressions on their faces.

Beth shook her head.  “No.  I shan’t be needing her any more for the evening.”

“Wonderful.”  He turned to Rhea who had the satisfaction of seeing the red faces of her boss and Angela.  “Shall we go?”

“Yes.  Good night,” she said to Beth and Angela.  “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Have good evening, Ladies and thank you again.”

They walked away and into the mild evening.  A stretch limo was waiting for them.  The driver opened the door and she got in first and then he.  As the car pulled away from the curb, he turned to her.  “You know, even if someone else had fixed my lapel, I still would have asked you out for dinner.”

She smiled.  “I’m very pleased to hear that.”

He smiled in return.

Dinner turned out to be lots of fun, despite the attention they got.  When he took her home, he asked her on a second date which she happily accepted.  And they have been dating since.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Commence.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Source:  The Evening Standard; B2

Rebuilding/Monochrome #writephoto

timbered-building

Photo by Sue Vincent

It stood there, a monochrome structure, unusual in appearance as tourists and curiosity seekers descended upon its immaculate grounds like a swarm of locusts.  They came every year to see if it would cave in.  The owners of the property were determined that it never would.  As long as it remained standing, the money would keep coming in.   They made sure it was properly maintained and repaired.

They didn’t, however, imagine that their cash cow would one day go up in flames.  It turned out that the caretaker set the house on fire in an attempt to cover up the accidental death of his girlfriend.  Following a heated argument in his office, he struck her in a fit of rage and she fell, hitting her head against the concrete wall.

Panicking, he grabbed a can of kerosene and doused the place, set the flammable liquid on fire and then fled.  Riddled with guilt and remorse, he turned himself in a couple of days later.   He is serving time in jail for assault, involuntary manslaughter, destroying and concealing evidence and arson.

Tourists still flock to see the burnt remains of the house.  Donations are flooding in for its rebuilding.  The owners are raking in more money now than before.  They are hoping to have the new structure finished by the year 2021.

This was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Monochrome at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

 

Liberated

bonfire-anshu

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

She stood there, watching what was left of the house, burning.  There were no tears.  No sorrow.  All she felt was calmness.  It was finally over.  If those walls which have been reduced to burning embers could talk, the unspeakable horrors of what transpired in that house would make anyone’s skin crawl and fill even the hardhearted with utter revulsion.  She had lived those horrors firsthand.  Her scars were not visible but they were there.

How the fire started, she had no idea but it was her liberator.  She was free.  Yes, those flames had delivered her from hell.

99 Words

This was written for the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields For more details, visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

For Dabir’s Sake

bokeh-priya-bajpal

PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpal

Aleena let herself into the home she once shared with her teenage son, Dalir, her heart heavy. Leaning against the door for a moment, her misty eyes espied the table where she kept the shells Dabir collected. It was something he loved doing whenever he went to the beach.

A sob rose in her throat. Dabir was gone. He’d died in the fire at the factory where he worked because the exits were blocked. Today, the court ruled in favor of the company. She was bitterly disappointed but vowed, “I won’t give up. I’ll continue to fight for Dabir’s sake.”

100 Words

This story was inspired by a true event where a mother lost her teenage son in a factory fire because there was no where for him to exit.  The court ruled against her and the other plaintiffs although she believed that they had a strong case.   She felt that the German retailer KiK was responsible and should apologize.   Over 250 people died because the safety standards were blatantly violated by the factory owners.  The emergency exits were blocked or locked.

This was written for the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields For more details, visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

Source:  DW

Sunrise

From the rising of the sun to its going down The Lord’s name is to be praised – Psalm 113:3

Every morning on my way to work, I cannot help but marvel at the orange hue of the sky as the sun slowly rises.  Sometimes, it looks like the sky is on fire.  The heavens are declaring the glory of the Lord and displaying the marvelous works of His hands.

It’s good to take a moment just to appreciate the beauty around us and praise God for it.

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Photo by Shutterstock

Source:  Bible Gateway

Pray for Rain

 

Please pray for rain to fall in Fort McMurray, Alberta to put out the fire that has destroyed homes and devastated lives.  There is the heartbreaking story of a firefighter who lost his teenage daughter in a crash.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.   Another story had a happy ending.  A wedding dress was destroyed in the fire just days before the wedding but, thanks to the kindness of strangers, the bride has a new dress and is getting married tomorrow in Toronto.  Pray for the people who lost their homes, had to be evacuated and the firefighters who are battling the fire.

The response to the crisis in Fort McMurray has been incredible.  Donations have been pouring in.  Canadians have donated over $11 million to the Red Cross.  Among the agencies working to help the displaced is ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency) Canada.  ADRA Canada joined together with the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to purchase a disaster response vehicle which has been filled with supplies to be delivered to those affected by this disaster.  Local Alberta churches will provide volunteers and local families have opened their homes to the displaced.  ADRA Canada has also partnered with GlobalMedic to send hygiene kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and a towel to 2,000 people.

If you are interested in helping ADRA in their work in Fort McMurray, please make a donation to their Emergency Relief fund at http://www.adra.ca/donate/.

Nehemiah’s Prayer

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11). 

When Nehemiah learned that Jerusalem’s wall was broken down and the gates were on fire, he wept.  He mourned for several days.  He fasted and prayed to God.  His prayer is a wonderful model prayer.   It follows this pattern:

Acknowledgment:  O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments

Confession:  Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Thanksgiving:  Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.

Supplication:  O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” 

God answered Nehemiah’s prayer.  The king granted Nehemiah’s request to return to Judah.  The cupbearer prospered and was granted mercy in the king’s sight. 

When we hear bad news we give ourselves time to deal with it like Nehemiah.  He cried and mourned.  Then, we reach out in faith.  Nehemiah fasted and prayed.  Then we act in faith.  Nehemiah told the king the situation and what he needed and his request was granted.

Don’t let a bad situation keep you down for long.  Turn it over to God and He will take care of it.  The best weapon against adversity is prayer.