Love, Albert by Lynda Simmons – Special Flash Fiction and Giveaway

12_8 VBT_TourBanner_LoveAlbert copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance at winning a $50 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner above to see the rest of the stops.

Enjoy a special treat. The author has written flash fiction pieces– begin here and, tomorrow, read the next installment.

A Good Building
(With Grace Bennett)

“What time is it?” Edna asks.

“Almost four,” I say and keep walking past her to the front door.

Poor thing. She moved in here years ago, around the same time David and I did. It’s a nice place, a good building with good people, but Edna’s been going downhill lately. Spends her days in the lobby now, all dressed up and sitting in one of those big chairs, watching the front door as though she’s expecting someone. Thing is, I can’t remember the last time she went out with anyone, or even got on one of those buses that take people around.
My Karen, on the other hand, comes every day at four o’clock. Even when it’s cold with blowing snow like today. David doesn’t join us, of course. It’s just girl talk, he always says.

I left him upstairs in front of the television waiting for cocktail hour. We have a lovely condo on the tenth floor with a balcony overlooking the lake. He likes to hold cocktail hour there in the summer. Always has the same thing. One Manhattan on the rocks. I like gin and tonic with a twist but it’s not right for this time of year. Too summery, he always says. Still, I wouldn’t mind one. Perhaps if I popped upstairs a minute.

“Here he comes,” Edna says and perks right up, her head lifting out of her shoulders like a turtle.

A man with a briefcase comes through the front door bringing a blast of cold air with him.

“Who died and made you king?” she hollers at him. “That’s what I want to know.”

The door closes behind him. He lowers his head and hurries along the hall.

“I know who you are,” Edna yells after him. “I know you.”

I’m half afraid she’s going to get out of that chair and follow him, but she sinks back down into herself and turns to the window again. Poor old thing. They’re going to cart her off one of these days, I know it.

And where is Karen, anyway? I should go outside and wait. Get away from Edna. But it’s so cold and I’ve no coat and I can’t open the door anymore. It’s too heavy for me lately. Ever since I hurt my shoulder. We were cross-country skiing and I missed the last curve. Went ass over teakettle as David always says.

I really miss skiing.

“I know you do,” some woman says, like she’s read my mind.

She joins me at the door. I’ve seen her before but the name escapes me. I’ll probably remember it in the middle of the night. Sit up in bed hollering Beryl, or Betty, or perhaps Vera. That’s why David sleeps in another room now. I’m too noisy these days.

The woman is thin wispy and when she smiles I see traces of the person she must have been once. But she’s old now. Old as the hills just like me. Most of us in the building are. Old and waiting to die, David always says.

“But think of all the other things you can do instead,” she says, like I care, like I’m interested in other things. Karen and David keep me plenty busy. She should talk to Edna instead.

Then she says, “Edna is joining us for bingo tomorrow,” and she’s done it again, read my very mind.

“Stop doing that,” I say but she’s not listening anymore.

“You’re coming to bingo aren’t you Edna,” she calls.

Edna nods but she’d do that even if you told her she was going to jump out of a plane, so I don’t put much stock in that.

“I’ll come by and get you in the morning too,” the woman says.

Before I can answer, she butts in front of me, blocking my view of the door, the snow, the walkway beyond. And just like that, the door opens. She pushes it back like it’s nothing. I bet she never skied a day in her life.

“See you tomorrow,” she says and walks out into the storm. Without thinking, I stick my foot out, stop the door from closing all the way. It’s cold, but the thing is still open, and not half as hard to push for some reason.

“Edna, Grace,” a voice sings.

I glance back. A young woman strolls toward me, smiling and nodding. Kind of like that dog David used to keep in the back window of the car, the head bobbing and nodding, bobbing and nodding.

“Lunch is almost ready,” she says and keeps coming.

Her face is familiar. Maybe she’s Beryl. Or is she Betty?

Before I can decide, she’s taking my arm, smiling so hard it has to hurt her cheeks.

“It’s so cold here,” she says. “Let’s go somewhere warmer.”

I shake my head, leave my foot in the door. “I’m going to meet Karen.”

“Karen will find you.” She puts an arm around my shoulders. “And your friends are waiting in the dining room.”

“But David is upstairs, waiting for cocktail hour.”

“David’s not upstairs,” she says softly and eases her foot in beside mine. “But Joey and Alec are right there.”

I glance over my shoulder. See an old man bent over a walker. Another one wringing his hands. But where is David?

“It’s cocktail hour,” I say. “I want a gin and tonic.”

“I understand,” Betty/Beryl says and leans in closer. “But let’s go see what’s on the menu first, shall we?”

Her grip tightens ever so slightly. Somehow, my foot is free and the door closes with a snap.

“That’s better,” Betty/Beryl says and leads me away. “Much warmer now.”

The old man with the walker blinks.

“What time is it?” Edna calls.

“Almost four,” I tell her.

Poor thing. She moved into the building years ago, around the same time David and I did. It’s a nice place, a good building with good people, but Edna’s been going downhill lately.

Read the second installment tomorrow at Romance Novel Giveaways

12_8 love BookCover_LoveAlbertSometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber chicken and a touch of magic

Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last time.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Which brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.

Reid sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.

Lyle nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and body— ”

Reid glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched tightly together, holding back her laughter.

“Do hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”

“I’ll take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid. “Unless you want it.”

“Not at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fl y-in-the-ice-cube.”

“One fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of worms—”

“Snakes,” Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”

The lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do you mind if I take them?”

She held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.

“You can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a favor to ask.”

Reid raised his head. “A favor?”

“More of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will. “In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains to Seaport, Oregon. ”

The chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already been buried.”

“Not quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”

Reid stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”

“Ashes to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.” He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”

Reid shook his head. “I don’t understand.”

Lyle smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.”

About the Author:12_8 love AuthorPhoto_LyndaSimmonsLynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her – like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

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  1. stacey dempsey says:

    Thank I enjoyed the excerpt

  2. Thanks Stacey and thanks to Long and Short Reviews for having me as a guest. Looking forward to a great tour! Cheers.

  3. Thanks for hosting!

  4. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  5. Looks interesting, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Nurmawati Djuhawan says:

    i like the new info about book and the giveaway
    thx u for hosting 🙂

  7. This will be fun!

  8. Lynda Simmons says:

    Thanks Nurmawati! And Trix, I have to agree. Cheers.

  9. Shannon Garrett says:

    Can’t wait to see how this unfolds. Love it.

  10. Matthew Paul says:

    Interesting topic. Looking forward to next installment.

  11. As the author of the YA novel crush.candy.corpse,in which a teen is accused of killing an Alzheimer’s Patient, from my personal research, I can tell you Lynda has the characters in her flash story dead on. Crazy one moment, lucid the next, ready to love you or stab you to death depending on the television station. Also I loved Island Girl, her story about a fifty-year old getting early onset Alzheimer’s Disease–the only such story that’s funny and hopeful. Love Albert is a wonderful tribute to marriage ever after.

  12. This is great 🙂

  13. Love the twist at the end. Looking forward to the next one!

  14. Can’t wait for more!

  15. Hi, I really liked the excerpt

    • Lynda Simmons says:

      Thank Angela. The next installment is at Romance Novel Giveaways tomorrow. Hope to see you there! Cheers

  16. Bob Dobolina says:

    Great stuff! looking forward to tomorrow!

  17. Tantalizing bite, Lynda. I want more.

  18. What a cool concept! Looking forward to tomorrow.

  19. loved the excerpt thanks for sharing 😀

  20. Wow! Great excerpt, Lynda. But then again, you are one of my most favorite authors by far. Can’t wait to see how your flash fiction progresses and can’t wait to read Love, Albert!

  21. Lindsay Plows says:

    Fantastic story by a fantastic author!!

  22. Judy Reynolds says:

    Fabulous excerpt, Lynda!

  23. Very nice–looking forward to more!

  24. I have all kinds of images floating around thanks to the people in your flash fiction. It feels real. Maybe I have logged one too many hours in these places! Beautiful writing.

  25. What a touching excerpt! ;D

  26. Debbie Neal says:

    Very intriguing…kind of creepy and sad at the same time…I like it a lot. Look forward to the next read.

  27. nice excerpt

  28. Tara Hillis says:

    Great reading….can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

  29. Sherian Groppini says:

    I can’t wait for the next instalment!! 🙂 Fantastic excerpt!

  30. Koby Hicks says:

    You always leave me hanging….can’t wait for the next installment

  31. lori faires says:

    Great excerpt. Can’t wait to read more. Blessings & Thanks to All.

  32. Great excerpt and thanks for the giveaway. 🙂

  33. Lynda Simmons says:

    Thanks everyone! Glad you enjoyed the Flash and hope to see you at the next stop on the tour! Cheers,Lynda

  34. Joan DeJesus says:

    I’m intrigued already. Looking forward to more.

  35. Amanda Garrett says:

    Great story and a great way to promote it. Looking forward to following the tour.

  36. Carol Cooper says:

    Sounds like another great book. Can’t wait to read the whole thing!!!

  37. Cathy Miyata says:

    Ooo, great twist. i was right there and just as confused. Can’t wait to read more.

  38. Enjoyed the whole post, thank you!!

  39. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    Loved the excerpt!

  40. Thomas Murphy says:

    I liked the excerpt!

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