General Fiction posted July 20, 2019

This work has reached the exceptional level
It was a long time coming, but she's earned it...

Crossing That Bridge

by Y. M. Roger

I had just taken a sip of wine when he walked in. It was poetic, really – I was enjoying wine and the reasons I should hate wine came rushing in.
Okay, maybe I didn’t hate it, and maybe he wasn’t rushing, but the irony remained.
I chuckled, setting my book on my lap as Bradley led him toward my table. I had expected him long before now, but I’d had a good three weeks of freedom. For that, I was thankful.
“Miss Arturio” – Bradley stood between me and him, a polite acknowledgement to a friend and regular customer – “a Mr. Spencer here to see you?”
It was clear that if I did not wish to see Mr. Spencer, he would be escorted out. And I loved Bradley to pieces for that – friends were such a treasure.
But I was a big girl now – had been a big girl for some time – although Daddy had yet to acknowledge that fact. Not sure if he ever would. Still, I’d see what Mr. Spencer had to say tonight.
“Thank you, Bradley.” I smiled, trying for indifference. “Could you please find a chair for my guest?”
Rolling his eyes just for me, Bradley commandeered an extra chair and indicated it to Gerald Spencer, the private investigator for Watson and Yeargin, my father’s attorneys.
“I will be at the front desk, Miss Arturio, should you require any assistance.” Bradley wasn’t much larger than I was, but the glare he threw Gerald was almost scary.
Gerald’s air of dismisal was real.
“Could I get a scotch on the rocks” – he paused for effect, sitting slowly – “Bradley?”
Bradley froze, letting his gaze pinball between Gerald and myself. He stiffened his posture and looked down at Gerald.
I was barely able to stifle my giggles at Gerald’s facial reaction as Bradley walked away.
“I see that you have an entourage in your escapades, Katharine.”
That fake smile adorned his face such that we appeared to be exchanging pleasantries.
To be fair, Gerald had been tasked with tracking me down on several occasions, but those had been but brief stints of freedom for me in my teen years.
“Ahhh, Gerald, always the gentleman.” I sipped my wine to find the courage I needed to cross this bridge.
“Your father and brothers miss you, Katharine.” Gerald never did ‘sincerity’ well. “Time to come home.”
I nearly choked on the wine, but I grinned – you know, keeping up our pretense of happiness.
“No, they really don’t, Gerald.” I replaced the glass. “They just want their best salesman back at the vineyards. I’m sure their customers miss a sincere and happy face.”
Gerald snorted, his façade falling just a bit.
“There is that.” He reached across the table and helped himself to a drink of my wine. “Chardonnay, eh? Definitely not from the Arturio Vineyards.” He smirked at my raised eyebrow. “On purpose, I venture?”
I simply nodded.
“I’m not coming home this time, Gerald, and the money doesn’t matter anymore.”
He sighed.
“Of course it does, Kathy.” I never could decide on the ‘real’ Gerald – this one or the ‘Katharine’ one. “We both know you’ve expensive taste” – he indicated my empty lobster tail from dinner – “and you have no formal schooling.”
Aaaaand that was my cue.
I sighed, gulped the remaining wine, and stood – time to cross the bridge.
I placed my book on the table by him.
“Tell Daddy I’ll send his autographed copy.”
I tapped the cover of
The One That Got Away: A Bridge to Independence by Katharine Arturio* and walked away.
For good this time


The One That Got Away writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a STORY (no poems) with the theme of ?the one that got away?. What got away? How and why did it get away? Tell us in up to 600 words.

599 words according to MSWord.

*Please note that NEITHER this book NOR this author exists. They are a complete work of fiction created specifically for this writing contest. ;)

Image from "Let's Taste Ukrainian Wine" from Kiev Travel Blog []

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