Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

MISSING PIECES
11/8/2019 1:00:00 AM by: LINSEY BRACKETT

PLEASE WELCOME

LINSEY BRACKETT

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

A SHORT STORY

INSPIRED BY LINDSEY’S NOVEL, THE BRIDGE BETWEEN

Missing Pieces

If only life came packaged like fine china.

Libby lifted the crate’s lid and moved aside tufts of raffia protecting the treasure she’d found scouring Ebay. The gravy boat emerged in perfect condition, not a chip or crack on its surface. Holding it up to the window, admiring how the light reflected off the pattern of blue geisha flowers, Libby would bet the crate’s contents this piece had never seen a Thanksgiving table.

Turning it over, she found the mark. Red nail polish and the initials AJC. Which made her think of the Atlanta newspaper with its thick Sunday inserts that her grandfather insisted on reading one page at a time over brunch after church.

The bell over the store’s front door jangled, and Libby gently returned the gravy boat to its nest. She’d unpack the rest later and the pieces would nearly round out her collection. Maybe then she’d be able to find the mysterious owner who apparently hadn’t wanted to be forgotten, despite having sold her precious finery.

“Hello?” A masculine voice called across the crowded floor, each nook and cranny filled with antiques, rare collectibles, and the odds and ends of gentried Lowcountry life. “Anyone home?”

Libby smiled. Yes, this Charleston shop was home. Finally, for good.

The man standing in the middle of her floor, though, he didn’t quite look so at home. Pluff mud stained the cuffs of his cargo pants and caked his boots. His Clemson ball cap was shoved over a mop of dark hair, which curled over his collar of his frayed flannel shirt. Not her usual clientele by a long shot.

“Welcome to Surreptitious. What can I help you find?”

He glanced around the shop, then back to her, assessing with—now that she thought about it—the same unnerving gaze she’d given him. She wondered what he saw. Her self-imposed work uniform of black slacks and cream top occasionally accented with a piece of heirloom jewelry or a scarf on chilly days, would not give away her roots the way his attire alluded to his. Even her black pumps were designer, though bought secondhand at the consignment shop two blocks over.

To her surprise, he removed the cap and raked fingers through what she could now see was quite a healthy head of curls. “I need an anniversary gift for my parents.”

Easy enough. “What year is this?” Judging his age, she’d guess thirty.

“Fifteen.”

Well. She’d certainly been wrong before but this time the quirk of her brow—which she didn’t smooth out in time—must have betrayed her because he added, “Second marriage. Well, second time married to each other. We’ve never really figured out what to call it.”

His befuddlement was endearing, and the dimple in his cheek when he grinned was more than a little appealing. A harmless flirtation would certainly help her bottom line and coupled with the arrival of the china, ensure an excellent morning.

“In that case, you’ve come to the right place. We specialize in the unique. Why don’t I help you look around? There are some lovely silver pieces over here they may appreciate.”

He wrinkled his nose. “No silver. When we were kids, Mom used to make us polish the platters for punishment.”

“We?” She couldn’t help but notice how often he spoke as if he were more than one person.

“Oh, yeah. Habit, I guess.” He extended his hand. “Mac Halloway. One-third of the famed Halloway triplets.”

Now the puzzlement was written across her face she was sure. “I’m sorry, I haven’t lived here very long—”

His laughter was rich, like the polish on the mahogany sideboard holding the silver she’d wanted to show him.  “I’m kidding about the famous part. That’s just for Edisto. Though my sister, Cora Anne, says that’s because we’ve stirred up more trouble in the last two decades than they’ve had in the last two centuries and as a museum curator, she ought to know.”

“You all live on Edisto?”

“Just me, now. My brothers are off living the dream.” Mac waved a hand dismissively, as if he did not need such fancy. “Cole finally got traded to the Braves, he’s a pitcher, and J.D.’s getting a Ph.D. over at UGA.” He grimaced. “We try not to talk football when he’s home.”

“I can understand.” At least she could pretend to, but that was part of her job. Showing interest in whatever a client enjoyed. “What about you?”

“Just a simple life for me. I build docks.”

Which explained the muddy boots. Offering him a wide smile because she wouldn’t treat him any differently than her most highbrow customer, Libby nodded toward the back of the store. “Perhaps artwork? I have some beautiful Edisto watercolors done by a local artist who worked in the sixties.”

“Lead the way, ma’am.”

“Libby, please.” Twenty-six was far too young to be called ma’am. She turned and he followed. This particular collection required them to pass by the unboxing table, which she should have left neater.

“Wait.”  He’d stopped and was lifting the gravy boat from its packaging. “Where’d you get this?”

“A dealer never reveals her secrets.” Libby stepped to his elbow and gently took the piece from his large hands.

“Blue geisha, right? My mother’s trying to rebuild my grandmother’s set.” His eyes tracked back to hers, and this close she saw the warmth, like the Atlantic on a sunny day. “How much?”

“It’s not for sale. Personal collection.”

“C’mon,” he winked at her. “I’ll make it more than worth your while.”

 “Trust me, sir, this isn’t what you’re meant to find.”

“Oh, really?” He stepped back, folded his arms across his chest. “Are you an expert in people as well as antiques?”

“Actually … ” Libby replaced the dish. “I’m only interested in lost things.”

“In that case”—he opened his wallet and flipped a business card and a hundred onto the table—“I hope you come looking for me.”

Then he left, making the doorbell chime again, the sound echoing about the shop like the pacing of her heart.

 

ABOUT LINSEY BRACKETT

Lindsey P. Brackett writes southern fiction infused with her rural Georgia upbringing and Lowcountry roots. Her debut novel, Still Waters, released in 2017 and was named the 2018 Selah Book of the Year. Her latest novel, The Bridge Between, released in 2019. Someday she hopes to balance motherhood and writing full-time. Until then, she’s just very grateful for her public school system.

Connect with Lindsey and get her free novella, Magnolia Mistletoe with newsletter signup at lindseypbrackett.com or on Instagram @lindseypbrackett.

 

ABOUT LINDSEY’S NOVEL, THE BRIDGE BETWEEN

Louisa Halloway has returned home to Edisto Island. David, her ex-husband, has followed and here, their once strained relationship eases into a familiar rhythm. But when a local professor studying tidal creek preservation, invites Lou to join his research team, she welcomes the opportunity for a new purpose.

The past still has a hold, especially in the presence of Grace Watson, whose son loves Lou and David’s daughter. In this idyllic setting, relationships, like the creeks, deepen and shift. Now, Lou is caught between the life she's chosen—and love that might be meant to be.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Between-Lindsey-Brackett/dp/1645260763/ref

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46046861-the-bridge-between

 

 

 

 

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12/8/2017 2:28:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MUTUAL SUBMISSIVENESS
11/29/2017 9:25:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

CASTING STONES
11/17/2017 3:59:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

HEADLINE HYSTERIA
10/31/2017 6:41:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

COUNTRY ROADS
10/12/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

STUPIDITY IS NO EXCUSE
10/7/2017 8:25:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Beauty Queen and Humorist Shares Her Latest Book
6/13/2017 12:27:00 PM  by: JANE JENKINS HERLONG

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH/WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CHAPTER 2A
6/7/2017 3:44:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CREATED TO BE SALT PART B
5/30/2017 7:25:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/ CREATED TO BE SALT/PART A
5/20/2017 1:22:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

CELEBRATE YOUR FEMINITY
4/13/2017 1:08:00 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE FIFTY-FIFTY CONUNDRUM
4/6/2017 1:53:00 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE ROCK OF OUR FUTURE
3/31/2017 7:28:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
3/14/2017 8:30:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

PASS THE LOVE, PLEASE
1/17/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

STRANDED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
1/10/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

BATTLE WITH A BUMBLEBEE
1/3/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

BATTLE FATIGUES
12/27/2016 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
12/24/2016 11:22:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

LOVE IN A SUITCASE
12/20/2016 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
12/14/2016 8:42:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM
12/13/2016 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

KERI'S CHRISTMAS WISH
12/5/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Raising a Child With Autism
11/30/2016 8:33:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

SHOULD OR WANT
11/22/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

CONFESSIONS OF A GARDENS SLUGGARD
11/16/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

GRANDMA PRAYED WHILE IRONING
11/8/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

The Day Super Mom Died
11/1/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

FOLLOW WHICH LEADER?
10/25/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

ROYAL LEGACY
10/18/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
10/11/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING
9/28/2016 12:30:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

THE POWER OF ONE
9/20/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

A LIFELONG PURSUIT
9/13/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

A TEENAGED ROBIN HOOD
9/5/2016 7:36:16 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

NUGGETS OF GRACE
8/31/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

THE CHOICE TO FAIL
8/24/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TROUBLE
8/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

JUST LIKE MY DADDY
8/9/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

PATIENT PRAYING
7/26/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MEET DARLENE FRANKLIN/SCAVENGER HUNT/LAST STOP
7/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

PATIENT WISDOM
7/12/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

OF PETS AND PERSISTENCE
7/5/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

God's Server Never Shuts Down
6/10/2016 6:56:27 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Blessed to be a Blessing
5/18/2016 7:57:49 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Mama, I Can't take a Bath 'Cause There's a Fish in the Tub
5/4/2016 9:18:13 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

SOUR GRAPES OR BLESSED FRUIT
4/28/2016 7:28:32 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

IT'S WHAT THEY DO
4/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MEET JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
2/3/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

FROM LIGHT TO BRIGHT
1/15/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

SURRENDERING TO THE CALL
1/8/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

MY QUEST
1/4/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

MY INTIMATE JOURNEY WITH MY HEROINE BY NIKE N. CHI
12/22/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
12/8/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

When Art Imitates Life: An Author's Book Journey
12/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Settled By Faith
11/27/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING
11/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

From Little Golden Books to Summer's List
11/20/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Roundeau

THE EDUCABLE MOMENT
11/17/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

There's love in them there casseroles
11/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Searching for God With All My Heart
10/30/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

I RUN TO YOU
10/27/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Sweetening Our Sour Grapes
10/23/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE FALL THAT LIFTS
10/20/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

A Walk With God
10/9/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Disappointment and Discouragement
10/6/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

STIRRING TRUTH
10/2/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

PENNED BY GOD'S OWN HAND
9/25/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

The Masterpiece
9/22/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

RESTORED HEARTS and a Writer's Journey
9/18/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: Meditations on the Road
9/11/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

DIALOGUING OUR FEARS
9/8/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

WHY A BOOK OF PRAYERS?
9/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

From Lettuce to Pages
8/27/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

AND NOT TO YIELD
8/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

BONNIE LEON WRITES TO ENCOURAGE THE DISABLED
8/21/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

FAITH WORTH THE FIGHT
8/14/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

CANT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
8/10/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE WINDING TRAIL
7/31/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

The Flavorful Church
7/28/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Commitment Phobia
7/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

God knows our hearts
7/21/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

God Had Other Plans
7/17/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT
7/14/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

God's Writer: Jan Elder
7/10/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE CURE FOR THE WEARY SOUL
7/7/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Surely Goodness and Mercy Gail Kittleson
7/3/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

OF THEE I SING
6/30/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

A HUNGER FOR GOD
6/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

What Do We Ask God For?
6/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

BUCK STORM SINGER/SONGWRITER/STORYTELLER
6/19/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

STRESS: THAT OTHER HOMEWRECKER
6/16/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

A Dream Come True of Being A Writer
6/12/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR
6/9/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Meet Shannon Vannetter Christian Author
6/5/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
6/2/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

EMPTY NETS
5/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Bucketwish
5/23/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Loyalty that Springs from Spirituality
5/20/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Wonderfully Made
3/8/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Lighthouse of the Carolina's Author Carol Heilman
2/7/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

HAPPY NEW YEAR
1/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau