Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

It was less than a month before Valentine’s Day. Meredith wanted to plan something special for Zach. Their engagement had been the talk of the town for weeks. Five years in the making Meredith was ready to settle down and enjoy life with Zach.

The Chocolate Lady opened the day after Christmas and sells were good so far. With only a month until Valentine’s Day Meredith had lots of orders already for special gift baskets, cakes and chocolate fountains that she and her staff of three were working on.

Stringing the Valentines in the window she noticed a raven haired women getting out of her walk crossing the street. The woman must be new in town. Meredith did not recognize her or her car. Besides very few people would walk in the elements when the underground rail system linked all the house and stores in town. The streets of Centralia were empty and had been that way since the Christmas holidays.

Glancing at the woman again as Meredith watched as she was headed to the courthouse. Maybe she was not a new comer at all. Getting off the counter Meredith felt a tingle go up her spine. If she remembered correctly her grandmother would say “something wicked this way comes”. The woman stood for a moment at the courthouse before she walked in. Ensuring she was not caught in the approaching snow storm Meredith was relieved when the woman walked in as the snow began to fall.

Sitting down on the large bench surrounded by gigantic glass windows Shannon watched as the snow began to fall. It has been years since she had enjoyed a lush snow fall. Turning she looked around the centuries old courthouse. The place was always opened for stragglers who got caught in a snow storm or lost their way in the winter. There were signs to direct visitors to the rail system below or the root cellar filled with fresh food each week. There was even a full service hotel under the courthouse for visitors or in case of a town emergency.

The streets were empty she guessed most of the towns people were probably using the underground rail system to stay out of the snow and cold. Smiling Shannon walked over to the newspaper stand and bought a newspaper. It was time to catch up on what she’d missed over the couple of weeks while traveling to Centralia.

Putting her paper under her arm Shannon wondered down to stairs to the hotel under the courthouse where she’d already booked a room. The small lobby was empty except for Taylor the bellhop. Smiling and taking her key Shannon headed down the hall to her suite her only thoughts were on tomorrow.

Flopping on the bed Shannon removed her shoes and hoped Centralia was ready for her.

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