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For our visitors reading pleasure we are serializing some of our short stories.  Be sure to stop by every four weeks and read the latest installment.
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Maudes Deceptions- Part Two


            Alex shook out his coat and hung it on a hook in the mud room and followed her into the parlor.  The furnishings and draperies would have made an antique dealer’s heart flutter.  On closer inspection though, Alex could see how worn the upholstery was and concluded that Maude had not bought them at some show.  She and her family were probably the original owners, and they made sure they got their money’s worth out of everything.
            The proprietress had a thick neck and big chest. Plump hips were squeezed into a floral print dress about to give way at the seams.  At five feet nine inches, she was a good sized woman. The lace trim and buttons on the cuffs and hem were as yellow as the woman’s cigarette stained teeth. Her cheeks matched her bloodshot eyes. The Gibson girl hairdo was about five decades too late to be considered stylish.
            When Maude turned to leave the room, the seams in her stockings stood out like a sore thumb. “Please fill out the registry card on the coffee table. I’ll be back with a cup of tea and honey to help warm you.”
            Alex slipped out of his loafers and walked over to the living room fireplace to dry his soaking wet feet.
Maude returned with a dainty china tea cup and matching saucer.
He savored every sip of the hot liquid. “Thank you. It’s like my grandmother’s.  I can taste the cinnamon and honey.”
He handed her the delicate china, which she placed on a lamp table.
            “If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your room. It’s not fancy like those big city motels, but I keep it spic and span.”
            Maude walked upstairs and opened the door. A four-poster bed took center stage in a room with starched curtains on two sets of windows. A fireplace was on the opposite wall.  It looked like paradise to Alex..
            “I’ll get a fire going. It will keep you cozy through the night,” she said. “There are hot towels on the radiator.  Why don’t you take a relaxing shower?  I’ll go down and start dinner.  I’ll call when it’s ready. It will be nice to have some company.”
            “Are there any other guests?”
            Maude shook her head. “Just one, a prison visitor. He’s been moping in his room for two days. Sad story. See you in a bit.”
            As soon as Maude closed the door, Alex stripped and hopped into the shower. The hot water and milled soap felt great on his skin. The day’s tension faded. The need for sleep superseded hunger.
            Alex wrapped himself in a terry cloth robe hanging on the back of the door and collapsed on the bed.
About an hour later, Maude knocked on the door. “Dinner is served.”
            When Alex opened, she handed him his clothes, neatly pressed and on hangers.
            He rolled his eyes. “They were soaking wet.”

END OF PART TWO VISIT US AGAIN IN THE SECOND WEEK OF MARCH FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT

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