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   Chapter 11 Brownie Oxford and the Barren Woods Blunder

Brownie Oxford and the Barren Woods Blunder: Brownie Bk 3 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 12240

Updated: 2018-03-13 10:32

Chapter 11

The rest of the night was uneventful. I slept and any dreams I had were my own. While the dancing clowns wearing the dizzying fuchsia and purple fabric I removed from the fainting couch did not make for the most pleasant of dreams, at least I was certain it originated in my brain.

"Which is probably the most comforting thing about it, " I decided.

For a moment after waking, I lay in bed thinking about the day to come. Today, I wasn't going anywhere and I wasn't seeing anyone.

"Of course that doesn't mean no one will stop by, " I reminded myself. I wasn't worried about my friends seeing me unprepared for visitors. Steve who wanted to encourage me to more effectively interview torture victims and who was now moved in across the hall was a different matter.

'And Swift is around somewhere, even if he isn't due until next week, ' I thought. I mentally rummaged through my wardrobe for a suitable outfit. 'I could probably get away with jeans if I pair it with a nice blouse, the make-up and maybe some earrings and a necklace.'

Wardrobe decisions made, I knew I could get up, grab the clothes I wanted and head into the bathroom for the start of my morning routine. I didn't. I just lay there thinking about my non-dream from the night before. I saw worse in my time with Swift. Compared to many, these deaths were relatively quick.

'The pork chop was a bit grim, ' I decided. But again, I had seen worse. 'But not for a while. And not here.' I took a deep breath.

"I need to get dressed, " I said aloud. I pushed myself out of bed and grabbed the clothes I decided to wear out of my closet. I then moved to the bathroom to begin the process.

While I was no less thorough with my daily routine than usual, I found myself thinking of the family as I worked.

"Maybe once I find out why I was dreaming of them and who they are it would help, " I muttered to myself as I put my makeup back in my bag and hooked long dangly earrings into my ears. With my hair pulled back into a long ponytail, the earrings swung free and were the first things the eye was drawn to.

"Not my bone structure, " I told myself with a wink.

I left the bathroom and went into the kitchen to put on the coffee pot and make myself a bowl of oatmeal. Because of the chemical laden flavor packs, I couldn't use the instant kind so it took longer to cook. I was certain that if I figured out where the dream came from, I would feel a lot better about the situation. I was also certain the key to that would be identifying the people in the dream. Thus far the only name I had was Emily. As she looked to be in her early teens at the time of the dream, I wasn't terribly hopeful that would help much.

I poured my oatmeal into a bowl and topped it off with a swirl of maple syrup and a sprinkle of brown sugar. I took the bowl to the table and sat down in front of it.

"Spoon, " I said realizing I was utensil-less. I got up and as I did I turned to look at the large window looking out into the parking lot. Outside I saw a gray sky that looked like rain was eminent and the tops of the cluster of trees.

'The trees around the cemetery, ' I realized.

The cemetery was left when the land was sold to whoever built my apartment building. It wasn't large, just a small family plot. The house and whatever else was here was bulldozed and built over, but the cemetery remained, insulated from the parking lot by a stand of trees.

I retrieved my spoon and once again sat down to eat my breakfast. 'The distance between my apartment and the little cemetery is about the same as the playground at Riverdale and Mrs. Ellison's

t up and after a brief study of my small collection, I chose an album by Etta James. I put the record on the player and opened up my sewing box.

My day passed pretty quietly. Every now and then, I'd get up to change the record. When I did, I'd stretch my legs and my fingers to give them a break. Then I'd get back to work. When lunch rolled around, I decided to make it my big meal of the day. I sliced up some eggplant, breaded it and fried it, finally topping it with mozzarella, parmesan, and marinara. Since there was way more eggplant than I could eat, even if it was my big meal, I decided to set the rest of it aside.

"I can make baba ganoush and take it with me for lunch tomorrow, " I decided. Even though it was supposed to be a dip, I liked using it as a spread in my pita pockets and stuffing fresh greens and cucumbers in with it. "I just have to remember bring breath mints to counteract the garlic."

As I sat down to eat my eggplant parmesan, the sky outside opened up as the threatening rain finally arrived. It started out as fat drops, but by the time I was finished with my meal and I started to wash my dishes, it turned into a steady downpour. Looking out of the window I could tell that this was the kind of rain that could settle in for hours without slacking.

My dishes washed, I made my baba ganoush so that it would be ready for tomorrow's lunch. "I also better check the weather forecast."

If the rain planned to stick around, I would need not only an umbrella, but one of my hats. With the hat on I could tuck my hair out up out of the wet and do touch ups when I reached campus. If I left it down, I knew the ends would curl and lean me towards a Brownie like appearance. When I finished in the kitchen I double checked the weather before getting back to work.

"Thunderstorms likely throughout the week, " I read. "I guess this is the week for hats." I shut down the laptop again and picked up my large upholstery needle from where I left it, fingers rested and ready to resume my task. Before I could put a stitch in, a knock sounded on my door. I set my needle back down, climbed to my feet and walked to the door. A glance through the judas hole let me know that Steve stood on my doorstep.

'Crap, ' I thought. I took a deep breath, put on my best Bonnie Brown smile and opened the door to see what he wanted, or at least how he planned to get what he wanted. 'Let the games begin.'

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