Steffie at the Beach #amwriting @StoryADayMay

I almost forgot to write a Steffie story for Pete this week!

Steffie at the Beach

by Marian Allen

It was almost a perfect vacation.

Steffie’s job was very stressful, requiring eternal vigilance. She really needed the occasional holiday, tucked away in some secluded spot, where she could relax and just be.

The week had been like that. The agency had safe houses all over the world, but Steffie’s favorite was the one near the Atlantic side of Tybee Island off Georgia (the on in the United States). Early December was definitely the off-season, so she had the beach almost to herself.

Maybe it was the solitude that made the man think burglary and armed robbery were good ideas. He may have considered rape, as well; Steffie certainly woke with him looking down at her.

At first, she thought he had had too much to drink and was in the wrong cottage. Or that he was a person with Special Needs, like her brother, and had come in because he didn’t see boundaries and just wanted to chat.

She began with an assumption of harmlessness. She was on vacation, after all.

“Are you lost?”

“That’s a nice change,” the man said. “People usually ask me if I’m saved.” He grinned and eyed the shape of Steffie’s body under the covers. “I’m not, by the way. Killed a guy. Gotta get off island, and stopped to grab some cash and sellables.” He drew a knife and flicked it open. “Got any?”

So much for harmlessness.

Steffie nodded toward the dresser. “My purse is over there. Jewelry in the top right drawer.”

As if she’d brought jewelry to the beach.

The instant he fell for the distraction, she erupted from the bed, enfolding his knife hand in both of hers and driving it up and back, plunging the blade into his throat.

Out of habit, she checked for a pulse, although experience had taught her that a dead person doesn’t look anything but dead, almost immediately. It was her good luck that he had fallen directly onto the area rug. She dragged it, with its inert passenger, to the French window overlooking the ocean and slid him out for an impromptu burial at sea.

“Ashes to ashes,” she intoned, “and dust to dust. If the life doesn’t get you, the stupidity must.”

Back in the bedroom, she was irritated to see a few drops of blood on the area rug. Fortunately, the rug was of light colors, so she could take care of that.

She spread the rug on the washing machine and made a paste of water and hydrogen peroxide.

“One bottle of this can replace so many expensive products with their attendant chemicals and additives,” she said in a tone of cheerful instruction. “Be sure to test on an inconspicuous area, unless the fabric you’re cleaning is light in color. Peroxide is a bleach, after all.” She dabbed at the bloodstains. “We’ll just leave that, and come back to check on it in the morning.”

Maybe, when she retired from the business, she’d do a YouTube series on cleaning. She’d worked her way up from cleaner to operative, after all, and had a wealth of experience to share. She could just do a voice-over, so she wouldn’t have to worry that someone on the other side would recognize her. Just show her hands. The only people who had seen her hands in any detail were no longer available to identify them.

She yawned, washed her hands, and crawled back into bed.

Almost a perfect vacation.

MY PROMPTS TODAY: peroxide, saving money, Steffie for Pete Laberge, Tybee Island

If you liked this story, you might like my other stories and my novels. Support an author: buy a book and leave an Amazon review. I thank you, and my cat thanks you.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Steffie at the Beach #amwriting @StoryADayMay

  1. Dan Antion

    May 26, 2017 at 10:51am

    I’m guessing stupidity is a leading cause of death, especially where Steffie is in the area. Still, no sympathy for the crab-food, he wanted to get out of town.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 26, 2017 at 11:20am

      “No Sympathy For the Crab-food” could be the title of Steffie’s autobiography — if spies wrote autobiographies.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Pete Laberge

    May 26, 2017 at 1:02pm

    Good Old Steffie. “Cleaning the Gene Pool is HARD Work”….
    Her other book. COUGH!

    Meanwhile, her control, Pete, in sympathy with her troubles, blows his nose, using a carefully washed and dried, and fiber softened, Bounty Paper Towel. Steffie has described his nose blowing as “… a tender an dulcet cross between a June Evening Staten Island fog horn, and an 18 wheeler with a stuck air horn, in 5 pm traffic…” Steffie does have a poetic turn with words.

    Meanwhile, under an assumed name (Someone with the initials MA.) “No Sympathy for the Crab Food” is carefully being ghost written, and will be available on Amazon, Spring of 2018…..

    A prompt:
    6000 Books, 3000 magazines, a ton of art and lapidary supplies, and closing down an apt and a house. Complete with Atlas, the toy stuffed dog. (In real life this happened. There was a tragic death, as one of Pete’s “Controls”, Norma, died at home semi-peacefully, of old age. Pete is mourning and closing up.) Stefie can find the “green glass stone”, and the Onyx ring, as she wipes out a den of unsavoury characters. Former renegade rogue swivel servants who stole Dan’s computer. Lunch from Quiznos, of course.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 26, 2017 at 1:14pm

      LOL — I love the book title!

      Again, I’m so sorry for your loss, Pete. It must be hard, cleaning and packing and closing down. “Former renegade rogue swivel servants”? Did you just throw a string of random words together there, or does that actually mean something? You intrigue me so!

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. joey

    May 26, 2017 at 6:46pm

    Steffie’s life is exciting, I say again. Maybe too exciting. Can’t even have a peaceful vacation!
    I liked his line about being saved, though. He was a clever jackass.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author
  4. Pete Laberge

    May 26, 2017 at 8:02pm

    Well, I guess they still ARE “renegade rogue swivel servants”….

    I fought the hospital for a year, to get Noella home. I lost. They won, and they forced me to put her in an old age home.

    WHY? Simple: Canada is a very primitive land with not much in the line of services for seniors.

    Dan had a mild stroke, The cretins made him sign away his life. No advice or lawyer, not even me there…. Had he been able to get help, and therapy….. He could have eventually returned home.
    But being Autistic (high order functioning)… They did not understand him.

    As for Norma, well, had they done more for her while she was alive, she might have lasted maybe 6 months or a year longer. Now Lesley must close out everything, sell off that house, fill out countless forms, and fight for her share of the estate. Fortunately she has a good lawyer, hopefully a good tax guy. And Her brother Peter is a reasonable dude. I am trying to do what little I can to help.

    May Steffie go after the herd of them and toss them off a cliff. With boat anchors wrapped around their feet. And RAT traps firmly attached to their private parts.

    Writing cue:
    Steffie, rats out a rat, and traps the rat. The rat is buried. “Au revoir petite souris!” she says, sarcastically. Never get in front of a lady cat. Especially one protecting some kittens.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 27, 2017 at 7:36am

      Pete, I see what you mean now about the “renegade rogue swivel servants”. I’m disappointed to hear that Canada doesn’t take better care of her seniors; I thought better of your country than that. I’m so sorry for all you and your wife and your dear ones have suffered. If I could turn Steffie on all the stinkers in the world, what a wonderful world that would be.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
      • Pete Laberge

        May 27, 2017 at 3:07pm

        Well, send her after them in the stories. Part of the problem in both Canada and the USA, is that big cities can do some things better than small towns. And of course, for some reason we have lots of money to spend on politicians and junket trips, little on We The People.

        And naturally,, since 3all swivel serpents control access…. And since they do not want to get caught making a mistake, their policies are draconian. Easier to say “24 hour nursing home care required!” Rather than Let us try see how this person does at home with a little help.” Cheaper for them. more control for them, fewer lawsuits. ETC!

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        • Author

          Marian Allen

          May 27, 2017 at 3:53pm

          I’ve been around and around with Mom’s long-term health care insurance, too. As you say, they’d rather stick her in a nursing home than pay for home help. The stupid thing is, home help would COST LESS. Somebody’s getting a kickback. Of course, people often live longer if they stay in their own homes than if they go into a home, so there’s that to figure into their equation. So far, Mom is in her own home. If the time comes that she can’t stay there or with us, I’ll roll up my sleeves and fight. Meanwhile, if I get a chance to fight for better care for everybody else, I’ll do that, too.

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  5. Shan Jeniah Burton

    May 27, 2017 at 2:51am

    I’m not much on cleaning, but I loved visiting Tybee Island. Spent not enough time there.

    Good for Steffie.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 27, 2017 at 7:37am

      Ah, another Tybee fan! I was only there for a week, on a writers’ retreat. It will live forever in my memory.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  6. Pete Laberge

    May 27, 2017 at 4:16pm

    Fight on! and get Tipper in to help Steffie! “Tipper the Cat, and Steffie, too!” A new political story slogan!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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