I’m not doing Story A Day May this year, but I promised Dan four Steffie the spy stories this month. This first one is my response to his Thursday Doors writing challenge.
The door I chose for my inspiration is the one designated by Jean Reinhardt, a beautiful writer and photographer. If you haven’t read her Irish Family Saga books, I highly recommend them.
I took the windows out of the cottage and rearranged how the two parts of the doors open, but I’m allowed. Because I said so, that’s why.
If you want to read more Steffie stories, they’re under the Story A Day May category.
Steffie’s Half Measures
Steffie found the cottage charming: single story, whitewashed, and windowless, with a Dutch door delightfully off-center.
Once a benighted traveler’s refuge, it was now a retreat for the programming genius who lived in the mansion a thousand feet away. No electricity and a chemical toilet — it was the perfect getaway for a man who spent most of his time in front of a computer.
Steffie found it relaxing, as well. Oil lamps and candles shed enough light for her to concentrate on the hobby work she’d brought with her. At another time, she would have opened the top half of the Dutch door to let in fresh air and sunlight, but she must be careful not to be seen.
The cottage was supposed to be occupied by Daniel Alazar, the genius, who was in safe custody elsewhere, finishing the coding for a top secret government project.
Steffie paused in her hobby work, listening. She sensed more than heard movement outside. Not person-height, though. Low. Barely above the ground.
A scratching at the wooden door. Whining. A soft ruff.
A puppy? Seriously? A puppy?
A terrified yip and desperate scratching.
She was here to deal with the agents she had learned were coming to kidnap Alazar before his program was finished, but she hadn’t expected a puppy.
Happily, the agents hadn’t expected a Dutch door. When she opened the bottom half to drag the pup into the cottage, the agents stood a fatal moment, baffled.
In the second it took them to seize the opening and for the first one to crawl through, Steffie had picked up her hobby work–A hand-forged machete she had been sharpening–and met him as he entered. She flung open the top half of the door and stepped out to meet his partner.
Steffie gathered her things as she called for her agency’s own particular cleaners to come and take care of the scene. She picked up her new dog, making a mental list of the supplies she’d need for him. Him? Yes, him.
She had been supposed to take them alive, if possible, so they could be questioned. It was regrettable that she hadn’t been able to do that, but it was their own fault.
The bastards shouldn’t have used a puppy.
Thursday doors is under the direction of Dan Antion, photographer extraordinaire and critter daddy. Visit his site, enjoy his wonderful photographs, follow his directions, and enter a world of doors.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write a story with a puppy and a sharp object.
p.s. She named the puppy Dog Marcaida