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By Ariel Bell


Text Copyright © 2019 Ariel Bell

All Rights Reserved


This bit of madness is a birthday present for a beloved friend. She asked and I can deny her nothing. I hope she likes it and that you do too. Please blame my husband for the title and me for everything else.




Table of Contents

Table of Contents. 4

Chapter 1. 5

Chapter 2. 10

Chapter 3. 14

Chapter 4. 17

Chapter 5. 20






Chapter 1


My life was good.

It wasn't filled with a lot of excitement, okay, there was no excitement, but that didn't matter. Predictability was always a source of comfort to me. It was late Friday afternoon and after a long, hard week I was relieved to be calling it a day.

Not that I was complaining; I loved my job.

Of course, my father was the expert. I was just his eager apprentice. My boss, Mr. Adams, told me I was a natural, which wasn't really surprising since I grew up on his farm, dutifully watching my dad work any chance I got.

After thoroughly cleaning my workstation, I walked quietly along the cobblestone path that led from the exam room to the coop with a wide grin on my face. There was a special treat waiting for my father at home, blueberry pie. Hank's favorite. I was up way past my bed time baking it for him, though watching his face light up always made it worthwhile.

The main estate came into view as I rounded the corner. When I got closer, I caught a glimpse of shiny dark hair. Though I was well known for my shyness, particularly amongst strangers, I forged ahead, having no choice really since it was the only way for me to get home. What I saw next stopped me in my tracks.

Someone was on Mr. Adams’ front porch, smoking a cigarette.

There was a strict no smoking policy on the grounds. It was forbidden for the good health and well-being of the employees and animals, yet this stranger stood there exhaling cancer causing carcinogens all over the place.

He must have somehow missed the signs scattered about the property that clearly listed the rules. When I got closer, the distinct smell of tobacco assaulted my nostrils. I swiped the air with my hands vigorously and lowered my face until I reached the bottom step of the porch.

Keeping my head down, I quietly said, "That is forbidden," to my feet.

There was no response.

After a few seconds, I slowly raised my face directly into a large puff of smoke. My lungs were instantly filled with life threatening tar which triggered an uncontrollable coughing attack on the spot. It got so bad I wasn't able to catch my breath and started hyperventilating.

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