As part of my pursuit in the writing field and after the encouragement of others I’ve decided to publish some of my fiction writing. Depending on feedback I will try to make this a habit. Let me know what you think:
Elizabeth walked to the front of the bakery. It was closing time and the sign on the front door needed to be flipped. She had turned the lights in the dining room down when the final customer left and so the short walk from the counter to the front door was poorly lit. Just before she reached the large wooden front door her foot made contact with a small object. Her slip-proof shoe had sent the object spinning and the sound of clanging metal followed the trajectory of the moving object.
She continued her walk to the front door. With each step she could hear the creaking of the old wooden floors. Elizabeth had purchased this bakery five years ago from an older couple in their small town. The structure itself was a hundred years old and was perfectly set in the middle of her small town. The location was ideal as it was neighbored by a local coffee shop, several storefronts, and the city courthouse was across the street. Being amidst these buildings meant that when closing time came at the bakery at 9pm that all of the neighboring shops had long since darkened themselves to the community.
As she reached the door she flipped the hanging hand written sign to read “Closed” from the outside. She put her large skeleton key in the lock and obstructed the entrance of another into her bakery for another eight hours. As she turned to head back to the counter to cash out for the night she remembered the sound of the metal object she had kicked moments before. With the little light escaping from behind the counter she was unable to see anything on the freshly mopped floor. She resolved to getting onto her hands and knees to scour the place in search of the object.
After a few moments of searching on her hands and knees Elizabeth spotted a faint reflection coming off of something under a nearby table. She removed an old wooden chair from its designated resting place and returned to her knees. Immediately after feeling the object she recognized the shape and significance. The object was small and she cupped her manicured hands around it. She stood up, returned the chair to its place and walked back toward the kitchen to view the object in better lighting.
As she walked beyond the counter into the kitchen she slowly unfurled her hands and revealed a diamond ring. The ring held a solitary diamond of a large caliber. It was white gold and she estimated with a keen eye that it was worth well over $10,000. Overcome with confusion Elizabeth laid the ring down on a clean plate on the counter in the kitchen.
Across town Elizabeth’s boyfriend was eagerly awaiting her arrival home from the bakery. He rented a small townhouse on the other end of their hometown. Elizabeth was the kind of business owner who made sure she was always the one to close up in the evenings so he was used to making plans to see her in the late evenings. That particular evening Brandon and Elizabeth had planned to have dinner in his townhouse. He had spent his evening roasting a chicken and creating Elizabeth’s favorite potatoes to cheesy perfection. Brandon knew how hard Elizabeth worked and how much pressure owning a bakery can be for a young business owner. He wanted the evening to be relaxing for her so he worked hard to ensure that it was so.
At about 9:15pm Elizabeth texted Brandon to let him know that she was tied up at work and would be later than they had planned. In reality, Elizabeth had taken upon herself to find the rightful owner of the ring. She pulled out the receipts for the evening along with a local telephone book and began to call some of the patrons from that day.
She pictured a woman coming home from a long day of running errands for her family to find that she had misplaced her $10,000 ring. Elizabeth placed over thirty calls and left several messages before she decided to put the ring in the bakery safe and pick back up the search tomorrow. Brandon was waiting on her and she did not want the meal he had prepared to go to waste. She placed the ring in the safe, took off her apron, grabbed her purse and keys and headed out the back door of the bakery.
In the alley behind the bakery the small white Jetta was parked. She opened the door, turned the ignition and headed through the town toward Brandon’s house. From the street outside his home she could see the lights still on. She breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn’t given up on her arrival and retired to bed yet. Elizabeth hated being late, and had run through an apology in her head during the drive to Brandon’s home.
He opened the door and greeted Elizabeth with a smile and a kiss on the cheek, a welcome that Elizabeth feared she didn’t deserve.
“I am so sorry that I am late.” She emphasized the sorry part. In her meticulous world those who were late to planned events were inconsiderate of others.
“It’s fine. I really just finished up with the chicken anyway.” Brandon fibbed a little to help make Elizabeth feel better about making him wait a little longer than expected. After a two year relationship he knew she was way harder on herself than anyone else was on her. He also understood that whatever was going on in the bakery must have demanded her immediate attention if it led to her being late.
They began their meal in the dining room. Brandon started by discussing his day at the insurance agency where he was employed. Not a lot of excitement happened in his cubicle, but he did have a run in with a coworker about the local college football game coming up this weekend.
“So how was the bakery today?” Brandon asked Elizabeth as he began to clear their empty plates from the table.
After the meal was cleared and over a cup of warm coffee she began to discuss some of the orders she filled that day from four dozen tiara cupcakes for a toddler birthday party to six loaves of freshly baked artisan breads for a ladies’ knitting group. She talked through some of her interactions with the local and loyal customers.
“Simon from the parish placed a large order of garlic knots for next week’s spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Oh, and I met the loveliest couple on holiday from up north. They ordered gourmet sandwiches and salads during the lunch rush. They were staying at the Bed and Breakfast on Main Street. It’s their anniversary and…”
Elizabeth stopped. She knew that they must have been the owners of the diamond ring she had found. Come to think of it Elizabeth could almost picture the ring on the wife’s slim finger. She explained the dilemma to Brandon and in his ever-understanding way he grabbed his car keys and his distracted girlfriend and they ventured from the house to the bakery to retrieve the ring. Once she had taken the ring from the safe at the bakery, she handed it to Brandon. He delicately placed it in his pocket and Elizabeth hopped back into Brandon’s red Civic and they headed toward the main street of the town. They found found a parking spot outside of the bed and breakfast and rushed to the front door.
At the front desk Elizabeth inquired about the couple she had met earlier that day by describing what she remembered about their features.
“The woman was thin with a straight smile. She had blonde hair and was maybe 35 or 40. The man had glasses and was clean shaven. Maybe a little older than his wife.”
The hostess typed a couple of characters into the computer and frowned. She informed Elizabeth that the couple she had described were the Knoxs from Michigan. They had checked out and headed back to Michigan that evening around 7pm. They thanked the hostess for helping them and with her head hanging low Elizabeth tried to think of a plan of returning the ring to the couple. They headed back to Brandon’s car. As Elizabeth went to open the passenger door, Brandon put his hand on the door to stop her.
“I think I figured out whose ring you found, Elizabeth.” Brandon said sweetly. He led Elizabeth back from the car by the hand.
“I came in to the bakery this afternoon when you ran to the grocer. Abigail was working the counter. I was checking on your schedule in your office to ensure that you did not have any catering events or arrangements that might keep you from dinner at my place.” Brandon started.
Once again Elizabeth felt bad for turning up to dinner late. She apologized.
“It’s no problem really. I wanted to be sure that nothing would keep you because tonight is a special night. I worked so hard to make a relaxing dinner for you and I had planned to spend some time watching your favorite cooking programs. This is not the ideal way I wanted this to happen. I had planned on doing this in the serenity of my home, but…” Brandon got down on one knee in front of Elizabeth on the grass in front of the inn. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring that Elizabeth had handed him in the car.
“I might’ve told Abigail about my plan when I was at the bakery today. She asked to see the ring and clumsy me must’ve dropped it when putting it back into my pocket. When you were in the bakery tonight retrieving the ring from the safe I checked my coat pocket and it was not there. When you handed it to me in the car I breathed a sigh of relief. Elizabeth, you found your ring. This is for you. You’ve been so worried about finding the owner of this ring and the owner is you.” He held out the ring.
“Will you marry me?”
All fiction writing on this site is originally written by TheAmeriBritMom. All rights to these pieces is reserved for the author. It is unlawful to reproduce or plagiarise this work.