Transitions by B. B. Wright

TransitionsWinterToSpring

Transitions

by

B. B. Wright

 Thick grey ominous clouds float languidly overhead.

The outstretched straw-colored fields push against the swollen pond whose overflow like a ribbon runs across the open land scaring its surface.

Coniferous, once center stage in a winter of white, is forced aside by buds on fingers and arms of hopeful deciduous striving to meet spring’s promise. Tucked in their shaded background, tail-end snow lingers.

Winter’s wind, unwilling to decease, lays a white veil hardened by sharp pellets of ice and rain across the landscape.

Heroically (for they cannot turn back), nature’s shoots venture through last fall’s leafy blanket whilst in the nearby woodlot upon its paths the luxurious purple and white trillium wait to blossom.

Sadly, song birds have not yet arrived to herald this awakening. Or have they sought shelter to hide against the roar of the wind-train across the meadow to crackle the woods beyond?

Bird feeders, once filled to the brim with seed and suet, skip and somersault empty along the same track while the roller coaster of unwelcome snow squalls bullies the sun’s ephemeral moments.

Shutters slap to the rhythm of winter’s last dust as day melts into night and night dives into dreams of tomorrow’s fresh warm transitions

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Part Eleven of Angel Maker: Wish Me Luck by B. B. Wright

Kindertransport-children

Angel Maker

A Short Story by B. B. Wright

An Inspector Alexander Collier Mystery

Inspector Alexander Collier Mysteries will often provide a choice for the reader. If you want to obtain a greater understanding and/or a ‘feel’ for the period follow the embedded links (high-lighted and underlined) sometimes found in the text of the story. From time to time, I may return to a part of the story to add the link(s).

Part Eleven

Wish Me Luck

 

“Whatever I tell you must remain between you and me. Do you understand? No one else must know.”

Collier slowly acknowledged his understanding with the nod of his head.

Satisfied, Captain Hall regained her seat and made herself comfortable before continuing.  “A little back history is needed first. In 1933, members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the Reichstag voted against the Enabling Act which gave Hitler unlimited constitutional power. The result of the SPD’s action was that the Nazis forced them to disband and to flee into exile but not before they established a very sophisticated underground organization to oppose the Nazi regime called Roter Stosstrupp. Your son, his fiancé and some of her family members were being hidden by them. This was verified with the SPD located in Paris.”

“Were?” Collier interjected.

“Word has come back to us that recent widespread arrests by the Gestapo had forced Roter Stosstrupp to pass your son and his entourage over to the remnant of another group known as Neu Beginnen for safe keeping.”

She sighed deeply before continuing. “Unfortunately, most of the active members of this group have already been arrested. So, needless to say, time is of the essence before the Gestapo completely shuts them down.”

A knock at the door diverted their attention as Sergeant Snowden entered carrying a tray with a steaming mug of coffee and the necessary prerequisites of sugar, cream and spoons. Apologizing for the interruption, he brought the tray directly to Captain Hall and after she helped herself he placed the tray on the side table under the window, apologized again for the interruption and promptly left.

“Damn good coffee! Double thumbs up to your Sergeant.”

Collier stood up and walked over to the window and looked out.

“So how do you hope to extract them?”

“After the wide-spread pogroms of Kristallnacht, Chamberlain’s government worked out a deal with Germany in favor of allowing unaccompanied Jewish children to enter Britain as refugees. Parliament recently passed support. It doesn’t affect your son and his fiancé who are protected by their British passports but it does affect the children with them.”

“And the elders and parents they have with them, how does it affect them?”

“Only the children will be allowed to leave.”

Collier turned away from the window to face her with a solemn look.

“How do you fit into all of this?” he asked.

She looked at him for what Collier thought was a long silence before answering him.

“I’m part of the delegation traveling to Germany. The delegation is tasked with saving as many of these children as it can. This window of opportunity is brief and closing fast. My hope is that you will see your son, his fiancé and the children they have in their company early in the New Year.”

Tears swelled up in his eyes as he said: “Christmas gift…best Christmas gift ever.”

She finished her coffee and stood up and approached him. Her demeanor had softened slightly but her well-trained intelligence shot through like arrows as she scrutinized him.

“When I leave your office, Inspector, under no conditions are you to contact anyone about what we have spoken about. Lives will depend on your silence. For all intents and purposes, I do not exist once I walk out your door. The hard part will be harboring our secret while you’re waiting. I don’t envy you that.  Even when your son returns home, you must continue to remain silent.”

“Not to worry.” Pinching his thumb and forefinger together he drew it across his lips and said. “Captain, my lips are sealed.”

“Okay now,  we need to come up with a foolproof story as to why I was here if anyone should ask and I need to know everything about your son, especially the things that only he would know. I think you know why I need this?”

Collier reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his wallet; inside was a picture of his son. Hesitating briefly, he reluctantly handed it to her. “Keep him safe.” He felt a chill ripple up his spine when he remembered that those words were the exact same words his mother had said to him when he and his brother went off to war. It became a promise made that he was unable to keep. Along with the photo, he knew the words he was about to share with Captain Hall would act as his son’s passwords; they would ensure the validity of his identification and the safe return home for all with him.

For the next hour the two of them sat opposite each other at his desk while they worked out the reason for her visit and he told his son’s story.

When all was said that could be said and she stood at the door to leave, she turned and asked: “Wish me luck?”

Collier was too choked up with emotion to reply.

Part Ten of Angel Maker: Captain Hall by B.B.Wright

KinderTransport

Angel Maker

A Short Story by B. B. Wright

An Inspector Alexander Collier Mystery

Inspector Alexander Collier Mysteries will often provide a choice for the reader. If you want to obtain a greater understanding and/or a ‘feel’ for the period follow the embedded links (high-lighted and underlined) sometimes found in the text of the story. From time to time, I may return to a part of the story  to add the link(s).

Part Ten

Captain Hall

 When Captain Lynn Hall had worked at the U. S. Embassy in Turkey in 1936 her high intelligence and language proficiency had not gone unnoticed. A career in Foreign Service—her lifelong goal—had been well within reach.

While hunting in the Kizilcahaman District of Ankara, everything she had aspired to become changed when she stumbled and shot herself in the leg. The bad news came a few days later in Ankara Numune Hospital when she learned that the surgeons had amputated her leg below the knee.

When finally fitted with a wooden prosthesis, she immediately called it ‘Cuthbert’ after Saint Cuthbert whose feast day had fallen on the same day as her accident.

Since amputees were barred from employment in the Foreign Service, her convalescence had bubbled over to despair and confusion.Unwilling to be defeated by her dilemma and to combat her growing depression, she packed up her essentials and began to backpack across Europe in search of new adventures.

Shortly after her arrival in London, her newly found friends introduced her to Stewart Menzies at one of the many late night parties she attended. She continued to meet him at similar venues until he recruited her as a member of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

 

“Stewart Menzies sends his regards,” she said.

Collier had worked with him in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) during the early stages of World War One and knew that Stewart Menzies prided high intelligence and did not suffer fools lightly.

“He’s now a Lieutenant Colonel, I’ve been told.”

She nodded.

“Your accent…you’re American?”

“Born and bred in Baltimore, Maryland…” she replied.

“You’ve traveled quite the distance.”

“You don’t know the half of it, Inspector. And I won’t bore you with the details.”

“Please, maybe it’s just my inquisitive nature or snoopiness but I encourage you to bore me” he replied warmly. “Then, you must have family here?”

“None. My close friends form my family here.”

“Excuse me, Inspector,” Sergeant Snowden interjected, “but I’d bet the Captain would like a good ‘cup of Joe.”

“I haven’t had a good cup in a while,” she chortled, welcoming the interruption. “It would be welcomed, very welcomed, Sergeant. But, are you sure you’re up to it? The English aren’t known for great coffee.”

The Sergeant chuckled. “My mother’s side of the family live just outside Cincinnati and twice a year they send me a case of Eight O’Clock coffee. I understand it’s quite popular in the United States”

She beamed a large smile. “It is and I would love some, Sergeant.”

“Would you like some tea, sir?” Snowden asked Collier.

“No thank you, Sergeant.”

As the two of them stood facing each other after Sergeant Snowden had left, an awkward silence developed between them until Captain Hall walked over to the window to look out.

Collier bit his lower lip when he realized she had a prosthesis.

“My love for an English garden, it knows no bounds. I will never have to ask for pardon, as I stroll these lovely grounds.” She turned to face him. “Bernard Shaw’s English Garden captures the beauty I see out there, don’t you think Inspector?”

I’m surprised you would know it that well.”

“The Liberal Arts program I took at Radcliffe College built my love for poetry,” she replied. She looked at her watch. “Times running short and there’s lots to cover.”

Collier invited her to sit at one of the two chairs fronting his desk while he regained his seat behind it. As they sat opposite each other, he knew her eyes were scanning him and he felt a sense of helplessness from her reach.

“I’ve got some good news,” she finally said. “But it doesn’t come without great risk and possible dire consequences.”

Her words cut his breath short as he waited in anticipation.

“Your son and his fiancé have been found.”

A painful expression washed over his face as he looked at her long and hard.

“You call this good news?!” he retorted. “I already know they’re imprisoned at either Lemberg or Posen. And, unless you can free them, there is no room for further discussion.”

“They are not imprisoned. What you were told turned out to be false. For the time being they are in safe hands. What are you doing?”

“I’m phoning Lila, my wife, to let her know.”

Captain Hall quickly rose from her chair and placed her hand over Collier’s: “No, put the receiver down, NOW.”

He replaced the receiver and slumped back in his chair to wait for what he fully expected to be soul-wrenching news.

 

Part Nine of Angel Maker: Hamlet’s Ruse by B. B. Wright

Steamer trunk

Angel Maker

A Short Story by B. B. Wright

An Inspector Alexander Collier Mystery

Inspector Alexander Collier Mysteries will often provide a choice for the reader. If you want to obtain a greater understanding and/or a ‘feel’ for the period follow the embedded links (high-lighted and underlined) sometimes found in the text of the story.

Part Nine

Hamlet’s Ruse

Collier was preoccupied with a phone call from Detective Inspector Ellis Smyth from Scotland Yard when Sergeant Snowden popped his head around the partially opened door to his office. Waving him in, Collier directed him towards the two chairs in front of his desk as he swiveled about to open his notebook on the table behind him.

“So the dead man hasn’t been identified yet?” Collier asked Smyth.

“Not yet. What we have is a wardrobe steamer trunk that had been sent from Bournemouth on November 16 containing his body, the dead man’s fingerprints and a number of prints lifted from the trunk.” Smyth replied.

“There must be a record of who had sent it?”

Smyth chuckled on the other end of the line. “Funny you should ask. Does the name Shakespeare Hamlet ring a bell?”

“Oh…To be or not to be, that is the question…”

“You know your Shakespeare, Inspector. Check the train station at your end. My thoughts are that sending an unaccompanied wardrobe steamer trunk to Vic Station would be out of the norm. So, there’s a good chance whoever tagged it will remember what the sender looked like.”

“Will do. Could you courier copies of those prints to me? Hopefully, I can come up with something at my end. Any ideas about when he died and how?”

“Decomposition was quite extensive but the examiner figured three maybe four weeks. His neck was snapped. I’ll send along a copy of the autopsy report as well. You should have everything in your hands sometime late tomorrow morning. If something breaks, I’ll let you know.

“I will do the same and thank you, Detective Inspector.”

Turning back to hang up the phone, Collier noticed that Sergeant Snowden was still standing at the door. Beside him was a tall slender woman in her late twenties dressed in a tweed skirt with matching jacket and white blouse.

“Um…ah…Sergeant?” Collier stammered as he slowly returned the telephone receiver to its cradle.

Sergeant Snowden stepped forward and introduced Captain Hall

Collier couldn’t hide the shock that registered on his face since he had never entertained the thought of Captain Hall being anything other than a male. Clearing his throat, he recovered his composure and came around his desk to greet her.

Walking to him with a noticeable limp, she reached out and firmly shook his hand.

Her eyes were cold and grey like gun barrels that had him firmly fixed in their cross-hairs. And, as he released his grip, it was the first time he felt slightly unnerved in someone’s presence.

Nikki Clarke Interviewed by Keith Harris

Nikki Clarke on TBT

The first of a two part series on Nikki Clarke.

There is so much to learn about this very talented individual. So, sit back and enjoy while I introduce you to  Nikki Clarke, a rising star in the industry. In the second part of this series I will interview her as an author.

 INTRODUCING: NIKKI CLARKE

The following was taken from Nikki’s profile on Linkedin. The embedded links were inserted by me.

In 2006, Nikki started the company, Bead 4 Health , for which she designs and handcrafts organic jewelry for men and women and distributes them online. Self-taught, Nikki began her creating designs for fun. Her pieces quickly got the attention of friends and coworkers who began placing custom orders for her work. Nikki’s designs have been featured in Planet Africa, Rogers Television, and featured on ETALK. In August 2008,Nikki was the recipient of the African Canadian Women’s Achievement Award for her work in the community and excellence in teaching.

Nikki founded internet tv/radio show AND THE BEAT GOES ON in 2008 and the same year started her Publicity/Public Relations Company ,Nikki Clarke Inc.
Nikki is also publisher and author of her first design book, Bead 4 Health Collective Volume One, which was sold at various Chapters/Indigo/Coles Stores.

The Nikki Clarke Show was launched October 2012 and can be viewed on Youtube , new online tv network. Nikki started her Clarke Media Arts program in 2014 offering production and broadcasting training for at risk youth.

In August 2013, Nikki was profiled by the Canadian Small Business Women association as the business woman of the month.

Nikki is also a singer/songwriter working on the release of her singles, ” You Got Me” and ” Habit“. Her music is described as an organic blend of soul and reggae.

 THE INTERVIEW

Keith Harris interviews Nikki Clarke on The Keith Harris Show.