Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Order. [More info]

Photo by Coco Parisienne

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
“You should have shot him,” said Henry. “That dog’s a menace. I ran at him with a pitchfork the other day, and he lunged at me like he wasn’t even scared. Once I whacked him with it he knew I meant business, and he ran off.”
“I told Frank if he didn’t get him under control, I’d end up shooting him eventually.”
“Why does Frank even keep a dog like that?” asked Henry.
“Vernon Peedin got him for protection when the Willis brothers threatened to burn his house down, with him in it, after he testified against them in court. Vernon kept the thing on a good solid chain, and he always took proper care of his fences. And, the dog obeyed him. But you know Frank. He’s lazy and careless. He don’t even look after his mama, let alone keep his dog secure.”
Henry shook his head. “Some folks just don’t have any sense of decency.”
“Too true,” said Jim. He turned to Louis. “So, your first order of business is going to be filling in the hole that hell hound made, and making sure the coop is secure.”

Scott R. Rezer ~
From my current WIP, The Haberdasher’s Wife
“Herr Trinkaus,” she said, removing the hood of her cloak and gloves. “A joyous New Year to you.”
He rubbed his meaty hands together and winked at her. “And to you as well, fräulein. Might I interest you in some chocolates, today?”
It was a familiar game. One she often lost. “Not today,” she said, laughing, though she loved the rich chocolates that had made Herr Trinkaus the talk of the city. “Perhaps just a strudel for my mother and me.”
He touched a finger to his lips, smiling. “I have some that just came out of the oven.”
He led her to the counter, where she waited, glancing over the assorted baked goods in the display case while he assembled her order. A few moments later, he returned. The divine scent of the warm cinnamon and sugar wafted up from the package as he fastened it with a length of twine. He leaned over the wooden counter, pretending to brush off some imaginary crumbs with a cloth. “I included a few krapfen for you and your mother. A treat for New Year’s.”
Josefa giggled like a schoolgirl. “You will make us both very fat with your generosity, Herr Trinkaus, if you insist on adding treats to my order every time I come in here.”
“Indulge me, fräulein, and consider it favor to an old man,” he said, winking. “I have little to delight in beyond seeing the joy it brings you.”
“Very well,” she said, “but I insist on paying for it mind you.”
He held up a hand and shook his head. “Then you will simply force me to add a few more.” It, too, was another game they played together. He never let her pay for more than she ordered. He had never had a daughter and found it a joy to spoil her.