John Francis - Chapter 170

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 9:55 AM
Juggling bags and reaching for the car keys, Amanda failed to notice there was a problem with the car until she had put her bags in the back. Stopping abruptly, she walked around to the right side and saw that both tires on that side of the car were flat.

“Oh shit! He’s gonna be pissed!” She wailed, thinking of the cost of new tires in her terms, not Jon’s. She went to the driver’s seat and made her call.

“Hi hon…” she started out, dismayed at her news.

“Hey babe, what’s up?” Jon answered. She could hear Richie’s guitar in the background and knew she was interrupting.

“Well, I’m over at the salon I went to before and when I got to the car…well, there are two flat tires…” her voice dropped as she spoke.

“Two flats? His voice rose in question.

“Yeah, on the right side…” She got out and walked over and looked more closely. “…I see nail heads, so I guess I drove over them and didn’t know.”

“Okay, give me the address and we’ll be there in a few.” She did and they hung up.

She looked again at the tires and started counting the nails – there had to be at least seven in each tire. Surprised at the amount and shaking her head in confusion, she locked the car and walked over to a nearby Starbucks. Grabbing a coffee and getting out of the cold sounded like a good idea. Where the hell could I have driven over that many nails? She thought, again shaking her head. As her husband’s company had dealt in construction, she knew that job sites were notorious for hardware being strewn about on the roads and out on a regular road the chances of one nail were pretty good, but more than seven in each tire?

She sat drinking her coffee, waiting for Jon to arrive, thinking about recent events. She had managed to put the package delivered that morning out of her mind, thinking it was just an insult offered by Jackie, but the tires added to the package had her thinking harder about these recent events.

Jon and Richie arrived shortly and set about removing the tires from the car. Richie remained behind with the jacked up car for Amanda and Jon to get new tires on the rims. Both men were surprised at the number of nails in the tires and commented on it, but Amanda still didn’t want to discuss the package as she didn’t want Richie’s feelings to be hurt by Jackie. The tires were quickly swapped out and the two returned and the men put the tires back on. With Richie driving that car, Amanda rode with Jon back to the house as she was done for the day.


At the house, Linda had gone out to the garage where the trash bins were, taking out garbage from the kitchen. She started to put the bag into the can, pushing it down as the can was quite full when suddenly a strong odor hit her, coming from the trash can. Removing the bag, she moved a few things and saw the box that had been delivered to Amanda that morning. A cooler was inside, the lid askew, and when she looked it was obvious where the odor was coming from. Surprise crossed her face as she realized what had been delivered and that Amanda hadn’t said anything about it. Mr. B. needs to know about this, was her last thought as she left the garage.


The three returned to the house and Amanda took her packages upstairs to put things away. Richie and Jon returned to the studio after a quick cleanup from changing the tires. Settling down on the couch with one of her new books, Amanda spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing.

In the studio, Jon and Richie were working, but intermittently discussing what had happened to the car.

“How the hell do tires get that many nails in them?” Jon queried his friend with a puzzled look on his face.

“Beats the hell outta me, man. Maybe a box of ‘em fell off a truck – that’s about all I can think of.” Richie answered, also puzzled.

Shaking their heads they returned to work.


After dinner that night during a time when Richie and Amanda were both out of the kitchen, Linda pulled Jon aside, telling him what she had found in the garbage. Astonished, Jon followed her out to the garage and saw the package.

“Did this come with the regular mail?” He asked her.

“Yes, the mailman rang and said there was a package, but no signature was required.” Linda answered.

“Who would have sent this to her?” Jon mused out loud.

“I don’t know, Mr. B., but why didn’t she say anything is also a question.” Linda replied astutely.

“Yeah, that it is. Thanks Linda.” Jon nodded a bit absentmindedly as he thought about the implications of what he had learned.

Walking back into the kitchen, they saw Richie and Amanda had returned and were getting coffee ready. Linda excused herself, returning to her room, as Jon grabbed a cup himself. Sitting at the table again, he turned to Amanda.

“Babe, why didn’t you tell me about that package?” His voice was soft, but his eyes caught and held hers.

Amanda started when she heard what he asked. She opened her mouth to reply, shut it, and then bit her bottom lip.

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, Jon. I still don’t and I’d really rather just forget about it.” Her voice was a bit pleading as she didn’t want to discuss her suspicions in front of Richie. Luck was not on her side, however, as Richie immediately joined the discussion.

“What package?” His look was toward Jon and then Amanda and then back to Jon.

“Somebody sent Amanda a package of…well, some kind of shit…” he explained.

“What the hell?” Richie’s voice raised in surprise. “Who would do that?” He looked at Amanda then, but saw her shaking her head back and forth indicating she didn’t know.

Shrugging her shoulders, Amanda replied to both men. “I really don’t know. There was no return address and no note or anything.” Looking from one to the other, she asked, “Look, can’t we just forget about this? I mean I guess I just pissed somebody off…it’s done, okay?”

In Jon’s mind it wasn’t, but he nodded at her. “You will let me know if something else happens, right?”

Relieved to be getting off this subject, Amanda agreed.

Jon and Richie exchanged looks as Amanda got up to get the coffee pot. Both knew this subject was far from over.


Thursday morning was cold and clear. Jon and Richie were first up this morning, both sitting in the kitchen with their coffee discussing the day before.

“I think she has an idea who sent that to her but doesn’t want to talk about it.” Jon stated, adding that he had tried to talk more about it with her before bed, but she seemed anxious to have him drop the subject.

“Don’t know who would have done that ‘cause I can’t imagine Amanda pissing anyone off that much.” Richie replied and in truth he couldn’t think of anyone.

“I told Linda that if anymore packages come for her I want to know about them first.” Richie nodded at Jon’s statement, indicating his approval of that idea.

The men dropped the subject as they heard Amanda coming down the stairs, calling out her good morning as she entered the kitchen. Giving first Jon then Richie quick kisses, she yawned and grabbed her own coffee. She was fresh from the shower, her hair still wet, and dressed for the day.

“I can’t believe I slept in this late!” She grinned at Jon. “You guys keep way too late hours!”

Richie cleared his throat to get her attention.

“Eh hem, excuse me, I believe I had nothing to do with how late you were up last night. And if I did and don’t remember, just fuckin’ shoot me right now!”

He teased her as she blushed red and swatted at his arm. Giving him a push, she tried to shoo them away.

“Don’t you two have work to do or something?” She laughed as Richie guarded his playing arm and Jon playfully covered his stomach with his hands.

“Yes, ma’am, we’re going, we’re going.” Richie teased her as both men moved to head towards the studio.

“Good decision, boys…always knew you two were smart!” She laughed as they both turned at that, hands on their hips. She was awaiting what she knew was sure to be a smart ass response when her cell phone rang, saving her from their ‘wit’.

“Hi Dot!” She answered, her voice cheerful. “How are you holding up?”

Dot took a deep breath before answering. “Pretty well considering I have a house full of relatives coming and four children who seem to think their mother is about to drop off the face of the earth!”

“Uh oh, sounds like you could use some help. Is there anything I can do?”

“Actually, there is. Do you think you could spare me a few hours this afternoon before the rehearsal dinner tonight?”

Amanda smiled even though Dorothea couldn’t see her. “Of course I could. I’m guessing as soon as possible would be best, right?”

Dot’s sigh of relief was huge. “Manda, that would be so great! I’ll see you soon and thanks!” They both hung up and Amanda turned back to the men.

“Dorothea needs some help for a few hours and since you two are doing studio time I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. It’ll give me something to do.”

Jon’s eyebrows raised as he asked, “Did she say what she needed?”

“No, but she did say she was expecting a full load of relatives and the kids were acting like she was about to drop off the planet!”

Finishing her coffee, Amanda got directions again to Dot’s and taking one of the cars she quickly drove over. Jon had given her the gate code and she used it to enter and parked close to the front door. There were delivery trucks and catering vehicles and trucks for equipment rental and just from that alone Amanda could imagine that Dot and Eric were a bit overwhelmed.

Knocking on the door, Amanda jumped back as three boys opened it and ran outside. “Go play football or something!” She heard Dot’s voice using her most severe ‘mother’ tone.

Amanda entered after making sure there were no more kids running out and called, “Dot? It’s Amanda!”

“Oh thank god! I’m so glad you could come over! Stephanie! Steph!” Dot’s voice rang out through the large house.

“Mom! What?” A petulant teenage voice could be heard from another room.

“Please go outside and watch your brothers for me for a while.” Dot asked her eldest.

“Aw mom! Do I have to?” Stephanie replied, entering the room with a somewhat mutinous look on her face.

“Yes! I need a little time here and I need some help from you. Please, Steph, I have so much to do!”

“Okay, okay, I’m going.” Stephanie grumbled as she grabbed her jacket and stomped toward the front door, not even saying hello in her pique.


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Oh, I liked the ending, but my curiosity is peaked as to what is going on and who is stalking Amanda.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Loving this new turn. I hope it gets juicy. Waiting patiently!


  3. Hmmmm. I wonder what is going on...

  4. onya Says:

    Hmmm.....a stalker...could be Jackie or Jon's mom?!?!? or anyone else i obsessed fan??? i hope Amanda stays safe!!

  5. Shelly Says:

    Yeah. What everyone else says...

    Who's stalking Amanda...
    This twist is great Sun!!

    Off to

  6. jovikitn65 Says:

    I have a feeling Maryann is back! Off to read more.

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