Musing, by Jane Reid
Carlos was really too busy to have friends, especially girlfriends.
But still . . .
Alice was out. O-U-T, out.
Jane would never be more than a friend. The woman Jane called "Aunty Em" – although she seemed younger than Jane – was pleasant, and a community leader. But lately she had acted a little odd.
And he sure didn’t want to get mixed up with any of Gordon’s women. That would be trouble with a capital T.
He sighed, and went back to planning the canapés for his next event, the Meet the Team reception.
It was followed by:-
Carlos, Part 2, by Emma Baird
“Phooey,” thought Alice to herself, “time for me to reassess the life partner situation.”
It was all very well being the celebrity WAG to a SuperParkingAttendant, but the delightful danger of Carlos still beckoned. Yet he thought she was OUT, OUT, OUT...
Alice was puzzled. She had introduced him to her mum (mum had approved), the cat situation had been sorted thanks to industrial strength anti-histamines, and he thought her baggage acceptable (“Five ex-husbands? Fine, fine.”)
She had admitted, though, to the special cat language – you're my little foopy-foo. Had that been the nail in the coffin...?
Carlos, Part 3, by Jane Reid
Carlos had received another overture from Alice. He had to admit he found the woman intriguing. But she was not for him.
Yes, his allergy could be controlled with strong anti-histamines, at the cost of painfully dry nasal passages. And those ex-husbands – well, anyone could make a mistake or two, or five.
What he couldn’t get around was that she had tried, at least twice, to shoot that live-in parking attendant and also tried to stab her groping boss.
It was reassuring that all five “ex”s were still alive. Or were they? She hadn’t actually said so, had she?
On 3rd February, Ann-Louise Terschel decided enough was enough for Carlos:-
Carlos, Part 4, by Ann-Louise Truschel
Carlos sneezed and sneezed again. His breath was coming in gasps now.
“Alice, you know I’m allergic to cats,” he wheezed.
“Yes, Carlos,” said Alice, “and I’m allergic to infidelity. I’ve talked, I’ve wheedled, and, yes, I’ve begged. Begged, Carlos! And you’ve promised to change, and promised … and lied and lied and lied.”
“PLEASE get my asthma medication! I can’t breathe,” Carlos rasped, his voice getting weaker and his breathing shallower.
When Carlos’ breathing finally stopped, Alice removed his wrist restraints and lifted her cat off Carlos’ face.
Alice stroked her cat. “How about some special treats?” she said.
To which Jane Reid immediately added:-
Carlos, Part 5, by Jane Reid
He awoke gasping and wheezing. That dream had been so real.
Well, no time for that. Carlos was almost late for the team reception, held for the town to meet the pudgy new manager who spent two years in the big leagues decades ago and the players, most recruits freshly out of high school.
But when Carlos got to the stadium, the talk was not of baseball, but of Alice. The field buzzed with the news she had been sent to jail. No one knew why, until Danny came puffing in.
Indignantly, Dan reported: “She had 17 unpaid parking tickets!”
Carlos, Part 6, by Gordon Lawrie
Incensed that Alice could be jailed for non-payment of 17 parking tickets, Carlos rounded on Danny, the man he believed responsible.
“Carlos, you’ve got the wrong man. I’m Danny SuperParkingAttendant™ – don’t confuse me with ‘Desperate Dan, the fastest ticket in the West’,” Danny explained. “That’s why I went to that conference, to get that ‘™’ and stop the mix-ups. I’d never do that to Alice.”
Carlos relented. “OK, but we’ve got get Alice out.”
“And we’ve got to take Desperate Dan out,” Danny added, patting his ticket machine threateningly. “This town ain’t big enough for two of us.”
Then we had Jane Reid on 4th February:-
A Generous Gesture
Carlos, feeling flush with his catering’s success, had put up Alice’s bail to free her from jail. But he steadfastly refused to answer her phone calls and emails thanking him. Actually, he could have paid her parking fines for about the same amount. But he believed she should face the consequences of her heedlessness.
With that out of the way, he concentrated on the baseball team reception, which had drawn a big crowd. A woman across the room looked familiar. Was she the one with the big dog which had saved the day when a cat invaded the dog show?
And finally Eric Smith on the same day:-
You wouldn’t say it looked friendly as Joe and Carlos talked on the sidewalk closer than two guys usually stand.
“She wasn’t yours to give,” yelled Carlos.
Joe yelled back but it was inaudible from across the street with the rush of traffic in between. Joe grabbed Carlos with his left hand and jammed his other hand into his pocket. Carlos began shoving Joe. Something dropped from Joe’s hand; it looked like a buck knife. Joe spun Carlos around and pushed him into the street. A truck hit Carlos from behind. The driver never had a chance to brake.