Kiki Lowenstein and the Bad Day: A Progressive Short Story

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Note: I asked my Facebook peeps to suggest starting sentences for a Kiki Lowenstein short story. There were so many terrific ideas that I have decided to try to incorporate more than one — and write a progressive short story. You’ll be reading this as I create it! Wish me luck!

I woke to the sun streaming through my window and thought, “What could possibly go wrong today?”(*) After all, this was the first dry day in two weeks, so it had to be a sign, right? I’m all for April showers, but I was more than ready for those May flowers. I sang as I made up my bed. Of course, Gracie, my harlequin Great Dane always wakes up in a terrific mood. As I showered, I could hear Gracie’s heavy tail thumping the wall with happiness. Since my daughter had spent the night at her grandmother’s house, no teenage angst challenged my good mood so I was able to get dressed and out of the house in record time. To make the day even better, I discovered a five dollar bill in the pocket of my khaki pants. I was smiling from ear to ear as I treated myself to breakfast, a sausage and egg burrito plus a large iced coffee at McDonald’s.

But all good things must come to an end.

I unlocked the backdoor of Time in a Bottle, the scrapbook store where I work, and walked in to discover papers scattered everywhere. (**)The entire backroom (at least as far as I could see) was a blizzard of loose papers. It was as if someone opened all our extra stock of paper and tossed the sheets around like confetti.

“What on earth?” I gasped. Gracie and I stood in the doorway, staring at the mess. My fiancé Detective Chad Detweiler has warned me repeatedly never to enter a place if there are signs of an intruder. His words echoed in my head as I turned around and walked out with Gracie trotting along at my side. I helped my dog climb back into the backseat of my old BMW, I hopped into the driver’s seat, and called my sweetie.

Once I explained what had happened, he immediately asked if I was okay. “Stay in the car. Lock your doors. I’m on my way.”

Coming up with new and inviting ideas for crops has always been a challenge. (***)My plan for the day had been to hit the ground running and get started working on a nifty cool promotion for Cinco de Mayo. Now my great start to the day had ground to a screeching stop. Even though I knew Detweiler would hurry, I could still feel the time awasting as I waited for him.

Besides, I had to use the bathroom.

True to his word, Detweiler arrived quickly. With a quick wave to me, he went inside the store. After he cleared the store, he came over to get a quick kiss from me. “No one’s in there. I can see papers are scattered all over the place, but I need you to tell me if there’s anything else amiss.”

“Sure, but can I use the restroom first? I really need to go!”

He laughed. “No problem. I’ll take care of Gracie.”

While I took care of my needs, he loved up Gracie, with whom he had a mutual admiration society. In short order, I determined that except for the blizzard of papers, nothing was damaged. Better yet, nothing appeared to be missing or ruined.

“Weird, huh?” Standing on tiptoe, I kissed my guy good-bye and thanked him for his help.

“Lock the back door,” he said. “Keep your cell phone on your person. How long will you be working alone?”

“Margit will be here any minute,” I said.


Thanks to Michele Fowler (*), Victoria Rockford Hrabe (**), and Yifat Glassman Cestare (***).


More Free Reads by Joanna Campbell Slan


9 thoughts on “Kiki Lowenstein and the Bad Day: A Progressive Short Story

  1. Glad for this opportunity. I can't wait for the next book to come out. So much talent and in so many areas.
    Be blessed!
    Cathy Shumaker Dismuke