Crispen's Rose: Chapter Four

Crispen's Rose: Chapter Four

A Chapter by Rhayne





Tabora Beach, North Carolina

Winter, 2014


Stiff and achy, Rochelle rises from the sofa after being awakened by a strange noise.  The green digital clock on the microwave changes to 7:45 a.m. A clicking sound from the counter opposite the microwave draws her attention, the timer on the automatic coffee maker had begun the morning brew.  She snickers at her nervousness and shakes it off.  Just as she is passing the patio doors, she sees a shadow pass and then a loud slap against the pane nearly sending her to an early grave.  Peeking through the crease of the drawn curtains, she is relieved to see it is only the paper boy jogging along the dunes and throwing the morning edition.  She opens the drapes to a dreadfully cloudy morning.  The ocean is choppy and dark gray with a thick fog hanging low to the horizon.  She looks around the deck before unlocking the doors to retrieve the morning paper, still thinking of Derrick.  Placing the paper on the counter, she heads off to check on Rose who has had a very restless night.  Easing the door open, she finds Rose sleeping peacefully, hugging tightly to her pillow.  Suddenly, the phone rings, causing Rose to stir.  Rochelle hurries to answer.

“Hello?” she says in a near whisper.

“Rose?” the man asks.

“No, this is her friend. Who is this?” she asks, knowing it isn’t Derrick’s voice.

“I must speak to Rose.  It’s very important” he insists.

“Do you know what time it is?  She’s still sleeping.  She hasn’t been well.  Who is this?”

“I will call back.  Just tell her I have information about Crispin” he says.

“Who can I tell her is calling?  Hello?”

She places the handset back into the cradle, still hearing his voice in her head.  There was a slight accent, French maybe.  He sounded young.  Crispin had a slight French accent too, she thinks.  Her heart pounds in her chest.  “Oh my God” she whispers aloud, “that was him.  That was Crispin.  Maybe he was calling from another country and just didn’t realize the time.  What should I tell her?  This will only get her hopes up again. I can’t do that to her and watch her crash and burn for another six months when he doesn’t show up.  But he said he had information about Crispin.  Maybe something has happened to him.”

Rose shuffles into the kitchen, tying the drawstring to her pajama pants, “was that my phone ringing or yours?”

“It was yours, but it was a wrong number.  I tried to get to it before it woke you.  You had a really restless night, sweetie, why don’t you go back to bed and catch up.”

“No, I’m fine.  I slept as much as usual.  Getting use to it now.  Want some breakfast?  How did you sleep?”

“Just coffee for me.  I slept all right.  The paperboy nearly gave me a heart attack first thing but other than that, I’m fine.”

“Mmmm, the paper” she says sipping a glass of juice, “where is it?  I want to see if the museum exhibit opening has been announced yet.”

Trading off the paper for a cup of coffee, Rochelle thinks of Laura and the artifact inventory she should be starting about now.  She giggles under her breath as she blows on the hot coffee.

“What’s funny?” asks Rose, turning the pages.

“You mentioned the museum and it made me think of Laura.  I wonder how her evening went with David?  She should be at the museum right now.  She said she was going to start the inventory at six this morning.  Think she made it?”

“Why don’t you give her a call and see how things went?  I’m sure she’s dying to tell us all about it anyway.  All about how hot Mr. Roman is...I mean David.  You have to admit though, Chelle, they were rather cute together.”

Rochelle sits the coffee cup down and searches her bag for her cell phone.  She frowns when she finds the phone is dead and tosses it back into the bag.  Rose offers her cell phone, but it begins to ring just as she is handing it over.  She looks puzzled that someone would be calling this early and Rochelle looks worried.  The screen shows the caller is unknown.

“Must be the wrong number again” she says putting the phone to her ear.  “Hello?”

“Hey baby, how about joining me for breakfast on the pier.  I know you’re up.  I can see your lights from here.”

“No, Derrick.  Not now, not ever.  Please don’t call me again or I’ll just have my number changed.”

Aggressively she disconnects the call and she hands the phone to Rochelle telling her to call Laura if for no other reason but to tie up the phone.  But then, the phone in the kitchen which is on a separate line begins to ring.  Growling with frustration, Rose bounds from the chair and stomps to the kitchen.  Rochelle waits to finish dialing Laura’s number, pretending not to listen.

“That’s it Derrick, I’m turning both my phones off and first thing Monday the numbers will be changed!”

“Wait!  Rose?” came the man’s voice.

“Crispin?” she says softly.

“I am sorry, I cannot do it, I’m sorry” his voice sounding choppy before hanging up.


Rochelle knows it is the same voice she answered to earlier.  Rose continues to hold the phone to her ear as if it were a lifeline to Crispin.  Rochelle pries it from her hand and hangs it up.  A single tear plummets to the counter top as Rochelle turns her toward her.

“Was it him?  Crispin?” she asks.

“It sounded like him at first but I’m not sure now.  Oh God, Chelle, this is driving me crazy.  Where is he?”

She breaks into a sob, burying her face onto Rochelle’s shoulder. She walks her back to her bedroom where she helps her back into bed and lets her cry herself to sleep.

Rochelle spends the rest of the morning reading the paper and pacing from Rose’s bedside to the patio doors keeping a lookout for Derrick who is obviously watching the house.  She checks her watch for the fifth time in thirty minutes, 12:15 p.m. She pours her third cup of coffee and is making a ham and cheese sandwich when the house phone rings again.  She grabs it up before the first ring finishes.

“Derrick, I warn you, I’m calling the police this time!” she says in a stern low voice.

“Woah, Chelle, it’s me.  Wow, Derrick still being an a*s?”

“Oh, Laura, he’s been calling here and watching the house from the pier.  The man’s deranged and needs to be locked up. Rose can’t get any real rest.  What’s up?”

“Chelle, you’re not going to believe what is here!  You’ve got to get Rose down here as quick as you can.”

“What is it, why?”

“There’s no way I’m going to tell you about this over the phone.  You just simply will not believe it.  Get Rose down here now.”

“But she’s finally asleep, Laura.  I don’t want to disturb her for work today.  Can’t it wait until Monday?”

“Absolutely not!  Listen, I’ll tell you this much and no more and you better not mention it to Rose at all.  But it involves Crispin Aleron and that’s all I’m telling you.  Don’t tell Rose this or you’ll spoil the whole thing.”

“Crispin?  Is he there, Laura, cause some guy has been calling here this morning and he sounds like Crispin but we’re just not sure.”

“Trust me, Chelle, it wasn’t Crispin.  Not possible.  You’re not going to believe this when you see it.  Just get down here.”

“Okay, okay.  See you in a while.”

© 2019 Rhayne

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Ahh, none of my questions were answered, and I'm going to read all the chapters, hopefully you won't be bugged by all my reviews, your writing is just amazing!

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Added on September 13, 2019
Last Updated on September 13, 2019



Nashville, NC

I love to write. It clears my head of all the noise and sometimes, somehow it turns into something that makes sense. more..


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