Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Episode 11

Genevra Adams sat quietly in her office looking over proofs for the next edition of "Pine Heart." She loved her job as publisher and editor-in-chief of this glossy magazine about the citizens of her community. In the past five years, she'd taken the publication from a thin concept to an eighty-page, full-color periodical full of photos and articles that everyone in town read, whether they admitted it or not.

Today, however, Genevra was finding it hard to concentrate. Thanksgiving had been the usual disaster, and the rest of the holidays promised to be just as grim.

Genevra's son, Billy was being very difficult. He refused to talk to her, and his behavior had been increasingly odd, even by Billy's standards. His newest quirk was sleepwalking. At three this morning, she'd found him crouched in the dark upstairs hallway, muttering to himself about ghosts. When she shook him, he snapped out of whatever trance he'd been in, insisting that he'd just had a bad dream. Everything was fine.

Billy's sister, Whitney, was almost as annoying as her brother. She stayed out until all hours of the night, supposedly at "work." At least Bake agreed that it was completely unacceptable for their daughter to be tending bar, especially at Taverna. Of course, the very reason the silly girl chose the job was to irritate her parents. Blake and Genevra had never made it a secret that they despised Nick Kallias and wouldn't think of setting foot in his restaurant. However, as frustrating as it might be, Genevra knew better than to voice her objections to Whitney's ridiculous employment. It would only stir up unpleasant issues that were best forgotten.

"Morning, Boss." Biff Monroe walked into Genevra's office without bothering to knock. He sauntered over to her desk. "What do you think if the winter wonderland shots?"

"They're fine."

"Doesn't look much like the old golf course, does it?" Biff said, tapping the pink- and blue-hued photo of a frosted landscape that Genevra had selected to be on the magazine's next cover.

"No. I know that course rather well, and I'd never guess. It's a lovely picture."

Genevra had to acknowledge that Biff was an excellent photographer. In the weeks that he'd been working for her, his images of Pine Lake gardens, landscapes, and social events had greatly improved the aesthetic aspect of "Pine Heart." Advertising sales had skyrocketed, and subscriptions were growing.

In spite of his talents, Biff was a risk. There were days when Genevra worried that he might be more of a liability than she could manage. He had a bad reputation, and he was too independent, but so far, so good.

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