The mist was heavy that day, causing her hair to go limp and dampening her clothes as she rushed from vendor to vendor picking up last minute items she needed for the party. She had stayed up really late the night before baking the treats and forgot herself in an entire bottle of wine, incentive and reward for her furious tasks.
Driving out through the hills overlooking the Valley, she grabbed a moment of silence to prepare herself for the ordeal ahead “It’ll be perfect” she thought. I know what I’m doing. I’ve worked parties and events for years.
Then she remembered the episode of Kitchen Nightmares about a caterer who started a restaurant and everything went down the tubes. Maybe I don’t have enough knowledge and experience she whispered fretfully to herself, biting her lower lip. I am an idiot for taking this job!
She made a left turn and headed up the steep driveway. A loud yelp rang out almost immediately scaring her to death as she quickly stomped on the brakes. She ran around to the passenger side, and saw a large dog of indeterminate breed staring reproachfully up at her, whining and whimpering- as he licked his left foot.
She approached him cautiously because she was a “cat person” and was a little intimidated by the exuberance of most of the dogs she had encountered. In just a moment she relaxed, comforted by the thumping sound of his tail hitting the driveway as he struggled to stand. She leaned down and held out her hand just like she had seen on TV, and he immediately leapt upwards, almost throwing her off balance, licking her face and jumping around like a maniac. “Fooled you” she could swear he said in perfect English.
She laughed and then went back to the car, sat down and locked the door. Tears ran down her face as she gasped with relief, and then laughed; releasing all the tension she had carried up the hill from home this morning.
As she put her foot on the gas, and the car moved up the driveway, her new friend raced ahead, stopping now and then to look at her to make sure she was following.
An enormous Spanish style hacienda appeared through the morning mist. The solar exterior lights were sputtering in the dawn, not ready yet to release the night. She stopped her car and climbed the ramp to the front door, a heavy ornate carved masterpiece pried from its original home and transported to this hilltop in the valley.
A large brass knocker hung at shoulder height and she reached for it, almost falling when the door suddenly opened in front of her. Her new friend raced by her, bounding up the circular stairway causing her to falter again.
When she raised her eyes she saw the man who had opened the door.
To be continued…………..
©2010 Sharon J Corrigan