Where there’s smoke there’s fire

Page 55… in a fiction series

By the end of April, Miranda had settled into a nice routine at work.  In the past months, Tiller wrote a proposal for a metropolitan shopping village still under construction, installed surveillance equipment at a federal nuclear research facility, and sent a team to do a sweeping security upgrade for a popular state fair.  The Judds were scheduled to play that summer and the fair board wanted everything to be perfect.   While it was impossible to predict every theoretical security breach,  Tiller was the best in the business, and Miranda was honored to carry his clipboard.

Back on Miranda’s boat however, there were complications.  Most of the repairs she made prior to the winter season were holding up well.  Her fuse box upgrade, however, was not.  It seemed that some electrical gremlins had made their way into the new wiring, making it impossible for her to do two things at once:  hairdryer + microwave, stereo + curling iron, space heaters + television… or any combination of the above.  She was living like a pioneer and started to hate it.

Miranda told the girl at the marina office that she had a technician coming in to make a repair. She was sure Drew Becker could fix it.  He had a great reputation along Michigan’s west coast, working on everything from old woodies to upgrading electronics on the nicest yachts.   When Miranda met him last fall at Tommy’s Gotcha, he told her to call if she needed anything, adding that he would work for beer and pizza.

“And who is the technician?”  asked the manager who overheard and stepped out of her office.  Her name was Kelly, Miranda didn’t like her.

“Drew Becker.”

“Miranda, you know the rules about using outside contractors.  If he’s not on our list, I can’t approve him to come in.  Besides, Drew’s working down in the Keys.”

“I know.  I’ve missed him.”  Miranda was enjoying this little exchange.

“But you said he was fixing your boat.”

“He just got back.  I can’t wait to see him!”

The manager looked over the top of her thick round glasses. “He doesn’t seem like your type, Miranda.”

“Trust me, he’s all that… and more.”

“Well, the policy says that only approved contractors, family, and significant others are allowed to work on boats, so if he’s really your boyfriend, I guess I’ll have to allow it.”  She looked defeated, poor Kelly.   

Miranda smiled and grabbed her cell phone, dodging Neil Lipman on her way down the ramp. 

“Drew… hi.  Listen, when you come over tonight, put your tools in a picnic basket and meet me at the gate. Yeh, they’re giving me a hard time.  When I open the gate, grab me, pull me close, and kiss me like you mean it.  They need to think you’re my boyfriend.” 

Drew climbed aboard and unpacked his tools–  a fuse puller, wire cutters, fish tape, and a bag of Oreo cookies.  He offered her one, she took a stack and reached in the fridge for some milk.   They made small talk while he unscrambled her wirey mess.  A spark, a puff of smoke and he was finished.  When she stood up to take a  look, he stepped behind her and leaned in close.  While he explained the exact nature of the problem, Miranda couldn’t ignore the 6’3″ 230-pound man pressing against her.  The grease under his fingernails and the distinct smell of diesel fuel were strangely appealing. 

With the fuse box finally fixed by a pro, Miranda was thoroughly unravelled.  She blushed, Drew stuttered a quick goodnight.  Miranda hadn’t had a boyfriend in a long time.  She wondered if she might see him again. 

 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.   James 14-15 (NIV)

To be continued…

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.





© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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21 Responses to Where there’s smoke there’s fire

  1. Jan says:

    Excellent choice of scripture. Sometimes I wonder how it is that something wrong can be so enticing. Satan sure knows how to wrap up his evil in beautiful garments.

    • Linda says:

      Here’s another question for you: If everything God created is good, how is it that temptation is so dangerous between two people He clearly created to have life and have it abundantly? Is it a matter of choosing sin as James 14-15 suggests? Is temptation really that bad, considering Jesus was tempted? Is temptation even a sin if it’s not acted upon? Or is it just the masquerading appeal of the devil as you suggest.

      I have as many questions as Miranda. : )

      • Theresa says:

        It’s that “duality”. At least that’s how I interpret things. :)

      • Jan says:

        Every thing created by God is good. Temptation does not come from God, but from the Great Deceiver Satan. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” To me, the issue is not being exposed to temptation, but how we respond. Do we push temptation away? Or do we dwell on it,imagine what it would be like, tell ourselves that it is not so bad to just think about it? The attraction between two people can only lead to a to an abundant life if the relationship fits God’s plan. We all have questions; just not all the same questions ;)

        • Linda says:

          Thanks Jan, for giving me a better sense of how those issues really work in everyday life. Since I’ve been back in Ohio, I’ve been to an AA meeting every day (missed my friends there like crazy!), and I kept thinking about that part in the Lord’s Prayer that says, “and lead us not into temptation.” But the Bible says that God never tempts us. I raised the question around the table, and no one else could understand it either.

          Strange, but everyone at the meeting today had a temptation issue they were struggling with. Even the old timers! Hugs…

  2. .endtransmission. says:

    Well, this is an interesting chapter… Miranda’s always chased after the big shots; the men with money and nice cars. She kind of seems in some way like a trophy wife. Now she’s going after this boat mechanic? Hmmm. Okay, I’m sure you’ve got an angle here.

  3. Linda, It seems that no matter how hard she tries or what kind of facade she erects around her, Miranda has a hard time being without a man. It’s an interesting temptation, one I could relate to when I was younger, though I wouldn’t have admitted it then any more than Miranda probably would. I’m looking forward to seeing how her relationship with Drew progresses. Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      The verses from James are looming over Miranda. The facade she has erected may be crumbling, but that Bible from the mysterious stranger is still on board, waiting to share its Godly wisdom. Needing a man, whatever the cost, is a character defect to be sure. Sounds like we’ve all fallen into that trap at one time or another. Thanks for that. : )

  4. Larry Who says:

    “…a fuse puller, wire cutters, fish tape, and a bag of Oreo cookies…”

    Who could not fall for a man with a fuse puller and a bag of Oreo cookies? It must be love.

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

    • Linda says:

      Never underestimate a man with fish tape and Oreo’s. Larry, haven’t we had this conversation before? : )

  5. Debbie says:

    Okay, this is Kelly’s fault. :) She’s the one that said the electrician had to be a an approved contractor, family member, or significant other. And since the first two didn’t fit . .. And then she threw in that “he doesn’t seem like your type” comment. That did it right there!
    God bless you, Linda, and the marvelous way you write and teach us at the same time. Loved that verse too!! love and prayers!

    • Linda says:

      Hi Debbie… I’ve been moving from FL to OH and have been out of the loop. Welcome back, and I’ll be right over!

      Clearly, Miranda still has a rebellious streak, and is not taking her Bible time as seriously as the rest of us…although my favorite edition is still packed.

      Only time will tell if Drew is Miranda’s type or not. Nothin’ like a guy with a tool belt. : )

  6. Theresa says:

    I really identified with the description that you gave. It makes me think of the five senses…sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Of course those are just the basic senses, but our memories are connected to them. It is very complex how quickly thought processes are triggered by them…some automatically kick in like when the lights come on when you flip the switch, while others slowly and steadily make their way from the back of our minds to the front like the elevator you wait for as it stops at different floors! LOL :)

    • Linda says:

      So well put, Theresa… You’ve have a very poetic way of explaining things.

      The example about waiting for the elevator… I’m sure everyone has at least one of those “slowly and steadily” memories tucked away in their heads, in their hearts.

      One sensory trigger I’ll never forget is the smell of white paste in second grade. Something about it made me sick, I puked during lunch, and had to go home early that day. If I smelled it today, I bet the same thing would happen. Ha. : )

  7. Tod says:

    Reading all these, even if I don’t comment always. Very good. Keep it up, Linda!

  8. Linda says:

    Hey Tod… always great to see you and your nice comments! : )

    I really liked your FB status about hitting a bucket of balls that day. Every bit of enjoyment we can sqeeze into our days is such a gift. I understand that.

    Something unexpected and terrible is about to happen in Miranda’s world. Yes, again… : )

  9. Ann says:

    Intrigued again…

    Loving the discussion as much as the post :-)


  10. Love the website– extremely individual pleasant and whole lots to see!|

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