Spooktacular Week - Guest Author Pamela Mason with part one of her story

Morning everyone! Hope you have been sleeping well at night. I know I've had to keep the lights on a few times. Wouldn't you know it; our dog went off on a barking kick at 2 am yesterday.  I made hubby go let her in because there was no way I was peeking out that door. 

Pamela Mason - A Jane Jetson who writes
romance; trend follower of digital
publishing, social media, tech
apps. & interior design.

 Today we have an extra special treat.  Not only do we get a really cool story, but the story continues tomorrow and ends on Monday!  Pamela Mason from the WriterMason blog (great blog posts and extra fun book reviews), creator of the Writer and Reader Community (wonderful place to swap money saving ideas and more) and DesignWrite (awesome decorating tips with a Twitter hashtag of #DesignWrite) will be sharing her three part story with us.  Part one and two will be right here, and she will wrap it all up with part three on her personal blog on Monday.  You don't want to miss this!!!
So, without further ado, hhhheeeeerrrreeeeesssss Pamela!
Thanks for having me here today and tomorrow Tami! My story is in two parts - because I'm what you call 'verbose'! - but I hope you like your Halloween stories the way we make N'Awlins gumbo - spicy hot
I have two prizes for two lucky commenters here - one today, one tomorrow - a Halloween goodie bag from Bath & Body Works. 
Monday, please come to WriterMason for a last prize and the conclusion to my story- 

The Haunting of the Red River House Ball : 

"What do you MEAN he's got scaffolding set up over the dining room table?" Mignon stomped on the gas and hurtled us forward. One moment my boss, Mignon LeBoeuf, owner and head designer of Inside Out Interiors was a sweet savvy, southern diva with more bling than one of her overpriced chandeliers.
The next - a screeching banshee with a lead Laboutin peeling off Canal and onto St.Charles on two wheels of an overloaded Escalade. What we, "Mignon's Minions," liked to refer to behind her back as "The Missile." 
Too bad it was in my job description to only ride - never drive. Leaves the design intern free to divebomb herself to protect the priceless antiques and collectibles and liquor in the back. 
"That ball is tomorrow night! Red River House is THE cover story for Halloween Orleans, and you're telling me that old fart who fancies himself an artist is going ROGUE on me?" 
I sink down in the passenger seat and absorb her glare. Just add it to the long list of malfunctions that happen when restoring a haunted house. Excuse me - an historical landmark reputed to be haunted. 
 Bat infestation? Guano covered walls? Charley's fault. 
Spontaneous bursting pipes? Gas leaks? Exploding toilets? Charley should've had that covered. 
Electrical fire causing firemen to peel open the roof and hose down a priceless 16th century Oriental ? My bad.
So I guess all fingers point to me for tracking down the 'old fart who fancies himself an artist' at St. Roch's Cemetery – but it was Mignon's big idea: "Let's get a painting of an actual, real life jazz funeral procession on the walls! With a body on a horse drawn hearse and the leader with the parasol and gloves and top hat ... everything!"
I winced. Besides being tasteless and crass, it was nearly impossible to find someone who had the knowledge, not to mention the skill.  Paint an authentic period piece in mural form on plaster walls in a haunted house in one week? 
Oh, but Mr. Joachim knew all about funerals - New Orleans' jazz, Catholic, Voodoo, ... even Jewish! He rattled off information about the Cities of the Dead until my skin crawled. Well, the plaster hands and feet and old leg braces hanging off the relics room walls, and St. Lucy holding her eyeballs on a plate – those all helped enhance the creepy factor.
“You know, some say voodoo used to be practiced right ‘chere.” He pointed to the floor where we stood, paved with bricks stamped with one word: ‘thanks’. And pennies.
Shiny copper pennies winked up at me from the brick floor.
I didn’t care about what he knew or what some said. Like my grandmere said, "Best to not know some things. Best to leave some of that stuff a lone." 
I offered him the job, and then I hoped he wouldn’t show up. That he’d be too frail to take on such an impossible task.
Not only did he show up – he stayed and made himself at home.  

"Charley! The Chulilly chandelier - Grab it!" Mignon barks before taking a hard right into Audubon Place. 
I scramble to the back and see the blue lights of shame hot on our tail. Screw the chandelier – I’m saving the Bollinger.
"Mignon, you have to stop," I crawl back to my seat and secure the bottles in a safe place - between my legs. Perhaps it's been a little too safe lately.   
"I intend to – we’re almost there." Mignon continued to rant. “Travis - please tell me the table and chairs are draped -  Puh-Leeze!"
“No, Mignon – Now!” I try to sound urgent. “You’re the one the NOPD is trying to pull over.”
She just snorts and pulls her drama- diva move, raising her hand to her forehead and shutting her eyes, throwing her head back.
The SUV’s alignment pulled left.
I panicked.
Leaning over I correct us back to the right. A little too far right. We jump a curb and snag the banner and its metal stand that announces the date and time of the Masque’d Ball. Sparks fly ; the evil looking mask  on the banner grins luridly at me through the window.
I push left, well and truly panicked now. 
The Missile takes out the Showcase Home Expo Ticket Tent.
"Give it to me!" Mignon finally grips the wheel, pulling us up to the door of Red River House.
Two police cars and three private security cars promptly surround us.  
Totally ignoring the policeman’s ‘Stay where you are!’ demand, Mignon alights and stalks through the double cypress and leaded glass doors.

Thank you Pamela!!!  I'm wondering what that Noooo was all about or who said it.  Let's hope the police doesn’t decide to teach Mignon a lesson. :)
Don't forgot to come back tomorrow for part two of The Haunting of the Red River House Ball.   And make sure and leave a comment. That Bath and Body Works goodie bag sounds pretty darn cool.           


Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Ooh, nice beginning, Pamela! I'll be looking for the next installment.

Tami, did you know the first part of this post is practically undistinguishable? Black on black? Did you intend that? I had to highlight it to see the writing.

Tami Brothers said...

Dang it! Sorry about that. Blogger won't let me preview for some reason. And I fell asleep before the post went live. :( My bad. Hopefully it works better now.

Thanks Carol!!!

Pamela Mason said...

Good morning! Got my CDM coffee & beignets for breakfast & I'm ready to share! Thank you for having me here today Tami!
Waving to Carol - hello! Up early this morning I see! Thanks for reading. How's the kitchen redo?

Ya'll are my decorating buddies here.

Debbie Kaufman said...

NICE beginning. Great characters and atmosphere. Can't wait to read the rest.

Maxine Davis said...

Sounds gooood so far! Can't wait to read Monday's!

Pamela Mason said...

Thanks Carol and Debbie! I hope it was a strong start there.

Maxine! Thank you- I can't wait for you to read Monday's too!

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Actually, I was up late. :)

Kitchen re-do is s-l-o-w. We've got the new cooktop in, chandelier hung (need to patch ceiling a bit), mini recessed lighting in, countertops ordered and most of the backsplash in.

We thought we had the backsplash accent tile ordered, but the batch that came in looked nothing like the sample. So, we're back to looking for that. We've been to Ft. Smith and Little Rock looking without luck. Trying the internet and ordering samples next. :(

Linsey Lanier said...

Pam, I'm so excited to read some of your writing. What a wild ride! I felt like I was in New Orleans. Can't wait for tomorrow's installment.

Pamela Mason said...

Carol, that's great progress! I can't wait to see pictures!

Thank you Linsey! Hang on - it's getting wilder!

Michele Stefanides said...

Oh nice! Looking forward to Monday. I can just picture Mignon closing her eyes while driving--yikes!

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Everyone! I can't wait to read part two on Monday. Until then, check back here tomorrow. Pamela is hosting our Sexy Saturday picture(s). You don't want to miss out on that. :)

Pamela Mason said...

Thanks Michele - I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Looking forward to coming back tomorrow!