C is for CRAMPON / D is for DEFALCATE

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Well, I’m  very  a bit behind in the A to Z challenge, so I’ve started to combine the letters of the alphabet to keep up. The two words for the day are “crampon” and “defalcate”. I tried to guess the definitions and was completely off base. There’s a hint for “crampon” in the picture above.

(There won’t be any posts from 4/13- 4/21, since I’m going away on vacation and won’t have internet access.  I’ll hand write my posts while I’m away and post them when I return. )

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“Her store was like a living memorial for her life. Grace had everything money could buy, except love.  Hah. It’s amazing that after thirty years, so many businesses opened and closed around her. But her little antique shop thrived.  She was a doll, but a tough businesswoman. Wasn’t she babe?” said Max.

Beth smirked. God, let him stop blathering.

“Remember how she’d freak out if she couldn’t make it to Carl’s auction every Friday night? So she could cram more stuff into her shop?”

“Oh yeah, I remember. He was a character.” She wished Max would shut up.  Rubbing her temples,  she tries to massage away her headache.

Max continues. “Sometimes Carl had too many beers. Got so drunk that his son had to take over the auction.”

“Sometimes? How about all the time?” Shaking her head with disgust, stretching her arms out,  she accidentally bumps into the crampons hanging on the wall. “Carl’s Auction. That’s where it all began with Jeff.  He swooped in like a hawk. Told her everything she wanted to hear. Only after a few months, he pushed her to get married. A year later, he defalcates everything she owned.”

Max heard this story many times before. Looking at his watch, he says “Well, it’s 6:30, we’d better head back to the funeral home.”

“I just need to freshen up before we go. I’ll meet you outside” says Beth.

The sleigh bells attached to the door jingle, as Max walks out of the house, letting the front door slam.

Beth looks at the pale reflection of herself in the mirror and starts to cry.  In the middle of applying her makeup, she pauses, throwing it back into her purse. Why bother? She’ll end up crying off all of it anyway.

Max pops his head in the door and hollers “Let’s go, let’s go!”

“OK, I’m coming.” says Beth.

Her legs ache as she walks across the black and white tiled floor.  She admires the Bohemian chandelier Grace brought back from Czechoslovakia. The stained glass windows glow in the cathedral ceiling entryway. She locks the door, never looking back at the stately beachfront home. Her stomach starts to cramp up again.

The headlights of the old Volvo station wagon  light up the front walkway. Beth walks with caution towards the car. After she settles in,  Max peels out of the driveway and is driving on the main road within minutes. Beth’s stomach starts to cramp up again. As her hair becomes wet with sweat, a continuous trickle of blood soaks through her pants.

Her heart is pounding in her chest faster and faster. She thinks she can hear her own heartbeat echoing in the car. “Max, go faster.  I don’t feel right. I’m soaking wet.” Max pretends not to hear her and turns up the radio.

———————–

CRAMPON – boot spike for rock or ice climbing.

DEFALCATE – To embezzle money held on trust.

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