Welcome to the fourth edition of Guess the Author. I am your humble host, Jason "Zaratan" Jones, and I come to you 11 tales from a wide variety of authors to dazzle your senses.
Yvj won last time, oh so long ago, so this intriguing topic, soap opera, is all his doing. On the other hand, it looks like a LOT of people had a lot of fun with this one.
The rules are simple. Read through all the stories, and then try to guess which of our amazing authors wrote that particular story. Write out your responses to me, Zaratan, by either PM or by email at zaratan4 at hotmail dot com, and the one closest, getting the most correct, wins and gets to select our next contest topic.
And now, for our list of authors, in alphabetical order;
Remember, match as many stories as you can with these authors, happy reading, and good luck to you all!
…x x x x…
For the Love of Nacos
Good evening, and Welcome to the series finale of… 'For the Love of Nacos'".
To recap, we have Ronald Stoppable, philanthropist, and owner of the single most profitable fast-food business in the Midwest, Bueno Nacho Inc. He is single, rich, and adored by almost everyone in town.
Next, we have his best friend since Pre-K, Kimberly Possible. She has been secretly in love with Ron ever since they met in kindergarten, but she has never gotten enough nerve to tell him how she feels.
Next we have Tara Matthews. Tara has also harbored strong feelings for Mr. Stoppable since sophomore year in High School, and has hinted to him how she feels on more than one occasion. Whether by sheer ignorance, or he's simply not interested, the young Mr. Stoppable has not even noticed her advances.
We also have a Miss Bonnie Rockwaller, heiress to a vast cat food fortune that has been promised to her in a will drafted by her father at the time of her birth. As a result of this pre-determined will, her two older sisters have held serious resentment towards Bonnie ever since she has been able to walk. She completely despises Ron Stoppable, but she has been secretly trying to create a marriage of convenience with the young philanthropist in an effort to merge her company and his to create a giant conglomerate that could corner both the cat food and fast food industries.
Last, and certainly not least, we have a Miss Monique Jenkins. Monique is the new girl in town, but made fast friends with Kimberly Possible. After hanging with Kim, and subsequently Ron, she too has fallen secretly in love with the young man.
Now you would think young Mr. Stoppable a very lucky man. Three women love him, and another wants to marry him. But let's not forget that these four women also hold some resentment, and a bit of anger towards him, and each of them have their own reasons.
Kimberly has the least amount of anger and resentment, because she has known him the longest. She can be quite jealous at times, and can be a bit… possessive. You see… she loves him so much, that she sees herself as the only one for him. She almost feels that if he does not ever return her love in this life, then he shall not love anyone else. If push came to shove (and it's getting pretty close to that now), she would take his life, and then her own to assure that the two of them would be together in the after-life.
Tara is probably the least stable of all four of these women. She has done everything in her power to gain Mr. Stoppable's attentions, short of throwing herself bodily at him. In her home she has a small shrine dedicated to Ron. Every day she kisses his picture and says to herself, "Maybe today is the day." If he ever told Tara that he did not love her, she would most likely snap, do a full 180, and blow his head off for breaking her heart.
Bonnie's plans were cold and calculating. Her plan was to get Mr. Stoppable to fall in love with her, marry her, and then she would gain favor with his family and take over all of their holdings of the company that Ronald had entrusted to them. If her plan did not eventually succeed, she would have him murdered, and then perform a hostile take-over during the chaos.
Monique is kind of a rogue in this interesting little group of women. She knows of Kim's feelings for Ron, as Kim has confided in her many, many times. Through all of Kim's descriptions of her and Ron's 'Not a date' dates, Monique eventually started to put herself in Kim's place mentally, and came to believe that it was actually her and Ron on these 'Dates', and not Kim. Only to her, they really were… Dates. As a result, she fell deeply and madly in love with the young man. She too has not voiced how she feels towards Ron, but she really, really would like to get Kim away from him… In any way possible.
…x x x x…
Let's look in on Ron Stoppable, and see what is currently happening with him, on this episode of, "For the Love of Nacos".
Ron Stoppable was a 'Hands on' manager, and he enjoyed going to different stores and talking with the employees, all the way from the store manager, down to the grease monkey who cleaned out the grease traps. On this evening, he decided to stop by a store that an old friend of his managed, Ned.
All Bueno Nachos were independently owned, and Ned just happened to own the most in Division 32. Ron knew his friends schedule, and which store he was working at this evening. 95 percent of Bueno Nachos were 24-hour establishments, and this was one of the few that actually closed. It was mostly up to the store owners if they wanted their store to be open 24-7.
He pushed open the front door, making the bell jingle, and right away Ned came from the back, talking as we walked out. "I'm sorry, but I was just about to close… Ron!"
"How you doing Ned, my old friend?" Ron sad as he extended his hand to shake the slightly older gentleman's hand.
"I'm doing good. Very good, actually. You're new item has really been selling well in all of my stores, and profits are up about 60 percent in all of them."
"And yet you still like to close your own store." Ron said chuckling and shaking his head side to side.
"I'm like you Ron… I like that hands on approach. Besides… I like to get back to the grease pits every once in a while and get my hands dirty. It keeps me humble."
"True that Ned… true that." Ron smiled, and knew exactly what his old friend meant. After the two friends chatted and talked for the next 15 minutes, Ron said something that took the store manager/owner by surprise.
"You know what Ned? Why don't you knock off early tonight? I'll close for you."
"Are you sure?" Ned said, not hiding his surprise. "Do you even remember the SOP for closing a store?"
"I should. I've updated the thing at least 5 times in the last 2 years." Ron replied with a smile, knowing that his friend was only kidding.
…x x x x…
20 minutes later Ron finished up the closing duties, and had just turned off the lights. He walked out the front door, turned, and locked it with the key that Ned let him use. As he gently tossed the key into the air and caught it, Ron smiled to himself while looking at the key in his palm. He hadn't lost his touch, and once again he had closed a store in record time.
The lone light in the parking lot threw long shadows across the pavement, and one moved into Ron's sight causing him to look up. Immediately he recognized the person who stood with their back to the light, and a small smile crossed his face when he saw who it was.
"Hey there… Fancy seeing you here." Obviously Ron knew this person. "I know it's late, but I don't suppose you would like to go for a cup of coff…"
…x x x x…
beep… beep… beep… beep… beep…
The heart monitor continued it's constant rhythm, and slightly picked up when a small gasp escaped Ron's lips and he woke with a start. He opened his eyes, blinking against the brightness of the lights in the room.
"What… what happened? Where… where am I?" His voice croaked.
A man he didn't recognized dressed in a long white lab coat and holding a clipboard stepped forward. "Well Mr. Stoppable, to put it bluntly, you've been shot.
Ron's hand flew to his chest, as he suddenly remembered the flash of the muzzle, and the searing pain he had felt near the center of his chest. "I'm… not dead?"
"Oh you were most definitely dead." The doctor replied. "Three times on the operating table, by my count."
Ron took a breath, and let it out. He grimaced at the pain he immediately felt. "You're going to be sore for a couple of days Mr. Stoppable. We really had to dig around to find that bullet. It ricocheted off a rib, and then bounced around in your chest for a bit. It's amazing how it completely missed all of your vital organs. We had to do some minor work to set the rib it bounced off of, and did some other repair work to your diaphragm and a small portion of a lung. It's going to be a bit painful to breathe for at least three days. If you need to speak, just whisper for the next few days, as we don't want you to put too much strain on your diaphragm and lungs. We have you on a morphine drip for now to help with the pain so you can sleep."
"Thank-you doctor." Ron whispered to the doctor.
"There is a detective outside who would like to ask a few questions. Do you feel up to it? I can tell him to go away if you want." The doctor said with his hand on the door's handle.
"Send him in. I'll be OK." Ron was a good patient, and listened to his doctor's orders by whispering.
…x x x x…
Detective Hobble walked into the room with an air of confidence. He had a manila folder in his hand and without a word, dropped it on Ron's stomach, careful to miss the tubing that fed Ron his meds.
"You want me to look at this?" Ron asked, and the detective just nodded while holding a toothpick between his teeth while working it back and forth.
Ron opened the folder and looked at 4 pictures, each one of a different person. "You want me to identify who shot me?" Again, the detective just nodded.
Ron leafed through the four pictures, placed them in the folder, and handed it back to Detective Hobble. "It's not any of them." He said.
The toothpick in Detective Hobble's mouth stopped moving, and his eyes bore into Ron. "Bull buttons."
"I'm sorry officer…"
"Detective…" Ron continued in his whisper, but the heart monitor began to pick up its pace. "But none of these people here shot me."
Detective Hobble shot daggers into Ron as the two were almost in a stare-down to the death. This went on for a good half-minute then Detective Hobble spoke. " But you do know who shot you?"
"Yes…" Was all Ron answered.
"Are you going to tell me?" Detective Hobble was starting to get irritated.
"No," Was the short answer.
"What!" Hobble was livid. "Why in God's name are you not going to tell me who shot you? That's attempted murder! Do you not wish to press charges?"
"No." Detective Hobble was getting tired of hearing that answer.
"Because I love her." Was the whispered answer.
"So it WAS a girl who shot you. Now we're getting somewhere." The Detective pulled a small note pad out of his pocket, and held a pencil in his other hand ready to take notes.
"All that does is narrow your list of subjects to… oh, about half of Middleton." Ron was looking quite smug with his answer, and the pencil snapped in the detective's meaty fingers.
"Tell you what, Mr. High Falutin Muckity Muck… You get some rest tonight, and I'll stop by tomorrow. How's that for beans?" Detective Hobble turned on his heels and left the room, trying to slam the door on his way out, but the small hydraulic prevented him from doing so, and that just incensed him even further.
Ron whispered into the air to no one…
"Kim… Why did you do it? I've loved you since Pre-K. Now I wish I would have told you."
…x x x…
Across town at the Possible Household…
Anne Possible knocked on her daughter's door again, trying to get her attention. Kimmie had been quite depressed when she had come home earlier that evening, and she never did come down for supper.
"Kimmie?" Anne said. "Please come out… I can heat your supper up if you wish… Kimmie? I'm coming in. If you don't want me to, just say so."
Anne slowly walked up the stairs, and she never heard her daughter protest, so she continued. She heard a small thump, and then something that sounded like it was rolling on the floor. It almost sounded like a…
The item that was rolling had reached the top of the stairs and dropped down on the top step, then the next, then the next, then the next. Anne looked down and saw that it was a fairly large pill bottle, and it was empty. She picked it up and as soon as she read what it was, she bolted up the steps taking two at a time.
There on her bed was her daughter Kimmie, lying on her side, one hand hanging over the edge by the elbow.
"Kimmie! No!" Anne screamed and ran to her daughter's side.
She immediately felt for a pulse, and found it to be weak and thready. She then reached over to her daughter's phone, and dialed 911.
After the call, Anne dropped to her knees by the bed and hugged Kim's arm. She was a well-trained physician who could save lives of complete strangers almost every day, but when it came to her own daughter, Dr. Anne Possible froze.
…x x x x…
After the ambulance arrived and was able to somewhat stabilize Kim, they also had to take care of a near hysterical Anne Possible. She screamed at the paramedics to get away from her daughter, and almost tried to hit them.
They had to give Anne a mild tranquilizer to get her to calm down, and then she too was transported to the hospital in a second ambulance.
…x x x x…
Ron had heard the commotion in the hospital when Kim and her mother were brought in. He had a feeling something wasn't right, and was able to work his way out of his bed, and pulled his IV stand along with him to his door. He opened it a crack, and saw a gurney being hurriedly pushed through the hall, and he immediately recognized the mane of red hair that spilled over the side of the bed.
"Kim…" He said to himself, and snuck out. He was able to see which room Kim was put into and he waited until all the doctors and nurses left her room. Since by now it was pretty late in the evening, there was virtually no one in the hall, and Ron was able to make it to Kim's room without being noticed.
He entered the room, and saw Kim lying on the bed, her head slightly raised. The incessant beep, beep, beep of the heart monitor echoed in the room. He shuffled over to the side of her bed, and very quietly and gently he was able to move the side-rail of the bed down without making too much noise.
Being careful of his own IV line, he worked his way onto the bed by her side. Kim moved slightly, and whispered in her sleep. "I had to do it Ron… I had to. I love you so much… I wanted us to be together at least in the afterlife."
Ron whispered back. "Why didn't you just tell me Kim? I love you too."
Ron closed his eyes, and breathed out. He never heard Kim's last breath or the heart monitor as it flat lined. The two lifelong friends had lived their lives not knowing that they had indeed loved each other, but now they both lay on the same deathbed… together. Forever.