My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

News from the dead


One moment the white-haired man in the blue blazer was part of the blur, the next he whispered five words that shook Sonya to her soul. "I have news from Daren."

And then he'd handed her the pink handkerchief with the PS monogram, and she knew that Wet Spot was not the real name of the boat anchored a few yards from Daren's boat.

Which was his point. "Yes, you've been aboard before, I know. And if you meet me there in 30 minutes, I will take you to Daren. He needs you very much. It's imperative that we leave immediately."

And then he was gone.

She could hardly wait to get out to Pet Shop/West Spot. But who was that man? He was not one of the two crewmen from Pet Shop who had been in the yacht club the night Daren won the Lotto. She knew the captain, Paul, from the days when she was featured in the "Girls of Hawaii" pictorial and there were several parties aboard Pet Shop. Paul was super nice, and acted kind of like he liked her.

And he did. Unlike most of the Pets and other posers the publisher brought aboard and often bedded, Sonya had half a brain and a sense of humor and a kind of sweetness. When Paul saw Sonya in the yacht club that night, his heart jumped. He'd forgotten how hot she was.

When she saw him, Sonya exclaimed "Paul!" and gave him a friendly hug, and waited on his table for the rest of the night. And he hoped that she was unattached. Then the guy who'd just won the Lotto proposed to her and she said yes.

"Congratulations, Mrs. Two Million," Paul said later.

Sonya blushed and shrugged.

What she didn't know was that Paul had an idea. With Sonya and Daren Guy's $2 million, he could give up this crazy plan his friend had talked him into, smuggling girls from the Philippines to work for an internet porn site. If you're going to do something illegal, he figured at that moment as Sonya brought his ninth beer of the evening, do something really illegal. Greater risk, greater reward, that's the way it worked. So Paul would do it for Sonya. He could tell she liked him. They just needed a chance to work it out.

Sonya's heart raced as she jogged in black 4-inch heels back to the dinghy, fired up the engine and gunned it away from the dock.

She heard her old lover Cruz MacKenzie calling her name, but all she cared about now was the promise of seeing Daren again! Vague concerns that this could be worse than a prank, a set-up of some kind, drifted through her head, but love and hope drove her forward.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at


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