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Millers Kill Mysteries fic: Snippets of Millers Kill (1-3)

This is a series of 15 drabblish sized stories of life for Russ and Clare in Millers Kill. They don’t relate to each other and don’t necessarily follow canon. Also spoilers for all seven books is possible but since they don’t all follow canon they could really be set anywhere along the line of the books.

These were written for round #2 of writers30days and are dedicated to txduck who introduced me to the very entertaining Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries by Julia Spencer-Fleming. I read all seven books in a matter of like 2 weeks. They kept my spirits up while suffering from a nasty strain of the flu and possible pneumonia.

Main Table of Prompts

1. prompt: always

The Dance
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
(Russ/Clare), Margey
337 words
rating: PG
WARNINGS: spoilers for book 7

A little glimpse into the Millers Kill wedding of the century.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
The soft music mingles with the tinkle of glasses and the murmur of people. Russ smiles at the woman in his arms. Her curly gray hair bobs and sways with their movements and her eyes twinkle up at him.

“You look happy,” she tells him.

Russ feels his face flush. “I am.” There’s still that slight ping of guilt in the back of his head but he pushes it away.

“I’m so glad, sweetie. You deserve this.”

“Mom-” he starts, trying to warn her off before she says something he’ll regret.

She chuckles softly. “Clare’s been good for you.”

Russ sighs. He knows his mother never liked Linda but this is so not the time to bring it up. She pats his arm in understanding.

“I know things have been hard for you,” she tells him as the music winds down. “But I knew this day would come eventually.”

“Really?” He’s skeptical because there were times he thought he’d never get this chance. He glances over to where Clare is dancing with her father on the other side of the floor.

“I knew the day I met her. The way you two looked at each other.” She snickers quietly. “I knew she was trouble.”

He laughs at that. “Yeah, I knew that, too.”

The music ends and he leans down to place a soft kiss on the top of her head. Clare joins them, her hand touching his arm lightly. “May I have this dance?” she asks with a bright smile.

Margey nods, beaming with what Russ can only describe as pride, but Clare doesn’t take Russ’ hand. Instead she turns to his mom and winks, wedging herself between Margey and Russ. Margey giggles and slips a hand into Clare’s offered one and the other on her shoulder. Russ backs off with a big crooked grin on his face and shakes his head.

“I always knew,” he hears his mom say as he’s accosted by his niece and moves off to dance with the young girl.

2. prompt: inspired by a picture

Blind Man’s Bluff
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
381 words
rating: PG

Russ shows Clare a glimpse into his life as a kid.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
“What is this place?” Clare asks as they cross through a tangle of viny bushes into a clearing. It looks like an old path.

“This used to be an orchard. Belonged to William Prichard. He died back when I was a kid.”

Clare looks around and can almost picture how amazing the rows of trees must have looked at some point. Now they are overgrown, barely producing fruit. “What happened?”

“He just died. Then his family couldn’t decide what to do with the house. His daughter wanted to sell it but his grandson thought they’d be better renting it out.” He took a deep breath of the fresh country air, watching a bird fly overhead. “The property went into mediation but they never came to an agreement. Eventually the bank forclosed.”

“And it’s sat empty ever since?”

Russ shrugs. “Not many people want to live this far out of town. Especially with the drive in the winter. It’s been rented out from time to time and they used to have weddings here a lot in the sixties and seventies.”

“Must have been a beautiful spot.” She closes her eyes and tries to imagine the orchard in it’s hayday, trees full and green, the smell of fruit wafting in the air.

“I used to sneak over here in high school. We’d all spread out in the orchard and play Blind Man’s Bluff. Well,” he pauses and grins crookedly, “a version of it anyway.”

“Lots of alcohol?”

“Yeah.” He laughs. “Was a great way to cop a feel”

Clare snorts in amusement. She can’t really picture this bad-boy teen Russ claims to have been but the twinkle in his eyes convinces her he’s not making it up.

“Blind Man’s Bluff, huh?”

He smiles and scuffs his boot in the dirt. “I’m ruining my image with you, aren’t I?”

“No, I think I’m finally getting a glimpse of the real you.” He grunts and Clare just grins. She pulls the scarf from her neck and surprises Russ by tying it around his eyes.


She quickly spins him then steps away. “No peeking,” she calls.

She thinks she hears Russ mumble, “this made more sense with five beers in me,” as she darts behind another tree, Russ already heading in her direction.

3. prompt: touch

Missing the Show
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Millers Kill Mysteries
415 words
rating: PG

Clare and Russ take a little stroll on a warm summer night.

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
The warm summer breeze brushes over them as they walk along the path in the park. The 4th of July is always the busiest time of the year and Clare is happy she could even find Russ in the crowd. She’s even more happy that he agrees to escort her back to the rectory. He insists it’s to keep her out of trouble. Clare tries not to let him see her grin.

They exit the park through the main gate and continue down the darkening street, he street lights giveing off yellow circles of light every thirty feet or so. There are fewer people the farther they get from the park, only the occasional tourist heading in the opposite direction in a hurry.

“You’re going to miss the show,” Russ says after awhile.

Clare sucks on her lower lip. “That’s okay; this is better.”

She doesn’t look at Russ but she knows he’s smiling. They chat about the weather and the fireworks and how busy Russ is on the 4th. Clare brings up how boring her job is in the summer with most of her congregation heading out of town. They talk about a lot of things but say very little. And Clare really couldn’t care less. The night is warm, the air sweet and full of the sounds of laughing children and the electric anticipation.

Before long they turn the corner onto Elm Street. Russ walks her right to her front door, shadows from the porch covering his face. For a moment she can’t see his expression and she worries she’s made a mistake.

“Um,” she mumbles dumbly after she opens the door, turning back to face Russ.

He doesn’t say anything and in the dim illumination coming from the kitchen she sees the bittersweet smile on his face. He brushes his fingers against her hand, sending shivers down her spine despite the July heat.

“‘Night,” he says quietly, his eyes never leaving hers. For a moment she thinks he might actually lean in and kiss her but after a moment he smiles and turns away.

Their hands remain connected until both arms are stretched as far as they can go without Clare following Russ down the steps. And she’s sorely tempted to do just that but instead she lets his hand fall away and watches him head down her drive, skimming past her little sports car. She shakes his head at it and Clare’s heart skips a beat.

“‘Night,” she whispers to the empty porch.

next set of stories


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