Mike's Wager

Mike's Wager

Skye Taylor

April 2015 $Free
ISBN: 978-1-61194-6-413

Available in e-book only!

A Camerons of Tide's Way short story

Is his hometown going to break his heart?


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Mike Kennedy’s college pals at Cambridge refuse to believe that his hometown, Tide’s Way, North Carolina, is the good-hearted Mayberry Mike depicts. They bet him money that no one in Tide’s Way will offer him a helping hand if he spends a week disguised as a grungy, dangerous-looking homeless guy. Mikes takes the bet.

So there he was, spending a chilly, rainy Spring break shivering and hungry under an old tarp draped over the railing of the bandstand on Tide’s Way’s small common. Three days had gone by without anyone offering him so much as a cup of coffee. He hated to lose the money he’d wagered but even worse, he hated that his hometown was apparently not what he’d thought it was. Would anyone prove that Tide’s Way lived up to its ideals?

Skye Taylor has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1995 and of the Ancient City chapter in St. Augustine, Florida, for the last six years, where she’s served as secretary, conference chair and treasurer. Her publishing credits to date include several non-fiction essays about life as a Peace Corps Volunteer, one mainstream political intrigue, WHATEVER IT TAKES, and the Tide’s Way series.


Coming soon!



"So, you think people are different in Tide’s Way? You think if a homeless person set up shop in the town center of Tide’s Way they’d be better off than they are here in Cambridge?” Kirk snorted.

"They’d be warmer. That’s for damned sure.” Troy laughed and screwed the top off his new bottle.

"I think if anyone did, they’d get noticed. And someone would do something about it.” Mike insisted. He was sure of it. Tide’s Way was a whole world away from Cambridge culturally. The contrast had been the hardest part of adjusting to his new environment. The way people cut each other off in traffic or in grocery lines. The total disregard for common civility. It seemed as if no one here had ever been taught any manners. With the exception of Kirk, everyone around the table was from New England, and they often poked fun at the civilities that had been drummed into Mike’s head since he was old enough to talk.

He loved his studies and most of his fellow students, but he couldn’t deny he often felt a little homesick. For his mother’s cooking, of course, but all the guys missed that. But for Mike it was more than just home-cooking. He enjoyed the challenge: the Ivy League education he was getting, the friendships he’d made, activities he’d never tried before, like rowing on the Charles. But in his heart, there was something missing. He wondered if that something was related to the way the home­less got treated in this chilly college city in a region known for aloofness.

"Like what?” Kirk, who was from Minnesota, dragged Mike’s attention back to the debate.

"Like what, what?”

"Like what would anybody do about it? Except maybe get the law to run them out of town?”

Mike tried to picture the Tide’s Way sheriff running anyone out of town. "He’d be more likely to offer him a bed at the sheriff’s office. The cells there don’t get used all that much.”

"And hang out with Otis? You sure this place isn’t called Mayberry?” The entire group hooted with laughter.

"I’m serious,” Mike sat forward and dropped the front legs of his chair to the floor.

Kirk pulled his wallet out and slapped a fifty dollar bill on the table. "Fifty bucks says you get someone to play the homeless bum for a week and no one pays any attention.”

Troy glanced at Mike, then drew his wallet out and matched Kirk’s bet. "I’m in.”

There was a shuffle as everyone at the table dug into their pockets and added to the growing pile of bills.

Mike wondered where on earth he was going to find anyone willing to play the bum. But town pride blossomed in his chest. Or maybe it was the beer coursing through his veins. But whatever, he was going to prove these guys wrong. He whistled to get attention and called the owner of the bar over to the table. When the man arrived, wiping his hands on the towel tucked into his waistband, Mike scooped up the money, counted it out and then handed it to the bartender.

Murphy looked at the thick wad of bills in his hand, then at Mike. "What’s this for?”

"It’s a bet, and you get to be the keeper of the pot until I either win or lose it.”

Murphy grinned as he folded the bills in half and shoved them into his pocket. "So, what’s the bet?”


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