Monthly Archives: July 2012

Calling All Angels

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This was posted today and it affected me deeply and I had to share it. Please share it with your friends also. Blessings to each of you this Sunday.    Shirley

Author: Pat
Comment:

I wrote an article as a personal response to this event in Aurora, Colorado called “Calling All Angels” (http://plaintalkandordinarywisdom.com/?p=349) with the hope it would redirect and help in sending out love and comfort to those families involved in my home state Colorado.

If you would like to pass it onto your readers, I would be honored.

Thank you

Calling All Angels

Posted on July 24, 2012
Photo by Dez Pain at http://www.sxc.hu.home

I’ve written and rewritten this article a couple of times now trying to find meaning to words in my head and heart with regard to last Friday morning’s shootings in Aurora, Colorado, just a few miles from my daughter’s home.  A lot has been reported and written and I don’t want to rehash it.

It’s almost a full week since the shootings and the media moves on to current news and people begin to pick up the pieces of their lives. Some pick up where it left off and others face life decisions they never thought they would have to make alone.

My heart breaks and soul aches for those touched by this incident and I struggle with how to express words of hope and encouragement.

I don’t pretend to know what people are experiencing or feeling. I only want to share from personal loss and trust it will in some small way bring comfort.

Something has happened snatching us out of our daily routines and we didn’t ask for it.  For the most part, we can get along just fine taking care of business – going to work or school, showering, eating, playing, sleeping – and then something yanks the emergency brake and we tumble and crash.  Everything is upside down and we say, “What the hell?”, if we’re able, trying to make sense of it – only there’s no making sense.

Then something else happens, we try to stand and gain solid ground. We’re suddenly flooded with emotions and can no longer control the tears and pain in our chest. Our body is out of control and we feel like our gut is turned inside out.  Something is going on only I don’t know what.

It’s no wonder in times like these we turn to an unseen force seeking help – something beyond the body and mind because that’s not working the way it used to.  Our hearts cry out – perhaps “calling all angels” – and connect us to our spirit.  Now, this is out of the norm but there’s comfort – a peace and deep rest if only for a couple of hours.

The only problem is when I open my eyes I remember – it isn’t a dream.  It didn’t go away

and it starts all over again. This is the beginning of healing – one breath, one moment at a time.  We’re in touch with a part of ourselves we never knew existed, connected to a different dimension and it’s overwhelming.

This is life – all its working parts.  Pain brought us to a depth of our soul, though we don’t want to arrive that way.  Our spirit forces us to feel things we don’t want to feel.  Our senses are opened and introduced to something beyond daily routines. Can we dare to hope again – hope that our loved ones aren’t lost forever?

Can we begin to look through this ache and pain at good things that have come out of this – is there more happening on a bigger scale beyond what I can see?

  1. People genuinely loving, comforting one another with value: young and old women, men and children, professional athletes, business, hospital and medical professionals, military, police and fire men and women, FBI, elected officials, clergy,
    1. a president and Batman actor.
    2. Heroes emerged giving their lives for loved ones and fellow human beings.
    3. Hugo Jackson, born to the Medley family, is awaiting his father Caleb’s recovery from critical gunshot wounds.

    Life struggles to go on and yet it’s changed. None of this can really be explained to everyone’s satisfaction and debates go on forever. As a victim’s girlfriend put it (paraphrased), “He gave his life for me but I don’t know how to live it.”

    We begin to take a step forward and we’ll fall down.  But we’ll get up with more strength and determination with the help of others to make a difference and not take this life for granted.

    The real truth can only be found in the depths of our hearts but for now we can rest in the arms of an angel” and hold on to the good things remembered.  What are you feeling today?  Please share.

    Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table

Sally’s Warning Chapter 3

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Background
Sally is a senior in high school, dealing with an alcoholic father and a young man who once was married to her best friend. The story takes place in the late 1960’s.

 

It was 7:00 p.m. and Sally’s father still wasn’t home. She knows what it means and so does Mona. “Sally, put the dishes on the table. Your father can eat when he gets home.”

“Mama, when I get done eating, I’m going to take my shower and go to bed. I’m reading a really good book. It’s called, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

“I’ve heard of that book. Aren’t they making a movie from it, or something?”

“Yeah, I think so. Oh, speaking of movies, that reminds me. Linda and me want to go to the show Saturday afternoon. Is that all right? There’s a good movie on with Bette Davis.”

“Yes, you can go, but you have to get your ironing done first.”

“Okay, I’ll iron Saturday morning while it’s cool. I might even do some on Friday night.”

Sally and her mom talk while they eat their supper. Then Sally gets her shower and crawls up on the top bunk to read. Her room is in the middle of the house without any windows. She keeps a box fan blowing on her all the time. That’s the only way she can stand the oppressive heat.

Her dad comes in about 8:00. She can tell by his speech he’s been drinking. Mona finishes the dishes and sits down. She looks at her husband and asks if he wants something to eat.

“No I don’t want anything to eat. I’m not hungry. Besides, you know I don’t eat when I’m drinking. Me and a couple of the guys went to the Hilltop when I got off work.”

“I figured as much.”

“Where’s Sally? It’s too early to go to bed.”

“She’s in bed, reading.”

It isn’t but a couple of minutes after her dad arrives in the house she hears him yell her name.

“Sally, come out here. Sally, come out and see your ol’ dad.”

She jumps down from the bunk and walks into the living room. “Hi, Dad, you wanted to see me.”

“I sure did, do you want to drive my truck tomorrow?”

“Sure, I’d like to.” What’s going on? He never lets me drive his truck. He even has a hard time with mama driving it sometimes.

“If I drive your truck to school tomorrow, what will you drive to work”?

“I didn’t say a damn thing about you driving my truck to school. You won’t set foot in my truck tomorrow.”

“Oh, ok. I thought that’s what you meant, that I can drive it to school.”

“No, I didn’t mean that. You have your own damn car to drive. Get out of here, I don’t want to look at you anymore.” Her dad says in a sarcastic tone. Sally tucks her head and leaves the room. I wonder what that was all about. I can’t win with that man.

Sally climbs up to her bunk and tries to get back into her book wanting to forget about her father. She can hear his voice getting louder and louder as he talks. She turns out her bedroom light so her father will think she is asleep. Maybe he won’t wake her. It’s not going to be easy to go to sleep with his yelling, and it’s so hot in here.

Sally is suddenly woke by her father’s turning the room light on. “What did you just say to me? I told you, you are not driving my truck.”

“Daddy, I’ve not said anything. I was asleep until you woke me.”

“Yeah right. I heard you, so don’t bother lying.”

“Please, Daddy. I won’t drive the truck tomorrow. I want to go back to sleep.”

“You’re damn right you won’t drive the truck. Ungrateful kid.”

He walks away from her door, and Sally has to crawl to the foot of her bunk to turn out the light. She has a difficult time getting back to sleep, but she finally drifts off.

Friday finally arrives. Sally has it all planned to get the ironing done this evening so she can sleep in in the morning. Mona is in the kitchen preparing to start their supper. Some of the family is coming over, so it will be a good dinner. Sally calls out to her mom, “Mama, I’m going out front and sit for a little while and let it cool down more before I start my ironing”.

“Okay,” Mona says as she stands at the sink peeling potatoes.

Sally wasn’t outside ten minutes when Bill pulls up. She groans inwardly and waits for him to walk up to the bench. “Hi, Bill, what are you up to?”

“I stopped by to see if you want to go to the drive-in with me tonight.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Mama won’t let me. I have to do my ironing.”

“Where is your mom?”

“She’s in the house starting supper. Why?”

Bill didn’t answer her because he was already through the screen door. He’s inside about five minutes. Sally can’t stand the suspense of wondering what he is up to, so she went inside. Bill is standing in the kitchen talking to Mona.

Bill gets a big smile on his face, “Your mom says you can do your ironing in the morning and go to the show with me. Isn’t that great?”

Sally’s eye’s cut to her mama’s and Mona’s head is bobbing up and down. Oh, god, I’m done for. Now what am I going to do? “Oh, that’s wonderful.”

“I’ll pick you up at 7:00. You should’ve eaten by then. The movie called Adam and Eve is on at the drive in. Your mom told me you’d wanted to see it.”

“Yeah, I wanted to see it, but I was going to wait until it was inside at the Okla.”

“Well, now you don’t have to wait. I’ll see you later.” He walks from the kitchen and out of the house.

“Mama, why did you do that?”

“I got tired of him asking me to take you out. So now, he can take you out and leave me alone. Now little girl you either shit or get off the pot”.

“Mama, what a thing to say.”

“You know exactly what I’m saying. You haven’t ever told him no. You keep making excuses. Now you can’t make any more excuses.”

Oh, my life is ruined.

***

Sally’s date shows at straight up 7:00. Her mom answers the door when he knocks. He comes into the living room and waits for Sally to finish getting ready. He and Mona have a nice conversation. Finally, Sally comes out. Bill’s eyes brighten when he sees her. “Wow, you look nice.”

“Thank you,” Sally says as Bill stands and they walk to the door together. He opens the door for her and she steps through. She walks down the walkway towards his car. He hurries and gets to the car door just as she reaches for it. “Here, I got that.” He opens the door and she slides in. Since this is a date, I guess I shouldn’t hug the door like I did last time. She consciously tries to relax.

Bill walks to his side of the car and gets in. He’s all smiles as he takes them to the drive-in in McAlester. He’s talking the entire time he’s driving. Sally smiles and nods her head a lot. She’ll answer his question if he asks one, but never starts talking.

Once he gets to the Drive-In and parks, he looks at Sally and asks. “Would you like to go to the concession stand and get a Coke and some popcorn?”

“Sure, can we sit on the swings until time for the movie to start.”

“You like to swing, do you?”

“Yes, I do. I like to go up high and let the wind blow my hair. It’s fun.”

“Okay, I haven’t been on a swing in a very long time.”

The two of them sit on the swings and drink their Coke. They decide not to get popcorn until the movie starts. Bill pushes Sally on the swing and she laughs.

“That’s a nice sound to hear. I haven’t heard you laugh since me, you and Jackie were running around together. I’ve missed your laugh.”

“Bill, isn’t it time for the show to start? We’d best get our popcorn and another drink and head for the car.”
Braking herself with her feet, Sally gets off the swing. They walk to the concession stand and then back to his car. He opens the door on his side of the car and Sally slides over. Bill gets in beside her and puts the speaker in the window.
***

Sally wasn’t enjoying the movie at all. “I thought this would be a good movie, but it isn’t. It’s really overrated.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Do you want to go get something else to drink?”

“No thanks, let’s just go home. I’ve got to get up early in the morning to get my ironing done while it’s cool.”

“Oh, all right, home it is.” Bill removes the speaker and leaves the drive-in.

Pulling up in front of Sally’s home, Bill kills the engine on his car. He turns to Sally and takes hold of her right hand. Looking directly in her eyes, he says, ”Sally, I love you.”

Sally felt as if her lungs lost their air. She sputters “what!”

“I said I love you.”

“No you don’t!” Sally starts scooting to the passenger door and grabs the handle, opens the door and begins to get out of the car.

“Sally, don’t tell me how I feel. I love you and I have for a long time. Just think about it for a few days. You don’t have to say anything now.”

“Goodnight, Bill.”

“Night, Sally. Think about what I said.”

He starts the car and pulls away. Sally is speechless and doesn’t know what to think. This event is a total shock. Now what am I going to do?

Chapter 2 Sally’s Warning

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Background Sally is dealing with an alcoholic father, a young man’s unwanted attention and her senior year in highschool. She leans on her only true friend, Linda.

First day of school finally arrives. Sally was ready for the bus when it stops in front of her house at 7:30. Mr. Bowen was the driver and had been since she started to school at Stuart. When Sally’s foot hits the first step-up, Mr. Bowen speaks to her. “Good morning, young lady, how was your summer?”
“Fine, Mr. Bowen. Did you have the summer off?”
“Sure did, but I still had to work the farm. I’m ready to get back to driving so I can get a rest.” He chuckles and closes the door. The kids are excited and everyone is sitting next to someone talking ninety miles an hour. Sally finds an empty seat and sits next to the window. She likes looking out the window as they drive the five miles to Stuart School.
The Bus only makes one more stop before it gets to the school. They pick up the Wood and Kirkland kids. No one sits beside Sally. She pulls out her library book and begins to read. Whenever she wants to escape, she does it in books.  Withdrawing into her reading is Sally’s way to escape all the fighting and problems caused by her dad’s drinking, or anything else that might bother her. When the bus stops in front of the school all of the kids get off. Sally’s first class is Study Hall, so she has forty five minutes that she can read before she has to start her classes.
Linda is waiting inside the front door, grabbing Sally as soon as she enters the building. “Are you ready for this? I can’t believe we’re seniors. I’m excited, but I’m also wondering what’s going to happen.”
“Hi, Linda, you are wound up this morning. I can tell you’re excited. There’s no point in worrying about any of it. We’ve got everything handled. I’m just ready to get this year over with. Come on, let’s go get our seat in study-hall before everyone else gets there.
The two girls walk to study hall, which is actually the school library and pick out a couple of desks  next to the windows. Since the school is not air-conditioned, they want to feel the air coming in, if it does. The middle of August can be a killer when it comes to the heat. The temperature outside this morning is already eighty-two degrees, so they know the afternoon will be a scorcher.
Mr. Chambers, who usually teaches the sciences, is the homeroom teacher this morning. “Ok, everyone, welcome back for your last year at Stuart High.” A big round of applause and cheering erupts out of the class. “You’ve almost made it through. Since this is the only class where you’re together, this morning we are going to nominate for Homecoming King and Queen. I know basketball season hasn’t started but it will be easier if we do it now and get it out of the way.” Sally moans to herself because she knows what is about to happen.
“Let’s hear the nominations for Queen.” Mr. Chambers says.
Three hands go up in the air. Amanda nominates Brenda Jones, Ronald nominates Cassie Smith and Janice nominates Sally.
“All right will the three nominees leave the room and we’ll call you back when the voting is over.” Mr. Chambers waits while the girls leave the room.
I’ve been through this every year and I know my nomination is just meanness. I’m not going to give them the satisfaction this year. “Excuse me, Mr. Chambers.” Sally said, as she stood up by her desk.
“Yes, Sally, what is it?”
“Mr. Chambers, I’d like to respectfully decline the nomination for Home Coming Queen.”
“Thank you, Sally. Please be seated. Would the other two nominees please leave the room?” Mr. Chambers smiles at Sally when he sits down at his desk. He knows some aggrevating fun for the class snobs went the wrong direction.
Cassie Smith wins the nomination as she does every year. She is bright, beautiful and built very well. The boys call her, hot stuff.
Sally feels relief. That one act of standing up for herself was six years in the making. After study hall, Sally and Linda head to their next class. Linda pokes Sally with her elbow. “I can’t believe you did that.”
I’ve gone out to the hall every year knowing I was too fat and not liked enough to be Homecoming Queen. I decided this year I wasn’t going to let them do that to me again. I can’t help that I’m not built as good as the other girls, but they’re not going to rub it in anymore.”
***
The school day over Sally returns home on the bus. She goes in the house and immediately picks up the phone to call Linda. Neither of her parents are home, because the workday isn’t over for them. She or Linda  call as soon as they get in the house. This ritual has gone on since the first time they met.
“Hi, has Linda made it home yet?”
“Yes, Sally, she’s here. Hold on and I’ll call her to the phone. I don’t know how you girls can talk so much. You just left her after being with her all day.”
“I know but we didn’t have the chance to talk about some things.”
“Hold on.”
It took Linda a couple of minutes to get to the phone. “Hello”.
“What took you so long to get to the phone?”
“I have to go to the bathroom sometime, silly.”
“You can take care of that when you know I’m not going to be calling you.”
“Oh, dry up. There’s times that are forced on you. You should know that very well, Miss Run Over By Her Own car,” Linda said laughing.
“Okay, you made your point. What are you doing this evening?”
“Just all that home work that we got today. Oh, I want to ask you if you’ve heard from Bill.”
“Not since he took us to get those Coke’s. Maybe he’s decided he’s tired of me being rude to him. I sure hope so.
“I heard Floyd tell one of the guys that his brother was at Ft. Sill.”
“Bill is still in the Army. I don’t think he has much longer in his enlistment, maybe a month or so. He’s come home every weekend to his mom’s place since he has been in Lawton.”
“Maybe he will leave you alone. Time will tell.”
Dark Shadows will be on in about ten minutes. Give me a call after it goes off so we can talk about what we think is happening.”
“All right Sally, I’ll call you. Bye.”
“Bye”
Sally hangs the phone up and starts on her chores. I hate sprinkling those starched clothes. I don’t know why daddy want’s his pants so starched anyway. They will stand by themselves. At least I don’t have to iron the stupid things. Mine is bad enough without having to do his also.
The washtub is in front of the couch and the clothes are on the couch. Sally has the TV on channel 10 when the eerie music begins letting her know Dark Shadows is starting. She sits sprinkling the clothes, rolling them up, and completes the process by placing them in the tub. She’s through in fifteen minutes and then covers the tub with a couple of towels, to keep the clothes from drying out. Now she sits back and listens to Barnabas chide Angelique about causing trouble at Cottonwood. Before she knows it, the program is over and the phone rings.
“Hello Linda, what did you think? No, I think Angelique and that other ghost will do something with those two kids. Have you noticed how much their behavior has changed? I think it will get really interesting before it is over. Oh, ok, I’ll see you in the morning. Don’t let your dad work you too hard. Bye.”
Sally hangs up the phone and goes to the kitchen table to get her homework done. She keeps losing concentration thinking about her dad. Wondering what time he will get home and how drunk he’ll be.

Writing A New Book

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I have begun a new YA book called Sally’s Warning (Temporary). I’ve decided to post the chapters here as I finish them. I would like to have your feedback. If you find something that you think needs changed please let me know. I can always use help with editing. I hope you have a great weekend and I will post chapter 2 on Monday.

 

 Chapter 1

 

 

It’s a beautiful summer evening as Sally walks down the dirt road behind her home. The katydids are singing in the trees. She can hear the deep croaking of the bullfrogs talking to one another in the pond. The aroma of fresh cut hay fills the air. This would be a perfect life if it weren’t for my father. I’ll be glad when school starts. I can’t believe I’m a senior. I didn’t think I’d make it to my senior year, but here I am. I have another week to wait.

When the road turns towards home, Sally spots Bill Grundy’s car sitting in front of her house. Bill’s sitting under the portico talking to Mona, Sally’s mother. Oh, God, he’s here is again. I can’t get rid of him.

Bill shows up two weeks ago, and she’s been unable to get rid of him. Three years ago, he marries her best friend Jackie, and the three of them spent a lot of time together before he goes into the Army. Jackie leaves with someone else, and they divorce. Why he’s shown up on her doorstep, she doesn’t know.

When she gets close enough, Bills face lights up, with a big smile. “Hello, how are you this fine day?”

“Hi” Sally says, as she sits down on the bench. “I’m doing okay, just been too hot. We need rain terribly bad to cool things down.

“Guess what? Your mom says you can go to the show with me tonight.”

“She did, that’s great. Did you think about asking me first? I already have plans with Linda. We’re going to the Attic.”

“What’s the Attic?” Bill asks, with a sad look in his eyes.

“It’s a dance place for teenagers. I’m picking her up at seven and heading to McAlester.” Since he is six years older than Sally, she knows he won’t be able to get into the place.

“Mom, I’m going to take my shower and get ready.”

“Ok, honey.” Sally barely hears her. Sally gets up from the bench and goes into the house, leaving Bill sitting and talking with her mother.

Sally knows she has to hurry, so she can leave before her dad comes home. I know he’ll be drinking, and I won’t argue with him today. I don’t know why he has to pick fights with me.

Bill remains in front of the house and Sally can’t understand why. She’s has done everything to get rid of him. It’s as if he’s oblivious to all of it. She kisses her mom bye and doesn’t speak to Bill as she walks past to go to her car. She climbs in the black, 1954 Ford and heads to her girlfriend’s house.

 ***

  After the dance is over, Sally and Linda walk outside. Linda sucks in her breath and says, “Sally, isn’t that Bill’s car sitting there beside that red Chevy?”

Sally turns her head and looks, catching Bill’s eye when she does. She walks to the car and asks, “Bill, what are you doing here?”

“I thought I would take you two girls to the A&W.” Bill said

Sally turns around and yells for Linda to join them. When Linda gets to the car, Sally asks, “Bill wants to take us to A&W to get a drink. Do you want to go?”

“It’s still hot out here so a cold drink would be good.” Linda said. Sally has her back to Bill when she asks, and the whole time is mouthing “no”. Linda ignores her. She is stuck. Sally climbs in the front seat, and Linda gets in the back. Sally sits so close to the door, if it opens she’ll be on the ground.

Bill drive Main Street a couple of times. That’s the thing to do before going to the A&W. Bill and Linda talk the entire time. Sally only spoke with a direct question. I’m going to kill Linda when I get her back to my car.

They get their drinks. Linda and Bill are yammering away. Bill turns to Sally and asks. “Sally, are you mad at me?”

“No I’m not mad. I just don’t have much to talk about. I’m tired after dancing so much. Would you mind taking us back to my car?”

“No I don’t mind. Thanks for letting me take you to get a cold drink.”

Linda speaks up, “Oh, you’re welcome. It’s always hot in there with so many bodies.”

“I’ll be glad to get home and get these shoes off. My feet are killing me. I’ve gone through the summer without wearing shoes most of the time. When I have to put them on, they kill my feet. I wish I could go barefooted to school,” Sally says.

They arrive back at Sally’s car. Sally jumps out first. Turning to Bill she says, “Thank you again. See you later.” By that time, Linda is out of the car. Sally digs her keys out of her pocket and gets in the car. Bill sits and watches them until Sally pulls out of the parking lot.

She wasn’t on the road a minute and a half before she confronts Linda. “Okay, do you want to tell me why you made me go with Bill? You of all people know how I feel.”

“Look, we’re both thirsty, and you know it. Besides that, it didn’t cost us anything. Since neither of us has a dime, I thought it was a good opportunity.” Sally accepts her answer and drops the subject of Bill. They’ve been friends since Sally began school at Stuart. Both of them are the outcasts of the class and don’t fit in with the elite. They stick together like glue. They  can always  find something to talk about.

The drive home is uneventful until Sally receives an extremely loud call from Mother Nature. “Crap, I have to stop and go to the bathroom. My bladder is about to bust. We’re almost to Arpelar (pronounced Are pay lar). I’ll pull off and go.”

She quickly pulls onto a dark road, jumps out of the car, runs around to the front, and squats. Sally feels the car bump her down and is amazed it rolls over the top of her. The 1954 Ford that Sally drives is a standard shift. If you don’t put it in gear, it rolls.

Sally is face down in the dirt as the car slowly stops, leaving her underneath. She crawls out from under the car, with Linda asking if she is okay. Just as soon as she determines Sally isn’t hurt she begins to laugh, hysterically. “Wait until I tell the kids you got run over by your own car.”

“Dang you, Linda, why didn’t you put on the brake?”

“When I realized it was rolling, I couldn’t get to it in time. You’re certainly looking good now”, as she continues to laugh.

Between the dirt and mud, Sally’s clothes are a mess. She climbs back into the car and tells Linda, “You’d better not mention this to a soul or I’ll never speak to you again.”

“All right, I won’t.”

“Do you promise?”

“Yes, I promise.”

Sally takes Linda home  before her midnight curfew. Since it is a Friday night, her mom and dad will be up. When she pulls into the drive, she can see the kitchen light on. She knows her dad will be drinking. Seeing her dad drunk has gone on for as long as she can remember. She’s conditioned to all of the stages he goes through. I hope he doesn’t try to pick a fight.

Sally walks through the front door and calls out, “I’m home.” She is hoping she can go to her room without talking, but that’s not the case.

“Come here, Sally and tell me about the dance”, her dad calls out. She gets the sick feeling in her stomach, as always, when he wants to talk to her. She walks into the kitchen, and her dad is sitting at the table with a bottle of Crown Royal sitting in front of him and empty Coke cans.

“Hi, Daddy, has mom gone to bed? I’m really tired. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Oh no, you’re not going to bed yet. Tell me about the dance.”

“We had a good time. A lot of the kids from school were there.”

“How much have you had to drink?”

“Daddy, I only drank Coke.”

“Sure you have. Look at your clothes. I know what you been up to. Don’t bother telling me any lies.”

Her dad’s voice is getting louder and louder with every word. “You lie to me, and I’ll make you wish you hadn’t.”

“Daddy, I swear, I haven’t been drinking. Call Linda and ask her. I want to go to bed.”

“I ain’t calling Linda for something I can see with my own eyes.” About that time, Mona walks into the kitchen.

“What’s going on here? John you woke me up with your yelling.”

“This damn girl came home drinking, and I’m not going to put up with it.”

Sally had tears in her eyes. “Mama, I haven’t had anything but Coke to drink, I swear.”

“What happened to your clothes?” Mona asked.

“I fell down. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. I just want to take my shower and go to bed.”

“All right, go to bed. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

“Night, mama.”

Sally takes off for her room without another word. Relief is the only emotion she’s feeling. She can hear her mother trying to go back to bed, but as usual, her dad wants to talk.

Why does he do this? As many times, as I have come home drinking he’s never said a word and suddenly tonight, he decides to make an issue of it. I haven’t had a drop. He’s crazy. I can’t wait to finish school and get out of here.

 

 

 

Flash Fiction by Craig Towsley

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Raccoons in a tree.

Raccoons in a tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I will be posting a flash fiction story by Craig Towsley. When he submitted his writing he stated it was from a larger piece of writing and he thought it could stand on it’s own. Let’s give Craig some constructive criticism or praises of his work.  It does not have a title.

***

Owl wanted to say something, to ask what happened the other night after Raccoon’s father dragged him home and pounded on the door until his mother woke up and opened it. 

They were sentenced to solitary confinement and house work detail and hadn’t seen each other for the last week. He kept stealing glances at the yellow, red, blue and purple bruise around Raccoon’s eye. Raccoon ignored him and deflected his questions by staring at the double rainbows overhead.

Owl pulled a handful of wide grasses and blew through them like a harmonica. The forlorn warble fractured the pastoral quiet.

***

“Warning” A Challenge. Can you do it?

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Here’s a challenge for you. Write a 100 word flash fiction, any genre. You must have a main character, beginning, climax and ending.  If you will send them to me at shirley_mclain.net, I will post them on my blog. When you write a story using only 100 words it is really bare bones, no fluff.  Let’s see what you can come up with.

I am posting the one I wrote for FanStory. It has made the All Time Favorite status and is also entered into a contest. I hope you enjoy the read and please let me know what you think of it.

I look forward to reading your stories and sharing them.

 

Warning

Thunder rumbled in the distance as Sally slipped out the door of her house. She had to get away from her vile, drunken husband. The police were her only hope. She knew if her husband found her, she’d be badly hurt.
“I need to talk to someone, please.”
“Hello, how can I help you?”
“My husband is going to hurt me. Please help me.”
“I’ll take you back and I’ll talk to him. Come with me.”
“No, don’t go to the door.”
Ignoring Sally’s warning, the officer went to the door, and rang the doorbell.
Six shots into the chest

Squatter Equals Headache II

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On Friday May 7, 2012, I posted a blog titled “Squatter Equals Headache.” Today I want to post and tell you what a whining, non-tolerant person I turned out to be. If you would go back and read that post you will have a better idea of what I am talking about.

Basically, we bought a house that we couldn’t move into because the man who had lived here for over ten years, was left behind by his geriatric girlfriend of eighteen years. She loaded her belongings and moved to California. Friends of their’s finally loaded this man up and put his things in storage. Since he agreed to it, we saw this as a good thing.

Long story short we made the man homeless. He is 87 years old and walking the streets of Sapulpa. He has dementia with a servere case of Sundowner Syndrome. It broke my heart to realize what was happening to the man. He lost everyone and everything in his world. He’d received  ten ousand dollars from his girl-friend for the sale of the house. He had that less than twenty-four hours before he lost it.  His truck was impounded by the police and he had no idea where it was.

My husband and I were fighting because I wanted to bring the man back to the house and take care of him but my family through a fit. They considered the man a danger to himself and others. Oh, did I leave out the fact he kept a pistol on him all the time.

I began praying that somehow the man would be helped. The wonderful news is he was.  I found out our neighbor called the girlfriend in California and told her excatly what was going on. I am thinking her own guilt got the best of her, because in two weeks she was here. She got the man, took him to the doctor and then back to California with her.  I have no idea what will happen now, but I know he is better off.  As far as all of his belongings, everything was auctioned off at the storage facility for unpaid storage.

You never know how something you do will affect another human being.  Never in a million years would I have thought I would have any part in making a person homeless. I can’t say that anymore.  All I can do now is thank God for answering my prayers, and leave the man in God’s hands.

Flash Fiction Contest Winner and More

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English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...

English: fireworks seen across the at Washington, D.C., USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello everyone. Today is the day that I announce the winner of the 4th of July contest winner. I received wonderful entries which made the decision hard. I can fully understand that line all the judges say, “I wish they can all be winners.”  What I’ve decided to do is have a runner-up, who will receive one e-book of his/her choice. Today I will be posting the winner and the runner-up plus an Abecdarian poem I wrote called The 4th of July.  For those of you who don’t know what an Abecdarianpoem is, I’m here to help 🙂  The poem is comprised of  every letter of the alphabet to start you line. It is fun to do and can be a real challenge. I hope you enjoy all the post and please have a safe and happy holiday.

Shirley

!st Place Winner: John Granger

An Understanding

Nathan was having trouble standing still.  It wasn’t just the normal nervous energy of a 14 year old; Nathan wanted to get away from this place.  He looked at his mother, standing to his right, and wondered how she could just stand there looking so calm.  He surveyed the other families in the cemetery, all with fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands or wives just like his Dad.  He couldn’t understand why they all just stood there passively listening to this Major or Colonel or whatever his title was blather on and on about the meaning of their loved ones’ deaths.  And yet, he stood here passively, too – not screaming out and running to get away from the thought of it, like he wanted to.  He was just standing and pretending to listen. “The Fourth of July is a time to reflect on what our country means and what the sacrifice of the men and women who lay here means…” the man at the podium was saying. Nathan couldn’t see any sense in any of it.  He didn’t understand why his Father had been sent half a world away, why someone who never knew his Dad would walk up to him in a crowded market and blow himself up, or why his Mother insisted on bringing him to this stupid memorial service.  All it meant to Nathan is that he would never talk to his Dad again, never play catch with his Dad in the backyard again, and that his morning was being wasted listening to this garbage. “These are our American heroes.  They chose to put themselves in harm’s way in order to defend a way of life, to defend what they held most dear…” Nathan had an involuntary reaction to the word ‘heroes.’  He hadn’t even realized that he was listening and suddenly a lump formed in his throat.  His Dad washis hero.  He suddenly was listening intently to what the man had to say.  The man was explaining exactly why his Father had done the things he had done and although Nathan had heard the patriotic rhetoric before, it suddenly rang true in a way he hadn’t experienced previously.  His anger and resentment melted into pride.  He looked at his mother again and finally understood everything. Runner-up:  ES

The Fourth Cycle 49SE lumbered over and sat down by one of the great windows of The Distant Searcher explorer vessel.  It stared out into the vast emptiness of space, as it had done so every cycle for several revolutions.  In the darkness, a doorway slid open.  Another terraforming unit walked in, and stood near 49SE. “I extracted more information in the object that we found floating in space.  You know, the one near the burnt out planets,” 82NS said, “It is in a strange dialect, but I believe that it reveals ancient culture.” 49SE turned to face it’s worker counterpart. “What does it say?” it asked. 82NS lumbered closer, and placed broken remains of an ancient satellite near it’s counterpart. “Well,” 82NS started, “This one contains activities that ancient ones seemingly practiced.  They apparently celebrated something on a fourth day of a July.” 49SE stared at it’s counterpart with it’s work-worn iron face. “What is a July? What is a day? Was it a celebration for an achievement?” “Apparently, it was to celebrate the ancient’s independence from another group of ancients.  I believe that it was celebrated to commemorate that.  Not much else remains on the cylinders, other than a few practices observed by these ancients.” 82NS said. “What practices?” 49SE asked. “One of the symbol data cylinders mentions the eating of ‘hotdogs’ and ‘parades’.  Other than that, I do not understand how the various surviving images coincide with each other,” it’s counterpart replied, as it displayed images on itself for 49SE to visualize. “What is a hotdog? What does it have to do with commemoration?” 49SE asked, “What is a parade?” “As far as can be deciphered, a hotdog is a cheerful display of colorful vehicles and music commemorating victorious soldiers and independence from ancient beings.  A parade is an edible, protein based material that the ancients consumed.” 82NS replied. 82NS began lumbering towards the door, then turned back. “Oh, another cylinder mentioned the celebratory exploding of pyrotechnic compounds in colorful displays.” 49SE looked up at 82NS, and stood. “There is an asteroid belt between The Distant Searcher, and our next assigned mission.  It would be agreeable if we may continue this ancient practice of exploding objects in a celebratory manner.” 82NS nodded in agreement. “Happy fourth cycle to you, my friend.” it stated. “Happy fourth cycle to you!” 49SE replied as the two terraforming units left the room.
 

 

A celebration recognized in 1872

Between memorial and Labor Day

Celebrating American freedom

Declaration of Independence signed July 2, 1776

Event that went around the world

Fighting for rights from Great Britain

Government of the people, by the people

Home to all

Initially only thirteen colonies

Justifying our right to be free

King no longer has a say

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Making our country favored by all

National Anthem is the song of the day.

On the fourth the nation was born

Parties, fun, and games rule the day

Quality of life is our goal

Rain sometimes spoils the parade

Squealing children run and play

Time of remembrances

Uniting the country

Voices of politicians heard

Wonderful fireworks displayed

Xenophobia isn’t our norm

Yesteryear was great but tomorrow is greater

Zillions have and will celebrate the 4th of July

 abecdarian poem, using the 26 letters of the alphabet chronologically. An abecedarian poem is a special form of an acrostic poem, in which the initial letters of the words beginning each line or stanza spell out the alphabet in order.
Recognized

 

Author Notes Xenophobia is a fear of anything foreign.
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