Category Archives: Short Story

Darius Figgaro: Legend of the Shoemaker

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“I swear it’s true, every single word.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Giorgio, I’m unable to accept your statement. What made you think a story  so far-fetched, would  be believed?”

“Why would I lie about something that could cost me my life, Detective Johnson? That man died just as I said he did. I’m an honest man, and I do not lie.”

Detective Johnson got up from the table and walked from one corner of the room to the other. He couldn’t get his brain around the story that Mr. Giorgio was telling. “Do you care if I smoke, Mr. Giorgio?”

“No, I don’t care, Detective.”

“Thank you. Now let’s stop the formality. I’ve known you all of my life. You call me Peter, and I’ll call you, um, um. I don’t know your first name. I’ve never called you anything but Mr. Giorgio.”

Mr. Giorgio smiled as he listened to Peter. “Peter, my first name is Tony. Actually, it’s Antonio, but everyone calls me Tony. I guess it’s easier to remember.”

“May I call you, Tony? I’m sure I will fall back into old habits and call you Mr. Giorgio, but I’ll do my best to call you by your name. Ok, let’s start from the beginning, once again. Don’t leave anything out.”

“I haven’t left out anything, yet. Peter, there is more to this world than what’s here in Summerton. Things people have no idea is happening in this world. Have you ever heard of Darius Figgaro?”

“No, I can’t say I have. Is that the guy’s name we found in your shop?”

“No, I don’t know who that man was. Darius was from the third century BC and a shoemaker as I am. He lived in a small village, in Armenia. He was known everywhere for his excellent shoes. In fact, he was so talented he was chosen to make shoes for the God’s as an offering, when the festival happened, in a few months. Aramazd, and his attendant, Grogh were made boots. For Aramzd’s son, Mehr, he made the softest, kid, leather shoes, and finally for the Goddess Anahit, he made slippers from a new shiny material from China made by worms. Nothing was finer in the entire world.”

“If anything was going to bring the town prosperity, it would be Darius Figgaro’s shoes. The God’s would certainly think of Artashavian as their favorite place. The village leaders were so confident in their plan, they already had a sign made for outside of town. In large red letters, it read: Artasavian, home of the God’s shoes.”

“You’re kidding, towns back in the third century BC didn’t put up signs.”

How do you know, Peter? Were you there? People are remarkably resourceful, no matter when or where they lived. Think about the pyramids in Egypt, or the great lighthouse in Alexandria. All through the ages, people have accomplished exciting and beautiful things. Now back to my story. Are you going to interrupt me anymore?”

“I’m not planning to,” remarked Peter.

“The time for the great festival of the gods arrived in Artashavian. You could palpate the excitement in the air. Everyone was happier and looking forward to the three days of fun and homage to their gods. Darius’s excitement ended abruptly when he went to gather his offering and found the shoe cupboard empty. I know I put those shoes in this cupboard. What am I going to do now? Darius sat on his cobbler’s bench and prayed to the gods to help him find his offering. A loud booming voice sounded in Darius’s head.

“Darius sweep the floor using your new broomstick.”

Darius stood as he thought a moment where his new broom was located. Once he thought of the location, he walked to his back porch and grabbed the broom. “Ok, god, I have the broom, and I am obeying you even though I don’t know what good sweeping the floor will do.”

Sweeping the dirt floor was not an easy thing to do. You had to sweep but not stir up the dust and yet sweep aggressively enough to remove the debris on the floor. Sometimes Darius would place a course woven material down on the floor is he could buy the yardage at a cheap enough price. It’s been awhile since he purchased any, so his floor was bare.

He swept the center out of the floor but then decided he’d best do the corners. There’s a box here. I don’t remember this. When Darius looked inside the box, he yelled aloud, “Thank You, thank you”. There were all of the god’s boots and shoes. Tomorrow I will present them as my offering to the gods.

Before sunrise, the next morning, Darius gathered his box of shoes and headed to the temple. He felt fantastic and had extra energy. It was a glorious day. There were other people gathered at the temple also. Sunrise was the appointed time for giving of gifts. If your gift was accepted by the gods, you received a special blessing. Darius was hoping they would give him continued good health, so he could continue to make his shoes.

Just as the sun was coming over the horizon, Darius placed his offering on the altar. The ground shook and lightening streaked the sky. Women were screaming and running away, but Darius stood his ground. He looked at the altar, and his offering was gone. Everyone else’s was still there. What does this mean? Have I displeased them with my offering?”

“You have not displeased us Darius. You have used your talents to make a personal offering to us. Because you have pleased us so much, we are going to bless you for each pair of shoes you made. Kneel Darius facing the sun.”

Darius was on his knees with the sun shining brightly in his face. He heard a female voice call his name. “Darius, my slippers are magnificent and feel glorious on my feet. For this, you shall have eternal life. You will continue to share your shoes with all you meet. Everyone will want a pair of your shoes. My child’s feet are protected with the soft leather of his shoes. Because you have given him protection, I shall protect you.”

“Thank you, goddess, for your blessing. I could not ask anything more. I will continue to work and make my shoes”, Darius said.

“You shall prosper though your work,” Grogh commanded. “You shall never go without food or fine housing.”

Aramazd asked Darius if there was anything else he desired. Darius declined. “Then go Darius, knowing you will be protected, have a long life and will be sharing your shoes with the world for all time.”

Darius bowed his head as the bright light was removed from his face. He stood, not quite believing what occurred. “I’ve been blessed. What more could I want in this world.”

When Tony finished his story, he looked at Peter and asked, “Do you understand now?”

“Understand what? You told me a fairy tale that has nothing to do with the man’s body in your shop.”

“You are no different than the thousands of other people I have told my story to. You go through this life thinking you know everything, and you actually don’t know anything at all. I can’t explain it any further than what I already have. You have to open your mind, and actually listen to what I said.”

“I don’t have enough evidence to hold you for the man’s murder. I’m going to let you return home but do not try to leave town.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Peter. I will be at my shop working on some shoes. I have a particular order from the Pope. He likes his kid, soft leather shoes.” Tony left the room, heading back to his shop.

Peter kept running Tony’s story around in his mind. Maybe when I hear from the Coroner’s office everything will fall into place. Returning to his office, Peter pulled out the evidence folder on the dead man. It was empty, not one thing to go on so far.

“Peter, the Coroner’s Office is on-line 1.”

“Thanks Sam. Hello, Doc, what do you have for me? You are kidding me, not one thing. What was the cause of death? Heart failure, so it’s natural causes. Sure, I’ll let the prosecutor know about the findings. Thanks, Doc, for the info.” Shaking his head, Peter couldn’t believe it all meant nothing. He knew he wanted to talk to Tony again about the legend of the shoemaker and to tell him about the findings.

When Peter opened the door to go into the shop, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The room was empty. Not one shoe or even a sign anyone had been in the building. Cob webs hung from the ceiling corners, with thick dust on the windowsill. A desk sat up against the wall. It was polished to a brilliant shine and had a paper lying on top. When Peter walked over to the desk and looked down at the paper, it made him take in a deep breath, before reaching down to pick it up. His name was printed on the folded paper. He opened the paper, and he knew his world would never be the same. It read, I am Darius.

 

The Time is Here…..

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I’m so excited and can’t keep my old heart from jumping up and down. I finally have my book of short stories on Amazon. It’s called, “Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes”. You can read just about any genre you want with these stories. I started working on them a couple of years ago.

One thing I’m very pleased about is using Afaheem Solutions to do the drawings before every chapter. Those pictures set the story off and give you little hints what it’s about. It was fun to see what concepts he would come up with in a short period of time. If I wanted something changed he would do it immediately.

I think my favorite of the stories is Forever Love based on a true event from my life. If you like paranormal, love and tragedy all wrapped up in a neat package, you will like this story.

Take a look at it and let me know what you think about the book.  Blessings to all.        Shirley

Peaceful Guilt (A Short Story)

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I thought I would share a short story with you today. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Let me know what you think. Feedback is always helpful to a writer.

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Andrew Johnson walks to his car and places a box in the trunk. He gets in the car, starts the engine, and drives out of the parking lot. People are standing at the bottom of the ramp, huddled together in a group, talking.

As his car picks up speed, a smile crosses his lips. Are you proud of me father for finally completing a job?

Father chews on me about any and everything.He’s made my life miserable. Pulling up in front of the mansion, he puts the car in park and jumps out. It’s great having the garage man park the car. He lifts the trunk, takes out the box, carrying it to the front door. The butler, Wilson, opens the door.

“Good afternoon, Master Johnson.”

“Hello, Wilson. Where is my mother?”

“She has gone to a Women’s Club meeting. I believe she is giving a speech today.”

“Thank you, Wilson; I’ll be in my room.” Andrew bounds up the long stairway to the second floor landing. He walks around to the back stairs and takes those steps to his room on the third floor.

I’m feeling very pleased with myself right now. Life is changing for mother and myself. People ignore what they see because Anthony Johnson is an important man. Father puts out the persona around people that he has the perfect life. If only they knew. Maybe now they will get to know him now as mother and I do.

A knock sounds on the door. “Come in”, Andrew calls out.

A woman in her forties walks in. “Hi, mother, how did your speech go?” Andrew asks.

As his mother was walking towards his bed, he is thinking how beautiful she is. Her petite build, long blonde hair and clear blue eyes make her the envy of many women.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Margaret takes ahold of her son’s hand. “Andrew, we have to talk. Our lives are going to change.”

“Yep, they sure are. Isn’t it great? What’s on your mind, mother?”

“The police came to the Woman’s Club and brought me home. They told me your father was giving a speech in front of the bank and someone shot him.”

“Wouldn’t you expect the police to come and get you? You were the devoted wife.”

On the bedside table the radio plays softly. Andrew and his mother listen as a news report begins. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sad to announce that our Governor, Anthony Johnson has been assassinated. At this time, the police will only say they have a lead. We’ll cut into your regular programing if there are further developments.”

A knock sounds on the door. “Come in”, Andrew says.

Wilson opens the door. “Excuse me, ma’am for the intrusion. There are men down stairs who identify themselves as FBI. They would like to speak to Master Andrew.”

“Do not open your mouth, Andrew,” his mother says.

Flash Fiction

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I love writing flash fiction. It lets me stretch my writing muscles a bit, but not feel overwhelmed. Today I wrote a flash fiction called Football Fantasy. I was required to use six words: alarm, agent, football, song, explosion, and fantasy. I’m posting it for you to read. Please give me some feedback. I love hearing from everyone.   Shirley

Football Fantasy

Can it be true? Has my life long fantasy happened? When the alarm went off this morning, I knew in my heart that it would be a great day. I jumped out of bed with a song on my lips. I’m happy. I’m blessed. When the agent called yesterday about being the place kicker for the Hurricanes, I had a difficult time talking because of my excitement. Me, Amy Jackson, playing football for a professional team.

What is that smell? I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned it to the maintenance man. He tells me the same thing every time. “I’ll get to it when I can, Ma’am”. I have to take a shower before the agent and coach arrives. That bathroom heater needs lighting. I hate that pilot light. It only works when it wants to.
Where did I put those matches? Here they are.

***

On page four of the Tulsa World, Sunday edition, there is a small article, which reads: Amy Jackson, the rising star of the Hurricanes, the first duel-sexed team in Oklahoma, is mourning the loss of their new place kicker. She died in her home yesterday from a gas explosion. No further details are available at this time.

A Short Story (The Bluff) and Vacation

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Hello everyone. I am off to North Carolina and the beach today. Before I leave I decided to post a short story I wrote a couple of days ago. It’s a true story based on a lesson my six year old taught me (she’s now 41). I hope you enjoy it. I will post again after I get back from my trip.  Blessings to all.


I became a mother at the ripe old age of eighteen. I soon learned I knew nothing about raising a child. Three years later, I decided I needed two children to show off my child rearing abilities. I had a beautiful son and daughter.

My son, Allan, was the best boy. He loved to hunt, fish, and played Evil Kenivel on his bike. The trips to the hospital are another story. This story is about my little princess, Stephanie. She taught me an extremely valuable lesson about bluffing.

For some reason during her first year of school, Stephanie decided to stretch her independence. From a mother’s point of view, a six-year-old, in the first grade needs a great deal of motherly love and guidance.

This beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, little girl was a bit hard-headed. That came from her father’s side of the family, of course. I’d ask her to do something, and she would stand with her hands on her hips and tell me no. She got her tail busted a few times, but it didn’t seem to matter to her. (By the way, you have to remember, back in the 70’s, busting tail wasn’t considered abuse.) I had to think of a creative way to get my daughter to behave. I came up with the perfect idea.

When Stephanie misbehaved, I would explain to her I was sending her to a convent run by Nuns, who would make her behave. We weren’t Catholic, and I’m sure she didn’t have a clue of what a convent was. All she knew I was going to send her away from home and that was all she needed to behave. I had my well-behaved daughter back. That is until October.

One Thursday evening in October, my little angel reverted to an obstinate, hateful, child. She pushed me to my limit. You know they do learn at a remarkably early age what buttons to push to send you near to the breaking point and then back off. With my control being reached, I yelled, “All right, little girl, I have had it with you. Come Monday morning you will be enrolled at the convent.” Of course, I didn’t have any intention of taking her anywhere, much less the fact I wasn’t even sure there was a convent in Oklahoma.

Stephanie believed me, settled down, and began watching TV with her brother. It ended up a real,enjoyable evening, and not even problems going to bed. I patted myself on the back, one more time for controlling my daughter without having to bust her tail.

Friday morning, the kids got up without any problem, had breakfast and headed out the door to school. I headed to work. I was the Director of Nursing at a nursing home. My day was going well, that is until 1:00 PM and I heard an overhead page announcing a phone call for me.

“Hello”, this is Shirley. How can I help you?” I’m thinking it’s a doctor’s office calling with orders. That’s the usual calls I received.

“Shirley, this is Amanda Jenkins, Stephanie’s teacher.”

“Is Stephanie hurt? What’s wrong?” I asked. I felt panic.

“Oh, nothing is wrong. I just wanted to ask you to come by the school and sign Stephanie’s transfer papers.”

“What? She’s not transferring anywhere.” I had forgotten about the night before.

“Stephanie came to me this afternoon and turned her books in. She said you were transferring her from here today, and she would start on Monday at another school.”

My darling called my bluff. I had to explain to the teacher what happened. I didn’t think she was going to stop laughing. I felt like an idiot. I never bluffed my daughter again. She taught me a good lesson about bluffing. Don’t do it unless you’re willing to follow through and accept the consequences. My consequences were, I had to eat crow.

 

Help (100 Word Flash NonFiction)

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Hello all, I hope all of you who celebrated Labor Day had a great weekend. Today I am sharing a 100 word flash fiction that won me an overall best award. I will be putting it in my book, Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes. I hope you enjoy it. It is a story from my long ago past. That cowboy and I had a good time.

Help

Linda should be here at any time. I told her I’d wait at the bar.

“Little lady, let me buy you a drink?”

“No, thank you. I’m waiting on my girlfriend.” This guy is drunk and it’s barely 10:00 pm. I scoot down a stool, so I don’t have to be next to him. He moves also.

A cowboy watches, and I mouth “Help.” He walks up, my arms go around his neck, I call him honey. I kiss him and say, “I wasn’t expecting you”.

“I wasn’t expecting you, either. Let’s dance.”

I Found It

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Today, I’m going back to story telling. This is a short story from my book Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes. I’ve decided to ebook publish on Amazon. I may put it in book form at a later time, just because I like to hold books. There is something about the smell of a book that you can’t get from a Kindle.  I hope you enjoy this nonfiction story.  Have a blessed day.

 

I Found It

 

The day I found it, I knew beyond any doubt, He was real. That profound piece of knowledge was shown to me repeatedly through my life.

I am a mother of two children, now grown. I’ve been an RN for thirty-two years. Before I became a nurse, I spent years trying to survive and take care of my two young children as a single mom. I lived on food stamps and in public housing, and I hated every minute of it.

I’d always wanted to be a nurse and in fact started college right out of high school. I decided at that point I wanted my man, and put love above my education. I was married to my children’s father for nine years. He decided he wanted to play. I’m a selfish woman, I don’t share well. My marriage ended.

I lived in Vernon, Texas when my marriage ended. My parents lived in Oklahoma. Everything about my world crumbled around me. I didn’t have a job, I had two small children, and I was an emotional wreck. I wasn’t dealing with my failed marriage well. I had my children wanting their father, and my family telling me the children needed their daddy. I actually swallowed my pride and asked my husband to move back home. I met him at the door, when he moved back. He gave me a kiss and I knew with that kiss something was missing. His being home lasted four days. He couldn’t stay away from his play toy. There was too much pain to handle. I packed up and moved back home to McAlester.

The subsidized housing we lived in was not bad, but the neighborhood could get rough. At that point, in time, which was in the mid 1970’s I, felt as if I were the only caucasian in the complex. My apartment was broken into a couple of times and once I made the mistake of leaving my month’s food stamps on the end table. They disappeared.

I rejoiced when I received a five-dollar increase in my welfare check. Every five dollars in my pocket helped. The rejoicing didn’t last long. The housing authority raised my rent by six dollars a month. It was a losing battle. There was no way to win.

We never had enough money to buy the non-food items we needed, such as laundry soap, toilet paper, and dishwashing soap. Times got so bad, my children would go to a service station and steal toilet paper for us to use.

Towards the end of the month, we would run out of food. Weekends and summer were the hardest, because the kids didn’t get their breakfast and lunch at school. I was blessed enough to have a mom and dad who let me and the kids come to their house for supper when we needed to. I felt like a failure from beginning to end. I couldn’t do anything right. I was supposed to have stayed married, and raised my kids with both a mother and a father. Instead, I felt like a moocher, even though I know they didn’t feel that way. The guilt I felt was eating me up.

I finally got enough of my mind back that I decided to go back to college and fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse. I couldn’t continue to let my children live the way they were living. My mom was so supportive. She encouraged me every chance she got. She wanted me to get the education she’d always wanted for me. I had to be able to take care of my children and myself.

My uncle teased me about not needing an education, because I now had two diplomas, Allan and Stephanie. He’d tried to talk me out of quitting school to marry my kids father, but of course being young and in love I didn’t listen.

Using Pell Grants, I moved to Wilburton and began college at Eastern Oklahoma State College. I made application to their nursing program and was accepted. The two-year program, which I took three to complete, was tough. I took all of my prerequisites one year and did nursing the next two years.

The kids and I lived in a two-bedroom house trailer on campus for the first year. I had a car but didn’t drive much except to go back home to see mom and dad. Mom would usually give me money for the gasoline. The problem of living in Wilburton and being in school, I no longer qualified for food stamps, because I received too much money from the Pell Grant.

We still had to eat and pay bills, so I took a part time job at a local nursing home working as an aide. Since my family owned nursing homes, I was well qualified. I’d done everything from cooking in the kitchen to the laundry room. The down side to the job, it didn’t pay much more than minimum wage, and I had to pay for day care. It didn’t leave me much money. I worked whenever I could.

Through God’s grace, we made it through the first year. Due to almost freezing to death in that trailer, I found a walk-up apartment I could afford to rent. The kids’ day care was down the road from us about a block, and I could drop them off on my way to class without having to drive out of my way.

My second year of nursing school was the toughest. I couldn’t work many hours because of my clinical schedule for school. It got to the point one time when there wasn’t even milk for the kids in the refrigerator. I had nothing. I cried and I prayed and cried some more. I’d finally cried all the tears I could and I needed comfort.

Something made me pick up my Bible and I began reading in my favorite book of Isaiah. I felt comforted, as I always did. After my divorce, I slept with the Bible close to me. God was my comfort and my strength. When I turned, the page, what I saw astounded me. I began crying all over again, except this time with joy.

Stuck inside my Bible was a crisp, new ten-dollar bill. I didn’t put it there, which made it a miracle for me. It would let me buy food until my payday from work rolled around in a couple of days. I fell on my knees and began praising God. I knew then I didn’t have anything to worry about because He was with me. You know what, He still is. I worry very little because I know God has my back. I have failed him many times, but He has never failed me.

Times remained hard while I was in school, but I received my nursing license and my world turned around. I know I made it through with God’s help and the help of my family.

 

 

Flash Fiction Story and August Contest

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Brother

The laughter at the wedding reception makes my heart glad. I want a drink right now, none of that mild crap. How do I tell Gloria on her wedding day, her brother is dead? James was found nude, in a muddy ditch, murdered? How does one begin a sentence you know will destroy someone’s world? I’m hoping her marriage allows her to let loose of her obsessions concerning her brother.

“Detective Donavan, you finally made it,” Gloria yells, and begins laughing,as she runs to meet him.

Donavan walks to meet her. “I certainly did. What happened to your beautiful dress?”

“Oh clumsy me, I fell flat of my face in the mud.”

Now it’s your turn. Let’s see what you can do with this. Use the same words I did and come up with a FF story keeping it under 120 words. The winner will receive an ebook from Amazon of thier choice under $5.00. Deadline will be Friday, August 10th with a winner announced on the 11th. Send stories to shirley_mclain@yahoo.com.  Have Fun

Hunky Brother

A Question and A Short Story

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Hello everyone. I hope all are well today. I’m staying close to the airconditioning with this 112 degree heat today.  We need rain here in Oklahoma as well as surrounding states. Put your prayer caps on and place it before God. Besides that I have a question concerning your Spam folder. Do you consider everything that goes to spam as bad? When I read some of it, it sounds sincere. I’ve been deleting all of it without responding. Please let me know what you do with your spam.

Since I’m so slow with my next chapter of Sally’s Warning, I am posting a short story called Be Care of What You ask. As I have learned personally,  you may not really want it.  Enjoy

Be Careful of What You Want

Downtown Atlanta

Rebecca Jenkins gets off the bus and begins her block long walk, grumbling with every step.I don’t know why that had to be in the tallest building in Atlanta. I don’t like elevators and I sure don’t like heights. The gynecologist is on the fiftieth floor of the Bank of America (BOA) Building. I don’t know why he didn’t go to the top since it’s only fifty-five floors to start with.

Finally arriving at the BOA building, she goes though one set of six revolving doors. The temperature outside is in the upper nineties, so getting through those rotating doors into the lobby felt like heaven. Her natural curly, chestnut colored, hair is fuzzy because of the high humidity. Looking around the lobby, she spots the bank of elevators. I didn’t know one building could have this many elevators.

She pushes the up button on the elevator and stands back to see which door might open. Five other people are standing, waiting for an elevator. Rebecca always thought herself good at sizing people up. I wish I had more time to talk to these people and find out if my first thoughts of everyone are accurate. Well at least right now, I know there’s a nun in the group. She’s hard to miss in that black habit, Sally thought.

The elevator bell goes off and all six of the people began looking at the arrows at the top of the elevators to determine which one is ground level. The door to the middle elevator on the right side opens and the six walk on with the door closing behind them. Sally stood next to the buttons, so she asks what floor the other want. The Nun and a teenage girl say fifty and a woman holding a white tip cane whispers, “Forty-five, please.” The two men are going to fifty-three and fifty-five.

The elevator begins its climb with a bell sounding at every floor. Sally feels her anxiety building as the elevator climbs. I should be grateful this isn’t one of those glass elevators that go up the outside of the building. I know I couldn’t handle that kind at all. The silence is thick in the elevator. Everyone has their head down, but raises it with each ding of the bell.

The elevator ding sounds at the thirty-eighth floor and continues climbing. The elevator begins to shake and stops. “What happened?” Rebecca asks.

The mousy looking man with the black rimmed glasses begins talking “I can’t believe this shit. Excuse me, Sister. for my language. This isn’t acceptable. Lady, get on the emergency phone and get us some help. I have to pick up my son’s medication at his doctor’s office. They close at 4:30 pm.”

The nun speaks up, “Everyone please try to stay calm. I know we’ll be getting help very soon.”

“Did God tell you that information, Sister?” The teenage girl says in a sarcastic tone.

“Not this time, but he’s never failed me, so I’m not worried.”

Rebecca backs into the right front corner of the elevator. Gosh, I hope this thing hangs tight. At least we have a light. It would be completely terrifying if it were totally dark inside this thing.

The others don’t notice that she’s hung the phone up, except the good looking man that looks so angry. “Hey, what did they say? When will they get us out of here?” The good-looking man asks Rebecca.

“No one answers the phone, sir. I’ll try again in a couple of minutes.”

“Here, let me try”, the mousey man says. He pushs Rebecca aside and picks up the phone. It rang and rang, with no answer on the other end. He slams the receiver back onto the hook. “What a crock of shit this is, first we have a jacked up elevator and now no one will answer the emergency phone.”

“Let’s please stay calm,” the sister says. “Why don’t we talk and tell each other some details about ourselves and time will pass a little faster.” Everyone looks at her as if she no longer has good sense. “I’ll start. My name is Sister Margaret. I am with the Sisters of the Rosary, at Saint Michaels Convent. I have been a nun for almost twenty-six years. I certainly never thought I’d be in an elevator this afternoon with five other people. Okay, young lady, why don’t you take your turn.”

The teenager looks at Sister Margaret, “Okay, Sister, you got it. My name is Angie and I’m fifteen years old. God ain’t done one thing for me, so he’s done nothing but let me down.”

“Oh Angie, you just can’t see what he’s done for you, but I assure you he loves you and is with you every step you take,” Sister Margaret says.

“Is that a fact, Sister? Then I guess he was with me the night those three thugs raped me and left me for dead. In addition, to top that off, now I’m carrying a bastard baby. I’m sure God was right there with me the whole time.”

You can hear everyone suck in their breath when she speaks. Sister Margaret, gets down on the floor next to the young girl and takes hold of her hands. “I’m so sorry, Angie. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people, but they do. I know you’re angry at the world right now, but know I will help you any way I can. What about your parents, how do they feel?”

“That’s another good thing. My parents are dead. I live in the home for Girls on Piedmont. Yep, I can sure see where God is with me every step. Get up, Sister, and don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself.”

Sister Margaret continues to hold Angie’s hands. “Remember, I will help you. You don’t have to go through this alone. In fact, the convent has a very nice home for unwed mothers. It is a big improvement over the state run home on Piedmont. Just think about it and let me know when we get off the elevator.”

Letting go of Angie’s hands she stands and then bends over and touches Angie’s hair. As soon as Sister Margaret’s hand strokes her hair, Angie begins to cry. Tears run down  her cheeks, falling onto her pink blouse.

Everyone stands quietly for the next five minutes while Angie cries.

“I hope you feel better, dear, now that you’ve cried. It always helps me,” says the woman with the white tipped cane.

“When are they going to fix this elevator? I’ve only got twenty minutes to get to my son’s doctor.” The mousy little man  shouts out. Sister Margaret looks at him and asks, “Why don’t you tell us a little something about yourself.”

The mousy little man is shaking, agitated, and seems to have problems standing still. When he first begins to speak, you can hear his voice shaking. “Ah, my name is Arthur, and I work in this building for BOA as an accountant. I’m married with a six year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s the reason I’ve got to get to the doctor’s office.”

“Mister, you look like you’re strung out. Are you sure you not taking your son’s drug.” Angie looks him straight in the eyes. “Your eyes are even twitching. Don’t bother lying, because I can recognize the symptoms. A couple of girls at the home are always strung out on something.”

“Shut your mouth you little bitch! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“That’s what you think,” Angie says.

“Please tell us more, Arthur,” Sister Margaret says.

“I don’t have anything else to say. I’m going to try this phone again. Maybe they’ll answer this time.” He picked up the phone, but still no answer. He slams the receiver down again, and begins screaming help.

The good-looking man steps over to him and places a hand on his shoulder. Leaning in, he whispers in
Arthur’s ear. Author immediately backs up into the corner and nothing moves except his quivering eyes
.
The good-looking man steps back. “Since I have everyone’s attention, why don’t I tell you about me? My name is Stephen Taylor, and I’m a Federal Supreme Court Justice taking a few days off to take care of some business. I’m married right now, but won’t be for long. I now have evidence my wife of twenty years is having an affair with my best friend.”

Sister Margaret spoke up. “Mr. Taylor, I’m so sorry for your troubles. I know it has to be hard on you right now, but don’t be too hasty in what you do. Give yourself some time to cool down before you make any decisions. I’ll pray for you and your wife.”

“That’s very kind of you, Sister. I can use all the prayer I can get. I’m afraid my wife has already made my decision for me. She left for Vegas this morning for a quickie divorce and plans to marry Martin as soon as possible.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, but you both will still get my prayers.”

The woman with the white-tip cane spoke up. “I guess I can take my turn now. My name is Candy Cross. As you can see, I’m blind and have been since birth. I was very angry about my blindness for a few of my teen years, but I got over that. Actually, I’m doing good. I own my own braille printing business and do very well. I’m not married and I do live on my own not too far from here. I’ve got a good life.”

Everyone speaks their congratulations, except Arthur. He’s still standing in the corner twitching. Then it is Rebecca’s turn.

“Hi, my name is Rebecca and I don’t like tall buildings or elevators, but here I am. I’m twenty-two years old and I’m working on my master’s degree in psychology. My home is in Lubbock, Texas, but I’ve been here for almost five years. I have to tell you that before I got on this elevator, I wished I’d had more time to spend with you, so I could find out about you. It’s my thing to try and figure people out. You surprised me, except for Sister Margaret. I’ve learned a little about each of you and a lot about myself. I don’t read people as well as I thought,and also be careful for what you ask for, because you might get it.”

The elevator lights flicker and they feel the elevator start down the shaft. Everyone cheers and pats each other’s back. They know their rescue is happening.

Recognized

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.