Tag Archives: alcoholism

Sally’s Warnings Chapter 4

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Background
Sally has the exhusband of her once best friend show up on her door step. She doesn’t know how to deal with him so she does what ever she can to get rid of him. She is also having to deal with an alco

 

Is this night ever going to end? Sally’s tossing and turning through the night causes her to wake frequently. When her eyes pop open, she hears Bill’s voice saying, “I love you.” She finds herself wide-awake when her parents get up to get ready to go to work.

“Mornin’, Mom. I’m going to get me a cup of coffee. Do you want me to get you one?”

“Sure, it can cool a little while I’m getting dressed. Why are you up? I usually have to drag you out of bed before we leave the house.”

“I can’t get into it right now, but I’ll tell you later. I have a lot on my mind right now and it messes with my sleep.”

“Is it something I can help you with, baby?”

“No Mom, this is something I have to work out for myself.”

“Okay, when you’re ready to talk let me know.”

“Sure, Mom, I will. I left your coffee on the kitchen counter by the pot.”

Sally takes her coffee back to her room. Sitting on the bottom bunk, she sips her coffee and thinks about telling Linda about Bill. I’m not going to tell her anything until I decide what I’m going to do. Maybe the show this afternoon will take my mind off my problem.

***

Sally pulls in front of Linda’s house and honks. Her younger brothers come running out of the house, yelling back at Linda. “Sally’s here”. They are like bugs on the car, all over it and asking what seems like a thousand questions. Linda gets in the car, but has to get out, getting her brothers off the car so they can leave.

“I bet they are a handful for your mother,” Sally says laughing. She backs the car out of the driveway and heads for McAlester.

“You have no idea what it’s like living with them two. They are constantly into something or trying to be mean to me. They don’t bother Carol, because they know she will whip them.”

“I thought your sister left for East Central. Haven’t they started school?”

“No, they haven’t. She is leaving this weekend to get her dorm room set up. Since it’s her second year she’ll be staying at a different dorm than she did last year.”

“Changing the subject, Mom told me she’ll get daddy to fix the floor board of this car. I’m so tired of losing shoes out those blasted holes. I lost one last week when we went to the river. Mama told me to stop pulling them off and I wouldn’t lose them.”

“She’s right, cause you never leave your shoes on your feet,” Linda says.

“I don’t like wearing shoes. I want to go barefooted. It drives mama crazy. She is one who puts her shoes on first thing in the morning and they don’t come off till bedtime.”

The girls get to town without any problems. Sally parks in front of the Okla Theater and they buy their tickets for Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. They go into the theater and stand for a minute at the door to let their eyes adjust to the darkness. When they feel they can walk in safety, they walk the center aisle until they find two empty seats together.

“Excuse me, excuse me”, both girls say as they step in front of two young fellows to get to their seats. The movie was beginning as the girls settle into their seats with their popcorn and cokes to drink. Occasionally they glance at the two boys sitting beside Sally. “They’re good-looking,” Linda whispers to Sally.

In one scene, Bette Davis screams and jumps at someone with a hatchet. It startles Sally, who then screams and grabs the young man sitting next to her. When she realizes what she’s done, she’s embarrassed. “I am so sorry I grabbed you. The movie scared me and I didn’t realize what I was doing until it was too late.”

The young man laughs, “it’s all right, I grabbed my brother’s arm. We weren’t expecting it, that’s all.” The four of them finish watching the move, get up and walk to the lobby. The young man looks at Sally and smiles. “My name is Mike Hentry and this is my brother Dougin. Would the two of you like to go for a float at the A&W?”

“How about we follow you there? That way you won’t have to bring us back to my car,” Sally says.

“Sure, if that is what you want to do.”

“Mike, my car is right in front of the theater. Where are you parked?”

“We’re in the parking lot at the end of the street. Give us a couple of minutes to get to the car and then head to the drive-in. What are you driving?”

“I’m in a black ‘54 Ford. It will be easy to spot. I think I’ve got the oldest car in the area.” They all laugh, and the boys head for their car. As soon as the boys get out the door, the girls start talking.

“Can you believe this,” Linda said. “Both of them are as cute as bugs’ ears, but I like Dougan.”

“That’s quite all right because I like Mike. I like his blonde hair and blue eyes.” Sally digs the keys out of her purse and they walk to the car.

“Oh, it’s awful out here,” Linda whines. “We should have come to a night show.”

“Yeah, it kind of sucks the air out of your lungs. Once we start moving it’ll get a little better.” Sally pulls into the slot at the A&W the same time Mike and Dougin pull in.

Mike leans out his window and says, “Come on over here and get in.”

Sally and Linda get out of the Ford and walk to Mike’s car. It’s a red ’62 two-door Chevy. Dougin gets out of the front seat and holds the seat back for Linda to get into the car. Dougin then crawls in beside her. Sally gets into the front seat next to Mike. Sally starts the conversation between her and Mike. “Do you live here in town?

“We have an efficiency apartment at Willow Valley Motel. We’re doing a job for Cherokee Telephone Company.”

“Really, that’s our telephone company.”

“You know all of that underground cable that’s going in.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen it.”

“That’s what we’re doing, laying that cable. Let’s get our drinks ordered. What do you want, Sally?”

”I’d like a root beer float.” Sally replies.

“Dougin, what are you and Linda going to have?” Mike asks.

“We’re both having a Coke float.”Dougin tells his brother.

They all have their floats and continue talking about each other’s lives. The time arrives for Sally and Linda to leave. “Thank you, Mike, for the floats. We had a nice time. Maybe we’ll see you when you place the wire in our area,” Sally says.

“Yeah, maybe, but I have a better idea. Why don’t you and Linda have dinner with us next Saturday night and then we’ll go to the drive-in theater?”

Linda leans on the front seat, “I think that’s a great idea. I’m all for it. What about you, Sally?”

“Sounds like fun. Do you want us to meet you in town or are you going to pick us up?”

***

As Sally and Linda sit with their newfound friends, they do not notice the car following them. Bill can’t believe what his eyes are showing him. Sally gets out of her car, goes, and gets in the car with this blonde dude. Who is he? Sally is going to marry me and no one else. Go ahead, little girl and have your fun, but you’re not getting rid of me, ever.

 

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.

 

 

 

It’s Short Story Day (The Red Shoes)

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This short story is nonfiction, and I didn’t write it for sympathy. I wrote it because I wanted to share a taste of what it’s like to live with the disease of alcoholism. It affects millions every day all over the world.  It’s been around since man began making wine many thousands years ago.

Alcohol is as addictive as the meth being manufactured today, except it’s legal. We all know prohibition didn’t work and as far as I can tell the war on drugs isn’t working either.  What is the answer?

I hope you like my story of  The Red Shoes.

I had reached my limit. Leaving was the only option I had. Standing up from the chair, I looked at mama and walked into my bedroom. Retrieving my coat from the closet, a headscarf and the new pair of red loafers mama bought me when we went to town that morning. I didn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t stay at the house any longer. I may have only been twelve years old, but I knew he would hurt me if I stayed.

There was snow and ice on the back steps. When I stepped out, down I went to the ground. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt in the fall. Picking myself up, I began walking down the road. Where could I go? If I went to Bob and Eva’s, he might find me there. I decided to go to my Uncle Charles’s house, on the mountain. It was about four miles north west of where we lived, up in the hills.

We lived fifteen miles west of McAlester on Highway 270 at a community called Cabiness. We ran a small country grocery store and Texaco gas station, called Blevins Grocery. My parents purchased the place before we left California. Returning to the area where mom and dad were born and raised was important, especially for my mother.

The one room store was actually the front room of the house. It had been converted to a store long before my parents bought it. The house now had one bedroom and kitchen, living room and a closed in back porch with a large window that pulled out and up, and hooked to the ceiling. That’s where mom and dad slept. My room was in the middle of the house without windows. It had two doors, one going to the living room and the other to the back porch.

There was a well and pump house sitting on the west side of the house. That water well was the catalyst for my problem. The well was terrible. The water smelled like sulphur, and tasted rotten. It didn’t furnish enough water to run the household. If you did the dishes, you couldn’t take a shower, or if you flushed the commode you couldn’t do the dishes. It was a constant struggle. I would usually go to Bob and Eva’s house to take my bath and do my homework. I would spend the night there at least once a week.

The store and station opened at 6 am and closed at 9 pm. This particular evening we were slow closing. Dad just returned home from spending time at a bar in McAlester. He was in the living room sitting on the piano bench watching me like a hawk. My cousin rang the bell to let us know someone needed gas. I went out and pumped the gas, and while I was talking to Eva, we decided I would ask mom if I could go home with them to spend the night. I asked mom if I could go home with Bob and Eva, and she agreed. I began to gather my clothes and schoolbooks.

”What are you doing, Shirley”? My dad yelled.

I walked into the living room and told him “I am getting my stuff together to go spend the night with Bob and Eva so I can do my homework and take a bath”.

“You sit down in that chair because you’re not going anywhere.”

“Daddy, mama told me I could go”.

“I don’t give a damn what your mother said, you are not going. You go tell them to go on and then get your butt back in here.”

I walked out to their truck and told them daddy wasn’t going to let me go with them. I was angry, but I knew not to say anything more to dad. When I walked back into the living room, he told me to sit down in the chair. I was angry and hurt. I sat very still and quit, while he tried to pick a fight with me. When I didn’t respond he started yelling at me. There was a pair of pliers sitting on the piano I’d left there earlier in the day from doing something that I don’t remember now. The next thing I knew he picked up the pliers and threw them at my head. God was protecting me because he missed by about one and a half inches, knocking a hole in the wall. That’s when I knew I had to get away from him.

Since I decided to go to my uncle’s house, I began walking down the dirt road behind our house. It would take me up the mountain. I had my headscarf wrapped around my head, and was wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I never wore socks, and I didn’t even think about my feet when I left the house. I’d walked about two miles when I stepped in an ice covered hole of water. I knew my feet would freeze if I didn’t do something. I took off my headscarf and using my teeth to start a tear, I managed to rip the scarf in two. I put a half in each one of my new, red shoes to help keep my feet warm. I continued walking down the middle of the road. If a car came down the road, I ran into the woods and hid until it passed. I wasn’t going to let him find me. I didn’t have any intention of ever returning to that house.

I finally made it to the top of the mountain. It was after 11:00 when I knocked on Charles’s door. My Aunt Jerry opened the door after I identified myself.

“What are you doing here this late? Where’s your mama?” Jerry asked.

I told her the story while I sat wrapped in a warm blanket drinking a cup of hot tea. “Jerry, where is Charles? I can’t live there anymore. I want to stay here.”

“Charles hasn’t come in from town. I guess he had a date tonight, but I know you will be able to stay here as long as you need to.”

We heard the truck drive up to the front of the house. Jerry told me to go to the barn and hide in the hay. I took off out the back door towards the barn. I was almost there when Jerry yelled, telling me it wasn’t daddy, and to come back to the house.

When I got back in the house, there sat mama with a neighbor of ours, Donnie Elliott. Mama began to cry. “I tracked you in the snow. I knew you would either come here or go to Bob’s house. I want you to come home.”

“I’m not coming back to that house. I hate him; he is not going to hurt me. I’ve begged you to make him leave, and you wouldn’t, so now I’ve left and I’m not going back. I’m going to stay here, and if I can’t stay here then I’m going to go back to California and stay with Jim and Bobbie.”

“Please, honey, come back home. I promise you, it will be different, and he won’t be there. Come with me now and spend the night with Donnie. You can stay with her until he leaves the house tomorrow.”

Donnie sat there nodding her head up and down as mama talked. I loved my mama, and I couldn’t bear watching her cry and listening to her begging me to come back home.

“All right, mama, I’ll come home if he’s not there.” I got my coat and put on my new red, now wet and covered in mud, shoes. Jerry had given me a pair of socks, so my feet wouldn’t freeze off. Donnie lived about a half mile from us on the dirt road behind the store building. Mama promised me again that daddy would be gone the next morning.

She kept her word, and he was gone. I came home, and I was happy with my life for once. I could bring a girlfriend to the house and not be afraid of what dad would say or do. It was a peaceful time for me. Mom didn’t do so well, but that is another story.

Alcoholism is a terrible, terrible disease. It doesn’t just destroy the one drinking, but his or her family as well. It took many years for me to forgive my father, but I did. He is 85 years old now, and mama is gone. He doesn’t remember a thing about the trauma he caused his family. He and mom reconciled a year later after he had stopped drinking. That lasted a year and then it started over. That doesn’t matter now. He is a good man with a good heart and I can say I love him very much. He is and always will be my daddy. I survived and so did he.

“My Daddy”

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Drinking Man

My life with my Dad is/was complicated. I love him, and I now know he loves me.  It’s not always been so. I was fifty years old the first time I heard daddy tell me he loved me.  It was if he had gone through his life not being able to get the words to come out of his mouth.  I think it is amazing how important those words are to a daughter.  I went through half of my life not knowing if daddy loved me or not.  Now, he is never the first to say it, but I always hear it, “love you too.”
My dad fought his demons.  The alcohol ruled his life from the time I was a child until I was almost fifty years old.  There were casualties from the fight.  For many years I was one of them.  As a small child my memories of my dad was his drinking, going fishing and watching the Friday night fights.  When I reached my teen years, I hated my father.  I couldn’t bring friends home with me, because I didn’t know if he would kiss them or cuss them.
He taught me how to manipulate him, so I could get what I wanted. I learned just the right time to ask for something.  He went through all the known stages of
drinking alcohol, from quiet to downright mean.  By the time he reached the mean stage I would try to disappear.  It didn’t always work because he would set me
up for a fight.  It was strange, but that is how I learned to love books.  I could
disappear into one of them.
There was so much verbal and physical abuse, around me. He and mom would get into an augment which intensified into a physical fight all too often.  I am surprised they let each other live to make it to sixty years of living together.
Through Gods grace I was able to forgive my dad.  I now see him as a kind loving father who now appreciates his family, and what he has.  I still remember the pain, but it doesn’t affect me like it did.
Daddy doesn’t remember the life we had or the pain he caused. He remembers the good things about his life and not the bad.  At his age it is alright, he doesn’t need to remember. He enjoys his daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His world revolves around his family now, not the bottle.
The video I have posted below is called : Alcohol: Poison for body and mind. It is very interesting to listen to.  Please take the time to listen.  We can’t have enough education concerning alcoholism.
ttp://youtu.be/-rsBMyFqCl8
That’s my two-cents for the day.