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Welcome to my website. I hope you will enjoy the eclectic collection of short stories and essays. They are all very close to my heart, in whichever genre. I always welcome comments and feedback. Once again, I hope you enjoy my site. Thank you.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Life to Be Remembered

The cryptic feel of the old house was pungent upon their first night.  Recently married, they had decided to leave the crowded city and move to the country.  In a backwoods town in the middle of Missouri they found a home for themselves.  Anthony was a writer, and although far from the city, the small town would facilitate his work.

The first night in the old brick house had an ominous, eerie feel.  Anthony went down the stairs to get a drink of water soon after retiring to bed.  The creaks and cracks while walking through the house seemed to be attuned to his senses.  He walked into the kitchen and the refrigerator switched on.  He went onto the back patio and the sounds of nature also seemed to reflect the uneasiness which permeated the old house.

His new wife, Courtney, echoed his apprehension when he returned to the room.  The large house in the country seemed to take on a soul of its own.

She spoke the words with an anxious air, “My heart is beating.  I can’t breathe.   It’s like were not alone in here.  Before you walked up the stairs I could swear I heard somebody walking in the hallway.”

“It’s probably just because we are in a new place,” Anthony responded not wanting to highlight the alarm that he also shared.

The solitude of the country was unlike the busy city.  However, instead of serving as solace, this invoked deeper angst.

They finally both managed to comfort themselves to sleep.  The emptiness of the old house and the country remained unnerving, however, as two adults they did not let their fear take hold of them.

In the middle of the night, Courtney rolled over in bed and in the faint light saw an aspiration in the room with her.  It could have been dismissed as her eyes deceiving her, or possibly light coming through the drapes in the wind.  It looked like a somewhat transparent figure of which she could not identify.  She remained calm and decided it was better not to let her imagination control her.

She walked down the stairs, not mentioning anything to her sleeping husband, poured herself a drink, and went upstairs to sleep without any further labors.  She managed to let herself find sleep despite the unnerving feelings which consumed her.

The apprehensive feel of the old house did not subside; however, with trepidation they assumed that it was simply the anxiety of living someplace new.  After a month, despite several instances which occurred that could be described as paranormal, they began to be accustomed to the strange happenings.

Upon assimilation into their new environment, they decided it was time to paint the house.  There were several pictures on the walls and drapes that needed to be removed.  Behind a Norman Rockwell print, they discovered an old, broken safe which was closed but not locked. 

The mystery to the seemingly supernatural activity which had been occurring was finally answered.  

There was an old, hand-written letter that read, “To whoever finds this note.  I wanted to let you know my five year old son, who died well-before his time, is remembered in this house.  His time had not passed and he is remembered by his presence in this house.”

The new husband and wife both looked over the note carefully.  The house had been abandoned and they had bought it from the bank.  They, through conversation with the residents of the small town, learned that the father and mother of the young child had lived there for another twenty-five years after the death of their son. 

The small boy, whose name they discovered to be Joshua, lived on with the house many years ago.  Upon hearing the story, Anthony and Courtney’s fear of the old house was transformed into comfort.  The strange happenings that occurred in the house in the years to come were accompanied with no apprehension.  Instead, comforting warmth was now all that they summoned in knowledge that a precious love had once existed in this house.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Tearful Reunion

Awakening this morning his life was beginning to come to stride.  No longer did the memories of what could have been torment his mind.  It was a typical day during the work week.  In his one bedroom condominium, he got out of bed and readied himself for a new day.  Breakfast, coffee, shower, and a shave; this routine defined his otherwise empty life.

Working for one of the top accounting firms in Southern California as a CPA had certain advantages.  The financial rewards linked to such a position allowed him to live in the better part of the city and own a newer model BMW.  However, his life, which was definitive of disillusionment since his break-up, left true meaning lacking.

He arrived at work early each morning.  This was the source of the somewhat exorbitant income enjoyed by a college graduate in his late twenties.  On his way to work, he always made it a point to stop at a small coffee shop on the outskirts of town.  It was a family owned establishment with upscale d├ęcor. 

At the beginning of such a typical day a break from the tedious customary practices of the work week was not expected.  He arrived outside the coffee shop and he found a parking space near the door.

"I'll be in and out in five minutes and still get to work in time," he reflected with knowledge that there was a pressing account waiting for him.

As he walked in the door, he was about to face the repercussions from an unexpected reunion that would last into the following weeks.

She stood in front of him in line.   He had not come across her path since their difficult breakup three months ago.  He had caught her with someone else out on a date and it which caused him to initiate the parting.

She stood in line and the awkwardness at first preempted any discussion.  They gazed at each other, and in the uncomfortable silence, wondered if they should say anything at all.

Her beauty, not in a superficial manner, had been what had first attracted him to her.  She was an office professional in her mid-twenties whose manner suited those of riches.  Her style and class infused the room which she graced.  She had long auburn hair and took great care in presenting an aura of refinement and sophistication. 

She was the one that broke the silence.  It started as a simple hello.  “I haven’t seen you for a while,” she stated.  “How have you been?” She asked in a carefree fashion.

He gazed into her green eyes, attempting not to show the emotion which was overcoming him.  He responded with the obligatory politeness.  “Work has been going well.  Since I was promoted to full partner it has been keeping me busy.”

She looked at him as if he were transparent.  “Life has been going good for me also.  Not much going on at the office, but it keeps me busy.”

She arrived at the front of the line at the coffee shop.

The clerk asked, “What can I get for you?” in the midst of his own daily routine.

She turned in the direction of the server as if the conversation in which she was engaged was a trifle.  “I’ll have a double-cappuccino with whip.”

“Double cappuccino with whip,” the clerk called out to his co-worker.

She waited briefly while they were waiting to serve her.  He ordered his coffee and they went departed without another word.  As she walked out the door she did not bother to look back at him.

Work was slow today.  He spent most of the day going over the work of the interns.  There was an investment project that his firm was working on of which he had been designated responsibility.  After looking over a collection of balance sheets and income statements he went over the investment project.  He finished work and decided that he should call it an early day.

Upon return to his condominium it was nearly dusk.  There was not much to do since he rarely took his work home with him.  He turned on the television.  It was a frivolous comedy which would certainly get his mind away from the turn of events of the day.  As he was making himself dinner he enjoyed the comedic pranks in which the lead character engaged. 

Mexican tacos with Spanish rice served as a good dinner.  It only took him about a half an hour to prepare and serve.  He sat down in front of the television and ate his meal.  The memory which had been plaguing his mind all day did not completely absorb him until now.  He had kept himself busy which had enabled him to cope with the trials associated with such a break-up.  However, now at home alone in front of the television it he had time for recollection and remembrance.

The comedy was about the mischiefs of an off-beat character.  However, as he began to watch it more closely, he became entangled with the depth of the plot.  Although the insignificance of the relationship of the main character was meant to be humorous, it became heart-wrenching in his present state of mind.  The comedy which he had tuned on to distract his consciousness somehow overwhelmed his mind.  As he sat down on the couch towards the end of the movie the regret he felt from his recent break-up consumed him.  He did not cry or let it get the better of him, but he wiped his eyes and changed the channel to the 11:00 o’clock news when it was over.

Before going to bed he enjoyed a warm slice of apple pie and a cup of hot tea.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Call of Desperation

  • 3rd place winner February 2012 Aspiring Writer Short Story Competition

Thomas and his family sat down for breakfast.  The rain had poured all night.  When they awoke this morning they overlooked from their kitchen a thick blanket of fresh snow on the nearby mountains.

The cell phone rang.  “Who could it be?” was the popular sentiment this morning at 6:30 sitting around the breakfast table.

“It’s my cell phone,” announced Sarah to her family.  “It’s probably a solicitor.”  She knew very well that even telemarketers don’t usually call this early in the morning, but it was barely a point to ponder so she did not consider it very closely.

She looked at the caller ID.  It wasn’t a phone number that she recognized.  Moreover, it was not even an area code that she recognized.  She did not have time for such nonsense so she pressed ignore on the phone and immediately dismissed the occurrence.

Sarah would cooked breakfast for her family every morning so they could enjoy a hot breakfast at the beginning of each day.  She was an excellent cook and she had cooked them a gourmet egg sandwich with fresh home fries and avocado slices.  Thomas enjoyed a hot cup of coffee with his breakfast and their two children, Joseph and Steven, ate their breakfast with fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Sarah’s phone rang once again.  It was beginning to get annoying this early in the morning.  She looked at the phone and it was the same wrong number.  This time he decided to answer it.

“Hello,” she said into his cell phone.  There was no answer.  So she asked again, “May I ask who I am speaking to?”  Once again there was no answer.  However she heard in the background what seemed to be a raging storm.  She listened very closely and could discern the sound of deafening thunder and howling winds.

Once again, she dismissed the call as an anomaly. 

Thomas, after some morning conversation about the weather said to his family, “How would all of you like to go skiing today?”

The children responded with exuberance, “Can we please, Dad?”  They were both still very young but they were both accomplished skiers.

After a short drive, as they arrived at the ski resort they were all very eager to hit the slopes.  They all took the lifts to the top of the mountain and began to hit the slopes.

Later in the day Thomas and his family had all but lost track of one another.  Often on such trips they would pick a place to meet up at the end of the day and they would enjoy the slopes at their own leisure. 

Thomas began going down one of the more tumultuous slopes.  He was the most adept skier in his family so oftentimes he would bid the more advanced slopes.  Suddenly, moments after beginning the run, the sky was overcome by thick clouds.  Seconds later the storm began.  Before he was halfway down, the wind and the storm forced him to stop.  The trees and other obstacles made it unsafe to continue.

He was almost 2 miles away from any signs of life.  As if it were a miracle from God, he noticed a cell phone in the clearing.  He had not brought his own cell.  He knew it was time to make a desperate phone call so he dialed his wife’s phone.  It rang 3 times and then she hung up. 

He attempted to make his way towards civilization but the elements were beginning to be too strong for him.  He made another phone call.  This time there was an answer. 

He heard the word, “Hello,” in his wife’s familiar voice.

“Finally, now I’ll be ok now,” he thought to himself.  “I’m stranded, send for help.  This is Thomas!”

He heard the words from the cell phone, “May I ask who I am speaking too?”

He shouted, “Its Thomas!  Send help!”  He was 2 miles away from civilization in the midst of an ice storm and worried that he could not make it back.

 All that his wife could discern on the phone were the sound of deafening thunder and howling winds.