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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fiction: Five Letters-Dear Mae, (398 words)

Dear Mae,

Mae. Mom. Mother. Ah, the names I have for you. Half of them I won’t admit to you.

Where to begin? My childhood wasn’t exactly easy. I know that was half my fault, and I am sorry for all of that. I should’ve tried harder to work with you. I hope you can forgive me for that.

I also want to thank you. You knew that living with you was not doing me any good. I was sneaking out, drinking, smoking, and in general being a pain in your ass. You sent me to my godfather, and you didn’t think twice about me being there. That was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. I don’t hate you for not wanting to have me for Christmas, and I’m not sorry you sent me away without a thought. Thank you, again.

Now, as for Greg. As a kid, I honestly believed that I was destined never to have a father. My real father had left me, and frankly, the substitutes you brought me over the years were in no way, shape or form father figures. But I stood by you when you married Greg. It was the first one of your weddings that I even attended, let alone taken place in, and I did that for a reason. Partially because Bradley dragged my butt to town, but mostly because I felt that Greg just might be different.

I maybe a little embarrassed to admit it, but Greg is my step-father and honestly, I hope that he stays my step-father for a good long time.

I love you, Mae…Mom. I love you, I love Greg, and I love my new little half-sister. Even though I may not always act like it, and I may not always be the most family focused guy, I really do.

And once again, Mom, thank you for doing what you believed was best no matter what others thought. It really has changed my life in ways I could not even imagine.

I promise, next Christmas I will be there with gifts for you, Greg and even baby Darla, whether you want me there or not.

I really do love you. I know I’ve said that over and over again, but really, Mae, do you ever believe something on the first try?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Love Your Son,

David.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Five Letters-Dear Billy (430 words)

Dear Billy,

For the first eighteen years of my life, you weren’t there. I didn’t hear a word from you, not even a card on my birthdays or for Christmas. I will be the first to tell you, that sucked.

I mean, for god’s sake, you are my father. You were supposed to be there to teach me how to play sports, and help me learn to fight, but you didn’t. Luckily for you, I never was one for sports, and I learned to fight just fine on my own.

However, when you did finally show up, it worked out rather well I thought. I wasn’t doing too well with the life I’d created for myself, and I needed out.  I wanted a temporary crash, a way to just hang out for a while and relax. For a while I wanted to do nothing. You wouldn’t just let me.

You sent me back to the east coast, relatively near my mother, and sent me to a guy who gave me a job. I worked for a while and saved up. I made connections there that helped me reach the point I am at today.

Talking to you over these past few years, however sporadically, has really been a blessing. I’ve learned that a few of my traits have been genetically passed down to me, such as my annoying habit of believing I am smarter than everyone, and my need to defend my friends and beliefs to the death if necessary.

I guess my point is that our relationship has been rocky at best, and rather short-lived in comparison to a lot of father and sons. However, in spite of all that, I really do love you, and I want to know you better. I don’t want to be the one at your funeral who is only there out of family obligations, listening to all of the other mourners sharing stories about you, but having none to share myself.

So, Billy, Dad, Father, whatever, call me or send me a letter, or a postcard, a smoke signal, or Hell, even a nice fruit basket every once in a while. Come and see me, or invite me to see you if you can’t get away. Seriously, I want to be a son, but in lieu of that, I at least want to be a friend.

Come on now, if there is anything you should know about me, then you should know that I don’t ask for much. A call shouldn’t be out of the realm of reason.

Literally your only son,

David

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Forgiveness (435 words)

Very few people really understood the unusual attraction between Annie Gilmore and Nick Anderson, but even less understood why they couldn’t get together. It was true, they had a rocky past and Nick had made a lot of poor choices in their years as close friends, dating, and even in the years they didn’t talk. But had both done a lot of growing up, and they were on their way towards being friends once more.

As was to be expected, Annie was the one holding their relationship at arm’s length. They wrote letters, chatted on-line, and called quite often, but whenever Nick brought up meeting in person, Annie would always have other plans, no matter what. Even her mother was beginning to question why Annie wouldn’t just see the boy in person.

Annie said it was a question of forgiveness.

Annie could forgive Nick for lying to her about school and for not telling her he wasn’t going to graduate. She could forgive him for leaving her without saying goodbye or so much as leaving a note. She could forgive him for bursting into her life to admit he loved her and running away before she could respond. Hell, she could even forgive him for running into her life again and pleading for her to run away with him after not hearing from him for over a year.

She could forgive every slip and screw up he made from the day he was born until this very moment.

What she couldn’t overcome enough to forgive was herself. She had gone to his birthday party. She had lingered until everyone else was gone. She knew what he was thinking, what he was hoping, and she subtly encouraged it.  She let him get closer and closer until he was actually kissing her, and only then did she bother to stop him. She treated him like a tool to use against another man who had wronged her. She had no respect for him or his feelings that night, and she was sick with herself because of it.

And even after she treated him like dirt, the last thing he said to her that night started with, “If it makes you feel better…” After she stepped all over his feelings, he tried to make her feel better.

She knew that when she and Nick met again, it would be a fresh start. A chance for them to make it work once and for all. But she knew that this fresh start would only be killed again by her guilt.

It was a question of forgiveness. Annie needed to forgive herself.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Parenting (461 words)

Okay, I’ll admit I’ve considered being a mother before. But I never really had the time, nor the man, with which to be a mother. After all, you don’t get to my position by having a lot of free time or really checking out the dating pool.  And now that I was in charge of the City, the first civilian leader ever, I was pretty sure that children were not in my future.

Which sucked, because I finally found a guy worth having kids with.

John Sharpe would be a great dad for my fictional children. I mean, first of all, he’s not a bad-looking guy. I am not too bad-looking (if I may say so myself), so any kids we had wouldn’t be bad-looking either. I am not saying that they’d be drop dead gorgeous, but they wouldn’t be monsters.

But genetics aren’t the only reason I would choose him to be a father to the children I will probably never have. He would be a good father in a loving way. In a way, he’s kind of like a child himself, so he would not have trouble dropping to a kid’s level to play. He’s strong, caring, and sympathetic when necessary, but at same time, he could be stern when it’s required. He’s smart and talented enough to teach any child of ours anything he or she wanted to know, or any talent he/she wanted to gain.

The only down side is that whole, running off on potential suicide missions to save the City. He would have to cut back on a few of those. But other than that he was pretty much perfect.

Yes, last Friday night I officially decided that John Sharpe would be the perfect father for my children.

So imagine my surprise on Saturday night, as I was lying in bed next to John, I heard him whisper, “Children?”

“Sorry, what?”

“Children, Elizabeth. How do you feel about children?”

“Well, in general I like them, any particular reason for asking?”

“Elizabeth, how would you feel about our children?”

“John Sharpe, are you trying to tell me you are pregnant?”

“No, of course not. What I am trying to ask is: Would you like to be?”

“Pregnant? With your child?”

“Preferably mine. If it’s not mine, please, just don’t tell me.”

“Like, how soon are we talking? Now? In a week? A year? Five years?”

“Whenever you want. Or never, if you prefer. I just needed to know, and you never know until you ask, right?”

“Yes.”

“Yes, you never know until you ask, or yes…”

“Yes, I want children. Now.”

“Now?”

“Yes, now. Is that okay with you?”

“Yes, okay. Do you think we can handle being parents?”

“Well, We’ll find out one way or another.”

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Rose Marie (254 words)

Even from the other side of the field I could hear her louder than everyone else, using that voice that she reserves for only two people in the world. I watch as she laughs and squirms herself free from her father’s grip and runs to me with her wobbling steps, making me worry each time that she’s going to fall flat on her face.
As soon as she’s close enough I scooped her up in my arms and my world narrows to just her. She’s got my husband’s hair, black and thick and easily blown in the wind, and my mother’s green eyes that crinkle in the corners as she smiles, even so young.
She laughs at me as she waits for my answer to the question she just asked me, but I hadn’t been listening. I told her to ask her father, but apparently he had told her to ask me. I told her it was fine, and she slipped free of my grasp, running back to him who held his arms out wide and spun her around as he lifted her up.
He winked at me and blew me a kiss before walking away. She waved at me over his shoulder, laughing and squirming a little as he tickled her feet.
Slowly the rest of the world started to filter back in, and I remembered that I had responsibilities to attend to. But I allowed myself just a couple of moments longer to watch my angel laugh as she was carried away.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Do You Read? (687 words)

“This is silly.” Eleven-year-old Nick complained as his mother dragged him by the arm down the walkway leading to the Independence Inn. “Why can’t we just stay in the City for a night? It’s better than this stupid town.”

“Be nice, Nick. We’re just here for one night while David gets all his stuff out of the apartment, and then we’ll be back in the city. Luke told me we could stay here. Look, there’s a lake. Go walk along the edge of the lake, clear your head, and give me a moment to calm down, yeah? Come back in a little while, okay?”

Nick wandered away from his mother and started to follow the edge of the lake. As he walked, he kicked a small pebble along and muttered to himself. “Stupid David. He wanted me to call him Daddy. Yeah right. I knew he would leave. Just like Paul, Phillip, Steven, and James. They all swear they’ll be my Step-dad, but they’re all just idiots.”

With a burst of anger, Nick kicked his pebble towards the lake. It went a good foot or so before it hit the water and created a series of ripples.

“Wow. Not bad for a kick.” Nick turned to see a little girl sitting at the base of a nearby tree with a book on her lap. “Now, if you had thrown it, I would say it was pathetic; my mom can get a good long spot by tossing it. But since you kicked it—that was very good.”

“Excuse me, but who are you?”

“Why are you so mad?”

“I asked first.” Nick crossed his arms across his chest.

The girl seemed to think for a second. “I’ll answer your question, but only if you promise to answer mine.”

“Fine.”

“I’m Annamarie Patricia Gilmore.” She announced in that proud manner that only an eleven year old could pull off. “But everyone calls me Annie. So, why are you mad?”

“David left, so we have to stay here for a night instead of in our own apartment.” Nick took a few steps toward Annie.

“David?”

“Mom’s boyfriend, and my ‘potential step dad.'”

“Oh? I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry. He’s my fifth potential, and the fifth to leave.”

“I’m still sorry. I’m still waiting for my potentials to introduce themselves to me. Right now, it’s Ear Ring Dude, but I don’t think he’ll last long. Mom says I’ll only meet a potential when he’s really, really, REALLY, good.”

“Where’s your Dad?” Nick finally sat down next to the girl, eager to hear from someone else in the same situation.

“Somewhere in Maine…I think. He moves around a lot, and rarely calls, but I’ll see him again soon. He normally shows up for my birthday. How about yours?”

“Dunno. He left minutes after I was born. But my uncle says he was a loser anyway, and I’m better off with just my mom.”

“Oh. Okay then.” Annie fidgeted with the edge of her book, then spoke up again. “Do you read?”

“I can, yes, but I don’t read often.”

“You should read, you know. Whenever I feel like I am losing something without my dad, I read. It doesn’t matter who lives with me when I’m in a story.”

Nick didn’t say anything for a minute. She had a point. “Okay.”

“Annie? Come on, I’ve finished. Let’s go find some dinner.” Nick turned to see a young woman coming towards them.

“My mom.” Annie said, getting to her feet. “Here. You can read this. I’ve read it a hundred times.” Annie dropped her book onto Nick’s lap. She hurried off to her mother, and the two of them walked away, hand in hand. Nick looked at the book that had been dropped in his lap. He smiled a little, and headed back up towards the inn. He met his mom half-way.

“Good news, Nick. David got his stuff out quickly. We can head home now.”

“Cool. Could we stop at a book store on our way? I think I should read more.”

“Of course. You are my smart little boy. Now, let’s go home.”

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Like Father… (407 words)

Elizabeth had no sooner sat down in her office to finally get some work done, then her twelve-year-old daughter came bounding into the room.

“Mommy, have I ever told you that you are the best Mommy in the whole city?”

“Charlotte. What do you want?”

“Well, Daddy and I were wondering if maybe we could go down to the main land to go surfing.”

“I suppose that would be alright.”

“Okay good. And we were kind of hoping that Iwouldbeallowedtoflythepersonalshuttle, okay thanks bye!” Charlotte muttered, then turned to run from the office.

“Charlotte Sharpe! You stop right there!” Charlotte stopped, turned on her heel, and gave her mom her very best ‘who me?’ look. Elizabeth put her hand up to her ear piece.

“Colonel Sharpe?”

“Yes, Dr. Sharpe?”

“Report to my office immediately. Your daughter is in trouble.” John Sharpe was in Elizabeth’s office only seconds later.

“Charly, what did you do? I said be nice to your mother so we could go surfing.”

“Your lovely daughter suggested that she was going to fly our personal shuttle down to the main land.”

“Oh, that. Well, Elizabeth, don’t you think it’s time that our baby girl learned the skill she was born to learn.”

“John, do you really think it’s safe for a twelve-year-old to be behind the controls of an advanced space vehicle.”

“Safer than letting Rodrick behind the controls of an advanced space vehicle.”

Elizabeth put her hand up to her ear piece again. “Rodrick, is it safe for a twelve-year-old girl to be driving a personal shuttle.”

“No, no, no. Don’t drag me into the middle of your lover’s spats. If I side with Elizabeth, then missions will become hell. If I side with John, the spending time in the city becomes hell. No, no, no don’t put me in the middle.”

“Rodrick, no one is going to make your life hell. Just tell me, scientifically, is it safe for a twelve-year-old girl to drive a personal shuttle.”

“Scientifically, yes, it’s safe. The shuttle won’t know the difference between a twelve-year-old girl and a forty-year old man.” Upon hearing this news, both John and Charlotte ran from the room before Elizabeth could utter a protest. Elizabeth followed, and she watched as they ran up to the stairs to the shuttle bay.

“Just be careful, you two!”

“Yes, Ma’am!” They replied in unison before disappearing away.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: New Book (202 words)

“Annie! I swear to god, if you buy one more book I am putting them out on the street and letting nature take their toll on them.” Marie pushed her way inside the house with a box in her arms.

“What are you going on about?” Annie asked, sticking her head out of her room.

“You are not allowed to get any more books online. At all. Period. End of story.”

“I haven’t bought a book online in months.”

“Oh, well, then, you’ve got a package.” Marie tossed the UPS box and Annie caught it happily. Packages were always fun, especially when they were surprises. She cut the tape open with a key, and pulled out a book with a sheet of folded paper taped to the front. She pulled the paper off and opened it up.

Annie,

This is the test print of my second short novel. I wanted an expert reader’s opinion before it went to full print. I couldn’t think of a more expert reader than you. Read it, and tell me what you think.

Awaiting your Response,

Nick

Annie lifted the book out of the box and smiled. She was already reading before she sat down on the bed.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: New Beginnings (388 words)

John paced back and forth outside the infirmary of the base. Elizabeth was in there, but the doctor had suggested he waited outside. Just as John was debating whether or not to charge into the infirmary and demand that he be allowed to stay, Rodrick made his way around the corner.

“You got kicked out, huh? You owe me five bucks.”

“No, she didn’t kick me out, the doctor suggested that I leave the room for a moment for the comfort of both Elizabeth and Myself. The doctor suggested with force, so here I am. I am going to go back in there in a minute.”

“What?” James came around the corner, “Is John trying to rationalize why he got kicked out of the infirmary?”

“I didn’t get kicked out, I am going back in there!”

“Oh, is it that time already?” Tammy asked, coming into the hallway to join the group. “I suppose we all owe Rodrick five dollars.”

“I didn’t get kicked out. All of you, shut up!” Just as John yelled, the infirmary door slid open, and the doctor stepped outside.

“It’s all over, Colonel, it was a fairly quick trip. Would you like to come see?” John hurried inside, followed by the rest of his team. Rushing to Elizabeth’s side, he saw the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his entire life.

“Meet your daughter, John. Charlotte Marie.” Elizabeth held up the small bundle of blankets, and John stepped forward to hold her. He never felt so unworthy in his life. What had he done to deserve such a beautiful little daughter?

“She is adorable.” Tammy whispered as James smiled in the background.

“Aren’t woo just de cutestest thing ever? Yes, woo are! Are woo gunna be smart like uncle Rodrick? Huh, are woo gunna be smart?”

“Um, Rodrick?”

“Huh? Oh right. Sorry?”

“Perhaps, we should go, and let the new parents spend some time with their baby.” Tammy gracefully suggested. With James leading Rodrick out, John and Elizabeth found themselves alone in their section of the infirmary.

“Do you think she’ll like to fly like her daddy?” Elizabeth asked.

“I don’t know. Do you think she’ll love to learn like her mommy?” John responded.

“I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”

“I guess we will. This is just the beginning.”

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Stories

 

Fiction: Best Thing (301 words)

For a very long time, Thomas and Irma just sat in silence. They both had so much to say, and absolutely nothing to say at the same time.

Thomas was the first to break the silence.  “I—uh,” he coughed and started again, “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.”  He was starting to cry as he said it.  “I’ve never had to live without him, what am I supposed to do now?”

“He was my one, you know?  My true love or whatever you want to call it.  Soulmate?  Although I know he would cringe to hear me use that term.  But, whatever you want to call it—he was mine.  And now he’s gone.” Irma wasn’t crying anymore.  She’d been crying for about three days straight, and apparently her tear ducts had just given up at that point.  Not that she could blame them.

“He was the best thing that could have ever happened to us,”  Thomas added, taking one of Irma’s hands in his own.  “He died to save our lives.”

“He did,” Irma agreed, giving Thomas’s hand a little squeeze.

“So, let’s make sure that we live the very best life we can. In honor of him. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying  not to disappoint him.” Irma may not have been able to cry anymore, but she got a lump in her throat at Thomas’s words.  She wouldn’t be saying anything anymore either.

Nessa stuck her head in the door.  “Hey, guys, they were wondering when you two would be ready to start the ceremony.  No rush, of course, take as much time as you need, but could we have an ETA?”

Thomas and Irma shared a look and came to a silent agreement.  Let’s get this over with. “We’re ready now.”

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in Stories