Moments or days Short Story Fiction

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Moments or days

Lying here in the half sleep limbo, recalling his scent, his touch; he knew me so well all the right places which sent me beyond what I thought I could bare. I do not want to wake completely I need to linger with these thoughts they swirl from intimacy to his smile when he looked at me from the corner of his eye while driving with a sweet contented smile on his face. I know that smile he is glad it is me sitting next to him, chattering away about everything and about nothing. The chatter is my inward smile so glad to be sitting next to him enjoying our time together. Thoughts swooping back to lying near the fire, feeling the heat of the flames and his touch. Crackling of the fire, its smoky aura, soft music blending with the mellow buzz of wine; our mutual gratification spent, beads of sweat still linger on our skin as he licks my shoulder and kisses my forehead. Floating to the next moment as we swim in the moonlight, hearing the water’s edge rhythm him swimming towards me; the heat of my body releasing its power to the coolness of the water he reaches for me with a gentle embrace.

There was a time in my life I dreamt of being in the state of love beyond what is written in books. Now that I have this in my life I dream of it never ending. A song drifts through my head just a few lyrics from it I smile to myself “I have a never ending love for you, from now on that’s all I am going to do.” My heart is his it has made up is soul to love him, dreamily I float to the future having his children, caressing them to my breast as they drink in substance I remember all those moments that brought this beautiful specimen of us in my arms. Yet this dream seems so far away it keeps seaping through my mind; will this dream come true as all the others we have shared together? Why does this dream seem so much more elusive than the others, making me believe it is not possible, we will never live this dream? I must push forward; this is the only way we will be able to make this dream into our reality.  Why is it so difficult to believe this can be ours?

Another turn in my heart I feel pain, loss is seeping into my core, this cannot be, there is only the ever briefest strength that brings me back to the day he proposed, not dressed in perfect clothes at a fancy restaurant, no in the garden under the hyssop tree, the birds were just awakening from nights slumber, frogs were singing good morning, dew was on all the surfaces surrounding us, as I sat I felt the dew dampen my clothing. He brought me a cup of coffee, set his down on the bench next to me, knelt on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I told him I would be honored to be his wife till death do us part. The ceremony was simple, on the beach in the Bahamas’ the rhythm of the water, hearts meld together in harmony with the music of the piano and violin playing “Something in the way she moves” I am struck by how handsome and the love his eyes has for me, as if he was drinking me in not wanting to look away as he slides the wedding band on my finger.  

The illusion once again floats through my soul with me holding our little boy close to my skin as I pull him out of a bath, his naked body wet from the bath soaks through my blouse, he cuddles close to get warm as my body shivers and feels colder than it has ever felt, I hear voices calling my name over and over, what are they saying I can barely make it out.

“Sandra, you have to fight, you have to fight, come back to me.”

I sense these words are said in panic, begging me to come back, yet from where I am not sure where I am coming back from, I need directions. Pain shoots through me, my heart feels as if is going to burst, my lungs gasp for air, some reality that snaps me out of this pain. I want to shout let me go back to my languishing lovely dream, not this horrific horror I am in now. I hate nightmares this is the worst nightmare I have ever had, I feel something warm drip down my cheek. Hearing my husband’s voice again saying “Sandra that is good, please open your eyes look at me, look at me.” He is beseeching me to look at him, then another voice says “Daniel come here let the doctor tend to Sandra, they know what they are doing, she is coming back to us, she is a fighter, she will not let go she will come back to us.”

It took a full week before I found out what I was called back from was death, the re-entry was horrific, but it was worth it, I did not lose our child, our first born they say will be a boy. I wanted to tell them I knew he was with me the whole time; I will not say this knowing they would never believe me. This dream was almost stolen from us, because of a drunk driver. Yet the strength of our love and the fight of our first born to live gave us our dreams back.

We called him Evan Daniel Morrison, Young fighter, judgment our dream for him is to be a fighter with good judgment all his life.  We will nurture him so he will be able to realize his dreams.

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Farm Hazards Fiction-short story

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What little rain we have been getting I worry about the crops in the field. This is what sustains our livestock, and puts food on the table. Our main source of income is selling beef. The temps at night are in the sixties, we need at least some seventies to get a good yield. I will need to get more hours at the grocery store to supplement our income. For the life of me I cannot imagine how some folks believe we are living the good life here on the farm. There are blood sweat and tears on a daily basis.

My father in law worked this farm before we did; the farm has been handed down us being the 4th generation. In fact my father in law lost his life early morning while out in the fields on the tractor, he was plowing the field to ready it for planting when the tractor hit a large rock tipped the tractor, he jumped off just in time for the tractor to fall and crush him. Dan’s uncle Mike was mowing the grass and got too close to the ditch which caused the tractor to tilt and pitch him off, the tractor followed him into the culvert which was filled with water from the night’s storm he drowned that day.

I try not to worry about Dan but days when he is gone till dark;  yet I worry something might happen and I wouldn’t find him till morning. To be honest if something happened to Dan I know I would not keep all the property just a few acres to garden, but there is no way I could run this place the way Dan does. He loves this land, the farm and livestock. It is just Dan, I and our daughter Paula. Paula decided she wanted nothing to do with the country and farming, she has been putting herself through college she wants to be a Lawyer. Dan was joking with her one day and said “Ya might as well be a rodeo clown, the schooling cost less and you can put on an honest show.”

Paula took it personal and has not spoken to her dad since the comment. She tells me that he has no respect for women. I told her that was not true, he has been a model husband and he was just funning with her. She will get over it in time, Paula has always been the sensitive type; the A personality people talk about. Dan says that what an A personality is, is a person with too much time on their hands and they are bored, he believes if they were farmers they would be too tired to zoom around the room like a cat on catnip.

Knee high by the fourth of July is the golden rule when it comes to corn. At least they look pretty good, and are starting to tassel out now that we are nearing August. So corn will be here to feed the cows. We have a grinder, and mix our own grains that we grow. Some could say we are organic farmers. I suppose we could make it official but Dan says we are what we are and we do not need no government agency to pat us on the back tell us we are Green Farmers.

Paula will be coming home this weekend; she wants a quiet place to study for her bar exam. I am hoping she took the chip off her shoulder and will have a pleasant time with her dad. They are actually very much alike, the only difference is that Dan has mellowed and realizes life is too short to be offended so easily. I like this Dan better; it can get pretty crazy with a man who is always pissed off about something someone says. I have always been one to let it go in one ear and out the other. So many people’s opinions have very little day to day effect on my life so why bother chewing it over like some cow does it cud.

Done with my chores, dinner is in the oven, Paula’s favorite Lasagna, salad, chocolate cake. Of course I needed to be sure to have something special for Dan, a nice apple pie, alamode. Well I need to be getting outside take the laundry off the line so I guess I am not quite done with my chores I have completely forgotten the laundry.

While out in the yard I hear a car pull up, I am thinking it must be Paula home early. I walk around the house and do not recognize the car. As I walk over I noticed there are two fella’s getting out of the car.

“Gentlemen what can I do you for?” just being folksy wondering who they are

“Mam we were wondering if you know a man by the name of Justin Burg?”

“Why yes I do he owns the farm about a mile down the road.”

“Yes, mam that is the one, could you tell me if his wife has been around lately?”

“Who’s asking?”

“Sorry mam, my name is Agent Reynolds; this is my partner Agent Rheims”

“Why you interested in Thelma for?”

“Well mam her daughter has said she has been missing for a month.”

“A month you say, well let me see last I saw her was mid-June at the county fair, so I guess it has been a month since I have seen her, what does Justin say?”

“Mr. Burg claims she ran off with some traveling sales man, his daughter says that is ridiculous.”

“Well you best ask my husband Dan he has more dealing with the Burgs than I have he may know about all this. Dan is not the gossiping type so if she has run off with someone I would be the last to know.”

Sitting on the porch watching the agents talking to Dan I wonder if it is true. Dan walks the men to their car shakes their hands and comes over to me.

“So what did you tell them? Do ya think Thelma Burg ran off with some traveling salesman?”

“No I do not, she ain’t the type, last I saw of her was last week of June she was crawling out of the cellar with last year’s squash in her arms.”

“Fars as I know Dan those to have not any problems between them, why would Justin say such a thing?”

“Cannot figure it, he is not the type to story tell.”

As we were discussing this Paula pulled in, she had her trusty Pontiac Vibe filled to the top with her worldly goods.

We get her settled in, set down to devour our dinner and there was a knock at the door. If must be a neighbor cuz we did not hear a car pull in. Sure enough it was Frank he has the farm next to Justin’s place.

Dan lets him in they do their greetings, hello, talk about cows, grain and such finally get down to why Frank came by. Seems the FBI agents went snooping around the Burg farm, they found Thelma in the cellar with her head caved in, one of the shelves fell off the wall with all the canning in place; came down pretty hard right on top of her. Justin is all tore up with grief especially cuz he was so mad at her, last he saw her she was talking to a salesman about some fancy vacuum and when he got back from his chores Thelma was nowhere to be found. She did not come back he just figured all the story telling people do about the farmer’s daughter, and such that his wife succumbed to the fancy salesman’s pitch.  He never said anything to anyone cuz he was embarrassed had he said something to Dan, Dan would have mentioned when he had last saw her, and they could go look for her there. Nope to much pride, dang men.

 

 

 

There would be days like this Short story Fiction

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Starting my shift just like any other day, coffee in hand, stopping by the front desk checking the daily reports, day shift we ride single man cars in our small community. I grab my prep, keys to my cruiser and hit the road. Had a rough week with 2 domestic violence calls, 1 child missing, the child we found two doors down with a suspected pedophile. I say suspected we have no proof, we keep a watchful eye, soon as we heard the young male age 5 was missing, that was the first place we checked. We get harangued for profiling but let’s be sensible, if it looks like a rat smells like a rat, its behavior is like a rat, it is a fucking rat!

I say all this to say I need an easy day. I tuck in; put my seat belt on check the shot gun see if it is loaded, check supplies call in to dispatch that I am locked and loaded to go. Mary’s voice says “Great to hear it Jake, we have a call at Kmart, man flashing women as they come out of the restroom.”

Shit, I hate these freaking weirdoes’, why can’t they be normal, with the internet, prostitutes, why in God’s green earth do they think they will accomplish by showing off their short comings?

When I arrive the rent a cop is standing guard at the manager’s office; walking in I realized this was going to be a shitty day, I recognize the perp, an elder at my church. I get him in the backseat of my cruiser after reading his Miranda rights I ask him straight up. “John what the fuck is the matter with you!”  Asshole starts to cry saying he does not know. See John has been an elder for 10 years at my church he has 2 grown daughters in college, a sweet wife; I really do not get it.

After booking him I drive to his house, figuring it should come from me what her asshole husband was doing in Kmart; showing off his blue light special. This is definitely something I hate about my job, telling people that the person they love are either assholes, or dead, to me it is all the same, they will be shocked either way.

Upon leaving the Matthew residence, I get back in the car mumbling to God please give me a break today. Stopping for lunch at Mel’s Diner, my usual lunch place, I am cutting back on the burger and fries and switching over to a tuna melt with chips, haven’t lost weight but at least tuna is better for you right?

Back in the cruiser, I call dispatch I hear Mary’s voice “Good to hear Jake we have another call from Kmart someone shop lifting” there is a chuckle in her voice, I ask Mary “No one else to take the call?”  she answers “No Jake, Lou just called out for lunch this is yours all yours; enjoy”

I want to say fuck you but I already have, on again off again, she wants me but hates that I am married. Girls; wish they would make up their minds. I proceed to Kmart for the second time in my shift and low and behold this is another one of my Karma points hitting me square in the face I guess. Yes indeed I know this perp as well it’s my chief. If he thinks I am going to call him sir he is out of is freaking mind, I read him his rights, cuff him, which he protested saying he was embarrassed enough. I say “Your embarrassed what do you think the men on your department are going to feel when they find out you were caught shop lifting shower curtain hooks for Christ’s sake!?”

Take him through booking the hissing started as soon as I walked in the door, every patrolman on my shift and next shift were in the lobby.

Well I guess this will not be all bad, this chief will lose his job there will be promotions, I have already taken and passed the sergeants exam just waiting for an opening, now here is the opening. I like our Lieutenant who will more than likely get the chiefs job, and we will go on as normal, best part I can pick my shift and my jobs, give someone else the shit, like Lou, or better yet Mary; who has already passed all test’s to be a patrolman, yes I will get even with her for an assortment of infractions.

Next stop I promised a neighbor I would pick up his son who has started hanging around the wrong crowd. Mike has been picked up for petty theft, malicious destruction of property, just came home from Juvenile detention. The dad wants me to have a talk with him, hoping I will scare him straight. My thinking is if the dad wasn’t such a pussy the kid wouldn’t be such a fuck up.

Mike is in the back seat of my cruiser, with a look on his face I have seen before and it is not fear. I say to him “Mike I know you know why you’re in the back of my car, I am supposed to say the right words to scare you straight, all I am going to say is I will not be surprised if I find you dead, on drugs, or at the curb drinking out of a paper bag. Please prove me wrong.”

5 miles out of town I pull over get out of my cruiser open the door and tell Mike to get out of my cruiser. Getting back in I hear him say “How am I supposed to get home?” I give him the finger and pull away.

After shift I stop at my favorite watering hole to blow off steam Mary is sitting there smiling away, she says to me “Hey Jake hope there are no bad feelings?”

My answer “No Mary the way I figure it, with new openings in our department; I will be in charge of your Karma points.”

She laughed thinking probably if she does me some intimate favors I will go easy. No way, will I go easy, she will get every shit call I can throw at her. We were sitting enjoying a beer when the next Karma point walks in the door, she has two pitchers of beer, and with a look of I am going to kill you on her face. Walking to us just behind us she proceeds to pour the pitchers over our heads all the while saying “Jake we are done, Mary you can have him.” Walks out without looking back; damn if I had known she had that in her I would not have cheated.

On Duty

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The park is lovely first thing in the morning, no one else is around, sit on any bench I feel like. Even better I can let Bullet off the lead, and sniff around. It is difficult living in the city and spending time outdoors with Bullet, yet I make the time as soon as it is light out to go to the park. I have had Bullet now for 5 years, he is my best friend and most compassionate companion. Being a white shepherd she attracts a lot of attention, everyone asks “What kind of dog is that?” When I tell them he is a white shepherd they back off. Just as well, he is well trained and would protect me if need be.

This particular morning Bullet and I stopped at the coffee shop; Leon is the coffee shop owner. I love the name of his shop “Leon’s hyper cup” we have an agreement; I call in my order he brings it out to me. Today is a bagel with cream cheese, straight up leaded black coffee. For Bullet two freshly made dog biscuits, which he absolutely loves. Our routine is we take it to the park, I take him off the lead, he does his business; sits by me and we have breakfast. There is no better way to start the day.

I work as an undercover police officer; Bullet is my partner so even when we are doing our mundane routines we are on the job. While we are enjoying our breakfast a jogger trots by, no particular speed, just lopping along. Hearing him approach his shoes clop and slap the pavement Bullets ears perk up but he does not move a muscle, he listens and watches. I get a good look at him and make a call to the station, there was an APB out on a male which this one meets the description. Wanted in connection for an assault and attempted rape of a woman coming out of the bank. There have been numerous attacks lately on women leaving banks across the city; all the women’s descriptions were the same. Looking over my shoulder I see a patrol car pull to the curb 10 feet away from where I was sitting, another farther down just in time to intercept the jogger. There is a conversation which I am too far to overhear, and the jogger then gets into the car.

Later I find out he was not the guy, he had an iron clad alibi. But that is my job, to observe 7 days a week. I prefer this to what I used to do as a patrolman, riding in a car for 8 hours a day sucked, plus getting into scuffles with drunks, prostitutes, and domestic disputes was not my cup of tea. This new way of surveillance is new in our department, they are trying this method to see if there will be less crime and more cases solved.

Today Bullet and I will go to the bank, Bullet will be wearing a vest that says he is my companion dog, and legally I can take him into a business which helps if this guy is at the bank we both can take him down.

There are 8 banks in this city, I will go to all 8 if need be: the cashiers will be notified that a undercover officer with a white dog will come in to deposit some money. The money will be fake; the cashier will just place it in a drawer, give me a receipt.

As I left the 4th bank, Bullet and I walked to our car I hear footsteps approaching close behind. Bullet glances back, next thing I know Bullet was in full attack movement, I draw my service revolver, not in time for the man grabbed me with Bullet fully attached to his arm swinging, Two shots rang out we all fall to the ground. I look over and Bullet lay motionless. I go to him, and was relieved he was still breathing. After all the paper work explaining my role in the shooting, and the patrolman who was my back up, Bullet and I went home and ordered a pizza. We earned that pizza and a six pack of beer, I called my significant other to let him know what had happened and invite him for dinner, but he would have to bring his own beer.

The next morning Bullet and I went for coffee, I grabbed two donuts, and of course Bullet gets his usual dog biscuits. Taking our breakfast to a park bench; we settle in to enjoy the quiet of the morning. Hearing the gentle clop, and slap of a jogger coming I look up and see the same man I turned in yesterday, believing he matched the description of the Bank attacker; since I work under cover I am not to stand out, pretending not to notice him we continue our breakfast. He jogs past us a few feet, then switches his course and comes back to us. Stopping and reaching down to pet Bullet he asks what my dogs name is, I said “Bullet” he said “Perfect” it happened fast, when I heard the shot and looked up…

Yesterday morning in the city park plain clothes police officer Meagan Orton and her partner Bullet were shot and killed. Anyone in or near the park that may have information please contact Edwards City Police Department.

The funeral services will be held Friday Morning at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church.

 

Empty

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Empty

Empty does not mean void

Less opens the door to more

Completion happens at the end

Our life is a journey

Not a destination

As we walk this twisted road

Looking for answers

Loving the best we know how

Our turns in the road are our turns

Each takes their turn

How we react to each turn

Determines the next

Love with unbridled passion

Give without expecting

Treat as you need to be treated

Let love reign and never feign

Human, creature, animal needs

Are all the same

love

Beginning

I do not know when I knew I existed, it is as a faint memory slowly evolving in my mind, yet I knew. My first memory is soft waves caressing me, distant sounds embracing me. There are other sounds yet I wait for the cooing, soft melodic sound, another comes to talk less soprano more baritone somehow I know these sounds love me. Then one day I feel the need to move turn, kick this is fun I hear the soprano give a sharp sporadic  sound, and my world jiggles with each sound, I feel a tap on my wall that holds the soft waves in. I am learning my world it is dark yet it is not, I find something and stick it in my mouth. I realize I like this thing, it is comforting. My first sigh came with the comfort of this; I learned later it was a thumb.

Oh the big adventure starts with a bang, I feel it is time to break free, the soprano sound does not sound happy, it seemed stressed, in pain, the baritone sound comes close, soothing, soprano sound seems mad at the baritone sound, yet the baritone sound still is soothing, ok ready or not here I come.

There are so many things around me, coming close, the baritone sound is clearer now, girl, he said girl. Does that mean that is what I am a girl. I start to cry, I am cold and all that work made me hungry. I will yell till they give me something to eat. I am laying now the other sound put something warm over me, and I am lying on top of the soprano sound and she is not unhappy anymore she is sounding clearer and making the soft sounds she made when I was in my room, my world. I wonder now if this is my new world there will be a different world new order in my daily life.

So much happened in a short time, I now am in a large room with things floating over me, nothing floating around me, until the soprano voice decides it is time to float, every day she floats me and rubs me, I like it until I get cold.

These days are numbered till I started slowly to understand my world now I know who that soprano voice is, it is Mommy, and the baritone voice is Daddy. There is also something else running around and it makes me laugh all the silly things it does, licks my face, my fingers when Mommy is not looking, they call her Fred. Glad they did not call me Fred, my name is Alicia. Most of the time they call me Allie, I like the word Allie, it is a name, that is what that word is a name.

These days are numbered; now I want, I want it now, and am learning I do not always get what I want even if I throw a fit. I also now have to do my own swim, and wash rubbing which I rebel because I do not think it is necessary. I also have to dress myself, tie my shoes, learn to say more words, learn, learn, learn. I just want to play, and dance.

These days are numbered; now I want to talk, all the time talk, play music, dance, dress and redress till I find the right outfit. Wash, put makeup on, and wash again because I did the makeup wrong. Still hate cleaning my room, but I realize it is only the clothes I discarded and no longer like, but am constantly told money does not grow on trees, when I buy my own clothes I can be choosier.

These days are numbered; now I graduated and have to find a job not sit around listening to music and talking incessantly, also pay room and board, what is worse that I argue about is, I still have to do chores. I find a job but it is stupid, everyone especially the boss is stupid, they fire me. Sitting in my room stewing, the soprano’s shrill voice is no longer soothing and comforting, she tells me to find another job and this time don’t be such a  prim donna .

These days are numbered; back to school figuring I will pay my way through school, the baritone voice tries to be that of reason, he told me I should be an attorney the way I always argue my case with such style. Sure dad very funny but you both are irritating, you less than the soprano voice, the one called Mom.

These days are numbered; graduated from school and surprised how melancholy I feel and the affection I now feel for my mom. I guess I have grown up to understand she was the hardest on me because she knew I had more potential then I even realized. We now laugh about the arguments I would bring to the dining room table believing if I worded it properly and had dad in the witness box I would win my case. It never occurred to me at the time, they were both on the same side and I could never have won my case. Yet now I realize I am glad they won their case. I am a success, I know I want the same as they have. That child’s days will be numbered.

Unintentional

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Unintentional

Breakfast at Max’s place is an everyday occurrence, sitting at a table are the same faces Todd, Joe, Kyle, Mark, Brent, Steve. The old and the young, I believe the oldest is Steve him and Brent go way back, Steve was Brent’s dad’s best friend. Brent’s dad has long passed Steve is now 80 years old. These guys sit around that breakfast table and gossip worst then women if that is at all possible. This is a small town, yes sometimes small minded but all in all the people who live here especially the ones who have been here all their lives are good salt of the earth people.

You want to know what is going on in this town try to pull up a chair at that table that would actually be next to impossible, so try and sit at the closest table you can find. You will hear about calves being born, bulls being sold, who is divorcing, who is cheating, who got fired and why, whose kid got into trouble, whose daughter got knocked up.

Also the loving ribbing going on between the inhabitants of this special table, until one day it all changed. The breakfast started out as usual today the topic at hand was about Todd; Steve started the ribbing

“How is it that Todd can afford to eat all his meals out?”

“Well Steve had you not married and had a litter of kids you could afford to eat every meal out.” Todd answered

“I think Steve is jealous at the fact Todd does not have to cook for himself, from what I hear even when Mabel was alive Steve did the cooking most of the time.” Piped up Joe

This brought some jovial laughter with some friendly pokes and slaps.

“Now wait a minute, Steve chose to cook because Mabel could not cook good beef without drying it out made it look like a cow pattie instead of a roast.” Chuckled Mark

“Hey you got that right, Mabel invited me to dinner for a pot roast I could not tell where the pot started or ended, the roast was sealed to the pot rather than the juice being sealed into the roast.” Chimed Kyle

Another round of laughter by this time even Steve laughed taking out his handkerchief blowing his nose, wiping his eyes.

Finally there was a short break with some silence while they ate their breakfast with an occasional guffaw and belly laughs.

Todd and Joe left first they needed to get to work, Kyle, Mark left next. That left Brent and Steve, they lingered over their 4th cup of coffee reminiscing about Brent’s dad, his kids, and wife also how Steve misses Mabel even her bad cooking. Within 10 minutes after the others left Brent needed to get on the road, he drives a Semi loaded with whatever needed delivering that day. Brent went to pay, Steve insisted on buying, this also happens every morning, Brent puts up a good fuss saying you always buy Steve let me get at least one. The answer is always the same Steve buys, they hug and off they go.

Brent climbs into the cab of his truck gives a wave and a nod to Steve, cranks the diesel into its vibrating rattle, puts it into gear looks all around down and every which way slowly pulls forward and hits something. Getting out of the cab running to the front; the reality hit him so hard it sent him to his knees. He hit and killed Steve.

Over and over Brent’s words hauntingly filled the air and hearts of those standing near his grief inconsolable “Oh God Steve Oh God.”

Steve was pronounced on the scene, Brent was taken to the hospital in stable but guarded condition; the paramedics were concerned that Steve’s emotional state may cause him to have a stroke or a heart attack. That moment changed the lives of many especially those men who sat at Max’s round table.

There is no real good ending to this story, it will be on going for years; grief will do that especially when you feel responsible. Those in Brent’s life can only pray for him be with him when he hits bottom again.

Rose’s Rental

Rose’s Rental

I have had many people come and go in my life. The house next door is a rental which I own and I try to be picky with who rents it. Usually the young trying to get a start in their lives or the ones who lost either a marriage or a job have their time to stay. There are a few who stand out in my heart, the first were the Johnson’s, they had their first born in that house a little girl they named Alice. Don and Joan Johnson was a couple so infatuated with each other they would think no one was watching when they made love under the oak tree in the back yard. I do not sleep much and please do not think of me as a peeping tom, but I get up and pace, go to the kitchen sink for a glass of water, look outside and here these two are. It actually makes me blush, but I love the idea that I may have watched when Alice was conceived. Only a glimpse as I turn from the window, remembering when my Saul and I would do it under that same tree, a sigh would expel from my soul, I truly miss my Saul. The Johnson’s lived in that house for 3 years, I was able to see Alice take her first steps, and I heard her mom cry when she said Daddy for the first time. Don received a promotion which took them out of state. For another 5 years they would write letters, or I should say Joan and Alice would write letters, I still have the pictures Alice drew me on my refrigerator.

The next one that I remember this clearly was Max Klausen, newly divorced, his wife of 5 years ran off with his best friend. Some friend, Max would rarely come outside the first year; he made an impression on me when he applied to rent the house. Looking me in the eye, firm hand shake, yet his voice had a void the hurt was deep, his eyes did not hold much hope this poor young man was broken. Something told me he would be fine in time just needed to heal and have some time to figure out that the woman he married was not good enough for him from the start. Also that his so called best friend was a cad from the start which he did not see, time will show him all this. I gladly rented the house to Max; it is the perfect place to heal.

Max Klausen resided in that house for 6 years during that time he lended a hand with the lawn, painting, trimming trees, shoveling snow. In return I baked cookies, brownies, bread and gave him a discount on his rent, which he would refuse so I would buy him a 30 pack of his favorite beer, and a 5th of his favorite whisky. The biggest thing that I did for Max was introduce him to Molly at the library. It was sneaky how I did it, I told Max that I was not up to going to the library and my book was due also Molly had a book on hold for me. Max gladly took my book and Molly had given Max the one she had on hold, you see I told Max that Molly loved greyhound dogs and she had always wanted to adopt one. I knew Max’s fondness for the breed his wife got their dog Jumper in the divorce, he really missed the dog. That is all that it took for those two to start talking and finding out they had a lot in common.  So much in common they married so part of the 6 years that Max lived next door it was actually Max and Molly Klausen. The wedding was in the back yard under the maple tree. Oh yes I believe that is where Paul Klausen was conceived. I still have Paul’s pictures he drew for me on my refrigerator alongside Alice’s.

Much to my surprise was one day Don and Joan Johnson showed up on my doorstep again and Alice was a grown standing alongside them. After the greetings and a few tears I was taken aback at the memories that Alice had living in the house, and she had very fond memories of me. This over whelmed me to tears as Alice hugged me, she said “Did you know that mom and dad gave me your name also, it is my middle name Rose, my full name is Alice Rose Johnson.” I laughed and cried simultaneously, told them to stop I cannot take it anymore I am an old woman have mercy. This brought a chorus of laughter.  Come to find out the reason they came by was to see if the house was available for rent, seems Alice will be attending the college nearby Don and Joan figured it would be a compromise Alice living next door to me, them thinking I could keep an eye on things. I gladly rented it to Alice; she lived there till the day I needed to go see Saul. I hope they read this diary they were my family, those kids were like grandkids to me. I have Alice’s name on the title of the house she is residing in, and I put Paul Klausen’s name on the house I resided in.

“I cannot believe Rose was so generous and gave us these houses Alice.”

“I know Paul, but just think she seen our parents doing it under the maple tree just like we do.”

“I believe she watched from the heavens, Alice she is probably beaming with joy looking at our little girl Rose Alice Klausen.”

“I know she is her and Saul.”

The Day’s Journey

It is just a journey each day we have; trying to fill it with work or trivial pursuits truly is up to us as a gift of sorts. This day started differently than others, being that it is July which normally this time of year it is warm, I am sitting here in a sweat shirt, it is cold even though the forecast called for mid to upper 80’s and thunderstorms. Many weather alerts, I watch the sky it is clear as a bell no wind and incredibly quiet.

I guess it is time to at least venture outside and walk a bit, before the weather changes, wish I could get warm. I did not check the clock it must be too early or the critters know something I do not know, no scurrying chipmunks, nor squirrels endless chatter in the trees, protecting their young.

Oh there is my neighbor Mildred, I have not seen her out walking since her accident, and no walker how wonderful. “Hey Millie wait up, let me join you in!”

It takes some real effort to catch up to her I look over at her the smile on her face is so peaceful and truly enjoying her walk.

“Hello Susan, how are you doing, isn’t this just as predicted, a great and awesome day, another perfect journey.”

“I’ll say, and I am glad to see you no longer need your walker, although you are not wearing a sweater or anything, I am freezing.”

“Oh the coldness will pass, yes as promised I was able to throw the walker away, and I really am enjoying my new found freedom, you know the saying I am free at last Great God Almighty I am free at last.”

“I truly can understand that, today I finally do not feel my fibromyalgia pain, I cannot figure out why, but I am not complaining, still for July it sure is a bit nippy.”

Just then along came Mildred’s dog Fido, yes she actually called that mixed mutt Fido, he came running up to us with such a smile, guess he did not want to be left behind. For an old dog he sure has the spunk and energy of a young pup, romping around and chasing the other dog that was playing by a tree.

“Mildred aren’t you worried Fido will be hit by a car running free with no leash or anything?”

“Not at all, he knows his boundaries and he deserves the same freedom as we do, smiling and romping.”

“Look Susan there’s Clair, hey Clair over here!”

Now this is odd, Clair looks to be about 35 I know for a fact she is 70 that cannot be Clair, it has to be her granddaughter who looks just like her.  As she approaches I am taken aback as to how much she looks like her Grandmother, she has a sweatshirt tied around her waist, she is beaming with joy and energy. I am finally starting to warm up a bit, just about ready to tie my sweatshirt around my waist.

“So Clair, how’s it feel to be out walking without any help from your wheelchair?”

“Mildred it is so incredibly wonderful, did you see Sam and Charles they were tending their garden, picking tomatoes, and squash. Their roses are just to die for, that has always been their first love, their gardens.”

“I should say so, have not seen them yet but I will walk over to take a look, are they still dueling over who has the best gardens? Have Mona and Judy shown up yet?”

“Yes they have they are in the kitchen doing their own dueling, who can bake the best bread or pie, and what is wonderful to hear is the laughter coming between the houses, those two were always like sisters in competition, we were the winners all of us; the neighborhood ended up having the picnic in their back yards with great food, do you remember those heavenly picnics?”

“Oh Clair I remember those all too well, I really have missed them, Susan that was before you moved into the neighborhood, you will love it, we all had a feast for our stomachs and our eyes.”

At this point I am so confused, I know Sam and Charles they were the widowers down the street, Mona was married to Sam for 50 years when she passed, I think Sam told me the story of how they met and married at least 50 times, and Charles was married to Judy for 51 years, Charles laughed when he would tell me that this was one time he won being that he was married 51 years and Sam was only married 50 years. None of this conversation is making sense to me, but I am finally warm enough to take my sweatshirt off. I was shocked as we crossed the street standing at the curb with his arms out is my husband, I slowly and tentatively walk up to him, he wraps his arm around me and hugs me, I smell his scent he kisses me, I start to weep with joy, and just then it dawns on me, the storm passed and I was deemed worthy for heaven.

Life quickly changes

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While I sit on my porch pondering the developments in my life, newly divorced, parents have passed, no children yet I do not feel alone; actually I feel free for the first time in my life. Right out of high school I married Doug; he seemed so worldly and exciting being 5 years older than myself. So basically I went from dad taking care of me to Doug taking care of me. So many girls aspire to this, the perfect wedding the perfect marriage 2.3 children whatever that means, yet many found themselves in a situation of abuse, and infidelity.  Gladly I moved on when Doug fell in love with a waitress near his work; I said in my head, bon appetite; he is all yours.

The divorce was civil the marriage was not, I was able to keep the house he moved into her condo. I love this porch; the yard is large for being in the city. Downtown Westford is in walking distance from my home, everything I need is there, work, shopping, library, parks are only a 10 minute walk; I rarely use my car unless the weather is crazy or when I just want to go for a drive in the country which is also close by, 15 minute drive and all you see is farm land which gives way to forest. Life is good, Monday going to work with a weight lifted off my shoulders and a smile on my face, the divorce was final as of Friday.

Walking into my office the first thing I noticed were flowers on my desk and on an end table. Looking at the first card it was from Ray who works in receiving, it said “Glad to hear your single, maybe we could do lunch”

Next bouquet was a combination of all the flowers I love, this person must actually know me it was from Shelly when I read this card I laughed out loud “Glad to hear you are single maybe we could do lunch” It is nice to know I now have choices.

Turning to the voice which was asking me a question; I see Paul sweet looking Paul asking me: “Marg, where do you think the Simpson file is?”

“Paul it should be on June’s desk she was going over some type o’s that I found.”

“Oh good, I need it for a meeting after lunch.”
“Ah, speaking of lunch Paul, do you have plans; I was thinking I would like to try the new Chinese place in town?”

“That sounds great, how about noon, that should give me time to eat, we can talk shop is you do not mind, I would like to pick your brain dealing with the Simpson account.”

“Sounds like my kind of power lunch” in my head I was thinking about him being desert.

Lunch was great I think a lot of things but never have the nerve to follow through which means I did not have Paul for desert, yet I still thought about it; beads of sweat appeared on my lower lip as I pondered it so thoroughly.

Some say things like, people can change if they want too, or so and so has mellowed, I really do not know what that really means or even if it is possible. Doug and I have been divorced for nearly a year, and those are the things I have heard frequently about Doug. He found his true love and he has mellowed. Really, I will not question the wisdom of that statement time will tell if he has truly changed.

I did have my desert and Paul was worth waiting for, we both agreed neither of us wanted a real relationship, me coming off the divorce he still grieving the loss of his finance; so friendship with benefits is fine with me. I have to admit Paul and I do not have much more then wanting the benefits in common.

I have been seeing Paul for over a year we are planning a weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods. We have decided this will be our last beneficial time together. Knowing neither of us will move on nor grow emotionally unless we stop making this convenient relationship  the only entertainment in our lives. It makes it more difficult to find someone who we would have more in common with.

I will miss the sex that is where we have much in common. The cabin was perfect; I made a fire in the fire place, actually showing Paul how it is done. Then we bounced each other off the walls with passion. Yes indeed this will be something I will miss, unless the person who comes into my life is as good as Paul.

I no sooner unpacked my bag and put on running shoes and shorts there was a knock at my door.

Looking through a side window I notice a tall well-built 40 ish man with thick sandy colored hair a touch of grey at the temples. He wore a Camel colored sport coat over jeans. Calling out the window I asked “Can I help you?”

He turned towards me showing what looked like a badge saying “Yes mam, my name is Detective Sorenson, are you Margaret Markowski?” 

“I was, I am now Margaret Paulson, just one moment I will let you in.”

Opening the door and getting a better look at him I was thrilled to my neither region when I saw his blue eyes, holy guacamole he is handsome.

“Come in Detective; can I get you anything, coffee, water?”

“No mam I have a couple of questions is all.”

“Ok, how can I help you?”

“When was the last time you seen Douglas Markowski?”

I blinked and said “Over 2 years, ever since the gavel hit the desk, and the ink dried on the divorce papers.”

“Candy Markowski had made a statement that Doug and you had a volatile relationship.”

I could not help it I laughed hard at that when I answered I tried my best to not let it sound too sarcastic “Volatile relationship, well if you consider him sucker punching me when his life took a turn, or when he got even with me for not leaving the seat up on the toilet.”

Now it was his turn to blink and laugh “Not leaving the toilet seat up?”

“Yes, Doug believed if women wanted equal rights, then damn it they can leave the toilet seat up after using the bathroom, it is only courteous.”

We both laughed and he then said “You know may be I will take that cup of coffee” He was shaking his head as he said this, with a sweet smile on his face. Oh brother there is that bead of sweat on my upper lip again. Hmmm desert me thinks would be nice with this one.

As it turns out Doug has been missing for 2 weeks Candy Markowski, Doug’s waitress wife reported him missing this past Friday.  Seems Doug has been known to stay away from home more than a night or two so Candy did not give it another thought. Oh yes let me not forget that she did confess to being sucker punched on occasion.

Detective Sorenson and I chatted for more than an hour; he is new to the department taking Detective Bagley’s place after he retired. Mike is not married; divorced for 2 years, she did not want to make the move to a small town. Her loss my gain; and who cares what happened to Doug, Karma I hope.

Mike and I agreed to golf on his next day off in a week, I will need to take the day off because Mike does not have regular hours, he works 6 days on 2 days off, which is fine with me. I did wonder if playing golf with a suspect in an ongoing investigation was against some rule, Mike figured he would have it wrapped up by then.

 Would it not be perfect Karma that Doug being missing and Mike coming into my life and we live happily ever after the best revenge?

Well the investigation was not complete but I was off the list of suspects, and it did a bazaar turn. Candy Markowski is not legally married to Douglas Markowski because Candy is actually Candy Paulson, married to John Paulson who has just been released from prison which he was incarcerated for aggravated assault, sale of narcotics, breaking and entering, yes the list goes on. Seems these two concocted a plan that Candy would sweep Doug off his feet insist on him divorcing me and they marry, which gave Candy access to Doug’s bank account.

Candy started to sing a song that included John finding out about the sucker punching going on and he made sure Doug would not hit Candy again, in bed or otherwise.  They are still looking for Doug’s body; John Paulson figures no body no murder charge. He was wrong, but thanks to these two my now Husband Detective Michael Sorenson and I are expecting our first child, or should I say children; twins, good grief twins..