Sunday, November 27, 2016

Let's try short stories

here is the beginning of my first ever short story ---- whatcha think?

            Louise struggled to get out of her seat and headed for the door before the bus driver closed the door and continued his route. It was the same everyday of the week, every week of the month and every month of the year. Same routine, same pain, same panic to reach the door. Why she didn’t sit closer to the door remained a mystery to the driver.
            Louise did not know the driver’s name and he did not know hers. They were compatible strangers. He always watched as she struggled down the three steps to the curb, never offering to help. He knew she always panicked about him leaving before she disembarked, but he would never do that.
He drove away as she ambled down the street to her door steps. Once again struggling up three steps she would open the front door to hear, “Mama’s home! Mama’s home!” at which point three children as tall as Louise rushed up to hug their mama.
It seemed as if they were all talking at the same time, “How was your day?”
“How is your back?”
“Did you bring us any treats?”
“I’m starving, how soon is dinner?”
Louise gently smiled at her three loves and calmly said, “My day was good, my back is fine, I didn’t bring any treats and I will start dinner in five minutes.” She looked longingly at the overstuffed couch against the wall and breathed a heavy sigh. Oh if she could just have ten minutes of peace when she walked in the door.
“Where’s your father?” She asked the group in general.
Her youngest, Larry, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I haven’t seen him. Is he supposed to be home?”
Camille, her eleven year old daughter, said quietly, “Mama, I don’t think he’s here. When we came home from school the house was empty.”
Last Darryl, her eldest at thirteen, responded, “He isn’t here and we don’t need him!”
“Now now Darryl, you know you don’t mean that.”
“I sure do!” he said stomping his foot for emphasis. “What’s the point of him being here? He doesn’t talk to us, he doesn’t sit with us, he doesn’t seem to even like us.”
Louise looked at her son, who was already three inches taller than her and said, “Daddy works very hard to put food on the table and clothes on your back. When he gets home from work he is tired, that’s all. I know he loves all three of you very much.”
“If you say so.”
Louise went into her little kitchen only to find a dish full of dirty dishes, crumbs all over the counters and an open milk container on the table. “How many times do I have to ask you all to clean up after yourselves?” It was as if she were speaking to deaf ears.

After cleaning the clutter she went about the task of making dinner. It was not much but she made do and the children ate every last drop. “Now, who still has homework to do?”

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bruce's Story - Epilogue


July 15, 2020: Bruce looked in the mirror and stared at his fifty year old face. There were fine lines around his eyes and mouth. His skin had been permanently frosted and hardened by the sun.  He lifted his gaze from the mirror to outside. His morning view of the lake still amazed him after fifteen years of mornings. That lake had provided him sustenance and tranquility.  He knew that his solitary life was the only way he would ever live. His partners in life had four legs and he was settled with that. At the current moment there were three members of his household. He was never quite sure how they found him. His infrequent trips to town for supplies managed to attract all the strays.

Being self-sufficient, those trips became less often and less frequent. There was nothing that he needed that he couldn’t find from the land around him. Buying all the prime land around a lake afforded him the ability to build on each shore. Some of the houses were bare minimums and others had a few luxuries. He found himself most comfortable in those with minimal amenities.

Bruce knew that his lifestyle was not for everyone and that he would end up dying alone, but the truth was that he had lived his life alone since the day the boat set sail. The events that occurred thereafter set his destiny. Simplicity and serenity were all he sought.

For all of you who have witnessed this story unfold, it will be available in a pdf version under the title of the The Mirror.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Bruce's Story - chapter 40

Bruce looked at himself in the mirror and all he could see was contempt. "Looks like we're stuck together forever," he said out loud to the image.  “It’s time we make an attempt to get over the past and today is as good a day as any.”  He walked out of the hotel room and went across the street to grab some breakfast.

Upon entering the diner, Shirley’s face lit. “Well good morning Bruce! I hope you had a pleasant night. What can I get you for breakfast?”

He ordered the special and sat quietly in the back booth looking over the newspaper. He didn’t remember the last time he’d woken up with absolutely nothing to do; no people to find, no clues to uncover and no plans. It was an oddly peaceful feeling. When Shirley brought his breakfast he asked her, “What’s there to do around here?”

“Nothing really,” she answered. “We are isolated from any of the big city events. This town is basically a truck stop or a map dot. There’s not a lot of activity. There aren’t a lot of folks living here and those that do are heavily into hunting.”


“There’s a wild game preserve not too far north of here, hunting season is round about October through December. Before the season opens you can hike and observe all the wildlife. Lots of folks spend their time there. There’re deer, elk, wild birds, rabbits and who knows what else. It would be a good place for you to get to know yourself.”

“Sounds interesting, how would I get there?”

“It’s about three miles from here – not sure if you’re much of a hiker.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised. After living on an island for so many years, it was no longer hiking, it was surviving.”

“Do you want me to pack you a lunch?” Shirley asked.

“That’s a great idea! I’m going to have to go find a backpack and then I’ll be back.”

Bruce set of on his adventure around ten in the morning. He hadn’t actually been walking long distances in quite a while and it felt really good. He made it to the preserve way before noon and started walking through the forested area. It wasn’t long before he saw rabbits hopping in the underbrush. Not far off from them he noticed a couple of deer drinking from a stream. Not wanting to disturb them we sat under a tree and observed. Once they’d walked away he headed towards the stream.

The fish in the stream were stunning to look at. He felt more relaxed sitting by that stream than he had in eons. He felt like he was at peace. It was in that moment that he knew what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go.

Finishing his lunch he ambled further along the trail. He headed back towards the town around four and get back to his hotel just before six o’clock. He really didn’t feel like communicating with anyone, so went to the local store and grabbed a few things for a light dinner. While he was there he grabbed a novel off one of the shelves and headed back to his room. He spent the evening reading a book and relaxing; something he couldn’t remember ever doing before. Bruce slept soundly and in the morning he checked out of the hotel.

Bruce Patterson walked over to the gas station and was told his car would be done by 10 o’clock. He went over to the diner. Shirley again greeted him with a large smile and asked what he wanted. He ordered a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich and sat at the counter.

“You look determined today Bruce,” Shirley said, refilling his coffee.

“I am,” he said. “I’m ready to get on with my life.”

“Good for you! The hike must’ve jarred something loose.”

“Not sure about that,” he laughed, “But it was great.”
Shirley smiled and said, “I wish you all the things you wish for in life.”

Bruce paid his tab, gave Shirley a hug and said, “Thanks for listening.”