down for recent stories
The Long Way Home
Copyright 2019 by Kay Harper
was sailing right along on the familiar I-75 between North Georgia
and my home in Florida. With limited stops, my ETA was better than it
had ever been. Then came the critical point when I thought I was
taking a shortcut, only to realize as soon as I exited that I was
heading down the wrong road. . . .
The Purloined Paintings
© Copyright 2019 by Emily Hart
have often operated from the premise that it is easier to ask
forgiveness than to get permission. When our 4th grade Social Studies
lesson mentioned Pulitzer Prize winner political cartoonist Carey Orr
I decided it was one of those days. In our dining room at
hung two original paintings by Uncle Carey. I was
the class would like to see them and certainly Sister (a generic term
for all nuns) would be impressed. I had the feeling my mother
might not be so keen on letting me take the paintings to school, so I
skipped that pesky getting permission stage and quietly slipped out
with the artwork after lunch. . . .
The Spaced Program
Copyright 2019 by Doug Sherr
the early 1960s, a friend of mine and I formed a little company to
apply lubricant coatings to race car engines and space ships. We
borrowed $1500 seed money from his mother and went to work. Despite
having little knowledge and no experience to guide us, after four
months of 14-hour days we had built a facility that passed the eye of
a NASA qualified inspector. Soon after that, my partner started
working harder to get rid of me than to build our business. We were
trading shouts in a hostile board meeting at our company, Orion
Industries, when a call came in for me from Dow Chemical Company.
They were giving us the chance to bid on a sub-contract for NASA.
This would be our first big project. . . .
Just a Little Change
Copyright 2019 by Edward Hamilton
(c) 2019 freeart.com
. . .That’s
when it happened. I was coming out of the slow traffic and entering
the faster traffic heading out of the city, when a bum holds out a
sign for me to see. The sign was not flashy. It was merely a brown
piece of cardboard, barely bigger than a sheet of paper. The words
‘Just a Little Change’ was wrote on it. The words were
broken into three lines. ‘Just’ on the first line. ‘a
little’ on the second line and ‘Change’ on the
third. The words were a half inch thick, wrote in black marker. The
first thing I noticed about the sign was the letters were perfect. I
could have never written a more perfect letter unless I used a
stencil. Then the words hit me. ‘Just a little change’.
Why did he word it like that? Why not, ‘I need your change’
or ‘I’m hungry please help’. . . .
James L. Cowles
Copyright 2019 by James L. Cowles
Winter Storm Goliath had lived up to its name,
bringing a huge swath of snow and ice from the West through a large
portion of the Plains from Dec. 24 and continuing through Dec.
Within that area, a historic blizzard buried the southern Plains in
heavy snow, whipped by wind gusts as high as 80 mph. This was
rare weather for Roswell, New Mexico and a record 18 inches of snow
and drifts 10 to 20 feet high made it impossible for most to get out
of their houses, but on Christmas Eve, Bryan Richards was not one of
them. . . .
David Lewis Pogson
Copyright 2019 by David Lewis Pogson
|This story describes
characters known to me and events as experienced by me. The
part relating to 1963 is taken from my direct personal involvement.
The part relating to 2001 is taken from extensive coverage of events
which, whilst not involving me directly, were happening on a daily
basis within the locality of my home and work and were well reported
in the media. I became aware of a direct correlation between
those early and later events. Other than my own name, I have not
given the full names of any character as those individuals would
likely be embarrassed by this accolade but anyone wishing to know
more can undertake the same research as me via the Internet. This is
a tribute to those who saved my life. . . .
Copyright 2007 by Jeff Howe
stood on the train platform in the lazy light of early evening. Here
in the suburbs, the train was above ground, four stretched silverish
boxes playing follow-the-leader for all to see and hear. When it
approached the city, it would plunge underground to race through
tubes of tile and concrete rumbling the sidewalks above.
platform was darkened from the footsteps of thousands of commuters
passing through this station daily. Dingy white concrete pillars
which supported the rigid overhead cover were chipped and marked with
names and odd symbols in dark brown spray paint. . . .
The Fifty Cent Bible
Copyright 2019 by Judith Nakken
bought them, two old, small, brown leather bound bibles tied together
with twine, at an antique auction in L.A. County in the autumn of
1958. Only because the antique-buying populace didn’t want
them, and they went for the original dollar asked by the struggling
auctioneer. As an avowed atheist, I didn’t want them for any
reason except that, as an equally avowed book lover, I couldn’t
bear to see ancient tomes ignored. They went on a stacked bookshelf
in the granny room, the tiny spare bedroom where everything unused
reposed at one time or another. . . . More... This
the second story about my Dad, who taught me the meaning of
racial acceptance by his example during the Second World War years. At
that time, Americans with dark skin were called “negroes”,
not intended to disrespect anyone. . . .
A Letter To The French Docteur Who Monitored My
Copyright 2019 by Desiree Kendrick
embarking on a river cruise in Provence, France, I extended my trip
to explore on my own. I did my research before I left home and
planned my itinerary for Nice. This incident was NOT on my top ten
things-to-do list. . . .
Arrival in Lagos, Nigeria
Guy M. Tombs
Copyright 2019 by Guy M. Tombs
are first impressions of what was to be a two and a half year stay in
Nigeria. There are many more stories to tell.
am writing now because I wish to set out my first impressions. I am
well and have regained some lost sleep. Apparently I shall be posted
to Northwestern State, the capital of which is Sokoto. I have heard
of its extreme heat. The city is ancient. I believe I can choose to
go to the south of the state, to Minna or thereabouts. I shall be
teaching at a Teachers’ Training College. There is a dire need
for teachers like me in the North. I’ll be teaching English,
pretty much as I had thought and so carefully prepared for: English
as a Second Language. . . .
Copyright 2019 by Margie Hofman
Aunty, my mother’s sister, lived in a small
house with her
daughter-in-law and granddaughter. One evening in 1943 they all
went up the road to join her other sister and her family as they were
all nervous of the bombing.
they heard the Germans flying towards London and thought “That’s
all right, they are going to London direct and will not bother us. BUT,
on their way back, they decided to unload the unused bombs on the
countryside near the sea. Aunty’s little house got a direct
hit. She came home and the house was flattened in a circle. They
heard a noise and there was the pet canary still in its cage. . . .
Small lives, fully
encroaching night. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Bill Cox
Copyright 2019 by Don Shook
.22 caliber revolver pointed two feet from my forehead was no way to
greet that beautiful autumn morning. Were it on stage or another
"let's pretend" scenario I could have understood. But
this, I assumed, was of dead earnest intent by one of my high-school
students whose demeanor defied any semblance of normalcy. With his
fat finger on the trigger and a surly grin on his face, he stood
above my desk threatening to be my last sight on earth. In my
previous teaching jobs I thought I had experienced surprising events;
but none even started to compare. . . . More...
Reborn to Die Again
Copyright 2019 by Amanda Pedersen
The engine of my
white Mini Cooper sputtered. The winter’s weather was harsh,
and the roads weren’t any better. They were slippery, ice
strewn. The temperature gage shows fourteen degrees below zero.
Wrapped up in my wool coat, the cold didn’t faze me. . . .
A Dream About The Other World
Copyright 2019 by Laura Labno
dreamed a strange dream this night. Of course, all dreams hold
strangeness of a kind but this one made me feel in that particularly
unpleasant way – It left an aftertaste which made me feel
drained. There were lots of plots in it, which I'm not quite able to
describe but I remember that there was my dad in it. And he wasn't
happy. Maybe it's because I talked with him yesterday, thats why I
dreamed him. . . .
(Prepared for debate in 6th grade class)
Should the Government be Involved in Equal Pay for Women?
Zinnia Nichols Loller
Copyright 2019 by Zinnia Nichols Loller
way the pay gap works is through interrupted careers, less working
hours due to motherhood, and decreased future earnings. These
decreased future earnings come to an average of $419,000 during a
lifetime (Cable News Network). That’s a lot. None of these
things will change with time, making the gender pay gap something
that will never be completely resolved unless we do something. . . .
Slight Panic on
the Midwest-Bound Express Train
Copyright 2019 by Xiaochen Su
interregional express train from Boston bound for Chicago suddenly
ground to a halt, jolting me awake as I was napping away on the slow
my eyes, I stared outside the window for clues to what could have
brought the regular long-haul Amtrak service to a halt. The setting
sun was painting the sky a glowing red, as the wheat field below,
ready for their fall harvest, swayed gently in the wind. No station,
no town, not even a dirt path that a truck can drive up to. It was,
quite obviously, not a routine stop a train would take to unload
passengers. . . .
Just Another Night Shift
Copyright 2019 by Laura Labno
was a peaceful night shift at the fast food place where I work.
Saturday nights tend to get busy at around midnight when all the
drunk people come out of the pubs and bars to charge themselves up a
little with some oil-soaked chicken and fries. Some occasionally will
throw up on the restaurant floor to keep me entertained and others
will throw food at the restaurant walls or, in more radical cases, at
me. . . . More...
Mary Alice Betley
Copyright 2019 by Mary Alice Betley
years ago I taught at a B.I.A. school at Teec
Nos Pos, AZ. When I first arrived, I was assigned Apartment
#15. As I was moving in, a large collie—type
came up to me, acting very friendly but also skittish
and frightened. . . .
In The Night
Albert Vetere Lannon
Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon
|I’m not a
believer in ghosts, or spirits wandering among us, or in an afterlife
with winged angels flitting around the heavens, but I’ve
learned in my 81 years that there is so much we don’t know
about everything. We know that we don’t know what most of the
human brain is used for. We know that at the moment of death several
grams of weight are lost, explained by religion as the soul leaving
the body. And I’ve had a few experiences I cannot explain that
leave me open to ideas I would have once rejected out of hand. . . .
Hunting in South Carolina
Albert Vetere Lannon
Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon
Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)
up was terrifying during the Cold War Red Scare years, with Dad a
Full-Time Functionary of the U.S. Communist Party. Consumed with
their politics and the growing repression, there was little time for
me, so I learned that if I couldn’t get positive attention, I
would find ways to get negative attention. One of those was
collecting and keeping snakes. . . . More...
Raft of Summer
Copyright 2019 by Don Shook
was a strange Texas spring, with dark May mornings and heavy rains.
By summer Ten Mile Creek was filled to overflowing…and we knew
that somewhere in the murky depths of Bluehole, the Monster awaited…
feet were stuck. Instinct screamed for me to tear through the
undergrowth, up the steep bank and into the adjoining pasture where
nothing on two legs- and precious little on four-had a prayer of
catching me. Instead, I stood paralyzed, eyes glued on the brushy far
side bank of the creek, desperately trying to identify the thrashing
that had sent our pulses racing. A quick glance revealed that Pete
too was riveted on the opposite shore. . . .
Like Caves Within Caves
© Copyright 2019 by Emily Hart
on inexorably. Unless we turn back the hands.
bed is cold as I slide into it. Chan is rolling the rug
against the door. By the lamplight I can see the shimmering
ice on the window sill. Earlier I swept up a dusting of gray
snow from the floor below the window. There are drifts of
throughout the house, like caves within caves. . . .
Gomez the Jungle Dog
Copyright 2019 by Brittany
bright green t-shirt clung to my chest, drenched with sweat and
morning rain. Mosquitos buzzed in my ear, distracting me from the
others that were biting my exposed skin, long rinsed of its bug
spray. The sun, high in the sky, tried to fight its way through the
dense jungle. Only rays as thin as knife blades sliced down to the
my feet, trotting in and out of the slivers of sun, was Gomez. Not
much bigger than a house cat, and black like the night that hung
heavy over this part of Colombia, Gomez fit in well with his
surrounds. . . .
The Bears of California
Copyright 2019 by Leslie Soule
there I was, pondering what to write about. I had a weird dream last
night, after a long weekend of work, gardening at my friend Tom’s
mother’s house in Placerville. In my dream, I wandered my
house, and it was full of snakes. I like snakes. But in my dream,
there were far too many of them to deal with. I had the problem of
trying to find tanks for all of these snakes, and the problem was
that there were far too many snakes to deal with, and not enough
tanks to house them all. . . .
Copyright 2019 by Kay Harper
Day – June 17, 2018.
I’m honoring my father not only due to the fact that it’s
Father’s Day, but because it’s also the 102nd anniversary
of his birth! We lost him in his 76th year, but
not diminished the profound influence he had on the lives of my two
older brothers and me. He was an original through and through, and he
taught us to be originals, too! . . .
Black Canyon Mountain Lion
Koji A. Dae
Copyright 2019 by Koji A. Dae
worked with a conservation corps in southern Arizona. I spent most of
that time camping in various parts of the state and completing
projects from rain-water harvesting to migrant trash pickup. Some of
my fondest memories come from the more backbreaking, wilderness
assignments, where we were more likely to encounter wild animals,
such as this time near Black Canyon city in central Arizona. . . .
The Easter Bunnies
Copyright 2019 by Carol Rotta
memory of a little girl and the rabbits she and her younger brother
received for Easter—and the humorous events that followed.
Easter bunnies came to live at our house. Literally. I was seven and
my brother, Bunky, was five when our parents gave us each a baby
bunny for Easter. How Mother persuaded Daddy to let us have them
remains a mystery—he did not
like pets of any kind. We didn’t even have a dog! She probably
assured him the man at the pet store had guaranteed both rabbits were
the same gender. . . .
Notre Dame Cathedral Is Afire Today
N. Barry Carver
Copyright 2019 by N. Barry Carver
Dame Cathedral is afire today.
am, with the world, wallowing in a grief bigger than buildings, or
nationalism, or fire, but I am also assailed with personal memories.
I've been trying not to think about it, not to watch the images that
are coming in from everywhere, but this fire in Paris is breaking my
heart. . . .
Stranger In The Club
Copyright 2019 by Luqman Morrison
This is a story about a time in my life when I sold cigarettes in a nightclub.
I will tell you about him. I always remember him, sometimes with wet
eyes and some smiles.
used to be times when the city of Warri would sleep during the day to
wake up at night. It is true that Warri used to be a nocturnal city.
were nightclubs where boys and girls would go to set their bodies on
fire and burn nights away. Beats from loud speakers and cigarettes
and hemps and gins and many other liquids in fine bottles were the
fuel. . . .
Born In Defiance
Copyright 2019 by Ru Otto
is the first vignette in my ongoing, but as yet unpublished,
autobiographical book, Signs
of Life. Coming of age in the
40’s and 50’s was hard enough for a girl without the
added challenges of poverty, disability, and alcoholism. But
like tempered steel in this intense environment, fired to a shining
resiliency in the heat of human passions. . . .
“You’re where?” I said into the
phone. “What do you mean you put ten dollars down on a
dog! I don’t want a dog! What do you mean Bob and I
are getting too old and need a companion? I don’t need a
dog. No. I don’t care! Wha ... ?”
My daughter went on to explain that she’d
looking for a year for us at the Animal Humane place, and finally
she’d found one that she knew would work for us both. . . .
Anna G. Joujan
© Copyright 2019 by Anna G.
has no sense
of decorum. So it did not occur to me to question my actions when I
interrupted the chaplain, with his head bowed and hands folded, to
place myself in front of my grandfather’s
face. As he tugged on the tubes, wildly waving his hands,
craning his neck up while his head turned side to side, I planted my
face in front of his. “Hi PaCharley,” I said. Over. And
over. I saw his clear blue eyes. I saw him.
He saw me. . . .