THE ANNOUNCEMENT… a short story

The constant thump, thump, thumping was making him crazy.  “What in the world is that incessant noise?” he thought.  The sky was clear except for heat lightning playing tag in the distance over the gulf waters.  “Well, it’s not thunder!  I’m never going to get any rest at this rate.  Ugh!”

Lightning, Purple, Sky
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Slowly, the thumping slowed.  He was drifting off in fond memories of fishing with his dad, then his kids, and then his grandkids.  “Life has been such a blessing,” he thought to himself.  A smile played across his face. “I’m so tired!”

There, in the room, by his bedside, his children and a few of the grandchildren watched this transformation happening on the sweet old man’s face.  “What’s he thinking about, dad?” one of the grandkids asked.  “Well, if I know my daddy, he’s thinking about fishing.” Came the reply.  “Gosh, I haven’t seen him smile in a long time!” replied another.

There was a deep breath from the bed, a long, slow exhalation, then nothing more.  A nurse, who’d been sitting on one side of the bed, placed her stethoscope on the man’s chest, over his heart.  After a few moments, she looked up with tears of compassion in her eyes and made the announcement.  All those present let out a cumulative breath that they didn’t realize they’d been holding.

silhouette of man holding fishing rod
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After a few minutes of sniffling and quite sobs the eldest son bowed his head and thanked God for this beautiful, wonderful man that he called dad.  Then, the youngest grandchild whispered these words, “I hope you catch a lot today, grandpa.  I already miss you!  Good luck!”

View Master

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The view master found its protagonist.  He was draped in a myriad of colors, and was chasing around and around.  Just a sliding shuffle and click away from another heroic scene.  What adventure awaits?  Who would become the antagonist to this adventurous soul?  Ah, but isn’t that what the wheel of fate has in store for each of us.  We spin and shuffle through life hoping to load the next adventure and scene that will be better than the last.

Stop!  Get out of the loop and live.  We only have so many spins in this life, and it seems the more that pass the faster we go through the next set.  Just a thought…

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THE GIFT…a short story

As I sat on the park bench I happened to glance down and see a peanut sitting inconspicuously behind one of the legs.  Naturally, I bent over and picked it up.  Glancing up, across the walking path, I noticed a squirrel suddenly stop his constant hopping and digging to give me a hard stare of anticipation.

Laughing aloud and looking down at the small nugget of gold, that I obviously held in my hand, I debated whether to toss it over to the little grey fur ball or hold it out as an offering.

Isn’t this what we do in life sometimes?  We know what the right thing to do is, yet we hesitate and try to figure out another path. 

Instinct tells me to toss the peanut to the squirrel, so why don’t I do just that?  Is it God whispering to me to toss the small gift, and, in return, me trying to rationalize another or better way?  Perhaps.

Am I being selfish to want the squirrel to come and take the prize from my hand?  Why do I need that confirmation of its trust? 

In the end… I tossed the peanut to the squirrel and he cracked it and ate it then and there.

My reward was found in my own smile and warmed heart!  Thank you, Lord!

Hebrews 13:16  “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

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FORAGE…a short story

Not long after the sun sets and the moon begins her celestial climb they too begin their climb.  A climb from deep within the burrows, which go unnoticed during the day, but could never be missed in the night.

Calciarites, with their distinctive appearance of long, filthy fur, and unmistakable height, make their nightly foraging run around the forests, parks and abandoned neighborhoods along the old polluted rivers.  Though mankind is now aware of the existence of the Calciarites, they have no idea of what, if anything, to do about them.

It was believed that these creatures were extinct, but the carcass of one discovered near an old southern town, by a dried-out riverbed early in the 2120’s ended that thought.  No, these creatures, for whatever reason, had reappeared.

Theory holds that when the once mighty Mississippi river, all but dried up now, lost her claim to the land it forced the creatures to leave their apparent, underground homes.  Now, they again make the surface their playground.

Contact made:  Air is abnormally unhealthy in the southern part of the states.  However, that doesn’t stop certain elements of the population from “exploring” the area.  This is how confirmation of the Calciarites was solidified.

A group of young “explorers’” found the carcass of one of the creatures, and took live videos, which in turn were fed across the Intercontinental Network of Nations (INoN).  People from around the globe bore witness to what happened. 

The video serves as a lasting reminder that the Calciarites don’t only come out at night to forage.  The young men were never seen again.

THE END

BAD GUYS IN THE NIGHT… short fiction

Image result for monsters under the bed
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When the monsters came I was not prepared.  Even my granddaughter had the right idea when she told her mommy, “When the bad guys come in the night, I will punch them!”  Yeah, I should have heeded the three-year old’s advice.

Too late!  I didn’t turn on the light when I reached under the bed and the monster got me!  So much for being brave.  My only salvation is that I screamed like a woman (not an attractive sound for a man in his mid-50’s), and my wife jumped out of bed and turned on the light.

“What the heck is going on?” she queried.  “Umm… I… umm… I thought I was being grabbed by a monster under the bed!” I managed to squeak out.  “Bad guys in the night?  Buahahahahaha!  Get in this bed and go to sleep!  I have a long day tomorrow.”

Needless to say, after a few minutes, the bed was giggling from the laughter that was unsuccessfully, under great attempts to be quelled.  You know what I mean!

No, it was not a good night for sleep!  Maybe tonight!

Z is for, well, Z…#AtoZChallenge2019

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Z was the last of them.  The final bastion of the 26 generations of The Letterites of Wordzea, a world with dwindling resources.  Now is the dawning of a new cohort called The Hafazians.  Theirs is a language that could not be functionalized and understood by the Letterites. 

The final battle will be short-lived, as those who have strived for proper verbiage and grammatically correct dialogue will be far outnumbered by the abbreviated and misspelled denizens of this next generation.

Like his cousins before him, The Cursivietes, Z will be left to stand alone in the final days.  In the end… Z will reflect on Y.

The End

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Tell The Story Challenge II

My dear friend Stu invited me to participate in Tell The Story Challenge II.

The rules are simple:
Present a picture, and then tell the story about it. It can be as short or as long as you like. Nominate at least 3 people to write a story based on any of the pictures you choose to share.

Here is my take on the picture I chose:

SEA MONSTERS

“Let’s go for a sail, they said!”

“It will be fun and relaxing, they said!”

“You don’t really believe in sea monsters, do you?”

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Below are the pictures I’ve chosen for my nominees. Please feel free to join in the fun if you are reading this.

To my nominees… I can’t wait to read your creative stories…

Night Owl Poetry

Southern Writer

Tao Talk

Dawn, Sea, Rocks, Sky, Clouds, Landscape
Painter, Lackierer, Figure, Easter Egg

Landscape, Sunset, Sky, Clouds, Sun