Saturday, March 18, 2017

HOME VISIT

As Michelle hurries up the stoop, she retrieves a door key that she keeps in secret. On the porch, she opens the door and sees her father flat out, motionless on the living room floor. "Dad," she screams and rushes to him. He moves and looks up at her, grumbles, "what the hell are you doing here?"
"I couldn't get in touch with you over the telephone," Michelle says.
"Damn thing broke and what the shit?" Dad asks.
"What do you mean by that?" Michele asks.
"A son would have shook me to see if I was till alive," Dad says.
"Please, not now Dad and how did you fall out of your wheelchair," Michelle says.
"I was reaching for something and the thing tilted; after I couldn't get up, I yelled for help, " Dad says.
"You know that these old houses are as close to sound proof as can be, and the breeze way between the houses helps muffle noise," Michelle says.
"I forgot about that," Dad says.
She stands the wheel chair upright.
"Wait a minute, how did you get in here?" Dad asks.
"Let's get you in the wheelchair and off the floor okay," Michelle says.
"Think you have enough man muscles to lift me?" Dad asks.
"Yes I do, Dad," Michelle says. She stands behind Dad then bends at her knees, places her forearms under his arm pits then stands, lifting him.
"Did you put the lock on?" Dad asks.
"First thing," Michelle says as she maneuvers Dad onto the chair.
He makes himself comfortable.
"Nope, don't do that because you have to take a bath to get rid of that awful smell," Michelle says.
"A man would have said that I smell like the back alley of a wino's street," Dad says.
"You stink Dad, please take a bath," Michelle says.
He takes off the brakes then wheel himself into the bathroom. She goes to the closet, gets the broom, mop and bucket , begins to cleanup. She finds Dad's telephone and discovers that he let the batteries run down.
"I don't hear no water running," Michelle shouts.
"You will as soon as I flush," Dad shouts.
She continues cleaning then hears the toilet flush and the bath water running. "Need help getting in," Michelle shouts.
"Oh no, hell no, not from you anyway," Dad shouts.
She finishes cleaning then prepares bacon and eggs to cook.

Michelle puts a plate of food before Dad then set a plate for her and sit opposite him. After a short prayer, they eat.
"There not much food left in the frig or cabinet so we could go shopping just like mom would," Michelle says.
Dad snaps. "Don't you mention my wife, damn-it; she would turn over in her grave if I told her what you did to yourself, my son a woman."
"Dad, mom understood it before I did," Michelle says.
"Don't you say that, she would have never encourage you to do that to yourself, never," Dad snaps.
"She didn't and you're right that she wouldn't have because it was my choice to make and I made it," Michelle says.
"My son, a woman," Dad snorts.
"That's right," Michelle says.
"Damn you Michael, Damn you," Dad says with anger.
"My name in Michelle," Michelle says.  
"Not to me it isn't, I don't give a shit about everybody else, to me your name is Michael," Dad says.
Michelle looks at Dad. "You got that one," she says.
"Damn right, I do," Dad says.
"You should buy one of those wheelchairs with a motor," she says.
"In case you haven't noticed, I am the only he-man in the family now," he says then displays his arm muscles and says to mock, "not a damn she-man."
"This she-man picked your ass up off the floor," she says.
"Don't you curse at me," he says.
"I wasn't cursing," she says.
"You said ass to me about me," he says.
"I was talking about that particular part of your body and not your behavior," she says.
"You've become a wise guy," he says.
"Haven't you noticed, I changed," she says.

They finish their meal.
"Your phone should be powered up in a little while," she say.
"I glad you came over and help me off the floor," he says.
"Well, when I didn't hear your grumpiness after my third call, I thought something was wrong," she says.
Dad laughs as he recalls, "I was reaching for something, I can't remember now, anyway, my chair tilted and I must have knocked myself out hitting my head against the floor." He laughs louder that draws her to laugh with him. After a moment, he sighs. "I guess that I need you now more than ever," he says.
"If you say so," she says.
He tells her. "You are my only child and that is it, you are my child. I'll point out to anyone who asks that you are my child and if they asks what is your name, I will tell that you are my child and that is it."
"Okay Dad," Michelle says.
"Damn right, you are my child," Dad says. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

GRANDDAUGHTER

She drives along the roads of Amish country until she stops at the farm that she seeks and parks on the side of the road. As she steps to the house, a tall man appears from the side of the house.
"Are you lost?" He asks.
She doesn't speak, just stares at him.
He walks closer to her. "Do you need directions?" He asks.
"I'm looking for Chester," she says.
"My name is Chester," he says.
"I am your granddaughter, Rebecca; my mother is your daughter, Kate," Rebecca says.
Chester displays no emotion, keeping his long lost grief in him. "I remember what I had to do," he says.
"Does that mean me too?" Rebecca asks.
Chester inhales deep then exhale. "No," he says.
"Thank you," Rebecca says.

In the kitchen, they eat a snack Chester prepared and he listens to Rebecca's recollection of her life with her mother. She asks about her grandmother. He talks about his wife from their marriage to the birth of Kate and then their mother, daughter relationship until his wife's death and how he began both parents until that day when she left him. Rebecca peeks at her wristwatch. "Oh, wow, time just flew by." Chester pulls out his pocket-watch. "Yes, it did," he says in a manner to announce to himself that he forgot to do his chores. She stands. "I have the summer off before college," she says.
"That's good," he says.
"I wonder if I can spend it here," she says.
"What will your mother say?" H e asks.
"It's just a summer vacation," she says.
After a thought, he says, "well, if, your mother approves."
They stand on the porch. He watches her walk to her car then stop.
"I didn't say a word about my father," she says.
"That was good," he says.

"Rebecca where have you been all day?" Kate asks.
"Up state, in Amish country," Rebecca says.
Kate's heart misses a beat. "What on earth for?" she asks.
"To find my grandfather," Rebecca says.
"Did you find him?" Kate asks.
"Sure did and we talked for hours," Rebecca says.
"You should not have gone there without letting me know," Kate says.
"If I told you would you have let me go?" Rebecca asks.
"I always wanted you to meet him but," Kate says.
"Well, at least that problem has been solved," Rebecca says.
"How did you fine him?" Kate asks.
"A year ago, grand-mommy mentioned him and I just started going to Amish markets and asking around and one day, I just got lucky," Rebecca says.
"And, you found my father from that?" Kate asks.
"Yes, and I also found out that Jeb got married to a fine wife and they have a son and daughter, and he took over his family farm," Rebecca says.
Kate has not thought of her Amish suitor in years. He promised to welcome and care for a not yet born Rebecca as his daughter but John was her father so she left the Amish world for his.

During dinner, John learns of his daughter's trip to the Amish country and meeting her grandfather without a display of concern; then, she mentions that she wanted to spend her summer vacation with her Amish grandfather.
"Out of the question," John snaps.
"Why not? She should get to know the other branch of her family tree," Kate says.
"I don't like it; remember what they did to you," John says.
Before Kate can say a word, John says, "we can't visit you."
"Did you pass a road side diner with a blue front," Kate asks Rebecca.
"Yes, I did," Rebecca says.
"We can meet her there," Kate says.
"Your father doesn't have a telephone or a computer; did you see any of that there, Rebecca?" John asks.
"No, but there was a mailbox," Rebecca says.

Rebecca arrives at Chester's egg and poultry farm; during dinner, Chester explains the operations of his free range chicken and turkey farm, growing and storing feed corn and selling eggs to nearby stores.
"You need to get out of those clothes. Your room was once your mother's and I never got around to tossing her clothes. Now, the work day starts early here so I'll wake you until your natural clock begins to go off," Chester says.
It takes a couple of weeks for Rebecca's natural clock to set and her muscle memory to become in the habit of the routine; so much so that by the close of summer, she is an old hand at it and she wants to stay.

In the diner, John keeps his anger in check. "You said, just for the summer," he says.
"I changed my mind," Rebecca says.
"What about college?" Kate asks.
"It doesn't interest me no more," Rebecca says.
"Let her go you said, it will be good for her," John tells Kate.
"I didn't think that this would happen; Did you meet a suitor," Kaye says.
"No, I didn't meet anyone. I'm just happy here," Rebecca says.
"He brainwashed you," John says.
"The life did that," Rebecca says.
"Just like the life of the outside world did for me," Kate says.

Chester sits in the one horse drawn buggy; he follows the ritual, however, he moves the side mirror to see Kate with John saying goodbye to Rebecca. As they walk to their car, Chester moves the mirror to keep Kate image on it; she stops, looks in his direction, wave then blows him a kiss that he catches; tears brightens father and daughter eyes. Rebecca climbs into the buggy.
"Ready grandfather?" She asks.
"Ready granddaughter," he says.





Thursday, March 9, 2017

THE FIRE AT 124 JACKSON PLACE

Lucy and her six-year old son Manny are asleep in the bedroom when the flame in the kitchen erupts and wakes the family dog, a black Chihuahua; he barks at the flames as if it were an intruder and that wakes Lucy.
After the fire department declares the fire extinguished, the Fire Marshal prepares to conduct her investigation. Lucy stands with the fire battalion Captain.
"What happens now?" Lucy asks.
"The fire marshal is going to make an investigation for the cause of the fire," Captain says.
"Will I be able to go back into my house when he finishes?" Lucy asks.
"Oh no, not tonight, a city inspector will have to clear it as safe to occupy and that may not happen until morning," Captain says.
Disappointed. "Oh man," Lucy says.
"Do you have a place to stay tonight?" Captain asks.
"Maybe my boyfriend," Lucy says.
"Well, just in case you don't, come with me and I'll contact the red cross for you to help you solve that problem," Captain says.
"Thanks, but I'll call my boyfriend," Lucy says.
"I'll give you the red cross number anyway," Captain says.

The Fire Marshal stands at the bottom of the stoop of the duplex getting ready to enter. Manny runs up to her. "What are you doing?" He asks. The Fire Marshal does not hear him so he tugs on her trousers. "What is it little fellow?" Fire Marshal asks.
"What are you doing?" Manny asks.
"I'm going into the apartment to check and find out how the fire started," Fire Marshal says.
"I know how it happened," Manny says.
"You weren't playing with matches. were you?" Fire Marshal asks.
Manny shakes his head. "No, no, I was asleep and Chitty woke us up barking," he says.
"Where is your mother?" Fire Marshal asks.
Manny points; "over there," he says.
"Better go and be with her," Fire Marshal says.
"But, I want to tell you who put the fire in my mommy's kitchen," Manny says.
Annoyed, Fire Marshal asks. "Who was it?"
"That man who is my mommy's boyfriend," Manny says.
"Did you see him do it?" Fire Marshal asks.
"No, I was asleep; I told you before," Manny says.
"Well, how do you know that he did it?" Fire marshal asks.
Manny uses both pointing fingers to emphasize, "he and my mommy stopped being boyfriend and girlfriend because he wants to fuss and cuss all the time my mommy said and he said one day that he's going to burn the do-do out of my mommy's house with a fire bottle," he says.
Lucy calls Manny over to her. He hurries to her then he tells her what he told the Fire Marshal. "Oh shit, why did you tell her that?" Lucy asks.
"She wants to know how the fire happened," Manny says.
"You shouldn't have told her that," Lucy says.

Fire Marshal's investigation determines that the fire was caused by a faulty microwave oven wiring. She leaves the apartment after she completed her investigation. Manny rushes to her; "did I tell the truth?" He asks. Fire Marshal does not answer instead she walks to Lucy. Manny wants to know if he told the truth, until Lucy tells him to be quiet. Embarrassed of what Manny said about her boyfriend, Lucy tells Fire Marshal, "my boyfriend and I did have a fight but that was a couple of weeks ago; we made up since then. He even bought me a microwave oven."

Monday, February 20, 2017

UNDER A PENDULUM

In a hospital room, his mother's sobs penetrate the silence. "Carl is dead." Her daughter-in-law, Renee, has a desire to smile. Doctor and nurses consoles them, although Carl's death was not a shock since the cancer took some time to ravage his vital organs.
"How long were you married?" A nurse asks.
"Seven years," Renee says.
"They were high school sweethearts," his mother says.
"How sweet," another nurse says.
"That's what you think," Renee whispers. She recollects the reason she and Carl got together. She wanted to do the last year of high school tradition of a girl with a boyfriend for the prom and other activities. Their dating would end after graduation unless they thought otherwise, like some couples do; it was never otherwise for her because she had panned to study journalism at the university's school, to prepare for her life career. She told Carl this so that there would be no ill will between them when they separated. However, a week before graduation he gave her a newspaper clipping to read. 'In another city, a teenaged boy was so infatuated with his high school sweetheart that after she told him that they should stop dating, he shot her to death.'
"That is me and you," Carl told her.
"What do you mean?" She asked.
 "That is what I'll do if you leave me."
"You're joking?"
"No, I'm not.
Her parents were disappointed with her decision to marry Carl not long after graduation.

"He was a good family man, even if he had no kids to make a true family." an uncle says.
Renee does not tell him that his nephew wanted it that way so to keep all her affections to himself and she did not want to create a closer togetherness with him.
"He always wanted to be cremated so he wouldn't have to go in the ground; he always hated that thought," his mother says then points out, "how much he loved you Renee."
"What do you plan to do with the rest of you life without Carl?" Carl's cousin, Roger asks.
"I'm going to move back with my parents, get a job," Renee says. Although she was not a locked in housewife she knew that Carl paid Roger to keep tags on her, she remembers.
Before she moves, she puts the urn with Carl's ashes in a plastic bag already half filled with garbage, then ties it tight; she takes it to the curb trash receptacle, tosses the bag into it.

"What are your plans?" Her father asks.
"The community college has journalism classes so I'll start there," Renee says.
"That's good," her father says.
"You have all the help that you'll need from us to get your degree," her mother says.
"Thanks mom because I had made plans for the state to do that," Renee says.

Renee attends morning classes; in the evenings, she has a job at a store in the shopping plaza. One evening, she walks to the employee's parking level with an upcoming test on her mind until Roger stops her thoughts, standing next to her car.
"Roger, is that you?"
"Yeah, it's me," he says then point a pistol at her.
"What are you doing?"
"Carl came to me to remind me of my promise that I am to make sure you follow him."
"Came to you?"
"One night when I was asleep."
Renee runs at him in a rage that startles him and causes him to fire a bullet aimlessly that alerts two security officers; when they arrive, Renee refuses their demands to stop choking the man. With an effort, they pull Renee off an unresponsive Roger.

"I always thought the worse of Carl but I didn't think it was that bad, keeping you under a pendulum like that," her father says.
"You should have told us," her mother says.
"I was afraid in the beginning then I started getting ideas and then he got sick," Renee says.
"I hope the rest of his family didn't promise him to do such a thing," her mother says.
"Roger was a muttonhead who followed Carl like a hungry mutt," Renee says.
"Are you sure there are no more muttonheads in his family?" Her father asks.
"Well, I sure hope not, because, if not, I have plans for whomsoever," Renee says.







Saturday, February 11, 2017

A REUNION

Family and friends slowly gather at the gravesite of their loved one, Donna.
He missed the celebration of her life, although he did his best to be there after he received the message. He follows the procession to the cemetery. As he gets out of his car, someone notices him but more so his attire, an U. S. army uniform with a two-star rank, service and bravery ribbons, and a Ranger tab over a Special Force insignia.
"My goodness," she says.
"What's the matter, now?" Her husband asks.
"It's him."
"Who?"
"Ted, Donna's first husband."
Ted walks to the circle of mourners, stands in the rear; he sees the immediate family members being guided to chairs. The Preacher speaking words of comfort.
"Who is the soldier?" A Friend asks.
"Well, I'll be damned; it's Christina's real father," a Relative says.
"What?"
"Donna divorced him when Christina was not yet two years old."
"Donna didn't like the army life?"
"Ted joined the army after their divorce."
"Oh, I see."
"Charles and Donna were coworkers when she felled for him is a hard way. Ted found out that they were seeing each other and that caused their divorce."
The Preacher begins his sermon.
"There is Christina's natural father," A Cousin says.
"Who?" His partner asks.
"The soldier over there."
"Out of wedlock?"
"No. They were married but Donna wanted Charles more, so Ted let his family go, quit his job then joined the army."
"To make sure that he was away from them?"
"I guess so, yeah, maybe so."
After the Preacher says words of final farewell, Charles stands then places a flower on Donna's casket then Christina then other family members then friends follow. Afterwards, everyone goes to their cars or limousines, except Ted. He has moved close to the casket to say his goodbye.
Christina see the Black soldier for the first time. "Is that my father?" She asks Charles.
"Yes," Charles says.
Christina walks away from Charles and her two brothers to reunite with her father.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A LONG NIGHT

From their van, the brothers in a sly manner look at the few family members of the deceased man gather outside of the funeral home before going inside.
"That's it," Tom says, "the bastard's body is on the way."
Within an hour, the funeral home's vehicle rolls onto the driveway beside the building, stops in front of the rollup door. It opens. A man rushes to help the driver of the vehicle remove the body from the vehicle to take it inside the building. The door closes. Tom and Bill wait. Soon, the family members walk out of the building, stop to speak to each other, for a few moments, afterwards, stroll to their cars. One family member looks in the direction of the van.
"Shit, he sees us," Bill says as he tries to shrink out of sight.
"Stop that before he notices us," Tom says, "remember, we put a decal over our sign."
"Oh, yeah, you're right," Bill says.
"We'll come back like we planned," Tom says.

It is pass midnight, Tom drives the van onto the driveway beside the funeral home. Within a couple of minutes, after Tom uses his past burglary skills, Tom and Bill are inside the building. They use mini flashlights to locate the body, still in a body-bag; they remove it from the cooler to their van.

Bill drives along the city streets at a lower speed then indicated.
"Drive normal," Tom says.
"The cops," Bill says.
"Driving like you are will get their attention just like as if you were speeding, so drive normal," Tom says.
"Okay," Bill says.

The van leaves the city, rolls through suburban neighborhoods until it rolls onto a paved state forest road that becomes a dirt road. They drive for a few more miles, stops near a tree off the road. The brothers get out of the van with shovels. Feet from the tree, they dig a deep narrow hole. Then, they drag the body bag from the van to the hole. Bill pulls the zipper down to look at the dead man's face. He punches it, hard, until Tom stops him.
Bill sobs. "I told Sis not to marry him because he was a prick."
They close the bag then drop it into the hole then throw dirt over it; after it is filled,  as best as they can, they make the ground look undisturbed. Finished, they return to the van and drive away.

In the morning, a news broadcast announces that,"the man's body had disappeared from a funeral home," and then explains, "it was the body of the man who was found guilty of murdering his wife and sentenced to twenty years to life even though her body was never found. He was killed in a prison brawl. The police are investigating."


.





Sunday, January 8, 2017

GETTING DIVORCED

In their kitchen, Pam prepares dinner, since she's the first one home from work; it's their tradition. They have been doing it for ten years, six years as cohabitants and the past four, married. She hears Lucy's key in the door lock then after the door closes, her foot steps into the kitchen.
"Beat me again," Lucy says.
"Yes, but, I don't mind," Pam says.
"What's cooking tonight?" Lucy asks.
"I chopped that ham into cubes then poured some canned vegetables into a pot with it to make ham stew," Pam says.
"Nothing to drink?"
"Apple juice."
"I mean with a kick."
"There's some red wine in the cabinet; it should go good with the stew but it will not be ready for another half hour."
Pam steps to Lucy for their lover's greeting kiss but notices, although brief, her wife's lips receives but does not match. It happened yesterday, among other things in the past, lately; however, she believes that there are worst things in existence to worry about, but Lucy should not let whatever it is get between them. Lucy goes to the cabinet.
"Your boss on your ass again?" Pam asks.
"No," Lucy says.
"Well, I feel that there is something on your mind that you need to let go."
Lucy sits at the table, not looking at Pam, begins to uncork the wine bottle.
"What's up?" Pam asks.
"Well, there is no need to let it linger any longer between us," Lucy says.
"What does the mean?"
"I want a divorce."
Pam stares at Lucy unable to say a word for a moment that gives Lucy the time to tell her, "I met someone , maybe a year ago, and it became love."
"Are you joking?" Pam asks.
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are." Pam sits at the table on a chair across from Lucy. "You have to be; it was your idea to get married."
"Now, it is my idea to get a divorce."
"If you never wanted the married life then why did you want to."
"I wanted to but now I want a divorce from you; like I said, I met someone else."
"You want to divorce me to be with someone else?"
"Yes."
"But, we have ten years being together."
"Pam, I want our ten years of being together to stop."
Pam's stare becomes a scowl. "Are you serious," she hollers.
"Let's keep this quiet and with peace."
"You're the only woman I've ever been with, in bed."
"I know."
"I left my husband, my children for you."
"Let's keep this in this room, please."
"My children despise me for what I did to their father because I chose you, and now you want to leave me."
"It happened, things in our life changed; that is all that I can say for why."
"That is all; that is all just because you met someone. You changed my life to be with you and now you tell me this shit."
"There is no need to let the neighbors know about this now."
"I don't care what the neighbors will know because what I do know is that my two kids forgot me because of you and you come here in this house to tell me that damn shit."
Lucy stutters, "I told you; now, I leaving." She stands, hurries to the door. Pam follows. "Go bitch," she yells, "go to hell, damn you, you bitch, all to hell, damn you." Lucy is out of the house, scurrying to her car. From the doorway, Pam shrieks, "I hope you die from the Devil's tail." Lucy drives away. Pam slams the door shut.