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.   

















 




Monday, December 12, 2016

PICKPOCKET

He is on a weekend excursion in the French Quarters of New Orleans. He strolls along the streets, now and then, stops where the sound of music emits or a specialty store of peculiar things or the smell of food draws him to a delicious meal. During these stops, he pays by removing his wallet from a back pocket of his trousers, holds it with one hand while the other hand handles a bill that he gives to the receiver then accepts the change. He returns the wallet to the pocket.
The pickpocket does his thievery with stealth amongst a crowd. He is sure that the man shall not notice for minutes.
In a secluded alleyway, not even a dog gives him away to others. He gets the wallet from its concealment then reaches into the cash compartment and feels a prick against his finger that only gets an "ouch" from him. He takes out a bill, notices something not right about the fifty dollar currency. He examines it, sees that the other side is blank with words written on it. 'If you're not the punk who ruined my family's vacation this past summer well, I'm not sorry.  He has trouble breathing so he coughs to remedy the problem. He stops breathing.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

THREE IN LOVE

"What is this shit I hear," Marty says in competition with the happy hour celebrators.
"I told you when you went up that I won't wait for you," Sandy says.
"With my best friend?" Marty asks.
"You're the one that kept opening the door; I told you to stop it," Sandy says.
"That's a bull shit excuse."
"I told you that would happen."
Janis, the other bartender stands behind Sandy.
"I got work to do so please leave because there is nothing more between us," Sandy says.
"I'm going to see my supposed best friend and change this bull," Marty says.
"Leave him alone," Sandy says.
"Why should I?" Marty asks.
"He's good to me better than you ever were," Sandy says.
"Not any more that is going to change," Sandy says. He makes a fist, pounds his chest with the bottom on it then walks out of the tavern.
"What did that mean?" Janis asks.
"I don't know, maybe, some prison stuff," Sandy says.

The public defender sits beside Marty. Philadelphia police detectives Jack Browne and Betty Johns look at them both. "Did you say anything to these detectives?" She asks Marty.
"Yeah, I told them that I did not kill Larry," Marty says.
She looks at the detectives.
"We have your knife that an attempt was made to wipe it clean of blood," Jack Browne says.
"I was drinking and I got drunk," Marty says.
She stops Marty with a hand on his shoulder without taking her eyes off the detectives. "What else do you have?" She asks.
"You were drunk, got into an argument with Larry and from your pocket you pulled out a knife then used it to commit homicide," Betty Johns says.
"Because, we found out that your used to be girl friend dropped you after you were sent up and started dating Larry," Jack Browne says.
"You sure drive a hard bargain," she says.
"What do you mean by that?" jack Browne asks.
"Unless you can come up with more evidence than that, we're going to leave," she says.
"You're a person of interest in this case so don't skip on us," Betty Johns says.
After Marty and the public defender has left the room.
"I wish  that DNA on those blood sample would hurry Jack Browne says.
"We just have to wait; I told you that," Betty Johns says.

Janis looks at the two detectives sitting across from her. "What did you say?" Janis asks.
"DNA founded on that knife belonged to you and the victim; you served time and that is how we got your DNA," Betty Johns says.
"It could have only happened when you saw Marty drunk that night, got his knife, then knowing Larry was waiting to meet Sandy, you attacked him. There was a struggle were you got cut but you were able to stab Larry to death and somehow got the knife back to Marty," Jack Browne says.
"Why would I want to kill him?" Janis asks.
"You're a lesbian. We know that from Sandy; she told us that you both had a fling before she started dating Larry," Betty Johns says.
Janis weeps. "It wasn't a fling for me."
"That's what Sandy called it," Jack Browne says.
"We don't believe Marty skipped on us so where did you put him?" Betty Johns asks.



  






 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

TRAIN RIDE TO MIAMI

Tall, slender and pretty, she boards the Amtrak train in Jacksonville, Florida going south to Miami and all stops in between. The conductor assigns her a seat by the window. She is happy about that, then becomes more happier when she finds out that the aisle seat is occupied by an elderly fellow. "My name is John," he says.
"I'm Sheila," she says.
"Nice to meet you."
"Same here."
"I've been on this thing from Philadelphia on my way to Miami."
"My stop is Miami."
"That's good, no more change of neighbors." Then he goes about arranging his entertainment components to watch movies. When he finishes, he says, "see you later."
She grins. "Will do," she says.

After paying for treats at the snack bar, she go to the leisure car to eat and drink. The young man with a filled snack tray walks pass with a smile directed at her. Moments later, he returns and sits on the seat opposite her. "Hi," he says.
"Hi,: she says.
"Going far?" He asks.
"Miami," she says.
"Me too, my name is Henry and please don't Hank me because I'm not into nicknames."
"My name is Sheila and I won't."
"I saw you get on; I got on at Savannah."
"I guess that I missed seeing you."
He laughs then asks. "What are you going to do in Miami?"
"I am a dancer and I intend to dance. What do you do in Miami?"
"I'm a college student on my way back to the college."
She's puzzled. "What break is this?"
"My own, went to Savannah with some friends so when the party fizzled, here I am on my way back." He asks her. "What strip club do you dance at?"
Taken-aback, she says, "I dance with a troupe and we're dancing in the forum."
"Damn, I'm sorry," he says.

She listens to music with earphones, enjoying the scenery that flashes by until she feels a tug on her shoulder; expecting to see John, she's bewildered to look at Henry. "Been looking all over for you," he says.
"That somebody's else seat," she says.
"Whoever can find another seat the rest of the way."
"I don't think that he will want to do that."
"Look forget him let's you and me talk."
"I don't want to talk to you."
"Damn, you're lesbian,"
"No, I am not; I just do not want to talk to you."
"You're in my seat," John says.
"Listen, pop, I am a few cars that way so you can go and take my seat," Henry says.
"This has been my seat since Philly," John says.
"Give me a break, pop," Henry says.
"I'll get a conductor," John says.
"Damn, I'll see you later honey," Henry says.
"I'm not your honey and I don't want to see you later," Sheila says.

At a station because of a situation further up the tracks, the passengers are allowed to take a smoke break on the platform, just stretch their legs or get a feel of the weather for twenty minutes. Away from the others, Sheila feels a grasp on her arm. She looks at Henry. He shushes her while stepping backwards thus gliding her to follow him. "I found a nice quiet corner where we can be alone for a few minutes," he says.
"Get the hell off me," she says.
Her resistance only makes him pull her more with strength. It is fast, very fast, her freehand knuckles smashes against his nose; he steps backwards. The heel of her shoes strikes his torso that makes him fall then a powerful kick makes him moves into the fetal position and roll around.

The conductor announces the train's arrival at the Miami station. "Nice riding with you neighbor," John says.
"It was my pleasure also," Sheila says.
"By the way, I noticed that guy stopped bothering you even after that nice dance you did for him," John says.
Sheila grans.