Randomness

The Invisible Man

He really hadn’t meant to burn the place down. It was a prank gone awry, something to get her attention. Yet, the fire raged, the sirens screamed, and the police lights flashed. He sighed; why was it that nothing ever turned out the way he thought it would? Maybe next time he should try a different approach. If she survived, he’d simply ask her out. The End

Randomness

The Scream That Wouldn’t – Pt 2

I knew the highway was no more than about a quarter of a mile farther and things would be better there. I was proud of myself for getting this far and sighed deeply as we snuck cautiously around the bend in the road and then slammed the brakes, slammed them so hard I thought my foot would go through the floor. Thank God we were going so slowly or we never would have stopped. As it was, Peggy Sue and I came to a halt about four feet from a man standing smack in the middle of the road. He was visibly relieved to see us stop and also aware that I was too stunned to do anything. He approached the driver’s side and made the roll down your window motion. I had my hand over my chest making sure my heart didn’t jump out yet managed to lower my window. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “Thank goodness you were going so slow. I couldn’t get out of the road, it’s solid ice.” That’s when I noticed a Suburban laying sideways in the ditch. “Is that yours?” I pointed to the vehicle. “Yes, unfortunately it is. I’ve called but no…

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Randomness

The Scream That Wouldn’t

The winter of 2007-2008 is noteworthy for two reasons: one being a memorable time for the community around Rathdrum, Idaho, and one for me personally. First of all, we had a record one hundred ninety inches of killing-me-softly snow; and second, it was the first time in my entire life I’ve completely lost my voice. I don’t mean the “laryngitis” kind of lost it, I mean a desperate to scream my lungs out yet not managing so much as a squeak, kind of lost it. As you will see, both these things happened in the same day. It all started with that snow storm, the absolute dumping of eighteen inches of white powder on the cabin, on the cars, on the roads. Most importantly – the roads. This was in addition to the twenty seven inches we were already dealing with. My husband, Zeke, had just shoveled and cleared the way for me four hours prior, making it quite manageable if only I would have left. But then it started up with a vengeance. I kept cleaning and packing things up, believing it would let up in a minute and then I’d head out the door. A minute turned into…

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Randomness

The Old Man and Anthony’s Home Port Restaurant

The old man nearly coughed up a lung hauling the twelve foot dingy down the beach to the water, dragging it over piles of driftwood, gravel, and rocks. His hip-waders had sprung a leak somewhere along the way, and water was slowly seeping in, soaking his toes on the right foot. He’d forgotten to put a plastic bag over his foot before putting on the boots as he normally did. He’d been forgetting a lot of things lately, he noticed. If she were still around, she would never let him out the door on a day like this, let alone anywhere near the water. The waves crashed against his legs as he struggled to shove the little boat up and over them, scrambling at the same time, to climb in. He managed to slam into one of the oars, popping it out of the oar lock and sending it overboard. “Shit,” Matthias mumbled. “Won’t due having only one of the bastards.” Using the other oar, he paddled furiously toward the one escaping. Unfortunately, the current was strong and pulled the little boat south even though the waves were carrying the desperately needed oar toward the north. Matthias fought his frustration…

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Randomness

A Dreadful Woman

Elizabeth didn’t really know how she came to have dreadlocks. Something strange happened right after the celebration of her sixtieth birthday. It had been a wonderful day, all her family and friends gathered together in the backyard. The flowers were in full bloom, the sun was shining and the air was warm. Her son Joe had salmon on the grill and her daughters, Jane and Susan, had made salads and roasted red potatoes and baked too many deserts. It was a feast and a party, everyone happy, laughing and dancing, and…well, you get the picture. Yet somehow that too-good-to-be-true day came to an end and there she was, left with the most desperate feeling, as though she’d suddenly realized she’d forgotten the most important thing in her life, and just now discovered it had been forgotten for as far back as she could remember! The anxiety was unbearable. What was it, she wondered? Two years later, Elizabeth is celebrating her sixty second birthday. This time the party is limited to family only, strained smiles and arched brows and heavy sighs aimed in her direction. Her gifts consist of beauty salon certificates; spa treatments, mani/pedis, and a day at a Gene…

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Randomness

No Doubt

Feet tapping, tapping, tapping. Shuffle, shuffle forward, shuffle backward, cross the ankles, uncross the ankles then tap, tap, shuffle forward, shuffle back, tap, tap, tap. The legs cross, foot pulls up to the knee, foot back on the floor. The legs uncross, cross, uncross, the feet hit the floor and she stands up to walk in place, dance in place. Can’t go far tethered to the blood pressure machine and the I.V. line like she is. She stretches and groans and lays back then sits up and stretches then taps and taps and taps. It’s like watching a cat on a hot tin roof. Her eyes close, open, dart around the room. What is happening? This is enough to drive her right out of her mind. She is tired, so tired yet her legs can’t stop and her feet can’t stop and the drugs won’t stop. Her insides are cold yet her outsides sweat. She’s wired. The port in her chest makes it easy for the drugs to flow straight into her system, to travel straight to the bad cells and attack. That’s the point of all this, right? There is a war raging inside her body and our minds…

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Randomness

The Story of Betsy and Grandmother Graham, Pt. 4

Pt. 4 The next ten days of Betsy’s Christmas Break were spent doing little other than cooking, baking, and delivering. They made complete meals and delivered them to individual families in need, and deserts to elderly folks, much like her grandmother, living alone. They spent an entire day baking and decorating sugar cookies then delivered platefuls to everyone in her grandmother’s life with children and grandchildren. Not a day ended without Betsy’s heart full of pride and joy. She lay snuggled in at night embracing a new freedom, a kind of contentment she’d never known. Smiling faces and gratitude shown by those they’d visited flooded her heart, and Betsy felt the time spent with Grandmother Graham had opened doors wide, welcoming a fresh awareness of a rich life outside Betsy’s limited world. Her cell phone had been abandoned and forgotten. It was a surprise to discover she hadn’t missed the wasted hours spent doing nothing with the phone attached to her hand like an appendage she couldn’t leave alone. Thoughts of her parents marched in and out of her mind, not like soldiers warring, but simply as a line of little black ants moving purposefully through her life, yet without…

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Randomness

The Story of Betsy and Grandmother Graham Pt. 3

Pt. 3 That evening, tucked snugly into the single bed in her father’s old bedroom, Betsy’s mind traveled through the events of the day. She could hardly believe how much she and her grandmother had accomplished in such a short time. Granted, they hadn’t taken a break or slowed down even for a minute since the time Betsy had walked in the door. Yet, still, it was a great accomplishment. Betsy thought about the biscuits, the mouth watering heavenly biscuits they’d worked so hard on and wondered where they were going. The breads had been consumed in record time by the patrons of Angela’s Kitchen and Betsy had swelled with pride over the part she had had in providing them. She and her grandmother stayed until the last person finished their meal, then started the process of cleaning all the pots and pans and running the institutional dishwasher with plates, coffee cups, and cutlery. There had never been a day in her life where she’d imagined tackling such an ominous job and enjoying it. And the baking! Betsy could hardly believe what she’d been a part of; the creative process of bringing dough to life and dressing it up in…

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Randomness

The Story of Betsy and Grandmother Graham, Pt. 2

“Yeast? I don’t know what that is,” Betsy knit her brow. She’d finally figured out the tablespoon, the teaspoon, a pinch, a dash, a cube, the cups, and now this. Yeast. “Oh my word, girl. Yeast! It’s the magic that raises the bread, puts the puff in pastry.” Betsy’s grandmother shook her head. “Raising you under a rock they are. Raising you under a rock.” Betsy wanted to tell the old woman her neck was bound to be sore from shaking her head all day as she displayed her dismay and disgust. Betsy, it seemed, was not being raised by her parents at all. She was being ruined by them. “May God forgive them, she doesn’t even know yeast,” her grandmother muttered. “Well, girl, you’re going to be amazed by yeast. We’re going to bake cinnamon and raisin bread. Breakfast bread, you see. A dozen loaves.” Her grandmother pulled a small jar from the cupboard, a food thermometer, and a mixing bowl from the sideboard. “Here now, I’ll show you how to warm the yeast. It’s alive you know, and a bit temperamental. If it’s too hot, the yeast dies. If it’s too cold, it won’t activate. That’s why we…

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Randomness

The Story of Betsy and Grandmother Graham

The Story of Betsy and Grandma Graham Betsy Graham stood in the foyer of her grandmother’s home. She clutched her suitcase to her side as though it might be snatched away by the unfamiliar old woman standing in front of her. The woman wore a faded house dress, apron, and shoes like black blocks. Betsy tried to remember anything, one single thing about her, but she couldn’t. Her eyes were drawn to the spikes of gray hair sticking out all over her grandmother’s head. Betsy’s own head was killing her. Her mother had insisted she brush her hair straight back and secure it in a severely tight bun. Apparently, Grandma Graham thought all girls should wear their hair like boys; short, manageable. If this woman, her grandmother, was as awful as she’d been led to believe, why was she here? Her memory couldn’t conjure up a single nice thing said about Grandmother Graham. Yet her parents had shipped her off for the Christmas holiday, assuring her that Grandma wasn’t bad at all. She’d misunderstood. Suddenly, they had all kinds of nice things to say about the woman who raised Betsy’s father like some kind of slave driver or army sergeant.…

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