LIGHTS

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

Fourteen months of email communication, and if my calculations are correct, we will finally meet face to face.

She wouldn’t send me any pictures of her, but wanted my picture. That seems to me to be one sided, but I liked all of the nice things she said in her notes.

Finally, the other day she consented to meeting me. However, she said if it was “meant to be,” I would have to solve her clues to when and where.

I didn’t need to study the clues any longer, but wanted to confirm my analysis. She said she wanted me to be a drifter, under the lights, in SC, NM when everything was straight up, and on the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated.

So, I was to meet her on the Ides of March, which is today March 15, at high noon, in Silver City, New Mexico at the Drifter restaurant, under the table lights. She knew my name, but wanted me to wear a red hat.

Sitting here over an hour early today, I wondered if she was truly going to meet me. Thirty minutes after sitting in the booth, an attractive blonde sat down almost on my lap, “I really like your hat, mister.”

We talked for over an hour and she finally said it was time to consummate our meeting. I left more than enough to cover our meals.

As we were walking out the door, another woman blocked the exit, hands on hips, “RICH?”

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Cake Town Massacre

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

The “National Dessert” reporter tried her best to get the straight story from pastries who witnessed the prior night’s battle.

She reviewed her notes: There were rumors that the pies were not happy with cake in the “Cake Town” store name, along with customer attention to the elaborate cake displays.

Rhubarb Pie said that cakes should have been warned by rumors of Cherry Pie’s nightly rallies.

The fight actually started when Stargazy Pie reported diminished Birthday Cake ranks.

Lady Baltimore did her best to organize the fruit and nut pies, but Pecan was the hardest as he was truly a nut case.

Key Lime unlocked both display cases.

Mississippi Mud and Natchitochis Meat, lead the charge.

It was observed that Lemon Meringue was more focused on Manchester Tart.

Last out of the case was “Chicken and Mushroom Pie.

Boston Cream didn’t participate, not knowing which camp he belonged to.

Her notes from the actual battle:

Killer Pie was the first to make contact, and laid a mighty blow on Pound Cake, who knocked over Upside-Down Cake.

Marble Cake saw that action, slipping trying to get away.

Pound Cake tried his best to move, but couldn’t.

Rum Cake only grinned at the action.

Fruit Cake was last seen ogling over Cherry Pie’s assets.

Wedding Cake scurried off with Angel Cake, while Devil’s Food gave chase.

The Chocolate Cakes negotiated a truce, only having to part with their cherries, and a store name change to Pie Empire.

(Published in the 2014 Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction)

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Life’s Edge

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

I could see other people standing very near the edge.

In my heart, I knew they were not close to the edge for the same reason I was.

As I stood there, much too close to the edge, I could feel the breeze rising from the canyon floor.

My heels confirmed solid rock, but my toes felt nothing.

I thought I heard someone crying amongst many others yelling and laughing.

Despite the cold, I smelled my sweaty black t-shirt.

I wanted to spit the bile taste in my mouth, but was afraid.

Would she miss me, and regret her decision, or wish she had done it months ago?

Her photo had resisted falling and floated like a glider, making me think it wasn’t over.

She was everything I wanted in life, and yesterday, she discarded me like her cigarette butt.

I came here looking for a sign, but the loneliness is very telling.

I didn’t want to see anyone else here, and closed my eyes.

I wondered if the breeze was strong enough to help me land softly.

The person crying reminded me that nobody will cry for me.

The foul smell of my t-shirt was replaced with the sweet scent of flowers.

Those were the words I wrote that crazy day, and now ten years later, the angel who intervened is now the mother of our three children.

I told her I wanted to return today to thank God.

She urged me not to kneel.

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Bubbles – A Wild Ride

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

“Bubbles, Bubbles and Bubbles” is what I named my business.

That’s not what the newspapers called it, but that’s another story.

Many things in life are predictable; Death and Taxes, being the most unpopular.

What I didn’t know, most likely would kill me, or at least the business.

The business opened in late 2019, and then COVID hit in 2020. It kept people away, but in 2021, as long as they wore a mask and kept six feet away from each other, there wasn’t any problem. Who knew what the rest of the story would be?

It was a bright sunny day, the bumpers were lined on the inside edge of our large pool, and customers were in a long line for their chance at the adventure. Bobbie checked the weather report, but I guess he missed the wind advisory, or worse, he forgot to let me know.

The newspaper headlines referred to it as ‘The Invasion of the Balloons.’ Three bubbles were blown out of the confines of the pool area and headed downtown. They didn’t stop for traffic or even traffic lights. The football team were the heroes of the day, basically tackling the runaway balloons as they entered the football field during practice.

I learned my lesson, and we now tether the bubbles, but some folks complain the ride is not quite what it used to be. However, on some windy days, I go for a wild ride with camera in hand.

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Radio?

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

“Do I sound UPSET to you? I’ll show you upset when I find the fool who purchased these cheap batteries. Over.”

“Chief, did I hear you correctly, that you wanted to call off the training exercise? Over.”

“YES, it’s too late. By the time the recruits arrive, the place will be ashes. Over.”

“What happened? Over.”

“After I set the place on fire, I couldn’t get the damn radio to work. By the time I figured it was the batteries, the place was too far gone to save. Over.”

“Anything you want me to do on this end? Over.”

“Yes, let lieutenant Ramsey know to talk to the trainees about going over the checklist, not just once, but several times. Somebody missed doing that on this exercise. Oh, and I want you to check the file to see what IDIOT purchased the latest batteries. Over.”

After a very long pause, “Chief, please repeat…your radio was breaking up. Over.” He wondered if his voice sounded like he had been running. He had emptied the shredder basket into the outside dumpster.  

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Ghost Train

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

“So, do we have an understanding? No more false reports of train horns blasting in the middle of the night,” Kelley admonished the two young men.

“But officer, it wasn’t a false report,” Paul yelled.

“Let it go Paul. We’re not going to convince him,” Mark said, pulling him away from the officer.

“Can I have a cup of coffee and I’ll share a story?” Not waiting for any response, he headed to the kitchen table pulling out a chair.

Mark started a pot of coffee despite it being the middle of the night.

Officer Kelley removed his cap and placed it on the chair next to him. “Well, the town built up around the tracks. You boys better take a seat.” He watched both, still in their skivvies, pull out chairs.

“The ‘405’ used to roar across town, shaking the walls of all the buildings and blasting its horn. One morning, Elmer Witmer’s wagon got stuck on the tracks and they found pieces of him for miles. The Santa Fe agreed to reroute around town. Like most everything, things change and this spur wasn’t necessary.”

“We heard the train,” Paul pronounced.

“YES, you did. I’ll get fired if you say I told you this. There have been similar reports as yours. Some people call it Elmer’s ghost train. What time did you hear it?”

“3:57,” they both reported.

“Yes, that’s the train…it was always eight minutes early. Can we agree there’s no need to report this again?”

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Love to Live – Live to Love

Dan, Damon and Mary

Two lives converge

Love seeds merge

Life at conception

There’s no exception

Marvel of birth

Welcome to earth

Start of living

Chance for giving

Walking different routes

Gaining precious fruits

Making many friends

Before life ends

Hard saying goodbye

Heaven is nigh

[Written in Memory of Mary F. Waters, my x-wife, who passed on March 4th, 2021. Today March 23rd, we would have been celebrating her birthday. Happy Birthday Mary.]

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Dead Stuff Walking

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

“Who approved that sign?” Mayor Gillman asked.

The room went silent.

“It’s wrong, and I want to know the fool who wrote the order,” he persisted.

The cabinet had seen his rage before, and there wasn’t a sole looking at him.

“You’re all a bunch of losers and there’s not one of you with any backbone.” His face was turning red. “Don’t hide behind your masks.” He was now walking around the room pointing at every person. “Well, were going to sit in this room until tomorrow if we have to, until I find out which idiot commissioned that sign. $450 is ridiculous, and it is worded incorrectly to boot.”

One of the cabinet members raised her hand, and everyone looked at her.

“YOU, you did this?” He raced over to her location.

As soon as his whiskey laden breath filled her nostrils, she started crying.

“Well, missy…speak up. Did you commission this sign?”

“No mayor, I need to go to the ladies room.”

“Nobody is leaving the room until I find out which a**hole purchased this sign.” He looked at his shoes and he was standing in a puddle. “Oh, for gosh sakes…GO!”

She jumped out of her chair and went running.

Another person raised her hand, holding up a folded piece of paper.

“What, do you have to go too?”

“No sir, I located the order.

Everyone watched the mayor charge over to her seat.

A minute later – “You can all go; the sign reads exactly as ordered.”

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Whale Tails versus Whale Tales

Courtesy of Google Images

This is a story of a Whale.

You might call it a Whale tale.

Others, might call it a tale of a Whale.

Who’s right?

Whale tails are long.

This Whale tale is not.

Whale tails come out of the water.

This Whale tale does not.

Remember reading the story of Moby Dick?

This is not that story!

Whales can be found in Alaska.

Whales can also be found in Hawaii.

The same Whale might be seen in both places.

That’s because some make the journey each year.

Whales are enormous, and

Whales don’t wait for anybody.

My Whale is not enormous, and

Mine waits for me every day!

I’m sure Whales have friends.

There’s nothing like friends.

You can tell them secrets, and

Good friends keep those secrets!

If you want a longer tail,

You’ll have to watch for a Whale.

I told you this was a short tale.

Maybe your Whale will like it too?

(This was written for a boy who has a whale stuffed animal)

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Special Dreams

Courtesy of K.S. Brooks (www.indiesunlimited.com)

Some of the kids on the team had parents and grandparents who played football in college, and some even played in the pros. I don’t have any of that good fortune.

It wasn’t just the fact that they were football players, but they had a father and a mother. I must have had them, but I never knew them.

My nickname in school is ‘Foster.’ I don’t mind it, but it reminds me what I don’t have. Don’t get me wrong, I like my foster family, they’re very nice people. Harry doesn’t throw the football with me, like some of the other dads. He supports me though. When he can’t wheel his wheelchair across the field any further, I bring him as close as he would like. Seeing him, reminds me that I do have the good fortune of having my legs. He lost his in Afghanistan.

I have never heard him complain once about his loss. I learn lessons from him, and he doesn’t even have to say a word. Meg is a wonderful lady, and too good a cook. She’s always making wonderful pastries and pies. I’ve never asked them why they took a kid off the street, but I owe them so much. So, when the kids call me Foster, I also think of their sacrifice for me.

My special dream is to be the best I can be, and to make something of myself, so I can reward them for being here for me.  

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