Finding Her History

This is the last full week of December and, as such, the last of my scheduled short stories.

I will continue writing them, and posting them, but with the ‘regularity’ (HA!) of this schedule. I hope you will enjoy them all the same, or more so, in their new randomness.

Here is my big finale – a little look at a slice of a very important day in one girl’s life.

The year was 1943, the man was a fedora sporting dark eyed, people watcher, and the car was a coupe. That was all the picture had to offer for the thirsty eyes of the young lady who had found it buried in a dusty box. One memento, carefully packed away using the old ‘box in a box wrapped in a blanket, under junk in another box’ trick. Good thing she was tenacious (or stubborn as her Mother always asserted), otherwise she would have given up hours ago. But the only thing Corinna ever gave up on was cleaning the house!

Giggling to herself, Corinna grabbed the photo and the box it had been so lovingly packed in, careful to keep the few other mementos intact, and scurried back down to her room (where she was supposed to be napping away a headache). Too late! Grandma was sitting on the patchwork bedspread with a smirk on her face, “Did you really think you were light enough on your feet to get away with that little girl?”

“Oh Grandma!” Corinna only pouted for a minute, her grandma was the most likely person to help her with this conundrum. “Since I wasn’t, and since you’re here…”

“You found the box.” It wasn’t a question, just a statement wafting by on a sigh. At Corinna’s nod, Grandma patted the mattress and motioned the girl over. “I suppose it is time to tell you about this. You are, after all, becoming quite the young lady. Maybe you should know where you get it from.”

Corinna danced across the room excitedly, twirling delicately into a bow that proffered the box of goodies in front of Grandma’s outstretched hands. “Grandma, this looks just like the car for sale down the street. Is that why Mom won’t help me try to buy it for my birthday?”

Grandma sighed, “You WOULD want that car girl! Your mother doesn’t want you buying the car because it doesn’t just LOOK like the one in the photo…” her shoulders slumped, “It IS the one in the photo. The car for sale down the street in your father’s, and your mother is so scared that she’s ready to pack up and move. There is no way that she’ll allow you deal with him and buy the car.”

“My…father…” Corinna whispered. “WOW! Scared?” She had known this picture was important, had known she had to find something, anything, from the past when she had overheard Mom and Grandma whispering about it earlier, but she had only thought about herself and her upcoming birthday. Now though, her FATHER. “wow” she whispered again. “Father. Why would she be scared of my father? She’s always said how much in love they were before he had to go off to the war. And how much she hoped to someday see him again.”

“She never said what war dear,” Grandma gently set the box aside and took her granddaughter’s hands. “Your parents met eighteen years ago and were soon inseparable…”

And so began the telling of Corinna’s family history, of love and duty, of loyalty and disruption, and of running from a war that had nothing to do with external forces.

Through it all Corinna’s mother, who had gone by the Bea for the past sixteen years, leaned against her daughter’s closed bedroom door and listened as silent tears poured from her eyes. Maybe it was time to stop running and finally turn to face their swiftly approaching past.

“Amber,” The deep voice had not changed in all their time apart, “I’ve missed you.”

“Hello Sal.”

Commute

Swerve

*Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Mischievous*

Sitting in a long line of traffic, going 10 miles below the posted speed regulations, with drooping eyelids and blasting stereos, no one expected any variation from this daily trek into work.

George Edward Allan, an 81 year old man with a grouchy sense of humor and an out of date driver’s license, was returning home from his own daily outing to the local diner and found himself staring at a golden opportunity. Clutching his ‘to-go’ coffee tightly in an arthritic old hand and waiting for a slight break in the line (he wouldn’t want anyone hurt after all), Mr. Allan swerved into oncoming traffic.

Chuckling to himself as the poor little girl in the ‘smart car’ (SMART CAR, HUMPH!) scrambled to avoid the 1953 steel frame Chevy that had barreled toward her.

Twice more George carefully chose his spot and swerved to the opposite lane. Twice more he laughed at the reactions of his hapless victims. Twice more he crowed, “That oughta wake ‘em up!”

After his third swerve, George Edward Allan decided that he’d made the point and toodled on home to his bright kitchen and happy coffee making wife, never knowing the impact his actions had on those driving that day.

For the few young drivers, the wrinkled joy on his face read as malice and murderous intent so they drove more cautiously and complained about old ‘coots’ being allowed to drive at all.

The few older adults in that line of cars tensed up, took an extra blood pressure pill, and began to seriously consider bus tickets and carpools with those young kids that were always trying to take their jobs.

And then there was one middle aged and who witnessed every action, every reaction, and the light of real joy emanating from Mr. Allan’s cackling face and thought, “I want to BE that guy when I grow up!”

Friendly Conundrum

Here is the story that should have been posted last Sunday…if I had ever gotten around to remembering that it was typed up and waiting to be posted. We’re at the end of the beginning of week 9 in school, so I’m hoping to actually remember this routine again at some point in the near future! In the meantime, you will have two (YES!) short stories out of me today, last week’s and this week’s, and since Wednesday is the last day of school this week (FALL BREAK!) I should have minimal issues with getting the next one up on time as well. I hope…Well, that’s enough drivel from me. Without further ado, I present last week’s Short:

The Wrong Kind of Blond:

“Short, Blond, and Bubbly; just how I like them,” Jules crowed excitedly to her best friend as the duo eyed a group of less than fresh surfers tumble into the restaurant.

“Julia,” Meghan sighed, in gentle reprimand, “You shouldn’t pigeonhole people like that! You just keep getting disappointed…remember last week when your ‘blond, vapidly stupid hippie’ turned out to be a bad dye job on a PhD who was just bored? Besides, you are a certifiable genius in your area, don’t you want someone to talk to?”

“That’s why I have you Smootzy!” Julia grinned and leaned her almost 6′ frame down to pinch her 5’2″ friend’s rosy cheeks. “Lets go get ’em!”

“I guessss,” Meghan’s voice trailed off and her feet stilled so suddenly that Julia was yanked to a standstill. “Jules, WHO is That?:

:”Who?” Julia peered around the bar are bewilderedly, “The only new guys are that football team and we see them every week…OH!”

There he stood, a tall muscular dark haired man, his piercing green eyes scanning the area as if looking for someone.

“Ew Megs really? HIM? He is EVERYTHING we said we would never look for! Tall, not short, green eyes instead of watery blue, MUSCLES! I mean, come on and snap out of it already! He even looks SMART! UGH!”

“But he’s GORGEOUS,” Meghan sighed appreciatively, “Just because I swore off the flavor doesn’t mean I don’t like to look ever once in a while you know.”

As he scanned the bar, Julia tried to shrink into the background while Meghan merely stood transfixed, refusing to be budged in the direction of brain damaged dudes any more.

Laying eyes on the subversive struggle between the friends, the dark haired mystery man  smirked to himself, causing three nearby women to swoon. His Italian leather shoes and almost cat-like grace allowed an almost silent maneuver across the floor as his curiosity took over, so that as Meghan looked back up to sigh sadly at his sudden disappearance, he was already moving into place beside her.

“Hello,” His voice, soft and deep as a cashmere sweater, seemed to surround her, exciting a frustrated groan from Julia. “My name is Joseph. I saw the two of you over here playing tug of war over your beautiful arm and I let my curiosity take over I guess.”

Meghan promptly passed out, causing Julia to awkwardly catch her best friend by the armpits and glare up at the new guy.

“Way to go ROMEO!”

Joseph looked close to tears as he helped set Meghan in a comfortable booth and sank down on the floor beside her before wailing, “WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?!”

Short Story Sunday – 3 days late

I know, I know…I’m late again. The good news is that I wrote this somewhere close to the time that I was supposed to. Of course, it doesn’t really count if I don’t type it up and post it right?? Ugh…Its here now so you’ll just have to forgive me (Or at least pretend to for my poor bruised sense of self worth).

I present to you, with no further ado, The Ad (dundundun) 

“Oh Billy,” Taryn clucked and shook her head at the unconscious man. “If only you had behaved!”

Hearing Billy’s doctor talking to a patient in the next room, Taryn gave Billy’s fingers on last squeeze and the tubing around his arms one last thump before sliding out of the room. Walking briskly through the hospital to the parking lot, the fiery red head flipped up her jacket’s hood and pressed the #3 speed dial button on her concealed cell phone.

Gotta love hoodie headphones she mused to herself, waiting for her call to connect.

“Thank you for calling the NorthWest News! How may I help you?” The chipper voice sparkled across the air, causing Taryn to grin before responding.

“Hey there Ms. Perl! Its Anna Maria again…I think it might be time to bust out my ad.”

“Oh Dear,” Perl sighed, “I had such high hopes for this one too!”

“So did I, but you know what they say…Move on and Climb Up…or something like that!” Taryn trilled laughter, causing a nearby squirrel to jump into frenzy panic mode with his armful of nuts.

“Every week or two,” Perl mumble half-jokingly before adding her own, more subdued, laughter to the mix.

“Oh hush,” Taryn rolled her eyes and silently reminded herself that while “Taryn” was an OCD adrenaline junky dominant personality, “Anna Maria” was a bubbly sweet Southern woman just looking for a friend to exercise her love of the outdoors with.

“Got you all set up sweet pea!” Ms. Perl announced, “And we have a special going on, so its half-priced this week.”

“I’ll send it on over,” Taryn promised. “Thank you Ms. Perl!”

“You could just bring it in,” Ms. Perl wheedled, “We haven’t seen you in a while you know.”

Taryn grimaced at the thought, that would mean a clothes change, a wig she hadn’t brushed recently, and even that horrid prosthetic eye make-up.

“I’m so sorry MS. Perl, but I am just swamped at work all this week!”

“Oh well…*sigh* don’t be such a stranger dear!” Ms. Perl disappointedly signed off and left Taryn to send over an apologization coffee with the personal ad’s payment.

Two Days later the NortWest News landed on Janine Prezzio’s doorstop.

Hmm…’Thrill seeker looking for a partner. Must be willing to hold my lines while I soar.’

If this doesn’t get my brother out the house, I don’t know what will!”

Undercover

“I don’t understand!” The priest wailed, wringing his aged hands in Antony while the woman he knew as Sister Gertrude waved the new deed in his face. “There’s no reason for you to shut down our school! There’s nothing for miles except for needy kids, smelly animals, and a vegetable garden.”

“Oh contrare mon petite padre,” she paused to contemplate that line before absentminded lay waving the confusion away and continuing on, “you see, I needed the mountain road access you have here and this paltry work was in my way, but not anymore.”

“but WHY??” Father Thomas seemed to be asking his questions of God and the false nun waited a tick to see if the explanation would be given for her. When the ceiling of the dusty chapel remained silent she turned glittering golden eyes on the confused priest and tore away her wimple with a cackle.

“Don’t you get it old man?” ‘Sister Gertrude’s’ face hardened, her lips thinning caustically as she stretched them into a smile that would scare kittens. “Your property-oh wait, haha, I mean my property- surrounds the only accessible part of this mountain. Now that you and your whimpering mass of children will be gone, my friends and I will have the perfect hiding place for our operation.”

“Your friends?” It’s amazing what a well placed eyebrow can do for a conversation, a fact that Father Thomas often took advantage of and this conversation was no different.

“I don’t mind telling you now, since you’re so senile and won’t need to remember this much longer anyway,” she bragged. “My friends and I are the ones who robbed that big toy store AND stole the tiger cubs and penguins from the zoo. There’s a big cave near the spring here that we’ll be icing down soon.” She suddenly gasped and checked her watch, “They’ll be here in less than an hour, so you better GET OUT or you’ll be meeting your big boss man much sooner than you had planned on!”

“Thank you Trisha,” he sighed. “That’s all I needed to know.”

“I don’t remember telling you my real name,” she growled suspiciously seconds before a heavily armed and vested officer clutched her elbow.

Ripping off his bald cap and dropping his cane, Thomas (a 26 year old undercover detective) shook his head at the girl, whose mouth as flopping like a fish out of water.

“You crossed the with those penguins,” he explained almost apologetically before Trisha was led away.

“Good work Detective,” his boss squawked over the walkie now dangling from Thomas’s belt. “No go bring our agents home!”

Supernatural Salsa

This is the second in a series of short stories centering on a minor character from The Stone Dragon Saga book 4 (coming soon…)
Last week we saw the dramatic introduction of our new friend, Sergio. Now, let us tune back in to Supernatural Salsa for his interview.

Introduction to the Other Side: Part 2

“Welcome to Supernatural Salsa, Sergio!

“Thank you for having me Ms. Sakowich.”

“Susan please!” She tittered at the deep voice of the well groomed legend.

“Susan it is,” he inclined his large head, “I appreciate your willingness to accommodate my need for privacy today.”

“You are very welcome Mr. De la Kraken. May ask though, why is it that you have come forward now after thousands of years of your people being relegated to the pages of legend? I think we’re all dying to know!” She motioned to the studio audience, who’s dumbfounded expressions immediately transformed to smiles, nods, and cheers.

“Well Susan,” Sergio put on his best news caster voice and leaned a little closer to stare penetratingly into the camera, his big golden irises captivating audiences across the viewing area. “The fate of the world may depend on this interview.”

A collective gasp rose across the world as Supernatural Salsa’s audience sat glued to their computers, phones, and television sets awaiting more from this amazing creature.

“The fate of the entire world?” Susan herself was leaning closer to the large screen, almost levitating from her red arm chair and barely able to contain herself. A mythological creature outing himself on national television would boost the ratings for a few weeks, but this….the kraken was practically signing her new, extended contracts!

“Yes Susan, I’m afraid so,” Sergio was saying, “Maybe even the fate of several worlds. I wish I could say that something is coming to destroy us, because then it would be easier to guard ourselves against the threat. But I’m afraid it has already been here, hiding among the elite and the workers alike for thousands of years, amassing power and followers.”

“Oh,” Susan tuned back in long enough to know that a political rant was about to take off. “And we would love to hear all about it, After This Word From Our Sponsors!…CUT IT EARL!”

Introduction to The Other Side

Hello and welcome all to this very special edition of Super-Natural Salsa, where we take myths and legends from around the globe and lay them bare in half hour segments. I am your host, Sassy Susy Sakowich, and do I have a story for you today!

Deep in the heart of the deepest depths of the ocean, surrounded by decaying relics of long forgotten civilizations, lives one of the most terrifying creatures in all of humankind’s mythologies.

Just one of his eyes is bigger than your head, his body is bigger than the tank of an S.U.V. my brother just bought, and when you add in his extremities…well, it’s safe to say that he’s bigger than most blocks of houses; and he isn’t alone.

A complex society of these sea beasts ranges throughout the world’s deepest waterways and, though feared by humans, these creatures rarely bring themselves to the surface, preferring to keep to themselves within the engulfing shadows of their homes.

As with most things, there are some exceptions. They emerge to socialize with other sea creatures during the annual Fire Falls {meteor showers}, ancient history week {school is school after all}, and whenever a lovely storm can camouflage their presence from the pesky humans who drove them deeper generations ago! but no long believe in, or fear, their presence.

It wasn’t always this way. Once, long ago, the beasts were free to rest on the calm waters and bask in the warm sunlight, their large bodies and floating arms creating a beautiful play area for other sea life. Humans changed all of that when. They became bolder and more likely to attempt landing on the poor animals in search of fish for supper. The beasts did not begrudge humans their food, it is the way of the world that some creatures must eat others in order to thrive. However, these sailors were stomping all over the poor animals, leaving scars and cuts from anchors, and ruining the safety that the traveling playground should have provided.

When you think about it, they had every right and many reasons to get upset and snap at those explorers! Of course, the sailors took it poorly and began to tell some fearful tales about creatures with long tentacles and a body over a mile-and-a-half wide. These horrid beasts were after only one thing…a meal made of humans! They could spear you with a horn, wrap long tentacles around your ship, and pull everything underwater…creating a whirlpool to Suck down anything that might have been missed on the waters surface. (No survivors? Where did the stories come from then, I wonder?).

Norwegians and Scandinavians call these frightful beasts the Sykraken, some Europeans refer to it as the Krabben, and most of us probably know it best as THE KRAKEN!

But do we really know anything at all? Is this chilling tale honestly as terrifying as all that? Or do we just fear them because we fear what we don’t know?

Here today, via satellite from the waters beside an undisclosed Caribbean Isle, and hoping to answer a few of our questions is a very special guest and a dear friend of a friend. Please Welcome to the Blender, Sergio de la Kraken!

The Eye

TO BE CONTINUED…

Writer’s Block

Blocked, stopped, worked to death…

the words won’t flow, those muscles don’t flex.

This story won’t write alone,

but I’m all undone.

This poetry is all that can be..

and it isn’t all that at all!

 

“Mr. Walker, what is this?”

Uhoh, Mrs. Temple did not look amused at his little diddy. “It looks like a piece of paper boss. Are you trying to pull one over on me?” Mark smirked, hoping his cuteness would soothe her some. It didn’t.

“Mister Walker I hired you because you promised that you could deliver for me, articles AND creative writing bits.”

“Yes ma’am, I can. I did hand in a piece already today.”

“This drivel? It doesn’t even work within itself. I would not publish this in the children’s work section!” Mrs. Temple’s right temple began to noticeably throb beneath her almost colorless hair. “I have read your work and you, little sass bucket, are a genius with words WHEN YOU PUT YOUR WORK IN TO IT! Now go do the time!”

“Yes Ma’am,” Mark hung his head and shuffled back to his desk, hiding the smirk that played across his lips. His new short story wasn’t playing nice and Mrs. Temple didn’t hand out extensions for writer’s block. He was really starting to understand how to deal with the old bat..OLD BAT! That was it…his fingers began to move across the keypad, he had it! No more writer’s block for him! WOOHoooooh never mind, that was only good for three sentences. Why did he ever promise her that he could do it?

Mark dropped his head in his hands and moaned, once old Temple finally figured out what a fraud he was, she would call his Grandma and gossip about it. Once Grandma learned how useless her little angel face was, he would lose out on everything. She would be so disappointed and there went the advanced degree program and the beach vacation.,..THAT’S IT! EVERYTHING IS TAKEN AWAY, YES!!

Fingers flying, head spinning, Mark dove into this new twist to his story. Twenty minutes later his proud chest began to deflate…he had gotten the main character right up to the final, pivotal moment in the story and that was it. No more to be said, no ending…say hello to writer’s block Marky boy.

 Back and forth he went, all day, sitting at his desk berating himself between moments of genius. But finally, FINALLY, with the clock tick-tocking accusatorily behind him, Mark printed up the final piece. Proudly he stepped into Mrs. Temples office to turn in his writer’s block masterpiece.

“Hello Angel Face! We were just talking about you.”

“GRANDMA??”