Your three words, my little story: Michelle’s words – revel, phoenix and shiny

Remember my stories are fiction and in no way should be confused with reality.

Standing on a street of the largest city she ever visited, Michelle was filled with excitement, expectation and apprehension. This trip was more than a visit though, she lost everything to the COVID-19 pandemic. So she left the little town she sprung from and headed toward hope, dreams and a new dawn.

It was hard to behold the skyscrapers for more than a glance, because the reflection of the sun was almost unbearable. As she tilted her head down to sneeze and shield her eyes she noticed a SHINY new penny. Superstitions told her heads up was good luck, so she bent down and picked up the first gift the city gave her. Straightening back up she adjusted her clothes and stared at the turnstile that held her future. Hesitation filled her, but she felt regenerated and born again somewhat like a PHOENIX rising from the destruction. To REVEL in her excitement, pleasure and satisfaction would not justify her emotions. She stood straight, tall and proudly took a step and proceeded straight to the top.

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Jim McDonald Writes, https://facebook.com/poetryandmorewords

Website – J F McDonald, https://jfmcdonaldjr.com

Your three words, my little story Dr. Grover’s words: jellybean, horse & bread

Your three words, my little story

Dr. Grover’s words: jellybean, horse & bread

 

Young Carlita reminded Doctor Grover of herself when she was her age: way before Grover dreamed of becoming a doctor and certainly before she joined forces with ‘Doctors Without Boarders’. Carlita has a condition similar to one the doc endured as a pre-teen, but in this case the dreadful condition doesn’t give Carlita much hope for a future. She will never be a teenager, have the precious first kiss, graduate high school or raise her own family. She’s never been further than three miles of her place of birth, and the few times she went that far was to attend funerals; she’s nine years old and will not see her next birthday. At this point all the doctor can do is comfort the patient in her final days.

 

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Grover comes from a well to do family and feels blessed with the breaks that come along with that gift. She tears up every time she thinks of the differences that time and dollars can make. Carlita will never have the same opportunities that she had and that’s why she’s here in the first place, sharing her skills and some measure of civility that she feels is fundamentally necessary.

 

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Every time Grover see’s Carlita they play the jellybean game. They start with six jellybeans and one of them is always liquorish. When Carlita answers a medical question she can take one bean; this game takes Carlita’s mind off of her illness, at least for a short period. Carlita has to leave the last one for the doctor and she knows that Grover doesn’t like the black ones but neither does she. She never leaves the black one for Grover. Like most families in the region Carlita comes from a poor home, and Grover’s office gives all visiting families a bag of groceries. Each bag includes an assortment of non-perishable foods; including, but not exclusive to spam, potted meat, peanut butter, jelly, and several loaves of bread. She wishes she could give more, but there are so many families and such a modest stockpile of provisions.

 

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Carlita was near her end, so Doctor Grover wanted to do something special for her and unlike other times, this time she was able to make a dream come true. Even though Carlita was afraid of animals larger than her, she always wanted to ride a horse. One of the clinic’s families raised farm animals and they proudly brought two horses to the treatment center and helped Carlita with her wish. Grover grew up with horses, so she was able to teach Carlita how to sit in the saddle and steer the horse for the short trip around the building. It was a small gesture, but heartfelt none the less.

Your three words, my little story Rosita’s words-oil, water & feelings

Fridays have been Rose’s favorite day for years, not necessarily the mornings, because of work. She enjoyed her work, but she liked fishing on the weekends with her daughters, Lilly and Daisy, more. Her weekend began as soon as she got off work on Friday and ended early Monday morning, when they returned home. On Thursday nights they packed their bags, groceries and camping gear into the SUV, thus making their Friday morning ritual the same as any other week day morning. After work though, she picked up the girls from school and immediately took the hour long trip to the WATER. Lilly longed for the view of the distant tree line as they left the city, because she knew she would soon be fishing.

 

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A store called, ‘Paul’s Fishery’, sat on the edge of the dense forest, which was half way to their favorite camp site. Paul sold bait and tackle in the convenient store on the left side of his building and had a butcher, seafood and deli counter on the right. Two hundred feet through the back door and past one of his open air dining areas was his fishery, where he raised and sold Minos, clams and shrimp, to name a few. Past that was his stable, where he had horses, goats, chickens and other livestock.

 

Rose stopped by the fishery every Friday evening at 6 pm like clockwork, because she had a standing dinner reservation under a backyard canopy with Paul. While they ate and flirted, the kids munched on candy and chips at the stable with the animals. Over the years they grew to have certain FEELINGS for each other, but were careful to keep them under wraps because of her children. Every weekend he offered her a job and she always politely declined with a smile, hug and kiss on the cheek.

 

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They left Paul’s and headed deep into the woods to their secret spot near the creek. Once there, the first thing Rose and Lilly did was cast a few lines to see what the fish were biting on. Daisy loved bug hunting, so she gathered wood for the fire while rummaging for caterpillars, worms and other free bait. After twenty minutes they set up camp, placed the poles for the overnight fishing and prepared for nightfall. Lilly always started the fire and stayed up most of the night reading and fishing by the firelight, while Rose and Daisy soon fell asleep listening to nature’s music by the water’s edge.

 

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They’ve been coming here for years, and the kids didn’t realize it, but when their dad died, Rose needed to supplement her finances, so she learned to catch, clean and sale fish. This was fun quality time with the girls and helped with bills too. Monday came too soon and as they were packing up, Rose noticed and a puddle of OIL under her SUV. She knew nothing about cars, so the fear that it might not be something simple, hit her quickly. Thoughts of: What if she needed another engine-or car? Where would that money come from? That would be a lot of fish or maybe she would need a second job. When she thought of a second job she thought of Paul, so she stopped at Paul’s on the way home for some oil and a hug.

Your three words, my little story Lopez’s words, hero, doom & lunch

Your three words, my little story

Lopez’s words, hero, doom & lunch

 

Cathy’s day started much like any other day ̶serving breakfast at the Porter House with Justine cooking and Lucy complaining, as she normally does. This morning Cathy was the only waitress, for some unknown reason Jodi didn’t call for a ride. Even though this shift opens the dinner, they get off at noon, so they’re known as the LUNCH Crew. They wondered why Jodi didn’t call, so after lunch the crew went to her house to check on her.

 

Saturday’s on Beemer Street was known for its hustle and bustle, kids playing, grass being cut and neighbors talking across the fences. This overcast Saturday was different though, other than the lunch trio, the only other person in the neighborhood was the mail man. Jodi’s front door was locked, so Lucy went to the back door and found it broken down, not broken in, but it was laying on the kitchen floor. She didn’t dare go in, and on her way back to the front yard, she noticed windows broke at the neighbor’s house. It was way too eerie, houses broken into, lack of activity, and of course no Jodi. Lucy was quick to call the police and complain.

 

Shortly after one cop got there, several more arrived and taped off the whole street. After taking their statements, they were ushered off the site. Cathy went home and didn’t see Justin and Lucy till they picked her up later that evening. They felt a night out was in order and might wipe out some of the scenes from earlier in the day, so they headed to ‘Taylor’s’, for some music, pool and alcohol. However, the bar was desolate just like Beemer Street. The bartender and two other patrons were the only people there besides the lunch crew. It was a little too early to get drunk, but that’s what they wanted to do.

 

No one came in the bar till the sun went down, and that was a stranger who was seductively hypnotic, and was dressed to the nines, excluding the blood that saturated the front of his suit. Our little town of Beemerville had few strangers and when it did, gossip went around quickly, especially about a blood soaked visitor like him. He walked in the front door and two female strangers came through the back, they also had a very erotic attraction about them. Lucy was immediately mesmerized by spooky front door stranger-she wasn’t complaining at all, and that didn’t sit right with Justin. As the stranger walked to Lucy, Justin stepped between them. The stranger back handed Justin so hard he went flying through the front window and landed in the street. The other patrons didn’t stand a chance, they were quickly ravaged by the blood sucking couple that came in through the back. Shortly after Lucy went limp at the end of the vampire’s fangs, the bartender fired his shotgun at the male vampire and Cathy swiftly jumped through the broken window. Lucy fell to the floor and within seconds the bartender was drained of all life too.

 

Horrid screams filled the night air as Cathy grabbed Justin and ran to the nearest alley. As they cowered behind a dumpster for hours she convinced him that the strangers were vampires, they didn’t have the strength or bravery to move a muscle. As gloom and DOOM fell over the little town, Justin grabbed a broken beer bottle for defense, until Cathy handed him a broken piece of wood from a nearby pallet. He thought, “Duh what am I thinking, vampires?” Neither one of them have ever been in a fight before, especially against blood thirsty vampires, so the thought of ramming a stick into the heart of a moving body was beyond comprehension. At dawn it got suspiciously quiet. That’s when they remembered the sun and vampires don’t mix, so after the sun came up they slowly stepped out into the street. Both of them wished they had fought, but they realized that the sun was the HERO, now every day starts with a hero.

Your three words, my little story: Carols words are kangaroo, basement & lamp

Your three words, my little story: kangaroo, basement & lamp

 

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This BASEMENT reminded me of the one in Lanham, on Cordova Street. We lived there from 1960 to 1965, I was eleven when we moved from there to the farm in Hughesville.
My scariest memory of that basement was when my brother, George, and I were downstairs watching a scary movie. It was called, ‘It Came From Outer Space’. Mom called us, “It’s time to come upstairs.” The reason for calling us up, must not have been that important, because she allowed me to stay down and watch the rest of the show, while George left. It was dark outside, so it might have been close to our bed time.

By today’s standards it was not a very scary movie. But I was nine and when it was over, I was afraid to get off the couch and go upstairs. However, I eventually did.

While upstairs in the kitchen, dad noticed I didn’t turn off the basement light, he asked, “Did you forget something?”

I knew exactly what he was talking about, because I was too scared to turn it off, but what I said was, “What?”

“The basement light is still on. Turn it off.” We didn’t have a switch at the top of the stairs to turn any lights on or off. All we had were lambs. The only light on downstairs was a table LAMP, and it was all the way across the then freighting wide open space.

I can’t remember actually turning off the light and going back upstairs, but I do remember standing there with my thumb and forefinger on the knob. Afraid beyond belief, of the mad dash that laid ahead of me. In my mind, I had to negotiate a path from the lamb to the bottom step, in the dark. With tears in my eyes I called to dad, “Please dad! Please!” I don’t remember actually doing it, I just remember the fear.

That memory is fifty-five years old. This basement was wide open just like ours was, but it didn’t have a television, couch or chairs. The walls and tables were full of photos, art work, guns, mounted heads and statues.

It was an amazing room, but there was one item that was called into question. It was a stuffed KANGAROO and it had another stuffed kangaroo in it’s pouch. When Carol saw me pointing at it, she giggled and said, “Yeah, that looks out of place, doesn’t it?”

I said, “Sure does.”

“It belongs to my daughter, and she thinks it should hang around with the rest of the art…”