Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Y'all

Hey, y'all, hope everyone is ready for Christmas. We still have quite a bit to do around here. Few last minute woodworking gifts we finished up yesterday have to be wrapped, gotta clean house some and get started on the cooking. We'll make it.

Here is a little gift from me to everyone who reads the blog. I do appreciate y'all reading my little flash pieces.

You can pick up a copy of my newest short story, Wax Remover 2000, for free on Amazon today! Please leave a review, good or bad, if you read it. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Wish


“Yes, baby?”

“I’ve been a good girl this year, haven’t I?”

Margaret stroked her daughter’s dirty cheek and said, “You’ve been an angel.”

“Then do you think Santa will bring me what I want most in the world this year?”

Margaret turned away so Shelly wouldn’t see her tears. She knew Shelly had asked the shelter Santa to bring her daddy home last year. Margaret had hoped Shelly would ask for something else this year.

“I don’t know, baby,” Margaret answered. “Santa always tries his best to bring good little girls what they want.”

Shelly smiled. “Last year I wasn’t good all the time so I didn’t get my present. I tried to be extra good this year. I washed my hands before we ate at the shelter.” She gave her mother a worried look before she said, “The bathroom at the shelter isn’t very clean though so that might not count.”

“Oh, baby,” Margaret whispered and hugged Shelly close. 

Shelly hugged her mother back. She loved cuddling with her mother. It was the only time she really got warm, especially when it started snowing like it was that night. 

“I ate all my food, too. Even the yucky green beans they give us all the time. I didn’t eat them all last year. I’d dump them in the floor sometimes,” she admitted quietly.

Margaret squeezed Shelly even closer. She didn’t like the green beans either, but she knew they both needed to eat whatever they were given. Who knew when they would get another meal? 

Shelly pulled away slightly and looked at her mother. “I even helped Mrs. Brandon go to the bathroom the other day,” she said and grimaced. 

Margaret laughed despite herself. She knew it wasn’t right to laugh, but Mrs. Brandon was the most cantankerous person she had ever met. Not to mention that the elderly woman hadn’t partook of the shelters shower facility in who knew how long. 

“I’m sure she appreciated that,” Margaret told Shelly. “It’s always nice to help others.”

“I hope Santa saw it.” Shelly thought a minute and then said, “Not Mrs. Brandon going to the bathroom, but that I helped her.”

Margaret didn’t know what to say. Shelly was only nine, and Margaret wanted to keep the magic of Christmas alive for her, but to let her believe Santa was going to bring her daddy back to them seemed cruel.

“Baby,” Margaret started to say, but when Shelly looked up at her, hope shining in her soft brown eyes, Margaret lost her nerve. At the questioning look Shelly gave her, she said, “Try not to be too disappointed if you don’t get everything you want this year.”

Shelly’s lip quivered, but she said, “I will try, Mama, but I really hope Santa was watching.”

Margaret hoped Santa had been watching, too, but she really hoped God had decided to keep a better eye on them that year, because only a miracle would bring Shelly her Christmas wish.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Grandfather's Eyes

Samuel opened the lid to the small trunk, sending dust bunnies flying. After his nose quit twitching and he could see through the haze, he gingerly reached inside the treasure-filled container and pulled out a feather boa.
“Just what were you into, you old freak,” he whispered, smiling at the image of his grandfather prancing around the house with the pink froth around his neck. “I wonder if grandma knew how kinky you were.”
He rummaged around some more, moving aside an ornate locket that was so tarnished it looked to be decades old. Shaking his head, Samuel kept digging. Next, he came to a photo album, opened it and flipped through the pages of unfamiliar faces. He threw it aside, sure they were people from his grandparents’ past in Manhattan, before his time.
He found a few house keys stuffed in an envelope. Tammy, Amber, Rachel, and Tiffany were written on the outside. Samuel assumed they were old girlfriends of his grandfather, although he did not understand why the old guy would have kept them. His grandparents always seemed happy, so his grandfather keeping keys from past girlfriends didn’t fit. Shrugging, Samuel laid the keys aside, deciding it was just another eccentricity of his grandfather’s.
Samuel lifted a shoebox from the trunk and opened it, forced to move to a window in order to see the newspaper clippings inside. The top clipping, dated July 10, 1945, sent a chill through Samuel as he read of a Bronx cocktail waitress’s gruesome murder. Her body had been discovered in a back alley early one morning, clothes ripped to shreds, eyes gouged out, and body bloodied. There was also evidence of sexual assault.
The next article was about a murdered stripper. She had been found in a dumpster outside the strip club. Her eyes were also missing, along with a pendant necklace friends said she was never without.
There were over twenty more clippings, all about women who had been viciously killed. The papers had dubbed the person responsible the ‘Collector’ because of his penchant for taking eyeballs, along with personal items, from his victims.
“No, it can’t be,” Samuel murmured in disgust. He threw the shoebox across the room and watched as the contents slowly fluttered to the floor.
 Timidly, he walked back to the trunk. He did not want to look, but some force subdued his dread and made him reach in and pull out the final secret. His hands trembled when he held the large jar to the window, but the light could not penetrate the black-painted glass.
Samuel turned the lid on the jar, silently praying the contents were not what he feared. He took a deep breath and removed the lid, revealing a multitude of eyes staring back at him. The sight was so repulsive; Samuel’s knees buckled and he dropped the jar. He crawled to the corner and vomited. Knees pulled to his chest, Samuel rocked back and forth, misery and disbelief overcoming him.
The creaking of the door opening at the bottom of the stairs roused Samuel. His mother called to him from below, asking if everything was all right.
“I’m fine, Mom,” Samuel responded, pulling himself together.
He quickly gathered all the incriminating items and put them back in the trunk. He would take the trunk home with him after the funeral and burn the contents, allowing the past to die with his grandfather.
His mother was waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs, a concerned expression on her face. “We heard a noise and thought maybe you fell.”
“No, I just knocked something over,” he told her.
“Don’t worry about it,” his mother assured him. “Whatever you broke should probably have been thrown away years ago. Dad was always collecting junk.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My First Thanksgiving

For my first Thanksgiving as host, I bought the biggest turkey they had in the store. I needed it because my family was full of big eaters. There were only six of us, but I wasn’t sure the thirty-pound turkey would be enough. You want to know what’s really funny, though? None of us was overweight.

Not that we were healthy, mind you. No, most of us had been told we needed to exercise more, stop smoking and drinking, and watch our cholesterol. That’s why I got an extra big turkey. It was low fat so I thought it would be good for us even if we ate too much.

It turned out I was the only one listening to the doctor. Everyone else was really disappointed when I presented turkey, a vegetable tray, and sugar free ice cream for the meal. 

“What the hell is this?” My father demanded. “It’s Thanksgiving. Where’s the pecan pie? The stuffing and rolls?”

“I decided to make a healthier version, Dad.”

“Why would you do that?” Mom asked. “Who wants a healthy Thanksgiving meal?”

“We may not want it,” I told them, “but we need it. All of our doctor’s told us to eat better or we’d be on pills soon. None of you want that do you?”

They all grumbled and shook their heads, which was as good as I would get. 

We said the blessing and then everyone loaded their plates. I will give them credit, they tried everything before complaining again. 

“This taste like cardboard,” dad said of the turkey. 

“That’s because I didn’t lather it in butter or sugar like usual,” I informed him.

“This rabbit food isn’t going to fill me up,” my brother said after eating a carrot stick off the vegetable tray. 

“Your heart will thank you,” I replied. 

I didn’t tell them, but I didn’t like the food either. It seemed that leaving the fat and salt out of food made a big difference to the way it tasted. Still, I was determined we were going to eat healthy. 

Until I tried the sugar free ice cream.

Have you ever tried that stuff? Well, don’t. It’s nasty. I promise I almost gagged it was so bad. 

Everyone looked at me and tried to hide their smiles, but it was impossible. They were enjoying my predicament too much. Soon, they were all laughing out loud and asking me if I still thought Thanksgiving should be healthy. 

Finally, I got rid of the awful taste of the ice cream by eating a mouthful of turkey, but the turkey was so dry that it choked me going down. 

After my dad did beat my back half to death, the turkey came back up, along with the ice cream, unfortunately. 

I’d had enough. To hell with eating healthy on Thanksgiving. We could all start dieting the next day. 

I grabbed my coat and everyone else followed. We found the nearest McDonald’s and all upsized everything. The cashier asked us why we were there and not at home eating Thanksgiving dinner. 

I told her about the dry turkey, raw veggies, and the nasty sugar free ice cream. She looked like she was going to be sick by the time I finished. I’m sure she wouldn’t ask any more customers why they were there instead of at home. 

We gulped down our meals and went back for dessert. We were just finishing up when my grandmother called from Ohio. She couldn’t believe it when James told her where we were. I heard him go into the same long story I had about our Thanksgiving dinner, laughing as he explained in great detail about me throwing up, before he told her, “And that's why we all ate hamburgers.”