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It Will All be Revealed, won’t it?

“Too dark in here,” I said to my son, Paul, who had accompanied me to my father’s funeral in Chicago.

“Hit the light switch, Mom.”

“I did but the bulb burned out.”

“Like Poppa,” he said. “Like Poppa what?” I said.

“Burned out.” “Kaput,” I said in the dark, falling into the old word game we’d played since Paul was a pup.

“Fini.” “Bought the farm,” I said. A shared chuckle from the black humor.

A click in the dark and a narrow beam of light illuminated my Father’s  packed closet; I groped for his favorite jacket and there it was, worn brown leather bomber style. I pulled it off the hook where it hung for easy access by aged hands and hugged it to my chest. “Smell this,” my son, the jacket thrust in front of his nose where he couldn’t escape.

He inhaled and questioned, “what is it?”

“Perfecto Garcia Queens, Poppas favorites he sent me to the corner drug store to buy them, a quarter a piece.”

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Short story part 3

After that, it was Joyce and Bob, Bob and Joyce. Seldom was one without the other. What a team! They were everyone’s touchstone. Envious coup[es looked at them in wonder. First, a friendship blossomed and later on, love was added.

The Korean conflict came. It was called a police action, then why didn’t they send cops? Bob went into the aviation cadet program and became a pilot. Letters flew back and forth from Chicago and Joyecy was too revealing how she felt, She would reveal small fragments to her mom. Her mom said, “If he ‘s declaring all this passion for you, dear daughter, I can only guess what your  writing to him.”

Sarah’s face would flush. Those were the days when chastity was a highlly regarded commodiity. Good girls didn’t, bad girls didn’t.

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Short Story part 2

There he was hanging out with his pals, with no inkling his future was about to be determined. Joyce hurried over to him with only a few minutes to spare before the bell rang. She knocked on his chest to get his attentention, She said, “Hi ,I’m Joyce Cooper. My sorority dance is a week from Saturday. I’d like you to be my date.”

He smiled and then smiled even wider when he checked out this girl who showed up out of nowhere.

“Okay.” And then he said, “What’s your name again?”.

More to follow tomorrow

Short story

She was born and a few days later she got married. She could hardly remember a time when Bob wasn’t an inportant part of her life.

They met in high school, a suburb of the north side of Chicago. Joyce was a freshman, Bob the big senior voted the funniest in his class; a six footer with sand colored hair, green eyes and freckles.  Who could resist him? Not Joyce who made up her mind, setting her cap, the way people spoke in the forties. Like a detective on the scent, she tracked down his schedule to find out where he’d be at homeroom. where everyone had to be at 10 a.m.

Racing up to the fourth floor domain of the seniors, the freshman , wearing a red plaid pleated skirt, red cashmere sweater set with Peter Pan collar dickey and white bobby socks with white and brown saddle shoes, ran up three flights, taking the stairs two at a time.

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The WiP has just begun

Always ready, Madeline Brown prepared for work. Excitement filled her because tonight, after work, she headed up the Christmas party. Her slim body had showered, make-up put on with care, and today she would wear her hair down instead of the usual boring bun at her neck. She had long wavy blond hair she’d hidden all these years working at the bank, rising to a better position from time to time and now she was the boss’s right hand woman. Pretty damn good for a forty-five -year -old woman who did this on her own but now she is so ready for a man. She strutted around her small bedroom after dressing. The new slinky black dress with a low neckline might do the trick tonight. A business jacket had to go over it with a silk scarf to cover her cleavage. She was pleased and excited buttoning the gorgeous new black coat with a fur collar. Oh baby, time to shine. With her Lady Smith in the black leather bag, Madeline was out the door.

Click. click. click came from behind her and as she turned, she whipped the Lady Smith out ready to shoot; she yelled. “Who the hell are you tracking me.?” She looked to see a frightened Bijon Frise at her feet and she bent down as snowflakes fell to lift the small pup into her warm arms. “Are you lost, sweet thing? Don’t worry, I’ll find your home.”

 

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The Letter. . .part 2

As a teen, Sarah’s interest lay in learning how to raise a happy family; her vision composed of a combination of Norman Rockwell’s paintings, Father Knows Best combined with Ozzie and Harriet; Doctor Spock called the shots. As these component parts came off the assembly line of the Happy Family factory, somehow the finished product must have cracked under pressure to develop a fault line. Years later, the careful construction erupted to cause grievous damage.

One son and his wife, let’s call them A and B, were always exceptionally close to Sarah but they were financially needy. Sarah’s two younger children were in college and doing well but somehow that didn’t satisfy A and B. They took turns to whisper in Sarah’s ear saying, “The kid brother isn’t doing too well at that fancy college so send him to a state school and he can get a job to pay his tuition.” Next, A attacked the youngest sister saying about the same thing and Sarah fought back. “They are happy where they are and doing so well.”

Badgered, manipulated and weakened, Sarah found it easier to give in and let A influence her judgement. With her husband gone, alone at home, she began to feel comforted in an odd way rather than disagree with both of them.

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The Letter

The slumbering snake coiled in a dark corner of the closet in her mind; Sarah didn’t know it existed. In her conscious life, all was apple pie, light and happy. Like a slow IV drip, the venom leaked into the fragile fabric supporting her existence, eroding all her life’s work. In one hideous moment, a hole, never to be mended, tore through.

The day was one of the ten best days weathermen glow about; Sarah opened the letter and her dreams ended. The words hammered her until she cried.

A widow with four devoted adult children and insurance money gave her optimism about the future. She might meet someone to begin again a new life. There were no signs, no foreshadowing she felt later, much later, with hindsight always 20-20, did she recognize her mistakes. Blind faith and trust placed her where she stood, screaming, crying, the letter in her hand.

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