A compliation of some of my most popular short stories and poetry
An ecclectic combination of funny, sad, provocative and moving stories. Character studies, hair-raising chase scenes (in the kitchen), a contest that takes place in heaven, and a pioneer birth make this a fulfilling and well-rounded read that will satisfy all tastes. Stunning photographs have been added to highlight the pivotal points of the stories.
Picture By Phoebeofthesea
JANE HATES DICK
The afternoon was turning out to be just perfect for Dick Lewinski. The fellas at the plant had volunteered to finish up his filing, so now, after dropping little Timmy off at his buddy’s birthday party, Dick found he had three hours to himself.
When happy, Dick liked to jangle the loose change in his Dickies pocket. It jingled and jangled like a three cherry winner at a Vegas slot machine, and Dick whistled a few happy tunes through pursed lips.
He flung open the door to his brand new rancher and stood for half a mo’. He scanned the comfy place. Then his keys hit the floor. Hmmm, he thought to himself, as his lips turned o shaped like the mouth of a blow up doll and his forehead became a washboard. He stooped for the keys and upside down, cocked his head and said hmmm again. Then he stood upright and jangled his change and the odd feeling melted away like packing popcorn under acetone.
Dick hung his keys on the wall, closed the door and turned the bolt. He headed for his new kitchen. I know what I want, he whispered to himself. Some Sleepy Time tea. He filled the chrome teapot with water, placed it on a burner and turned the gas knob. He plopped the tea bag into his Number One Dad mug.
He picked up his remote, powered up his flat screen TV and fell onto his couch. He pulled off his shoes and wiggled his toes. That smell, he thought to himself, sat up and faced the kitchen. He reached into his pocket and jangled the coins again.
“For watching news 60 at 3. Back after these messages.” He turned to the card table by the front window – his WWI Fokker biplane needed a wing.
Dick undid his necktie as he gazed down at his plastic model. Like unwinding his ex-wife’s fingers from around his neck, he allowed the tie to take away those last years of marriage.
How could she have transformed from a loving, devoted housewife to a screaming thrashing terror? Some people you just never knew …”escaped from Youngstown High Security Institute for The Criminally Insane…”
“What?” he said and snapped his head at the TV.
“In a daring escape, three female inmates stabbed one guard and dismembered another. Two have been captured and the third is at large. More after these messages.” He hadn’t breathed. Now he gasped.
Hot needles penetrated his face. Ice water laced through his heart and his bowels turned to water. He dropped the Fokker and covered his mouth.
Then it came to him. That smell! Jane’s perfume, orange blossom. She’d come back.A whine emanated from the stove as the kettle boiled. Dick spun, threw his gaze at the stove and then peered down the long hall off the kitchen.
The kettle blubbered as water spit from its whistle hole.
A freezing stiffness held Dick’s muscles. Then he breathed and let his hand fall from his mouth.
A sliver of sunlight appeared on the hallway’s carpet and broadened to a band. She’s in the bedroom. Then a shadow moved across the swath of light. The kettle wailed and spewed steam.
Then she moved into the hallway like the Boogey Man of a bad dream, one hand wrapped around a glistening knife, the other balled into a fist, dangling at her side.
“Hello, Dick,” she said.
She moved and he lunged toward the kitchen. She was on him as if pulled by a winch, hands to her side, her eyes dead like a dried fish.
“Just the kettle – we can talk – let me…” He reached up and burned his hand on the steamy spit. Would a smack across her temple do it? Blue hot metal? Scalding water? She’d bounce back up like a bobble head. The knife would fly up in a second, swipe across his pale, pink throbbing neck like a cat’s claw at a mouse.
The sides were coming in –soft gray on the edge of his vision pulsed and progressed, closing – then the sound of sand in the veins of his ears.
Photo from Orlyscis
She reached past him and twisted the stove’s knob. A thick silence drew in. He tried to swallow, but his throat was a slit, so he coughed and choked.
“I told you I’d be back,” she said.
“Jane,” he squeaked, like a squirrel.
She breathed deep then exhaled long. “Dick, Dick, Dick.”
“Yes, Jane?” She was in his face, puffy hot breath on his nose, hard eyes driving through his. Any second that blade would plunge right through his rib cage and split his throbbing lung.
“I know. I see you here.”
He looked past her.
“Blah blah blah,” on the big shiny flat screen TV- the broken Fokker on the carpet – his red and blue tie draped across the leather couch. Flap, bang, a tinny sound as the mail slot door flung open and a small bundle of envelopes slapped against the tiled foyer floor.
She turned away, her ears pricked like a bat’s and he sensed his chance. He shoved her hard. Sent her down. Splat on the vinyl, her hip smacking the floor, her head bouncing back.
He threw himself away from the stove with both hands, stepped over her. Why not kick? Why don’t I kick her? The kettle? He ran toward the door, socked feet slipping out behind him, both knees cracking against the floor, two palms on the vinyl.