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"Wee Poems and Flash Fiction"


Chapter 1
Honey Bee

By Shirley McLain

Living in Hives
Serving their queen
Sorted to workers and drones
Workers fly drones give care
 
Beautiful blossoms provide
Succulent nectar and pollen
They work to feed their queen
Nourishment for all to eat
 
Bees chew and discharge
oozing down the comb
A sweet, thick, amber liquid
Food for the Gods
 
 
 


Chapter 2
A smile

By Shirley McLain

A smile on my face
galvanizes around me 
all needing a cheer


Chapter 3
Misjudged

By Shirley McLain

Wow, misjudged for ages
people bray out and misjudge
some never care about destruction
I care because of the pleasure
granted  to me at times
 
Being the most resilient
causes pain to some
shows up  'i  unusual places
for all whom shall see
they hath no fear only stamina
 
can be brightly colored
red, yellow-green e'en blue
some are short and some are tall
 they are  not loved at all
the magnificent weed
shall outlive us all


Chapter 4
Frost

By Shirley McLain

A frost that arrives late
cost blossoms their fate


Chapter 5
The Walk Home

By Shirley McLain

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.


                                                                                           
Why did I decide to walk home?     
 My brain must be slipping a cog or two.
This neighborhood is downright creepy.
April quickened her steps.
An alley cat screamed, causing her to jump.
Never will I walk home again.
Twenty feet past the alley, April, heard footsteps.
She picked up her pace, and the steps quickened also.
Then a soft voice began in her head.
“Little girl, you want to play with me. I want to play with you.”
April screamed as arms grabbed her from behind.
A fiery, stinging burn began on her neck.
The world blackened to nothingness.


Chapter 6
Tiny Little People

By Shirley McLain

Long before now
Tiny little people
Lived in stone houses
Quite independent in their thinking
 
Ignoring input from scientific minds
their people died off
Pride and stubbornness drove
Tiny little people extinct


Chapter 7
Loving You

By Shirley McLain

Loving you is my destiny
Two growing together as one
Our hearts sharing the joy
Taking our breath away.
 
Loving you is easy
You’re the light to my world
Sharing life’s ups and downs
Passion easily shared.
 
 


Chapter 8
Wee One

By Shirley McLain

Wee
one is
fighter of
other wee birds
fierce combatants concerning their nectar


Chapter 9
The Blarney Stone

By Shirley McLain

At the top is a stone
 looking upward you moan
Why is it at the very top
I’m feeling like milksop
 
Do I really want to ask
It will be quite the task
To climb to the top deck
And then strain my neck
 
To kiss the Blarney Stone
 
 

Author Notes Built-in 1874 it is the current home of the Colthurst family who continues to live there. During the tourist season, the family lives on their farm. There is an extra charge for tours that run every half hour. It is claimed that the synonymy of "blarney" with "empty flattery" or "beguiling talk" derives from one of two sources. One story involves the goddess Cl??????­odhna and Cormac Laidir MacCarthy (see "Origins" above). Another legend suggests that Queen Elizabeth I requested Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, be deprived of his traditional land rights. Cormac traveled to see the queen but was certain he would not persuade her to change her mind as he wasn't an effective speaker. He met an old woman on the way who told him that anyone who kissed a particular stone in Blarney Castle would be given the gift of eloquent speech. Cormac went on to persuade the queen that he should not be deprived of his land.(Wikipedia)


Chapter 10
Nose Delight

By Shirley McLain

Damp crumbly earth with its fragrant smell
delights my gardener's nose.

 

Author Notes I planted a couple of Lavenders today and the smell of that soil was wonderful. I have missed my gardening.


Chapter 11
Suicide

By Shirley McLain

Blue or gray sky 
rain tornado or shine
matters not today

Goodbye


Chapter 12
Fitbit

By Shirley McLain

Excercise looming ahead
not my forte
 Fitbit runs the show


Chapter 13
Hard Heart

By Shirley McLain

Steal
I think not my heart is unmoveable
steel


Chapter 14
Cavorting

By Shirley McLain

Dance
cavorting for the sheer joy
dance


Chapter 15
Hate and Redemption

By Shirley McLain

World
hate is in
everything we do
on this earth we all call home
we have raped her, scalped her and
killed her animals
fouled water
shame
It
is evil
built into each soul
from the beginning of time
but I know God through his son
Jesus Christ saved me
through blood on
cross


Chapter 16
Spring Arises

By Shirley McLain

The brightness of the sun
wondrous to see
Peaks of happiness arouse
love birds singing
Spring is in the air


Chapter 17
Come and Get Me

By Shirley McLain

He sings his song  of rebuttal
across the valley his bellow is  heard
The challenge is answered 
A strong young male makes his way

Steam  rises all around 
The soft rain  comes down
as the bull prepares
to fight the battle of his life

Snorting and pawing the ground
the young male approaches.
The old bull calls out
Come and get me.

 


Chapter 18
Candle Brightness

By Shirley McLain

The candles burn 
as brightly as our love
once flourished within


Chapter 19
The celebration

By Shirley McLain

The fire sputtered and died
warm air turned cold
I felt fingers of ice travel down my spine
It took my breath away.
 
He was a king
The life and the light are gone
I see them celebrating
His death on the cross
 
Wow to the world that can’t see
What he’s begun for his father
It will grow and grow
The Christians believe their God
 
He shall rise again
For all to see and wonder
Is it really him?
Not all trusted
 
On the third day the stone
Is rolled away
The tomb is empty
Jesus has risen
 
Hallelujah!!!


Chapter 20
Rain

By Shirley McLain

Rainstorm
water flowing
swift over rock
water washes away the bad as well as good


Chapter 21
It Should Be

By Shirley McLain

Paying it forward should be the response.


Chapter 22
Joy Untold

By Shirley McLain

Untold
Joy will return when pestilence is gone
Goodbye


Chapter 23
Virus Trepidation Felt

By Shirley McLain

Veracious in its nature
information confusing at times
resulting in falsity
unwise is false beliefs
stupidity can overtake

Totalitarian in its grasp
running amuck in our world
ending our normal lives until
precautions aren't needed
isolation for self is the name of the game
doing all we can to stop the spread
all the world is feeling the grip
time will make it worse then better
if we'll follow the precautions
open your mind and your heart 
never can it totally overcome

fear can't be the winner
everyone has to fight but
love for others has to remain
total victory is the name of the game.


 


Chapter 24
Graceful Tree

By Shirley McLain

Long and flexible
playfully cavorts about
majestic Willow


Chapter 25
Persistance

By Shirley McLain

Hope is faith
only the heart knows
persistence of prayer
enveloping all who listen


Chapter 26
Talking it Over

By Shirley McLain

Conversations
should be had by all
Marking the day to exercise rights
speechless


Chapter 27
Rainbow's End

By Shirley McLain

The little man dances
To the toe-tapping music
Jumping and chanting
 
The rainbow's end brings pleasure
Bright gold a shimmering
Filling the pot past brim
 
Follow me they cannot
My dancing feet too quick
My gold they cannot have
 
Click clack click clack
The heels tap together
As the stick comes down
 
No, he screams
As his vision dims
Captured I am so woe is me

What do you want
To set me free
It’s only between thee and me
 
Here is the map
To the rainbow's end
Find it and the gold is yours
 
The door is opened
And out he jumps
Giggling and clapping
 
Off he runs
My gold is buried
Not at the rainbow's end.

 


Chapter 28
Pandemic

By Shirley McLain

Jeers
A pandemic is here
Fear
 


Chapter 29
Remembering

By Shirley McLain

Actions of others we'll never forget
 
 


Chapter 30
Life's Renewal

By Shirley McLain

An April shower
Shows God’s power
Life renewing every hour


Chapter 31
Surprise

By Shirley McLain

The end has come
no one suspects
He bursts through the gate
sword raised high
Ready to quell earth 
reign forever


Chapter 32
Satisfaction Found

By Shirley McLain

Soft baby 
nourishment pursuit
fulfillment
 


Chapter 33
Soul Love

By Shirley McLain

Compassion, sympathy, and charity demonstrate a love from deep within.


Chapter 34
Glee

By Shirley McLain

Joyous 
Singing
turns the heart around
from lethargy and sadness
to hopeful and bright


Chapter 35
Diving Deep

By Shirley McLain

Clear blue
Diving deep to
Peril
 


Chapter 36
Spring

By Shirley McLain

Spring has me
jumping for
joy
 


Chapter 37
Home

By Shirley McLain

The fresh-turned earth is
rife with sweet wonderful smells
of home in the spring


Chapter 38
Bully

By Shirley McLain

Retaliation for  a small infraction
Speaking hurtful words
They think they're tough
Understanding of victims is zero
Respond by reporting and declaring “no more”
 

Author Notes Bullying is something that has been around as long as man. Someone always thinks he tougher and stronger. We'll never know for certain but I'll say, Cain, bullied Able. What do you think?


Chapter 39
Skeuomorph

By Shirley McLain

Origin has a knockoff
Note-taking apps image yellow pads
skeuomorph of yellow pad

Author Notes skeu·o·morph
/?skyo?o??môrf/
noun
an object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artifact made from another material.
"the pottery box with a square lid is a skeuomorph of a twilled basketry container"
COMPUTING
an element of a graphical user interface that mimics a physical object.
"note-taking apps offer skeuomorphs of yellow legal pads, squared paper, ring binders, etc."


Chapter 40
Amoeba's

By Shirley McLain

Amoeba"s are crafty shapeshifters
Member of the Protozoan 
Organism both good or bad
Environment of warmth is needed
Boiling water destroys the organism
Amazing range of behaviors


Chapter 41
Good and Evil

By Shirley McLain

Lord Voldemort tries
magic encompasses all
Harry intercedes


Chapter 42
Bliss

By Shirley McLain


Feeling of
The ultimate gift
bringing bliss

 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 43
Dreaming of Love

By Shirley McLain

The sun
rising
filters through window
warming up my heart until
you take me in yours


Chapter 44
Faith Needed

By Shirley McLain

The one thing needed 
according to the Bible
to defeat Satan


Chapter 45
Snake Pit

By Shirley McLain

Snake Pit
 
The Senate Reps chose
snakes loose to further destroy
Justice was not served


Chapter 46
World Spinning

By Shirley McLain

My world twists and turns but totally spins on love. 


Chapter 47
Forethought of Spring

By Shirley McLain

Looking forward with longing
to a spring
with hope in 
my heart


Chapter 48
A Divided Brain

By Shirley McLain

imagine
my life as a queen
instead an unwed mother

Author Notes In the USA the birthrate at ages 15-19 has been declining over the past several years. That is a very good thing, but as far as I'm concerned teen pregnancy should not be happening at all.


Chapter 49
Best Friends

By Shirley McLain


Best friends hearts aspire
Together they're bound tightly
A sisterhood of cohorts always


Chapter 50
The Name of the Game

By Shirley McLain



Name of the Game
 
 
Not the great game hunter of old
Short, fat and boisterous in nature
Hiding behind trees and shrubs
Feeling power grow inside
 
Power and money the name of the game
The horror of killing an animal not for food but for sport
Despicable and so ugly to nature
Needs to be stopped
 
This battle is continuous
Governments want money
Allowing killing for dollars is
The name of the game.
 

Author Notes This Freestyle poem is one of my Soapbox topics. If we can't protect animals how do we expect to protect ourselves in the long run?


Chapter 51
Mother Knows

By Shirley McLain

Joy unspeakable
unlimited love from deep
only mother knows


Chapter 52
Love Always

By Shirley McLain

A dog is my favored animal
Many breeds and traits to choose from
flat or pointed nose to sniff 
pink tongue to lick me with
joy shown when I'm seen
wanting lap time
to cuddle
always
love


Chapter 53
The Cross

By Shirley McLain

He has risen to give us everlasting life

Author Notes Today was the day our Lord was crucified. Sunday is the day he rose to give us life. Happy Easter to all my friends who celebrate.


Chapter 54
The Howl

By Shirley McLain

Puppy howls loudly 
Mama's tuned ears perk to cries
danger or play time


Chapter 55
Sweetness in Life

By Shirley McLain

Forgiving sets the heart and soul free
only through forgiveness can you know love
remember how you felt when grudges were carried
giving the gift of forgiveness to others unburdens you
imagine the world's peoples, how lonely they would be
voices cry out wanting compassion and companionship
everything we are is based on love and forgiveness
nothing can compare to a life filled with love
empty is the essence of you without forgiveness
success at forgiveness opens the real you for the world to see
sweetness in life is your reward


Chapter 56
Alien Thing

By Shirley McLain

Ghost Mantis travels
across the hot sandy soil
gross alien thing

 

Author Notes Phyllocrania Paradoxa

These mantes can be found widely across Africa and in parts of South Europe.
Ghost mantis prefers to live in dry areas, in trees, shrubs, and bushes. Males have a shorter more narrow abdomen with eight segments, females will have a longer, wider abdomen with six segments.
At the 5th instar, the males will have smaller appendages and be thinner overall. Where the female will have larger appendages and be more compact.
At the 6th instar, the males will show transparent wings that are longer than the abdomen, have a thicker antenna and are visibly thinner than the females.
In the 6th instar and above the crown of the males and females differ greatly. With the females crown being as wide as their head, straighter and more smooth.
Both the male and the female molt seven times.
The males may take longer to reach maturity than the females.


Chapter 57
The Season

By Shirley McLain

Spring is a season of breezes
Bringing about reasons for the sneezes.


Chapter 58
Lost Soul

By Shirley McLain

I
shed tears for my soul
loving him forever more


Chapter 59
Fartlek

By Shirley McLain

I dread that I must do this
It is the beginning of my day
I train to run Fartlek style

Author Notes Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is continuous training with interval training. Fartlek runs are a very simple form of a long distance run. Fartlek training ??is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running."


Chapter 60
On The Mountain

By Shirley McLain

Wandering alone
Owls hoot, panther screams, I faint
lost on the mountain


Chapter 61
Pray

By Shirley McLain

Jesus prays to God
Through faith and prayer belief
Salvation to all


Chapter 62
Love of Life

By Shirley McLain

Love of life is great expectations


Chapter 63
Yum

By Shirley McLain

 

Yum, when are there enough of Mama's dumplings?


Chapter 64
House Fire

By Shirley McLain

smoke before the fire
absoluteness in the loss
excruciating

Author Notes If you have stood and watched everything you own go up in flame you totally know what I write. If you haven't, I pray you never do.


Chapter 65
Writing a Novel

By Shirley McLain





To struggle
always at wit's end
then realize victory


Chapter 66
Safari

By Shirley McLain

Shot from afar, not for food
animal of beauty short tall fat and wide
fighting insanity
African sport 
hunt
revising
 plan is a must
initiation of a better way

Horror around the world is felt
unless changes are made
new way of profits earned to be found
teams of outlaw men
stopped for good

Author Notes This is my opinion. In order to save the African big game, a new economy must be found for Africa. They sell shooting safari's to make money. Some for greed but a lot for need.


Chapter 67
My Sign

By Shirley McLain


Lover of peace and balance in all
insistence on tranquility and love
burdened by disputes
relating to others is my focus
air is my element reaching towards a higher mind
 


Chapter 68
The Washing Away

By Shirley McLain



Winter Blues washed away by spring joy


Chapter 69
Love Entwined

By Shirley McLain

Love is adoring
eternal
two souls are entwined


 


Chapter 70
Piano Recital

By Shirley McLain

I'm in love playing
a piano recital
applause lifts the heart


Chapter 71
Love Forever More

By Shirley McLain

Always putting you before all
Believing what you've said is true
Carrying your cross with me daily
Divine guidance leading the way
Everlasting is your love
Forgiveness paid by your blood
Giving us life everafterHolding our hands along the way
Individually you show you care
Justifying our souls to God
Kneeling in worship to you
Love forever more

 

Author Notes I wrote this in the last few minutes but could not enter into the contest but decided to post it anyway. Hope you enjoy. Shirley


Chapter 72
Nebbish

By Shirley McLain


Nebbish

A man who's weak and feeble
Wobbles slowly along on a cane
Wishing he could follow her

Author Notes Nebbish: a pitifully ineffectual, luckless, and timid person. (Word origin and history) 1905, nebbich , from Yiddish (used as a Yiddish word in American English from 1890s), from a Slavic source akin to Czech neboh "poor, unfortunate," literally "un-endowed," from Proto-Slavic *ne-bogu- , with negative prefix (see un- (1)) + PIE *bhag- "to share out, apportion" (see -phagous).


Chapter 73
Goody Goody

By Shirley McLain

Goody Goody

Frankie Lymon did it best
Goody Goody inward invests
hearing from deep within
I have the beat
rocking the tune in my head

https://www.last.fm/music/Frankie+Lymon/Goody+Goody


Chapter 74
Praise

By Shirley McLain



I am
living for God
elevating my arms
overhead for praise and worship
of Son 


Chapter 75
Nuclear Bomb

By Shirley McLain


No one knows
Under what circumstances
Cancelation of our world
Lingers in a mind
Envisioning power and wealth
Approaching total madness
Rebuking all advice

Boldly standing in error
Overtly causing mayhem
Members of the council
Blindly follow behind

Author Notes I couldn't decide what category this should go under. I decided to do commentary. Let me know if you think it should go to someplace different.


Chapter 76
Prognosticator

By Shirley McLain



 
Prognosticator
Astrologer
Palm Reader
Seer
Wise
Fortune Diviner

 


Chapter 77
Elvis Alive????

By Shirley McLain

Yes
Elvis is Alive
Ever in music and minds

Author Notes Elvis Presley who is a singer who will never die. His greatness in music will go on in his music and the hearts of many. In my mind, John Wayne is another who will never really be gone because of his film acting. I will never know if either of these men lived up to the greatness they created in life but both will be alive forever in someone's mind.


Chapter 78
Fishing I Am Going

By Shirley McLain

Fishing I am going
The wind ain’t a-blowin'
The pond smooth as glass
A high jumper makes me gasp
 
A cane pole is in ready
The bobber is floatin’ steady
The worm is the bait
Waiting for the jumper’s mistake
 
The bobber makes a wiggle
The tension causes me to giggle
Down the bobber goes
I can feel it to my toes
 
Taking up the slack
I jerk it back
The pole bends
My face is a grin
 
This mighty high jumper
Turned out to be a Junker
Came flying overhead
One huge boot already dead.
 


Chapter 79
The Ultimate

By Shirley McLain

Acceptance the beginning
Forgiveness shines above all
Love the ultimate gift


Chapter 80
Confusion Reigns

By Shirley McLain

The clouds in my mind
Swirl and dance life's directions
My Confusion reigns


Chapter 81
Beyond Repair

By Shirley McLain

Doing all wasn't enough
Everything is spiraling downward
Forgiving again is hard to do
Glory days are now behind us
Heart broken beyond repair


Chapter 82
A Valentine Heart

By Shirley McLain


Vying for a view of you
Awaiting the time that I can see
Lowly me being loved by thee
Ever saying prayers of love for thee
Needing you forever more
Time will cease to move
Inspiring the love between us two
No one can separate
Everlasting love that is heart made

Heart flutters as the leaves
Ever far but wanting thee
Always my heart agrees
Resolved you will be with me
Treasuring my Valentine evermore






 


Chapter 83
In From the Cold

By Shirley McLain

Comes in from the cold

 

The fireplace is where to be

 

Cuddling with my love


Chapter 84
A Riotous Heart

By Shirley McLain




 

A riotous heart
Brings fear to the living
God’s peace and love
Is joy for the soul 
 
 


Chapter 85
Love Goals

By Shirley McLain

Answer the fire in your soul
By realizing you have a goal
Contributing to the world through love
Developing the skill to help and give unconditionally
Ever growing in God’s love and grace


Chapter 86
The X Destruction

By Shirley McLain

Xebec sailing on the Mediterranean Sea
Xylan found on the wooden frame
Xenopus silently climbs the boat side
Xylem tissue they carry
Xiphoid is a shape

Author Notes Poetry contest using "X"
Xebic is a type of three masted ship
Xylan a compound found in wood
Xenopus is a type of frog
Xylem is a type of tissue that carries water


Chapter 87
Autumn

By Shirley McLain

Autumn Revival
Full of joy and bright color
Spectacular sight
 


Chapter 88
His Glorious Face

By Shirley McLain

 
As the sun comes up
I watch for His glorious face
Together we shall all rise
Gathered to His arms
 
The joy anticipated
Brings happiness to me
I watch for His glorious face
Because I know the time is near
 
I watch for His glorious face
The love I know I’ll see
Reaching out to His arms
Reaching for me.


Chapter 89
God's Morning

By Shirley McLain







Good Morning from God

Bird song brings joy to the heart

A promise of love
 

 


Chapter 90
Open Heavens

By Shirley McLain

Heavens are open

Accepting of God's reward

Paradise Awaits


Chapter 91
Spring is Here

By Shirley McLain

Sunrise lights up the beauty
Perennials are strutting their stuff
Resulting in glorious colors
Intimidating the white of winter
Nodding their heads in the breeze
Giving all they can

Imaginations abound
Seeing the flowers strut their stuff

Holding on to each precious day
Ending the day with bowed heads
Reviving again with the morning light
Evoking a feeling of cheer.


Chapter 92
Fall Joy

By Shirley McLain

The beauty of fall has no equal

Warm colors ripple in the wind

Telling of the seasons change

Red orange green brown and gold

Breathtaking beauty

Picturesque

Striking

Joy
 


Chapter 93
God's Splendor

By Shirley McLain

red gold green
picture window show
God's splendor


Chapter 94
Mistletoe

By Shirley McLain

Mistletoe during the Holidays
I
s hung overhead
S
miling when you stopped under the sprig
T
winkling eyes outshine the tree lights
L
ips ready for the coming kiss
E
njoying the moment
T
ingling from head to toe
O
verjoyed it could happen again
E
veryone waiting to see what’s next
 


Chapter 95
Torture

By Shirley McLain

fingering my hair
guessing and second guessing
hoping and praying
imagining the worst
jumping at the doctor's voice, "He's alive"


Chapter 96
The Best

By Shirley McLain

Being wonderfully comfortable I pick up my lifesaver. I start with book one reading and drooling, to the end. This book is full of candy for the female mind.
Full of adventure, romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and sadness, who could ask for more? Outlander by Diane Gabaldon is best.


Chapter 97
The Cellar

By Shirley McLain

My name is Penny, and I’m five years old. I live with my Nanna and Papa.  Nanna tells me my mom and dad went to live with Jesus when I was three months old, and we live on a farm in Oklahoma. My Papa works hard and is gone all day. I stay at home with my Nanna.

One afternoon, it was really dark outside, and the wind's trying to blow our trees down. I could tell my Nanna and Papa were looking outside a lot and had the TV on the weather station. I was playing with my dolls in the living room when Papa yelled to Nanna, “we got to go now.” Papa picked me up, and we headed to the back door.

“Papa, were we going?”

“To the cellar child. There is a storm almost here,” Papa said.

Nanna was right behind us as we went into the cellar. Nanna had a flashlight to help us see until Papa could light the lamp. The floor was slats built up above the water. I think there was always water in the cellar. Papa told Nanna he thought we could use it as a well because it never went dry.
They sat on the two chairs down there, and Nanna held me on her lap.

“Mildred, give me the flashlight. I thought I saw something moving by my feet.” Papa turned on the light and shined it on the slatted floor. He then said something bad because Nanna told him to hush, or she would wash his mouth out with soap.

“Lift your feet and don’t put them down,” Papa said.

“Have you lost your mind, old man. I can’t do that for more than 30 seconds at a time.”

I didn’t know what was happening, but they were arguing back and forth while Papa watched the slatted floor.

“We have company,” Papa said.

I felt Nanna stiffen a little. I don’t know what Papa spelled, but I know he doesn’t want me to know. They do that all the time. It makes me mad.
Papa reached over and got a stick off the shelf and held it. “What are you doing, Papa, who’s our company,” I asked.

“I’m going to play stick and slat,” He said, ignoring my question.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s a grownup's game. You stay on your Nanna’s lap and just let me play.”

Every once in a while, I saw him put hit the stick on the slats in different places. “Are you having fun, Papa?”

When Nanna saw Papa move the stick, she’d lift her feet then put them back down after he hit the slatswith the stick. I guess she was afraid he’d hit her or something.

We were in the cellar for about an hour. I was getting ready for bed when I heard Nanna yell.

“Why didn’t you say something, you foolish man!” Nanna yelled.

Papa died thirty minutes later. I heard Nanna say he was gone because of the storm, but I knew that wasn’t right. She told me later, Papa died from a Cotton Mouth bite, keeping us safe from the tornado.
…..
We never went back to that cellar full of water and snakes. The cellar got pushed in after Nanna passed away. That snake cost me security and love from my Papa. I will never go to a cellar with a slatted floor again.
 
 
 


Chapter 98
Employee wanted

By Shirley McLain

Wanted for fast-rising employment, top physical condition. Highest wages offered, and benefits are beyond this world. For transparency purposes, there is also a hazard differential.
“Number Ten what happened to recruit Zero?” asked number one.
“Swallowed whole, sir, by the Aseterium.”
“Run the ad again.”

 


Chapter 99
Chaos

By Shirley McLain

Angie walked in the door thinking *“Let all you do be done with love”, and *“to love someone is seeing a miracle unseen to others.”
She stops as she enters ICU and stares. Every room and around the nurses’ station is full. " Who is giving the report today and what is the most helpful thing I can be doing? How about I take all the temps?" Angie asked.
"I’m giving report." Are you ready?  and taking the temps would be great.”
Angie nodded.
"Report is quick, it's total chaos, do the best you can." The frazzled Charge Nurse replied.
 

Author Notes *first quote by unknown, second by Francos Mauriac
The love, care, and dedication shown by our medical personnel is nothing new except to some people.


Chapter 100
Who's Next

By Shirley McLain

“Start an iv line and insert a foley. Give 125 mg of Lasix now.  Let’s get some fluid off. Give me a six-centimeter intubation tube, now! Where’s the respirator?” The doctor yelled.

“There are none available. What are we supposed to do?” The nurse asked.

“The best we can and say a lot of prayers.  Now it’s a loss for our country. Our first female president is dead. Time of death 10:10 AM due to respiratory failure.  Who’s next now?”
 
 

Author Notes A nontypical ICU fictional story.


Chapter 101
Caring and Sharing

By Shirley McLain

Pandemic is a word looked upon differently from now on because of what we are experiencing.
My heart aches when I see how some treat our fellow man. Where is the love for mankind we are supposed to show?

There are helpful people who continue to give and do all they can. Open your hearts and help those who can’t help themselves.

Caring and sharing should be the name of the game. Let’s all play

 


Chapter 102
Click, Click

By Shirley McLain

Camping is something my husband and I have done since the day we married. We’ve come to the same cabin in the Rocky Mountains every year since. This year we're celebrating 50 years.

Something doesn’t feel right about the cabin. I can’t tell what it is, but it isn’t right. Maybe it’s the fact the birds aren’t singing.

 “Honey, everything’s OK. I’ve seen nothing wrong. I’ve been in every room and around the outside. I did notice a spider web covering a tree in the back, but that was it,” said Dan.

“Do you hear that?” I said.

“What?”

“It sounds like clicking.”


Dan opens the front door. A thick, sticky substance covers the opening, as well as every other opening to the cabin.

“What is this crap?” Dan asked. He begins clawing the goo.

I scream as two sharp fangs pierce Dan’s chest, dragging him into the goo.

 

Author Notes 145 words of Husband and wife camping.


Chapter 103
My Companion

By Shirley McLain

The time is drawing near, and my heart has already begun to break. He will soon be fourteen, which puts him at 98 in human years.
He is down in his hips, has a torn ligament in his right leg, blind in his right eye, and his body’s full of fatty tumors. Even with all that, he shows me love every minute of every day. How can I possibly let him go? He has my heart.
 


Chapter 104
The San Diego

By Shirley McLain

“I’ve explained to you James, I’m not a great diver. This ship has been in the Atlantic for over 100 years.”

“I’ve been diving with you for ten years, Candy. We are going to dive this wreck. I’ve seen the opening we’ll use to get inside.”

Three days later James and Candy were in the water heading for the San Diego. James entered first, followed by Candy. Their lights showed coral-encrusted tables and what appeared like a four-drawer file cabinet set away from the wall. Nothing could be opened because everything was solid with coral.

The hanging encrusted lantern swayed back and forth. The water churned and became cloudy. Objects fell all around. When everything stopped moving, Candy felt her way to where James was located.

She found James underneath the file cabinet with his mask broken and the air-hose snapped in two.

Rest in peace, James.
 

Author Notes I had someone ask about the relationship between James and Candy. In my mind they were diving masters working together.

The USS San Diego was the only ship lost during WW1. A mysterious explosion happened, sending the San Diego to the bottom in 100 feet of water. Six men lost their lives. It was raised and is now a tourist spot at a port on the east coast.


Chapter 105
Oklahoma: Mixed Societies

By Shirley McLain

My parents were both originally from Eastern Oklahoma who moved to California in the mid-forties when my father got out of the Navy. I lived in the Bay area until I was ten years old. We then moved back to eastern Oklahoma. It took many years for me to consider Oklahoma my home. I don't know when it happened but now California is no longer in my heart as my home. It's all Oklahoma.

Since you now know I am full-fledged Okie I want to share a little about my state and its people. Oklahoma is a special state because it is the home of the Five Civilized Tribes and more. The Civilized Tribes are the Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, Cherokee, and Osage. 16.000 men woman and children were marched across the land and were moved to Oklahoma.

Western Oklahoma is considered flatlands and Eastern Oklahoma (where I live) is called Green Country. Green country is my favorite. Western Oklahoma is considered part of the Great Plains, while eastern Oklahoma is filled with trees, water, hills, mountains, and valleys.
The Indian migration was forced by the government in 1839. Many people lost their lives coming to Oklahoma. The removal of the Indigenous People from the Eastern and Northern states happened over the years. Each tribe has its own name for the forced removal. For most of the Eastern tribes, they called it "The Trail of Tears."

Before the advancement of the white man across their native countries, men of the Osages, Pawnees, Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyenne, and Arapahos migrated into the state to use Oklahoma resources. The Caddo, Osage, and Wichita peoples were the original Indians in the state. Oklahoma had an abundance of beaver, bison, beaver, deer, and bear.

The plains bison roamed the land in abundance but were ordered annihilated to help force the Indians from their land. If there isn't a food source they had to move. Indians interfered with railroad construction, killing workers. And the buffalo, Indians counted on for survival (for beef, robes, tools, etc.) interfered with the iron horse (trains) by grazing on tracks. The government wanted to push Indians to either side of the transcontinental routes, moving them onto reservations. Killing buffalo in droves cleared the tracks and undermined Indian economies. Army soldiers killed buffalo and passenger trains even stopped amidst herds so travelers could pull out their rifles and fire away. When they were done, they moved on, leaving the carcasses behind. So many buffalo died that their rotting flesh could be smelled throughout the region.

The major Indian tribes in Oklahoma have their reservation land, which is well marked even today, but thankfully the whites and the Indians have lived together without demarcation of what belongs to whites and what belongs to Indians. That's not to say there were no problems. On 5/12/1858 the Texas Rangers, militia and allied Tonkawa's attacked the Southern Cheyenne to stop the Indian skirmishes from taking place in Oklahoma and Texas towns. The chief and 100 men, women and children died.

There was another incident called Going Snake Massacre. This wasn't a battle, but men were dead. They were trying an Indian man for the murder of a white man and woman. The courthouse was packed which included Texas Rangers and the family of the accused. Someone in the crowd pulled a gun, shot and killed eight marshals and three Cherokee Citizens.

The acceptance of living together peacefully, I think, is a tribute to both Native American people and the white population. It spoke volumes about how much each side wanted to live in peace.

Author Notes Oklahoma became a state in 1907. Before statehood, the Indians and the whites showed how societies can be mixed and live together peacefully. It didn't help anything other than getting statehood. The government was still attempting to cheat the Indians out of their money and/or land. I don't think a lot has changed in Washington DC.


Chapter 106
What a Night!!!

By Shirley McLain

“Get up now, we have to get to the cellar.  Don’t get dressed, run! My neighbor yelled.”
What a way to wake up. It was drilled into me enough how you could wind up dead in the top of a tree twenty miles from home.  One never knows with a tornado what might happen. 

I ran out the back door and into a large Postoak tree, bounced off and kept going. The cellar, which was built into the side of a hill had a problem I was not aware of before I entered. Scorpions were everywhere. I freaked out.
 


Chapter 107
Head Shave!

By Shirley McLain








“I told you, Natalie, I am not going to shave my head. I don’t care if it is 2020, and it’s the biggest hair trend going now.”

Kelly, what are you talking about?  I know as well as you do, you don’t have a choice. Besides, it will make you feel liberated.

“I can’t help if my hair is 50 different lengths. I did learn a valuable lesson.”

And what is that, may I ask?

“I didn’t have a choice about this mangled haircut, but I do about shaving my head.”

You need this head shave.

“I don’t’ understand why. I’m not sick, and I’m moving about well.”

You know, Kelly, what the news report said this morning.

“Yes, I know, and I also know I can’t stay here past tonight. I have to get to my Uncle in Wisconsin. He is going to help me.”

Sure he is. You haven’t ever met the man. Why would you go to him for help? You don’t know if you can trust him. I don’t understand your thinking sometimes. You know of him because your dad slipped up five years ago and let it slip about his brother in Wisconsin. There has to be a reason he and your dad do not communicate.

“I’m sure there is a reason, but it doesn’t matter in my situation. I’m going to my uncle; then, he can help me continue to hide. I’m not going back to jail so  those pigs can abuse me.”

 You can’t go home and for that matter, you can’t even phone. I’m sure the lines are tapped by now. Now, back to the hair.  They are looking for your peculiar hair color. It would be better if you had a slick head so they could see nothing.  You already have contacts in a different color, so why not go on with the original plan.  Your hair will grow back fast if you don’t keep it shaved.

“I’m going to one of the coldest places. I don’t want to freeze my head.”

Dufus, you wear a thick, wool hat with earflaps. Stop stalling and sit in this chair.

“I’m going to let you do this because it is what the plan was. I hate it already.”

I’m sure you will hate it awhile longer.

“What are you doing, Natalie? Take the cuff off my wrist, Now! I don’t understand.”

You don’t understand because you were never meant to.

“Now, what are you talking about?”

You’re going back to jail, and you’re going to stand trial for the murder of Roger J. Morris.

“I didn’t poison him. I can’t go back to jail. You’ve been my friend since ninth grade. How could you do this?”

It wasn’t just me. It was also your father. He came up with the plan, and I helped execute it. Neither of us wanted you to run any further. You have to stand and fight if you are innocent. You’re the strongest woman I know, and I’ve no doubt you’re being railroaded.

“Please, let me go.  I have to leave here. Don’t cause me to go back to that jail.”

Too late, the police are here. Be brave and tough. The truth will win.
 
 
 


Chapter 108
Hide and Seek

By Shirley McLain

The snow floats softly to the ground as I sit and watch it do a dance with the wind, but I have to keep moving. I don’t know how I can escape the trackers with every footprint showing in the snow.

There is a cave behind the waterfall. I’ll use the rope to swing over. I’ve done it in the past, and I can do it again. Please, snow heavy!
 


Chapter 109
Sunshine Fear

By Shirley McLain

A cheery morning with sunshine streaming through my window. The birds sang songs outside. I took my coffee and sat down at the table on the patio. It was total pleasure and relaxation. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but the birds stopped singing. They flew out of the trees into the blue sky.
In less than a minute the ground began to shake. My back yard rolled, and I was on my tail on the ground. I could hear objects crashing in my house.
I crawled under the table holding on for my life.
 

Author Notes By the way, I coded this piece you know it's a true story. I would rather face a tornado any day in Oklahoma compared to an earthquake in California. I have sat and watch every seam in the house crack and the refrigerator empty its contents on the floor. Mother nature isn't fun sometimes. It matters not where you live because when Mother Nature is angry you know it.


Chapter 110
Medicine Bow Forest

By Shirley McLain

The air grew cooler; the higher I climbed with my small Datsun B210 pickup. Sugar ( Sugar was my teacup poodle, who was like one of my kids.) and I was on the lookout for a spot to get out and commune with nature. I knew I would know the place as soon as I saw it. I knew where I was going and what I was going to do when I got there.

I got off work at the hospital that morning at 7 AM. I’d had a busy night in Labor and Delivery. I couldn’t wait for my shift to be over because I had three days off.  There isn’t anything better for a nurse than days off in a row. It’s like having a mini-vacation.

When I got home, even though I was tired, I changed into my jeans and boots then headed out the door with my precious Sugar and our picnic lunch.                                                                                                                               
We got into my truck and headed east on I-80 to the Medicine Bow forest. I’d wanted to go since my daughter, and I moved into the state. When you turn off onto SR130, you begin a slow climb after you pass through Saratoga. The hot springs you can enjoy year-round. 

Saratoga has an old hotel still in use called “The Wolf.” If you were walking on cobblestones, you would think you were back in the mid-1800s. After you drive through Saratoga, you start to climb into the mountain range. You see lots of antelope and deer along the side of the road.

The road twisted and wound up through the tall, beautiful smelling pines standing as far as the eyes could see.  I couldn’t wait to find my picnic spot so Sugar could run.  I had my window down with Sugar in my lap and her head out the window.  Of course, her tongue lolled out, and her ears flew in the wind.

I felt tired and exhilarated at the same time. The road in front of me turned to a sharp left. Off to my right was the gorgeous spot I knew I wanted to stop at. I parked my pickup on the side of the road and began my trek to my picnic spot. It wasn’t far.

There was a clear running stream, cascading over rocks with a marvelous sound. I could hear the squirrels chatting back and forth to each other. I’m sure they were complaining Sugar and I disturbed their solitude. Sugar roamed around following one trail then another.  There were so many scents for her to follow; she ran in circles. 

She and I ate our lunch on a large, flat granite rock. I laid back on my arm, closed my eyes, and listened to the sounds of nature around me.  I had to thank God for my peace and serenity.  

As I continued on SR130, I wound around and ended up in Laramie. It was a great experience, which made it a great memory.
 

Author Notes I lived in Wyoming for about three years. It was an excellent experience for me, and it made me remember the covered wagons coming through and the strength and perseverance those first travelers showed. Wyoming is stunningly beautiful in spots all across the state but perilous and rugged. They put most of us to shame. I wouldn't want to do it as they had to.


Chapter 111
The Hilltop Bar

By Shirley McLain

Archie stood at the screen door, looking into the dark interior. He saw people milling around with drinks in their hands. Some were sitting quietly with their chins to their chests either already so soused they couldn’t lift their head or were doing some serious thinking.

Archie’s eyes were swollen and red. Anyone who looked at him could see he’d been crying a lot. Now he continued to scan around the joint looking for his father. He found him standing at the end of the bar next to some lady that didn’t look good. His father’s good time was evident by his laughing and talking. His right arm around the woman’s shoulders.

His father was so focused on the woman at his side; he didn’t see Archie open the door and step inside. Archie stepped up to the bar. No one paid attention to Archie,  even though he was only thirteen years old. Standing beside his dad, he still hadn’t been seen. He put his hand on his dad’s back and said. “Dad, I need you to come home.” His father turned, backhanded him so hard Archie scooted on his back across the floor.
With an angry, mean look in his eyes, he told Archie, “don’t you ever tell me to leave anywhere. I’ll leave when I get damn good and ready.”
Archie hadn’t heard a word. He came around as some lady gave him a drink of water. What am I going to do? I have to get dad home to help me and then he can drink himself to death, as far as I care.

He went to his father’s closet. In the top of the closet, his father had placed a Billy-club he’d used for his last security job. Tears streamed down Archie’s face as he left his parent’s room. He called a taxi and waited impatiently five minutes before it arrived.

“Take me to the Hilltop, please.” The driver looked at Archie.

“Are you sure? That’s not someplace you need to be," the driver said.

“Yes, Sir, and I need you to wait for me,”  Archie said.

Archie got out of the cab with the Billy-club hidden inside his jacket. His dad paid no attention. He was too interested in his booze and the lady.
Archie walked up behind his father and hit him as hard as he could over the head with the club. His father fell to the floor as the people gasped and screamed. The bartender went for his phone to call the police.

Archie yelled, “Don’t call the police. This is my father and, he is going home! I need help to get him in the cab waiting outside. My mother is dead at our home and he is going to be there when the ambulance and police get to the house.  Will you help me?”

Two men from the bar picked up the man from the floor and placed him in the cab. “When there’s a will there’s away.”
 
 
 
 
 

Author Notes The scene I had in mind was a small community bar where everyone knows everything about everybody. His mother has died from Cancer while his father was at the bar. There was no intention to kill his father just to get him home.


Chapter 112
The Mysterious Airplane

By Shirley McLain

The flight steward, Paul Campbell,  pushed the beverage cart up the aisle as he handed out drinks and snacks to those who wanted it. He dreaded going past the Sky Marshall's seat, but he had to do it. They had been in the air for two hours, and the fellow already drank two Scotch on the Rocks.

He hated flying across the Atlantic to London.  There always seemed at least one drunk on board during the flight and Frank Andrews was the one this time. Everyone who flew knew he had a problem with alcohol. The Steward had to keep this guy sober if there was a problem.

Mr. Andrews was his problem child this flight it seemed.  Everyone else was settled down either sleeping or reading.  Even the children were quiet.

“Hey, fella, you didn’t offer me a drink,” Mr. Andrews yelled.

The steward walked back towards Mr. Andrews' seat. “Oh, I’m sorry, would you like some coffee or orange juice? It’s all I have left besides soft drinks.”

“I want Scotch on the Rocks,” Mr. Andrews loudly commented.

“I’m really sorry, we don’t have anything left. Anything else I can get for you?”

“How about some vodka and tomato juice along with a packet of salt?”

“I can get you the tomato juice with the salt, but we are out of alcohol for the remainder of this flight. Is there anything else?”

Mr. Andrews didn’t comment, just waved his arm back towards the front of the plane. The steward made it to the galley with no problems. It didn’t last long.

“Excuse me, sir, I have a terrible problem I don't know what I'm going to do if you can't help me. I’m Linda Ellisberry, and this is Anthony. I have worried myself sick about not being able to care for my baby. Would you happen to have a diaper and some milk on board? I did the most foolish thing and left my diaper bag sitting on the floor at the gate. This baby has been fussing, and now he’s wet and hungry.” No one on this plane has extra milk or diapers."

Paul gave her a weak smile and gathered up what she needed.  He couldn’t let a baby go hungry. “Here you go and when you need more, let me know."

***
 
At 3 AM everyone was sound asleep; they were two hours out of Heathrow. The steward relaxed in his seat reading a book. His mind was entirely into the science fiction novel he was reading. A bright light lit the cabin as if it were bright sunshine outside instead of pitch black. He blinked twice not sure if he was really seeing what was happening.

The women with small children and babies slept soundly. Every child in the plane just vanished but no one seemed to notice beside Paul Campbell. The steward jumped out of his seat and headed down the aisle, checking on the people. There was no confusion or hysteria it was as if nothing happened. He spoke to one of the ladies who had held a baby in her arms that was now gone. 

"Hi, Mrs. Jones. How is your flight?"

"Oh, very well. I've taken a nap and now I'm going to start reading. Can't get much more relaxed what I am," Mrs. Jones laughed.

"That's wonderful to hear.  Do you have any children waiting at home?"

"No, my husband and I don't have children yet but they are being planned for," replied Mrs, Jones.

"You enjoy the rest of your flight." Paul walked back to his seat and sat down. He couldn't figure out what was happening

The cabin had gone dark; the lights went out. The steward made his way carefully to the microphone. “Please everyone, take your seats and put on your seat belts.” The lights flickered on. “I know everyone is wondering what has happened with the electrical system. Let me speak with the Captain, and I will give you an update.”

The men were whispering trying to determine what occurred. The steward knocked on the cabin door.

He opened the door and stuck his head in.  The Captain and Co-pilot were sitting in their seats with a hot drink in their hands.

 “Is there something I can help you with?” the Captain asked.

“Sir, do you know what the bright light was?” the steward asked.

The Captain looked at him as if he’d grown another head. “What bright light, Mr. Campbell?”

“Sir, a bright light lit up the cabin and every woman on the plane who had a child, well, sir, the children disappeared along with several men including the Sky Marshall.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Campbell, do you mind repeating that. I’m sure I didn’t hear you correctly.”

“Yes, Sir, you did. Every child has disappeared after a bright light hit the cabin.  You didn’t see anything?”

The co-piolet spoke up. “We haven’t seen any lights except those on our panel. Nothing out of the ordinary.”

A passenger came up behind the steward and firmly patted the stewards back.  “Excuse me, sir. That lights came back." 

“Thank you for telling me. Please, go back to your seat. I will be there in a moment.  Captain, what is going on?”

“How the hell should I know? Nothing has happened here,” the Captain exclaimed.

Mr. Campbell went back to the microphone, he clicked it on, and all he heard was a loud pop. “Great, now the mic isn’t working.  That’s just something else.

The bright light came on and went off just as quickly. Men and women were disappearing and no one reacted to the disappearances. One woman had to use the restroom so badly she was frantic. The problem was, it was occupied, I don't know what she expects me to do about it. I can't help it that the bathroom is in use.

The frantic woman screamed, "Let me off this plane. Land it right now!"

Mr. Campbell walked down the aisle and in his loudest voice called out. “Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen, please try to stay calm. We can’t land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We should be in London in about one hour.”

“That’s too long. Get me off this plane." The woman yelled out again.
  
“Ma’am, I can’t stop the plane.  I don’t know any more than you do. Please try not to panic. There is nothing we can do. I'm sure the bathroom will open up soon.” Mr. Campbell went back to his seat and sat down. Leaning forward he placed his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands and prayed.

The light reappeared and went out. More men and women disappeared this time. The difference was their clothes were left in their seats. A lady sitting across the aisle from some men who disappeared commented calmly, “They left their clothes here. That's so strange."

By now half of the adult passengers were gone along with the children. How can this be happening? Mr. Campbell thought. Not a sound could be heard outside of the plane, and nothing could be seen on either side. Whatever it was must have been above them.  “Please, everyone, move to the front of the plane as far as you can. Shut the window shades on all of the windows,” Mr. Campbell called out. Everyone was generally pleased to be moved closer to the front.

You could hear the shades coming down as the passengers moved forward. The first class section and the first four rows in business class were full.  There are thirty-three people left out of 164 that started this trip across the Atlantic. Everyone was silent. The only sound heard was the constant hum of the jet engines.

Mr. Campbell tried his best to keep everyone calm. His own nerves were almost gone because he was the only one that could see what was happening. He held a secret he couldn’t share, but he knew he had to. They would all die but how could he tell them.  Could he stop whatever was taking people out of the plane to god knows where?

“What is the Captain saying about what is happening with the lights?" a passenger asked.

“Ma’am he doesn’t know any more than the rest of us. The same for the Co-pilot. The last time I spoke with them we were an hour out of Heathrow.”

Mr. Campbell made friendly conversation with the passengers about where they were from and what kind of work they did. “What kind of hobbies do you have? I like to go white water rafting on my time off. Does anyone else raft or fly for adventure?” Everyone shook their heads.

The shades on the back windows flew up and moved up each row as if someone were walking up the aisle and raising the shades. The light moved in with a blinding flash, and ten people evaporated into thin air.

The passengers heard the landing gear lower. Mr. Campbell disappeared with the last group. They could feel the descent into the airport. The few passengers left huddled together in the galley knowing it wouldn’t be long before they touched down on the runway.

The light flashed just as the plane touched the ground. The plane slowed and approached gate A43. Following the directions of the guide, the plane pulled up to the gate and stopped.

The gatekeeper made the arrival announcement overhead of flight 4280 from New York, and the passengers would be unloading when all landing checks were made. The door to the passageway was opened. The attendants waited for the plane door to be opened.  The luggage was unloading onto the carts.

“Captain Marshall, this is gate A43, can we be of some assistance to you?” the gate attendant radioed. There was no reply from the Captain or Co-pilot. After a fifteen-minute wait security and maintenance was called to open the plane door from the outside safety latch.

After thirty minutes the maintenance man opened the hatch door.  Security entered with guns drawn. They were ready for anything except what they saw. Not one person was on the plane. Everyone was gone. It looked as if the plane waited to be loaded with passengers. The plane was clean, and the pantry stocked. The unloaded luggage was the only reminder that when the plane left New York City, there were 164 passengers plus children that vanished without a trace.
 
The mystery still waits to be answered.
 
 

 

Author Notes My prompt was to have at least 1500 words which included aircraft traveling across the Atlantic with alcoholic Sky Marshall, a frantic mother, salt and bright lights. People disappearing from the flight and only the plane personnel have a memory of it.


Chapter 113
Swinging

By Shirley McLain


Women
temperament
life change


Chapter 114
The Lake

By Shirley McLain


The last time I saw Charlie, he laughed as we drove into Crystal Springs Lake. I knew we would have hell to pay for sneaking out, but I never imagined how this fun evening would end.

Charlie and I were friends from the first grade. We were neighbors, and as adventurous boys, we spent every second together we could manage. We were as different as two people could be. I’m quiet and shy, and Charlie was the fellow that drew people to him like June bugs to a light. Maybe it was his good looks with his coal black hair and that cleft in his chin. He was muscular, athletic and all the girls flirted with him every chance they got. He didn’t care. The only thing he wanted besides our friendship was the full football scholarship at Harvard.

We had a good time throughout school. As this was our last year at Grady High School there was a lot of pressure on Charlie to perform. He actually did it to himself. If I tried to talk to him, he wouldn’t listen. “Charlie, you have to lighten up a bit. You can’t go on at the pace you’re going. It’s been weeks since we’ve done anything together. You study and practice football. Take time to relax. Quit worrying about that entrance exam. You have it aced.”

“Sure, I do, but it doesn’t feel like it. I feel like everything inside of me is about to explode. I have to keep pushing myself to keep the pressure down, but I'm ready for something different. I'll listen to you just because you’re my best friend and I love you like a brother. What do you want to do?" Charlie asked.

I had to think of something we would enjoy together and take the pressure off of him. “I’ve got an idea. Let’s go to the lake after dark and go skinny dipping. We haven’t done that in a long time.”

“Are you crazy?” Charlie asked. “We haven’t been skinny dipping since we were twelve years old.”

“Yeah, I know, and it’ll be fun. Just like old times.  What do you say?”

We were both laughing, and Charlie said “Let’s do it. I want to be twelve again and forget all about school and football. I’ll be at your house at 7:00 and you can drive.”

“Sounds good to me. I don’t mind driving at all, and I’ll even bring us snacks and cold drinks. See you then.”

 I left his room and went back to my house. I got everything ready and packed it in my car. Since my mom and dad weren’t home, I left them a note so they wouldn’t worry about me. Charlie was at my door promptly at 7:00.

It was a great drive out to the lake. We had the windows down and the radio up. We were laughing, singing and shouting at the top of our lungs as we drove to our spot. We were trying our best to be twelve-year-olds again.

It was dark when we arrived, but we didn’t care. We unloaded the car and set up our blanket right at the edge of the lake. It wasn’t the first time we had swum in the dark. I brought two flashlights, but we didn’t turn them on. We were happy. We liked this spot because we could dive into the lake. It was easy in and out of the water. We got rid of our clothes quickly and then laughed at each other as we stood there as naked as the day we were born.

Charlie slapped me on the back. “Are you ready? I am.” He backed up three steps and ran and dove into the lake. I jumped in feet first, as always. The water was cold and sent a shiver over my body. I didn’t hear Charlie laughing, so I looked around.  I didn’t see him. The lake was smooth as glass. I called his name. He never answered, so I climbed out of the lake slipped on my pants and got the lights. My hands shook so hard I had trouble turning on the lights. I shined the beams over the water, and I still couldn’t see him. I knew something was wrong.  I got my cell phone and called 911. I had a terrible time as I tried to get the words out to report Charlie missing. 

I tried to sit but couldn’t stay still. I walked back towards the main road thinking I would meet the authorities. That was silly, it wouldn’t make them arrive any faster. I turned back towards the lake moving the beam of one of the flashlights around. What was that? I brought the light back to what looked like a sign. When the beam of light hit it, I got sick to my stomach. The sign read: No swimming until further notice. Alligator sighting today.
 
 
 

 


Chapter 115
Always and Forever

By Shirley McLain

Always and forever my child.  Bonding before you arrived. Coming into the world with a scream.  Deepening the love between us.  Eye to eye I knew you could see and know me.  Funny faces you made to make me smile. Grasping my fingers with your hand,  tied our hearts together. Holding onto the world with all your might.
I cried and prayed out of fear for you when you became ill. Jostling you back and forth to comfort you. Keeping you safe and happy as can be. Laughing at the joy you bring. Making my world bright.  Noticing the changes you've made. Overtly growing so fast. Perfecting your skills with each passing day. Quickening my heart with increasing love. Resolving the little things that make you cry.  Sensing when changes aren’t right. Time increases the tenderness you show.  Understanding one day you will take flight. Visiting as life directs.
Wonderful memories will be mine. Xenial nature you have which is loved by all.  Your preciousness brings so much joy to our family. Zip and you're grown to make your world your own.
 

 


Chapter 116
The Hunt at 70 words

By Shirley McLain

I can't go with you; this is how you catch the creatures. It’s not easy, and you must be silent. Here is your bag, sit down and wait. You’ll know when it’s time to open the bag you will hear it coming. With the apple in the bag, you catch it easily because it will run straight in. I have to go now to my own spot. Enjoy Snipe Hunting.
 

Author Notes This is a time-honored hunt that takes place in Oklahoma on the SE side. If it happens anywhere else, I don't know about it. Participants are usually teenagers and younger kids who want to be teens. You know the ones that are a complete pest to the older teen. Let's see how many have heard of Snipe hunting.


Chapter 117
The Prisoner

By Shirley McLain

 John Davis did nothing wrong. The Master of this prison had John in a five-foot by five-foot cube. When he walked, his hunched back ached because of his six-foot frame.

“Tell me what I have done to deserve this.”

For John, time didn’t begin or end. Food and water materialized when he needed it. He knows something happened, but doesn’t remember.
“Please let me out!”

“Are you Anthony Davis?” The female asked.

“Is the breakdown complete, Doctor?”

“Yes, it is.”

My poor brother. “The wreck killed more than his wife and child. He’s a prisoner of his mind.”
 


Chapter 118
Brotherly Love

By Shirley McLain

“You’ve been carrying that torch for a mighty long time. Isn't it time to put a new girl’s picture in that frame by your bed?”

“I don’t have a girl’s picture by my bed and you know it. I haven’t been carrying a torch for no girl either,” Polly said.

"No, just the image of yourself as Miss America. Pining away for all the attention and money you’d get. You’ve entered every beauty pageant within 500 miles of here. Have you won anything? Nope, you just cost money."

“Daddy said I could do it.”

"Well, daddy ain’t here no more. Besides, you’re as ugly as a bar of lye soap and you won’t ever win nothing. He left me the money and not you."

"Have you finished your coffee, brother?"

“Yeah, why do you care?”

Polly’s face lit up as she said, “Because you're now a dead man.”

Author Notes This story contains 148 words


Chapter 119
Pollen

By Shirley McLain

The bane of noses
sniff the air and up it goes
steady sniff and blow 


Chapter 120
Confidence

By Shirley McLain

Certainty of God's Word
open-minded for all truths
never nervous for what we see
fortitude alone in our Christian stand
insolence towards no one
determined to show the love of God
epitome of love personified
now is not the time for denial
clear in all we say and do
enveloping all in God's love


Chapter 121
Zantium

By Shirley McLain


The headache is only made worse by the pulsating of the engines. I’m strapped in tight.
My brain repeats every number in the countdown. It wouldn’t be so bad if I weren’t alone. I made this choice, so I could be with Stanley.
Stanley and one other went to build a site for a settlement. Now I’m going to make us a couple.

*****

After takeoff, I keep my head back and my eyes closed.

“Nancy, honey, are you going to throw up?”

That voice is my mothers. I guess my headache is making me imagine things. She can’t be here because she died six years ago.

“If you will open your eyes and turn around you’ll see I’m here. I’ve come from God to keep you company.”
I slowly open my eyes and stand. To my amazement, there stands my mother wearing the dress she was buried in.
“I don’t believe you are here.”

“I’m here, Nan. You can reach out your hand and touch me if you like.”

I reach out my hand and place it on her arm. I feel flesh and bone. “How is this possible, Mama?”

“I told you, God let me come so you wouldn’t be alone. I know you are going to Zantium to stay with Stanley. It’s a brave thing you’re doing.”

“It’s not bravery mama. Stanley is my fiancé and I want to be with him.”

“How long before we arrive on the planet?”
”Another two days. I’m going to check where my bunk is and do some reading. What are you going to do, Mom?”

“Just what you do.“

“Why do you need a bunk? You’re not real.”

“I’m as real as you are.  You touched me, felt my skin. What will make you believe I am here, flesh and bone?”

“Slap me, if I feel it, then I’ll believe your real.”

In a moment’s time, my mother’s hand slapped my face, hard. It brought tears to my eyes. I can feel the heat coming from my face.

“OK, Mom, I believe you’re here. Let’s go find our bunks.”

“My Darlin, we are in this together until you no longer need me.”

Mom’s arms went around my shoulders, hugging me close. Giving me the comfort I craved.
 
*****

Two days later we land on Zantium. I’m so nervous and waiting to hear this door unlock is excruciating.
Finally, I hear the popping of the door seal.

Once Mom and I are on the ground I turn, expecting to see Stanley. I couldn’t see anything except a metal building 100 yards away.

“What do we do now?” Mom asks.

“Let’s walk to that building.”

When I open the door and we step inside, my heart sinks at the sight. Two uniformed skeletons sit at a control board.

“Oh God, what am I going to do now?”

“We’re going to spend some more good quality mother, daughter time together.”
 
 

Author Notes This flash fiction contains 491 word. I hope you enjoy and don't forget to vote in the contests.


Chapter 122
Kelly's War

By Shirley McLain

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.

The shells flew over her head, landing less than fifty feet away. Besides seeing a team member blown apart, she couldn't hear anything and felt pressure vibrating her ears. What in the world made me think I wanted to be a soldier? Blast my heritage, just because some Grandfather has been in every war since the 1700s, didn't mean because it's 2050, and my father created no male heirs, I had to join the military to uphold the family tradition.

Kelly liked the military except for the real fighting. The thing is even if she didn't like the fighting, she was the best hand to hand combatant in her section. Her abilities led her superiors to pick her to conduct challenging missions. Her Grandfather would be proud of her if he was around her today. Hiram Anderson told her all the time as she grew up how important it was to keep up the family's military history. She would like to say to him to stick his traditions in his ear. He's been gone now ten years, and I'm already on this mission.

Her team received the assignment to rescue a nuclear scientist and a genetics specialist. A rogue mercenary group kidnapped them from a high-level conference they attended. The team at least knows where they're located.

The men were held in an old mine shaft in Croatia.  The front opening is the only entrance. It can be recognized easily; There were two machine guns mounted on tripods in the large sandbagged foxhole in the front. There is an open killing field for fifty yards out in any direction.

"Jackson, you and Elliott go to the right, Andrews and Polk go to the left. You know the plan, so hold the position until I give the signal. Smith get the RCD (Robot Chemical Dispenser) ready to go."

"Yes, Captain," Smith said.
 
"Captain Anderson, Ma'am, when do you want the Helos called in?" the radioman asked.

"Right now, Marshall. Tell them to bring it on. Those three Helo's will drop enough sleep juice, everyone, in the area will be sleeping. How far out are they?" The Captain asked.

"Five clicks, Ma'am," Marshall replied.

"Notify everyone, protective mask on, now!"

The radioman notified all concerned then went to standby mode.

"Smith turn loose the RCD," Kelly yelled.

Kelly watched as the bright shiny machine flew out of the tree line and headed for the machine gun nest. Gunfire started as soon as the RCD moved away from the trees.

"That's one marvelous little machine, Smith. Nothing seems to touch it; everything bounces off. I hope those Helo's have the same protection," Kelly said.
"No, Captain. We have the oldest choppers in the flight, and they are not shielded. Those men in the choppers are at high risk. All of us need to say our prayers." Smith said.

The RCD reached the foxhole, landed, raised on its back wheels, and sprayed a gas. The men on the guns were asleep within twenty seconds. Men on top of the mine with their rocket launchers and guns are due for a nap very soon.

"Tell the others as soon as the gas bombs are dropped, everyone converges on the mine. We have to rescue those men out before the enemy can produce the genetic wave," Kelly said.
 
She saw the first Helo coming in from the West. She heard the rocket launcher fire and then an explosion. The second Helo came in from the South. They got almost to strike range before they were blown out of the sky.

"Marshall, get on the horn and tell Helo3 to fly as low as they can before coming in. I want them skimming the treetops. Notify Jackson to return to me now! He and I are making a diversion."

Helo3 went low as ordered. They could reach out and touch the leaves on the trees if they wanted. They began their approach to the site as Kelly and Jackson ran out, firing a launcher of their own. Gunfire from the hill began raining around the pair.

"Launch another one, Jackson. Make them keep their heads down. Wait until you see that chopper," Kelly ordered.
They both observed the Helo skimming the trees. "Do it now, Jackson."

The launcher went off, and the load dropped from the chopper almost simultaneously. Kelly jumped up, yelling, and ran for the entrance to the mine.
Her M17 in her hand was ready to kill if she had to. By the time she got over the sandbags, the rest of the group joined her. They followed the lights down the tunnel.

Jackson was point man, Elliott, Andrews, and Polk close behind. They entered first. Everyone moved forward, taking cover where they could. Voices came from the brightly lit area ahead. The guards within the mine slept soundly, but the unknown in front of them could be a different story.
Kelly whispered, "take out the guards, Polk. You're the best shot. Elliott, you help him. Go to it!"
 
The men worked their way closer to be within shot range. They looked at each other and aimed at different targets. Shots rang out, and two guards hit the ground. Four guards ran forward and fell dead as Kelley screamed: "Everyone down, now!"

There was one guard left, and he headed straight for Kelly. Come on, big boy, I'm ready. The guard made a lunge, and Kelly sidestepped giving him a chop to the throat. That didn't work, Ok I'll try that new maneuver.

About the time the thought ran through her mind, a shot rang out, and the guard fell at Kelly's feet. "Whoever fired that shot, good job."

"It was me, Captain. We don't have time to train a new Captain." Andrews said, flashing a toothy smile.

The captives were standing since the gunfire stopped. Kelley stood in the front. "We are here for Dr. Cummings and Steve Black. Are you here?" Both men raised their hands.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I am Captain Kelly Anderson of the United Military Force., Helicopters will land within the next 1o minutes to take you to the nearest airbase for debriefing. I hope you're ready to go home."

Everyone clapped and cheered at the thought of going home. Kelly smiled at her Grandfather Hiram's voice, in her head which brought tears to her eyes. Just maybe he knew what he was talking about for all those years. I won't give up my military career until they make me. "Here's to you, Hiram Anderson," as she lifted her canteen to lips.

Author Notes This is a woman who is questioning her military service, because of tradition.


Chapter 123
Spring Day

By Shirley McLain

Woke up to the birds singing loudly
morning prayers to bless the day
sun sends beams to dark places
the sun will warm the breeze
cool wind blows Southward 
animation
all around
day starts
life


Chapter 124
Believe

By Shirley McLain

Our faith must be strong
faith must be nonwavering
believe it will be


Chapter 125
Squirrels and Birds

By Shirley McLain

We are two species
Living life together but not
Harmonious is our life
But once a year those birds
Are insane.
 
I am busy scampering on and off
an oak tree with lots of branches and leaves
I talk to all my friends
The bird is my exception
No talk.
 
In the springtime we squirrels build
Snug and tight homes for our babies
The birds do the same
Except they are mean neighbors
Causing commotion
 
They dive bomb me
Scratch my back
Peck my head
And make racket
I will be glad when
nesting Ends
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 126
One and Only

By Shirley McLain

I  Am the one and only
Never will I accept a phony
You have much to learn
Love keeps you from the burn
My heart aches to know you're lost
Accept Jesus whatever the cost

Author Notes This submission has requirements to rhyme pattern AABBCC


Chapter 128
Bad Nanna

By Shirley McLain

Our baby girl, Livy, is the joy of this household, and we spoil her beyond words. What fun it is having a baby around once more.
Livy comes to play with me at least twice a day. I have to admit I taught her something bad. I taught her how to Raspberry someone, sort of.
From the time she was born, I have been sticking my tongue out and blowing on it every time I see her. She laughs, giggles, and sticks her tongue out at me, bringing me joy.

I know she does it with love always, as I do.

 

Author Notes 101 words in the story. Livy is my Great Granddaughter. She brought a lot of joy into our lives when she arrived. I'm also thinking this Raspberry blowing could be a little bit of payback.


Chapter 129
Protester

By Shirley McLain

Why fight COVID rules
guidelines are meant to save lives
Personal freedom limits
 
Don't know your limits
Why is your life more than mine
Follow all the guidelines set


Chapter 130
Goodbye

By Shirley McLain

Beautiful patterns
frosty ice crystals displayed
authentic beauty

 


Chapter 131
Greatest Athlete

By Shirley McLain

Rarely is anyone seen that is a noted athlete in any sport that’s tried. Such was the person of James Francis Thorpe, who’s known by Jim Thorpe.
Jim Thorpe was a Sac and Fox Indian (Wa-Tho-Huk) who’s Indian name translated to “Bright Path.” He was born near Prague, Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. Jim never had a birth certificate, but he was baptized in the Catholic Church, setting his birthdate to May 22, 1887.
His parents were mixed blood. His father was Sac and Fox and Irish, and his mother was Potawatomi and French. They named Jim according to the Sac and Fox tradition. He received his name from the lightening which was happening at the time of his birth. When the lightning flashed, it lit up the path to the house. Now you know the naming tradition.

Jim attended a Sac and Fox Agency school in Stroud, Oklahoma, with his twin brother, Charlie.  Jim was devastated when his brother died at the age of nine due to pneumonia.

After the death of his brother, Jim, ran away from the school several times. Finally, his father sent him to a school in Lawrence, Kansas, to keep him from running away. It worked wonders until his mother passed away from childbirth complications, and he returned home. He didn’t stay long because he and his father argued a lot. Jim left and went to work on a horse ranch.

In 1904 he was sixteen, and he returned home to his father. He then decided to attend Carlisle Indian Industrial school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His athletic ability was first noted at Carlisle. He was coached by the legendary coach Pop Warner before Pop joined the early football league.
Later that same year, Jim became an orphan. His father, Hiram, died from gangrene poisoning after being hurt in a hunting accident. Jim returned home, dropped out of school, and farmed for a few years. He returned to Carlisle Indian School to finish his education.

When Jim returned to Carlisle, he jumped hurdles with his street clothes on against the track and field team. He beat all the jumpers with an impromptu 5-ft 9-in jump. That jump was the first recorded track and field event for Jim. He also competed in football, baseball, Lacrosse, and ballroom dancing, actually winning a dance championship in 1912.

Playing football Jim ran circles around the other players. Pop Warner was greatly impressed. Jim’s athletic career began when he led his team in an upset over Harvard. Jim played no particular position but played running back, defensive back, placekicker, and punter. In the Harvard game, he kicked the team’s four field goals.

Dwight D. Eisenhower played against Jim that same season he was noticed. In a 1961 speech, he made this statement. “My memory goes back to Jim Thorpe. He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw.”
Football was Jim’s favorite sport. He did not compete in track and field in 1910 or 1911. In 1912 he began TRAINING FOR THE Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. The pentathlon and the decathlon were both new to the Olympics. The 1912 version consisted of the long jump, javelin throw, 200-meter dash, discus throw, and 1500-meter run. Both of these events were appropriate for Jim. He was so versatile that he served as Carlisle’s one-man team in several track meets. He could run the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds, the 220 in 21.8 seconds, and the 440 in 51.87 and the 880 in 1:5 and the mile in 4:35. He completed the 120 yard high hurdles in 15 seconds and the 220 yard low hurdles in 24 seconds. He could long jump 23 feet 6 inches and high jump 6 feet 5 inches. He pole vaulted 11 feet and threw the shot-put 47 feet 9 inches. The javelin was thrown 163 feet and the discus 136 feet.
Jim won eight of the 15 individual events comprising the pentathlon decathlon. He stood on the podium receiving his two gold medals as well as two challenge prizes from King Gustav and Czar Nicholas II of Russia. King Gustav said, “You sure, are the greatest athlete in the world.”
Jim replied, “Thanks, King.”

After he won his gold medals in 1912, he won an All-around Championship of the Amateur Athletic Union. In 1913 Jim signed with the New York Giants. He played six seasons in Major League Baseball, and between 1913-1916 he joined the Canton Bulldogs American football team in which he helped win three professional championships.  Jim later played for six teams in the National Football League.  He also played with several all-American Indian teams throughout his career. He also played professional basketball with an American Indian team.

Jim Thorpe was also the first president of the American Professional Football Association, which became the NFL in 1922. He played professional sports until the age of 41 at the beginning of the Depression.

Jim struggled greatly after his retirement, as did everyone at that time. He suffered from alcoholism and lived his last years in poverty and poor health.
Jim had many accolades come his way. He was named the greatest athlete in the first 50 years of the 20th century, and he was part of the inaugural class for the Football Hall of Fame in 1963. He had a town in Pennsylvania named in his honor and a monument, which is also his burial site.
His life before he retired wasn’t all “gravy.” After his win of the Gold medals, they were taken from him because he received $2.00 for playing baseball in Rocky Mount, NC. He tried to make his case by telling the committee that the majority of the other athletes play for money, but they do it under an assumed name. Jim told them he didn’t know about the rule the committee had put into place. They were being extremely strict and stripped everything away from him.

Jim married three times and had eight children. After Jim died, his wife made a deal with Pennsylvania and stole his body out of Oklahoma. She had him buried in the town that named after him for the money. His children tried to get his body moved back to tribal land, but the courts would not approve it. When the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, it ended. So the Oklahoma Native American man remains in Pennsylvania.
 
 
 


Chapter 132
Escape

By Shirley McLain

Reading will transform
a world of reality to a world
filled with fantasy and
love, mystery, and excitement
my escape is planned


Chapter 133
The Wall

By Shirley McLain

The wonders of winter snow. A deep, white, powder if I am lucky. I look out my window and I know I am going skiing.
The air is cold and crisp as I glide over the snow as if floating. My ears hear a rumble. Looking behind I can see a wall of snow, a boulder fifty feet away. I crouch behind the rock and there is no sky, just white. Thank God, I survived.


 


Chapter 134
Wild Ride

By Shirley McLain

Fantasy world astounds
Up down and all around
Feeling the thrill down to the toes
Enjoyment personified
Only I never got to go
To Disneyland

 


Chapter 135
Ties that Bind

By Shirley McLain

Granddaughters are extensions of
mothers and Grandmothers
Carrying on the legacy of the family
The ties that bind never disappear


Chapter 136
The Schnoz

By Shirley McLain

Horrid ugly nose
An abhorrent long fat schnoz
Always the sidelines


Chapter 137
Mangata

By Shirley McLain

The full golden moon ripples
shimmering brightly on the dark sea
reflected light created

Author Notes Mangata is the reflection of the moon on water.


Chapter 138
City Work

By Shirley McLain

John pushed through the crowd as he heard the train approaching. Natalie has to be here today. She promised she’d come home.
Rainy Days and Monday’s ring tone began playing. “Hello,” John said.

“Hi John, don’t be mad. I know I promised I’d be home, but I can’t leave now.” Natalie said in a winy voice.

“I’m beginning to think you have someone else,” John replied.

“That’s ridiculous, I’m here working. You stay home drafting the Great American Novel. You can’t berate me for having to work away from home. I can’t continue this way,” sniffled Natalie.

“Now, don’t be hasty, honey. I’m missing you like crazy and I want you home. Please forgive me?” begged John.

“Baby, I accept your apology. I’ve got to go.  I Love you. Good night.” Natalie said.

Natalie sighed as she rolled to her side, Georgette honey, would you get me a cool drink?

 

Author Notes 150 words


Chapter 139
Do You Remember?

By Shirley McLain

virus of my past
head to foot crusted red sores
itching misery

Author Notes It has been over sixty years since I had Chicken Pox. I still remember vividly how sick I was. I was covered from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet (literally). My sister had one lousy spot between her eyes. Life is not fair.


Chapter 140
The Shattered Door

By Shirley McLain

Damn, I’m glad to be home. Those so-called recreational business meetings are crap. It’s just another way to get a good tax deduction.
Bethany kicked off her shoes, leaned back on the pillows, which looked out over the landing. She closed her eyes, but her brain reacted to a sound. What was that?

Scanning the living room, she didn’t see anything. She let out her breath and began relaxing. Something moved on the landing.
Bethany walked to the glass door leading to the landing. Gazing out, she thought she again saw movement.
Am I going crazy? There’s nothing out there, but it’s like something that’s trying hard to get here. Oh, I am losing my mind. That made no sense.

The glass door shattered into a million pieces. Bethany turned, causing the glass to hit her back. Whipping around to see what happened, she froze in place. Her ears heard glass crunching underfoot, but her eyes saw nothing. She could feel hot, sticky breath on her neck. Who are you? What do you want? Please answer me. All she heard was heavy breathing. Bethany’s brain registered  “you!” as the darkness grew, and her knees buckled.
 

Author Notes 196 Words


Chapter 141
Acrostic

By Shirley McLain

Acrostics are a challenge
Causing derangement at times
Remembering fulminating lines
Organizing to best advantage
Stifling a scream occasionally
Total absorption in the process
Indicating a passion for words
Culmination of thoughts


Chapter 142
Dirt Devil

By Shirley McLain

Tantamount
to Whirling Dervish
spinning out


Chapter 143
Call Me Your Highness

By Shirley McLain

I am royal
Scottish King a direct ancestor
Robert the Bruce

 


Chapter 144
My Disappointment

By Shirley McLain

I died in one world and found myself in another. I knew my destination. I had God’s promise through his Son, Jesus, who died for my sins and after three days rose to be by his father’s side.

The light was bright and welcoming. I’ve always heard about a dark tunnel, but my experience wasn’t like that.  
I walked a path next to a shallow river. It made the loveliest sound running over rocks. I could see the fish slowly swimming down the river while otters played on a mudslide.

The trees growing along the riverbank reminded me of Aspen trees in Wyoming, with their quaking leaves. Gold leaves crowned each tree, and as they moved, they created the most calming, beautiful sound I’d ever heard. The leaves were soft and velvety to touch. You’d think from the sound they were metal. That was not the case. When I felt the leaves, they stopped their music and shook violently. Then began their lovely music again.

Wildflowers of every shape and color were growing in the meadow. The colors sparkled bright and cheerful. Some are colors I’ve never seen before. They sang beautiful worship songs to the creator. To my ears, the flowers coordinated their singing to the tree’s music.

The comforting light urged me forward. My mind ran wild with all I witnessed, but it wasn’t full of questions. I had acceptance; I was finally home.
Bluebirds chirped their beautiful tunes as they flew from branch to branch. Squirrels chatted with each other as they ran up and down the tree trunks.
The closer I got to the light, the more I realized the light came from a beam projected upward to the iridescent sky behind a tremendous wall that glimmered as the mother of pearl from oyster shell.

People began to gather outside the massive thick gates made of gold. Joyous singing and praises came out of each mouth as we entered the gates.
We walked the city toward a hill with a gigantic building sitting on top. I could still see the light coming from the roof.

I made it inside the building. From the back, I saw three thrones. The throne in the center was humongous. All I could see were legs. A man sat on the right side, and a woman sat on the left of God.

I saw the man from the throne on the right stand. The next thing I knew, he was in front of me. I fall to my hands and knees. “My Lord and Savior, I am here to praise you and the father.”

“Sister,” Jesus said, “You’re loved beyond measure.”

“Thank you, Lord,” I said

He reached down and helped me stand. Holding my hands, he said, “You can’t stay. You must go back now.”

I heard myself scream, “No, please, Lord, I want to stay.” The next thing I knew, I WAS IN A HOSPITAL BED. My mind calmed, and a voice whispered,
“Your work is not done.”
 

Author Notes 499 words


Chapter 145
Heart Remembers

By Shirley McLain

The aged
heart remembers
feeling


Chapter 146
Auras

By Shirley McLain

Anger darkens while love lightens auras


Chapter 147
Muddled

By Shirley McLain

Beauty subjective
blue eye color objective
muddled brain normal


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