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Taking A Break

I am finding that my creative brain has gone on vacation, so I've decided to take a summer break from writing stories and such unless the urge strikes me.  I've been spending less time on the computer and more time with other things I enjoy, which is good. :-)

I will still be hosting Ten Things of Thankful each weekend, and I'd love to see you join us there! I also do a weekly post on my other blog, if you need the address for that one email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com.  I will also be around a bit to check in and see what you're doing on your blog. As of late I've not kept up with that very well, which I feel kind of bad about, but I also feel like less computer time is a healthier choice for me.  I'll be popping in and out, and I am always just an email away. :-)

Runaway Girl - Part II


(Click here to read Part I)

No turning back now, Willa thought a few hours later, as the car she was riding in crossed into the neighboring state and travelled on in the darkness of night. Sitting in the back seat, wrapped in the comforting arms of the friend she had met just weeks ago, she said a silent goodbye to the life she had known, feeling that she had scored a victory but the prize was bittersweet. She wasn't sure what laid ahead, but Willa knew that she would be with people who believed in what she had come to embrace that Summer, a new religion, a way of looking at life that mirrored her own beliefs.

It wasn't just about escaping home, Willa had a purpose in going too, she was needed; the lady who had been instrumental in her conversion had been in a bad car accident and was dealing with shattered bones. With her husband working two jobs to support them and four young children at home, they needed help desperately, and Willa knew she could do that; she could take care of the children and the house and tend to her friend's physical needs as well.

When they arrived at the big city hospital parking lot the next day, the friends Willa had been travelling with went through their belongings and gave her what they could spare so she would at least have a change of clothes, then they said their goodbyes and were on their way, and before long Willa was headed to what would be her new home.

 (To be continued)
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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "score" 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!

Runaway Girl - Part I (Intro)


Looking back, Willa could see that she'd spent most of her life running away... from people, from places, from situations, and from herself; flight was as instinctive to her as breathing. When faced with fear the choices are fight or flight, and Willa chose flight because she didn't see herself as powerful enough to win any battles, though God knows she had tried.

The first time Willa ran away she was eighteen years old, though she'd been fantasizing about leaving for a long time. She had to get away, far away from the anger, the control and the unending condemnation; she had to find a place to stay where she could follow her own heart.

At long last the opportunity presented itself, and all Willa had to do was accept the offer... go out for a walk one summer evening, hop into the car when they came for her, and skip town; vanish before anyone knew that she was gone.

Willa didn't realize it then, but that decision would change the course of her entire life.

(To be continued)
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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "skip" 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!

Just Peachy Keen


Growing up, Suzanna was embarrassed by her mother's use of down-home expressions in front of her friends, things like "peachy keen", "fixin' to", "hissy fit", and "drier than a popcorn fart"; it was okay if they were home alone, but she thought her mother was way too much of a country hick to impress her popular friends.

"Please, Mom" she would beg, "don't say anything dumb when my friends are around, their mom's don't talk like that." 

Suzanna's mother would just smile and respond, "Suzanna, I was raised a country girl, and that's just who I am; friends you have to change your ways for aren't much worth having."

Years later Suzanna found herself missing her mom who had recently died, and even those silly old-fashioned expressions that were so much a part of her; stopping at a roadside stand to buy some fresh peaches one summer afternoon, Suzanna felt sad about all the times she'd criticized her.

Suddenly a peach tumbled from atop a basket and landed at her feet; bending over to pick it up she could almost feel her mother smiling.

 "That was peachy keen, Mom" she said, laughing through her tears.

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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "peach"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!

Time Passing


Well, well, well, would have thought that the girl who couldn't wait to see her tiny town in the rear view mirror would one day find herself growing nostalgic about those years of her life?  She had always said that she would never return for a class reunion, noting that she "didn't like them then and had no desire to see them now"; and yet she finds herself forty-five years later setting up a class Facebook page and talking to people she barely spoke with back then... or was it that they barely spoke to her?

Admittedly, she was a stand-out in her class of 100, the largest class her rural Midwest school would ever have; she kept to herself mostly, dressed a little differently, and tended to promote what was then considered to be radical thinking but would be mild by today's standards. She even threatened to blow the place up a time or two, not seriously but wishfully; that would have landed her in deep trouble in today's atmosphere of violence in schools.

This weekend many of her classmates will be returning home for the 45th class reunion; she is surprised to find herself wishing that she would have made plans to join them, and even more surprised at the number of people who wished she was going to be there.

Now there's talk of meeting up at the 50th; though we all started in the same place, life has taken us many directions and most of us have mellowed considerably, and we find that the shared memories have grown sweeter with time passing.

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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "well"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!
 

The Missing Link

 

Carlo Pacelli was the father of two sons, Carlo Jr. and Angelo; he was extremely proud of Carlo Jr., who had graduated from college with honors and was pursuing a legal career, and very disappointed with Angelo who had several minor run-ins with the law, dropped out of college, and travelled about the country bumming off friends and relatives with no real plan for his future.

After a particularly ugly scene in which Carlo accused Angelo of stealing money from his aged grandmother, Angelo had stormed out of the house shouting that he would never return as long as his father was alive, leaving his mother heartbroken.

Not long after that Carlo was dressing for a formal dinner and was stunned to find that one of his favorite monogrammed cufflinks was missing; he was unsure whether his wayward son or the household help was to blame for the theft, but assumed the intent was to pawn it for its 18K gold value since only one was taken.

True to his word, Angelo ceased all contact with his family; his father spent years and large sums of money hiring private investigators to try to find him to no avail, and when Carlo died only one son was present at his funeral.

A year later Carlo's wife became gravely ill, and Carlo Jr. placed ads online and in many newspapers begging anyone who know of Angelo's whereabouts to tell him to come home, that his mother desperately wanted to see him.

Not long after, Carlo Jr. answered the door one evening to find what appeared to be a homeless man asking to speak with him; Carlo Jr. attempted to turn him away and threatened to call the police until the weathered man in ragged clothing stretched out his hand and handed him a single monogrammed cufflink.

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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "link"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!
 

Supplication


Lord, lift us up from the muck and mire where we find ourselves dwelling so often these days. Remind us not to stoop to the level of those who promote mockery, hatred and destruction. Grant us the wisdom to choose our words and our actions wisely. Help us to seek ways to build up rather than tear down, to promote good rather than focus on evil. Clear our minds and refresh our spirits when we feel lost and defeated, and remind us that hope is eternal. Guide us to a higher place where we live in harmony with each other and with all living things.
 
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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "lift"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!
 

In Charge



"Where's the manager, who's in charge here?" bellowed the large man dressed in a business suit that occupied the same table every morning at the Manny's Coffee Shop. 

Everyone stopped in their tracks and stared as the young man waiting on him grew pale and was visibly shaking; he tried so hard to satisfy his customers, but apparently had done something to displease the man he knew to be the president of the city bank.

The manager scurried over to the table to quell the disturbance while the other staff shot glances at each other and waited to see what would happen. "How can I help you Mr. Jameson, is there a problem with our food or service?" he asked.

In a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, Mr. Jameson said "Sir, I come here every morning for breakfast and most of the staff who wait on me are inefficient, unconcerned and sometimes downright rude, and show no pride in their appearance; but I've been watching this young man, and every time he waits on me he is courteous and respectful, dressed sharp, pays attention to detail, and makes sure to get my order in and out quickly no matter how busy he is. This is the kind of person I want working at my bank, so I'm informing you that today is his last day here, I'm making him my new assistant!"
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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "charge"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!
 

Master of Disguise


She was a master of disguise and the mistress of malevolence; yet outwardly she appeared to be the nicest friend anyone could ask for, kind and caring, and above reproach.

There was another side to her, very dark and discovered only by the few who got close enough to really know her. Out of view of the public eye her kindness would turn to relentless criticism and emotional manipulation, leaving those who tried to befriend her off-balance and confused.

Woe to anyone who dared to call her out on such behavior; she would feign shock at their accusations, then switch from denial to attack mode in a heartbeat and systematic character assassination would ensue.

Acquaintances who thought they knew her would sympathize with the pain purportedly caused her by such a "hateful, heartless" person, never suspecting who the perpetrator really was.

But life has a way of has a way of coming back around full circle, and one day she found herself abandoned by everyone, alone in the bitter company of her own smug self-righteousness.

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 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "master"
 
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!
 

One Choice


Fresh out of school and flushed with the excitement of receiving the first paycheck from his new job, Jack headed out to local bar for a Friday night celebration with his coworkers. He had too much to drink but chose to drive home anyway, colliding with another car and killing the driver.

Jack spent the next six years of his young life in the state prison with plenty of time to think about how one very bad choice not only altered the course of his own life, but ended another... that of a man who was someone's son, someone's husband, and someone's father.

Finished with his prison sentence, Jack has been released and is slowly rebuilding his future; he's about to become a father... with the rest of his life to think about the child who lost his own. One choice made all the difference.*

*This is a true story, details have been changed to protect his privacy.

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This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word fresh.
  
Come and read more stories and share one of yours!