Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Driving With the Brakes On by William A. Murphy


Murphy's Law shows Driving with the Brakes on to be Risky Business
PO Box 1223, Conifer, CO 80433

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Return to the Soul of Your Child


I've read a lot of books, but not like this one!
PO Box 1223, Conifer, CO 80433

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Congratulations to the following writer's for their winning stories in the flash fiction contest held February 28, 2014.  Thank you to all the participants for their great stories. We had a difficult time deciding. 







The winners have been sent their gifts. We will be having more contests in the future.

Thank you again,

Linda Barnett-Johnson and Patricia Crandall
Editor/Virtual Assistant       Author



     He’s part of a gathering of ancient warriors, veterans of similar wars. He continues to

 come to the coffee shop at the same time every Wednesday. He never misses. He’ll come

 of course… until he can’t.

     Old Bill, as he’s affectionately called, was born in 1916. He is a man of diminished

 stature, the curve of his back confirming his age and infirmities. His fingers, like

parakeet’s feet, clutch the arms of an aluminum walker behind which he shuffles with

 baby steps. Clean shaven, he dresses in a beige zip-up jacket, smartly creased gray

 trousers and laced white tennis shoes. He’s the picture of conservatism, except

 for the bright red felt Fedora hat he wears, his trademark flag of attitude. Faded

 cataract-blue eyes behind light tortoiseshell-framed glasses search a clear path forward

 as he maneuvers the walker between the tables and chairs at the coffee shop. His face is

 etched with wrinkles, from too many smiles perhaps.

     Old Bill, invisible to the young who bear him no consequence, may be indistinct but

if one looks closely and listens carefully as he reveals his past, a miraculous

transformation occurs. He joins the group, settles himself in the hard- backed plastic chair

and converses with others who understand where he placed in history. The man of his

 youth emerges, animated and alive behind the fa├žade of old age. I may write about his

 tales but the true prize has been his friendship.


     Having mentioned my upcoming trip to England, he reached out, clutched my arm and

 turned to me requesting a small favor. I was to go to the place in his memories, stand on

 the shore where he once stood and look out to sea beyond the dunes, just as he had done

 so many years before.

     He’d been in England on D- day listening to the deafening roar of planes. The hot

 smell of acrid engine oil permeated the air as he watched the bombers take off and

 darken the sky on a mission to free our countries from oppression. I am here only

 because he… was there. I did as he asked.

      The beaches, unchanged by time, looked exactly as he’d described.  Nearby, the

old aerodrome, now a university, stood testament to his accounts. I plucked two stones

 from the sand, flint that was rough and grey on the outside, smooth, shining and glass-

like on the interior… unpolished gems- just like Old Bill. I pocketed them and added a


     Upon my return I handed him the treasures. He clutched them to his heart. The old

 man’s eyes welled up with tears of sad remembrance while the young man inside him

 rejoiced in holding a small piece of  a place he loved.

     Old Bill has been married to his high school sweetheart for sixty-eight years and the

 transformation of youth reappears when he speaks of his love for her. She doesn’t know

 about me…she doesn’t know about anything or anyone, not even Old Bill.

      I’ll continue to be there on Wednesdays, just as I have for years, but know the day

 will come when I sit at the table… see his empty chair, his coffee getting cold and I’ll

 know why he isn’t there.


The Last Big Wave
Mary Deal

“It’s metastasized into your lungs,” the doctor said. “No more surfing for you, Ms. Queen of the Waves. Not in your weakened condition.” He thought if I fell I wouldn’t be able to save myself from drowning. He’s elderly, fatherly. I felt regret and wondered why my life couldn’t last as long as his.

Chemo and radiation were a last resort. The x-rays showed more spreading disease than healthy tissue. I decided to stop the treatments.

My best friend sat in the waiting room. Though we’ve never been lovers, Ben has been my long-time companion. When I told him about my advanced condition, he lost his composure.

Ben lost his twin sister when a drunk driver hit her on her bike. I resembled his sister and didn’t wish to replace her but Ben’s friendship was pure. I’d settle for nothing less, but didn’t want marriage. Ben understood. He helped restore my confidence and self-esteem after my abusive relationship. We share a bond, but once I’m gone, Ben will have lost another person he loves.

A friend asked if I was scared. I hadn’t been. Being nearly two miles off shore surfing the big rollers among the marauding sharks is life-threatening. That never scared me, but lately being courageous feels scripted at times.

As Ben drives quietly, a sense of doom rolls through my mind. With cancer consuming my flesh, my emotions and stability, a great urge to scream gets stuck in my throat. I begin to shake. I pull down the sun visor, flick open the mirror, and pretended to fix my hair. My small talk is a dead give-away.

We arrive at our favorite beach on Kauai’s North Shore. He and I live to surf. It’s as if the sea is our life’s blood. We’re the last to leave the water.

We walk across the beach at Hanalei Bay. The sand has cooled by this late hour. The tall beach break barrels keep coming, their frothy caps inviting. We hope to catch the last big wave of the day. Ben helps me fasten the straps of my vest, a life preserver to save a life that can’t be saved.

Wading into the warm tropical water, Ben stays beside me, where he’s been, like a guardian angel. The ocean’s roar fills my ears with the sound of a never-ending rhythm as the tide rolls in, ebbs, and then returns anew. Strong trade winds kick up. A storm at sea may be pushing our way. As we mount our surfboards, Ben smiles and motions with a nod toward a monster swell approaching. It glistens as the fading sun spreads a trough of light across the water toward us, signaling the day’s end is near. We need to get behind the swell and ride in on the surge before the storm catches us. Lying flat, we paddle out toward the early setting sun.


The Child by Glory Watts

Helena sits by the window, her thin fingers pluck at the folds of her grey skirt.  Her restless blue eyes search the field beyond the garden – a child?    Resentment flares, hot bile fills her mouth and her hands clench tight, the fine skin stretched taut across pale white knuckles. The child shouldn’t be there, not in her field.  She wants . . . needs a clear view across the field to the small red-bricked village where the tall spire of the old church rises high into the summer sky.  She cannot see the churchyard but knows it’s there.  Maybe she will visit it today, yes maybe today.
‘Do try to take a walk today darling. Just a short walk will be good for you.’  Jim’s voice, heavy with his own sadness, crosses the room. 'Please darling, I’m worried about you. You must try to get out. Why not walk into the village; I’m sure Mrs Foster at the vicarage would be pleased to see you.  Helena, are you listening? We can’t go on like this.’
She doesn’t answer but hears his sigh as he leaves the room.  Later, when he leaves the house guilt trembles on the waves of relief that sweep through her; his closeness troubles her, his tender kindnesses irritate.  His concern hangs always suspended between them, cloying, suffocating, and forcing her ever deeper into melancholy. He cannot see that to let go, to surface from her icy world would be betrayal. 
By mid-afternoon the sun is high, the air still.  Helena still sits, stiff-boned and drowsy from the warmth of the sun. Her eyes move to the child sitting with her skirt spread, her head down. What is the child doing?

Helen leaves the house. She crosses the garden, and through the bower with its white roses, the fragrance fills her head. She moves through
the small white wicker gate into the green field, and walks towards the child. The untamed grass is soft beneath her feet; it throws up a sweet delicate scent as she flattens its abundance of wildflowers. The child, dark-haired with apple-red cheeks, sits with downcast eyes – dimpled hands pluck green stems from the spread of multi-coloured flowers that stretch across the field.
The sudden low sound of a childish laugh brings tears to Helena’s eyes. Tenderness she has kept hidden deep within seeps into her mind. She feels an easing of that bitterness secreted for so long.  Her pain, let loose, flows freely, mingles with the tears that course her thin face.

Helena draws closer to the child and looks into the slender heart-shaped face. The child’s eyes are dark, deep pools flecked with hazel. They stare back into the pale blue of Helena’s own.      
‘Why are you crying?’  The lilting, childish voice breaks the silence.
Words come unbidden from somewhere deep inside Helena.   ‘Today I’m feeling very sad.’
‘Why are you sad?’ 
‘I had a little girl, just like you but she went away. That makes me sad.’
‘What was her name?’
‘Ellie.  Her name was Ellie and she was eight years old. She had long fair hair like yours but she had blue eyes.'
The words echo in her ears, why has she hidden them for so long?
 ‘I know her.’ said the child smiling, keeping her eyes locked with Helena’s.
Helena shakes her head.  ‘No … no you couldn’t have known her.’
Her eyes trace the child’s face.  She isn’t a village child. What is she doing in this field alone? 
‘Where do you live?’ 
‘Over there.’  The small hand points to a belt of trees far across the adjoining fields.
‘How did you get here? Did you walk all that way?’
The child starts to hum softly.

'Why are you here in this field?’
An elusive look flashes in the dark eyes, ‘I came to pick flowers.’ 
Helena stares at the mixture of wild flowers in the child’s hand.  As she focuses, the field, the child, everything but the simple bouquet fades into quiet shadow. She sees only the flowers, their fragrance drifting to fill her head and drench her being with calmness.  Her mind etches the picture so clearly; the one she’d been frightened to look at. She could look now, see herself and Ellie midst the sea of wildflowers, laughing as they picked and chained the fragile buds.  Helena turns to the smiling child and holds out her hand.
‘For me?’
‘Yes,’ says the child as she hands the bouquet to Helena. ‘For you.’

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lilly Noble & Actual Magic by Deborah McTiernan

Move over Harry Potter - Lilly Noble is in the Room!
PO Box 1223, Conifer, CO 80433

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

FAT BOY AND THE MONEY BOMB by William C. Sailor (book)

I cannot believe what this guy did and what they did to him!

I cannot believe what this guy did and what they did to him!
PO Box 1223, Conifer, CO 80433

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

A YA Mystery Set in the Superstition Mountains near the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine...


A YA Mystery Set in the Superstition Mountains near the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine...
PO Box 1223, Conifer, CO 80433

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