Life One Letter at a Time

a is for airplane

© James Pyles

Timmy’s airplane was an hour late arriving in Omaha which just added to Glenn’s sense of missing his boy. Fortunately, the stewardess made sure he got off first. When he saw him, little Timmy let go of her hand and ran to his Dad.

“Dad! Dad!” He flew into Glenn’s arms.

“You sure have grown, Timmy.” They hugged and he lifted the child off the floor. “How old are you now, 22, 23?”

“Don’t be silly, Daddy. I’m only nine.”

The man put his son back down and shook hands with the attractive, brunette stewardess who had been in charge of his son during the long flight from Los Angeles.

“Thank you so much for taking care of him on the plane, Miss…” he looked at her name tag, “…Stewart.”

“It was my pleasure, Mr. Evans. He’s a really sweet boy.”

“Ah, Janice.” Timmy rolled his eyes at being called “sweet.”

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Thy Kingdom Come on Earth

thunderstorm

Our Father who art in Zion
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom come on earth
Thine will be done on earth
Hallowed be Thy name

From “Our Father in Zion”
Performed by Buju Banton
Songwriters: Donovan Germain / Mark Anthony Myrie (1997)

Brian Phelps stood on his back patio and looked out over the fence at the elementary school. It was a Friday and the kids were all tearing around the playground during recess. Being self-employed meant he didn’t have to punch a clock or commute to work beyond taking a fresh cup of coffee from the kitchen into his office and then sitting down at his computer and working on the next chapter of his novel.

Today, he didn’t feel like writing. Well, that was a lie. He always felt like writing, but he didn’t know how to write this one. A few days ago, yet another shooting happened at a public school. Seventeen people died, most of them students. Brian looked at the children happily playing on the school grounds. “It could just as easily have been you.”

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Tell Them Daddy’s Gone To Bed

howlin wolf

Promotional image for the track “Moanin’ At Midnight” by “Howlin’ Wolf” (Chester Arthur Burnett)

“Yes sir, this is the Parks residence. No sir, he can’t come to the phone right now.”

“Betty, who are you talking to on the telephone?” Lillie Parks was home alone with her two little daughters and especially when her husband Arthur was out, he was very protective of the children.

“Says it’s the police, Mama.”

“Let me have the phone, Baby.”

Eight-year-old Betty handed the black, plastic receiver to her Mama.

“This is Mrs. Lillie Parks. May I help you?”

“Yes, Ma’am. This is Officer Bill Tucker. Is Arthur Parks your husband?”

Lillie gripped the phone tighter and she began to tremble. No, if he were dead, the police would have come to the door, not called. “Yes he is, Officer.” She tried to be as polite as she could, not only because that was part of her natural tendency but because of how the police treated “uppity” Negros.

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The Truth She Never Knew

N’Nonmiton

Photograph of N’Nonmiton warriors also called Dahomey Amazons found at Messy Nessy Chic website – Photo credit unknown

“Of course I broke your taboos. You sent my Mommy and Daddy away into the Eye. Why didn’t you let me go with them? Why did you let me live?”

“Dear Alice, of course we didn’t banish them through the Eye. We couldn’t. It was your Father. He deciphered the ancient Runes. They escaped us through the Eye thinking we were going to kill them. We only meant to scare them from our Land. Your Mother lost her grip on you before she could pull you in after your Father. Then the Eye closed and they were gone. Only you remained.”

Alice Ruth Killingray fought back tears of grief and rage with trembling as she stared into Okoyi’s eyes. She had been a mother to Alice since she was nine-years old after she had been abandoned for a second time because the Wanawake, the mysterious tribe of women warriors, had once again defended the sacred national treasure they called the Eye.

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Lucy Died on a Tuesday

train

The Sunset Limited eastbound in 2004 – Found at Wikipedia

Train roll on, on down the line,
Won’t you please take me far away?
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door,
Means I’m, I’m leaving my woman at home.

from “Tuesday’s Gone”
Released by Lynyrd Skynyrd – 1973
Songwriters: Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins

Jonathan Harker had boarded the Amtrak train hours ago at the station on Folsom Street. He’d never been on a train in his life besides BART and the Napa Valley Wine Train but these were part of the instructions he’d been given. He’d have rather gotten on a plane. Jonny wanted to get out of the Bay Area as fast as he could. Watching the scenery roll by all too slowly would remind him of her and she was the one person in all the world he desperately wanted to forget, though of course he never would.

He had met Dolengen months ago at an after hours place called “Delirium.” His best friend Bobby had conned him into it. Bobby knew he’d just asked Lucy to marry him but his “wingman” thought he deserved one last night on the town. Bobby wanted to introduce him to two young women he’d just met, Verona and Dol.

It wasn’t long before Verona and Bobby disappeared and almost against his will, he found himself following the raven-haired Dol into a back room containing few other items of furniture besides a bed.

Dol wasn’t a prostitute but she did want something from Jonny, his sex and his blood. Dolengen looked like she couldn’t be older than twenty-five but she had died a century ago in Central Europe and been reborn a vampire.

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Deadly Comfort

Lorie Petty

Actress Lori Petty as the character “Noss” from the 1999 Star Trek: Voyager episode “Gravity.”

“What will my heart allow when loneliness holds me down.”

Andrea Norton was a survivor, the only survivor. Five years ago their interstellar ship Astraea came out of jumpspace during a class seven solar storm which blew out the ship’s electronics, or most of them. The heavily protected emergency systems held up for the most part, at least long enough for the computer to jettison the crew module toward Kepler 452b’s only habitable planet. The EM shield around the mod protected the twelve astronauts in hibernation long enough to enter the planet’s atmosphere.

Unfortunately the landing was a little rough.

Andrea was the only one to wake up. The surge protectors on the other eleven hibernation pods had been fried upon impact which meant their systems bypassed the required five-hour revival process and immediately exposed the suspended occupants to ship normal temperatures and atmosphere. They died within minutes.

Andrea woke up to the slow realization that she was the only one left alive. The module was mostly intact but the emergency batteries would only last a few weeks. It was long enough for her to partially restore the backup computer which let her assess the outside environment. It was livable, as the big wigs at NASA predicted, which was good because life support was going to fail along with the batteries.

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Killer on the Road

riders

From the YouTube video of the Doors’ performance of “Riders on the Storm.”

“I hate everybody’s guts,” he said as the Priest watched him being strapped in, “and everybody hates mine.”

“May God have mercy on your soul, Billy.”

“Even God hates me Father, so you can go screw yourself.”

Father James Buchanan looked over at the Warden who shook his head. Then he turned to the executioner whose name the Priest preferred not to know. They and the two prison guards filed out leaving William Edward “Billy” Cook Jr. alone to his fate.

Rafael Moody, the executioner, closed the hatch to San Quentin State Prison’s gas chamber.  Then he tightened the door handle making sure the seal was airtight. Father Buchanan took his place back in the gallery with the others. God had given him a mission inside these prison walls but certainly this was the most heart wrenching part of it.

Buchanan looked over at Warden Anthony Barnett who was staring impassively through the gas chamber’s windows at a still defiant Cook.

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The Madman Across the Water

U-234

Rare color photo taken by the U.S. Navy of the capture of the U-234 at the end of World War Two

Kapitänleutnant Johann-Heinrich Fehler commanding the U-234 had been convinced by Luftwaffe General Ulrich Kessler and the two high-ranking Japanese passengers that the radio message to all U-boats from Admiral Karl Dönitz ordering them to surrender to the Allies was a fake. Dönitz was supposedly now German Head of State following the death of Adolf Hitler and the Soviets were reported to have captured Berlin. The orders commanded all U-boats to surface, hoist a black flag, and to surrender to Allied forces.

Fehler was not terribly fond of the two Japanese, respectively a naval architect and an aircraft specialist, but Kessler’s loyalty to the Reich was without question. The General kept emphasizing how their mission to deliver Germany’s remaining cache of 1,200 pounds of uranium oxide to the Japanese occupied harbor at Konan in Korea was vital.

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Sex, Candy, and Murder

marcy playground

American alternative rock band “Marcy Playground”.

“Jemmy, who’s this bloody tart sitting in my chair?”

“That you, Danno?”

She was calling from the bedroom. Dan had come home high as usual. Having closed the door behind him after spending three minutes just getting the key in the lock, he was leaning back against it so he wouldn’t fall over.

“Yeah, Luv. I say though, who’s the bird sitting in my chair looking like she wants to cut off me neither bits?

“It’s a bloke.”

“Looks like a bird to me, giving off a sort of angry Grace Jones vibe. What, you bringing home transvestite hookers, now?”

Dan laughed frantically as if it were someone else who’d told the joke and he found it fantastically funny.

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Pretending

lake rotoroa

Lake Rotoroa, New Zealand – Found at The Venturing Angler

How many times must we tell the tale?
How many times must we fall?
Living in lost memory
You just recalled

from “Pretending” written by Jerry Lynn Williams
Performed by Eric Clapton

“Janice, please stop pretending. We both know you stopped loving me a long time ago. Every time I try to talk to you, you act annoyed, as if you can barely stand to be around me.”

“It’s not like that, Harry. It’s not you. It’s me.”

“That’s what they all say when you really mean when it’s me, Harry. You’re just playing games.”

Janice and Harry had been married for 35 years. They’d raised two kids together. Ben got married and divorced in less than a year and was now on this third tour of duty with the Marines in Afghanistan. Elizabeth married Raoul two years ago and was expecting. It would be their first grandchild, but then again, they weren’t going to get that far.

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