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


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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The Truth She Never Knew


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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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


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


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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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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The Demon in the Mask

Venetian mask

Venetian mask

When you touch me my heart melts
(And anything you did wrong I forgive) Yeah, yeah. So you play me and take advantage
Of the love that I feel for you

Why you wanna hurt me so bad
I believed in you that’s why I’m so mad. Now I’m drowning in disappointment. And it’s hard for me to even look at you

-Recorded by Heather Headly
“I wish I Wasn’t (Radio Edit)”
Songwriters: James Wright, Terry Lewis, and James Harris Iii

Four strong, brutal men held Andre motionless in the tiny cell of the North Tower as the unholy Priest locked the iron mask over his face. He didn’t resist, though in fact, it would have been impossible for him to do so. He had failed and this was the consequence and his penitence. If she would have just killed him as she had so many others, at least his soul would have known peace. To be kept alive like this though was worse than an eternity in Hell.

Only after Andre’s handsome and nobel visage was encased in the cold metal did she finally appear. With a nod, the four armed thugs accompanied the Priest out of the cell. Katia took the key to the mask from the Priest and in return presented him with the only key to the door of the tower’s solitary cell. The eldritch clergyman ceremoniously locked it and then returned that key to the Princess as well.

Once the door was secure, she spoke solemnly to the men, “Leave us.”

They obeyed immediately and without a word. Everyone did, everyone except Andre.

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