Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Any other day I would have sent him off to play soldier.

I published this on Skirt 2 years ago. I wanted to post it again.

September 12, 2001, I walked down my steps and opened the garage door to take out the garbage. The sun was going down and it would be dark soon I was going to make sure the big garage door was closed too. In our garage I found my 12-year-old middle son. He had on everything Army-ish. Camouflage pants and t-shirt, the only boots he owned, snow boots and an Army helmet from a Halloween costume. He also had his toy rifle and when I stepped into the garage, he appeared to be pretend loading it.
“What are you doing baby?”
This annoyed him, he rolled his eyes at me, I guess in my surprise at running into him down there I made a critical error in calling my little soldier, baby.
“Mom, I’m securing the perimeter of the house.”
Any other day this one little story of mine would have found itself in my humor blog. Any other day I would have sent him off to play soldier. Any other day I would have smiled at him instead of having tears well up in my eyes.
But this day I asked him to go upstairs and told him we need to talk. I had to find out what was going on in that 12-year-old head and try to ease his obvious concerns. And after all I couldn’t have him walking around the house with a toy gun in the dark, everyone was on red alert, someone would have called the police, I know I would have. We were all on edge, uncertain and scared.
I was able to send my baby back into the security of our home and thanked God for that. I had been praying just about non-stop since the day before, September 11, 2001, when Islamic extremist flew our airplanes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
This anniversary of terrorism is difficult for me, I have a hard time looking at the pictures, listening to the stories and seeing the videos. Maybe it’s because that day has become just that, an anniversary. To me, September 11, 2001 is unresolved and unfinished. The threat is still there. Mothers are sending their babies to war. Mothers are trying to explain Army isn’t a video game. And with each “anniversary” that goes by I ask myself what has to happen to change the uneasy feeling I get every September 11th?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July Blog Chain Prompt

 This month's prompt at the Absolute Write Blog Chain:
Dog Days of Summer

In other words, the hottest and most sultry part of summer. Etymology lesson here. As always, can be prose, poetry, play, fiction, nonfiction.

I used my main character from my novel and this prompt actually helped me get 'unstuck' in a particular area. Really, Really helped. 
Please be sure to check out my fellow bloggers contributions to this prompt below.


Even though he was alone Niles croaked out of his dry mouth,
“I’m either in Hell or walking towards it’s deep dark depths.”
He kept walking but had no idea where he was going, how he got there or why. The answers to these questions were in his head somewhere, he knew that, but accessing them proved to be futile. The intense heat he found himself in, bore into his head and any thought or memory that tried to surface was quickly turned to ash by a barrier of molten lava that swam around his brain.
The bottoms of his feet burned with every step, he looked down and realized he had no shoes. As he examined the rest of his body and saw he was wearing a white t-shirt and blue pajama bottoms drenched in his own sweat. These were not his clothes, he knew where they came from but that barrier kept all information he sought from surfacing, rendering him an idiot.
The temperature continued to rise and his heart beat wildly. Niles placed his hand on his chest for fear his heart would explode. He was panicking and the more fear he let seep into his bones the hotter the air became, so much so that breathing it in was painful. His tongue and the roof of his mouth became two pieces sandpaper rubbing together. He was certain he could no longer speak.
He looked at his arms and before his eyes bright red blotches appeared. They turned blood red until they began to bubble then break open oozing a clear liquid that evaporated as soon as it appeared.
He turned away. Was he in Hell or the surface of the sun? He was beyond thought and reason. Air could barely make it to his lungs. He was ready to burst into flames and melt in to the ground on he which stood,
Did someone call his name? Or was he imagining rescue?”
Again, from a different direction.
“Niles. Niles. Niles. Niles.”
Voices drew closer. He could feel himself leaving his burning body. He grabbed the sides of his head to keep it from popping off his shoulders. If he could just hold on until the voices reached him maybe he would be saved.
Ahead of him a figure started to form. At first it was a blob that wavered far beyond his reach. It quickly moved towards him, he noticed it had legs. The legs were running to him calling his name over and over. He turned to look back from were he came and he saw and heard the same. His stomach turned and twisted into a nervous knot. Some how he knew these two figures descending upon him represented good and evil and they were in a race to see who would embrace him first.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bugs, frogs, Benedryl and vodka

This month's prompt at Absolute Write Blog Chain:

Yep. Bugs. Simple and easy. Prose, poetry, play. Fiction, nonfiction. It's all good, all bugs. 

My contribution to this month's blog chain is stretched a little bit. The main character is a frog but I did mention bugs. There is a link in this post from last year that I read over and decided that my writing is getting rusty and that pisses me off. If anyone knows of any other online writing prompts please direct me.
Also please be sure to read my fellow bloggers posts for this bug prompt. Their links are below my post.

I firmly believe that God gives you what you can handle. And I can handle my three boys doing all of my yard work. Some people like to work around in the yard. But I, on the other hand, prefer not to have bugs flying around my head, sweat dripping down my face and frogs jumping out from under my fallen daffodils very closed to my gloved hand. I can’t understand what people see in this activity especially when the internet is up and running.

But I dragged myself outside with my necessary spring clean up tools to the side of the house. The side where I usually start every summer, the side that is all that ever gets done because I give up when something either bites me, crawls on me or in this case jumps out from its secret hiding place where it has been laying in wait for just me and only me. I believe it is a sign telling me to get back in the house and pour myself a cocktail while making a list of landscaping chores for my three able bodied offspring. The ones that I carried in my womb for nine months each and rounding it off about 12 hours of labor for each also.

This is when the sneezing factors in followed by the Benedryl that I have washed down with orange juice laced with vodka. By this time I really don’t care what my yard looks like because I have a pretty good buzz going on.

Once this frog made its move, I cried out in surprise, dropped my garden tools, snapped some pictures and ran in the house. The husband sat in his recliner watching a baseball game,

“Did you hear me yell?” I know he heard me.


“Just now. Did you hear me yell?”

“I don’t …….. the bases are loaded.”

“I was attacked by a cross species of toad and I don’t know what the hell. You have to come see this thing.”

“There are 2 outs ………”

“I’m not going to let this go until you tell me if this creature is poisonous.”

His head had never turned away from the TV. There was a long pause and then a string of baseball profanity and he directed his attention towards me,

“Do what now?”

Still with my bright yellow garden gloves on my hands I made a gesture with one finger and then placed them on my hips, took a deep breath and reiterated,

“Come outside with me and take care of a mutant toad that is trying to kill me.”

“A mutant toad?”
”I don’t know what the hell it is, I took a picture but I want you to see it in person.”

With his interest peeked, he finally followed me to the side of the house. Yep, ‘it’ was still there.

“It’s a frog.”

“That’s isn’t a frog. Maybe part frog. Maybe a frog and a toad had sex and this is what they produced. This doesn’t look like anything the boys use to bring home from the pond.”

“It’s a frog. Give me the shovel.”

“What are you going to do with the shovel? This is where the bunny met it’s demise I can’t have frog blood on my hands too.”

“I’m going to scoop it up and put it in the woods so you can get back to work.”

I began to laugh,

“I’ve been out here for 50 minutes already, I’m done for the rest of the summer. My eyes itch, my nose is running and I’m seriously freaked out. I need Benedryl and vodka. You need to get those boys of yours over here.”

“Yes dear.”

“I’m going to buy some potted plants and put them on the front steps the rest of the yard and wildlife is all yours.”

“Yes dear.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sue has another blog and she ignores it. But not today.

I jumped back into Absolute Writes blog chain after a short hiatus (laziness).
Be sure to check out the list of other writers and their contributions to the prompt. They are listed below.

This month's prompt:
Dialogue Only

Make a post that is only back-and-forth dialogue, with no description or tags. As always, it may be fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry, or any other form you care to use. If you want an additional prompt for your dialogue, you can use "Wrong Place, Right Time," but this is strictly optional.

Please let me know if you follow this post or get confused on who is speaking, I really want to know. It is an actual conversation between my son and me. 

Oh and Blogger sucks. It makes it's own paragraph spaces no matter what I do, sorry.

"It's a ten year old car, stuff breaks."

“But mom the rear view mirror is just hanging.”
"I think they sell a special glue just for rear-view mirrors, pretty sure, yeah they do, let me call your father."
”Yeah they do.”

“Do they have it at WalMart?”

“Let me call your father.”

”Yeah they do.”
”Then can we pick some up now since we’re going there anyway?”

“Sure put it on your ‘stuff to eat after getting my wisdom teeth surgically remove’ list.”

“This isn’t going to take long is it?”

“I sense your concern and I promise I won’t embarrass you.”

“It’s just that last time I went shopping with you ……”
”Hey. I got this.”

“You always feel the need to talk to strangers. You sent me mixed messages as a kid, you know.”

“Get out of the car and in the store before I take those teeth out myself.”

“Fine mom, let’s get the glue first.”
”Wait we just walked right past the shopping carts, we need one of those."
"Here's the glue aisle. Look at all of them. Which one?”
"I'm going to go ask that car guy over there if he knows about special rear-view mirror glue, you continue to look."
"Can I help you ma'am?"
"Yes, do you have special glue for rear-view mirrors that fall off the windshield?"
"Yes, let me show you. I saw some of that glue yesterday, I hope we're not out of it. You know it has a funny name, maybe that's why you can't find it."
"Yep, you'll laugh when you see it."
"Ah, we still have some, see here, isn't that a funny name? REAR-VIEW MIRROR ADHESIVE.”
"I can't believe we didn't see that."
"Either can I, hey I got a joke for you."
”You’re a funny guy, thanks for the help. We have to be going now.”

“What the heck? Is he the WalMart comedian?”

“Shhhh wait until we are out of his range. You know that wasn’t my fault right? I was trying to jump into his comedy routine without being rude.”

“I wish I could find a job where all I had to do was tell bad jokes all day.”
"I should tell you the joke Grama told your dad and me."
"Don’t worry, it's not that bad."
"Here's the Popsicles."

So there's this little girl and she has her dog on a leash ready to take it for a walk.’

"What kind do you want?"
"Grape? They don't sell just grape, they have grape with orange and cherry."
"I'll just eat the grape ones."

So this little girl, she asks her mom if she can take the dog for a walk and the mom says, no she's in heat.’

"What else do you want? You need cold stuff because your throat will hurt too, these will really help. Oh the red, white and blue bomb pops. I love those."
"I don't like those, I want fudgesicles."

So she says the dogs in heat you can't take her for a walk and the little girl pouts and insists on taking the dog for a walk.’

"Not those, they're fat free. You need all the calories you can get. No, those are sugar free."
"Just forget it. I don't need fudgesicles."
"Would you wait one minute, I know there are regular sugar filled fudgesicles here somewhere. Fine, just walk away, we have to get your dad's pop, go to the pop aisle."

So the mom says to the little girl, go ask your father. The little girl finds her father in the garage and says she wants to take the dog for a walk. She's in heat honey you can't take her for a walk. But he looks at her sad face and says wait a minute. He gets a rag, pours a little gasoline on it, rubs it on the dogs ass and says there, you take her around the block once, just once, okay?’

”Do you see why we need a shopping cart? I’m going to drop something. We should get Gatorade."
"I just want to go."
"Where is this coming from? We were just laughing with the car guy and now your popping an attitude."
"Can I just say something?"
"Jesus Christ, alright go ahead."
"Why do I have to suffer because people can't put their forks down? Everything is fat free or sugar free. I want a fudgesicle full of sugar."

“Are you done?”


Okay so the little girl takes her dog for the walk. She comes back to the garage alone. Uhh, honey, where's the dog? Oh daddy, she ran out of gas about half way around the block so another dog is pushing her home.’


The Others:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rest in Peace

I had the privilege of speaking at my mother-in-laws funeral service today. The following is what I wrote. I hope comfort comes to my family through this difficult time:

They say children are a reflection of their parents. If that is true then these first few rows of people here are one of the feistiest, hard headed, stubborn group you could ever run across.

I’m sure Mom Seese is standing at the pearly gates directing the souls that pass through to their assigned spot in heaven. Telling them the best way to get there and where they should park.

Our family is a lively bunch but along with learning the art of being heard, mom and dad Seese taught us the importance of family. We learned how to build a strong marriage and from that strength we built our own families. As we grew Mom Seese embraced each addition with love and pride.

You might feel an empty space in your heart today. So try to remember Thelma Seese had a smile that could light up a room. She had a strong shoulder to comfort anyone. She had patience to listen to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and her extended families. Fill that empty space you have in your heart with the memories of Thelma Seese’s smile, the joy she had for everyone who had the honor of knowing her.

Mom is with Dad Seese, her daughter Becky and the rest of her loved ones she has been waiting to reunite with. Be happy to know she is at peace. Fill your heart with love because that is what she would have wanted.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The End of the World

It's time for the December blog prompt at Absolute Write
This month's prompt:
The End (of the World)
Yes, since the predicted Mayapocalypse only fails to materialize once every 500 years or so we are piggybacking on it. Write what you will about the end of the world (those disinclined to eschatology can write about "the end" in a broader sense). Hopefully, after these ends of the world as we know it, we'll all feel fine.

Below my story there are more. Check out the links of my fellow blogging buddies from Absolute Write.


“Do you still hear that hummin’ in your head Dave?”
Dave nodded yes and the two men continued their morning chores in the barn. Dave and Jimmy were brothers and had taken over their daddy’s farm after he passed five years ago. They were hard working men struggling to keep the farm going to support their wives and children along with Maw and Old Uncle Ned. Jimmy spoke to his older brother again,
“You know Uncle Ned’s in the kitchen talkin’ about Nam. I think the metal plate in his head come loose again.”
Uncle Ned didn’t have a metal plate in his head, it was just the family’s way of noting Uncle Ned might be in one of his ‘spells’.
“So I locked up his shotgun just in case he decides to go chasin’ Charlie.”
Jimmy heard nothing from Dave which disappointed him. He would rather chatter through the day than listen to the mysterious droning hum they all started to hear a couple days ago, giving them all a headache. Today especially, it seemed to be louder and now followed by a rotten egg odor. But Dave appeared to be in one of his quiet moods. Jimmy looked up towards his brother. He wasn’t there. Jimmy turned around to look for him. Dave was standing in the barn doorway with his hands on his hips.
“Dave what ……..”
Dave held up his right arm and motioned with his hand for Jimmy to come to the barn door. He put his shovel down and walked over. Standing next to Dave, he followed his eyes towards the pasture that was filled with their dairy cows. It was December and the cows were out grazing because they hadn’t seen any snow, the temperature had been hovering in the high 50’s all month long. It was almost Christmas but it felt like Spring. Anything was possible with Northeast Ohio weather.
Both men stood watching the cows in the pasture. Every one of them slowly walked in their own little circle, they’d wobble a little bit and then fall over. Once on the ground they’d shake their heads, get back up and start all over again.
“They look like they’ve been on an all night drunk. Some day we might laugh at this but right now I’m scared enough to piss my pants.”
Before Dave could respond Jimmy’s two little girls ran towards him from out of the chicken coop. Their faces were streaked with tears and they were visibly shaking. He told them to go to the main house,
“Your momma’s in there with Grama.”
He turned to Dave, he wasn’t by the barn door. Jimmy had to search for him. He found that he had moved closer to the pasture watching the cows. Dave turned around and looked towards Jimmy, not at him but he seemed to be looking through him. Jimmy turned to see three boys running out of the woods, two of them were Dave’s boys and one his own son. The boys were wide eyed with fear. Before they could speak Jimmy sent them to the house.
The family was all together today decorating the Christmas tree, the women were baking in the kitchen and Uncle Ned was sitting in his favorite chair talking to no one in particular.
“Dave, I’m going to go tie up the dogs. There’s something strange going on with the animals and I don’t want them runnin’ loose.”
Again Dave was not where Jimmy last saw him. He spun around again looking for his brother. He spotted him at the front door of the house. They each stood still for a moment and then Dave faded into the front door.

“Doctor we have a situation in Mr. Douglas’s room.”
Dr. Howard Penner was making his rounds with a group of fresh interns. He asked the nurse that called out to him,
“Did you have to restrain him?”
“Sorry doctor we had to, this is a bad one today.”
“Okay, hold off on his medication until I have the chance to talk to him.”
Then he addressed his interns,
“You won’t be going in to see this patient but here is his file. Study it and watch from the observation room.”
Dr. Penner gave his students a chance to get to the observation room then walked into James Douglas’s room. James was restrained on his bed with his familiar wild disheveled look of confusion. This patient was a challenge for the doctor but he would persist, he never gave up on a patient and wasn’t about to start now,
“James can we talk?”
“My name is Jimmy.”
“Sorry Jimmy, did you have your dream again?”
“It’s not a dream. Just let me go back to the farm. Please my family needs me.”
Dr. Penner proceeded to walk Jimmy through the events that happened on December 21, 2012. He painstakingly went over that day with him almost once a week because one day he knew he would reach Jimmy and then hopefully they could move forward.

The interns watched intently as they read the file of James Douglas. A pocket of methane gas had been building up for days seeping into the air and exploded under the main farm house with his entire family inside. There were no survivors except Jimmy who had run to the barn to tie up their dogs.

Dr. Penner stopped for a moment and asked Jimmy,
“Do you understand what I just told you about December 21, 2012 Jimmy?”
The room was silent for about five minutes. Dr. Penner waited quietly for Jimmy to respond. He watched as his patients eyes darted around the hospital room. The wild confusion, the product of one of his vivid dreams, seemed to quell. No longer was he straining to free himself from the padded restraints attached to his bed. He took a deep breath, tears welled up in his eyes and he finally spoke,
“December 21, 2012, that’s the day my world ended.”


Check these out!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giant step to the point of no return

It is time for my monthly contribution to this months blog chain prompt over at Absolute Write.

This month's prompt:

Ghouls, ghost and things that go bump in the night. Old Hallows Eve, Dia de los Muertos and Halloween. October is the month where the veil between our world and the Other thins. So this month is about those things beyond our world, be they scary, funny or anything in between. Write wherever the prompt inspires you,
fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. Do try and keep things at a PG-13 level, though.

My brain has a hard time multitasking when it comes to my writing. It isn't letting much out except my novel because I've been fooling around with it too long. So my post is another excerpt from the novel that has taken over my brain.
Please don't forget my fellow bloggers below. Have a look at what they came up with this month.


“Are we able to speak freely Stephen?”
“Yes, I told them to give us some time to access our new patient. James, how did you arrange this?”
James watched Stephen run his hand through his hair and then stopped to grab onto a fist full, his face clouded over with uncertainty. His other hand slapped his chest and he unconsciously gathered his shirt into his fist. He was starting to panic.
“Stephen you wanted this knowledge. I can show you so much. Things you would never believe. This man laying here is a drifter, no family and an aneurism in his brain ready to burst. He would have been dead in less than a month, he’s perfect for our plan to proceed.”
Dr. James Matsuo and Dr. Stephen Ellis had been friends and colleagues for almost ten years. Immersing themselves in the world of molecular and human genetics, developmental biology and neuroscience who became know as top in their fields. They were the government’s first and immediate choice for what was quickly becoming a global crisis.
Stephen knew he had already taken several small steps towards never turning back. This man on the exam table in a drug induced coma represented his giant step to the point of no return. Science and its discoveries are intriguing and exciting. Unraveling what others could not was an indescribable high. That is how this project started and then Stephen went a little further, stretching his standards thinner than he had planned. He dropped some of his principles along the way and ended up right where they were now, about to deceive his country. Because when you bend the rules of morality eventually they break and there is no going back.
James knew how Stephen struggled but he pushed a little more,
“I just need an hour without any interference. Can you manage that my friend?”
Time stood still for Stephen, beads of sweat formed on his forehead, he nervously wiped his clammy palms on his white lab coat. He made eye contact with James. He and James had come so far in their field and now with the promise of further advancement he took the giant step,
“Yes. You can do this in an hour?”
“I promise you I can. I haven’t misled you in any way so far. You still trust me right?”
“I have no doubt James.”
James smiled at his long time friend and put his hand on his shoulder, gave him a reassuring squeeze,
“Then you go, brief them on the findings we discussed earlier. And by the time you get back they will think he’s the Alien and never suspect that I am the one they have been looking for these past ten years.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You are the seventh

It's my turn for this months blog chain at Absolute Write.
This month's prompt:
The Number Seven

September used to be the seventh month of the old Roman calendar and its name literally means seventh "month," so this month is brought to you by 7. Write wherever the prompt inspires you, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. Do try and keep things at a PG-13 level, though.

I have been working on my novel, so that is what has been in my head. I decided to post an excerpt. Pretty much because I couldn't think of anything else. I may be stretching the prompt to it's limit. Oh and this is my first novel so be gentle. I can take constructive criticism if you feel inclined to do so.

Below are my fellow bloggers and a link to their posts, please be sure to read more "Seven" posts.


“You are the seventh, there are six others like you.”
Niles felt the mans presence before he heard him speak. But he remained silent with his head down. He sat on the floor of his latest cell. His feet planted in front of him on the cold cement and he rested his arms on his knees letting his hands hang but every once in a while he clenched his fists when he felt himself start to tremble.
‘Six others?’ Niles thought. ‘I’m the seventh like them? Like what?’
He tried to place the pieces of the complicated puzzle together since he found himself living in this nightmare. Some of the pieces were missing, some were upside down. His eyes widened and darted back and forth searching the floor for what, he didn’t know. He refused to acknowledge the man talking to him several feet away from the bars of his new residence.
Niles began to struggle to breathe. It was almost as if he forgotten how to bring air into his lungs and then let it back out. His temples pounded with each beat of his heart and each beat came faster than the last. The man spoke to him,
“Niles you can control that. You are in control of your breathing and heart rate. Search your mind, you have capabilities you’ve never had before. The average person uses only 10% of their brain. You have been given a gift. Think of your brain as a maze with unopened doors. These are doors you can now open.”
The mans tone had a hint of desperation mixed with excitement,
“Niles you have to work with me if you want to leave this place. I’m sorry about Derek. We did everything we could to save him, I promise you that.”
Bringing Derek up so soon after Niles watched him die brought his rage to the forefront again. He was on his hands and knees now, dragging air into his chest. He looked at his arms streaked in dried blood. Memories of the events that unfolded only minutes before flooded his head and pounded on the inside of his skull as if trying to escape. He would like nothing more than to let those memories go but instead he grabbed his head on each side convinced if he let go it would explode. He let out a guttural cry and shouted,
“God damn it.”
“Niles listen to me.”
The man’s hint of desperation remained but did not intensify. His voice stayed calm and continued,
“Niles go to your brain stem. You can find it, think. Do you see it? Open that door, you’ll find what you need.”
Niles heard the man through the pounding in his head and his rasping breath. He didn’t understand but with his hands on either side of his head and his forehead now on the floor he thought of where his brain stem was located.
“The injections……….”
He squeezed his eyes shut.
“Yes that’s the area. Do you see it Niles?”
Niles searched, thick gray clouds twisted and turned making him cry out in pain again. He continued, trying to look past the murky fog. Something was there, he could feel it and the air began to clear. He saw a distorted door knob. It stretched into an oval shape, changed colors from a blurry purple to a muddled black. An array of colors began to pixelate looking for a spot to form as the oval quivered and when it snapped into a round shape the colors followed settling on a brilliant gold.
“Open it Niles.”
The door knob became clear and it turned to the right. Niles saw the door it was attach to which had opened about two inches. He tried to see what was behind it, as he peered through the slight gap the door quickly swung back with such forced that Niles dropped to his side and landed on his back. The swirling gray air disappeared as if sucked out with a vacuum. Niles stopped gasping for air and his breathing became normal. His heart rate slowed down which stopped the thumping in his temples.
He rolled over to his stomach, back on his hands and knees, reached out to the bars of his cell and pulled himself up until he was standing. He stared at the man in front of him as he fought off a wave of nausea. They looked at each other for a moment and when the dizziness in Niles head slowed to a speed he could trust he asked,
“What just happened? What did you bastards do to me?”
“Get some rest, we’ll talk tomorrow. I’ll make sure you get something to eat. We’ll talk Niles, I promise.”
Niles watched him walk down the short hall and out the double swinging doors. He remained where he stood gripping the bars until his knuckle where white, his eyes widened and his jaw clenched shut. Did he just see what he thought he saw? He heard the man’s voice in his head but his mouth did not move.