No Rain in Sight


the crickets were forecasting the weather last night,

singing, “No rain in sight, No rain in sight!”

wells are drying up, businesses are shutting down,

soon no one will be living in this deserted town.

today two men were chastised for washing their car,

I’ve got to escape real soon to someplace real far.

my friends are looking at me with evil in their eyes,

my well is still working but i’m beginning to tell lies.

if they only knew I took a bath last night,

they’d sputter and yell and say it wasn’t right.

then one and all would leave with a frown,

and sometime at night my house might burn down.

I’ve got to be careful when crickets sing their song.

anything I might say could be construed as wrong.

I’m breathing dust that hangs heavy in the air,

there’s no rain in sight, so beware, beware!

by dan roberson

Miles of Travel and Roadside Stands


A typical flea market shop, in Germany Françai...
A typical flea market shop, in Germany Français : clients aux marché aux puces Русский: Блошиный рынок во Франкфурте-на-Майне, Германия (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Miles of Travel and Roadside Stands

 

Bouncing along in my old sedan,

 

Stopping for refreshments at roadside stands,

 

Miles of travel watching for flea market sales,

 

Electronic games and puppy dog tales,

 

Little brother’s laugh echoing for miles around,

 

Counting farms and houses before the next town,

 

Tired and grumpy after an hour or two,

 

A fight or argument and a quarter is due,

 

A roll of quarters for each child,

 

Dwindling down as behavior turns wild,

 

Happy is the child who manages to maintain,

 

Happy are the parents who don’t hear them complain,

 

Watching billboards, children play the alphabet game,

 

From license plates they learn the states by name,

 

A day of travel with few fights and no fuss,

 

Is there a family as happy as us?

 

We have good times aplenty as we travel afar,

 

Though crowded together in my old red car.

 

 

 

Over the Mountain


Close up of a grizzly bear cub at the Kodiak N...
Close up of a grizzly bear cub at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I came over the mountain rise,

Two bear cubs blocked my way,

They were cute but raised my concern,

I asked, “Where is your mother today?”

 

A tremendous roar filled the air,

Expressing her desire to kill,

That’s why I’m standing here,

And she’s on yonder hill,

 

I didn’t realize I could run so fast,

Nothing could slow me down,

All I know is she finally gave up,

And my feet were homeward bound,

 

If you’re ever on Paradise ridge,

And cubs are busy at play,

Do all you can to avoid the bears,

And please stay out of my way.

The Legend of “Old Paint”


Pennsylvania vanity plate 343-NYC.
Image via Wikipedia

Smoke
billowing from the tailpipe,

A muffler
with thunderous roar,

The world
knew I was arriving,

Three or
four blocks before,

 

The paint
and chrome were rusty,

The license plate clung to a wire,

The
neighbors all made bets,

On when the
car would catch on fire,

 

“Old Paint”,
I affectionately called her,

And oft gave
her a tender slap,

My friends
all politely inquired,

“When are
you getting rid of that claptrap?”

 

They were
embarrassed by “Old Paint’,

As she sat
next to their shiny steeds,

“Don’t
laugh, I’ll race any of you,

“Old Paint”
was built for speed,”

 

It took some
time for them to calm,

They laughed
and rolled on the ground,

But when I
revved her they stepped back,

She was the
hottest car in town,

 

You think I’d
race their souped up cars,

That didn’t
even have names?

But probably
what held me back,

Was when “Old
Paint” burst into flames,

 

I guess I
was wrong concerning “Old Paint”,

Bragging how
fast she could be,

But the
legend grows about that night,

And how she
burned with me,

 

I escaped in
a cloud of smoke,

So don’t
worry or think I fried,

When “Old
Paint”” lit up the sky,

I was the
only one who cried,

 

A sad ending
for such a noble steed,

The night I hotfooted
it out of town,

“Old Paint”
claimed her piece of glory,

Her flames
brought City Hall to the ground.

The Coin (Part 6)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

Life
takes us in directions,

We
don’t wish to go,

Yet
that is how we gain experience,

That
is how we grow,

We
learn to survive hard times,

How
to accept a loss,

Then
we learn to face the wind,

Though
around us waves toss.

Vanna woke with a start.  What time was it?  What about her job?  Then all the memories rushed in.  There was no time for self pity.  She had to start looking for a job.  Where would she go? Jobs were scarce now that
the economy was floundering.  Did she
even have a chance to find one that she liked?
She lay back against the pillow and her confidence returned.  She would go out and see what she could find.

Vanna dressed quickly but primped to look
her best. For the first time in months she would wear earrings. She selected a
pair and put them on. She patted the coin and murmured “thank you”.  If she only had one chance she wanted it to
be a good one.

She turned from the vanity and remembered, “I
have to have the coin.” She needed the coin.
It made her feel good.  It also
seemed to affect those who were around her.  Where would she keep the coin all day?  She didn’t have pockets in this dress.  Her purse?
What if it got snatched or she left it unattended just for a few
minutes?  She didn’t dare lose it or let
it be taken from her.  She finally
decided to put it inside her bra where it would be close to her heart.  Vanna smiled.  She knew the coin’s vibrations would remind
her all day long that its power would be there if she needed it.

On her way downtown the bus ride was
uneventful.  When the bus stopped at one
of the tallest buildings the coin vibrated and Vanna stepped outside.  She looked up and stared in awe at the impressive
and intimidating building.  Already a steady
stream of suited men and neatly dressed women were entering through the
revolving doors.

Ready
to flee rather than enter, Vanna took several deep breaths.  The coin began pulsating and her courage
returned.  She pushed her way through the
doors and walked directly across the room to a directory on the wall.  She studied it carefully trying to decide
what to do next. “Full speed ahead.  Why
are you hesitating?”  She was shocked by
her own thoughts.  She had never been this
bold around those she called the big shots.

A voice startled her.  “Could I help you, young lady?”  A well dressed man in a pin striped suit
approached.  He had a kind face but there
was something vaguely familiar about his mannerisms.

The coin was vibrating and Vanna took that
as a signal that she must react. “Yes, Sir,” she answered.  “I’m on my way to the top.  I want a job where I can see the city.”

He smiled and offered his hand.  “I’m Derek.
I’m on my way to the top floor now.
I’ll be glad to escort you, Miss….?
His voice trailed off as if waiting for her to offer her name.  There was no action from the coin so Vanna
only said, “Thanks. That would be kind of you.”

She felt isolated in this world with only
the coin for protection, and yet, the coin was enough.  A sharp tingle jolted her breast as the coin
began to hum.  The elevator climbed
steadily up.  It did not stop even as
others waited and punched the button for the top floor.  Vanna felt a sudden chill and she could
picture Derek undressing in a dark room.
No, not a dark room.  A dungeon!  Her fury rose within while outside she
remained calm and cool.

Her self-esteem should have been low, but she
surprised herself when she turned and said, “Derek, just what kind of job are
you going to find for me?  I don’t want a
small office.  I want a large office next
to the windows.  I told you I wanted to
see the city and that’s what I expect.”

Derek’s jaw dropped.  This lady was not intimidated by him.  There was a glow in her eyes that scared
him.  He thought he could hear a slight
hum but then again he could have been mistaken.
His knees felt weak and his heart pounded.  “You’re kidding, right?”

Vanna stared at him without blinking.  “Derek, you’ve always stepped on those that
are vulnerable and innocent.  In your
path you’ve left a trail of victims.  You’re
heartless and don’t care about people.  I’ll
give you a chance.  In thirty minutes I
want my requests arranged.  Do you have
any questions?”

Right in front of him this beautiful young
woman had changed into someone he didn’t like. He had been a football star, an
Army Ranger, and a mercenary in several small wars. He could always be counted
on to confront and rout the enemy.  He
had faced fabled lawyers and won, bullied his way up as he raced to the top of
the financial world.  Now he found a
small woman making a bold demand and he could not speak.  For the first time in his life Derek felt
fear.

(To be continued)

 

The Coin (Part 5)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

All
that had been inflicted would be repaid to each one of the men, including
Reggie. She had survived and now she must deal with her world.  She had no job, no money, and no future.  She was starting with nothing but she walked
with her head high. Having the coin filled her with confidence.

As Vanna rode the city bus home, she worried
all the way.  “What will George say?  Will he even listen to me?  Can we still be friends?  Can I tell him what happened? Will he snap
and go off the deep end?  Will he want to
kill me or Reggie?  Should I avoid George
and just run away?  Maybe I dreamed all
of this.  Maybe none of this happened at
all.”

While she worried and reasoned,
inadvertently she reached into her pocket and touched the coin for
reassurance.  It was still there but this
time it did not feel cold and metallic. The coin was warm and vibrating.
Passengers on the bus stirred from their normal isolated lethargy.  As if on command they turned in unison and
smiled at her.  Their smiles turned to
concern.  “You poor dear,” one woman
said, “Did someone hurt you?”  Others
joined in with their concerns.  Then one
of the men said quietly, “Tell us who hurt you and we will take care of them.”

Vanna squeezed the coin.  The passengers turned back around, the
incident forgotten for the moment.  Vanna
was shocked by their response. There was more to this coin than she had thought
possible. Her mind raced as she wrote down ways she could test the coin’s power
and capabilities.  She would have to be
very careful not to let others know the coin even existed.

Preoccupied with thoughts of the coin, Vanna
stepped from the bus and walked towards her apartment. Oblivious to the world
she crossed the intersection.  Drivers
from both directions stopped, waiting patiently as if she were royalty.  Then traffic resumed as if nothing had
happened.

George had slipped messages under her door,
taped messages to her door and left messages on her phone.  They were overwhelming. She didn’t want to
read them or respond. Vanna just needed rest and time to think.  The answering machine clicked on and George’s
voice said, “I miss you. I’m worried about you and you know I love you.  Where have you been?”

There was nothing she wanted to say to him
right now.  Any kind of conversation
could go on and on. She would have to face him sometime, but not now, not
today, and maybe not even tomorrow.  She
cared about George.  Anything she said
would hurt him deeply and that would break her heart.  How could he understand if she didn’t
understand everything either?

She locked her door, unplugged
her phone, swallowed several sleeping pills, took a long hot shower and scrubbed
until her skin was raw, then fell into bed.
She would ignore George and the world for awhile.  Tomorrow would be a new day.

Vanna’s dreams were not pleasant.  Shapes and voices were everywhere, telling
her what to do, making her apologize for not cooperating, for not being eager
to try new things.  She awoke, drenched
with perspiration.  She lay there wide
awake staring at the ceiling.  But even
there she saw shadows and thought they might be moving.

Afraid of her dreams she decided to look at
the coin again. When she touched it on the bus it had been so soothing. Perhaps
it would comfort her a little.

She had placed the coin on her dresser in a
small box with her earrings,  earrings without
matches she had found while working, on the street, and even at church.  Without a matching earring it would be
ridiculous to wear any of them.  Yet she
couldn’t throw them away. They were just to remind her that someday when she
had money she would find their mates.

The coin was difficult to find because the
box was crowded with earrings.  Confused
by this turn of events she flicked on the light switch.  There were more earrings than she remembered.
“Impossible,” she murmured. She stared blankly for a moment before the truth
hit her.  All the earrings were matched
and organized!

Another thought.  “Was the coin still there?” To her relief the
coin was there, almost covered by the extra earrings.  Vanna gingerly removed it from the box and
held it in the light. Vibrating gently the coin warmed her hand, her arm, and
slowly warmed her.  It was almost singing
to her.  “Strange,” she whispered.  Remembering she was tired, Vanna lay back on
the bed, calm and content for the moment.
She placed the coin under her pillow and fell into a deep, restful
sleep.

(To
be continued)

 

The
Coin  (Part 6)

The Coin (Part 4)


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

Instead of gaining freedom Vanna merely
advanced to the next stage of their pleasure. One of the men placed an iron
collar around her neck.  A long chain was attached before she was released from
the stocks.

She was prodded towards a smaller room. Twice
she slowed but electricity jolted her to a faster pace. The room was even
darker than the dungeon. At first she could see nothing, but as her eyes adjusted
to the darkness she noticed floodlights.
They were suspended from the ceiling and focused on a bed in the middle
of the room.

Vanna heard a familiar voice. Reggie was
back. He said nothing to her but he was carrying the coin again.  Slowly he carressed the coin and the pain
inflicted by torture began to disappear. Warmth raced through her limbs and her
body once again responded to his thoughts.

Reggie made a slight wave and floodlights
splashed across the bed. A cameraman sat on a platform behind two cameras
waiting for a signal. “Action, please,” Reggie said loudly and nodded to the
waiting men. They took her, one by one, exploring and dominating her.

There was a thirty minute break and then they
were at her two at a time. For the finish all three were there, using her and
enjoying all she had to offer.

During that time there were voices and
laughter and shadowy shapes that appeared and disappeared.  But Vanna was beyond all reasoning and beyond
any experiences she had ever had.  She
could not push away nor did she want to.
While Reggie held the coin she had no choice but to submit and enjoy.
Wave after wave of passion swept over her as she made love again and again. Within
each moment she found pleasure.

She awoke to find herself alone, exhausted,
and filled with sadness.  In the back of
her mind were dim memories of a world that had changed overnight.  She began sobbing uncontrollably. Her plans
to use him had failed miserably.  She had
been used instead.

Stumbling around she found her way back to
his office without encountering anyone.
Her clothes were scattered about just as she had left them.  Hastily she slipped them on. She wanted to
slip away, take a shower, drink some tea, and think.  She was disoriented and confused.

Worse yet, she had little knowledge about
last night.  She only had vague
recollections about the music, the liquid, Reggie, and the three men.  She was terribly disgraced.  There was nothing she could do to change
anything. What words could she say when there was nothing left but pain? How
could she stay when there was nothing left to gain?  For her, life’s meaning was slowly slipping
down the drain.

She took one last look around the room. A
small gleam from Reggie’s desk caught her eye.
She moved towards it.  A coin! He
had left a coin on his desk.  She quickly
put it into her pocket and headed out the door.

A woman stopped her before she got very far.
Sternly she said, “It’s time you left.
There’s nothing here for you.
Life will go on after you’re gone.”

“What about my job?” Vanna wailed.  “Where is he?”

For the first time Vanna realized how
desperate she sounded.  She dug into her
pockets searching for a tissue.  Her
fingers touched the coin.

The woman’s demeanor was immediately
different and her tone of voice softened.
“I’m sorry, Miss. He’s gone.  Last
night several people packed up everything and left.  When I came in this morning everything was
gone except for you.  You must have had
one fine time last night.”

Vanna was stunned by what she heard.  Everything had happened so quickly.  She could remember little of last night, except
for shapes and voices.  But as her
fingers played with the coin her memory began to clear.  This coin had kept her under a spell.  It had power to make her do things she didn’t
want to do.

With growing excitement it finally dawned on
her. She had the coin! He could not control her if she had the coin. At first
that was all that mattered to her.  She
was free!

The Coin (Part 2)


Modern weather predictions aid in timely evacu...
Image via Wikipedia

She knew she didn’t love her boss.  She didn’t even know his real name. She already
knew the one she loved.  She loved
George, her childhood sweetheart.  It was
as simple as that. He was handsome, muscular, courteous, and charming.  He treated her like a princess. They had
grown up together, went to the same schools, and were expected some day to
marry and have children who would grow up in the same area and repeat the
cycle. Everything was so planned, so neat and tidy.

But
Vanna also knew George was only a mechanic and he would never change.  He liked being a mechanic and having dirty
fingernails.  “It’s honest work,”  he would say.
But she was not quite satisfied.  Doubts
were gathering, like storm clouds on the horizon, because George didn’t make
enough money.  How could she quit her
job?  How could he support a family on
what he made?  She could envision kids
racing around the house with patches on their clothes or wearing
hand-me-downs.  The family would live
paycheck to paycheck, never getting ahead, never having enough money to travel
the world or buy fancy things.  “Yes,”
she reasoned, “I love George, but love is not enough.  I want excitement and more life than he can
give me.”

That night when she and George made love,
she gave herself completely, knowing it might be their last time together.  George was thrilled she was so
passionate.  It was the perfect time to
show her his surprise, a wedding ring.  “Let’s go off tonight and get married,” he
whispered.  “We’ll have a great life
together.”

“Not yet, George,” she answered. “There’s no
hurry.  We’ve been together forever, it
seems.  Let’s keep something for our
dreams.”

The following day as she got ready for work
she turned on the weather channel.  “I
hope today’s weather will be unusual.  I’m
getting tired of every day being hot.”
To her surprise the weatherman was predicting isolated thunderstorms and
to be prepared just in case. She dismissed the warning when he said there was only
a 20% chance of rain.

Her work day started out the same. She
arrived at eight, went in and made coffee.  The kitchen was in total disorder. Beer cans and
glasses were everywhere.  Other rooms
were also in disarray. She sighed and began cleaning the Great Room and the
kitchen.  At least she had job security
since her boss had so many parties.

Vanna never used her boss’s name.  She had been told to always address him as
Sir”.  When the delivery service brought
a package she noticed that it was addressed to Sir Reginald William Duke
IV.  The name was regal and pompous,
leading her to imagine old money, distinguished heritage, and glorious titles.  Once she got past all the formalities she
decided she would call him Reggie.

Vanna
could picture her name being changed to sound like royalty.  And what if she was no longer a maid but she had
her own maid?  And what if she lived in a
large mansion or castle?  Her blood would
change from red to blue.  She giggled as
she imagined all this happening to Vanna, the daughter of the town drunk.  George could have been a good husband but he
could not have given her the quality of life she envisioned.  So goodbye love, hello money! It would all be
coming her way.

Later that day Reggie called her over to his
desk.  His coins were out and he held one
in the palm of his gloved hand.  “I’ve
been meaning to talk to you.  I’ve
planned an intimate get together tomorrow for a few of my friends.  You will be my special guest.” He rubbed the
coin and waited expectantly as if there was no choice.  “Of course, this will be after you get off
work.  It might go a bit long so don’t
have anybody waiting up for you.  Oh, and
don’t tell anyone.  I don’t want the
press popping in for pictures.”

Without hesitation her words tumbled out. “Of
course, Sir. I’d love to.” This was not her usual way of responding.  She liked digesting everything and sorting
things out before she said yes or no. This time she felt compelled to answer
immediately.

Later as she went about the house, she
thought about what he said. “Tomorrow, a few intimate friends, special guest,
after you get off work.”  Somehow it
seemed strange with her being a guest but expected to work anyway.  She was excited but cautious. What did it all
mean?   But like the weather forecast, Vanna dismissed
any reservations she had.

Since there was no mention of how she should
dress for this intimate get together, she put her best dress in a small
suitcase along with a few essentials.  (To
be continued)

The Coin


Calderilla coin
Image via Wikipedia

Which way
do we go,

to stay out
of the flow,

As lives
are swept downstream,

We can do
more wrong,

If we just
go along,

Pretending life is but a dream.

Vanna knew he kept valuable rare coins.  While she cleaned his house she would pass by
his study. Through the slightly opened door she could see him carefully
studying each coin and comparing it with the newest estimates of values based
on comparable auction prices. He also had stacks of bills of unknown
denominations but he rarely looked at the paper currency.  Vanna was sure the coins were his most
valuable treasures just by the way he put on gloves before he handled
them.  They were always treated with
tender loving care. When he tired, he would replace each coin in a velvet
holder.

He knew she watched him sometimes but he
rarely said anything to her.  When he did
speak, it was about something trivial, although his eyes held many questions. He
was curious about her for several reasons.  But in general his interest was definitely not
about her intelligence or her background.
He was discreetly studying her breasts and legs. He tried to be subtle
but she always knew when he was watching.
Yet in her heart she could feel changes and she knew his power over her
was growing.

As a precaution she began dressing
conservatively but still she felt his eyes tracing her form, caressing her,
filling her with an urgency she didn’t quite understand.  When she first started working there she had
been prim and proper, a model of decorum.
Now her dreams led her always to his arms, uncontrolled passion, and then
tears.  She had no answer for the meaning
of the tears but the passion was always there, always stronger in her dreams,
and always ready to boil over when she felt his eyes upon her.

Vanna had discovered where the safe was
hidden long ago. Usually it was locked and she didn’t pay any attention to
it.  Lately, though, her desire for money
was becoming prominent in her dreams and now when she went into the study she
automatically looked to see if the safe was open.  Vanna wanted to appear unconcerned but twice
she had noticed the safe open and each time she said, “Sir, you didn’t lock the
safe.”

He smiled slyly and quietly went to the safe
and locked it.  “He trusts me,” she
thought, but then she felt the doubts begin.
“If he trusts me,” she wondered, “then why does he watch while I’m
working?” It was a question she could never answer, and now as she listened to him
in his study, she could hear him muttering softly, “It’s a terrible thing you’re
asking me to do.  I’m not sure if I want
to do this.”

Vanna’s thoughts were being drawn directly
to those rare coins.  She couldn’t help
it. She dreamed of things that were financially out of her reach.  Thinking of her budget she gave a long sigh. She
thought of those coins again. They intrigued her.  How many would she have to have in order for
her future to be set?

She didn’t have to be rich, just
comfortable.  The coins were old and if
she wanted to have them she’d have to be bold.
She asked around on the other side of town, how she could sell such
coins.  Few dealers were interested.  One dealer told her privately, “They’re risky
because they’re too easy to trace, unless they go out of the country and
disappear for a few years.  Only private
collectors would be interested.”

There was another way.  He was interested in her and she could use
that knowledge to get to his heart.  She
didn’t really know him but she did find him fascinating enough to be physically
attracted.  “If I flirt with him,” she
reasoned, “He won’t be able to resist. Then I’ll own even more than those
coins.”

A brilliant plan.  A devious plan.  Vanna couldn’t decide at first whether the
plan was brilliant or devious. The idea of seducing him was new and exciting.  Her heart was pounding.  She decided the plan was brilliant rather
than devious. Brilliant sounded better to her and would take away some of the
sting her conscience was feeling.

She was intrigued also and over the next two
weeks tried to test his interest.  She
wore shorter skirts, displayed her cleavage, changed hair styles often, and
made herself available in case he wanted to talk.

When A Parent Leaves


My daughter’s tears greet me,

So I decide to be grimly silent,

Rather than probe and see,

What she harbors and doesn’t vent,

Perhaps this time it’s much the same,

With time suspended in her world,

I think she’ll tell me I am to blame,

For all the troubles that were unfurled,

Nothing is spoken as she stares,

While the tension between us builds,

Should I tell her I still care,

And try to break through her tearful shield?

Her teddy bear is tight within her grasp,

As she endures time that slips away,

All the reasons I left are under clasp,

Waiting to be discussed on another day.

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