CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY(part 2)


The close-knit family was not showing up for work. I tried to find out where they lived but I had no success until I arrived home three weeks later. Rebekkah did not look well. Her eyes were swollen, her hair tangled, and her clothes wrinkled.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she replied.
I kept asking and finally Jacob called me aside.  “This is something we cannot talk about. It’s painful and terrible.  We haven’t found the end of the problem yet. Just so you know, two weeks ago Joe was with friends at our house and they took too many drugs.  Joe and his friends raped Rebekkah.  Some of our family are looking for Joe. It’s about family honor and revenge.  We are trying to get back to normal but Joe will never be safe.”
“Where is he staying?” I asked.
“We heard he was heading for California but we lost his trail. We’ll find him.”
That night I was awakened from a sound sleep by a man’s voice.  “Help me,” he pleaded. “I didn’t know what I was doing. My cousins want to kill me. I need money to fix my car so I can get away.  Do you have more trees I can cut down?”
I looked down the hallway. A man sat hunched over on the floor, his arms around his knees. “I didn’t mean to hurt her.”
I walked towards him but he disappeared before I got there.  After a few minutes of searching I gave up. Twice more I heard him and twice more he was not really there.  “Hide me,” he whispered.
The house was built against a cliff and there was a small space with a door left between concrete and rock. I didn’t intend to ever open that door because many copperhead snakes thrived there. I never saw Joe again nor did I hear his voice.  I wanted no part of their close-knit family.
june 24, 2017

TIGHT-KNIT FAMILY


Illusion

What I expected from life and what turned out to be real were often opposites.  The truth was sometimes only an illusion waiting to be revealed at a later date.

Several years ago I lived alone in a large house near Kansas City, Missouri.  The house was new and I wanted to keep it clean for all the guests who wandered through during the afternoons. The house was like an art gallery, with seventy-four water-color paintings situated throughout  the house. There were three floors and people who were not accustomed to stairs were warned about the physical strength required. I’m telling you this because you might understand later what I had to do.

I would begin cleaning in the master bedroom on the third floor and gradually work my way down to the recreation room and storage rooms.  I could never get completely finished before starting over again. That’s why I hired a family business to take over two times a month.

The business was run by a woman and her two brothers.  She was clearly the one in charge, and each had certain tasks to do. Rebekkah, the manager and owner, kept everyone on task, stopping only for short breaks. She cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen, because everyone noticed appliances and fixtures.  Jacob, the youngest brother vacuumed and dusted.  Joe, the oldest, was the fix-it man and landscape man.  They appeared to work as a unit, always close by. I began to believe that if there was a problem all would help as a unit.

On a scheduled cleaning day no one showed up.   “Odd,” I thought. I waited, but there were no calls. “What’s going on?” I wondered. “This is so unlike them.”

But outside, there were three trees on the ground, cut into firewood, ready to be brought up and stored near the house.  I assumed Joe had been there, doing his job.

The next day when I arrived home after work, the house was clean.  Still, no one was there and there were no calls or notes.

(illusion continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house was too big for one person to keep clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illusion
What I expected from life and what turned out to be real were often opposites.  The truth was sometimes only an illusion waiting to be revealed at a later date.
Several years ago I lived alone in a large house near Kansas City, Missouri.  The house was new and I wanted to keep it clean for all the guests who wandered through during the afternoons. The house was like an art gallery, with seventy-four water-color paintings situated throughout  the house. There were three floors and people who were not accustomed to stairs were warned about the physical strength required. I’m telling you this because you might understand later what I had to do.
I would begin cleaning in the master bedroom on the third floor and gradually work my way down to the recreation room and storage rooms.  I could never get completely finished before starting over again. That’s why I hired a family business to take over two times a month.
The business was run by a woman and her two brothers.  She was clearly the one in charge, and each had certain tasks to do. Rebekkah, the manager and owner, kept everyone on task, stopping only for short breaks. She cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen, because everyone noticed appliances and fixtures.  Jacob, the youngest brother vacuumed and dusted.  Joe, the oldest, was the fix-it man and landscape man.  They appeared to work as a unit, always close by. I began to believe that if there was a problem all would help as a unit.
On a scheduled cleaning day no one showed up.   “Odd,” I thought. I waited, but there were no calls. “What’s going on?” I wondered. “This is so unlike them.”
But outside, there were three trees on the ground, cut into firewood, ready to be brought up and stored near the house.  I assumed Joe had been there, doing his job.
The next day when I arrived home after work, the house was clean.  Still, no one was there and there were no calls or notes.
(illusion continued)

i

The house was too big for one person to keep clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coin (Part 7)


Pain in acute myocardial infarction (front)
Image via Wikipedia

Derek stepped quickly
from the elevator in an attempt to elude Vanna but she took his elbow as if he
was a gentleman escorting a lady.  Vanna
smiled smugly at everyone as they passed. She knew all eyes were on them and
she wanted the whole office to know she was there.  Whispers and gossip filled the void as Derek
rushed onward.

He led her to his
office, closed the door behind her, and offered her a chair. “Do I know you
from somewhere?” he asked.  “You look
familiar.” 

“Don’t you think you
would remember if we had met?  We’ll have
time to discuss that later.  Right now
the clock is running and the thirty minutes I gave you is now down to twenty.”  Her gaze was unwavering and Derek felt chills
running up his spine.

He had to act
fast.  He didn’t even consider arguing
with her.  She sat there smugly as if she
held the perfect cards and deep inside he knew she wasn’t bluffing. But the terrifying
part was the understanding that she was backed by someone or something
powerful, someone who could crush him in an instant.  He needed more information.  He would ask about that later, if he dared.

 There weren’t many big offices that fit her
specifications.  The owner of the company
had the biggest office.  Derek, the CEO,
had the most impressive one.  Five large
offices belonged to other important executives, and one smaller office which
the owner’s son frequented.  Derek had
always considered the owner’s son to be an unnecessary appendage, someone who
got in the way and impeded progress.
Taking that office would mean war with the owner, but what else could
Derek do?

Derek led Vanna to that
small office, hoping to appease her.  “I’ll
have his things moved right away so you can move in.”

She took a quick glance
around the room.  “No, this room doesn’t
satisfy my needs.  I’ll tell you when I
see the one I want.”

Derek was
flustered.  Vanna was being uncooperative.  He would have liked to send her away. He didn’t
want to be forced to do things but he had no choice. Something was making him
do whatever she asked.

Derek and Vanna went from
office to office, interrupting private conversations and meetings.  He knew this was not how to run a business
but at this moment everything was out of his control.

 Beads of perspiration were on his forehead and
Derek dabbed at them with a monogrammed handkerchief.  All the rushing about and she had not claimed
an office. He seemed puzzled at her silence and her reluctance to choose.

 “Okay, now what?  You’ve seen them all.”

“There’s one more you
haven’t shown me.” Vanna had that intense look again.

“But that office is
mine,” Derek sputtered.  “You can’t have
that one.”

Vanna smiled sweetly
and said, “I only wanted to see it for comparison purposes.  Now that you told me I can’t have it, I’ve
changed my mind.  It’s a woman’s
prerogative.”

Reluctantly he led her
down the hall, past the receptionist’s desk and through the doors with the large
gold initials, D. G.  He walked around a
large desk and sat down ceremoniously.
Seeing him seated in a position of power might calm her down. He leaned
back in his chair and braced himself.  “Who
are you and what do you really want?” he snapped.

“Don’t you recognize me,
Derek? We spent hours together.  You
tortured me endlessly and gave me no mercy.  Didn’t you think I would find you?  Or did you even care? You thought I was
disposable.  Easy to get rid of.  I’m not going to be a victim any longer.  It’s your turn now.”

Derek had a wild look
in his eyes. The veins on his forehead bulged.  His hands were opening and closing as he
stared at her throat.  Perhaps he could
have made one quick move and his tormentor, Vanna, would be lying in a heap.
Instead, his face violently contorted and his hands clutched his chest.

Derek pitched face
forward and fell at Vanna’s feet. “Help me,” he pleaded. “I’m  having a heart attack.”

Vanna went around his
desk and sat in his chair.  She looked
out at the city below.  “I would have
enjoyed this view every day. It’s a pity it was wasted on you.”

She sat there a few
seconds before she got up. She hesitated next to Derek, just in time to hear
him gasp, “Please help me.”  Vanna
stooped down and whispered, “Revenge is sweet.
You were just the first.  There
are three of your friends I still have to see.”

As she entered the
elevator someone yelled, “Call 911!  Mr.
Goodman had a heart attack!”  By the time
she got to the ground floor the building was alive with people running in all
directions.  She tried to look concerned
as she waited for the next bus. 

At precisely at 12:05,
the next bus pulled in.  “I’m sorry,
folks,” the driver said slowly, “I had to wait for all the emergency vehicles
to clear the area.  I guess somebody
important died.” 

He seemed impatient to
make up lost time. Then he noticed Vanna, waiting on the steps, blocking the
line of people. “What do you want, Miss?”

“Does this bus go by
the Superior Court?” she asked sweetly.

(To be continued)

Angry Birds


Yolk
Image via Wikipedia

For over a year,

There’s been increasing fear,

Birds against pigs,

Has made it big,

The birds’ survival is at stake,

And there’s a choice to make,

Revenge and lay waste,

Or just watch the pigs taste,

The eggs of the birds curious,

Oh, but that makes them furious,

An update on the continuing war,

“We won’t take it anymore,”

Quote the Angry Birds,

With their fast and furious words,

“Our nest has been violated,

The eggs were taken out,

I didn’t see a pig steal them,

But on one’s snout,

I saw part of an egg yolk,

Smeared on his face,

Even though he thought,

He left no trace,

Now we’re angry birds,

Taking flight,

With a little help,

They’ll see our might.”

If you’re opposed to war,

Choose to hear or see no more,

But if you can relate,

There’s already a new update,

They’re on Twitter and Facebook,

And iTunes if you look,

The birds are here and over there,

I think they’ll soon be everywhere.

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