The Light



At long last her work was done. Maria had lost her life many years ago when she was hit and killed by a drunk driver. The moment she was standing over her body looking down, she knew her work was not done. For 20 years she remained here on Earth in spirit to watch over her son on his journey to become a man. She watched her grandchild come into this world, and knew it was time to go into the sunshine, and walk to the other side to watch from above.




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A Fathers Wish



Zack Reynolds living room was certainly nothing to brag about. A tan couch he got from his parents when he moved out ten years ago, and an oversized white chair he found sitting on the side of the road one evening on his way home from work. No coffee table, and his TV would make the rich kids from the movie “Grown Ups” wonder what the box was on the back of it.

Zack has been divorced now for ten years. Many things caused him to become part of the growing statistic in America. A good marriage can overcome many things, but being a fool and sleeping around with his coworkers ended was unfortunately not one of things. Many work places eventually turn into their own little culture, very much resembling that of a High School. You have your geeks, and your nerds. As well as your fat kids, and your cheerleaders. Somehow Zack ended up at the top of the food chain, and found his way up to the quarterback. He could have anyone he wanted back then, and he did just that.

On a Saturday Zack got up extra early to surprise his daughter with pancakes. Things were going to be different, and he wanted to be sure to give things his best shot. A small apartment, so it didn’t take long before Virginia was awaken by the smell of pancakes and syrup.

“Hey,” Zack screamed as he slammed the door to her bedroom open to try to scare her and wake her at the same time, “I made pancakes! Let’s eat.” Virginia was respectful enough to wait until he left the room before she rolled her eyes and climbed out of bed.

By the time she made it to the kitchen table which was really just 8 feet from her bed when you realize how small the place was. Virginia sat across from her Dad and managed to not look at him from the time she emerged to taking her first bite. “This tastes like crap,” she said, “I’m going to take my shower.”

This time Zack didn’t say anything. There had certainly been some growing pains in the transition of splitting the time 50/50. To Zack it seemed that no matter what he tried, he could not get the respect he felt he, as her father deserved. To Virginia however, she felt no desire to respect a man she has never seen more than twice a month until now. She liked her home with her mother, and her new step dad. In her mind though, Zack took her away her real home. She did not understand why she even had to be here more now, she just assumed it was her Dads fault. It wasn’t.

Life just happened on her mother’s side of things. She wanted to spend more time with the new man in her life, and experience the many aspects of life she was not able to before since she was a mother by the time she was 19. Divorce is never easy for children, and is amplified even more so when the parent who has been the primary care giver decides it was time to redeem her lost 20’s.

For a year or more the life Zack and Virginia had together was more miserable than not. Oh there were some good days, but those days seemed to be the days where Zack spent a nice chunk of change trying to make her happy. In that year alone they went to the Zoo twice, and Cedar Point three times during the summer. To Zack though it was worth it, because he felt it was great quality time with his daughter. To Virginia, the fun stuff they did together was just a way for her to more or less ignore her dad while he paid for her to do it.

Saturday July 21st it was time to change things. Zack rolled out of bed at 8 am as he does every morning, but today he had a plan. Virginia hated that he walked around in his underwear in the morning and when he walked into the living room on his way to the kitchen to make his coffee she made her opinion very clear.

“Dad,” she screamed at him from the couch she apparently slept on last night, “That is so freaking gross put some clothes on.” He of course ignored her that morning, he was on a high that he could not shake. He even ignored the fact that she was on the couch…again, after being told and asked 40 times not to because sometimes she peed the bed.

On his way back from the kitchen he told her, “Hey get ready it’s Saturday morning so we are headed to the mall just like we do every Saturday.” In recognition of full disclosure, Zack has to admit that part of the reason he enjoyed this tradition was due to the cute 20 something Jenny who worked at the Cinnabon.

 Zack had more or less given up on actually asking the girl out though because she has been witness to some pretty embarrassing things over the past few weeks. The worst of which was Virginia screaming at Zack at the top of her lungs for being “the worst Dad ever,” and, “A giant jerk who she hated more than anything.”

The car ride there was the same as always. No words spoken to each other the entire ride there. Virginia had her head phones on listening to God knows what on her iPod, and Zack had Christian rock playing on the stereo of his Thunderbird.

That day in July was particularly hot as the temperature was almost 95 before eleven in the morning when they arrived at the mall. Still no words spoken between but Zack figured that was about to change, because she always spoke when she saw something she wanted at the mall. This time though he was counting on that.

They walked into Spencer gifts first, as that was where Virginia usually found some ugly over flashy shirt she just “had” to have. Again Zack didn’t mind though since Cinnabon was right outside of Spencer Gifts and he got his first glance of Jenny.

Five minutes after they walked into the store Virginia predictably brought a shirt to her Dad and spoke for the first time that day. “This one,” was all she said fully expecting he would buy it for her.

“Tell you what,” Zack began, “I’ve really got to use the restroom and all I have is this 100 dollar bill.” He pulled it out and held it out to her, “So how about I give you this, while you pay for your shirt and I run to the restroom and we meet at the bench outside here by Cinnabon?”

“Whatever,” she said rolling her eyes as she took the money.

With that, it was time to get down to business. Zack left Spencer gifts, but stole one last glance at Jenny as he headed towards the entrance doors of the mall. Jenny was no fool to how handsome Zack was, so she looked up at the same time to see if the movement out of the corner of her eye, was her handsome Saturday regular and his daughter. As he gave her a quick glance, she did the same but it changed to that or a more quizzical one as she noticed that his daughter no long with him. She had to finish opening though so she didn’t give it to much thought.

Zack stepped his last step to the front door of the mall and paused for a moment as he glanced back at the opening of Spencer gifts. He shared the same look a man or woman getting on to a plane would have as they are shipped overseas to fight a war most of us don’t even know is being fought. With one last breathe, he turned and headed for his car.

As he drove home, which was only about 3 miles, he thought about his plans for the rest of the day. With no daughter to treat him like crap, he thought about finally being able to watch the TV shows he wanted to watch. He knew he could even hear his shows at last! No child there to disrespect him, and no ungrateful little brat to call him names and argue with. He figured he would have a few hours at least before she walked home, because she did know the way, so he planned to live it up. A nap!

Once home he threw his keys to their usual spot on the coffee table, took his shoes, shirt, and pants off just to spite Virginia when she got home, and kicked back on the couch. When your mind is so mentally exhausted from fighting with those you love, it doesn’t really take you long to rest when you think that you can. He looked one last time at the clock above his TV which read 12:01. He thought to himself, “Oh man, I bet I can nap until at least 2.” With that, he smiled and was asleep before 12:05.

Virginia paid for the shirt with the money Zack gave her knowing full well her intentions of keeping an extra 20 for herself. The Goth girl behind the counter, handed her the change and since Virginia was just a little girl, she assumed it was ok to skip the part where she smiles and says come back anytime. Virginia, thinking her Dad was out the door waiting on her, was more than happy to return the favor, while she secretly threw a 20 in her back pocket and dropped the receipt on the floor.

Not seeing her Dad when she emerged in the hallway of the Mall she decided to just go sit on the bench like instructed. Anyone could tell you that it doesn’t take much at all to make a young girl lose her patience. After sitting on the bench for about ten minutes, Virginia was rather jaded from the annoying girl at the Cinnabon giving her strange looks, and she was getting hungry.

“Screw it,” she said and walked over to the Cinnabon counter, “Cinnastix.”

“No problem,” she said, “Where did your dad go, I thought I saw him a little bit a go.”

Virginia sighed, “I don’t know he’s probably being stupid somewhere with some girl.” She accented the word girl in a noticeably demeaning tone.

Jenny noticed it and just laughed, “Here you go sweetie.”

Virginia ate her Cinnastix one by one as she traversed the mall. When she had finished them, she had already been through J.C Penney, as well as Macys, and some small knick knack store.

“What the crap,” she whispered to herself, while she threw her trash away, “It’s like One, where is he.” Realizing she had been at the mall for so long by herself, she decided she would walk home. She knew the way, and if it turned out that he was at home for some reason, she was ready to tear into him, and even threaten to call children services himself. With a huff Virginia flew past Jenny at the Cinnabon and advanced towards the door to begin her walk home.

“Hey Carli,” Virginia heard Jenny yell as she left, “I’m not feeling good, I think I need to head home.”

It took no time at all for Virginia to be out of the massive mall parking lot and be on the side of the road heading towards home. She was not worried about the directions on how to get there, she knew her Dad lived just off this main road. Her biggest concern was not having her music to listen to. Left in her Dads car. That would make the walk much longer than she wanted to admit.

The road home was without a doubt a dangerous road to be walking on. Having just raised the speed limit to 60 mph was daunting when you were a little girl walking alone. Virginia knew she had no choice though.

“Hey you dumb little bitch,” Three teenage boys who slowed down to yell at her said, “Why don’t you get off the road yah stupid ass.”

Virginia did her best to ignore them and stopped until they got bored and drove past. She could hear the next car honking for them to speed up, so she hoped and prayed it would shorten their visit. The boys sped off, and the next car came to a stop.

“Hey,” Virginia heard a somewhat familiar voice say, “need a ride?”

The Cinnabon girl! Virginia did her best to hide her excitement, she still had almost 2 miles to go, and she was tired and even a little scared. She even managed to smile at Jenny. “Yes please she said with the relief very apparent in her voice. She looked at the clock and took note that it wasn’t even two yet, so she would have the rest of the day to make her Dad feel like a jerk for what he did.

His phone had been ringing constantly for a good half hour now. When you are finally getting the sleep you have been begging to have for months, you find reasons not to answer the phone. That was Zacks plan each time he heard the phone ring. This last time though, he couldn’t realistically have a valid excuse for not answering the phone. 3:30 was the time on the clock when he finally answered in a panic.

“Hello, Virginia,” he said expecting it to be her finally giving in and calling for a ride, “ready for me to come get you?”

“No sir,” said the voice on the other line, “This is the Allen County police department. We wanted to verify that you are the father of Virginia Reynolds. Is this correct?”

“Yes,” he replied, “Is something going on?” The doorbell rang before he could be answered, and he noticed out his window a police car was in his driveway. He hung up the phone and proceeded to answer the door.

“Hello sir,” said a tall black police officer, “Are you Zack Reynolds.”

“Yes,” he screamed, “What the hell is going on. Am I in trouble for something?”

“Sir, I just left the scene of an accident just down the road here at the corner of Elm and Croft Street.” He pointed in the direction he was speaking of. “It seems your daughter was in a vehicle with a Jenny Meijers, and they were hit by a Ford Mustang that ran a red light.”

Tears were forming in his eyes as he feared the worst. He braced himself for the worst possible news as best he could. No one can rightly prepare for the fact that the child they had just seen this morning was no longer alive.

“Sir,” the officer began again, “I’m afraid Jenny and your daughter didn’t make it. The driver of the Mustang was…”

Zack hauled off and punched the police man before he could finish his sentence. He fell to the ground and Zack continued to bombard him, not noticing the other officer who was getting out of the car to help his partner. “Bullshit,” Zack screamed as he was soaking himself and the officer in tears and blood, “You’re lying. Where is my daughter? Don’t you show up at my doorstep and tell me my God damn daughter is dead.” Another right hook. “I just saw her, this isn’t true, who the hell put you up to this.”

The other officer arrived and held Zack’s arms behind his back as Zacks voice began to break. “No” he said, “No, this can’t be true. You son of a Bitch.”

The officer on the ground got up. “Come on Officer Stokes,” he said to the other one, “let’s go.”

“What,” he asked, still holding Zack’s arms behind him, “He just assaulted you.”

“No,” he said, “He didn’t, I tripped and hit my head on the pavement. Let’s go.”

As the police let Zack go he hit the ground crying. To the kids passing by he was some freak who was outside almost naked. Zack sat on his doorstep that night until the sun went down, crying until the tears finally stopped, just as the moon light up the evening sky.

Weekly Writing Challenge -What Does the Alien Say?- A comedy



February 14 2013, Day 1, Gob, Earth Planet


I passed this planets moon in the early hours of the evening. My quick survey of the moon resulted in no significant threat. The dark side remains unexplored other than the arrangements we have in place. Our equipment has been untouched and operational.

While I waited the download, and the other item requested I listed and watch on the transmissions of the location I was to land. As per agreement, I will land in a location known as Ohio, and scout and report my findings. As I listened and watch their internet I must say this species of man is a very unique one. They share our worship of Saint Valentine, however they celebrate but one day a year, and on this day they exchange chocolate (not as good as the chocolate on our home world I must add), and something they call greeting cards.

I watched their most visited internet site they call facebook for the majority of my wait, and I think I learned a lot of valuable information that will benefit us in our future endeavors. It seems the female of the species here are not afraid to get pregnant at an early age. I can only presume this is so they can spend their agile younger days raising children instead of wasting their energies on less important matters like a job, and education. They even have a show on their television that shows the many benefits of making such a wise choice! I wasn’t able to watch much of it, but it seems after these girls bear the children, the men that helped them become a mother were removed from the burden of parenthood!!

I have also learned that they do not stay with just one partner. This is very strange to me, because we are not so different than they are, and we have always been taught that our genitals will implode if use them on anyone after the first. Perhaps they found a cure for this? How great our species would benefit if we could mate with as many different females as we wanted! They use their internet as a way to see the other sex (and same sex it seems) naked by just going to different websites. I’ve learned from facebook that the sex with multiple partners is not something everyone likes to do, but it seems even if it is not wanted, you just tell all your friends about it, and pretend you hate this person and you will get back together with them?

I spent more time than I wanted to with the preparations; however the moment the files were finished, I headed straight for the landing site. It’s hard to believe this species has not found out a way to detect the various trackers and spy bots I found hiding in their atmosphere, most of which seemed to be made on this very planet to spy on one another? Strange.

I was not detected, as our new blending model AP43 worked like a dream. A Space shuttle entering the atmosphere, then airplane, and then their version of a car. I was not detected.

Upon landing I quickly changed into one of their strange multi pieced outfits and I even managed to match their most popular brand, something they call Wal-Mart. The behavior of the earth species seemed very strange that day. It seemed in the morning they drank a drink we outlawed near the beginning of our history. Coffee was consumed in rapid amounts, and they didn’t seem to mind a bit that this plant was grown in animal feces. They took uppers to help them wake up in the morning, and later that evening they drank alcohol and took downers to help them fall asleep. I even witnessed a male trying to help himself sleep by wasting bodily fluids during self-gratification. I later learned that they have yet to learn the uses for their bodily secretions.

The main flower I saw was not one growing from the ground, instead it was a red rose they were selling in shops. The males had to buy these for their females before they could engage in relations. To the observer this does appear to be a lot cheaper than the rituals on our planet, but of course very unsanitary!

I will report more tomorrow, currently outside of my hotel room, I can hear many different individuals engaging in coitus, and I met a young lady who offered to come to my room and teach me about the different sexual acts that this species practices. Here’s hoping my genitals don’t catch on fire. Tali-Ho my friends!



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Five Sentence Fiction -New Kid-


Ten years old, and he was moving away from the only neighborhood he has ever known. Rudy Simon, lived on Magnolia Dr. his entire life, but today was moving day so every little thing in his life was changing. Rudy put his hands against the back of his parent’s station wagon as he watched boys he never played with play basketball, and girls he never talked to jump rope, his heart couldn’t hurt but ache.

“This time,” he said to himself as his nose pressed against the window, “This time it will be different.”

Rudy decided at that moment, he didn’t like who he was, and this was his change, play with the new kids, and to talk to the new girls, because when you are the new kid, anything is possible. 



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Five Sentence Fiction -Frozen



This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Who knows what I was thinking when I decided tonight was the night to be a good person. Me, Jordan Freeman, made the decision to be out in this blizzard at night, all to make a girl happy. She seemed so happy at the store when she was holding this, and she dropped it on her way out, her mother not caring that this is what she wanted. Only 2 more miles to go, and I’ll be at her house, and that little girl will be able to sleep tonight.


The Snowman Who Had No Face



It was that time of year again. Snow was covering the ground; kids were outside making snow forts and snow men. Having snowball fights, and sledding down dangerous hill on sleds they would only use once or twice. Stevie enjoyed this time of year for no other reason than it was during this time of year he really came to life.

            Steve was a snowman you see. Every time it snows he is reborn in a brand new body. Most people don’t realize this, but snowmen are just as alive as any one of us. Ask any child that hasn’t grown too old to remember, too old to imagine. Why do you think children make entire yards full of snowmen? It’s not because they like to be out in the freezing cold, it’s because their friends, the snowmen ask them to. Let’s be honest, no matter how old you get, you don’t want to be left alone in the dark. Snowmen need friends and that is what their human friends did for them. Made them friends to keep them warm (figuratively speaking of course) at night.

            Steve was re made again year after year but he could never do the many different things that the other snowmen got to do when their neighborhoods got dark. No one has ever really caught a snowman but there have been some close calls over the years. Once in the 80’s I remembered reading about a woman who lived in Michigan who swore that the snowman her grandchildren made that day was moving and getting closer and closer to the house every time she went to the bathroom. I might be wrong but I also remember reading how that story was the premise for a silly slasher horror flick called Jack Frost.

            If you were able to spy on the snowmen at night you would see them laughing and playing as children do in the day. I must admit it is pretty funny seeing a snowman throw a snowball at a snow kid. It’s not like they can catch them, they usually only have twigs for hands you know. When a snow kid catches a snowball it sort of just becomes part of them. It’s an amazing sight to see, to see one grow up before your very eyes. I imagine not many will see that though.

            Steve was never lucky enough to see any of these things though. He was never able to tell anyone how sad he was and he was never able to smile at the little girl that built him year after year. The girl was a poor girl who lost her father when she was only 3 years old. Her mother never let her use anything from the house to help her build the snowman, and she was never allowed out long enough to build more than one. She had no coat of course. So year after year Steve was remade but he never had a face.

            Steve wasn’t one to complain naturally, because he could not speak and therefore could not be heard. This was just how the world was to him, a dark place where he had no friends, and only the occasional touch of the little girl that made him year after year.

            This morning seemed different to Steve though. He could tell that the girl was the same girl that has always made him. That was how the magic worked. The same snowmen were reborn during each snowfall, because they would be made by the same hands. That’s all it took. No silly words from Harry Potter, or magical phrase by Santa Clause. It was what it was and that’s how the world worked.

            The girl put the finishing touched on Steve. A hat, a carrot for a nose, oranges for eyes, and a bright yellow banana that way he could smile as he saw the world for the first time.

            “There you go Steve,” she said, “I was never able to make him with a face when I was younger Rosey.”

            “Why not Mom?” the girl asked as she was putting the finishing touches on the lower portion of Steves body with her pink and purple poke o dot gloves.

            “Well when I was a little girl,” the grown up began, “I wasn’t allowed to use anything from the house on Stevie here. We didn’t have any money for anything extra, especially in the winter. I always felt bad for the snowmen I built because they could never see the world like I could.”

            “But we can Mommy?” Rose asked.

            Roses mother smiled, and you could tell that she was particularly proud of what she was about to say.

            “Well,” she said, “I knew that we never had the money when I was a girl like you. So I wanted to make sure that when I was a Mommy I could do this with my daughter just like I am right now. I wanted to be able to come out here with my daughter in her warm winter coat and build a snowman just like this.” She spread the last 3 words out as she pinched the cheeks of Rose.

            They didn’t see it but Stevie’s yellow smile grew a little bigger and shined a little brighter right then, as Mother and daughter turned and went inside the 2 story house on Elmview Drive.

            That night a dog came and accidentally broke Stevie down when he was trying to get the banana off of him. He didn’t care it was the best day of his life. He was reborn the very next day, but again things were different. When his eyes were in place (yellow ping pong balls this time), he saw he was surrounded by different snowmen, and snow boys, and snow girls, and it looked to him. That Rose and her mother were making him….A Snow wife!