Friday, 23 October 2015

Cover Reveal & Grandchildren. SHORTS Vol.3

So? What does writing and grandchildren have in common? Nothing, right?



Normally that would be correct but in my case I decided that I wanted to leave a legacy to my grandkids. Something they could physically hold in their hands and say " My Grampy wrote these stories and dedicated them to me."

Will it mean anything to them sometime in the future? I can't answer that question as my crystal ball is malfunctioning this morning but I can tell you this, it means something to me.

Three grandkids, three collections of short stories. I love these rascals.






You, my wonderful readers, have already been introduced to SHORTS Vol.1 & 2. Today you get a peek at Vol.3

Volume 1 was for Matthieu Isaac Young

Volume 2 was for Natasha Madeline Young

Volume 3 is for the youngest, Damien Ernest Brun Young.



SHORTS Vol.3


 
 
 
Letting Go

Lloyd Minister has passed away. His son Eugene has to sort through the Four Boxes of Memories his father left behind. What stories will they tell?


It has been six months since his father, Lloyd Minister, passed away. But the last three weeks have been a trial for Eugene. All of Lloyd’s possessions had to be stored when Eugene removed them from his father’s room at the senior’s home where Lloyd had only spent one night. Most items, mainly furnishings, have now been sold, except the antique pieces he and his wife kept. Clothing, bedding and other things nobody wanted were given away. The Salvation Army van had picked them up last week. Eugene himself had carried out the last box, packed with his father’s folded suits, to place it in the van. With head hanging and deep reluctance he had set the carton softly in the vehicle but couldn’t let it go, couldn’t take his hands away from the last remnants of the man’s physical presence. The driver had had to coax him, lead him gently aside.

 

One Bedroom Ark

Noah Coyne owns a convenience store. Widowed and alone, he works the long hours to keep himself occupied. Late one night the last customer only wanted to buy a can of soup but doesn’t have enough change. Making the situation sadder is the baby bundled at her shoulder.
 
Noah Coyne began to count the cash in his till. The flashing of the crosswalk light on the corner caused him to look up. His reflection in the store’s front window flashed yellow every time it blinked.  Outlining his proud chin and the life lines etched across his brow, the amber beam outlines a handsome man of seventy-one. The image reflected in the glass has dark holes for eyes for the faint light cannot capture the vibrancy of the owner’s gaze. Eyes of the darkest blue, like fresh steel, stare out at the empty street in front of his store. The pavement, wet and slick from a drizzling rain, shines yellow and black, yellow and black, until the warning light suddenly stops. He looks up, wondering if the person he can see crossing the street might be coming his way – one more customer before he closes. He checks the watch that covers his hairy wrist and, seeing that it’s 9:30, heads to the entrance to bring in the specials sign he places outside each morning.
 
Two Boys, One Wagon and One Secret.

In the 1950’s nothing touched a young man’s pride like a red wagon. John and Phil (aka Beans and Chops) collect empties on the roadside every Sunday after church. One day they collected something more valuable than a returnable.

Beans and Chops are both ten years old. Beans, aka John Pascal Williams Jr., looks like a teenager, big for his age. His hair and eyes are both dark. Everybody calls him Beans because when he was seven, every day for a week, he asked his mother if they could have beans for lunch. Someone had told him that beans would give him gas.  His father always complained that gas was expensive, and he figured if he could make some gas for his father, then his dad would be happy. He had no idea how he’d get the gas in his dad’s car, but John Jr. loved nothing more than making his father happy.

His mother figured the boy loved beans, so she fed him beans once a day for a whole week. He was producing gas all right, gas that escaped during class, announcing its freedom in a noisy and putrid fashion. At suppertime the day it happened, he told his family about his awful day. His mother explained why it happened and suggested he shouldn’t eat so many beans. His older brother Dave, upon hearing the story, laughed so hard he fell from his chair. From that day on John Jr. was called Beans.

Chops, named Caudwell Horatio Orville Phileas Sangster, was small for his age, making him look more like an eight-year-old. A cap of reddish curly locks topped his head and freckled cheeks decorated his cherubic face. His parents called him Phil. When he started school, the older kids would tell him to “Phil it up” or ask “Are you full, Phil?” or other comments making fun of his name. They teased him so often that after school he would hide in his room and cry big tearful sobs. The torment lasted until summer break. During the holidays, when he was idle, he would print his full name on blank paper, trying to decide which one he would use when he returned to school in the fall. When he couldn’t decide, he printed out the first letter from each name, forming the word CHOPS. He liked how it sounded, so after that he would only answer to Chops. The most peculiar aspect of the new name was that no one made fun of it, not even the older kids. 

No Dying Today.

Detective Josephine (Jo) Naylor almost died last night if not for her partner Adam Thorne. After being ragged out by their supervisor, they set out to find the man that tried to kill her.
 
 
Inspector Murdoch Maloney feels sorry for Jo Naylor. He tries to imagine the fear she must’ve experienced with a garrote tightening around her neck less than eight hours ago. He doesn’t need to see the red mark, which is covered by the black turtleneck she wears under her jacket. He’s faced dangerous people enough times in his life to know how nerve wracking it is to come close to death. He admits to himself that the ordeal with her father last year must have also been overwhelming, but he didn’t get to be Inspector by being a candy ass. He had just finished ragging her and her partner, Adam Thorne, out big time. But mostly Naylor as this was the second time she had ventured into a potentially dangerous situation on her own. She had just come from a checkup at the hospital.
After the Inspector finishes chewing them out over how close she had come to dying, the small office is quiet. The computer tower under his desk hums in the silence. Noise from the outer offices – chatter, ringing phones, creaking chairs – is mostly muffled by the closed door behind the two detectives. They sit facing their superior’s desk: Naylor in the chair closer to the exit, to his right. Thorne has his elbows on the armrests of the chair, his fingers steepled. He’s gazing at his knees, unfocused, chewing on his inner lip in concentration. He’s been a constable detective two weeks short of a year. He knows, though, to keep his mouth shut. Maloney chews everybody out, the tough old bastard.
The Food Bank

There are many people that have too much food. There are many people that go hungry. Food Banks try to balance the two by depending on donations. If you ever visited one, you might be surprised what goes on there.

Food is a necessary staple of everyone’s life. Because of that I toss my loose change in an old cookie jar - a Woody Woodpecker sans cover that I bought at a yard sale – daily. Stationed on my night table by the lamp, it faces the closet, the ceramic peeping tom watching me change clothes all the time. At the end of each month, he and I probably save up sixteen to twenty dollars. Whoopee! But today is cause for celebration; I counted this month’s take after breakfast and found a couple of misplaced toonies, for an all-time high of $23.44. I am elated. There will mean eight more Mr. Noodles to dole out.

Today’s my day off – Wednesday. The end of January is only a day away. My to-do list is lying on the kitchen table, nagging at me, do this, do that. I grab the pencil sitting next to it and tick off number one: “Donation time!!!!” The Maritime Megamart, with over two acres of supreme shopping pleasure, is where I’m headed. It’s not far, so I decide to walk. I retrieve my wool pea jacket from the closet, gloves from the basket on the upper shelf, boots from the rack. Just before I’m ready to leave, I remember the frosty abstract art on my bedroom window. It’s likely colder than it looks, so I decide to add a scarf. A Tip Top Tailors suit hanger holds a bevy of colored wraps snaked around each other; the brightest and flowered ones belong to my wife. I opt for my favorite grey and black checkered scarf, pulling it from the tangled mess. When I do, a beige scarf falls to the floor.


 
This project has been so much fun. Thank you for stopping by.
 
SHORTS Vol.3 is now available at Amazon.ca for the low price of $1.99. HERE
The paperback will be available in November.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






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