The Announcement Lesson 6

The Announcement                                 Lesson 6

It was taking Georgina nearly two hours to travel across the city to her parents’ house on the fringe western suburbs.

Her visits weren’t frequent and already she could feel the tension building in her shoulders. Georgina was never going to be the boy her father had desperately wanted. He called her George and had pushed her into football and outdoor activities but even though she’d tried so hard she fell short of his expectations. His staunch Union support had immersed her in politics but at Uni studying Political Science her political orientation had changed. Her announcement today would not go down well. Gina, as all her friends called her, braced herself as she knocked on the door.

“Georgie, love. It’s good to see you.” Maria tried to reach out to her daughter when Rocco was out of hearing. “You’ve bought us lunch. Go see your father. He’s a bit out of sorts today.”

As Gina stepped into the enclosed veranda Rocco was in his recliner chair. He reached out to shake her hand but didn’t stand.

“Hi Dad. You’ve got a warm spot here in the sun.”

“Have to spend a lot of time here these days. Your mob don’t give us miners any compo payments.”

The reference to her work with the Government member was his typical barb. She turned the subject to the Club and some of his mates. She offered to help with the lunch but Maria suggested she should stay with Rocco. Soon they were eating the chicken salad and Gina knew she had to prepare them.

“Mum and Dad, I’ve got some things I need you to know. I’d like you to listen before we discuss them.” There was a snort from the chair.

“Is your mob putting up our pension? Not likely.” Rocco answered his own question.

“No Dad. I’ve resigned from my job with the Member.”

“That’s a relief. Are you going to get a real job now?”

“Georgie. I thought you were happy where you worked.”

Gina hesitated. The worst was yet to come.

“I’ve loved my work and the Member of Parliament who is my boss is a hard working man.”

“Hard working! He wouldn’t last half an hour down in the mine.”

Gina decided to plough on. “You may have heard that an Election is coming up and the Deputy Premier is retiring.”

“And good riddance is what me and my mates say about him and every other poli.”

“Well Dad you probably won’t like what I’m going to tell you next.”

“No surprises there George.”

“Oh Rocco. Just listen up.”

“I’ve had to resign because I have won the Pre-Selection for the Deputy Premier’s seat. It’s what they consider a “blue ribbon” seat so there is a very strong expectation I will be elected as the Member for Springwater.” It was a bombshell. Gina tensed waiting for the outburst. Would this be the final nail in their fragile relationship?

“A poli! A politician! I’ll never be able to put my foot in the Club with my mates again.” His voice was rising. His face reddened.

“Georgie. That’s very upsetting. Are you going to be on tele?”

“That’s why I’m here Mum. This week an announcement will be made and during the build up to the election I’ll be travelling with the Premier. I’m going to probably be on the TV quite a lot.”

“What channel? Well we won’t be watching you or that mob.” Rocco was angry. “Don’t bring your news crew anywhere near us or they’ll really get an earful.”

Rocco began coughing and gasped for breath. Gina hadn’t realised the extent of the lung disease. Maria stood nearby with a glass of water.

“Georgie, you’re upsetting your father, again.” Her mother’s disapproval lay in every word. “You’re upsetting us both. I think you need to leave.”

“I’m sorry Mum and Dad but there’s more I need to say. It’s about the journalists and the TV crews.”

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Courtney’s Moment of Fear

Courtney’s Moment of Fear

“Hi, Courtney.”
Courtney looked at him with confusion. “Do I know you?”
“Well…no; but I know you.”
Courtney’s heart stopped. Who is this guy??
“I am a huge fan of yours. Will you sign my book?”
Her heart started again. Oh, it’s just another fan. He shoved his copy of “A Dagger in My Heart” in her face. She signed it, and began to walk past him. She stopped short when he jumped ahead of her, blocking her way. Her heart raced and her mind was cluttered with thoughts that every writer in this situation has. This guy is some kind of a nut!
He looked at her with a smirk on his face. Not a warm smile, that makes you feel at ease, but a leering grin. Courtney’s hair on the back of her neck stood on end.

“Gee, you are as beautiful as your picture”, pointing at the back cover of her book.”
The compliment was shrouded in evil.
“Can I take you out? Maybe lunch or dinner? Or maybe even coffee? I would really like to talk to you about publishing.”
She could tell by his stance, his tone, his expression, and the way that he stood to close to her, that he wanted nothing to do with publishing. How was she going to get rid of him? She looked for someone to help her, anyone. In this big city, she suddenly felt alone with this man, who was becoming more of a threat as time went on. She started to panic.
“Well, I’m sorry, but…”
“What? You think that you are better than me, is that it?”
Dial it back a bit. “Of course not, it’s just that I need to be somewhere in 15 minutes.”
Courtney turned and almost walked as quickly away from him as she could. She peered back only to see him standing with her book in his hand. She still remembered the menacing smile on his face and she felt a chill go down her spine.

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Lesson 7 – Jake and Susan

“I just killed your dad,” said Jake as he walked out of the father’s living room where the murder was committed.

“Oh, he was just nothing but an ole’ stick in the mud,” said Susan.  “Who cares about him?  He was going to turn you in to the police when he found out you robbed that 7-11.  Good riddance.”

Jake held Susan close.  Then he said, “We’ve got to get out of here before he’s discovered and the police come.”

So, the two of them hopped in Jake’s car and rode off.  Jake turned on the radio.  On the radio came a pop song.  A man sang, “I feel like bustin’ loose, bustin’ loose…”  They came upon this motel and checked in.

“Now, we’re here where nobody can bother us,” said Susan to Jake.

One day Susan had met Jake when she had been walking down her street where she lived and found him attractive.  Then he came on strong and said he loved her.  He seemed exciting to her.  Susan was lonely with no friends.  She had been picked on in school.  Now, here was her man right in front of her.  She figured they’d have a lot of exciting times together even though on the onset, robbing places wasn’t her thing but she loved him and wanted to be with somebody.

Inside the motel room Jake switched on the TV.  The news came on.  “There’s been an armed robbery at the 7-11 at 17th Street in the Hanover district last night.  If you recognize this suspect in the video, call police.”

Jake had been wearing a face mask during the robbery.  So, maybe no one would recognize him except for Susan’s father who was now dead.

“Now we’re together where nobody can find us or hurt us,” said Susan.

Jake then wrapped his arms around Susan and they both flopped in the bed.  They started to make love together.  Jake was kissing Susan lying on top of her when it continued on the news, “The suspect was wearing a pair of purple tennis shoes and a tan coat,” said the news broadcaster.  “If you’ve seen anybody with this description, call police.”

Susan and Jake briefly look up from their love making to look at the TV.

“There’s got to be a million people who wear purple sneakers and a tan coat,” said Jake to Susan.

“Yeah,” said Susan.  “They’ll never find us.”

They continued to make love and totally blocked out the noise on the TV from their minds as they made love.

“Did you see that?” asked the clerk in the motel office to his manager.  The clerk pointed to the TV hooked up on the wall.  “Didn’t we just check in a boy and a girl, the boy who was wearing the purple sneakers and a tan coat?”

“Yes,” said the motel manager.  “I suppose I do remember the details because that was the first time I’d seen purple sneakers.”

“What do you suppose we should do?” asked the clerk.

“I guess to be on the safe side, we should call the police,” replied the manager.  The manager then dialed for the police.

Jake and Susan were still in their motel room making out.  Then Jake stopped to switch the TV channel.  When he switched to another station another news broadcast came on.  “Kurt Mendelson was found dead in his living room this evening when his wife walked in and discovered the body.”

“They’ve discovered the body,” said Susan.  “It’s on the five o’clock news.  Was he really that important to be on the five o’clock news?”

Jake went to have a look out the window.  He drew back the curtain a tad and had a look.  “There’s a police car parked in the parking lot out there,” he said.

Susan rolled out of the bed and walked up to the window to have a look.

“Let’s get our stuff and get going,” said Jake.

Jake and Susan gathered their belongings and headed out the door.  They got into Jake’s car and drove down the highway.

Inside the motel office the policeman said to the motel manager, “Purple sneakers?  Okay, we’ll give it a look.”

The motel manager led the policeman to Jake and Susan’s motel room.  The policeman knocked on the door.  “Open up, police!”

There was no answer.  The hotel manager unlocked the door and they both went in.  The policeman looked in the bedroom and the bathroom.  No one was home.

“Did you get the license plate of the tenant?” asked the policeman to the manager.

“Yes,” said the manager.  “It is CCB803.  He was driving a blue Toyota Camry.  We always obtain this information in case a guest decides to skip out on paying the daily rooming fee.”

“Give it twenty-four hours,” advised the policeman.  “If you don’t hear from this tenant then if he doesn’t pay the rooming fee, we’ll send out a warrant for his arrest.”

The policeman had to do it this way because just because the tenant was wearing purple sneakers didn’t mean that he was the robbery suspect.

Jake and Susan where riding down the road when Susan said, “You’ve got to do something about those purple sneakers and tan coat.”

“Good idea,” replied Jake.

“You’ve really got to do something about those purple sneakers,” said Susan.  “They even glow in the dark.  I mean really.  It’s like they’re a target on your back.  Poor, Jake.”  Then Susan kissed Jake on the cheek and pats his head.

Jake pulled up the Toyota into the parking lot of this department store.  Jake reached across Susan and removed a 38 caliber pistol from the glove compartment and stuffed it down the front of his pants and covered it with his shirt.

Jake and Susan got out of the Toyota and went into the department store.  They both ran up and down the aisles.  They were in a wild frenzy.  Jake grabbed a coat off the rack.  Then he walked to the shoe section of the store.  He saw just the right size and with plain colors, not too gaudy like the purple shoes.  The shoes were on racks stacked above each other.  Pairs of shoes existed beside each other from one pair of shoes to the next on several racks in several rows which of course made it easier to steal them and run.  He grabbed the pair of shoes and with the coat in hand, grabbed Susan and started to run outside the door.

Security happened to catch a glimpse of the Jake and Susan.

“Stop,” said the security manager.  “Where are you going?  You haven’t paid for that merchandize.”

Jake stopped and turned around.  “Oh, yes I did.”

“No, you didn’t,” said the security man.  I’d been watching you on my video camera screen.”

Jake then pulled the gun out of his belt and pointed it at the security man.  Susan grabbed the coat and shoes.  Jake still pointing the gun at the security man, grabbed Susan by the arm and pulled her along until they got back into the Toyota.

Jake revved up the Toyota and sped off.  They sped down the highway when before they knew it, the flashing lights of a police cruiser was right behind them.

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So you want to be a writer? MD 8

So you want to be a writer?

“Is this seat taken?” Bob asked loudly.

Bill was sitting by himself in a secluded corner of the Tim Horton’s restaurant. He was nursing his coffee and slowly munching a muffin staring intently at his laptop.  Bouts of intense typing would be followed by longer periods of reflection and thought.  He had cocooned himself in a little world oblivious to the noise of clattering dishes, the continuous chatter, and the whooshing of the cappuccino machines and the smells of coffee and doughnuts that filled the room.  He had not noticed Bob, his old friend, approaching with his coffee and muffin in hand.

Startled, Bill replied, “Sorry, Bob, didn’t see you there. Please have a seat, I could use the distraction.”

“You were pretty engrossed. What are you up to?” Bob asked.

“I am writing my first novel.”

“Oh – Really? – That’s a change from scientific research.”

“For sure, for sure – but I am really enjoying it.”

“I thought you had retired.”

“While I did leave consulting, I have many good years left to try something new.”

“So Tim Horton’s is your office?”

“Sometimes, — mostly I work from home where I can watch the birds at the feeders out my office window.”

“Do you really think you can be a novelist?” asked Bob.

“Yes, most of the time. I do have periods of doubt though.  But I think persistence is the main key to success,” answered Bill.

“Well, you certainly have the smarts but do you have the writer’s soul?”

“I’d like to think so. Expressing feelings in my writing is new and very different from scientific writing.  But I am enjoying the freedom and finding it very therapeutic.”

“So, what is you novel about?”

“It is about the almost spiritual relationships we have with our automobiles and the significant life events associated with them. I am starting at my first car and then following the progression of automobiles through my life.  Vehicles owned when single, married, with kids and now grandkids,” explained Bill.

“Sounds promising, you have certainly owned many different vehicles. I remember the old Subaru Wagon you turned into a “cruck” by cutting off the rear roof and making a plywood truck box.  That was a great tractor.  You even skidded logs with it on your property,” reminisced Bob.

“Yea, it was great until it rusted in half. Bob, do you remember that blue Ford Aerostar van that I bought new.  It went through four of my daughters learning to drive for the first time?  It had over 350,000 km on it before we retired it.”

“Yea, how many times did your daughters put the van in the ditch?”

“Too many to remember or count and that’s the times I was told about.  The joy of living in the mountains, especially in the winter.”

Bob had finished his coffee and muffin and could see Bill was anxious to get back to his writing. He admired Bill’s spunk and his quest to become a novelist. “Well, Bill, I best be going and let you get back to work.   I wish you well on you novel and its publication.”

“Thanks, Bob, I’ll invite you to my first book signing.”

“That would be great. Bye for now,” Bob said as he got up from the table and left Tim Horton’s.

Bill went back to his work, quickly capturing the memories triggered by Bob. The “cruck” could almost be a whole chapter and the Aerostar was a chapter for sure.  So many memories, so little time.

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Holiday Surprise. Lesson 5.

 

Holiday  Surprise.

Jill and Pete enjoyed their week nights. During the day Jill interacted with the public and Pete spent his time almost in isolation on his computer. Among recent after tea topics was the next holiday. Their holidays had been varied and they factored in a number of issues relevant to each of them. Jill liked less busy places away from crowds and Pete liked new experiences.

“Can you stay here for a few minutes?” Pete asked. “I’ll call when I’m ready.”

There’s a surprise, Jill thought trying to run through some options as the minutes passed.

“I’m ready.” The call came as an excited whisper. The light was off in the room as Jill felt her way to the chair and sat down.

“This is mysterious Pete. I’m intrigued. Do I get three guesses?”

“No. All will be revealed.” Pete’s voice came from the doorway.

Click. Light flooded the room. Jill scanned the coffee table – colourful brochures were strewn everywhere. Their hats and beach towels were draped over the couch.

“Pete?” Jill wasn’t sure how to react. “What are you trying to tell me?”

“Our holiday!” Jill looked more closely at the brochures. There was a consistent element in each photo. She heard the sharp intake of her breath.

“Our holiday is aboard the Dawn Princess. I’ve got a fantastic deal. We’re off on the high seas.”

“Pete, we didn’t talk about a cruise in our holiday plans.”

Jill reached for the nearest brochure. The photo was of holiday makers, mainly women, lounging on rows of deck chairs around the pool.

“I might need some new swim wear.” Those extra kilos she’d gained would not look like these sun seeking tourists.

“Of course, love. Did you like the way I have the hats and towels? That was a clue. We won’t need much more than swim wear. The cruise is around the Barrier Reef Islands, snorkelling and diving are included.”

Underwater. The thought of donning a mask and snorkel had Jill’s heart rate increasing.

“There are glass bottom barges if you don’t want to swim. You’ll still see the coral and fish. Have a look at the magazine.” He reached across the table.

“Did you put a deposit on the tickets?”

“Yes, that’s how I got the great deal. I paid in full. It will be a bit tight with the budget till I get the bonus but it’s too good to miss. I knew you’d be surprised. We’d never thought of a cruise.”

Jill knew exactly why it hadn’t been discussed. Her very fair skin did not lend itself to  sun activities and as for being in water out of her depth…

“How many nights are we on board?”

“It’s ten days with different stopovers.”

“It’s certainly a surprise Pete and lots to read about.”

Jill slowly put the brochure back on the table.

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Intervention MD7

Intervention

“I am not who you think I am,” said Bob to his long-time Lodge buddy, Sam.

“Really?” responded Sam. “How do you know what I think about you?”

“I bet you see me as a God-fearing church-going man, a community volunteer, a soccer coach and a family man.”

“That’s all true but I don’t see a perfect man. We all have our faults.”

“The daytime persona you observe hides an evil secret. At night, my true self emerges.  I am a devil worshipper, a follower of Satan.”

“I see your trying to shock me but you telling me this, is an obvious cry for help,” Sam replied placing his hands on Bob’s shoulders.

“I am not sure I want to change,” Bob whispered.

“Let’s approach Father Donovan for help in this spiritual matter.”

Sam arranged for Bob and himself to see Father Donovan at the church the next day. He had discussed on the phone the situation with the Father in hopes of an intervention.

Sam and Bob arrived at the church to find Father Donovan praying at the altar. Father Donovan rose and greeted them, “Please have a seat in the front pew.”

Father Donovan placed his hands on Bob’s shoulders and looked him in the eyes saying “Are you willing to renounce Satan and all the powers of evil?”

“Father I am not sure I can or I want to,” replied Bob.

“What is the hold that the Lord of Darkness has on you?”

“The feeling of power and freedom.”

“Surely you understand the power is evil which breeds evil and the freedom a false freedom as you are serving the Dark Lord.”

“I do understand all that but I feel powerless to stop.”

The Father squeezing Bob’s shoulders implored “If you continue down this pathway you will lose all that is good – family, friends, community and church.”

“Help me — Father — please help me, I don’t know what to do” pleaded Bob.

Father asked Sam to place his hands on Bob as well. They would pray over Bob to exorcise the demon thereby healing Bob and giving him his life back.  Bob’s role would be to renounce the evil that had taken root in his soul.

Father Donovan began “Our dear Lord and Redeemer, redeem this broken man and free his soul from evil.  Bath him in your light driving away the darkness of the Evil One.  Do you Bob renounce all the powers of evil?”

“Yes, I renounce them,” Bob replied feeling the darkness starting to leave him.

“We ask our Lord Jesus Christ to lift up Bob and strengthen him in his times of need. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen”

At that moment energy flowed from both Sam and the Father into Bob. Bob glowed in a soft white light, the darkness completely erased from his soul.  Bob opened his eyes, smiled and said “Thank you, Father.”

“Don’t thank me. Thank the Lord and put your trust in him.”

 

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Lesson 6 – Higher Math

I don’t know if my parents expect me to be a rocket scientist or what but I just can’t do higher math.  What am I going to do?  If I make another D for my grade in math, my parents are going to make me spend another week in my room, grounded for a whole week, Mary thought.

Mary was in her bedroom going over her math books and listening to some soft music on her stereo to smooth out the tensions and impending doom.  There was a knock, knock on the bedroom door.  “Yes, come in.”

“I see from your report card you made another D in math,” said Mary’s father.

“Well, I’ve been studying hard,” said Mary.

“Well, not hard enough,” said the father.  “You’re grounded for a week.”

“What?” said Mary.

The father then closed the bedroom door and walked back down stairs to the living room where Mary’s mother was waiting, sitting on the couch.  “I just grounded Mary for a week to her bedroom,” said the father to the mother.

“What are we going to do with Mary making these bad grades?” asked the mother.

“I don’t know, Jennifer,” said the father.  “Maybe, this time Mary will straighten up.”

“I hope so, Kurt,” said Jennifer.  “I made all A’s when I was in school.  I don’t understand the child.”

In the meantime, Mary was languishing in her bedroom feeling hopeless, helpless and despondent.  Then an idea popped into her head.  She took her math book and went downstairs to the living room where her father and mother were sitting together on the coach.

Wa, ooh! thought Mary.  What am I doing here now when I usually get the third degree from those two when they are sitting together on the coach?  Well, I better do something now or I will be spending a week grounded in my room.  Then the words popped into Mary’s mind even though she’d been calculating it all along, she said, “I elect you to help me with my homework” and handed the math book to her father.

Her parents had her leave the room after the father took the math book.  They looked it over for a few minutes.

“Who does she think she is?  She elects us,” said the mother.  “If she’d only work hard, things would improve.  I did it.”

The father’s eyes started to bug out if he didn’t look green flipping through the pages of the book.

“What’s wrong with you, Kurt?” asked the mother.

The father didn’t answer.  He looked like a ghost.

“Let me see that book,” said the mother.  “When I was a kid…” then stoic she stared into the book.  “What’s that?” she said pointing at a figure on the page.

They both looked at each other.  They called Mary back into the room.

“We can’t do it.  We didn’t get this math when we were in school,” said the father he candidly admitted to Mary.  After all, the father and mother both graduated high school before the Russians launched Sputnik.  Higher math was not a requirement in the public schools before that.

“Well, does that mean I’m still grounded?” asked Mary.

“Well,” said the father.

“Well?” exclaimed Mary.  “If you can’t do the math, what am I to do?  Can you get me a tutor?  Actually, I’d really like that.”

“No, we can’t afford tutors,” said the father.

“That’s too bad,” said Mary.  “I really was looking forward to it.”

“No, you’re not grounded,” said the father.

On that note, Mary took back the math book and went upstairs to her bedroom to study some more, the best she could.  I really was looking forward to that tutor, she thought.  I really wasn’t trying to put my parents on the spot but what else could I do?  I guess my parents are old fashion.  I don’t need punishment.  I need help.

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Breaking the Mold (Lesson 3)

“Damn, I reminded you two times”! she said. She turned away, folding her arms around her waist. Lately, it didn’t seem to matter. Garret, turned toward Tonya, raising his eyebrows with a quizzical look on his face.

“And the point is”? his arms flailed into the air. Tonya took a deep breath, willing herself to remain calm, or at least calm enough to not just knock his head off his broad shoulders.

“Garret”, she turned, stomped one slender petite foot on the ground turned to face his amused look. “You know”, she began. “You were suppose to be at the meeting last night, remember”? she said this last with contained rage. She pointed her slim finger in his face. He swiped it away.

“So I missed a meeting”, he glanced up from his chair to see her face suffused with anger. “You are angry over a meeting”?

“A meeting”, she regained her composure. “You missed”, she said in a hushed forceful voice. “A meeting, with OUR son, the Father/Son awards meeting”, she said the last in a louder much harsher tone. “He was sitting in the front row glancing at the door repeatedly when he saw any little movement.” she flared. “You were my life when we got married”, but you became a stranger after Franklin was born. You turned into someone else entirely, a ghost, inconsistent ass, a disgusting, it’s all about me attitude.” she said slowly, looking into the air, into a memory long past. “Out of that love we created a little human being, a boy, your son, MY son”. but apparently that wasn’t enough or important to you. Our son, Franklin Charles Montgomery. A gift from God”, flicking her tears away, her face contorted with anger. “We promised, in that moment we held him he was to be the most important person in our life, he was to come before anything or anyone else.” she slid to the ground, depleted, no longer angry, just spent. She wrapped her arms around her legs, resting her head on her knees. Almost inaudibly, she told Garret about the meeting that apparently was not important to him, but she sighed. “Franklin”, she whispered, closing her eyes and seeing Frankie, in her mind. “he watched as each father’s name was called, and the father met his son so he could pin his music ribbon on his chest. It was the Father/Son meeting, if you even recall or care, even now, but way too late”. she huffed. “His eyes darted feverishly looking for your face to appear. As he sat in that front row his eyes would meet mine, beseeching me, where’s dad?”, he seemed to say. Her tears flowed freely, her hushed tones recalled the pain she felt as she saw the pain and expectation on Frankie’s eager but confused face. “He was crestfallen. His eyes would dart around the room again and again, his eagerness waning.”, she raised her blouse to her face to wipe the tears from her face. “I could scream how loathsome you are”! But that would make me the bad guy”. she sighed in defeat. “Do you realize you are his hero, his best friend, he looks up to you with shining pride”. she glanced over to Garret to see if anything she had said affected him at all. “Why can’t you make him your priority”?. “Seven years, he has waited for you to make him your best buddy, but each time you disappoint him. After the divorce, he looks at your picture on his cell phone eagerly wanting to call, or hoping you would call him. He needs you. As sorry as I am to say that, God, if I could change anything about this mess we are in, is Frankie’s disappointments and silent tears, all due to your inability to make him the most important relationship. I can’t give him you, only you can do that”. she said in resignation.

“So, I am not dad of the year”, he said with some emotion. “Is that what you want me to say”? Garret proceeded. He was pissed at her for making him feel guilty or because he was mentally kicking himself. “There’s nothing I can do or say, now”. he voiced into the air. “I know I am not the Father I—-we envisioned. Hell I am turning out more like my old man. Worse, I swore I would never go there with my kids”. He shook his head back and forth trying to throw an ugly image from his mind. He got up from the table bench, walked away, then turned and kicked an invisible object on the ground. He abruptly sat beside her. “Frankie is important to me and I love him. Hell, I feel worse than this dirt we are sitting on. “How did I become my old man”? he spoke in a vague questioning voice. He put his head down into his large palms pushing his light brown hair from his face, his tears were salty tasting, as he let a tear fall upon his lips. “I know I really screwed up”. he glanced at her, face flushed and fused with emotion, as rivlet of tears wetted his cheeks. “I know I’ve disappointed him on too many occasions. But Father/Son music award meeting. I know I really screwed up”. Garret glanced at her pleading for her to look at him without disgust. “I remember all too well how I felt, every time my old man said—NO. The times he promised the world to me, but all I did was wait and wait, time after time, day after day. Until one final day I realized he would never keep any promise. A very sad and disillusioned time that was. I spent too many years forgiving him, with hope still burning in my soul”.

She felt his remorse, his anguish and his releasing of the past.
He said, “he’s gone. He’s never coming back into my life, into my heart and never again will I let him come into our son’s life through my endeavor to cling to a ghostly and hopeful past that never came to life”. He turned to Tonya, he held her hand in his, his eyes pleading to give him another chance to be a better father to their son and possibly a better man that Tonya would once again begin to love.

“Frankie needs you as YOU as his Father—-not the father, your father was to you”. She stood, her hand falling away from his. She looked down at him sitting there listening to his almost silent weeping. He shook his head up and down.

“Yes, I’ll be Frankie’s father, not the disappointing father that raised me. I will not pass that message of hurt and anger and the lost feeling of never getting what had been promised…but a Father that keeps his promises and his word. I’ll learn to be someone I have never had portrayed to me. I can do this”. Garret glanced up at Tonya.

“It’s time to be a man to your son, instead of a ghost of your father. “Your son needs you more than me, right now. He knows I’m here for him all the time. You will have to build trust with him and keep your promises, do not let him regret that he will be putting his heart on a platter for you to carry and take care of”. She touched Garret’s fine hair, falling slightly over his left eyebrow and gently brushed it away, gave him a slight pleading smile, then walked away.

“Yes, I can be a man and a real father to my son”, he thought, getting up, dusting the dirt from his trousers and putting a smile on his face. A real smile. It reached down deep into him. It felt good and he wanted his son to feel that same feeling too. He grabbed his cell phone from his pocket, stared at it, waiting, for what he didn’t really know, then realized HE had to make the first move, he was the adult, the father, the screwup, but hoping a slight chance might be a beginning to a new relationship.
“Frankie?” Garrett said. “I’m calling to apologize for not getting to your music award ceremony. Will you give me another chance? Can we begin again and become buddies?” Garret heard Frankie’s intake of air.

“Wow, dad, yeah, what can we do? Something cool? Play ball? Go to the park? Can I bring Rusty with us? He is my friend next door. He knows you. I want you to meet, he’s a good guy too.”

Garret listened in amazement at this child, his son, his excitement, his forgiveness without Garret even really saying, I’m sorry. He felt a huge tug at his heart and knew then that he would be his Father that kept promises, to love him, to be with him just so he himself could always hear that excitement in Frankie’s voice. So Frankie would never have to experience the type of disappointment that Garret had suffered at the pretentiousness of his old man.
The cell phone had gone dead and the event of the moment sunk in, two forty five, he thought, no time like the present.

He called Frankie back, “Will you or do want to, grab a pizza and go to the game room close to the restaurant,

“Wow, yes, dad that’s great.”

“And, your friend Rusty, see if he would like to come too.” Garret heard Frankie in the background as he yelled ALRIGHT!
Garret sauntered to his car, lost in thought, smiled and opened the car door. As he sat down he felt a weight drop from his shoulders that he wasn’t even aware was there. My son—MY SON. Garret put the car in reverse, backed out slowly as the awesomeness of the moment washed over him once again.
He would pick up a glove and ball on his way home, he thought, yeah, that would be nice.

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Birthday wish

“Whoa, now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.” Frankie says, watching the waitress deposit their orders on the table.

The waitress asks if she can “Get you boys anything else?” and left with an order to top up Frankie’s coffee and another glass of o-j for Irwin.

“Thanks for this.” Frankie said and dipped the corner of his toast into one of the sunny-side-ups and tore into it with his teeth.

“Glad to do it,” Irwin said. “Not every day your buddy turns twenty-five.” He salt and peppered his scrambled eggs, forked up a clump and started eating.

“Yeah, about that.“ Frankie said. “I know all about the surprise party Janice is throwing for me tonight.”

Irwin stopped chewing, stared wide-eyed across the table and became pale.

“Doesn’t take a genius to figure it out you know.” Frankie continued. “Kinda strange that my girlfriend had other plans besides spending the day with me on my birthday huh? Besides, I overheard her talking to you on the phone the other day.”

“Sorry Frankie, supposed to be a surprise, so you heard everything huh?”

“Yup, you betcha.” He said – still with a little bit of food in his mouth. “I have to ask though, I know the plan was to take me out golfing today but you think we could do something a little more…exciting? It’s a milestone birthday after all…right?

“Uh, yeah sure.“ Irwin’s brow furrowed. He thought golf was a solid plan but now is frantically recalculating for a plan ‘B’. “What are you up for, go-karting or something?”

“C’mon Irwin, what am I twelve? Something more ballsy than that. I want to do something I’ll remember the rest of my life. What do you say, you up for something adventurous? C’mon man, I need you to commit to making this the best birthday of my life?”

“Yeah, I guess I can do that.”

Hahagreat. Irwin ol’ pal, you and me are going skydiving.

“Wha…” some spittle teased his airway so he cleared his throat several times.

“I knew you’d say ‘yes’,” Frankie said, “so three days ago I booked our time slot. First we got to take some sort of safety orientation thing, but after that we’re heading skyward to take our first jump, baby.” Frankie raised his fork slowly while making an airplane noise with his mouth and once it was above head level he used his other hand like a little person had jumped out.

“S-sounds exciting. So this is happening to-day?” Irwin shuffled some food around on his plate without picking it up.

“You betcha.” Frankie stabbed a sausage, bit off a sizable portion and continued speaking in between chews. ”Heading…out there…right after… breakfast.”

Silence fell between them for a moment as Frankie focussed on shovelling more food in his mouth. Irwin was less enthusiastic about the contents of his plate, which suddenly had the appeal of dry sand.

The waitress returned with Irwin’s orange juice and begins topping up Frankie’s coffee. “How’s the food?”

“Everything’s good, thanks.” Frankie said and suddenly had an idea. “Say listen, uh…” he looked for a name tag, “Betty – have you ever been skydiving?”

“Skydiving? Me? No way!” She responded, but much too quickly. Then decided to soften her response by adding: “Had a boyfriend once though that liked that kinda risky stuff; not for me though. Why’d you ask?”

“Well me and Irwin here decided to celebrate my twenty-fifth birthday by going parachutin’. Thought that if you’d gone up yourself you might’ve had advice for a couple of newbies.”

“Oh well happy birthday then. So you’re gonna celebrate by jumping out of a perfectly good plane huh? Takes all kinds I suppose. Hope I don’t hear about you on the news tonight. Can I get you boys anything else?”

They both responded in the negative and resumed eating once Betty left to serve another table.

Frankie noticed his friend wasn’t looking up from his plate. And when he lifted food to his mouth, his hand trembled slightly like the fork had a significant amount of weight to it. Irwin was on autopilot, eating ever slowly while locked in a daydream that sucked the colour from his face.

The booth across the way stole Frankie’s attention; the nails-to-chalkboard voice of a twenty-something brunette telling the older woman across from her about being left on hold for a ghastly amount of time while making a doctor’s appointment. Further back and closer to the kitchen entrance, a gaggle of smartly dressed men hooted and guffawed at a very animated crew-cut guy telling a story but from this distance he sounded like Charlie Brown’s parents.

“So what are you going to tell Janice?” with a forcedly controlled voice, Irwin instigated a break in the coagulating silence. “Don’t think she’ll be too happy once she finds out.”

“Oh, Janice just needs to lighten up.” Frankie said, his eyes darting left and right as they often did when he was about to dish out his own brand of sarcasm. “Besides, I’ll just tell her it was your idea.”

A smile stole over Irwin’s face and he bit into some bacon.

Frankie chuckled and at that moment, he knew Irwin was going to muster up the courage to jump from a plane with his twenty-five year old friend.

Posted in Lesson 5 | 3 Comments

Lesson 5 – Flipped House / Haunted House

“Kelly, I read that they have that flipped house for sale now.  It’s finally been fixed up and renovated,” said Jim.  “Looks like we’ll finally be able to afford a home.”

“That sounds great.  It’s a flipped house?” asked Kelly.

“Yes, that’s right,” said Jim.  “Is there a problem?  It is a cheaper mortgage when you buy flipped houses.”

“Where did you see the ad?” asked Kelly.

“In the newspaper,” replied Jim.

“Could I see it?” asked Kelly.

Jim went and retrieved the paper from a stack he had on the coffee table and gave it to Kelly.

Kelly took the paper and looked at the article and then went and sat at her computer to look up more information about the house on the internet.  “Look here, Jim.  It says this house had been in a fire that was really a cover for a murder.”

Jim then peered over Kelly to have a look at what she was seeing on the computer.  “Yeah, so,” replied Jim.

“So?” said Kelly.  “There was a murder.”

“Are you afraid of ghosts?” asked Jim.

“Of course not,” said Kelly.  “But it’s creepy.”

“There is a rent to buy option,” said Jim.  “I’m going down to the mortgage lender tomorrow.”

“Oh?” said Kelly.

That afternoon Jim returned home with the papers he signed for his new house.

“We’re moving in to the new house in thirty days.” said Jim.

“Oh, I see,” said Kelly.  Kelly then left the apartment, got in her car and went to the new house that Jim signed the preliminary papers for.   She came upon the neighborhood and house.  She got out of the car and stood on the sidewalk in front of the house.  A neighbor, a woman walked by.  “Are you thinking of buying that house?” asked the neighbor.

“Yes, I believe my husband already did,” replied Kelly.

“Did you know that the house is haunted?” said the neighbor.  “When the house burned down a woman was killed in there.  They say she comes out at night in there as a ghost.”

“Oh,” said Kelly.  “Thanks for the information.”  Kelly was hesitant about the whole idea of buying this house but she got curious instead.  After she thanked the neighbor she walked through the gate and into the yard of her new home and walked up to the front door and went in.  She walked into the living room.  She surveyed the kitchen.  Then she walked upstairs into a bedroom.  When she walked into the bedroom she was shook with terror.  KELLY was written on the bedroom wall in blood.  “Oh, my God!” Kelly screamed.  She raced back down the stairs and through the front door so fast she forgot to lock the door.  Kelly got into her car, revved up the engine and raced home to her apartment.

Kelly walked through the door of her apartment. “Jim, there are ghosts in that new house you bought!”

“What?” exclaimed Jim.

“There are ghosts in the house,” replied Kelly.  “I went over there and walked upstairs.  My name was painted in blood on the wall in the bedroom.”

“Nonsense,” said Jim.  “It was probably some prank played by someone.”

“A neighbor there told me the house was haunted,” said Kelly.  “That a ghost of a woman who died in the fire comes out at night.”

“Oh, really?” said Jim.

Thirty days later, in spite of the resistance Kelly and Jim settled into their new home.  Kelly and Jim sat on the sofa in the living room in front of a fireplace.  The logs were crackling from the flames burning.  Kelly and Jim were drinking Margaritas and resting after all the hard work of moving in to their new home.

“I’m getting sleepy,” said Kelly.  “It’s midnight.”

“Yes, lets go to bed now,” replied Jim.

They both left their Margarita glasses on the coffee table in front of them by the coach deciding to deal with the dishes in the morning.  They were exhausted from the move.

They walked upstairs together and entered the bedroom.  They got dressed into their bed clothes and snuggled together into the bed.  They both went sound asleep.  The clock struck one o’clock a.m.  There was a breeze that rattled the bedroom window.  Kelly woke up.  The window blew open and Kelly got up to shut it.  Kelly closed the window and climbed back into the bed.  It woke up Jim.

“What’s going on?” asked Jim.

“The window came open with the wind,” said Kelly.

The window started to rattle again against the wind but did not open.  The door to the bedroom started to rattle.  Something was trying to turn the door knob but couldn’t get in.

“What’s going on?” asked Kelly.

“That’s a pretty rough wind storm,” said Jim.

Then a woman’s voice came through the cracks in the wall.

“Help me,” said the voice.

“Did you hear that?” asked Kelly.

“Oh, it was probably the wind again,” said Jim.

“Help me,” said the voice again.  Then a ghost of the woman appeared in the middle of the bedroom.

“Do you see her?” asked Kelly.

“See what?” asked Jim.  He had his head halfway under his pillow and blanket.

“A ghost,” exclaimed Kelly.

“Are you sure you’re not seeing things?” asked Jim.  “My!  We only had one Margarita before going to bed.”

“Oh, come on, Jim,” said Kelly.  “Look.  Take the covers off your head.  She’s standing there beckoning us.”

Jim pushed back his pillow and rolled back his blanket and sat straight up and looked straight ahead toward the center of the room.  “It’s a ghost,” he said.

“My God,” said Kelly.  “A ghost!  We’re going to die!  Oh, Jim we’ve got to get out of here.”

“Not so soon,” said Jim.  “Maybe, we did have too much to drink but I’ll get the pepper spray.”

Jim got up out of the bed and reached into a dresser drawer and pulled out a can of pepper spray.  He moved toward the ghost.

“Be careful, Jim,” exclaimed Kelly.

Jim sprayed the pepper spray but the ghost only came forward with her arms spread out and said, “Help me.”  Needless to say but the spray went right through the ghost.  Instead of hurting the ghost Jim and Kelly started to choke on the fumes.

“We’ve got to get out of here,” said Kelly.  Still choking on the pepper spray, she ran for the door and tried to open it.  She yanked on the door several times but it wouldn’t open.  “The door won’t open,” she said.

“Oh, just go back to sleep,” said Jim.  “The ghost can’t hurt us.”

“Go back to sleep?” asked Kelly.  “The ghost is going to kill us.”

“It’s just a hallucination,” said Jim.  “There are no ghosts.”

“We can’t get out,” said Kelly.  “Make it go away.  Please, Jim.  I’m scared.”

Jim then thinking of the Middle Ages because what else is there to do, he pulled out a cross from his night table drawer and held it upright in front of him, walked toward the ghost with it and she then disappeared.  “What do you know,” said Jim.  “It worked.”

“Thank God,” said Kelly.  “The ghost went away but we’ve got to get out of here.  We can’t buy this house, Jim.”

Posted in Lesson 5 | 2 Comments