Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Decision Maker Part II

“By the time the ethnic cleansings began to take place, it was too late for those of Jewish descent to escape to South America. Many of my family members fled Germany just ahead of the Nazis and settled in Argentina, in the mountains near Cordoba. However, I waited, trying to sell my business interests and…” His voice cracked and he wiped a tear from his eyes. “And it cost me everything.

“Our neighbors, who were Austrians, hid our family for many months, just like the stories of Anne Frank. However, their story did not come out so remarkably. The Nazis conducted a house-to-house search and discovered my family in the basement, hidden among the wines in the cellar. For their efforts at humanity, our neighbors were shot in their own driveway and we were led away in chains.

“As the storm troopers were dragging my children to a truck waiting nearby, my wife screamed out and grabbed for little Gretchen, who was so…small.” He stopped and blew his nose into a handkerchief. “I’m sorry, some wounds even time can’t heal. Let’s see, where was I? They shot my wife and little Gretchen. My children watched them die. Hydrant was so upset that she never spoke again. She would stare into the sky and she refused to eat. Not that they offered to feed her enough to stay alive. She was too small to survive life in a camp, all of them were. After a few months, I…” He stopped and gasped for air, as if he had run a marathon to get here. “I began to pray that God would allow my children to die, so that they might be spared such misery.” He glanced over at the hostages, the women were each clutching tissues. “I was separated from my children, but I could see them across the compound every morning as I reported for work. We could all hear our children as they cried out for us daily. Most of the older girls were to become sex slaves, while the older boys were simply shot or made to work. The younger were used for experiments and as…” his voice drifted and he never finished his thought.

“They made us do meaningless work. We were made to move a mountain of dirt from one side of the compound to the other. The next day, we moved that same pile of dirt to its original site. The next day we repeated the cycle. This went on for months. After a few weeks, Alan Schmidt, an old rabbi, began to cry as he picked up his shovel. He couldn’t stand the meaningless task that he was forced to perform daily. He broke down and a guard shot him in the head. A few days latter, several men screamed out and made a mad, hopeless dash for the perimeter fence. They were also gunned down. This went on until the German scientists had observed our reactions enough to try a new experiment.” He stopped talking and looked deep into the camera. “Are you recording?”

The reporter nodded solemnly and replied, “We are live. Every house in America is watching you and listening to your story.”

“Excellent. Allow me to take a moment and reveal that I am working alone; no one is helping me orchestrate this event. Mr. Cato has chosen to help me keep the peace within our prison, but he is acting under my behest. In my custody, along with the chief and our news crew, I have eleven hostages, one of whom is pregnant. She will be released soon enough, along with most of those remaining.” He was silent for a moment as his hopeless eyes revealed that he was reliving a hell from many years past. “I watched my friends die every day. We were shot for eating breakfast. We were shot for not eating breakfast. Nothing could be done to ensure our survival. We were Jews, so they killed us. We were at their mercy.

“Do you remember the movie, Schindler’s List? That was a very sad movie for me to watch. I am so glad that those few were spared, but I am sorry that they had to live with the horror that they endured. The movie was accurate, but it was not graphic enough. You couldn’t smell the death that we smelt daily. We had no sanitation. We had no place for garbage. Sometimes, we would watch the scientists performing experiments on the dead before we were allowed to put them in the kilns for burning.

“My children died one by one, slowly starving to death. Those sweet, innocent…” he broke down and wept openly, wailing and mourning with pain unspeakable. “My children never had a chance to live. They were never given a chance to find out who they are. They might have been art lovers, or musicians. They might have been brilliant world leaders. They might have had families all their own and could have held their own children in their arms. Or sing to them as they fell asleep in the evening. Or to make a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a snowy morning…” he stopped to blow his nose. “But they were struck down before they ever had a chance to live. What kind of monster would destroy an innocent life, just for convenience?”

Rose lifted her hand and asked, “Excuse me, Isaac.”

Isaac, who had been speaking as if oblivious to the crowd at hand, seemed to return to the present with her question. “Yes, my dear?”

“I really need to find a bathroom. This little one is keeping me busy.” As she spoke, she rubbed her hand along her belly and seemed to be caressing her baby.

“Of course. Miss Kincaid, could you escort Rose to the lady’s room?”

Rose and Miss Kincaid were washing their hands and preparing to return to the scene of the crime. As they dried their hands, they both were loathsome to leave their sanctuary. “So, how far along are you?”

Rose looked up at the ceiling and tears welled in her eyes. “I am six months along.”

“Oh Dear, what’s the matter? Are you okay?”

“It’s just that, well… I don’t know what to do.” Rose held tissue to her face. “Miss, Kincaid, I…” she stopped speaking and began crying openly.

“Please, call me Marsha. What is it Rose? Is there something wrong with the baby?”

“No, its just that, well, I was raped six months ago. Every single day I think about the baby. Every day I think about, well, I think about…”

Marsha nodded sincerely, “You think about having an abortion, don’t you?” Rose nodded and started crying again. “Well, you certainly have the right to do so. It is your body and your choice.”

“But is it really? My choice?”

“Oh dear, of course it is. Women have suffered and sacrificed all over the world to ensure that you have the freedom to choose.”

“Have you ever?”

“Ever had an abortion?” Marsha stopped a moment and considered her answer. “I was fifteen. I was from a small town and it still wasn’t fully accepted for unwed mothers to have babies. I was scared and I made a decision.”

“What about your boyfriend?”

“He never knew. I never told him. In fact, I never told anyone, until now.”

“But what if your boyfriend had wanted to keep the baby?”

“It wasn’t his choice, it was mine.”

“But, it was his baby also.”

Marsha shook her head, “No, that’s not right. He wasn’t the one who had to carry it around with him all day. It was my choice alone.”

“But he was the baby’s father.”

“Look, Rose, its not a baby until its born. Until then its only a…”

“Lump of tissue?”


“Well, this lump of tissue is moving around and has a heart beat. How do I harden my heart enough to follow through with what I want to do?”

“You just remember the women who suffered and sacrificed to give you the choice.”

“And that was enough for you? You never thought about your baby again?”

Marsha hesitated, “Well, I thought about her, I mean, once in a while, but not much.”

“She was a girl?”

“It was tissue. Otherwise, I would have killed…” She fell to the floor and sobbed. “Oh my God! I killed my baby!” Rose gathered around her as she mourned the life that never was. After a few minutes, Marsha sat up and leaned into Rose. “I was always reminding myself that I was a strong woman and that I didn’t need anyone or anything. However, at night, I would hear a baby crying, in my dreams that is. I would see a new mother holding her child, smiling and playing. Now it is too late for me.”

Rose shook her head, “No, Marsha, you are still young enough to try again.”

Marsha bowed her head, “No, I can’t. The abortion left me unable to carry a baby. I can’t ever make up for my mistake.”

“Oh, Marsha, I am so sorry.” Together the women cried for a moment. “It was Isaac. He loved his children so much and he was so sorry that his kids were killed. I had decided to go to the clinic today. That is why I was here. I was making a withdraw to pay for the abortion. But he said that only a monster would kill a baby and never give it a chance to live, only for convenience. How selfish I would be to kill my baby just because I didn’t want it.”

Marsha stood up and stretched out her dress. “Well, Rose. You have a chance to make up for the wrong choice I made.” She helped Rose brush off her sweater. “Isaac made a very strong argument, didn’t he?” They walked back to their seats in the lobby and everyone wondered at their red, swollen eyes.

More to follow this weekend......

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Decision Maker Part I

This is one of my favorite short stories. I first had the idea for this story when visiting the area in Argentina mentioned in the story line. We visited a Jewish settlement of war refugees, who were dead set against tolerating any Nazi presence. I really want to develop this story line into a full length novel, and I've been tinkering with that idea for a little more than a year...

Before we start the story, thanks to all of you who made an appearance at the Chonda Pierce/Phillips, Craig, and Dean concert. We had a great time and a great turnout. I'll let you know when the next big event will be.

And now, without further adieu--

The Decision Maker

In a downtown bank, a gunman steps forward and takes the crowd hostage. The maneuver took only a matter of seconds to conclude as he fired a round into the ceiling, which immediately overwhelmed the stunned and scared security guard lounging by the water cooler in the corner by the vault. An alarm sounded, directly protesting the terrorist act, the gunman simply pointed to the guard who entered the code necessary to disable the blaring, violent noise.

He stepped forward and demanded that the hysterical crowd remain calm until all of his grievances could be addressed, as if the crowd would immediately return to hysterics once his concerns were settled. After a space of five seconds, the crowd stopped wailing and he had their attention.

“Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Isaac Jacobs and I am not here to rob you, so please don’t do anything rash that will jeopardize you or your neighbor’s safety. You have become unwilling participants in a social experiment. However, after a few minutes of discomfort, I will gladly release you and you will leave unharmed. In a moment, the police will arrive, along with the media. I will address my concerns only after I have everyone’s full attention, as I don’t like to repeat myself more than necessary.

“As I mentioned before, I am not here to take your money or your valuables. I have a specific grievance that will be addressed shortly. Until then, please remain calm and try to make yourselves comfortable.” He walked along the length of the bank counting his hostages. “There are twenty-two of you present, including employees. I intended to act early, as the bank doors opened, to minimize the potential number of casualties. I tell you this so that you will be prepared to answer questions of the authorities after I am removed from power. There are only twenty-two of you present. Please remember that number. Only twenty-one of you will be leaving, as one of you will die in this incident.”

The crowd began to shift and mummer among themselves as the information of one casualty sunk in. Each prisoner began to wonder who would be the one unlucky victim until a man stepped forward. He was wearing a cowboy hat and appeared to be in his early fifties. “Sir? If I may?” He held up his hand until Isaac noticed him. “I would like to volunteer to be the one prisoner to die.” A gasp echoed through the crowd as this man gallantly surrendered his life to the madman. “I mean, I don’t really know these people, but I have lived a happy life and I am at peace with my God. After all, Jesus died for me; I am willing to die for others.”

Isaac nodded to the man. “I am very pleased to have your generous and unsolicited offer. Your character is to be commended. However, I have already selected my prey.” He redirected his attention to the entire crowd. “I now want all of you to step forward slowly and form a single file line, please stand about three feet apart.”

The first person to stand was a woman who appeared to be around forty years old, “I am the bank president, I am responsible for everything that happens here, and I will be the first.” She glanced over at the cowboy as if to tell him that his gallantry was wasted on a liberated woman. A line formed behind her until all twenty-two people stood in an orderly line. He examined the crowd and pointed to two elderly gentlemen in the middle. “I would like for the two of you to go last, if you please. That way I can determine how the events will unfold.” He watched as they complied with his orders and took their position at the back of the line. “Very good. Now, I want you to step forward one at a time, beginning with Mrs…. I am sorry, I don’t know your name.”

The bank president glared at him. “Misses Kincaid,” with special emphasis on misses.

“Yes, of course, Miss Kincaid.” He nodded politely to her and addressed the crowd. “What I want you to do is rather unpleasant, but important, if I am able to ensure your safety. Please don’t argue with me or misinterpret my intentions. This is simply a matter of safety. Okay now, beginning with Miss Kincaid, I want each of you to step forward and undress down to your delicates and place your clothes on this table.” He touched the top of the table and rapped on it once for good measure.

The crowd balked at such a ridiculous instruction until Isaac waved his gun in their faces. “I want to remind you that, even though I am a gentleman by nature, I am a now a fugitive by definition. I do hold a weapon for a specific purpose.”

The cowboy held up his hand. “Sir?”

Isaac immediately recognized him, “Please, what is it?”

“Well, it seems to me that no gentleman would force these women to take off their clothes in front of this crowd or yourself. Not to mention the fact that a gentleman would not take a crowd hostage at gunpoint.”

“Thank you for your observation, Mr.?”


“Thank you for your observation, Mr. Cato. However, you are at a distinct disadvantage of not realizing my motivations. With time, I will correct that problem. However, for now, I don’t have the means or resources to allow these women the luxury of modesty. I am afraid that you will all have to look away to ensure what privacy that might afford. Now, Miss Kincaid, I am sure that a liberated woman such as you will be the first to step forward and be processed. Unless you prefer Mr. Cato to be first.”

“I am sure that I will manage,” she sighed and stepped forward. She quickly undressed and placed her clothing on the table in front of Isaac.

“If you would please step back until I can examine your clothing to ensure that you don’t hold a weapon.” He picked through her skirt and blouse. Once satisfied that she was unarmed, he instructed her to turn a full circle with her arms outstretched. Isaac never looked at her vulnerable body in a vulgar or lustful manner, and returned her clothing, designating a place for her to stand against a wall, completely segregated from the unsearched crowd. After she was dressed he asked, “I would think that the police would have responded by now. It has been at least five minutes.” As he spoke, the sirens were heard approaching. “Good! Now hurry up, I will be very busy in a moment.” He pointed at Cato, who pulled off his boots and stopped moving.

“Mr. Cato, are you so modest that you risk your own life, or are you simply proud and stubborn?”

Cato shrugged, “Actually, I am just a cowboy. As any other good cowboy, I have a pistol in my belt. I just didn’t want to surprise you and have someone get hurt.”

“Very good, sir. I applaud your thoughtfulness. Please retrieve your weapon and place it on the table and back away until I have recovered it.” Cato did as he was instructed and continued to undress. The crowd silently grinned at him as he revealed his heart covered boxer shorts. He blushed and hurried to the corner to get dressed.

Isaac processed five people without comment until a young woman stepped forward and began to undress. “Just a moment young lady. The police will be calling any second and I must speak with them post haste.” Almost on cue, the phone in the lobby rang and Isaac instructed Mr. Cato to answer. He spoke long enough to identify himself as a hostage and handed the phone to Isaac.

“This is Isaac Jacobs. I am responsible for the activities taking place. I assure you that no harm will come to these hostages. Once the media has fully responded, please return this call and I will discuss our situation. Until then, please rest assured that everything is under control here.” He hung up the phone and addressed the young woman. “Okay, please continue.”

She hesitated and glanced out the window at the activities on the street. Realization came to Isaac and he nodded. “Yes, of course you are right. Mr. Cato, would you please close the blinds and allow us more privacy? I am sure that we don’t want a sniper to shoot into the windows and accidentally kill a hostage. You can rest assured that the media won’t be filming your undressing.”

He gave full attention to the young woman while she undressed. “You are pregnant? How far along are you?”

“Six months tomorrow.” She looked at the floor.

“I am sure that you must be proud. Is it a boy or a girl?”

“I don’t want to know.” She never looked at him while he talked to her.

“Keeping it a surprise? Well, that was how we did things when my little ones where born. Of course, in the 1940’s we had no choice.” He laughed at his joke and ushered her to the searched wall. He searched ten more hostages until the phone rang again. Mr. Cato walked over and answered after Isaac pointed to him. He politely handed the phone over.

“This is Isaac Jacobs, with whom am I speaking? Okay, Chief Gray, am I right to assume that you have never handled a hostage situation before…? Yes, it will be my first time also. However, I have planned this scenario many times and I am fully convinced that no one will be injured unnecessarily, if no one gets careless or anxious…. Yes, I am holding twenty-two hostages…. No one has been injured yet…. I am now conducting a search for weapons. When I am finished, I will call you and we will discuss this situation.” He hung up the phone. “Mr. Cato? Would you please get a chair for this young lady who is pregnant, what is your name?”

“Rose.” She spoke softly without looking up. Mr. Cato complied and carried a chair to Rose. She sat down gratefully. He searched his prisoners until the last two elderly men stood in front of him. He stripped them down but did not return their clothing. Instead, he made them stand together and ordered them to remove their t-shirts, revealing a tattoo on both of their right shoulders. Isaac instructed them to kneel and approached them from behind. Their tattoos where identical.

He left them kneeling and picked up the phone, dialing Chief Gray. “This is Isaac Jacobs. Here is our situation; I want you to allow one representative of the various media groups to accompany you or your designated officer. If possible, please select the representative for Fox News, as they are the most reputable of those that are available. I want them ready to record our negotiations and document everything that happens. In exchange, I will release half of my hostages. If you or anyone enters this bank with a weapon, I will randomly kill a hostage and the person holding the weapon…. Yes, I will release them as your party approaches the entryway.”

True to his word, Isaac released eleven hostages as the entourage approached the bank. As they exited the building, Chief Gray excitedly motioned them to run to safety, as if the hostages had no clue what they were supposed to do. The chief stared musingly at the security guard running past him. His pistol had been replaced into his holster. After determining that the former hostages where safe, Chief Gray resumed his march to meet with Isaac Jacobs. When he entered the lobby, he was shocked to see his life long friends, David and Adolph Heinz naked and kneeling on the floor.

“Please come in, my name is Isaac Jacobs, and these are my hostages. I assume that you are Chief Gray.” He smiled warmly at them and motioned them to stand along the wall with the other hostages. “You gentlemen may set up your equipment over there. Mr. Cato, would you please find some chairs for the rest of our guests?” He watched carefully as Mr. Cato collected chairs from the entire bank lobby.

While the chairs were gathered, Chief Gray spoke, “Mr. Jacobs, you have placed us all in a very irregular situation…”

“Chief, please!” Isaac interrupted. “If you would wait for a moment, I will explain everything once we are all settled.” They watched as the chairs were gathered and everyone was seated, except for Isaac, who paced in front of them as if contemplating his next move. As soon as the news crew was in place, Isaac prepared to continue, but Chief Gray burst out, “Mr. Jacobs, I insist that you surrender immediately. You can’t possibly expect to live through this if you…”

“Chief, please! Am I going to be forced to gag you in order for you to maintain your silence?” The hostages glared at the chief in disapproval of his outburst. Isaac had behaved properly and had shown no aggressive tendencies. He had managed to gain their cautious trust for the moment. He sighed deeply as if troubled to answer the charges put forth by Chief Gray. “For your information, shortly after I committed to my present course of action, I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I have cancer in my lymph nodes. I am afraid that I will die shortly, regardless of our outcome today.

“Now, where was I? Oh yes, at the beginning. What a proper start. I was born in Germany in 1913, shortly before the Great War. My father was killed in action along the Marne River while combating American infantrymen…”

“Surely you can’t hold us personally responsible for actions that took place before the majority of us were born.”

Isaac glanced over at Cato, who nodded and pulled a bandana out of his vest pocket. “Sorry, Chief, but I am afraid that you’re going to get us all killed because you can’t seem to shut up and listen. Now, I don’t intend to tie your hands, but I’m going to gag you. Do us all a favor and listen for a while.” The chief swallowed hard, but submitted to the cowboy. The hostages nodded in approval.

Isaac continued, “No, chief, I do not hold you responsible for my father’s death. My father died protecting his country’s right to be sovereign, however misguided it might have been. I married at an early age and had my first child, a girl, in 1930. My wife, Hilda, named her Hydrant. She was the joy of my life and we loved to fly kites together in the park, along with her brothers and sisters. In all, we had five children, Wolfgang, Manfred, William, and Gretchen, in that order. Gretchen was born in 1935, shortly before the 3rd Reich rose to power in Germany.” As he spoke, he glanced over at the Heinz brothers, who were staring at the floor.

“By the time the ethnic cleansings began to take place, it was too late for those of Jewish descent to escape to South America. Many of my family members fled Germany just ahead of the Nazis and settled in Argentina, in the mountains near Cordoba. However, I waited, trying to sell my business interests and…” His voice cracked and he wiped a tear from his eyes. “And it cost me everything."

To Be Continued

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Airplane Mechanic Humor

Sometimes after we deal with dense, heavy issues, it's good to unwind a little and laugh a lot. So, I'm going to offer you material that is not written by me. I can almost hear the clapping from here..

For those of you that live close to Snyder, Texas area, which is roughly halfway between Abilene, Texas and Midland, Texas---I'm going to be doing a book signing at the Chonda Pierce/Phillips, Craig, and Dean Concert this Thursday (10/25). I would love to see my Texas friends if you could come by and say hello. For more info on the book signing, see my website:

Anyway, here is some light reading material....

Airplane mechanic humor

Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one. Reassurance for those of us who fly routinely in our jobs.

After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.


P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last..................

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Provision Part II

I've backed the story up just a little. It might be helpful to refresh your memory in order to remember the flow of the story. Thanks for reading. I'm curious to hear your thoughts...

As they were talking, a large furniture truck, with PERRY’S written in large black letters on the side, slowed down on the highway. A red faced driver stuck his head out the window, “Excuse me, where can I find the Johnson’s?”
“What did the Johnson’s buy?”

“Ma’am, if you please? I’m already late.”

Blanche glared at him, “You can see it from here; it’s that white house.”

“The one with the big pine tree?”

“Yes, that’s the one. In fact, that is Mrs. Johnson in that white Dodge just in front of you.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. Much obliged.” The truck roared off.

“Can you believe it?”

“No I can’t”

“That Millicent sat there so uppity. Now they are getting new furniture.”

“I wish that my husband was a black war hero turned pastor.”

They fumed as the truck backed into the driveway of the Johnson’s home. “Come on, Margie; let’s leave the Johnson’s to their gloating. We have better things to do.” But Margie wasn’t moving. “Margie, are you listening to me?”

She slowly shook her head. “My goodness, I should have put the pieces
together, but I completely missed it.”

“Missed what, Margie?” Blanche was suddenly concerned.

“Remember when I mentioned the train? Well, I was delayed in leaving town for my having to pay tribute to King Jamal that I was caught by the train as I was driving out. Well, you know how you can see into Perry’s Furniture Store when you are stopped on the street like that? Well, I saw Perry moving that living room set out of the store front…”

“Oh no you didn’t,” Blanche bellowed. “You better be lying, Margie. So help me, if you are lying…”

“Oh don’t I know.”

Blanche was settling into a rage. “Why those blasted Johnson’s, they stole my furniture!”

“Yes they did. I thought she looked smug when we were talking to her. She knew that you had been wanting that living room set. Everyone knows that you had been wanting that set.”

“And that little…HUSSY! She bought that furniture out from under me. She did it just to spite me. She deserves to marry a black man.”

“Yes, it’s a fitting punishment.”

“I never did like her. She was always so religious when she was growing up. Always going to town and working at the mission. Like I never worked at the mission either.”

“You worked there Christmas, two years ago.”

“And then her going off on those mission trips to Haiti. She wasted our churches money on those heathens over there.”

“Don’t I know? I gave her ten dollars, out of my own money. She manipulated me right out of my coke money.”

“Every year she would go down to Mardi Gras in New Orleans with that blasted air horn and preach repentance down at those poor people.”

“I remember how she came back last year. She had a layer of beads on her shirt. She said that it was a strand of beads for every soul that was saved. She said that she wanted to start a new tradition. Well, I have been to Mardi gras, and I know how you come back with beads. It ain’t for salvation, that’s for sure.”

Blanche looked at her with contempt, “I seem to remember that you came back with a set of beads yourself.”

Margie changed the subject. “Then that Millicent took the Church’s money and drove down to Dallas where she did street ministry. That’s how she introduced Jamal into our lives. I told her not to go, but she knew better. ‘The inner-city gangs need to know about Jesus also, Margie’” she mimicked.

“I can’t believe that our pastor let her bring back that Jamal to stay at the parsonage. That house is funded with our tithes and offerings to the Lord. It’s not to pay for a free ride for gangsters.”

“All the while our pastor was claiming that it was for ‘discipleship.’ Well, now we know better. Jamal was just using our generosity to his own advantage.”

“We all opened up our hearts and lives to that—boy, and what did he do? He stole our Millicent.”

“And now they have betrayed us and started their own church.”

“And our own pastor supports it. He says that we all need to help them as they plant our ‘sister church’. Like the minorities need God anyway.”

“And now, Blanche, they stole your furniture. They knew that you were wanting to buy that set. You have been talking about it for almost 3 years.”

“Yes, Margie, it was all for spite.” She paused a moment in thought. “You don’t suppose…”


“It is possible that they know.”

“Know what?”

“They might know that it was me that put the burning cross in their driveway.”

“YOU?” Margie’s face was pale white. “That was you?” She smiled, “you should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Well, I did feel bad for a while, but now… I may have to do it again.”
“Where are you going, Blanche?”

“I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.” She climbed into her suburban and started the engine.

“You go, girl!” Margie, not willing to miss the show, ran for her pickup.

The dust trail left from the screaming vehicles could be seen for several miles as they barged into the Johnson’s driveway. As furniture was being removed from the house, it was being stacked in the yard to await loading on the truck. Jamal and the delivery man were engulfed in a white cloud of dust as Blanche bailed from her vehicle and strutted across the grass.

“Mrs. Hudson! How good to see you. Are you okay?” Jamal extended his hand toward her.

She waved him off. “What in the name of God’s saints are you doing here?”

“We are loading our old furniture into the truck, why? Are you okay?” As he was speaking, Margie arrived in a dust cloud. “Margie? What’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you what’s going on. You owe me an explanation.”

Millicent and May, hearing the commotion in the yard, appeared from the house and walked out to meet their guests. Jamal graciously lowered his welcoming hand shake and stood awkwardly. “An explanation for what?”

“For why you stole that furniture from me.”

“Excuse me?”

“Everyone knows that I intended to buy that living room set.”

“What about it?”

“I’ll tell you what about it. That was my furniture.”

“Oh, Mrs. Hudson! Pastor Lee said that somebody bought our old furniture, I had no idea it was you.”

“You have to be kidding me. I wouldn’t buy that junk for any amount of money.”

“Then what are you talking about, Mrs. Hudson?”

“You bought my furniture from Perry’s. Everyone knew that it was mine.”

“We didn’t buy anything.”

“Really? Then why is a furniture truck parked in front of your house?”

“Because we sold our furniture. Perry offered to haul it off for us.”


“Mrs. Hudson, there has been a misunderstanding. We sold our furniture to buy some Bibles for our new ministry. It also paid for our sound system. Jack here is only helping me move furniture out, not in.”

“Oh?” Blanche was beginning to understand. A long moment of silence surrounded them. Baby Jamal started crying in the house and somewhere a quail called into the morning.

Jamal continued. “Remember how we have been raising money for the new Church? Millicent and I decided to sell our furniture to fulfill our pledge. Mrs. Hudson, are you okay?”

“Well, what are you doing for furniture?” Blanche’s tone had softened tremendously and Margie was fading into the background.

“We don’t really need that much furniture. We’ll just do without.”

“Well, I came by to tell you, that…” Her voice trailed off.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“I wanted you to know that when I buy that new furniture at Perry’s today that I would like to donate my old furniture to you and Millicent. After all, that baby needs something to sit on.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Hudson. What a blessing.” He turned to the house. “Honey, Mrs. Hudson came by to tell us that she wanted to give us her old furniture to replace ours.”

Millicent ran out to meet them. “Oh, thank you Blanche. You have such nice furniture, too. Won’t you come in a have a glass of lemonade?”

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Provision

This is a two part short story. It has an awkward break, mostly because it wasn't designed to be broken in half. Anyway, try to enjoy...

As is common in most rural communities, the long row of mail boxes along the side of the road served as the social meeting house. Margie and Blanche spent at least an hour a day sitting in their cars under the shade of an enormous mesquite tree while sorting their own mail and gossiping about their local friends. Today, Margie was running late, as she was caught by the train as she was driving to town to buy milk…

A faded blue pickup pulled beside a suburban with a long dent running the length of the driver’s side door. Blanche had been sitting under the shade of the mesquite tree for almost twenty minutes and was about to decide that Margie was at home sick. Relived, she waved eagerly when the familiar old blue pickup pulled next to the mailboxes lining the dusty caliche road. Within minutes the two were engaged in the most dependable exchange on God’s green Earth.

“Why Margie, I was about to come looking for you.” Blanche declared as she thumbed through the latest version of lingerie catalogues to hit the streets.

Margie’s face flashed red for a moment as she relived the horror of the last few minutes. “Oh, that darn train. Just as I was leaving Shelter’s Feed Store, I saw Millicent with that new baby and just had to stop and see if it was true…” Her voice trailed off while baiting Blanche’s predictable response.

“My goodness! You actually saw her in town with that… That baby?” The fury on her face was evident as she scowled her disapproval of Millicent’s obvious disregard for small down etiquette. “Why, she has no business bringing that disgrace into the public like that. Doesn’t she have any respect for the rest of us that must live here?”

“Oh don’t I know. Can you imagine how her mother must feel?”

“She must be hiding at home in her closet, that pour soul. We should get the women’s Bible study to come by some day and visit with her and encourage her to move on with her life. The shame…” She pretended to feign disapproval of a see through nightgown. “Well, go on. Don’t leave me hanging. Tell me about that baby.”

Margie wet her lips with excitement. She wasn’t given the opportunity to be the bearer of news often. “Well, it’s a boy. And she named it after his father.”

Blanche hurled venom across the steering wheel of her suburban. “She named that baby Jamal? That’s a black name…” She was furious. “I knew that she was going to do that. She is such a slut.”

“Oh, don’t I know.”

“Well, don’t keep me in suspense, what did the baby look like?” Blanche leaned forward, fully appreciating the next morsel in her feast of hatred.

“You could tell by looking at it. That baby was half black. Just as plain as the nose on my face.” She paused while Blanche physically revolted. “And will you believe that she has no shame? She was walking down the street as if nothing was wrong.”

“That tramp! She was always like that. Millicent’s poor mother, we really must go by and pray with that poor woman.”

“Oh, didn’t I mention that? Silly me, I plumb forgot.” Margie relished the excited look on Blanche’s face. Blanche thought that the worst was out, now she realized that another serving of scandal awaited her. Margie continued, “You see, May was with her…” She let her voice trail off for effect.

Her eyes bulged from her head, “You mean to tell me that May had the courage to walk down the street with Millicent? My, my, my, my, my.” When Blanche had recovered from her favorite heart attack, she took another bite. “Well, how was she holding up?”

“As fair as expected. She pretended to be proud of that little demon. She wasn’t even trying to hide the shame of her daughter’s evil rebellion.” Margie thumbed through the same catalogue as Blanche. “We really must come by and share our love and concern for May. She needs us now more than anything.”


“Oh my, Jeez Louise!” Margie appeared to be a deer caught in the headlights as she hurriedly shuffled her mail around in her hand.

“What? What’s the matter?” Blanche craned her neck around just in time to see May’s Dodge pull up to the mailboxes. “Great! Now we have to get out and go see that baby.” Her distress was obvious. Nevertheless, her hand sought for the handle and her door popped open. Together they waddled over to May’s pickup.

May looked up when Millicent pointed at the accusation committee bearing down on their position. She smiled and waved eagerly, but sighed on the inside as she rolled down her window. “Hello! We must stop meeting like this.”

“May, it’s always so nice to see you. How is Bill?”

“He’s fine. Just fine.”

“How is Little Bill?”

“He’s fine, just fine. How is your husband, Blanche? I saw Jerry at the feed store. He seemed to be doing better.”

“Him? He’ll be that last person to die. He gets better everyday, thank God.” Blanche peered into the window. “I hear we have a baby onboard…”

May’s face softened, “You haven’t seen Jamal yet? Let me get him out.” She lifted the baby from his car seat and set him in her lap. The baby stretched and groaned in complaint, then yawned and stretched again.

“Oh what a precious little man.”

“I wasn’t lying when I told you what a handsome baby he is, Blanche.” Margie piped in.

“He’s just precious. He’s a beautiful baby, Millicent. We are all proud for you.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Hudson.”

“Please, call me Blanche. We have been friends for years.” Millicent only nodded. “So, how is your husband?”

“Jamal is well. He is settled into the pastorate at the new church. Things are going better than expected.” She paused a moment. “We would love for you to visit our new church. A woman with your singing ability is more than welcome anytime.”

Blanche feigned humility, “I do that best I can with what little God has given me. I always knew to expect great things from your husband, Millicent. After all, a war hero from the Gulf is expected to do great things in life.”

Millicent smiled warmly, “Thank you.”

“We were all so proud when President Bush awarded Jamal with the Medal of Honor. It was as if he was giving it to us all.”

“In a way he was.”

“So, how long has Jamal been back from the war?”

“It’s been a year since he was discharged.”

“I can’t believe that you have been married now for a year.”

“It will be a year next month.”

“That’s right; you had to wait until Jamal was recovered from his wounds. I assume that he is okay.”

“As good as new.”

“And the baby was born on Wednesday? I can’t believe that you are already out of bed and moving around. You are doing so well.”

“It has been 10 days now. He was born last week. This is the first trip we made to town since I came home.” Millicent returned the baby to his throne, “Well, I am tired, we should be going.”

Blanche smiled warmly, “We are praying for you and that baby. I hope that everything goes well with that new church. May, stay in touch.”

May graciously shook Blanche’s outstretched hand. “It was a pleasure to see you again, Blanche. Come by any time. Margie, don’t be a stranger.” The Dodge pulled onto the caliche road and slowly disappeared in the distance.

Blanche turned to Margie. “Can you believe that May? She is being so brave. You can’t even see the shame on her face.”

“Did that baby look half black, or what?”

“Oh, Margie. We really need to pray for them all.”

“Can you believe that my husband wants to visit their new church?”

Blanche put her hands on her wide hips, “What has gotten into Justin?”

Margie rolled her eyes, “Who knows? A war hero rolls into town and then everyone thinks that something special has happened.”

As they were talking, a large furniture truck, with PERRY’S written in large black letters on the side, slowed down on the highway. A red faced driver stuck his head out the window, “Excuse me, where can I find the Johnson’s?”

“What did the Johnson’s buy?”

“Ma’am, if you please? I’m already late.”

Blanche glared at him, “You can see it from here; it’s that white house.”

“The one with the big pine tree?”

“Yes, that’s the one. In fact, that is Mrs. Johnson in that white Dodge just in front of you.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. Much obliged.” The truck roared off.

“Can you believe it?”

“No I can’t.”

“That Millicent sat there so uppity. Now they are getting new furniture.”

“I wish that my husband was a black war hero turned pastor.”

They fumed as the truck backed into the driveway of the Johnson’s home. “Come on, Margie; let’s leave the Johnson’s to their gloating. We have better things to do.” But Margie wasn’t moving. “Margie, are you listening to me?”

She slowly shook her head. “My goodness, I should have put the pieces together, but I completely missed it.”

More on Monday!

Friday, October 12, 2007

If Alison Can Do It, So Can I

For those of you that don't know Alison, she and her husband a very dear friends of ours. Right now on her blog, she is hosting a contest similar to the game Balderdash. She seems to have met with success, and it was a fun experiment to watch. So, I'm going to try my own special version, and I'm going to name it "Name that Conspiracy."

All you have to do it imagine the most incredible conspiracy. If it's a really good idea, I might turn it into a story (with you getting credit [should you want credit]).

In my travels, I've noticed that there is a large letter "A" made of rocks on the side of the mountain overlooking the town of Alamogordo, NM. What's the big deal? I didn't think much of it either until I went to El Paso and saw the same letter "A" above the town on a mountain. Why would El Paso need a letter "A"? Then I noticed that Las Cruces also had one. Then I saw Tucson and Phoenix also sported an "A" on the mountains hosted by their towns. Not surprisingly, Ajo, AZ has an "A". I can explain the towns that start with an "A", but I can't explain the others. I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Let the games begin!

You can check out Alison's blog here:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Snake River Dam

Two members of the Snake River Water District cautiously approached an old log cabin and knocked on the door, waiting patiently for the noise of movement within. A dubious old man opened the door and demanded to know their business. In his hands he held a shotgun.

“Excuse me sir, my name is Reynolds and this is Joe Shaw, we are with the Water District. May we have a moment of your time?”
The shotgun edged toward them. “Are you folks from the government? I don’t cotton to G-Men.”
Reynolds shook his head. “No sir, not really. You see, we are dam inspectors.” As he spoke, he pointed at the enormous dam stretching across the horizon.

“Sounds like government men to me. I don’t rightly care if you are dam inspectors or not. I get government men back here all the time, harassing me for all manner of business.”

Reynolds was a patient man, he had delt with backwoods people most of his life and he could appreciate their skepticism. In fact, he truly admired country folk for their wit and sensibility. He decided to humor the old man for a moment. “What types of government men come to see you?”

The old man rolled tobacco in his jaw and spat into a spittoon next to a rocking chair, narrowly missing Shaw’s fancy hiking boots. “Well, some ten or twenty years ago, the Census Bureau showed up asking questions.”

“What kind of questions?” Reynolds liked the old man and enjoyed chatting with him.

“You see, he starts off by saying, ‘the US Government has sent me all the way back here to find out how many people live in the United States.’ I told him that I was sorry that he came all the way back here, ‘cause I couldn’t say. Then I helped him find his way back to the highway when he kept on badgerin’ at me.” He cocked his head over at Shaw and inadvertently tilted the shotgun towards him. Shaw swallowed hard. “You ain’t from these parts, are you, Fancy Boots?”

Shaw looked down at the old man. “No! I live in…”

Reynolds jumped in, stealing a sour glance at Shaw. “We both work for the Water District.” Reynolds turned his attention back to the old man. “I’m sorry that folks have been pestering you for nonsense like that, but we aren’t with the government. Like I said, we are dam inspectors.”

“Is that so?” He lowered the shotgun and demanded. “So what’s your business with me?”

“I’m glad you asked. We’ve been looking the dam over and believe that it will bust loose, and very soon, I might add.” He pointed over at the center of the dam. “See that bulge there in the middle?”

He peered past them.. “It’s been there for more than three years.”

Together, the men turned and looked at it as if he were presenting new evidence to consider.

“Yes, sir. But I still believe that the dam will break any day now.”

“Well, what about it?”

“Your cabin lies in the flood plain.”

“Flood plain,” the old man repeated.

Joe Shaw decided to wade into the conversation. “The flood plain is where the water will go when the dam bursts.” His accent caused him to say, boist. “Your house will be washed away.”

The shotgun lifted at him. “Listen here, Sonny. I ain't as stupid as you look. It just so happens that I have an engineering degree from Harvard. So don’t speak unless you are spoken to, understand?” Shaw swallowed again and nodded in approval. “Now then, where were we? Oh yeah, my house was about to wash away into parts unknown.”

Reynolds continued after a repeated dirty look at Shaw. “Correct. I believe that the dam is very weak and will loose its integrity in a few days. The bulge has been growing daily for the last week and we are organizing an evacuation as we speak.”

“Is that a fact? Well, it just so happens that I don’t believe you.”

“You don’t?” Reynolds was surprised.

“Why not?” Shaw was met with the shotgun again and he backed up a few steps to better safety. This time the old man missed when he spit at the cuspidor and splattered Shaw’s boot.

“No sir, if you really believed your own story, you wouldn’t be here talking to me. You would be running to safety.”

“You have a good point, but you missed one fact.”



“Duty? The shotgun lowered. What in tar-nation does duty have to do with anything?”

“As a fellow American, it is my duty to point out any dangers to our citizens and issue fair warning of an impending disaster. I wouldn’t even have honor if I simply ran away without sounding the alarm.”

The shotgun was almost pointing at the floor now. “Nope, you ain’t with the government, that’s for sure. All right, you’ve said your piece, now move on.”

“But sir, I’m here to help you evacuate. What good is it for me to warn you about danger without offering you a solution to the problem? I want to save you if I can.”

The old man shook his head. “Won’t be necessary. I ain’t leaving.”

“Do you mind if I ask why not?”

“Yes!” He shouted, then he sighed. “Look, I’ve lived right here in this spot for my entire life. I'm too old to change now. Heck, it’s probably too late for me anyway. I live to far away from safety; I’m too close to the dam. It’s too late.”

“It’s never too late to be saved from destruction.”

“Maybe so, but if I leave, I will loose everything I have.”

“Ah, but there’s good news!” Reynolds was excited. “Because of the danger and the liability, the Snake River Water District will move you to a brand new house, at no cost to you.”

“Brand new…” he mulled it over for a moment. “Nope. I ain’t in the habit of accepting charity.”

“But sir, it’s not charity. And, there are no strings attached. You can take your old life here and turn it into a brand new one, just over there.” He pointed up river behind the dam, beyond the impending danger.

The old man shook his head. “Thanks, but no.”

“Please sir! I’m begging you! Don’t be a fool!”

The shotgun lifted again. “It’s my choice as to whether or not I want to be a fool. Besides, that old dam has held up for years. It will probably last to the end of my life.”

Dejected, Reynolds and Shaw turned and started walking away. “Well, you tried, we aren’t accountable for him anymore,” Shaw mused.

“Maybe so, but that doesn’t change the way I feel about my mission. Come on, there are more people who live down by the dam.”

Shaw glanced over his shoulder. “We need to get out of here. That dam will blow any minute.”

Reynolds nodded. “And we have a lot of people to save before it’s too late.”

On the front porch, sitting in his rocker, the old man studied the dam and the large bulge that protruded from it near the center. “It will probably hold. It always has.”

25 March 2003

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Camping Trip

Let's return to light hearted. Sometimes we can get too serious and forget to smile. Try this little poem out...

The Camping Trip

Little Seth was one year old
He knew neither hot nor cold.
He ran around inside the camp
Whether it was dry or damp.
He ran in the grass and through the rocks
Took off his shoes and ran in his socks!

His mama chased him everywhere
Always scared she heard a bear.
But no bears were ever found
And little buddy ran around and ‘round.
He picked up sticks to eat them whole
He even put them in a bowl.

He wouldn’t ever stop to rest
Even when the sun did crest
The mountains on the western slope
He faced the darkness with new hope.
He hoped to count the stars above
The sleepiness away he shoved.

The threw his dog into the flame
His franks would never be the same.
His marshmallow glowed in the dark
When it finally caught a spark.
He ate it up very quickly
But his fingers still got sticky.

His mama tried to put him down
So he could sleep safe and sound.
But he had no desire
To leave his place by the fire.
But once she had him in his bed
He became a sleepy head.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Lamb

This is a simple story. It's also unedited, so thanks for your patience.

It was the oddest church I had ever visited; it was almost like a dream. In the back of the church, a lamb was kept in a small pen. The pastor sat in the front of the sanctuary behind a large thick curtain. There was great love and compassion present in that room as they tried to help me.

I had been traveling across the countryside deep into ranch land; there were no buildings or homes anywhere in site. I had been navigating a small road in a great hurry when I missed a curve and drove off the road and into a creek bottom. I was stuck. Worse than that, it was a Sunday, and there was no traffic, no one came by to help. I was in a terrible hurry, so I started walking. In the distance, I could see a church steeple barely peeking over the horizon. Heck, a church is an excellent place to go if you need help, so I started walking that direction.
I had never been much of a church person. In truth, I was not worthy. For I had done many things in my life that didn’t make sense, things that seemed all wrong, but I have no idea why. There were times that I hurt people, but hey, I had been hurt on many occasions myself, so what’s the big deal? As I neared the church, I could see many cars in the parking lot.

I looked back at where I had come and my past was all behind me, but it was in front of me also. There would be people looking for me, and very soon. However, inside that church… inside that church was immediate help.

As I stepped inside, I saw many warm faces, and I was greeted with a firm handshake. When I asked for help, I was lead to the pastor behind the curtain. He was a gentle man and his eyes were heavy with compassion as I explained my circumstances. He nodded in agreement and gave me a seat in the church.
The group started singing songs I had never heard before. These people were singing earnestly, as if they were deeply committed to their song, as if it meant something to them. I was in a great hurry, there were people looking for me. I needed to go, but I was captivated by their sincere performance. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for this; I arose from my chair and started to the door. The pastor was watching me; he almost seemed to be crying. Their song continued, “Take me to the higher place that I might not sin against you, Father.”

Not to sin? If only that were possible. What was I saying? These were church people and they probably never sinned. They were different from me, for I had hurt people in my past. I had done things that were very wrong; I had even shed other people’s blood. Suddenly, I realized how unworthy I was to be in this church. These people acted as if God himself was going to walk into this room. I would have loved to stay and meet God, but somehow I knew it was impossible. There would be too much standing between us, too much of a gap, we would be incompatible. Besides, there were people looking for me, I had to go. Not only that, but God wouldn’t have liked me had we met, for I had hurt all of the people in my life.

Unfortunately, I had waited too long to leave, for I could see the people that were looking for me standing in the parking lot of the church. They were walking to the door. I was now trapped! They didn’t stop and shake the hand of the greeter, they just made their way to my side and quickly grabbed my arms. When I cried out, the pastor stopped the singing and came to my aid. He asked, “What’s going on?”
The taller man in a dark suit stepped between me and the pastor, who was still standing behind the curtain. “This man belongs to me. He has broken many laws and has been given the death penalty. He has been running from us, but it is now time for justice to be served.”

The pastor looked at me, “What have you done?”

That was just it, what had I done? Better than that, what hadn’t I done? I had stolen, cheated, lied. I was an adulterer and a fornicator. I aborted children before they were born. I guess that made me a murderer. I was a drunkard, and a wife beater. In fact, I was a drug addict and dealer. I don’t suppose that there was anything left for me to exploit, or explore. I had run the gamete for evil and wicked things to do. My whole life was a sham. I was very evil and wicked to the very core of my existence. If sin were a stench, then I reeked beyond measure. As I examined my life I replied to the pastor, “Everything. I have done everything.” I hung my head in shame, not worthy of his help. My life was worthless and I deserved the full measure of justice to be served on me. I had more than earned the death penalty.

The pastor looked at me, tears rolling down his face. He placed a warm hand on my shoulder and turned to the dark man. “What will redeem this man from his death?”
The official replied, “The death sentence was already passed, a death must take place.”

The pastor looked to the rear of the church and yelled out, “Bring in the lamb.” The parishioners brought him in, a young, gentle, perfectly white lamb. Its face was pure. There was great truth in this lamb. The pastor told me, “This lamb is perfect. It is blameless in every way. Only the blood of the innocent may redeem your death penalty. You will kill this lamb in your place, then you will be free.”
How could I kill this innocent lamb? It had done nothing wrong, and I was the one deserving to die, it was unworthy of my death. However, if killing this lamb bought my freedom, then why not? Maybe I could change and be a good person if I had a clean start. Deep down inside, I knew that I would go back to my old ways, but for now I could walk away a free man. I could walk away alive! And free! How could I kill it? How fast can he die?

I had no weapons, but I attacked the lamb. I beat it with my hands; I kicked it with my feet. I pulled, ripped, and gouged. I tore huge chunks of its wool away, yet it never ran from me. I spit at it, I laughed. I flailed it, but it wouldn’t die. I drug it up and down the isle of the church; I picked it up and threw it across the room. The lamb wouldn’t die. It was deeply wounded from the internal injuries, but life flourished deep within his heart. What I needed was a weapon. I needed to inflict bigger wounds. I looked up at the alter and saw a hammer and nails. I grabbed the lamb and threw it across the altar, stretching it out across the wooden counter. I grabbed the nails and started pounding them into the lamb’s flesh. All of the anger and hatred, all of the venom that drove me, with everything inside me I drove the nails deeper and deeper. I hated myself for what I was doing, but I hated this lamb more for not dying quickly.

It wouldn’t die. It only lay still and let me inflict it with one punishment after the other. I saw the curtain behind the altar and the poles supporting it, and ripped it in half. I took the sharp end of the pole into its side, deep into the heart of the lamb, and it died. I looked down at my hands, there was blood covering me. There was blood dripping off the altar and running down the aisle. There was blood on the veil I had rent. Suddenly, I realized that the lamb was Jesus, the Lamb was from God, it WAS God. He had taken my place, I had killed the very one that was trying to protect me. I had killed God himself. In my own fear and hatred, I had killed the blameless. In the rear of the church, my accusers turned and walked away. I realize now that they could no longer see me through the blood of the lamb I had shed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Little Girl

Time for something new. How about a sampling of my poetic achievements?

The Little Girl
The little girl got into bed
Mama came and kissed her head.
“Now go to sleep and have no care.”
But in the dark she saw a bear!
Mama came when she cried
Her little eyes were open wide.
Mama came and searched the room
But her search revealed no doom.
Mama fixed her little cap.
But in the dark she heard a yap.


Mama came and turned the knob
While the little girl began to sob.
Mama sat and dried her tears
And the little girl shared her fears.
“In the room I heard a dog.”
“No, that was outside, in the fog.”
For in the room no dogs were found
So she went to sleep, safe and sound.
The little girl knew there were no dogs
But in the dark she heard some frogs!


Mama comes, turns on the light
Much to the little girl’s delight
But in the light no frogs were found
Where in the dark did many abound.
“Where are the frogs?” the little girl asked.
Mama sighed and began the task
Of looking and searching around and ‘round
But when she was done, no frogs were found.
“Now go to sleep, little Darling.”
But once asleep she began her calling…


Mama comes and peers inside
But the little girl could only hide.
“Where is the elephant?” she did ask.
Mama sighed and began the task
Of looking and searching high and low.
She didn’t find an elephant, not even a toe.
She looked in the closet and under the blocks
She even looked in the jewelry box.
“No elephants here now go to sleep.”
But once asleep she heard a bleat.


Mama comes and opens the door,
The little girl’s fears begin to soar.
Her heart had jumped inside her throat,
What if it was a…Billy goat?
“Where is the goat?” the little girl asked.
While Mama searched the little girl gasped.
“Where is the goat?” She asked again.
Mama opened and looked in a bin.
“There is no goat, now go to sleep.
Or a paddling is my promise to keep.”

The little girl tried to go to sleep
She wanted her dreams to be so sweet.
But fear did come while she lay.
So in her heart she began to pray.
Jesus heard the little girl’s prayers
And took away all the bears,
And the elephants and frogs,
And the goats and the dogs,
Only then did she go to sleep
Knowing that Jesus her heart did keep.

Night, night, little one, have no fright,
For bed bugs, tonight, you won’t bite.

19 July 2003