Reading makes the heart grow bigger:

Reading brings you entertainment, adventure, knowledge, comfort, and hope.

Reading quickens your mind, stirs your soul, fires your imagination, and enlarges  your dreams.

Reading opens the door to places you’ve never been, sets the calendar to times you’ve never experienced, and introduces you to people you’ve never met.

Let your heart grow bigger. Read a lot.


Photo: Courtesy of ArtsyBee @






Love, Love, Love: I’t s All About Love


Love, Love, Love: It’s all about love. No matter who you are — no matter where you are — living is about loving — on many different levels.

For a great variety of inspirational reading that’s filled with LOVE, visit my page on Amazon.

And Happy Valentine’s Day!





Valentine for Newlywed Hubbies

I posted this piece on my poetry site, but thought the readers here might enjoy it as well. Happy Valentine’s Day.


BROKEN EGG -- Stevepb -- PX

How much burned toast and runny eggs?
And half-done roasts and tough pancakes?
How much antacid did they take,
Or suffer silent tummy aches?
Those brave young guys with loving hearts,
Whose wives were learning cooking arts.
They never once refused to eat
And always claimed it was a treat.
They gladly paid the price required;
Their patience never did expire.
So on this day of valentines,
They each deserve the sweetest lines:
Thanks to the hubbies who ate food
Digested by nothing but love.


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During the Lecture


The lecture finally came to an end about 9:20 p.m.  That was almost an hour longer than it should have lasted. I hadn’t realized that there would be so much time in which to carry out my plan, or I would have gone about things much more leisurely.

Professor Thomas Crenshaw was known for being windy, of course, but I didn’t want to count on that fact, so after I’d slipped unobtrusively from my seat on the last row and exited the lecture hall, I literally ran to my car and changed into my disguise.

Black is so non-committal, isn’t it? Especially at night. One can sneak between parked cars and through alleys and even private yards without being noticed.

I didn’t have to drive, since Smith lived just a block off campus. I slipped into the alley that ran behind his house, making my way silently. I guess I wasn’t completely silent — or else my human scent caused an alarm — because a dog sent up some noisy yapping as I passed one residence, but as soon as I was twenty feet way, he want back to his normal nightly business.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself for executing this little maneuver so well. I’d even played the good neighbor and offered to bring over my WD40 and oil his back gate that squeaked. When I’d been there for the staff barbecue last week and realized how it squeaked, I knew I’d have to take care of that little problem before I could carry out my plan successfully. But a few little squirts, and problem solved. I have to laugh now when I think how profusely Smith thanked me for being so thoughtful.

And, of course, he thanked me profusely again when I presented him with that expensive bottle of burgundy today as a birthday gift. That’s the thing about old Smith. He did everything rather profusely — even his drinking. And that’s what I was counting on. The old sot! How anyone could believe he was fit to be made the Chair of our department was beyond me. The choices had come down to him and me, and I was positive I’d be their pick. But when the university President told me that the board was swinging heavily toward Smith instead, it was all I could do not to unload a torrent of curses right there in the hallway of the administration building.

No matter. My little maneuver tonight took care of everything. As I approached the back door, I was fully confident that the bottle of burgundy was empty and Smith snoring like the pig that he is — well — that he was. I’d been right, of course. I’m surprised his own snoring didn’t wake him up. The man was a disgrace to our university, and it was past time someone did something about it. One little jab of a needle, and the quick-acting poison I’d chosen took care of old Smith for good. And I quietly and sedately slipped back into my seat in the lecture hall in plenty of time to hear the last thirty minutes of Thomas’ mind-numbing lecture.

Now, as I sit here at my own desk, listening to the digital recorder I had left in my lecture seat — along with the reserved sign so no one else would sit there — I’m diligently making notes on the lecture. When the authorities question me — as they undoubtedly will — I’ll have my name on the sign-in sheet and the sign-out sheet for the lecture. And I’ll have the notes I’ve taken, proving that I heard every single word Professor Crenshaw spoke from 7:30 to 9:20 p.m.



Daily Post Prompt: Lecture




If We Care Enough . . .


I know people — and I’ve read much about others — who are stuck in a terribly hurtful, life-destroying situation, but seem to do nothing about getting out of it or changing it. So many of those people fail to act because they see themselves as victims — people who have no options. They feel they are just not brave enough to pay the price it might cost to effect real change. What they don’t understand is this truth:  A majority of the people in this world who have brought down evil, hurtful, life-destroying situations have not been brave people. They have been people who cared.

Sometimes taking a stand and fighting against what’s hurtful and wrong has nothing to do with courage. It has to do with caring enough to do the right thing.





More Than Hugs & Kisses

It’s February, the month of love. Wouldn’t you like to read some satisfying love stories that give you a whole lot more than just hugs and kisses? I’d like to introduce you to four men who want very much to love and be loved, but who are facing some serious challenges to love that only God and His Word can overcome.

Private Detective Maddison Holt, who is so bound by grief, guilt ,and self-incrimination that he feels he has no right to have real love in his life. Pastor Cameron McDaniels, who has finally found the woman who is the answer to his prayers for a helpmate but discovers that, since losing a fiance, she is now afraid of loving anyone else at all. Lionel Butler has caused many a girl’s heart to flutter, but he never even notices because he’s convinced he’s destined to be a bad husband and father. His future looks bleak and empty. And violinist, conductor Jonah McDaniels, now in his 40’s, finally recognizes the one woman who can fill his heart and life, but is fearful that the age difference between them makes his situation hopeless.

When these four leading men in the “Smoky Mountain Series” novels put their faith and the Word of God to the test, they find the God of miracles is a master in the subject of true romance. There are plenty of hugs and kisses, to be sure, but sooooo much more in the “Smoky Mountain Series.”

Paperback or Digital at Amazon.

Find this series and more inspirational reading at this link:




A Chapter a Day — 3

If you haven’t been following this story, here is the link to Chapter One.

Campus Crimes Series Book 1 — Featuring Darcy Knight, Coed Detective




“We’ll need to take statements from each of you, but separately,” he said, then looked across the room to where Lucas was just coming back through the window. “Luke, take Mr. Billings into the hallway, if you will, and get his statement. I’ll talk to Miss Knight in here.” That was another thing I liked about the sergeant. He remembered people’s names.

Lucas grabbed his notebook from his pocket and smiled at the janitor. “Mr. Billings,” he said, motioning toward the hall. “After you, sir.” Poor Mr. Billings was still shaking a little, and I’m sure he was glad to just get out of the room. I looked at Sergeant Harris and asked, “Is it all right if I sit down at one of the desks?”

“Sure, go ahead. I’ll be as brief as I can.” So I took a seat on the front row of student desks, and he propped one foot on the desk beside me and started entering data into his notebook.

“So you are the person who called 911?”he said, looking at me with his no-nonsense police officer face.

“Yes sir. But …” I paused because I wasn’t sure if I should tell him what I was thinking about telling him. But it was too late to back out because just the fact that I hedged made him even more determined to know what I wasn’t saying.

“Go on,” he prompted. “But what Miss Knight?”

“Well … I was just going to say that I didn’t actually call 911 immediately. I mean … I … I was so shocked to see that person climbing out the window and … well … then … to … to see ─ ” I suddenly realized hot tears were rolling down my cheeks, but I couldn’t seem to do anything about it. I swiped at my cheeks, but the tears came even faster.

To my surprise Sergeant Harris pushed a handful of paper tissues into my hand and said, “Just take it easy, Miss Knight. You’ve had a shock. Just take a minute to collect yourself and then we’ll talk.” I nodded my head to let him know I understood what he was saying and tried to mop off my face.

I couldn’t help but breathe a small sigh of relief as he stepped away from me and headed toward the hallway to check on Lucas and Mr. Billings. But just as he stepped into the hall the coroner arrived, and they both come back into the room and headed for the professor’s body. Two other officers whose names I didn’t know had been hanging around during all the proceedings, just in case they were needed, and Sergeant Harris finally had something for one of them to do.

“Phillips, take Miss Knight out to that lounge area at the end of the hallway and get her some water or whatever she needs while I finish up things in here.”

“Yes sir,” the younger officer answered and turned toward me.l Sergeant Harris looked at me as well. “Miss Knight, I’ll be back with you as soon as I can.”

“Yes, sir, Thank you,” I answered. I’m not sure what I was thanking him for, but it seemed like the right thing to say. Never having experienced anything like murder before, I had no idea what proper protocol was. And it goes without saying that I hope I never have enough experience to learn the right way to deal with it.

Once I got to the lounge area and looked at the vending machines, I suddenly realized I was parched and water did, indeed, sound like a good idea. I dug through my purse to find the right money to buy a bottle and then tried to settle into one of the hard plastic chairs to wait, hoping the extra time would help me collect my thoughts.

I naturally wanted to remember everything that might help the sergeant, but, at the same time, my mind was whirling with the question of who would want Professor Sommers dead. He was quite a congenial man, and a good teacher. Of course, I didn’t agree with his judgment concerning my recent research paper, but I did enjoy his classes and had already learned a good deal from him this term. I didn’t know any students who called him names behind his back or gossiped about him – as they did several of the other faculty. All in all, I couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around someone as quiet and ordinary as a college professor would have the kind of enemies who would shoot them in cold blood.

After about twenty minutes of that kind of thinking, I realized that my shaking had stopped. And I didn’t think I’d be doing anymore crying, but the exhaustion was about to take me over. Just as I started wondering if I could get by with leaning my head back and closing my eyes, Sergeant Harris walked in and took a chair across from me.

“All right now, Miss Knight, let’s get your statement, shall we?” Lucas joined us then, having finished with Mr. Billings, and both officers sat facing me in equally uncomfortable chairs. Sergeant Harris checked his notes and began. “Now, I think it will be easier on you and us if you just start with why you came into this building at this time of night, and walk us through your experience, step by step.”

I took a steadying breath and, hearing my Grandma in the back of my mind saying, “Buck up, and face the music, girl,” I began: “Well, when my friend Nadia and I were crossing the campus to the parking lot, I saw that the lights were on in the admin building, and I needed to talk to Professor Sommers about my research paper. So I told Nadia I was going to come in and see if he was in his office.” When I mentioned Nadia, I couldn’t help but look right at Lucas, but he was all business, so I returned my attention to the sergeant.

“And what time was that?” asked Sergeant Harris.

“Oh, I’m not sure. Well … it must have been close to 9:00 because our class ended at 8:30, and we had stood around talking to friends for about fifteen minutes before we left the science building. And I remember Nadia saying that she would probably be in bed by the time I got home so not to call and wake her up.”

The sergeant nodded. “Go on.”

I then proceeded to tell him, step-by-step, what had taken place. When I got to the part when I looked toward the professor’s desk and saw him in that position, I stopped and added. “So that’s what I meant when I said I didn’t call 911 immediately. I was so shocked that I couldn’t really think for a minute, and then all I could think about was to yell for help from someone here in the building. The janitor came running, and as soon as he saw the situation, his first words to me were, “Call 911,” and then I realized that I should have already been doing that. But even when I tried, my hands were shaking so badly that I hit a wrong button and had to start the call over. I’m sorry I wasn’t thinking more clearly. I was just so shocked … and … scared, I guess.”

Sergeant Harris nodded again, and Lucas spoke. “That’s understandable, Darcy.” I was surprised he addressed me by my first name, but maybe since he and Nadia were starting to date, he considered me more of a friend as well. It helped me. Just that little bit of personal response made me feel a little less weird.

“Okay, now,” Sergeant Harris said, “Let’s go back over the moment when you first saw the person climbing out of the window. Think now, Miss Knight, and describe to me every little detail you can remember.”

“I think I already did, Sergeant,” I began, but we were interrupted by a woman’s loud voice from the hallway.

“What do you mean I can’t come any further? My office is down this hall, and I have every right to be here. What’s going on anyway?”

To be continued …


A Chapter a Day — 2

You’ll need to go HERE to read Chapter 1 first.

TEACHER AT GREEN BOARDCampus Crimes Series: Book 1Featuring Darcy Knight, Coed Detective


The professor was in the chair behind his desk, but he wasn’t sitting there the way he normally did. He looked more like he had fallen down into the chair, and it was rolled far enough back that his head, which had dropped backwards, was actually touching the whiteboard behind him.

But that wasn’t what made my stomach revolt. It was the massive amount of blood pouring from his chest and soaking his blue tie and light blue shirt. I don’t know for sure how long I stood there with my mouth open, not able to move a muscle or even make a sound. I hope is wasn’t more than a couple seconds. I couldn’t bear to think that perhaps my lack of quicker action might have made a difference in his outcome.

But, finally, I came back to life and screamed – something. I think it was, “Noooooo!” But then I turned and stuck my head back out the door and yelled, “Help! Someone Help! A man’s been shot! … Help!”

At least it was words to that effect. I didn’t hear any response, so I ran a few feet out into the hallway and tried again. In a few seconds, I heard pounding footsteps coming down the hallway on the main floor, and then a voice. “I’m coming! I’m coming!”

Then feet pounded up the steps, and suddenly the janitor loomed in the hallway, struggling to run as fast as his overweight body would carry him. I pointed to Professor Sommer’s office and said, “The Professor – he’s – he’s –” I just kept pointing frantically toward the office, and the janitor finally got even with me and looked into the doorway.

“Good God!” he cried and hurried over to the desk. “Call 911! Quick!” he instructed me, and whipping out my phone, I started punching numbers. My hands were shaking so badly I punched the ‘9’ three times and had to start a second time. By that time the janitor had checked for any signs of breathing or a pulse.

“I think he’s dead,” he was just saying when the 911 operator answered. I relayed everything to her the best I could, but it was all a jumbled mess. I guess she was used to those kind of messes, because she seemed to stay pretty calm and collected. But then she wasn’t staring at a dead body with blood pouring out if it.

I’ve already told you about my conversation with her, but, finally, after what seemed like an hour  — but I’m sure it wasn’t more than ten minutes — I heard what sounded like a hoard of people coming through the front door of the building, and a voice shouted, “Police. Stay where you are.”

Yep, that sounded like the cops all right, but who were they yelling at? They’d either captured some other unsuspecting student who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the killer had sneaked back in to get rid of me too. Well, either way, I was really glad they’d arrived.

I stepped out into the hallway just as the first two officers were making the top of the stairs. “In here, officers,” I said, trying to sound in control, but with my voice still vibrating from shock.

I recognized both of the men. Sergeant Harris has been on the force at least a couple decades. When we see him off-duty, he’s always friendly and interactive with the people in town. But on duty, he is all police sergeant, and no letting down on the protocol. The younger man with him, Lucas Duran, is newer to the force. And he is a hunk. I know that doesn’t say much about his police procedure, but the simple truth is that several of the girls on campus have admitted that it makes their hearts pick up speed and sends signals to all the appropriate places in their bodies when Lucas comes on the scene.

His dad is Hispanic, and that heritage is evident in his dark skin and his luscious black, curly hair. He has to keep it short for police work, but it’s gorgeous all the same. He’s tall and has shoulders that could move a boulder with one good shove. Now, you’re probably assuming that I have a ‘thing’ for Lucas myself, but you’d be wrong. I do freely admit that he’s an eyeful and a prime catch in our county, but it’s my friend Nadia who is really stuck on him. And evidently, he likes her pretty well too, because he asked her to go with him to the charity dance our police force sponsors every year to raise money for a local orphanage. When she talks to me about him she calls him Lucas, of course, and I guess that’s why I think of him that way instead of as ‘Officer Duran.’

Well, I’m off topic again, so back to the murder scene: Both officers entered the room, and Sergeant Harris went immediately to the Professor’s body to check that out. Officer Duran started for the window to see what evidence he might find there, and by that time, the paramedics were coming through the door of the room as well. It didn’t take long to decide that the Professor was beyond help, but nothing could be done about taking him out of the room until the coroner, Mason Wells, had done his job and pronounced his findings.

One of the paramedics asked about the coroner, and Sergeant Harris answered: “He’s on his way, but he was at a restaurant in Hanover County, so he’ll still be a little while. Just stand by while we question the two witnesses, and as soon as Mason gets here, we’ll get back to your procedure.” With that statement, he turned his attention to me and the janitor.

To be continued …


A Chapter a Day — 1

In the past, I’ve enjoyed sharing new works as they are in progress — by sharing a chapter a day with my readers and getting feedback. Some of the stories I’ve finished right here on this site — all the way to the words “The End.” But some of them have served to tease the imagination and gather interest for something new that will be in the marketplace soon. So what about this new work?

Well, the truth is that I’m not sure. I’ll be posting at least 4 chapters on here, but whether I’ll go ahead and finish it as a free read or not, I’m not sure. But since this process is a good way to keep myself working on the task at hand, I’m taking advantage of it, and any feedback that readers want to give will be welcome. I’m also using this post to respond to today’s Daily Post Prompt: Inkling.

TEACHER AT GREEN BOARDPosted below is Chapter One of the first book in the Campus Crimes Series, featuring Darcy Knight, Coed Detective. Book 1 may get an altogether different title by the time it’s ready to go to market, but for now, the series title will have to do.  So let’s get this new project started.


“Just stay where you are until the police officers arrive,” the 911 operator said, her voice strong, her tone devoid of emotion. “Normally we’d tell you to exit the building, but since you saw the perpetrator going out through the window, you’re probably just as safe staying right there in the room as you would be outside. The officers should be with you in moments now.”

I had my cell phone on speaker so the building’s janitor, who was standing beside me, could hear the other end of the conversation. I looked at him as if to ask what he thought about those instructions. He shrugged his shoulders and looked toward the window, fear clearly evident in his face. But he didn’t have any better suggestion, and neither did I.

So I answered the 911 operator. “Okay.” My voice was shaking. Well, I was shaking all over. “Okay, and good bye, I guess.”

“No!” she yelled. Well so much for lack of emotion. “Don’t hang up!” she continued. “Stay with me. I’ll stay on the line with you until they get there.”

“Oh … okay … that’s good,” I answered, breathing just a little easier knowing I still had a bit of support, although it would have been useless if that killer had decided to come back.

If I had just accepted the ‘C’ on my research paper and gone on with my life – the way ninety percent of the other students here at Langston Point Junior College do – none of this would have happened. I’d have gone on my merry way, cruising through my college classes, probably still with a ‘B’ average, and enjoying my friends as we journeyed the path into our responsible, adult lives.

Well, that’s what we’ve been told we’re doing. Basically, we’re just sort of hanging out, waiting for inspiration to hit us and point us in the right directions for successful futures. We are attending a junior college close to home because it’s a lot cheaper – and because we’d have to have two years of general studies no matter where we went – and also because a lot of us still aren’t sure what we want to do with our lives.

There are a few exceptions, of course. Carl Miller is a computer nerd who has already developed his own brand of software, and he knows – well, we all know – he is on the rise to fame and fortune. Eddie Wistkowski, better known as ‘Math Brain,’ has such a high grade in calculus and trig that the teacher can’t even figure his average like normal people’s. Eddie is destined for a high level job with the space program and has actually been interviewed by the big guys in that arena who do the scouting for future recruits.

People don’t hear about that kind of recruiting much. It’s mostly the sports stuff the public knows about. But scouting does go on behind closed doors for other occupations too. And Eddie – he’s the real deal when it comes to figuring out anything connected with math components – and he’ll go a long way.

There are a couple girls in my class who know where they’re going in life – other than into some good-looking man’s arms, of course. One of them is Deidre Vernon. Now that girl is bent on law in a big way, and she’s already had her application accepted at Harvard. She intends to work for the U.S. Department of Justice. I hope she makes it. Frankly it makes me tired just seeing her work so hard even now.

The other serious-minded girl is a friend of mine, Keesha Bradley She’s a strong Christian and the leader of our campus Bible club. Keesha sings like an angel and plays three different instruments. She’s a natural with all kinds of music, and she’s determined to use her talents to spread the Gospel.

But except for those four people, the sophomore class at Langston Point Junior College is just sort of winging it right now. And speaking of ‘now,’ I’ve got to keep my mind focused. Here I am, Darcy Knight, college sophomore, tied to a chair in a storage room in the basement of the campus fitness center. Waiting. For what, you might ask.

Well, if I believe what my friend Keesha always tells us – that God hears our prayers and will come to our rescue — then I’m waiting to be rescued. But if Keesha’s not right, I may be waiting to have my life snuffed out just like ─ No, I’m not even going there in my thoughts. My blasted stars! I can’t believe I’ve been so stupid. Why couldn’t I have just been satisfied with that dratted ‘C’!

I guess since I’m going to be here a while anyway, I may as well explain the situation. Here’s how it all started: I was walking across campus with Nadia Falkner, my best friend. We were on our way to the parking lot when we passed the administration building, and I remembered that Professor Sommers had an evening class, so I thought he might have stopped by his office afterwards. The ‘C’ he’d given me on my research paper had been causing me indigestion ever since he’d handed it to me in class that morning, and I decided I’d try to talk him into changing it.

“Why don’t you wait until tomorrow?” Nadia asked. “You’re tired, and he’s tired tonight. You’ll have a better chance to talk him into something when you’re both fresher, and you’ve had a night to think about things.”

I shook my head. “No. I have to do it now. If I don’t, I’ll not be able to get any sleep.”

“It’s just a ‘C’! It’s not the end of the world,” she said.

“But I’ve started this year with a good strong ‘B’ average. This could really mess it up if I happen to get another ‘C’ later on.”

“Well, then don’t get another one. Come on. Let’s go home.”

“No, you go on. I’ll head home as soon as I talk to Professor Sommers.”

“All right, but I think you’re silly for doing it tonight. I’ll probably be asleep by the time you get in, so don’t call me to tell me about it, okay?”

“Promise,” I said and veered off to the sidewalk leading to the Admin building. To be honest, it’s sort of a creepy building at night. There are lights on, of course, but since the college is into saving money, they keep the lights to a minimum, and when faculty are using a hallway, they turn on the lights, as well as the lights in their own offices. But any hallways not in use are left dark. I saw the janitor’s big rolling service cart outside one of the rooms on the ground floor, and I could hear him cleaning that room.

Professor Sommers’ office was on the second floor, and I took the steps – hoping the exercise would help settle my nerves. I didn’t have an inkling of how seriously my nerves were going to be disturbed within the next few minutes.

My blasted stars! How I wish, now, I’d listened to Nadia! I know that’s the stupidest phrase ever – my blasted stars. I have no idea what it means. But my grandmother always said it when she was shocked or angry, and she taught me to use that phrase when I really wanted to say – well, you can probably guess a couple of the things I’d rather have said. Anyway, out of deference to her, I adopted her pet cuss phrase, and now, here I am at nineteen – four months from turning twenty – still using it.

I’m rambling again. Okay, back to the important stuff. When I got to the second floor, the front half of the hall was dark, but the back half – where Sommers’ office was – had lights on. I could also see light coming from his office. When I got to the door, it was standing open about three-fourths of the way. I paused long enough to take a deep breath and clear my throat; then I stepped in and lifted my hand to knock on the opened door – just to be polite.

But before I could knock, I realized there was a dark-clad figure climbing out of the window, straight across from the door, onto the fire escape. My eyes locked onto him (or her – I couldn’t tell), and for the briefest moment, our eyes met. It was just a split second, and I couldn’t have told you what the face looked like at all. Because in the next instant the figure was outside and rushing down the fire escape stairs.

That’s when I finally came to my senses enough to realize I hadn’t said anything, and Professor Sommers hadn’t said anything to me. So I turned my head slightly to the left to look right at his desk, and I suddenly lost all my breath – and almost all my dinner.

To be continued …


Why is WordPress De-Railing Our Readers?

WOMAN SCORNEDWhat is it with WordPress’ sending readers to a page that is NOT OUR ACTUAL BLOG SITE? Have you noticed that when you see the posts in your Reader,  and click on the post title, WP does NOT take you to the post on that person’s blog?  They take you to a generic page that has the post you’re looking for — and even the blog owner’s gravatar — but it’s NOT their actual site.

If a blogger clicks on the words “Visit site,” they get taken to the site, but if they click on the post itself, they do not.

Why on earth do we put so much time and attention into making our sites look exactly like we want them to look, and have widgets set up a certain way, etc. so people will notice specific things on our site — and why choose a specific theme or particular colors, etc. — if readers ARE NOT GOING TO SEE THEM????? The logic is inscrutable.

You’ll notice the use of capital letters. It’s something I tell all my creative writing students to avoid doing. And the fact that I’ve used them is indicative of how aggravated I am. I asked WP about it in an e-mail, but no answer.  So I decided to vent right here. Whew!  I feel better.  🙂  🙂  🙂


Daily Post Prompt: Inscrutable



Belated Goodbye

Copyright Sandra Crook


“This was your family’s restaurant?” Erica asked.

I nodded, silent, reliving that horrible night: My fiance Haydn’s pushing me into the cellar and commanding me to keep silent, no matter what.”

Erica understood. “You never saw him again?”

I shook my head. “Two survivors said he’d been captured. But I never could find out.”

“Look!” Erica grabbed my arm. “Someone’s in the upstairs window — looking at us.”

“Some scavenger,” I said, brushing away tears. But then I looked more closely, catching my breath.  “It can’t be,” I whispered.


“It’s him!”  I waved frantically: “Haydn!”

He waved, smiled, and in the same moment, vanished. I looked at Erica. Her shocked face assured me I hadn’t imagined  him.

“Finally … after all these painful years … we’ve said goodbye.”


Friday Fictioneers writing challenge




Trash Talk — I Need to Monitor Comments

KNIGHT IN ARMOR CLIPARTJust want to let my regular readers know that I’m going to have to start monitoring and approving comments for the foreseeable future. I haven’t done that since the very first year of this website. I’ve allowed people to comment freely, and I’ve had almost no spam or unacceptable trash in those comments. However, the past two weeks I’ve had a number of totally off-the-wall and trashy things posted in my comments section — things totally unrelated to the post itself.

So, although 99% of my visitors are still very dependable when it comes to reasonable and polite comments, I don’t want to give opportunities for these few “crazies” out there to post things that would confuse or even offend readers in general. As most of you know I am not a “politically correct” journalist, so the problem has nothing to do with political correctness. It has to do with comments that are ludicrous or trashy — or are obvious attention grabbers in order to lure people to the commentor’s  site. I think it’s time I put up a shield and start standing guard for a while.

Sorry about this change, and I hope those of you who comment for the right reasons will continue to comment a lot. I’ll try to stay on top of approving them as quickly as possible.