Posted in Fiction

The Golden Tree (Part V)

A mural of the golden tree spread across the wall. With absent minded ease, he rose from the edge of the bed and stepped over to the wall. His hand outstretched, he caressed the painting of the tree. Its golden leaves just as shiny here as in person. But, how can that be? It’s a painting.

A knock at the bedroom door shook him out of his thoughts, and he spun his head in the direction of the knock.

“Yes?” asked Charlie. “Come in.”

The door inched inward and a woman’s well groomed brunette head peeped around the edge. “You’re awake,” said the woman. “I’m Tulsie.”

“H-hello. I am Charlie. H-how long have I been asleep?”

“Two days. We were starting to wonder if you were going to wake up. The doctor came over to look at you.” She walked over to him and reached slight, delicate fingers up to his temple. “I must say, that bump looks much better.”

“It hurts like hell.”

Tulsie gasped and stepped back a couple steps, touching folded hands to her chest. “Must you speak that way?”

“What way?”

“That…that word.”

“What? Hell?”

“Yes. We don’t speak that kind of language in this house.”

“Oh,” replied Charlie taken back just a bit. “Where I come from it’s no big deal. But I do apologize if I offended you.” An uncomfortable minute passed as no one said anything. Then, indicating toward the painted golden tree on the wall, “Do you know about this tree?”

“What about it?” asked Tulsie.

“How is it you have a painting of it on your wall?”

“It’s just a tree.”

“No, it’s not. Who painted it?”

“My cousin. Raymond Bleaker Sr. So what?”

“This tree really exists. It grows on a farm of a friend of mine back in Oklahoma. Wait. Where am I anyway?”

“Who is your friend?”

“Ray Bleaker III.” A chill ran up and down his spine. What are the odds he wakes up wherever in the house of the cousin of his friend’s grandfather? “Ma’am? Please tell me where I am.”

“In my house.”

Charlie scrunched his lips and a heat rose in his cheeks. “I know that. Where is your house, besides on a street in a nice little town. Where is this place? What’s the town or city, or whatever?”

“You don’t have to be so rude in your speaking sir. A simple question and in a nice manner would suffice,” explained Tulsie.

Charlie pasted a fake smile across his cheeks, “Ma’am? What town and state am I in?”

“That’s much better. You are in a suburb of Dallas, Texas,” replied Tulsie. She sauntered over to mural of the golden tree and flipped her delicate fingers in its direction. “Ya know, this tree has been in my cousin’s family for generations. It’s original name was the Time Travel Tree.” Her gaze went from the tree mural to Charlie and morphed into a leer. “You are in 1956.”

Charlie ran his fingers through his dark hair, staggered to the bed and sat back down on the edge. “How do I get back to 2022? Wait, I need to find Rays farm. That’s where the tree is. He said it’s like 200 years old. I’ll just go back there and touch the tree.”

At that moment the same little boy he’d seen holding the ball in the front yard of the house, when he arrived two days ago, walked into the room holding the same red ball.

Tulsie walked over to the little boy and fumbled her fingers through the little boys hair. “This is my cousin’s boy, Raymond Jr.” Then she threw a pointed stare at Charlie. “And, no, you cannot find the tree at my cousin’s farm. It isn’t there.”

“But it’s there in 2022. Ray said it’s over 200 years old. Trees don’t get up and move.”

“Well, he’s right. It is 200 years old. But the tree moves itself every so many years. So you’ll have to find it. How you do that is up to you.”

“But I thought you said the tree has been in the family for generations.”

“That’s right. I did. You appear to be a smart man. Confused at the moment but smart nevertheless. Figure it out.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Golden Tree (Part IV)

Charlie woke with a start and sat straight up. A dim sliver of light worked its way through the slight parts in the dark curtains. He reached a hand to his left temple and the slight bump and winced as a shooting knife like pain coursed from one temple to the next.

“Damn, where am I?”

His attention floated around the room as dusk continued to take over through the window. He was alone. A chest of drawers stood opposite the the twin size bed beneath him. He felt around the soft feather comforter covering the lower half of his body. The light, airy plushness beckoned him to lay back down and fall back to sleep, but no. He had to stay awake. He had to get out of there, but where was he. This wasn’t his room.

Another twinge of pain stabbed his temples once again. “Ahg!” He threw back the rest of the comforter and swung his legs over the side of the bed opposite the window. His tennis shoes sat neatly on the side of the bed, so he reached down for them as a small hand poked out from under the bed, grabbed the right shoe and yanked it back.

Charlie scrambled to the floor and got down on his hands and knees. Peering under the bed, he saw nobody. He shot upright standing on his knees. His head swam and a nauseating wave clutched his gut causing him to dry heave. He squeezed his eyes shut once more and breathed deep wishing the sickening feeling to subside. As he did, he listened for movement in the room. Nothing. He opened his eyes slow and gingerly gazed around the room. No one was there. He eased himself back down to look under the bed. No one. As he eased his head back up, the side of his right cheek smacked into two shoes. His shoes.

“Ok. I’m having hallucinations. That or I’m still sleeping and dreaming I’m awake. Where did my missing shoe come from?” he said aloud. “Great, I’m talking to myself.”

He plunked his butt back on the edge of the bed and put his shoes on, then he eased himself upright and gasped at the sight on the wall.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Golden Tree (Part III)

“Ya know? I’ve often wondered where people go when they touch this tree,” wondered Charlotte.

“You want to find out?” asked Ray with a smirk.

“Hell no. I might never come back.”


*******


Charlie landed on his butt with a skid across a bed of gravel. His hand scraping across the stones as he reached to stop himself. He came to a stop but remained where he was for a few minutes catching his breath. His heart hammered from the rush of adrenaline caused by the split second trip through…..what? Funny what split second timing can do to a body. He swiveled his head from side to side taking in his surroundings.

He sat in the middle of a gravel road in a residential area. Small single story homes stood side by side on both sides. A light blue house stood on his right with a yellow 1955 Chevy Bel-Air in the driveway, while a dark gray house stood on his left with a boy of about 8 or 9 standing in the yard; a red bouncy ball resting between his hands. Charlie threw up a slow, nervous wave and nodded his head. The little boy remained still, watching him. He rose to his feet and walked over the boy. As he reached the curb, he glanced down the street and stopped short. Most all the driveways had cars from the 1950’s.

With his attention remaining on the older model cars, he continued toward the little boy, forgetting there was a curb. He tripped up to the sidewalk as a result and landed on his front. His arms having flown forward, skidded along the pavement in front of him. His cheek landed hard and morphed into a twisted expression as the momentum drove him forward along the cement.

For the second time within minutes, he moved to stand up. The world around him spun, as he lifted his head from the sidewalk. His vision blurred and faded to black.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Golden Tree (Part II)

“Huh, we should be so lucky,” Ray whispered back.

“Charlie,” said Charlotte. “Why do you want this tree so bad? You know how stupid an idea it is to uproot a tree hundreds of years old and replant it? Seriously now, it would kill it.”

“A clipping would be just as nice,” responded Charlie.

“That won’t work either,” Charlotte rolled her eyes.

Charlie swung to turn and stopped himself, as a leaf hanging from the tree caught his attention. His right foot slid toward the tree, then his left foot followed. He continued with this slide step until he was close enough to grasp onto a leaf. His head tilted to the right as he studied the leaf.

“Should we stop him, Ray?” whispered Charlotte to her husband.

Ray massaged his chin with his thumb and forefinger, “I don’t know if it would do any good. He’s done been pulled right to it. I say let him go. Maybe he’ll come back, maybe he won’t,” Ray whispered back.

The golden leaf sparkled and twinkled in Charlie’s eyes. A yearning dug deep within his heart. He must….. His hand reached up, clasped on to the leaf, then his body from his hand to his feet shot into the leaf in one blink.

Charlotte walked over to the leaf that took Charlie and studied it. A smile played across her face.

“Well? Is he there?” asked Ray.

“Oh yeah. Face and everything.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Golden Tree (Part I)

The morning sun kissed the earth through scant clouds peppering the sky. The result was an amber lit morning. Catching the sun’s rays was a tree that grew golden hued leaves. The ambiance created magical imaginings one could never escape.

Charlotte finished stirring her coffee and strolled out onto the front porch. She stopped at the railing and hoisted herself up to a half sitting position gazing out onto the prairie beyond the three walnut trees bordering her and her husband’s farm. Her favorite was the golden tree. Maybe it was the golden leaves, or maybe it’s the life it appears to breathe when the breeze hits it just right. The sound of a car driving up the driveway broke her thoughts.

“Ray!” called Charlotte to her husband.

“What? I’m busy. Can’t it wait?”

“No. It’s Charlie. That so called friend of yours.”

“I’ll be right out. And we aren’t friends. Not no more at least.”

A moment later, her husband Ray stepped onto the front porch, put his hands in his pockets, and propped himself against one of the posts holding up the overhang at the top of the steps. He watched as Charlie sauntered up to the steps and stopped.

“Charlie, you can’t have the tree. It’s over two hundred years old. How would you get it out of the ground?” asked Ray.

“A cutting then, a slice, anything will do,” begged Charlie.

“Get out of here,” ordered Charlotte.

“Sh! Damn, would let me handle this?” commanded Ray to his wife.

She rolled her eyes and continued watching the exchange.

Turning back to Charlie, Ray said. “Go one, scoot. Get off my property. You can’t have the tree in any way shape or form.”

Instead of turning to go, Charlie turned in the direction of the tree and walked over to it. He reached out with one hand to touch it but held back, saying nothing.

Charlotte moved, stood next to her husband, and whispered. “Maybe we should let him touch it. That would get rid of him.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

An Eerie Scent of Roses (Part V)

Later that evening, the Detective called me back.

            “Miss Blake, I checked on that janitor. He said he had forgotten that he had taken Mr. Dodge’s key off his ring so that he could get a new one made. Apparently, the old one wasn’t opening the door. So, it looks as if Mr. Dodge is our culprit.

            “Oh, thank God. It’s over. Thank you so much, detective.”

            “Don’t mention it.”

            “Did you arret him at work?”

            “No. Early this morning before he left for work. I made him call in sick.”

***

            Back at the precinct, a Detective Blanche was questioning Mr. Dodge about the phone calls. “Why did you terrorize Amanda Blake?”

            “I’m telling you that I didn’t.”

            “Oh ya? You said you were inn your office at the times those calls were made, correct?”

            “Yes.”

            “Then you made them.”

            “No, I didn’t.”

            “Okay, smarty pants, then tell me how you didn’t make phone calls from your office when you were there.”

            “Computers.”

            “What?”

            “You heard me. Computers. Somehow you can make it look as though a phone call is coming from somewhere else other than the real place they’re calling from. It’s done through the computer using the phone lines.”

            “How do you know all this?”

            “I watch a lot of television.”

            “Damn. Back to square one.”

***

            I went to bed early that night, to get caught up on my sleep. In the middle of the night, I woke up to a scratching noise. The clock display read 11:00 pm.

            “Brandy, is that you chewing on paper again? You’re a good dog normally, but when you wake me up, it’s another story.”

            “Noooooooo, iiiiiiiit’s meeeeeee. You are mine. I must have you,” the voice slowly whispered.

            “Who is it? Who’s there? Whoever you are, get out of my house,” I said, as my voice shook with fear. I could smell that eerie scent of roses that came with that note yesterday.

            “I seeeeee youuuuuuuu. I am in your mind, and I am part of you now.”

            “No, no, no, no! You’re in jail, the police arrested you. Leave me alone.”

            “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha… It worked like a charm, didn’t it?”

            I couldn’t quite place where the voice was coming from. I got up out of bed and frantically felt my way in the dark for the light switch by the door. Finding it, I turned it on. But there was nobody there. From somewhere in the house, I heard a faint tap, tap, tap. I tip toed out of the room and into the hall. Again, I heard tap, tap, tap. Where was Brandy? As I got to the living room, I turned on the light, but then shrank back in horror at the sight of Brandy’s bloody body on the floor. In the corner, hanging from the ceiling, was a dummy that looked like me. It was holding a dark red rose in its mouth. In its hand was a note that read:

You’re next, Amanda

            Tears began to stream down my face. Just then, I noticed a car coming up the driveway. Who could that be at this hour? A few minutes alter the bell rang. I quickly put an afghan around me and opened the door. It was Dan. I looked at him suspiciously and said, “What are you doing out so late?”

            “I was on my way home from the football game between the Sea Hawks and Miami and thought I’d drive by to see if everything was okay. Now that they caught the guy. Amanda, you’re crying. What’s wrong?”

            “Help me, Dan. He, I, he… My dog is dead.”

            He ran past her and into the living room.

            “We have to call the police. Here, sit down and try to stay calm. I’ll go call the police.”

            “Ask to talk to Detective Blanche.”

            “Detective Blanche please.” Silence. “Yes, detective, someone has been in Amanda’s house. They’ve killed her dog.” Silence. “Yes, Detective. Yes… yes… Okay, bye.”

            He sauntered into the living room with a big grin on his face.

            “Are they coming?”

            “No.”

            “Why?”

            “You see, I really didn’t call them.”

            “What do you mean. I heard you. Wait a minute. How did you know that someone had been arrested? I mean, no one knew that accept me and Detective Blanche. It was you, all this time. But I just saw you drive into my driveway. You couldn’t possibly have just been here, and you said you had just come from the football game.”

            With a devilish grin, he said, “You’re so gullible. I parked my car around the corner of your house. Perfect, don’t you think? And now, since the police have their man in jail, no one will be able to help you now.”

            I wanted to run, but my legs wouldn’t move. I wanted to scream, but my scream was silent. He moved over to me and gently caressed my cheek. I wanted to tell him to stop, but m lips were frozen. I was trembling with fear. Finally, I found my voice. “Leave me alone!” I pulled away from him and started to run to the door, but he blocked me.

            Slowly, he walked toward me.

            I moved back.

            I could hardly breath.

            My heart was beating fast.

            My legs were rubber, and I couldn’t move fast enough. I tried to make a run for the back door, but still he caught me. He turned me around to face him and threw me to the floor. I tried to get up, but he was on top of me in an instant, ripping my clothes off and hitting me as I tried to fight him hopelessly.

            At that moment, both the back and front door flew open. Detective Blanche and his men poured through the doors with guns in their hands.

            “Hold it, buddy. Stand up and put your hands on your head.”

            Dan just sat there.

            “Do it!”

            After Dan arose, I got up and, in a hurry, put the afghan around me.

            “Detective, how did you know? He said he didn’t call you?”

            “I never took the tap off your phone. We heard that call he supposedly made to me. It was obvious that he wasn’t talking to me, so I figured something had to be up. By the way, I took the liberty of contacting your Aunt Helen. I told her to come over here, that you might need her.”

***

            The next day I didn’t get up until 12:00 noon. When I walked into the kitchen, Aunt Helen came over to me and gave me a big hug. “Detective Blanche came over this morning to see how you were doing. I told him you were still asleep and shouldn’t be disturbed. He also told me something very interesting.

            “What’s that?”

            “He said that after arresting Mr. Hastings, he ran a check on him. Apparently, he’s wanted in California for rape, and that his real name is Doug Frier. He’s also wanted for illegal computer hacking.”

            “So that’s how he got my new phone number.”

            “That’s right.”

            The thought of last night ran a chill up my spine. Aunt Helen saw me shiver and said, “Oh, come now, love. You’re going to be just fine.”

The End

Posted in Fiction

An Author’s Journey Pictorial (Fun with Pictures)

IDEA

Photo by MAFIK OLAMIDE on Pexels.com

JOT DOWN IDEAS FOR YOUR STORY

Photo by MESSALA CIULLA on Pexels.com

CREATE CHARACTERS

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

OUTLINE YOUR STORY (IF YOU ARE A PLANNER) AND WRITE IT

Photo by Ken Tomita on Pexels.com

YOUR FINISHED BOOK

Photo by d.n.c films on Pexels.com
Posted in Fiction

Obstacles

Years ago my then husband and I traveled from Michigan to Georgia to visit a friend. On our way down we stopped at Rock City Gardens, Georgia because we had heard about lookout where you could view Seven States at once. Once there, in order to get to the lookout, we had to walk through some beautiful gardens on our way up. Our last obstacle standing in our way was a rope bridge we had to cross in order to get to the lookout on the other side.

Yes, sometimes there are obstacles in our way when we want something. Some are small and some are heart stopping to the point where you don’t know if you can overcome that obstacle. Let me tell…..you can. It might take someone else’s help to get you through it or over it, but you will.

Posted in Fiction, Poetry

Weeds of Life: a Sonnet by L. M. Montes

A daydream takes the mind upon a flight
of visions dancing ‘cross the brain of sight,
imagine if you can a tale of weeds
clawed and deep within the flowers of seed,
choking out such beauty to die and bend
never to grow up but meet its end,
but fingers claw and pull out from the muck
life’s problems sewing in and now are stuck,
yank once then twice and thrown aside and out
of God’s garden that man has strewn about,
at last sun’s rays uplift His color wheel
of blooms with sweetest scents that touch and heal
our body, mind, and soul from evil’s clutches,
blessing all who bow, and Jesus touches