Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part IV)

“Why does she continue to hover all the time? I mean, you’re divorced, so shouldn’t she be moving on or something?” asked Raya.

“She thinks we still have a chance.”

“Is there?”

Bryson walked back over to his desk lost in thought without answering Raya’s question.


“Well, what?”

“Is there?”

“Is there what?” asked Bryson confused.

“A chance you and your ex-wife could get back together?”

Bryson breathed deep and let it out. “No.”

“Not from where I’m standing.”

“What are you talking about?

“You lack of response and your body language. Your mind was miles away. You still love her.”

Instead of paying attention to what Raya was saying, Bryson swiveled his chair around to face the window. Reaching both hands behind his head, he laced his fingers and leaned into them.

Raya watched in stunned disbelief. She couldn’t believe he blew her off like this. “At least have the decency to look at me and listen to what I just said.”

“Oh, I heard you. Quite frankly it’s none of your business.”

“That does it.” Raya stormed over to his office door, unlocked it, and turned her head around, “Find another sucker. We’re through. I don’t need to be treated this way.”

She opened his office door just as Bryson’s ex-wife was exiting Jack’s office. Raya waved her over and said, “Your husband’s in his office. He was trying to avoid you.” Behind her the squeak of Bryson’s office chair filled the air and his footsteps thundered across his office floor. She strolled back to her cubicle in the secretarial pool and sat down as Bryson’s ex-wife sailed across the front of her cubicle, leaving a mountain of perfume in her wake. A couple seconds later a resounding “Whack!” stung the air.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Plot/Story

Creating Empathy

On October 6, 2021 I wrote a blog post entitled Connections. Toward the end of the article I talked about a character, Mary, who was in a heated argument with her boyfriend as they were walking along. They had come to an area or clearing where the sunset could be seen much better in all of its glory. The boyfriend didn’t notice it. He could’ve cared less, but Mary noticed it and enjoyed it so much that for a moment she forgot about the argument. In this post I said that the sunset itself had nothing to do with the issue at hand, which was the argument. It was a random occurrence. But it had everything to do with creating empathy for the character of Mary. Add to this the dialogue between the two. Maybe Mary’s boyfriend said something nasty to her. The reader will be affected by these words to in that they will feel for her/have empathy for her. Mary may not be hurt by his words, but the reader will feel for her anyway. Well, most readers anyway.

Photo by Cliford Mervil on

Creating empathy for your characters is what draws your readers further into your story. Feelings, as we all know, have a strong connection to empathy. The two go hand in hand. As a side note, not everyone feels empathy, so don’t worry if your characters don’t connect with some readers. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Empathy, or even lack thereof, also gives incite into your character’s personality. In the above scenario we come to understand that Mary loves the beauty of sunsets even in the face of angst. It also hints towards her sensitivity. In addition, deep down she doesn’t let something like an argument with her boyfriend get to her. This indicates strength to get through it and not dwell on it. It could also indicate she feels as though the situation between her and her boyfriend will get resolved. The point being, in the ugly face of an argument, she saw beauty.

Photo by James Wheeler on

What drives the feelings within your characters? The situations they are thrust up against. Let’s say we have a character named Jack. He’s 31 years old, a successful corporate lawyer, and married with one child. He finds out his wife is cheating on him. Over the eight years they’ve been married, he has given his wife everything. He supports her in all that she enjoys doing. There isn’t anything that indicated to him that she had been unfaithful. Until he walks in on his wife and her lover when he comes home to surprise her (I know. This is a typical scenario, but it works for the point I’m trying to make). Already the reader feels empathy for him, and we haven’t gotten to how he is feeling yet. Although, his feelings will be interspersed throughout the scenario anyway.

Everything, the feelings and situations, even the words characters say to one another can create empathy within your readers. They will be pulled into your story. You want this. Of course, there are other ways besides creating empathy that can pull a reader in as well. Here again, that’s another blog post.

Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part III)

“Don’t baby me,” said Raya. “You’re married.”

“No, I’m not,” said Bryson.

“Mmm. Yes, you are. I just received a call from the receptionist downstairs. Your wife is on her way up.”

“Ex-wife. She can’t get it through her head we’re divorced.” He ran a hand through his blond hair then turned and headed back to his desk. “I can’t get rid of her.”

“How do I know I can trust you?”

“We’ve been going out for six months now. Have I ever given you cause to not trust me?”

“Hmm, let me see.” Raya put a finger to her lips in thought then stepped a few steps into his office, shut the door, and locked it.

“Come on, don’t play like that. You know you can trust me,” said Bryson.

Raya smiled and tossed his keys to him, then she sauntered over to his desk and sat on the corner facing him as he sat down in his chair. “Relax. I’m just messing with you.”

He smiled and picked up her hand, leaned in and kissed her fingers one at a time.

“Jean has the hots for you, you know,” said Raya.

“Jean? Jean who?” asked Bryson.

Raya gave a quick description Jean.

Bryson released her hand and sat back in his chair with wide eyes. “I think that was the lady I saw at the elevator a little while ago just before I came back for my keys.”

Photo by Burst on

At that moment the door handle jiggled. Bryson put a finger to his lips to indicate not to make sound.

Raya nodded in agreement.

Bang, bang, bang. It was his ex-wife knocking at the door. “I know you’re in there,” she yelled.

Bryson arose from his chair, snatched his cellphone out of his pocket, and walked to the far corner of his office. He dialed Jack, the lawyer in the office on the other side of the secretarial pool, hoping he was still in his office. In the meantime, his ex-wife continued her knocking on his door. The call, after four rings went to voicemail. Then he heard Jack’s voice outside his door. Damn, Jack had a key to his office. He hoped he didn’t let her in. Please, don’t let her in. He glanced at Raya’s worried expression then back at the door. His ex-wife’s irritated tone of voice grew louder.

“Sorry,” said Jack’s muffled voice. “I can’t let…..”

Bryson didn’t hear the rest of what Jack said as his voice trailed off. His ex-wife’s voice faded as well. Bryson expelled the breath he was holding in. “Damn, that was close. Too close.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part II)

Jean relaxed once the elevator door closed. Bryson’s close proximity to her, as the two stood waiting for an elevator, sent her heart racing. Words escaped her. He said hi to her. All she had to do was say hi back. In her mind the response was there, but her tongue wouldn’t do anything. The easiest response was to get into the elevator and not deal with it. She sighed as the elevator glided down to the first floor. What did he think of her now?

The elevator reached the first floor, dinged, and opened. Jean stepped out in time to hear Bryson’s name being mentioned by a woman coming from the direction of the reception desk. Jean turned in that direction and slowed her pace.

“Excuse me,” said the woman. “I’m here to see Bryson Taylor.”

“May I ask who is inquiring?” asked the receptionist.

“His wife, of course.”

“One moment.”

Jean’s heart sank as she sped up and moved toward the front door. Great. The good ones are always taken. At least she didn’t feel so bad for not responding to him earlier. She exited the office building and caught the first taxi she saw. Home and a hot bath sounded soothing right now.

Photo by Pixabay on

Bryson realized he’d forgotten his car key’s in his office and walked back to retrieve them. Upon entering his office, something wasn’t right. The air was off somehow, yet everything remained as they were. “Hmm. I must be tired.” He opened the top right drawer of his desk, reached in to grab his keys, but they weren’t there. With a quick toss of his sports jacket over the top of his desk, he rummaged through the remaining desk drawers then felt in his pants pockets. Nothing. “Damn. Where did I…?” He glanced up and stopped mid-sentence.

“Looking for these?” asked Raya.

Without a word, Bryson moved around his desk and strolled over to her. He grabbed for the keys she dangled in front of him, but she yanked them back in time for him to miss. He smiled, “Very funny, baby. Give me my keys.”

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Plot/Story

Story Trees

The beauty of a tree is intricate. There are so many parts, yet they are all part of one trunk. Everything comes together to make up the whole. We see the individual parts, but we also see the one.

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Stories work much the same way. There is one main story, but within it are ‘branches’ or ‘offshoots’ of smaller stories that, when you put them all together, make up the main story. The end result is one story with many parts within it. They all connect. With a tree if you take a part of it and replant it, it grows into another tree. The same applies to a story. If you take a part of the story, you can create another story.

Posted in Short Stories

The Perfect Woman (Part I)

“Isn’t he beautiful,” stated Jean.

“He who?” asked Raya.

Jean elbowed her friend in the side. “Really? Who have I been talking to you about since last Tuesday?”

“Oh. Yeah well. I’ve seen better,” replied Raya. He’s a new guy. You always think the new ones are gorgeous.”

“Yes, but Bryson is different.”

“You also said that about the last new guy. Hey, do you ever ask any of them out?”


“Why not?”

“Fear of rejection, I guess. My last relationship ended in disaster, so I admire from afar,” said Jean.

“You’ll never find that right one unless you take a chance.”

“Maybe so, but right now I’ll just look.”

Photo by Christina Morillo on

Jean stood, shouldered her purse, and exited her workspace, heading toward the elevators. She pushed the down button and waited.

Bryson strolled over, stopped a little ways over to her right, and waited for an elevator. He slung his sports jacket over his left arm and ran a hand through his wavy, dark, brown hair. A sweet lavender scented perfume wafted across his nose, so he turned in the direction of where it came from and saw a petite woman with a dark blond bob. He smiled.

Photo by Michael Morse on

“Hello,” said Bryson.

Just then the elevator bell chimed. The door to the far-left elevator opened, and Jean hustled in that direction, stepped inside, and pressed the door close button without saying a word to Bryson.

“What a snob,” Bryson mused aloud.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part IV)

People don’t just combine into one person. I have to be dreaming. Damn, this is so real. I continued staring at Derek who was now just one person and not two. Words failed me as I blinked once, then twice. He took steps toward me, and I backed up. He stopped, and I stopped with my hand raised in the stop position.

“D-don’t,” I stammered, “don’t come near me. I don’t know what just happened, but I want no part of it.”

“Daisy, it’s ok,” said Derek as he took one more step anyway.

“I said don’t…..come any closer.”

“It’s the mine. The mine did it.”

“Did what?” I asked.

“Spl–.” But noise from the opening of the mine shaft drew our attentions.

One by one the others in our group exited the mine shaft. Except…..instead of the five additional people who originally went down there to begin with, there were eleven. One of whom looked like me. Of the others, five of them were doppelgangers for the other five. They now stood in pairs of five. My double sauntered over and stood next to me.

“As I was trying to say, the mine shaft splits people into two,” explained Derek.

Everyone stared at me smiling, but I wasn’t smiling. I didn’t want to be two people. I didn’t like this at all. “So we just snap out fingers and everyone goes back to normal?”

“Well, yeah. That is, if you want to. There’s fun in being two,” said Derek’s best friend Todd. He looked around at everyone and said, “Ready guys?” The other ten people snapped their fingers in unison and they became five again.

My double refused to snap her fingers. She pursed her lips together and folded her arms across her chest. “I’m staying a double.”

“No,” I said.

“You don’t have a choice,” said the other me. “I don’t want to combine. I enjoy being a double.”

This was going to be more difficult than I thought, so I had to play along. But how does one get someone else to snap their fingers at the same time if that person knows the repercussions if they do? Then I had an idea.

“Hey,” I said to my double, “you know what happens if you don’t combine back?”

“Daisy, don’t,” said Derek. A worried expression playing across his face.

“Don’t stop me. She needs to know,” I said.

“Know what?” asked the other me, nervous eyes glancing from me to Derek and back.

I didn’t know what Derek’s game was, but maybe he knew I was making something up to get my double to go along and snap her fingers. Maybe he was playing along.

“It’s the mine ghost. He will come at midnight tonight and kill you if you don’t combine before then,” explained Derek.

“B-but I don’t want…..”

“Look,” I said, “it’s not like we can’t become two again. All I have to do is reenter the mine. It’s that simple,” I stated.

My double creased her brows and stared at the ground, deep in thought. She lifted her head and sighed in resignation. “Fine, let’s get this over with.”

My double and I stood next to each other and snapped our fingers in unison. I became one person once more. I breathed a sigh of relief as I gazed over the opening of the mine shaft. The opening disappeared as though it was never there.

My eyes went wide as I stared at Derek.

“Aren’t I sneaky?” snickered Derek.


Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part II)

“You think the darkness can hide you from me?” said the whisper.

I yanked and tugged my wrist from the iron grip, but to no avail. My voice caught in my throat and my breathing constricted. But I didn’t need to say anything, as Derek took over.

“We’re getting out of here. Guys, stop! Guys!” called Derek to the rest of our group. No answer. “Daisy, turn around. We’re leaving.”

“I can’t move. He has my wrist.”

“Ha ha ha ha ha,” laughed the disembodied voice.

“Let me go,” I yelled.

A click invaded the darkness. Then a stinging pain pierced my arm. “AHHH!” I called out.

“Daisy, I’m so sorry,” cried Derek.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I was trying to stab whoever has your arm.”

“Well, you didn’t. You stabbed me. Forget the stupid knife. Help me get my arm free.”

Derek grabbed my arm, and we both pulled. The grip on my wrist let go; the momentum sent us both toppling to the floor of the mineshaft. Inch by inch we crept to a standing position. I patted the walls then turned and proceeded toward the exit. Derek’s footsteps shuffled behind me. His hand placed itself on my shoulder as we moved. Neither one of us said anything. Finally, we reached the light of the exit and the makeshift ladder. I latched on to it and climbed.

I glanced back and down to see the top of Derek’s ball cap. Good. At least we’re together.

“Daiiiiisssy!” called a voice from further down into the shaft. I stopped as the familiarity of it hit me. It was Derek calling my name. A chill flooded my bloodstream. Then, who is on the ladder behind me?

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Short Stories

The Mine Shaft (Part I)

Down, down, down we descended into the dark, dank mine shaft of long ago. Will he sense we’re down here? I followed Derek and the rest of our group. Soon the light from the opening above was out of sight, and everything turned pitch black. Making a wrong turn would be fatal. As we inched along the unseen passage, the walls drew closer together and a narrowness corralled us into a line. At least that was my perception. The passage way, with the walls as narrow as they were, didn’t allow for any other type of movement.

As I hung on to Derek’s left hand, without thinking, I reached my other hand up and glided it along the wall. A perspiring dampness seeped through it pours. I was just about to snatch my hand back when it glided over something soft. Instinct forced me to snatch it away, but something latched on to my wrist, pulling me back. I gasped. My other hand squeezed Derek’s with a tightness that meant terror loomed.

“What? Daisy, you ok?” asked Derek. To the others he called out, “Hey, guys. Stop.”

“I-I don’t know,” I said. “There’s…” But my words died in my throat as hot, stinky breath singed my cheek and a whisper crept its way into my ear.

(To Be Continued)

Posted in Fiction

The Boyfriend (Part V)

“You see,” said Gabe, the woman you met is an enchantress. The moment you and her spoke for the first time, whether on the phone or in person doesn’t matter, she cast an enchantment on you.”

“I’m not into that magic stuff. It’s nonsense,” I stated.

“Nevertheless, it’s real to your boyfriend…..or ex-boyfriend. Sorry.”

“So I’m cursed? Is that what you’re saying?”

“No. No. Not exactly a curse. Let’s just call it a homing beacon. It doesn’t matter where you go. You can be extra careful in covering your tracks. He will always know where you are.”

Gabe encircled an arm around my shoulders and guided me to my car. Wait, how did he know this was my car? I asked him that, now. Peering down from a good 6 feet in height, he smiled at me and cupped my cheek with his palm. “Do you have a park nearby where we can sit and talk?”

Caution gripped my insides. After what just happened with my ex-boyfriend moments ago, I remained on edge. “I-I don’t think so. We need to part ways. I don’t know you, and you want to go to a park and talk? Really? Uh-uh. Nope.”

“It’s ok. We can stay right here if you like. It is not my intention to scare you. You see, I am an angel, and I was sent to protect you.” At that moment a pair of white translucent wings appeared on his back as a light emanated around him.

Realizing my mouth was open, I closed it. I glanced around to see if anyone else was seeing this angelic spectacle. Two people walked by. One, a woman, walked by me smiling but never looked my way. The other one strolled by toward the store front with a scowl on his face. He, like the woman, walked by me without giving me a second glance. I reached for Gabe’s hand, picked it up by his fingers, and held it. Clearing all thoughts out of my head, I closed my eyes and made him my focus. An easy feeling filled my heart, and I cradled his hand to my chest’s center. “I feel your goodness, now.” I looked up and met Gabe’s eyes. They transitioned in hue from a light blue to a deep blue and glistened.

“You’re an empath, Julia,” said Gabe. He brought his other hand up and took her hand now his own. “I promise you this. Nothing will happen to you. Now come, let us go.

I nodded and smiled in response, turned to get in my car, but it wasn’t there. In fact, the parking lot was gone. The whole of everything had changed. Green, lush grass displayed in front of me and under my feet. A clear blue stream trickled water off to my left and rolling hills of flowers sat in the distance. “Where…..?” I turned around. Then I saw it. Behind me and off to my right a scene with my body lying on the pavement of the parking lot began to fade.

Gabe stood next to me watching my every move. I peered up at him now and blinked twice. “I’m-I’m dead? But, I don’t…..”

“Remember? I took that memory away from you the moment you saw me. Shortly before your ex-boyfriend, Jeff, left, he killed you.”


“You are safe now.” Gabe looked over my head and behind me and smiled.

I followed his gaze, turned, and found Jesus standing face to face with me.