Book Review: A Record of my Vinyl by Potter Style

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  • Diary: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Gjr edition (August 29, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804189609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804189606

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

My Review: 

When this book arrived in the mail I was floored by how attractive the cover is and how nice it is going to look on my bookshelf. This family is a collector of vinyl records and the number of pages that are available will provide plenty of space for new acquisitions. I love the way the entries are laid out. The entries allow for artist, title and liner notes. Making this a really comprehensive collection diary.

Just perfect for any collector, is an area devoted to the most wanted albums. Every collector has a few on their need to obtain list, and now it can be documented for anyone that wants to pick up a special gift for the collector. This is really a great gift idea for the record collector. I am quite impressed with the quality of the book and the pages.

Now, I am giving this to my son in law the jukebox restorer. I wrote a blog about his natural talent and I will just say he is at it again. This time with a jukebox that plays 78 RPM records.  We have been listening to some amazing Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians this last week and it is a lovely thing to listen to.  I had forgotten some songs like Wish Upon a Star.  It reminded me that you could be a donkey too!

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Do You Know Me? by Harlem: A Featured Writer Guest Post

Dark secrets creep in the night

While others are fast asleep

Thinking no one knows

For if they did, some would oppose

When lust gets the best of you while discovering his distrust after realizing how long the cheese line is for his love located at the neighborhood corner “Candy Shop”.  How loud the volume becomes when the little voice in your head tells you he’s no good but you ignore it, stand in line, and slept with him anyway as you foolishly wait your turn?

A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me?

The label on the substandard bottle  🍼  read low quality poison, but you injected the needle into your veins just the same. How eye candy 🍭  blurs the vision leaving the chin of false hope exposed for the knock out punch 🤛 in a third-rate ring . There’s something appealing  about the combination of the one, two sequence from the right hand that never sees the over hand left with an uppercut to follow.  How London Bridge falls down. As you stumble to pick up your pride while laying on the cold canvas in a puddle of 💦 water 💦, you instantly find yourself on your knees scrambling to place back the mouthpiece that fell out your mouth. The glaring lights impair and underline your glossy eyed stupor. You instantly become the proverbial deer 🦌 in headlights. Then you hear the standing 8 count in the distance along with people laughing 😂  in the background. You manage to get to your feet, but it’s too late. Shortly after, the bell 🔔 rings and you discover the party was over after you blew him. He didn’t even offer you a napkin or nut rag to wipe that shit off from the side of your face. So sad, you didn’t get a chance to dance to your favorite song. Meanwhile, someone else holds the belt over their head for all to see. You recall seeing another woman with a familiar coach bag walking in the opposite direction. “I have that same bag”, you said to yourself.  Everything is a little blurry and you’ve become light headed and dizzy. All that’s left after the smoke 💨  clears is a breath mint, food stamps, section 8, and a good looking child which only remind you of, “Him”.  Let the story of shame and the games some of us play, begin. So, I’ll ask you this one question. Do you know me?

A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me?

Yes, girlfriend I’m a liar, a cheat and I steal. It’s all within the organize crime family manual. I lie to you to gain your trust quickly because there’s no time to waste. You know the drill, stick and move. Like a thief in the night I need to be in and out as quickly in a jiffyas possible. No time for cuddling. I must maintain my swag. I’ll never be loyal to you. Trust me when I tell you. I’m cheating on you right now, but I don’t view it as cheating because I’m willy nilly with it. Get it? It has a mind of its own. The ultimate goal is to steal your heart, revolutionize your mind and ravish your body before I move on to the next red dot. Excuse me, did you say something? Oh, I didn’t think so…

 I already know I’m trifling but it sure feels good laying up in your bed while you’re at work. Let me blaze this blunt first before I holla at you. Really though. Lol, who’s the fool? You know how I get down and you know how I roll. Do you know me? Let me reintroduce myself. I’m full of potential which only means; nothing is happening right now. But, I’m trying real hard to get with you because, after all, you got it going on. Meanwhile, Its been two months and I’m still waiting for a call back for a job interview. From behind you seem to have a bright future. However, that hot & spicy 🌶 onion roll says, it all. Such amazing soup coolers you have my dear. Lips like grade A suction cups. I have plans for me and you.  Sweet hallelujah. Hair flowin’, blowin’ in the air. Toe’s glowin’ too. Skin tight. You must be related to spice. Smellin’ like alpine white. Sweet sexy chocolate. Uh!, Jeans faded, so tight they look like they’ve been painted on your body. Look at you girl, ballin’ and postin’ hard in the paint. Dunkin’ on everybody. You keep the race tight like a marathon in Sierra Leone. If you play your cards right I’d just might make you my wife. Sike! You’re cute but not cute enough. Besides, I already have a dog 🐶 (Ruff).

That’s right, you do know me.  I’m that fine brutha equip with a golden tongue and a hidden agenda. Trust me, I walk with protection, now. I prefer casual sex with little to no commitment. I can’t have any strings attached. That would only make me feel like a caged puppet. I only do relationships when I have to.  Just so you know, I live at home with my mother so don’t judge me. Let god do that. I have my own ride but she pays for the insurance. I drive mom-dukes car when mine is out of gas or in the shop. You feel me? I eat her food and I run up her cable bill ordering shit. I kill the electric, gas and phone bill but you know how I do. I got that prepaid though. Call me after 9:00pm. You heard? I’ll pay her back as soon as I can scrape up the money, maybe. No worries babe.

But I’m sayin’ though. So what if I like to play video games. I’m home right? I mean, it ain’t like I’m running in the streets. Look, I work hard all day chatting online and watchin’ booty twerks gone wild on worldstarhiphop.com.  You remember how you met me right? I’m on your buddy list. I.M. me. I’m that guy you can’t wait to show me off to your girlfriends. Little do you know I’ll sleep with them as soon as you turn your back or start acting funny. Which ever comes first. Just because I’m smiling doesn’t mean I’m laughing at you. Trust me, that’s my word. Holla at your boy, Ma! I’m the catch of the day and you would be a fool to throw me away. Muah! I love you boo. Listen, why you be trippin’? I don’t know nothing about any lip-gloss and I don’t be drivin’ no other girl in your ride. Shit gets a little foggy when your lips be moving and flappin’ so fast. Bring it down a thousand. I don’t be hearing anything when you’re like that. You need to stop hangin’ out with your no man having, hot dog water smelling girlfriend, Keisha. Don’t let nobody come between us.  Can I get the car keys real quick?

A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me?

Hold up. Did I mention that I don’t pay rent cause I’m saving up for some rims and some brand new pair of tims? Why you asking about if I got any kids? Do you plan to help me with them? Or are you trying to figure out how much money is not coming into your household? I mean… What I meant to say, I did mention my kids? Yeah, that’s it. Baby girl, I got those but don’t worry cause you’ll never see them. You’ll never see them because I don’t see them because when I look 👀  at them they remind me of their mother and another failed relationship. I’m not a moma’s boy but I do have some rules. There’s three other women ahead of you and you’ll have to respect my stance. There’s my grandmother, my mother and my daughter. They are my lifeline and my priority. You come after them. So respect the order. Real quick, not to change the subject, so you already know I’ll be staying forever with the baby momma drama, and you’ll understand why I don’t have any money to take you out. I mean, you know why babe, right?  Child support. Lol. I mean, I would if I could. Damn, I can’t believe they take out money when you’re on unemployment, but you’ll still love me anyway, won’t you? Give Daddy a kiss. Muah! “A WET ONE.” It’s just me and you boo against the world. You be my Bonnie and I’ll by your Clyde. You be my partner in crime as we paint this town in slime.  Together we’re gonna get through this. So stay true to this.

Do you know me? I’m fine. I’m handsome and you have to deal with my shit because the line is long to get to my love, and guess what, I know it. Hey, a relationship is 50/50 not 100/100 cause I gotta hold back 50 just in case you be actin’ funny and I have to break out. (Cloud bubble to self… Neva give a chick your last especially if she steps out of pocket).

A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me?

Hey Ma! How you doing? I’m that  unclear grainy and shallow type of a guy you love to fall in love with and hate to lose, just because I look good and I throw it down very well in the bedroom. I may not bring much to the table but I know you will jump over 10 good men to get to me. I’ll jump over two flat chested, no butt having, sorry to be you type of woman for some double D’s and a big ole fruitylicous bubble butt. It’s not complicated. All I need is a heartbeat. A dude has to live, babe. Look ma no hands. I normally don’t do cute. I don’t need any competition in the mirror or in the bathroom. I hate a woman that stays in the shower longer than me. That’s why I like’em ugly. Low self esteem kind of ugly. You know the ones that always doubt themselves. They just happy I come home. All I have to do is spin her, bend her and get all up in her and they happier than two pigs in a sack. I can tell an ugly woman, “I going to the moon” and she’ll give me enough money to get there and back. Plus, she’ll have a dinner plate sitting in the microwave when I get back. Can’t do that with a chick who thinks, she’s cute.

Did I mention that I’m tall and muscular? That’s right. You know me. I got that good hair, good skin and we are going to make some fine babies. Did I mention I have a deep dimple plus I got them crazy waves in my hair for days? They be spinning baby. Keep your surf board on deck and be ready to catch the wave.  So, hold on tight cause I’m gonna make your body feel right. Make your shit sing a sweet symphony, girl. Look 👀 Ma, no hands. Just know the ride will get a little rough every now and again. When I’m bored 😐 I’ll flip you over and do anal. Flash back babe from when I was on vacation at the county jail. Feel my pain. But you still like my tattoos though, right? Yep, but anyway, we’re going to have fun making those babies too. I’m that no good for nothing, nevea havin shit, bouncing from woman to woman like a carousel type of a guy. Trust me. You don’t even have a chance when I wear my hair in dreds. If you’re dumb enough to fuck with me I’m smart enough to take advantage of your stupidity. I mean kindness, love ❤️.  I got mommy issues. My mother wasn’t there for me so why in the hell would I trust you? Nah, I’m leaving you with nothing but a Public Assistance check. Could you buy me some cigarettes babe? My unemployment check is a little late. I’ll pay you back. Well, at least let me hold your EBT card. Oh, by the way, I will be sleeping over for the night but I have to be out before the sun comes up. You know how I do boo; job interview and I just know you’ll understand. Hey, tomorrow we can take your car and go to the movies. I got you on the popcorn, extra butta.

– 

A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me?

One more thing my mother been trippin’ lately and she wants me to move out so I am looking for someone to replace her. I mean, someone to fill in and know their roll, play their position, stay in their lane and don’t be going through my shit when I’m not home. Keep your mouth off of my toothbrush because it ain’t that kind of party.  Seriously, that shit is not sexy.  Make sure you always over communicate. I don’t like surprises. No, but on the real, Just don’t play yourself like mom-dukes did.  I need someone with a better attitude; one that will not sweat me for every little thing. I need a chick. I mean, I need a woman, (yeah, that’s right) that will let me do me; you know watch the game whenever and wherever, have fight parties and come home when I come the fuck home. No surprises, that will only get you canceled (Nino Brown Style).

You only wake up when you’re no longer sitting on cloud 9 and the horse blinders finally fall off. Not until after the sun burst into flames and the stars and moon collide. Don’t pretend you’re not dwelling in the lion’s den for a chance to win at love. Once your feet finally touch the ground firmly and you appear to be wide awake, only then will you be able to truly move forward. Baby girl, if this is your man then you deserve everything you get in order to grow up. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re wiser. You should want more out of life. Upgrade yourself from a boy and introduce yourself to a man. Do you want your son to grow to be this poor excuse of a man? Do you wish this type of this so-called man on top of your precious daughter? Why are you with him? Break the cycle my sweet. Look in the mirror and make the adjustments. The choice is yours. Neva eva give or trust your heart with a person whom is looking for a dinner plate to go. Think about it. Your skin should prickle in horror each and every time he looks at you and smiles.

If you are this man then pest control should be called on your behalf. I know who you are and all you pretend to be, ambling through the park in the dark. On the real homie, you’re not a man. You’re simply a sad playboy. Now, unfurl your mind and recite these words with me, “A man accepts responsibility across the board. He takes care of his family internally, externally and he gives back to his community.” It’s difficult to perform damage control behind you and your type. If this is not you then I am sure you know this dude who is not yet a man. He’s part of the reason why she’s the way that she is, doing it all on her own. She represents the F.T. Cubes of the world. Full time parent, full time job/career and full time student. “Man She’s Fine” To think about it there are women whom aren’t women that fit this build as well. You two are meant for each other. Holla at your boy.

A Diary of A Single Man: Do You Know Me?

Harlem, 

Heaven is at the foot of Mother…

HarlemATL

I’m a divorcee, loving father, cook, chess player, concierge, passionate public servant, basketball coach, Executive Assistant, Final Cut Pro & Avid tape editor who stumbled into the music business working for a well-known entertainment cable company for 11 years. 5 years in the music department and 6 years in the news department. The experience was life changing and it made me want to project a voice and create a platform to influence and convey a particular point of view. To simply deliver and revolutionize digital media programming and change the way the world view people of colour and how Black people view themselves.

An Unexpected Opportunity by Mary Lynn Jarvis: A Featured Fun Guest Post

I was nearing the end of The Widow’s Walk League, my fourth Regan McHenry Real Estate Mystery, when it felt like someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked, but no one was there. The next day the same thing happened again. When the sensation returned on the third day, I spun toward the empty space above my right shoulder and yelled, “Leave me alone. I’m trying to finish my book.”

A disembodied voice replied, “Write fast. I’m eighty-three years old so who knows how much time I have left. I have a story to tell and I want you to write it down.”

For me, writing mysteries is a disciplined affair. I need a timeline so I can remember who knew-what-when. Even though I know the storyline, an outline to help me give the reader clues without giving away the identity of the murderer is helpful. And I don’t have my protagonist do all the talking; I write in third person. But it was clear, if I was going to let the voice in my head speak, all that was going to change.

When I finished The Widow’s Walk League, I stared at a blank computer screen. I had no outline and no idea what I was going to write. It was my turn to speak. “OK, I’m listening. Who are you and what do you have to say?”

Writing Mags and the AARP Gang” was an adventure. I’d get up every day not knowing where the story was going and anxious to find out what would happen next. I’ll let Mags tell you a bit of her story starting with the first words she said to me: “My name is Margaret Sybil Broadly Benson, née Spencer, but you can call me Mags.

“You took so long getting back to me, I thought you forgot about me. I’m not complaining, though. In my eighty-three years I’ve learned there are advantages to being overlooked. Sometimes people make assumptions about the elderly; imagine they know how we think, what we’re capable of, and more importantly what we aren’t capable of. Take me and the AARP Gang, for example. Our mobile home park was about to be foreclosed and we were about to be kicked out of our homes, all political and underhanded what was going on…oh, don’t get me started. Bottom line is it was assumed that at our ages we wouldn’t have any fight left; that we’d just be nice little old ladies and gents and go off quietly to live with family.

“What people didn’t realize is we were already a family and that after a lifetime of living and reaching our eighties, none of us were quitters. No wonder we decided to rob the bank that held our note and pay off our mortgage with the proceeds. We liked the irony of that, besides, the bank was within walking distance, which was handy because most of us don’t drive any longer.

“We devised a masterful plan that made the most of our assets. My cohorts disguised themselves as old people (yes, I know we are all already old people, but they still needed disguises) making the most of the unobtrusiveness of age, while I used my rather formidable-if-never-used-on-stage acting talents to become our distraction, keeping people’s eyes busy so they wouldn’t see what was going on behind their backs.

“I was doing my award-worthy impression of a dear old lady who had lost her wallet and pleading with the people in the bank to help me find it when Melvin, who managed to bring along a rifle that none of us knew he had, got upset with a teller, brandished it, lost his balance, and fired the weapon, accidentally shooting one of the overhead fire sprinklers. That happenstance caused all the other sprinklers to spurt in sympathy and automatically call the fire department. Oh, my! So much for our carefully rehearsed plan.

“Did we get away with it you ask? Well, I am writing from home instead of from a jail cell, but it took quite a bit of complicated maneuvering, a whole novel’s worth, in fact, to get from being soggy in the bank to where I am today. Melvin—oh, he’s a hard man to control—in drag didn’t help my case much, not to mention all the trouble Batty Betty with her early onset Alzheimer’s caused what with remembering exactly what she should have forgotten.”

You can read the whole story about Mags and her colorful friends in Mags and the AARP Gang.

Find Megs on Amazon

Learn more about Nancy Lynn Jarvis from her Amazon author page.

A Father’s Day After Thought by Harlem: A Featured Writer Guest Post.

When you’ve paid over $200,000 in child support and have little to nothing to show from it.

Dad with a lowercase “d” has been placed inside a bottle and put out of sight on a dusty shelf. The unimaginable and excruciating pain that’s felt after a unharmonic relationship has failed, crashed and burned. Another one sadly bites the dust. A fatherless home in search of and in need of a replacement. As the sunset fades to black, a new reality sets in and the process begins of picking up the scattered pieces shattered across the living room and kitchen floor. Another cold dinner plate thrown against a freshly painted wall. The efforts we make, and the different steps we’re forced to take before the white towel is thrown inside the ring. After it’s all said and done we continue to try one more time, before our final call.

How the menu is never filling and the traditional relationship lasting for 50+ years finds its resting place in the graveyard next to a tombstone labeled, “retirement plan”.

Here behind this gate lie’s the stagnant and dormant abyss.  There’s no story here pointing the finger, placing the blame onto someone else.  You will not find this test subject cursing others for his short comings in life. Nor will you find a complaint number, filed. No unresolved issues about an oversize sweater or a cheap tie received. There isn’t an accusation found, just a mere candid observation rarely televised by your local network stations.

– 

I shrink, separate myself from others so I can think. One paycheck for three households serve a disasterous outcome on catastrophic portions. Do the math, her cut, my hole in the wall and if I decide to date, let’s just forget about it. I cram to relate. I Overstand why, some men lie. They lie because they fear the other person will make a final decision for the both of them. How the closing of the candy shop leads to the infamous search for a new lollipop.  To discover how it all translates. The new woman who tries to be in my life pops the question. Do I have a job? Do I have any children and do I take care of them? What she’s really asking is, “How much money is not coming into her household.” Why do women ask about a mans children? Do you plan to help me with them? Is it that important to know what’s left after 17%? Shame on you if you do.

A court order has stripped me from being head of household which is something I can’t control. I’m a man made to become a mouse. For a rat with one hole is a poor rat. 

Child support has become the new welfare. Now I wear the proverbial pink skirt. Call me by my new name; “A Bitch” minus the pumps. I grit my teeth, stay steadily on my grind and contemplate on what I can control, and create in total darkness. For I isolate myself, as my iPhone, iPad and iMac become my blog studio. My bedroom is used as a think tank. I lay in the middle of my empty, lonely king size bed developing concepts and creating characters in a world of my own. No distractions. No complications. The flat screen is rarely used. The blank screen reflect my hearts expression. Another closed chapter. It’s time to bury the hatchet, move on and not take life for granted.

A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought

How a beautiful flower blossoms in a dark room without any light. From the mixture of organic remains to the blacker the blueberry to the very acid is the soil. Who’s in control? To the abstract principle of territory of a particular nation. The foundation remains black in origin. Dark matter always quite the noise and silence the chatter. Some people have the nerve to say, “Why does it matter?” 

 –

Beloved, life is everlasting; continuous. You can see it if you know how. You can even hold it in your hands. It’s warm to the touch and it gives off light. You’ll discover it has a little weight to it, if you hold it right.  All light surrounds itself around darkness. You are a vessel of sound in the mist of darkness; a shadow which reflects a house of light and insight.

Darkness is a closed door, a lingering illness filled with suffering. It’s damp and lonely. It’s also a cold unforgiving, miserable wind which forever twist and bends.

A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought

How two people can come to together to procreate and over a period of time find themselves unable to relate.

 –

Balancing The Scales:

 When one works two full time jobs to keep his head above running water while holding his breath with a punctured lung, during a raging storm.

The domino effect and the overall countless total which lies ahead.

From the lives which are lost, to the healing during and thereafter the recovery mission to the part we all partake.

The Paragon Effect:

Behold the awesome weight and the responsibility of a person who’s regarded to be a perfect example of a particular quality of substance. 

A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought

The feeling of being boxed in and trapped.

How life tapers off at the core. 

A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought

The six story flat was well below the quality of substandard. Voices in the dark can be heard casually talking in the background.  Meanwhile, the jingle jangling sound of keys hitting against each other echo throughout the 4th floor hallway by an oversize pest control serviceman whom was last seen yesterday with a toothbrush tucked in between his cheek and tongue, while he willy nilly down a flight of stairs not too swiftly but in a jiffy eating sweet & spicy 🌶  chicken 🍗 wings with his partner, Billy who shimmered in a stink of sweat. It was reported he had tripped and missed the last three steps falling flat on his face breaking his nose and chipping a tooth. Black don’t crack until you smoke it. People had mentioned seeing him last week ambling stumbling through the streets, talking strangely to himself and acting awkward in an bumbling manner.  

Over time the texture of a picture on the wall in the hallway became grainy and unclear. A woman screams from a distance. The volume of the static from the television became an unbearable symphony, played off key. Sunny days of yesterday are now shades of grey on a very foggy day. Death has its own distinctive fragrance, something one can’t easily wash off. Christmas and birthdays aren’t like they use to be. A big beautiful ice cream cake with candles melting as unwrapped gifts are found under a swinging body hanging from a steel pipe on the wall. Like a child plucked from a grim foster home the image of it all reflected complete hopelessness. The sight of it would make your skin prickle in horror.  As his stiff body swing from left to right his stress is relieved; chest is no longer tight. The loop-knot tethered around his neck indicated there were restrictions to his struggle. The overwhelming weight of the body made his neck and head spin like a wheel on a carousel. It eventually popped off causing blood to spray on the walls, then splatter on the cake and gifts below once his body hit the floor. Filthy rodents who snack, on their freshly delivered assorted edible arrangementssniff then scurry while other varmints dash and scamper in the dark. The neighbors cat has its feast.

– 

Like a flame to a pot of water which evaporates, I can see his spirit levitate and sail away. The sight of it all made my entire body cringe because it seemed like an awful waste of good cake. Maybe he could’ve exchanged the gifts if he didn’t like them. Why do people judge and meddle into others affairs? Who knows what goes through a person’s mind on the day they decide to end it all? Perhaps, they felt too old to continue to play a role in this kind of caper. He simply became another lonely soul of a passenger desperately seeking to get off at the next stop from life instead of returning to the savage life he once lived. 

They discovered in the right, inside pocket of his tailored made sports coat, a feather of a vintage quill pen encased inside a glass case for safe keeping. Before the auction it was rumored to sell at 2.5 million. Investors say it will go for more now the owner is deceased. I wonder if his children will resurface and claim what they think belong them. I ponder more about the cold hearted greedy people who didn’t call nor came around when he was alive. Who’s to know the things we collect would later accumulate value. Who’s to know he didn’t want to face the truth of knowing you’re only worth something when you’re dead.

Hymns echo in the chamber songs heard recited in the background. Members of his family organized and arranged a closed casket funeral. There, it was mentioned and unfurled he once possessed a unique force of character with a level of determination to be modeled. His mannerism complimented his style, and nerve to match. His moxie best defined his overall swag.

Revelations

There’s a book out there created to paint the illusion of a particular historical story. It’s the greatest story ever told, a guide which attracts the ignorant and the sick at heart like a magnet. Does anyone know the title of this book?

It’s a scripture used to control sheep; the weak. It’s a manual a whole person doesn’t need, at all.

A Diary of A Single Man: A Father’s Day After Thought

Harlem, 

Heaven is at the foot of Mother…

 

Meet Harlem:

HarlemATL


I’m a divorcee, loving father, cook, chess player, concierge, passionate public servant, basketball coach, Executive Assistant, Final Cut Pro & Avid tape editor who stumbled into the music business working for a well-known entertainment cable company for 11 years. 5 years in the music department and 6 years in the news department. The experience was life changing and it made me want to project a voice and create a platform to influence and convey a particular point of view. To simply deliver and revolutionize digital media programming and change the way the world view people of colour and how Black people view themselves.

EURYALE by Stephen Perkins: A Featured Fun Guest Post

Copyright 2017/Star born publishing LTD. This is a work of fiction, a product of the author’s imagination and cannot be reproduced without express permission. Any similarity between the created characters and persons now living or deceased is purely coincidental.

EURYALE

(Iraq, near Mosul, 2003, Operation Desert Storm)


Bullet riddled, brittle and broken, he awoke, prone upon a blood-soaked Iraqi dune. Astonished, Dow found a shepherd girls soft, healing hands everywhere upon him, drawing out the pain. Until, he was magically whole again.

Lethargic lids slid open.

From the zenith of a cloudless blue canopy, a merciless sun scorched drowsy eyes. Possessing some strange power, the mysterious girl had seemingly rescued him from death’s fiery darkness.

“Who are you,” Sergeant Dow said. “Where are you from?”

Slowly, she removed the black burqa, serene smile blooming upon angelic features. Dow’s stubble strewn face riddled with wonder. He felt her soft reply flow into the brain like the waters of a trickling brook. And yet, crimson lips made no attempt to form syllables.

“I am Euryale. You shall soon know where to find me. And, I shall be waiting!”

Up over the horizon, Dow heard the whining rotors of a helicopter, and shielding his eyes from the sun, turned to look.

“But how will I…” he said, turning back, anticipating her sweet gaze.

But, Euryale had mysteriously disappeared.     

***

Flown back to the green zone in Mosul, Dow reported to Colonel Stansfield Booth.

Walking through the office door, steely hazel eyes looked right through him.

It was as if the old man, hat decked with ‘scrambled eggs’, and more medals hung on his immaculate uniform than ornaments on the Sergeant’s Christmas tree back home in Omaha, possessed vision boring right through the skin, straight to the soul beneath.

Sitting in front of the colonel’s enormous desk, Dow felt his parched throat gulp. Blood wildly throbbing, he realized this was the moment of truth. His career in the US Marine Corps was on the line. He knew old man Booth, an iron chinned full bird colonel, wasn’t likely to believe the truth. Or, would he? How best explain the unexplainable, about Euryale, the simple shepherd girl brought him miraculously back from death’s inevitable brink?

Sergeant Dow’s pulse raced, skin growing hot as if he were standing in a burning building. His arid throat gulped again. Now, Dow considered, I must tread carefully. The old man might even decide to throw me in the brig. Maybe, even court marshaled.

Outside, the colonel’s spartan office, night blanketed the sun baked terrain of the Iraqi desert wastes.

The old man’s deep baritone ruptured the thick silence like a fog horn.  

“Alright, Sergeant,” the old man’s deep baritone rumbled. “Out of nine men sent to find the insurgents outside the Green zone destroyed ammo and weapons dumps last week near Mosul, including your squadron commander, Captain Welsh-only you survived,” the colonel detailed.

Puzzlement etched Dow’s rugged features.

The Colonel seemed almost disappointed.    

Dread buzzed in the Sergeant’s brain like angry wasps.

Sweat beaded his darkened brow.

“It was almost like they were waiting for us, Sir,” Dow’s mid-western drawl wobbled. “These insurgents were clever,” he tried to explain, with more urgency. “They had some sniper hiding in the hills. Picked us off one by one. I suggested to Welsh we retreat, and hump it back to recon. Let the helicopter gun-ships turn those hills into a parking lot!”  

The Sergeant fidgeted, wanting desperately to tell the old man what most of the squadron had really thought of Captain Welsh, some high-hat Ivy grad just out of officers training-dressed up to play hero in some Marine recruiting video.

“I tried to tell him, sir, once the action started getting too hot, how we should’ve humped it back here double time,” Dow tried to plead. “But, like I said these insurgents were smart. They seemed to know how to hit us and when, like they had a game plan-knocked out our vehicles, our satellite and ground communications destroyed. They were waiting for us!”

The colonel tapped steel boned fingers on the desk.

“Go on Sergeant?”

“It was like they could read our minds, what we were going to do,” Dow replied. “These weren’t, well, I got a good look at them, sir!”

Dow scraped a trembling hand over his sweat slicked pate. Booth poked a button on the desktop red telephone.

“And, what did you observe, Sergeant,” Booth demanded.

Dow sensed the old man already knew the answer.

“These were no regular insurgents, sir,” Dow stammered. “Their weaponry was anything but conventional!”

The poker faced old man merely pursed his stern lips, steel boned chin bobbing once in acknowledgment. The red phone buzzed, and Dow’s trembling hands gripped sweat soaked face.

“Excuse me, Sergeant,” the old man related.

Dow looked up, cruel shadow casting over. Booth’s ursine frame rose out of the chair to full height. Deliberate and heavy steps tapped towards an adjacent black door.

“Colonel,” a civilian bureaucrat greeted Booth as the door thudded shut behind. “As you know, Operation Desert Storm is highly classified. This war on terror is merely a cover for testing these AI ‘super units’ out in the field. Lately, my Pentagon colleagues are not pleased with the less than stellar ‘collateral damage’ statistics. I’m holding you personally responsible for this glaring failure!”

The old Colonel stood at ease, stone faced while the berating bureaucrat sat half-shrouded in darkness.

“Now,” the bureaucrat snapped. “You are dismissed!”

With his ear settled close to the keyhole, Dow scurried for the office door. Somehow, he had to find Euryale. Sprinting towards the collection of Jeeps, he raced off into the night.

His career, life, would never be the same.

Swirls of dust kicked up in the wake of the racing Jeep. Now, well outside the Green Zone, he jammed the breaks and skidded to a stop.

There she was, Euryale, illuminated in the spill of the headlights

“Are you ready to come with me?”

The words floated like butterflies in the mind.

Softly, he took her hand, basking in her angelic smile. Rainbow funnels of light descended from the dark sky, and together, they were swept up.

Stephen Perkins is the author of Raging Falcon and American Siren as well as his latest book Escape To Death. All three books are available on Amazon. You can read more on his blog Newsspellcom.org Watch for his new release coming soon!

Sick writer is at a loss for words

You might have noticed I have been relying on guest posts for the last few weeks. I have been battling an infection that will not stop giving me trouble. It began on a Tuesday almost three weeks ago and has progressed to me jotting down my will on bedside stationary.

Sure I might be a bit of a dramatic baby at this point but I was so over being sick two weekends ago.  Finally my daughter said enough go to the urgent care. I waited one more day and Wednesday I was in such intense pain I willingly went.  A bacterial infection, ulcers and a creature that likes to drill holes is the diagnosis.

They called or faxed over the prescription and my insurance company promptly denied it.

After two more days of crying on the phone to the pharmacist, the insurance company and the urgent care, the receptionist at the urgent care tells me,”Oh wait they didn’t fax over the right prescription.”  I will have the nurse call you.

The nurse never called.

Friday I called the pharmacy to see if by some chance they had my prescription ready and they did!

Finally, I felt like I might survive this painful illness and nausea.

Sunday morning after a painful and queasy weekend I began to admit I was getting worse not better.

I called the urgent care and asked how long would I continue to get worse before getting better? After getting enough information to locate me in the system she says “Are you taking all your medicine as prescribed. I assured her I am. She then asks if I am allergic to any of the two antibiotics and stomach repair cocktail. I don’t know These clinical names of these rheee drugs. ” Uumm. I have no clue, what’s in them?  I am allergic to penicillin. That’s all I know.”

She says, “What?” Your taking amoxicillin. You don’t need to be taking amoxicillin if your allergic! Let me get you to the nurse.”

Hold nusic entertains me not at all as I wait and wait and wait. Receptionist returns and says I will have her call you. ”  instead about thirty minutes later the pharmacy  calls. ‘Stop taking all medicines and pick up these new prescriptions.”

An hour later the urgent care care receptionist calls and says.”The doctor is pretty sure this is an allergic reaction.”All I can hear with the roar of high blood pressure in my ears is my ever so annoyed brain as it screams,  “Ya think? ”

I’ll be back posting as soon as possible.  I hope that they got it right this time and an end is in sight.

It is sadly too early to tell,

 

Scat Cat! by Nancy Quinn: A Featured Fun Guest Post

Scat Cat!

    When we left the urban lifestyle of Washington, D.C., for a more tranquil existence in the rural mountains of Montana, one of our adjustments was learning to live with the new neighbors.  Our home was in a different kind of neighborhood.  Instead of being surrounded by men, women, and children, we had cougars, wolves, and bears.  These predators rarely comprehend the idea of boundaries, or the notion that good fences make good neighbors, so we find them roaming about our property, often very close to the house.  

    Our most frequent nocturnal visitors are cougars that seem particular interested in our daughters playhouse swing set.  Perhaps it is just the curiosity of all felines, but I often wonder what they would do if I left out a ball of string.  It’s doubtful they would play with it because it isn’t food.  As stunningly gorgeous as they are, we don’t want to encourage their visits.  For the safety of my family, dogs, and horses, our goal has always been to discourage predators.  As an example, one particular night stands out in my memory.

    On the second floor of our home we have a large bedroom window that provides a grand view of the back of our property.  While admiring the stars one dark evening the motion detectors suddenly activated the perimeter lights, nearly blinding us.  Once our eyes adjusted, we saw standing in the middle of the yard a very large cougar.  He paused only long enough to realize the brightness was nothing to fear before walking over to the swing set.  This had me wondering how many times he had visited us before, unnoticed.  He sat regally in the play area, surveying all about him, like a king overlooking his kingdom.  Being a wildlife artist, I was enamored with his beauty and grace, temporarily forgetting what a potential threat he was to our family.  It would be dangerous to allow him to believe this was part of his territory.

    I was about to comment on this fact to my husband, but when I turned to speak, he was not there, having immediately retreated to the closet.  He ransacked it, searching for his rifle and ammunition.  As he fumbled to load it, I continued to admire the feline in his pose.  My husband opened the window, but was blocked by the mesh screen.  As he tugged fruitlessly to remove it, the cat rose from his perch and began to walk toward the woods.  On my last look at him, the cougar, who seemed completely unaware of the flurry he had created only a short distance above, slowly and confidently sauntered into the tree line, still secure in the knowledge that this world was his.

    We tried to follow his movements through the darkness with a flashlight, but the battery soon died.  My increasingly frustrated husband, incensed by the attitude of the beast, rushed downstairs and out onto the patio where he fired a single shot into the air, then shouted, “And stay out!” as a warning for the puma not to return.

    I have no wish to harm this mountain lion or capture him, except in spirit on canvas and paper.  I have handled many cougars in captivity, but seeing them in the wild is a thrill I will never tire of.

For more stories in our western adventure read “Go West, Young Woman!”   https://www.amazon.com/Go-West-Young-Woman-Military/dp/1555718299?  

Book website: https://nancy442.wixsite.com/quinn

Art website:  http://quinnwildlifeart.com/