Dharius, a combat seasoned warrior, has lived a life of sheer adventure and excitement. In combat, he survived by having successfully negotiated and dealt with the elements of “the fog of war” which makes combat so confusing and deadly. His adventurous life became much more exciting the day he met Eva. Their romantic journey leads them through interesting twists and turns along their joint path. Suddenly, Eva stirs their passionate pot by teaching him life’s altering lessons. Unable to successfully negotiate and deal with the elements of “the fog of love,” Dharius finds himself fighting emotional uphill battles and under frightening unfamiliar conditions. However challenging, Dharius’ struggles lead him into a world of unimaginable transformations..
Dharius, a combat seasoned warrior, has lived a life of sheer adventure and excitement. In combat, he survived by having successfully negotiated and dealt with the elements of “the fog of war” which makes combat so confusing and deadly. His adventurous life became much more exciting the day he met
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Bradford James Livingston couldn’t believe it. He had finally married the woman of his dreams, Paula Dianne Copeland. He was the most blessed man on the face of God’s green earth. As they took their first dance together as Mr. And Mrs. Bradford James Livingston to the sweet, slow, romantic melody of his favorite song, he reflected back to the first time he’d ever held her in his arms. It had been at her best friend Taylor’s wedding almost a year and a half ago when they had danced together to this very song.
The sultry voice of the female singer filled the air of the hotel’s banquet room as Bradford held his wife next to him and breathed in the mere sight of her. Man, oh, man, was she enchanting! And she was his, all his. Even though the room was filled to capacity with their family and friends, they only saw each other. The sparkle in her beautiful dark brown eyes told him that her love for him was as strong as his for her.
To his displeasure, their song ended. Bradford wasted no time in partaking of another kiss from his lovely bride. Mmmmm-mmm. Her lips were so soft, as sweet as honey, and as moist as fresh dew on a cool spring morning. This was nice. He could kiss her forever. Oh, wait a minute. Something was wrong. Her kiss. Suddenly, it had turned into a drenching rain, not just on his mouth but all over his face. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings by wiping his face. He’d surely live to regret it if he did, but she was slobbering all over his face. He couldn’t take it any longer.
“Ah, baby, I know you love me,” Bradford grinned, “but can you cut the waterworks?”
She didn’t answer. Instead, she continued to lick him all over his face.
Bradford partially opened his eyes and saw honey blonde hair and a pair of big, gray eyes staring back at him. The face looked familiar, but it certainly wasn’t his Paula. Who had he married? Whoever it was gave him another soggy kiss, which felt more like a lick. He opened his eyes fully.
When he saw who—or what—it was, he yelled, “Gee Gee, stop!”
The five-year-old part cocker spaniel and part schnauzer continued licking her owner’s face.
Bradford turned his head from side to side. “Gee Gee, I said stop!”
The dog didn’t understand. This was their usual morning routine minus some of the face licking. She’d been having a hard time waking her master this morning. What was wrong with him?
Bradford sat up straight in bed. “Ginger, stop!”
Uh-oh. He’d called her by her given name Ginger. He only did that when he was upset with her and meant business.
Ginger’s droopy ears stood up straight. She wasted no time jumping off her master’s king-size storage bed and taking off on short legs.
Bradford could hear his pooch hauling it down the stairs and across the hardwood kitchen floor, apparently heading to her hiding place in the laundry room where she usually sought refuge when she knew she was in trouble. All of a sudden, he felt something warm and wet on his sheet underneath his left hand. He lifted his hand to see a dark circular-like wet spot.
Frowning, he called out, “Ginger, I’m gon’ whip your—-”
Grunting, Bradford quickly climbed out of bed, made his way to the master bath, and washed his hands and face.
As he prepared breakfast later, he made up his mind to tell Paula tonight at the cookout at her house of his true feelings for her.
Bradford smiled inwardly as he thought about their initial meeting and encounter at her Aunt Evelyn’s house over a year and a half ago. They had mixed like oil and water but had soon become the best of friends. They’d been friends for almost a year and a half, and he hadn’t seen her as anything more than that until about a year ago. He’d been trying desperately to fight his feelings though because after all, it had been he who had stressed that he only wanted to be her friend, which was true at the time. It had never been his intention to fall in love with her. He’d had nothing but the purest and sincerest intentions of friendship with her.
But tonight was the night. He was finally going to tell her that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her as more than just friends.
* * *
The gentle breeze of May stirred the sweet-smelling, succulent aroma of honeysuckles up the green, grassy hillside surrounding the airy, outdoor room where most of the guests had congregated. The flowers’ nectar filled Bradford’s nostrils as he secretly searched for Paula. Finally spotting her, he forced himself to take gentle strides in her direction because he actually felt like sprinting toward her as though he was running a marathon. She looked pretty in her white knee knockers and red and white striped v-neck tee.
Paula’s eyes twinkled as she caught and held his gaze. It was obvious that her feelings for him were mutual. He could hardly wait for them to talk later.
“Hey,” she said. “I’ve been looking for you. Where’ve you been?”
“Conversing,” Bradford responded with a mischievous grin.
“I should’ve known. You’re either talking or eating. Or both,” she added jovially.
Taking the platter of marinated meats from her, he walked with her toward the grill.
“This meat looks good enough to eat raw.”
He teased, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
She elbowed him. “I wouldn’t really do it, silly. What’d you marinate it in?”
She stood beside him while he used the large wooden-handled tongs to place the meat onto the hot grill.
His mouth turned up into a huge grin. “It’s a family secret. But maybe I’ll share it with you one day though.”
“Oh, so it’s like that, huh?”
He grinned. “Can we get together later? There’s something I wanna talk to you about?”
Her face dropped. “Sure. Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s fine. No, I take that back. It’s better than fine. It’s great.”
Her eyes flashed with intense curiosity. “Why are you grinning like a Cheshire cat? Did you meet a girl?”
He gave her a sharp, playful look. “Didn’t I just ask if we can talk later? Don’t you have something else you need to be doing besides standing out here harassing me?”
Paula giggled. “Well, excuuuse me. I’ll talk to you later.”
Bradford chuckled as she walked away mumbling to herself.
“Hey,” came a baritone voice beside him. It was his good friend Richard Mayfield, Taylor’s husband.
The two friends shook hands.
Richard leaned in and whispered, “Did you finally ask her out?”
“Ask who out?”
“Paula. Who do you think I’m talking about?”
Bradford cast a cautious eye over his shoulder, then back at his friend. Eyeing Richard, he asked, “You talkin’ to me?”
“No, I was talkin’ to that tree over there,” Richard said, chuckling lightheartedly as he nodded toward the thicket of skyscraper evergreens on Paula’s property.
Bradford released a nervous laugh. “What are you talking about? Paula and I go out all the time. We’re friends.”
Richard peered at the attractive one-story cottage which Bradford had built for Paula when she’d downsized from her huge, extravagant home in Azalea Heights. “I mean on a date. Don’t play dumb with me. Maybe you can fool everybody else but not me.”
Bradford’s eyes made another involuntary sweep of the area. He had never admitted his feelings for Paula to anyone, not even his friends. He chuckled lightly. “Man, we’re just friends,” he whispered.
“Yeah, I know you are now, but it’s obvious that you dig her.”
Bradford hung his head and grinned, then looked back up. Why try to hide it any longer? After all, he was going to announce it to Paula later on. Why not go ahead and share it with one of his best friends?
“How long have you known?”
“Well, for the past several months, but I didn’t really think much of it at first.”
Bradford opened his eyes wide. “Do you think anybody else knows?”
“I don’t know. If they do, I haven’t heard ‘em say anything. Why don’t you just tell her how you feel?” Richard cautioned, “You keep dillydallying around, and somebody’s gon’ beat you to her. I don’t know why the two of you haven’t hooked up by now anyway. You’ve been friends for what–almost two years?”
“Almost. A year and a half.”
Bradford was relieved when their friend Phillip Callahan approached them. Phillip had moved to Charlotte six months ago and had easily settled into the area and their congregation. Since he had experience in construction work and was in need of a job, Bradford had readily hired him on as one of his crew people. The three men had a lot in common and had become the best of friends.
Holding out his hand, Phillip said, “Brad, Richard, how you doing?”
“Phil,” the two men said in unison and shook his hand.
Richard took a sip of his drink.
Bradford said, “Just the man I want to see.” Handing Phillip the tongs, he said, “Take over for me for a few minutes, will you, buddy? And don’t let Richard get too close to it. He always lets it burn.”
Richard looked wide-eyed, almost choking on his drink. “Hey, I resent that.”
“You can resent it all you want to,” Bradford said. “It’s the truth,” he added, chuckling, as he walked away.
* * *
“Hey, Sister Randall,” Bradford greeted Paula’s aunt, Evelyn Randall.
Evelyn broke into a huge grin. “Hey, Brad.”
Leaning down to give the elderly woman a hug, he inquired, “How you doing?”
Evelyn hugged him and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I’m fine. How ‘bout choo?”
“Terrific.” Taking a seat on one of the black, wrought-iron chairs beside her, he asked, grinning, “So what’s for dinner tomorrow?”
Evelyn had come to love Bradford like a son. Along with Paula, he brought so much sunshine into her life. And just like she’d done with her niece, she had spoiled him rotten by cooking for them all the time, especially on Sundays.
She responded with a straight face, “Leftovers.”
Bradford frowned and leaned forward. “Leftovers!”
“Yeah. You thank wit all this food we gon’ have ‘ere today I’ma go home and cook? Have you lost yer mind?"
Bradford doubled over in laughter. “Now, Sister Randall, we can’t have leftovers on Sunday. A big ol’ pot o’ collard greens, some neck bones, potato salad, and cornbread sure sounds good.”
“Sho’ do,” Evelyn responded with her arms folded across her chest. “You gon’ fix it?”
Bradford was shaking with laughter. “Sister Randall, you’re a mess. A straight-up mess. You know that?”
“Yeah, I know. Thank yuh,” Evelyn said as she broke into laughter.
“Well, I didn’t mean it as a compliment,” he joked.
“Well, that’s how I’m takin’ it,” she replied, grinning.
Everyone was having a great time, enjoying good conversation and wholesome association while waiting for the meat to finish grilling. Bradford didn’t think he could wait a moment longer to talk to Paula. He had hoped that they could talk after most of her guests had gone, but he was eager to share his feelings. He felt jubilant inside as he took giant steps toward the house.
It was quiet inside. He admired her decorative touch. The bright colors and sheer fabrics brought a wealth of light and energy to her new home. Though it was much smaller than the one she’d had in Azalea Heights, it was beautiful nonetheless, and she seemed extremely happy and satisfied with her downsized lifestyle.
Her name was on the tip of his tongue as he made his way to the kitchen. However, what he saw caused his brain to malfunction. Paula and Phillip were standing beside the shimmering, gray, marble-topped island embraced in a kiss! Bradford slowly backed away, almost stumbling over the bench in the hallway that he and Paula had built together. He nearly knocked Evelyn down as she was coming through the front door. He grabbed her arms to steady her.
“Sister Randall, I’m sorry. Are you all right?”
Evelyn reached for and held her chest. “Whew! You liked to scared the livin’ daylights outta me. I’m fine. You see Paula in there? I thank everbody’s ready to eat. They just took the rest of the meat off’n the grill. Did yuh see her when yuh was inside?”
“Ah, no,” Bradford hurriedly responded before rushing away.
He almost walked into Taylor and Richard as they stood talking. Taylor looked at Bradford with curious eyes.
“Are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
Taylor looked at him again before saying, “I’m gonna see if Paula needs help with anything.”
Bradford thought, the only thing Paula needs help with is getting Phillip’s mouth off hers. See if you can help her with that while you’re in there.
Richard asked, “Man, are you sure you’re okay? You look sick.”
“I’m fine. I think I just need to eat something.”
Bradford spoke in a low tone. “What we talked about earlier–about Paula–do me a favor. Don’t mention it to anybody, especially Taylor.”
“Okay. But why not? What’s wrong?”
“I changed my mind. We’re friends. Anything more would just complicate things.”
“So you’re just going to let her slip through your fingers?” Richard whispered.
“I told you, Rich, we’re friends, and I wanna keep it that way,” Bradford firmly responded.
Richard held up his hand. “Okay. Whatever you say.”
When they saw Paula approaching them with a huge grin on her face, the air grew quiet.
Look at her, Bradford thought. That kiss from Phillip has her grinning from ear to ear.
The touch of her hand as she took his caused a warmth to radiant up and down his spine.
“Here you are,” she said. “I’ve been looking for you. We’re ready to eat. Will you say the blessing?”
Bradford’s first thought was, why don’t you ask your boyfriend Phillip to say the blessing? Instead, he pasted a fake smile on his face and responded, “Sure.”
Richard watched the two of them walk away.
It can be lonely parenting a special needs child, but you are not alone.
A Memoir / Self-Help book by Eichin Chang-Lim.
Parenting is a challenging journey, especially when raising a child who requires extra attention. There are days when it feels as if you're trapped in a dark cave with no way out. The lonesomeness and helplessness exhaust you. You may be looking for some words of inspiration to know that you are not alone.
A Mother's Heart is a book for any parent in a similar circumstance. This book is written by a mother raising a special needs son with a genetic disorder. It encapsulates both the elements of a memoir and a self-help book. The author candidly shares her need to make heart-wrenching decisions throughout the journey, including family life and working with the school systems.
This is a book not only helpful for parents with a special needs child, it will also give insights to individuals who may encounter or be involved with parents of special needs children.
Lightning ripped across the northern California sky, then splintered down through the rain and disappeared behind our neighbor’s house. Letting the door slam shut behind me, I ran away from the warmth of our porch light into the darkness of our backyard. My mom would’ve killed me if she’d caught me outside that late at night. Especially in a thunderstorm, and on the night before my fifteenth birthday, with the big party she had planned for tomorrow. But I had to get out of the house before I fell asleep and they came for me. And they were coming!
A gust of wind blew my hair against my face. I swiped it out of my eyes just in time to see a plastic lawn chair tumbling through the air. I covered my head with both arms, but a leg of the chair smashed against my elbow. Ouch!
I dropped onto the wet grass, pulled my knees into my chest, and rocked nervously back and forth. Water soaked up through my nightgown and my underwear, making me shiver.
None of these things mattered, though. Because something far worse was happening inside my head. A memory of me as a little girl, on the night my grandpa Dahlen disappeared from his cottage, was trying to claw its way into my consciousness. And I didn’t want to think about that night. Ever.
Still, I couldn’t stop it, which didn’t make sense. I was awake, and outside, where I was supposed to be safe, yet the aliens from my dreams were somehow messing with my thoughts, rearranging things, trying to make me think about that night! But how?
And why? It happened eight years ago, and my grandpa was dead now.
Although, before he disappeared, he’d—
No! Stop, Courtney! I yelled at myself.
I bit my fingernail and took a deep breath, hoping to calm down.
No luck. I was remembering the musty old-books smell from my grandpa’s bookcase. Butterflies rushed into my stomach and I sprang to my feet.
“All right. Is that what you want me to do?” I shouted into the rainy darkness. “Remember my grandpa? What happened that night? If I do that, then will you leave me alone?”
I wiped the rain from my eyes, and suddenly it was like I was right there, in the cottage. His notebook sat on the plaid couch, opened to a map he’d drawn of the ancient wormholes linking the alien world to our own.
I stumbled backward over a tree root and my butt hit the ground; my head clunked against an even bigger root. Oww! I started to sit up. But suddenly the memory I’d been running from took over the screen in my mind. I fell back into the wet grass and watched the scene unfold as if I were seven years old again, right there in the cottage.
It was raining outside, and the air smelled like old, musty books and burnt hamburgers. I glanced over at my grandpa Dahlen. He was busy in the kitchen, forking ears of corn out of a pot of boiling water. Standing tiptoe on the comfy reading chair, I reached up to the bookcase and ran my fingers along the dials of what he called his ham-radio/alien-transport machine.
“Courtney!” Grandpa stared at me over his steamed-up glasses.
“Fine.” I plopped down on the reading chair and crossed my arms over my chest. Then I lowered my eyes. Blood was seeping through my shirt again from earlier in the day, when my grandpa’s nun friend had stopped by with a guy with a tattoo gun. They’d come to give me a tattoo. I hadn’t wanted a tattoo! But my grandpa had told me it was important, and the way he’d said it, I’d believed him. So now I had a blue mark on my rib cage that looked like four dead bugs arranged in a square.
“So tell me this, Grandpa,” I said. “If these aliens who visit you are really your friends, then why do they make you keep everything secret?”
He turned away from the steaming pot and eyed me with suspicion. “Because people are frightened of what they don’t understand. And frightened people can be dangerous, Courtney,” he said. “Now come sit down for dinner.”
I slipped into a wobbly kitchen chair, rested my elbows on the wooden table, and stared down at my burnt ham- burger. “Mom doesn’t believe in aliens, so does that make her dangerous?” I asked.
Grandpa chuckled. “Your mother is only interested in facts and evidence. Even when she was a child, she had no tolerance for intangibles. Or even comic books, for that matter. Can you imagine?” He set a plate of corn on the cob in the center of the table, then sat down across from me. “But dangerous? No. I think we’re safe from her.” He flashed me a wink.
I winked back. People always told me that I shared his silvery-blue eyes. Hearing someone say it would make my mom cringe, though, because she thought Grandpa was crazy. And the last thing she wanted was for me to turn out like him. But she and my dad were spending the weekend with their old law school friends on Lake Tahoe, so they’d dropped me off with Grandpa on their way.
“Well, if these alien things are real living creatures, then did God make them?” I asked. “Or are they just imaginary?”
I smiled proudly. I was about to finally get the truth from him.
“How’s your burger?” he asked.
“But you didn’t answer—”I started to protest, when a bang on the front door made me jump.
My grandpa ran over and covered his ham-radio/alien-transport machine with an afghan.
More quick pounding! Grandpa shoved his notebook under the couch.
I tried to read his expression, to see if he was frightened or just cleaning up, but he wouldn’t look at me. He rushed to the door and glanced through the peephole, and I held my breath.
When he unlocked the door, three men barged into the cottage.
I immediately recognized them as professor friends of my grandpa’s from when he’d taught at Berkeley. But what were they doing out here at night? I mean, hadn’t they heard of cellphones?
They stared over at me. “Hello, Courtney,” said one, a tall man with a thick beard and black suitcoat.
I shot my grandpa a pleading look, like Make them go away. But he quickly shook his head. I stomped into the guest bedroom and slammed the door.
“They’re coming,” one of the men whispered, loud enough for me to hear. He sounded worried. Which made me worry. About what, though, I wasn’t quite sure.
I bit my thumbnail, and it tasted like wormy dirt from the woodpile. Gross! I wiped my mouth with the bottom of my shirt.
“She’s not safe,” another man said.
Not safe? I froze. “She”? As in me? My heart started racing, and suddenly I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.
I grabbed the black metal latch of the window next to me and opened it. The chirr-chirr of crickets filled the bedroom, and I breathed in the smell of wet leaves. Pressing my face against the screen, I glanced up at my grandpa’s ham radio tower, standing tall along the side of the house. The siren on top of it glistened with rain under the silvery moon. It would sound off if any bad guys snuck into the backyard and tried to mess with my grandpa’s things. Or that’s what he’d told me, anyway.
Suddenly a familiar shiver trickled down my neck. Oh wow!
I turned away from the window and locked eyes with Astra. “Nice of you to show up,” I said.
She was a few years older than me. Like eleven, maybe. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to the closet; her eyes shone bright green against her pale skin and black hair. She bit into her plump bottom lip, which meant she was worried about me. “You think I’m going to climb out the window and run away?” I asked her.
She didn’t answer. For an imaginary friend, she wasn’t very talkative. But she seemed to show up whenever I was in trouble. And there was no getting rid of her; our minds were connected. My grandpa said she was probably a real person somewhere, and that we shared consciousness because we came from the same bloodline. As crazy as the idea seemed, I liked to think that there might be someone real out there who would understand me if we ever crossed paths. Most people just thought I was weird like my grandpa.
“I’m glad you’re here,” I told Astra.
Outside my door, I could hear the men pacing around on the creaky wooden floor boards.
“When?” my grandpa asked.
“We don’t know,” another man said.
I didn’t like the sound of that. My stomach tightened with nerves. I sat down on my bed and rocked back and forth, staring at Astra.
“You’re crying,” she said. Or I could hear her voice in my head, anyway.
“No I’m not.” I swiped my cheek. Then I looked down at the spot of blood on my shirt. “I got a tattoo,” I said, trying to change the subject.
A siren wailed outside. The alarm! I jumped up, turned toward the window. But the bedroom door burst open behind me. I spun back around, and my grandpa stood in the doorway.
“Grandpa! What’s happening?” I started toward him. He quickly shook his head and then pressed his finger to his lips: Stay quiet.
Grandpa looked scared. And he was never scared. My heart pounded against my rib cage. Astra was gone. This was bad.
Bright light lit up my grandpa’s face. It was coming through the window behind me. Oh no! I whipped around to see who was there, and someone grabbed me from inside the room.
I started to scream, but a hand covered my mouth. My feet lifted off the floor. Frantically I twisted my head around to see who it was, but I was being dragged backward, down the hall, into the bathroom. Kicking at the bathroom wall, I bit into the hand covering my mouth, and for a second my head was free. I whirled around to see my grandpa, his finger gushing blood from where my teeth had cut into his skin.
“Grandpa? What are you doing?”
He whispered something in my ear. Then he lifted me up, ignoring my flailing legs.
The next thing I knew, I was underwater. Screaming!
Kenneth Platt drove his old 1995 pale-blue Ford pickup down the lonely stretch of highway 35 that connected Norfolk and Wayne Nebraska. He was going from the south, towards the north. His destination was Wayne. He drove with that lazy sort of confidence, the kind that comes from doing a mundane task over and over so many times that it could be done without even thinking. This was the way it was with the trip between Wayne and Norfolk; a task that he
had done so many times that he could do it with his eyes closed.
With the cruise control engaged, he hummed quietly to himself as he drove along. His fingers tapped upon the steering wheel as if his hands were a practiced team of sequin-studded Rockets doing their Vegas act for his sole entertainment. Likewise, his right foot, being denied the responsibility of depressing the accelerator, tapped up and down in rhythm to the tune. He drove through the darkness of night, humming and tapping, along that highway that resembled a giant serpent lying in the prairie grass, he watched the road magically appear in front of him. It seemed to grow out of the darkness as his headlights brought it into view.
He glanced in his rearview mirror. Behind him, he watched as the road disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared in front of him. It was as if the furnace-red glow of his taillights incinerated this giant prairie serpent into nothing but ash and blackened bones. He was alone on that road, but this was nothing unusual for that stretch of highway at that time of the evening on that day of the week.
This was a route without glamour and one that Kenneth had taken so many times before that he often arrived at his destination without remembering anything about the trip. In fact, he had been known to joke that a race of aliens routinely abducted him while he was traveling along this stretch of lonely rural highway. On Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays, Kenneth made the trip from Wayne to Norfolk and back again. He lived in Wayne, attending the state-college there, but the town of Wayne was small and lacked job opportunity. So, on the weekends, he worked as a stock boy at a small discount store in Norfolk.
Compared to Wayne, Norfolk was a virtual metropolis, boasting a population of more than 20,000 souls. So, the potential for employment was equally boastful. This is why Kenneth did his lonely commute, at least as far as the Saturdays and Sundays were concerned. On Tuesdays however, he came to Norfolk for an altogether different reason. On that day, he came for lessons, guitar lessons to be precise. One would think that after taking on a full-time college credit load, and taking on a part-time job, extra lessons would be only an unwanted burden but such was not the case for Kenneth.
Like many his age, he had grandiose dreams of being something more than just another guy with a degree, destined for the stagnant grind of corporate life. No, Kenneth had bigger aspirations than that and it involved stardom. Wearing ties, butt kissing management, and working in a cube just wasn’t his thing. For him, this was plan “B”. Nobody knew that this was plan “B” except himself. He always felt that his parents would likely have simultaneous heart attacks if they found out that he was not interested in being the college grad, medium management schmuck that so many others seemed so keen to. No, he had a plan “A” and that plan was to rock!
He wanted to be a rock star and often dreamed of all the fame and glory that came with that lifestyle. Of course, he was not yet good enough for stardom. This was something he regretfully realized. Someday, he would be good enough. Currently, he could play a few Ramones songs, which meant that he knew exactly three chords. This was not sufficient to be the next American idol, but it was a start in the right direction. Everybody after all, had to start somewhere. Even B.B. King had that moment when he first picked up a guitar and strummed the strings and immediately fell in love with the instrument and the potential that could be unleashed from it.
As he rode the snake-like highway, he glanced affectionately at his passenger, the current love of his life. It was not a woman. With all of his activities, he had not found much time to meet women. In the passenger seat sat his guitar, a Gibson Les Paul. He didn’t love it quite the way he would have loved a woman, yet he had been intimate with it, telling it his deepest secrets and desires through lyrics that he wrote. They were only apart when he was in class or asleep. Actually, they were consistently apart only in class, and then only because the professors would not allow the instrument to take up a seat. He had actually been known, on occasion to sleep with it. He did not do this for sexual reasons. He did not do it out of obsession. It was mostly just to creep out his roommate
who objected that his hobby had sped past healthy levels long ago.
As far as his hobby being an obsession, what did his roommate know anyway? He would think on this and smirk. His roommate was a business major, destined for nothing more than days filled with cubicle life, gossip by the water fountain, and annual reviews for miniscule wage increases. That life was not for Kenneth.
The guitar’s polished white finish glistened from the pickup’s greenish dash-light as if it were winking at Kenneth, flirting with him. The flirting worked. Kenneth wished he were home right now, playing those silvery strings and pouring his heart out in song. But first, he had to get home. He didn’t have a case for his love, not even a cheap gig-bag.He did have a roll of black plastic trash bags under the truck’s passenger seat so he could avoid getting the instrument wet if it rained.
It wasn’t that he thought the guitar didn’t deserve a case; he loved it more than that. He simply couldn’t afford one on his college student, discount store stock boy paychecks. He had worked more than full-time at two jobs all summer and had saved every cent he could to get that instrument. After he purchased it and a small Peavey Rage 108 amplifier, which he had to get second hand from a cigarette smoking pawn shop owner that seemed to sweat far too much to be healthy, he just had nothing left for a case.
His humming grew into words and he began to serenade his love with touching lines from his Ramones library. It was a Ramones-medley, a little of Teenage Lobotomy, a bit from I wanna be Sedated, a line from We’re a Happy Family. Then he stopped mid-song, an action that would have probably put off
his love if she had been anything more than pieces of fine wood, bits of precisely formed metal and high-gloss enamel. He stared with eyes wide open out his front windshield and unconsciously slowed the car to about fifty miles per hour.
Ahead of him, a bolt of lightning had torn the night sky into fragments separated by white-blue rips. This didn’t make any sense to Kenneth. First, mere seconds ago, he had been singing and he had been driving under a starry sky. There had not been a cloud to be found from horizon to horizon. Second, although lightning is not unheard of in Nebraska during late September, it is not at all common. He never heard a clap of thunder. Then again, maybe his ears never had the chance to relay that sound to his brain.
Mere milliseconds after this odd phenomenon occurred, something slammed into the pickup’s front windshield so hard that it transformed it into a useless piece of junk.The thing was something like a snake without eyes and apparently with a head of steel. Kenneth only got the slightest of glimpses of this---this, whatever it was. He had just enough time to take his foot off the accelerator. He did not have time to brake.
As easily as the thing had penetrated the windshield, it plowed itself into Kenneth’s skull. It went through his left eye-socket, which was comparatively less solid than automotive glass. It sliced through that tissue like a knife through warm butter. It entered his brain.
This book is a brief guide on how to manage worry, stress and anxiety this fallen world hands us. It is a fact that no one is exempted from experiencing these burdens. All of us has experienced them at one point in our lives. We are not called to bear these things. The Lord offers a remedy, a miracle cure, far better than what human technology can offer. Learn and discover it in this book.
This guide will discuss briefly but in a straight forward manner the reasons and effects worry has on us and how to beat it God’s way. You will soon realize that no amount of medicine and worldly security can give peace and contentment in your life; for only God can fill an empty heart. Experience God’s peace in your life like never before. Discover God’s faithfulness as He fulfills every Word and Promises He gave you and receive real happiness and peace you deserve that only God can give. Worry ends where faith in God begins!
Failure. It has plagued Aaron for the past years. It has awaited him at every turn and knocked him down time and time again. But now he is at the edge of his rope as failure has left him far from home with nothing but his dreams. However, this is not the end of Aaron's story. Instead, it is just the beginning. For he does not know what he will find this stormy night as he slowly makes his way back home after another failure. He does not know what will be waiting for him when he arrives at the crossroads of his life. And it is here at this crossroads that he will find the beacon of hope he has been searching for.
Life can flip in the blink of an eye, but love and passion will find a way to make it right.
Flipping is an award winning romance novel that highlights the power of love to move us forward and the strength of the human spirit to overcome life's challenges.
Be Inspired. Fall in Love.
JonSun and SuAnn are an unlikely couple. But despite their different social backgrounds, they fall in love. From the start, the odds were against them. SuAnn's family has other plans for her future, but their love cannot be dismissed so easily. Defying everything, the couple gets married in secret and moves to California. Good fortune blesses the couple while flipping houses. Their success marred only by JonSun's sudden need for revenge.
The second story is about Christa and her struggles with her disabilities. At a young age, it was discovered that she was profoundly deaf. A cochlear implant gave her a new perspective and she fell in love with Gymnastics. Flipping in the air made her feel alive, and nothing will stop her from achieving her dream of a gold medal. These two stories intersect when JonSun and SuAnn's son, Wynson, meets Christa. They became good friends for many years, and their friendship turns into something more. But a lot of problems stand in their way. Christa receives devastating news which could be a game changer, and Wynson has to deal with his own troubles at home. The question is whether their love for each other will survive these trials.
What gives this novel depth are the parallel themes running throughout. The characters' struggle with their self-esteem are prevalent throughout the book. This creates a richly layered and more interesting novel as the reader recognizes the threads that weaves the book together.
The first story in this new, sweet holiday series. Who would ever think that being stranded at the Denver airport for three days over Christmas could be fun? It turns out to be the adventure of a lifetime for thirteen-year- old Jack and his younger siblings Ethan and Lily who are traveling alone from their mother’s in San Diego to their father’s in Florida. Jack is a bit of a wheeler-dealer who is thrilled to be out from under parental supervision, Ethan a comic book enthusiast and caricature artist, and Lily a budding matchmaker who won’t take no for an answer. Together, they learn to fend for themselves in an adult world and bring Christmas cheer – and even love – to other stranded passengers.
Chat with Authors
The inspiration for 'The Worst Man on Mars' came after a chance meeting with top British scientist and author Mark Roman.
My stories are inspired by real-life experiences. I have a background in early childhood education and many years of experience working with children in the...
I wish I could come up with a specific moment, but I don't remember a time when I wasn't making up stories in my head...
Starting with my earliest memories, I was making up stories. I grew up with tea times where the neighbors would gather. Everyone would share stories...
I think inspiration is the wrong word, because it implies that the desire to write comes from outside the writer, when in fact, it comes...
I started The Ugly while at law school, and my initial goal was to critique the idea of law. I was publishing law review articles...
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Summer Of 68: A Zombie Novel by Kevin Millikin Narrator: Rick Gregory Published by Kevin Millikin on 09-07-17 Genres: Horror , Post-Apocalyptic , Zombies Length:
The following letter came to me via The Internet. It is a non-official satirical response written presumably by white students to black students attending Oxford’s
My very first novel, Mackenzie: An Assassin's Tale, is now available in print. myBook.to/MackenzieAssasin The snippet below is from a transitional moment when Mackenzie starts