Friday Fictioneers: Break It To Me Gently

It’s Friday. That means Friday Fictioneers for this time period while I study and get things in order. Enjoy today’s selection!

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copyright-Indira byway of Scott Vanatter

Break It To Me Gently

by Miles Rost

The truck whizzed down the street, blaring it’s horn and trying to get people out of it’s way.

“Breeeeeak iiiiiiit….to me gentlyyyyyyy.”

“Tommy, stop singing right now!”

“Why? I thought you liked this song.”

“Yes, the way Juice Newton sang it. But not when you, Mr. Firefighter of the year, attempt to kill it.”

“It’s my way of dealing with stress.”

“Like your job?”

“We’re going to put out a fire at a guitar factory, why not make it musical?”

The driver facepalmed in his mind, as he continued to race down the highway.

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Holding Back The Years

by Miles Rost

An old radio in the background of the bedroom was playing a quaint little song as Silvia Montgomery sat in front of her mirror. The head of the old money Montgomery family, she was an elegant lady who dealt with things bluntly. Sometimes too much so, such as the case of firing the head of the Montgomery Foundation in front of a televised audience.

She pulled a brush through her silky shoulder-length silver hair, as she counted the number of wrinkles on her face. She was pushing 55, and the stress of being the heiress of one of the biggest charitable foundations in the Western Hemisphere didn’t help much. The mirror betrayed this fact like a tattling child.

She put on her favorite earrings, the ones that got her notice with people. She looking in the mirror and smiled. It was a fake smile, to be sure, but she needed to keep up the appearance that she was a powerful force to be reckoned with. Wearing a long and black dress that hid the cellulite and the age in her previously envy-provoking legs, she took one last look before standing and pulling on her black arm-length gloves.

Grabbing her purse from the edge of the dresser, she slowly walked out of her room and down the ornate stairs of her palatial estate in rural Rockland County. She reached the bottom of the stairs, and looked around for her husband, real estate mogul Howard O’Connor. As she turned to look towards his study, where he spent most of his days instead of with her, she saw him walk out with a bored look on his face.

“How much longer are we going to have to keep this up, Silvia?” Howard asked her, “I really believe I need to get moving on with life.”

“The papers are being drawn up as we speak, they should be ready within the month,” she replied, looking straight forward with an Anjelica Huston-like smirk on her face.

The same song that was playing in her bedroom also played on the radio in the hallway downstairs. A song that neither of them cared for, but was quite appropriate for their current situation.

They looked at each other one more time, and they both walked out to the limousine that was waiting to take them into New York City. A charity affair featuring many of New York’s most wealthy was occurring, and it was one of the last places that Howard and Silvia needed to go to.

The drive down from the outskirts of New City into the bowels of the West Side was boring at best and tense at the worst. Howard sat with his hands on his Blackberry, sending off notes about new real estate holdings in Buffalo and Detroit that could net him some cash. Silvia looked out the windows, with a bored look on her face. She loved looking up at the buildings and the neighborhoods that were her home for such a long time in the past. The same drive, with no passion or love in her life, it showed a side of her that she didn’t really like.

The limousine pulled up in front of the center where the charity auction and ball were to be held. Howard and Silvia looked at each other, sighing at the difficulty of the display they would have to show. They then both smiled at each other, trying to put forth their best loving face, and proceeded out of the limousine. With the cameras flashing and the smiles going around, the couple walked up the stairs of the Benoit Center for the Performing Arts, and proceeded to meet with major donors and public officials.

After a while of putting on the airs, as everyone started to settle down, the couple separated themselves and proceeded to do what they usually did at events like this: Howard would work his way to the bar, find a couple of real estate minnows, and try to pry information from them by plying them with liquor, while Silvia would go around to the different tables and chat for a minute with people and get the information that would be useful to her bids down the line.

She would reach the table where she was supposed to be seated for the dinner, and put down her purse. She sat down, and sighed at the amount of effort that she had to put forth.

“It’s hard having to talk to people when some of them don’t even care for you,” she said aloud to herself, reaching for the bottle of champagne in the middle of the table and pouring herself a flute.

“I don’t usually care for most of them, myself. But, that goes with my territory.”

She whirled her head around and stared into the eyes of someone who she never usually saw at these charity functions. Someone who bore a stony frame, but had a simple and refreshing look in his eyes.

“I wonder how I got the same table as the New York City Police Commissioner. I never usually get law enforcement where I sit,” she said, with a little shock in her voice.

“I think the organizer put the folks who weren’t as happy to be here with each other. How are you doing, Silvia?” the commissioner said, looking at her from through spectacles he never really wanted to wear.

“Judging by what has been said so far, I think you’ve read me pretty well.”

“I’m trying to make my show of support here, at the behest of the mayor, then I am going to get out of here.”

“I wish I could join you.”

“You should wait until your divorce from Howard is final.”

She looked at him, with wide eyes.

“How did you…”

“…you know how I know.”

Silvia blinked for a second, then she shook her head with a slight smile.

“Your daughter. The ADA. She’s connected with the major attorneys.”

She smiled for the first time, genuinely, as she looked at the commish.

“I now realize why you’re so good at your job.”

“Really? Maybe you could tell me, because I still am wondering how I was convinced to take this job.”

Just as she was about to answer, a broad-shouldered man walked up to the table, and smiled.

“Ah, seems like you two are having a conversation. I’ll leave you.”

“No need, Barrett. Are we free to go?”

“Your obligation has been met.”

He stood up and gave her a mustachioed smile.

“You know where to find me when things are done.”

The commissioner walked away, as Silvia looked on in wide-eyed wonder.

“This shall be interesting indeed…” she said to herself, a sly look in her eyes. She downed the rest of the flute of champagne and poured another glass, thinking of the steely police commissioner of the Five Boroughs.

Friday Fictioneers: Memories

By Miles Rost

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Memories

I remember the day very well.

I was standing at my post, looking out at the rest of the city. It was a warm day, and I sometimes cursed the fact I had to wear such an unappealing uniform on such days.

It was the day when I could do nothing. I stood as a young man drove across the bridge I was facing, and ran over a child.

I wanted to help, I pleaded in my head to help. But I was sworn to a duty to protect this place.

That was the first day when I started to hate my job.

 

50 Stories in: Time for you to choose…

A Note From Miles

I reached a milestone this past weekend with my 50th story that I wrote. It’s been an incredibly awesome journey and I am looking forward to many more stories to come.

I made a promise to myself that if I hit 50 stories, I would take 5 of the stories I wrote, edit them, then submit them to literary magazines and publications. So, as a start, I’d like to have my readers (y’all) choose 5 of my stories that I should rewrite/edit and submit.

Those who read, I’d like you to go through my archives on the right and pick those stories. Try to pick the one-shot stories, if at all possible. It’ll be easier to manage.

Also, I would like to add that the writing on my blog, at least for the next month, will likely be brought down to once every couple of days. This is because I am getting busy with taking my TESOL Certification course, and it’s going to take more time than I thought to get through everything. Couple that with having less time during my day to do stuff, and I just won’t likely be able to do things like I have until the end of July or beginning of August.

So, if anything, expect something every couple of days.

Happy reading, everyone. And I hope to see you all soon here and in reading land!

Oh, and before I forget…Here’s some music:

Music Box Dancer

by Miles Rost

(For my Dad, Harlan. A wonderful man who knows good music, and does good things! I love you, Dad.)

Sandy couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t without something important from her childhood.

30 years old, living on her own in an apartment in a fancier area of Portland, and she still held the teddy bear that she received from her dad when she was 3. She loved that teddy bear with everything she had. It was her best friend when she was young, a protector from the monsters in the closet and under the bed. It was her companion when she was rejected by boys in junior high school, and embarrassingly enough, her practice doll in anticipation of her first kiss.

The teddy bear was squeezed in front of her. Sandy’s chin rested on top of it’s head, as she looked around her room. She carefully studied all of the items on the shelves of her room, neatly places all over the room. She looked at a small box on the top shelf, and mused a little bit. She took in down and put it on the desk.

She opened the box, and a small ballerina popped up. The music that played started up, and she just smiled at the sounds of the little charm piano that played in the bottom of the box. She remembered back to a time when she received the box, when her dad returned from a trip to Zurich. He had gone for two weeks, spending his time negotiating business deals involving metals and parts. He returned home after two weeks, and smiled.

“Daddy!” little Sandy cried, as she ran up to him and put her arms around his leg.

“Hey there, Sunny,” he said, using his pet name for her, “Let me get sat down and I’ll show you something very neat!”

She smiled, as she ran into the living room at the speed of a normal 9 year old. She got his pipe and his slippers ready for him, so he could relax.

He walked into the living room, and carried along a big paper bag with handles, something new at the time. She asked him what was in the bag.

“This is a present for you. It’s something special that I think you will love.”

He gave her the okay, and she pulled the wrapped gift out of the bag. It was large, and somewhat heavy for a 5 year old. But, like a trooper, she handled the gold wrapped package and put it on the couch, where she promptly tore the paper open. She opened the latch on the front, and pulled up on the lid.

The familiar sounds of the music box dancer jumped Sandy back to the present day, and a small tear rolled down her face.

“Dad, we’re gonna listen to this again,” she said, as she put the music box into a paper bag. And as she got in her car, to go to the nursing home where her dad was staying due to his Alzheimer’s, she thought about the music. It lifted her spirits as she drove, and kept the box open while she drove.

“Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.”

Check List

by Miles Rost

“Okay men, Roll Call.”

“Childers.”

“Here.”

“Mao.”

“Yo.”

“Kurabati.”

“Here!”

“Jacobsen.”

“Here!”

“Harlan.”

“Whaddya want?”

“Cabrini.”

“Yeah?”

“Stewart.”

“Too early!”

The man checked the list once more, checked everything off.

“Alright. Here’s what we got. You’ve got your weapons in front of you. You have two hours to finish your assignment, as I briefed you yesterday. You know what to do, and you know how it must be done. If this fails and the commander is not happy, I will make sure each and every one of you is put on KP for the rest of your natural lives in this organization. Any questions? Stewart!”

Stewart lowered his hand.

“Can we see the target’s picture one more time?”

The captain looked at them, and looked back at the covered picture on the wall. He walked over and uncovered it.

Upon the revelation of the picture, there was a collective squeak from each of the men, and then laughter.

There was a picture of Hello Kitty holding onto a Rifle.

The captain furrowed his brow and proceeded to bark at his charges.

“The commander’s daughter is NOT going to be happy with you unless you give her what she wants. And she wants a birthday cake, with a picture of Hello Kitty holding a damn rifle on it! So you’re going to give it to her, or by God and the stars he holds, you will all be wishing it WAS Hello Kitty tearing you a new asshole!”

All of the men stood serious, hands behind their backs, whisks and spatulas at the ready.

“Get cookin’! That’s an order!”

The captain proceeded out of the room.

All the guys looked at each other, looked down at the spatulas…and proceeded to double over with laughter. Until the voice of the captain bellowed from down the hallway.

“I HEARD THAT!”

Old and Wise

by Miles Rost

88 years of life gave Emil Jacobson lots of wonderful memories.

He sat in his bed, looking out the window as the dawn started to rise. He couldn’t sleep that night, he knew that he had to write down his thoughts. He was in the last moments of writing his memoirs, “The Long Story of an Ordinary Man”. Emil had many years as a writer, and many years as a father and husband. As he went through his memories, he knew the last things he wanted to write.

To those I’ve left behind in my life, I wanted you to know that you always have shared my deepest thoughts. No matter where I have been in my life, whether it was in the shadows Dongdaemun with my brothers in arms, or in the people around Northridge after the ’94 quake, you follow my life where I go.

He set his pen down again, looking out at the garden below his window. He looked at the pumpkin flowers as they were blooming. He smiled as he saw the autumn winds lightly blowing the leaves on the trees. The tall oak tree that he saw behind the garden was gently swaying its branches in the breeze.

He picked up the cell phone next to his bed and slowly typed a message to someone listed as “Publicist”.

Stop by in a few hours,” he said out loud, with a creaky voice, “The manuscript will be finished. No need for edits. Publish it raw.”

He put down the phone and picked up his pen again. He looked at the brightening sky and smiled. His eyes became bright and glowing.

To those I leave behind, I want you all to know that you’ve always shared my darkest hours, no matter where I’d go. My sons and daughters, you saw me in the darkest of hours. When your mom passed on, when I held that 15 year old girl in my hands as she died in Northridge, when I was hospitalized after my beach house collapsed into the Pacific; you all were there for me, and saw me in the darkness. You lifted me out by just being nearby. For that, I will always be thankful.

He smiled, as he thought of his last sentences. As he thought, his lungs spasmed and he hacked. For a good 10 seconds, he hacked, his old age showing through in each cough.  Even with the coughing, he returned to a smile and he wrote again.

Shadows approached me in this last portion of my life, and I see them surrounding me. My life has been a good one, as I see it now. From being a father and being a news writer, all the way to being the old and wisened man that I am right now, I feel as though I have lived the best life that I could. It is time for the new generation to write their stories, as my generation is finishing. As the final curtain is lifted from my eyes, I can see my life in 20/20 vision. It has been good.

He put his pen down, and breathed lightly on the page. Making sure the ink was dry, he closed the book. He sat back in his bed, pulling the covers up to his chest. As the sun started peeking over the neighbors house and the hills of the small coastal town, he closed his eyes and smiled. He breathed in the air and sighed contently.

He took in one more breath, and the smile from his face slowly started to fade. He grew still and stony. His hands still holding the book on his lap, his body sat like a statue’s.

——-

Emil Jacobson looked down upon his body. He smiled, seeing the completeness of his earthly life for one last moment. He turned his spirit towards the rising dawn and smiled, as he was lifted up above the trees and above the houses. He continued to fly upwards above the earth. With a quickening pace, he flew upwards through clouds and through space. As he flew upwards, the years that were apart of his earthly life started to melt away.

Within what seemed like moments, he stood on a rocky cliff, looking out over a vast ocean. He looked down at himself and saw himself not as the old man that he was, but as a strong built young man.

“Welcome!” he heard someone call from behind. He turned around and looked at another man.

“Is this Paradise?”

The welcoming man looked at him and smiled.

“Emil, welcome to Paradise. Your arrival is the talk of the folk here. Let’s go meet them, eh?”

Emil smiled at Paul, and joined along with him as he walked from the rocky cliff over to other heavenly folk.

He had arrived.