You might hate my first story, but maybe you’ll like the next. Editor at The Last Call Express. More at Say hi:

No, really. Kick back and listen while I read my stories to you.

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Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Who doesn’t love a good audiobook?

I know I sure do.

And even when I love to read, there’s just times I can’t get to it. Or I can’t concentrate. Or I just want to pop on something I can fall asleep to.

That’s why I’ve decided to start recording some of my own stories, just for you.

No, I didn’t use any text-to-speech bot, or pay someone to do it. The voice you hear is mine. I do add in some sound effects and music for atmosphere (because I love when audiobooks do that).

The three I’ve prepared for you this week…

I intended on leaving it buried.

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(Author Photo)

Lights dimmed to twilight overhead.

The cabin disappeared into a constellation of attendant call signs.

Just after midnight, the jet engines yawned awake, stretching their wings.

I leaned back into the window seat. Little to see but glowing red batons in a sea of black, I slid the shade shut.

The steward directed the attention of passengers to monitors on seatbacks. Seat belt fastening instructions for anyone who hadn’t been in a motor vehicle since the 60s.

I closed my eyes, wishing for sleep, but knew it wouldn’t come. I never slept on flights. Not well, at least. A man sat to my left. His nose and forehead outlined. …

For anything new to begin, something must first end.

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Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Coldness reflected off the gray paint in the bedroom.

An empty room, except for a lonely bed.

An empty bed occupied by myself and my thoughts.

Wrapped in white bedding, I hid my head from the void around me. I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to accept. I didn’t want the life I now lived.

Clouded sunlight from the window above failed to warm the blanket. The open window letting in a Michigan January made sure of that.

Suddenly lost in a very real reality I didn’t know what to do. …

I needed it to be different.

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Photo by Eunice Stahl on Unsplash

“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked.

I nodded swiftly, a reflex before my brain could catch up.

If I let myself think, If I let myself sift through memories, my entire body might shut down.

My bare chest pressed against her exposed skin. She lay there, calm, looking at me. My body shook From fear. From excitement. From a bottleneck of emotions, I didn’t fully understand.

A sliver of moonlight sliced in through the lone window above the bed. It caught just enough of her eyes. I looked away. They weren’t the eyes I knew. The eyes I shared the bed with throughout my marriage. …

Childhood trauma sure likes to play games.

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Travel has long been part of who I am.

Some tell me it’s because I’m a Sagittarius. At times I do feel like a star-less planet floating through space, in hopes of one day finding a gravitational pull strong enough to keep me in place. But for now, I travel.

When COVID cast its net over me, I found myself without a necessary release point. A dog with a newly surrounded fence, I couldn’t escape, no matter how much I jumped or dug or ran. At times, sitting in place can prove problematic to me. …

There’s no going back. You have to move forward.

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Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

So many things run through my head.

Nothing runs through my head.

I’m free, but I’m trapped. The world is open to me, but I lost it all the same. I want to live and yet I feel dead. What should I do next? What can I do now?


It’s a strange thing. For so long I cultivated thoughts of a life. I erected a fence around what would become of my remaining days. My remaining breaths. I had no idea what took place outside of the fence. It didn’t matter. I didn’t care.

And then, suddenly, the thoughts and dreams I’d cultivated for years were gone. I found myself on the outside of the fence. A strange world around me. I didn’t remember it looking the way it did. …

Rip off the mask. What do you see?

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Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

How much time do you spend convincing yourself you’re happy?

More now than ever before, the appearance of happiness is key to our self-worth. The ability to stack up to the social competition. To followers and friends and subscribers. It’s all for show.

It’s all a lie.

But maybe you don’t realize what you’re doing. Perhaps you’re going through the motions because, at least on a surface level, you believe you’re happy, and you don’t want to dig down any deeper. Because, the deeper you go, the dirtier you’ll get. It’s far easier to live on the surface level.

The problem is if you do that, are you okay with being only surface-level happy? With wearing the mask of a satisfied person as long as it means you don’t have to look inwardly? …

Asking permission was more terrifying than popping the question.

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Photo by Meryl Spadaro on Unsplash

The clicking of a turn signal snapped my thoughts like a twig.

The moving van slowed and took the now-familiar exit. It meant we were only a few minutes away from our final destination. It meant I was running out of time.

My desire to speak to the man driving the moving truck fought my throat. Pushing a boulder of courage up a steep, mental slope, I needed to shove it over the top. Blurt out what I needed to say. Let the boulder and fate take it from there.

“Better get some gas,” the man said. The time remaining in the trip ran closer to empty than the tank. …

You deserve better.

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Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

Bad relationships.

We’ve all been in them. Some of us more than others. And if you’re like me, you probably have that one friend who seems to hop-scotch from one bad relationship to an even worse one. You might not even be a praying person, but you toss out a few Hail Marys just before meeting their latest significant other.

What is it about bad relationships that not only draw us in but hold us tight? It’s not like we can’t just leave, right? It’s a prison cell with the door open. Take a step and walk out.

Of course, it’s not always that easy. If you’re perpetually in a bad relationship, or your relationships seem to sour and transform into bad ones, you know it isn’t as easy as walking out the open cell. …

She will forever be a part of me.

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Photo by Jacob Johnson on Unsplash

“Oh, yeah, so do you like want to go to the prom with me?” I asked as she climbed out of the car.

She turned, the automatic seat belt tangling with her hair as it whirred along the door frame.

We spent the entire day together, doing nothing in particular, and yet it felt like everything. I drove in my 1994 Dodge Shadow. A hand-me-down from my great grandmother, complete with electric seat belts, hand-crank windows, and a tape deck with cords running out of an adapter I plugged into a Discman so we could listen to CDs. …

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