This is specifically for you.
If you’re reading this it’s because you’ve taken the time out of your busy day to read other works of mine and have decided to follow my profile.
First of all, I just want to let you know how meaningful that is to me. The fact that you’d read my work and often comment really means a great deal. We may have even shared a few back and forths in the comments section (and if I missed some of yours I’m sorry. I don’t mean to. …
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…
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…
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. …
“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…
You don’t truly know someone until you’ve traveled with them.
The unexpected surprises, the nightmarish afternoons, the sudden problems, and the random successes, travel has a way of exposing our faults. It spotlights our actions when we’re most exposed. When we are vulnerable. Do you panic when in a foreign train station and don’t speak the local language? Do you grow angry when fractured conversations with a taxi driver go nowhere? Do you give up, throw your hands in the air, and curl up in a ball on the hotel room floor because of a sudden change of plans?
I watched from the back seat as people walked into the courthouse.
I watched and yet I didn’t see them. Burred from tears clinging to my eyes. Tears I didn’t want the woman sitting next to me to see. If I only closed my eyes I could hide from the world, but closing them would push tears from my eyes, and then she’d know.
She’d know I still cared. That I still loved.
Not that it mattered any longer.
Green flickered on the dash. The neon clock shifted, the time a sword to my back. A dagger to my throat…
That first kiss.
The first kiss from a crush you’ve had an eye on for a while. The crush you’ve thought about for longer than you remember. The kiss that fades the world away, dims the lights around you, pulls air from your lungs, and sends goosebumps down your spine.
It’s not the first kiss you’ve ever experienced. You’ve kissed others. You loved some of them (at least you thought at the time you did).
Some kisses offer nothing but basic arousal, but this one awakens everything within you. It pokes awake something in the brain long dormant. …
There’s something about smell.
Aroma. Odor. Funk. Musk. Whatever you want to call a smell, there’s something about it.
You hate it. You crave it. You miss it. You gag at it.
Few senses instantly pull the kind of physical and emotional reactions as smell. If I ever walked past my ex-wife in a crowd and our hands touched, I wouldn’t recognize it to be her. But the smell of her hair would pull me around. Would fish for memories. Memories that might pull my lips into a smile or a frown.
All the power of a smell.
Readers please note: this story discusses suicide. If you need help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The wooden pew moaned under my weight.
Under the weight of the room.
Under the weight of the silent people in it, afraid to speak. Not sure what to say, or how to say it.
The moan lingered in the air, trapped under the roof of the funeral home. Or maybe I held onto it longer than it ever existed. The idea it had once filled the room and yet no longer existed.
Like the idea of the man in the closed casket…