Tag: slice of life
Sisters Crossing (Slice of Life)
Linnea sat quietly sobbing in her tiny studio apartment as she read over all the details on her baby boy’s birth certificate. It was all she had left to remember him by and she had not so much as looked at the document in the last twenty-some-odd years.
In fact, the creases were tucked so tightly together for so long, the paper would fold on its own if she didn’t hold it with both hands – one at the top and one on the bottom. But, this was a nearly impossible task, given the tears rolling down her face required … Continue reading...
That Intersection (Slice of Life)
I saw a pedestrian cross a busy intersection the other day.
On my way to pick my son up from school, I stopped at a red light at a busy intersection. On the southeast corner, to my right stood a man, no more than about 5 ft 7 in tall, dressed in a muted orange shirt and long black khaki pants, about his mid-fifties, judging from the characteristics of his face.
He held a reusable shopping bag and lottery tickets in his right hand, using his left to push the crosswalk button. (I only noticed this detail because he would … Continue reading...
Just another Day at the Office (Slice of Life)
A dead battery meant being late for work this morning, and now, a flat tire in the parking lot at lunch, with an in-person client meeting in less than 30 minutes. Needless to say, the day wasn’t going well, and to make it worse, there wasn’t a spare either. Time to catch a ride share to try and make it on time or, run out of time waiting for a tow truck and wasting a lot of time at the nearest auto repair shop. So, only one real option.
Making it to the meeting with just minutes to spare, sheer … Continue reading...
How One Particular End Began (Slice of Life)
The end had already begun.
By this time, the young couple’s parting was inevitable; and to prove it, it had been more than a week since he and she had seen each other in person – something unthinkable just months earlier.
Still, it was only hours since they had last spoken on the phone – a strange new dynamic that had become quite common during the past few weeks. But also, very different from before their relationship changed subtly yet undeniably. Prior to this unforeseen change, they spent every day together. Now, maybe once or twice a month at the … Continue reading...
Why did God Create so Many Animals? (Slice of Life)
It was a bright, sunny afternoon, with a few happy, puffy clouds dotting the sky. When the dismissal bell rang, Melony eagerly awaited her 8-year-old Billy, who just finished his first week of 3rd grade.
He playfully skipped out of the school, and onto the playground, the teacher following behind her class. After checking her boy out with the teacher, Melony let him play for a half hour before getting him in the car.
“So, how was school today?”
“What did you learn?”
“Oh, a little math and some other stuff.”
“Hmmm…what other stuff, Billy?”
“Well, we have … Continue reading...
Coin and Coincidence (Slice of Life)
Ever eager to make a quick buck, Burris suddenly had a devious idea. The scheme came to him in a moment of disappointment, disproportionately motivated by desperation. Being nearly five grand in the hole, it would take at least that amount, plus another $60k to get him through the year. So, $120,000 would undoubtedly be much sweeter.
Even better, such a score would nicely set him up for the next big thing – the one to put him so far into the black side of the ledger, he could give up the game for good. All he had to do … Continue reading...
From Kindness to Incredulity (Slice of Life)
Under sunny blue skies with a pleasant breeze sweeping across the little league field, Ryan and Sienna shared a mutual excitement – it was his first year as a coach and her’s as a team mom. Their ten-year-old, Tyler, rushed into the dugout, hastily throwing his equipment bag onto the bench before running onto the diamond and taking the pitcher’s mound, winding up, miming a knuckleball delivery, then a fastball.
“Hey Tyler, that’s some great form, there, buddy! Now, come back over here and help Mom carry the snacks.”
“All right, Dad!”
It was a half hour before the team’s … Continue reading...
Forever Moments (Slice of Life)
Laura looked over at the smart display on the end table next to her husband. It was noticeably, undoubtedly late for a school night – about an hour past their tween boy’s usual bedtime. But, she and her husband had already given their word – a new time for Patrick to tuck in. After all, he wasn’t a baby or a toddler anymore. He wasn’t even in elementary school any longer. A precocious seventh grader with an excellent academic record and a very specific plan for his future adult profession, he successfully negotiated a new time for lights out on … Continue reading...
Between the Lines (Slice of Life)
2:17 am. Still, silent, unsettling, and four long, anxious hours until the morning alarm chimed. Leanna had grown so tired of tossing and turning she defiantly laid motionless on her back staring up into the discomforting darkness that offered absolutely no consolation.
By quarter after three, she had only slept an hour, and morning wouldn’t come for another three. Now, it had been five agonizing hours since her parents took her phone away. Over three hundred minutes, more than ample time for the worst to happen. She knew full well the consequences of breaking the rules but didn’t have much … Continue reading...
To Whom We All Owe a Great Debt (Slice of Life)
Twenty-seven – that was all. After numerous deployments and two enlistments, Dakota’s body trauma finally overcame his ability and will to live at just twenty-seven years old.
The victim of a massive myocardial infarction, brought on by his lingering wounds, his body now lay lifeless in an old VA building, surrounded by total and complete strangers.
It was the inevitable end to a hard-fought battle the young man had no real hope of winning. The injuries he suffered during his last military operation were simply too great. So egregious, his doctors were stunned he survived at all. The physicians’ agreed … Continue reading...
Fumbledierk (Slice of Life)
Fumbledierk. That’s what all his teammates called him. Even the coaches (who previously discouraged and disciplined all the name-calling offenders), called him now, especially after costing the team a much-needed win late in the fourth quarter, nearly knocking the bunch out of the championship game contention.
Dierk was big for his age. He was also taller than most of his peers. But, very fast for his size and more surprisingly, agile. He could easily take on any cornerback with a signature juke and eye-popping evasive moves. Strong, tall, fast, and quite athletic, he posed a very real threat to any … Continue reading...
Fifty for One (Slice of Life)
The fast food restaurant was all abuzz with people ordering, eating, chatting, and laughing. Employees were busy taking orders, serving freshly-made meals, refilling condiments, and cleaning tables when a familiar middle-aged blind man walked into the store. He’d been in the establishment plenty of times before and had the routine down pat.
He patiently stood in a rather long line, waited for his turn, and quietly whistled a cheerful tune. Once he stepped up to the counter, he ordered his usual meal, “Hello, there, how are you doing today?”
“Very well, sir! How about you?”
“Just fine, thanks. I’ll have … Continue reading...
Talent Alone (Slice of Life)
Sonic chaos. It coursed through and consumed the entire musical instrument store. Drums thundered from a back room, while guitars and basses pelted out disparate, dueling melodies, with keyboards filling any semblance of empty space left with tunes of their own.
None of it was in time nor even the same key. A rag-tag medley of disconnected genres: rock, jazz, classical, and contemporary. Anyone who entered the retail shop could be easily overwhelmed by the disorderliness of it all. Then, as quickly as all the noisy, uncoordinated impromptu performances erupted, one by one, they fell silent.
The quiet remained uninterrupted … Continue reading...
Envelope Envy (Slice of Life)
“No, No, please, please! Give me another chance!”
“I’m sorry, you’ve had your chance. Actually, you’ve had three chances. And that’s this resort’s policy – three strikes and you’re out!”
Lina stood nervously nearby, listening with great trepidation to the tension-filled exchange. It wasn’t the first time she heard it. The hotel facilities manager had already let two other girls go for violating the rules. Worse still, she was just one incident away from the same fate. Only forty-three days into her probationary hiring period, she was late for work twice. Once, due to a tardy bus that … Continue reading...
It’s All Downhill Now (Slice of Life)
The lengthy scenic walk took Jody’s mind off an increasing height, just over four hundred feet in the air. Realistic surroundings featured faux rock, clear-blue waterfalls, and naturalistic sounds wowed every guest making their way up the winding stairs, cleverly disguised as a genuine, rugged, but well-traveled mountain pathway.
Now, nearly at the top, the young boy began to take stock of his elevated position. The high point became ever more foreboding as it came closer and closer, with the crowd moving him along in unison. The narrow tract suddenly opened wide, revealing ten intense lanes, separated by narrow, inverted … Continue reading...
Short yet Still Circuitous (Slice of Life)
The poor little, unaccompanied pooch wandered through the empty street aimlessly, shivering, confused, and visibly afraid when a concerned stranger first approached. The tiny terrier mix was apprehensive, not wanting to go to the human, who was not calling the furry creature by name, nor had a familiar, comforting scent. Though the young man keenly sensed its anxiety and uneasiness about trusting an unknown person, he could not simply walk away.
After all, the stranger effortlessly surmised it was a lost pet, despite the fact the pup wasn’t wearing a collar and its fur was wet – the damp coat … Continue reading...
Little Change for Big Charity (Slice of Life)
Alex wasn’t much different than any well-adjusted young, working-class man. A sensible 23-year-old, he had graduated from high school five years ago, spending the next two studying a trade, and the last three practicing it at least five days a week – sometimes six, even seven.
He’d wake up regularly at 6:30 a.m. each morning, as his mother routinely did, who molded him into an early riser. And, partly because of his father, who always turned in at just the right time, never staying up too late, a prudent practice he adopted as a boy. Apparently, he inherited those two … Continue reading...
The Flying Flapper (or The East River’s Forgotten Far-Fetched Flight)
A little-remembered, early twentieth-century female pilot strives for the privilege of being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean but was ultimately edged out by a much more famous name that’s made its way into practically every classroom history book, despite her competition’s better aerial maneuvering skills and experience…
Clear blue skies. Crisp air. A gentle, pleasant breeze. Perfect conditions for any experienced aviator. It was a gorgeous autumn day in New York City, the colorful leaves already changing in late October of 1928, the 21st day to be exact. Hundreds of people had eagerly gathered, and not … Continue reading...
Rays (Slice of Life)
Expansive bright blue skies extended westward far past the sight of his young eyes, over calm, aquamarine almost emerald-colored water. Curling up his tiny toes, he could feel the white powder sand under his bare feet as he looked in the same direction, where the horizon seamlessly met the sea in the distance.
It was beautiful. An incredible scene and nothing short of what his parents promised many months ago when they surprised him with the news of his first big spring break vacation.
Back home, although relatively late in the year, the snow continued to fall, adding to the … Continue reading...
The Two Greatest Words Ever Uttered by a Human (Slice of Life)
It had already been over 200 days in the shelter, shuffling between the soothing shade of the indoor pen and the blistering heat radiating off the cement pad outdoors, the only respite being a makeshift cot of mesh fabric suspended inches above an unforgiving concrete floor stained with potent urine.
But, his fortunes would soon hopefully change, as happy hounds and chipper puppy barks and squeals echoed through the entire chamber. Volunteers whispered their usual voices of ostensible support and gave tentative caresses, as strangers aloofly walked up and down the kennel, not giving the old dog so much as … Continue reading...
Two Tunics (Slice of Life)
The bell on the children’s resale shop door rang suddenly, rapidly, as the ball repeatedly struck the bell, announcing the young mother’s presence too loudly, startling her as she struggled to nonchalantly enter the store without being noticed by anyone already inside. She pulled a shiny, bright red wagon behind her, filled way over the brim with new toys, her toddler in tow, pushing it from the rear.
The little boy had a big, proud smile on his face, reflecting the joy he felt from helping his mom. It was a sharp contrast to her dour look, brought on by … Continue reading...
At Bat (Slice of Life)
Aaron walked slowly, nervously from the dugout to the plate, sliding his favorite bat back and forth between his hands. Stepping into the batter’s box, he pulled his gloves tight, cinching the velcro, feeling his heart beat, beat, beat, as if it were about to burst right out of his chest.
He took a huge, deep breath, attempting to shrug off the anxiety and excitement of the moment. The pitcher stared right at him, as he menacingly caressed the ball in his glove, calmly chewing a fresh stick of gum in pure intimidation.
Aaron looked up at the scoreboard – … Continue reading...
New Perspective (Slice of Life)
Putrid, sticky, icky puddle water stained Bridget’s best pumps. The stench easily carried from her feet up to her nostrils. There’s just no way she could go to her big-time job interview like this. Still, time ticked, ticked, ticked quickly away, as if the seconds sped up somehow. Now, she had to get back to her apartment, wash her feet and pick out another professional outfit. After all, it wasn’t worth risking if the bottom of her dress also stunk to high heaven.
With as much haste as Bridget could muster, she ran back block after block, knowing any wasted … Continue reading...
Life is What Happens while Making Plans (Slice of Life)
A burgundy wall to the left. A purple wall to the right. Separating the two – a glass pony wall. Nothing in the space spoke opportunity and only became more perplexing after seeing an extraordinarily outdated kitchen with bright green walls – and super dark brown countertops, of course.
It was the opposite of inspiration; more like desperation – a desperation to finally move on and start anew. Looming trepidation lingered heavily. Almost too much to possibly overcome. But, something still felt reassuring, an uncanny sense of an exciting journey ahead. It was completely different, yet somehow the same as … Continue reading...