MORE STORIES:

Below is a list of stories, mostly short, but then again is any story ever really short?  It seems that all too often, some long stories could benefit from being shorter.

 

“The Traveler, the Stranger, and the Tsunami”

Bandon 2012 (227)a

The Traveler had grown desperately weary of his quest.  He had traveled to many countries and continents in search of “enlightenment.”

He had been to the Steppes of Nepal, spoken with the Dali Lama, visited with Sister Theresa in India, hung out with Ram Dass, got high with Timothy Leary, and read everything of Alan Watts and Krishnamurti.  He even spent some time in a Buddhist Monastery on the slopes of Mt Fuji, but still he had never found the peace he was looking for—the enlightenment he was looking for.  He found it unfathomable that no one seemed to have “the answer.”  Surely, at some point in the 200,000 years of human history, someone would have found the answer—or at least an answer.  What were the odds of something that could be found—not be found?

(If you are not willing to have your religious views challenged or seen with a sense of humor, this story may not be for you.) 

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“If Not for the Comfort of Strangers”

jeweldropA swelling wall of ominous black clouds loomed ahead of me as I pulled off the highway and headed down the exit ramp.  The forecast was for snow and bitter cold for the next several days and it was obvious the weather forecasters were getting it right.  Several cars were lined up at the red light at the end of the ramp and their exhaust was making perfect parallel plumes of white against the angry grey sky—it was the dead calm before the storm.  I could see a street person holding a cardboard sign and walking from car to car up the ramp.

His presence was nothing unusual; I had been seeing him at this ramp for the past couple of weeks. 

Continuing down the ramp, and coming to a stop behind the 10th car, I had the usual conversation in my head about whether I would make eye-contact or not; and how, no matter what, I would not give him anything—as usual.  I did not have a good reason for why I handled the “problem” this way, it just seemed easier to make a decision one way or the other than to come up with something that made sense in the bigger picture.  For me the bigger picture was just way too scary to contemplate.

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“The Tiger Trap”

. . . . . . Not all traps are what they seem.

pinkoldrose3I knew that if I didn’t pull over and take a leak, I would surely break something.  It wasn’t difficult to find a place to pull over on this rural back road in Northern Pennsylvania.  I had only seen one car (and what was once possibly a pickup truck) in the last two hours.  I slowed the car to a stop on the shoulder, mostly off the road, and exploded out of the car.

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“The Shopping Cart”

. . . . . sometimes a full shopping cart is not always a good thing.

As long as anyone could remember, she had been pushing her rusted and limping Safeway cart along Market Street.  There was a string of small bells, a cat’s collar, tied on the cart that let everyone know of her approach.  The cart’s secret contents were hidden under a shroud of brown plastic.  Non-secret items were hung all around the exterior like a necklace of colorful floats or other items one might find at the beach or Good-will.

The Path

The Path

The frame of the cart was crumpled on one side from being hit by a garbage truck.  If you looked hard, you could still find the truck’s green paint on the cart.  The accident happened one dark morning when she could not pull the cart out of the street and up onto the sidewalk quick enough to avoid the speeding truck.  The garbage truck apparently never noticed her and she was left to pick up the pieces on her own.  When the truck ripped the cart out of her hands, the broken plastic covering on the cart handle cut her hand and she had to wrap her hand in a scarf while she worked to gather her things.

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“Last Dream”

. . . . . all too often it is best to let our fantasies stay fantasies.

When David woke up, his body gave away the sensual dream he had been in the middle of and the sheets were soaked with sweat.  This was not the firbeach2st time he had dreamed about the woman by the sea.  By now his tortured and conflicted mind hoped that the dream would not be his last.  For the past week, every night, he had been having pretty much the same dream–it was certainly the same woman in the dream.  In his dream she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  In his more rational moments–in the hours when he was awake—he could realize that of course she was beautiful, she was a dream!  He knew his mind could make her look any way it wanted–could have her “be” any way it wanted.

Dreams can be a sucker punch in that respect—worse than a picture in a magazine.

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The Northwest Light–a Short Dream

. . . . . sometimes when we see the light it is because we are in the dark, other times it is not the light at all.

The Northwest LightSometimes things become etched in one’s mind like petroglyphs.  The edges smooth out a bit over the years but the basic shapes remain.  As a boy, I traveled to the Northwest and only one “petroglyph” remained from that visit.  Of course there were the lesser petroglyphs of the Space Needle, the flying fish at Pike Market and the Conservatory on Capitol Hill, but everyone remembers those things.  It was the “Northwest light” that remained the most deeply etched in my mind.

For the rest of this story please click on the “Read Me” button below–and enjoy!

 

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