Tagged: amwriting

Author Reading : May 16, 2018 – A Moment of Pure Truth 0

I wrote this story after reading about a rare albino redwood on California’s coast north of San Francisco. I saw it as magical and spiritual. If I had my druthers, I’d live in Sonoma County or near Santa Rosa and make my way to the coast as often as I could to see the redwoods, ferns, and rough coast of the Pacific.

This is a short story about a group of people at a settlement conference: a sort of preliminary attempt to close out a lawsuit before a trial. Most of the settlement’s are managed by previous judges, so they know what will fly in front of a jury, and what won’t fly.

I tend to gravitate towards out of body experiences, paranormal, and strange phenomena. I suppose it is part of my belief we all are part of a collective experience and we certainly don’t have an answer for all of the mysteries of the world. I also think our imaginations fuel our passions and experience. So, in this story, I have no problem with a guy believing his daydream is reality.

Original Story: A Moment of Pure Truth

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 8 0

las vegas story

Cranberry Juice

The emergency room at the county hospital seemed a bit too busy for a Tuesday morning. Tucked in every corner sat screaming babies with frantic mothers, homeless suffering from the heat, foreigners nursing hangovers, and Cindy with a gunshot in her arm.

She sat in the middle of a bed pushed into the hallway with her legs dangling over the edge. A gauze pad with a red circle of blood covered her arm. This part of the adventure she could have done without.

“All I found was cranberry juice,” Wallace said. He snuck up on Cindy as if she might hit him.

“Thanks.” Cindy refused to look at him. She put the bottle on her head and let the cold penetrate her headache. Wallace placed a towel on her neck.

Wallace felt sick. The shootout left a man dead, a hurt friend, and most of all, the end of a good place to stop for breakfast. Moreover, this girl almost died. So close to the age of his youngest daughter. What a mess.

“It will be just a moment more,” a nurse said. “Can I get you anything?”

Cindy opened the bottle and took a sip.

“Just let me go.”

“In due time, dear,” said the nurse.


Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 7 0

las vegas story

Paramedics wheeled Charlie out of the club through the mess of wires, broken glass, and water. A medic taped gauze on Cindy’s arm where a bullet broke the skin leaving a bleeding gash. Cuts and scratches covered her legs.

“He’s going to make it,” Wallace said. “How he didn’t die is anybody’s guess.”

How they all survived, nobody could tell. A flash of gunpowder played again in Cindy’s mind as the bullet sent a cascade of water over Bill’s head. Then the bullet came toward her and she froze in fear. It threw up bits of cushion and wood behind her. It must have missed. However, a shock wave climbed her arm and she knew the bullet had hit her.

“You’ll need stitches,” a medic said. “I still can’t believe it happened,” Cindy said. “I could have died.” Cindy smoothed out her dress and tried to cover up her scratches.

“I’ll wrap those too.”

The medic squirted out some cream and moved his fingers over the cuts. His cold hands sent another shock through Cindy. She shivered. He paused. She waved him on and closed her eyes.

On this trip, she planned to find the man responsible for her dad’s death, kill him, and escape the desert. Instead, she landed in a shootout and a robbery.

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 6 0

las vegas story

Todd Loudin heard the shots below his office. They sounded close. He cocked his head to listen. Two more shots and screaming. He rushed to the window.

A man dressed in all black ran away from the Glitter Gulch. Behind him, a half-dressed girl flailed on the ground with a hole in her leg. Another girl wearing only a bikini tried to help her. Green bills blew out of a broken grocery bag. A couple bills stuck to the girl’s bloody leg.

A man in a Hawaiian shirt, a straw fedora, and blue slippers held up his hands. A woman screamed and covered her hair. Todd chuckled. Imagine the sensation back home if she lost both her money and her head in Las Vegas.

Behind the man in black, a revolver spun around in one hand as a small duffel bag followed behind in the other. Todd leaned out the window and watched the stranger run.

The man crossed into the alley with the duffel flying behind him. Thin orange neon roped down the outside of the Golden Gate Hotel pointing to the alley. Todd watched the commotion and fear.

He looked away from the spectacle across the varnished room. He locked eyes on his bodyguard standing watch near a large wooden door. The bodyguard nodded. He secured his gun, turned, and left the room.

“Well boys,” Todd laughed. “All in a day’s work.”

He plopped down behind a desk of polished marble and leather. Todd pulled out a cigar from his jacket, cut off the end, drew it up to his mouth, and licked the end. He reached into a drawer behind him for a match. Lighting the cigar, he settled in for a smoke.


Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 5 0

las vegas story

A man dressed in black shifted his weight in the far booth with the girls. Feather hung on him like a white dishcloth and her breasts touched his shirt. She patted his arm when he laughed. The man chewed on a twizzle stick and a baseball hat hung low over his forehead. Cindy saw the corner of his eye when he smiled at Feather.

“They seem full of energy,” Cindy said.

Bill looked behind him. “The night always brings out the happy.” He turned around and eyed Cindy.

“Who’s the guy?” she asked. Cindy thought the stranger seemed out of place.

“Money can make you happy. Dreams can make you happy,” Bill said. “And we have enough of both to make you almost giddy.” He patted Cindy’s hand.

“You could use some happy, right?” Bill aimed to sign up the girl before the party started again.

He smiled a wide grin. Cindy looked behind him to the far corner of the bar. Wallace followed her gaze.

“Likely a guy who figures he might go home with Feather,” Wallace said. Bill twisted his head. “Why don’t you all go home now,” he shouted.

The laughter stopped and Feather fidgeted. The stranger leaned forward and Feather let go his arm.

“Go on. Go home,” Bill said.


Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 4 0

las vegas story

Cindy counted the number of bubbles rising up from the bottom of the aquarium behind Bill’s head. A black and white fish floated through the bubbles followed by a yellow and blue. The black and white was missing an eye. Otherwise, each fish looked happy to be swimming in a strip club.

“You should add a clown fish.” Bill looked over at her. “Like Finding Nemo.”

“You are an odd,” Bill paused. “No, make that a pretty, odd girl.”

He decided to file away the question about Todd L. for the moment. It could wait. What he needed right now was a fresh dancer.

Bill leaned around the aquarium and looked down the length of the runway. He shouted at the girls finishing breakfast.

“Feather. Get up here and dance.” Bill pointed to the stage. “Charlie, drop the lights and turn on some music.”

Feather looked down the stage. A second girl slowly pointed with both hands toward where Bill was sitting with Cindy. Feather huffed and slowly slid across the padded seat.

“Move it!” shouted Bill. “Charlie. Lights and Music.” Bill pointed at the controls.


Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 3 0

las vegas story

Bill DuPree watched Fremont Street for fresh beauty to keep the Glitter Gulch filled with long legs and shapely thighs. If they had a nice set of breasts, well, that was cream on the stick.

As the manager, he had seen them come and go. A girl was going to need a firm foundation to attract the John’s, Dick’s, and George Washington’s stuck in the G-strings of the eye candy. Too bad the candy tended to get sucked dry and spit back out. The girls came and the girls left. Beauty never lasted too long in the Gulch.

Bill watched as Cindy hesitantly walked across the street toward him.

“You have a nice sashay, girl.”

Cindy smiled and slowly walked toward him.

“You must be parched,” Bill said. He gazed at her open dress. Taking stock he slowly moved up to her green eyes. “Let ol’ Bill buy you a drink.”

Cindy smiled and shook her head no. She looked at his shoes; a nice pair of burgundy alligators.

Bill touched her arm and gave it a squeeze.

“Tell me your name.”

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an address book. He opened the worn book and retrieved a pen from behind the pages.

“You look like a Tammy.”


Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 2 1

las vegas story

Cindy stood below the unlit neon of Fremont Street and thought about where to go next. Her list, while punctuated with a final stop, still required a place to start.

“I’m looking for an evil man,” Cindy said aloud to no one in particular. She looked up at Sally, kicking up a leg in glowing orange and purple.

The tall cowgirl smiled and rocked her outstretched leg. A glint of light flashed on her side pointing to the east. Cindy felt a warm glow. She followed the light until it revealed the full length of Fremont Street. Toward the end of her view, a janitor piled up plastic cups and paper. A few of the homeless pulled their shopping carts and panhandlers wandered across from one side of an alley to the other. Otherwise, the street was deserted and empty except for Cindy, Sally and Vegas Vic.

Cindy looked further down to the end of East Fremont.

“You think I will find him down there?” asked Cindy.

Sally only smiled.

The neon lining Sally’s skirt suddenly lit and erupted in a spark. A cascade of light rose up her dress and touched the video canopy overhead forming an arrow. The flashing arrow pointed to the southeast.

“Okay, I guess that’s a sign,” Cindy said surprised. She looked around to see if anyone had noticed. No one was around.

“Go toward the light,” she said in a deep-throated baritone.

“So your handsome boyfriend has the answers,” Cindy said. Sally refused to say, but the arrow began to move across the canopy confirming Cindy’s hunch.

The girl followed the arrow as it moved until it suddenly went out and immediately seemed to jump onto the shoulder of Vegas Vic. A single neon bulb fizzled on the tall man’s shoulder.


Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 1 1

las vegas story

A ray of sunshine poked up over Sunrise Mountain, snaking its way through the canopy of Fremont Street, falling downward to pause a moment in a puddle of beer, then reflecting upwards to land on the shoulder of Vegas Vic.

“Quite a party last night Sally,” the large man beamed to his partner across the street. He attempted to adjust his cigarette.

“Yes, Vic. Quite a party.”

Sassy Sally tried to straighten out her leg.

A young couple bounced out of the Glitter Gulch, into the empty street, running past a uniformed man sweeping up the trash and litter of the overnight. The young man, barely old enough to drink, pulled the girl along as she pushed down her skirt. They laughed and skipped past the man with the broom. The janitor drew the clutter in faster.

“Still underway, it would seem,” said Vic.

“Yes, Vic,” Sassy replied as she tried to nod. Her neon eyes followed the couple down the canopy.

“They sure do look happy.”

Sassy’s skirt lit up and the neon tubing glowed bright pink around her hat.

“You can feel the love all around us Vic.”

His handkerchief glowed bright orange in reply.

Cindy Lash set down her suitcase and looked up at the tall man with the cowboy hat sporting a welcoming smile and a frozen wave. The neon around his hat sparkled. She felt a bit lost for a moment and the tall man seemed to say “Howdy.” She followed his eye to the cowgirl sitting atop the Glitter Gulch. Sally flickered and her neon eye seemed to wink back.

“I’ll bet you know a few secrets,” Cindy said as she picked up her bag. Hoping to find someone to talk to, she looked down Fremont Street. The last flickering lights and neon were extinguished and the sun had become more than just a yellow glow.