Living at 71

older woman

Contemporary Microfiction

At seventy years old Sadie Ferguson was still a beautiful woman, both inside and out. She had only one problem, she was afraid to leave her house. There were so many reasons to stay indoors, the weather was too hot or too cold. Crime was everywhere, and she no longer drove, because it was just way too dangerous. Too many cars were on the road, and people drove too fast anyway. She had not left her house in twelve years.

It was a good house, and even though it needed repairs now and again, she felt safe. The fact was, she was too scared to go anywhere else. When she did need a repairman, she always made him take his shoes off at the front door, and she watched him like a hawk, to make sure he didn’t steal anything. The sooner the man left, the better. She didn’t feel safe until he was driving away in his work truck. delivery truck

Food was not a problem. She could have whatever she wanted delivered to her door, even groceries. She even opened the door occasionally when she had to pay the delivery person. She hated seeing the horrifying sky, and the menacing bright sun. It was too open out there too.

The neighborhood had been changing and this was very disturbing to her. Since she liked things to stay the same, different people living right next to her, made her feel like the world was much too close for comfort. There was the Mexican family across the street. They not only had children that were noisy, but they were always playing in the street!

Then one day a new family moved in next door, after Dan Carruthers died. The house was sold, and the Singh family moved in. They seemed so different, they frightened her. Would they try to harm her? She kept her distance, and when the woman, with two teenage daughters stopped by, to pay her a visit, she wouldn’t answer the door. She wasn’t trying to be rude, but she felt she like she couldn’t trust them.

It was the night of her seventy first birthday when everything changed. She was sound asleep when she was awakened by pounding on her front door, and there was a man yelling, “Get out of the house!” Suddenly the same man came banging on her bedroom window, and yelling, “Get out of the house!” “Mrs. Ferguson!”, “You must get out of the house!” It was her worst nightmare! Who was it? Were they going to kill her? She was so alone. The only thing she could do was reach for the phone. Before she could dial for help, she smelled the smoke.

fire at nightShe jumped out of bed, and ran to the living room, paralyzed with fear and asthma. She stared at her living room wall that was engulfed with fire. She couldn’t breathe! She ran for the front door and threw it open. It was Mr. Singh! She was terrified of him, and didn’t know which way to turn. He stood there yelling, for her to come out of the house! It was the bravest thing she had ever done. She took one step, and fainted in his arms.

The fire department did get there in a hurry but there was a lot of damage. Sadie was terrified but didn’t want to leave the Singh house. The Singh family were filled with compassion for Sadie, and they called her daughter in California for her. Her daughter would come, but the Singhs decided that Sadie could stay at their house as long as she wanted.

By the way, both Mr. and Mrs. Singh were medical doctors. Dr. Raj Singh, and Dr. Miriam Singh helped Sadie to gradually overcome her fear. Sadie and the Singh family became the best of friends. Sadie realized that it was after her husband had died, twelve years ago, that the fear began. She just did not feel safe in this world, without him. Just realizing this, brought healing to her. After all this time, she was just learning how to live again.

 purple iris

 

 Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

The Old Man on the Street Corner – Conclusion

Vacation 1136

Staff Sargent Gordon McConnell (retired) woke up in the veteran’s hospital the next day. He was a bit disoriented and did not remember much about the day before, only that he had been yelling. There was an IV in his arm, along with a lot of doctors and nurses, running around.

They asked him a lot of questions. Was he taking his diabetes medication? He couldn’t remember. Had he been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in the past? He honestly couldn’t remember much of anything, but he did remember taking pills every day, that is until……until his wife…died. Everything went downhill after that.

The Army sent psychologists to his room to ask him questions but he wouldn’t say much. He didn’t trust them. He never did trust officers, they seemed to know more about paperwork, than about war, at least that was his experience. Besides he knew he had a memory problem, and he didn’t want to trust anyone except the nurses, because they gave him the medication he needed and they were nice to him.

He had a visitor everyday as well. A nice guy – he wore a suit all the time, and a fancy one at that. What was his name? Was it…..? Yes, it was John. He trusted John. He told John everything, day after day, at least what he could remember.

He told John that he did have an apartment once, and told him about where it was. One day he had gotten lost and days later, when he thought he had found it, his key did not work. So he had been on the streets ever since. “Was that after your wife died?” Gordon couldn’t hold back the tears when John asked him that, but he shook his head. “Was her name….Beverly?” John asked softly. Gordon shook his head yes again, and wept with his face in his hands.

John Stancill worked quickly to find Gordon’s apartment, and to see what had happened to it. The woman at the rental office wasn’t too friendly, and seemed to enjoy telling him, that Gordon McConnell was in the process of being evicted. The rent was two months past due. He held back his anger, but he did ask, if she knew that Mrs. McConnell had died recently. “Well…no…I’m sorry”. She changed her tune even further when John got out his check book, and took care of everything.

John and Gordon became good friends. The Army wouldn’t release Gordon to go home by himself, so John promised to pay for in home nursing care six days a week. John himself would be there on Sundays. At first the Army said no, but then John showed them his investment portfolio. Even John was surprised at how much he was worth now. This got him thinking that maybe, just maybe, he could try a different type of work, and do something he always wanted to do.

He visited Gordon almost every night, and brought pizza, Gordon’s favorite. Gordon became like a father to him, and gave him great advice, including about women.

One night John came visiting without his suit and tie on, instead he wore a sweater and blue jeans! He told Gordon he had left his rat race job that made him work around the clock. He had enrolled in a cooking school, and loved it. He loved the fast pace of it, and more importantly the aspect of being creative. He felt alive again!

He had time now for reading books, going for long walks, and yes even dating. He met a girl at school he really liked. Her name was Susan, and she had a great personality. She was always making jokes, which forced him to not take his self so seriously (a problem he knew he had). She was sensitive though too, and well…um….there was also her appearance! Gosh.

Gordon didn’t know if John would marry Susan or not, but he was hoping he would live long enough to see it if they did get married, and that there would be enough of his own mind left, so he could remember it all.

from veterans.ky.gov via google
from veterans.ky.gov via google

Please remember the homeless this holiday season. Just one life can make an incredible difference, and we all have value! Peace!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Old Man on the Street Corner

from clayforsberg.net
from clayforsberg.net

He hated the homeless. Why should he feel guilty about wearing a suit, and having a good job in the financial market? After all he worked hard for his money. Even when he wasn’t working he was working, at home on the computer, or on the phone. He was always trying to find out which way the market was leaning.

Yet every day there they were, with their signs, saying “Need Food, God bless”. Each one seemed to have a particular corner, like a salesman with a territory. He wondered if they ever fought over which corner to be on.

He noticed one of them in particular, on the corner of Independence and Main Street. He was an old man, and had to be at least 70 years old. What was he doing out here? He was much too old to be out in this weather. He always needed a shave and a bath, and wasn’t there some kind of government program to help the man? Even with these thoughts though, he never gave a dime. He rushed past the old man every day in a hurry, to get to his office around the corner.

On the day after Christmas though he thought he would do the kind thing, and talk to the man. He slowed down his walking pace, and stopped. The old man seemed to be in a daze, and didn’t notice him. He had a walking cane, and instead of holding his sign up, it hung by his side. “Hellooo!” he said sarcastically. The old man looked up slowly, and squarely into eyes.

He found out the man’s name was Gordon. When he asked the old man about his Christmas (which was stupid, and he regretted saying it) the old man said, “Christmas? What Christmas?” Did he know what day it was? This was worse than he thought, and he realized this man needed help! For the first time in his life he was able to pry his wallet from his back pocket, and gave the old man a ten dollar bill. The old man thanked him, but was mumbling something as he walked away. Did he hear him say something about the Viet Cong?

Over the next few days the old man’s mumbling and acting confused got worse. At one point he was yelling the name Beverly. “Beverly!”, with streams of tears rolling down his face, “Beverly!” What should he do for the old man? Should he call someone? Who? The police? That didn’t seem right. The old man dropped to his knees, and sobbed.

He was already late for an appointment, so walked he further down, near the door to his office, but he could not do it. He just didn’t care about the office right now. He turned to watch the man from a distance, still weeping, and calling the name Beverly.

Suddenly the old man stood up with terror in his eyes, leaning over his walking cane, and started yelling, “Enemy fire!” “Enemy fire, get down everyone!” “Help us God!” “Get down!” He was yelling at the top of his lungs now, “Enemy fiiiiire!”

He could stand it no longer and reached for his phone. He dialed 911 with tears in his own eyes.

from thenextweb.com via google
from thenextweb.com via google

The conclusion to the Old Man on the Corner next time!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

Rosa Gonzalez – Conclusion

from countrysoldier.org
from countrysoldier.org

Her mother spoke very softly to her now, “Rosa, sweetheart, don’t cry….Lucinda has turned out to be a beautiful woman. When you see her you will cry – but from joy.”

Her Momma continued, “I need you to do two things tonight”. “Yes?” Rosa listened intently. “I need you to go to church – it’s Christmas Eve, Rosa.” “You know how we used to do on Christmas Eve.” “Church?” “Are you crazy?” Rosa started talking to her mother like she did as a teenager. “They will call me a whore, and throw me out of there, Momma!” “Ssh, …Rosa calm down.” No they will not do that, calm down, ssh.” Her mother always did have a way of bringing peace to her.

Rosa looked at her mother’s face, and noticed a soft glow about her. “What else Momma?” “Rosa sweetheart this will take time, but you need to stop depending on men…and… how much they want you…. as the source of your value.” “You are valuable already, don’t think you are nothing if you don’t have a man…” Her Momma’s voice was trailing off now and she was turning grey again. “Momma?” The last thing she heard her mother say was “….remember Rosa you are already valuable….get someone to help you with this…” She faded, and was gone.

Fifteen minutes later, a half drunk Rosa was outside waiting for the bus that would take her 10 blocks to the Catholic Church. She couldn’t believe she was doing this, and she wasn’t sure where she was getting the courage from, but she was doing what her Momma had said.

When she got there she heard the bells playing Silent Night, and people were singing as she walked in. There was a warm glow about the place, like the warmth she remembered from the church in Mexico. Nobody called her any names, and no asked her to leave. In fact they appeared to be genuinely glad to see her, especially during the part where the congregation offers peace to each other, and shakes hands.

The buses were no longer running, after the service was over, so she walked home in the cold but she didn’t mind. She was thinking about what her mother had said the whole way. It was sinking in now, and she understood about not depending on someone else to give her value. It began snowing as she walked, and Rosa smiled. She loved the snow.

The first thing she did as she walked in the door of her apartment, was to take the bottle of pills and throw them in the trash. She breathed a sigh of relief, and said “Thanks Momma”. Then she looked up and said, “Thanks God…for… sending her my way.”

Epilogue:

Rosa did find the courage to get some counseling. She is working on seeing herself as a whole person. It is a gradual process, but she is putting the pieces of her heart and emotions back together.

She has also located her daughter Lucinda, by using the computers at the library. Right now they are corresponding by email, and getting to know one another. In the future they will both meet, hug each other, and cry some great big tears. They will become very good friends, and Rosa will feel released from her past.

She has also been improving her English skills, and next week she is starting a new job as an administrative assistant, at the local community college. They love the fact that she can speak Spanish.

She has plans to buy her first laptop, and hopefully not only to write to bloggers, but begin her own blog. Her target will be women that need help realizing their full potential. She would like to call her blog, “Roses from Rosa”, and she is hoping that no one else is using that name yet.

from festilight.ca
from festilight.ca

 Christmas blessings and peace to everyone! Feliz Navidad!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosa Gonzalez

from 500px
from 500px

Microfiction in the spirit of the Christmas Season

Rosa Gonzalez was finished with living, it was simply too painful to keep going. Carlos had left her in the middle of night, and she thought he was a good one. Now she knew, there were no good ones. Love just didn’t make any sense, it was garbage.

She managed to get herself ready for work, and she forced herself to keep going. She walked down the street all bundled up, to her job at the fast food restaurant. She was going to end everything for sure, but right now she just needed more time to think about it.

It was a miserable day at work, with the younger women on her case again about being too slow. What made it worse was, they put her down in Spanish, so the manager never knew what they said. They called her names like “grandma”, and much worse, even though she was only 47. Their words were like knives, and hurt deeply. They only made her more determined to end it all.

As she walked home that evening she stopped by the drugstore, and bought some sleeping pills, realizing they would put her to sleep forever, just like she wanted. $6.99 was a small price to pay. She went out into the cold again, pulling down her knit hat, over her ears, and slipping on the gloves with holes in them.

What a terrible place to live she thought, Mexico had been difficult, but nothing like this. At least she had family back home, and the people were not mean to her. As she walked down the street she heard music, coming from somewhere. Were those church bells? For some reason she thought of the church she grew up in, and being a little girl, running around the village. She pushed those thoughts aside though.

When she got back to her apartment, she did try watching TV, looking for some hope. But the TV preachers made her sick to her stomach, talking about being wealthy, and that a Christian should never have any problems. “Nonsense”, she said, and she turned them off. After she had a few drinks, she prepared her table in the bedroom. She put the pills there, and her mother’s picture. She wanted her mother to be the last person she saw before passing away. She picked it up and held the picture close to her, with both arms embracing the image.

There was that music again – where was it coming from? It was like a choir singing close by. Was that Spanish she was hearing? She sat on the edge of the bed, thinking about her mother. Momma had passed away 20 years ago, but she still missed her so. For some reason she decided to wait on the pills until morning, she was half drunk, and tired. It was too much to think about. As she reached over to turn out the light, the music got louder. She sat in the dark and listened, holding her mother’s photograph.

Then, someone sat down next to her, on the bed. Out of the corner of her eye, she did not see anyone, but she felt their presence. As she slowly turned to look, she did see a faint outline – like maybe a shadow of a person. A grey shape turned to look at her, and became brighter, almost white, a soft shade of white. She could make out a woman’s hair, and then she recognized the face. The image said, “Rosa…”, Rosa was shaking now, and said “Momma?”

Rosa you cannot do this…” “I have no choice Momma, I cannot deal with this pain anymore. And don’t tell me I have a lot to live for, because I don’t.” Her mother said, “Listen to me – Lucinda is looking for you, she wants to know her real mother.”

Hearing the name of the daughter she had given up for adoption, was too much for her, and all of the pain of giving her to someone else to raise, came like a flood. She was broken. All the guilt, all the sadness, washed over her, and she wept bitterly. She covered her face with her hands, and felt the shame of it all.

Snow on Pine

 

Later today the conclusion of Rosa Gonzalez! Christmas blessings and peace to you!

 Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

The Child Nobody Wanted – Part II

from etsy
from etsy

Microfiction in the spirit of the Christmas Season

He jumped. He looked up with terror in his eyes. Should he run? Would she call the police? “Do you have something I could eat?” He couldn’t believe it came out of his mouth, but too late, it did.

A few minutes later they were in the church office, where she told him to make himself at home, and that she would be down in the kitchen looking for some food. In the refrigerator, she found some lunchmeat, and cheese on a platter, and in the cupboard she found crackers that had been saved for the bishop’s upcoming visit. She took them anyway. She thought out loud, “…and some tea would be nice…” “Do boys drink tea?” She went for a cold soda instead.

When she brought back the platter of food, and the soda, he was stunned. It was crackers and cheese – American cheese, along with some turkey. His prayer had been answered and then some. Tears welled up in his eyes, but he said nothing.

They talked for a while about everything, while he ate. Sometimes he talked with his mouth full of food. He was too hungry to worry about manners, besides if she had called the police, he would have to leave in a hurry. It was his turn to take a chance, and he let her know that the police were after him, for stealing.

She did not flinch, but said, “What did you steal?”, “Food, just food” he said, and that was the truth. They talked more about his family, foster parents, how long had he been on the streets? She was shocked when he told her three years, off and on. Sometimes he was caught and sent to social services. He hated living with foster parents, so he would just run away again.

“What about the shelters?”, she asked. “Too dangerous – people get raped and stabbed, and everything else there.” Again she was shocked. He told her he would have to lie to get in, and say that he was the son of one of the men, otherwise the police were called. He usually only stayed for a few days, got some food, a hot shower, and he was on his way again.

After he was done eating (the platter of lunchmeat and cheese was gone!) he wanted to leave. She asked him one thing before he left. “If I gave you all the food you wanted, would you stop stealing?” He thought about that for a moment, but said, “Yes”.

They met every day at the church, where he ate and they both talked. He told her where he had stolen food from. There were two convenience stores, and the local organic market (the food was much better there). There was also the fancy Italian restaurant on Culver Avenue, where they gave him food at the back door, all because he threatened to cause a scene at the front door and tell customers waiting that he got food poisoning by eating there.

The more they talked the more they became friends. His name was Bobby Hendricks. She not only brought food everyday (with plenty of leftovers) but fresh clothing. At the church he was able to wash up at the sink, and he started feeling human again.

Bobby did not know it, but over a two week period Mrs. Thompson went to the each of the places that Bobby had stolen food from. Many of the thefts they did not know about, but she made a list of estimated costs, and the amounts from what Bobby had described. The bill for the organic grocery store alone was $387.00. At each place she handed the store manager a list, and a check for the items taken. The people were shocked, and some wouldn’t take her money, until she insisted.

Snow and Berries

The last chapter of this series will be next time. Peace to you!

Writing © Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree