The Vincennes Writers Guild Presents:

A Sampler


Molly Daniels - Love On The Rocks

B.C. Brown - Extra-ordinary

J. Travis Grundon - Our Secret Place

Floyd Simeon Root - The Significance of an Ice Pick

Floyd Simeon Root - Bowser

Benjamin Martinson - War of Magic (sample)

James M. Bowers - The Artist

Shirley Roark - Jamie and Geoff

Kenzie Michaels - Afternoon Delight

Molly Daniels has been writing stories since the tender age of eleven. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, three children, and an assortment of pets. A graduate of both Vincennes University and Ball State University, the people she met inspired the characters for her Arbor University Tales. The first two books in the series were self-published; the third is under consideration at Wild Child Publishing.

Even good kids can make bad choices,” says the author. This series is designed to show how young adults can learn from their mistakes, find love and acceptance by others, and become productive members of society.

Love On The Rocks

By: Molly Daniels

The red-brick buildings of Arbor University were bustling with activity. Many students were unloading cars and calling out to those they recognized. Elicia Keller’s father searched the wooden signs in front of dormitories before finding Emery Hall, a two story brick building with white aluminum siding accents.

        “I guess we can park anywhere, as long as we’re moving you in,” he joked, pointing to a car nonchalantly parked on the sidewalk in front of the next building. He pulled up as close to the entrance as space would allow and parked the car. “Here we are, Princess.”

        Elicia shook her black hair in protest. “Please, Dad, don’t call me that in front of everyone, please?”

        “Okay, I promise not to embarrass you.” He smiled at his youngest daughter as they got out of the car and looked around.

        “Scared, honey?” her mother asked sympathetically as they entered Emery Hall to check her in.

        “A little,” Elicia admitted, looking around. It was a warm day, and she was wearing one of her favorite outfits, blue shorts paired with a sleeveless white crop-top. “Do I look all right? Everyone else...”

        “You look fine. Remember to just be yourself,” said Mrs. Keller.

        “I hope my roommates are nice.”

        “Which one called you? Gretchen? You said she sounded nice on the phone.” Mrs. Keller opened the door. “Oh thank God it’s air-conditioned!”

        Elicia entered the spacious lobby. Several tables were set up, with signs stating which letters of the alphabet held registration cards. Mr. Keller was already in the short line to the “H-L” table. Soon, the smiling dark-haired girl was looking her card up and handing it to her.

        “Hi, Elicia, I’m Jenny, and you’re in my wing. Room 135; to the right, down the hall, and all the way to the end. If you want, pull your car around back; I convinced our maintenance man to open the emergency exit so we wouldn’t have to walk all the way back.” She winked. “Here’s your checklist; write down any damages you find; that way at the end of the year you don’t get fined for something that was there already. And I think...” she shuffled through some papers. “Yes. Keri and Gretchen are already here. And I’ll be done in a little while, then I’ll come down and check on you. Okay?”

        Elicia nodded. “Thank you. Are they...are they nice?” she asked.

        Jenny smiled. “I think you’ll get along fine.”

        Reassured, Elicia and her mother turned and walked down the hall while her father moved the car. “At least she seems nice and helpful,” she told her mother.

        “Yes, and look at the other good news: You’re on the ground floor and don’t have to walk up any steps.”

        The door to 135 stood partially ajar, and voices could be heard. Taking a deep breath, Elicia pushed open the door to slight chaos. On one side of the room, a stereo was blaring as a short, brown-haired girl stood on a chair, hanging posters. On the other side, a tall, slim, blonde-haired girl was hanging up clothes. A cooler of soft drinks stood open on an empty desk. Elicia entered hesitantly, checking out which side of the room she wanted. The blonde girl suddenly spotted her.

        “Hi, I’m Gretchen McLaren,” she said, pushing her shoulder length hair out of her eyes. “Are you Stephanie or Alicia?”

        “Elicia,” Elicia corrected. “It’s spelled with an E.”

        “I see. Whew, I guess this is semi-awkward. Keri! Elicia’s arrived!” she darted over and turned down the tape player.

        “Hi, I’m Keri Patterson. Come on in and make yourself at home.” The girl climbed down from the chair. “The burning question: Do you want the bed by the window or the hallway?”

        Elicia wavered only an instant. She had spoken to Gretchen; she’d start on her side of the room. “I’ll take the window.” At that moment, Mr. Keller arrived with a suitcase, and Elicia directed him to the empty bed on the right side.

        Gretchen laughed. “Poor Stephanie. I guess someone always has to be last.”

        “What, do I stink or something?” Keri retorted. “I think it’s the soft drinks. Are you bribing people?”

        “But of course!” Turning to Elicia, Gretchen offered, “Do you need any help bringing in your things?”

        “No, no, we can handle it.” Elicia followed her parents out to the car, and spent the next hour moving things in and filling out the checklist. Semi-tearfully, she said good-bye to her parents, and slowly returned to her new room to finish unpacking and getting acquainted with her new roommates.

        By dinner time, they were relaxed enough around each other to venture to the dining hall and talk about the Back to School dance to be held that evening.

        “Do either of you have a boyfriend?” Elicia wondered.

        Gretchen shook her head. “I told they guy I was dating that we were going to meet new people, and since we’d be so far away, blah, blah, blah, why don’t we agree to break up and go our separate ways.” She took a drink of her Coke.

        “I’ve never had a serious boyfriend,” Keri confessed.

        “What? But what about your Senior Prom?” Elicia asked. “Didn’t you go?”

        “Oh, sure, I went, but it was with a longtime friend. And only in exchange for fixing his engine.”

        Elicia blinked. “Excuse me? You fixed his engine? What does that mean?”

        Keri bit into her hamburger. “His starter went out on his truck, and I put in a new one.”

        “I’m still not understanding. Is that the new lingo for sex?”

        Keri choked. “Hardly! I’m an auto tech major. I work on cars and trucks, you know?”

        Elicia’s face flamed. “I’m-I’m sorry.”

        “It’s okay. Most of the guys run when they find out I can fix cars. I think it’s an ego thing.” Keri went back to eating. “What about your love life?”

        “We broke up over the summer, because he got a scholarship to Notre Dame.”

        “Wow! Is he smart?”

        Elicia swallowed. “Actually, it was a football scholarship.”

        “You’re kidding me! And you let him get away?”Gretchen’s jaw dropped.

        “Well, it’s like you said: We’re going to meet new people, and really didn’t see the point in tying each other down.”

        “Makes sense,” Keri observed.

        “Yeah, but a football player? And one who’ll be on T.V.? That’s different.” Gretchen shrugged.

        “So what’s your major, Gretchen?” Elicia asked, changing the subject.

        “Sociology. Yours?”

        “Business Administration.”

        “Ah, the office type, eh?” Gretchen drained her glass. “What’s your dream, to work in a high-powered, executive high-rise some day?”

        “Actually, yes. I love downtown Indy, and to work in one of those buildings would be a dream come true.”

        “That’s right, I forgot you and I were both from the Capital. What high school did you go to?”

        “Ben Davis.”

        “Oh, too bad. I went to Warren Central. Your basketball team used to kick our butts.”

        “You two aren’t going to out-rival each other, are you?” Keri asked. “If so, I’m demanding a room change.”

        “Don’t worry,” Gretchen laughed. “We’re all starting fresh. I can’t wait to see the men. In fact, there’s been some already scoping you out, Elicia.”

        “Just wait until tonight, then we’ll see how they dance.”

        “Isn’t that the truth?” Laughing, the girls stood and took their empty trays to the return window.

        That evening at the dance, the three girls stood at one side of the auditorium. Elicia had changed into pink shorts and a yellow and pink polo shirt; Gretchen wore white shorts and a blue camp shirt. Keri still had on denim shorts and a white T-shirt. Gradually, they overcame their nervousness and went out on the dance floor as a group; eventually, two boys joined them, expressing interest in Elicia. After a few songs, the five went to the foyer of the building, where they could hear and talk without shouting.

        “We know where there’s a party going on in a little while,” said Wayne, flashing his perfect white teeth in Elicia’s direction and smoothing his dark blonde hair.

        “Now boys, we just got here,” Elicia demurred, slipping her arm through Brent’s elbow. “I’d like to dance a little while longer, then maybe we’ll go to your party, won’t we girls?” She gazed up into Brent’s blue eyes.

        “Sure, that’s fine with us,” Brent replied, mesmerized. He led her back into the auditorium, with Wayne on his heels.

        Gretchen and Keri gaped after them. “I don’t believe it,” said Gretchen. “How do people do that?”

        “Like, yeah,” Keri scoffed. “She’s on campus five hours and already got two or more guys panting after her. The least she could have done was include us.”

        “She did, she did,” Gretchen reminded her. “Do you really want to go to a party?”

        “Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t. Let’s go back inside.” They rejoined the crowd and spotted Elicia with another group of people. Elicia waved for them to join her, and the rest of the evening went smoothly. Brent claimed Elicia for the few slow dances, and Wayne reluctantly danced alternately with Gretchen and Keri. But by the time the dance was over, Keri’s eyes were drooping with fatigue. Gretchen offered to walk her back to the dorm, and Elicia felt torn. Part of her wanted to spend more time with Brent, but at the same time, she felt some loyalty toward her roommates.

        “Maybe I should take a rain-check on that party,” she suggested, but Gretchen pooh-poohed her,saying, “If you want to go, it’s all right.”

        “Yes, come on Elicia, please?” begged one of the other girls. “That way we won’t be outnumbered.”

        With a questioning look at Keri, who nodded, Elicia agreed, and set off with the others. The party turned out to be at one of the fraternity houses, and after an initial feeling of awe, Elicia blended right in with the crowd. Janna, the girl who’d asked her to come with them, was a sophomore who’s boyfriend had pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon the previous year. Janna took Elicia under her wing and introduced her to several people, then gave her a tour of the white, three story wooden house, and handed her a beer. Brent found them, got a beer for himself, then Elicia asked the age old question guaranteed to impress the opposite sex:

        “So, Brent, tell me about yourself,” she said, settling herself on a love seat.

        Brent smiled, sat down beside her, and proceeded to inform her of past and future athletic achievements, as well as his scholastic major.

        “A lawyer?” Elicia opened her eyes wide. “Wow, that’s exciting! Whatever made you decide on law?”

        “My dad’s an attorney, and I’ve always wanted to practice with him.” His ego swelled when he saw the admiration in her eyes. “I haven’t decided on a specialty, but I figure maybe next year I’ll have an idea.”

        “How wonderful! My major seems so dull right now...” Elicia dropped her eyes and smiled.

        “What’s yours?” he asked.

        Elicia sighed. “Business Administration. I’ll be shuffling papers and dealing with crabby people while you’re sending criminals to jail,” she smiled.

        “Not necessarily. I may be defending them,” he shook his head.

        Just then, Janna appeared with another girl. “Elicia? I want you to meet Kim. She’s the president of our Lil’ Sis’s program.”

        “Hi Kim,” Elicia extended her hand.

        “Nice to meet you,” Kim smiled pleasantly, returning the handshake. She glanced at Brent, who nodded slightly. “Has Janna said anything about our meeting on Monday?”

        “No,” Elicia frowned slightly, puzzled.

        “That’s okay,” Kim replied smoothly. “I’ll let Jan fill you in, and until I see you again, enjoy yourself.”

        “Thanks, I will.” Elicia turned to Janna after Kim had moved on. “What was all that about?”

        “Each year, the Sig Eps recruit girls into our Lil’ Sis program,” Janna explained. “Each girl has a Big Brother who’s a Sig Ep, and it’s his responsibility to show her around campus, help with homework, whatever, and in return, we play hostess to their parties and other events.”

        “Do I have to join a sorority or anything?” Elicia was anxious to learn more.

        Janna shook her head. “It’s not necessary, but if you happen to pledge one, it’s a good thing to let us know if you’re being rushed by any particular one, so we know if it’s associated with our fraternity. Some sororities are aligned with certain frat houses, and this way, there won’t be a conflict.”

        “I see.” Elicia was starting to get the picture. “And you want me to join the Lil’ Sis’s?”

        Brent leaned forward. “I think you’ve definitely got my vote,” he smiled.

        “All we want you to do is come to our informal meeting on Monday night. We don’t usually recruit anyone this early, unless we happen to meet them right away, the way you did. Kim will explain everything in more detail at the meeting.” Janna stood up from the easy chair. “I’ll come by and get you when it’s time, okay?”

        “That would be great,” Elicia agreed, then looked at her watch. “Oh, it’s almost midnight. I need to get home and finish unpacking my stuff.” She stood up.

        Brent hopped to his feet also. “I’ll escort you back safely.”

        Elicia smiled at him as they left the building.

        The next day was more of what had taken place the previous day. Students returning; new students being shown their assigned rooms; everyone was meeting new people and roaming around campus. Elicia, Keri, and Gretchen met their last roommate, a short red-haired girl named Stephanie Ridgeman. After Steph was settled, the four girls set off on a walking tour and discovered which buildings held their classes.

        “Well, goddamn,” exclaimed Stephanie. “If I’d known my eight o’clock would be in this building, I would have never scheduled my nine o’clock clear across campus!” She shook her head at her schedule card. “And my ten o’clock is way over there!” She gestured three blocks over. “Is it too late to change it?”

        “I don’t think so,” Gretchen replied. “All you have to do is go to the office and go through the drop/add process. What time did you say you have a class in Davies Hall?”

        “Ten. It’s my psychology class. Why?”

        Gretchen consulted her card. “I’ve got Psyche at the same time. Who’s the professor?” They compared cards and discovered they would have the same course.

        “Most of my classes will be in the Auto Tech building,” Keri volunteered. “Although I’ve got some general studies stuff to take also, like Math, English, and P.E.”

        “Mine will be either here in Humanities, or in the Business College.” Elicia looked bored. “I’ve got English also.”

        “I heard all the freshmen have to take it,” said Gretchen.

        “That’s so stupid,” scoffed Elicia. “You’d think after four years of high school English it wouldn’t be required anymore.”

        “I agree,” Stephanie said emphatically. “Let’s move on and find the Science Building. I’ve heard it looks like a Bunsen burner!”

        Later that day, the four girls found the bookstore and bought their textbooks. They also explored the Student Union and bought sweatshirts, stationary, pens, and a coffee mug for Elicia, then headed back to the room. Stephanie was still unpacking cartons, and while the four made their tiny dorm suite into a home, they discovered more about each other.

        “Elicia’s already scored with the men on campus,” Gretchen laughed. “She went out with this totally gorgeous guy last night.”

        “Does he have a friend?” Stephanie inquired. “How did you manage that?”

        “Oh, he just came up to us at the dance last night, and after talking with him a little, he took me to the frat house,” Elicia shrugged and told them about Janna’a offer.

        “That’s exciting! Are you going to go?” asked Steph.

        “Sure. No harm in seeing what it’s all about,” Elicia said, putting her books away. “Besides, there were some cute guys at the party last night, and there’s no better way to meet them than to join in.”

        “True,” Gretchen frowned, flopping on her bed. “Did you know there are dances every Tuesday night? How cool is that?”

        “It’s a great way to meet people and burn off excess energy,” was Steph’s comment. “Speaking of which, do any of y’all like to jog? I jog a couple of miles every morning.”

        Keri groaned. “The only jogging I do is when it’s absolutely necessary, like running from my brother and his geeky friends.”

        “Same here,” Elicia agreed. “I’m not overly fond of getting sweaty and putting my legs under torture.”

        Stephanie assessed Elicia’s slim body. “Then how do you stay fit? Are you one of those people who’s constantly on a diet?”

        Elicia bristled. “What’s wrong with watching what I eat? It’s important to keep myself slim and attractive, and I have no intention of gaining the ‘freshman fifteen’, like my sister did. She porked out her first two years at I. U. and now can’t seem to lose it.”

        “What’s wrong with putting on a little weight?” Gretchen put in. “So I gain a few pounds here and there. If guys are so shallow about looks, then they’re not really worth my time and energy.”

        “Yeah,” Keri chimed in.

        Elicia looked incredulous. “Okay, but who got the guy last night?” she shot back. “And you wore make-up, Gretchen, so don’t tell me looks aren’t important.”

        “I didn’t say that. I was talking about weight. I would rather eat what I want than deliberately deprive myself of certain foods just to maintain a certain weight,” she replied.

        “My job keeps me going, so I’ve never had to diet, nor do I ever intend to start,” Keri said firmly.

        “Good for you,” Stephanie approved. “Where do you work?”

        Keri finished tacking up her last poster. “Nowhere yet,” she said. “But I’ll be spending a lot of time in the lab, and it’s harder than it looks.”

        “But look on the bright side,” Gretchen got up and leaned against Stephanie’s closet door. “If we ever have car trouble, Keri’ll be able to help us out.”

        “Yeah, that’s right!” Steph looked at Keri. “What’s your fee for flat tires?”

        Keri squirmed. “Normally, I only ask that you supply the parts. But for flat tires...probably a Big Mac.”

        “I like you,” Steph grinned. “Can I take you home with me?”

        “Sure. Just feed me,” Keri laughed. “I know Gretchen’s got a car, but do either of you?”

        “You have a car?” Elicia’s jaw dropped. “My parents want me to wait a year.”

        “That’s what I get for being an only child,” said Gretchen cheerfully. “It was a graduation present.”

        “Sit down,” motioned Stephanie, sliding over on the bed. Gretchen did so, and Elicia moved from her desk to the beanbag chair in front of the window. “Sometimes I wish I was an only child. I’ve got three older brothers.”

        “Mine’s younger,” said Keri.

        “No brothers, just an older sister,” stated Elicia. “How old are your brothers?”

        “The oldest is thirty; Alex is twenty-five, and Greg is twenty-two. And all married, except Greg, and he’s engaged.”

        “Damn,” Elicia smiled. “Don’t you know it’s a cardinal rule that someone must have an eligible brother?” They all laughed.

        “Well, you’re all welcome to my brother, if you don’t mind a younger man,” Keri offered.

        “The closest I can come is to introduce you to some of the pilots at the base,” Gretchen said. “Grandma has several officers and noncoms that she adopts and they even call her ‘Mom’. It’s the best I can do.”

        “You live on the base?” Elicia asked in surprise. “And you’re not dating any officers?”

        “Are you kidding? Some of them are so rowdy in their off-hours, it’s ridiculous,” she scoffed. “And the majority are either married, or have girlfriends. And the others just treat me like a kid sister.” Gretchen crossed her legs and leaned back against the wall. “Besides, I have no intention of spending the rest of my life waiting for that phone call in the middle of the night saying he’s missing, or shot down. My parents died in a training mission, and I do not want to go through that ever again, thank you very much.”

        Stephanie sucked in her breath. “ mean...? Who do you live with?”

        “My grandmother works on the base. She owns the Laundromat where the majority of the personnel have their uniforms cleaned,” said Gretchen matter-of-factly.

        “Wow,” said Elicia faintly. “How old were you when it happened?”

        “I was ten,” Gretchen changed the subject. “It’s almost five,” she observed, looking at her watch. “Want to go inspect the cafeteria?”

        “Sure,” the others agreed, and after pulling on shoes and locking the door, they trooped over to the dining hall.

B.C. Brown's novel, entitled Shades of Gray, is a beautifully wrought fantasy adventure that sweeps one from tranquil seas to war camps.  But the writer has scratched the surface of many genres with her pen.  A second novel, entitled A Touch of Darkness, is an energetic paranormal mystery and has evolved into a series of three books.  Her spin-off novel called A Sight Unseen stems from the same world as A Touch of Darkness and helps to raise awareness for a rare disease called Pompe's Disease or Glycogen Storage Deficiency.  Yet another novel, Night Sins, is a breathtaking futuristic sci-fi/romance and another, Blood of My Blood, is a terrifying look at a society willing to sacrifice their liberties and their blood to be "kept" by vampires.  Previously published under the pen name B.B. Walter, her fantasy adventure Sister Light: Book One: Of Shadows, is currently available both online and in brick-and-mortar bookstores.

But B.C. is one true to her roots, still dipping her quill in the ink to turn out numerous short stories and several poems.  Several of her more memorable works include Killing Innocence (horror short story), Extra-Ordinary (YA fantasy short story), and Mortal Transgressions (working title - fantasy short story).  Of her poetry, B.C. claims she is proudest of her epic work Little Girl Red Vs. Madman and Nightfall.

B.C. Brown lives and writes on the southern Illinois/Indiana border with her small dog. 

"I hope to be the first person that she asks to read and review her next book in the series Of Shadows."  - Maryann Nooner; Nooner Reviews

"This author has an amazing way of telling a story and it is one of a kind." - Tabitha Robin; Ghostwriter Reviews


By: B.C. Brown

Marcus Samuel Simon, with brown hair and brown eyes, a smattering of freckles across his cheeks, is what some would call an extraordinarily ordinary little boy. He walks away from school with rounded shoulders, hands crammed into the pockets of his too short blue jeans. The toes of his red and white sneakers leave wakes in the dirt as he drags his feet. The day is quiet - solitude and silence a sad companion in the fall air. Shades of his new classmates taunt him during his long trudge down the road leading back to his house - a trailer park named Oakview Courts that housed not a single tree, oak or otherwise, nor a single view, unless one was fond of staring at rusted scrap metal in the junk yard next door. The shades’ taunts echo off the mounds of abandoned refrigerators, dismantled bicycles, and stripped cars.

        “Marcuth Thamuel Thimon,” the shades mock.

A new year at a new school because his dad has a new job at a new refinery. Marcus had anticipated the ridicule; this is the fourth school in as many years. He’d been an Indian Brave, a fighting Tiger, a ferocious Husky, and something called a Salukis. He still doesn’t know what a Salukis is, but he thinks it most closely resembles a rabid dog. At this new school, Marcus found himself a fighting Tiger.

        He sighs as his vision takes in the faded lime green pull-behind camper; his home since his mom left. His dad, Stephen Simon, did what he could but work was hard to find with refineries closing all across the U.S

        Marcus rubs the back of his neck as he takes in his trailer.

        Twenty-two minutes and eleven seconds…

        A piece of cardboard that neither kept out the rain nor the cold is duct-taped over the busted window (the window where his “bedroom” is) at the front of the camper. Two rusted lawn chairs stand guard outside the dented front door. The duct tape that holds the broken shards of window in the door glints in the afternoon light.

        Marcus strides across the green outdoor carpeting that constitutes their lawn. He retrieves the house key tucked inside the shirt that, if he doesn‘t grow too much this year, might last the rest of the school year. The deadbolt key is on a long necklace comprised of two of his dad’s old bootlaces. A ghost of a smile graces his face at the faded scratched “smiley” face  father had etched into the key’s metal. The smile that reaches his eyes, however, is anything but happy.

        Nineteen minutes and six seconds…

        He slides the key into the lock and twists. The deadbolt makes a loud thunking sound, signifying the lock’s disengagement. Pushing his way into the dim interior, the door only squeaking lightly since he’d oiled it yesterday, Marcus reaches for the kerosene lantern to his right. The lantern hangs on a rusted nail his father has driven; the book of matches for the lantern is in a brown glass ashtray. The ashtray is from the local (as in two states and three schools ago) bowling alley. It is balanced on the backside of the bench seat that joins its mate and a small orange table making up their “living/dining room”.

        Lighting the lantern, the pungent odor of the kerosene burning his nostrils, Marcus closes the door and hangs his key on the hook. Climbing the two stairs that bring him into the center of the trailer, he sets the lantern on the table. From his position he can touch the table, the hot plate, and the bathroom door all at once if so inclined.

        Marcus is not inclined. He is never inclined.

        Fourteen minutes and thirty-seven seconds…

        Looking at the table, he sees his dad left him a note.

        ‘Dear son. Chance for overtime. Eat your dinner, do your homework, and wash your face before bed. Here’s a dollar; get yourself something sweet from Chuck’s. Love, Dad.’

        Chuck’s is the convenience store down the road from their trailer park; it would be visible from the trailer park if the junk yard didn‘t separate the two. Marcus moves the four quarters used to hold down the corners of the paper and sighs. A dollar might get him a pack of Bubble Yum gum if the old man there takes pity and doesn’t charge tax. Marcus deposits the quarters back into the change jar sitting beside the hot plate. He stirs the jar, making it look as if he spent the coins - not that his dad would check.

        Stephen Simon works from three each afternoon until three in the morning, six days a week. Overtime meant an additional four hours; he would be ready to drive the hour and a half back to their trailer about the time Marcus would be getting ready for school. The boy would be in class when his dad pulls into the driveway. Stephen Simon would be too tired to check his change jar to see if Marcus spent the money or put it back like always.

        Marcus opens the door on the miniature refrigerator; the refrigerator shares the same counter as the hot plate and makes up their “kitchen”. A small gas generator runs the tiny water heater in their bathroom and the refrigerator. It would run lights in the trailer too, but Marcus uses the kerosene lanterns instead to save the gas in the generator.  Removing a package of bologna and a juice box, he closes the door to the refrigerator. Bread is in the cupboard above him. Within five minutes, his dinner is made; five minutes later, his dinner is eaten and his mess cleaned.

        Four minutes and eighteen seconds…

        There is no schoolwork for the night; it’s the first day of school. Marcus heads into the bathroom to get ready for bed.

        The bathroom consists of a small commode, a child-sized shower, and a sink the size of a sand bucket. The mirror on the wall is tinged yellow and peeling at the corners. Marcus removes the washcloth from the edge of the sink and wets it. His eye catches on the full laundry basket sitting in the hallway between the bathroom and his father’s room, and he makes a mental list to take the clothes to the laundry mat tomorrow after school. As an after thought, he sets down the cloth and checks the bottle of laundry detergent sitting beside the basket and frowns; the bottle has little more than a coating of soap left in it. He sighs and removes the cap from the bottle, sticking it under the tap of the sink, and refills the bottle. Shaking the jug to mix the remaining detergent with the added water, he recaps it, calculates he can get three or four more loads of laundry before he’ll need to buy more, and places it back beside the dirty clothes.

        Marcus then turns back to the bathroom, picks up his washcloth and scrubs at his face, turning the skin pink, then wrings the water from the cloth. Placing it back on the edge of the sink, he exits the bathroom. To his right, beyond a moth-eaten curtain and the basket of dirty laundry, is his dad’s bedroom. His dad’s room houses a bed and a small two-drawer cardboard dresser; the dresser has decorative pink and purple flowers. His dad found it sitting on the side of the road, and it only has one stain on one side. His dad conceals it by pushing it against the wall of his bedroom.

        Marcus turns and makes his way to his bedroom. His room is past the main room, and he turns off the kerosene lantern as he moves beyond the living room. Marcus’s dad had hung him a sheet too; the sheet is ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ but Marcus doesn’t mind. He likes the privacy. He bats the sheet to the side and climbs into his bed, kicking his sneakers off as he pulls himself up. With a glance and a frown, he sees the small hole forming in the sole of his left sneaker. He makes a mental note to duct tape a piece of cardboard into the inside of his shoe in the morning before school. If he doubles up on the cardboard, he might get six more months out of that shoe - if the weather isn’t too wet, that is.

        Two minutes and three seconds…

        Marcus draws the curtain shut, closing himself in, shutting himself off from the rest of the world, the holes in his sneakers, the dirty laundry, and the plain bologna dinners. His room is made up wholly of his twin-size bed and the small storage space beneath it. Two small porthole windows are at the front corners on either side and let in enough light from outside that he can see without the lantern despite the cardboard duct taped into the busted window in his room. He sits Indian-style on his mattress. Marcus reaches down and opens the door to the space beneath his bed. He pulls out a battered shoebox, clearly one of his dad’s old shoe boxes, and settles it in his lap. The boy caresses the battered cardboard box, sliding his hands along the top of the cardboard, before he removes the lid. Light engulfs Marcus, seeping out around the seams of his ‘Strawberry Shortcake’ sheet to illuminate the tiny interior of his home, and he closes his eyes.

        Seven seconds…

        Marcus opens his brown eyes to the sea of adoring faces tilted upwards at him from inside. Salutations of greeting drift to him in melodious harmony, sending waves of warmth coursing through his body.

        The tiny people stand upon gently swelling green hills dotted with red and white checkered picnic blankets; mothers bounce babies on their hips or wipe dirt from the childrens‘ faces; fathers wear baseball mitts and drape arms over sons‘ shoulders. A full circus plays upswing music in the distance, and white Christmas lights twinkle in the green, full branches of the trees dotting the landscape like stars pulled to Earth.

        “Hail Marcuth Thamuel Thimon! Hail King Marcuth, the Creator!” the people inside the shoebox cheer. As the jazz band next to the winding river springs into action, upbeat swing music trickles out of the shoebox and fills the silence of his quiet trailer.

Marcus sighs. The dented front door with its duct taped window melts into oblivion; the thick smoke from the kerosene lantern fades from his nostrils and is replaced with the scents of carnival; the tired, plain bologna sandwiches night after night are replaced with the mouth-watering flavors of cotton candy, funnel cake, and popcorn. His eyes sparkle, his freckled cheeks plump, and his face splits into a grin. Marcus is home.

You see, Marcus Samuel Simon, with his twinkling eyes and sunny grin, is what some would ordinarily call an extraordinary little boy.

The End

J. Travis Grundon has served as an editor and contributor on Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead. His other work can be found in Toe Tags 2, Concrete Blood and Help: An Anthology to Benefit Preditors and Editors, The Monsters Next Door, The Silven Trumpeter, The Tecumseh Review and Twisted Dreams. Other work includes interviews and reviews for Paracinema and Scars Magazine and on Grundon’s book Eclectic Collection is a compilation of his short stories, will be published by Papercut Books in the Fall of 2010.

Grundon currently lives and writes in Vincennes, Indiana.

Find him on the web @

"J. Travis Grundon is a visionary. You better watch out!" - Nicholas Grabowsky, Red Wet Dirt/ Black Bed Sheet Books

Our Secret Place

By: J. Travis Grundon

Amy Lynn Johnson was the prettiest girl in the entire world. Her dad was the pastor at the church, just outside of town. They lived in the house next door.

        Every Sunday I'd sit in the front pew, with my Grandma Dorothy and smile at Amy. I'd always leave early and tell Granny I was walking home. After Sunday service, Amy would meet me under the little bridge in the middle of the woods, behind the church.

        She said it was our secret place.

        Pastor Carl didn't know we met. He thought she was going into the woods to read. He didn't like me. He told her to stay away from me. He said I was trouble, just my like my old man.

        It wasn't fair, but a lot of people treated me funny, except Amy. It wasn't my fault my dad murdered my mom, but none of that mattered when Amy and I met in our secret place. We were in love.

Until she told me she was going away to college.

        I didn't want her to go. I got angry, and the next week she didn't meet me at our secret place.

Then Amy was just gone.

        Her friends told me her father forbid her to see me.  He had no right to take her away from me. We were in love.

        Now, they’ll never find her, and we will always be together.

After all, I buried her in our secret place.

From Floyd Simeon Root’s Mystic Waters

        I am a storyteller, though I often use verse in doing so. I believe that everyone has a deep love, even a longing for verse, if it is the right kind. Modern poetry seems to have lost its wider audience. I write not to satisfy the critic. My pleasure comes from pleasing the wider audience. Mark Twain, James Whitcomb Riley, Norman Rockwell, and Hank Williams were story tellers who had to overcome the critics reluctance, but they were all loved by the greater American public because they expressed the human experience we all understand. These are my favorite artists, each in their own field.

The Significance of an Ice Pick

By: Floyd Simeon Root

        An ice pick has always been one of my favorite tools in our kitchen utensil drawer, and I always took pleasure in having one, even if I seldom use it. It is interesting how the most innocent of incidents cane date us. My wife and I bought a bag of ice last summer, and it melted a bit before we arrived home. After being placed in a freezer, it froze solid so we were unable to break it. A search revealed we no longer had an ice pick on hand. Wanting to purchase one, I stopped at the service counter of a super-hardware store to inquire a young lady, perhaps college age, in what aisle would I find the ice picks?

        She looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked. “What’s an ice pick?”

        “Something you use to pick ice; you know, to separate it.”

        “Why would you want to do that?”

        I didn’t want to go into an explanation of life before refrigerators and automated ice compartments, so I pointed to a group of employees of similar age to myself who were standing near by and suggested, “Why don’t I ask them; I’m sure one of them will know where they are located.”

        But surprisingly, they too looked puzzled and confessed they had no idea what an ice pick was, or why it was needed.

        A lady customer standing close by smiled and told me, “I know what an ice pick is.”

        I responded, “If you know what it is, you must be about my age.” We laughed as we realized the significance of what had transpired. We had just dated ourselves to another era.

After-thought: The store didn’t have any ice picks, but I was determined to have one. I found in the tool aisle a metal punch with a razor-sharp tungsten-steel point, which makes a wonderful, world-class ice pick. It occurs to me I spent fourteen dollars to save a one dollar bag of ice, and though I will never use it on enough bags to justify buying it, I don’t care. I once again have an ice pick in our kitchen utensil drawer, and I am satisfied.


By: Floyd Simeon Root

        Bowser lay on the ground with his paws stretched out before him. He suddenly rose on his front legs, still sitting on his haunches, in focused anticipation as the school bus came into view. He jumped to all fours with a slightly perceptible wag of the tail as the bus rolled to a stop.

        “Oh look! There’s Bowser,” said one of the girls with an almost reverent tone as she hopped off the bus. “Poor Bowser.” The children gathered around the dog to hug and pet him. Bowser appreciate the attention, but he looked impatiently past the children as the school bus door closed. He gave two quick sharp barks as the bus pulled away.

        The children caressed Bowser several minutes before heading for their individual homes. The dog returned to his post. “Perhaps tomorrow.” Mother watched Bowser’s actions through the kitchen window as she washed dishes. “I know, Bowser,” she whispered wiping a tear from her eye. “I miss him too.”

Benjamin Martinson

        I was born on January 6 1985 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania during a Stealer’s football game. I know because my mother likes to tell stories like that. She said the doctors asked her if she could wait until halftime. Of course I have no recollection of this, I’m just going by what my mother told me, and dozens of other people.

        I suppose I got my love for telling stories by hearing and reading so many of them. Whenever a teacher assigned us stories to write, and said they had to be read allowed in front of the class, I remember that my stories always had an encore. Either the kids liked my stories or they just like to hear me stutter.

        I didn’t decide to actually start writing until college when I was trying to decide a major. I figured my options were either art, music, or English. After trying graphic design for a semester I decided on journalism.

        Over the years I have learned multiple things that help me write. I have a year’s worth of background in martial arts for when I write action scenes. I love philosophy, which I use for moral dilemmas for my characters. I do photography, and I think the eye for photography helps my descriptions. And since I’m a journalism major I try to keep up with the news, that way I can incorporate the news in my writing, even if it’s fantasy.

The War of Magic (sample)

By: Benjamin Martinson

“Pay attention,” Reuel snapped, and slammed his wooden staff across the blackboard. The old man glared at them with grey eyes over his spectacles and long white beard. The morning light beaming in from the tall windows in the stone built library, which echoed his demand.

        Michael flinched. He snapped his grey eyes away from the windows, and back to Reuel. He brushed his dark hair back, the white strip of hair falling down to the side of his face, and he laid his hands down trying not to gripped his desk.

        “Master Michael,” Reuel tried to keep the irritation out of his voice and be more constructive while he smoothed his white robes. “What are the rules of magic?”

        “The first rule is to believe because magic cannot be performed in doubt,” Michael quoted while sitting up right, his linen shirt pulled from his plain brown pants at the motion. “The second rule is to never play with magic you don’t understand because it could be dangerous to others or yourself.” Those two rules he had first hand experience with last week when he went to visit his mother’s grave. He trailed off as he tried to remember the others.

        “They’re on the board Master Michael,” Reuel said dryly.

        Michael snapped his eyes back to the blackboard, and could hear Aaron and Camden trying to hold back a chuckle with little snorts escaping them. The first two rules were on there verbatim of what he had said. Rule three; use magic, only when necessary because magic can cause one to be lazy. Rule four; be aware of the consequences of magic since magic affects more than just the physical state of the world and people. Rule five… the rules went on. There were so many rules Michael had yet to memorize, history to memorize, the literary puzzles Reuel made for them, then there was training in martial arts, and then finally, lessons in magic. He didn’t understand how he was supposed to learn it all.

        Reuel turned to the rest of the class, “Using magic is one talent, but magic has the potential to ruin its user, bring up unexpected consequences, and or ruin the lives of the people it touches if the user is not careful. Could anyone elaborate?”

        The girl sitting next to Michael with brown curls shot her hand up nearly ready to explode with eagerness to answer. Reuel bowed his head, “Sarah.”

        “Because magic can affect the hearts of those it touches and it can affect their physical appearance too when used too much.”

        “Very good,” Reuel stated. He turned back to Michael. “Now can you give any examples of these effects?”

        Michael’s face went white. His mind raced. He knew he had to make a guess. Reuel always preferred a guess to no answer at all. He could only think of one thing at the moment since he had regular encounters with them. “The fairies?”

        “Good,” Reuel replied. “How so?”

        Michael shifted in his wooden desk. He only knew that the fairies possessed the magic of life. Not how it affects them. “The fairies prefer to live in areas with a lot of life and vegetation around them?”

        “No, that’s a preference. An example would be how the fairies respond with more emotion than logic. As a result of using the magical weaves of life, the user slowly becomes more and more emotional and or expressive.”

Reuel walked down the front of the classroom in the library in front of two boys with yellow hair slicked back. “Master Aaron, how does weaving fire affect the emotions?”

Aaron looked up with sharp blue eyes, “It heightens the emotion of anger.”

“And,” Reuel prompted. When no reply came he thrust his staff in the ground,         “Master Camden, do you know?” Camden had the same eyes as his brother Aaron did. Only Camden had a rounder face that was currently blank and shrugged. “It also heightens the emotions of love. The two are similar, and I’m sure you boys will figure that out soon enough.” The brothers exchanged confused glances.

Reuel walked back to Michael, “Master Michael, how does weaving water affect the emotions?”

“It dampens them sir.” He was getting tired of the lectures. He wanted to learn how to use the magic, but Reuel had refused to teach him more until her learned all of the rules. Michael couldn’t wait to leave for his “other teachers.” He had only been going to them for a week, but he was already learning more from using magic than Reuel’s lectures.

Reuel was already badgering Aaron and Camden for the affects of wind. A tall red haired man walked in wearing simple clothes. The man bowed, “Sir Reuel, I was told to bring the children to their weapons training with Sir Bedivere.”

“Very well,” Reuel sighed. He pounded his staff in the ground three times,                 “Tomorrow we will go over how magic can be used to manipulate emotions and the ethics of magic.”

        The boys were all too eager to leave Reuel’s lecture. They grabbed their things and all but ran down the hall of the library. They only slowed down when they reached the foyer of the estate. Michael was still trying to organize his papers in his leather bag.

James M. Bowers is a dabbler in many things. His interests include blacksmithing, computer repair, Voluntaryism, and bookbinding as well as writing.

The Artist

By: James M. Bowers

        The room smelled of death, flowers and burnt sienna. Flickering light fought a losing battle with the dark from the dying florescent tube overhead. I let my eyes scour the room. Green carpet, old and stained, your typical roach motel special. Dust was thick on all the furniture, save an odd shaped void on the dresser to the left, beside the door. I pointed to the spot and turned away as flashes of strobe attempted to blind me. The drop down ceiling was stained a deep nicotine brown, no blood spatter though. Gaudy, flowered wallpaper peeled it's way down the walls, revealing yellowed plaster beneath. I took a deep breath before letting my eyes take in the scene on display in the center of the room.

        “Fuckin shame, waste a dame like that.” A voice gruff with emotion came from my right.

        “Your vulgar words, once again, tell the truth. Greg.” I turned to look at my partner. He wore an old ragged suit as always, though today it was, at least, free of food stains. His brown overcoat was just as soaked as mine.

        The rains hadn't let up for two days now. There were flood warnings for the first time in years. Good thing too. Otherwise we would never have found this poor girl. Some homeless were driven out of their spots by the bridge by the rising waters. One of them, name of Frank, decided to shelter here in one of the many condemned motels around town. Thank the Creator that he still was sound of mind enough to call us when he found her. He claims not to have touched anything though the disturbed dust on the dresser makes me suspect otherwise.

        “Greg. Talk to our friend Frank again. Find out if he took anything from that dresser over there.” I motioned toward the spot in the dust, vaguely. Greg shot me a nasty look and mumbled something under his breath as he stumbled back out. I glanced over my shoulder.

        “The lights here yet?” I was answered by two men walking in carrying large halogens.

        “Plug them in here by the door please. But don't touch that plug by the dresser until we can test it for prints.” Both men grunted in response but did as I asked. I closed my eyes until I heard the lights click on. I opened them slowly and finally studied the grisly scene before me as I clicked on my recorder.

        “Victim female. Mid twenties. About five foot eight inches tall. Athletic build. Dark hair, cut short. Covered sporadically with shallow cuts. Not a lot of blood so I'm guessing they were posthumous. No apparent evidence of sexual assault. Pubic area seems to have been avoided. Cheeks both cut from corners of the mouth to the ears. A grisly smile of sorts? Some sort of symbol has been carved into the bottom of the left foot.” I clicked off the recorder. “Can I get a shot of this please?” I turned away till the flashes ended. I turned back around and looked for anything I could have missed. A time later I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked over to see Sara Daniels. At five feet nothing she was the shortest coroner I had ever known. She wore her auburn hair pulled back into a tight ponytail to keep it out of the way. I nodded toward her then refocused upon the body.

        “Sorry I'm late, Karl.” She splashed me a bit as she pulled off her coat. I didn't comment, just reached up and wiped the water from my face. “The roads are full with people trying to get home from work and with the bridge out from the flood everyone is taking the same few roads.” She sighed and I heard her count to ten under her breath. “Anyway, what do we have here?” She stepped past me and bent beside the victim. I saw her eyes harden before they flickered up to me then back down. “Oh you poor thing. It will be okay. You're in good hands now.” Her voice was gentile and quiet.

        “I'll get out of your way, Ms. Daniels.” I turned to do just that when her voice, low, and hard stopped me.

        “Find whoever did this, and soon.”

        I nodded and walked out. Greg stood outside leaning over the railing. He took a drag off his cigarette and handed the pack over to me. I took out one of the crumpled things and straightened it a bit with my fingers before lighting it.

        “I don't like it, Karl.”

        I nodded and took another drag off the foul tasting thing.

        “There will be more. Won't there?” Greg stared down at the ambulance.

        “I'm afraid so. Any luck with our friend Frank?”

        “Yeah. Turns out there was a stereo that was in the room. He had it stashed to sell after we were all gone. He claims to have touched just the handle though. I sent it to the lab.”

        “Come on. Let's grab some coffee.” I crushed out the cigarette and turned to go.

        “Yeah. I won't be getting sleep anytime soon I suppose.”

        “No, Greg. No we won't.”

Shirley Roark was born in Knox County in 1957 and raised on a 50-acre farm with 5 other siblings.  She is a single mother with one daughter and a beautiful 2-year-old granddaughter.  A graduate of North Knox High School and Vincennes University with honors, Shirley worked on the high school newspaper staff, was a co-editor on her sophomore English class’ production, Roman Times, and has spent her entire life working with words as a secretary and transcriptionist. She is a typical country girl at heart, the unspoken leader and peacekeeper in her hectic world, who finds her escape through writing stories based on her own past experiences and greatest fantasies.

Shirley became interested in writing at a young age, writing two short stories in high school based on the values of the day where a passionate kiss said it all.  Her writings are filled with steamy sexual scenes and fantasies which would make a grown man blush, and intense passion shrouded with disappointment, frustration, and unusual twists.  Shirley’s current work in progress reveals fantasies from the viewpoints of both the hero and heroin as they struggle with their attraction toward each other while trying to maintain a professional relationship. Much of her inspiration and life values stem from writings by Ayn Rand and Betty Eadie mixed with a little Stephen King for the sci-fi thrill.

 She has spent a lifetime studying people, trying to understand what makes each of us different and found great strength in understanding her own Zodiac sign, as the truest of Pisces – the hopeless romantic.  


By: Shirley Roark

        As Jamie was walking through the bar to go to her car, she noticed two men sitting at a corner table drinking beer. As she got closer, she realized one of the men was that same incredibly handsome man she had seen earlier in his truck. She couldn't take her eyes off of him as she walked past, and when he glanced up at her, she could see the look of shock and recognition on his face.

Jamie desperately wanted to meet this man and felt herself aching for his touch, but she couldn't think of anything to say to even start a conversation.


Finally, Geoff looked away as his friend grabbed his arm and asked in a soft voice if he was seeing things. He didn't know what to say. He was in shock at seeing her again. This was a real person, and he had to know who she was. But when he looked back, she was going out the door.

Geoff left the bar early and spent the rest of the evening trying not to think about this stranger. He called the customer who had left a message for him earlier about needing some work done and made arrangements to meet with her the following day.

Instead of putting Jamie out of his mind, he found himself wanting to kiss her and make love to her. Finally he decided to go to bed. He laid there thinking of Jamie and wondered if she was thinking about him.


Jamie drove home after leaving the bar feeling her own lust and curiosity about this stranger. He had dark brown hair that looked thick and soft, and she imagined herself running her hands through it and kissing him. He had beautiful light blue eyes, and she wondered what it would be like to just look lovingly into those eyes until she lost herself in them. Her desire was almost overwhelming, just thinking about being near him, and when she got home she was anxious to be alone with her thoughts.

Later, the phone rang. Jamie answered it, not realizing it was Geoff on the other end. He was explaining that he received her message on his machine and said he could stop by around 9:00 the following morning.

She took a bath early that night and went to bed, cuddling with a pillow and imaging herself laying her head on this stranger's shoulder, rubbing his chest and arm. Then she imagined kissing him. Now, in her mind, he was putting his arm around her and pulling her body close to his. She rolled over and tried to put him out of her mind, but she was restless that night, waking up frequently to see the image of Geoff's face in her mind; wondering if she would ever meet him.


It was almost 9:00 when Jamie heard the knock at her door, and she went to meet her first appointment. As she opened the door, she felt her heart stop. There he stood, that incredibly handsome man she had thought about all night. She felt embarrassed as she remembered her fantasy from the night before.


Geoff was looking down as Jamie opened the door. He saw her feet first; then his eyes came up her jeans and her blouse. He thought to himself that this woman had a nice figure, and he had to remind himself that he had a policy of not screwing around with his customers. Finally, he looked at her face, and his mouth fell open. He felt flushed and couldn't think. He tried to talk, but all that he could get out was, "I'm . . . uh . . .uh . . ."


Jamie was amused and couldn't hide her smile. She felt immediately that she was in control of the situation, and she held out her hand, saying, "I'm Jamie Cross, you must be Geoff Barrows."


Geoff knew he had to shake it off and focus; this was a business meeting after all. He took her hand and shook it firmly. Jamie motioned for him to come in, and he started apologizing as he entered her living room, saying, "I'm sorry, yes, I'm Geoff. I just saw you last night at the bar and earlier in the day. . ." He hesitated as if he meant to say more and then looked away.

Jamie laughed and said, “I was worried about you when your truck jumped up on the curb.”

Geoff cut her off, explaining “You reminded me of someone I used to know and it surprised me.”


Jamie felt her heart drop, realizing that maybe what she mistook for attraction was just shock at seeing what seemed to be a familiar face, so she proceeded to explain the problems she was having with her circuits being blown due to overloading the lines.


Geoff looked around her home and thought it looked like a comfortable place to live. He was impressed with her style and had to fight to stay focused on the matter at hand.

He agreed that most of the wiring and the fuse box would need to be replaced. He explained that it could be a big job depending on how hard it was to run the new wiring.


Jamie took him into her office and told him to have a seat on the couch in front of her desk. She sat down behind her desk and looked into his eyes across the room. She was still feeling that sense of being in control of the situation.

She thought she could probably do or say almost anything, and this man would be powerless to stop it. She imagined herself sitting next to him on the couch and putting her hand on his thigh just to see if it would arouse him. When she realized her eyes had dropped to his groin, she snapped out of it. She asked how soon he would be able to get a quote to her, reminding him she wanted to get the job done quickly.


Geoff glanced around the room as he sat down on the couch, wondering what Jamie needed two computers for and what kind of work she did. He looked at her face as she was speaking, trying to focus on what she was saying. Her smile and her eyes reminded him again of Sara, and he had to look away. He told himself his attraction to Jamie had to be because he missed Sara, and nothing good could possibly come of it. Part of him wanted to get up and walk out because he knew this could be a stressful job for him. At the same time, he wanted desperately to know her.

Geoff had done many jobs like this one and could have easily given her a quote at that time, but he was still wrestling in his mind about how he would get through this and the possibilities if he took the job. Jamie had finished talking now and was up, coming around her desk, now leaning against it in front of him with her arms crossed. He wondered what she would do if you took her in his arms and kissed her. He could almost feel her breath on his face, and he smiled at the pleasure he was getting just imagining it. He knew, if he didn't leave soon, he might not be able to control his urges.

Then Jamie told him that she also wanted to check into installing a security system as her house had been broken into a few weeks before, and Geoff immediately focused on what she was saying. Before he met his wife in New York, he had helped install a security system for a friend, and he had always been interested in that field, looking at the new technology as it came out, and wondering what he would do for himself if he set up his own home system.

Geoff was excited now about taking on this job and immediately worried about being underbid. He knew he was going to have to think seriously about his quote and wanted time to do some research on security systems. He explained that he had some ideas he thought would work well for her needs, and he asked if he could call her later that day. She agreed, reminding him that she was anxious to get things started.

Geoff couldn't wait to get home and start researching on the internet, and he stood up, asking if they were finished. Jamie was disappointed that he seemed anxious to go, but appreciated his professionalism as she turned to show him out. He followed her to the door, noticing her curly, long, blonde hair bouncing as she walked. He wondered what it would be like to just touch her, to feel her hair against his face as he kissed her, to get lost in her. He looked away, feeling embarrassed that he couldn't stop thinking about her.

Now they were at the door and Jamie was telling Geoff she was looking forward to hearing from him.

As Geoff drove home, he couldn’t stop thinking about Jamie. He wanted to know everything about her, and he had to fight back his desire to feel her body against his, his arms around her, his mouth kissing hers. He wondered how he would handle working for her, but now he was home. He hurried in the house and went straight to his computer.

Kenzie Michaels resides in the Midwest with her husband, three children, and various household pets.   Her fifth grade teacher showed this avid reader how to write the stories in her head, successfully unleashing her imagination upon the written word.


Kenzie welcomes reader comments at

Afternoon Delight

By: Kenzie Michaels

        “Oh boy; that was awesome!”

        “Did you see the look on that dude’s face?”

        “I can’t believe we just did that!”

        “You should have seen the look on your face Mary, when Josh stuck his tongue in your ear.”

        “I wasn’t expecting it; I was trying to keep from flashing everyone. You’re the ones who decided to see how far we could go before that older couple yelled at us. Between you sucking my tit and Josh nibbling my neck…which one of you had your hand on my ass? And when are you going to get rid of those God-awful Speedos? You’re still sporting a boner. What happened to shrinkage?”

        “With a hot thing like you around? It has a mind of its own. As for the suit, never. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And baby, I’ve got it. Just like you in that string bikini. Now Josh, he’s just self-conscious about his package.”

        “I am not! Where did you get that idea?”

        “I overheard Mona telling Fred your pecker was twisted. Is that why you wear those knee-length shorts all the time?”

        ”It is not. It’s just….uh, bent,”


         “Instead of being straight when I’m aroused, it…sort of turns toward my right thigh.”

        “Really? Can I see it?”


        “I just want to see it Josh. I’ve seen Derek’s and other men’s….what’s the big deal?”

        “The deal is, he’s your boyfriend and I’m not.”

        “Ever have a threesome, Mary?”

        “I’ve….thought about it.”

         “You’ve got to be kidding.”

        “Why? Come on; like you’ve never fantasized about being sandwiched between two girls. It’s the ultimate fantasy, being worshiped by two men at once.”

         “Derek….are you hearing this?”

         “Yeah. Remember back in high school, at that one party with the cheerleaders….”

        “Shut up! We were drunk, for Christ’s sake,”

        “So we’ll go back to your place, drink some more beer, and see how loud we can make her scream.”

        “This has got to be the strangest conversation….just because you two decided to get frisky is public, now we’re all gonna do it? Together?”

        “Life’s short. Be adventurous. Mary’s up for it, so whaddya say?”

        “You’re positive you’re okay with me and Mary doing this…”

        “I think we’d better finish this in a not-so-public place. Everyone okay with what’s going to happen?”

         “Oh man, that was hot! I can’t wait to get her sandwiched between us.”

        “This had better never show up on anyone’s Facebook page.”

Vincennes Writer Guild Members

Brandon Bennett

James M. Bowers

B.C. Brown

Tabitha Garcia

J. Travis Grundon

Benjamin Martinson

Kenzie Michaels

Rebecca Mullen

Brandon Reed

Shirley Roark

Floyd Root

Melissa Thompson

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