Experience, Strength and Hope

“Welcome to tonight’s meeting,” the woman said.  “Who wants to share?” A lady in the back slowly raised her hand.

“Hello I’m Sue,” she said.  “I haven’t been to a meeting in years, but my life is more than unmanageable.  I needed to be where I felt welcomed.  I have not had an alcoholic in my life for five years now, as he drank himself to death.”  She continued, “I still feel the chaos of life leaving me completely out of control and I just needed to come to a meeting.  Thanks for allowing me to join the group tonight.”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – welcome


Down and Out

The man sat down with a sigh and said to the bartender, “Give me a scotch on the rocks and don’t skimp on the scotch.”

The bartender poured the scotch over the glass of ice and said, “Bad day, mister?”

The man shifted in his seat and said, “I just lost the woman I love.  And it came out of left field.”

The bartender began wiping down the bar and asked, “No warning what so ever, eh?  That is rough.”

“I suppose looking back on it I could see she was unhappy, but I never thought it was me.”  The man downed his scotch and asked for another.  “I guess I can’t blame her for leaving.  I have been pretty distant,” the man said sipping on his new drink.

“Well I would take it easy on the scotch, booze is not the answer,” the bartender said as he watched the man finish his second drink.

“I just took her for granted,” the man said.  “She was always there, and I didn’t do anything to appreciate it.  I really messed up this time,” the man gestured with his empty glass again.

“This is the last one man, I will not over serve any one and you have been knocking them back fast,” the bartender said as he poured one more shot over the barely melted ice.

“That is ok, I need to figure out where I am going to stay tonight,” the man said with a sigh.  “To new beginnings,” he said and with a frown he held his glass up to no one.  “Cheers.”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – skimp

Hello, Dad?

She was unsure what to do.  She sat at the kitchen table, in front of her was $38.25; all she had to her name.  Her bills had piled up and the landlord told her if her arrears rent wasn’t taken care of, she was out.  Payday was still days away and her refrigerator was almost empty.

She did have a bus pass for the rest of the month so she could still make it to work.  She had no choice; she had to call him and ask for help.  She dialed the familiar number and waited for him to answer.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – arrears

Teddy’s Wagon

Teddy was four years old.  Teddy loved his mom.  Teddy loved his dad.  Teddy even loved his baby sister, even if sometimes she cried a lot.

The thing that Teddy love most was he wagon.  His wagon was red and black with his name written in white, T-E-D-D-Y.

He would bring things to his mom with his wagon, especially when she needed help fixing dinner.  He would bring things to his dad too, but he was gone all day at work.  He wanted to take his sister for a ride, but mom and dad said no.

One day he was in the backyard with his wagon.  He had his trucks in the wagon and was headed for his sandbox when he saw a little bunny.  Hop, hop, hop the bunny went away.  There was a bird in the tree singing then flap, flap, flap he flew away.  The neighbors had a little dog who went bark, bark, bark and then he went inside his dog house.

Teddy was puzzled why everyone went away.  He started back towards his sandbox and his wheels went squeak, squeak, squeak.  Teddy did not like that sound.

“That’s it.”  Teddy was suddenly sure he knew why everyone left.  It was his squeaky wagon.  He looked where the bunny had hopped away and said, “Don’t worry bunny, I will make the sound stop.  Please come back and play.”

Teddy’s mom stood at the back door and asked, “Who are you talking to Teddy?”

“Mom, the animals all ran away because my wagon sounds funny today. Just listen.”  Teddy pulled the wagon a short distance and it went squeak, squeak, squeak.

“Teddy you wagon has a squeaky wheel.  Your dad will help you fix it, he should be home soon.”

As soon as Teddy’s dad got out of his car Teddy was right there to ask, “Will you fix my squeaky wheel Dad?”

Teddy’s dad went over to his wagon and pulled it.  Squeak, squeak, squeak it went.  He went into the garage and came out with a can.  Teddy watched as he put oil on all four (he knew there was four because that’s how old he was) wheels of the wagon, squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt.

“Ok Teddy, it is all fixed.”

“Oh, thank you Dad.  Now the animals can all come back to play.”

Teddy’s dad patted him on his head and said, “You love to play with the animals around, don’t you?”

“Yes, but I love my wagon even more!”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – wagon

The Countryside

They took a drive to the country.  She asked, “What are we doing out in the boondocks’?”

“Just be patient,” he replied.

“It really is beautiful this time of year.  Finally seeing all this green after such a long winter makes me want to capture it forever,” she said while holding her phone up, to take a picture.  “But you’re going too fast,” she said with a little laugh.

In a short distance he slowed the car and turned up a gravel drive.  “We are here,” he announced.

“Oh, this is a beautiful little place!  Who lives here,” she asked?

He removed papers from the glove box and said, “This bucolic setting is now ours.  Happy anniversary dear!”


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – bucolic

On The Beach

She turned to him and asked, “Would you do my back?”  Then she handed him the bottle of suntan oil.

“You know this stuff is bad for your skin?  This is like zero SPF you have,” he said taking the bottle and looking at the label.  “You might as well use baby oil.”

“My mom used to when she would suntan as a teen.  She is looking a little aged these days.”

“How about you use my SPF thirty and take a little better care of your skin?”  He smiled and added, “Please turn around,” and began applying the lotion.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – oil

Hickory Haven

The Barbecue restaurant was a great place to get a job as a waitress, everyone in school knew that.  Amy was so excited when they called her and said she had an orientation in two days if she still wanted the job.  And, she did.

The tips were by far the best part of the job.  Amy began to save for her first car.  The other kids were all caught up in the social scene, but she was all about work and saving for the future.  Amy got along with the other waitresses, but even after only 6 months there she learned there was a high turnover rate.  Many high school and college kids who were leaving at the end of the semester would once again leave them short staffed.

Amy being the industrious girl she was, went to talk to the manager one day about the high turnover.  “I think if you offered more benefits, people would have incentive to stay,” she said.  “Especially a benefit that grows.  Like maybe an IRA or 401K.”

The manager liked her ideas but would have to pass the idea by the owner.  That would be the true test.  Later that night when the restaurant closed the manager approached Amy and said, “Gabe likes your idea for a 401K but knows they are only worth it for full time employees.  What do you think would keep part-timers to stay?”

“Maybe a discount on food.  College students always need food my sister says.  Maybe a half-price when they are starting or finishing a shift and 20% off any other time.”

The manager smiled and said, “You’ve got a real good head for business. Maybe I should look out before you take my job.”  They both had a chuckle and went back to closing duties.  Amy thought to herself that maybe that is what she wanted, a job in management.  She smiled as she continued to sweep the area.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – turnover