Me And My Broken Back

Yep.  I have broken my back.  I heard it snap and said “oh shit.”

It’s no biggie.  I walked home when I broke my leg the first time.  It kept giving away and it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch but I didn’t care.  I was more afraid of the whipping I was going to get.  I have walked around with pneumonia and (thank the head Holy man) it was caught before I completely drowned.

It has been hurting since I did it but I have an extremely high tolerance for pain so I ignored it.  I’m not a big whiner.  I learned years ago that (a) it wouldn’t do any good and (b) it would make somebody mad and he would yell at me and make me feel even worse.

It’s funny, it didn’t bother me that much the day I did it but….holy cow! When I went to bed, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t even turn over.  As long as I’m up and moving about, I’m fine (except for the constant, nagging throbbing.)  I was even able to mow my lawn.  (I have a riding mower so that wasn’t too bad.)

Consistent with my weird nature, most people find relief when they’re prone…but not me.  That’s the worst.  I can sit and walk with not much trouble but I have to be careful.  I tend to jump up from a chair and it has really impeded my ability to run the neighborhood dogs out of my yard.

I have to be careful if I cough or even worse…sneeze.

I finally went to the doctor because it seemed to be getting worse.  I knew it was inflamed and I have never been one to do the ice/heat thing.  I got the usual questions…why did you wait so long?  Why didn’t you call when you first did it?  Yada, yada, yada.

I refused any pain drugs and I think my doctor wanted to call me an idiot. But, if I was hopped up on drugs, there’s no telling what I might get up to. I might start waxing nostalgic and that’s just not something that’s in my repertoire.

I have taken an aspirin a few times but I couldn’t tell that it did much good.

My doctor wanted me to get a brace to wear but I told her I didn’t need it. She’s the cutest little woman and I think she genuinely cares about her patients but….when I said that, she raised her voice and said “you have a broken back!”

I got the brace and have been trying to wear it but it is ANNOYING.  I figure it will take a few weeks more to heal.  I remember all the times I looked after “somebody” when his back went out.  It’s my turn now but there’s nobody to look after me.  Figures.  Again, no biggie.  I will look after myself. Unlike that somebody, I’m not a big baby who thinks their finger is falling off because they have a hangnail.

It’s actually hurting right now so I think I’ll put that medieval torture device on and see if it helps.

The Entertainer Blogger Award



Many thanks to Tenacity T. for the nomination. (

The Rules:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.

2.  Add these rules to your blog.

3.  Answer all the questions asked.

4.  Display a picture of the award.

5.  Nominate up to 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most of all, entertaining.

Question Asked:

1.  Why did you start to blog?

I have tried to answer this question a few times.  I used to say I started blogging for mental salvation and also at the behest of my youngest daughter who said “don’t sit around and think about what dad did to you, write about it.”  I think now, I started blogging because I decided to stop lying for, covering up for, making excuses for and defending a lying, cheating, worthless maggot.

2.  What is your favorite book?

I have answered this question as well and the answer is always the same.  I don’t have a favorite book because I don’t read books.  I do have a book though, so I guess it would be my favorite.  It is the family bible that belonged to my grandparents.  Alas, the family history pages are blank and how I wish they had been filled in.

3.  What do you dislike the most?

I would say a lack of honor.  That encompasses a wide range of human behavior.  I despise people who have no honor.  I loathe them and I resent their very existence.

4.  What is your favorite food at the mall?

I don’t go to the mall anymore and haven’t in many, many years.  When I did go, my favorite food was a Cinnabon with an extra cup of icing, accompanied by a cup of coffee from Barnies’.

5.  What is your favorite pastime?

I could say writing is my favorite pastime but I detest it.  I really don’t have a favorite pastime.  Maybe breathing?

I nominate everybody who wants to participate.



Scarlet Rose – Chapter Five

Noah and I arrived in New York and made our way to St. Mary of the Angels Convent.  We were met by sister Agatha, who cheerfully invited us in.  We told her why we had come and she begged forgiveness when she said she would not be able to help us.

“Perhaps the Reverend Mother Katherine could be of assistance,” she said.  She asked us to follow her to a small room, decorated with crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary.  “The Reverend Mother Katherine will be with you shortly,” she said.

A few minutes later, Mother Katherine walked in.  She had to be hundred years old if she was a day.  She smiled and asked how she could help.  I don’t know why but I was surprised by her British accent.

I started talking.  Actually, it was more like babbling.  “This is Noah King.  We’re trying to find some information about his birth parents and we’re hoping that you can help.  He was adopted here and his mother was a young girl who had apparently shamed her parents somehow.”  I went on to tell her about the DNA test and how it indicated that he was 99% Scandinavian but we didn’t know which Scandinavian country his parents were from.

Reverend Mother Katherine interrupted and said “is he unable to speak?”

A little embarrassed, I apologized and told her that I was just excited about the possibility of finding out about his heritage.

Mother Katherine asked Noah what he knew.  He said “I know very little, except what you’ve already heard but I would be interested in anything you might be able to tell us.”

He told Mother Katherine his mom and dads’ names and the date they had adopted him.  He said they told him that he was three days old.

“Do you remember this at all?” I asked.

Mother Katherine said “I do recall a young girl who was brought here by her parents.  They acted as if they were dropping off an unwanted pet.  She was only sixteen and in a family way but she was a beautiful girl with blonde hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen.”

“She spoke very little English but Sister Beatrice took her under her wing and began teaching her.  She was very intelligent and a quick learner but she rarely spoke unless spoken to.  She was ashamed and felt no sense of self-worth.  She told Sister Beatrice that she believed she had traded her virtue just to feel the warmth of another human being.”

Mother Katherine said “she did give birth to a son and he was adopted by an American couple.”  Then she sighed and said “they never wrote to her and they never returned so this became her home.”

I asked if it would be possible to talk with Sister Beatrice.  Mother Katherine said “Sister Beatrice went to be with our Lord some years ago.”

I asked “do you know where her parents were from?”

She said “you must forgive me.  My memory isn’t what it used to be but it seems that it was from somewhere across the pond.”

I knew that was how British people described going across the Atlantic Ocean but there was a lot of land “across that pond.”

Noah asked if there were any records that could be checked.  Mother Katherine said “unfortunately, most of the old records were lost to a fire.  I do wish I could remember more.”

“Do you know what happened to her?” Noah asked.

“I do, child.  She too, was lost to the fire.”

I asked “do you, by any chance, remember her name?”

“That I do remember,” said Mother Katherine.

“Her name was Scarlet Rose.”



Scarlet Rose – Chapter Four

Two days later we took my note to the college, along with the biggest shard of glass from the bottle.  One of the professors said that he could translate the note in a jiffy.

I asked if he recognized the language.  He laughed when he teasingly said “there is this marvelous invention called Google Translate.  It’s available through the internet.  You may have heard of it.”

Of course, we’d heard of it.  I had the internet at work and Noah had it at school.  We just didn’t have it at home yet and neither one of us liked to spend hours on the computer so it had not been a priority.

I was old school anyway.  If I didn’t know what a word meant, I looked it up in the dictionary that my dad had given me when I was 12 years old. Unfortunately, it didn’t have translations of other languages and certainly not the plethora of “new” words that have been recently coined.  Still, it was my go-to source for definitions.

The professor looked at the note and asked where I got it.  I told him that it was in a bottle that I found on the beach, when I was eight years old.  I showed him the broken piece of my bottle and he said “this is pretty old glass and I can tell by the little bubbles inside that it was hand-blown. Hmm.  Let’s have a look at the note.”

He went on to say “okay.  This is in Swedish and it says ‘my name is Scarlet Rose.  I live in Sweden.  I am lonely.  Will you be my friend’?”  He said “that note traveled a long way.”

I asked if there was any way to possibly find out who wrote it.  He said “there’s no town and there’s no date so I would think it would be difficult, but there are websites for this kind of thing.  Who knows?  You might get lucky and find something.  I would guess, considering the bottle glass, that this note was written quite some time ago.”

We thanked him and as we headed home, I said “see?  I was right.  I don’t know how but I knew that my bottle held sadness.  Some young girl or maybe even an older woman, was so lonely that she sent a message in a bottle, hoping to find a friend.”

Noah said “you know, you may never find anything out about that note.”  I knew that he was right.  I would keep the note and I would always treasure it but I would admit defeat.  Several times I had been called “the girl with the bottle.”  Now it was time for a different moniker.  I would be “the girl with a purpose.”

My priority was to find out about our heritage, particularly his.  I put the note away, covered with the shard of glass from its broken home and said “goodbye” to Scarlet Rose.

To start the journey of tracking our ancestors, Noah and I decided that we needed to get the internet right away.  I wanted to know more about my family and as I said, I really wanted to know more about his.  Although he wasn’t resistant, he seemed rather nonchalant.  He had never even asked about his birth parents, even though his mom and dad had told him that if and when he was ever ready, they would tell him what they knew.

The first order of business to me, was to get as much information as we could from them.  “Now is the time to ask questions.” I told Noah.  “Now is the time to try to find answers.”

Noahs’ mom and dad had never shielded him from the fact that he was adopted and they had always told him that he had been selected, not rejected.

We drove to their house and told them that we wanted to talk to them about his birth parents.  I was asking most of the questions but as I said, Noah wasn’t resistant.  I told his mom that we had done the DNA thing and he was almost entirely Scandinavian.

She said “I guess that could be possible.  He came to us through St. Mary of the Angels Convent in Ithaca, New York.”

She couldn’t offer much in the way of information, other than Noah had been born to a young girl who had been surrendered to the convent after having disgraced her family.  The circumstances surrounding her surrender were never made clear and Mrs. King had made no assumptions or judgments.  Whatever they were, she was forever grateful to the young girl who had given them such a wonderful gift.

They weren’t the only ones who had been given a gift.  Noah had been raised by these two extraordinary people who had provided him a life filled with happiness and love.

Mr. and Mrs. King gave their blessings and offered hope that Noah and I could find what we were looking for.  “Heritage is important,” his mom said. “And if we don’t know from where we came, there’s always a yearning to fill the emptiness inside.”

Noah and I arranged a few days off and were on our way to Ithaca, New York.  We were cautiously optimistic but we were also prepared to accept defeat, just as I had done with finding the author of the note in my bottle.


To be continued______________


Scarlet Rose – Chapter Three

I managed to scream but I couldn’t move.  Noah came running over and asked what happened.  I looked at him and said “I broke my bottle.”

He said “I’m sorry.  I’ll help you clean it up.”

‘NO!” I said.  When I said that, I could tell that he was puzzled.  I said “let’s go read our ancestry tests.”

He asked “are you sure you don’t you want to clean this up first?”

Again I said “no.  I want to wait.  When I clean it up, it will be real and I’m not ready for it to be real just yet.  You have to remember.  I’ve had that bottle since I was eight years old.”

He gave me a hug and told me that I was going to be alright.  Of course I was going to be alright but I had just destroyed something that had been a part of my life all these years.

I felt like I had failed as its guardian.

I settled down and we were ready for the big reveal.  He had the idea that we should switch.  He would read mine and I would read his.  Then we flipped a coin to see which one of us would go first.

He won, which meant that he was holding my heritage in his hand.  He opened it and suddenly got this serious look on his face.  I said “what? What is it?”

He shook his head and said “well…it says that you are 50% European, 45% Irish, 38% Scottish, 53% French and 98% pure Martian.”

I threw a pillow at him and said “seriously.  What does it say?”  He laughed and said “it says that you are 45% Irish, 38% Scottish and 17% French Indian.”

“I knew it!”  I said.  “I told you that I had Cherokee blood.”  Noah smiled and said “I don’t think the Cherokee originated in India.”

I got that famous pouty look on my face.  I had never lost the ability to be the queen of “poutdom.”  I said “pffft.  So my grandmother lied to me when she told me that my great-grandfather was Cherokee?”

Noah said “maybe, but at least we now know that you get that pouting from your Irish blood.”

It was my turn to read his.  I started reading and said “wow.  You are 95% Scandinavian!”  Noah said “don’t tell me.  The other 5% is that sideways gene.”  I laughed and said “no, it says the British Isles.”  I said “you know when you think about it, you do look Scandinavian.  You could be Norwegian or Swedish or Danish.”

All he said was “I guess.  Let’s go clean up your bottle.  You can’t just leave it laying on the floor.”

I had been able to forget for a while but he was right.  I couldn’t leave it laying on the floor.  We walked over and I just stood there, looking at it. Noah came in with the broom and dustpan.  What I feared when I was a little girl had happened.  I had just released something sorrowful…I just knew it.

I picked up the folded piece of paper, yellowed with age and held it in my hands.  Noah said I should go sit down and read it.  “But what if it’s something private?” I asked.  “What if it was meant for only one person to read?”

Noah said “I have always thought that everything happens for a reason.  I think it was meant for you to find that bottle and I think the message inside was meant for you to read.  Why else would someone go to the trouble of sending it out to sea?  They wanted it to be found.”

Noah always had a way of making me feel better…a way of making the world make sense…a way of making me feel special, like telling me that this note was meant for me.

I sat down and carefully unfolded the paper.

He came in and asked what it said.  “I don’t know,” I said.  “What do you mean you don’t know?” he asked.

“It’s in a foreign language.”  Noah looked at it and said “I’ll bet we can find a professor at the school who can translate it.”

I said “I can read Scarlet Rose but I have no idea what the other words say.”

I stared at the words and wondered who wrote them so many years ago.

Jag heter Scarlet Rose.
Jag bor i Sverig.
Jag är ensam.
Vill du bli min vän?


To be continued______________________  



Scarlet Rose – Chapter Two

My friend Amber was just leaving when he walked in.  She put her hand over her heart and said “oh.  I have fantasies about that boy every night in my dreams.  I’d better go before I start foaming at the mouth.”

He was a tall, blonde, blue-eyed Adonis.  In my eyes, just by the way he walked, I thought he was quite full of himself.

He saw me and like a scene from a movie, slowly walked over and said, “My name is Noah King.”

I was thinking how fitting that name was, considering he looked as if he was wearing an invisible crown.  He was beautiful but I had always believed that beautiful men were dangerous.  I was determined not to act as if I was about to swoon nor was I going to act like he had just elevated me to importance by speaking to me.

I told him my name and was just about to say “stick around.  I’ll cut you down to size,” when he held out his hand.  When I shook it, it was as if there was an ethereal connection.

He sat down and we started talking.  Before we knew it, we had talked until closing time.  From that day forward, we were inseparable.

A year later, I was promoted and although it wasn’t to the upper tier, I was on my way.  Noah was finishing his graduate degree.  He was living off of an endowment left to him by his grandparents but he wasn’t the typical entitled trust-fund baby.  He appreciated the gift and was almost what you would call overly frugal.  I was sure that he appreciated his movie-star good looks but he was the most humble, unassuming man I had ever met.

It wasn’t long until we started planning to move in together and talked of eventually starting a family.  I casually said “we could have our own little Cherokees running around.  He looked at me and asked what I meant.

“I’m Cherokee,” I announced.  “Um, yeah.  I can see that,” he said.  “Especially with that blonde hair and those green eyes.”

I giggled and said “well, you know that everybody in my family has black hair and brown eyes but I got that sideways gene.”

“That sideways gene?” he asked.

I said “yeah.  You know, that gene that goes sideways and makes you look different from everybody else.”  He laughed and said “well, it worked.” Then he said “but I will say that you look just like your sister and brother.”

I asked him about his heritage.

“I don’t really know,” he said.  “I was adopted when I was three days old.”  I couldn’t hide my surprise when I repeated “you were adopted?”

Noah looked at me, laughed and said “didn’t you wonder where I came from?  You’ve met my parents.  I mean I have two little short Jewish parents with black hair and brown eyes.  I look nothing like them and I’m pretty sure that I don’t have that sideways gene.”

I asked him if he knew who his birth parents were.  He said “no.”  I asked him if he had ever thought about trying to find them.  He said “sometimes I think about it.  Mom and dad said they would help me but I never really pursued it.”

I found his lack of curiosity strange until I remembered my bottle.  All these years, I had kept my bottle and had never been curious enough to try to find out what the note inside said.  But that was just a note in a bottle.  We were talking about his heritage.  Even so, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do if I was in his situation.

I said “why don’t we do that ancestry thing?  You know, where you swab your cheek and mail it off and they send you a graph that tells you who you are.  At least you would have some information about your heritage and maybe I can find out where my blonde hair and green eyes came from.”

“Please, please, please?”  I asked in my best little girl voice.  He finally said “alright” so I sent off for the kits.

That summer, we found an apartment and began moving in our things.  He didn’t have very much and what he did have was far too caveman for my tastes.  He had a huge, badly worn leather sofa that looked like every student in the school had either slept on it or gotten sick on it.  “This,” I said, “is going to have to be left on the curb.”

It seemed to take forever to get everything moved in and put where we wanted it.  Between work and school, there had been precious little time to do much of anything other than unpack but we were finally at the home stretch.

Noah walked in and was flipping through the mail.  He said “oh.  Our DNA tests came today.  Why don’t you take a break and come sit with me for a minute and we’ll look at them together?”

I was so excited I could hardly wait but I told him that I only had one more small box to unpack.  I picked it up and the bottom fell out.  I heard a crash and my heart almost stopped beating when I looked down.

My bottle lay in pieces.


To be continued_________________


Scarlet Rose – Chapter One

When I was eight years old, my family took a trip to Myrtle Beach.  I hated the beach.  I hated the sand.  I hated the water.  I hated the ocean.

The ocean always looked so cold and lonesome and the waves looked like drooling monsters waiting to swallow me up and drag me into the deep dark bowels of oblivion.  There were no mountains…not even hills…just endless water as far as I could see and I refused to go anywhere near it.  When my brother and sister teased me and accused me of being a scaredy cat, I stuck my tongue out at them and call them bucketheads.

On the last day of our trip, mom, dad, my brother and my sister were jumping waves and yelling for me to join them.  Being hard-headed, I steadfastly refused as usual and started pouting.  Nobody could pout better than I could.  I folded my arms and started kicking the sand as I walked. With every kick, I was covering myself in those detestable grains of nuisance, which made me pout even more.

Suddenly, my foot hit something.  I sat down and started digging.  It didn’t take long before I uncovered the culprit.  I found a bottle.  It had scrapes and scratches but I could see something inside.  About that time, dad walked up and said “what have you got there?”

I wrapped my arms around it as if I was afraid he was going to take it from me and said “I found this.”  Dad said “let’s have a look.”  He said “this bottle looks like as if it’s been on quite a journey.”  I asked him if I could keep it.  He laughed and said “well, finders keepers but I think we’ll have to break it to see what’s inside.”

I don’t know why but I jerked it out of his hand and said “no.  It’s mine.”

Mom walked over and said “what have you found?”  I said “I found a bottle and it’s mine.  Dad said I could keep it.”  She looked at it and said “do you want to break it open and see what’s inside?”  Again, my answer was a firm “no.”

When we got back home, I put my bottle on a shelf in my room, next to all of my dolls.  But later that night, I began to worry.  I had always wondered if my dolls came to life at night and if they did, I didn’t want them to knock my bottle off the shelf and break it so I moved it to my bedside table.

It stayed there throughout my childhood.  When I was getting my things together for college, my bottle was packed with everything else.  Mom said “are you sure you want to take that with you?”  I said “it’s my bottle.”  She smiled and said, “well, I guess you need to take something from your younger days, as a remembrance.”

During my four years in college, different friends came and went and at any given point, invariably one of them would ask about my bottle.  They wanted to know why I had never been curious enough to break it open. “Don’t you want to know what the note says?” they asked.  “Maybe it’s a letter to a long-lost love.”

“A last letter should never be opened,” I said.  When they asked why, my answer was “because if you never open it, there will always be one more.”

I admit that sometimes I was tempted.  But when I held my bottle in my hands, it seemed to hold a sadness and I was afraid that if I opened it, I would let that sadness out.

Four years later, my college days were over and I was anxious to start my new, independent life.  Right away, I found a job in Telecommunications, which was ironic given the fact that when I got my first cell phone, I couldn’t even figure out how to turn the darned thing on.  But the saying “you’ve come far, Pilgrim,” certainly applied to me.  I could troubleshoot a problem that most of my supervisors couldn’t.

Every day after work, I would spend time at the local Starbucks.  I always ordered the same thing, a Venti decaf Mocha.  Starbucks was the perfect place to meet people because everybody who was anybody in that small town spent time there.

Guys would flirt with me and I would flirt back but I had no intentions of getting tied down.  I had already set my sights on climbing the corporate ladder.  The upper echelon traveled all over the world and I wanted a piece of that pie.

Then one day…he walked in.


To be continued________________





The Angel Maker – Chapter Thirteen

Mr. Stark was trying hard to get back into Emberlyns’ good graces.  Every morning, he came into her room and gave her a rose.  She always smiled and thanked him, making sure she played the part of the forgiving, good wife.

Deep down, she was outraged.  Was that rose supposed to heal what he had done to her?  Was that rose supposed to make her forget?  He never failed to offer a rose but he always failed to offer an apology.  He always failed to offer any expression of regret or remorse.

In her mind, he had taken her childs’ life and she intended to take his.

Two weeks later, Mr. Stark was dead, which takes us back to the beginning of the story.

Emberlyn won the battle with Mr. Starks’ children.  Being his wife and therefore, legally the next of kin bears weight under the law.  Suspicions and accusations aren’t a legitimate reason for an autopsy, coupled with virtually no evidence of foul play.  Her wishes to have him cremated were carried out and an elaborate service was planned.  People from near and far attended and expressions of surprise and great sorrow were evident.  Also evident was the absence of his children.

When Mr. Starks’ will was executed, everyone was stunned when it was revealed that he left his entire fortune to Emberlyn.  His children had no chance of contesting, as Mr. Stark had specifically excluded them and left no question about his intentions.  Everything, the mansion in Chestnut Hill, the house in Marthas’ Vineyard and all his holdings were now hers.

She played the perfect grieving widow.  I came to realize that it was pretentious sadness and I knew in my gut that she had murdered Mr. Stark. I just didn’t know how.

I could have tried to push for an analysis of his remains but like I said, there was no proof of foul play.  The coroner had pronounced death due to a heart attack.  His age and propensity to eat a diet rich in red meat and deep-fried foods were certainly contributing factors.

Emberlyn had never told but one person about the fall and how it happened.  That person was Helga.  I had secretly corralled her one day and she reluctantly gave me the details with only one condition.  The condition was that I promise I would never tell Mrs. Stark.  I kept that promise…for a while.

During my last meeting with Mrs. Stark and despite my better judgment, in my mind I was still playing mental videos of us together.  I kept having to remind myself that I was talking to a murderess but I found that I was sympathetic.

Sometimes, existential despair is an understandably powerful motive.  Not a justifiable motive of course, but understandable.

I broke my promise to Helga and told Mrs. Stark that I knew about the baby. She had no reaction, not even surprise.  I looked at her and said “revenge is sweet.  Not legal but sweet and I understand how difficult it must have been.”

She cut cold, fiery eyes toward me and said “do you?  Do you really?”

I felt like a crumb and made my apologies because she was right.  I had no idea how difficult it must have been.

There was a brief silence and I found my mind wandering again, thinking “who wouldn’t want to have a child with this stunning woman?”  I quickly regained my senses and remembered why I was there.  I asked her point blank:

“How did you do it?”

She surprised me when she calmly and without hesitation, said “succinylcholine.”  I knew about that drug.  It was called the perfect murder weapon.  It is almost immediately broken down by the body and leaves no trace.  Modern day techniques can now analyze the enzymes which break it down but with no reason to look for that anomaly, it is indeed the perfect murder weapon.

I asked how she got it.  The only thing she would say was that she had acquired it when she was in the hospital.

“How did you give it to him?” I asked.

“I put some of my sleeping pills in his drink and waited until he fell asleep.” she said.  “I raised his arm and injected him where it wouldn’t be detectable and then I watched him take his last breath.”

She had an almost satisfied look on her face when she said “then I put a rose in his hand.  Somehow, it seemed appropriate.”

She had just admitted to murdering her husband.  I knew that it would be impossible to prove, even with an admission.  The effects of the drug were long since gone and she would most likely not admit guilt to anyone else.

Did I really want her to be punished for killing the man she believed was unrepentantly responsible for the death of her unborn child?  Would it be worth thousands of taxpayers’ dollars and hours and hours of my time to try a case that I knew beyond a reasonable doubt I would not win?  Should I let her get away with murder?  If I did, I would be guilty of obstruction of justice and I had sworn to uphold the law.  Could I live with that?  Those were the questions that I could only answer after searching my conscience.


Five years later.

While waiting for a confidential informant, I happened to look into a window.  It was a new art gallery that had just opened in an area that was undergoing gentrification.  I had arrived early so I decided to walk in, for no other reason than to escape the chilly weather.

I wasn’t the least bit interested in art.  I didn’t understand some of it and admit that I had little appreciation for most of it.  Scanning the room as if I was a seasoned collector, my focus became fixed on someone in the corner.

My heart skipped a beat when I realized that it was Emberlyn Stark.

Her eyes met mine.

I nodded.

She smiled.



The Angel Maker – Chapter Twelve

A year had gone by and Emberlyn had transformed the house into a grandiose spectacle fit for a king and his queen.  She and Mr. Stark had settled into a life of entertaining celebrities and uppity-ups and being the envy of even their own peers.

She hadn’t been feeling well and under the guise of going shopping, stopped by Dr. Giles’ office.  After an examination, he smiled when he told her there was a reason that she didn’t feel well.

She could hardly contain her excitement as she drove home.  A special dinner was in order she thought, so she asked the cook to prepare Mr. Starks’ favorite meal.

That afternoon, she put on a dress that had always been one of his favorites.  He called it her Sexy Sally dress.  When she walked out of the dressing room, he smiled and said “hmm.  Do we want a new Mercedes?” She smiled and said “no, I wanted to look special for you tonight.”

“But you always look special to me,” he said.  When they got to the top of the grand staircase, she stopped and said  “I have a surprise for you and I hope you’re going to be pleased.”

He smiled and said “I believe I can smell Crown Roast and that’s always a pleasant surprise.”  She said “no.  Well yes, you smell Crown Roast but that’s not the surprise.”

“Well, it must be something special because you have on your Sexy Sally dress,” he said with a wink.  “What ever is it?”

She looked at him and said “we’re going to have a baby.”

For an instant, he stood in stunned silence.  Then in a rage, he raised his arms and screamed “I told you I didn’t want any more children.”  He frightened Emberlyn and when she recoiled, she took a fatal step backward and tumbled down the stairs.

The next morning, she awoke in the hospital.  She urgently rang for the nurse and with desperation in her voice, said “my baby?”  The nurse shook her head and said “no child.  There is no baby anymore.”  Emberlyn asked her to leave the room and began to cry uncontrollably.

Doctor Giles came in later and asked Emberlyn if she could tell him what happened.  She lied when she said “I just lost my balance and fell down the stairs.  I must have had a snootful.”  He looked at her and said “okay, but why did the toxicology report show no alcohol in your system?”  Emberlyn looked down and said “I don’t know but that’s what happened.”

She had bruises and scrapes consistent with a fall but Dr. Giles heard what he thought was a combination of anger and fear in her voice and wasn’t convinced that she just lost her balance.  She would physically recover because she was young and healthy but he wasn’t sure about her mental recovery.  It was clearly evident that she was emotionally destroyed by the loss of her child and he thought her not yet strong enough to hear that there would never be another.

That afternoon, Mr. Stark came to see her and asked how she was feeling. He said nothing about their baby.  When he handed her a rose, she unsuccessfully tried to hide her umbrage and he saw it but ignored it.  He said “when you get home, we’re going to take a trip and you’ll forget all about this unfortunate mishap.”

“This unfortunate mishap?” she said.  She began to cry and said “that’s what you think this was?  An unfortunate mishap?”  He tried to console her but it did no good.  She became hysterical and screamed for him to leave. When the nurse came running into the room, she saw that Emberlyn was emotionally distraught and needed a sedative.  She told Mr. Stark that she believed it was best if he left.

Dr. Giles let her go home the next day and not making eye contact, gave strict instructions that she was to do nothing but rest.  Emberlyn could read Dr. Giles’ face and asked him what he wasn’t telling her.

Reluctantly, he told her that she had suffered too much internal damage to ever carry another child.  He was surprised by her reaction when she smiled and said “thank you doctor.  Is that all?”

Mr. Stark had hired a private nurse and when Emberlyn got home, she requested that her things be moved into another bedroom.

She demurely told Mr. Stark to try to understand that she needed time to heal.  What she didn’t tell him was that he was never going to touch her again.


To be continued__________

The Angel Maker – Chapter Eleven

The instant that Emberlyn accepted Mr. Starks’ proposal, he asked her to remove the wedding band she still wore.  “That life is over,” he said.  “Your new life with me is just beginning.  I’m not asking you to dispose of it because I know how much he meant to you but I am asking that you put it away.”

The future was knocking on her door and she knew that she had to leave the past behind.  Later that night, she slowly took off the band and said a final silent goodbye to Fez.  As she put it in a small box, a tear fell.

Mr. Stark announced his retirement and during his over the top send-off party, made another announcement.  He and Emberlyn were getting married.  Jaws dropped and discreet glances were cast but there had been speculation for quite a while that something was going on between them.

A beautiful young girl with virtually no experience had been hired on the spot by the boss himself.  The catty women in the office had always joked that she was providing a tad bit more than just speedy typing but in reality, or “Realty,” she had caught the big fish.

They had a small ceremony with only a few of Mr. Starks’ closest friends as witnesses.  He had asked his children to attend but they refused and were blatantly offensive when giving their reasoning, not to mention showing their outrage when he refused to make her sign a prenuptial agreement.

Emberlyn was no stranger to the effects of May-December romances so their behavior was no surprise.

Marthas’ Vineyard was where they would honeymoon.  Unbeknownst to Emberlyn, Mr. Stark had a grand house, located not far from the famous Kennedy compound.  Even though she had never been fond of water, she was mesmerized by the beauty she saw as they flew over the island in Mr. Starks’ private plane.

He showed his knowledge of the islands’ history when he said “not many modern-day folks know this but for almost two centuries, hereditary deafness was prevalent on the island.  It was due to a recessive genetic mutation, traced back to Kent County, England.  Marthas’ Vineyard Sign Language as it was called, was used by both the hearing and the deaf.  The last person who was born deaf, died in 1952 and with that, so did for the most part, the use of sign language.”

Properly impressed, Emberlyn asked how he knew this.  “I like knowledge,” he said, “and I like to know the history of things I hold dear.”  He knew Emberlyns’ history.  She had told him that she was the bastard child of a prostitute.  She had been worried that it might alter his perception of her but when she told him, he laughed and said “and you think I didn’t know that?  Everyone has at least one skeleton in their closet, including me.”

Just as they were about to land, he turned to her and said “what would you like for a wedding present? Anything your heart desires, will be yours.”

Emberlyn looked at him, smiled and said, “I’d like to have a child.”

His demeanor immediately changed.  He said “I already have children.”

“You do, yes” she said.  “But I don’t.”

He angrily said “that was not part of our bargain.”

“Our bargain?” she asked.  “We have a bargain?  That’s what you call our marriage?”

“Calm down.  You know that’s not what I meant,” he said.  “I thought you would understand that I have already raised a family and I don’t want to raise another one.”

Emberlyn was disappointed but said nothing more.  She was sure she could change his mind.  It would just take a little time.

Later that evening as they dined, Mr. Stark apologized for snapping at her.  “You just completely took me by surprise,” he said.  “I wasn’t expecting that.”

“But you’ll think about it?” asked Emberlyn.

“I didn’t say that,” he said.  “Let’s not ruin dinner and let’s not ruin our honeymoon by talking about this right now.”

Emberlyn capitulated and later admitted to herself that the rest of their time together on the island was glorious but she wanted to get back “home.”  She wanted to put her own personal touch on the house so that it would feel more like hers.  Mr. Stark had already told her that she could decorate as she wished and spare no expense.  The only thing he asked was that his library remain unchanged.

When they returned home, Emberlyn furiously began re-decorating.  She wanted the rooms to be exquisite.  She decorated one of the bedrooms in shabby chic, complete with distressed white furniture and soft, pastel fabrics.  That room was her favorite.

The bedroom that she would share with Mr. Stark was more cosmopolitan inspired.  Clean lines, muted colors and very elegant with little to no fru fru. She didn’t particularly like that style because it looked too sterile but she did it to please him.


To be continued_______________