Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

Brian Rayburn

Dear Gabby,
There is a man in my neighborhood who is very wealthy and who is trying to get money out of his ex-wife when he has more money than both of them put together. I think he wants to do this just to make her stop telling the truth about what he really is. Why doesn’t he try to consider if he has a problem with his pride he may need to work on? Shame on him, and shame on him double for all of the trouble he has caused her. What kind of day are we living in, when young men pick-pocket grandma, instead of helping her to cross the street? How very disrespectful. We should pray for the protection of this woman. The poor, little, small town church lady and her ex-mother-in-law must feel very terrified and very bullied. And with all of his £money? He claims he was hurt by accusations of being a dead-beat dad. But was he? He has never said whether he spent time with his children or not. He needs to pattern himself after the obviously more humble, and mature actor, the one who acts like a grown-up and turns the other cheek. You know who I mean. The one from the small town. And look how well other famous male figures who uphold the honor of the spotlight respect and care for their mother–in-law even better than some do their own mothers, as opposed to this man. I used to love the music of this man who played Irish ballads at the local pub. But no more. I have sold all of his albums.The music now feels frightening and threatening instead of comforting. The first love of my life and I formed our relationship around the themes we thought the songs emanated. What an eye opener! From loving and kissing to his revenge has made me turn his albums in for Olivia Newton John’s, “Have you never been mellow?” ~ The bible warned us of children who would mistreat their elders and be lovers only of themselves. And now look. They should not smile and do it without shame. This is a first amendment violation of her right to free speech. I think F. Lee Bailey or the Irish Civil Rights Union should take her case for free and make a precedent for all little old ladies in small towns everywhere. The lone single mother is brave to stand up for her child. Of course, we should all be sending her money for lawyers, and funds or whatever else she may need. Last week her daughter’s epileptic seizures came so often that she had to be hospitalized. The grown woman, stressed out over her children, and terrified of the man’s violent attorney, who often just shows up at various homes of relatives to gather information, not for justice, but for reasons of illegal intimidation ~ Logically this led the young woman of her most recent victimization done through the auspices of the client’s telephoned physical threats and harassment, to an increase of the uncontrollable Grand Mal seizures whenever her grief and worry reached that insurmountable place. Is this any way to treat the woman whose family once paid the bills for his entire household, who also scrubbed his floors at midnight, who gave birth to his children, who quietly took his beatings, and listened to his verbal abuse, who bore him picking her up and throwing her through plate-glass windows, and then sending her the bill for those. She tried to walk away from it as so much water on the bridge. She even forgave and dismissed it all. But the man, as cold and a calculated man as he is, rolled his smooth tongue out, and like a large plussed snake thought he might try to get himself some even more money out of the deal ~ A self-appointed £paycheck for putting forth all of that bad energy of dark mental, verbal and physical effort he used to dole out all that cunning evil. But this time, the seizures escalated to such repetition for her that even the hospital kept her for an extenuate observation. The man, the kind that likes to see bad things happen to good people was probably concerned she might pass. I guess he saw his portion of the disability money £ he called her at her home for and threatened to take a percentage of fly right out the front door of the funeral home with wings. The good thing is that since she does not get disability money, there is none for him to get. A man who hates to work, he has capitalized on money and goods and belongings he has talked relatives and others and anyone else he can out of. The young woman on the other hand, once a straight A student and athlete involved in five different sports, who absolutely excelled at soccer at her private, parochial school, loved daily prayer hour and others more at times, almost too much, and that includes shady and selfish lowdown old forty-something year old boyfriends who saw her darling Pentecost length chiffon skirt flapping in the wind a mile away. But unlike this man with whose full-capacity prison workout room fit muscular build and lungs, and well-working legs, shortly before her thirteenth-birthday she found herself a passenger victim of a head-on collision. A sharp-thinking girl at the time, she thought to save herself by opening the door of the car, but went head first instead of meeting the infamous jump and roll. Perhaps authorities should tell this man who as soon as he does the same, and then spends hours of his days and nights in hospital cat scans and waiting rooms, on tubes with oxygen, and having repetitive seizures, and forced to take mega doses of heavy medicine just to keep alive, and still sometimes with seizures up to five in a row, his breathing halted and turning blue, his heart stopping so many times as hers has that he can have along with that all of the full privileges of the £abuse he put her through too. And then there was the secondary injury not long after at school, and felled by a secondary concussion, incurred another and an additionally serious brain injury. She had fought the good fight to psyche and pretend herself to a healing, and out of that great desire all who this has happened desire, to just be normal again, she finally had to accept that it is what it is. After that, her life love of sports over, her dreams of a college scholarship for same gone, and her short and long-term memory dropped her grades from excellent to failing almost every course overnight. She could not learn. She could not remember. She could not read, do math anymore, and life like this even made it difficult to enter the prayer hour she had once been a leader of at school. A pattern that continued up to even now, she was not expected to live past twenty. Now at thirty, she still cannot concentrate enough to read or write. The girl who had once awed elementary school spelling bees could not even recall how to spell the word bee let alone write. How sad the disabled grand-daughter of a man who walked the line to bring the illumination of higher education to all of his children, and even to his own wife. Sadder still, for all of them to be saddled at present with an ex-son-in-law whose feet trod the sod of a great lethargy. A man who although nearly fifty and grown did not work and depended on his mother to support him. And now wanted to intimidate, threaten and attempt he said, to soak the disabled woman of whatever he thought he could get from her, which by now pretty much looked like nothing. After the man was arrested for having a meth lab, something the young woman at present does not have the kind of capacity to discern or understand, and despite his lies to his family about that, she had no idea what kind of a red herring his attorney had helped him fry up. Of course, he told two lies to keep himself afloat. He had to make a written statement to law enforcement, so knew he could not lie on paper. He told the truth there, that she was not involved. But in order to keep his family from throwing him out into the streets, he fabricated a lie of a world there. He made her solely responsible for something she had no knowledge about? The truth? The perpetrating abuser threw her out under false pretense, when the real reason was his anger against for doing the right thing. She invited the police in. He fought against them and required a search warrant. She said, “Sure look, I have nothing to hide,” believing they didn’t, and shocked when she find out they did. Gabby, here is the thing though. Even though this young woman is safely out of the vicious man’s house, a man who point-blank refused to marry her for reasons only of, he said, it was his house and he was not going to share it with anybody. I guess that includes even the mother of his child whose family made his almost every house payment possible. Still I am concerned for this young woman. After all, shouldn’t someone be praying for her and protecting her and her mother. The two are all alone, in the midst of this world of injustice and only two in holding their fort down against this man’s opposing family who includes no less than at the very least about ten Winter’s Bone drug dealers. The man also lies and manipulates and has secrets about all of the things he has done behind the scenes and tried to pull a wall of chaos down upon them. That, and has the world become only a man’s world alone? Or are there any men chivalrous enough anywhere in the world to at least pray for the two women? To at least pray for the protection and the safety of the women from this obviously lying and exploitive man? What do you think the two women, who it seems to have done all they know to do, and with one now hospitalized, and the other, doing her best to stand should do? Gabby please, tell them where is sanity, for at present, they seem to have none of that left either.~ Dubliner

Tá sé a comment brónach ar an sochaí na hÉireann go blokes gan Dia a ainmheas den sórt sin patronized fiú ar chor ar bith. Molaim i ngach ceann dár countrymen a léamh chun a fháil ar a n-knees agus guí ar son an bhean agus an iníon agus do gach seanmháthair Tá i ngach áit atá á abused agus terrorized ag fir óga. Bhí Ó do na laethanta nuair a bhí fir meas, uasal, agus rinneadh na Cásca aithrighe i mí ár Slánaitheoir agus bhí níos dáiríre faoi sin ná i dtaobh ar an íomhá, do Chríost dúirt é féin go raibh sé ina fhear aon cháil. He was a man of no reputation.


SET ME FREE (Déjeme sola. Váyase)
No Copyright Infringement Intended. A Non-Profit Endeavor

By Tess Doberville

We enter our scene tremulously with news of a woman who arrived from another country on a huge banana boat.  She keeps ordering her new boyfriend around. After three months of such scenarios, the local people soon figure out that her problem is bigger than just travel fatigue. Join us as we sit in on this situation and see if we can catch what is going on.

Slidell, actually terrified of a woman for the very first time in his life, hides in the closet of his government ministry office, hoping and praying she does not enter with fist pounding demands one more time today. He informed his secretary he went to his Love Me More group therapy meeting.  “At first,”  he tells the large group sitting around in a perfect and closed circle, “I had no idea I would fall in love like that.”  He shifts from Spanish to English and English To Spanish again.  He only does this when he is upset.  “Santa Madre de Dios. Estoy dispuesto a renunciar a este trabajo en el gobierno y volver a la granja, y de vuelta a la madre.” “But I do not think she loves me, for although she may I think she just likes to control me. I think my tall and powerful darling thinks these is love. I will do her every bid and command. But there is only one thing I must change back, if I can. Then he elaborates in broken English.  “She should no be dictator of my country anymore.  It is just too much. Some may say, it is just the time of month when I crave chocolates too much. Calm down Slidell they may say. Here have a banana, Slidell. Did you take your meds Slidell?” he mocks his own self.  The grown man, about fifty years old begins bawling into a small white embroidered kerchief.  “My brown haired senorita with the cute pixie haircut, she gave me this, ” he said.  “I just don’t know.  I just do not know what to do. I love her so much.”

“There, there,” said one small older woman, a cleaning woman at a local place down the street from this man’s huge government building. This woman had come to the therapy group after staff found her drawing involved trigonmetry equasions on walls with chalk in order to calculate and discover the method for not just eiπ=−1, where i=−1, but also in order to calculate a new scientific discovery she had made. Specifically, her theory for sending a rocket to the next and undiscovered atmosphere while superceding the obstruction of a more limiting unknown velocity. Her new discovery sought not only to uncover the unknown. But also looked at the possibility of how to enter the new sphere with vast if almost complete limitation of any negative impact at all. The staff wrote her up for failure to line up with the outlined and written job description. She was here for penal reasons. “Do not make it that bad, or you will get suicidal,” like my son she said   “Yes, one day he goes to a large dance in a large ballroom.  A blond woman, you know like those bleached blond senoritas talks to him there. She holds him while he sobs and helps him to come out of the closet. “Why is he in the closet?” asked the others in unison. “Because, it is a cruel and cold world and people need to change, si. Vastly,” adds the humble cleaning woman. Everybody nods in unison. And she continues her tale. “So, the blond woman who looks like an angel, she comforts him. After she tells him her story about getting left behind.  You see, her date should have come.  He should have been there.  After that, everything went wrong that night.  My Jesus, my son, that’s his name, Jesus, he gets so upset when she tells him the story, he tries to jump off the bridge.  He never heard a story so sad in all of his life.”  This hits the raw nerve of the heart strings of Slidell, who now bawls even louder into his perfumed kerchief.  “She made this like this for me,” he whimpers to the group, speaking of his new live in girlfriend.  “When I saw her stepping out of the banana boat, I never saw such a beautiful American woman in all my life. Making wavy hand motions, he shows how an hourglass looks.

“What happened to your son,?” He asks.  The doctor nods his head in approval as this is an important part of the group therapy for everyone here.  “Well, after these girl found him on the bridge, she try to talk him down,”the doting mama of the young man said.  “So, did he come down?” Asked another man there whose addiction to pot, tequila and fine banana cigars has led him here. “Yes,” said mama. “He finally come down, and vow to find who do this nasty thing to stand her up and leave her standing all alone and crying that night. He vow to fight for her honor with his valor.” Everyone nodded and sighed with great agreement. The next man here in the group circle, his prior wife almost left with a man driving a red Camaro.  And although he knew deep down in his heart that the man who wanted to take his ex-wife is actually a gringos and a very bad Diablo, he still loves her present friendship too much to see her punished and living with just any old Don Juan. He knows after all that this woman deserves a man worthy of her inner woman. He has vowed to find her a man who will make all of the bad years up to her. A kind man. A loving man. A better man. The doctor thinks this is a healthy move for the man.  After all. the sooner he proves his recovery, the sooner he finishes the program and escapes from all of the stories Slidell keeps telling about the sex life of him and his new girlfriend during therapy, as such a thing he does not only want to imagine with his mind, he does not want to know.  Considering this, there is hope for Pablo after all, thinks the psychiatrist to himself. He crosses himself and then remembers that religion is not allowed in his country.  He pretends to ruffle and arrange his chest hairs.

“My girlfriend, she arrive on the Banana boat one day, and it is as if she has taken over my whole life the next day. Every morning she gets up and straightens my beautiful shoulder length black hair with the plug-in curling ironing rod. She schedules all of my El Rey Del Mundo cigar box orders.  She orders the maids to keep my black scuff military boots shiny and perfect at all hours of the day and night.  She has put a hold on all drug abuse and drinking in this country. She has stopped all dancing and Salsa dancing as well. She has even launched a new campaign which she said her public relations person at her big organization started in her country.  It is called the  Forgive Me So That I Do Not Have To Repent Coalition.   The public relations person at her $3mil dollar agency also came up with the idea that instead of admitting that they are victimizing a victim, that they will simply change the wording and call it fighting to make it look like the victim is always coming after them and fighting them, when instead it is the bully organization that is pursuing and levelling and bullying and taking all of these individual people.” He continues speaking.

“So my Venus Fly Trap lotus, my new pixie haircut girlfriend, she is so good at public speaking. She can convince anybody of anything at any time of an outright lie. But not anymore in her great country. For soon the gig would be up and they would be onto her. So she comes here to my great country, and she hands out large protest signs all up and down the street corners for the people to carry around that say,”Make Slidell look good! Lie, and say he does no wrong!” Yes, this social blasphemy is a great government operative, si, where all you do is like what I do here in my country.  Anything I want to do.  And if anybody does not like it, I just say to them no matter how many times I have beat them or conned them out of babies, farms or money or lands, or homes or families. I tell them. “”You must forgive me! And right away! And like I say. Now! Or else!”” “And then?”  Asked the mother of the boy.  “And then, I go and do more evil again,  and again and again!” Bellowed Slidell proudly while laughing loudly, and pounding his chest. Everyone in the circle hushed, for many knew the ramifications of this move.  It could mean anything.  Torture.  Prison.  Even the worst punishment of all, which Slidell had been exercising with all of his men, to keep the poor soldiers in line.  A fate worse than death.  A night alone with this woman. The treachery of even a thought of a starlit night of wine and roses and the shadows of her sadism falling like gloom upon a deluxe and private suite above the Copacabana, one of them alone and with her only, turned the men an even much darker shade of pale. Each man who had his turn for punishment for a slight while serving the army begged for the safe and sweet enclosure of a brig suite, the wet cold, dripping odor of a pungent dungeon confinement of the military palace instead. Others offered and begged the burly once male, before her arrival, dictator to allow them to return to his girlfriend’s home country and become one of her prior friends, also a fate initially worse than death. Such punishment promised initial poverty, abandonment, homelessness, rejection, shunning and finally the removal of all children, husbands and property and the supportive surroundings of a normal community life. One man who actually accepted this punishment shuddered with fear, as he boarded the banana boat to America.

“Si.  These is why she got thrown out of her country America,” said the big burly man shoveling down a tiny cup of strawberry yogurt now.  A teenage girl grimaced, wrinkled up her nose and got out a pack of cigarettes, Camel, no filter shortly before wolfing down a delicious slim jim, followed by a pepsi chaser. No worm. She just sat there eating while Slidell looked on.  “My health.  She is always worried about what I am eating.  She forces me to take a low-fat salad dressing everywhere I go.” The teenage girl, filled with boredom, began doing sitting arm exercises. She started out with small arm circles and then progressed to eye-level elbow pullbacks. “Nobody eats salad in this country, ” said a night janitor addressing dictator Slidell, who forced to attend therapy after stealing too many cigars from Slidell’s drawer while mopping his office floor, one day decided to take the dictator’s box of gold bars shaped like his new girl instead.  “Yeah, it is all enchiladas and tacos here, ” said another man boisterously.

“So anyway, my girlfriend, she puts these campaign out she names You Must Forgive Me, So I Do Not Have To Tell Someone I Admit I Made Bad Actions Program, Even Though I Know I Must Stop And Turn Back And Undo What I Did And Do No More Evil And Leave The Innocent One Alone and the next thing you know, the whole country gets out of disorder. My girlfriend’s actions make no sense. So instead of putting the blame on the criminal to reform where it belongs, and reverse from all of the bad decisions and stop ~ The focus is put back on the victim.” Said Slidell despairingly.  “Which?” Asked a very handsome Spanish gentleman, while glancing at his pocket watch. “Which means that the criminal never has to make any restitution. They try everything they can to prove the victim is sinful or unholy like them. It is like Escape From New York City.  And much civil unrest, si.  So then, this man she lives with, who she says she treated even worse than me, if that can be imagined, says he can’t take it no more too.  So one day, as he sits thinking how he has put up with this for about some forty years now, he figures to himself about these here country here who puts bad people on banana boats and sends them here. So he reasons. Why not send one back? Then he fires her public relations agent for coming up with such a useless and tricky campaign, and puts her on a banana boat with nothing but the clothes on her back, headed for here.”  “Amigo,” rumbles a younger man, “You mean, these is your girlfriend, your senorita?”  “Si.” Said Slidell drawing out his ‘Si’ slowly and with much compulsion.  “Santa Madre de Dios,” said the young man in return. “Obviously, these woman is a controlling she dog who drove her husband as mad as a rabid animal. Never mind that she owns some big conglomerate of office buildings and sells New York Times best seller books to the dumbed down of her own nation amigos. But these woman is of the worst kind. She is a bourgeous anarchist!  None of us men are safe to come out at night after dark with her around anymore.  She is a man-eater amigos. “I have seen her. She comes out all day and all night,” said a young boxer, who so terrified of the wo-man by now, he changed his name and got a new job working as a stocker at a local discount department store. This made Slidell break out in cries of jagging moans and great realization of as opposed to the heat of, the torment of the moment instead.  He felt himself coming out of denial.  He repeated Step One of his Great Big Book the therapist had given him. “I admit, I am powerless over myself, and I must depend on others to tell me what to do, as my choices are limited, and it is all up to others.” He looked up to the heavens and  said, “I do not believe in you, but if she is the weapon that drove grown men to their knees to look for you, I think it works.”

One day, before he discovered the beautiful place of the marvelous and healing therapy room, the only place she would not go to, he daydreamed in his office while knocking the Japanese pachinko clacker balls on his desk back and forth with his pencil. He stared at the photos of the two of them together, hugging on the beach and at home. He then thought of the cruel way she had treated him after he made her dinner last night. “Slidell! Slidell! Slidell!” She had screamed. “Did you cut those roses back yet!  I told you that I want one-thousand red arm bands by seven-o-clock for the Forgive Me Or Else! campaign and street march I am conducting among the nation on Thursday!  Good God,” she cried out.  “I guess if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.” It was at this time that he felt his spirit breaking.  Certainly, he did not know how much more of this waterboarding he could take.

And then when she fired his ninety year old mamasito secretary who had been with him for all of his life, for not hand printing the propaganda flyers fast enough, that was when he knew he must do something.  He must go for help.  “Cha, Cha honey,” she bellowed from the other room.  “I never worked this hard in all my life.  I am so mad I could just, just just…”  “No, don’t say it,” wept Slidell.  “Don’t say it.” He pleaded again.  “Back to Am-er-i.”  “I told you not to say it, ” he said and wept as he hit the floor.  “All my hard work down the drain.” He wept to himself and mumbled.  “I stablish this country so we can smoke fresh grown dope wrapped in the most tender and delicate banana peels ever, and drink from the fresh coconut bowl, and dance, dance, dance.”

“Dancing?’ She gasped.  “That word is not in my vocabulary. Absolutely not.  Against the rules.  And you yak on and on about disco dancing when I am eight months behind in a hostile farm takeover. My husband was right when I felt his foot kick the back of that boat hard for the last time,” she mumbled to her own self. “Thank God I went to see Life of Pi at the theater just before it happened.” She thought to herself. This led her to think of a film she forced others to live, but truly avoided herself. “Haven’t you ever seen the movie, ‘Stabbed?’ ” she demanded hardly.  “That’s Speared, or End of The Spear,” he said in a low tone of voice so as not to upset her anymore. “Well, it looks like I’m serving the same old goverment Mission I always served,” she said.  “I guess I’ve got to grab my god by the ram horns and make him do what I really want him to. And I am not going to let go of him until he blesses my soul and has you like all the others.  Bowed down and worshipping me 24-7,” she commanded.

When she first came, she thought she had finally found a man who believed the same way she did.  That is why she fired up one of her tiperello cigarettes and pulled the skirt up one side of her knee to prove to him after all this time, she still had it. She loved how his dark eyes and black beard glistened at sunset, and most of the time, he did seem to believe the same way as her. “Which is it honey?” He said, the first time he fixed dinner for her.  “Crepes rolled with strawberries and cool whip, or shall I bake you a nice homemade raven pie?”  “Your people don’t eat raven,” she said.  “Yes, that is right, ” he agreed. After all, there had not been a raven in this place for years.

Sometimes he woke up in a cold sweat with nightmares, and that is when he had to slug down his medication with a glass of red wine.  “Bow down to the Lady of Guadalupe,” said the man in the nightmare. “Worship her.”  His hands bound behind him, what else could he do?  He must bow down to what he thought was the statue of some lady. “Give her all of your money,” said the man.  He watched as his servants carried large bushels of the paper money and poured it into a small luxury yacht.  “I love to control the people by making them poor just as much as you do,” She said to the stone statue.  “But please, I love my money.  It is all I have left in life.  And I cannot have power over you without it.”

One night while she rested in his arms, beside a romantic burning fire over good tequila rubbing one arm of his one-piece camouflage, both not the kind found at the local package store along with the cheap cigarettes, she whispered in his ear so softly, it made him tremble with delight. “Darling,” he replied back to her in much the same way.  “You are such a little control freak, my sweet senorita.  But still all the same, you make me burn with a wrong fire.  I think I can spend all of the rest of my life with you. I don’t know, really know all of the details of why you came, or even if you were married to that man you lived with before. “Probably not,” he thought to himself.  What man in his right mind would consent to such a thing with an unsubmissive woman like this.  “I do not care.  I just want you.” He lied only to manipulate. He knew that for the first time in his life, he had met his match.  “It is all I know for sure,” he said, with eyes so serious. Secretly she thought private thoughts to herself as well. For even she knew that if she would just take her hands off of the thing and get her meddling nose out of everybody elses affairs and just work on her own private life, and quit trying to manipulate and control everyone and everything, and undo all of the evil she had done and leave it all alone and move away from it and move on, and not make things worse than what she already so very evil and unwise as well had already done, it would all work out. After all, little did she know that every last even single little and every large thing she had done to one woman left behind in America, who came to mind in particular would one day all happen to her just like that. And even down to the last finute, distinct detail. Her thoughts now returned to him. The two got up together and together they lifted wood and refilled the fire there with more wood for the hot place.

Matthew 12:12Therefore all things whatsoeuer ye would that men should doe to you, doe ye euen so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.