Saturday, December 3, 2022

An Unfortunate Soul

I closed my eyes, and opened them, but all I could see was darkness. I felt a pain beginning in my toes and spreading upward through my feet, legs, thighs and then it zoomed to the top of my torso, neck, and head. My arms felt like darts shooting flames at the very same time. I clinched my teeth in utter pain and couldn’t comprehend what exactly was happening. Where was I? What happened after I went to bed and fell asleep? Could this be a nightmarish dream, or have I died and gone to …oh no, couldn’t be. There is no Hell. I was so sure of it.

I kept thinking I would wake up and it would be just a bad dream. I had heard a street preacher this past week talk about repentance and belief in Jesus, or we would suffer eternal damnation. I had yelled out to him that at least I would be in good company partying away with my friends, who also did not believe. He responded that my friends would not be with me, nor God. I would be alone. All alone.

My eyes were open, but I saw no flames, only darkness. If this were Hell, why could I not see anything burning? Where was the light? I felt like I was on fire and in complete agony, waiting to wake up to forget this horrible nightmare.

I didn’t wake up. I couldn’t wake up because I wasn’t asleep. As time went on and the horror show continued, surrounded in a darkness that smothered my very existence with no feeling of love, joy, contentment, pleasure, or companionship. I was powerless. In other words, I felt completely alone and horrible with the burning shooting through my entire body. It would not stop. I shouted out to God, but he did not respond. I shouted out to everyone I could think of to help me, but no one responded. It would not stop. I was alone, in total darkness and burning with flames I could not see but feel.

I had plenty of time to think about my past life as it had flashed before my eyes. My parents were Christ followers. I had been raised in the Church but had never been “born again." I just appeased my parents with going to youth group because it was more for the fellowship of other teens, not religion. I went along with it for the companionship, until I outgrew them all and became aware of the worldly things in life that brought me immense pleasure. I was my own God.

Now, I know why my grandmother sent me a Bible every year. I kindly asked her to stop, and she did once I agreed not to dispose of the last one. I realize now, too late, that she genuinely loved me. She loved me enough to speak the truth. I will have all of eternity to think about it. I had told her I didn’t care that I was going to hell. I didn’t know at the time the true meaning of hell until now. It is the absence of true light. The light of Jesus. In total darkness, alone and in pain I know who the light of the world really is. It was not the things of the world, it was not my friends, and most of all, it was not myself.

It is too late for me, but not for you. Find the true light. Worship the true source of life. Jesus warned us. He told us he was the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. He was right. I regrettably was wrong. 


An Unfortunate Soul

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

New Writing Challenge!

Love at First Sight

Check out my new entry in the latest writing challenge on Vocal!

Click on the link below to read!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

It was a hot, humid day in the middle of August near the Texas border town of Brownsville. Sweat was pouring down the brow of Valaria's face as she moved some limbs off her driveway into her yard. They had fallen during the night from an old oak tree. She was late for school, but the branches had barely missed her car from behind. A few neighbors looked over at her, nodding and going along their way. There were plenty of stares but no help to aid her. She was used to that. It's hot, and life in this town moves rather slowly except for her. She was a go-getter with big ambitions and dreams of leaving this place for the big city. She had already planned out her life, as far as her work was concerned. She was working hard to make her dream a reality. She planned to transfer to Austin to finish her degree at the University of Texas.

First, she needed to finish all of her credits and be accepted into her program of study. She wasn't worried about it too much since she had the top grades at the community college she attended in town, even while working a full-time job at the local Bookstore as a barista. The only problem she had was leaving her family, but she planned to convince them to move in with her in Austin when the time was right.

Valaria arrived at school and ran into her class only ten minutes late, but the Teacher was not pleased and made it known in front of the other students. He reprimanded her and asked that she stay a few minutes afterward to talk with him. The rest of the class time sped by, and then she met with Mr. Morales. She was planning to receive a scolding, but he only wanted to talk to her about her plans. Mr. Morales knew people in the technology field in Austin, and he told her he was trying to find her an intern job that she could do while living there and working on her degree. He was also a family friend and had been a mentor to her since she was a young child. She often thought that she owed him for the love of technology since he always showed her things he was working on in his classroom.

After all her classes were over that day, she rushed to reach her work on time, and it never failed to be within minutes of being late for that too! She was always running and never slowing down. She liked it that way. Valaria was always on her toes, going from school, work, and meeting up with friends for fun. She was one type of student who never needed to study for a test; it just came easy for her.

At work, she was popular with the customers. She was a talkative Barista and loved to get to know everyone that came in. There were a lot of tourists and Rv'ers that traveled through her town headed to Harlingen. It was a popular area for RV'ers because the rent was cheap as well as the utilities. She lived in an area that the cost of living was probably the lowest in Texas. She loved the people, and the people loved her. If there were more opportunities in the town's technology field, she would be happy to stay, but there wasn't. She knew she had to leave.

Today at work, a stranger in town ordered a latte from her, and she struck up a conversation with him. He was tall, handsome, and had the biggest smile she had ever seen. He looked to be her age as well, maybe one or two years older. She found him interesting and even more so when she heard that he was from Austin. She told him her plans, and he thought that was a great plan for her to pursue. By the time he left, she felt she had made her first friend from Austin and made sure she took down his name and phone number. She spent so much time talking about herself that she didn't think to ask him what he did for a living or anything pertinent in his life. She suddenly felt so shallow and self-centered. It had all been about her. Well, she had his number and promised to call him when she finally arrived in Austin.

Valaria was closer to her dreams coming to fruition as the months went by since she had sent her application to the University. She was also getting ready to graduate in May, which was only a month away. Valaria was on pins and needles, waiting to find out if she was accepted. It seemed like an eternity. She held off on asking Mr. Morales to contact the school to help her find out sooner. She needed to work on her patience. She already had a place set up to live. It was a family friend's house that they rented out to students each year. She was so anxious to move. The month of April seemed to tick slowly on the clock, and she started to become a nervous wreck.

Then one day, she received a package wrapped in brown paper. It was small, and it came to her work address. She had no clue as to what could be in it, and there was no return address. She didn't want to open it at work if it was a prank joke from a friend to embarrass her! She decided to wait and bring it home with her to open. She got sidetracked when she was home, sat the box on her bench by the front door, and forgot all about it.

The following week flew by, and she still had not heard from the University. She was so frustrated and disappointed. She finally decided to ask Mr. Morales to help her find out. She approached him after class and explained the situation. She needed to find out because she had plans to move right after graduating and then start classes during the summer semester. He agreed to help and told her not to worry and wait it out.

She thought back over her life and realized worry never solved anything. It only made life more difficult. If things didn't work out, she had a job, a home, family, friends, and a good life. She had nothing to make her worry. What happens will happen no matter what. Reflecting on this calmed her soul, and she felt her worry dissolve; she felt free.

The following week, Mr. Morales told her he had contacted the University about the application she had sent in. Since they had her return address as the Bookstore and not her home address, they sent out her acceptance letter with a University of Texas t-shirt, and it would have been in a small box. He asked her if she had received one. She had and not opened it. It was still on the front door bench where she had left it. She had forgotten she changed her address on her application because their home mail didn't have a secure box. She didn't want to risk not getting it.

She went home and quickly found the box sitting where she left it unopened. She unwrapped it or, more like, ripped it to shreds, and there in the box was her letter, a t-shirt, and a handwritten note. The note read in the most beautiful cursive writing a personal message addressed to her.

Dear Valaria,

It was so lovely to have met you while traveling through your beautiful town. I enjoyed our talk and can't wait to see you here at the University. Hopefully, you remember me from the Bookstore while you served coffee. I work as a graduate student in the technology department, which you didn't know, and I should have told you. Hope to be friends while you are here.

Yours truly, Benjamin

Her dream was coming true, her ambition was now in focus, and her friends in a strange new town just grew by one even before she has arrived. How does the phrase go? Don't worry, be happy, and life is good!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The twilight was illuminating in the distance while I faced west toward the water. It had a subtle glow with red streaks across the sky that slowly moved down into the horizon. I balanced myself on the large rock that stood in the center of a small pool of water. The tiny canals that circled the rock were dug earlier in the day by a group of kids. It was a beautiful night, one to remember.

Today was also the first anniversary of my best friend passing from this life to the next. I was here at the beach remembering her life and our life as best friends forever (BFF). We were two inseparable twins from different parents who thought we would both grow old together while celebrating all the marriage milestones to our future spouses, children, birthday parties, and everything in between. I was here to celebrate her and toast to her memory.

I sat down on the rock, reached into my shoulder bag, and pulled out a large bottle of red wine. It was her favorite. We would come to this beach a lot while growing up and when we were finally able to drink, we would buy the wine and sit on this ancient rock and talk about our plans in life. We both knew what we wanted and pledged not to do anything without each other in our life. We were sisters, not by blood, but by bond.

I raised my glass after pouring a full one and toasted out loud to Marigold Nevaeh Martin! People, even her parents, called her Mari except for me. I always said she was the flower in my life, and I called her by her given name, Marigold. We often joked that the flower smelled terrible, but the bloom was beautiful like her. She had flaming red hair, so it was a perfect name. My name, on the other hand, was not as unique. It was Caren. Always mispronounced and spelled with a k instead of a c, so Marigold renamed me. I became a flower and our friendship a garden. I was no longer called Caren by her, but instead, she renamed me, Violet.

As I sat on the rock and drank my first of several glasses of wine, my mind flooded with memories. We lived down the street from each other, only a few blocks from the beach in Seattle, Washington. We went to daycare as infants together, then all through school until we graduated from the same University. It was bizarre to some but natural for us. We even majored in the same field of criminal justice. The only difference is she became a police officer, and I became a corporate paralegal.

Marigold's middle name was Neveah, which is heaven spelled backward. It fit her perfectly, and it was symbolic of another difference we didn't share. As I sat on the rock and shared my thoughts with her, I knew where she was. You see, she believed in something more than what we see in this life, yet I didn't. Well…I didn't until that awful night.

Marigold had been on patrol one dark moonless night and spotted a stranded motorist on the freeway. She had made sure to secure the area with flares and her patrol car lights, but even with that, it didn't stop the speeding car from barreling toward them. In a flash of just mere seconds, she pushed a young mother who was the car's driver into a ditch and took the hit head-on. Marigold was gone instantly. She didn't suffer at all. I always knew she would practice what she preached, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." At work and in her personal life, she was everyone's friend. She always treated people she arrested with respect. She disapproved of their crimes, but she wasn't there to be their judge and jury.

So I lifted high the last glass of red wine with my arm outstretched toward the horizon and toasted my BFF while the light of the moon silhouetted me. I know now that I will see her again, and that is what consoles me. That is what I know to be true.

Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."


Sunday, July 25, 2021

New Story posted on Vocal-media!

Photo credit: Carol Eliassen

I have several new stories posted on The new one is called "The Voice from the Deep!"  Check it out here! If you like it give it some LOVE with a "💗." Thanks and I look forward to writing more as time permits. 



Friday, July 16, 2021

George's Bakery - Chocolate Death Cake


Chocolate Death Cake

Check out my new short story George's Bakery - Chocolate Death Cake! I'm having fun with the challenges offered at this site. I'm doing the writing just for fun but this site is full of wonderful stories from so many other writers. You should check it out for reading material or posting your own stories.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

You can also find me on

Check out my new account page for ongoing short stories at The link for my account is:

You can also find some great stories by other writers in many different genres! I will still be posting to this page as well. 

If you are an inspiring author, you might want to give it a try. They have a free account as well as a paid account. The paid account gives you more opportunities, such as entering challenges/contests. It really can inspire you to be creative. 

Happy creating! 

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