Tag Archive: writing


[Read part one.]

Immediately upon spotting the gun, Antonio felt the man’s left arm come around and clamp his chest under his chin, reclaiming his vise grip on Antonio’s right shoulder. Although he  had an urge to turn his head to see where the pistol was pointed, the preacher decided instantaneously that it would not be the wisest choice he could make. His heart was beating so fast that it seemed determined to fly out of his chest. At the same time his brain struggled between telling his eyes to close tightly to feel the barrel of the gun should it be pointed at his head, and telling them to remain open to eliminate the element of surprise.

Francis dropped the coffee pot, which shattered, sending hot coffee and shards of glass onto her shoes and legs. Her fear of the man holding Antonio and the gun offset the pain in her legs. That, and she was praying harder than she ever remembered praying. She wondered if it would matter to the gunman if he knew Antonio was a preacher.

The instant the coffee pot shattered, Fred Martinez, the owner of the truck stop who was still at the cash register, stepped on the floor alarm under the register that signaled the police. He always had unruly customers, but he had the alarm installed when a late night birthday party got  out of control. With the use of credit and debit cards, the truck stop never had enough cash that he thought someone would rob the place at gunpoint. Especially with all the glass and traffic.

“Pull down the shades, and turn the sign around!” the gunman demanded, pointing the gun at Francis – who fought hard against the fainting spell, which along with her fear, was turning her legs to jello.

Francis was not sure how her legs kept moving, but she moved toward the windows as quickly as she dared. As she reached up for the shade on the last window by the door, she spotted Steve Striden at the pump putting gas in his blue Ford F150. He looked around toward the restaurant. Francis tried to catch Steve’s eye as she pulled down the shade. She turned the open sign around in the window, glancing again toward the pump.

“Lock the door,” said the gunman, who had backed up against the wall dividing the restaurant from the store. “Now this one,” he said after she locked the front door, nodding to the door to his right.

The gunman still held Antonio in front of him. Antonio had said so many prayers they had turned into one long prayer. When the gunman had relocated – pulling Antonio with him – the preacher nearly lost his balance. He was sweating buckets and knew the gunman was, too.

Antonio was struggling to keep his bladder in check against the fear and coffee. But that did not keep him from noticing that the man with the gun and arm around his chest was getting nervous. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Which was when someone dropped something in the kitchen, Antonio felt the gunman twitch as he pointed the gun toward the kitchen, the gun fired, and Antonio’s ears rang.

_______________________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

Cyndy and I are at our good friend Sally’s house in Colorado. Doing the same thing we’ve done since before the pandemic – nothing outside the house but the essentials. We did drive to Denver to see places where her brother Sam – who died in April (not Covid) – worked and lived when he was there, but we only stopped twice and had masks, etc.

Be that as it may, Cyndy and I are staying downstairs at their – now Sally’s – house. I was in the bathroom and happened to noticed the shampoo pictured. Most of what is in the shower was here when we arrived. The name Andalou made me wonder if it was named after a woman or girl. If so, what the hell were they thinking? And-a-lou – really?

After doing what I came there to do, I went back upstairs. I sat down at my laptop and checked my email. If I keep dealing with emails frequently, I only have to deal with a few at a time. Otherwise it just gets nuts.

I get an email from Amazon suggesting Andalou shampoo. Say what? I just happened to notice it sitting there on the shelf in the shower a few minutes before. It freaked me out until I checked and Cyndy had ordered the shampoo and just paid with the card set up – which was mine.

But it does give one pause, does it not?

___________________________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

 

 

Good Morning Sweetheart

 

Good morning sweetheart,

I love you more than strawberry cheesecake,

– and I really like strawberry cheesecake.

I love you more than peel ‘n’ eat shrimp and beer,

more than cold water after mowing the lawn,

more than the day’s first cup of coffee,

more than Marshall’s Barbeque,

 

I love you more than Hi-C gummies,

beef jerky,

Canadian Bacon on a good pizza,

chicken wings or chili on a cold night,

 

I love you more than a beautiful sunrise,

a gorgeous sunset,

the colors after a light spring rain,

a smooth flowing river full of fish,

– unless you are there with me – then I love you for the collective                                                                     beauty of you and nature.

I love you….completely,

I love you….wholeheartedly,

I love you….period.

_____________________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

A Leaf

 

Walking down the sidewalk

I stopped as the mist rose

Watching a leaf fall

Through the mist.

 

I am like that leaf

Floating softly over the paths

of yesterday.

 

Observing much,

but saying little,

Of what I would like to say.

 

Someone kicks me,

I fly off to see tomorrow,

In another place,

Not knowing where I’m bound.

____________________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

 

If I Had A Wish

 

If I had a wish that I could wish

I would wish that you would always love me.

 

If I had another wish that I could wish

I would wish that you would be with me forever.

 

If you had a wish that you could wish

Would you wish that I would always love you?

 

If you had a wish that you could wish

Would you wish that I would be with you forever?

 

If you have had that wish that you could wish

Then your wish has come true –

And so has the wish that I would wish if I had a wish.

 

I Love You.

_______________________________________

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

 

Eyes of a Poet

 

I’ve weathered storms

Climbed tall mountains,

washed my hands

in city park fountains,

I wake up wondering

what new thing I’ll have to try.

 

I’ve seen the world through

the eyes of a poet:

Observing while I stand alone.

Never a thought

of wanting to change things,

What can you do

when the seed’s been sown.

 

The robin rocks and rolls upon receipt

of a young boy’s slingshot stone,

The eagle flies in darkened skies,

and on Friday afternoons

Sometimes I laugh

like a crazy hyena,

Sometimes I howl at the moon.

 

Well hiddy hiddy ho

and tally tally ho

Too many choices

which way to go?

But, you know, the damnedest thing of all is,

actually – only one way is right.

___________________________________________________________________

Keeping writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

[See part one, two, or three] “I was driving to Bossier City to do a little gambling. I knew it was, well, a gamble, but I was getting desperate and needed money. I wasn’t going to be stupid about it – I had a limit. But I was worried about losing, having nothing to show for it, and having it end up on the list of bad choices that for some reason I always had trouble avoiding. I was listening to the radio and trying not to think about it when the tire blew.

I replaced the blown tire with the factory “donut” in the trunk, knowing I was on borrowed time to get a replacement. My budget blew with the tire if I couldn’t get it fixed cheap. Putting the flat tire in the trunk, I got in and started the car. At the same time, the passenger door opened and a man fell into the seat with a pistol pointed at me.

He told me to drive and I drove. I’m already on probation for being stupid in public and I didn’t want to end up dead or in jail. He said he just broke out of jail. He rambled on about being set up for the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Which I thought a little weird since he was doing just that with me. But I kept driving.

We were just coming around a curve when he hit my shoulder and told me to pull in to the gas station on the left. Which I did, barely avoiding a gray Prius pulling out of the station.

I managed to pull up to the pump without colliding with anything more important than the trash can. It did not fall over, but I knocked it into the other side of the pump. After which a car coming in from the other direction knocked it nearly back in place. As I shifted into park, he handed me a Visa credit card with a name I was pretty damn sure wasn’t his. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to ask him.

“Use it like a credit card and fill up the tank. The zip code is 75234. Then go inside and go to the blonde behind the food counter. Tell her you need two barbecue sandwiches with regular chips and waters on the fly. Say it just like that. She’ll know what to do.”

“I hate to bring this up, but I’m going to need to get my tire fixed. This donut isn’t going to last much longer.”

“Fill the tank up and I’ll let you know.” He turned to his phone and  began to send a text as I was getting the gas.

“Get in and back into the bay and the mechanic will fix the tire,” he said as I looked into the car after filling the gas tank.

Which I did and the mechanic did, putting the tire on the car and the donut in the trunk. All while my inconvenient passenger was sitting in the car, and I stood nervously by. I got in the car, started it, pulled out of the bay and stopped, putting the car in park. I turned and looked at the guy.

“Should I get the sandwiches now?”

“Of course, do you remember what to say”

“I’ve got it.”

And I did. I walked into the station and went straight to the food counter.

“May I help you?” the blonde asked.

“I need two barbecue sandwiches with regular chips and waters on the fly.” By now I was getting kinda hungry. I knew it must be some sort of code, but I hoped the sandwiches were real. I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen and it never hurts to have barbecue first. Fortunately, she handed me the food and waters. Unfortunately, things began to take a nasty turn.

When I got back to the car, my passenger was now the driver. He motioned for me to get in the back seat. As I was opening the door, I heard the shots. I was in the car and closing the door when the blonde came running out of the gas station with a gun in her left hand and a bag in the right.

“Let’s go, Pete,” she said to the driver as she jumped into the passenger seat.

“I thought we weren’t going to use names, Sharon.”

” Just drive.”

I’m thinking, well great, I just ran into a modern day Bonnie and freaking Clyde. Talk about bad choices and bad luck. I was better than fifty percent positive I wasn’t going to get to Bossier City. I was hoping I would get to keep the money I had on me.

I saw the speed trap coming. Pete didn’t. Apparently, neither did Sharon.

[Peace be with you.]

I have a theory – call it the a-hole relativity theory. The number of a-holes in any given area is relative to the total number of people in that area. Hence, more people, more a-holes. This of course includes many varying degrees of a-holism.

Some of them don’t actually know they have this social disease. They are oblivious of the fact that they are disturbing a very large number of people. Then there are those who are chest-thumping proud of pissing people off. Some are in between – most of the time they are considerate of the people around them. Until something hits their switch and they became flaming lunatics.

What they all have in common is a serious lack of driving skills. They have the inability to see that everyone is passing them on both sides and they are slowing down. And they were not going the speed limit to begin with.

To do what I feel is my duty, I thought I would jot down a few rules to help these poor demented souls survive yet one more day. Some are just common sense – something most of them do not possess.

If you are already in the turn lane while coming to a stop, there is no longer any need to turn on your blinker.

On the other hand, if you are not yet in the turn lane or left lane, please turn the damn thing on.

If you are turning right at the corner, don’t turn the blinker on until you’ve passed the parking lot entrances. People coming out of the parking lot will think you’re turning there and will try to pull out in front of you. Turn on your blinker when you pass the last entrance. You can begin slowing down, however.

Being in the middle lane going forty miles an hour is not the best time to whip out the phone and post a selfie on Facebook and/or Instagram.

If you get a phone call when you are driving in rush hour traffic, let it go to voice mail. You can check it at the next red light or at your destination. If you are lying in the road dead or dying, letting them know you are running late is not going to matter.

Whether you know it or not, the mirrors are on the car for a reason. Use the freaking things!

Please feel free to add others in the comments. The ironic thing is, if the people I refer to read this, it probably won’t occur to them that it’s about them.

Peace be with you.

[Read part one and part two]

“Everyone be quiet and stay calm and no one will get hurt,” the gunman commanded. “The shot was an accident. No sudden noises.”

Antonio knew that if the police were not outside by now, they would be soon. He also knew the gunman was becoming more nervous by the minute and he did not want to get caught in the middle, which was now an increasingly likely situation.

“The police are going to be here soon, if they aren’t here now. I’d like to help you if I can,” Antonio said in the most calming voice he could muster with his nerves on overdrive.

“Why would you do that?

“Because I’m a preacher and it’s my job to help people with their problems.”

“So how can you help?”

“I have a cell phone with the number of the sheriff and he will listen to me.”

“Why would he do that?”

“I helped his family out. Like I said, it’s what I do.”

“Why should I trust you?”

“I’m a preacher, for God’s sake! I don’t have an ulterior motive.”

“A what?”

“A reason for lying to you. Just let me call him. If you don’t like what I say you can shoot me. And I wouldn’t give you a reason to do that. But I need to know why you’re doing this. Are you here to rob them?”

“I’m not here to rob the place. I’m not sure how things got this far. Make the call.”

Antonio could sense desperation in the man’s voice. He hadn’t always been a preacher and he knew the difference between an evil man and a desperate one. He pulled out his phone and called Sheriff Martinez.

“Hello, Antonio. I’m a little occupied at the moment.”

“No more than I, Oscar. I’m in the restaurant with the gunman’s arm around my chest.” He felt the gunman relax his hold a bit.

“Was anyone hurt by the shot?”

“No, someone dropped something in the kitchen which surprised him and he reacted. The bullet went into the counter after going through a chair.”

“What does he want?”

“That’s what we’re trying to ascertain. If you’ll let us get to the chapel, we’ll try to resolve the situation without involving the people in here. We’ll be coming out the main door.”

“You got a line on this nimrod?”

“So far anyway. But remember, he’s one of God’s people.”

“But not one of the chosen, Antonio. Call me when you’re in the chapel.”

“First chance I get.” Antonio hung up the phone and returned it to his pocket.

“What’s the chapel?” the gunman said in his ear, tightening the grip on his chest.

“The semitrailer in the parking lot. I’m surprised you missed it.”

“I wasn’t looking for a chapel.” He pushed Antonio toward the door between the two rooms.

“Point taken,” Antonio said as he reached out with his hand and unlocked the door.

The gunman put the pistol in his pocket and stayed behind Antonio. Antonio nodded slightly to Fred as they passed the cash register. The two men walked out the front door of the truck stop and headed for the trailer. Police cars were parked in front of the restaurant. A group of officers gathered behind the cars watching the two walk toward the chapel. .

As the two men walked up the steps of the trailer, Antonio glanced toward the restaurant. A couple of deputies were coming out of the door looking toward the chapel. The gunman  followed Antonio into the chapel and locked the door behind him. Antonio walked over to his desk, swiveled the chair around, and sat down facing the gunman.

“So now that we’re here alone, what do I call you?” Antonio asked him.

The gunman held the gun on Antonio and looked confused. He was trying to get straight in his head the significant turn his original, albeit on-the-fly, plan had taken.

“I’m Jason,” he said finally.

“Well, Jason, I’m Antonio. Brother Antonio. Sheriff Martinez is expecting me to call him shortly and have the answers to some questions. Why don’t you tell me your story and let’s figure out how to wrap this thing up, whatever it is. What brought you to the truck stop with a gun?”

“A flat tire, an escapee from jail, a woman, two barbeque sandwiches, and a few bad choices,” Jason said with a sigh and look of resignation.

[Peace be with you.]

[This is the Sunday post, but there was this game…] Read part one.

Immediately upon spotting the gun, Antonio felt the man’s left arm come around and clamp his chest under his chin, reclaiming his vise grip on Antonio’s right shoulder. Although he  had an urge to turn his head to see where the pistol was pointed, the preacher decided instantaneously that it would not be the wisest choice he could make. His heart was beating so fast that it seemed determined to fly out of his chest. At the same time his brain struggled between telling his eyes to close tightly to feel the barrel of the gun should it be pointed at his head, and telling them to remain open to eliminate the element of surprise.

Francis dropped the coffee pot, which shattered, sending hot coffee and shards of glass onto her shoes and legs. Her fear of the man holding Antonio and the gun offset the pain in her legs. That, and she was praying harder than she ever remembered praying. She wondered if it would matter to the gunman if he knew Antonio was a preacher.

The instant the coffee pot shattered, Fred Martinez, the owner of the truck stop who was still at the cash register, stepped on the floor alarm under the register that signaled the police. He always had unruly customers, but he had the alarm installed when a late night birthday party got  out of control. With the use of credit and debit cards, the truck stop never had enough cash that he thought someone would rob the place at gunpoint. Especially with all the glass and traffic.

“Pull down the shades, and turn the sign around!” the gunman demanded, pointing the gun at Francis – who fought hard against the fainting spell, which along with her fear, was turning her legs to jello.

Francis was not sure how her legs kept moving, but she moved toward the windows as quickly as she dared. As she reached up for the shade on the last window by the door, she spotted Steve Striden at the pump putting gas in his blue Ford F150. He looked around toward the restaurant. Francis tried to catch Steve’s eye as she pulled down the shade. She turned the open sign around in the window, glancing again toward the pump.

“Lock the door,” said the gunman, who had backed up against the wall dividing the restaurant from the store. “Now this one,” he said after she locked the front door, nodding to the door to his right.

The gunman still held Antonio in front of him. Antonio had said so many prayers they had turned into one long prayer. When the gunman had relocated – pulling Antonio with him – the preacher nearly lost his balance. He was sweating buckets and knew the gunman was, too.

Antonio was struggling to keep his bladder in check against the fear and coffee. But that did not keep him from noticing that the man with the gun and arm around his chest was getting nervous. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Which was when someone dropped something in the kitchen, Antonio felt the gunman twitch as he pointed the gun toward the kitchen, the gun fired, and Antonio’s ears rang.

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