Marshmallows And Wine

Sitting around the fire pit reminded Paula of the summer nights roasting marshmallows with her grandparents here on the island. Now she’s sipping wine around the fire pit in her own back yard while Sherlock lays at her feet. Paula turned her head around to look at her house feeling proud of herself for have the courage to get out of an abusive marriage.

Sherlock raised his head and stared toward the driveway.

“What do’ya see?” rubbing his head.

A golf cart pulled in behind hers.

“Hello,” she heard.

The dog rose up wagging his tail and barking. “Peter?” walking toward the driveway.

“Not too late, is it?”

Too late for Peter Hampton? Never. “No, come on in.”

Sherlock jumped on him as Peter came through the gate, almost looking him in the eye.

“Sherlock, get down,” Paula firmly said.

The dog obeyed, and wondered out in the yard out of sight.

“Brought you a little house-warming gift,” Peter reached into his attache case.

“Marshmallows,” Paula said, after Peter showed her.

They finished the bag of marshmallows along with the bottle of wine. The fire seemed to be warmer with Peter by her side


“Peanut, it’s me.” Paula cocked her head trying to place the man. He continued, “We hung out together when you spent the summers here.”

Paula covered her mouth with her hand, “Oh my God! Peter Hampton,” she threw her arms around his shoulders.

Peter was basically Paul’s only friend that first summer she spent here with her grandparents. She wasn’t thrilled about it, but her mother insisted. It might have been the best thig for a teenager trying to find her way.

Over those three summers she got real close with her grandmother, with lots of hart to hart talks. Something Paula had trouble doing with her mother. After that first summer she looked forward to coming back to the island. A couple months after they threw her a party for her sixteenth birthday, both grandparents died two weeks apart. She hasn’t been back to the island since.

Peter must have grown at least six inches, and filled out quite nicely. His hair was more brown than blond when Paula saw him last. She thought his eyes were blue, not hazel, but she could be wrong. It’s been almost twenty years. Still it was comfortable to see him.

“You still live on the island?” Paula pulled on the leash to keep the Great Dane from jumping on Peter.

“I do,” he rubbed the dog’s head. “I’m the carpenter and the President of Council.” Nodding toward the dog,” What’s this guy’s name?”

“Good for you, I always knew you’d do something in politics. This is Sherlock,” she scratch the dog’s ear. Got him after the divorce.”

“I heard about it.” Peter nodded, “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, it’s a good thing.” She smiled at him, “You want to come in and I’ll tell you about in. I’ll make some coffee if I can’t find any wine.”

“He smile back, “Lead the way. We have lots to catch up on.”

Half Sister

The sun was coming up. For the third night in a row Harry could not sleep. He didn’t know if it was because of the job, or he couldn’t get Brandy off his mind. Most likely, a little of both,

Harry loved being a homicide detective but mentally it takes its tool. Harry did a good job of handling it. He has his partner to lean on. Him and Bobby grew up on the same street and we’re best friends. Bobby kept him from falling apart after Harry respond to a body found behind the Playhouse. It turned out to be his high school girlfriend.

Tina was the only girl he loved. But he let her go so she could chase a dream. A dream she accomplished, and won a Tony Award for her portray of Sandy in Grease. Harry kept her senior picture in his wallet.

When he met Brandy, Harry had the same feeling he did when he met Tina; stomach tied in knots and his head spinning. Of all women, it had to be Bobby’s half-sister. Why?

Harry wasn’t sure if he wanted to pursue it, let alone tell Bobby that he might be in love with his sister. How do you have that conversation?

Bobby didn’t even know he had a sister untill Brandy showed up at the station last month, after being raised by Bobby’s great aunt in Wisconsin. For all anybody knew Brandy could be running from something. Or worse, not who she said she was.

Harry wasn’t exactly the kind of guy who jumped into something, but he couldn’t deny his feelings. He looked at the clock hoping Bobby didn’t sleep late on his day off and picked up the phone.

Play Pen

Brandy stared into the mirror at her bruises and just sobbed. Not because her body was black and blue. But the marriage she was trapped in.

The tears slowed and the fear turned to anger. Brandy was tired of living in fear and said to herself, its time.

Twelve years ago, Brandy met Vince while pole dancing six nights a week at the Play Pen, south of Milwaukee. She thought her dream had come true when he asked her to marry him and get her out of that life. Little did she know about the secrets he kept from her.

Those secrets were revealed, shortly after the wedding, when Vince threatened her into doing a few jobs for the organization. Pimping her out three nights a week, while being a drug mule.

Before serving him a Martini, that evening, Brandy crushed up two sleeping pills and mixed them with the drink. An hour later Vince was snoring loudly, now was Brandy’s chance.

She snuck out of the house and made it to the bus station without anybody noticing her. Brandy boarded a bus bound for Pittsburgh to find her brother she never knew.


Her hand was trembling as Betty signed her name. She knew it was the right thing to do. David would not want to live this way.

Three days ago they were going to dinner to celeabrate their fifth anniversary. It also would have been the night Betty announced she was pregnant with their first child. Betty was told it was unlikly for her and David to conceive because of David’s low sperm count.

On the way to the restaurant Betty wanted some lottery tickets because the Power Ball prize was over twenty million. When Betty jumped out in front of the Jiffy-Mart, David was going to park in a space that just opened up. A pick-up came speeding up hitting the compact car head on.

David was put into a drug-induced coma because of his injuries and to prevent his brain from more swelling. He showed no sign of life, and the doctors decleared him brain-dead.

The ventilator was removed, and with tears running down her face Betty kissed his forehead. David softly squeezed her hand as he took his last breath.

New Year

He was anxiously waiting the new year for the first time in a while. Right before Christmas Tag’s divorce became final. No more honey-do lists. No more living like a slave to that winey, demanding bitch. Glad they didn’t have any kids; he would never have to see her again.

Tag made a list of all the things he wanted to accomplish during the year. First and foremost was to quit that job he never wanted in the first place, which he did on New Year’s Eve. Sure, Tag made good money, but it was mostly for Shelly and her shopping habit.

Tag managed to save enough so he was able to move to the Pacific coast, a place he loved. He bought a house on a hill overlooking the ocean. A small local paper was hiring, and Tag wrote a column twice a week.

Two months into the job, Shelly showed up at his door with news.
“So much for my life,” he said, as she walked in the door.

Separate Ways

The tree was up and decorated. For how long, who knows? Whiskers keeps climbing and knocking the bulbs off. Jim would chase him down, but the cat just kept on coming back.

Jim really didn’t mind. He really loved the fluff ball. Coming to a new city where he didn’t know anyone, adopting Whiskers the best thing to happen to Jim at the time.

He wasn’t going to take the promotion, over the summer, but Clair had insisted. He reluctanly agreed, and went their separate ways.

A knock at the door took his attention away from the TV. He opened the door to Sants waving at him. Santa didn’t speak, just pointed to his bag with a note on it. He read it. Can I put a gift under the tree? He backed up to let Santa in.

Santa reached into the bag, pulled out a small present and handed it to Jim. He opend it. It was a button that said, push me, on it.

As soon as he pushed it Santa’s beard fell off. Jim wrapped his arms around Clair lifting her off her feet.

First Christmas

A light snow fell on the river. The lights around the tree in the yard were blinking red and green. It was her first Christmas on the island. For the first time in years Paula was in a festive mood and was looking forward to the party in the banquet room at Social Club.

“Let It Snow,” was playing as Paula walked into to the hall. She sat at a round table next to Wilma Jenkins. Wilma used to run the ferry with her late husband, Harlan. Peter Hampton, the President of the island council and carpenter, came in and sat next to Paula.

Paula danced with Peter most of the evening. She didn’t remember the last time she had so much fun. Paula’s emotions took over, or maybe in was the holiday season and she passionately kissed him. What did I do? She apologized before she hurried out.

Paula wasn’t ready, nor wanted to feel this way. Not after what Dan put her though during their five-year marriage. Not exactly an open book, but after the divorce Paula became more guarded. She wasn’t about to jump in bed, let alone start a relationship.

Feeling guilty about rushing out on Peter the way she did and wanting to explain, ready or not she did have feelings for Peter. Tomorrow Paula would invite him over for lunch hoping he’d be understanding.

Bedroom Window

She didn’t really want to go, but it was better than staying home with him. Ever since Dani turned twelve she had to fight off her father’s advances. Most of the time she wasn’t successful.

She slowly opened her bedroom window to be sure it wouldn’t make any noise. Climbing out to the waiting car, her father came around the house just as Dani ecaped the window.

She took off running hoping he would fallow. Just as Dani reached the othe side of the street, she heard a car rev and tires squeal right before a thud.

Seeing her father lie motionlessness, Dani didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.


Rain fell from the gray November sky when the ringing phone woke Tony after a few hours
of alcohol induced sleep. Feeling around, he was able to pick the receiver on the tenth

He pulled the cover from over his head, “Hello,” in a wraspy voice.

The room spun as he tried to sit up. He was hungry but was afraid to eat. Coffer might not be able to stay down.

“I’ll be there tomorrow,” thowing the cover off. “Thank you,” and hung up.

It was a phone call Tony knew he’d be getting. It’s why he had been on a drinking binge for the last month. Tony never figured Mr. Bream would what to see him. If he was being released, why not just tell him over the phone?

He made the ninty-minute drive to the city with the thought that he had to look for a new line of work. He almost gave in to looking for a new job a couple of times. But loving what he does, Tony held on to the dream.

Mr. Bream greeted Tony as he walked into the office. Tony was surprised at what he heard. Mr. Bream said that he was impressed, and with Tony’s experience he’d make a good leader.

With his dream still alive, Tony re-dedicated himself to his job. The following November Tony was named one of the oldest Rookie of the Year award winner’s, playing centerfield for the Pittburgh Pirates.