Bass Tower I

The following is a fiction piece.

On the twentieth day, of the second month of the year twenty-eleven..I stand in an underground hallway – gazing in each direction. My mind numb from the cold, and cold from the fear. Both – a constant I have lived with the past fourteen days. Would I live? Would I die? Could I withstand? Could I stay strong? Is this the end of time?

Fourteen days ago, I drove through sleeting snow to get to my job. It was a hairy ride, but in North Central Texas, weather changes. Could get worse….could get better. Either way, by the next day – no doubt – the sun would shine, and any snow and ice would melt. People emerge and continue on. By noon, it’s like nothing ever happened. It’s usually a sliver of what the weatherman predicts. So I drove to work, and I made it, like I always did. Snow has never kept me from clocking in.

That was two weeks ago and the snow just stopped. I haven’t seen my family. I haven’t heard a word in ten days. I don’t even know if they are alive……..or if anyone is…….other than the people trapped in this building.

The hallway curves to the left. A skylight covered in white. A connection between two towers. A gathering place for the forty-three survivors fighters. We discovered the hall as the warmest place. Closest to the ground and insulated. A strong support. The snow stopped at the fourth floor. Four floors.

I am not sure why the building did not (or has not) fallen. It creaked. It moaned. But it held. Both towers held. The cafeteria and parking garages – not so much. It’s still uneasy. You can’t help but wonder how much longer it can take the weight.

Part of me thinks the world is gone. Whatever happened to stop the temperature rise, to create an abomination of snowfall, and an enormity of this scale…well…it has to be the end.

But it’s not.

We are still here, myself and forty-five others. The thought passes too quickly to stop. My heart crimps. I swallow the lump in my throat. Forty-three others. There are only forty-three now and I will never adjust to that, but I can’t think about it. I can’t blame myself, or anyone else. I file it away, because today, the snow stopped. Today, the sun appeared. It’s the day we find out.

Are we the last ones?

A team of three will set out wearing hand-made gloves, hats, scarves, and snow-shoes. None of which we had at the beginning of this journey. You just don’t need it. Most of winter here is upper 50’s with a rare 30 degree thrown in. But now, everything has changed. Our new clothing items are a necessity. And they may not save us. But we have to try. We have to know…..what’s left.

I head to the stairwell to the fourth floor. I have said my good-byes to all but a few. I have promised to return. I’ve looked into every eye with determination. Seeing the desperation for news. Seeing hope, pain, and longing. And seeing the ones who have checked out. Resigned their situation to nothingness. They will not make it much longer. The fire inside that yearns to live, not only feeds your soul, but keeps you warm. Without it, you freeze. From the inside out.

At our window exit, I turn and take the warm hand of Margaret. I look into her liquid brown eyes. I beam every bit of strength I have into her soul. Be well – my eyes tell her. Remember what we went through – know why we are here. Don’t forget the days trapped in the elevator. Don’t forget how we got free. Don’t forget it was no accident. Keep HOPE alive. She is my friend. She is my family. Our short time has been a life-time. Without a word spoken, I turn from her, yet she knows I am with her.

Next, I grip Davey’s hand. The janitor, the rescuer, and the maker of all winter things. He is the oldest of the bunch at a spry seventy-two. But I couldn’t pick a better man to lead the left behind and continue to keep their fires alive. He will use every bit of his experience and know-how to keep the camp going strong, with resources a-plenty. My squeeze tells him everything he needs to know.

Lastly, I bend down and hug Brendan. The only child in our group. He is six and sharp, and now – well, he is wise beyond his years. He knows where to find water. He knows what water is drinkable and what is not. He can fit in the tiniest of spaces. He is lively and bright, and I don’t want to let him go. I don’t want to leave him. I feel his little back shake. I don’t hear his cry, he is too tough for that, but the silent weeping…….does me in.

For a split second, I want to call off the mission. I want to sit on the floor and just be. No worries. No fears. Just be. Just live what days we have left.

But I can’t. Moving toward the window, I look at my iPhone. Battery dead. I remember what I saw on that screen. The last text message I got.

Took shelter in church basement. We R safe. Girls w/me. Battery almost dead. I ❤ U!


That is why I will go. That is why I will venture into the unknown. Because after fourteen days…. I have to know if they are alive. If I will ever hug their neck and feel their warmth again.

Lander, and Gary have stepped out. They await me, packs, and supplies in hand. They squint at the sun. It all seems surreal. I step through the exit and take my first unbalanced step on snow. My feet sink a bit. I hear the whisper crunch. I can’t look back. There is only forward.

**This weeks prompt is to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath.**

A Flash of Red

Today won’t be pictures. Today I will focus on my other passion… writing. Especially fiction writing. I do well with my own stories, but seem to stretch to write fiction.

I feel like it’s a muscle I have to flex. It’s weak and unused, a little work out won’t hurt it, and maybe I’ll have a gun one day.

This week’s prompt for Red Writing Hood is based on dramatic entrance, courtesy of Webook. Write a short story based on this prompt:

An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate-glass window. The driver’s door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.

For a split-second her jumpy eyes take in the glass shards, the frozen figures with chutes of amber, and the stoic illuminated paintings lining the walls. Then, she ran.

Her legs scramble for purchase over the slick floor. Feet crunching over millions of crystal fragments, digging into the bottom of her new red sneakers. She darted over the top of the broken window rim and hit the sidewalk. She found traction and soared. Red shoes flying with her gray hoodie flapping at her back. She heard the faintest of gasps from the porcelain people she left behind, but she couldn’t think about them as she made for a destination unknown.

She didn’t know where, only that she had to get away from the destruction of this place as fast as possible. It wouldn’t be hard for them to spot and they would be on her tail. Again. Stupid to take that wrong turn and hit the gas instead of the brake. Stupidstupidstupid. She knew better. She wasn’t new to running, or car jacking for that matter. She didn’t mean to break the law, but she had to survive. If they found her, and locked her away, she wouldn’t be able to find Sam.

Sam was the only one who could help. He had kind eyes. He gave her a nice meal and the new red shoes. She could tell him what she saw and what happened to her parents.

She listened to feet and breath smack and wheeze over the dark sidewalk. Listening for movement; of cars, sirens, and that other sound – the click of the gun cock. She shuddered in her sprint, but didn’t miss a step. A scuffling from a dark corner sent her in a scurry down the nearest alleyway, and behind a dumpster. She bent down out-of-breath. Gasping and listening desperately. Her unwashed hair beaded sweat on her gray shirt, the dirty blond strands splayed darker from the moisture, short and to her chin, it didn’t bother her at this point. She focused on breathing. She listened to her heart pound, and closed her liquid brown eyes, also beading – with tears.

Viciously she wiped her face, and squeezed the tears away. There was no time for it. She had a vastly important message. One that could save lives. She was the only hope and she had to stay sharp. She could not afford any more mistakes. She just had to get out of this. She withdrew the crumpled picture of Sam from the pocket of her faded black jeans. He was handsome with soft curls of brown hair, and brilliantly blue eyes. His smile brought her fond memories of swings and laughter. An innocent time. Numbers were printed neatly on the back. Still readable. An address. She had to get there, no matter how far, no matter which way, no matter what law she had to break to do it.

The sound of tires crunching over gravel creep slowly by the alleyway entrance. She moved her thin arms and legs into a wicked crouch. Poking her red shoes under a box, slipping the hoodie over head and borrowing down. The car inched by flashing a spotlight over the dumpsters. She stayed unmoving until it was far past and she could no longer hear the quiet engine purr.

Time to move.

An Unexpected Encounter

She stood at the bin squeezing the avocados. One by one; squeeze, handle, and replace. Her fingers moved from one to the next quickly, she furrowed her brow in concentration. The little lines above her nose wrinkled in a twist. She was looking for a ripe one, and she really had no idea how hard, or soft it was supposed to be – hence the disturbance of her features.

I boasted a little knowing every expression, every concern, and every move about her. She was my ex after all. The love of my life. We were together six years, but I hadn’t seen her in several. She looked older, a little more worn, and mature. Her hair was darker underneath with blond streaks dispersed throughout the top. She had gained some weight, but then again, she was too thin the last time I’d seen her. She looked good.

The punch of sorrow to my gut surprised me, because I realized, I still missed her. She was still my one and only. The rawness of our dissolution opened like an old wound. I felt my eczema flare up and burn. My heart thumped wildly. Then, the anger began broiling up (as it always did). I pressed back the floodgates of memories and looked at her again. My heart softening once more.

She had a plastic vegetable sack holding one avocado by this point. She was still digging through the selection. A sliver of hair freed its self from behind her ear and fell across her hazel eye and cheek. She didn’t bother to tuck it back. It swung softly over her eyelashes as she moved from one side of the bin to the other – searching as she stepped and leaned forward.

She finally pulled her hand up to tuck the stray away. That’s when I noticed the ring. A wedding ring. Platinum and sparkling, it flashed in my face. It flashed me back. It illuminated the storm inside. The anger, pain, and memories bubbled over. I clenched my fist, and grit my teeth. Burning as the floodgates opened wide.

I saw her – staring at me from inside her car. The garage door hung by one hinge, the rest of it crumpled by my explosion of fury when I saw all the furniture removed from the house. Everything gone in the two hours I had left to go to the store. The flurry of activity, her friends, and co-workers standing by, eyes boring into my skin like leaches, like I was a leach. How dare they.

The rage was a towering inferno and I glared at her. My eyes piercing and dark. Not once did I look away as she pulled from the driveway. I wanted that to be her last vision of me. To know how much I despised, and hated her for leaving me hanging like the garage door; crumpled and broken.

In an instance, it all came back, filling the emptiness of my soul with outrage. I wanted to let my temper take over. I wanted to rankle her fluid life. Stun her when I appeared, to remind her of what she did to me. I seethed, the ever present heat inside, as it was back in those days. The softness for her – gone.

As much as I wanted to face her, to look her in the eye, and see her fear of me. See the pain of me. I couldn’t move from my place of voyeurism. She had moved on (of course she had). I debated following her, finding out where she lived, and what he looked like. I wanted to quell the ignited blaze. Maybe knowing was my extinguisher. Was that stalking? Jesus, what was I doing?

With a last glance, I backed behind the shelves, expelling a rush of air too full for my chest. Turning down the aisle, I stepped hard toward the exit.

Write a short piece of fiction about seeing an ex in the grocery store from the first person point-of-view. Instead of writing from the female perspective, we want you to write from the male perspective.

This is my first effort at fiction since last year. It might be a little rough, but I needed the practice. I hope you enjoyed.

I am also being featured over at The Scoop on Poop today. If it’s not up yet, you can keep checking back. I’ll be there today and tomorrow. Click on the link or picture. Happy Friday!

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A place called Hawk Tower

In the distance, on a hill, high above neighborhoods, and trees stands a majestic electrical tower. What makes this electrical tower so majestic? Not just the greatness of it’s size but the number of Hawks that reside there. Hawk upon Hawk call this place home or perch.  Their gaze pierces through the land as they hunt, as they survive.

She can see it from where she stands. The tower is taller than imaginable. It’s distance seems great but not so far as being unreachable. She watches the hawks soar and land, soar and land. Their glides like music, as they fade in and out. She wonders what life is like on Hawk Tower. Is it better than hers? Her constant turmoil of her marriage? Her limitations as a mother? The blackness inside that threatens to consume her. What if Hawk Tower could take her away? What if she could become like a Hawk and rise above the desperateness of her days. Is Hawk Tower her hope? She has to hope so, because there is nothing else left.


Guess what? I’ve signed up for the challenge.  November novel writing month. NaNoWriMo. I just started writing, this blog, a brief four months ago. I haven’t wrote a “story” in about 23 years. The synopsis above is ALL I have so far, until November 1st. I am scared, but I also believe this will be very good for me – the experience, and the exercise.

Even better than that? My fifteen year old daughter Sydney is joining me. She will be writing her novel as well (which will be a thriller and scary as all get out – trust me). If you can handle that, you should look her up. Her stories are very catching and spooky, I can’t wait to see how she does with this challenge.

I hope with our competing household, we will finish the 50,000 words (each). If you are joining this madness, please look me up – angeliasims – especially if you participated before. I haven’t quite figured out how to navigate the site yet. I could use all the help I can get.

Happy Writing!!

And a *big* THANK YOU to wordpress for putting my post, Arrivederci, Italiano! on the main wordpress page, what an honor!*