“… a poke of light to crack the horizon’s stoic shell…”

The storm had passed. And every last remnant was fading faster than two hearts could imagine. Forgiveness came in hushed whispers of the heart. Yet memory reminded, that hind-sight was alright if it provided a lesson. He learned the hard way. He always learned the hard way.

The early bird did indeed get the spoils, as work and its toils became the obligation to end his lack of motivation. Settled under the covers until the nagging need to proceed overwhelmed him, Will’s feet finally kicked free of flannel confinement. Poking aimlessly with pointed toes in search of his slippers, the call of the wild overcame him to fore go the footwear to traipse across the tile’s frozen tundra for relief.

Will had this belief that his days mirrored the mood of his early waking moments. Often tense and hectic, he picked a bad day to give caffeine the finger and lingered with his orange juice a bit too long. His thoughts previewed the day ahead. He dreaded his Monday meetings, he had over-scheduled his clients, squeezing two lunch dates into his incredibly shrinking day. Travel tumbler clutched and briefcase under his elbow, Will started for the office.

A text buzzed his phone. He didn’t reach for it. The tone said it was urgent. It didn’t matter. Will drove toward the complex.

The stretch of Highway was relatively clear this time of morning. It seemed this corner of the world had been untouched my human interference. Off to his left in a clearance of trees, it began. A glimmer first; a poke of light to crack the horizon’s stoic shell. Edging skyward, It rose in rapid progression. Will’s indiscretion would set the stage for a great day. He pulled off to park and watched the rapid rise of a new day dawning. He sat fawning over it’s beauty, and out of duty to his heart, he called her.

“Good Morning Sunshine!” he began. “I saw this incredible sunrise on my way in this morning.It reminded me so much of you!”

A mumble; sleepy, sexy, nearly incoherent – it was laced with her heart.

“I love you very much” she finally broadcast in her warm comfort.

“I love you very much, too!” Will repeated passionately. It was going to be a fabulous day!



ShoesIt was the greatest tribute he could have been given.

He lived a honorable life; a loving husband, a doting father. He was the perfect son and brother, a hard-working employee and he did works of charity. Christopher Blandings only did what he had been put on this earth to do.

There were times that he wondered if it was all worth the trouble. Christopher was never one for accolades and acknowledgements; most of his meanderings were done in the strictest anonymity. It was just that the world seemed so out of step with the morals he was raised upon. People never seemed to understand or appreciate the way things were. Blandings was baffled.

His wife sympathized with her mate, but being almost a decade younger than he, she straddled the fence between the generations. But she believed in his good and kind heart. She loved his honesty and his loyalty. He surprised her on occasion with breakfast in bed or a tender back rub. And he had a fire burning deep within him that made Jessica lose control. There was nothing bland about Blandings.

She loved her man. She loved Christopher right up to the day he died. Sadness and grief were not emotions to which she prescribed. Jessica knew life was a celebration. And death was clearly an extension of that celebration. In his passing, she saw that her Christopher did not go unnoticed. As the funeral processed to the cemetery she became aware of something. The telephone wires were adorned with shoes. Their laces bound together, they were tossed aloft to wrap around the overhead lines. There were well over a hundred pairs hanging; she witnessed people removing their footwear and adding to the milieu.

Puzzled, she questioned the undertaker. His explanation brought a tear to her eye and a flicker in her already gracious heart.

“When a person passes, tradition had the mourners remove their shoes and by draping the secured pairs over the wires, pay homage to the person so loved. The more shoes that dangled, the more respected was the deceased.” he informed.

Again Jessica looked. And the tear were more abundant now. The entire route to his resting place was graced with shoes. Hundreds and hundreds of pairs pointed to his life as one well lived; having touched many hearts.

It was the greatest tribute he could have been given.


Simeon Kimbuutu knew the time had come. This was his personal finish line. His last Olympic Games. At 47 years of age, Simeon had accomplished all he could in his storied career as a long distance runner. He was a national hero in his country. The small African Nation of Calderone could never be more proud of their native son. Kimbuutu had won his share of medals. But he saw his last chance slipping away.

The runners from Kenya and Ethiopia were very strong and had dominated the sport since Simeon’s last gold medal finish. The Calderone harrier didn’t think he stood a chance against them now.

He had been slated to run the second heat of his event. His stretched his tight muscles, not truly getting relief or confidence. Simeon stood with his hands on his hips and looked around at the throng of spectators.

Bright banners were sparsely scattered throughout the stadium. The cacophonous roar filled his head, but did nothing to motivate Simeon. At that moment, all previous medals slipped from his memory. All the training he had done still left him ill-prepared for the fray. Being the oldest competitor in this young man’s sport had Kimbuutu feeling old.

Simeon looked to the end of the Paladia where the caldron stood ablaze. But, all he saw was an impossible feat. He held no passion. His feet felt like they had been cemented to the track. The starter called the runners to position.

But Simeon Kimbuutu had nothing left. He had lost his fire.


Photo courtesy of

Martin Scales had been preparing for this day for months. Training with his father gave Martin a good feeling. His smile could have tipped anyone off.

He did a lot of things with his Dad. The were father and son; they were pals. It was the biggest thrill when they arrived in the morning for his first 5K race. Martin wasn’t sure if he would finish, but he was going to give his maximum effort.

Dean Scales was apprehensive at first,but Martin had all the determination of a warrior. It would serve him well.

Dean pinned the large number on Martin’s back. His son felt like an athlete and Dean couldn’t be anymore proud that Martin decided to attempt this race. The starter fired his pistol and the pack was off. Dean and Martin kept a steady pace, but the groups of runners left them in their wake quickly.

Martin gave a valiant effort and his father would not have blamed him if Martin wanted to stop. But looking over his shoulder he saw his son; the little engine that wasn’t going to be stopped.

Martin’s breathing was heavy and sweat poured off his forehead. His face was red, but his arms churned up and down, driving his pace. Dean slowed up to stay close to Martin, feigning shortness of breath.

“Want to call it quits, son?” dean huffed.

“NO!” Martin said as he hurried past his Dad.

Dean was so in awe of his son, and follow his lead. They continued along the route and Dean noticed the crowds of spectators was getting sparse and the sky was darkening quickly. He was committed to helping Martin see this through.

Two and a half hours had passed. There were no other runners in sight ahead of them. Martin stumbled and fell, skinning his knee. Tears streamed down his cheek as he rubbed his wound.

“Martin?” Dad pleaded.

The young man sniffed in the next tear and rose to his feet, flexing his knee. And he began again. One hundred yards to the finish line. Workers were removing the barriers and cleaning up the staging area. They stopped when they saw Martin.

The foreman put his barrier down and started slapping his hand together. More people followed. Surprisingly, there was a crowd of people still assembled at the finish line. Martin heard a familiar voice. His Mother called his name.

“C’mon Martin! A little more!”

Other people shout to him too. His face beamed. His knee didn’t hurt any longer. His father brought up the rear, watching as his son crossed the finish line arms aloft.

The crowd surrounded Martin. They shook his hand. His Mother embraced him. People continued to cheer.

And Dean stood amazed that his Down Syndrome son was able to finish his race. It was a complete victory long after the last runner had preceded Martin Scales over the final line. It was Martin’s victory. It tasted sweet, as victories should.


They had outlawed the concept once referred to as time; there is no when.

26512 walked 17 miles until the sunlight had gone away. She knew that her journey would continue on the return of it to lead her onward. The security warden had instructed her to only travel where her path was illuminated.

She had more miles to traverse. 26512’s legs were sore and fatigued. She knew she needed to arrive in another 137 miles.The way she felt, she didn’t think she’d be able to continue. She needed to call her destination to inform them of this fact.

“You have obligations!” the sector seven security warden reprimanded. “You must arrive!”

“I will try. I can not promise I’ll make it” she said.

“Well, when do you think you might arrive?” the officer inquires.

“What do you mean?” 26512 replied. “I do not understand.”

“I need to cover your absence if you are not here. When do you think you can make it?”

“Excuse me Sir, but… I will be there in 137 miles! I do not know what… when… is.” 26512 answered in her confusion.

The security warden was not fully briefed on the new existence mandate. In fact, he could easily be banished for such talk. They had outlawed the concept once referred to as time; there is no when. There is only where, and how, and how far. If 26512 could not make the 137 miles to New Cincinnati on foot, the warden did not know what he would do, and he didn’t know why!