I FUMED ACROSS half of Kansas’s boring terrain, fields upon fields of low, nondescript greenery. The upside? I had lots of time to think. That I needed, because I’d picked a bold and possibly dangerous solution to a problem that begged a solution. I’m on my way to Susank to take my sister away from her abusive husband.
Twelve hundred eighty seven miles from my home in Hershey; twelve hundred eighty seven angry miles. My wife said I shouldn’t make the trip. She tried to make…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on August 19, 2017 at 6:29am — No Comments
A novel that is properly copyedited is a pleasure to read. Unfortunately, there are many writers these days that do not want to take the time or spend the money to have their manuscript copyedited or proofread. This is evident in many of the self-published books I see on Amazon. When I was growing up, reading was a way for me to learn about spelling, grammar, punctuation, people, places, and careers. I trusted books. I am a self-employed copy editor and proofreader and although it’s hard to…Continue
Added by Nancy Breininger on August 15, 2017 at 11:15am — No Comments
Hi blog readers,
I understand that there are well over four hundred members and friends of CAPA who have subscribed to this well run blog.
To this date I have published ninety-five (95) short stories on a blog that is under my name. The stories are short and meant to be so that people can leave their daily grind for a couple of minutes or five and get away, perhaps while at their work stations (if permitted).
I have yet to hear from a single CAPA/ning reader, either to…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on August 13, 2017 at 7:14pm — No Comments
WE WANTED TO go north for our honeymoon. Ski, snowboard, lounge in the lodge at a small, intimate table near the big fireplace and sip pińa coladas, sex – lots of it – the whole magilla.
I-91 north, a straight shot most of the way to Vermont’s Mt. Snow, the road silky smooth and not congested now that we’d passed through the sprawl of Springfield. Multiple lanes spread out in front of us while the black ribbon of highway made soft the hum of our tires.
I tried a few bars of…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on August 13, 2017 at 6:47pm — No Comments
“HOW ABOUT A hug?” he says.
“Okay,” she replies. It comes out as a sigh. She’s mad at him. She doesn’t want to, but that engaging quirk of his lip takes some of the steam out of her. She relaxes a little. They come together. The hug is silent, warm, and tingly and costs them nothing. It brings a smile to both peoples lips.
“We should do this more often,” she says.
“It does have a leavening effect on our relationship, doesn’t it?”
“Yes. I forgot what I was mad at…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on August 5, 2017 at 7:56am — No Comments
JULY 1ST. WE drive north because we always drive south at the beginning of summer and I don’t want to do what we always do. My wife wants the old, comfortable way, but I get my back up and decide she could do something I want this year. She can’t reason with me.
That’s her big forte, reason. She finally gives in. This is why.
My headaches had been coming with increased frequency. That started a year ago. Eventually I went to my lady GP and she referred me to a specialist. I…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on July 29, 2017 at 6:49am — No Comments
BACK IN ’38, same year as I was born, Pa bought a Farmall tractor, brand new. He got a good price from Jed Wright, who owned the West Torrington Sales Company. He told Pa the company be changing the design and likely going to name them with letters instead of numbers. Pa didn’t care about that. He’d heard from Hezekiah Brown who had a big farm up in Goshen that the F-14 tractor was a tip-top fine machine…good enough for Pa.
We jawed about it days when we worked the fields together…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on July 22, 2017 at 9:13am — No Comments
TODAY’S MY BIRTHDAY and I’m twelve. Mama promised me I could climb the hill early if I wanted and I wanted so I did, like in my dream. The most amazing thing just happened.
I’ve got a secret. I want to shout it to the world, but inside I know I shouldn’t tell, not even Mom, ‘specially not Mom. I don’t know why, well, maybe I do. But I got to tell somebody, so I’ll tell you ‘cause you’re my best friend, but you got to keep it a secret, cross your heart, okay? C’mon, cross your…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on July 22, 2017 at 8:58am — No Comments
THIS STORY IS some about my family and my life, the trouble I got into and choices I will shortly make that will change my life, one way or another. I’m finally and truly in love. I see no way free of this dangerous course I follow. I am at a crossroads.
Do I tell the truth, there to reap the reward or suffer the consequences, or do I hide my past and hope he never finds out? I write this to paper first. Having written it, I will examine it like I’d had a conversation with a friend…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on July 8, 2017 at 7:22am — No Comments
Added by Peggy Gaffney on July 7, 2017 at 10:46am — No Comments
It is best to keep in mind that this experiment in storytelling requires the reader to accept the premise of a disability as tailored throughout. It might require a paradigm shift, i.e., instant suspension of disbelief at the get-go. Above all, keep in mind that it’s fiction. Now you are as prepared as you’re going to be.
"I LOOKED AT Sally and what did I see?
I saw Sally, looking at…
Added by Richard O. Benton on July 1, 2017 at 7:59am — No Comments
I AM RENE Michaud. I am seventeen and Salé is fourteen. When the earthquake comes, we are in our home in Port au Prince, 12 Rue Galat. I am reading a book on chemistry from the local library for my school project and Salé plays her fan over the head of her beloved brother to cool him.
I say, “Faster Salé; it is too hot.” She laughs in that high giggle I love to hear and moves the fan more at my head and she ruffles the pages of my book with the wind of her motion.
This day is…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on June 24, 2017 at 1:30am — No Comments
BACK IN JULY, my wife and I drove to Pittsburgh to see some relatives. We weren’t really close, but we decided to visit on hearing that old Uncle Gregory had cancer and wasn’t doing well. I’d known Uncle Gregory pretty well as I grew up. They’d lived in Litchfield on the next farm a half mile away. Aunt Maggie baked just the best hot muffins, as I recall. We’d go on over maybe two, three times a month. As a youngster, Uncle Gregory’s stories fascinated me and I always had fun in his old…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on June 17, 2017 at 8:14am — No Comments
THIS STORY IS true, although qualified. That is to say I have the date right and the initial circumstances are true. Fantasy begins where truth leaves off. I want the reader to understand that the fine line between fantasy and reality is often blurred. The outcome of this story may not be fantasy at all.
Sometime during the night of June 4, 2010, perhaps during the early morning hours of the 5th, a borrowed Hav-A-Hart small animal trap disappeared from our back…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on June 10, 2017 at 5:02am — No Comments
DARK CLOUDS GATHERED above the hills and blotted the sun for a minute. Like a trigger, Bonnie’s mind turned inward and dark clouds swelled within. Don’t go there, she thought. She tried to create a neutral mindset while she sat, kicking her feet idly over open space, and waiting.
Looking past her feet, she squinted to better inspect sixty-foot pines five hundred feet below. Beyond the stand of pines, verdant fields spread out, plunged and disappeared into the dark of a…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on June 3, 2017 at 5:44am — No Comments
I HAD AN interesting day, today. I met someone at the corner of Main and Farnum Streets. I’d arrived a moment or two after her. She stood silent at the light post waiting for the buzzer so when I moved to the post to position myself for crossing, I didn’t notice and bumped into her.
It’s strange I didn’t smell her.
I’ve been blind for years, a childhood accident. During that time I’ve had to learn to get along. My sense of smell is excellent, as is touch and hearing. Developing…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on May 27, 2017 at 8:37am — No Comments
THE CLAUSTROPHOBIC ALLEY reached a long way back and brick walls on either side towered many stories, dimming the bright shaft of sunlight a few feet away. Squinting, I tried to discern "Fred," the guy my friend Brian said would meet me. Brian had many contacts. I’d told him what I wanted and he raised an eyebrow, but said he could make it happen. He asked how much money I wanted to spend and I…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on May 20, 2017 at 4:58am — No Comments
SHE DIED ON July 14th. Gram lived ninety-nine years, Adele Phylura Rampitz in life, most of her years were good ones; I mean robust and healthy ones, not good in the sense most people think about it.
Toward the end, the last five years, she suffered from old-timers disease and a couple of things changed. The razor sharp mind, having sawed away at life and all she came in contact with for nearly a century dulled. As her surviving heir, I found that reasonable, as I…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on May 13, 2017 at 10:05am — No Comments
I PUSHED THROUGH the thinnest part of the brush, unaware of what loomed ahead. I couldn’t see more than a few feet, but right after I parted the last of it I saw the house. It blended into the background. It surprised me. I’d found an intact structure, a two story affair with a peak roof. Covered with green painted clapboards the identical shade of the greenery surrounding it made the owners’ intention clear.
I eyeballed the place for several minutes before moving. It appeared no one…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on April 29, 2017 at 6:44am — No Comments
I REMOVE MY glasses and as my vision blurs, a bright flash outlines my little cellar window. I’m on the edge of my seat watching TV in my basement. My wife is upstairs, probably sleeping. Did I care?
The dazzling light comes through the sunken window-well from outside through bars I welded onto the metal frame to discourage burglars. They outline the other side of the room with surreal, distorted shadows. What the hell?
As I begin to panic my mind reviews why I put the…Continue
Added by Richard O. Benton on April 22, 2017 at 2:03pm — No Comments