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Richard O. Benton's Blog (76)

Red-Belly's Headache

From my office in another part of the house I heard a great thump. Maybe it didn’t shake the house, but my wife gasped and I heard that well enough. The thump must have sounded much louder where she sat on the sofa facing our big picture window because Mr. Red-bellied Woodpecker had just slammed into the glass.

My wife immediately ran to the window and stood peering down at a rumpled mass of beak and feathers.

“Oh Dick,” she cried, “it’s our beautiful red-bellied woodpecker. Is…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on June 18, 2016 at 8:09am — No Comments

Mongollian on the Lamb

Most people would have thought we were out for an idyllic walk. I thought we were out for an idyllic walk. We had beautiful weather, not too nippy for the second day of September, not for the middle of the Adirondacks.

My wife and I decided to walk along route 114 in the minuscule resort town of Blue Mountain Lake, NY both for exercise and to see what we could see. We try to make it a point to balance our vacation dissipation with as many walks as we can manage. It’s for…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on June 11, 2016 at 5:47am — No Comments

Catch the Whirlwind

My wife of three weeks and I were on our honeymoon. Our cruise ship, a small, intimate liner run by Coster Cruise Lines headed into a gorgeous fiord, a place called Glacier Bay. We loved the beauty all around. Alaska needed no intro for me, but I’d never been to this long, deep, glacier created watercourse before.

We both looked at a waterspout churning in the distance the Captain had just announced over the PA system. People ran from all parts of the vessel and crowded the rail to…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on June 4, 2016 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Turning Point

“What’s in a year?” she asks me.

Strange question coming from nowhere. I look up. She’s young, not that young, but younger. And pretty. I’m not dead.

Everybody’s younger than me, seems. She’s wearing jeans; designer, naturally; and a tight tee shirt accentuates her jut points. She’s a bottle blond. Oh well.

I think all you need to become common is do what everybody else in your crowd does. Wonder if she knows that.

It’s late in the day, the sun about to set, and…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on May 28, 2016 at 8:18am — No Comments

A Glove for Harry

Harry sauntered down Brooklyn’s Spencer Street with his hands in his brown corduroy pants pockets. His new blue shirt felt a little scratchy under his parka, but it looked super. That’s what Mama told him. One of the tails of the shirt hung out a little. Mama said he should hurry, but the nice day with blue sky and a few white puffy clouds slowed his steps. He could see the boys playing catch or something way down at the end of the block. They looked like little sticks, like ants.

A…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on May 21, 2016 at 8:40am — No Comments

Letter to Sarge

Dear Sarge,

Ten years. How time flies. I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear you are dying. No one deserves it more. I almost didn’t write you, but soon enough I would be left to my regrets and you would be in the ground and all I could do is spit on your grave. This is better because I can stick it in your craw while you can still feel pain and you can’t do anything about it.

Hope you believe in Hell, Sarge, because personally, I hope you rot there. Just thinking of the…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on May 14, 2016 at 4:47am — No Comments

Gray Matters

July 12th dawned gray, and with the prospect of rain my mood likely wouldn’t improve. My brain didn’t let me sleep much, something I dealt with pretty much daily. I knew what was coming.

I eased out from under my covers, glanced at Lori’s womanly form on her side, a bulk of smooth hip under the green floral spread raising the covers like a rounded hill of grass that deepened into a valley only to rise subtly, dip and rise again. Mussed gray hair peeked out, cupping her lined but…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on May 7, 2016 at 8:13am — No Comments

Backdrop for Disaster

I stared mesmerized at the August sunset. At this height, the sinking red orb cleaved two distant mountains so exactly it looked staged. Nature couldn’t produce a better end for a day. I let out a long weary breath, part rarefied air, part exertion.

Beside me Allie looked at it wide-eyed, breathing hard. She had to be thinking the same thing as me. We’d just finished our climb and stood together on an irregular rectangular rock about ten feet square. The last part, walking over a…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on April 30, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

November Sky

Black country road. Wet night. Unknown territory. No yellow center line. No painted guidelines at the sides. No shoulder. Black on black. Pelting rain. Sudden flash of car lights. Recipe for disaster!

Dazzled, I cut the wheel right. The car drove by so close I felt its suction jostle mine. Amazed that we didn’t hit and terrified about where I might be heading, I cut the wheel hard left, my heart in…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on April 23, 2016 at 9:24am — No Comments

The Date - Dialectic, Fanciful

“You are too wise for me.” That’s what the lady says.

I don’t believe it. Harvard grad, Phi Beta Kappa, president of her class, is what I hear through da grapevine. Beautiful woman, like foxy. This I know. See her every day goin’ here and there lookin’ all serious. She smile, I bet she light up a room. But, never see that one smile.

I work metal. Wisht I never got in this welding. My friend Bruno, he says, “You make a lotta money.” That’s what he…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on April 16, 2016 at 4:10pm — No Comments

Lightning Story

A thunderous crash followed the flash so close they were literally connected, an overlay rather than two separate features of the same event. The gazebo shook. Startled, I bolted from my chair to see what must have caught fire. The air felt electric. My skin prickled. The unmistakable odor of ozone washed over me. Too close! Too damn close!…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on April 2, 2016 at 8:23am — No Comments

The Locked Closet

Such a jolly old man, my grandfather! Although small and perhaps a little roly-poly, he didn’t let it affect him. He always told us grandkids he had shrunk and all that height had to go somewhere. His improbable statement brought laughter in the household, but it certainly had an element of truth to it. At my advancing age I find this curious malady occurring to my frame, too, and I am reminded of his comment.

Everyone loved Granther, his peers, his kids and it continued down through…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on March 26, 2016 at 10:20am — No Comments

A Sudden Need for Two-piece Suits

I looked at this long and hard before deciding it should be published on my blog. I have altered the reminiscence below by removing irrelevant personal information included in the original text.

HAPPY TIMES appear like stratum in the grain of fine marble, where the entire slab characterizes life. It may grab our hearts as we run our fingers fondly along those seams and recall the love we bring to mind.

Happy thoughts are beautiful. They raise us up in cascading…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on March 19, 2016 at 7:57am — No Comments

Death Run

Garcia caught up to him on State Road 76, west of Albuquerque. In his rear view mirror, Alphie saw the gang leader’s expression. He didn’t like it. Garcia was big, powerful, a real mean bastard. If he caught Alphie he would hurt him first – a lot – and then he would kill him. He watched Garcia roast a live snake over his cook fire not long ago. He watched the snake writhe helplessly until it didn’t move again. Garcia tossed the smoking remnant into the…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on March 12, 2016 at 10:48am — No Comments

Across the Room

Theresa asks me to go to a party. I don’t feel up to par; depressed, I guess. School thing. She says it would do me good, get my mind off things. She won’t be denied.

“Okay, what time?”

"Seven.”

“And I can leave any time?”

“Sure, but you won’t want to."

Wanna bet, I say to myself. Theresa bounces upstairs and I hear the bathroom door slam. I wish she wouldn’t do that. She’s too bubbly. I plop into my favorite rocker. Depression comes knocking. I let it…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on March 5, 2016 at 8:52am — No Comments

Working, working...but life is good

I haven't taken a lot of time to write about what I've been doing because I've been doing it. Finally, I may see a breathing space and I can report that the LWG Anthology II of The Litchfield Writers Guild is about to become reality, hopefully by the end of September, 2010. It is a book of stories, vignettes, poems and interesting memoirs compiled and edited by me on behalf of the group. Coincidentally, I have finished work on The Mission, a post apocalypse adventure novel… Continue

Added by Richard O. Benton on September 7, 2010 at 8:17pm — 1 Comment

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