Category Archives: Stories of Connections

Ronald (A Story of Connections)

Ronald searched the jumbled shelves of the used book store. The owner told him the copy was here and even described the binding so he knew what he was looking for: off white with shiny red lettering. Shouldn’t be too hard to spot.

Ever since he met Liz he’d been infatuated with her. They spent so many hours discussing films, books, and everything else they both loved, and she’d recommended Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the other night over tea at her place. He couldn’t get over how optimistic she was, her fun, artistic apartment, and even her quiet son who’d spent the night playing with his Transformers.

“I found it!” the owner called from behind a bookcase somewhere in the back of the store. She hobbled out and handed him the paperback that he took with care as if it were a newborn. He couldn’t wait to read this.

He paid her in cash as he always did, and she asked him how classes were since she always confused him with one of her other customers, a college professor, and reminded her that he was a chef. She smiled and apologized, fixed her small, crooked glasses and gave him change.

He walked out and continued down the alley that led to the main street where he made a left at a clump of mainstream stores, including a bookstore big enough to be considered a warehouse. He always went to Barbara’s store first for books since he liked to support independently owned stores that were quickly disappearing.

He stopped to flip through the book as he noticed some of the pages had photographs, some drawings, and even a few pages with color. He almost bumped into someone and without looking up walked around them. “Excuse me,” he said. When the person didn’t respond he turned to look at them and realized it was Liz’s son and he had a small, green handled shovel.

He’d have to bring that up to her next time they hung out. But that wouldn’t be until he’d read this book at least twice and was ready to tell her how wonderful it was.

If you enjoyed this and want to know more about the other characters, click on the Stories of Connections category on the right.

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Bradley (A Story of Connections)

Bradley stopped to peer into the weird store with all of the rats. He always stopped by here to watch them run by the windows in the huge maze of clear plastic pipes. One jumped at him, starling him into dropping his little shovel.

He picked it up and looked at the small clumps of dirt clinging to his mom’s garden tool. The green handle looked so new and his mom would certainly notice that it had been used. She was a neat freak, a word he overheard someone call her when they learned of her many cleaning rules imposed on him. He’d laughed at the term and called her that sometimes when she wasn’t around.

The same conversation was what led him here. He’d heard them talking about movies, then books, tuning out the conversation as best he could since it was interrupting his Transformers war.  He tuned back into what they were saying once he heard the term “father” uttered, which always grabbed him since he didn’t know his dad.

“And his father spends time with him by burying items in the park and then leaving clues so he can find them.”

“Wow, sounds interesting.”

“Yes, and he goes on a quest to find his father’s final clue by searching the whole city.”

Were they talking about Bradley’s father? He was furious at first with his mother. She had known about these hidden treasures all along and not told him, not let him start the search? Maybe, if he started digging in the park he would find one of these treasures and somehow finally meet his dad. All of his friends had dads. Not all of them had one living with them, but they still had them, and Bradley always wanted to know his missing parent. Maybe this was his chance.

But he’d been digging for days now and only found a few squirrel bones (which were cool, he had to admit) and a few creepy bums tried to talk to him. Plus he’d saved that little dog from the bigger one. But still no treasure.

Maybe he should ask his mom. But she’d kept it a secret from him for a reason. He was on his own.

As Bradley realized he was probably late, he turned and started walking home. A car drove by and he saw a girl he knew from school, but he ignored her. He had bigger things on his mind.

If you would like to know more about the people in these stories, click on the “Stories of Connections” categories and read about some of the other people he’s bumped into or connecting events. Bradley pops up in other stories here and there. Tomorrow, learn more about what Bradley’s mom was talking about in “Ronald”.

Justin (A Story of Connections)

Boy was she pissed. He’d never seen her really angry before; usually her pushover personality was something he abused, but something set her off. Maybe she was onto him. Maybe he’d have to change his ways if she figured him out. Or maybe it was time for him to move on.

She was a good lay, sure, had an amazing body, which of course was what attracted him to her in the first place. She talked too much for his liking, especially after they banged, but he could deal with it so long as she kept doing all she did in the sack.

A sharp turn made the tires on his BMW squeal. He’d better bring it to the shop this week and have them check the air.

How was he supposed to remember their six month anniversary? It had started out as a drunken fling, he had no intention of keeping her around until that move she made, the one he constantly hoped she would do again but she saved for special occasions. He briefly wondered if she was holding out to keep him around but quickly brushed the thought away. She didn’t have that kind of personality. He would probably use the word sweet to describe her, which made him shudder a little.

What were they doing around here, giving away free beer? The whole strip was devoid of parking spots, and he had to get to the jeweler soon or all hope of tonight being that special move night would be for nothing. He had to really go all out to make up for forgetting. What did he care anyway, it was just another date on the calendar…

He made a turn and saw someone with their turn signal on and knew it was a spot. If he gassed it and jumped the medial strip he could just beat her…

Madison (A Story of Connections)

Madison peered out the window from the back seat of the car watching the rows of stores and people passing by as they sat in traffic. A little black dog ran by, followed by a much bigger dog, and she wondered if they were playing tag.

“Mom?”

“Yes Madison?” Madison was her name because she was born in 2004, and every girl born in 2006 was named Madison, or so it seemed.

“I want a hamster.”

Her mom sighed as she looked for parking.

“What brought this sudden idea on?”

Madison saw a boy she knew from school and waved, but he didn’t notice her. She wondered what the shovel was for.

“I saw that pet shop where they have all the black hamsters.”

“Honey, I’ve told you a million times that isn’t a pet shop. It’s an art gallery.”

“Then why do they have so many hamsters?” She frowned a bit. “And I don’t think you told me a million times.”

Her mother chuckled but tried to hide it. “You’re right.”

“It’s probably more like ten. I just forget.”

“Well, if you want we can stop there and look at the hamsters. Mommy needs to go anyway and pick up something she ordered. If only mommy could find a parking spot,” she added, more to herself or God or fate than to her daughter.

They drove in silence for a few minutes. “Did you think about it yet?”

“About what, honey?”

“The HAMSTER.”

A spot opened up ahead so she put on her turn signal as she waited for the car to get out.

“I don’t know. I think you’re allergic to them.”

“You think?” Madison didn’t remember ever hearing this before.

As she pulled up towards the spot another car jumped the medial strip and stole it from her.

“God Da-“ she started to say, then regained control of herself for Madison’s sake.

“What happened?”

“Nothing.”

She continued driving as Madison debated if she should ask about the hamster one more time.

This story, along with many others, all tie together in smaller, and sometimes larger ways. Feel free to read the collection by choosing “Stories of Connections” in the categories box to the right.

Julianne (A Story of Connections)

Judy sat holding the frail, limp hand of her long time husband of fifty years. That’s when Julianne burst through the door.

“Mom-mom! What happened?”

The elderly woman shifted in her seat, replaced his hand by his side and collected herself.

“He took a turn for the worse, as they say. He probably won’t last the night.”

Her grandfather had been in the hospital for over a week now, but this morning when she visited him he was wide awake; they even played a game of cards. She won, but had the odd feeling he let her win. Tears began to form, which frustrated her because she’d purposely promised herself she’d cried her ducts dry in the cab so she could be strong for her grandmother.

“I don’t understand. He was fine this morning.”

“You shouldn’t have made a fuss, I know you had plans tonight with your friend and that man.”

She’d confided in her mom-mom that she had a crush on her friend’s personal assistant ever since he shared his ideas on how he would redo the cityscape one night when his boss was passed-out drunk. He’d offered to show her some of his designs but had yet to actually make the move and ask her out.

She shook her head; this was no time to be thinking about him. She walked over to the other side of the bed and looked at her grandfather’s aged, sleeping face. It broke her heart to see him like this, but it was even worse to look at her grandmother trying to be strong but Julianne could see right through her façade.

“Go back to your friends, Julianne. He’ll be okay.”

“I’m just as worried about you, mom-mom. We’re all we have. I’m here for you, you’re my family. Want me to stay and you can go home?”

At that a male nurse entered the room. “Time for his meds and bath,” he said to the two women. Julianne stood.

“I’ll wait outside.”

“Honey, just go home. It’ll be okay. I’m fine. You need a good night of sleep. Fashion Week is coming, I know how busy you are right now.”

Jul looked at her watch and knew she should be working on some touch ups. She’d planned on leaving Bobby’s right after she ate, but then all this happened. But could she possibly get any work done while her grandmother slept on an awkward hospital chair waiting for her husband to die?

She grabbed a blanket gave a stern, no-backing-out look to her mom-mom. “I’ll take a quick nap on the bench in the hall. Come get me when he’s done.”

If you enjoyed this story, stay tuned for more stories of connection! Will it be the orderly, or someone totally new? Come back soon to find out…

Ziggy (A Story of Connections)

“Ziggy, what the hell kind of personal assistant are you? The chicken tortilla soup container cracked and soup is all over our dinner! Plus now Jul doesn’t have her soup! You couldn’t go back and get another?”

He gave his boss a look that could kill but quickly hid it; intelligent people don’t make nasty faces at a heavyweight champion like Bobby Rox. He breathed once before answering. “I stepped on this little dog…I didn’t even notice that the container opened until I was on the elevator here. I was more worried about the dog.”

“Was the little guy okay?” Jul asked from the leather couch with obvious concern.

“Yup, he was fine, barked once and then ran off yelping.”

“All I know is that this is Jul’s favorite soup, and now she doesn’t have any!”

“It’s not a big deal, Bobby. Really.”

The gargantuan looked at his personal assistant and shook his head. At that Jul’s phone rang and she went into the kitchen to answer it. She came out crying a moment later and rushed over to the closet to grab her coat.

“I have to go…emergency…sorry guys!” she yelled as the door slammed behind her.

Bobby looked at the closed door. “That was weird.”

“Yeah. Again, I’m really sorry.” The smell of Jul’s perfume still hung in the air, and Ziggy enjoyed the scent once more before it was gone and all that was left was the smell of sweaty shoes that Bobby seemed to emanate at all times. All of a sudden he realized Bobby had been talking to him for a while.

“…and then pick them up. Okay?”

Ziggy nodded as if he’d heard. He’d have to figure out a way to get the instructions again later. “What do you think made her run out like that?”

Bobby looked at him and laughed. “She’s out of your league, man. She makes clothing for goddamn stars to wear to the Oscars! Think she’s going to date a personal assistant?”

Ziggy looked out the window at the cityscape that he loved so much and wished he could find a job in architecture, his major in school. His love for buildings and drawing them took over a little as he rearranged the view in his mind. He smiled at its beauty.

“HEY!” Bobby’s yell made Ziggy jump back to reality.

“What?”

“I said I need that suit now. It’s down at the 49th Street Cleaners.”

Ziggy grabbed the tag from the counter and slammed the door behind him a little too hard.

If you enjoyed Ziggy, please click on the “Stories of Connections” category on the right and read the others. Each story connects to another in some small way. Thanks for reading!

And find out what happens to Jul in the next Story of Connections, coming soon!

Duffy (A Story of Connections)

Duffy’s short canine legs were working overtime in his attempt to flee the much larger Doberman that had been chasing him since the park. His paw still hurt from the twig that had become lodged in it, but he could still run. He headed for a small hole in the fence he saw up ahead and made it through just in time to narrowly escape the Doberman’s sharp teeth. It barked through the hole, but Duffy recognized how safe he was, yelped once or twice with an attitude, then headed off to the dumpster he loved to root through before heading home.

He turned a corner only to find the Doberman standing there in wait, almost smiling at him. He turned to take off but the bigger dog was just too close, he knew he was caught. And he would have been if not for the little boy digging in the park.

“Hey!” the kid yelled and both dogs froze to look at him. He ran and scooped up Duffy. “Bad dog!” he said to the Doberman, who had been hit by his master just enough to assume another strike was coming, so he ran away whimpering. The kid held Duffy up so that their eyes met. “Hi, I’m Billy. Duffy, huh?” Duffy recognized his name and gave a friendly bark. “I think you owe me one, Duffy. That big dog was probably going to eat you.” Duffy responded by licking the kid’s face, on which the little Scottie recognized the taste of ice cream. He licked until the taste of vanilla was gone and then wiggled until Billy dropped him.

“Hey!” the little boy said as Duffy took off down the path, leaving Billy to continue with his digging project.

With the park behind him, Duffy headed to the dumpster, where he filled his belly from the Mexican restaurant that used it and went to head home when the door opened and a man carrying two huge bags of food stepped on his tail. Duffy whelped in pain loud enough that the man stumbled and dropped one of the bags. The splattering sound let him know something had gone wrong in the bag, but he wanted to check on the poor dog he’d stepped on first.

“You okay boy?” he asked in a kind tone as he squatted to check the pup. Duffy jumped up and barked once in anger before taking off, leaving the man to check on his  dinner.