Category Archives: Stories of Connections

Damien (A Story of Connections)

Damien was running down the street, and for a man who never runs and has a few extra pounds, it was quite a sight. The combination of a tie flying over his shoulder, his jacket in flight behind him, and a bright red face all told people ahead of him to get out of his path or deal with the aftermath. He almost didn’t hear the muffled yelps as he turned a corner but stopped fast enough to make a group of nearby children liken him to a cartoon character.

As he followed the cry for help, he checked his watch and knew he was already going to be late, a few more minutes wouldn’t hurt. He followed the sad whimpers until they led him to a small alley. He discovered the poor little guy, a tiny Scottie limping around in a circle and tearing up.

“Hey there boy,” he said in his calmest voice, forcing his heavy breathing aside for a moment. “What’s the matter?” The pup looked up at him with the saddest eyes he’d ever seen, even including the poster of the sick puppy he had on the wall of the office in his veterinary practice. It didn’t take long for him to spot the small twig wedged into the jet-black dog’s paw and he pet the little guy to calm him down.

“Don’t worry little fella. Let’s check your tag.” He let the dog sniff his scent and then checked the dangling gold emblem attached to the collar. “Duffy, huh? Okay Duffy we’ll have you fixed up in a jiff.” The dog reacted positively to hearing his name, barked and then rolled over, offering the damaged paw to the doctor.

He had the twig out in a few seconds and Duffy jumped up, barked twice, and took off.

“Guess you won’t be paying me,” Damien said to no one in particular. He started a bit as he checked his watch. His friend who set them up specifically told him not to be late, and it was 7:07, a few minutes past the appointed meeting time. He ran to the alley’s edge and hailed a cab.

As he checked himself in the window of the small restaurant, his eyes refocused on the single woman sitting alone in the restaurant, his date. He panicked. Her strawberry-blonde hair, beautiful eyes, amazing body, he focused back on his reflection and knew he never had a chance, even if he had been punctual.

He was better off standing her up than facing rejection again. Another taxi later and he was on his way home.

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August (June) A Story of Connections

Watch for more connected stories as the days go on. I am writing a bunch that can both stand alone and become part of a bigger picture. I hope you enjoy them!

August was pouring hamster food into the little dish when the mail dropped through the slot and landed on the floor of her gallery. The sound startled her a bit and the pellets poured over the edges of the bowl and onto the desk.

“Damn.”

She put the bag down and ran to the mail before Stephen, the homeless boy she hired to help in her barely-making-ends-meet gallery, could beat her to it. She started sifting through the envelopes, quickly hiding any that had her real name on them.

“Who’s June?” the boy asked from behind. She turned to see him holding an envelope.

“Give that to me, Stephen! Shouldn’t you be working?”

“Geez Aug, I was just trying to help. It slid under the welcome mat.”

She snatched it out of his hand and went to her desk.

“Want me to finish feeding the little guys?”

“Sure. But some of them are girls.”

Stephen gave her a “whatever” shrug and opened the top of the cage. Small black hamsters started scurrying from all corners of the gallery’s yellow hamster tubes that seemed to line the walls. He laughed.

“Are these things like gremlins or something? I swear there are five more since last week.”

August looked up from the papers that now littered her desk. “Huh?”

“Did one of these guys have babies?”

She pushed her long brown hair behind her ears, bringing to light just how much they stuck out. But Stephen didn’t care. She looked at the cage from her seat.

“Oh Petunia had babies on Wednesday,” she said absentmindedly.

“With who?”

“Vernon, of course.”

“Did you name one Dudley?”

“Huh?”

“Never mind.” He smiled.

August’s phone played a little song signifying a text message, which she read.

Are we still on for tonight? – Jennie.

She quickly replied. Yes, he said he would be at the restaurant at seven.

It rang again less than a minute later.

Okay. I’m still not sure about this.

She would have to respond later. The jingling bell let August know a customer had just entered, so she had to get to work.

“Can I help you?”

The gentleman had an expensive Armani suit covered by a Burberry jacket and scarf; he had money and she shook a little with the hope that her little gallery might actually make a decent sale.

“No, just browsing,” he responded.

“I’ll be right over there if you need me,” she said, pointing to the counter. She returned to her mail as the man looked at a section of sculptures. He gasped once, twice, and a third time as he went over the selection. He approached the counter.

“I’ll take those two, and that one. Do you have anymore by this artist? Her sculptures are amazing.”

She looked at the works and shook her head. “Sorry, not right now. But if you give me your card I can have the artist call you directly. She’s a close, personal friend.”

He nodded and pulled out a silver card case, removed one, and handed it to her as she finished ringing him up. Stephen was already packing the sculptures in bubble wrap as the man handed her his credit card.

“That’s $458.”

She swiped, he signed with the quickness of a busy man and turned to find Stephen waiting, three boxes in his arms.

“Follow me to my car?”

“Sure thing, sir.”

August’s hands trembled a little as she put the receipt into the register. It was by far the largest sale her little suburban gallery ever had. She would have to celebrate tonight.

Jennie – A Story of Connections

Jennie’s strawberry blonde hair seemed to attract the wrong kind of guy, so she’d given up on them. She focused on her dancing and sculpting, her two passions in life, and spent free time making small terrariums out of old, useless objects. Her most recent creation, a small vine in an old light bulb, was a hit the last time she had the girls over for sushi. They each wanted one, but it would take Jennie another year to go through that many light bulbs.

Her luck with men seemed to be common knowledge in her life. Her friends, neighbors, even acquaintances seemed to know about it. Acquaintance meaning her associate, August, who sold some of her sculptures in a small gallery just down the street from the  vegetarian restaurant where she now sat waiting for, according the August, the “Man of her dreams.”

Jennie had always said she wanted to marry rich. This man was a vet. She didn’t even know how much a vet made. Was he August’s vet? Did she actually bring those little black rats to a vet when they were sick? Jennie shuddered a bit but couldn’t complain; her work seemed to sell fairly well at the little gallery that smelled a bit like a pet shop. But hey, the income padded the small checks she got from the theater where she danced, so she couldn’t complain. Sure, August was a bit of a flake, but she’d known her since college, where she’d excelled and August had eventually dropped out.

The clock over the bar read 7:04. With the schedule Jennie had to keep, combining dance practice, staying fit, her clay studio time and the small events a human being needs to survive, she was a busy woman and stuck strictly to a schedule. If this man, this veterinarian, didn’t show up soon, she would order without him. She had no problem eating alone in a restaurant; she’d done it plenty of times before and could easily do so once again.

The waiter approached. “Can I get you something to drink?”

7:06. “Yes, I’ll have a glass of the house wine. Red.”

He nodded and walked away. She checked her phone for texts. Nothing. After a quick check of her purse, she found the small notebook she kept where she transcribed ideas, either for sculpture or terrariums, and started a sketch of an old kitchen jar from the 1970s she bought at a secondhand store last week and scribbled light drawings of the plants she would fill it with. The waiter brought the wine and she checked the clock.

7:10.

She sipped the wine, checked her phone again, and went back to the sketch. Once she was satisfied with that, she flipped back a few pages to some drawings she’d made of a homeless man in the park the other day and worked on them a bit, perfecting them for a sculpture project she had in mind.

7:13.

The waiter walked by and she flagged him down to order her dinner.