Long Time No See!

Hello everyone who is still keeping track of this blog. Which, at this point, is probably very few, if any. I am here in an attempt to revive Marla Moore’s Palace of Stories, and welcome in new readers! I will try to post a poem or short story at least once or twice a month. I originally made this blog to post chapters of my book The Children Who Shouldn’t Be and would continue, but I don’t want new readers to have to try to catch up.

After this post, I will create another as a sort of voting post. Further instructions on that will be in the said post.

Anyway, deepest apologies for the extended absence! Hopefully this place will be up and running again in short order.



~ Marla Moore, Queen of the Land of Stories


Oh Broken Soul

Oh broken soul,

You have been shattered

And torn to pieces.

Oh broken soul,

Your hope is gone

You will never trust again.

Oh broken soul,

They stole your heart

And ripped it up.

Oh broken soul,

Ever since that time

You have lived in fear.

Oh broken soul,

Fret no more

For He has come.

Oh broken soul,

He will restore

All that is lost.

Oh broken soul,

He is your hope

So trust in Him.

Oh broken soul,

He has come

To mend your shattered heart.

It has been a while…

It has been such a long time since I’ve posted, and I apologize for that! For a long time, I got very stuck on The Children Who Shouldn’t be, and was pretty busy otherwise.

Well, recently I’ve figured it out, but, I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo, with a different story, so that has kind of taken priority as far as writing goes. However, I will write more and get you all more of the story as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience!

In the meantime, I will be posting other small works I’ve written, and possibly some edited photos.


~Marla Moore

P.S. And might I say, it is really cool to have visitors from different countries, even if the number of visitors is really small. XD

Praise the One

In bondage, I am free

Enslaved, I’m born new.


In shackles, I praise the Lord

Imprisoned, I call Him Father.


He is my hope, he is my peace

He is my love, he is my strength.


My burden’s heavy, but He carries it

My heart is weak, but He holds it.


My soul is torn, yet my spirit soars

My heart is broken, yet I’m full of life.


Praise the One who is my peace

Praise the One who is my strength.

The Children Who Shouldn’t Be – Chapter Fourteen


Chapter Fourteen

Numb, Mily stared at the lifeless form of the woman she’d always called mother. She couldn’t be. No. This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. Her mom wasn’t dead. She was still alive. She had to be. She had to be.

But she was. The dead don’t lie. They can’t. For a moment, instead of her mom, Mily saw her dad lying there on the floor in front of her. She closed her eyes, and shook her head, but she couldn’t snap the image out of her mind. The noise of a car moving filled her world…

Crashing…Lia screaming… “Don’t die, Daddy! Please…”

A sharp pain lit up Mily’s face, and she almost fell flat on her back. She blinked at the vague shapes in front of her. Reality fell into place, at the same that her vision cleared.

Someone yanked her to her feet. Mily tripped forward, doing her best to keep up. She stumbled down two flights of stairs, and through a lobby. Through a door. Down a street. That foot after that foot. Run. Follow James. Don’t stop. Don’t stop…don’t stop…don’t stop…don’t stop…

Then they did. Mily nearly collided with Monica. She staggered backward and collapsed. Something hot and moist dampened her cheeks. Tears? She supposed so. She tried to gather her scattered thoughts.

What had just happened? They ran out of an apartment building. Yes but before that? Jules killed Mom. Who’s Jules? The man who shot Lia. The man wants to murder us. The man who banned homeschooling.

Mily felt like she’d been hit by a train.

“We need to go soon.”

Mily turned her eyes to her brother. A tiny, white figure lay shivering in his arms.

The figure looked over at her. Lia.


Mily blinked at James.

“We need to get to the hospital.”

Mily nodded.

“Mily…” Lia whispered.

Mily forced a weak smile at her. She wasn’t sure how long she could hold it there for.

“I’m…scared…” There was blood on her face.

The bloody nose…James…

“You’re going to be okay,” James answered. Then he spoke to Mily again. “Get up. We need to go now.”

Mily stood up on a shaky pair of legs. Then she realized something was missing…her Bible. She no longer had her Bible. Going back to get it wasn’t exactly an option.

“Mily!” Monica grabbed her arm and pulled her along. “Come on! We need to get your sis to the hospital pronto!”

Mily blinked at her. Something inside her brain clicked. She glanced up at her little sister…that minute, little pale thing in James’ arms, as the boy jogged into the distance. If they didn’t get help quick, she was going to lose her. She sprinted as fast as she could, new adrenaline pumping through her worn out limbs.

Monica led the way. She knew this town, and knew where the hospital was located…even though it wasn’t a common commute of hers.

Soon they were on the steps of St. Marquita’s Hospital.

Mily raced after her brother toward the entrance, but paused.

Monica had stopped, wasn’t going closer to the building. “Just tell me when you know she’s fine.” She squeezed the teddy bear in her fingers. “I’ll just stick in the area.”

“Mily what the ———– are you doing!” James demanded. “We need to go.”

Mily glanced at him for a moment. “Monica, we need you, come on!”

“You don’t need me.” Monica shook her head. “They’ll pen me up too! Why you think I avoid places like this? I’m fine on my own! They’ll shove me into foster care, and I’ll…”

“Monica, you’re the daughter of Fred and Leona De’Marro! You are a witness!”

“I can’t!” Monica backed away.

“Forget her!” James shouted.

“Do it for Lia.” Mily bit her lip, staring at the girl. This was the one last shot.

Monica’s eyes darted everywhere, her breaths shallow and sharp. “I hate you.” She dashed for the entrance.

Mily rushed after her brother, almost cringing at the masses of people around her. She kept her eyes locked on James as they hurried toward the emergency room.

The receptionist stared at Lia as they approached. She was holding the phone up to her ear long before they reached her. The woman pushed them along, toward the back, as she hung up.

The kids were soon met by a host of medical personnel as they were ushered into a small room.

James laid Lia down on the table.

“Look at me, sweetheart,” a woman said, to Lia. “Tell me your name.”

The nurses and doctors swarmed her sister, as the one lady spoke

“Lia,” the girl croaked.

“That’s a pretty name…what’s your favorite color?”

Someone else grabbed Mily’s arm.

She instinctively tried to pull away.

“Calm down, and follow me out to the hall,” he said.

“My sister…” Mily didn’t want to.

“She’s in good hands, but I need you three to step out into the hall for a bit, alright?”

“Not leaving her,” James murmured.

“Like I said, she’s in good hands, now please…” the man insisted.

James remained rooted to his place, but he hesitated.

“I will update you as soon as we can,” the man promised, looking at James.

“James…” Mily’s voice was quiet.

James glanced at her. He backed toward the door.

“Thank you.” The man led them the rest of the way out. Then he handed a clipboard and a pen to James. “Fill this out, please.”

The boy took them and just stared, not doing anything, not moving.

“Where are your parents?”

Mily glanced up. He was talking to her. “They’re…” she paused, shaking. She was about to break down. Right in front of this man. “They’re…both…dead…”

“Were they killed by the same man who shot your sister?”

Why was he asking her these questions? Couldn’t she be the one filling out the paperwork? James certainly wasn’t…She couldn’t answer him. She couldn’t form the words.

He continued to ask a couple dozen more questions.

Mily, on automatic once again, was only half aware of her answers. Soon files and other data would be brought up, and they’d discover that these were the three kids that supposedly died in a car wreck four years ago. Their mother’s body would be found. Would they do a blood test for confirmation? Probably.

She didn’t know the process, nor did she really care.

Then, she, James and Monica were being ushered off to somewhere else.

Her brother resisted, he didn’t move from his spot, and the people had to wrench him away.

James cussed at them.

Mily closed her eyes, unable to bear the sight of her brother at the moment. Her body trembled. She could hear the car crashing, her sister screaming. She could see her father dying, her sister in so much pain, and now…her mother dying as well.

Mily curled into a ball on the floor and shrieked, trying to escape her past.

The Children Who Shouldn’t Be – Chapter Thirteen


Chapter Thirteen

Mily tried to scream, but her mouth made no noise. She watched as Lia’s body was jerked backward by the force of the bullet as it entered her shoulder.

Her shoulder? Not her chest? She was still alive. But Jules said he was going to kill her.

Mily didn’t really care. She was living, and that was all that mattered. She scrambled toward her sister. “Li-Li! Oh Li-Li…”

“Back away, girl.”

Mily froze, and turned.

Jules was pointing the gun at her.

For the first time in her life, Mily considered cussing. She twitched wanting to be with her sister.

“You’re just going to let her suffer.” James words were dry. “Shoot her in the arm so she dies slowly, making it so much worse for everyone.”

“And then you go next,” Jules chuckled.

James lunged at Jules.

The guards dropped Lia, letting her fall to the ground, and went after James

Mily just sat there, numb, staring at her sister.

Lia wasn’t looking at her. Her breathing was really slow, chest hardly moving. Her wide eyes seemed to gaze into nothingness.

Monica was shrieking and screaming, cursing them for shooting Lia like that.

Mily had no idea what to do. Should she try and help James and Monica should she tend to Lia?

“Mily, watch after your sister,” Mrs. Morrison ordered. Then she turned to shake one of the guys loose from Monica.

Mily knelt beside Lia. The girl was pale, and still breathing…if only barely. “Li-Li? Can you hear me?”

Alex pulled one of the guard’s attention away from Monica and to herself.

Lia made a noise, but gave no other indication of having heard Mily.

“Li-Li, look at me.”

Mily wondered when she’d learned to fight like that. Possible before she’d met their dad…

Lia tried to focus on her, but seemed unable. “…Sleepy…”

Mily turned and looked at her sister again. “You’re sleepy?” Lia was in shock. That much was obvious. “Li-Li, don’t go to sleep…look at me, alright?”

Lia mumbled incoherently.

A gunshot split the air.

Mily gasped and turned.

James was shaking, holding a gun up. He’d take one from one of the guards somehow…and then shot the very same man in the gut. He collapsed to the ground, dead.

For about five seconds, everything was perfectly still. Nobody moved…for what seemed an eternity.

Then Jules kicked him hard in the stomach and shoved him away.

James smacked into the ground, only a few inches away from Mily and Lia. He scrambled to his feet again, pistol still in hand. He pointed at Jules.

The man had his own weapon trained on James. “Don’t play with guns, boy. They’re not toys.”

“Don’t play with me,” James retorted. He levelled the barrel with Jules’ chest.

Jules laughed. “What do you say…why don’t we go down together.”

Mily glanced down at Lia. She was drifting off. She shook her until the girl woke up.

“That would be better than you living,” James muttered.

Mily carefully propped her sister up.

Blood soaked the girl’s arm and poured onto the floor.

Mily felt sick. She did her best to staunch the flow…met by noises of pain from Lia.

“Will you, boy?” Jules cocked his head. “Will you really kill me?”

“Don’t see why not,” James muttered. “Already shot down one of your friends here. Why not you?”

“You killed him out of defense. Killing me will be very intentional. My blood will be on your hands.”

Mily wiped the sweat off Lia’s forehead, though distracted by what was going on with James.

“Sounds like you’ve got experience with this sort of thing…”

“I do.” Jules smirked. “Far too much.” He frowned, but that only lasted a moment. “Go ahead. Follow in my footsteps. Kill me. Kill many more after me. Make that your lifestyle.”

Mily wasn’t sure, but she thought could hear bitterness in the man’s voice.

James cursed. “I’ll make a deal with you.”

Jules sighed. “And why are you so certain I’ll agree with it?”

Lia closed her eyes.

Mily shook her.

Lia grunted in pain.

“You don’t know. You haven’t heard it.” James worked his empty hand. “You let us leave, I won’t shoot.”

“Fascinating proposition,” Jules murmured. He tilted his head. “But did it cross your mind that I’d rather die than see you escape?”

“After you die, we will escape.”

“No, boy, that wouldn’t happen. My guards would kill you…they’d kill you all easily and quickly…except maybe your mother. Then she’d be convicted of murder and sent to prison.

Blood. So much blood. Too much blood. Mily tore off a section of her sleeve, and wrapped tightly around her sister’s arm.

Lia cried out and tried to pull away from Mily.

James flinched slightly, but didn’t turn around. “You’re really twisted, you know that?”

“Who’s not in this world, James? In this bitter world of hate and murder, who isn’t evil and warped?”

“I don’t know,” James muttered. “I really don’t. Except maybe one person, and you just put a bullet in her arm.”

Mily blinked at James and glanced down at her sister.

Jules chuckled. “You’re a fool. Even if the world has not yet corrupted her, I promise it will.” * Then a strange smile filled his face. “I’ll let you all go…except Alex. You kids go free, Alex stays.”

Mily’s throat tightened.

“Give us some time,” James said. “Let us decide and then get back to you.”

Jules glanced at Lia. “I don’t know that you have that much time.”

Lia just moaned, tears pouring down her now blotchy face.

“Just give us a bit more time, alright?”

Jules grinned. “As you wish.”

James lowered the gun he was holding.

“I cannot allow you to keep that, boy.”

James cursed, and tossed the gun at him.

“Come here.” Alex gestured toward a small, far corner of the room.

Mily gathered up Lia, and followed, with James and Monica close behind.

“Let me see Lia,” Alex murmured.

Mily set the girl in her mother’s lap.

Alex cradled her child in her arms. “Hey, girl.”

“Mom?” Lia whispered. “It-it hurts…a lot.”

“I know, sweetheart,” Alex answered. “It’s going to be okay, alright?”

“Is it?” James muttered.

Alex glared at him, but turned to Lia. “I’m about to take the bandage Mily made for you off, and it’s probably going to hurt.”

Lia nodded. Her breathing was harsh and sharp.

Carefully, Alex undid Mily’s makeshift bandage, and examined the injury closely. “No exit wound…the bullet’s still in her arm…and it’s down there pretty deep.”

“But…she’ll live, right?” Mily pleaded for her mom to say yes.

Alex hesitated, but finally answered, “Yes.”

“Well that’s the most certain yes I ever heard.” Monica frowned.

Lia whimpered.

Alex gave her a sharp look. “Lia’s biggest danger at the moment is bleeding out…and lead poisoning from the bullet. But she’ll be just fine. Because you all will take her, and leave this place. You will bring her to the nearest hospital, and get her treatment.”

Mily’s eyes widened. “Mom!”

“You need to,” Alex hissed. “That’s the surest way of keeping her alive. I haven’t been protecting you three from the police all these years…I’ve been protecting you from my brother.”

“You think he’ll just let up, then?” James snapped. “He’ll come after us again!”

“He’ll have me,” Alex said. “I’m the one he wants. He doesn’t care about you…But, he might. I don’t know. I won’t let him, though. I will stop him if he tries to hurt you.”

“And what if you aren’t able to?” Mily questioned. “What if he kills you and then goes after us?”

“He won’t do that,” Alex answered. “That’s not the way he works. You kids are his tool to getting a sweeter revenge against me. That is all you are to him. Look…tell the police about him. Tell someone at the hospital. Have them look up my file. His file.”

“Bet he’s kept things in that pretty quiet,” James responded. “They aren’t going to believe us.”

Alex shook her head. Her voice nearly inaudible whisper “The files of Fred and Leona De’Marro. As well as Jethro De’Marro.”

Monica almost jumped. “And why my parents and brother?”

“Shush!” Alex commanded. “You will see when you look them up. Now agree with Jules. Leave this place, and get Lia help. Alright?”

Mily chewed her lip.

“You don’t have time! Just go!”

“We’ve made our decision,” Mily turned around, and looked up at Jules. “We are going.”

“Very well,” Jules answered. “I just want to do one more thing while you’re still here. It will be real quick, I promise. Bring Alex here.”

The remaining guard sauntered over to Alex, and forced her to her feet, and led her to Jules.

“There is one last price you have to pay,” the man announced. “Just one small thing more.” Then he pressed the barrel of his pistol to Alex’s temple.

“Don’t!” Mily shrieked.

But it was too late. Jules fired the gun, and their mother dropped to the floor, dead.

Short Drabble

It has been quite a long time since I’ve posted any of The Children Who Shouldn’t Be, and I apologize for that, especially since, if I remember correctly, I left you on a bit of a cliffhanger. I will try to get more chapters up soon! In the meantime, enjoy a short drabble I wrote just recently.


“Shoot me. Don’t you want your family to live? Because that is the only way they will.”

The young boy’s fingers shake. He tries to pull the trigger, but he slips. “I…I…”

“Kill me or I will kill them! Do you want that? Do you want your entire family dead? I can’t stop myself! I just will!”

“But if I shoot you, I’ll be a—”

“A what? A murderer? Well if you don’t shoot me, you’ll be a mass murderer! You’ll be responsible for the deaths of thirteen people!”

He cries.

I glance at the sun. “Stupid boy, you have no time! Just do it! Stop me! I don’t want to kill any more people than I already have!”

“I can’t kill you! Please just go away and don’t harm my family.” His face is desperate. He doesn’t want my blood on his hands. He is one of the few innocents still remaining in this world. I envy him.

“I don’t have a choice! Don’t you understand that? This is what they’ve made me. If you don’t shoot me, I will kill every last family member you have. Even your baby sister…your three week old baby sister.”

“I don’t want to.” His face is red from all that crying. Poor kid. Only eight years old.

“I know. But you have to. For the sake of your family, and for the sake of thousands of others out there, you need to take my life.”

He shakily raises the pistol again, pointing it at my chest.

I feel like I’m burning. It’s happening. It’s coming. I can’t stop it. “You need to do it now.”

The boy squeezes the trigger and closes his eyes hard.

I smile. He did it. I’m going to die now. I won’t hurt anyone else. I feel bad for him. It hurt him so much to do it, but I’m grateful too.

He crouches beside me, and runs his fingers through my hair. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I…”

“Shh.” I grab his hand. “Thank you, child. Do not be sorry. Do not be sorry for what you have done, for you have saved many people.”


“Shh…thank…” I struggle to finish my sentence. The light around me is dimming. The world is fading. Something wet dribbles out of my nose, and down from my lips. I take one last painful breath, and close my eyes.

Pictures of Love

(Any and all feedback you may have on this passage is very welcome, as I plan on entering it into a short story contest.)

The Fiores

(Thomas and Kathryn Fiore)

The picture on the website had lied. By no means did that two dimensional spectrum of colors come close to comparing with real thing.  Bright swirls of green danced across the starry skies.

“Nothin’ quite like it, eh, Thomas?”

My gaze remains transfixed on the Northern Lights. “Kathryn will love this…”

“I’m sure she will.” Edgar chuckles and slaps me on the back. “Come on, baldy, let’s get out of here.” He jumps into the front of the old jeep. “Long road ahead of us.”

“Hold on…” I adjust my glasses and snap a photo of the glorious sight. I tug at my cap and sigh, thinking of the woman I’ve lived with for nearly sixty years.


I turn to Edgar. We need to leave. Right. I take one last, long glance, and hop in after him. I lean back and close my eyes, thinking more of my wife…

“Thomas, we’re here.”

I sit up and shake my head, blinking around. “Mmm…” I gaze blearily at front of Fairbanks International Airport. Groaning, I wrench my protesting body from the seat. “I’m getting to old for this…”

“Nah, you’re only eighty-two.” Edgar grins as he watches me.

Laughing, I help with the luggage.


* * * * *


A teenage girl with chocolatey skin throws her baton in the air and catches it as she marches through the high school parade.

An Italian senior captures the moment it leaves the air on camera. A giant grin spreads to his equally sizable spectacles.

As soon as it’s developed, the boy promptly presents it to the girl, and demands she take him on a date.

The girl laughs at him, but agrees.

His mama had always said fried chicken was the best picnic food, and her son wholly agreed. Now he peers down at the cooked fowl in the girl’s basket.

She grins at the expression on his face…he seemed to like this far more than she had envisioned.

Then he sweeps his arms around her and presses his lips against hers.


* * * * *


Thick sheets of white roll beneath the airplane. I turn to the twenty-somethin’ blond girl in the seat next to me. “Don’t those clouds look like a pretty great place to sleep?”

She blinks at me with a bright smile, and peers out the window. “Yeah, they kinda do.”

“I don’t suppose it would really work…you’d just fall right through.”

“It’s a fun thought, though,” she says. “It’s how I imagine heaven…a giant palace atop a layer of cloud.” She shrugs. “I wonder what it’s actually like. Maybe I should try asking…” she trails off, eyes now downcast. “…Mom.” Her voice cracks.

My thoughts drifting back to Kathryn. “I’m sure she’d be happy to tell her…”

“Excuse me…” the woman gets up and stamps to the bathroom.

I glance back at Edgar, who’s sitting on the aisle opposite from me. I turn to the window and take a picture.


* * * * *

They sit in his parents’ authentic Italian restaurant.

He spends their date taking pictures of her, rather than eating any food.

She laughs at him and insists that he should stop.

He continues to take picture after picture anyway.

His father come in and lectures the boy about wasting nice food, but in a good-natured manner. While he does so, he makes wild and emphatic hand gestures, all to amuse his son’s date.

He whoops right along and makes several jokes of his own.

After a while, they’re alone. His camera is set aside for the time being. Then, he gets down on his knee, and proposes to her

* * * * *


I wait in the luggage area, tapping my old camera against my leg as the time, slowly slips by. Something feels wrong…

The haze of people before me grows fuzzy. I clean my glasses, but that doesn’t help. Everything’s too loud, the light’s too bright.

“You alright?”

My eyes snap to Edgar. He’s standing right next to me, too cups of coffee in his hands. “Yeah, just need to sit down a bit.”

“Go do that.” He put one of the cups in my hand. “Want you in one piece for Glass Beach. I’ll wait for the suitcases.”

I nod and wander away. Slumping into a seat, I take a sip of the drink, not at all bothered by its scalding heat. People keep coming by, asking if I’m okay, if I need help. I wave ‘em off, giving some excuse, like I’m just tired after the flight. If they’d just leave me alone, I could get the peace and quiet that I need.

Eventually, we check out. I mutter something in Italian as I put my stuff in the back of the jeep.

“He’s using Italian…he’s in a bad mood.”

I glance at Edgar. I shake my head and drop into the driver’s seat.

“Hey…maybe I should take the wheel for this stretch…you ain’t doin’ so hot…” Edgar clasps the top edge of the window.

I shake my head. “Need to distract myself…can’t much do that if I’m not driving.”

Edgar sighs. “Alright. But if you have a heart attack, it’s on your own head.”

“I’d think it would be in my chest…”

Edgar laughs.

Twenty minutes later, my cell phone rings. I pull it out of my pocket and hand it to Edgar. “Answer that?”

Edgar took the phone. “Hello? No…this is Edgar, Thomas is driving…oh my…you sure? How…yes, I’ll tell him…see you soon…goodbye.” He hung up. “Thomas turn around. Now. Go back to the airport. She’s gotten worse.”

I make a U-turn as soon as I can.


* * * * *


They get married. For their honeymoon, she wants to go around the world and visit an assortment of places, such as the Pink Lake in Australia, Neuschwanstein Castle, Glass Beach in California, and, most of all, the Northern Lights.

They talk about it for hours, the restaurants that they would go to, the hotels where they would stay, how long it would all take.

That night, after she goes home, he lays in bed as one thing occurs to him, that he’d never thought to consider before…the cost.

The more he thinks about it, the more he realizes that there’s no way that they could go on such a trip…it would be far too expensive.

When he next sees her, he explains this all to her, hoping she would understand. He promises that one day, when they could afford it, he would take her to all those places she wants to visit.

Disappointment is evident in her gaze, but she understands. As he makes this vow though, she throws her arms around him and gives him a kiss.


* * * * *


I stare at the list of flights. Ours is still half an hour away. I don’t know how, but Edgar somehow stopped me from yelling at the employee that informed us. I know I’m all old, and am supposed to have all the patience in the world, but I don’t.  I never have, and it always drove Kathryn crazy.

I rub my eyes. Kathryn. I can just imagine how she’d react. She’d be tellin’ me, “Tommy, just relax…you’ll get there at the right time!” Well, she’s not, so here I sit, tapping my foot, muttering under my breath in Italian.

“Just fifteen minutes,” Edgar murmurs, glancing at his watch.



“Sixteen minutes, not fifteen.”

Edgar sighs, but doesn’t say anything.

“How long? How long did Ebb say?”

Edgar gives no answer.

“Ed. How long does she have?”

“Three days.” Edgar looks me hard in the eye. “Kathryn has three days.”

I don’t have a response. I focus on my shoes.

I’m on my feet the second they call our flight, and I’m the first on the airplane.


* * * * *


Many times, their plans to travel the world come up in, but she always said the same thing…the time isn’t right.

He argues with her when she says this…if they don’t go soon, they’ll never go.

Then, she wins the battle by announcing her pregnancy.

He holds back for several years, but shortly after their little boy’s fifth birthday, he can’t stand it anymore, and insists that they start setting aside money for his trip.

She reminds him that there’s no way they could afford to do so…they were barely scraping by from one paycheck to the next.

He grumbles through nearly six decades.

Then one morning, she brings up the possibility of traveling the world.

For a moment, he’s taken aback, but jumps right in.

They save their money, and once again talk about where they’re going to.

One evening, after plane tickets have been bought, and hotel rooms reserved, he finds her lying unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Their plans disintegrate at the same speed of the ambulance rushing her to the hospital.

But, with just a month to live, she tells him to go on without her.

He fights her, insisting he needed to be with her, but she’s adamant. She informs him this is the only way left to fulfill the promise he made all those years ago.

This convinces him. In less than a week, he leaves their small town of Oregon with his closest friend and his trusty camera.


* * * * *


At my insistence, we came straight to the hospital from the airport. I’m exhausted and worn out, but I don’t care. Edgar dropped me off, and left with my camera, promising to get the film developed after he slept a bit.

Carefully, I push open the door to my wife’s small room.

Ebb, my son, sits in a chair near Kathryn’s bed, chatting with her.

Kathryn sees me and stops talking. She smiles. “Hey, Tommy. How was the trip?”

I sit down in the other available chair, and pull it close.  “It was wonderful…would have been much better with you.

“Can’t really get that much better than wonderful,” Kathryn points out.

I shrug. “Well you are.”

“I’m going to get myself some coffee,” Ebb announces, standing up. Then, he leaves the room, so that Kathryn and I could be alone.

“When did you last sleep, Thomas?” Kathryn asks.

I blink. She used my full name, meaning she was in lecture mode. I shake my head. “Just a few hours…”

“Was it sleep in the car? Cuz that ain’t real sleep.”

“Kath…” I can’t believe we’re having this discussion.

“You get yourself home and get some rest, now.”

“I’m not doing that. I’m staying with you…I’ll get some rest later.”

She raises both. “Thomas, you’ll put yourself in the hospital…then we can’t be together.”

“I’m not doing it. I’m staying right here, and you aren’t convincing me not to.”

Kathryn sighs. “Alright. Stay all you want.” She closes her eyes. “So you took pictures of them on that old camera? All those places I wanted to go?”

“Sure did.” I smile, and gently place my hand her cheek. “Promise me you’ll stick around long enough to see them.”

“Course I will,” Kathryn murmurs. She reaches up a shaky hand and grabs mine. Then, she drifts off to sleep.

I tightly clasp her hand in mine, not letting it slip, or drop.


* * * * *


He sits near her for the next several days of the week, waiting as the photographs developed.

She has so little time, but fights, if merely to keep her promise to him.

To distract her, he tells her of his trip, about all the hotels he stayed in, about some of the crazy people he met, and about him and his friend running out of gas, and ending up stranded on the side of the road, near the border between Germany and France.

Despite all her efforts, she got weaker as the days passed. She spent more of her time unconscious, rather than awake.

Rather than getting agitated and impatient about the old man simply grew sad. By this point, he was certain that the pictures weren’t going to be done in time.

Then one day, his friend knocks on the door.

He tells his friend to come in, rubbing his wife’s hand as she slept.

The friend enters and waves a manila envelope.

He doesn’t notice at first, but eventually looks up, and smiles. He reaches over and gently shakes her shoulder.

When she wakes, he spends the next twenty minutes showing her his photos from around the world.

Her tired eyes gleam with happiness. She feels as though she were visiting the places herself, as he describes every detail. Soon though, she falls asleep.

Later that evening, she passes away.

Hours turn to days, days into weeks. A picture of her, along with the many he’d taken for sit up on the mantel.

He wonders how things would’ve been different, had they gone before she got sick. He surely would have snapped the very same photos.

But alas, there’s nothing he can do to change what happened, and he knows this. Who knows? Maybe it truly was better this way. Who can tell? Dear old Thomas Fiore certainly can’t, as he gazes up, day after day, at those pictures of love.

Young Warrior (working title)

(Sorry for the late post!)

Marilyn sank onto the bed, rubbing the scar around her wrist that markd her as one of Lord Michael’s slaves. She took a long shaky breath. After pulling her sleeve down to cover the mark, Marilyn  pulled herself to her feet and wandered to the window. They’ll come to the inn. They’ll find me! She shook her head and rubbed her eyes. Stop thinking such things! You’ll be free soon.

She laid down, and drifted into a light uneasy sleep. She’d forgotten something. What had she forgotten?

A loud thud against the wood floor brought Marilyn out of her slumber. Two feet away, stood a man in a dark cloak. “Marilyn Cosaway.”

“What? That is not my name! You must be mis-”

The man snatched her arm and pulled up her sleeve, revealing the scar. “Marilyn Cosaway, slave of Lord Michael.”  He dragged to the window…the window Marilyn had left open, and shoved her out, into the arms of another man.

Tears stung Marilyn’s cheeks, as the bound and slung her over the back of a horse. How could such a small mistake lead to her capture?

Dreams (working title)

Hey! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted! Anyway, I’ve got something new for you all today…

If you’d like to see more of this story, then ‘like’ it!


Where am I? I sat up and looked around the small bluish room. There was a bed, the one I’m sitting on, and a door in the far corner of the room, but absolutely nothing else.

Then, the door was opened. A tall woman in a plain pink dress walked toward me and tgrabbed my wrist, like she was taking my pulse.

I opened my mouth to ask her where I was, but no words came out. I tried clearing my throat, but that didn’t work.

The lady smiled at me sweetly and rubbed my arm, as if to reassure me that everything was alright.

My panic only grew. I tried to stand, but my legs wouldn’t respond. I stared at the woma, begging with my eyes for some explanation.

She walked over to the wall and pressed her hand against it. A panel slid out, and she grabbed a syringe. Then, she walked over to me, and took my arm.

I tried to pull away, already knowing what this person was going to do, but her grip was vice-like.

The needle slid into my arm, and the world grew sluggish and faded. Then the screaming began. I remember the horrors of my sleep, and wished for all the world I would wake up again soon.