Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Distinct Click

On his way home from closing a case, Cal Brent passed an alley and noticed a man forcing a woman into an abandoned building. He cussed himself for having left his cell-phone at the office, knowing by the time he got to a phone and contacted the police, the girl could be dead.
He needed to do something and quickly. Swerving the Mustang to the curb, he retrieved the Smith & Wesson from the glove compartment, hoping he wouldn’t have to use it; yet sensing the opposite in his gut. Fifteen years as a private detective taught him to trust his instincts.
Pitch-black impaired his vision upon entering the building so he closed his eyes to let them adjust. He opened them slowly and was able to make out a hallway and followed it. Every few feet, Cal paused to listen for sounds. After what seemed hours and miles, he spotted a dim light spilling into the corridor from a point up ahead and stealthily inched his way to the door. He took a deep breath and cautiously peered into the room.
The woman was strapped to a chair with her back to him about midway; her muffled sobs seeped into his ears. To the left, a shadow flickered back and forth and until Cal knew what he was up against, he was forced to remain out of sight. Her sobs suddenly changed to anxious groans as she writhed and struggled in vain to free herself. Cal’s gaze shot up and saw a figure standing a few feet away in front of her, smiling. He didn’t appear to have a weapon.
“You’re not too good for me now, are ya?” he taunted her.
Cal made his move. “Step back!” he commanded, pointing his gun at the man’s chest.
Startled, the guy jammed his hand into his coat pocket and pulled out a weapon. Cal squeezed the trigger and the kidnapper was knocked backward, his gun clattering to the floor. He swayed then toppled over.
Cal moved into the room and kicked the weapon out of reach. He turned to the woman and discovered she was just a young lady about twenty years of age. He bent down to loosen her bonds.
A maniacal laugh erupted behind him. The girl’s wide eyes reflected the horror within. Cal spun around to see the guy pushing a button, then clearly heard a distinct click from something on the side shelf where a digital clock began counting down. Before Cal could move, the room burst into flames.
Having no time to fuss with the bindings, Cal stooped and hoisted the chair and the girl up to his shoulder and trudged out of the room, the flames licking at his heels. In the corridor, numerous explosions hurled flames and debris in back and in front of him and he had all he could do to rush through them.
Between the awkward weight of the girl and chair and the heat and fumes sucking the air from his lungs and burning his eyes, Cal staggered into the walls a number of times. Just when he thought he couldn’t make it, he spotted the door and pumped his legs harder.
He slammed the chair legs into the door and stumbled out into the alley where he lost his footing and they crashed to the ground hard. The jarring impact caused both of them to grunt. Cal glanced over at her. She was conscious and for a moment, they just lay there staring at each other, grateful to be alive.
  Chelle Munroe©
  October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Day of the Acorn


Chelle Munroe©
October 29, 2013

  An acorn fell
From atop a tree
Bounced off my head
Then struck my knee

Though not too big
It hurt like hell
When I glanced up
Another fell

It plunked real hard
In my right eye
Pained me so
But I did not cry

Instead in rage
I hurled it away
Still can’t believe
What happened that day

It smacked a tree
As I did pout
Ricocheted back
And knocked me out


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Wish

It was October and everyone was talking about getting costumes for Halloween and all the Halloween parties they were planning on attending. Sandra was no different and wanted to find a costume that was completely unique but she had no idea what to get. She really didn’t want to buy a costume because she knew that, sooner or later, she would probably run into someone wearing the identical one.
In all honesty, she wasn’t much of a seamstress either so whatever outfit she chose had to be something already made or else she’d be dressed as a burlap bag; not that she had anything against looking like a burlap bag ---well, actually she did, but that’s beside the point. The thing was she didn’t want that scratchy material anywhere near her skin lest she’d be in misery the whole time she was wearing it.
As luck would have it, Sandra’s dilemma changed in one trip to the thrift store where she found a scruffy dress; a dirty tattered coat; a grungy pair of boots and a scraggly looking wig. She was thrilled. That is, until she got home and tried everything on. The clothes were exactly what she was looking for with the exception that they just weren’t powerful enough. She wanted a real dramatic effect and wasn’t getting it no matter what she did. She had no choice but to get help so she called her friend Barbara and asked her to come over.
“Well, whatta ya think?” Sandra asked when Barbara stepped into the living room.”
Barbara took a moment then said, “You look great! That is so cool. What’s your problem with it?”
Sandra frowned. “That wasn’t the answer I was looking for,” she said flopping down on the couch. “I wanted it to look real. You know, really dramatic like Hollywood does it so it makes people react.”
Barbara threw her hands in the air. “Honey I don’t know what you’re looking for because you have it. I mean you don’t look like you. Maybe just a bit of different makeup, but that’s all.”
Sandra let the subject drop and she and Barbara spent the rest of the evening having coffee and muffins and talking about many of the past Halloweens they had shared.
When Barbara left, Sandra tidied up and before she took the outfit off, she looked one more time in the mirror. The image staring back at her did look dramatic but she wanted something more. She changed, showered and climbed into bed.
What happened next cannot be explained. During the night, she had a dream that she had donned the outfit and went into the bathroom to look into the mirror. She gasped at the wicked, hideous looking creature staring back at her.
She moved closer and studied the image. She was satisfied it was herself, but couldn’t believe the change. It was exactly what she wanted to look like so she could scare people and make them remember her.
 Staring into the mirror, she wished she could copy what she was seeing in real life. “Yes, you’re exactly what I’m looking for,” she whispered as she stared into the eyes of the image in the mirror. Returning to bed, Sandra realized she hadn’t dressed in the costume nor had she put that kind of makeup on to make her look as she did and deduced it was all part of the dream.
She snuggled under the covers and drifted off to sleep. When she awoke in the morning and went into the bathroom, she practically jumped backwards at the sight of herself in the mirror. The face staring back at her was the one from her dream. “No, you can’t be,” she said both to the image in the mirror and herself. She reached down and touched the clothes. They were real.
Sandra hurried to wash the makeup off because it was scaring her. When she glanced into the mirror again, nothing had changed---- she was still hideous. In desperation to be rid of the mask or whatever it was, she scrubbed and scrubbed and tried everything she could but to no avail.  Sandra rushed into the kitchen and immediately called Barbara.
“You’ve go to get over here now!” she exclaimed.
“I can’t explain it. You just have to get here and quickly,” she commanded when Barbara started to ask questions. Sandra hung the phone up and paced nervously back and forth until Barbara arrived.
When Barbara knocked on the door, Sandra turned and faced the doorway leading from the kitchen and yelled, “Come in,”  
As soon as Barbara walked into the living room, she rattled off a flurry of questions.  “Oh my god, you look fantastic! How did you do it? How…. I can’t believe it? Did you pay someone? Did it take long?”
Sandra finally managed to stop her. “Barbara, stop and listen to me. It’s not makeup. I don’t know what it is but it won’t come off.”
“Yeah, right,” Barbara snickered, disbelief dripping from her words.
“It’s true,” was all Sandra could manage to say.
“What the heck are you talking about?”
Sandra walked up to her. “It’s real Barbara. I had a dream and was wishing I could look like the image in the mirror and when I awoke this is how I looked.
Barbara’s expression was that Sandra was crazy, but then she slowly reached up to rub Sandra’s face and pull her nose. Sandra waited for Barbara to reason things out. When it finally registered in Barbara’s mind, she stared into Sandra’s eyes with heartfelt sadness. “How can this be? What are you going to do?”
As tears trickled down Sandra’s cheeks, she whispered, “I don’t know. You’ve got to help me. Please.”
Barbara lowered her eyes. “Okay, okay let me think.” Moments later she offered, “I’ve got an idea. We have the party to go to tonight. Keep this on until the party's over. Maybe when it’s done it will have served its purpose and you’ll go back to normal.”
“That’s helping me!” Sandra practically screamed at her. “That’s the best you can come up with?”
Barbara grabbed her friend’s shoulders. “Yes, it is. What else can we do?  We can’t go to the hospital or anything. What would we say? Do you know how crazy this is? Besides, it will give us more time to think of what to do.”
“I can’t go out looking like this.”
“It’s a Halloween party, who’s going to know?”
Somehow Sandra knew Barbara was right. Through the misty haze in her mind, she knew she had to hold up and concentrate on finding a solution.
In the midst of her thoughts, she heard Barbara saying, “I have to go. You going to be all right?”
It took a couple moments before Barbara’s words actually penetrated. Sandra shot her a look, panic sweeping through her body. “No, you can’t go. You can’t leave me like this.”
Barbara held Sandra’s hands in hers. “I have to go. I’ve got my mom to take care of. You’ll be okay. Why don’t you lie down and rest.”
Sandra’s shoulders slumped. When she looked into Barbara’s eyes, she could see genuine sadness in them and realized Barbara was hurting just as much because of her inability to solve the dilemma.
Sandra took a deep breath and had to reach deep within until she mustered enough courage to say, “Okay. I’ll be okay. Call me though.”
Barbara hugged her. “Yes, I’ll call in to check on you. You’re going to be fine.”
“Promise you’ll call.”
“I promise,” Barbara reassured her.
The door no sooner closed and Sandra’s heart started beating faster. She was scared. It took another twenty minutes before she was calm enough to lie down. Her whole body was trembling so she pulled the covers over her and when the warmth seeped into her, she closed her eyes and started to drift off to sleep.
“How does it feel? Are you happy now?”
Sandra jumped. “Who’s there?”
The voice came again. “Are you happy?”
“Who’s there? Where are you?” Sandra demanded, her body shaking again. She wanted to get up from the bed but was frightened of what she’d find. “Leave! You hear me? Leave me alone”
“You want me to leave you alone? Are you sure that’s what you want?” the voice queried ominously.
The meaning of the words sunk in and Sandra replied, “No. No, don’t leave. Change me back to myself.”
A maniacal laugh pierced her ears. “Change you back to yourself? You fool. This is your true self.”
“No…,” Sandra argued. “No, you don’t understand. This was just a crazy wish for Halloween, that’s all. It was just supposed to be a costume.”
“You didn’t wish for a costume. You wished to be exactly as you are. This is what you wanted.”
“No! No! No!” Sandra screamed and passed out.
A couple hours later, Sandra heard the phone ringing and opened her eyes. She slowly made her way to the table and picked it up. “Hello.”
“It’s Barbara. You okay Hon? You sound terrible.”
Sandra looked around. “I had a nightmare when I fell asleep. It was terrifying. When can you come over?”
“I won’t be able to get free for another hour. Hang in there, okay?”
“I think I can,” Sandra replied and walked into the bathroom. Staring back at her from the mirror was the hideous face and written in lipstick were the words----
“Your wish has been granted.”
   Chelle Munroe©
    October 27, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Discovery

Summer was over and Cassie was finally able to spend her first day at the beach by herself. The thought of being alone to enjoy the intoxicating atmosphere without interruption was like a fairytale come true. Before leaving the small path, she paused and breathed in deeply, letting the clean salt-air and the distinct smell of marsh grass and seaweed fill her lungs. With sandals in hand, she stepped into the soft dry sand and giggled as it squished up between her toes and surrounded them.
After frolicking for some time, Cassie strolled toward the water’s edge and marveled at the change in the texture of the sand. Unlike the warm dry area, the wet sand was cool, compact and firm against her feet. Again, she paused, this time listening to the waves gently lapping the shore in an alluring tranquil rhythm.
A woman’s sudden, desperate cry for help yanked Cassie out of her daydream. Without a moment’s hesitation, she scurried in the direction toward the woman.
“Help me, please!” the woman screamed when she spotted Cassie. “My husband choked on a piece of meat and passed out. I don’t know what to do.”
Cassie jammed her hand in her shoulder bag and pulled out her cell phone. “Here, call 911,” she commanded, then dropped to her knees and turned the man onto his side. When she got his mouth open, she gave a few whacks with her hand in between the man’s shoulder blades. Then she stuck her small hand in as far as possible. Luckily, her fingers reached the edge of the meat and she was able to dislodge the chunk. Wasting no time, she rolled him onto his back and immediately felt for the carotid artery in his neck while at the same time listened for breathing. Finding neither, she hurriedly began performing CPR.
After some very tense minutes, the man responded. Moments later, the EMT’s arrived and took over. She had saved his life. While everyone was congratulating her, one of the men accidentally kicked over her bag, spilling its contents onto the sand. It was then that they spotted the folding white cane and discovered Cassie was blind.
   Chelle Munroe©
   October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Passion

Personal Essay


     Trying to decide what I am passionate about; what makes my blood boil, sounded like a no-brainer, that is, until I went to put it down on paper. In thinking about the topic, I realized I have a number of interests that I am very passionate about. The question then became – what should I write?
Naturally, I’m passionate about my transitioning, but I feel, for now anyway, that I have talked enough on that subject and will let it rest.  Another area of interest I gave thought to is painting. I’m still very much a novice and don’t envision myself as becoming the next Renoir anytime soon, but I do love to paint and, when in the mood, I get very passionate to the point of almost becoming obsessed with it. Although, in spite of getting that involved, I can’t say with true conviction that painting is what really gets my blood boiling.
That being said, I’m able to proclaim, without hesitation, that writing is my true passion. I have a love for writing that goes beyond what I can express in words, which I didn’t think at all possible being as I enjoy creating and using words to paint a picture or to touch someone’s emotions to the point where they truly experience the essence of what I have penned. When this happens, it conjures up deep feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction within me.
The challenge of transforming a random thought or a single idea into a beautiful lush forest abundant with wonderfully realistic characters traversing hills, valleys and twisting streams of events all connected and dependent on each other to bring the forest to life is a pure miracle to me. It is miraculous in the sense of feeling blessed with a gift of creating something from nothing. In addition to that, it is rewarding and fantastically exciting for me to watch blank sheets of paper filling up with words, sentences and paragraphs; each segment supporting the one before it while giving birth to new challenges; then nurturing and strengthening them with one sole purpose --- to keep the story interesting and moving forward. When it happens, it is a true reward.
Writing is something I believe I am slowly mastering to a respectable degree. However, in true honesty, I must admit that I still have a lot to learn due to the numerous elements and intricacies of writing.  Nevertheless, I embrace that learning process as it affords my learning capacity to constantly evolve, which in turn makes it continuously refreshing and exciting. As I gain more and more knowledge and my writing improves, my ability to formulate new and more interesting ideas and characters also expands, thereby generating a self-perpetuating reward system.
Lastly, the most enjoyable facet of writing for me is the depth with which I can explore the convoluted and intimate feelings within myself. It never ceases to amaze me how I can delve into the complexities of the characters I create because each one exposes a piece of me in ways that are so different than how I actually live my life. Yet, each one is a fractional representation of my personality that bestows upon me the luxury of getting to know myself more completely as a person.
Chelle Munroe ©

October 21, 2013         


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Where to Begin

Personal Essay

    Some of the things I will cover have already been shared with many, but I feel it necessary to repeat them in order for all the readers to have a better understanding of events as well as lending a smoother continuity of what I have experienced.  I come from a large family, having five brothers and a sister, who is the youngest.  In the birth order, I am the second oldest. However, I am currently the eldest living sibling, my older brother having died in 2004.  We had a typical household filled with lots of love and laughter along with the normal level of disagreements and bickering that can exist between boys.
      At the age of five, not fully understanding why, I went to my mother and told her I was a girl to which she naturally responded that I was not a girl.  After a period of two to three weeks with me insisting I was a girl, she told my father, who took me aside and said he didn’t want to hear that kind of nonsense again and gave me a slight whack on the back of my head to enforce what he’d said.  From that point on, in fear of what the consequences would be, I kept my feelings to myself.
      Due to the fact that the oldest children were boys and my mom needing help as we grew older, we were assigned different chores.  Oddly enough, it was I who was given the duties of helping my mom with housework; ironing clothes; changing the younger ones diapers; and many other jobs that would normally have been delegated to a girl.  My other brothers were given the tasks that were geared more to what was expected of boys.  In actuality, I was thrilled with what I was doing because it felt normal and I continued performing these duties into my teen years.  As much as my mom had never brought the subject up about my believing I was a girl, it is my belief that within her heart, she knew I wasn’t the typical boy.  Growing up, I spent many days playing with the neighborhood girls and although it was never mentioned, they treated me like one of them.  But that wasn’t without consequences because the boys in the neighborhood started to harass me and that led to many conflicts.  As a result, I learned how to fight and fight well.  In some instances, I overcompensated and became the aggressor.  The effect was the same in that I eventually earned the reputation of being tough and not one to mess with and they left me alone.  In spite of accomplishing what I had wanted, I never felt comfortable or happy being “the boy”.
      At the age of fourteen, my life and attitude changed drastically one night.  I had just left a girl I was dating and on my way home, I was yanked into an alley by three older teens and viciously raped.  They sliced my arms up with razors and threatened to cut my throat if I made a noise or told someone of the incident.  Needless to say, I was thrown into a complete state of confusion.  I began to question whether I was raped because of my feminine feelings; questioned if I was gay; just a whole flux of questions without answers.  For some time, I even began hating myself because of how I felt.  I never told a soul about what had happened and vowed that nothing like that would ever happen again.  Determined to keep my vow, I practiced and practiced to fight better than before. I studied some martial arts, not to earn the belts, but to learn how to defend myself in a more powerful way.  As time passed, I settled down in my thoughts and knew beyond doubt that I wasn’t gay and I hadn’t been raped because of how I felt because the teens who raped me didn't know me and couldn’t have read my mind anyway.
     Just before I turned sixteen, I was hanging on the corner with some friends when another friend, Michael, approached dressed as a girl.  All of us stared and someone asked what the hell was going on.  Michael informed us that he was going to live the rest of his life as Michelle.  The derogatory remarks that followed were cruel and I knew right then that I couldn’t let on about myself as I didn’t want to suffer the same persecution.  In fact, to keep suspicions from myself, I left with the group.  I never hurled any insults at Michelle, just remained silent while the others verbally abused her and a couple guys even spit at her.
     A few months passed and every time I saw Michelle, I ignored her.  One day while sitting at the counter in a diner, a woman came in and sat next to me.  I knew it was a woman because I saw her skirt out of the corner of my eye and smelled her perfume.  After a couple moments, I heard, “How long are you going to shun me?”  I knew it was Michelle and turned to look at her.  “Not here.  Finish eating and we’ll go somewhere to talk.” 
     Outside, I told her why I had avoided her and also said that I had felt betrayed because she hadn’t told me about herself and, as fast as the words had come out, I realized that I had done the same with her.  I apologized to her then proceeded to tell her about myself.  We hugged, cried and forgave each other.  From that point on, we made arrangements to go out together as females.  Michelle’s father was an alcoholic and one day decided to take flight with one of the bar floozies never to be heard from again.  Michelle’s mother was such a caring, loving person; she accepted Michelle right away and when she learned about myself, made it a point to always welcome me into their home.  In fact, she sometimes helped us with our outfits, bought us clothes and would drive us to different places and pick us up.
     To keep my first initial, “R”, I chose the name Rochelle.  Michelle and I were so close, we were more like sisters than friends.  However, Michelle was gay and contracted the AIDS virus and died.  It broke my heart to see her suffering the way she had and I wanted to remember her in a special way.  It took some time before I finally chose the way to do it.  I decided to change my name using the ending of both our names.  My name then became “Chelle”, (pronounced, “Shelly” but spelled with a “C” and ending in “E").
    At one point in my life, when I was still married, I told my family about my being transgender.  My parents didn’t understand it and didn’t want to.  My brothers took the news with a grain of salt and even visited me when I was dressed completely as a female.  One day while my dad was working on his car, I asked if he wanted help and he put the wrench down and turned to me and said, “I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t understand it at all, but you’re my child, I love you and you are always welcome in my home.”  I cried like a baby.  My mom didn’t say a thing to me but I knew she was slowly coming to grips with it. 
     Not long afterwards, I landed a real good job and couldn’t follow being transgender without risking losing the job so I stopped pursuing my life.  Oddly enough, my brothers took this as a sign that I was “cured”, which told me they hadn’t come to terms with the fact that being transgender is not something one can be cured of.  Last October, I took my mom for a ride to the beach where she loved going to and after some idle chit chat, she got very quiet.  I didn’t think too much of it and didn’t say anything myself.  Finally, she turned to me and said, “I want you to be happy”, to which I replied, “I am.”  She said, “No, I want you to be happy.”  Again I said, “I am.” 
     Letting out a long sigh, she firmly stated, “Live your life and be happy and to heck with the others.” 
     I immediately understood that she was telling me to be myself, and not worry about my brothers or what they thought.  At that point, she wanted to return home.  A week later, she died.  Her words burned so deep within me that I decided right there and then to pursue my happiness and begin transitioning once again.  I know that my brothers are aware of my situation but as of this date, they have not broached the subject. I have dressed as a female in front of two of them and am still not sure what the end result will be but can only hope for the best.  Naturally, there is a lot more to my life and my experiences but I just wanted to give a brief overview of one of the most important aspects of my life.
Chelle Munroe©
October 16, 2013                                                                                                                                                 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Burning Intrigue

Many…… years ago; well, a long time ago to be exact; I was taking aerobics classes three times a week after school. They were a lot of fun except for the fact that my two supposedly best friends quit after just three weeks. Of course, they were much thinner than me so it didn’t matter to them, but I needed the structure to help me get back to being skinny. Like most young girls, I hated the way my body looked.
My dad said I was crazy that I wasn’t fat at all. What did he know? I was 13 years old and already weighed 114 lbs.! I was determined to get back down to 100 lbs. My mom was a little bit more understanding, although she said I was more eccentric than crazy. Okay, so maybe there were a few times….a lot of times that I made her roll her eyes, shake her head and walk away from me, but that didn’t mean those things weren’t important to me. Or at least I thought so at the time. Let me put it this way: “If I had a daughter that age now and she came to me with the same things I presented my mother with, I’d have her seeing a psychiatrist”.
Most of the girls in the aerobics class were nice but there was one girl, Marla Barrows, who thought she was better than everyone else and had no problem saying so right to your face. Her attitude was a result of coming from a super-rich family even though on many days her mother warned her to act civilized and not to put herself above others. Needless to say, the rest of the girls in the class hated her. I say most because there were a couple girls who practically kissed Marla’s fanny so she would like them. Naturally, the only thing Marla liked was having those two bimbos running errands for her or picking up after her. It was sickening to watch.
Then one day, a miracle happened. After class, we all changed up in the locker room as usual and, as usual, the two bimbos were cleaning up after Marla. Marla and one of the girls left the room and the other one grabbed Marla’s canvas bag and when she did, a book fell out. She was in such a hurry to catch up to the others that she didn’t notice it on the floor.
I looked around and to my surprise, I was the last one in the room so I nonchalantly walked over and picked the book up and slid it into my gym bag and left. If you would have seen me, you would have thought I had struck gold. I was bubbling so much inside that I was practically running home. I couldn’t wait to get there.  I also looked very suspicious because I kept looking back over my shoulder to see if I were being followed.
Normally, when I reached home, I would plunk myself down on a kitchen chair or one of the chairs in the living room and tell my mother all about my day at school and the aerobics class. This particular day however, I flew up the stairs as though I had rockets on my sneakers. Thankfully my mom didn’t call me back downstairs to ask me her thousand and one questions about my day.  I was free and clear to examine the book.
Inside my room, I locked the door, tossed the gym bag onto the easy chair in the corner and threw myself crosswise on the bed. I took a deep breath and slowly opened the cover. When I got to the second sentence I gasped and kicked my legs up and down in jubilation. I clamped my hand over my mouth to muffle my giggling. I couldn’t believe my luck. In my hands I held Marla’s secret diary. This was the treasure of all treasures. In today’s world, this would be equal to having nuclear weapons.
When I finally finished celebrating my find, I continued reading. I have to be honest in saying that most of the stuff in the book was dribble and nonsense and Marla whining about everything she could. It was disgraceful even to me at the time because Marla admitted that she used her whining and cry-baby act to get what she wanted.
I rolled onto my back and continued reading even though I was getting bored. Then I turned a page and the words were written in dark capital letters. It caught my interest and I paid more attention to what I was reading. My patience paid off because Marla was complaining that her parents had punished her for being lazy and dirty.
I sat up and continued reading. Seems that Marla wasn’t such the uppity- up she presented to be. Marla had a dark secret and had gotten caught in it. According to her diary, she had a nasty habit of changing her underwear and throwing the dirty ones under the bed and leaving them there. She then went on to say that her mother had snooped around her room spying on her and that her mother claimed she had brought some clean clothes up to Marla’s bedroom and dropped a sock on the floor. When she stooped to pick it up she caught a whiff of something unpleasant under the bed so she got down on her knees and that’s when she found all the dirty underwear. The rest of the diary was pretty much like the first part…..boring.
When I went to school the next day, I approached Marla and said, “Your crony dropped this in the locker room yesterday”, and held out the diary. Marla’s horror-stricken eyes widened like two saucers.
  “I found it on the floor and not knowing who it belonged to, I opened it. When I did, it flipped to the pages with the dark capital letters. I wanted to make sure you got it back.” I smiled, handed it to her and walked away.
   Chelle Munroe©
   October 14, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Are You For Real?

  Hello, my name is Carmen and I thought I’d take a moment to share with you something that happened to me earlier in the year. It was a beautiful spring day and I was thinking, “Finally – warmer weather!” Days before, I was convinced it was never going to reach New England. For me, warmer weather means more shopping outings, even if only to window shop.  I love looking for the newest fashions and especially enjoy finding the clearance items, whether last year’s styles or not. 
Deciding to take advantage of the weather, I ventured off to Main Street to browse the stores for that special item marked down to a price that easily fit into my budget.  It was while I was in Marlee’s Fashions that I came across something that would have a profound effect on my life --- at least I thought so at the time.
Toward the rear of the shop I spotted a rust-shaded blouse with a delicate lace trim on a circular rack and hurried to check it out.  However, when I looked at the tag, I discovered it was not my size.  The blouse was exactly what I was looking for to match a skirt I had picked up a couple weeks before.  Not one to give up, I perused the racks nearby, hoping to see another one.  My heart raced when I thought I spotted one on the back wall tucked in the corner. 
This is where things took a turn-around.  When I reached the rack, I had to push the clothes aside to get at the blouse I wanted to examine and noticed something written on the wall.  It looked to be graffiti at first, but when I was able to get a clearer view of it, I realized it was a poem of sorts.  Intrigued, I read it and then retrieved a pen and paper from my purse to copy it down.  This is what I copied:
About time you got here, I’ve
Been waiting for you
Do you know what
Events await
For you to see?
Got your interest,
Just so you’ll know
Keep reading
Lest you want to die

My my, you are
Not going to ignore this note
Possibly dismiss it as a lunatic’s
Remember, I am the one who
Stated your name
Think before you
Underestimate my
Veracity and burden the blame
While being labeled a
Xerxes or worse
Yielding your mind, becoming
Zany and forever cursed.
My first reaction, of course, was to look around to see if someone was playing a joke, but then I couldn’t explain how that was at all possible being no one, including myself,  knew I was going to be in the store that day.  Well, no one I figured was in my social circles.
For whatever reason, I pushed the clothes together blocking out the message and then opened the space again -- only to find a blank wall.  Immediately, I glanced at the paper in my hand at the words I had written and headed for the front of the store completely forgetting about the blouse.
Across the street, I bought a coffee and took it outside where I sat on one of the park benches.  Beneath my sunglasses, I glanced around to see if someone was nearby recording my actions, but no one appeared to be doing anything out of the ordinary.  I resumed studying the writing trying to make some kind of determination about it and would have thrown it out but for the fact it had my name in it.  There was no way it could have been there by coincidence.  Forty-five minutes later and frustrated from going round and round in a circle with it, I stuffed it in my pocketbook and headed for home.
It was close to an hour later before I sat down with the piece of paper again, hoping to find something meaningful that I could make sense of.  Not having any success, I put it down and tried to ignore it.  When my eyes drifted down at the lines again, I realized for the first time that each line began with a letter of the alphabet.  I verified my discovery by counting the lines to be sure and there were twenty-six.  Needless to say, this piqued my curiosity and breathed new life into my wanting to decipher its meaning.  Three hours and two cups of coffee and a cup of tea later, I was no further ahead in deciphering its meaning than when I had first begun.  To say it was aggravating would be a stupendous understatement for sure.  When I’d had enough self-punishment, I left the house to go do some chores.  The break was incredibly relaxing and I tried my best not to think about the poem on my kitchen table.
Back at the house, I decided to make one last-ditch effort to root out the meaning within the lines, but before I get sink my teeth into the chore, I was interrupted by an unexpected knock on the door.  As far as I knew, I hadn’t ordered anything nor had anyone called to say they were stopping by.
When I opened the door, I came face to face with a complete stranger and normally would have thought nothing of it, but this guy said, “I am from the future and if need be, I can prove it.”
  I had all I could do to keep from laughing in his face.  Instinctively, I moved to the side to close the door, but something, I’m not quite sure what, made me pause.  By doing so, I couldn’t help notice how the sunlight reflected on his features the same way it had on my grandfather’s face.  In fact, the guy kind of resembled one of my uncles so I figured it was one of my relatives I hadn’t yet met and the family was playing a joke on me.  I scanned the street for signs of one or more of them sitting in a car or nearby doorway having a good laugh at my expense.  Seeing no one, I turned my attention back to the fellow patiently waiting on my doorstep.   
I invited him in.  “So, what’s this all about?” I asked, trying my best to keep from laughing.
He motioned to the chair and I nodded.  Once seated, he said, “You have to go to the Chinese Laundry in Chinatown, Boston, or you will die”.
Unable to contain myself any longer, I burst out laughing.
 “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I blurted when I stopped laughing.  “You want me to go all the way to Boston to a Chinese Laundry?  Is that the best you can come up with?”
He stared at me without saying a word.
“Okay, what’s the catch?  I mean this is some kind of joke, right?  Is this a new TV show like Candid Camera or something?”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope.   “I assure you, this is no joke.  Look at these pictures good before you say anymore.”
 I snatched the papers from his outstretched hand and glanced at them.  They were photographs of my family and more importantly, of me standing in front of a building that, as of that moment, was only a proposal to be built.  Another one showed an obituary column in the local newspaper with my picture and name and all the stats to go with it.
The more I thought about the story being absolutely ridiculous, the more fascinated with it I became.  I tried not to appear too eager and nonchalantly said, “So tell me what’s going on.”  
He cleared his throat twice before speaking. “Two days ago, you brought a shirt to Ideal Laundry for Mrs. Clark that was to be cleaned, pressed and starched.”
“Yeah, so what?” I remarked, not seeing the significance or relevance of the information.
He shot me a look like a father would give an errant child, so I motioned for him to continue.
“Ideal sends their special laundry items to Ho Ling’s in Boston which is why it takes them a couple days to get them finished.  You will need the ticket for the shirt.  Without it, you will only waste your time and come back empty handed, like you did the first time.”
 “Like I did the first time?  What the hell are you talking about?”
“This is the third time you have had to do this because you keep thinking it an elaborate joke.”
I started to protest but he immediately flicked his hand to shut me up and like an obedient child, I did.
“However,” he continued once satisfied he had my attention again, “this is going to be your last chance.  Should you ignore this warning or fail to do as you are instructed, you will die, make no mistake about it.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m not at liberty to say, except to tell you what you need to know.”
His eyes set, he motioned with his head.  “Shall I continue?”
He gave a satisfactory nod.  “The shirt belongs to Mrs. Clark’s son, Donald.  Donald is…..well, to put it mildly, daffy.  Ever since his father, who, by the way, was an alcoholic, ran off with some other woman, leaving Mrs. Clark and Donald to fend for themselves, Donald has never been right.  He has been a misfit his whole life it seems and is, how you would put it, a stick of dynamite ready to explode.
“The shirt happens to be his favorite and he’s planning on wearing it to a concert in the park on Saturday night.  Because his mother gave you the shirt and because you were the one to bring it to the laundry, Donald blamed you both and thus killed the two of you.”
“I’ll call the police and tell them and nothing to worry about.”
“Wrong.  What will you tell them?  That this person is going to kill you because you brought his shirt to the laundry?  Listen to how that sounds!  Not only that, you tried doing that the first time and all it did was put Donald on alert.  Don’t be foolish, Carmen, this is your last chance or you will die once and for all.”
With that, he looked at his watch and got up.  “Heed this warning.”
I walked him to the door not knowing what to think. 
“Have a good day Carmen and should you mark my words, you will have a good life ahead of you.  Good bye.”
“Good bye,” I said robotically and watched him till he disappeared around the corner.  Inside the house, I pondered his words over and over and over again trying to make a decision on what to do and waiting for the dream or nightmare to end so I could get back to my normal life.
In closing, I can tell you that it was neither a dream nor a nightmare but for real.  Donald did go on a shooting spree.  Obviously, I was not one of his victims.  Nor was his mother for that fact.  You guessed it correctly.  I retrieved the shirt and returned it to Donald’s mother in time for him to wear it for the concert.
We all have stories to tell.  This just happens to be mine.
   Chelle Munroe©
   October 10, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hello Everyone!

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Surprise Reunion

Imagine my surprise when Melissa Wood showed up at my door soliciting donations for an upcoming demonstration. We hadn’t seen each other since high school so I invited her in for coffee to give us a chance to catch up on things.
As it turned out, Melissa had spent a good deal of her life involved in one rebellion after another. To hear the excitement in her voice and see the sparkle in her eyes when she spoke about her activities, you would have thought she was talking about having been on some exotic excursions around the world instead of protesting some Peewee baseball league for not letting a girl play on a boy’s team; or boycotting a retail giant for their hiring practices and treatment of employees.
Melissa and I whiled away the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon reminiscing about our days together growing up and our lives after having lost touch with each other.  It was a lot of fun for both of us and then the time came when she had to leave.  We exchanged phone numbers and e-mail addresses, promised to call each other and finally hugged and said our goodbyes.
Later that evening, I felt an agitation come over me and couldn't put a finger on it at first, but then I figured it out that it had to do with Melissa. Nothing bad, just the way some of the things she had said still lingered. I shut the tv off, poured a glass of wine and went outside to sit on the glider. In the far left corner of the yard, a moonbeam revealed a skunk waddling along the back edge near the bushes foraging for something to eat.
I watched it moseying along with an air of uncaring arrogance. Its whole demeanor exuded confidence; it didn’t care if I thought it was pretty, cute, ugly or that it smelled. The more I observed, the more my thoughts formulated and the more envious I became of it. Then I realized that it wasn’t really about the skunk at all; my envy was actually toward Melissa and the life she was living.
Melissa had graduated from one of the finest law schools in the country and had worked for a prestigious law firm until one particular case changed her whole life. She had a transgender client who had been the victim of discrimination and in the process of researching the case and defending her client, she became astutely aware of the number of people who face various forms of discrimination and persecution because they don’t have the educational or financial means to fight back.
 A short while later, she left the law firm and began championing the less fortunate. She told me how she drove a taxi cab to help supplement her income. What was most spectacular to me was how Melissa stressed that her motivation for getting up each morning was the happiness she felt in her heart knowing she would be helping someone have a better quality of life.
I’m not sure at what stage of my reflection I finished the wine, but as I continued my contemplation, I understood how Melissa was like the skunk in that she didn’t care what people thought of her or how they judged her because she was living her life as she wanted on her terms and reaping the benefits from it all. She was proving that the greatest invention of all time was the human heart and the compassion and love it can hold for others, especially in their time of need.
Two days and three phone calls later, I was on my way to meet up with Melissa. I was filled with an excitement and happiness I had never known before because for the first time in my life I was going to actively take part in helping someone have a chance at living a better life.
  Chelle Munroe©
  October 06, 2013