Tag: short story

  • Time for Change

    Earlier, I stopped in at a nearby grocery store to shop for ingredients to make my world famous spaghetti. Well, it’s really only known locally – so, small world famous? Hmm… Whatever the case, Sriracha Sauce continues to be unavailable in the area. Oh, and I purchased some lottery tickets.

    As usual, I was second in line at the customer service counter, waiting behind an elderly woman going through the process of returning an item. Apparently, there were complications, and, once concluded, she forgot to take her bag. Fortunately, there were no coupons or checkbooks involved, so the wait wasn’t too long.

    Of course, I’d like to win the lottery, but I was also there to make change. So, I purchased $5 worth of tickets and handed the cashier a $20 bill. She printed the tickets, put my money into the cash register, closed the drawer and handed me a $5 bill as change.

    “Hey, I gave you $20. You owe me $15”. She shot me a suspicious glance, as if questioning whether or not I was trying to pull the wool over her eyes, then reopened the register to remark, “Oh, you’re right. I accidentally put your $20 bill into the $10 slot”. We chuckled and I smiled, until she put another $5 bill on the counter, adding “Here you are. Sorry about that”.

    I said, “Hey, hey, that’s only $10, now…you still owe me another $5″. Momentarily dumbfounded, she added another $5 to the mix and, finally, we were square. As I turned to begin shopping, I thought to myself…

    the third time is the charm!

    Geez.


  • Story: Wave Runners

    Everyone has a story of something they did once upon a time, which, in retrospect, was probably not a good idea. This is one such tale.

    Flashback to the 1990’s. At that time, I was splitting an apartment in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a friend named Ralph, who also enjoyed outdoor challenges. As such, every now and then, when the weather turned foul, we’d telephone a wave report recording, which detailed conditions present on Lake Michigan.

    One stormy summer day, this report cited waves near Holland, Michigan, as high as 8-12 feet, including a stern recommendation to avoid coastal areas. Well, that was exactly what we were hoping to hear, and so quickly jumped into the car on a road trip to the south pier, demarcating the channel between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Thirty minutes later, we parked and continued our trek on foot through strong winds and rain, toward the pier.

    This was a big storm, as whitecap waves crashed up and down the beach, surging far inland along the coastline. As we approached, it became apparent that roughly 20% of the pier was engulfed in waves at any given moment. This observation should’ve served as an omen not to proceed…

    However, after an extensive discussion it was decided that, though obviously dangerous, our individual attributes of bravery, keen sense of observation and quick reactions, respectively, were sufficient to undertake the challenge: which was, to see who could traverse farthest along the pier?

    Note: digital cameras didn’t exist on the market at that time, but I’ve included a few photographs taken many years later, which show the coastal landscape and piers:

    Relative to the second image – which is actually an aspect of the other pier, to the north – the storm we faced was significantly stronger and with much larger waves. In point of fact, unlike the common and predictably wind-driven pattern of waves rolling in uniform rows, what we encountered was less organized and wild, with waves crashing from both the front and side directions.

    Painted blue, bollards were positioned along the length of each pier. Were the situation to present itself where either one of us was unable to elude an oncoming wave, my friend suggested that the best course of action was to drop down onto the pier and secure oneself by clutching on to a bollard for safety.

    And so began the challenge.

    This endeavor was as difficult as it was foolish, as waves broke across the pier at essentially random intervals, all the time of which my eyes were glued on the water. Movement entailed both quick footsteps and brief sprints, scrambling on the concrete both forward and backwards in order to safely create space between potentially hazardous waves. It was a major adrenaline rush, to say the least.

    I’d estimate that I was approximately 50-60% of the way out on the pier when it happened. I glanced back to check on my friend, only to see Ralph hunkered down and clinging for dear life to a bollard…as he was swept away by a huge wave, washing him over the other side of the pier toward the channel, down into the rocks.

    I immediately moved back toward where he was, all the while watching over my shoulder to remain cognizant of approaching waves. From a distance of 15-feet away, I spotted Ralph among the rocks with only his head visible above water, and without a stronghold for safety. Glancing back once more, I then saw him suddenly disappear into a trough of shifting waters, sinking an estimated 5-feet among the rocks and vanishing, out of sight. There was nothing I could do to help him.

    Then, only seconds later, the water crested, lifting Ralph up and out of that den of death, tossing him like driftwood on to the rocks, where he latched-on and was able to dash up the incline to the top of the pier.

    We hightailed it back to shore as quickly as possible, never again to challenge such a storm as was experienced on that day.


  • A Stitch of Comedy

    A Stitch of Comedy

    It was a comfortable three weeks beyond my annual ironing day when I discovered that one of my five shirts was missing a button. Steamed, I grudgingly set about to undertake the dreaded process of repair – finding time and a spare button, scissors, needle and thread.

    After what seemed like an eternity, I secured a new button snugly into place and donned my shirt. Despite efforts to closely follow directions, it quickly became apparent that things had gotten all fouled up…

    How could I have sewn the button on the left side of my shirt?!

    Rather than start over, undoing everything I’d already accomplished, I chose instead to simply cut another buttonhole into the other side of my shirt – after all (I thought), once it’s buttoned, who’ll know the difference?

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • Humor: A Long Day

    Humor: A Long Day

    After a long day of hiking in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, I was exhausted, hungry, and still several miles away from my vehicle parked at the trailhead. So, I decided to call a cab for a ride back. Fifteen minutes later, this vintage 1920’s Cadillac taxi arrived – with no driver. Unfortunately, the keys were neither in the ignition nor tucked under the visor…alas.


  • An Irish Riddle

    An Irish Riddle

    The Question

    Can you cite an example of a sentence which uses the word “and” consecutively, five times in a row?

    The Story

    In Dublin, Ireland, there was a pub known as the Bear And Boar. One morning, following a powerful storm, the sign from that establishment was found broken, scattered in shambles across the ground. So, the proprietor set about to make repairs.

    Some time later, a patron wandered along and was greeted by the owner. “Good day, Finnegan. How do you like our new sign?” Finnegan studied the sign for a spell, then responded…

    The Answer

    “I like the new sign just fine. However, if it were up to me, I would’ve left more spacing on the sign between the words Bear and And, and And and Boar.”

    Author ~ Anonymous

    🍀 🍻 🇮🇪

    Erin go Bragh

    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • Short Story: The Time We Met

    Short Story: The Time We Met

    On an old cobblestone snickelway, a mild-mannered woman from the village happily daydreamed as she went about on her way to market.

    Often overlooked by passersby, she was a humble and quiet woman of slight stature whose clothes were second-hand, though very well kept. Her gait was graceful, and she carried herself with confidence.

    I’d seen her shopping before, filling her wicker basket with produce, sharing a shy smile though never conversation with others present.

    Sometime later, while reading a newspaper on a bench aside the street, I observed her walking in my direction, returning home with a stock of food.

    Soon, our eyes met and we shared a pleasant smile. She had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen, and I promptly stood to introduce myself. However, before I could speak, she reached forward towards me with her hand clasped.

    I watched as she slowly unfurled her palm, revealing a small analog timepiece and a tattoo, reading; “The best is yet to come”. Nodding in affirmation, and, with time to spare, I grinned while asking if she would allow me the privilege of carrying her groceries home.

    That was the first of many days that followed, during which time we spent countless hours together sharing experiences and happiness.

    Behind those big green eyes and shy smile resided a strong woman with a courageous soul, and a heart full of love – a kind, gentle spirit.

    She was truly one of a kind and it didn’t matter to me that she was mute – oftentimes, the most meaningful exchange between people who care for one another doesn’t require use of words to speak volumes.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • First Poem Published

    First Poem Published

    I’d like to offer a special word of thanks to Gabriela Marie Milton. She’s a wonderful poetess and I encourage you to visit her site and read her work. She’s also the Editor at MasticadoresUSA, featuring both poetry and short stories, where this morning I had my first poem published. So, stop by for a visit when you can to enjoy this creative web site!


    Two Hearts

    She found her heart one day beneath an old sweater
    That was lost in the attic of her yesteryear
    Collecting dust of memories long forgotten
    She took it back for want of love that she found pure

    Across the sea
    4000 miles
    Another heart did beat

    In a young man
    Whose love for her
    Would make their lives complete

    Together they would rule the world
    Two hearts, one love entwined
    To share this blessing they have found
    Heaven on earth, defined

    Holding hands in the park
    sipping wine after dark
    They were married last spring

    Now, they live happily by the ocean in a unique home which he built out of several shipping containers. She’s a thriving romance novelist, writing from her office which opens to a courtyard garden, in the center of their house. Together, they share stories in real time – a day in the lives of two dreamers who took a chance to embrace true love.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins

    Originally posted March 20, 2021


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • A Precious Soul

    A Precious Soul

    Calmly pouring a dab of sugar-water into her hand, I watched as she positioned it under a ray of morning sunlight.

    It glistened as I listened to the sound of a faint fluttering, slowly growing stronger.

    Soon, a hummingbird appeared, pausing briefly to glance my way before proceeding to drink from her palm, thirsty and trusting.

    From a precious soul, precious love emanated from her eyes in sharing and caring for this small, delicate creature.

    I’d never seen a bird smile before that day, and I’ll always treasure the beauty in her eyes – a joy in my heart.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • A Lesson About Friendship

    A Lesson About Friendship

    Many moons ago, my father shared this short story with me. I’m not sure where he found it, or who wrote it. But, I’ve always considered it to be an inspiring lesson about friendship, and so I thought I’d share it with you.


    Just up the road from my house is a field with two horses in it. From a distance each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

    If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

    As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

    Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes, we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see.

    Good friends are like this…you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.

    Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.

    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Author Unknown


  • Short Story: She’s A Dream

    Short Story: She’s A Dream

    Based on a recent comment I made on the web site of a friend, I wrote this short story this morning. Entitled, She’s A Dream, I hope that you’ll enjoy reading it.


    I rested on a tropical sandy cay, comfortable in a low seat with my bare feet in warm, shallow water. Small waves carried the tranquil and continuous rhythm of ocean currents on shore, breaking into sand and drowning in retreat.

    With a cooling but mild summer breeze rustling palm fronds through the trees on shore behind me, I dreamed I heard a British woman from the past – Clementine – sounding a conch shell from a hillside in the distance.

    I was at peace as the sun grew old, slowly dropping from the sky, setting colors of gold, orange and peach in brilliant illumination across scattered clouds on the horizon. Then, on the edge of time, sunlight refracted through a level plane in the ocean, casting a bright, blinding green flash!

    Moments passed into minutes, until my sight returned. And, then I saw her – the silhouette of a beautiful woman slowly walking along the shoreline in my direction. Long, flowing hair wafting on thermals, hips swaying slightly with each casual step, I could tell that she wasn’t very tall, and watched closely as she approached.

    She was barefoot with a lovely figure, suntanned, wearing a bikini top and fishnet skirt, and also wore a small diamond piercing on her nose. Immediately, I was drawn to the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I’d ever seen…she was a goddess!

    I was captured by a vision of her beauty, when suddenly she spoke –

    Hello my dear friend, Phil. How are you today?

    What?! I’d never seen this woman before – though very much wish that I had. Who was she? I was on a remote tropical island in the Caribbean… At that moment, a small coconut detached from a palm tree, dropping on my head and knocking me to the ground.

    When later I regained my senses, I was alone and realized that she was only a dream.

    © 2021 Phil Perkins

    Modified header photo from unsplash.com.


  • Believe It Or Not

    Believe It Or Not

    I once lived in Holland, Michigan, where, one summer’s day, a friend – Brooks Besjovec – asked if I’d like to see some…

    Red Chinese Bats?

    It wasn’t far, he said, located just off of Ottawa Beach Road along the north shore of Lake Macatawa, so I skeptically agreed and the journey ensued.

    It was late afternoon when we arrived. We parked along the side of a road near a local wind-surfing shop which I was familiar with, and my friend pointed across the yard of a nearby house. There, roughly four feet off of the ground, I could see a large rectangular-shaped wooden box anchored between two trees.

    As we approached, Brooks cautioned me not to startle the bats, to approach the cage slowly, quietly. In so doing, I could see that the top of the cage was open, covered only with chicken wire.

    A painted sign attached to the cage read, “Chinese Bats”, and, as I peered inside, I could see that my friend had indeed been telling the truth; there before my eyes were two red plastic wiffle ball bats – a.k.a., toy baseball bats (Made In China).


    Modified photo from unsplash.com.


  • Lens of A Camera

    Lens of A Camera

    Once upon a time, I observed that the photographs taken with my camera weren’t developing as well as I had expected. So, I carefully removed the lens for a closer look inside. There, emanating from a distance point, I observed distorted clusters of blue and red colors cast along a series of disjointed metallic rings.

    Well, not really. I merely needed an introduction prior to requesting that you please visit my galleries at Pixels and Redbubble. This design is featured on some wonderful products which I know you’ll enjoy!!!


  • Old Basketball Hoop

    Old Basketball Hoop

    It had been a while since I played basketball, and I’d been thinking of it lately. My under-inflated ball was stored inside of a box in the garage, not far from an air pump. Shorts, t-shirt, shoes, air in the ball – I was ready.

    The basketball hoop where I used to shoot wasn’t far, and so I practiced dribbling along the way. When I arrived, I took a moment to review the situation, and then remembered that I had a good book at home which I was planning to read.

    Game over.