stories

J. Walters Press

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Tale Time

A tale is a fictitious or true narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted.
Following are tales written by myself as well as others that try to stay true to the genre. If you wish to contribute just send your tale to rockasan1@gmail.com and I will review it for submission.

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Beauty In The Night

ghost

This story is true . . . I swear.

It was late Friday evening and I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at the local factory. I don’t remember exactly where she got the idea, but as soon as I sat down on the couch Patti pulled a game board out of a shopping bag. “Want to have some fun?” she said.

”What’s that?”

”A Ouija board.”

“Ouija board?”

“Yeah, you sit across from each other and ask it questions. You hold one side of this thing, (she held a small rectangular pointer with three legs in her hand) and I hold the other,” she explained. “Then you ask it a question and it will move around the board spelling out an answer from the spirit world.”

“Ok, let’s see if it works,” I said halfheartedly.

She got a couple beers out of the fridge, opened them and handed me one. She then positioned two kitchen chairs in the center of the room so we’d be facing one another with the Ouija Board on our lap. Motioning for me to sit, she sat down across from me and placed her fingertips lightly on the sliding device instructing me to do the same.

Patti went first. “How old am I?” she asked. Slowly the pointer moved to 2 then to 1. “That’s right!” she said. “See, I told you this thing works.” she said laughing. “Your turn, ask it a question.”

”O.K. Mister Ouija, how old am I?” Sliding…. Adding…24.”That’s right!” I exclaimed. Patti looked at me and we both let out a long “Ooooooohhh.”

“Mr. Ouija, What’s my mom’s name?” I asked. Slowly, as if having a mind of its own the pointer moved from letter to letter spelling out—L.I.L.L.I.A.N.

“Did you make it do that?” I asked Patti.

“No, swear to God, I just had my fingers on the thing, I never moved it, I was thinking you were.”

“Mr. Ouija, Where’s my dad?” (Who had died a year earlier)

H.E.R.E.

“Ohhh shit. You think we ought to be fooling with this thing?” I asked.

“Sure, go ahead, talk to him.” she whispered.

We talked to my father asking him many specific questions. We received many specific answers. At first, we were communicating with just him, but later; strangers would butt into the conversation. It was as if there was a line of spirits on the other side waiting to talk to us.

Once Coleen arrived though, that was it. No other names would show up, even my dad disappeared. Every answer was coming from Colleen who had quickly taken control of the board.

Patti was by this time beginning to get scared and wanted to quit.

“Let me ask one more question,” I said, “and then we’ll quit, OK?”

“OK” she said reluctantly.

“Colleen, can you come to me in a dream?”

Y.E.S.

“Will you come and talk to me tonight?”

Y.E.S.

“Alright, I’m finished,” I said looking up from the board. “I’m going to talk to Colleen in a dream. Come on; let’s go to bed.”

Patti looked deeply into my eyes.

“What’s the matter? You jealous?” I asked kidding her.

”No, I’m scared . . .how do you know for sure who you’re even talking to?”​_

”Aww shit, this is going to be a really cool trip, besides do you think anything will actually happen?” I said smiling. “Come on, let’s go to bed.”

* * * *

Patti’s deep breathing signaled she had finally fallen asleep.

I was lying there staring at the ceiling sorting it all out when a quick, cool breeze blew through the window behind our bed causing the thin curtain to blow straight out and start waving in the dark room. It stopped as suddenly as it had started. Outside the window, the night was calm and still.

I then saw light flashing in the half-bath across the room. It looked like it does when a cars headlights scan across your window. But we were on a dead end street in the country. There were no cars around.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember, I was standing in a large Grecian courtyard. In the distance, sat a beautiful white marble temple supported by large columns. There were also six perfectly spaced columns, lined in a row, between the temple and me.

At the temple’s entrance stood a woman dressed in a flowing white gown that rippled in the cool breeze blowing off the Mediterranean. As she stepped out of the shadows, sunlight reflected off her long, blond hair creating a halo effect about her head. Her radiant, expressionless face bore the exquisite beauty of a goddess. Even from that distance I could clearly see her sensual, gray eyes staring directly at me.

Slowly she began walking towards me from behind the columns. Her image appeared then disappeared, only to reappear again one column closer until there were no columns left.

She was now directly in front of me, smiling and seductive, coming closer still. Her eyes shone with a sexual intensity that comes upon a woman only in her most intimate moment. Her arms opened to embrace me. I opened my arms to her in expectation, but she was not stopping. She kept coming, as if her goal was to walk into me, to become a part of me. Just one more step. I was full of excitement, awaiting this new experience.

Suddenly I was awakened by my wife’s frantic shaking of my leg . “Patti, what the hell are you doing? . . . I was right in the middle of a fantastic dream, and you woke me up! Dammit!” I said in frustration.

She gave me a confused look. “You were kicking and thrashing around yelling, NO! NO! NO! so loud you woke me up.”

“Oh.”

I sank quietly backwards into my pillow and tried to fathom what had just taken place. I began to realize that something very strange had just happened and I was afraid for what it might have been.

The following Sunday found me for the first time walking down a church isle towards an alter. I had never been big on religion, but logic told me that if darkness was so real perhaps the light was also. I needed to find out.

* * *

And the devil came not with a fork & tail, ugly and fire bright
But as light and love he appeared to me, in the guise of beauty in the night.

END

 

A Dog Story (repost)

Copy of raventhedog

Everybody loves a dog story . . . right? Well here’s my latest one. It happened yesterday.


I arose from my reading and looked out the front window. The sun was beginning to brighten the hilltop across the narrow country lane and Raven, who was watching my every move, knew it was walk time. I knew she was about to go into her, ‘super dance for a walk,’ routine so I calmed her with a nose bump (pitbulls like that) and got things together for the walk outside to Max’s pen.

Every morning without fail, as soon as they see each other, both dogs break the silence by yelping and barking at one another when Raven attempts to play ‘attack’ with Max. It’s no big deal though, because there are no closeby neighbors. Anyways, once lined up and moving in a straight line things get quiet again and we are on our way down the middle of the lane for our daily trip to the head of the valley and back.

I generally spend my time daydreaming and looking for herbs alongside the road while the dogs try and see how many of those herbs they can pee on before I get to them. The lane itself winds gently through heavy woods and is always scattered with various animal scents, so along with herb hunting I spend my time cajoling, pleading, and pulling at the the dog’s leashes, one in each hand like a guy driving a mule team trying to keep the whole thing going in a straight line. One more big, strong dog and I will be skating on the soles of my boots.

All is fine until I get about a half mile from the cabin when I begin to see a blood trail on the road. ‘Wow, someone must have hit a deer’, I thought at first. Then I glanced over at Max and saw that he was the guy bleeding . . . not just beeding . . .  HE WAS GUSHING BLOOD! . . . Bright red blood that was squirting from his front pad in a long thin stream.

I quickly went to my knees in the middle of the road and grabbed the foot in order to apply enough pressure to stop the bleed. As I did, Raven, probably thinking it was play time dove on Max and would not stop no matter how hard I tried or how hard I yelled. . . she went totally nuts when she smelled the blood that by this time was pooling around us. I had to stop her!  I HAD TO STOP THE BLEED! . . . I only had minutes until my beloved old Max would be dead. It was imperative that I react quickly and take charge of the situation, but how? I had absolutely nothing to work with. No phone (it’s on the table back home). No med kit ( in my room back home) No help (as there are few folks in this valley and only about ten cars a day go up this roadway).

First things first . . . I jerked Raven free, pulled her across the road and tied her leash to a tree. Went back to where Max by now was laying quietly in the road and grabbed his foot and applied pressure with one hand while taking off my boot with the other . . . I ripped out the string, tore off my sock and made up a tourniquet by wrapping the sock around the leg at the point where I thought the artery was and tied it tight with the shoe string. The arterial bleeding slowed to a trickle. In my favor, (and his) Max was very good during all this.

Back across the street, I went for Raven who was by now totally wrapped around the tree and choking on her special choke collar. Seeing the uselessness of trying to get the leash free I pulled my knife and cut it leaving just enough for me to grab hold of. Once free I began running back to the cabin with Raven in tow. My goal was to run the half mile back get Raven in the pen, get the pickup and drive back to Max and get him to the vet.

Now I’m 75 years old, and believe it or not that is a huge liability when it comes to doing stuff like this. Regardless, heart attack be damned . . . I’M SAVING THIS DOG’S LIFE! So off I go trotting up the road when I heard a vehicle slam on it’s brakes and slide in the gravel behind me. . . SHIT!! . . . Someone just hit my dog!

Looking back, I saw the red pickup of my neighbor who lives up the street coming towards me. Mike stopped, “What the hell’s going on? You need help?”

Yes! . . .Go back and get Max! . . . I need to get this damn dog (Raven ) into a pen and Max to the vet . . . she’s bleeding out if I don’t!

“OK . . . . take it easy man, your gonna have a heart attack, slow down! I’ll get Max and be right back.

Zoom . . . off he goes . . . Zoom . . . off I go. Just as I got to the house Mike pulled in with Max sitting in the bed of his truck. I gave him a hero’s welcome and a thousand thank you’s as I dove into the house, awaken my wife to call the vet, grabbed my med kit, fixed Max up proper by exchanging the sock for a pressure bandage, got him into my truck blood and all, (something good can be said about old pickups) and headed to the vet’s office.

The vet got squirted in the face and arm, but found and stitched the cut artery in time to save Max. Now he has a custom pen on my front porch where I feed him and doctor him until he gets better.

Moral of the story . . . you never know when a disaster will hit. Carry a med kit! I have enough first aid stuff for a whole platoon and yet when I needed it, it was tucked away in my bedroom and I had to rely on a dirty sock and a shoelace. You don’t need a large cumbersome pack, either. I’d suggest making your own and putting stuff in it that actually come in handy, a lot of junk you’ll never use is sold off in the pre-packaged kits. Maybe later on I will post a good small kit for a day hike or a chain sawing accident, etc. . . . . . . JW

 

Beauty In The Night . . .

 

ghost

This story is true . . . I swear.

It was late Friday evening and I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at the local factory. I don’t remember exactly where she got the idea, but as soon as I sat down on the couch Patti pulled a game board out of a shopping bag. “Want to have some fun?” she said.

”What’s that?”

”A Ouija board.”

“Ouija board?”

“Yeah, you sit across from each other and ask it questions. You hold one side of this thing, (she held a small rectangular pointer with three legs in her hand) and I hold the other,” she explained. “Then you ask it a question and it will move around the board spelling out an answer from the spirit world.”

“Ok, let’s see if it works,” I said halfheartedly. (more…)

The Piano . . .

slider-young-girl-playing

When I designed and built this cabin my wife and I now live in, I added onto it a 12×14 foot library. It has an arched entry from the main room, two walls of windows, and one wall full of books on shelves. Taking up most of the wall facing the interior of the cabin there sat a mahogany piano that we bought on a whim while shopping for furnishings.

The piano was old, but top of the line. It’s tone reminded one of Vaudeville and the glory days of a honky tonk saloon. It looked good, fit well into the informality of the room, but there was one thing wrong . . . it was a very sad piano.

Day after day she sat there along the back wall of the sunlit room, alone and forlorn, silently waiting for somebody to at least run their fingers across her keys . . . but nobody did. When I walked by on the way to a book I could feel her sadness, but as I was too busy doing other things, I ignored her anyway. (more…)

My Dream

dream

I had a dream last night and I want to share it because well, most of my dreams vacillate between violent and very violent . . .  and this one was ‘Sound Of Music’ wonderful for me. . . . almost like a vision quest. . . damn, if I was an Indian I would know it was time to leave the mountain . . .

I wrote it all down in a couple minutes and only edited enough so my daughter could understand it. . . . . anyways (more…)

The Hippies

hippies

Attempting to write about the hippies is akin to a young soldier hunkered down on Omaha Beach attempting to write about the battle surrounding him. He hears it, but all he sees is the sky above his head.

To give the battle proper perspective, every man taking part, including the enemy, would have to have his story told also because every guy had a different story and every story was just as viable as the next if the truth was to be unadulterated by personal bias.

To tell the whole and honest story about the counter culture would be just as difficult . . . and quite honestly I don’t have the talent to do it. I was there. I experienced it first hand, but like the soldier on Omaha Beach I can only tell my part of a story that is so big, so diverse, that for the whole thing to be written the reader would have a hard time carrying the book it was written in. (more…)

The Hippies (part 2)

acid

My first acid trip

Many things have been written about the late sixties, some say if you were really there you wouldn’t remember them, but I was there and I remember.

The decade between 1965 and 1975 was a pivotal point in the history of our nation. The horror of Vietnam, and getting caught red handed in one monumental lie after another had placed our government center stage on everybody’s shit list. By the Fall of 1973 when ‘tricky Dick’ Nixon spouted his now famous one liner on TV concerning Watergate, “I am not a crook.” nobody believed him. He WAS a crook, as well as a liar when he promised to end the war and instead broadened it into Cambodia. He was a dick all right . . . a dickHEAD.

Many of us young folks, after realizing we were being ripped off, broke ties with the establishment and dedicated ourselves to the Utopian dream of peace and love instead of war and hate. For some of us, this was heavy, happy stuff, tantamount to be being born again. (more…)

Old Tom

angry-wet-cat-6

Last night was the coldest ever in Ohio . . . -8 with a stiff wind . . . old Tom was scratching on the door, he wants in.

‘Oh no, poor cat is going to freeze’. Big hearted me goes out on the porch to rescue Tom and let him spend the night in the warm laundry room . . . “Here kitty, kitty.” He comes over, rubs on my leg, I bend, pet, snatch up cat and head back inside.

Now Tom has never been in a house. He totally freaks out and starts yowling and scratching his way up my chest towards my face . . . I drop him . . . next thing I know Tom leaps on the table beneath the window, then tries to climb the drapes . . . . “I WANT OUT OF HERE!”

Unable to make it out, he jumps back to the floor and heads into the library on a dead run. First he skids into and then leaps upon another table . . . bye, bye good lamp! He dives off yowling like a dying cow and flies back to the main room, across the couch top and back to the window. This time he succeeds in climbing the drapes like Sylvestor Stallone in the movie ‘Cliffhanger” . . . until he, as well as the drapes come crashing to the floor, that is.

During this mad dash to destroy, Tom is being chased by two other cats, a Jack Russell terrier and a really excited pit bull puppy.

Finally we all trap poor Tom and I throw his crazy ass back outside.

Thanking God that my wife is in NC visiting her brother I pour myself a double shot of Old Crow and sit in the Lazy Boy staring at the chaotic mess before me. . . . while in the back ground Tom begins to piss and moan about how cold it is on the porch . . .

My Old Friends

myoldfriends

It seems I do more of it in the winter, but regardless, as I get older I spend a lot of time day dreaming. I usually wake up about 5 am, make coffee and, being retired and having no place to go, sit in my chair in the dark drinking my coffee and dreaming about the past. A rather pleasant time, I might add.

Now I have been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but the things and places have become mere backdrops, places to hold the faces and memories of the many people I have known and the friends I have made over the last 72 years that I have lived on this planet.

As I begin to think on a place and time the faces are soon to follow. These faces pop into my mind like a worn out jack-in-the-box. Crank the handle and up pops Joey Sirgo or Gunner Thompson, or Tommy One Nut, Pissball Pete or just plain Joe . . . . . (It’s amazing how many of these guys have slang names and how often that’s the only one I can remember.) (more…)

A Hippy Thanksgiving

hippy thanksgiving

Well here it is again for the 74th time. The kids who can make it will be coming down with their wives, a couple of friends from town are also coming, and the only neighbors we have may stop in later for a drink. All in all it will be fairly quiet and traditional. I know my pit bull will hate it because she will have to be caged up all day and I, being the loner, will endure and enjoy this holiday all at the same time.

Fact is, though I am totally content with my present life, things are not the same for me as they used to be back in the day when we were tip toeing through the tulips dreaming about making the world a better place. Back when the music never stopped, till the day it died . . . Bye, bye, Miss American Pie . . .

This morning I got to thinking about Thanksgiving and the best one I ever experienced, when it was and who I was with . . . that sort of thing. Following is the true story of the best Thanksgiving I ever had.

It was about 1969. I was living in a walk up pad in Portland, Oregon, just one more run away hippie looking for a spark of reality and thinking I could find it by denouncing all that my parents generation stood for. I had just left the military, the following  short but bad marriage, and was hiding out from all the heavy emotion that went with them. Of course I was kidding myself as to the fact that I could actually do it.

It was Thanksgiving morning, and in my mind I didn’t have anything to be thankful about. I was alone and depressed. As I walked through the old neighborhood I was more alone still. The usual hustle was not there, even the drug dealers seemed to have taken the day off. I was walking, but going nowhere. . . . just walking.

There was a music store a few blocks down Burnside and I was heading in that direction, probably to stare into the window at the old Martin I would have given my last dollar for, had I actually had one.

As I walked along the empty street a Volkswagen van passed me by. It was full of freaks just like me. (in those days being a freak was cool) They pulled up in front of the music store and the guy behind the wheel who must have been the owner jumped out and walked to the door, unlocked it, went in, and came right back out again. Once in the van he turned it around and came back in my direction.

The van stopped in front of me and a girl on the passenger side rolled down her window, smiled and asked, “Hey man where you going?”

“Nowhere”

“Wanna come to a party?”

“Sure” I said perking up a bit.

The van door slid open, “Hop in!” she said. I hopped in and away we went. Everybody in the van was in a very upbeat mood. “We’re having a far out dinner party for a bunch of people and you’re invited!” she said as she turned in her seat and faced me.

“Wow man, yeah man, thanks for stopping, that would be so cool.” I answered. The day that began as a huge bummer had suddenly become a life giving adventure because that little lady thought it would be cool to pick me up and take me to her party.

A couple minutes later we pulled up to one of the old Victorian homes that dotted the SW Portland neighborhoods at the time and parked. The van unloaded. We all walked up the concrete steps and entered the magical atmosphere of a house turned hippie haven.

There were couches, stuffed chairs, funky second hand furnishings, door beads, and brightly dressed people everywhere. Music played. People, laid back and relaxed, laughed effortlessly. ‘no canned laughter here’ What a lovely place to be. There were no introductions, no embarrassing ‘trying to say the right things,’ I merely walked into the large living room, found an empty place on the couch and sat down. The guy who was already sitting there said to me, “ Hey brother, how you doing?”

“Great man, just great.”

Using half sentences, chopped up wording and a lingo from Mars, off we went on a discussion encompassing so many variables that I can’t describe . . . ‘the kind of stuff people say when they are flaunting the norm and trying to be real I suppose.’

Anyways, we were talking away when a girl entered the living room from another room. She stopped close to us, pulled her long blond hair across her face and began to comb it. As I glanced up, all I could see was one gorgeous blue eye staring back at me. I was instantly attracted to her.

She must have just arrived because she was still wrapped in an old 30’s style fur coat that reached almost to the floor. She took the coat off, dropped it on the back of the couch and sat down beside me to complete the job of combing her hair.

Once finished, her face turned my way. “Hi,” she said. I don’t know what I said . . . the power in those bright blue eyes had tied up my tongue and caused my heart to bleed.

I quickly regained my composure and we talked. We laughed. We smoked a joint together. We shared our intimate details . . . all before dinner.

The girls soon called from the dining room and we all (about 25 of us) went in and sat around a huge rigged up concoction of tables and benches all loaded with food and closely spaced bottles of wine.

Nobody prayed or did any of the traditional stuff. Someone said something nice and we dug in. For a brief moment in time we became the kings and queens of the world enjoying the greatest feast many of us would ever remember having.

After we ate and were all stuffed and laying around like a pack of wolves who had just devoured a moose, the joints came out and passed around one more time. Many of us just passed out.

The blond ended up alongside me on a couch. We kissed and snuggled and fell asleep in each others arms. I don’t remember how or when I got back to my pad, but I do remember the blue eyed blond and the two month love fest we had following Thanksgiving Day.

But like all things in those days, our love was fast, furious, and burned out just as fast as it had started when she went to Hawaii and disappeared from my life forever. She was my angel and I loved her dearly and I will never forget . . . whats-her-name.