The Fairy Tale

Fairy tales, lust and love. Somewhere in your younger years you thought of these three things. The dress in white. The man in the tux.ball-gown-empire-wedding-dresses_1

The days of thinking of no one else but him/her. The nights of lovemaking under the stars. The house, the babies, the laughter then the tears.


Why, why does this happen? You were so in love? If I had the answers; I may not be divorced today. I don’t know why things change. Perhaps the bills start things out. Companies having their handout for money.


Work and more work to make sure there is adequate money to cover bills, food, insurance, gas and of course; I could go on and on.


Somewhere the glitter leaves and reality sets in. Sometimes marriage counseling prior to the wedding helps. It helps set the goals of what each wants to bring to the relationship. Even then, this doesn’t always help.


The world is full of glitter in black masks.blackmask

It comes in many styles such as stress, overweight, insecurities, failure and many more. There is always someone out there leering near by, watching your eyes, and feeling your losses. They are there, waiting, tempting you to respond to their call.


A person at the bar, a hunk at the gym, a co-employee. They are all around us, and ready to make us feel better. When we are hurting or confused, not sure where we stand in a relationship; this is the time temptation comes along.


Now don’t get me wrong my friends. Not every person is devious. There are thousands of people who care and many who would not consider breaking up or interfering with a marriage. We do have to face the facts though. Life is delicate and easily breakable.


Don’t believe me? Take a look for a few weeks at the divorce filings. It is so sad to see many who have been married less than a year or even six months; filing for divorce. It sometimes appears that there surely was an argument and instead of seeking help, they sought a divorce attorney. You know, the I’ll show you attitude?


Then their are the relationships that have lasted fifteen, sixteen and forty years that have filed. The mid-life crisis? What is that exactly?

mid·life cri·sis
noun: mid-life crisis
  1. an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age.


Sometimes this can occur from The Change. Wow, what a phrase, but so true.

Hormones bouncing, hot flashes, the kids are moving out. Suddenly it is just the two of you again and now what do you do? Weight gain has occurred. You have time to go to the gym. You get in shape. People notice. Your head swells like a big balloon.big

Guys flirt, you flirt back. It feels good. Darn, how long has it been since this has happened?


Well, as you can see, there are many reasons that the fairy tale can go up in flames but it doesn’t mean the light has to be snuffed completely. You just have to get the help needed for the issue and without delay. First, you may ask yourself, do I still love the person I have been involved with or married to all these years?


If the answer is yes, then there is hope. Pray, seek counseling, change the routine at home. Smell good, look good, think of him/her before yourself. Have a picnic in your bedroom with candles. Put the kids to bed early. Put the cell down, turn the TV off. Change it up. Do what ever you need to do to salvage what was good.


If you have tried your best and it still fails, well, this is the ultimate suck-ass situation of all. How do you go on? What about all those years spent together. I don’t have the answers, but I can offer suggestions. Stay close to your family. They do love you. They will listen. They will emotionally support and encourage you. Lastly, don’t forget to pray. Prayers are answered. God listens. God feels your pain. God knows your future.


Enough said for tonight.

I dedicate this to a very special man in my life.

I love you. R.W.


The Old Lady in the House on the Hill

Old lady Maude had been brought up much different than most children in her area. Her parents were suspicious of everyone. Dogs and cats weren’t even allowed as pets. The fear was they may become rabid and bite through the full moon nights, and someone wouldn’t wake up.

The odd family lived down a long lane at the edge of town. At night; the curving road would send shivers down your spine, just staring down the long, empty vine. The owners felt like they mattered to no one because people just didn’t seem to understand their views on life. They went about their business and seemed to only exist in the world.

When Maude grew up; she became her parent’s likeness. She lived in the old house her parents had left her. She lived alone within the walls. The spiders and anything that crept through the house on the darkest of nights, became her friends.

She hated people in general; except the one neighbor on her right side. When she would walk to the mailbox, and if he was outside, he would wave and say good day. At first; she ignored him, but after repeated gestures, she did wave and eventually said her first hello.

Maude was in the attic one day and came across some trunks that had been her parents. She opened the hunched lids and found various clothing. She spent the better part of the afternoon trying them on.

She took the best ones and the next day when she went to the mailbox, she was wearing an A-line dress, with a brooch and matching shoes and hat, which had a big, floppy flower dangling off it.

The neighbor was out and instead of doing his usual good day, he stared and said nothing. She noticed, but said nothing, making her way to get the mail. When she was about half-way back to the house, he met her.

He stuck his hand out to shake hers. “I guess we have never been formally introduced. I am Jake and of course you know where I live. It is my pleasure to meet you, and your name is”?

She let a small smile sneak out and said, “Maude”. From that day on, the two kept company at the mailbox, chatting about nothing, and then without thinking she invited him to supper, and he agreed.


It came to be that on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they dined at each others homes. Each gave a guided tour of their homes, and it was a month later, the intimacy followed. Maude had never felt that way in her entire life.

This was love, she just knew it, and she fell hard for him. On the other hand, he had had many relationships in his life. He was what we would call a “gold digger”, and he wanted her gold. Stories had been told that her parents hid money all over their house. They never spent any money on anything other than necessities.  He wanted it, he tasted it, and he would do what ever he had to do, to get his grubby hands on it, even if it meant courting Old Lady Maude.

As the months passed, the invitations passed by, and Maude made her presence known by a knock at his door. It was a blustery day in March. It was Monday evening. He wasn’t expecting her and when she knocked; their was no answer.

After waiting became a problem, she turned the handle and it opened. She walked in and without calling his name, she walked the rooms until she happened upon the door to his bedroom.

There, she heard moans. Raised voices, pleading for more. Maude listened until she could stand no more. She quietly turned the brass door knob and opened it just enough that her eyes could take in the view.

There on the bed was a woman and her man. Her face became hot. Her heart started beating fast and hard. She quietly closed the door and exited the way she had entered. Once back in her home, the words of mistrust came rushing back to her.

Her parents had been right. You could trust no one in life, not even the people you thought would never hurt you. She had to pay him back. She had to get revenge. She thought and thought. She paced the floors.

She thought of the most painful ways to hurt him. Should she make him suffer? Should she make it quick and clean? She went to bed with no supper and continued thinking out her plans.

It was on the next planned date night, he was to have supper at her house. He arrived on time. She smiled at him as she let him in the front door. She led him to the familiar dining room where an already pulled out chair awaited him.


He sat and she began bringing him the planned menu. A bowl of soup, with a trace of arsenic in it. Next came a tender slice of roast beef, with a spice of rat poison sprinkled on top. A salad of greens with just the smallest trace of anti-freeze, mixed in with the salad dressing.

She sat with her plate and watched eagerly as he ate bite by bite. After his plate was cleaned, she saw his face turn pale white, then blood red. She smiled as he grabbed his stomach and then vomit a green, foaming mass onto the floor.

“What? What did you give me? Are you trying to poison me”?

Maude asked him one simple question. “Aren’t you trying to poison me? You with your skilled words and manners. Reeling me in like a fish on a hook. The moment my back is turned, you have your penis in another”.

He tried to stand. He wanted to choke her. How dare she accuse him of such things. Look at how he had wined and dined her. He even bedded the old woman, and this is how she returned his favors?

As he stood, he fell to the floor. White foam dripping from his nose and mouth. He lay there lifeless. Maude checked his breath; there was none. He was dead. She rose and cleared the dishes. She rinsed everything in the hottest of water and washed them in bleach.

After the evidence was erased, she rolled the body onto a rug and drug him out to her back yard. She pulled  him to the edge of the cliff and with a giant push, he went cascading over the edges; bouncing off of rocks on his way down.

The wild animals would eat him alive. She smiled and rubbed  her hands against her clothes as if to erase all fingerprints. She walked back to the house, and took a bath. She knelt at her bed and thanked her parents for showing her the way people were. She promised her parents no one would ever touch the money hidden in the walls. After her prayer, she crawled into bed, covered up and went to sleep without another thought.




You once loved me
Held me in highest regard
Had eyes for only me
To look away, was very hard.
You started coming home late
A new reason every week
Your hands, they became so cold
Our love, it seemed so bleak.
You were caught in the act
I saw your form, I knew so well
Kissing her on the mouth
My heart; it broke and fell.
You still looked at me and said
I love you babe, my friend
I slapped you across the face
And said this game will end.
You looked down at the floor
You knew you had been caught
You turned and walked away
Yet you didn’t seem distraught.
You sat in the court room bold
You couldn’t see eye to eye
You tried to get it all
But the judge, he said goodbye.
I walked into our house
With keys and money too
When you cheat on me my darling
You will give all that’s due.
Written by,
Terry Shepherd

The Pink Roses

She bent down to smell the flowers, pretty pink roses. These were the only ones who seemed to want to come alive and search for familiar faces. The other flowers didn’t do as well, nor did they make quite the impact on those who admired them.

Her husband had died two years ago. She could remember it like it was yesterday, sometimes. When she was sharp as a tack, she grasped and held close to her heart everything she could remember about Tom, her husband. When days were bad, she sometimes wondered why she was in her front yard with her house coat on.

When she and Tom were in their middle ages, they became interested in gardening though some friends. They had been invited to see films at their local library on different varieties of flowers and vegetables they could grow in their area and when to plant.

The favorite flower to plant was the rose; pink roses. They planted many other types of flowers and even tried their hand at growing vegetables; but with their health problems already started, they decided it was too much work to tend to the vegetable garden.

In no time at all their yard was covered in every empty spot with rose bushes. Dwarfs, climbing, yellow, red and pinks. They would tend to them as if they were their very own babies. I believe in their hearts; they were their own children. After all, the children they had between them were grown and all living on their own.

Tom’s favorite pink roses were the ones at the edges of the porch. Every evening the two would partake of their coffee on the porch. While they smiled at each other, and sometimes held hands, they would sip their coffee and inhale the beauty surrounding them.

Life isn’t always beautiful though, and for these two special Senior Citizens; it was no different. Tom became ill. Oh, it seemed like nothing at first. A cold, perhaps a little flu mixed in. A week or so, he would be better. This story did take a left turn, as it spun out of control and Tom ended up in the hospital with double pneumonia and within a week passed away.

Oh how she missed his eyes and his smile. The rooms sang songs of silence as she wandered through them one by one, trying to figure out or remember how to go on. Life became hard for her. Tom had made wonderful arrangements. She had no worries. It just wasn’t supposed to end up this way.

She and he had made arrangements years ago, that they would both leave together. Neither one would go before the other. Now, here she sat through cold winters, watching the cardinals eat their seed hanging from the trees. She watched the snow gently fall, creating streams of diamonds from the skies.

She waited patiently, sitting quietly, looking out her window and when the good days arrived, and the buds appeared on the branches, she would go outside and bend down to smell the heavenly fragrance of the pink roses, her Tom and  her planted with love.


pink roses 2

Fatal Love

In a corner, you could make out the shadow of a form. A blackness with no heart remaining. Blood remains stirring from where an arrow missed its mark.

This is what painful and broken love does to a soul. It breaks it down, leaving it lifeless, thoughts of worthlessness enter, drooling in a pool around the feet.

How is it that an organ that divides a body from life or death become so involved with a feeling? Is it not true, that pure joy or devastation, or painful words, or broken arguments can cause a deeper feeling than any other thing a person can experience?

Words of comfort, a pat on the back, a sincere hug, seems to make no difference at that moment. All a person wants to do is hide and perhaps die. A sense of loneliness overtakes and if not nurtured correctly can cause a fatal death.

When this happens to one you know; don’t drift away from fear of not knowing what to say. Go to them, make the words escape your lips. Give the comfort.  Be the first one to make the move. Don’t wait, you never know if you may save a life.


My Poetry

You were once the man upon the horse

Riding through the middle of my life

Reaching out the lasso

Saving me from my death.


I thought love was forever

A marriage vow implanted

Unknown to my pure thoughts

That another could turn your head.


I see now many months later

You were burnt beyond belief

The taste of sour wine embedded

The look of hurt within your eyes.


Now you wonder what I am doing

Who my thoughts are of at night

You ask if there’s a place for me

Could you make amends.


Pain that runneth deep

Trust that has been broken

Layers broke and rusty bricks

No words can heal the hurt..


Written by,

Terry Shepherd


The House Waiting For The Bride

This is a photo I took of a home not from from me. I have always thought this home was so red house 8

beautiful. I have never spoken to the owners but I have heard the story plenty of times throughout the years. I will share with you the story that is found online. One day I would love to be able to go through the house to just look; but I doubt if I ever will be allowed.


Love Yet Abides though Wedding Never Occurred-
Aged Couple makes Regular Pilgrimages

Here Blighted Romance Lies Buried
Winona Lake’s Mystery House Which Has Stood Fifteen Years Silently Beckoning for a Bride that will not come

Under the willows that feather Bruning’s Point,” on the shore of Lake Winona, stands “The Mystery House” its doors locked, its windows sealed. “It has stood so for fifteen years, waiting for something,” say the cottagers of Winona Lake, the little Indiana resort town. None of the scant 50 Winter villagers or the thousands of Summer visitors who gape and gossip about it know exactly what this “something” is.

They are told it is a “bride.” They are told a romantic story-a real romance. They have never seen within the house and never expect to. They get the story from the carpenter, the plumber and the piano tuner, told when they returned from their thrilling assignments to repair the interior of the mysterious dwelling.

These men brought back the heart-stirring information that the house was completely and lavishly furnished, that tinder and logs stood on the hearth, ready for the match, that a silver service for two was set on the dinner table, that two leather chairs were waiting under a reading lamp, that the piano stood, top lifted, keys ready for human hands; that two sleeping rooms, beds made, combs and brushes on chiffoniers, slippers laid out, everything ready for occupancy, were arrayed.

Who Built Mansion
“And,” said the favored artisans, “one of the rooms is for a woman, because there are dressing tables in it, covered with these slim, ivory backed things that women use for their hands and hair.”

The townspeople know that W. H. Bruning, the wealthy President of the F. J. Bruning and Son Company, spice and tea, wholesale merchants of Evansville, Ind., and New York, built the mysterious mansion in 1903, calling it “Merbrink” because it stood on the brink of the lake and that twice every month since erecting it, fifteen years ago, he comes back to visit it.

He has never spent a night in it. The week-ends in Winona Lake he spends in the “Swiss Terrace” Hotel, which is managed by Mrs. John Cooper and her daughter, Miss Nellie Cooper.

The cottagers of the resort came in time to recognize that deep and sincere affection existed between this dignified man of the outer world and Miss Nellie Cooper. On Sunday afternoons it was the habit of the woman and her mother to accompany their guest to the “Mystery House” to enter with him via the one key for the door which he carried and on such occasions the villagers, making it their business to pass by, could hear the piano within, awakening under the younger woman’s fingers.

Pilgrimages Discontinued
Only within the last year has this ceremonial been discontinued, the failure of Mrs. Cooper’s health causing the daughter to remain at home while Mr. Bruning makes his pilgrimage to the closed house alone.

The cottagers long ago handed the story about that the owner of “The Mystery House” was waiting for Miss Cooper to marry him. They told visitors that it was she, for whom the bridal house had been prepared.

But time has worked to show their early prophecies were slow in coming true. Fifteen summers have passed and still no wedding occurs to satisfy the pleading silence of the house.

The onlookers have seen age creep on the three who used to listen to the piano behind the closest blinds. The mother of Miss Cooper is now an invalid, close to 90. Miss Cooper herself nearing 60, for all the beautiful frost in her hair, has youthfulness of spirit as though some strange inner peace buoyed her through the years.

Bruning, straight to, immaculate, impressive, bears seventy snows in his thick hair without bending. His charities are as numerous as his words are infrequent. Reputed a millionaire, his gifts to the religious organizations of Winona Lake have borne out in fact, the impressions of his kindliness.

He is the friend and fellow board member of William Jennings Bryan, serving as a director of the Winona Assembly and Bible Conference, of which the “Commoner” is president. His business wisdom and foresight make him the pillar upon which the clergymen in the management lean.

The Real Story
And when the women lodgers at “Swiss Terrace” grow confidential with Miss Nellie Cooper and helpless before their own burning curiosity, seek to gain the story from her, she avoids any answer with the sweet, serene smile that has earned for her the title “the best loved woman in Winona.”

This then, it seems, might be all Winona Lake knows. It regards the secret with romantic affection. The house is not a forbidding spot, for all its blind windows. The townspeople recite this much of the story with pride.

The real story, which is obtained from friends and admirers of both Mr. Bruning and Miss Cooper, is far more romantic than even Winona Lake’s imagination has made it.

Although all attempts to gain statements from both parties yesterday failed, owing to Miss Cooper’s inability to leave the bedside of her mother, who is dangerously ill, and Mr. Bruning’s absence from Evansville on a business trip, the following series of facts, establishing the story as one of the most remarkable to ever occur in real life, were substantiated by friends of both:

Forty years ago John Cooper, an educator of New York, although no longer a young man, followed the Greenley injunction, then quite popular, and came West. He brought with him his wife and daughter Nellie, then a girl of 18. Evansville, Ind., recognize his worth and made him superintendent of schools.

The Bachelor Arrives
For some three years he lived so, his family happy and the way clear before him. Then his health began to fail and his wife and daughter sought to stem adversity by taking boarders.

Among the first to come was W. H. Bruning, a bachelor of 30, and partner with his father in the town’s oldest tea and spice store. It is said that he loved Nellie Cooper from the first, that she loved him and that they became engaged directly both recognized the fact. But something interposed.

Their friends believed the girl felt it her duty to remain with her parents in their difficulties. At any rate she went with them to Winona Lake in 1901 when Mrs. Cooper decided to maintain a hotel at that resort, then opening for its first season.

Their cottage was named “The Homestead,” and, though small, was popular with the vacation hunters. An old-world courtesy and charm hovered around their rooms and brought local fame to them.

A year passed and John Cooper died. With the widow and daughter, Bruning grieved as a son, and to aid them in meeting the world he built a magnificent cottage, capable of housing some hundred guests, named it “The Swiss Terrace,” and installed in it the two women as proprietors.

They have managed it as their own since that day and among the cottagers it is always “Cooper’s Swiss Terrace” and never Bruning’s”.

That same summer Bruning bought a lot on the point where the bathing harbor curves out to the more rugged shoreline. For weeks the place teemed with dredges and drays, as he built out and filled in making “Bruning’s Point.” When a new acre was made, he imported carpenters and on plans which he himself and perhaps another had drawn up, began the erection of the fated house.

Into it went the best timber, the most ultra-modern conveniences. In that economical day its cost, $10,000 made it the show place of the town.

Its weatherboarding was lined with mineral wool, its chimneys were bottomed with wide fireplaces. Cheveal mirrors, chandeliers, thick Brussels rugs, ensignia of luxury in those times, filled it.

Art went on its walls, a bluish gray scheme of color, subdued and beautiful, ran through its living rooms. Twenty-one rocking chairs are scattered through it. Gas lights were ready, fires were laid on the hearths, and a magnificent silver dinner set was placed beside rare china in the cupboards.

Bride never Came
Why Miss Nellie never came down to take the place, now known to have been meant for her, is known to none but herself and Mr. Bruning. No explanation was ever given. In fact their engagement was never announced. No one knows if such a pledge was ever formally given, but certain it is that true love, has throughout the years existed between them.

The lover’s attitude announces this to the world, although he makes no reference to it. He is ever the suitor, the admirer, bringing at each trip (and he has never in these years missed his regular bi-weekly visit) a box of candy, presenting it to Miss Cooper with the manner of the story book swain.

He allows no decay to creep into it–“The Mystery House.” Each year it is painted anew, the piano tuned, the water and gas pipes examined and any loose boards replaced. Twice in the fifteen years new draperies have been carried in. The house is as ready today for occupancy as when it was built. The stone sun-dial which Bruning set up on the lawn a few years back is kept in as perfect alignment as though there were owners to run out from the house behind at any moment to note upon its face the progress of the day.

The grass in summer is mown weekly, the snow and sleet which in winter blow across the wide veranda are cleaned away by a workman who knows no more of the building’s interior than do his neighbors.

When the willow trees drop their leaves and twigs he cleans them away punctiliously, much as might a servant expecting his master and mistress home on the morrow.

When the waves cast driftwood over the concrete wall, Bruning built against the blue lake, the caretaker carries the wood away as though a lady from the house within might open her eyes in the morning and be offended by the litter. The workman is hired by Mr. Bruning to “keep the lawn clear” and nothing more. This he does and no more.

Where Lovers Meet
One thing and one only betrays time’s flight. This is the names and carving on the planks that board the windows. These boards are thick and stout, for curiosity seekers are constantly prying at them, striving to see behind. Over them are scores of lovers’ names, written and carved in the fashion of “seventeen.”

In summer the boys and girls wander down to the point and hand in hand circle “The Mystery House” or sit on the veranda steps.

There has never been a “No Trespass” sign on the premises for such as they. At least three times these boards have been replaced so whittled were they by the knives of young lovers, carving entwined hearts, linked names and all the lazy, dreamy, totem-pole symbols to which aimless-youth-in-love is addicted.

What irony this is, graven on the house that waits for love, can only be told by the man and the woman, if indeed, they ever tell at all.


Credit; Chicago American, May 10, 1918 page 11 “Fiction Page”



red house 6

I’ll Whisper To You Darling



On an ocean blue

I call to you

From deep below

A whisper, slow.


You hear my call

You stumble and fall

As I sound familiar

You believe it to be her.


For once upon a time

You threw in your  line

You caught a love so rare

New birth, with all to bare.


Then one day I went away

You didn’t know what to say

I left and never more

Came knocking at your door.


You never forgot me did you

The life of me and you

But I was only in your mind

Unique, a one of a kind.


But while you sail today

I will swim along and say

I’ll whisper I love you

We’ll share today; us two.


You’ll recognize my signs

You’ll remember you were mine

And today will hold no grief

As we sail among the reefs.


Written by,

Terry Shepherd







Pebbles on the beach
Show my shadow
Of where I once walked
Following my heart
Willing to give it to you
Our fingers touched
As we took hand in hand
We walked side by side
Until we came to an entrance of
The Cave of love
Where we committed ourselves
One to another.
Now today, I look out
Over the waters
I see my shadow being
Washed by heartless waves
What once is never more
It is only a memory
Of when I spent
My days
Here at the ocean.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd1/17/2015



My Butterfly

You are so distant
You don’t see me here
I, on the other hand
Can feel everything.

Like butterflies landing
Causing a light wind to blow
This is how my heart flutters
When ever you are near.

I’m in love with your smile
I can feel the warmth of your hands
My imagination runs wild
Thinking us side by side.

I touch my own breast
As I think of us now
Lying in a field of honey
Escaping from reality.

You kiss my lips
I nibble your ear
Your hand reaches down
I come up to you.

We explode together
Releasing butterflies in mass
Colors of pinks, red and blues
Mmmm, this is heaven.

You are so distant
You don’t see me here
I, on the other hand
Can feel everything.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd
Jan, 9, 2016