The Man in Her Dream

Monica sat up in bed in a cold sweat. It was 3am and when she looked at the television a set of wiggly lines were running across the screen. Laying beside her was Fluff, her 7 year-old cat.

Looking out of her bedroom door she saw blackness. Everything seemed alright. She wiped the beads of sweat from  her brow thinking she had experienced a terrible nightmare.

She laid back down. She closed her eyes, but her brain was having trouble meeting her wish to go back to sleep. She began to think about what she had to do tomorrow. A long day at work.

Casey’s is where she worked. She did the payroll and this was towards the end-of-month. She had to go back over records and make sure there were no mistakes and no holes. It was going to be a long couple of days.

Her birthday was coming up over the weekend. Her boyfriend and parents had got together and planned a surprise party for her; but Jim, her boyfriend told her about it and ruined the surprise. Monica smiled as she thought about how much she loved him.

She placed her thoughts back to what needed to be done. Sleep, she had to get some sleep. Thoughts settled and she drifted off to sleep. She was woken up once again but not be another dream, but hands that were reaching under her blanket.

She sat up, trying to scream, but nothing came out. Both of her hands started beating the blankets and then her feet took immediate action and began kicking at the dark shadow hovering over her.

The hands sought her legs and gripping with a ferocious tug, she was pulled out from her bed and landed sharply on the floor. Kicking with feet and hands and finding her voice, she screamed, ” let me go, let me go. Please don’t hurt me. What do you want? Let me go”.

He drug her from her bedroom floor out to the living room. Her nightgown being pulled up her skin was being burnt by the carpet. She wanted to cry, but she didn’t want to show defeat so instead, she screamed louder with limbs attacking anywhere pain could be sought.

He pulled her up and thrust her onto the couch. From his back pocket he pulled out some furnace tape and clumsily taped her mouth and bound her hands and feet. Her eyes bulged from fear.

He began to walk to the side of her and she stuck out her legs and he tripped over them. Struggling with all she had she stood up and began to hop towards the front door. She tried desperately to wiggle free from the tape that was holding her hostage around her wrists, but she was unsuccessful.

The intruder was angry by now and he yanked her back from the door with such force she landed in a tail-spin and cracked her head on the corner of a lamp table. From that moment on she spun into darkness.

He picked her up and carried her out her back door to where he had his dingy, dark van with the back doors opened. Tossing her inside he quietly shut the doors. He looked around to see if anyone had heard her screams.

Seeing no shadow of life he quickly went back inside her home and took what ever valuables he could find. Putting them in the bag he pulled out of his jacket he closed the back door and jumped in his van.

He left the neighborhood, breathing a little too fast. The broad had almost ruined his plan. Calming down some and lighting a cigarette, he took a couple of deep puffs. His mind gearing towards the abandoned warehouse.

There he would drop off the goods and collect a handsome pay-out. He glanced towards the back of the van and saw that Monica was still knocked-out. He started to smile as the semi that was coming towards him began blaring its horn.

The van crossed the road and the semi pushed it towards the gully. The van flipped over three times. The intruder hit his head on the steering column and then slammed back towards the head rest before hitting the column once again.

He woke up to a bright flashlight shining into his eyes. Blur of men surrounding him asking questions to see if he was alright. He heard the back door of  his van open and suddenly the trigger of a gun was pointed towards his gut.

Making sure he could stand the officers pulled him out and cuffed him. The sounds of an ambulance neared and soon Monica was laying on a stretcher. The tape was cut off and she woke to a soft, female voice.

” Are you hurt miss? Did he place his hands on you?”

” Uh no, he didn’t rape me. I don’t think he hurt me. My legs and arms feel bruised.”

” We will get you to the hospital now. You can get checked out and after that we will be waiting to question you. I think you are a very lucky lady mam. We have been searching for a guy who fits his description. If it is him, you have helped to capture one of the giants of the sex-traffic ring. Now just relax and we will take it from here.”


My Little Angel

My Little Angel

Tip toe down the stairs, she stops. She looks and she listens. Tears start to form and drip softly down her cheeks. Her finger goes in her mouth. She says nothing. Too scared to move.

She hears a groan coming from the floor. This forces her little feet to take a new step. Step by step she makes it down to solid floor. Cautiously, tenderly, she moves closer to where the sound was coming from.


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My Little Angel

Tip toe down the stairs, she stops. She looks and she listens. Tears start to form and drip softly down her cheeks. Her finger goes in her mouth. She says nothing. Too scared to move.

She hears a groan coming from the floor. This forces her little feet to take a new step. Step by step she makes it down to solid floor. Cautiously, tenderly, she moves closer to where the sound was coming from.

She looks to the side of her. She turns and looks behind her. No one is standing near by. No familiar people to turn to. More tears drip as she leans down and softly touches the hands so familiar to her.

The feel of skin leads her to put her little hand inside the bigger hand. She stares at the quiet form on the floor. Her other free hand goes for her mouth and her lips hug tightly around her thumb bringing security in a way nothing else could at this moment.

She stands and looks down at the face and then turns around. She walks toward the front door and her little hands clumsily grasp the door until it is turned and the door gently invites her to the outside world.

She walks down the sidewalk and not knowing where she is going she drifts towards the street. Cars begin to honk, letting her know she is in danger. A car stops. A tall man, taller than her daddy gets out and he makes a loud noise with some kind of shiny thing in his mouth.

Traffic comes to a stop. The man comes slowly towards her. He kneels down and he talks softly to her. He has a nice voice like her daddy. He starts to pick her up and she turns and runs towards the front door.

The nice man follows her and she leads him to the quiet form on the floor. He makes a call. An ambulance arrives. The officer picks her up and puts her  in the front seat of his car and she watches him as he gets in on his own side.

The car starts and it follows the ambulance. Bright, shiny lights hurt her eyes. She rubs them with her chubby little fist. The man takes her to the big counter. He sits her up on it. A lady in white picks her up and cuddled her softly to her chest.

The man disappears. The lady takes her to a room where there are toys. A new lady is there and she has a pretty smile. Soon the room is filled with lots of ladies in white. The nice officer comes in soon.

Clapping and cheering the little girl, they have a big bowl of ice-cream for her. The cheering is of  happy voices. She claps her hands together and giggles wanting to join in the fun. The little girl had saved her mommy’s life. Her mommy had a low blood sugar reading and didn’t have much time before her life would be in a dangerous situation.

After the ice-cream was eaten the nice man picked her up and took her to a door. He pushed it open and the little girl held out her arms. She was being transferred to her mommy’s arms  who now was no longer quiet, but had the warm smile that she recognized so well. Mommy’s alright, mommy’s alright. You saved my life little angel.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd


angel girl

My Valentine

Counting down the days before her baby came back and into her arms. Just thinking of him, the picture in her mind brought a smile wide as the ocean and dimples as deep as a baby’s cheeks.

They sat side by side in elementary school. In high school he asked her for a date. The two knew they were meant to be. He had seen her fall and scrape  her knees. She had seen him missing his two front teeth.

They danced their first Junior High party together. They sneaked their first kiss under the elm tree. They wrote love letters each night and before first class started each had the others in their hands.

His parents were modern. Her parents were strict. The two weren’t allowed to date until she was 16. He drove his parents car up to her sidewalk. When he rang the doorbell and she opened the door he had one single, red rose that he gave her.

They went to a pizza joint for supper and then went to the Roller Dome for skating. Holding hands on all couples dance; they fell more in love than ever. Taking her home he held her gently in his arms and he kissed her nose.

She wrapped her arms around him. He kissed her on her lips and the two explored each others mouths. The porch light flickered on and off. She knew it was her cue to return inside. He touched her cheek with his hand and kissing her nose he jumped out of his door and walked her to the front door.

For the next three  years they dated every Friday and Saturday night. They went roller skating, to the movies, to football and basketball games. During the week nights it was study time. Her parents insisted she get an education before considering serious commitments to any gentleman.

The days flew by and soon it was graduation day. They visited each others homes for parties  From that day forward the two worked  and spent all the time together they were allowed.

One day when it was smoldering outside he walked to her front door. When she opened it tears flowed down his cheeks as he handed her the white envelope. He followed her to the sun room and she opened it up and read the letter.

She looked up and saw his tears still streaming and felt her own cheeks become wet. He was leaving. He was being shipped off for the military. They had one week left to be together before they said their goodbyes.

The hours turned into minutes. The time drew to an end. Hugging and kissing she waved to him as he stepped up into the bus. Her heart was breaking. When the bus was no longer in sight, she turned and dried her eyes, walked back to his car that he had left her to take care of until he returned.

She drove the streets until she ended up at the city park. Sitting on the swing her mind went back to the first time they had met. Memories took her from there unto the present. Filling the days ahead would be a hard job to do. Every free moment she had her thoughts returned to him.

The six weeks did go by and he did return. The two melted into each others arms. Hugging and kissing he lifted her off of the ground spinning her around with excitement of holding her once again.

They had three glorious days to spend together before he was to leave  for his next orders. He was going over seas and this time she would not see him for almost a year. The night before he was to leave he drove them to the park.

He let her out and picking up a blanket from his back seat they walked to the sandy beach. The moon shone bright. The air was still, the night was warm. There on the open beach they made love to each other.

The next morning she once again had tears of sadness as she waved to him as he entered the bus. As it went out of sight she sat in his car and wept. This was going to be a long time apart. The days would slowly turn from one to the other.

She asked for more hours at her job and she received them. She poured herself into her work. The two wrote to each other daily. They poured out their hearts and he told her to start planning for their wedding. He let her know of his expected return date and wrote that they would be married two days after he came home.

For a few weeks she thought of nothing but weddings, flowers, and her dress. Work took on a new goal for her as she saved every penny she could. But one morning she woke up and she felt awful. When she stood up she became ill and rushed to the toilet.

A few days later she learned that she was pregnant. She wrote to him to let him know. She received nothing in return. She waited for days, but yet nothing. One morning she opened the front door for  work and two officers stood there.

They asked her name. They asked to come in. The three sat on the couch. They said their news and expressed their regrets. They let themselves out. She sat alone and cried. She touched her belly. She whispered she would take good care of him while daddy lived in heaven. She whispered to the heavens, We love you my Valentine.




A Day With The Firemen

I am so sick of this cold arctic air I could just pull my hair out. Oh how I long to go out and sit on my swing and watch the squirrels play. Or walk to the mailbox without putting on the gloves and boots. Anyone else feel the same as me?

Yesterday Al’s air mattress quit working. It was early evening when the tech came to the house. He didn’t have a mattress to replace, so actually wondered why he came. But any ways he looked it over and found holes. I saw holes also that had been patched with duct tape.

It amazes me at the prices they charge Hospice for a repaired mattress. He couldn’t fix it because I didn’t have any duct tape here for him to use. Manually he did some pushing of the buttons and set it on firm so Al could rest comfortably until today.

The Hospice nurse, four firemen, me, the tech and caregiver were all here at noon. They moved the entire bed and moved his recliner along side of it. Putting the recliner in a laying position Al was wrapped like a baby on the back of an Indian woman.indian

With everyone on the same page Al was transferred to his recliner without the aid of a hoyer lift. The last time we used the lift Al was left swinging in it and transition was rough on his poor limp body.

This time it was a piece of cake. The new mattress was installed  and Al was replaced back in bed.

I think he did well, but with as ill as he is his body still takes a big toll with the movement. He has been asleep ever since 1pm.  The job is done and I hope for his sake we don’t have to transfer him again for as long as he is here.

Today he had a cup of ice-cream for breakfast and a half-cup of yogurt and half-cup of applesauce for lunch. I just don’t know how I would survive on so little. 99% of the time Al eats only ice-cream for any meal.

After everyone left the caregiver and I went about cleaning up his room. The firemen had transferred his electric recliner out to the living room since it took up space that was needed in his room. The firemen also put the bathroom door back on.

I had it taken off back in June when he came home so the wheelchair would go through the door. Now that he can’t sit up, the wheelchair has been stored in the shed. Enough caregivers and Hospice are here that the door needed to be put back on for privacy and lack of running to the other end of the house to use my bathroom.

It felt good to complete the tasks. Al safe in his new air mattress bed, all the snow and melting salt swept up from the floors. Small rugs washed, dried and put back in their spot. The only thing that could make today better would be to walk outside my front door without my coat, gloves and boots on.

Words For The Soul

Walking down the street, seeing no one. Thoughts racing in my mind. I didn’t see the man in front of me. I walked right into him. Quickly my mind came back to the moment. I apologized with a sheepish grin. Totally embarrassed at what I had just done.

The man in front of me had a blank face. Had he not heard me? Was he that mad at me? I swear it was an accident. I don’t usually make such a fool of myself. I apologized again and placed my arm on his to show my sincere attitude. He jerked his hand a way.

I twisted my body placing my hand on my hip. Defense was my mode. I said, “Now look Mister, I said I didn’t mean to do it. I was just deep in thought and I didn’t see you standing here. In fact, you probably saved my life. I would have crossed the street not even aware that I was at the stoplight.”

Still no reaction. The face didn’t change. No anger showed. The man and I stood there for a few seconds, no one saying anything. Then I heard a bark. I looked toward the sound and saw a husky dog standing to the side of the man. The red collar and leash attached to the dog was wrapped on the man’s wrist.

I lowered my hand and stood more relaxed. I felt like a fool. The man couldn’t see me. He couldn’t hear me either. Hell I probably have this poor man scared half to death by now. Tears started streaming down my face as I realized the whole picture now.

I reached my hand down slowly and the dog sniffed my fingers. He let me pet his head and then I stood up and took the gentleman by the hand. I started to rub it to somehow show him I was not an enemy.

I wrapped my arm through his arm and pulling a bit on the leash I walked the man across the cross way. Once on the other side, the dog sat down. I let go of the man’s arm and I gave him a pat on the back. I did one step further and gave him a big hug. When I stepped back and looked at him I saw a smile. Two tears were dripping from his eye. I left them knowing he was safe in the dog’s eyes and walked on my way, forgetting my own problems and smiled at the warm sunshine.

woman and sun