SINS OF THE FATHER

Twenty years had passed since Danny Cameron had seen his parents. Perhaps he would have handled things differently had he known this estrangement would be the outcome. He asked himself that question every day and the answer was always “no”.

Danny excelled at football and had a shot at going pro but his real passion was music. His dream was not shared by his father, Donal, who constantly pushed Danny in the direction of professional sports. Night after night Danny was subjected to the same diatribe:

What the hell kind of musical career do you think you’re gonna have?
If you think you’re gonna be the next Paul McCartney you can forget that pipe dream!
Danny, you can be a great quarterback on any pro team you want,
make millions and have women beating down your door.
You’d be a damn fool to let that opportunity pass you by!”

Danny couldn’t stand another lecture and the dam burst. He yelled at his father in frustration:

Dad! Enough! Football may be your dream but it’s not mine.
I know it won’t be easy but I’m determined to pursue music.
Forget the money and all the women. I’ve met someone and we’re moving in together.
It’s time I started living my life on my terms.”

Before Donal could respond, Danny’s mother Fiona chimed in excitedly:

Danny! Why didn’t you tell us you have a girlfriend?! This is so exciting!
What’s her name? How did you meet?
We must invite her to dinner. I want to hear all about ……..”

STOP!” Danny shouted. “I don’t have a girlfriend. I have a boyfriend. His name is Richard. I’M GAY!! Mom, Dad – I’m gay.”

And there it was – not exactly what Danny planned but the words were out and there was no taking them back. Donal was enraged; he lashed out, slapping Danny’s face so hard he almost fell over.

GAY? Call it what it is, Danny – you’re a fucking queer! You make me sick!
Get out of my sight! Get out and don’t come back!!”

Grabbing his phone and car keys, Danny stormed out. He moved in with Richard, a law school student by day/valet parking attendant by night. Danny had a couple of gigs in a bar but that didn’t last and he eventually got a job as a singing waiter. He hated it but it helped pay the bills.

Fiona secretly phoned Danny from time to time and managed to get his belongings to him, but father and son never communicated.

Richard passed the bar exam and landed a great job. Danny had written several “damn good songs” as Richard called them but he just couldn’t catch a break. Richard encouraged him to be patient and keep trying.

Friday was a busy night at the restaurant. Danny was singing “Something” to a newly-engaged couple when he saw Richard come in with a group of people. When Danny’s song was over, Richard motioned him to the table and said “You have a great voice! Do you sing anything other than Beatles songs?”

Thinking “What game is he playing?”, Danny followed suit saying he had written a number of songs.

Well, how about singing one of your own songs for us?” Richard asked.

Wondering where this was all going, Danny sat at the piano and sang his heart out. The restaurant erupted in applause. One of the men at Richard’s table handed Danny his card and said “Call me tomorrow”. The card read ‘Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc.’. Feigning calm, Danny expressed his thanks but his heart was pounding and his head was exploding; Bob Ludwig was a mega recording producer!

Later that night at home Danny couldn’t stop thanking Richard for his introduction to Bob Ludwig. Richard hugged him and said he deserved it.

Danny’s career took off and he became a sensation. Then the call came from his mother; his father was gravely ill. Fiona said Donal was asking for him. After all these years Danny knew it would not be easy seeing him again; he reluctantly acquiesced.

Danny returned to his childhood home where Donal was being privately treated. Waving Fiona and his nurse out of the room, Donal beckoned Danny to come closer. He could barely speak and Danny bent down, his ear next to his father’s lips.

Donal rasped, his breathing labored:

I hear you’re a star, a real big shot. You’re famous!
You’re living the life you always wanted, aren’t you, Danny?
Everyone adores you but to me you’re still nothing but a disgusting queer!”

Danny looked into Donal’s cold, unforgiving eyes full of loathing and revulsion. Staring emotionless at his father, he reached for Donal’s oxygen tube and squeezed it as tightly as he could, cutting off his air supply. Wheezing, Donal’s eyes bulged and his face turned blue; then he stopped breathing.

Danny straightened the crimped oxygen tube and walked out of the room without looking back. Hugging his mother, he whispering “It’s over”.

NAR © 2020

THE BATTLE OF THE SEXISTS

“Debonair, sophisticated and charming” sighed Alice Carter. “Cary Grant and David Niven are so good in that movie. I always loved ‘The Bishop’s Wife’. Such a wonderful Christmas tradition.” 

“And that Loretta Young is some eyeful, too” replied Alice’s husband Ralph. “Those high cheekbones, full lips, tiny waist and long legs – a real looker, that one.” 

“You alway could pick a beauty, Ralph. Well, I better start dinner. I’m making your favorite – sausage and potato casserole.” 

“I hope you made a lemon meringue pie for dessert.” 

“Of course! I know what you like, Ralph.” 

Returning to the den Alice found Ralph was watching the news. 

“Why aren’t there more delightful men on the news, men like Peter Jennings?” 

“Because he’s dead” replied Ralph.

“How about Mike Wallace?”

“Also dead” Ralph reminded Alice. 

“Look at this clown, Glenn Beck, wearing jeans and sneakers on a news program! Give him a beanie and he’d look just like one of those little rascal kids. What ever happened to that nice Matt Lauer?” 

“Fired for sexual misconduct” replied Ralph.

“Good Lord! I don’t believe it! Well, what about Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling and Charlie Rose?” 

“Fired, fired and, oh yeah … fired. Alice, can I please have a moment of peace and quiet to watch the news?” 

“Well, pardon me for living!” she sniffed. “I’m going to check on the sausage casserole.” 

When she returned Alice stopped dead in her tracks. “Oh my God, Ralph! What on earth are you watching now?” 

“It’s all day news, Alice. I didn’t change the channel.” 

“The ‘X Rated News’?? No wonder those poor men got fired. What red-blooded guy could resist floozies like that showing off their goods on national tv? They look like hookers! And look at you sitting there in your underwear, drooling and all bug-eyed. I’m sure as soon as my back is turned you’ll be jacking off to these little twats. Disgusting!” Alice harrumphed. 

“Talk about disgusting – watch your language, Alice! Just be quiet. You don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. I bet you didn’t even know Russia had topless newscasters? These women are professionals. They’re lawyers, professors and judges, not bimbos with sketchy unspecified qualifications who just walked in off the street.” 

“Yeah, they’re highly qualified alright … as cockteasers!” Alice snapped. “Take that one on the end with the dyed blond hair, fishnet stockings and spike heels. Look at how skimpy her dress is. Did they run out of fabric? Her boobs are straining to break loose from her top and the bottom is so short – if she uncrosses her legs we’ll all get to see America’s amber waves of grain! Her family must be so proud!” 

“Woah, woah, woah! That’s enough, Alice. Look, this here is Megyn Kelly. She has a law degree, is a journalist, an author and a world-famous political commentator as well as a news anchor. The dark-haired one on the end is Kimberly Guilfoyle. She’s a political analyst, an attorney and former First Lady of San Francisco. Now she’s dating President Trump’s son. And yes, I’m sure their families are very proud. Besides being absolutely stunning they’re brilliant. Why don’t you just run back into the kitchen like a good girl and let me enjoy my one indulgence.” 

“Indulgence??” Alice countered. “So you admit it’s all about cheap thrills and nothing to do with the news. You’re such a pig, Ralph!” 

“Whatever. How’s that sausage coming, anyway? I’m hungry.”

Alice saw red. “Here’s an idea for you, Ralph. Get Kinky Kimberly to heat up your sausage. I’m sure she’s highly qualified!”

NAR © 2019

A PIG IN A POKE

As soon as Briana Jeffries woke up she knew her AC had broken down. Her townhouse was like a sauna. She called the landlord then got ready for work. Stepping outside, she was enveloped in a cloud of oppressive heat. 

Briana’s townhouse didn’t have a garage – only street parking. Slipping off her suit jacket, she adjusted her shoulder bag and began walking to her car. With every step a bead of sweat rippled down her neck and back until her blouse clung to her drenched body. She cursed her high heels and pantyhose but the real estate agency where she worked demanded appropriate attire. 

I really should switch to McConnell Realty. They’re much more casual than Dalton & Banks” she thought as she got into her car and switched on the AC. Sure, the commission she earned was great but she wasn’t truly happy. And dealing with that smarmy, perpetually tanned Joe DelVecchio was nauseating.

First on the agenda was the Monday meeting, then Briana’s client at 10:30. With six houses to show, it was going to be a long day. As soon as she entered the office, Joe was all over her. “Looking steamy, Briana. Nice lipstick. Looks all pouty. I’m gonna call you BJ. Know what that means?” 

What a dick. The only reason Joe was tolerated here was the older female clients adored him and he could charm the panties off them – and probably did if it meant making a sale. Ignoring him, Briana sat at the mahogany table between Grace and Harold. 

Attention!” Charlotte Dalton announced. “We have a large number of elderly couples today. Briana and Joe, I want you working together. 

By day’s end Briana was sick of Joe but he insisted on walking her to her car. “Let’s get a drink, moisten that beautiful BJ mouth”. Involuntarily Briana licked her lips;  Joe moaned. 

“No, Joe! I just want to go home, take a shower and go to bed.” She immediately regretted her choice of words. Joe pressed Briana against her car whispering “You read my mind” and she felt his clammy hand between her legs. Calling him a “disgusting pig”, she shoved him away and drove off. It was at that moment she decided today was her last day at Dalton & Banks. 

Unlocking her front door, Briana was thrilled to find the AC working and the house delightfully cool. Locking the door, she kicked off her shoes, peeled off her damp clothes and headed for the shower. Closing the bathroom door, Briana entered the shower and stood under the cool water, relaxing, unthinking.  Suddenly she heard a noise outside the bathroom. She listened intently; there it was again. SOMEONE WAS IN HER HOUSE!! Without even turning off the shower, Briana lunged to lock the bathroom door just as Joe DelVecchio burst in, knocking her backwards into the shower. Slamming the tiles, Briana’s head cracked open, blood swirling down the drain. 

Briana was right. That was her last day at Dalton & Banks. 

NAR © 2019

EYES WIDE SHUT

Pamela sat huddled in the corner of the school office, her hands tightly clutching the sweater of her school uniform around her. The button of her blouse was undone and the sleeve was torn at the shoulder. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes swollen from crying and she chewed her bottom lip nervously. No one paid any attention except to toss an occasional accusatory glance her way. 

She ran her fingers through her dark hair, realizing her pony tail had come undone. She sniffled and wiped her nose on the sleeve of her sweater. Staring down at her penny loafers, she was startled by the sudden shrill ringing of the phone on the secretary’s desk. 

Yes, sir. Right away, sir” the secretary said into the phone, then hung up and called out “Pamela, Principal Hoffman will see you now.”

Pamela rose slowly and gathered her school books, still clutching her sweater. “Quickly, Pamela! You mustn’t keep Principal Hoffman waiting!” the secretary snapped at her. 

Pamela entered the principal’s office and was was shocked to see the drama coach Mr. Booker there. She quickly looked away, her face turning crimson. She felt naked standing there before them, their lecherous eyes staring at her. 

“Well, Pamela, do you know why you’re here?” asked Principal Hoffman. 

Pamela looked down at the floor shaking her head ‘no’. 

“Look at me and answer the question, you insolent little slut!” yelled the principal, excited by his increasing erection. 

Tears ran down her cheeks as she looked at both men, the expression on Mr. Booker’s face filling her with dread. 

He slowly walked up to Pamela saying “You little liar. You know why you’re here. You came to me behind the curtain after play rehearsal, rubbed up against me and tried to kiss me.” He reached out and grabbed her chin. “Admit it now before you get in more trouble!” and his filthy mind thought of all the things he’d like to do to her. 

Pushing his hand off her face, Pamela cried out “No! I didn’t do anything! You did! You’re the liar!” 

Booker raised his hand to slap her but Principal Hoffman banged his fist on the desk. “Pamela, this is a Christian school and we do not tell lies nor do we act in promiscuous ways. Now admit what Mr. Booker said is true.” 

She remained silent and shook her head in defiance.

“Fine, Pamela. You’re dismissed. We will be calling your parents this evening to discuss your behavior.” 

Pamela left the office and ran home. She knew her parents wouldn’t return from work for another few hours. She threw some clothes in a suitcase and called her older sister. “Mia” she cried into the phone. 

“Pammy, what’s wrong?” Mia asked. 

All Pamela said was “Mr. Booker.” 

“Listen, Pammy” Mia said. “Mom and Dad didn’t believe me and they won’t believe you. Take the bus to Paramus and I’ll pick you up. You’ll be safe with me.” 

Pamela left her house and never looked back. 

NAR © 2019

HELLO, GOODBYE

RITA’S STORY


It was the night of the office Christmas party and I was dreading it. I knew Kevin was going to be there. After our breakup, I couldn’t stand being around him. I thought he was a great guy; I was wrong. He was only interested in sex. Kevin never missed a party, a chance to get drunk and hit on me. I wasn’t there long before he spotted me. I turned and headed for the restroom. When I came out, Kevin was waiting…..drunk, leaning against the wall, drink in hand. He stumbled towards me slurring “hey, baby”, pushing the drink in my face. I walked past him but he grabbed my arm and dragged me into the supply room. He spun me around, smashing his lips against mine, tearing at the buttons on my blouse and shoving his hand up my skirt. Somehow I managed to push him off me. Kevin was so drunk, he stumbled and fell backwards. I ran out into the street, gasping as the cold rain washed my body of Kevin’s stink. I couldn’t go to my apartment. Hailing a cab, I fled to the safety of my parents house…..safe from Kevin. 

KEVIN’S STORY

It was the night of the office Christmas party and I was dreading it. I knew Rita was going to be there. We had a ‘thing’ once which ended badly….for her. These parties…..I only go to them because it’s expected but they really aren’t my thing. I pop in, make the rounds and take off. I was set to leave when Rita snuck up behind me at the coat closet. Wrapping her arms around my waist, she tongued my ear whispering incoherently. When I turned around to free myself, she pulled me into the closet, fumbling with my belt buckle. Rita was grinding against me, her dress riding up to her waist. I was trapped by a drunken sex machine reeking of cheap perfume and bourbon. This is not how I like being with a woman and I was disgusted. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Suddenly Rita went limp in my arms and crumbled onto a pile of coats. I grabbed my jacket and made a beeline for the door. The air was cold  but I knew it would clear the smell of Rita from my clothes and out of my head. 

NAR © 2017