Showing posts with label shorts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shorts. Show all posts

Saturday, August 17

Sharing Shorts: Screen Door


Squirrel Lake


Screen Door
by Richard Becker

Every summer we migrated north with the birds, flocking to a family lake cottage deep in the woods. My Grandfather built most of it: thick logs fashioned into a home and painted green; big bay windows on the west side to catch the reflection of the sun off the waves; a screen door on the east with a squeak that said welcome home.

It was a retreat where family members gathered to remember some things and forget others, caught up in all the charm and challenge of living the moment. Who would win at penny-ante poker? Who would pull in the biggest fish? Who was old enough to claim their right of passage by plunging into the water and swimming a mile to the other side of the lake? Who would lose their marshmallows in the bonfire made from an old boat that had outlived its purpose?

It was a place with backwood rules. Flush for two but not for one. Flip the bail closed on the spinning reel before the lure touches the water. Never buy bait because it’s easy enough to dig up nightcrawlers in the morning or net minnows in the early afternoon. Expect to clean what you catch unless it’s a Muskie. Never let a screen door slam, and expect someone to call after you if you do. “Don’t let the screen door slam.”

The last time I shut it quietly behind me, my Grandfather was half the man I remembered. Lymphoma had stolen most of him. We didn’t take the boat out or pick wild berries or climb the watchtower. There were no accidents on my uncle’s radio to run to or trails to mark or gardens to tend. We settled on telling each other a few good stories before he lifted a broom above his head for exercise.

It was the last time I ever saw him, and the last time I ever walked through the front door again. The cottage was sold by his second wife a few years later, compounding everyone’s sense of loss with reoccurring emptiness that comes around every summer. Looking back, I should have slammed it.

***

Screen Door was not so much a short as it was a scrap — the first draft of a story that eventually made it into 50 States. For more first look shorts, scraps, and classes, follow my page byRichardBecker on Facebook or, better yet, subscribe to my quarterly newsletter. Goodnight and good luck.

Sunday, December 20

Once Upon A Red Rocket: A Short Story For The Holidays

Once Upon A Red Rocket
by Richard Becker

Lizzy Capland outflanked the outstretched hands of the man in the Santa suit and sat down on the bench beside him. She had turned 11 last June, far too old to sit on someone’s lap.

 “Too old to sit on my lap but not too old to see me,” mused Santa from behind the big white curls of his beard. “Well, hello there.”

“Yes sir, I’m too old. I mean, no sir,” said Lizzy. “I’m not here to really see you. I mean…”

Santa drew up an eyebrow, waiting patiently for her explanation.

“Well, I’m here to see you, obviously,” said Lizzy nervously, trying to find the words. “But I’m here to see you for my brother. He’s eight.”

 “Oh, I see,” said Santa Claus. “And what is his name?”

“Johnny,” she said. “Only he likes to be called John now. It makes him feel older.”

“Yes,” Santa said as if remembering something before offering her a wink. “He’s still Johnny to me too.”

“Then you probably know why he couldn’t make it here himself,” she said, breathing out the words in anxious desperation. “He’s terribly, terribly sick. He has leukemia.”

“It’s all right, child,” he said, putting a bear of an arm around her. “It’s all right.”

“Well, no sir. It’s not all right,” she fought back the tears. “But that is why I came to see you. I want to ask you for a Christmas miracle.”

“Oh, my dear, dear girl,” his voice dropping from merry tenor to a whispering baritone. “As much as I wish I could move heaven and earth to heal all children, it is beyond my powers.”

“I know Mr. Claus,” she said, regaining her composure. “I’m not asking for you to heal him.”

“Then what can I do for you?”

“There is only one present on Johnny’s Christmas list this year,” she said.

“Tell me what it is and I’ll do my best.”

“He wants a rocket ship.” “A rocket ship?” said Santa. “I can certainly do that. What kind would he like? A red one that takes his imagination to outer space or a blue one that can blast off because it’s water propelled or maybe something with a remote control?”

“No sir, you don’t understand,” she squirmed. “Johnny doesn’t want a toy rocket ship. He wants a real one.”

“A real one?”

“Yes, sir. We both know you can’t cure him,” said Lizzy. “But maybe you could build him a rocket ship so he can travel to someplace where he wouldn’t have to be sick anymore.”

“Lizzy,” Santa sighed.

“Please, Mr. Claus? You just have to do something for him.”

“You dear, sweet girl,” he said, shoulders slumped. “This isn’t something I can promise …”

“I know,” she said, defeated. “It’s okay. I knew you weren't the real Santa Claus anyway. What would the real Santa be doing in a mall a few weeks before Christmas?”

“What I was going to say, Lizzy, is that it isn’t something I can promise,” he continued. “But if you believe and I mean really, really believe with all your heart … maybe your wish will come true.”

“You really mean that?”

“It’s Christmas, Lizzy. We are celebrating the anniversary of the miracle of miracles.”

“Oh, thank you, Santa!” Lizzy exclaimed, turning to hug him. “I’ll believe. You’ll see. I’ll believe.”

“I have faith in both you and your brother,” said Santa. “In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the biggest rocket ship you’ve ever seen wasn’t waiting for you and your brother on Christmas Day!”

“Christmas Day? Oh no, that won’t do,” Lizzy said, pulling back. “That won’t do at all.”

“Why not?”

“They don’t know if my brother will make it to Christmas Day,” said Lizzy. “We need it much sooner than that.”

“I see,” Santa sighed again, cupping his chin in thought. “This really is a puzzle.”

“I know,” she said. “It isn’t something you can promise.”

“It doesn’t matter what I can or can’t promise, Lizzy,” said Santa, laying a finger to her heart. “All miracles start from the inside out. Don’t give up on your dreams.”

Lizzy didn’t say a word as she first stood up. The once short line to see Santa Claus had swelled from to two children to nearly twenty, ranging from toddlers being held by enthusiastic mothers and fathers to six-year-old kids with shopping lists spooling out of one hand while using the other to tug at their tired-eyed parents who had become far too practiced in the annual ritual to be engaged.

The length of this line, along with the growing impatience of those waiting, seemed to break Lizzy from her spell. Time was no longer standing still. The rest of the world was waiting.

“You’re not such a bad guy for a mall Santa,” she said. “Merry Christmas.” “Merry Christmas, Lizzy” he said. “Don’t forget. Miracles happen from the inside out.”

She didn’t say anything else nor did she look back over her shoulder as the merry tenor of Santa’s voice returned. He was asking the next kid in line a litany of questions with the same sing-song familiarity of seasons past. For weeks, she had prayed for her brother to be able to visit Santa and hear them too, but those prayers had gone unanswered.

“Did you tell Santa everything you wanted?” asked her mother. “Yes,” said Lizzy, avoiding eye contact.

“So what was at the top of your list?”

“Oh, you know,” said Lizzy. “I really want a gift card to Justice.”

 ***
This was the first part of a longer stand-alone story and I'm sorry I never shared the rest of it here. Nowadays, I'm sharing them somewhere else. You can get updates about them on any social network or subscribe to my quarterly newsletter. Good night, good luck, and Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 24

Sharing Stories: Happy Holidays From Rich Becker


The Christmas Angel 
by Richard Becker

On the day after Christmas, old Joseph sauntered down the stairs as quick as his creaky knees would carry him. His heart was full of wonderment, his laughter-lined face alight with a glow he hadn’t felt since he was a child. 

Maybe today would be different, he thought. Something had to be different.

It wasn’t until he rounded the corner to see the twinkling Christmas tree that his heart began to sink. The scene was the same as he left it Christmas Day.

The white and green bulbs were ablaze, miniature twinkles dancing across the ornaments; tin soldiers and tiny dancers, glass balls, and nutcrackers. The presents, wrapped up in silk ribbons and sashes, were just as he left them. The paper was still snug to its seams, delicately creased and pulled tight like his late wife had taught him. 

Everything on Christmas Day had to be perfect, she had said. It’s too important to neglect. We don’t get many. We best not squander them.

“How many Christmas Days do we get?” he whispered. “How many?”

His wife had managed 68, but her last Christmas was expected. Cancer had taken some of the best of them and spared her the worst of them. The worst of them was yesterday. How many Christmas Days do we get?

“Six,” he said, frightening himself with the conviction in which he said it. 

His granddaughter had six. Yesterday would have made seven, but she never saw more than the anticipation of it. She had opened 14 windows on the advent calendar and he had punched the rest on his own. His tired hands always shook as they did it.

His eyes traced the silhouette of the tree, pausing briefly on the rocking horse before finding its center. She was there, slightly higher, an angel ballerina in the fourth position. His granddaughter had told him it was called a quatrième, one arm in and one over the head, her wings catching hints of green like a veil of illuminated effervescence.

***

“You can open it, Grandpa,” she beamed at him, hands outstretched and holding up the tiny box. “Open it!”

“Open it? Why, it isn’t even Christmas yet,” he feigned his protest. 

“It’s okay, Grandpa. It’s not a Christmas gift, really,” she smiled. “It’s for Christmas.”

“Oh, it’s for Christmas? Then maybe we better save it,” he teased. 

“That’s not what I mean,” she frowned at him. “And if you don’t open it, I will.”

“Oh, indeed you will,” he said. ”Let me at least see the wrapping first.”

“I did it myself,” she smiled. “Everything and all of it.”

“Everything and all of it, did you? You cut the paper?”

“Everything and all of it. I am 6 years old, you know.”

The attention to detail was uncanny. The reflective blue and silver wrapping with its fleur de lis pattern was pulled tight, edges creased by her tiny hands. The silk ribbon was carefully entwined at the bottom so it could be pulled over the sides and tied on top. And then, as a finishing touch, a silver bow hid away where the two ends had been tied together. 

He had opened a hundred presents just like this one. His wife’s meticulous touch was written all over it even if Emily had done this one herself. His daughter never had the same patience, but this precious skill seemed to have skipped a generation and survived. It made him miss his wife all the more.

His big frame swayed at the thought of her, springing up like a wave. The dizziness was so unexpected he barely caught himself. Emily was so much like her grandmother.

“You okay, Grandpa?” 

“Yes, yes. I better sit down at the kitchen table to open it.”

***

Joseph found himself retracing the footsteps he had taken just a few days before, from the living room to the kitchen with his hands clutching the memory of the package. He pulled out one of the vinyl-backed chairs, but didn’t sit down.

“A spot of coffee might do me good,” he had said to her.

He said the same thing again, but there was no one to hear him this time.

“One, two, three, four, and five,” they had counted out the leveled scoops together as he dropped them into the brown cone filter. As soon as he shut the top of the machine, she would push the button in a giggle of delight. She would always push it quick, she reminded him, in case he would have a flash of absentmindedness and follow through with his morning routine as if she wasn’t standing there. 

Once she even made him turn it off it again, right after he had accidentally gone through the motions. But it didn’t matter this time. There was no one waiting to push any button. There never would be again.

***

“Okay then,” he said, sitting down in the kitchen table. “It’s too pretty to be ripped open so I’m going to do this slow.”

As he took hold of the bow, Emily squealed. He stopped long enough to smile at her before resuming his practiced look of concentration, a medical doctor performing a gentle surgery on the world’s smallest patient. 

Clutching each of the loose ribbons, he pulled. They fell away in a cascade, leaving only the fleur de lis wrapping behind. He ran his fingers over the seams looking for tape that held it together and pulled it away. 

“Hey,” he exclaimed. “Now that isn’t that wonderful. You got me a box.”

“Grandpa! That’s not the surprise. Open it.”

“Oh, I thought it might be,” he said. “Silly me.”

The gift paper inside chaffed against the sides as he pulled it up. And there she was — an angel ballerina with her soft white dress fanning outward and her wings outstretched behind. She was perfectly cast, porcelain dressed in fine lace. He was immediately dazzled by every inch of it. 

Her legs were crossed, one in front of the other. Her arms caught in a motion, one tucked inside and the other reaching out to her right.

“This is called a troisième,” she said, mimicking the gesture before starting from the first position and gracefully following through to the fifth. “It is the third position. One, two ... three ... four, five.”

 “A troisième?” he said, looking up again for the first time. “I thought this was an angel.” 

“Grandpa!” she soured.

***

“A troisième,” he recalled, taking in too much coffee with a choke. 

Is that what she had said? Troisième? Or did she say it was a quatrième? It was hard to remember. 

Coffee in hand, he moved back toward the living room. He might not be able to remember, but the angel would. They had placed it slightly above center on the tree together, a position of prominence so it could greet him at eye level every morning and he would think of her.

“Troisième or quatrième?” he asked the emptiness. 

The angel’s hands were held high this time, both over her head, bent to make a graceful soft oval. Cinquième. The final position.

***

“So why do all the positions have fancy names, except the second?” He had asked her. “Premiere, troisième, quatrième, cinquième. But the second is just called the second?”

“I don’t know, Grandpa,” she laughed. “I’m only six.”

“Ah, and so you are. A premiere with your whole life ahead of you.”

***

He winced at the memory. He was wrong. One, two, three, four, five. It was a troisième when they placed it, but a quatrième by Christmas. He squinted at the impossibility of it. He had never seen a cinquième before.

“I’m not crazy,” he frowned. “Not yet. Not yet. It’s just a bad patch.”

He peered in for a closer look. But before he could take the angel in and find any previously unnoticed moving parts, his inspection was interrupted by a knock. His eyes strayed to the windows that framed the front door.

“Expecting someone?” said a whisper as clear as the last day he saw her.

“No, she’s not coming,” he said in time with the second knock. 

“Open it. Open it,” said the angel.

He took a step toward the door, toward the faintest of outlines as he saw it through the glass and curtains that framed it. The sight of it made his heart quicken and each subsequent step faster. There was a girl at his door. 

He was running by the time he reached it and pulled it open.

“Emily?” 

“Oh, Joseph,” she said. “You startled me.” 

He looked at her for a full minute, an awkwardness growing between them before she broke the silence and the spell. The neighbor’s girl stood before him and all the cold raced in on either side of her.

“My mom thought you would like some cookies,” Mary said. “They are not fresh. She made them a few days ago, but we couldn’t possibly eat them all. You know my mother. She likes to overshoot.”

“How nice of her,” he said, pulling at his robe and momentarily embarrassed at the mess. 

“Yes, bring them on in and you along with them,” he said. 

“I’ll put them in the kitchen for you,” she said, walking in slowly, hugging the doorframe with her back to get by him. 

“Or I could just take them,” he said before shaking it off. “Right. Your mom sent you to check on me.”

“Busted,” she shrugged.

“Never do something yourself if you can send a 9-year-old instead.”

“Something like that,” she said. “By hey, I’m turning 10 next month.”

“Yes, I know. Your birthdays were always so close.”

The reference made her pause, stop halfway to the kitchen and set the cookies down on an end table. As she turned back toward him to say something, the tree caught her eye.

“I miss her too, Joseph,” she said, hushing herself and quickly looking to change the subject. “Look here, you didn’t even open your presents.”

He looked at the tree, seeing a ghost of himself lift Emily so she could place the angel. It had only taken a beat before Emily had cut to the punch line. The angel was the opening to his heart.

“There, perfect. Now, about my Christmas list,” Emily had said, pulling a tattered list from her pocket while still in midair. 

He had spun her around as soon as she said it and hugged her, almost falling over in the process. Yes indeed, Christmas Day is too important to neglect. How many Christmas days do we get? One, two, three, four, five ... six. He had filled her list, every last wish. He did it early too, not wanting to waste a minute on procrastination but rather give it all up to anticipation. He could have never guessed he did it too early.

“They’re not mine,” he said. 

“Oh,” Mary said, her face sullen. 

“You open them,” he said. “She never liked anything her age anyway. She always liked what you liked.” 

“I don’t know,” she said. “I should probably ask my mom.” 

“I know,” he said. “Go on, then.”

But instead of leaving on the command, she ran up and hugged him, burying her head in his robe. It was soft, warm, and for the first time in her life she understood why Emily had gone on and on about it. There was something about Joseph that made you feel safe like a cub nestled to some ancient bear.

“No, it’s okay,” she said. “ I can do this. We can do this.”

The two of them sat together for the next hour, Joseph watching as the girl unwrapped the gifts as carefully as he had wrapped them. If the magic of wrapping and unwrapping skips generations than maybe it can skip households too, he thought as he watched her.

As she continued, he shared something about each gift and why Emily had asked for it. Every one of them had a story. One, two, three, four, five of them. There weren’t many, but his granddaughter was never one for long lists. It was always about the giving and gratefulness, much like her grandmother.

“I should probably get back,” she said. “I’ll come back later for everything if my mom says its okay and if you don’t change your mind.”

“She would have wanted you to have these things,” he said. “And this ...”

He held the angel out to her, its delicate features captivating them both in the passing. Even off the tree, the jewels on her dress shimmered and her wings captured the light. She was smiling, something Joseph had never noticed before. Her arms were bent in a soft circle below her shoulders. Premiere. The first position.

“She’s beautiful,” she said. “You should keep her for next year.”

“No, she needs someone with their whole life ahead of them,” said Joseph. “But thank you, Mary. Thank you for making my Christmas wish come true.”

“Merry Christmas, Joseph,” she said, taking the angel from him and giving him a small but comically dramatic bow before turning away.

As she walked down the path, Joseph gave her a final unseen wave, hand up, and shut the door. He slowly walked over to the tree, meaning to bend down and pick up the carefully folded but discarded paper. But then he thought better of it.

He sat down instead and took in the scene. It was another important Christmas, one day late but no less significant. It might have even been the most important Christmas of all. 

He scanned every inch one last time, from the wrapping paper to the tree before settling on the space where he had taken the angel from the tree. It was still there, animated and moving through the positions. One, two, three, four, five. Premiere, second, troisième, quatrième, cinquième. The final position.

“Emily,” he smiled and closed his eyes as she reached out for him. 

She had come home, after all. And now, Joseph could go home too. When Mary and her mother returned a few hours later, there was no one left to welcome them.

###

This first draft short story was inspired by my daughter and her favorite Christmas ornament. There wasn't any other reason to write it, other than to put something down that reminds us all how lucky we are, no matter what.

Happy holidays. May every Christmas be your most important. All of them. Until after Jan. 1 then. God bless.

Sunday, July 29

Writing Fan Fiction: Richard Becker


Yesterday, we launched an unofficial Expanded Universe Short Story Competition fan fiction contest to promote Jericho for the fans, expand its universe (outside of the town where it largely takes place on television), and demonstrate the possibilities of its rich story line. While I don't write fiction all too often (though commercial advertising sometimes crosses over), I thought it might be fun to share a non-submission. It's a good thing I can't submit, because I broke the 1,000 word cap. Ha! Hope you enjoy.

Bacon by Richard Becker

The hearty wooden scent would fill the lake cottage every summer Sunday before the break of dawn. You had to get up early to get some before pitching off the pier with the hope of a catching a muskie in between the ever-abundant supply of perch and northern. The scrambled eggs and bacon already cooking on the stove made the early morning wake-up call bearable.

Grandma was always good about that, sneaking out of bed almost half an hour before anyone else just to start us off. She didn’t need an alarm clock to do it. It was Sunday and she’d say that’s how every summer Sunday ought to be.

She made it easy. With a smile and quick kiss on the cheek, she’d wave us off just as the white caps sparkled silver in the sunlight as it peeked above the tightly packed tree line; white cedar, jack pine, green alders, and birch.

And every Sunday, it was the same. Four lines dropped into the water, two near the boat with fresh minnows to pick up passers by and two cast out with our respective lures. My grandfather charged nothing more than the price of a little company.

“You’ll never catch any today,” he said, pulling a white handkerchief from his pocket and clearing away his rusted lungs.

“You always say that.”

“And even if you do, you can’t eat it,” he said, looking out in the distance. “You wouldn’t know … “

“Hey, you were there … I caught that …”

"Shush now,” he said, looking at me like a stranger. “We’re not alone.”

“What?”

My head hurt as the quiet swell of a rocking boat replaced itself with the hard, compacted ground from the night before. My eyes stung in the light as the campfire smoke circled around in my direction.

“I said … shush now,” the stranger said. “You’re not alone.”

I reached for the G36, a rare find, lifted from the trunk of an abandoned police car outside Charlotte a few days ago; maybe weeks.

“Don’t bother,” he said. “I’m not taking any chances with you blowing my head off or even your own. What’d you do to get this gem anyway, kill a cop?”

“Where’s my stuff?”

“Don’t worry yourself none about it,” he said, cracked lips breaking a smile above a wiry beard, graying red. “You’ll get it back. I only want one thing from you anyway.”

“What?”

“Fair trade,” he said. “You have a fire. I have the bacon. A little company.”

Bacon. I had almost missed the scent of it under the smell of ash. How long had it been since I smelled bacon? Weeks? Months? Probably a couple dozen years, before I took to squandering Sunday mornings with a Power Bars, coffee, and whatever remedy was required to cure the hangover from the night before. But even that seemed like a lifetime ago since the country broke apart.

“Yeah, sure, whatever,” I said.

“Yeah, sure, whatever,” he winked, grinning like a wood elf as he looked over the G36. “So what? You killed a cop? This ain’t issue everywhere, you know.”

“Be careful with that.”

“Be careful with that,” he mimicked. “Bah, somebody else might have already killed you. Pretty foolish, if you ask me, drinking yourself away like that.”

“You were watching me?”

“Yeah, I was watching you. We’ve been headed the same way for days, not that you’d notice,” he set the gun down beside him. “Would’ve said hello sooner, but I figured you might shoot me. Ah heck, suppose it doesn’t matter how you got it. Even if you said you didn’t kill a cop, I probably wouldn’t believe you.”

“I found it, so what?” I muttered, leaning forward out of the smoke to get a better look. Bacon. The smell was strong enough to cover up the taste of stale VO from the night before.

“See. You told me and I don’t believe you,” he squinted his eyes and drifted. “So what. So what. So what if I just came around last night and … fsshtp, fsshtp … skinned ya stem to stern. Oh, don’t think I didn’t think about it, either. I’ve killed people. Korea, Vietnam. You wouldn’t be the first. Probably not the last the way things are. But then … I saw what you did, helping those folks down the road a few days ago. They won’t do it, so I thought I’d pay it forward for them.”

“Pay what forward?” I said, seeing that bacon wasn’t the only thing on the fire. It was weak, but the tawny colored water in the pot was close to coffee.

“Tell you a secret,” he leaned in. “Shhh… you’re going the wrong way.”

“How would you know?’

“It’s Rome, I imagine. You’ve been headed mostly north but staying clear of hot zones,” his animated eyes remembering. “Whoosh. You should’ve seen it down near Miami. Poof. Gone. All gone.”

“Yeah, I am going that way, maybe to help,” I said. “So that’s where you’re from, Miami?”

“Me, no. But I went south from the panhandle before I went north,” His smile faded. “Hell of a mess down there. Hell of a mess. People herded up like cattle into camps. All of them, those who live there and now all those greenhorns running from winter. For most, I suppose it don’t matter where they go. But me, no. I’m what you’d call retired.”

“But you said you’re going to the same way?”

“Not to Rome. They’re making government in Rome.” He laughed. “Government made this mess; so you can bet it won’t be fixing it. Everybody all taking up arms, drawing boundaries, calling themselves these United States. Over in Rome, they’ll either kill ya or draft ya to kill other folks. Here… it’s done.”

It was burnt, dry, and hard to keep from crumbling. But even so, it was almost as good as every summer Sunday. No, not as good as Grandma’s by a long shot, but with most days serving up only canned goods and beef jerky looted from houses long abandoned, it might as well have been steak and eggs.

“Thanks,” I blinked. “So where then, if not north I mean?”

“You? Go west,” he said, pouring off the contents of the pot into two well-used tins. “They weren’t hit too hard out west. Some folks are even trying to live free.”

“West? I thought Lawrence was gone.”

“Lawrence is gone,” he said, pursing his lips around a strip of bacon. “So don’t go through Lawrence. Go, I dunno, go around to New Bern or someplace. Hell, go to Jericho. I dunno. Go anywhere the masses aren’t headed. Besides, you might like it. I lived in Kansas before my wife convinced me to retire to a trailer park.”

“So is that were you’re headed now. Kansas?”

“Me? No, I’m too old,” he said. “So I’m going to my real home. I'm going to Providence.”

“Kind of close to Boston, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, but home is home,” he smiled, tossing the rest of this coffee on the fire and pulling a white handkerchief from his front pocket. “For young folks like you, go live free or whatever. For old folks like me, well, home is good enough.”

“Yeah, right,” I said. “Jericho, huh? Why not.”

“Why not,” he smiled, humming to himself as he passed over my pack and the G36. “When the world is all on fire and overrun with man’s desire, why not Jericho.”

“Appreciate it,” I said. “I mean the company.”

“Now don’t shoot anything with that,” he waved me off. “Even if you do, you can’t eat it. There won’t be nothing left to take for granted.”

“You always say that,” I said.

“You wouldn’t know,” he said, reminding me we just met.

But he was right. There was nothing to take for granted. Not bacon. Not coffee. Not a little bit of company.

Disclaimer: "Jericho” and its related characters are the property of CBS Paramount Television Network and Junction Entertainment. This contest is solely for entertainment purposes. Neither Richard Becker nor Copywrite, Ink. is affiliated with CBS or Junction Entertainment.

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