Stories ment to celebrate life,past present and future, not to condemn it.
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LET SILENCE BE THE STRANGER
By Larry Mckinley
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Larry Mckinley
All rights reserved.
OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
He was just an ordinary man. He walked through the crowd as many did. He was not usually in the city, for the crowds made him uncomfortable, but he had business today.
In this crowd, this unnamed man walked silently on his way, alone with his thoughts. He watched as the people walked by, the blonde, she smiled at him, her teeth so white and her hair so perfect. The young man, features so fine, dressed so well, not a wrinkle in his shirt or suit. He watched the older couple so prim and proper, so aristocratic in manner.
The man in the doorway, ragged in dress, a tin cup in his hand, holding it up to show emptiness there, gave a grin and a wink. The man reached in his pocket, there was a dollar, 3 quarters and a ticket to home, was all that he had. With a sigh he dropped the dollar and quarters silently into the cup. The man in the doorway smiled, he smiled back. He turned and again walked into the crowd.
As he turned the corner he chanced to see his reflection in the window there. The hair a little gray and not quite so perfect, the face a little wrinkled as was his shirt and pants, not a lot, but not quite so perfect. His walk not quite as steady as others as he walked on by the business men and women dressed so neat, the perfect hair and posture, all so beautiful and perfect rushing by.
At the next corner he saw a man. This man seemed lost and was looking around as people rushed by. The unnamed man saw a cane on the ground he picked it up and placed it in the blind man's grasp. The blind man thanked him and smiled, then went on his way. The tapping of the cane was music to the unnamed man's ears.
A sharp noise to his left entered his silence, he looked that way and saw his reflection again, an older man, features not so perfect, his teeth not so white and belly not so flat. Still, a smile on his lips as he walked on through all these people, all so beautiful, so serious all, making their mark on the world, some of them big, some of them small.
A small child about to step in the street, cars rushing by; was stopped by his hand as the mother rushed up. She thanked him for changing the child's fate.
Before he opened the door to his destination he once more looked at the reflection, not so perfect and not quite so great. As he opened the door he looked back at all the people he really did envy. All these people were making their mark on the world rushing to their destiny. He hoped one day to make a mark, maybe big, maybe small, just as they did. He smiled and walked through the door, smiling still as the door closed behind him.CHAPTER 2
YOUR TEARS ARE MY TEARS
As I watched the small drop of clear liquid make its downward trek, memories of better days flashed through my mind. The thoughts we had together of pleasant things. Things we shared like laughter. All the times we touched each other, with our thoughts, our hearts and our souls.
But now the tear was halfway on its trip
I remember the good stories we shared.
I remember the arguments we had.
I remember the subjects we discussed.
I remember the friends and family we shared.
I remember the good as well as the bad.
Almost to the floor now
The tear now on the last leg of its journey ... I remember most of all, I remember my love for you, your beauty and caring, your words so wise and true and your love for me, I truly do.
This, my dear is like my tear from you. I can only apologize for my part in this deed. I am so sorry, whatever the reason, whatever the cause, your tears are my tears too.
It does not matter who is right and who is wrong. It matters that I caused a tear; that is wrong. For that please forgive me, for I love you and that cannot be bad nor can it be wrong. Your tears are my tears and that is the song I must sing today.CHAPTER 3
BELIEVE OR DIE
The question is not, to believe, it is what to believe.
She walked beside me existing in my heart and my soul as well. Our steps were in unison as were our thoughts.
We have been together for quite some time but it was short in the time that has existed. This was, is, to be the end of this journey, it is our final goal, the final step on this journey.
I was a little nervous. I am sure she was also. I could feel that in her and am sure she could feel that in me. She had become a part of me and I believe I became a part of her.
This is the final step in this journey. Just before the first step in the next journey. Just one journey in the life of journeys.
She walked beside me still, she with her thoughts I with mine. We touched each other as we had many times before. It was brief but soft and deep with a loving feeling.
I walked beside her still, in her heart and in her soul. Feeling each other strong and true we knew what we knew and we knew what we thought we knew.
It was time now, the time we had waited for, the time we believed would come true. Soon the door would open and we would be what we would be. The believing was over, now it would be true. The door started to open, nervous was I and I am sure, so was she. Was soon to be over, the believing I mean, for now it would sure as to what we would be.
What will happen we do not know. Where the next journey takes us we will see. We can only trust and believe what one day we will know. To get to that door we must do or at least try. Let us believe, let us not die.CHAPTER 4
GIVE ME JUST ONE MOMENT
Please God, whoever controls this creation, give me just one moment, to feel, to love, to see. Let me feel the flowers, the sunshine. Let me feel the wind and rain. It's just one moment creator, it is all I ask, one moment to truly see love to truly feel love, to know love. It is all I need creator and my life would have been full, would have meaning; just one moment before I die. Do not deny me this request.
Is this one thing too much to ask? Just one small moment in all the moments of time, past present and future is all I ask. Will you not let me see, feel and know these things? Why do you keep these things from me?
You speak not, you give not. That is okay creator, I do not worry, I am not sad. If you gave these things, this moment would have no meaning. I will find these things. I will feel and see these things. Then this one moment will be mine because I will have earned it. I will experience this one moment, just this one moment and this small piece of time will belong to me, it will be mine, it will be mine forever.CHAPTER 5
THE FAST TURTLE
Here is my story. It may be true and maybe not. It is up to you to read and decide for yourself.
Long ago before the Universe was in its current alignment there was a land, some say it was a magical land, others say it was nothing special. In this land there were many different kinds of beings, the fastest and smartest of them was the Eltrut. They were wise but sniffy beings. We shall not call them people or animal because at this time, in this land there were no such things.
Every year on the first day there was a carnival. There were games and races. The highest honor was earned in the race of champions. As long as anyone could remember this race was won by a member of the Eltrut. At the end of the race there always was a god from the nearby planet called heaven. The Gods there surly had magical power. They would always grant the winner one wish. Since it was the Eltrut that won, they always requested to be superior to all else. Of course all the other races were jealous of the Eltrut and annoyed by their sniffy attitude. Alas since none of them could defeat the Eltrut no one could get a wish.
Now was the year of the Gods 6968, the year before the great alignment, although none of these beings knew this. This year was also the appearance of a new group. This group was from a passing comet that passed this land earlier in the year. These new beings were called Tibbar. Unlike the Eltrut who walked on four legs with a large hard shell at their back that caught the wind to make them even faster, these Tibbar walked on two legs, short legs, and very slow, almost crawling along at a slow pace. Also these Tibbar were kind honest and caring beings, always ready to help, when help was needed. Unlike the Eltrut, who were disliked by all, they were well liked.
It was the day of the big race, everyone was enjoying the carnival. The Tibbar were all laughing and having fun. The Eltrut as usual were just making fun of everyone. At race time the fastest Eltrut and the fastest Tibbar were chosen for the final race, dont ask how this choice was made, the fact has been lost in time.
The race was for one mile. It involved hurtles, mazes and other kinds of challenges. The starter fired the starter gun and they were off in a blaze of dust, at least the Eltrut was. Now here is where the story gets a little hazy, time seems to do that to some things, or was maybe just the dust of the Eltrut. The race course was lined by all the beings of this land. It is said, as the Eltrut ran, things like rocks, bushes and other obstacles would get in this way, making him change course thinking they were challenges. On the other hand the course of the Tibbar magically appeared to be straight and without many challenges. There was always a cheer for the Tibbar and a jeer for the Eltrut. No one can really say, you must draw your own conclusions but, when the Eltrut finally reached the finish line, the first thing he saw was the Tibbar standing before the God. The God was telling the Tibbar, for all to hear, "This is the last race for this magical land, for this time next year there will be a final alignment of the Universe, whatever the Tibbar wishes will be a change for eternity".
The Tibbar looked around at the silent beings of all kind, seemed to be thoughtful, then said in a quiet slow voice "I wish the name as well as the talents of the Eltrut and the Tibbar be reversed, so each will, for eternity be like the other"
So.... It came to pass, the Eltrut became the turtle one of the slowest on land and sea and the Tibbar became the rabbit one of the fastest. It is also told the name of the winning Tibbar was bunny and for the final year in this magical land the most popular expression was" quick like a bunny"
Now the choice is yours, to believe or not, as for me? I tend to.... well, this I will not tell this will be my secret.CHAPTER 6
I was born into a world both good and bad. Sometimes I was happy, sometimes I was sad. The people that brought me to this land were good people, they tried their best. They showed me love. They did not have much worldly things but shared what they had. Most of the children were better dressed than I. Their toys were bigger and brighter most of the time.
I grew in their embrace, taller and stronger. I remember one day when I was a child, was a bicycle I wanted, when usually I was disappointed, this day I was wrong. I smiled ever so broadly, their love was so strong. Many times I felt weak and they lifted me up. Sometimes I fell and they picked me up.
There were times I was scolded, sometimes I was praised. I remember the bicycle, that material thing that made me so happy and brightened my life. Most of all now that they are gone; I remember most of all, the gift that they gave me, that made me so strong. The gift that they gave me was a place in this world, but most of all they included, most cherished of all, was the gift of a good heart so true and so strong. This is why I will love them, in my heart, forever, even though they are gone.CHAPTER 7
WHO IS THE TRUE MAN
I saw that man, again, briefly. He was the man I thought he was but on the surface no one could see that man.
His name was Jack. Jack was walking toward me with unsteady steps. His body was swaying gently from side to side. I had not seen him for many years. I was surprised at his rumpled clothing and unsteady steps.
Jack had been such a steady force in my life. He turned me to the right path when I was lost. Now, it seemed, he had lost his. As he came closer I saw his wrinkled face, a lot older than I remembered and a lot older than his 47 years.
A few steps before me he looked up and into my eyes. It took a few seconds then his eyes glowed in recognition, his down turned lips seemed to smile. Jack stopped before me, took my hand in his, holding it tightly before letting go. We talked of times gone by. I could tell by his breath what made his stagger and slur his words. It was a shame but I felt no pity. His eyes seemed to glow as we remembered, as we shared a moment of good times past.
Of course this moment would not last. Soon I lost his attention. I could tell the moment he returned to his private hell. I looked over my shoulder as he stepped past, his stagger returned.
I had experienced his return to life for a moment so brief. He was a rock and a tree for himself and me once. This is the day I wanted to be a God, for I could do nothing for this man had died, long, long ago.CHAPTER 8
THE OLD MAN
The white haired man walked slowly down the sidewalk with steady steps, not as steady and strong as they once were but still steady. It was a busy day. People of all sizes, shapes, gender and color were rushing by. He was not happy, he was not sad. He looked on the faces of those rushing by, so intent on their so important business. They did not see his stare, they just walked on by to their destination, each had a life each had a story.
He stopped to wait for a traffic light to change so he could cross the street when he felt a tug on his leg. It was a small girl as cute as could be, a smile on her face as he looked down with a questioning look. She reached with her hand but could barely reach to his knee. She made a small sound that sounded like "mommee" she pointed a finger and he followed the direction and saw a young lady clearly in distress, her hand on the mouth as she clutched at her dress, as many cars rushed by.
The white hair man made a motion to her and took the girls hand. The lady seemed to understand as she somehow felt that her child was now safe, the child that became separated by some small twist of fate.
The girl, as cute as a button, chattered away. This white haired man could not understand much but a broad smile appeared on his lips. The light seemed so long today, seemed never to change. To him it did not matter. He had the small hand that held his so tightly. He had the small girl and he has so much chatter. When he looked down at her with a twinkle in his eye as well as a wink, she looked back with a smile and a sparkle.
The light finally changed and he took a step, taking the hand that held his so tightly. This dark haired little beauty looked up to his face and with a confident air walked out into the street. She walked beside him, two steps to his one. They were strong and confident steps and he knew she felt safe when she looked at the stopped cars and told them to keep their place.
They crossed the street in this manner, so short and so long. They reached the other side and the girl jumped into mommee's happy arms. The young lady gave this white hair man a kiss on his cheek. The little girl, in her mother's arm, looked into his eyes, put her arms around his neck and gave his other cheek a wet kiss.
They went their way, he went his. Was just a moment in a life, was such a small thing he did but his value had risen. The white hair man walked on, his steps still steady his steps just as strong. A smile on his lips, for this day, this one day, would be a happy day. A smile, a kiss, chatter so strange was all that it took. Anything else did not matter.CHAPTER 9
A CUP OF COFFEE
The sun warmed me as I walked down the crowded sidewalk. The cars rushed by as I turned the corner. A lone figure, dressed in a bright red shirt and ragged green pants was sitting on the curb in front of the coffee shop where I usually bought my morning coffee. He held a battered tin cup in his right hand. I could tell by the shaggy beard that he had not shaved in quite a while.
I do not know why he caught my eye, maybe because this is the first time I saw him here. I walked by him into the coffee shop. He did not move but his unkempt hair seemed to blow in the light breeze.
I walked to the counter. I expected this lonely figure to be gone when I returned. I ordered my coffee, med, with cream, no sugar. Somewhere inside me a voice spoke, I turned to the clerk and said "make that two, of the same"
I walked out into the sunshine, the heat hitting me like the breath of a dragon. The ragged man I expected to be gone, but really did not believe, was still sitting there with tin cup in hand. Only the blowing hair to show he was alive.
I stood there for a second or two then sat down beside raggs, the silent name I gave him. He did not move except to take the cup of coffee I held out. He moved it silently to his lips to take a sip. I swear his lips did not move but his face seemed to smile at me with approval. We sat there silent, occasionally taking a sip. Not a word was spoken, not an emotion was felt, but, in the short time I was there I was sure and I do believe, we cured all the problems of the world, we traveled to all the planets in the universe, we felt all the pain and love ever felt, all in just 10 minutes of just one day.
Excerpted from LET SILENCE BE THE STRANGER by Larry Mckinley. Copyright © 2013 Larry Mckinley. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, 3,
2. YOUR TEARS ARE MY TEARS, 5,
3. BELIEVE OR DIE, 6,
4. GIVE ME JUST ONE MOMENT, 7,
5. THE FAST TURTLE, 8,
6. THE GIFT, 10,
7. WHO IS THE TRUE MAN, 11,
8. THE OLD MAN, 12,
9. A CUP OF COFFEE, 14,
10. THE LOOK OF LOVE, 16,
11. THE MUSTACHED MAN, 17,
12. THE BREATH, 18,
13. THE LAST WISH, 19,
14. A WORLD WITHOUT PEOPLE, 21,
15. DREAM WATCHER, 22,
16. JUST 2, 23,
17. THE EMPTY CHAIR, 24,
18. JUST ONE DREAM, 25,
19. THE CHILD THAT WILL NOT BE, 28,
20. SEE MY LOVE, 29,
21. CHAMPIONS IN DEFEAT, 30,
22. THE NOWHERE BUS, 31,
23. THE QUIET MAN, 32,
24. WALK WITH ME, 33,
25. US, 34,
26. THE GOOD MAN, 36,
27. THE ALWAYS LOVE, 37,
28. GODMOM, 38,
29. ALONE, 39,
30. LOYALTY AND TRUST, 40,
31. LUCKY, 42,
32. THE STONE, 43,
33. THE LAST STEP?, 45,
34. FLY WITH ME, 46,
35. THE SUN/SON, 47,
36. THE FINAL JUDGMENT, 48,
37. THE WARRIOR, 49,
38. A DAY WITHOUT SUN, 51,
39. MY SILLY QUEEN, 52,
40. LET ME TELL YOU A STORY OF ME, 53,
41. RAINBOW, 55,
42. THE LINK, 57,
43. THE PRINCE, 58,
44. WALK AWAY, 60,
45. THE LIGHT, 61,
46. RANDOM, 63,
47. THE JOGGER, 65,
48. THE DOVE, 66,
49. SAD MAN, 68,
50. WHO IS THE HONORABLE MAN?, 70,
51. TIME 2, 71,
52. DARK SILENCE, 73,