Month: August 2015

Night Terrors: the curse

PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

June 1970, in an old abandoned hospital

Sandra Berrier was getting worse. Her father toiled day and night, going without sleep for days; he had to find a cure quick.

Trial after trial and no success; just when he was about to give up, he noticed a certain quietness in the lab. All the test subjects were sleeping peacefully. The drug worked!

When they awoke, the subjects were alert and responsive…and pain free.

He injected his daughter with the serum. She responded quickly. “Daddy, I’m better!”

Running to his daughter’s open arms, what he saw next drove him over the edge.

This story is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. click the link to discover more stories based on the photo prompt. For the rest of the Night Terrors series, click this link: NIGHT TERRORS


Night Terrors VI: Locked Cages

This is the latest installment of my Night Terrors series, and my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Be sure to check out the froggy link at the end of the story for more tales based on the photo prompt.

The first tests were easy. Driven by the need to help his daughter, Jonathan stopped at nothing to find a cure. Treating the prisoners as if they were lab rats, he  kept them in locked cages while he toiled with his experiments.

As he infected his test subjects, he was able to monitor any changes in their symptoms. Many of them died on the table, unable to withstand the pain. All this while his daughter dealt with the disease and hardly ever complained. Those men were weak and didn’t deserve to live while his daughter bravely fought for her life.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Claire Fuller
PHOTO PROMPT – © Claire Fuller

career choices

I was sixteen when I told my parents that I wanted to be a logger. My dad almost cried. Dad worked as a logger (and practically anything else he could find) for many years and his only wish was for me (and my siblings) to do something better.

They both coaxed me to do something else, like college or even trade school. I didn’t think I was ready to leave home at 16, so I opted to do a program at a local college. Clerk Accounting was the only program where there were seats available.

Armed with a terrible set of math skills, I attempted the program. I hated math throughout grade school and I hated it in trade school. One thing I did like were the girls in the business courses…perhaps the only reason why I continued the course.

The instructor told me that my writing was atrocious. Not knowing what the word meant, I thanked him for the compliment and continued to do my writing as sloppy as I had been, sometimes even more sloppy in hopes of another great compliment from him. I didn’t get one.

By Christmas it was obvious I wasn’t going to work as an accountant. BORING! Even if I could manage to finish the course, I wouldn’t want to work at this. I missed the outdoors and wanted to work along with my dad, in the woods.

After Christmas, all students in the Clerk Accounting program had to go out on a work term. Mine was with a now defunct building supply company. The owner was insane and never spoke one word to me the entire time I was there, (Two of the longest weeks of my life) and his sons (the manager and assistant manager) were as rude as the senior.

They wouldn’t let me do anything. Each day I was to sit and stare at an empty general ledger. This was done while sitting in an abandoned office next to the toilet. What a smell!

The only time anyone spoke to me was when the toilet was occupied. Being sixteen, nobody took me serious, not even me!

Back at the college for two more months of suffering. Typing and office management courses. I must say, the only thing I took from the entire program was my typing knowledge. I learned to type on an old manual Sears typewriter. I was second fastest typist in the school, bet only by a limber fingered girl who I had a crush on.

Trouble with learning to type on a manual typewriter? I pound the keys. I usually go through two keyboards per year, (Even now!!)

One day the instructor approached me. He said that my math grades weren’t high enough to pass the course (big surprise), and that he recommended that instead of working to obtain a Clerk Accounting diploma, I should work towards a Bookkeeping certificate instead. This meant that I would be moved from the CA class and into a female filled Bookkeeping classroom. Of course I agreed!

I didn’t do well with that class either. I spent too much time looking at all the girls. Remember, I was sixteen. (youngest graduate in high school that year) I bet I would have scored 100% if I was tested on the names of the women in the classroom!

Anyway, once I finished the school year, bookkeeping certificate (worthless anywhere in the world) in hand, I quickly traded my general ledgers and pencils for a chain saw, and did what I always wanted to do….for twenty years.

I am working at a great job now, but still look back fondly on all the years I worked alongside my dad, cutting pulpwood, chatting, and basically loving life.