FREE or TRASH

Free or Trash – by Elizabeth McLaughlin

Upon my return trip from the antique store by bicycle at the curb was a tattered cardboard sign that read ‘Free or Trash’. The printing appeared fine but strong. The message caught my interest, therefore, I took a capture, and decided to write a short tale on how I thought it ended up on the side of the road-side. Unfortunately, nothing remained related to the sign, though about a quarter of a mile on the opposite end of the street, I discovered a blue vacuum cleaner and receiver. . .

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It was a beautiful summer day, however, Mark could not see the bright blue sky, puffy white clouds, wild-flowers, green forested trees swaying in the breeze or listen to the sparrows chirping in the thickets. Mark’s mind was fogged and raced in a multitude of directions. He lost his executive sales job at the pharmaceutical corporation over two years ago and financially it became impossible to make ends meet. Mark worked long hours to provide a luxurious home with customized rock masonry pillars and black iron fence that his wife Darcey dreamed about owning. Both held career jobs and became able to pay off a good deal of the mortgage and thought that life would be a breeze. They decided to take out bank loans to improve the estate by adding a swimming pool, luxury patio for outdoor private parties and a pool house attached to the four car garage. Even though their friends lost jobs, Mark and Darcey continued to live with a false sense of being. Only until it happened to them, the economy along with their lives rattled to reality. The American dream became a busted nightmare. The last straw for Mark happened when he sold his luxury automobiles and then the antique Ford pick up truck with tools. He resorted to using his mountain bicycle to make trips to the grocery store. And then the taxes on the property devoured any savings along with the purchasing power to fulfill the basic necessities such as food, electricity, water and insurance. As each month went by the family was slowly being stripped of possessions, automobiles, family heirlooms and even clothing. The trips to the food pantry became embarrassing to Darcey. “This is not fair and criminal. We worked so hard for twenty years to be comfortable but now it’s impossible to purchase a gallon of milk.” Darcey said. Mark was not in the mood to listen, jumped on his bicycle and snapped back, “Remember, you had to have the oval shaped, tiled, swimming pool and were just thinking about yourself and not the needs of this family.” The bicycle disappeared down the long black-topped driveway and Mark could hear Darcey screaming back, “I looked everywhere for a job doing anything, so don’t talk to me about not trying!” At this time, nothing made much sense to the impoverished couple. Luckily, their daughter, Trish attended an international college at the United Kingdom and had no idea about the situation that faced her parents. Mark and Darcey always explained away the holidays to the fact that they would be traveling for business or taking a cruise. Yes, they took every effort to conceal their financial collapse even from Trish. At the end of the driveway a silver Mercedes pulled up to greet Mark and out stepped Dana, a very popular successful realtor from the village with Country Club connections. Her elegant fragrance was familiar to Mark. She confidently planted a exotic leather, high healed, designer shoe firmly on the ground . The scent was Dana’s trademark, and she used this to perfection as a tool to seal the deal. “So sorry the house did not sell Mark, care to relist? We could surely find a buyer of this fine property with another reduction in price. All the realtors and their clients really adored your French Tudor Manor.” said Dana. She paused, with shapely flirting leg in place, for a response from Mark and then reluctantly, slowly, pulled the bright yellow sign from the picturesque landscaped lawn, placed it into the car trunk and drove off leaving her alluring scent wavering in the air. Mark knew that even with a drastic price reduction, the upgrades, excellent desirable location, people could not afford it. And, they have run out of time. Dana brought around bargain hunters, wanting a pre-foreclosure preview or shuddered at the thought of paying such high property taxes. Obviously, they were out of market and miss-marketed for this upscale piece of real estate. Across the road Mark could see their neighbor, nodding his head back and forth, silently pruning his royal red rose bushes. Usually, Spencer, a retired physician was friendly, generally waved but instead he continued to snip at the thorny stems as if Mark did not exist on planet earth.

It was the last day that Darcey and Mark would spend in their luxury paradise gone wrong. Boxes of stuff lined the circular driveway and down to Cardinal Way. They had many yard sales, and at Dana’s suggestion even hired a professional to manage it but no one had the money to spare to spend on frivolous items. Many were found in the same situation and also lost their homes to the bank or County. Mark took out a black, fine pointed tipped pen from his camel-hair coat pocket, printed on a piece of torn brown cardboard, the words, ‘Free or Trash’. With the usual traffic the sign ended up floating in the gentle breeze, landing face-up, at curb-side. Holding hands the couple stepped back to take one last look at the house where they had years of cherished memories and then promptly vaulted into Darcey’s sisters Jeep. They would live with her until a job could be found. Mark tried to be optimistic but knew in his gut they would end up seeking living an alternative lifestyle. The household items sat for weeks with people passing by the opportunity to pick-up unique artifacts, expensive, furniture, lamps, carpets and fixtures. Then groups of poorly dressed locals from surrounding towns arrived to consume metal for scrap. Eventually the neighbors asked a town road-side crew to clean-up the weathered mess. One worker did see the worn out cardboard sign, he glanced down at it, sighed, flipped up his broom and walked away. And this is how ‘Free or Trash’ sign ended up on the side of the road.

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Ghostly Encounter and a Rusted Rimmed Tire

On my walk along the road side, I noticed that someone placed a large used truck tire with rusted brim up against a street sign. The perfect item to write a short story on how it may have ended up on the side of the road. This is part of a series about ‘Things I Find On The Side Of The Road.’ by Elizabeth McLaughlin
052017-9It was sunrise and there Frank sat at a worn out marbled linoleum topped, chrome legged kitchen table contemplating about that days work. Usually the last sip of hot strong coffee from his favorite diner sized ceramic mug always tasted its best! Being in the demolition business  presented a different challenge each day and often required going into Trenton where most of his client base resided. This particular job Jason was going to assist Frank with the removal of a dilapidated commercial warehouse and was already on his way to work. Although, Frank was a contractor he held  an intrinsic conservative work ethic rule. His grandfather always instilled into him that everyone was to be on time whenever it was his dime.
Trenton could be a very sketchy place to work and the warehouse location was far from being situated where modern industry flourished. Frank made a left hand turn onto Chambers Street and the only sign of life was an oversized rat scurrying across the broad street. Abandoned, skeletal framed warehouses were sandwiched in-between a few vacant row houses.  All scheduled for demolition to make room for future development. The old red Mac Truck made its way down a weeded, broken black top driveway, its heavy wide tires drove over parts of broken porcelain sinks and grey metal file cabinets. From a few partially glossed windows faux brown leather office reception chairs dangerously dangled and could crash onto the street at any given time. Jason stood at the entrance to the warehouse, holding two cups of coffee. “This place sure does look like the creepiest job site we have ever worked”, said Jason. Frank nodded and took a sip of coffee and placed it onto a window ledge and then reached into his denim coat pocket for a key to the padlock. And, with a stern look in his eyes, Frank ordered, “Today we have to inspect the structure and start moving some debris out, tomorrow the rest of the crew will come with heavier equipment.” Jason’s eyes almost rolled over thinking how dumb it was to think it really mattered unlocking the padlock because just a few feet away a portion of  metal siding was peeled off the exterior wall. However, Jason knew better and restrained his emotions because it would only stir bad feelings with his macho boss. Frank yanked the brittle deteriorating doors and suddenly both became unhinged, twisted and dropped with a loud bang landing at their feet. They peered upward to see a few wooden ceiling beams had collapsed.  “This building is supposed to be just debri”, Frank gasped. Jason could not believe it, huge wooden spools of cables lined the warehouse floor and at the far end on the second level he spotted a leaded glass enclosed room. “That must be the office, let’s check it out, we can get a better view from that platform”, Frank said. The rotted out wooden stairs were very unstable but Jason volunteered to be first and test its integrity. The antiquated staircase had two platforms and after arriving safely to the first it was Franks turn. Although Frank had a lifetime of experience dodging debri he still took cautious steps, one at a time only to feel the staircase swaying back and forth with each step taken. CRACK! One step collapsed under Franks weight but he was able to recover by balancing most of his weight onto the railing. Upon reaching the platform they both gazed in amazement at the expansive structure. Architecturally beautiful for its industrial days, massive wooden beams formed a linear perspective of pure elegance from the 1800’s. The sun shone a hazy beam of light through the roof-top. Pigeons circled and landed at the other end of the warehouse. “Those F-ing, stinking pigeons made nests inbetween all those iron beams.”, “Now, Terry did not tell me it was a warehouse for old suspension bridge parts. This could be part of the freaking Brooklyn Bridge”, screamed Frank! His voice echoed and bounced off the brick walls that created a massive scattering of  birds.” “Don’t scream too loud Frank, the platform might collapse”, “And, this has to be THE worse job ever case scenario that Terry pulled on us”, Jason whispered. They both decided it was still safe to continue their venture up an iron ladder and onto the next platform leading toward the office.
Oversized, dense spider webs draped the office entry. The wooden door creaked open and to their surprise a few old wooden filing cabinets with matching desks and chairs remained in near perfect condition. Time stood still for many years in this room, even the tops of desks had stacks of papers ready to be filed and a working Remington typewriter. An eerie, unsettling aura filled the toxic air mainly because of all the company portraits that hung on the mold laden cracked plastered walls. Directly in the center of the portraits displayed a photograph that stood out from the rest. It was an extremely angry moustached faced man, dressed in a typical period suit, hair parted down the center and slicked down.   Jason turned and said, “Oh man, this guy is the creepiest. Look at his penetrating eyes, Frank he is following us wherever we move, it seems.”, “I bet he must have owned the business, sorry Frank, but something is not right about his hands being mangled.” In order to gain a better view of the warehouse floor, Jason had to use his leather work glove to remove a thick coating of dust. Both turned their backs to the company portraits in order to glance out the leaded window frame when a distinct number of clicks caught their attention. “Did you hear what I just heard?”, murmured Jason. Frank replied, “Yes, it came from over at that desk with the typewriter.” A frozen tingling sense of fear overcame them that accompanied a natural reaction to panic and dart out the door. But no muscle could be moved.  Instead right before their eyes the gentleman in the portrait appeared in solid form with a grimacing worried smile and quickly faded into thin air. Their paralysis lasted for seconds but it felt like an eternity to the strong men. Suddenly, CRASH! The photograph flew off its holding nail and landed up against the filing cabinets. Picking through the pieces of glass, and overturning the gold leafed, hand carved frame they decided to peel off the thinly worn wood backing. Out fell a yellowed envelope and upon opening it discovered a notepad. Frank flipped through the pages to discover that it was a map of a bridge with hand-written engineering notes. In the introduction was written in elegant script, The Brooklyn Bridge Project.
Jason’s mouth dropped wide open in shocked disbelief. Frank read out loud a notation, “whoever finds this writ shall hold the key to unimaginable wealth!” “I don’t know exactly what we have here Jason, it needs to be studied in detail, so let’s get the hell out of here now!”, Frank said. The office door mysteriously slammed shut, Frank ran to it and grabbed the crystalline door knob. The solid door would not budge so Jason started to kick at it with his work boot. Still the door remained sealed which left the men with only one more option and that was to break the windows. They lifted up the heavy metal typewriter and threw it through the window and climbed over the radiators. It was a frightening experience and the men scrambled for the iron ladder, again Jason went first as it creaked and swayed with the bottom detaching from its brace.  Upon reaching the platform safely, Jason yelled up to Frank, “This is going to be extremely tough  Frank, I hope it can hold your weight!” Jason reached over to a pile of pallets and found a thick rope, attached it to the ladder and tied it to a beam. “This may help some, take your time.”, said Jason. Frank swung over and tightly grasped the iron ladder to make his decent, the upper brackets heaved back and forth, and with a sigh of relief, the rope did its trick. Quickly, Jason started to go down the stairs that swayed even more than ever before. He reached mid-point and the stairs just gave way, hurling Jason like a bouncing rubber band, suspending, darting back and forth over iron beams and spindles of industrial roping. It would not make for a soft landing, only to a pigeon. He clung to the railing screaming until it lodged itself between two wooden posts. Jason precariously positioned his body over the suspended railing. Jason pleaded with Frank, “you have to do something and quick buddy, I will not be able to hang here for a long time.” Frank looked around the platform and spotted the rope that was used to secure the iron ladder. It was long enough and a spools worth of roping. He made a huge thick knot and tossed the end to Jason.  Before he could secure the wooden spindle the iron beams gave way to the wood debris holding it up and Jason plunged down. The wooden spool holding the rope slid towards the edge of the platform and Frank did what he could and even placed his heavy body weight onto the spool to prevent it from moving further. Miraculously, the spool caught the edge of the platform side-wall just right and secured itself. Frank looked over the platform edge and could see Jason dangling, almost lifeless from the rope which he had tied around his waist. Jason looked up at Frank, and smiled and said, “I made it buddy. That was one hell of a staircase!” Jason was able to untie his lifeline and jump to the warehouse ground. Frank was feeling the heat, large beads of sweat dripped down his face. Jason knew it would be a complete embarrassment for macho Frank to call First Responders to save him, therefore, the only decision out of this mess for him was down that rope. Frank decided to make a harness rope, he learned about this process from the First Responders class. At the time he laughed about doing it and vowed that he would never have a need to use it. However, this training class came in handy and Frank was about to make his own primitive harness from a piece of rope and securing a military grade clip from his key chain. “Okay, I am coming down, it should be a breeze”, said Frank. And surprisingly it was, Franks sweat disappeared as he reached to safe ground. They both decided to take the rest of the day off and meet up early the next day at a local diner.
Frank turned his red Mac Truck onto route 206 and all that he could think about was surviving the day and the mysterious contents inside the notepad. That is, until the red Mac Truck dropped. “Shoot!”, said Frank. Yes, he had a blow out and the truck needed to be pulled over to the side of the road for its repair. Luckily he was prepared and had a spare tire on rim ready to go in the back of the truck.  Frank hobbled to the side of the truck, slowly bent down and made the necessary tire change and hopped back up into his cab forgetting the flat tire on the side of the road.
Mitch was travelling to work the next day and spotted the huge tire on the road, decided it was a danger to other vehicles and propped it up against the street sign. And this is how the rusted rimmed tire was found on the side of the road.

A Race to the Finish

One of a series titled ‘Things I Find On the Side Of the Road’ – and write about…

Photo Capture: ‘A Finished Beer Bottle’

Mike popped open the lid of his new racing red, 1967 Ford Mustang. The guys mouths dropped open at Andy’s garage when they viewed the
big block V-8 engine. Tony immediately asked if he could sit in the customized drivers seat and rev up his highly rated performance vehicle. Tony pushed on the accelerator peddle and made the following statement: “It sure doesn’t purr like a kitten but it runs like a Mustang!” Tony asked Mike, “How about you taking this racer out tonight on Route 206 for a test drive against my red machine?” thingsifindonsideofroadbeerbottleHe spit a wad of chewing tobacco through the Mustang window and it landed next to Mikes black leather boot. The group of mechanics turned to Mike, one was dangling a wrench over the hood of his car and there was dead silence as they waited for Mikes response. Then as if in tune to the conversation, a shapely silhouette appeared at the garage office door and the crackling of gum chewing could be heard. Tony jumped up out of the car seat and swung his body over the door. A loud voice squealed, “Tony I thought you were taking me out to the club tonight, aren’t you Tony?” “Yeah, yeah, Annette” he said. Annette walked over swinging her hips to music that blared from the two cloth lined speakers that dangled off a peg board. Her spiked high heals clicked against the oil stained concrete floor as she paced towards Tony. Heavy perfume filled the air and Annette aggressively pointed and tapped one long bright orange manicured nail against Tony’s chest, “You bet-ta be taking me to the dance.” she pouted. The mechanics knew that Tony was under Annette s lustful spell. Who could resist such a package, a natural blond wearing tight jeans, plunging neckline and mid-rift stretched black top. Annette also modeled a Maybelline bust-line that made Playboy centerfolds and garage calendar pinups look like flat chested cut out dolls. Mike was wondering what he got himself into rolling up into the garage. All he wanted to do was show off his new red Mustang! Tony grabbed Annette s probing hand and pressed his face towards her shocking frosted pink lips and whispered, “You got me baby.” The phone could be heard ringing from the office and Annette was confident enough with his answer to retreat back to her job. Tony flipped a small hair comb from the back of his jeans pocket, smoothed back both sides of his black greasy hair while saying, “Now where were we?” Mike reluctantly gave Tony two thumbs up!

Luciano’s was the hot spot in town. A night club where all the bands playing the latest hits, battled over prominence in the county. Thick
cigarette smoke fogged the colored stage lights and Mike pushed through the dense crowd with his date in tow. While ordering drinks a
familiar perfume smell entered his nostrils and he followed it to find Tony and Annette leaning up against the black upholstered bar,
savagely making out. After formal introductions, Annette and Betty proceeded to the ladies room to freshen up giving the boys time to
schedule a race. Annette s favorite song started playing, To Sir With Love by Lu Lu. This did not prevent her from rushing into Tony’s arms
for some slow dancing. All the girls started to scream when the band started to play, The Monkees hit, I’m A Believer. Dancing heads could be seen bobbing up and down throughout the club. The drinks were flying all night long and at two a.m. the bright white lights started to
flicker, signaling the night clubs closure.

Mike and Betty sat in the Mustang waiting for Tony to pull up in his muscle car, a 1959 GTO. Both vehicles with tires screeching against the pavement sped out of the parking lot heading towards Route 206. All the guys were meeting at an intersecting light and Pete would
be holding a green flag to start the race. It was understood that this race would be flat-out, fast groove. The cars sped with Mike in the
lead, handling the Mustang to perfection. Becky looked over her shoulder and screamed to Mike that Tony’s car was smoking. There was a loud bang! Obviously the GTO motor was blown. Suddenly sirens could be heard and lights were flashing as a police car entered into the race. Betty was panicking because she knew that Mike had too much to drink that night. The car window rolled down, and there was a clink. – and this is how Betty’s beer bottle ended up on the side of the road.

 

Easter In December !

One of a series titled ‘Things I Find On the Side Of the Road’

Photo Capture: “Easter Basket Find”

Mrs. Esther Caloway always presents the perfect parties. Esther mails out lovely personalized hand written invitations that include a local artist watercolor rendition of her house. And without any doubt everyone that makes this list also becomes the talk of the community. She resides at the most influential address located on the outskirts of town, down an aged tree lined street that passes a historic church, cemetery, governors estate and overlooks the river. Everyone knows about this Victorian mansion, and it’s famed history. Guests generally arrive early afternoon and parade their polished automobiles through the main white wooden porte-cochere driveway. A butler escorts guests into a parlor room to be served a wicked spiked pink punch and then gather outside the music room to enter the serving room. Impressive, heavy antique pocket doors enhances both entries to this room. The combination of ornate side walls and lengthy shelves creates an impeccable butlers production line.
basketfind4Here the butler tends to elegant limouge dinner plates for serving guests at elaborate dinners. But for this yearly winter event, guests walk through a self service buffet presentation of honey glazed ham, roasted turkey with paprika, tea sandwiches, Waldorf salad and deserts, then reunite at the formal dining room. Usually intelligent conversation bounces off the high stunning ornate molded ceiling and a sixteen foot traditional artificial Christmas tree with Sotheby’s ornaments graces a corner. Esther never has to bother planning on decorating it each year because the tree is kept up every day though-out the year. Esther does admit how it must be a pain for the maids to properly dust on a weekly basis.

This years guests arrived, nuns from the local convent, judges, authors, photographers, reporters, artists, musicians, actors, engineers and the town mayor. All dressed in their Sunday finest for this December 12th, Saturday event. The punch was sipped down and the pastel pink plaid plates topped off with delicacies in one hand and a pastel plaid linen napkin the other. The crowd is summoned into the dining room where a pianist starts a jovial tune. Esther distributes music written on parchment and she encourages everyone to collaborate with song. The sun begins to set over the grand river and its warm last glow of light for the day embellishes the room. Every table displays a delicate hand blown glass basket, containing an assorted spring color Easter egg candy. Delicate, Spring floral roping drapes the grand piano and Waterford Crystal vases are filled with white lilies. The butler, Charles disappears and reappears wearing an Easter Bunny costume and everyone could hardly contain themselves, joking and laughing out loud. basketfind3Esther makes an
announcement that the Easter egg hunt will commence out in the parlor. On the back of the music parchment sheets, detailed directions were highlighted for each guest to find their personal hidden Easter treasure treat.

The Wallace s were leaving the party, and repeatedly thanked Esther for such a monumental Easter in December party. Their chauffeur pulled up the black limo to the grand entrance and the butler handed over a woven Easter basket, the Wallace s fun Easter treasure treat find. He tossed it into the back of the trunk not knowing it did not fully close and off they drove down the tree lined street.

And this is how a beautiful bright colored Easter Basket ended up on the side of the road, December 12, 2015. 

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The Blue Colored Balloon

One of a series titled ‘Things I Find On the Side Of the Road’

Photo Capture: ‘The Blue Colored Balloon’

The door bell chimed and Cindy ran to the grand hallway entrance to be greeted by a circus clown bearing a handful of birthday balloons. Like he did every year, David would not forget to send his special happy birthday signature to his daughter. balloonroad2His job was demanding and as a commercial airline pilot the work schedule often conflicted with holidays and family events. The evening teetered out and the party ended up with cleaning, discussion about the party and as usual, Matthew had pricked Cindy’s favorite colored balloon while trying to pin the tail on the donkey. But Cindy did not have a broad tantrum, instead she picked up the deflated balloon up off the floor and tucked it inside her robe pocket as if it were a treasure. “I can put myself to bed by myself tonight mother because I am now old enough not to be tucked into bed,” Cindy said. Sarah smiled with approval but felt disappointed that her daughter was becoming independent too soon.

The night felt rainy, damp and chilly for the weather forecasts that a storm may develop into a category two event. And only an hour had passed since Cindy awakened to hear a loud boom in the distance, started to cry, and quickly crawled under the purple and white antique quilted coverlet that grandmother made. The bedroom door swiftly opened and her mother immediately rushed over to the banging French windows. Sarah struggled to close the rusted metal latches, however a force were at play that became much too strong for her petite frame to fight. “It’s just a thunderstorm darling and nothing to worry about,” she gasped. The winds howled and pushed, scratching the old oak tree branches against the framed leaded window panes. And then an enormous crash, a tree limb went flying across Cindy’s bedroom with a tremendous speed and landed upon the tarnished brass bed, knocking her unconscious.

White circles appeared winding and winding as if it were a spherical tunnel, the grinding noise, unbearable and then abruptly stopped. Cindy possessed fear, but brave enough to open her hazel colored eyes to see a bright blue sky and puffy white clouds. Swarms of birds navigated in single formation around and around a display of bright colored balloons. She sat up in her bed only to find that it was floating in the middle of a lake! “What am I going to do mother?” “Mother, mother where are you?” she cried out. And at that moment of total despair the birds flew down and perched upon the brass bed posts, each carrying within its beak a bright colored balloon. One Blue Bird advanced towards Cindy’s coverlet and presented her with a bright blue balloon. It was the same color of the sky and her favorite color. She accepted the gift with pleasure from the kind bird and ceased crying. The bed commenced its journey as the balloons drifted it slowly in the direction of the tree lined shore. Mallard ducks, Canadian geese and Swans all followed the procession towards land. Cindy was puzzled at the sight and wondered why they were all wearing funny party hats! The metal bed abruptly thumped onto the shore and Cindy slid upon a light peach sandy beach. She wiggled her toes beneath the sand to confirm if it was real and sound. While still continuing their babbling chatter the birds and party hat fowls proceeded through a thicket, along a path into woods . Blue Bird signaled with a chirp for Cindy to follow. Hesitant at first, Cindy decided that she really did not have much of a choice but to follow this strange crew. And to her amazement the party grew, snails, turtles, frogs mysteriously appeared out of water and off they all went, disappearing into the woods.

Sarah had very little strength left as she tried to encourage herself to lift the heavy limb off her leg. Sirens were heard blaring into the stormy night and throughout the suburban community of Bedford Lake, New Jersey. Electric cables were down and without any lights to see, Sarah blindly made her way over to Cindy’s brass bed. Her hands clasped Cindy’s bloody head. All that Sarah could do was cradle and lay alongside Cindy screaming, “please God help us!”

Chad worked the emergency rescue team night shift and heard faint cries off in the distance. His trained dog, Buck at his side and sensed a needed rescue. Chad noticed a fallen tree that crashed through the front of a house across the street and decided to work his way through the front door and up the winding wooden French staircase. Chad signaled for Buck to climb up first and the rescue dog made it to the top of the stairs, barked, whined and froze in front of Cindy’s bedroom door. Chad looked up in disbelief at the scene, a tree pressed up against the bedroom door and structurally the hallway could collapse! In order to make this rescue, an experienced crew was needed to come in and investigate the destruction to structure. Chad radioed the emergency center for a crew and shouted out to Sarah, “stay calm, help is on its way!”

The shining party hats appeared bouncing up and down in the distance as the fowls, water creatures continued parading down the wooded path. Cindy could see that a few long hared rabbits also filed in line. Music could now be heard in the distance. The music became louder and louder as the group emerged through the woods and into a grassy meadow. It was a very large orchestra that filled the air with sweet sounds. Blanketed squares of purple and white flowers dotted the green landscape. A perfect spot for picnicking! And within each floral square there lay displayed, tiered ornate china trays, decorated with party favors and a variety of mini cakes and sweets to eat. All the fowls, sea creatures and animals took their reserved place and Blue Bird guided Cindy to her picnic party blanket. The treats were devoured, the geese and swans danced neck to neck. Turtles rolled on their hard shells. Cindy laughed and laughed until there were yawns. She could no longer stay awake. Blue Bird calmly fluttered above Cindy and gently placed over her a fine cover of white flowers.

The emergency lights penetrated the thick fog, Chad, and his crew were able to get Sarah and Cindy off to the hospital. There’s
still hope. David finally arrived at the hospital and Sarah, diagnosed with a fractured leg and bruises but Cindy continued to be in critical condition. Day after day he sat beside her bedside waiting for change and grasping her robe that she wore to bed that dreadful night. balloonroad1After feeling a lump at the robe pocket, David reached in and felt the deflated balloon, it rolled onto the floor. He pursed his lips forcing a smile, picked it up and placed Cindy’s favorite colored balloon alongside the purple and white flowers that lined the windowsill. The physicians notified David that Sarah was finally able to go home and he decided to drive her there as soon as possible. Cindy,  left alone in the hospital room and it was as if a miracle happened, she woke up from her deep sleep. She could see rows of beautiful purple and white flowers lining the window sill and a peculiar looking Blue Bird standing as if a guard. He swooped down and grabbed with his beak the deflated balloon and disappeared into that afternoons blue sky. And this is how the bright blue colored balloon ended up along the side of the road!

 

She was Used, Smart, Hidden, Torn … Shattered … but loved by many…

Something beckoned for me to ride further down the road on the mountain bike. Perhaps the lure of discovering more fall foliage captures or something else to find on the side of the road. I passed through the motorcycle parking lot and observed in the spanking shiny windows all the latest clean machines for sale. Then I headed down towards the bright yellow antique metal barn. Right before the barn was a very sad-looking old antique house in need of repair. The occupants obviously were doing fall cleaning and piled up onto the side of the road was all sorts of used items. Displayed at the curb side was a depressed-looking rusted chair, dusty wooden magazine holder, plastic broken toys. There was also a vinyl blue cooler that with some cleaning and duck tape to repair its liner could haul some frozen food, drinks or art supplies. It would make a decent knock around bag to put into my black wired bicycle basket! There was even a pouch compartment for a cell phone! But what really caught my eye sitting atop a sky blue plastic container was an old book with large red type that read Marilyn Monroe CONFIDENTIAL. Who could refuse not picking up this confidential information! I flipped the cover open and started to read about her seamstress views about Marilyn that I never knew about! This intrigued me, so it was tossed into my front basket. I am glad that I did, a totally excellent quick read that delved into her lifestyle behind the scenes. Her obsessed love to being nude and more…

To the left of the rusted chair there was standing a soggy cardboard color print of what I believed could have been Marilyn as a young child. I imagined that it was her sitting on a log, alongside the childhood friend talking about past experiences of living at foster homes and not having her mother to show for any comfort. The book cover tells most about her hidden private life and what it was like living at Hollywood and New York City. And the print incredibly was compatible to Marilyn’s story. Unfortunately, for the soggy color print, some things do need to be left at the side of the road.

Marilyn Monroe, Confidential is a recommended read for those that want to know more about Marilyn!

A Pirates Cap

This morning I was driving the bicycle and stopped in front of the fire house for a breather. Low and behold a car zoomed by and out blowing
in the wind was a pirates cap. Another item to add to ‘Things that I find at the side of the Road’ at LemonChronicle. Pirates CapPerhaps someone noticed my daily drives and the American flag flying upside down on the back of my bicycle. Or perhaps someone noticed that I too was robbed by a pirate! It is only fitting that I should embroider robbed by a pirate on this cap. From property grabbing to nation grabbing these pirates have turned capitalism into pirate-ism and then communism.

I thought it fitting to start a video series highlighting articles regarding the pirates in action at my YouTube Channel moneymagnetelizabeth.