Grocer and Writer Inspirations

On June 30, 2019, it will be five years since I began writing my infamous “Grocer and Writer” stories. I have caught both flack and praise for writing them and yes I’ll admit that they are quite polarizing. In 2016 and 2017, I had written offshoots of them, trying to be less offensive, but I haven’t been able to elaborate on them as much as the original stories.

In this piece, I will try to document every source of inspiration that I drew from in order to create these stories.

It is a love story between a mildly Autistic young man who is a twenty-two/twenty-three year old Grocery clerk and his girlfriend, a plus sized seventeen/eighteen-year-old honor student turned high school dropout. I know that in and of itself brought a lot of flack due to the high amount of controversy, but I was only trying to teach that everyone deserves to be loved.

I will say that I met my girlfriend over four years after beginning writing these stories, but as I got to know her more and fell in love with her, I realized that there are many ways she reminds me of the young lady in these stories. She reminds me of other good female characters in the stories I write as well. And not only that, when I read them to her, she smiles at me from ear to ear and stares at me intently and with great focus. She is never offended or disgusted like so many others were when I presented those stories to them.

These weren’t written in chronological order, by the way, they were written as the inspirations came to me.

On June 30, 2014, I wrote my first piece of the series. I had previously worked as a grocer for a company I had hated, but this was 2010-2011 and there were no other jobs available, little did I know that working for this said company would cause me to draw so much inspiration. The piece takes place in January and starts off with my male character whom I now will name Garth Cooper getting off of work from his God awful grocer’s job. The name of the store where he works is known as “The Downtown Grocer” and its location is based on the New Orleans Central Business District. He fires up his old car, a 1989 Toyota, and heads to his girlfriend, an honor student turned dropout, whom I have now named Samantha Abbott, parents’ house in the suburbs which are based on Metairie/Old Metairie (a suburb directly West of New Orleans.) He brings her to his house, which was based on my Maternal Grandma’s house located in Metairie, but instead his neighborhood is based on Mid City, New Orleans.

In early July 2014, I wrote a piece on how they met. It is Thanksgiving and Garth Cooper is in the municipal park, writing stories in a composition book. He has the day off and uses it to focus on his passion, writing love stories. The park is based on New Orleans City Park, but also Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. The fictitious city in which they reside is inspired by a combination of New Orleans, New York and Detroit and their respective suburbs. While Garth is writing in the park, Samantha takes a walk to the park to get away from her arguing parents. She first notices him and is attracted to him. She is able to get him to allow her to sit with him, even though you, the reader, will find out that she is seventeen and he is twenty-two. At first, he is reluctant but realizes no one else wanted him. They exchange phone numbers and he reads to her, making her want him all the more. The end up a couple and sit together until the sun and Mercury go down. He drives her home, concluding the piece.

In either July or August of 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of a day at Garth’s God awful job, which is based on some personal life events I had previously experienced and Samantha’s miserable home life, which was done by observing others I had formerly known. It takes place on The Winter Solstice. As mentioned before Garth’s job at the Downtown Grocer, which is located in a neighborhood based on the Central Business District of New Orleans and Samantha’s parents’ house takes place in a neighborhood, based off of Old Metairie, which is a suburb to the immediate west of New Orleans. Garth is on a break along with the male janitor and the female cook. He is texting Samantha when the janitor sees the bliss in his eyes and wants to know if he is talking to his girlfriend. Garth says he is and talks about how he loves and reveres her. The cook then starts badmouthing Samantha as she cannot stand to see a happy or chaste couple. Garth stands up to the cook and to which she threatens him with an edged weapon. All in all, Garth threatens to record her making the threats and turn the recordings over to the police to which she quiets down. Then the break is over, to which Garth begins stocking the shelves. A gentleman asks him to help him find the remoulade sauce and then helps him get some fresh fish from seafood. Garth takes care of his customer, who we later find out is none other than Samantha’s dad. The assistant store director chews Garth out for conversing with the gentleman, to which the gentleman backs him up. The assistant store director comes down harder on Garth and the gentleman overhears to which he cancels his revolving account and says how neither he nor his business partners will ever shop there again because of the way they treat their employees. Garth is forced to stock the boxed gelatin from now on. Meanwhile, Samantha is in her room listening to one of the music channels. Her pill-addicted mother is woken up by the music. She accuses Samantha of stealing her Xanax and threatens to beat her. Samantha calls her dad, to which he intervenes and tells his wife to look under the sofa for her stash. She then takes the Xanax and crashes. I wrote another piece following this where Garth gets off of work and goes pick up Samantha, then brings her to his home, which his neighborhood is based on Mid City, New Orleans. They tell each other about all that went on during the day over a simple dinner of oatmeal. Both contemplate only in their minds that they should live together as soon as Samantha turns eighteen. Then they discover their synchronous thoughts. The piece concludes with Garth looking at the clock on his dining room wall and realizing that he has work tomorrow. She tells him how she doesn’t want to go home and be around her mother. So he lovingly tucks Samantha into the bed in his extra bedroom, then goes to sleep in his bedroom, concluding the piece.

In August of 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of their first time being intimate with each other. It takes place on Christmas Eve, and Pachelbel’s Canon in D Minor had a lot of inspiration for it. Yes she is seventeen in he is twenty-two, and while they didn’t fully realize that she was legal they lovingly had sex anyway. Since the location of these stories is mostly based on Louisiana and the age of consent in Louisiana is indeed seventeen, no laws were broken. The piece begins with Garth getting off of work then going pick up Samantha from her parents’ house. He then drives her to his house and they sit on the sofa. He offers her virgin egg nog, to which she says she shouldn’t drink because she is so fat. He reassures her that he would love her no matter what size she is. Garth then turns his television on, to where he learns of several murders that occurred over the past twenty-four hours and he also learns of the world preparing for global conflict. Samantha suggests that he turn the television off and that they focus on each other. She then confesses that she wants to be intimate with him. He doesn’t know that seventeen is legal, so he is hesitant. She convinces him that they are not guaranteed tomorrow and they should make tonight worth it. She says how she wants him so badly because he accepted her when everyone else she was interested in so cruelly rejected her. Eventually, he agrees and they go to bed together and deflower each other, falling even deeper in love.

Later in 2014, I wrote a piece of their first date together. It takes a place a week and a day after they met and became an item or a week and a day after Black Friday. Prior to this they had been religiously texting each other and getting to know each other. He calls her and says how he’d like to take her on a date to a place that is based on The Riverwalk in New Orleans. She agrees, and as the phone call is finishing up they exchange those three little words! She gets dressed then texts him that she’s ready. He comes to pick her up and they go to his job to pick up and cash his check. They hold hands in the store until his boss the assistant store director orders them to stop holding hands. He cashes his check and pays the $5 cashing fee, then they go to the Riverwalk. They eat breakfast at a restaurant based off of Cafe` Du Monde, then they have lunch at a fish and chip shop, based off of the Louisiana seafood restaurant Spahr’s, which doesn’t have a presence in New Orleans. He then buys her a Casio Baby G watch at a gift shop. Afterward, they walk until the sun goes down and he takes her home. They plan to see each other again on his next day off.

Even later in 2014, I wrote a piece consisting of the night before Samantha’s eighteenth birthday and her moving in with Garth. It takes place in early February. It starts with him getting off of work and heading to the suburbs to pick Samantha up. It is a very cold evening. She is waiting for him on her parents’ driveway. His headlights illuminate her stature. He gets out of his car then opens the door for her and she gets in. He drives her to his house and they settle in. He asks her what would she like him to order her for her birthday dinner. She says something Asian. He begins to look through his telephone directory, to which she replies how she has an app to order it on her phone. She orders and soon the delivery man comes. Garth takes the food, pays him then escorts him back to his car. Afterward, they eat dinner in the dining room, to which Samantha says how the food made her sleepy. They go to bed, this time in the same bed and cuddle, soon falling asleep in each others’ arms. They are awoken by the loud noises and subsequent explosions of a train derailment. Since this series takes place in New Orleans, but in the future almost, I had written it to where the Norfolk Southern Back Belt line was actually rerouted from Old Metairie to Mid City, though this has yet to take place in real life, a little over four years later. The train derailment knocked out transmission power lines and caused a blackout. Samantha looks at her phone and sees how it is midnight and she is now legal to stay with him. A few minutes later, however, there is a knock at the door and a policeman, I haven’t decided if it was a state trooper, a railroad special agent or a city cop, orders them to evacuate.

At another point, sometime before July of 2015. I wrote the piece which takes place in the early morning hours of Samantha’s eighteenth birthday. They are complying with the policeman’s orders and leaving the city. Traffic is very dense as they discuss where should they go. Samantha says she doesn’t want to be with her mother. Garth says the only other option is to go to his parents’ house which is five hours away. She agrees. Traffic is still at a standstill. Finally, traffic begins to move. At some point, Garth calls his mother and explains the situation to her. He tells her that he also has his girlfriend with her. The route I planned to have them take is based on Interstate 10 from Mid City, New Orleans to around Gonzales, Louisiana with its junction with US 61/Airline Highway. They continue towards Baton Rouge on US 61 then west on US 190 until its junction with US 71, between Port Barre, Louisiana and Krotz Springs, Louisiana where they head North. They stop at a diner for food and fuel in a town based on Bunkie, Louisiana. Garth goes to pay for the gasoline, but Samantha insists that she will pay instead and that he can repay her “all night long.” She then hands her debit card to the cashier, to which she says how she thinks they are so cute. In July of 2015, I once met a cashier at the Race Trac in Paradis, Louisiana, who very much reminded me of the cashier in this story. As they explain the situation to the waitress, she gives them free food and a thermal mug with the company name on it. These two pieces were inspired by the Country song “Callin’ Baton Rouge.” In fact since Garth Brooks covered that song, I named my male character Garth, his surname Cooper comes from Dr. Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory, since they are both on The Autism Spectrum, but still high functioning. By the way, Samantha also got her name from that said song and she is indeed “A strange combination of a woman and a child.” The last name Abbott comes from the Abbott family on “The Young and the Restless” since her dad is a business executive and reminds me of a combination of Jack Abbott and Victor Newman. I already had created a character with the last name Newman in another story I wrote, so that is why I used Abbott. I did watch Y&R a little before creating this series, but I didn’t watch Big Bang until years after creating it. You will see that Garth’s mother is also a lot like Sheldon’s mother, which was totally by accident. Anyway, after eating and talking with the waitress they get back on the road. The diner was partially based on “The Highway 71 Sandwich Shop” which was located in Bunkie, Louisiana, but I don’t think is any longer in business. They continue North, at some point deviating from what is based on US 71 and ending up on the Northeastern Louisiana Delta at Garth’s parents’ soybean farm. They are greeted by his mother.

In June of 2015, I wrote a piece taking place on the Sunday after their first date. Samantha texts Garth and asks to come over. He is just waking up but gladly accepts. So he drives to her parents’ home and picks her up. He then drives her to his home for the first time. He warns her about his shady neighbors and states that his home isn’t the best. She states that it doesn’t matter to her. After they enter he reads to her from his computer until he hears her stomach growling. He asks if she is hungry. She replies about how she is and that her mom went on an eating binge and ate all the food in their house. So he feeds her some pork n beans, the only food he has in his house. She wolfs them down. Afterward, they watch Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 on broadcast television, while they snuggle on the sofa. After watching the movie, they eat rice pudding and drink a coffee, chicory and milk blend then he takes her home.

Sometime in the Summer of 2015, I wrote the piece which takes place on Christmas Day. It starts with Garth making a breakfast of French Toast for Samantha. She is sitting on the bed doing research on her smartphone and finds out that she is legally at the age of consent, despite still being seventeen, in their state (which is based mostly on Louisiana where seventeen is indeed the age of consent), unbeknownst to Garth. He serves her breakfast and they awkwardly eat. She says how he should meet their parents since it is Christmas Day. There is freezing rain but they head out. During the car ride, Samantha says that she did some research and found out that she is legal. Garth is confused and asks what do you mean. She explains that seventeen is the legal age of consent in their state and that he didn’t break the law. She then confesses that she is afraid he won’t feel obligated to stay with her now that he knows this. Garth assures her that there isn’t anything in creation that could cause him to leave her. She asks him point blank what if he got her pregnant. He then said how he would then marry her and that he already wants to, its just he cannot afford a ring on his low wages. Samantha brightly beams after hearing this. Her dad then calls wanting to know where she is. She explains who she is with that he is good to her and that he does indeed love her. She then says that they are headed to the house at the moment. Upon arrival they ring the doorbell and Samantha’s dad answers, saying how they’ve met before. Samantha is confused and wants to know how. Her dad explains how he waited on him and The Downtown Grocer and took very good care of him, but was punished for talking instead of working. Garth says how he is on thin ice because of that incident. Samantha’s dad says how he can easily get him a better job but wants to make sure that he is committed to Samantha first and then asks how did they meet. Samantha interjects and tells the story and goes on to say that Garth is the only one who accepted her despite her weight. Her dad then says how she has an underactive thyroid gland and the weight is not her fault. He goes on to say how it tore him up seeing her rejected and lonely all the time. Garth despite being Autistic looks him in the eyes and says how he knows rejection too and that Samantha is the only one who wants him despite his quirks and awkwardness and that he would never dream of breaking her heart. Her dad then says how he is holding Garth to that statement and knows people who could tar and feather him. He then invites them in for Christmas Dinner, which is Asian takeout since he refuses to shop at The Downtown Grocer anymore. Samantha’s mom enters the room and asks Garth who the hell are you. Samantha replies that’s my boyfriend mom, don’t embarrass me. Her dad quickly says, let’s all eat, it’s Christmas and it should be peaceful. Thus the piece is concluded.

On November 7, 2015, I was sitting in the Paradis, Louisiana library and wrote the piece on when Samantha meets Garth’s parents while evacuating from the train derailment. After being greeted by his mother, she suggests that they must be tired from their trip and that Samantha can have his old bed and Garth can sleep on the sofa. Samantha becomes very distressed and Garth says how that is not necessary because they are both adults. Garth’s mother asks Samantha her age, to which she replies how she just made eighteen and she was in the process of moving in with him. This upsets Garth’s mother even more because they aren’t married. Garth’s dad wakes up and walks into the kitchen, wanting to know what is going on. Garth tells about the terrorist attack. His dad curses the terrorist groups. His mother commands him to explain the rest. Garth says how his mom is angry because he and Samantha want to sleep in the same bed. His dad tells her not to be so hard on him and they thought he wouldn’t ever find anyone because of his condition. Samantha gets very upset and wants to know what condition he has because she thinks it is something life-threatening. Garth’s dad says that he is mildly Autistic. Garth then looks at her and says how he was afraid to tell her because he thought she would leave him. Samantha replies reassuringly how she never would leave him because he loves her and reveres her. She then goes on to say that she is so fat anyway. Garth tells her that he likes her beautiful curves and that he feels bliss holding her at night. Garth’s mother then sharply commands him to watch it. Garth’s dad suggests that they all hit the sack. Garth’s mother walks to her liquor cabinet and takes a shot of whiskey, then another and tells them to do what they want. Garth’s dad shows them to the bedroom.

In March of 2016, I wrote the ending piece [but not the final piece.] Garth has now become a famous writer, so he fixed up his house, bought a new truck, a new computer and an engagement ring for Samantha. He then drives to her parents’ house to pick her up. He had asked her dad’s permission to marry her the previously to which he happily agreed. Garth then opens the passenger door for her and helps her in. He then drives her to the park. After they arrive, he suggests that they go sit on the bench where they sat when they first met. After sitting for just a moment, Garth gets down on one knee, pulls out the ring and proposes to her. Her eyes swell with tears and she happily says yes. The cook from his former job is in the park with all of her illegitimate children. Garth stands on the bench and says how he just proposed to the girl of his dreams and she said yes. Everyone in the park claps and cheers. The cook then starts yelling to the crowd how Samantha is fat and Garth is retarded and that they will be on disability and all of them will have to pay taxes to support them and any children they have. Garth then stands up to the cook and says he actually got a job as a romantic novelist, but that probably means nothing to her. He then says that either she leaves them alone or he will call the police. The cook pulls out a revolver and shoots Garth dead. She then aims for Samantha but several people wrestle the gun from her. Samantha sees Garth dying and her heart explodes. She then collapses on top of him and dies as well. The cook in these stories is based on several women whom I had the unfortunate experience of being acquainted with over the years. She is basically violently jealous of Samantha because she is only intimately known to one man, Garth, who exceedingly loves and reveres her at that, whereas the cook has children for several different men all who used her. The piece was also inspired by Meghan Trainor’s song “I’m Gonna Love You Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” That song was popular around that time. I actually caught a lot of flack for writing this, especially from my then wife, now ex-wife. After writing this, I decided that the series was too offensive and the world wasn’t ready for it, so I decided to start writing other series, “A Train Conductor Meets a Disabled Writer”, which I haven’t had much success with.

In November of 2016, while sitting at the Raceland, Louisiana library, I wrote two more pieces covering the time Garth and Samantha spent in the country while they were evacuated from the train derailment. It starts off with Garth and Samantha waking up in his old bed at his parents’ house and finding out that the heater isn’t working. Garth turns on his flashlight that he had packed (a vintage First Alert Ready-Lite that came with his house) to check the thermostat but then the bulb burns out. Samantha calls for him to come back to bed, which he does until they are both overtaken by the hunger pangs. So they walk to the kitchen where Garth’s mother is putting pancakes and bacon on the table. They eat, though there is great tension in the air. Garth says how the heater is broken. His mother corrects him and says how it is just out of oil. She then tells him to make himself useful and to go to the hardware store and get more oil. Garth says he plans to go there anyway to get a new bulb for his flashlight. Quickly they leave the house and go into town. They arrive at the hardware store just as it is opening up. Other customers are being waited on, so Garth and Samantha walk around the store. Garth meets the owner’s son and a former classmate of his while Samantha takes a call from her dad and goes into a corner. The owner’s son was once a football star but ended his career in college from an injury. He says how he now tries to be the best hardware salesman he could be. Garth explains how he is in town because the city he lives in was evacuated because of the train derailment and he needs bulbs for his flashlight and oil for his parents’ heater. The salesman looks in the computer and says there are five bulbs left. Garth says he will take all five of them, then says he’ll be paying cash for the bulbs but to charge to oil to his parents’ account. The salesman suggests he buy a Mini Maglite LED flashlight because the power might be back on to charge his flashlight. Garth says he doesn’t have enough cash for both the bulbs and the Mini Maglite. The salesman says to charge it to his parents’ account. Garth says they would be livid if he did. Samantha comes out of the corner from her phone call and says how she will gladly buy the flashlight for him like she bought gasoline for him at the truck stop. She goes on to say how he can pay her back all night long. Several people point and stare at them, then whisper amongst themselves. Garth charges the oil to his parents’ account, pays cash for the bulbs and Samantha buys him the Mini Maglite LED with her debit card. At the time of writing this, I had never been to Northeast Louisiana, in fact, the first time I had gone there was in mid-April of 2018. The hardware store reminded me of one I had worked at, in Houma, Louisiana, just in a more rural setting. It also reminded me of one in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Earlier in April of 2018, I went to a rural hardware store in Napoleonville, Louisiana, and purchased a Mini Maglite LED just like the one featured in this piece. I was trying to recreate and live out these stories in my own weird way, I guess. The piece concludes with Garth opening the car door for Samantha and then getting in the driver side. His mother calls him on the phone wanting to know why he and Samantha were acting lewd in the store, because of her saying he can pay her back all night long for the flashlight. She then commands them to hurry and come home because it is freezing there. This scene was based on a campaign speech I heard from Mike Huckabee where he stated that he lived in a small close-knit community and if he did anything “wrong” several people would have already called his parents to tell them, before he even got home. Also, I grew up in a small town and lived in another (Raceland, Louisiana and Mathews, Louisiana) where the people there are a bunch of nosy busybodies. I have yet to bring my girlfriend around these towns in public because I know that everyone there will see that I am not with my ex-wife, despite my divorce being final since October 11, 2018, and that there will indeed be a lot of pointing and staring. Quite a few phones would probably start ringing as well. The second piece of this begins with Garth driving Samantha back to his parents’ house and explaining to her that the people in the hardware store called his parents’ house about the comments she made about him paying her for the flashlight and that he is not angry with her and that he indeed will pay her back all night long, but she needs to be careful what she publically says and does in a small town. He comforts her by saying that she probably never went to a small town and didn’t realize that “everybody knows everybody”-a line from a certain Tracy Byrd song about living in the country and that small town people are busybodies. They soon arrive at Garth’s parents’ house to which he hands his mother the tank of oil then they go to his bedroom. Garth installs a new bulb in his flashlight then opens up the packaging of the Mini Maglite LED and installs the batteries and turns it on. He is impressed by the brightness and reminds Samantha that he will indeed pay her back all night long with tips and interest compounded nightly. His mother is secretly listening to the conversation, then barges in and wants to know from Samantha how long have they “been screwing out of wedlock.” Garth tells her she doesn’t have to answer that. His mother says for them to find another place then. Samantha breaks down and says, how they first had sex on Christmas Eve. Garth’s mother gets angry with him and accuses him of charming Samantha. Samantha said how he didn’t charm her, that he does write beautiful stories but she wanted him before that and he was the only one who didn’t reject her, despite her size. Garth’s mother then insists that if they will live like a married couple then they will have the responsibilities of a married couple. She orders Garth to help his dad on the farm and Samantha to help her cook and clean. She even forbids them from sharing a kiss before going to work. Garth sulks, walks to the barn and enters, turning on his new flashlight. His dad is impressed by the brightness. Garth says how Samantha bought it for him. His dad says she is a keeper and that he had been praying that he finds someone. Garth says how his mother isn’t happy about the relationship to which his dad says she just doesn’t like seeing him all grown up. Garth says how his mother wants him to work on the farm for as long as he stays there. His dad then asks him to help change the fluids in the tractor, then to organize the barn, as he used to when he was a child. He has said that it has gotten into disarray since he moved out. Garth’s dad is loosely based on Noah Calhoun’s dad from “The Notebook.” Garth spends the day organizing the barn until the sun goes down. Samantha helps Garth’s mom cook and clean then she also reads some of Garth’s older stories, falling even more in love with him. Finally, the day is done, Garth and his dad come in and are served green beans and seared chicken breasts. As they are eating dinner, Garth and Samantha get alerts on their phones that the evacuation order is lifted. Minutes later, the assistant store director calls Garth and tells him he has twenty-four hours to return to work or he will be terminated. Garth’s mother makes a comment about them going home and screwing. Garth’s dad walks them to the car and suggests they get married.

In 2017, I had rewritten most of the series, but also began working on another replacement offshoot, known as “A Disabled Electrician turned Writer” which was supposed to have similar themes as these stories but without so much controversy. I had slightly more success than my previous offshoot but haven’t written any more of it since 2018. Also in 2017, I began writing “Two Foamers in Love”, yet another offshoot replacement, but haven’t gotten much of it done.

On September 4, 2018, I wrote my latest piece of the series which actually is/was a prequel to the whole series. From Garth’s perspective, he is stocking salad dressing at “The Downtown Grocer” and how he hates his job and wishes at twenty-two he would have done so much more with his life. He thinks about his loneliness and how if someone loved him for him, he would love her immensely in return and treat her with the utmost reverence. He then thinks about his writing and tries to remember all of the inspirations coming to him in waves. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and he will be off, to which he plans to go to the park and write. He works late into the night, sweeping the warehouse and taking out the trash after the store is fronted and blocked. He gets off at 11:02, goes home and goes straight to bed not realizing that tomorrow he will meet the love of his life.
Meanwhile, from Samantha’s perspective, her mother just took several Xanaxes and then has crashed into a deep sleep. Samantha then goes into the kitchen and eats some canned fruit and drinks some milk. She says how she hates her life and how it isn’t like most seventeen-year-olds. She talks about her underactive thyroid gland and her weight problem and how she has liked many boys but they all reject her. She says how she wishes she could find a boy or even a young man who would love her for her and how she would treat him like a king. She says how she dropped out of school because she cannot get a ride to the private school she was attending because her mom is always loaded and because of her weight, she knows she would be tormented and harassed relentlessly if she began attending the public high school in her district. She contemplates suicide, by taking all of her mother’s Xanaxes at once. However, a voice in her head tells her not to give up. She goes into her room and watches “The Notebook” on demand. She watches until she can no longer keep her eyes open. Her mom then wakes up from a deep sleep and is belligerent. Samantha hears the voice again, saying just a little while longer. Her dad then comes in and argues with her mom all night long. Samantha goes to bed and dreams about those little encouraging voices, little does she know that tomorrow she will meet the love of her life…

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

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Synopsis of “The Text File”

On a Saturday, I believe it was December 11, 2005, I was walking around Bayou Cane, Louisiana, (that’s a suburb of Houma, located to its north and west) mostly for shopping but for exercise as well. Walking around that city always inspired me to write and writing this story was no different.  A few weeks prior, I had also watched “The Notebook” on home DVD for the first time. That movie had an enormous impact on me writing this, both at the conscious and sub conscious levels. Other people noticed it too and when reading it, would frequently say how it reminded them of that said movie. I also recently got my own computer though it was terribly out of date. It still served its purpose I needed for writing things. I was a backslidden Christian at the time, which was a major factor in me deciding to write this. My main hangup was about the Pentecostal-type denominations of Christianity that taught one must speak in tongues in order to be saved. The adherents of those teachings also seemed to be quite cold hearted and very unfriendly. They basically turned me off to Christ, and almost into the brink of apostasy. Thank God, for rescuing me though and drawing me back to Him in late 2008. This testimony enforces my belief in the doctrine of “once saved, always saved also known as eternal security.” It also helps prove that one does NOT need to speak in tongues in order to be saved.

I finished the original draft of this story in June of 2006 and had edited it a couple of times to make it better. However, I believe sometime in 2013, I destroyed altogether.

In June of 2017, I decided to rewrite it again, mostly from memory and I am currently working on it. I know what to do with the plot, it’s just the time and emotional energy needed to get it into words and dialog. I’m about a quarter of the way done as I am writing this (August 2017.) This new version, while still attacking forms of Christianity that either teach false things or turn people off to Christ, does not attack genuine Christians. If anything it paints them in a very positive light, though I haven’t written it down completely yet.

The story begins with eighteen-year-old Anna Ryan riding home from school on her bicycle. The church she attends forbids its members from driving motorized vehicles or getting a driver’s license, watching or owning a television set or using cell phones. She is supposed to go home and get ready for youth service, but instead, stops at a local bar and grill and enters. She sits in a booth and looks around the room. Soon, she notices a young man. He is sitting at the bar sipping on bottles of Budweiser and eating peanuts.

Anna is attracted to him though she can only see him from behind.

To get his attention, she pretends to sneeze.

The young man looks at her and says, ‘God bless you.’

Anna replies, ‘Awe thanks.’

He begins to sip his beer again but then does a double take. He very much attracted to her and begins to stare. She smiles at him and he blushes then looks away.

Anna pretends to sneeze again and the young man says, ‘God save you!

Anna replies ‘Thanks. It must be all the dust from these peanut shells that’s stirring up my allergies.’

He tells her that she has a cute sneeze and then asks to come sit with her.

She accepts.

The young man remarks that he’d never seen her in this place before and that he comes here every afternoon to kill a few beers.

Anna confesses that it’s her first time there and he says how he hopes it’s not her last. He then tells her his name: Grayson Thomas.

Anna introduces her self as well, to which Grayson said how he didn’t know there were any Ryans in the town of Melody.

Anna explains that her family keeps to themselves and only associates with those at the Pentecostal Assemblies Church.

With slight irritation, Grayson remarks, ‘Oh, jee whiz, I’ve heard all about them. Your parents would probably beat the hell out of you and press charges on me if they knew we were talking right now.’

Anna explains that they would indeed beat her, but they cannot press charges on him because she’s a legal adult.

Grayson then wants to know what she is doing later that evening. Anna explains that she has youth service. Grayson tries to talk her into hanging out with him instead.

Anna says if her parents would find out they would be livid and beat the daylights out of her.

Grayson then asks her a very piercing question, “Are you happy? Do you parents really make you happy? Does that insane church make you happy?”

There’s a silence, but then Anna replies, ‘No-I am not happy at all. I am miserable. My parents only allow me to go to church and school. They beat me sometimes for a yes or a no. People at school make fun of me because of the way the church forces me to dress.’

Grayson then asks her, ‘Do you think I could make you happy? I definitely think you could make me happy, in my twenty-two years on this earth, I’ve never beheld anyone as beautiful as you!’

Anna says that it would be worth a shot.

They continue talking and getting to know each other better. Anna says how she wants to be a writer, and she does actually write but her parents would be furious if they knew exactly what she wrote, they would destroy every copy and then, of course, beat the daylights out of her.

Grayson suggests that she press charges on them.

Anna says that she would go to hell for not honoring her parents.

Grayson explains that the law is not a guide to save yourself, but rather proof that you cannot save yourself.

Anna says how she likes the way he preaches, and never thought she would hear those words coming out of his mouth because he was drinking beer. She also says how she wants to know him better as well.

Grayson explains that he is a mechanic for the Melody City Dockyard and works the 6 AM to 2 PM weekday shift. He also says how he has his own cabin on his mother’s property. He finally says that he’s been wanting someone for a long time.

Anna said she would gladly be that someone but she just has to get away from her parents.

Grayson holds Anna’s hands and says, ‘You just let me know if you need any help with that.’

His G-Shock then beeps indicating Four PM.

Anna says how she has to get ready for youth service.

Grayson convinces her to spend time with him instead.

Anna agrees and says she’ll meet him back at the bar and grill around Seven PM.

Grayson drinks several glasses of Wild Cherry Pepsi in order to help sober him up.

He pulls out his smartphone and searches for the church Anna attends. He finds their web page and learns the doctrines of how they are forbidden from driving, watching television or owning a cell phone. He also read how church members were forbidden to associate with non-church members.

Anna arrives home and is sternly reminded of youth service, by her parents Sean and Janice Ryan.

After an exchange of words she goes bathe and imagines the night she will share with Grayson.

Her mother bangs on the bathroom door and tells her that God can see everything she does, especially behind closed doors.

She then got dressed and mounted her bicycle and pretended to go to youth service. Her dad squeezed her arm and said for her not to embarrass him at the service.

She drives secretly back to the bar and grill, runs up into Grayson’s arms, wrapping her legs around him.

Grayson pays off his tab, then they leave the bar. Anna puts her bicycle in the bed of his truck then they ride to his cabin. Grayson lets Anna drive his truck in the fields on his mother’s property as the sun goes down.

He then escorts her out of his truck by the light of his Pelican 1920 penlight.

They then walk into his cabin and dance in the kitchen to music on Pandora for an hour or so.

Afterwards, they go on his balcony and Grayson says how he comes here to drink beer or whiskey and contemplate life.

Anna says how she could be inspired to write all kinds of things because it’s so beautiful.

Grayson says how ‘it’s nowhere near as beautiful as you, Anna!’

They then share a kiss and begin to pet each other when Grayson’s G-Shock beeps again, indicating Ten O’Clock.

Anna says how she has to get back home before her parents become livid.

Grayson writes down his house and cell numbers on a piece of paper and says how he knows all about her church and how they forbid cell phones, but to call him whenever she can.

Anna hides the paper in her brassiere, and says, with a distressed giggle, ‘It’s close to my heart, just like where I want you to be.’

Grayson then drives Anna to her parents’ trailer, all too quickly arriving.

Anna says, ‘I know you want to get the door for me and let me out, but it’s not safe here if you’re an outsider.’

Grayson replies, ‘I understand. May I at least give you a good night kiss?’

Passionately, Anna tells him, ‘Of course, Grayson! Just so you know, I’ll take that kiss to bed with me!’

Their lips meet one final time, then Anna takes her bicycle out of the truck bed and goes inside.

Grayson drives back to his cabin, drinks a few shots of Crown Royal, puts his phone to charge, then goes to bed.

Anna walks into her parents’ trailer and her dad, with a belt in hand, confronts her about not going to youth service. He tells her the pastor, Brother Darryl, called him and said she didn’t attend.

At first, Anna tries to keep silent, but her dad strikes her with his belt several times.

She then says how she’s eighteen now and it’s none of his business, to which he beats her more.

Her mother comes out of the bedroom, smacks her across the face, then says, ‘It is our business, the church’s business, and most importantly God’s business and always will be. Now answer us!’

Anna still keeps silent.

Her mother takes a claw hammer from the kitchen drawer and threatens to knock Anna’s teeth out with it.

Anna breaks down and confesses about how she spent the evening with a young man and how’s he’s so much better than the young men at her church. She goes on to say that while they were indeed alone together, he never took advantage of her and she does have feelings for him.

Her mother flings the hammer at her toes, then says how her feelings are sinful energies, brought on by evil forces.

Anna boldly states, ‘No, they feel very right and natural. You and dad have no affection in your relationship, whatsoever. You never kiss, you never touch, you never speak any romantic words to each other. I don’t want to be subjected to such a cold marriage like that and if I marry one of the men at church, that’s exactly what will happen to me.’

Her dad slams her to the ground and says, “You have invited so much sin into your life, you’re driving and dancing, which is absolutely forbidden, and now you’re attacking your me and your mother’s marriage just because you never see us behaving lewdly in front anyone! This is all because you are very rebellious and always have been. I tell you, it is going to stop right now if you know what is good for you!”

He then tells her to go to bed because she has school.

The next morning, Grayson gets up and prepares for work.

Anna too gets ready for school, then rides her bicycle there arriving early.

At around seven thirty in the morning, Anna goes to the student office and asks Mrs. Barabara McGregor if she could use the phone.

Mrs. Barabara agrees and Anna calls Grayson’s cell number.

Grayson takes a coffee break to talk with her.

Anna tells all that her parents did her last night and Grayson suggests once again that she press charges.

Anna then says God would punish her if she did.

Grayson says how parents aren’t supposed to provoke their children to wrath and they obviously do, because they are trying to keep her from being happy. Grayson then asks if he even makes her happy.

Anna says that he definitely does.

Grayson says that she makes him happy too and that he was lonely before her and uses alcohol to temper the sting of loneliness.

They continue to talk and flirt on the phone until Grayson’s coffee break comes to an end and other students need to use the phone.

Anna goes to a secluded area on the school campus, then fantasizes about Grayson, lapsing into a trance until the bell rings.

Meanwhile, Grayson is assigned two forklifts to repair, with a little assistance from the foreman, Mr. Jed McGregor. He works until Noon, then goes eat lunch.

At lunch his mom, Kathy Thomas calls him over Skype wondering why he didn’t come to dinner the previous night. Grayson tells her about Anna, then explains her background. Kathy warns him about the people of Anna’s church, Grayson pulls out his Snap-On pocket knife and says, “Wait, let them try something.” Kathy warns that he would go to pen. Grayson states that Anna is worth it. Kathy says she wants to meet Anna, then goes back to work. Grayson finishes his lunch, then clocks back in.

Jed McGregor has him do a tune-up on the dockside truck as the last assignment of the day and comments how he notices Grayson is in a better mood than usual. Grayson tells him too about Anna and the whole situation. Jed says how he and his wife will pray for them. Jed McGregor and Barbara McGregor are married if you haven’t guessed that already.

Grayson does the work on the dockside truck and soon enough has it running. He drives it to the docks and tells the dock foreman how it is fixed.

Grayson then clocks out and heads home suppressing the urge to drink alcohol, since Anna might call him.

Anna is sitting in English, the last class of the day, studying the works of George Gordon Byron. She thinks of how her parents would be furious if they knew about these works, but also thinks of the previous night on the balcony with Grayson. The teacher goes on to talk about Byron’s scandalous life and early death. Anna begins to feel nervous wondering if she will die for what she is told is rebellion. However, she knows her feelings for Grayson are valid and genuine.

Finally, the dismissal bell blares and Anna goes down to the office to call Grayson. Anna asks him to pick her up from school, to which he agrees.

Mrs. Barbara asks Anna if she is serious about whomever she is talking to on the phone. Anna says how she hopes it is. Mrs. Barbara asks, “What’s his name?” Anna says “Grayson Thomas.”

Mrs. Barbara goes on to say how he works under her husband and she’s heard many good things about him except how he’s lonely and not to break his heart. Anna says how she’d never dream about it. Mrs. Barbara asks if Anna is eighteen yet. Anna says she is. Mrs. Barbara goes on to say how that’s good because if she wasn’t Grayson would be in a world of trouble [with the law.] Anna says she’s more worried about what her church members would do. Mrs. Barbara says she and her husband will pray for her and to go wait outside for him.

Anna goes out to the bicycle rack just as Grayson is pulling up in his truck. He parks his truck then gets out and they kiss with passion until the SRO makes them stop. Anna unlocks her bicycle [and puts it in the truck bed], then Grayson opens the door for her and she gets in. Grayson then gets in on the driver’s side and they leave.

As they are driving, Grayson talks Anna into secretly getting a smartphone so they can keep in touch. At first, Anna is reluctant but then realizes he is showing dedication to her and it means a lot to her.

With that, they drive to the Best Buy Mobile store in the mall…

That’s all I have written for now, but I still have the old version in my memory. I will attempt to bring some of those details into this story along with new details and dialogue.

This is where I plan to go with it:

I plan to have Anna secretly keep in touch with Grayson on the smartphone. Then, by the Friday or Saturday, have her run away from her parents then stay at his cabin.

The Sunday, everyone at Anna’s church will be angry over her leaving and they form a plan to kidnap her back and harm Grayson for revenge (more on that in a bit.)

On Monday their plan is carried out. Several longshoremen who attend Anna’s church decide to sabotage the dock crane. Grayson has to go to the top to repair it and one of the longshoremen assist him, but purposely cause him to fall.

Grayson is seriously injured and rushed to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Anna is kidnapped from school and taken to the basement of the church fellowship hall.

Jed and Barbara are talking about these events and realize foul play is going on. They call the police, who charge the disgruntled longshoreman, but also raid the church and rescue Anna.

Anna is asked to be taken to the hospital, but ironically says she wants to be with her boyfriend instead and goes to the docks. She finds out of Grayson’s injury and is then taken to the hospital.

For two days Grayson is in a coma, but then he wakes up, with Anna being the first person he sees.

He probably ends up proposing to her…

…I just need to get this into text and dialog to make this work…That will require emotional energy and commitment…

Back to The Synopses Page

Synopsis of “Scanner Drama”

I began working on this story on the evening of January 31, 2004, into the morning of February 1, 2004. I had modified the plot quite a few times over the years and it still needs work. Generally, it rotates around a high school/teen drama or soap opera during the first decade of the New Millennium. This was the first story I had written in 2004 and was longer than those I had previously done.

It begins with eighteen-year-old high school senior and part time warehouse worker Grant West waking up for school on a stormy Friday morning. His parents left for the weekend to go vacation in the mountains. Grant West is a technology guru and somewhat of a fighter. This is because his dad works for port security and taught him these things. He drives a military surplus Jeep and carries several gadgets everywhere he legally can. Many people find him to be a little off and thus avoid him.

He makes it to school just moments before the first bell. His first class is Trigonometry, then his second is a Job Skills class. The third class is P.E. Because of the stormy weather going on that day, the students taking P.E. were told to sit in the gym and study. During that class, Grant notices Adrianna Parker passing by and his heart skips a beat. She is a beautiful aspiring writer and free spirit of seventeen going on eighteen but didn’t like most of the people at the school. They both finally sit down in the bleachers and looks at her composition books. Grant’s eyes fixate on her. She eventually notices and offers for him to come sit by her. She goes on to tell Grant that, while many people think he is strange and potentially violent, she thinks he could be someone that would rescue a damsel in distress, just like in the stories she writes. She then reads to him. She gets to a sensual part in her story and both begin to blush. They look at each other, then their lips begin to meet until a teacher commands them to separate. Adrianna suggests they meet up later. The bell soon rings afterward.

It is now recess and Grant walks through the commons area with his expensive gym shoes in hand. Four bullies, Lance Johnson, Benson Porter, Joe Price and Bruce Gray, surround him and take the shoes.

Grant takes out Bruce Gray by kicking him in the in-step then the groin and gets the shoes back, but is over powered when Joe Price grabs him and slams him to the cement. Lance Johnson then stomps on Grant’s crotch and the others kick him from all sides. They take the shoes and leave. Adrianna sees Grant lying there and she rushes up to him. She rests his head in her lap and he looks up at her. She asks ‘who did this to you?” He replies the names of the boys. He then blushes. She asks him if he had plans after school and he said he planned on doing inventory at his job. Disappointed, Adrianna says how she hoped they could have done something together. Grant wants to know if she is asking him out. She tells him indeed she is. Grant explains how his boss would understand and he agrees to go out with her. They then kiss and exchange phone numbers.

The bell rings and they go back to class. The next two periods drag on but then there is lunch. Grant and Adrianna meet up in the quadrangle but then walked to a secluded area of the campus for privacy. They discuss their plans to meet up for the afternoon. Grant offers to drive her to the park in his Jeep where they could wait out the rain that would be moving out. He says that she could read to him some more during that time. Adrianna says how she can’t wait until then. They then hugged each other affectionately, not knowing that the four boys were eavesdropping. Bruce tattled on them for public displays of affection and being in a forbidden area of the campus. They were caught and both were issued a Saturday school. The bell soon rang shortly afterward and they headed back to class.

After the last class of the day, Grant and Adrianna headed to his Jeep and drove to the park in the pouring rain. As they got into the entrance of the park, Grant notices that there is a pickup truck following close behind them. He suspects that they are being stalked and tells Adrianna to lock herself in and that he is going to try and neutralize the situation. Soon he realizes that it was the four boys.

They step out of the truck, Benson walks over to Grant’s side and pulls him out. Grant plays along the then grabs a 5 D sized Maglite from under his driver seat and whacks Benson on the head with it, knocking him out. Bruce flees the scene. Grant then sees Lance trying to invade Adrianna’s side so he gets back in the Jeep then guns the engine crashing into a tree. Lance is ejected through the windshield. Joe is now super angry and tries to pull Grant from the wreckage when Grant strikes him in the throat with his 5 D sized Maglite.

The bullies have now been dealt with, but Grant knows the cops will probably be coming. He also knows that his transportation is shot.

So he tells Adrianna, ‘I don’t want you to go down with me, Adrianna. Please get out of here while you still can.’

She replies, ‘No, I will stand by you. You are a noble hero and you saved us.’

Still realizing the need to get out, Grant retrieves his flashlight and portable scanner, from his Jeep then removed the vehicle plate off of it. He then says ‘I can hide in the culvert outside of the park. Bruce fled the scene and won’t know where I am. The other three are dead.’

Grant then also says, ‘You need to get out of here Adriana. Is your house far from the park?’

She tells him that her friend’s house isn’t.

Grant replies, to go there and see if she can take you to yours.

Whilst kissing and hugging him passionately Adrianna says, ‘All right Grant. If we don’t see each other again, know that I love you!’

Grant then crawls into the culvert and Adriana leaves.

Not long after, Adriana made it to her friend’s house and then called Grant, saying, ‘My friend is driving me to my house and I will get the family car and pick you up. I will then get you to safety.’

Grant replied, ‘Thank you so much Adriana, and, just so you know; I love you too.’

After minutes seeming like hours, Adriana came in her family car and picked Grant up. He stepped in the car just a the lightning flashed.

Grant lies down in the backseat and Adriana asks, ‘Where to Mister?’

Grant replied ‘I took the plate off my vehicle, so I don’t think they will be able to figure out it’s mine. Therefore, we can go to my house, you know just in case they see your [family cars plate.]’ With that, they rush to Grant’s house and arrived just as the rain had begun to fall it’s hardest.

Adrianna asks with concern, ‘What will they do when they find it it’s your car?’

Grant then points to his scanner, probably a Radio Shack Pro 95, and says ‘That’s where this wonderful device comes in.’ He then turns it on.

He hears the City of Melody 911 dispatcher calling Melody EMS for a fight in the park with several males injured. Hears the Melody PD is also en route. Finally, he hears on the scanner that one of the PD units crashed into an overpass column and burst into flames.

Grant passes the remark that as messed up as it sounds they may have been bought some time.

They step into the chilly house in soaking wet clothes. Adrianna throws her arms around him, as he was cold and wet. Grant was overcome by the feeling of Adriana’s gentle arms wrapped around his wet skin. He kisses her wildly. They fall onto the sofa and snuggle together. Adriana lay there with Grant up against her.

Then the scanner starts talking, ‘Dispatch, it turns out that a subject named Grant West was the assailant. I believe he is the son of Mark West in port security. I am on my way to search his house. He is probably hiding out there.’

‘Affirmative Jack. I’ll also notify the chief.’

Meanwhile back at home Grant is in distress over what he had just heard over the radio. He tells Adriana that they have to get out of here now and asks if she is ready to leave?”

Adrianna replies, ‘Yes let’s do this thing baby!’ and laughs a little.

At the same time, the dispatcher direct connected to Chief Harold on the Nextel, and told him of the events.

Immediately Chief Harold direct connected to Mark West, ‘Mark are you there?’

Mark was sitting down in the cabin with his wife Elaine fixing her hair when he heard Chief Harold calling in.

He answered back on his Nextel ‘I’m here Chief. What’s up?’

Chief Harold replied ‘I am so sorry to disturb your vacation, but your son has become a wanted criminal.’

Mark replied ‘Oh God, what could he have done?’

Harold replied ‘He was in a fight with four other male subjects at the park and has fatally injured three of them We have an APB out on him at the moment, but we think he is hiding out at your house. I am so sorry Mark.’

Mark replied ‘I’ll be there as soon as I can.’

Elaine walked out the bathroom and saw the look of distress on her husband’s face.

‘What’s the matter?’ She asked.

Mark replied ‘We have to get home immediately. Grant is in trouble with the law. I’ll explain to you in the car.’

Grant goes into his room and grabs his Gerber Multi-Tool, along with his scanner and flashlight, and a backpack with changes of clothes explaining to Adrianna that he didn’t want to get caught with these items at school, but doesn’t think they’ll be in school for a while.

Ever so quietly they crept out of the house silently shutting the door behind them. Quietly they walked down the steps of the porch, then to Adriana’s family car. Adriana drove Grant to her house and they walked into her bedroom. They stayed in there until right before her parents came home.

She also packs a backpack but Grant says ‘I know how I can get away from the police. I will sneak out of the country but I will have to leave you here. I want to spare you this drama.’

Adriana begins to sobbing and says ‘No, I want to come with you. I don’t care about any of this drama.’ She paused and then asked Grant ‘How will you be able to get out of the country?’

Grant replies ‘That’s easy. All I have to do is get on a supply boat that is headed towards Archangel Island. There is one that is leaving tomorrow morning in fact.’

Adriana asks, ‘How do you know it will let you on?’

Grant answers, that he works in the maritime supply industry and has connections.

Adriana smiles and then says, ‘Well I wish I could board the boat with you.’

Grant asks, ‘Do you really want to be with me that much?

Adriana nods.

Grant then says “I could possibly have them take you as well. But you will have to defect. The only problem is you are not yet 18.”

Adrianna replies, “But I will 18 be in a few days.”

Grant reluctantly agrees.

Immediately they leave. They walk to Grant’s workplace under the cover of darkness holding hands and shivering.

They made it to the warehouse and went hide in the secret room for the night, snuggling in each others’ arms.

Early that next morning they stepped out of the warehouse. The cargo ship bound for Archangel Island was about to leave.

Grant went to the captain, who was standing on the dock smoking, and spoke with urgency, “We need to get out of the country and I know you can help us?” ‘

The captain answered ‘I will get you out of the country if you agree to pay me.’

Grant handed him the cash he had on hand then said ‘I know where we are going that I can easily find work that pays well.’

The captain then lets them on board. Grant and Adriana went below the deck to hide. After getting comfortable Adriana held his hand and kissed him passionately deep below the deck of the ship.

Soon they heard the engines of the cargo boat kick on and they started to move. All through the night, they kept moving. By the next morning, the boat stopped. They climbed onto the deck of the ship and ran off.

They were interrogated by a security officer.

Grant explained the situation, ‘It’s a long story. We are on the run from the law. I am charged with second-degree murder, but I assure you it was all in self-defense. I assure you, I will not cause trouble on this island.’

The guard said ‘Self defense, huh? Tell me how it happened.’

Grant replied ‘Well I would love to…’ Grant then recounted the fight in great detail. He went on to say how the company he works for supplies Archangel Island with tactical gear and defense instruments.

Impressed the guard replied ‘I assure both of you, do not worry about anything. Our country will not allow extradition. You are safe here. We are constantly looking for security forces. I would be more than happy for you to work for me. You see we have much trouble with pirates, trying to invade.’

Grant smiled and said ‘My dad works for port security back in the States so I am that much more familiar with the trade.’

The guard continued ‘I promise you top pay and protection from any foreign entity if you agree.’

Grant nodded his head and looked at Adrianna, and she smiled at him. He then agreed to take the job. Adrianna also gets a job on the island as a nursery worker, entertaining them with some of the stories she writes.

Soon enough they are married and purchase a dwelling on the island.

Back to The Synopses Page

Synopsis of “Separated Affection”

Separated Affection is one of my “Public Displays of Affection” stories that I am currently on hiatus with writing.

Though I consider it one of my Public Displays of Affection stories, it doesn’t attack false religion, but it does attack Communism and oppressive governments quite a bit.

Part of this came to me in a dream I had in June of 2006, part of it is based on childhood experiences and the third part is directly from my imagination.

It begins late one evening in June of 1989, where two year old Easton Milford is listening to a news report on the radio with his dad Perry Milford.

The news reporter tells of what going on in the Communist countries, such as the Soviet Union getting its first credit card to modernize its banking system and Red China being put under martial law.

Perry Milford remarks, “Those damn good for nothing communist bastards.”

Easton repeats him.

Perry tells Easton to, watch his language.

Easton replies, asking ‘What language, Dad, I only speak English.’

At the same time, Easton’s mother Penny Milford walks into the kitchen and announces that it’s time for bed. Easton protests, but then agrees when his mother says she’ll read to him.

The next morning Perry is pushing Easton on a swing, when new neighbors are moving into the house adjacent to theirs.

The Milfords all walk over to the house and greet their new neighbors.

It is a thirty three year old man Anton “Tony” Davidov and his four going on five year old daughter Kamilla Davidov. They are defectors from The Ukraine.

Upon learning this, Perry refers to Boris Yelsten as an ‘S.O.B.’ and says that he can’t stand him.

Curiously, Easton asks, “What’s S.O.B.?”

To which, Perry says, “Nothing, son, don’t worry about it.”

Kamilla looks at Easton and says, “Oh, that’s a cute little boy. Maybe now I can have a friend to play with.” Then looks at her dad and asks, “Papa, can I play with him while you unpack?”

All the adults agree. Kamilla and goes into Easton’s room with him and they socialize. She begins to rock him in the rocking chair and Penny takes a picture of them together.

Meanwhile, Perry is trying to cut the grass, but is angered because the lawn mower won’t start.

Being a high school history teacher and not mechanically inclined frustrates him even more.

Anton, hears him cursing the mower, walks over and and offers to fix it.

Perry agrees.

Anton gets the mower running, then explains that he worked his way from assembler to machinist at a tractor factory while living in The Ukraine.

Perry then says how he has tickets to a baseball game and offers to take Anton for fixing his mower. Anton agrees.

Back in the bedroom Easton is soon fast asleep and Kamilla lays next to him on the mattress.

Perry begins to cut the grass near Easton’s bedroom and the noise of the lawnmower startles Kamilla.

She says how when she was really little that tanks used to pass through the streets in her old country.

Easton says how he thought that was “neat.”

Kamilla corrects him and says, tanks are not neat and that they ‘kill people and burn down houses with their missiles.’

Easton replies, that it’s not neat but scary and that he hopes she’ll ‘stay over here from now on.’

Kamilla tells Easton that her dad says he’ll always stay in America as long as Soviet government controls the Ukraine.”

Easton giggles Kamilla then wants to know, what’s so funny?

Easton explains, his dad calls the Soviet people ‘damn good for nothing communist bastards’.”

Kamilla giggles too.

Suddenly the lawn mower flings a piece of gravel from the yard and it hits the window pane, shattering it.

Kamilla ducks down thinking they are being shot at by the police.

Penny comes in and demands to know how was the glass broken.

Easton replies that a rock from the lawnmower hit it.

Kamilla looks at Penny and says, “You mean we weren’t being shot at?”

Penny explains that a rock got caught in the lawn mower blades and hit the window. No one shoots at them.

To which Kamilla asks, ‘not even the police?’

Penny explains that the police aren’t allowed to shoot at innocent people in America

Kamilla confesses, that Easton says that his dad calls the Soviets ‘damn good for nothing communist bastards.’

Penny gives Easton a stern look, but then reassuringly tells Kamilla, that ‘it’s all right to say that in America, the Soviets aren’t in power here.’

Penny then makes the children leave the room so she can clean up the broken glass.

They go into the kitchen and listen to the radio and learned of a Chinese man standing up to a tank in Tiananmen Square, Bejing.

Kamilla says how she would never do something like that.

Easton tells her that he would pull her out of the way if she tried.

Kamilla then kisses Easton and they listen to the radio until Penny puts on Dr. Seuss tapes for them.

Perry finishes cutting the grass then comes in.

Penny tells him how the mower flung a rock and broke Easton’s window.

Perry yells, “Damn it to hell and son of a bitch! What next?”

Penny corrects him and says how his son repeats everything he says and that he shouldn’t talk like that in front of Kamilla either.

Moments later, Anton comes in to pick up Kamilla and she tells him about the broken window.

Anton offers to help Perry install the new pane, to which he agrees.

Anton then measures the dimensions of the window and has Perry write them down.

He then tells Perry to go to the hardware store and have them cut a piece of glass to those dimensions.

Perry says he’ll go right now and take Penny and Easton with him.

Easton is very excited to go look at all the stuff there.

Anton tells Kamilla to come see her new room.

First she kisses Easton good bye and he kisses her in return.

That’s all I had actually written to this story, but there are plans I have to go with it:

Fast forward to July of 1991, over two years later.

Easton and Kamilla had strongly bonded with each other and became very close. They are just about in love if one could call it that.

Kamilla comes running out of her dad’s house screaming and crying because she learned that they are moving back to The Ukraine to care for a dying relative. She continues crying and states that she hoped that they would grow up together and maybe even get married.

Easton kisses the tears off her face and says how they should play together while they still can.

He then asks where is The Ukraine and Kamilla says that it’s on the other side of the world.

Easton then says quite prophetically that, “One day, there will be a way for people to talk to each other and see each other even though they are on other sides of the world. We can use that when it is invented.”

Kamilla seems distressed and unsure.

They sit together in the grass for a bit then Kamilla says, “I have an old calculator I want you to have. My dad gave it to me and now I want you to have it. I know you like to play with that kind of stuff and I want you to remember me with it.”

Easton then replies “OK, then I want you to have the swirl to my Shelcore Activity center.”

They exchange their items.

I have yet to write the scene where Kamilla and her dad actually move away, but one day I will. It will require a lot of emotional energy to do so, I can see that for sure.

Fast forward to Easton’s teen years (2000-2007): He is obsessed with Kamilla to the point where it is unhealthy but generally harmless. He teaches himself how to work on computers and every day carries a vintage Mini Maglite flashlight. The reason behind him doing this is that the said flashlight was invented in 1984, the same year Kamilla was born and also it was invented by an Eastern European machinist, named “Tony” very similar to Kamilla’s dad. He also carries the calculator Kamilla gave him in the same pocket as his flashlight. The calculator is an Elektronika MK-61.

Then, fast forward to 2005: Easton is a senior in high school and has a side hustle of repairing other people’s computers. With some of the money he earns, he collects calculators, especially those from the vintage Soviet era. He soon graduates and gets a job at an office supply company but also and begins attending community college taking up Information Technology and English.

In 2006, 19 year old Easton gets his own apartment.

In 2008 he begins his career at age 21 as an online blogger.  

In 2009, as a lonely 22 year old, he signs up for Facebook and uses it to search for Kamilla Davidov, still obsessed with her.

In 2014, Russia annexes Crimea, Ukraine and the factory where Anton works is bombed, killing him. 27 year old Easton learns of this on the news and decides to do a search for Kamilla Davidov on Facebook. Finally he sees her picture and is overcome by her beauty. She is 29 going on 30. The war between Russia and the Ukraine prompted her to get on social media.

He friend requests her and writes a message “Hi. I don’t know if you remember me or not or even if I have the right person. However I knew someone by your name as a child whom I really cared about. Did you live in the United States from 1989-1991? Please let me know either which way and I’m sorry if I have the wrong person.”

She instantly accepts, and replies, “Yes. I most definitely remember you. I still have your Shelcore Swirl toy. Do you still have my calculator?”

“Of course I do, I carry it on me all time.”

They begin exchanging messages and he eventually convinces her to come to the United States where she will be safe.

That’s all I have. I’m willing to write some more of this one day, hopefully soon, but I’ll need a very high amount of emotional energy in order to do so.