A Review of The Sony ICF-P26 AM/FM Portable Radio

Just so we’re all clear, I do not own the featured image on this page and I give credit to whomsoever credit is due.

I always enjoyed listening to the radio growing up.

The style of radio that I enjoy most are those that resemble the transistor radios made from the 1950s through the 1980s. There is just something about that style.

By the way, such a style is getting rarer and rarer as time goes by.

I believe it was some time in 2015 when I discovered the Sony ICF-P26 and, fun fact, it was through a MEME I saw on social media.

I finally bought one in March of 2017 and so I have owned one of these radios for almost your years.

That radio by the way is what this piece will be a review thereof.

In reality, I had been wanting to write this review since July of 2018, when I started writing product reviews, but there have been numerous distractions that hindered me from doing so.

In March of 2017, I had a little bit extra money, so I ordered a Sony ICF-P26 on eBay.

It came in a few days later and I began to use it extensively. It even gained a spot for a few years in my EDC backpack.

I was thoroughly impressed by the clear and generous sound, the tuning accuracy, the reception range (especially on AM, but FM as well), and the overall solid feel when handling this radio.

On every trip I took, it was a frequent companion, allowing me to hear local radio stations. One of my rituals is while traveling I wash my face, then shave as soon as I enter the hotel or motel room. For some reason traveling in a car for an extended period, even with the windows up makes my face ultra dirty. I also like to be clean-shaven when going out and about anywhere, so after washing my face, I shave, then apply the Aqua Velva. Usually while shaving in a place besides home, I listen to a local music station. One particular memory I have about carrying out this ritual is being in Texas and hearing Jim Ed Brown sing “Pop a Top” on a local AM station. Music sounds so much richer when played on AM and Jim Ed Brown already had a very rich voice, so it was a very pleasant experience. When not traveling, I used to listen to NPR whilst I was doing my laundry.

I did keep this radio when my ex-wife and I split up the community property and I left her a Sangean DT-200VX because she always liked it and I was trying to make the divorce as painless as possible. She and I are on much better terms now but I am 100% sure that we are not compatible as husband and wife. I just wish I would have realized this before the relationship became too serious. Well, she clearly stated that she wanted to marry me six days after meeting me. At the time, I was thrilled, because I didn’t see the red flags yet.

Speaking of red flags, my one gripe about this radio is that it lacks an AFC circuit. This wasn’t an issue at my previous residences but is very much an issue at my current residence since I am only a few blocks away from an FM transmitter. That station’s signal bleeds all over my FM dial and drowns out almost all other FM stations that would normally be available. So I upgraded (and I use that term loosely) to a cheap, unbranded radio, that has a phase lock loop synthesized oscillator, for most of my portable FM listening. It also gets AM (mediocre) and Weather (quite well, actually), but isn’t as solidly built as my Sony. Although it is as small as an MP3 player and I do have a dedicated pocket for it in my EDC backpack. However, on some nights I will still use this Sony for AM listening, both local and long-distance. If I’m not in my neighborhood and have it with me, I will also use my Sony for FM listening.

A few evenings ago when Winter Storm Uri was wreaking havoc across the country, our local governments and our electric utility companies were advising us to conserve power until 10:00 PM. So, I unplugged all of my grid-powered electronics, set my central heater (which is electric) to 68 Degrees Fahrenheit and I even turned off the lights. To be able to see, I used a highly efficient battery-powered LED lantern. My previous product review was about that very lantern. And for entertainment, I listened to the AM band on my Sony radio. I did some AM DXing until finally, I decided to listen to WSB out of Atlanta. There is a local show on there that I have listened to a time or two prior. It is a good, wholesome, and even Christian show. They were talking about Rush Limbaugh’s passing. I listened until the signal faded out. By that point, it was past Ten O’Clock, so I resumed my “normal” nighttime activities. The AM ferrite bar antenna on this radio isn’t very big, so it’s not the best radio for AM DXing, but, in my location, it will catch most of the clear channel AM stations between The Rockies and Appalachians after dark.

A very wise feature on this radio is that it isn’t turned off or on by the volume potentiometer, but rather a three-position sliding switch “OFF” “AM” “FM.” There is a volume potentiometer and after almost four years of use and three years of carrying in my EDC backpack, it needs to be dusted out. To tune the radio, a knob is connected to a slide rule indicator. For FM listening, there is a telescopic antenna that can be changed out if it is ever damaged. Why can’t all radios be made this way?

There is also a removable nylon lanyard.

Two other features on this radio include a green LED, whose brightness indicates how much battery power is left and a red LED which indicates that the radio is locked on a station’s signal.

For power, it runs on two AA batteries. I always used Alkalines and always had generous run times. I think the run time is rated at 35 or so hours on a set of batteries but I’m not 100% sure.

Currently, I have my Sony radio on a night table in my living room, but if I were to have to travel, especially to evacuate from a hurricane, it will be coming with me.

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these, they are widely available online and even in some brick-and-mortar establishments.

I give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars and this rating is subjective to where one uses it. Had it been manufactured with an AFC circuit, I would have given it the full 5 stars.

Sony is a reputable brand and they make some fine radios, so why couldn’t they have installed an AFC circuit and made this radio even better?

I’ve mentioned on social media in the past how I wish all FM radios would have an AFC circuit, but terrestrial analog radio is gradually dying out, much to my dismay.

In the event of an emergency remember KISS: Keep it Simple, Stupid! The simpler a communications system is, the less chance there is for failure and typically the cheaper the equipment. Analog terrestrial radio should remain in use, at least as a means of communicating important information to the public, especially in the event of an emergency!

I’ll get either one or another response for this statement and it is:

You’re preaching to the choir (from those who think like me.)

OR

Change is inevitable (from those who don’t realize what I realize.)

Currently, I am thinking of buying a Bluetooth-capable radio very soon so I can pair it with my tablet and Stream online radio stations. The model I am looking at is sold at The Ruble, I mean, The Dollar General and if it is like its predecessor model, then it will have an AFC circuit, which is the other reason for me to consider purchasing it.

So, yes I do embrace new technology, but I also have a prepper mindset, not to mention I hold a General Class Amateur Radio license, and therefore am very much aware of how older simpler technology is more reliable, especially as a means of mass communications.

Well, look at this, I’ve turned a product review into a lecture.

My apologies.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

I guess this concludes my review of the Sony ICF-P26.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

An Encounter while Shopping-Confessions of an unHappily Married Blogger

I am now drawing disability and not working at all. This has been the case since late September 2011 and it is now late June of 2012.

The management at that God-awful grocer I was working for had drastically cut my hours and even demoted me, so I quit without warning. It wasn’t worth burning the gasoline to come to work and as I’ve stated before the work environment was ultra toxic.

My wife has decided to pursue some higher education. I believe this is fruitless and pointless and just a year later, I will be vindicated in this belief.

So, while my wife attends school, I find things to occupy my time.

Payday is just a few short days away, so I am looking to see what I can purchase at an electronics dealer.

I walk in and am greeted by a very beautiful and sweet young lady. Her body is somewhere between thick and curvy. She has long blonde hair the face of a China doll.

We begin to talk and pretty soon, it is as if we have known each other forever.

While I am twenty-five-and-a-half, I find out that she is twenty-two.

It is quite rare that a young lady shares an interest in electronics like I do, but she certainly does.

I tell her about my other hobbies and she seems impressed.

I don’t think she is truly impressed, I think she has a crush on me, but what do I know.

I do know this: my wife and her family resent all of my hobbies, as I mentioned before.

To tell the truth, I also have a crush on her, but I know how I must needs to honor my marriage, if not for the love of my spouse, then for the love and fear of my God.

We continue talking, about our families and my disability. Even after telling her all this, she still seems very sweet and understanding. I’m catching even more feelings for her, but I force myself to suppress them. Finally, I see a Weather Radio which is on clearance. I remember reading extensively about this particular model and am disappointed to see it being discontinued.

I ask if she can reserve it for me so I can purchase it when I get paid.

She explains how she is not supposed to do such a thing, but will do so anyway because she thinks I am nice.

I then happen to glance at my watch and realize I have other errands to run and how I also need an escape route to keep me from committing adultery, so I bid her farewell, then leave the store.

Days later when I get paid, I drive back to the electronics store, and there she is behind the counter, with her sweet and beautiful self.

I tell her how I’ve come to purchase my weather radio and I thank her for going above and beyond.

She hands it to me, then I pay with my debit card. The transaction is processed, then approved.

She briefly flirts with me. Her voice is so soothing, much unlike my wife’s.

I then leave the store, with my Weather Radio, because I have other business that needs to be tended to and groceries that need to be made.

I don’t think I will ever forget her, though. Quite possibly she could inspire some characters and situations in the stories I create.

She is the kind of person my in-laws would automatically hate because she’s pretty, sweet, and classy.

To have credit with them, one must have either ruined his or her life or be in some other unfortunate situation.

I only have a little credit with them, because of my disability, but they still cannot stand the fact that I like to write and I have other wholesome hobbies.

After all our business is tended to, my wife and I head home. I try out my new Weather Radio and think of the wonderful young lady who sold it to me. My house makes noises per the changes of pressure and temperature. I think a storm is approaching My new Weather Radio confirms this thought.

Back to “Confessions of an unHappily Married Blogger”

Pairing a Royal Crown Cola with a Moon Pie

So, over ten years ago, I had discovered a Southern delicacy of pairing a Royal Crown Cola with a Moon Pie.

I drank R. C. Cola now and then in early childhood because my Paternal Grandparents were very frugal and R. C. is indeed the cheapest name brand cola there is. My parents on the other hand, especially my Mom fervently drank Coca-Cola. On and off since the age of nine, I had been a fervent Pepsi drinker, and especially since the age of twenty when I discovered their Wild Cherry version, which still to this day is my favorite soft drink.

I only consumed Moon Pies during Mardi Gras and Saint Patrick’s Day parades when they were thrown from floats to parade watchers. Growing up, we ate Little Debbies, especially the Oatmeal Creme Pie variety, more than anything else.

It was some time in 2009 or early 2010 when I had discovered the pairing of a Moon Pie with an R. C. Cola. I was researching scanners (as in the device used to listen in on two-way radio communications) and was reading about the Radio Shack Patrolman Radio receivers of the 1960s. Yes, the Patrolman line eventually included scanners, but before scanners being invented, the Patrolman radios were tuneable radios that initially covered either the VHF High or VHF Low Band and the AM (Medium Wave) Broadcast Band. These were very popular in the 1960s due to the high degree of civil unrest of the decade and citizens desiring to listen in on law enforcement communications. By the way, these communications were [almost] totally in the clear in those days. There was no encryption and certainly no digital communications. In my research, I discovered a picture of a Radio Shack Patrolman radio in the background and an individually-sized bottle of R. C. Cola with a wrapped Moon Pie in the foreground. That was the first time I had seen this combination.

Now as many of you know, I was born and raised in Southeast Louisiana. And yes I still reside there. Louisiana is certainly part of the South, at least physically, but the culture of Louisiana located below the U. S. Highway 190 corridor (give or take) is quite different from the rest of The South. For example, the white people here are mostly of French Canadian descent (Cajun-I have some in me.) There are also a few people of Parisian French ancestry here (myself included, as my surname suggests, and on both sides of my family.) In the heavily industrialized area between New Orleans and Baton Rouge along the Mississippi River, there is a high concentration of people with German ancestry (it is a lot like The Midwest, actually.) Among others, in the New Orleans area, there are people descended from Irish and Italian immigrants (quite similar to Brooklyn New York.) In rural parts of Louisiana, there are the Islenos, who are of Spanish ancestry (the Canary Islands, to be exact.) So this part of Louisiana is much more culturally diverse than the rest of the mostly Anglo-Saxon South. Therefore, some of the customs and traditions that are common and dear to most of the South are unknown to this part of Louisiana.

In more recent years, I had discovered that I do indeed have some more typical Southern (Anglo Saxon) roots on my Maternal Grandpa’s side. His ancestry comes not only from Germans and Irish people residing in Louisiana but also his ancestry can also be traced back to Mississippi and Alabama. It made perfect sense to me and explains a lot because I act more Southern than those that surround me. For example, I am Protestant as opposed to Catholic, although I was raised Catholic, at least in name only. I’m told that my writing and speech patterns sound more Southern, than Cajun though, my accent is a unique combination of New Orleans Y’at (which sounds similar to Brooklyn) and Cajun (which has a sound all of its own.) I’ve only known one or two other people who sounded like me and they were raised in a similar environment. I was not raised on Country Music, but acquired a taste for it in 2004. However, I think Country Music has had a sharp decline in quality since about 2013. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Redneck comedians and can relate to their humor. I am very Pro Second Amendment (which is indeed common between Cajuns and Rednecks, alike.) I am indeed attracted to plus-sized and super-sized ladies, a trait that is stereotypical of Redneck men, but I’ve since learned that men from all walks of life carry this trait. I frequently listen to scanners, another hobby many times associated with Rednecks. The only sport I will watch is NASCAR. I’m quite proficient at do-it-yourself projects when I need to be. I strive to be polite and mind my manners, which is highly valued in The South, but sadly not always in my part of Louisiana. And if I do it right, I can fry chicken just like Colonel Sanders. Therefore, I tend to associate and espouse more with Southern Culture than extreme South Louisiana Culture.

I think you, the reader, now get my point on how South Louisiana is different from the rest of The South.

The reason why I wrote all of this, was to explain how, despite technically growing up in The South, it wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered the combination of R. C. Cola and Moon Pie and when I did, it was totally by accident. However, I do have some true Southern blood pumping through my veins and I do indeed espouse its culture much better than the culture that surrounds me.

Moon Pies and Royal Crown Cola were both invented in Southern States, Tennesee and Georgia, respectively.

Moon Pies were invented as the result of a Kentucky coal miner suggesting to a Chattanooga bakery salesman upon being asked what kind of snack would he like the company to make. Legend has it, the miner told the salesman for the snack to have two round Graham cookies with marshmallow creme in the middle. He then proceeded to hold his hand up to the sky as if he were cupping the Moon in his hands and then continued that the snack should be “as big as The Moon.” The salesman took the miner’s request to heart and began producing Moon Pies, which were outselling all of their other baked goods. Initially, Moon Pies were plain, but soon afterward they were dipped in Chocolate. In later years they were dipped in other flavors such as Banana, Vanilla, and others.

Royal Crown Cola was ultimately invented over a dispute between a Columbus, Georgia, grocer and a Coca Cola salesman. The grocer thought that Coca Cola ought to give him a discount given the high volume of Coca Cola syrup he purchased from the company. The salesman refused. The grocer refused to ever purchase from Coca Cola again and began to formulate his own cola, ultimately coming up with Royal Crown Cola.

In my personal opinion, Royal Crown tastes better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi, but due to its more affordable price, I drink R. C. more frequently than Pepsi. I think if R. C. followed Pepsi’s practices and used Cane Sugar in their drink, it would taste indeed as good as Pepsi. Coke typically uses HFCS in their American formula although, this wasn’t always the case. Had Coke continued using Cane Sugar, my Paternal Granpa may have been employed well into his 80s. He was a foreman at a local sugar factory and Coca-Cola was in the process of buying the plant. However, the deal fell through, the factory subsequently shut down and he was forced into retirement at the age of 61. I believe he genuinely wanted to be employed because, after retiring, he continued aggressively raising cattle and produce until the ripe old age of 89. He passed away at the age of 94. My Maternal Grandpa, on the other hand, worked for South Central Bell (now part of AT&T) but died twenty-nine years before I was born at the young age of only 42. He is the one that I inherit my Southern traits from and I am told how I take after him in so many ways. Like me, he was into technology and I wish he would have lived to be an old man so I could have known him and so he could have witnessed all of the great inventions that would come into existence after his death.

…Moving on…

I would drink R. C. Cola sparingly as a child and hadn’t drunk it for years until about the age of 26, when I was purchased some at a convenience store in San Antonio, Texas. Immediately, I recognized that it tasted considerably better than Coke and almost as good as Pepsi. I would drink it from time to time for the next few years.

After a failed marriage, I moved into my own place in May of 2018. My residence is but a few feet from a Dollar General, so I do a considerable deal of shopping there. Dollar General is also a typically Southern entity, though probably not as glamorous. I may give that said retailer some business from my testimony of what can be purchased there and not at other stores (R. C. Cola being an example.) But I also find myself poking fun at The Dollar General, comparing the shopping experience there to that of shopping in the USSR and their satellite states. I even go as far as frequently referring to it as “The Ruble General”, but only in harmless jest.

But I frequently buy my soft drinks at The Dollar General. And R. C. Cola is sold at the rate of 2 Liters for $1.00+tax. There are other quantities at which it is sold there but I don’t immediately recall the price. Coke and Pepsi most of the time are sold there for $1.80+tax unless they are on sale. I’m on a disability pension, so I must needs make my money stretch. I also buy some snacks at The Dollar General. A box of six Miniature Moon Pies can be had for, I think, also $1.00+tax. I would say that is indeed a bargain, considering inflation!

It was some time in 2020, around the time when Coronavirus became an issue that, I finally decided to try a Moon Pie and an R. C. Cola together. I indeed purchased them at my local Dollar General. I instantly enjoyed the combination and have been purchasing them ever since. As of lately, I am even getting my neighbors hooked on them. The way I most prefer consuming them is microwaving a Moon Pie for exactly 6 seconds (my microwave oven is rated a 700 Watts, your time may vary) and then eating it and then washing it down with an ice-cold R. C. Cola.

There are several theories on how Royal Crown Cola became paired with Moon Pies, but the one I’ll accept most is that during the Great Depression they were a cheap but energy-dense source of food and drink. They offered the most calories per unit of currency in a time when money was extremely tight. Not only that, they were very palatable and could hold up most men performing work that was many times physically demanding. An original Moon Pie which was four inches and diameter and a 12 ounce R. C. Cola paired together, sold for a total of one Dime. So it became an instant hit with the working class throughout the South.

But, nowadays, they are popular throughout the South and with more than just the working class.

Now I am indeed disabled. But, even with inflation adjustments, an R. C. Cola paired with a Moon Pie is a cheap thrill that can be afforded to me even though I am on a fixed income. I think of the pictured that I mentioned earlier in this piece and many times I too eat a Moon Pie and drink an R. C. Cola whilst listening to my scanner. This is a frugal way to have a good time. Some of my neighbors have also picked up on this habit.

Before I became totally disabled, I always wanted to have a son so he and I could hang out in the kitchen and listen to our scanners, especially at night. I’m 34 at the time of writing this and have no children, as of yet. God has shown me what my true future spouse will be like and He equally told me to be patient in finding her. If I ever do have children, I’ve always wondered if instead of singing songs they hear on the radio, as most kids do, they will repeat track bulletins and vessel names along with their positions that they hear on my scanners. I would get a kick out of that as would all my friends that also listen to scanners. I’ll have to be careful with the marine traffic, though, especially if I ever have a daughter, because of the foul language sometimes used on those marine channels. Just the other morning, I heard the Mother F word uttered on Channel 13 by an angry boat captain. Such a phrase is completely uncalled for in any circumstance and can get someone killed if he or she utters it to the wrong person. Enough about that, let’s focus on more pleasant things. Maybe one day, God will bless me with children and we will be hanging out in my kitchen listening to scanners, eating Moon Pies, and drinking R. C. Cola.

Because this blog is read worldwide, I’m not sure if you, the reader, have ever heard of combining a Moon Pie with an R. C. Cola much less if these products are available near you. My suggestion is if you live in The States, check out your local Ruble, I mean Dollar General.

If you’re able to purchase these, please do so. I don’t think you will be disappointed! After all, it is a tried and true favorite.

So, I guess this concludes my article on R. C. Cola and Moon Pies.

I hope you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Articles I have Written”

A Review of The Uniden BC144XL Programmable Desktop Scanner

Just so everyone knows, I am not the owner of this featured image; it is from a picture that I Googled and cropped.

I had first discovered scanner radios in the Summer of 2001 at the age of fourteen and a half.

However, I had little to no income due to my age and my parents aren’t big on technology to appreciate such a device. It angered them that I could potentially eavesdrop on other’s communications, especially law enforcement and government operations. In fact, they were appalled when they found out that such an item existed.

And, at the time, even an entry-level scanner cost at least $100, brand new.

So, I had no hopes of getting one.

Well, until September of 2002, that is.

My local Wal*Mart had a Uniden BC144XL on clearance for $30.00+tax.

I borrowed the money and purchased it at once.

That was the first scanner I ever owned and what this piece will be a review of.

At first, I had a slight amount of consumer’s remorse when I took it home and set it up.

There was only a two-digit LED display, that didn’t show the full frequency readout.

There were no search functions, which meant I could only program the frequencies I knew-this resulted in a lot of trial and error.

I later found out that at the time, local law enforcement in my Parish was on the Louisiana 800 MHz Motorola Smartzone Trunked System, so I could not pick them up whatsoever with this scanner-and boy I was ticked off at that fact!

While it was capable of picking up The Feds, there were no Federal Government operations within range.

However, I did find some use for it and I ended up enjoying it.

For example, I frequently listened to my local fire department and eventually neighboring fire departments. I discovered 2 Meter local Amateur Radio operations in my area. I listened in on analog cordless phones that operated in the VHF Low Band. There were some local businesses and utilities with wide-area repeater coverage that I would listen to. And I would eventually use it for listening to marine communications and even railroads, some months later.

In December of 2002, with the money I was gifted for Christmas, I upgraded to a Uniden BC80XLT, which had more channels, covered 800 MHz, had search functions, and was portable. I had that newer until the Fall of 2005 when someone sabotaged it. I may write a review of it someday.

I sold my first scanner approximately a year later because I needed the money for other things.

For years, I regretted selling it, especially in more recent years when the bulk of my scanner listening transitioned from law enforcement to railroad and marine traffic.

On this day, January 3, 2021, I purchased a duplicate Uniden BC144XL in fairly decent condition for roughly the same price I paid back in September 2002. It was a late birthday present to me from myself. Thank God for eBay! I plan to use it in conjunction with my Realistic Pro-59, which I shall compare it to.

In these ways it is better than the Realistic Pro-59:
It has double the channel memory with sixteen channels as opposed to eight.
It also covers 29-54 MHz in addition to 137-174 MHz and 406-512 MHz.

The Realistic Pro-59, has better antenna connections, though, at least in my humble but honest opinion.

The user interface between the Uniden BC144XL and the Realistic Pro-59 is very similar, with the Uniden BC144XL being more advanced.

Well, they are both Unidens though one is a true Uniden and the other is a rebadged Uniden made for Radio Shack under the Realistic name.

I don’t have the receiver sensitivity ratings for this scanner, but I am durn sure that it is more sensitive than any of its modern-day counterparts and that is a crying shame. I was amazed at how far away it could pull in signals from, even with just the stock antenna. I cannot wait for my duplicate to come in the mail!

I already have a general idea of what I am going to program in it:

The first few channels will be for local and neighboring fire departments (almost all on VHF High Band.)

Then I will store my local utilities (Electrical on VHF Low Band, Waterworks on UHF Band.)

Then a few amateur radio frequencies (2 Meter and 70 Centimeter Bands. Might even program some 6 Meter and 10 Meter FM frequencies since a new sunspot cycle is beginning!)

Then railroad and marine, that is a must (VHF High Band.)

Finally maybe a few local businesses (Mostly UHF Band.)

I haven’t decided where in my residence that I want to use it, since I already have a tabletop scanner in each room.

I will admit that I bought it for the sentimental value but also for the powerful sensitivity because I’m convinced that it pulls in signals clearly that my newer scanners won’t even stop on.

In my teens, I would have given it a low rating, maybe 1 or 2 out of 5 stars, because of all it lacked

However, at the age of thirty-four and with totally different listening habits I can give this scanner a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, only because it lacks a full frequency display and a search function. However, it does make up for it in being well-built, long-lasting, and extra sensitive.

I mean many scanners that were made 25-35 years ago still work perfectly even though they may be partially or even mostly obsolete. Well, they are still perfectly fine for most of my listening tastes!

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again:

Will any scanner made today or even within the last decade still be functioning 25-35 years in the future?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

All in all, I guess this concludes my review of Uniden BC144XL.

I cannot wait for my duplicate to come in the mail and I hope that you, the reader, have been informed and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!0

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the NiteCore i4000R Tactical Flashlight

Just so you, the reader, know, I do not own the featured image on this page. Rather it is the property of NiteCore, a Chinese manufacturer of tactical grade flashlights.

I have stated it several times before and I will gladly state it again:

Flashlights made by NiteCore are the best flashlights to come out of Mainland China and quite possibly, the best products to come out of Mainland China period.

I have been a fan of NiteCore flashlights since mid-2017 when I purchased the MT06 tactical penlight.

In January of 2018, I subsequently purchased a NiteCore MT20A and in the latter parts of that year, wrote a review of it.

Then in April of 2020, I purchased a NiteCore i4000R from the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong on eBay and it took over a month to arrive in my mailbox. That said tactical flashlight is what this piece will be a review thereof.

In the time it took for this flashlight to traverse its warehouse in Hong Kong to my mailbox on the outskirts of Houma, Louisiana, I was getting quite annoyed and anxious. I was also paranoid about it being contaminated with the Novel 2019 SARS Coronavirus. Still, I was quite excited when it finally arrived. Immediately, I charged up the battery and when it was full, I began carrying it in my backpack.

The NiteCore i4000R boasts a maximum light output of 4,400 Lumens-that is over four times brighter than a standard household 60 Watt bulb!

It is top-heavy and also features a crenelated strike bezel, which can be deployed in defending oneself.

If that weren’t enough, the tactical strobe feature has a constantly changing strobe pattern, making it even more effective as a self-defense weapon.

This flashlight is primarily marketed to law enforcement, but can also give peace of mind to any civilian who knows how to use a flashlight for self-defense. Furthermore, it can be carried in places where “true” weapons (such as guns and knives) are downright forbidden because legally it is not a weapon!

On an ordinary day, I will usually carry my Streamlight Junior LED flashlight.

However, if I expect any sort of trouble, I will carry my NiteCore i4000R.

I have never had to use it as a weapon, but I know it will give me at least some degree of peace.

I have used my Streamlight Junior halfway as a weapon, when confronting someone knocking on my door or my neighbor’s door at a strange hour. I must admit that both times, the person knocking was harmless and someone we knew, but they were disoriented and stepped back at least a few feet. My Paw Paw, God rest his soul, taught me the tactic of shining a bright flashlight into the eyes of someone at the door, to disorient him or her. Of course, his flashlights of choice were those budget friendly 6 Volt lanterns and, if you, the reader, haven’t figured it out by now, my flashlights of choice are lightweight, compact tactical models. His flashlights put out 60-75 Lumens but in their defense, they had the Candlepower to back those Lumens up. My flashlights, on the other hand, put out hundreds and, in this case, a few thousand Lumens, but overall, don’t have the Candlepower to back those Lumens up. However, his flashlights likely would fail in a truly tactical situation, whereas mine would still be going strong.

Except for self-defense applications, this flashlight would likely be overkill for most civilians. However, to a flashaholic such as myself, this is one of the best flashlights I own. It was even used by me as a self-defense instrument in a dream I recently had.

By the way, this is on par with the best flashlights made here in The States and even those made in Germany!

I will go over some of the features and specifications, as listed by the company website:

As I stated before, the maximum output is 4,400 Lumens, provided by four independently controlled Cree XP-L2 V6 LED circuits.

…Bare with me, my back is starting to hurt tremendously. I’m about to take a Baclofen and chase it with some orange juice. Be right back…

…All right, I am back. It’s my ex-wife’s fault that I have this back injury because she insisted we make groceries on a rainy day, and of course, trying to be a good husband, I gave in to her request, but then I slipped and fell down some wet stairs and though I didn’t know it at the time, I ruined my lower back muscles from the impact of the fall. Now I cannot even write at length, much less almost any other form of work that which I was qualified to do, because of this injury. Of course, she likely feels no guilt about this because she hated the overwhelming majority of my written content…

So with that 4,400 Lumens is a throw of 230 Meters or ~755 Feet and beam intensity of 13,300 Candlepower. According to the company website, this amount of light given off by this illumination instrument is “ideal for law enforcement, assault operations, self defense, search and patrols.”

Also, according to the company website, further elaborating on the four independently controlled LED circuits, which are, “Powered by a constant current circuit to provide durable usage with guaranteed safety.”

The featured rechargeable battery is a NiteCore patented 21700i Lithium-Ion battery.

The strobe featured can be instantly accessed by a dedicated button, even while the flashlight is off! I think this, aside from the tremendous amount of brightness if the best selling point of this flashlight.

And of course, there is the Advanced, Randomly Changing Strobe, which I think is the second best selling point! Human eyes are unable to adapt to the strobe.

There is an anti-impact reverse polarity protection system, which makes this ideal to be used mounted on a firearm!

The flashlight has a built-in charging port that uses a standard USB-C connection and is covered by a metal ring.

Also featured is an advanced temperature regulation system that adapts to the ambient temperature.

Furthermore, there is a last used mode memory, power indicator light which is accurate down to one-tenth of a volt IP-68 water resistance and a 1-meter drop impact resistance.

Finally, the lens is crystal-coated and scratch resistant and the Aerospace Aluminum body is has a military-grade HA-III hard-anodized finish!

The physical specifications are:
Tube Diameter: 25.4 millimeters or 1 inch.
Head Diameter: 32.6 millimeters or 1.28 inches-this makes the flashlight top-heavy and therefore excellent for striking in self-defense tactics.
Tail Diameter: 28 millimeters or 1.1 inches.
Overall Length: 159 millimeters or 6.26 inches-short enough to carry concealed in most hip pockets.
Total Weight: 135 grams or 4.76 ounces or just over a quarter of a pound-will not weigh the end-user down, even for a long period on foot.

The brightness levels are as follows:
Turbo Mode: 4,400 Lumens, 13,300 Candlepower, 230 Meters or ~755 Feet Beam Distance and 30 Minute Runtime.
High Mode: 1,100 Lumens, 3,300 Candlepower, 115 Meters or ~377.3 Feet Beam Distance and 2 Hour, Fifteen Minute Runtime.
…My back is starting to hurt again, but if I take another Baclofen it will be the third one in a twenty-four-hour period…
…I will try and press on but I am in a great deal of pain!…
Mid Mode: 330 Lumens, 930 Candlepower, 61 Meters or ~200.13 Feet Beam Distance and 7 Hour, 45 Minute Runtime.
Low Mode: 50 Lumens, 160 Candlepower, 25 Meters or ~82 Feet Beam Distance and 40 Hour Runtime.
Ultra-Low Mode: 2 Lumens, 4 Candlepower, 4 Meters or~13.12 Feet Beam Distance and 380 Hour Runtime.

By the way, I used the previously reviewed Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro to convert some of these Metric Units into English Units!

I typically use it whenever I need to express any such measurement in both English and Metric units for my product reviews!

Included Accessories:
NTH20 Tactical Holster-designed specifically for law enforcement and also compatible with MOLLE systems.
CR123 Battery Magazine-in case the rechargeable battery is depleted and there is no charging source nearby.

While I do carry this flashlight in my EDC backpack, I have only carried it on my person for any given amount of time quite sparingly. The last time I carried it was because I had spotted a shady young man walking around my church at night. We were finishing up our evening Bible Study and Prayer Meeting and it does get dark this time of year, but I was escorting two ladies (a mother and daughter) home on foot and did not trust this fellow as far as I could throw him. Thank God, while I was holding the flashlight and ready to deploy it as a defensive weapon, I did not have to. My God is more effective than any weapon ever created! I could think of a handful of other times I was ready to deploy this flashlight but didn’t have to.

All in all, I definitely like this flashlight and I wish American companies could make something of this caliber but at an affordable price.

I give this product a 4.95 out of 5 stars only because I wish the tactical tail switch was better recessed to prevent accidental activation.

Other than that keep up the good work, NiteCore! As much as I hate to admit it, your company is beginning to put American and even German-made flashlights to shame!

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the NiteCore i4000R Tactical Flashlight. I hope you, the reader, have been informed, illuminated and maybe even entertained. May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro Calculator

Just for the record, I do not own the featured image on this page. I must need give credit whereupon credit is due and the featured image is property of Texas Instruments, inc.

For almost as long as I had been fascinated by flashlights, I too have been fascinated by calculators. Similar to my fascination with flashlights, my fascination with calculators has waxed and waned throughout my childhood and adolescence, but they are both very strong in my adult years.

My two favorite brands of calculators are Casio and Texas Instruments and I like the latter a little more than the former.

I had begun permanently carrying a calculator in the latter parts of 2012, namely a TI-12 Math Explorer (the 1997 version.) In the following months afterward, I also had begun to carry with it a TI-30XA (the current version.)

In March of 2014, my writing had started to evolve, as did my experience in repairing or souping up computers had increased. I had also begun to start doing research more extensively on calculators. Soon, I had realized there was a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro that was put on the market some three years before that. It wasn’t long before I wanted one. In June of 2014, I had spent my spending money on a flashlight that I still carry to this day. However, a family member had gifted me $20 from a sum of money he had won at a casino. I didn’t split that money with my then-wife, now ex-wife, because after all, she has a major hang-up about gambling. So, I was free to use that money however I had pleased. We were babysitting two of her nephews that following day and I took them to ride with me to the Houma suburb of Bayou Cane, so I could secretly purchase that said calculator. They kept the secret safe with me and goofed off with me for the entire ride. I stopped at an Office Depot because I knew that was the only store that stocked it locally year-round. Sadly it was out of stock. However, after talking to the sales associate and later the manager, I had learned that I could have it shipped to my residence at no extra charge. Happily, I went with that option, paying the first $20 in cash and the remaining amount after sales tax with my debit card. A brand new TI-36 X Pro arrived on my doorstep a few days later, via UPS. And that said calculator is what this piece will be a review thereof.

As soon as it arrived on my doorstep, I opened it up, then used it to convert one unit used to measure barometric pressure into another unit used to measure barometric pressure. The weather was changing that day, as in quite frequent in Louisiana. I was amazed at the accuracy and precision with which it carried out the conversion. I began carrying it in a dedicated pouch of my EDC backpack along with the Mini Maglite I had purchased earlier that month.

Yes, I will admit that there are plenty of features on this calculator that I will probably never need, nor do I understand what they represent. While I am pretty proficient at arithmetic, I am terrible at almost all other higher level Mathematics. Still, there are certain features on this machine that I frequently use, especially when doing unit conversions or even just simply writing out my monthly budget. There are even base-n calculations such as converting between decimal, hexadecimal and octal, which come in handy with programming higher level scanner radios or if I ever needed to assist a computer programmer or coder.

And not only that, I believe this is the best looking scientific calculator that is currently on the [common] market. Change my mind!

In the days and weeks after purchasing this calculator, I went on to write some pretty wonderful stories and the one that stands out most is my “Grocer and Writer” stories. Maybe the tremendous pleasure I associated with finally owning this calculator created the ideal mental state and electrochemistry to be creative? Of course in the hours before beginning those stories, I took a trip to the New Orleans area.

I have since purchased spare units, but I keep my original TI-36 X Pro in a safe undisclosed location because it does have sentimental value.  It has sentimental value because certain items of mine cause me to have a connection with someone whom I had known in my childhood (January-July of 1991) but since lost all contact with. This calculator and flashlight somehow have that connection. I now think that this girl I had briefly known in my childhood may have been an angel because I spent years searching for her but with no success. She would now be in her mid-to-late thirties, assuming she was born between 1984 and 1987. During most of the year of 2014, which was the beginning of the end of my faulty former marriage, I had begun to desire to find this now young lady again, so I strongly associate the year 2014 in general with her. Before I met my ex-wife and even after to an extent, this girl from my childhood was the inspiration for my writing and was the unknown driving force to cause me to pursue writing. In the latter parts of 2018 until December 4/5 2019, I was in a very loving relationship with a young lady, who in many ways reminded me of the girl from my childhood and was even born in the year in which she and I were, for lack of a better word, together. If you, the reader, poke around in the fiction section of this blog, you will see some of the stories where I have derived my inspiration from this girl I once knew.

My first one came off the assembly line somewhere in China in February of 2014. My current unit, which I still EDC, came of the assembly line somewhere in The Philippines in April of 2017. I’m wondering if the updated units in the Philippines have corrected the software bug that plagued the earlier models?…

All in all, I will now list some of the features and specifications that the TI-36 X Pro has to offer:

By the way, I’ve obtained this information from the company website, but I also added my commentary…

Four-line display-very clear too!

One- and two-variable statistics-I would likely never use this feature, but who knows.

MultiView™ display shows multiple calculations at the same time on screen-Excellent for writing a budget or balancing a checking account!

Select degrees/radians, floating/fix, number format modes-Very useful with navigating with a GPS or several different GPS units!

Choose from three solvers: numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations-This would have been nice in high school, but probably would have landed me in trouble! This particular model came on the market five years after I graduated high school anyway.

Display a defined function in a tabular form-The best way to show a function without an actual graph!

Determine the numeric derivative and integral for real functions.
Perform vectors and matrices using a vector and matrix entry window.

The last two features involve high-level mathematics that goes way above my head, but maybe one day, I’ll try to learn it.

The TI-36 X Pro is recommended for the following STEM-related courses:
Algebra I and II-Probably forbidden or at least frowned upon because of its built-in equation solver.
Geometry-Overkill and again probably frowned upon.
Trigonometry-A Graphing model would be of more use.
Statistics-Never took this course, but I can imagine its usefulness.
Calculus-There are features that would come in handy for this course, though I never took it.
Biology-Probably overkill.
Chemistry-Probably is forbidden or at the very least frowned upon because of the permanently stored constants.
Physics-As with chemistry, it’s probably forbidden or frowned upon, for the same reasons, though I never took physics.
Computer science-Could be very useful, especially with those learning programming.
College math-Actually we were required a TI-84.
College science-Never took these courses, but I see where the store constants may be of great use.
College engineering-Never took any of these courses either, but I know this calculator is popular with all engineering.

According to the company website, here is a more detailed list of the functions, some of which I had already commented on:
Review and edit previous entries via a scrollable home screen
Paste inputs or outputs into new calculations
MathPrint™ feature entry and output mode for viewing calculations in math notation, including answers in terms of pi, square roots and fraction
Three solvers: numeric equation, polynomial and system of linear equations
Numeric derivative and integral for real functions
Vectors and Matrices
Symbolic notation of π
Toggle key to change the form of answers between exact and decimal approximation
Stacked Fractions and Fraction functions
Fraction/decimal/percent conversions
Change between improper fractions and mixed numbers
Automatic simplification of fractions
Random number and random integer generator
Central MODE menu for selecting calculator mode settings
Menu settings
Functions accessed directly through keys or through pull-down menus
Negation key
One constant operator feature
Combinations and permutations
Trigonometry
Hyperbolics
Logs and antilogs
Convert angles from degrees to radians to grads
%, x², ¹/x, yˆx, π, x!
Fixed decimal capability
(x,y) Table feature with Auto and Ask-x options
Basic Data/List Editor with three lists
List Formulas
One- and two-variable statistics with permanent stat variable input storage
EOS (Equation Operating System)
Nine physical constants
Eighteen metric/English conversions
Up to eight pending operations
Up to 23 levels of parentheses
Error recovery capability
Quick/easy reset of calculator via two-key press or menu for exam purposes
Eight memory variables (x, y, z, t, a, b, c, d)
Scientific and engineering notation

And here are some of the physical characteristics:
Four-line × 16-character, easier-to-read LCD display
Battery powered with solar cell assistance to lengthen battery life
Auto Power Off
Hard plastic, color-coded keys
Non-skid rubber feet
Impact-resistant cover with quick-reference card
Snap-on protective hard case

Even though, as I had mentioned before, there are some features on this calculator that go way above my head, it is still one of my favorites if not my favorite calculators ever made.

I carry it in a dedicated compartment of my EDC backpack where I store the rest of my tool that which I use to repair or soup up computers. Like most other Texas Instruments devices, it is built very ruggedly and will last, likely way past its obsolescence where it will then be a cool collector’s item.

While I have owned one of these is some way shape or form since June of 2014 and it is December of 2020 at the time I am writing this, I still thoroughly enjoy this device and give it a 4.85 out of 5 stars, only because of the software bug concerning fractions involving Pi.

This, therefore, concludes my review of the Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro. I hope you, the reader, have been informed, entertained, and maybe even enlightened!

May God richly bless you!

Back to “Product Reviews”

Laundry Day-An Online Romance

Ezra woke up in the very late morning.

After lying for several minutes on his couch, thinking about Sadie, he prepared his breakfast of two fried eggs sunny side up, a slice of toast with sugar-free raspberry jam, and a drink of coffee, chicory, and hot milk.

After breakfast was ready, he sat in his kitchen eating and drinking while listening to his countertop scanner.

Two boat captains were coordinating their movements on the Intracoastal Waterway, one was of a towboat with six loaded barges in tow and the other was a tugboat by itself. They were also communicating with other vessels in the area.

Ezra had now finished breakfast and placed his dishes in the sink, but wanted to continue listening in. However, knew he had to do his laundry for the week.

So, he reached into his EDC backpack and pulled out his portable scanner, then set it to monitor the VHF Marine Band. he placed it in his right front pocket

He then took $3.25 worth of quarter-dollar coins from his safe and placed them in his back pocket.

Afterward, Ezra retrieved his laundry basket and bottle of detergent along with his smartphone and everything else, then walked down to the laundromat.

He unlocked the door, then found a washing machine that wasn’t in use, so he loaded it with his clothing and detergent, then placed the $1.75 worth of quarters in and started it.

While his load of clothes was washing, Ezra sat on a bench and listened to marine traffic on his portable scanner.

He heard a bridge tender notifying all mariners of the lunch rush hour curfew in effect.

Ezra listened to other marine channels where he heard some fishing boat captains speaking in Vietnamese.

He also heard dockyard mechanics coordinating with the servicing of boat engines.

Finally, his clothes were washed, so he switched them to a dryer that wasn’t in use and put the remaining $1.50 worth of quarters into the coin slot, and started it.

He continued listening to his scanner when Sadie called.

“Hey baby,” He answered.

“Hey you,” She replied.

“What’s going on?”

“My cousin and her boyfriend are here and I have you on speakerphone.”

“Well, hi everyone!” Ezra said.

“Hi,” Alyssa said.

“What up?” Nicky Joe added in.

“Oh, I’m down in the laundromat watching my clothes dry.”

“What are your intentions with my cousin?” Alyssa asked.

“Well, let me first say that I think she is the most beautiful young lady, I have ever seen and that I have a tremendous amount of reverence for her. I will also admit that I am indeed falling for her, but my intentions are to treat her like a queen, to shower her with affection, to be there for her in any way I can, and hopefully one day to marry her!”

“I see. You know she weighs over four hundred pounds, right?”

“Yes. I know. And I adore every pound curve and inch of her! You see, the thing is I like super-sized ladies. A skinny female would not make me happy, but someone Sadie’s size would make me happier than ever.”

“You’re sick!” Alyssa interjected.

“Don’t listen to her, Ezra, you’re very sweet! She’s just jealous,” Sadie added in.

“Thank you, baby!” Ezra answered.

“Oh, yeah, like I am jealous. Dream on!” Alyssa said.

There was an awkward silence, then Ezra’s scanner began picking up two fishing boats communicating.

“Who’s that in the background?” Alyssa asked.

“I’m listening to boat traffic on my scanner.”

“Why would you want to do that?” Alyssa asked.

“Because he likes boats. He takes some cool pictures of them too!” Sadie said.

“Yes. And it keeps me out of trouble.”

“Can you hear the cops on that scanner?” Nicky Joe asked.

“No, I can’t. It’s an older model and I don’t listen to the cops anyway.”

“Mine can hear the cops but I got to keep it on the DL.” Nicky Joe added in.

“Listening to the cops is depressing to me because it’s always hearing about all the bad stuff going on. I’d much rather listen to boat traffic, nothing wrong with that,” Ezra said.

“Hey, dawg, whatever, to each his own,” Nicky Joe replied, then asked, “What kind of ride you got?”

“A 1985 Jeep Comanche which I am very proud of! I restored it myself.” Ezra answered.

“I customized my ride, I have a 1999 GMC Yukon with twenty-six-inch rims and a dope sound system!” Nicky Joe said.

“Mine is all pretty standard, but it’s still fun to drive,” Ezra humbly stated.

“You pack any heat?” Nicky Joe asked.

“No, my psychiatrist won’t clear me for a concealed carry permit,” Ezra answered sheepishly.

“I gotcha. I can’t get a concealed carry permit either, because of my record, but I still pack heat. Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what I can or can’t carry.” Nicky Joe brazenly said.

“I have found other legal ways to defend myself though,” Ezra answered.

“Like what, dawg?” Nicky Joe asked with curiosity.

“Oh that’s top-secret,” Ezra answered with confidence.

“He sounds dangerous,” Alyssa added in.

“He’s not. He’s really sweet and in a lot of ways reminds me of my Daddy,” Sadie added in.

“I think he’s a loser, what do you think, bae?” Alyssa said.

“He seems lame, but maybe he’s good for Sadie, there’s someone for everyone,” Nicky Joe added in.

“We don’t have to take this, I’m going to my room, both of you can leave now,” Sadie said with anger and frustration.

Sadie left the living room then slammed her bedroom door and locked it.

“Ezra, I’m sorry they said those things about you and I hope you still want me,” Sadie told him.

“Of course I still want you. I just hope the rest of your family is more accepting,”

“They will be, I’m almost sure of it, especially once they see how sweet you are and how you make me happy.”

“Do I make you happy though?”

“Oh, yes. Like more than ever!”

“Could it be, then, that they are jealous of us? I mean you said how Alyssa was always in competition with you and maybe she sees that I make you happy, so maybe she wants to sabotage our relationship.”

“I think you’re right, baby.”

“And Nicky Joe and I don’t have anything in common, but I wouldn’t call him lame as he did to me.”

“I know. I’m sorry he said that. I think you’re wonderful, though, so forget him.”

“His opinion of me doesn’t carry any weight as far as I’m concerned, but your opinion of me carries the weight of the universe.”

“Well, then the whole universe is in your favor because I couldn’t ask for a better man than you!”

“I’m falling even more for you, Sadie Claire Macbride!”

“And I am falling just as much for you, Ezra Lee Toussaint!”

“Don’t ever worry about Alyssa or Nicky Joe again, because it’s like you pointed out, they are jealous and they want to sabotage our relationship. Deep down Alyssa thinks that because I’m so fat, I don’t deserve happiness and she sees that I am happier than her, despite most men choosing her body over mine and it fills her with envy.”

“Well, I want you by my side forever!”

“And I will be!” Sadie paused, then continued, “Hey, would you mind me reading some of the stories from the blogger that I subscribe to? His work always gave me hope that I would find someone and now I have, because of you.”

“Sure. I’ll switch my scanner off and you can entertain me while my clothes dry.”

“Awesome, these stories have really helped me.”

Alyssa began to read the stories out loud to Ezra.

He hung on to her every word, falling even more for her.

He continued listening, then finally said when she came to a stopping point, “It’s as if he knows both of us because I can relate to many of his characters.”

“So can I!” Sadie said with vindication.

“I only wish I could write like him, though.”

“It’s okay. Maybe when we have children, and they are having a tough time we can read his blog to them as well.”

“You actually see that much of a future with me?!”

“Yes, most definitely! And so much more too!” Sadie paused and, then continued, “I hope that’s okay with you.”

“It’s wonderful. I am the happiest man on the planet. Do you know why?”

“Why?”

“Well, there’s this beautiful young lady from Alabama that I am absolutely crazy about. She has long reddish blonde hair. She stands about five feet. She has a very sexy body that I want to kiss every inch of! She is so sweet too! And she is mine all mine! Who is this beautiful young lady?”

“ME!” Sadie replied with joy.

“And don’t ever forget it!”

“I won’t!”

The dryer then buzzed indicating that Ezra’s clothes were dry.

“What was that loud sound?” Sadie asked.

“The dryer telling me that my clothes are done. I need to bring them back up to my apartment, then I need to also check my blood sugar.”

“You will call me later, though, right?”

“Of course, what time would you like me to call?”

“Well call me at eight o’clock tonight and every night after that, but you can also call me in the morning, whenever you wake up if you want. I have to eat lunch anyway, because I’m really hungry.”

“Well then you, please eat! I will do everything I need to do, then I will call you at eight o’clock tonight.”

“I’m looking forward to it.”

“Until then, just know that I want you by my side forever!”

“And you just know that I will be!”

“Okay, bye baby.”

“Bye.”

Back to “An Online Romance”

Island Drama (Sequel to “Scanner Drama”)

I initially wrote this around July 4-5, 2005 and have subsequently edited it every now and then. If the material seems dated that is because it does indeed take place in July of 2005 on the he fictitious but sovereign Archangel Island located somewhere in the Tropical Pacific.  This island state has been fighting off pirates and insurgents since its inception in the mid to late 1990s. Now the war monger president George Walker Bush has declared war on the young nation of Archangel Island because it harbors American defectors dissidents seeking asylum there. Grant West and Adrianna Parker are two of those defectors and have begun a new life for themselves with Grant helping provide security for cargo freighters and Adrianna working in a government nursery.  Their life will now be severely disrupted because of this illegal and unjust war.

In order to better understand this story, please: Read the Prequel

Without further ado, here is the story:

…Archangel Island…

…July 2005…

T’was a hot summer evening on Archangel Island. A red sunset was shining over the ocean. Grant West and Adrianna Parker were lying on the warm sands together when a middle-aged man approached them.

He spoke, “Get some good rest tonight, West. Tomorrow; we are going out to sea,” He paused then continued ¨You see that sun, `Red sky at night sailor’s delight, red sky in the morning sailor’s warning.'”

Grant answered “Yes sir I’ll be ready. I just need to spend some time with my special girl. AS for that rhyme, where I come from we say `When egrets take flight, foul weather in sight’.”

The man answered, “Ah I understand. I remember when I was YOUNG like you two. I’ll go now.” He paused, then continued “But; I want you to be at the docks 0600 hours sharp tomorrow morning. Bring your weapons and gear and be sure to set your watch.” He then left.

Adrianna leaned against Grant and said, “How many DAYS will you be gone?”

“I don’t know, it depends on how much arms we will be loading and how many ports we dock at. I will be thinking of you and missing you. You can go up to the LIGHThouse and look for us. I will carry my radio on me, and I will buy you a radio so we can keep in touch.”

“That radio wouldn’t replace you, Grant, no one or thing in THE WORLD could do that.”

Grant looked at her with exceeding PASSIONS and said, “Well Adrianna you are so sweet and hot and loving and BEAUTIFUL and the list goes on and on. When I will hear your voice while I’m out on the water, I will close my eyes and imagine you are there. The crew might have to adjust the controls of that boat until it TURNS around because I’ve gone crazy. Crazy for you, that is.”

Adrianna said with concern, “Oh, Grant, don’t do that, you would get fired.”

“Maybe, but when I get back our bed will be rocking more than that boat ever has, even in the worst of storms.”

“Well just don’t do it in front of ALL those CHILDREN I’ll be looking after.”

Grant looked up at the sky put his arm around Adrianna and said, “We have made ONE good LIFE for ourselves here. To think I was a wanted criminal. Now I protect men and cargo from pirates and insurgents while you work at a nursery.”

The mosquitoes were starting so they decided to head into their dwelling. After locking the door, Grant and Adrianna went into their bed and cuddled. All the lights were turned off and the only way they could see the full moon reflected upon the ocean and into their window. Grant ran his fingers through Adrianna’s hair. She smiled at him and kissed him, then petted him on his face. A cool breeze was blowing in from off the ocean and into their screened window. They were both shivering and held each other close together. Grant unbuttoned Adrianna’s shirt, and then pulled it off. He started rubbing her smooth, pale, creamy skin gently. From the feeling of Grant’s masculine hands on her skin and the cool breeze blowing in, her nipples became erect. Grant kissed Adrianna on her chest and neck. Adrianna giggled teasingly at Grant as she unbuttoned his pants and shirt. Grant put his hands up her skirt and untied it. Her skirt fell to the floor. He rubbed her bottom gently AS he started pulling down her panties. Adrianna threw them on top of Grant’s head as she laughed. She then pulled down Grant’s boxers. They admired each others’ bodies for just a moment, then climbed and covered between the sheets. They rolled around in the sheets hugging and kissing each other passionately, as they made love. Both were moaning and sighing with pleasure as they were overcome by each other. After climaxing several times, they slept between the cool sheets. Grant lay intimately close up against Adrianna with her arms and legs around him. Morning came quickly. The pink light was barely making it through the dense fog. Grant stood up from the bed. He walked to the bathroom and started to dress as Adrianna quietly lay in bed asleep. He finished dressing and walked out of the dwelling. On his way out he gently kissed Adrianna on her forehead. He headed to the supply store and walked in.

The owner of the store greeted him and asked, “How can I help you?” The man had several scars on his face and missing teeth.
Grant answered him pulling out his radio “I work on a boat and I am going out to sea today. I want to keep in contact with my girl. Would you carry any radio that is compatible with this one?”

The man examined Grant’s radio and said, “Certainly do. You see these devices talk through our satellite. As long as you both are in the range of it you can talk to each other. Several businesses on the island got together and launched it so they could have a practical way of keeping in touch. We also use the satellite for defense operations.” The owner went to the back of the store and came back with a package. Grant went to pay for the radio when the shop owner pointed down at a combat knife under the glass counter. He said, “If you are going out to sea you will also want to buy one of these.”

He handed the knife to Grant, who looked at it then said “It is a nice knife, I think it will do well with the rest of my gear.¨

The owner replied ¨I’ve heard about you, taking out four thugs with almost just your wits. You remind me of me when I was much younger. I think you will make a decent asset to guarding our logistics. I used to do the very thing, but now I work with arms dealers, and I supply the island with tactical gear.¨ Grant simply nodded then paid for both items and walked out of the store.

The middle-aged man from the previous evening followed Grant out of the shop and approached him “Hello my name is Blaze. I could not help but overhear your conversation.”

Grant shook his hand once again.

“The captain has told me about you. Stick with me and you will be fine.”

“Well let me go tell my girlfriend goodbye and then I will be reporting for work. I’ll meet you at the port.”

Grant walked back to his dwelling. He unlocked and opened the door and met Adrianna. She was still in her nightclothes.

He hugged her and kissed her immediately, then said, “Here you go Adrianna this is the radio I told you about. We can keep in touch now. Grant handed it to her and she set it down on the nightstand.

“It is a somewhat reassurance, but not a replacement of you Grant. I don’t know if I could stand being alone without you.”

“I know it will be lonely, but at least we can hear each other’s voice no matter where we are. I know I would go insane if I couldn’t hear you talk to me.”

Grant packed several pairs of tee shirts, pants, socks, boots, razors with lather and aftershave, his long tactical flashlight with its belt holster, his new combat knife in its scabbard, and his communications radio.

“Grant you sure are BOLD you know that. You’re risking your life going out on that dangerous water. Since you got me that radio, I want you to talk to me every chance you get. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll grow RESTLESS.”

Grant looked at Adrianna soberly and gently said “I must go now, I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

Adrianna threw her arms around Grant. Grant kissed her passionately and held her for just a moment longer. They both opened their eyes and then backed from each other.

Adrianna said, “Be safe Grant. I love you so much!”

He kissed her once more and replied, “I love you too,” then left their dwelling.

He walked out to the dock where all the others were starting to arrive. He attached his radio, flashlight, and knife to his belt.

Blaze saw Grant and said, “Come here man, it’s time to report to work.”

The captain was standing amid all of them. He spoke, “Good morning everyone. I am a man of few words. We shall be leaving shortly and will be stationed on a patrol boat to escort a cargo freighter on the high seas. We will anchor on the high seas as the freighter goes into foreign ports to pick up the goods we are purchasing. We will continue to escort the cargo freighter once it returns to our position on the high seas. Make sure each of you has a knife, and be sure you know how to use it. I hope that we will have no casualties on this trip, but I can’t promise anything. Your duties are to protect your fellow crew members and all the cargo we are carrying at all costs. Remember, all of you are permitted to use lethal force, if necessary. That is all. God bless.”

Grant secured his belongings and boarded the boat along with the other men. The engine was started and not long after a course was plotted and they headed out to sea. The ride was mostly smooth AS the boat was cruising all of them were sitting out on the deck, keeping a watch for attackers. Grant kept to himself. He was listening to his radio, in case Adrianna would call. After not hearing her for a while, he realized that she was at work taking care of children.

Blaze sat near Grant and offered him a cigarette.

Grant shook his head, then replied, “Smoking causes erectile dysfunction and I want to be a lover to Adrianna as long as possible.”

“I fully understand. Best you don’t get addicted anyway.”

“I do have a question, though.”

“Ask away.”

“Tell me, Blaze. Why do all these foreigners attack us?”

“They are jealous of us. Our sovereignty is undeniable proof of their incompetence and failures and that makes us detestable in their sight. These foreigners do not have access to much money so their boats are not heavily armed. They sure know how to fight hand to hand though. You see that radio, never tell your location on there. Those foreigners monitor our satellite communications. They come out of nowhere on small boats and try to steal our cargo. They come onto our boats and attack. Thankfully we know how to fight back. Remember Grant it is legal to do anything to those attackers once they climb aboard. I execute them and use the fleshly remains of their bodies for crab bait.”

Grant then showed his long tactical flashlight to Blaze and said, “I once smashed a bully’s windpipe with this. It could effectively stop someone with a knife or better yet hand to hand, due to the blunt force it provides.”

“I heard about that when you defected from The States and applied for asylum here on Archangel Island. Very impressive.”

“Thank you, sir!”

“I was able to read the news reports about you from The States as well.”

“How’d you do that?”

“Our Defense Intelligence Service shared it with me when I was commanded to mentor you.”

“How did they portray me?”

“Most of them were thirsting for your blood but a very select few were singing your praises.”

“Somehow I am not surprised.”

“Try not to let it get to you. As long as we maintain our sovereignty, you will be safe.”

Grant nodded.

“Now, another hour and our shifts are over,” Blaze told Grant.

Grant kept a sharp eye on the lookout for attackers and the sun was beginning to set.

Blaze looked at his watch and said, “That’s it-the shift has ended. Get some food and rest.”

Blaze and Grant walked into the galley and were fed a meal of deep-fried cod fillets, thick fried potatoes, coleslaw, and a premium crafted cola to drink.”
After Grant had eaten and drank his fill he went to the top of the boat, pulled out his radio, and called Adrianna.

She was just getting into the big empty bed when she heard his voice, “Hello Adrianna, are you there?”

Adrianna replied “Yes I am here. Where are you right now?”

“I’m afraid I can’t say, we have enemies listening in on us as we speak.”

“You are okay though-right?”

“Yes, I am fine. I just got off of my shift. It was a good first day. How was yours.”

“Well, I think I am pretty good with THE CHILDREN. I had fun today and the pay is decent. I never thought I could make this much money doing this kind of work.”

“Yes, my love I think we will like it here.”

The letters AI1COMM in Morse code followed Grant’s transmission. A synthesized computer voice came in and said, “Please keep the satellite communication brief.”

Grant then said, “We cannot talk too long, our Rescue and Defense services use this satellite for their communications also.”

Adrianna replied, “Okay I don’t want us to get in trouble. We can talk later, baby.”

“I guess we could talk for a little while later, but I love you as much as ever.”

“I love you too, Grant.”

The call was then disconnected.

Grant walked down to the sleeping quarters of the boat and placed his radio in his pocket and went to sleep. He dreamed of Adrianna. Meanwhile, she put her radio in the charger and crawled in between the cool sheets of the empty bed, and went to sleep to dream of Grant.

The next morning Adrianna woke up to the crash of thunder and the splashing of rain. She got out of bed and went into the bathroom to get ready for work. She walked out all dressed up as the rain was still coming down hard. Adriana put her raincoat on, grabbed her radio, and walked out of the dwelling to her work. Hours passed. The rain had stopped and the sun started to shine. Adrianna took the children outside then tuned her radio to the satellite up-link frequency. She keyed it up and called for Grant.

Grant heard the call signal coming through as he was preparing to begin his shift for the day.

He answered, “Hello Adrianna, my baby.”

Adrianna replied “I miss you so much. I am constantly thinking about you.”

“Well, I would like to take you into my arms right now and make the purest, sweetest, most passionate love to you.”

“Grant watch your mouth. Those kids might be able to hear my radio.”

“They will understand when they are our age.”

A little girl was approaching Adrianna, so she told Grant, “I have to go right now Grant, there is a little girl that needs my help right now.”

“Okay, I will talk to you at the end of this shift. I love you, Adrianna.”

“I love you too, Grant.”

The call was disconnected.

Grant soon began his shift, keeping a watch for pirates.

Adrianna looked at the little girl and said, “Allie, what’s the matter?”

Allie replied, “Some mean boys are picking on Romey. They want to beat him up I think.”

“Thank you for telling me, now just stay right here,” Adrianna thought of how Grant was jumped when they were in the States. She had an idea that would prove to be successful.

She walked up to Romey and said, “Romey come with me.”

The other boys started to make noise as if they thought Romey was in trouble.

She then told him, “Now I have heard that those boys wanted to hurt you. Is that true?”

Romey looked down at the ground and said, “Yes it’s true. I just want them to leave me alone.”

Adrianna replied, “Well come play over here with Allie and me.”

Romey smiled and nodded. They walked back to where Allie was standing.

Adrianna said, “Could I talk to Allie in private for just a few seconds?”

Romey, replied, “Sure I guess.”

Adrianna told Romey, “Just stay where I can see you.”

Romey went a few feet away and closed his ears.

Adrianna told Allie, “I need you to be Romey’s friend AS he doesn’t have any. I would appreciate it if you would just go play with him. It would be good for him to have someone like you to play with and talk to.”

Allie smiled and said, “Sure, I would be happy to do that. Romey is a nice boy and he is so cute but those others are mean to him.”

Adrianna then called Romey over. He came up to her and she said, “Romey, you and Allie go play together. Don’t go too far from me.”

Allie said, “Come on Romey we can go swing together.”

They swung together for a few minutes, then Allie said, “Let’s go play with Miss Adrianna.”

Romey nodded in agreement. They walked up to her.

Allie asked, “Will you play with us?”

“Sure, Allie, what do you want to play?”

“Let’s play with your radio,” Allie said with excitement.

Adrianna replied, “That’s not a toy.”

Allie made a face of disappointment.

Romey then asked, “What do you use it for?”

Adrianna replied, “I use it to talk to my boyfriend, while he is out at sea.”

Romey replied, “That’s so cool. Allie we could play those phones in the toy box.”

Allie replied, “Yeah Romey, we can pretend that I am Miss Adrianna, and you are her boyfriend out at sea.” Adrianna giggled and said, “OK you two, just stay where I can see you.”

‎ The Defense Intelligence Services alerted the officials, who forwarded the critical information to the population that Archangel Island might soon be under attack.

The sirens started blaring and Adrianna ran up to Romey and Allie, then grabbed both of their hands. She ran with them down to the bunker. Adrianna and the other workers escorted the rest of the children down. When all were in Adrianna found Romey and Allie.

Allie asked, “What is going on?”

Adrianna replied “President Bush is preparing the American forces to attack our island and our fleets. I need both of you to cooperate and do what we tell you. Both of you stick together in case something should happen to me.”

Romey blurted out, “That durn Bush!”

Allie oblivious to the situation giggled a little.

So did Adrianna but she then said soberly, “I’m an American defector and so is my boyfriend and we don’t like him either, Romey.”

Allie replied as she started crying, “I don’t want them to take you away.”

Romey said, “I’ll fight them if they try to take you or your boyfriend away.”

Adrianna hugged them both and said, “They might have to take me away. Romey, promise me that you will not try to attack the Americans, because they will beat you and lock you up.”

All three had tears in their eyes.

Grant came through over the radio, “Adrianna, is everything all right over there?”

Adrianna replied, “I am all right as are the children, we are just shaken up.”

Grant replied, “We are coming home, so the Americans don’t attack any of our ships. I’m told that several arms dealers will arm us and drop the supplies via air. Some mercenary pilots have decided to guard our airspace, but I will soon be reassigned.”

Adrianna said, “Grant please be safe. I love you so much.”

Grant answered, “I love you too Adrianna.”

A transmission from the communications headquarters came through. It was the voice of a woman, which said, “Keep the satellite communications clear except for necessary traffic.”

Time passed by slowly. There was total silence in the bunker, but the air was filled with anxiety. Thirty-six hours later the fleet of boats docked. Grant got off and ran to the daycare center. He knocked on the door and was greeted by a guard from the Archangel Island Government.

He asked Grant, “What is your purpose here?” Grant replied, “My girlfriend, Adrianna Parker, works here and I need to see her.”
The guard replied, “Follow me.”

Grant entered the bunker. He looked around the room until his eyes landed on Adrianna. He ran up to her and they kissed.

The guard said “You two can both go home, for right now. Grant be prepared to fight soon. Adrianna, don’t go too far. We might need you to help the children.”

Grant and Adrianna walked to their dwelling. They settled in when the telephone rang. It was Blaze, he said “Report back to the government headquarters building in the morning. Bring your knife and radio. Also; you must buy a pistol and an assault rifle. We will be organized into security platoons to guard the island. I have been named the leader of our platoon. The good news is, you get to go home every day. The bad news is, we will probably be invaded. Get everything in order now.”

Grant broke the news he just heard to Adrianna.

Adrianna started sobbing as she threw her arms around him. There was a silence as they both climbed into bed. They held each other somberly and then started to make love with great emotion. After experiencing passionate intimacy once again, they snuggled together and were soon asleep.

Morning came all too quickly and bitterly.

Adrianna told Grant, “I can’t lose you.”

“I will do my best AS I have no other choice.”

Both were crying at this point.

Grant looked at Adrianna deeply, knowing he might never see her again if an invasion indeed occurred and he was killed in action.

He kissed her passionately and hugged her with a tight grip. They held each other closely.

There was then a knock at the door.

They both answered it and were greeted by Blaze

“Grant it’s time to go,” He said.

Grant nodded with a somber look.

“I love you so much, Adrianna!”

“I love you too, Grant!” They hugged and kissed one final time.

Then Grant walked out of the door. Adrianna watched them walk until they disappeared into the fog…

Back to “Works of Fiction”

Contact Me

iAffection Part Five

PART FIVE (FRIDAY):

The next morning, Ethan woke up to his grandparents brewing a coffee and chicory blend.

He slowly opened his eyes and removed his blankets, then stepped off the convertible sofa.

His grandpa was cutting up French bread and spreading some butter on it.

His grandmother was frying eggs and slices of chopped ham.

Ethan walked to the table where he was soon handed a plate.

“This breakfast should hold you up!” Ethan’s grandmother said.

“Eat up, Ethan,” His grandpa added in.

The three ate and then his grandpa said, “Since our retirement pension benefits were deposited two days ago, and all the bills are paid, I’m taking us to eat out for lunch!”

“Where at?” Ethan asked.

“The cafe` at The Downtown Grocer.” His grandpa replied.

“Tessa’s mother eats there a lot!”

“Try to stay on her good side, Ethan whatever you do!”

“Hey, how well I know, but good advice!”

Ethan’s grandmother gave them both a dirty look.

Ethan finished eating then drank down his coffee, chicory, and milk blend then his grandparents placed the dishes and cookware in the dishwasher and started it.

Afterward, his grandparents went into the living room and watched the news.

Ethan went into the bathroom and activated the mail client app on his iPod Touch.

He began writing a message to Tessa, “Hey. My grandpa is taking me and my grandma to eat at The Downtown Grocer cafe` later today.”

“Awesome. My mom and I just arrived at the hospital clinic and we are about to check in,” Tessa replied.

“Okay. I hope and pray for you to have good results.”

“You and me both! Now I have to sign in at the desk.”

“Okay, I have to start getting ready anyway, but just know that I love you and I want you by my side forever!”

“I love you too and you know I will be!”

Ethan got dressed and then sat in the living room with his grandparents as they switched between the cable news channels, adding their colorful commentary.

A few hours later they were all getting hungry, so they decided it was time to leave.

All three used the bathroom one after the other and then got into the car and drove downtown to go eat.

Ethan’s grandpa parked in the handicapped spot of the parking garage then they walked into The Downtown Grocer.

All three ordered a plate lunch.

Ethan ordered white beans with fried catfish and drank a Cherry Coke.

His grandmother ordered a shrimp po’boy and unsweetened iced tea.

And his grandpa ordered a platter consisting of field peas over rice, tomatoes okra and corn, and grilled redfish as the main entree and he drank an Orange Fanta with that.

As they were about to eat, fate aligned even more to Ethan and Tessa’s side when Tessa and her mother also walked into The Downtown Grocer Cafe`.

Ethan told his grandparents with excitement, “Tessa and her mom are here; I’ll introduce them to y’all”

He then walked up to Tessa and her Mom and hugged both of them.

“I was hoping I would see you here, that’s why I picked it. My mom and I always eat out somewhere after a doctor’s appointment.”

“What did the doctor say?”

“Everything is normal, I just gained a couple of pounds, but my doctor wants me on birth control more than ever now.”

“Well you could get as big as this building and I would still love you and yes I would still want you by my side forever!”

Tessa grabbed Ethan and stole a kiss from him, then replied, “I know I’ve found someone wonderful and I love you too and you can count on it that I will be by your side forever!”

Ethan’s grandparents were watching the whole time.

He walked Tessa over to them and introduced them to her while her mother ordered.

“She sure is pretty, Ethan, you have good taste!” His grandpa said.

Tessa blushed and said, “Thank you!”

“How did you and Ethan meet?” His grandmother asked her.

“Well, I just started at this school. I was given a voucher because my grades were so good. I was even skipped ahead one year. I sat near Ethan in English class, he passed me a note and the rest is history.”

“Now, if you’re that smart continue with it. I know you love Ethan but your schooling is also important.”

“Yes ma’am, I sure will!”

Tessa’s mother then left the counter with no food and said, “I’m sorry Tessa, but we won’t be eating out today. My card was declined.”

Ethan’s grandpa introduced himself and his wife to Tessa’s mom then said, “I’ll pay for your meal. It’s the least I could do. I mean your daughter makes my grandson very happy and brings out the best in him.” He paused then said, “I also completely disagree with the way the school is handling their situation and I’ve decided not to give them any more contributions!”

“Oh, thank you, Mister. I must admit that your grandson is very good to my daughter and he also makes her very happy.”

Ethan’s grandpa told the cashier, “Fill the order, it’s on me.”

He then paid the order.

Tessa and her mom were then handed four pieces of fried chicken, with a large potato salad and a large coleslaw. They were also given each a cup of Dr. Pepper.

All of them put two tables together and dined in fellowship.

All seemed happy, except for Ethan’s grandmother who had a look of discontent on her face and didn’t say much.

After the meal was over, Tessa’s mom picked up her leftovers to bring home and said, “Well, I’ve got to bring you home then I have to get back to work, but it was nice meeting all of you. Ethan, maybe you can come by this weekend and meet the rest of the family.”

“Thank you. I’d like that a lot!” Ethan replied.

Tessa’s mother then looked at Ethan’s grandpa and said, “Thank you for everything you have truly been a big help!”

“Well, I try, but we need to get home too before this weather gets even colder.”

Ethan and Tessa shared a sweet but respectful kiss, then they all went their ways.

As they were riding back home, Ethan asked his grandparents, “Well, what did you think of Tessa?”

“I think she is pretty and sweet and smart. You’ve got yourself a good one, there!” His grandpa said.

Ethan said, “What do you think, grandma?”

“Well, I saw Tessa and her mother eating meat on a Friday, if they’re even Catholic, which I doubt, they’re certainly not good Catholics.”

“Honey, for Christ sakes don’t start that garbage!” Ethan’s grandpa interjected.

“Well, Ethan asked me what I thought and I’m being honest with him.”

“Well if the entire Catholic Church is as corrupt as my school, I don’t want anything to do with it anyway!” Ethan said.

Ethan’s grandmother turned to him with a look of extreme anger on her face, as she said, “If you give up on your faith, you will pay for it for eternity, Ethan!”

“He’s right though, honey. Our church is very corrupt.”

“I don’t care how corrupt y’all claim it is, it caused me to live my life right!”

“Yes, under constant fear of damnation though!” Ethan interjected.

“Shut your mouth, young man!” Ethan’s grandma shouted with anger.

Ethan quickly stifled.

Ethan’s grandpa said, “Honey. Ethan is right, you know. Us lay people are commanded to toe the line but those priests do God awful things to children.”

“Well, my catholic religion has caused me to do good. I certainly wasn’t fornicating at age seventeen like Ethan is doing.”

“Only because you hadn’t met me yet. After all, I was at war fighting for my country. And just so you know the Constitution of the country I fought for allows each person the right to choose their religion.”

“I bet Tessa’s family has no religion whatsoever, though.” She paused then continued, “And what if you got her pregnant, Ethan? You might have ruined your life now.”

“Not so. She takes birth control pills.”

Ethan’s grandma became even angrier then said, “Now I know for a fact that they have no religion. Every Pope has condemned anyone who uses birth control since it was invented.”

Ethan’s grandpa became very concerned, then asked, “Did you use protection? Because if she’s on birth control, who knows what other guys she has laid down with before you. She might have given you something that not even Ajax can clean off.”

“No, but we were both virgins.”

“This is going to be a blunt question, but did she bleed when you penetrated her?”

“Yes. Quite a bit.”

“Then you need to marry her and honor her for the rest of your life!”

Ethan’s grandma then added, “And you better try and make her become a catholic.”

“Whatever her choice, I’ll stand by her. I’m not so sure if even I want to be a catholic anymore, after the way my school has treated me.”

“I cannot believe what I am hearing out of my own flesh and blood.”

“It’s his Constitutional right.”

“Then I am also guaranteed freedom of speech which means I can tell his parents what he is doing behind their backs.”

“Would you really be that cruel?”

“It’s for his own good.”

“No, it’s not. You’re just prejudiced against anyone who is not a catholic. I see how happy they are together and you know his parents will keep them apart and then they will both be damaged goods to any future partners of theirs. Let them be together and marry as soon as they are legally able.”

“But they need to finish their education.”

“They still can. Many of my Army buddies went to college while supporting their families after the war. Furthermore, Ethan and Tessa have access to birth control pills that will prevent any unwanted pregnancies as well.”

“Now you too, honey? If my parents were alive to hear you talking in favor of birth control like you are, they would have deeply regretted letting you marry me.”

“I don’t think so, I lifted you out of poverty.”

“Of course, you would say that, but just know that money is the root of all evil. Furthermore, it is very hard for a rich person to go to Heaven.”

“Well, let me remind you then, that the roman catholic church is the richest organization in the world. But here’s the hypocrisy of it all Rome wants to keep the average catholic family in total poverty by commanding them to bear more children than they can support and then giving all their extra money to the church. They just want to promote human suffering if you ask me.”

“Suffering in this life will bring rewards in the next.”

“Then why did you even marry me? Because through my hard work, I spared you from a lot of suffering, at least financially. So, I guess God will take away your rewards somehow because I gave you a decent life?”

“You did give me a wonderful life and I am forever grateful to you for that. But I lived right all my life, so I will have a lot of rewards!”

“Then if you are grateful to me, I would like some peace and quiet. That means don’t tell Ethan’s parents about this either!”

“All right, honey, have it your way. I will comply with your request but I am not happy about it.”

With that, they pulled into the complex parking lot, parked the car, and walked into the building.

Soon they were in their unit and Ethan walked into the bathroom with his iPod Touch.

Ethan checked his email app and saw he had one message from Tessa. It read, “Hey. I’m so glad we were able to see each other today and my Mom is very thankful that your Grandpa bought us lunch. Do you, by any chance, know the names of those two boys that battered me? My Mom wants to call the police and press charges on them. Write me back as soon as you get this message. I love you!”

“Hey, sorry, I’m just getting back to my grandparents’ condo now. Those boys’ names are Micah Messer and Fisher Aycock. When I get back to my parents’ house I can look them up in the student directory and give you their addresses as well. And just so you know, I love you too!”

“Thank you. I will tell my Mom and she will shortly be calling the police.”

“I sincerely hope justice is served, but I’m very much aware of just how corrupt everything is.”

“I know. They probably have connections and will get just a slap on the wrist, if that even.”

“I know this: I want to marry you!”

“I want to marry you as well. Hopefully, you can meet my family this weekend.”

“I hope so too, but I would have to convince my parents to let me come.”

“Couldn’t you take the bus?”

“I would have to sneak out and then the cops would be called on me.”

“Your family seems very uptight.”

“Oh, if only you knew.”

“That bad?”

“Well, my grandma came unglued because she saw you and your mom eating meat today.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Oh, it’s some silly old catholic rule that says how it is a mortal sin to eat meat on Friday.”

“That’s why she was so quiet, then.”

“Bingo.”

“My grandpa likes you and your mom though.”

“I wasn’t raised catholic. My Dad was a Christian, but we stopped going to church after he passed away.”

“Well if you haven’t figured it out already, the catholic religion is very flawed.”

“I see how corrupt it is.”

“Speaking of that, we return to school Monday. We’re going to have to keep our relationship low key because they will be looking for reasons to write us up.”

“We can always meet up after school and on weekends, especially once you’re no longer grounded.”

“Yes. And hopefully, I can get my driver’s license, soon, but I have to convince my parents that I’m responsible enough.”

“I’m not old enough to get my license, yet, but even if I was, my Mom couldn’t afford to insure me.”

“Even though your grades are so good?”

“We don’t have the money, not even for a discounted rate. Speaking of good grades I have to catch up on my homework.”

“Yes. I have to do mine as well.”

“We will also need to do a lot of extra credit assignments to make up for the credit we lost while being suspended.”

“I know. I’m going to hate that, but it was worth it for you!”

“You’re so sweet. I love you so much!”

“I love you too and I want you by my side forever.”

“I will be!”

Both Ethan and Tessa began their homework assignments.

Ethan tried to work diligently, tuning out the cable news channels his grandma was watching.

His workload was very heavy, but little by little he eventually got it done.

Meanwhile, Tessa’s Mother called the police to report the battering that was done to her daughter.

In time an officer arrived at her house and she took down all the information. Tessa then gave a recorded statement.

Afterward, the officer said, “Those two boys will likely be booked, but I cannot promise that the charges will stick.”

Tessa then began her homework and studied diligently until dinner time.

She and her mother then each ate a Baquet frozen dinner together, which they heated in the gas oven, then they adjusted the antennas, then turned on the television set and converter box and watched some prime time dramas together.

Ethan’s Dad then came to pick him up from his grandparents’ condominium.

He drove Ethan back to the house in total silence.

Ethan continued the last of his homework, then ate a frozen pizza for dinner, late in the evening.

Finally, he went to his bedroom and locked the door.

He then connected through his next-door neighbor’s WiFi, logged into the email client, and then wrote a message to Tessa, “Hey. I’m back at my parents’ house. I don’t think that they know about our secret communications, but the door is locked, just in case.”

“That’s a very good thing because I miss you already. I’m getting ready for bed right now, but we could talk for a little while.”

“I’m getting ready for bed as well, but I wish you were in my arms.”

“You and me both.”

“I wonder if we will be able to be together at school, next Monday as long as we don’t show any physical affection.”

“Other couples get away with so much more, so maybe. If not, as you said, we can be together after school and on weekends.”

“Yes, money talks. So does athletic ability, unfortunately. The cop who came to my house said that those two boys will indeed be booked but she cannot promise that the charges will stick.”

“That is so unfair, but, even if they get away with it, we still have each other. Also what goes around comes around.”

“I hope we will always have each other. By the way, my mom still wants you to meet my family tomorrow if you’re parents are okay with you coming.”

“We will be together, as long as I can help it. And I would be honored to meet your family! It’s just I have to convince my parents to let me come!”

“My uncles might grill you, though.”

“Well, I will just have to make it crystal clear to them how much I am committed to you!”

“Oh, once they see that, they will take you in as one of their own!”

“I’m getting sleepy, but I’m going to mentally take you to bed with me!”

“And I’m going to imagine you next to me all night long!”

“Oh, how I long to be next to you, so close to you that I can hear your heart beating! I equally long to shower your whole body with kisses, until you fall asleep in my arms. And not only that, I desire to keep you in my arms throughout the night, both tonight and every night following, then wake up to your beautiful face right in front of mine. But until then, and I know I say it a lot but I love you and I want you by my side forever!”

“That was so beautiful, you really should pursue a career in writing! And just so you know, I love you too and I will be by your side forever!”

“I only pray that somehow we will see each other tomorrow.”

“Yes, I cannot wait.”

“Okay, until I will tell you good night and that I love you!”

“Good night and I love you too!”

Both Ethan and Tessa fell asleep soon after, longing to be in each others’ presence.

Back to “iAffection”

iAffection Part Four

PART FOUR (THURSDAY):

The next morning Ethan told his grandparents, “I am going to play on the grounds again if that’s all right.”

“What about breakfast? We have oatmeal and hot syrup,” His grandma asked.

“I’m not hungry,” Ethan answered.

His grandpa replied, “Sure, just remember to wear your coat to protect you from this cold weather.”

With that, Ethan walked out of the building, and down to the bus stop then boarded the next bus. The ride lasted about 45 minutes with all of the stops until finally he was dropped off and walked the final block.

Tessa lived in the suburbs west of the City in an old house that was very much in need of repair. He walked in front of the house and Tessa was waiting on the porch. She motioned for him to enter the gate of the hurricane fence. Ethan did so, looking at her and smiling lovingly. He walked up the steps of her front porch, where she met him and took him by the hand as they walked in. The house had two bedrooms, a living room a kitchen, a dining area, and one and a half bathrooms. It was very cold as the previous day, so they both made a be line for Tessa’s bed.

On their way to her bed, Tessa raised the thermostat of floor furnace to 80 degrees, then commented “Finally, we have some real alone time.”

They walked to her bedroom and were immediately taken control by their raging hormones.

Wildly they began to kiss each other as Tessa said “I won’t make you do anything you would regret. Still, if you want me, you will be my first.”

Ethan replied “I do want you, and only you! By the way, you will be my first as well. I want you, both now and forever and I will regret nothing.”

They teasingly undressed each other, then went into each others’ arms as they fell into Tessa’s bed making passionate love, both a little shy at first. After mutually feeling the climax, they cuddled in bed for a short spell then got dressed and afterward ate a meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ethan looked around the kitchen and dining area and saw several take out bags from The Downtown Grocer Cafe` as well as their daily menu on the refrigerator.

As they were eating Ethan said awkwardly, “If I got you pregnant my parents would go nuclear on me.”

Tessa replied, “Don’t worry about that, I’m on birth control, you know, for just in case. It was my mom’s idea.”

Ethan breathed a sigh of relief.

Tessa then said “I know, I know, that would be the last thing I would want. I would be expelled from school then.”

Ethan replied, “That stupid school president would probably expel us if he knew what we just did. It would be well worth it though.”

Tessa asked, “What would you like to do now?”

“Cuddle with you some more,” Ethan answered.

They went back to bed and fell asleep together until Tessa’s mother came in. She knocked on the bedroom door while they were still sleeping in bed. Tessa woke up. Ethan jumped and went into a panic as he began to shake profusely.

“Just a minute,” Tessa nervously said.

Tessa opened the door and her mother walked in as she said “You must be Ethan Mays. I’ve heard so much about you.”

She then looked at both of them sternly and said “I can just about guess what you two were doing in there.” Both Ethan and Tessa blushed brightly. Tessa’s mother paused then said, “Since you both were intimate, I expect both of you to commit to each other and only each other.” She then looked at Ethan and said, “And all I ask is that you treat Tessa with reverence, respect, love and, kindness because she deserves nothing less.” Tessa’s mother paused and then said, “If you don’t Tessa has uncles who can deal with you.”

Ethan grew even more nervous.

Tessa added in “It’s all right Ethan, you are not in any trouble and you never will be as long as you do what my mom just said.”

He looked at the time on his iPod Touch and realized he needed to be back at his grandparents’ condo.

Once again, he began to shake with panic.

“What’s wrong, Ethan?” Tessa asked.

Ethan replied, “I need to be back at my grandparents’ condo before all hell breaks loose.”

Tessa’s mother offered to drive him back to which he agreed.

Upon exiting the car, Ethan kissed Tessa to which he said “I love you Tessa and I want you by my side forever!”

She replied, “I love you too Ethan, and I will be! I’ll let you know the plans for tomorrow, but I do have a doctor’s appointment.”

They simply kissed once more.

Ethan thanked Tessa’s mother for the ride then walked into his grandparents’ condo to which his grandmother asked “Where have you been? You weren’t on the grounds.”

Ethan decided to be honest and replied, “I spent the day with Tessa at her house. Please don’t tell my parents.”

His grandmother sternly said, “Well, I can about imagine what you and she were doing there.”

Ethan’s grandpa came to his defense and said, “Honey, they love each other and Ethan deserves at least some privacy at his age.”

“Too much privacy results in delinquency, honey,” His grandmother replied.

His grandpa pleaded with her, “Now you know I would have done the same thing if I was ever separated from you. We were young once. Can’t you understand?”

She replied, “I just don’t like going behind his parents.”

His grandpa corrected her, saying, “Even if they are wrong though? You know they are wrong, right, honey?”

“Yes, they are wrong, and the whole situation is wrong!” She admitted, then said, “Ethan you better marry this girl as soon as you finish college.”

Ethan replied, “I’ll marry her even sooner than that! She is so sweet.”

With seriousness, his grandma replied, “You need to be sweet to her as well.”

“Of course I will,” Ethan said with assurance.

“Why don’t we eat supper?” Ethan’s grandpa said.

“Yes, I’m very hungry,” Ethan said, then blushed afterward.

Ethan’s grandparents looked at each other, as if to confirm their suspicions, then began preparing a dinner of turnip stew and fried smoked sausages on the side.

Ethan went into the bathroom and messaged Tessa, “I love you more than ever and I want you to know that I want you by my side forever!”

A few minutes passed, but then Tessa replied, “I love you too and I will be!”

Ethan then typed, “I have a few free minutes until dinner is ready.”

“Okay. My mom ordered Asian takeout and we are waiting for it to arrive.”

Ethan then said, “Not just because of what happened today, but especially because of it, I want you to know that I am completely committed to you and you only and my goal for our relationship is indeed to treat you with reverence, respect, love, and kindness. I don’t want anyone else and there isn’t a woman or girl on this planet that can take me away from you! I just hope you feel the same way.”

Tessa replied, “I do feel the same way, Ethan. You make me happier than ever!”

Ethan then said, “You know my grandparents found out we spent the day together and I think they know what we did.”

“How did they react?” Tessa asked.

Ethan replied, “My grandpa doesn’t mind and my grandma was ticked at first but then she said how I better marry you as soon as I finish college.”

“How do you feel about what your grandma said?” Tessa asked.

“Honestly I’d marry you right now if we were old enough!” Ethan replied.

“I would too. You’ve made me the happiest girl there is!” Tessa proclaimed.

There was a knock on the door and Ethan’s grandpa said, “I have to use the tur-let again. Dinner is almost ready.”

“My grandpa has to use the bathroom so I have to go now. I love you and I want you by my side forever!” Ethan messaged her.

“Okay. Enjoy your dinner. I love you too and I will be!” Tessa replied…

Ethan went into the kitchen and ate dinner with his grandparents.

There was much tension in the air and very awkward silence as they ate.

Afterward, Ethan’s grandparents went into the living room and watch the cable news channels in total silence.

Finally, they went to sleep.

As soon as they closed the bedroom door, Ethan pulled out his iPod Touch and logged into the email client.

There was just one message, “Hey Ethan, I cannot wait to talk again. Message me when you are able. I love you!”

Ethan quickly typed a reply message, “I’m available now, Tessa, and I love you too!”

Tessa instantly answered, “We can talk for a little while, but I have to get some sleep tonight because tomorrow I see my doctor.”

“What for? Are you okay?” Ethan inquired.

“Yes, I’m okay. My weight and my blood levels just need monitoring because of these birth control pills. They could make me gain more weight. I hope you would still want me if that happened.”

Quickly and with much assuredness, Ethan replied, “Of course I would still want you! Yes, I think you are beautiful just as you are, but to me, your size isn’t an issue. Your soul is beautiful and that is what I am in love with most of all.”

Tessa then replied, “Would you still be attracted to me though?”

Ethan frantically typed the words in hopes to comfort and assure Tessa of his love for her, “Yes I definitely would. I’m weird and I’m not like most guys. I never wanted to lay down with a girl just because I thought she was hot. I’ve always wanted to lay down with a girl who treats me right and loves me for me, with all my flaws included. That’s why I gave myself to you and that is why I want you forever. Besides, I think your chubbiness makes you sexy as hell! I’m almost sure you want me for me and not my status as a rich kid.”

Tessa replied, “I want you because you have a very pure and equally kind heart. And I want you more than ever now!”

Ethan then said, “I know my parents and grandparents want me to finish high school and college, but I want to marry you as soon as you are legally able. That would mean when I am twenty and you are eighteen.”

“Yes. I would want that too! You’re making me the happiest girl ever!”

Ethan then said, “Well you know, I do love you!”

Tessa replied, “I love you too!”

“And you also know, I’m sure, that I want you by my side forever!”

“Yes, I know. And I will be!”

There was a silence as both were getting sleepy.

Ethan then asked, “Is it all right if we sign off for the evening? I’m getting tired.”

Tessa replied, “Yes that’s fine. I just wanted to let you know that these pills could make me keep gaining weight and I was worried you would break up with me. I needed to tell you that because I wanted to make sure you would still want me. Now that I know that I can sleep easy.”

Ethan then said, “You can know this with certainty that I want you, no matter what. You can take it to the bank and cash it!”

Tessa replied with happiness, “I know.”

Ethan then said, “Don’t ever forget it, either!”

“Oh, how I wish I was in your arms right now, Ethan!” Tessa proclaimed.

“Me too!” Ethan replied.

“Well, we both need our sleep. So let’s say good night,” Tessa typed out.

Ethan then decided to write a message of good night tidings to her, “I cannot wait until the time when we can say good night and still be in each others’ arms all night long. This is me giving you a good night kiss and tucking you in! This is me wishing I was cuddling with you throughout the night. And most importantly, this is me wishing I was there to wake up and see your beautiful face, not just tomorrow morning but every morning after that for the rest of my life! I love you and I want you by my side forever! Good night, Tessa.”

Tessa then replied, “That was so sweet! You could be a writer, you know! And by the way, I love you too and I will be! Good night Ethan!”

Both fell asleep in a state of bliss.

Back to “iAffection”