Wednesday, June 16, 2021


 Hi All,

I hope everyone is well. Today is special because I have finally written something NEW. YAY! I have been in such reclusion from the blogosphere and the world in general. But now I am ready to resubmerge with a new flash fiction piece for the WEP!

It has been TOO long since I have written something for the WEP, and I am delighted that I can finally do so now. Thanks to all the lovely ladies of the WEP, ( Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, LG Keltner, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim, and a special thanks to Nick Wilford-Judge), writers get a chance to post original flash fiction, poetry, photography, or anything creative that features the prompt: This month... the GREAT WAVE. There is still time to post for this prompt. You have until June 18th. Here is the link to the WEP.

My flash fiction was inspired by a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico several years ago. I visited the Castillo San Filip del Moro (El Morro), the fortress that was built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries to guard San Juan Bay against pirate invasions. While exploring the fortress, I was amazed at how massive the stone fortress was, but also how cramped it was for the soldiers. I learned from the guide that almost all the soldiers were young teenage boys and very tiny to be able to fit into guard stations called, garitas. When writing my piece, I imagined myself as a scared teenage boy on guard duty in the midst of the quiet predawn night. I hope you enjoy my story, any feedback is welcome.

The Wave of a New Dawn

Another day struggles into existence. My eyes, still cloaked in darkness, pierce the midnight-blue water. Watching. Forever watching. All is silent. 

I blink to stay awake and attempt to shift my cramped body. The salty air pays a short visit but does little to relieve the overpowering stench of seaweed and sweat encased in this pillar of stone: La Garita del Diablo. Is this the price to pay to prove one’s worth? I am just barely a man: fifteen on my last birthday. A prison sentence would be more welcoming. But, this is my duty, and I shall persevere. 

Droplets of perspiration form on my temple, trickling to the inside of my collar. I wipe them away with a fraying sleeve and continue to keep watch. An ever-glowing light pierces the horizon, sprinkling the waves with twinkling stardust.

My mind wanders, and for a split second, I escape my destiny. 

A gust of wind knocks off my cap. Another gust follows. I spy the seas as heavy clouds roll across the sky, extinguishing the early morning light. 

Thunderclaps jolt me to attention. The seas rise, swelling at an alarming rate. I must not leave my post. Storms are common and often play havoc, but the massive stone walls shield the city of San Juan well. I, as the guard, must hover high above the crashing water and keep a watchful eye. The garita is my only protection, and for twenty-two months, it has served me well. 

Lighting flashes. I know what follows, and I prepare myself for the deafening boom. Yet, I remain focused, scanning the turbulent seas through one of two stone portals. My survival depends upon it. Standing this post is my only option.

Violent winds and torrential rains loom overhead, and I pull inside to shelter from the dangerous onslaught. Invisible hands clamp the side of my skull, squeezing like some medieval torture device. I scream, my voice silent in the whirl of the winds. Gripping myself hard, I attempt to close off the cacophony of sounds. If this is the end, so be it. But, then, I must leave this earth standing like a man. With difficulty, I struggle to an upright position. Never would I have dreamed of this growing up on the farm miles away from the atrocities of life at El Morro. But here I am, destined to ward off this horrific storm.

Pressing against the edge of the portal, I glance toward the open sky and freeze as an oncoming tidal wave crashes into the garita, drowning me in a salty grave…

An intense throb from the back of my head awakens me. I cough out mouthfuls of seawater and gasp for breath. The wave slammed me into the wall causing an open wound on the back of my head. Moving seems difficult, but I manage to kneel after spitting out another mouthful of seawater. Blood oozes down my neck. I tear off a shirt sleeve and tie it around my head. I cry out in agony, realizing the shirt is soaked in saltwater.

I stumble toward the portal and peer out, seeing a dull light streaming into the aqua seas. The storm has passed. Or, so I thought. But, on closer inspection, distant bands of dark clouds and rain pelt the swelling waters. Spears of lightning and rumbling thunder slowly grow closer. A second storm approaches. How on earth will I survive? Gingerly, I step to the exit doorway, hoping and praying to see another soldier, but I know I will not. It is only me against the elements.

Dehydrated, I search for my skein of water. Thankfully, it did not wash out to sea. The few drops left trickle down my throat.

I suppress thoughts of food and water. Surviving the next storm and keeping watch is what I must do. A mild breeze refreshes me as I stand in front of the portal. A glint of light temporarily blinds me. I shake my head and search the open sea. I spot it. Something in the distance glitters, and it is not the peaks of the water. I squint my eyes to focus. 

No. It can not be. It must be a mirage. 

But, is it?

For almost two years, I have seen nothing. Now…in the middle of this storm—I see a ship’s mast?


I shake my head again, suck in a deep breath, and lock my eyes on the same spot. Bobbing in the distance, a wooden mast sparkles in the open sea. 

Adrenaline pumps through my body. I race out of the garita and onto the fortress wall. As I stumble on the rough stones, my task is set: ring the warning bell. There is little time. The soldiers must sink the pirate ship before the storm hits. Sweat pours out of me, and I make it to the tower. But am I able to climb the tower wall? I am weak, exhausted, and my head is pounding. The bandage around my head is soaked, and blood is streaming down my neck. I can barely take another step. 

But, I must. 

This is my chance to prove to them all…

Life was certainly trying for those poor young men. I would like to share a few pictures I took of El Morro when I visited there. The Garitas certainly inspired this story.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


 Hi All, 

Welcome to another IWSG post.  Thanks to the talents of Alex J Cavanough and the AMAZING IWSG staff we are able to vent our insecurites or offer advice to other cool is that!

If you would like to join, please hop over to Alex's site to join.

Can you imagine it is JUNE already? Six months into 2021 and I feel I am still in 2020. I know that so many people blame Covid for this and for that, but the reality is that it has altered everyone's life. My creativity levels have been in limbo for quite some time now. Every time I try to write, my focus is just not there. I would much rather be outside digging in my garden and spending great portions of the day planting, trimming, sweeping, mulching, and cutting. I was never really the gardening type, but since I have been forced into a seclusive state, this is what gets me through the day. How about you? Do you feel comfort in your seclusion? 

I actually do. I still see my neighbors and chat with them as they go by their daily walks, jogs, or errands. And this seems to be enough. I honestly don't understand why. When I lived in Chicago, I was never home. My days were spent running around the city with clients, shopping, working out, dining out, etc. That was my life. I had no problem writing and reading for hours on end when I finally did get home. I survived on five hours of sleep and felt amazing. Now, I am up at 5:30, and in bed by 10:00 exhausted. I barely read and haven't written much in about a month. This year seems to be slipping away so quickly, and I feel as though I will never catch up. Does anyone else feel that way?

One would think, now that our lives are somewhat going back to a new norm, I would feel energized and ready to face the future... but, I don't. Perhaps I have reclused too far. I felt differntly in the beginning of Spring... the weather was crisp and nature was bursting. Now, the temps have risen to amost summer heat, and I am fried, almost literally. The sun is so intense, and it's only June.

I so wanted to get so much accomplished and start a new story and get excited about writing again. But, it's more of chore for me and not a pleasure. I just wish I could feel the way I did when I wrote my first two novels. I had so much determination and tenacity to keep plugging along and believing in my stories, knowing they would be published someday. Well, that day hasn't come. Eleven years of writing. I guess it's my turn to get discouraged, but I have always been an optimist, and I will snap out of it. Thanks for listening and being there for me this month...

For all you spring flower lovers out there... perhaps a bouquet of peonies will make you smile. My gardens are flowing over with them, and they are just beautiful. I can't keep up with the arrangements...

Wishing you all a wonderful JUNE!!!!!