Category Archives: Amazing Indie’s

Uh, Hellooo?! by Dennis De Rose

Thank you, author and editor Dennis De Rose for sharing this flash-fiction inspired by this Visual Writing Prompt below. I’m happy to be sharing your story here! It’s awesome!

This will be Part 1 of a flash fiction series that Dennis will be sharing here!

Dennis is happy to hear any feedback so comments are welcome!

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Greetings, it’s so nice to see you again. Please take a seat. The staff will be right with you. I am here to assist you if you’ll allow me to help. I will gladly guard your things while you wait. No one will touch anything… I guarantee it. …Uh, hellooo. Thank you for keeping me busy. Your things will be here when you are done.

I remember the old olden days. People seemed more personable. They talked to those sitting next to them while they waited for the man to help them. The little ones played quietly with each other in the corner. It was so quiet and peaceful. There was no loud talking picture box hanging from the wall. The lighting was softer, no harsh bright tubes to disturb my contemplations. The young lady, she always wore a white pointy hat and she was so nice to me, dusting me every day. Her cloth made me joyful as she tended to me. Oh the old days…

Hello madam, do come in. Don’t forget to close the door. Take your time, there are plenty of seats. Mind your step, may I hold your coat and cane for you. I have a special hook reserved for canes and other walking devices. Uh, hellooo!

Her cane and jacket rested on my upper left hook. Before I forget, let me tell you a true story. I remember the day I was brought here and placed in this very spot. I have been standing here for many years but I cannot tell you how many. It seems like forever. I think I remember standing in another location, a run-down dusty second-hand store. But I wasn’t alone, surrounded on all sides by other wooden contraptions. There was so much dust, it was hard to breathe.

My mind wanders sometimes. I am getting off-track. Where was I? Oh yes, the day I was brought here. Oh that bumpy ride, traveling in the back with all the other stuff. A man dressed in dirty clothes carried me inside; he almost dropped me. His hands felt greasy and his breathe smelled like old paper. The delivery man leaned me against a wall as he walked over to collect his commission. I even remember the young man dressed in white handing him a one-dollar bill.

The next morning an older heavy-set lady, also dressed in white, placed me gently in one corner. I remember looking at her, wondering what was on her mind. Next thing you know she picked me up and placed me in the opposite corner…

Oh, hello little girl. Hello Mom. I was just reminiscing about days gone by. Welcome to our helpful office. How may I help you today? Feel free to use me as you see fit. I see you have a little dolly in your hand. You may place her on my shelf, the one near the floor. I will guard it with my life! Uh, hellooo little girl; hello Mom!! The little girl smiled and looked at me as she sat her doll on my bottom shelf. The mother hung her coat on one of my hooks.

… Back to my story, the lady stopped what she was doing when a funny-looking black thing made a ringing noise. She actually walked over to it, picked up a piece of it and started talking to it. I laughed so hard, I thought she had lost her marbles. She glanced over at me, I wonder if she heard me cackling. A minute later, the lady stopped talking to the black thing and walked back over to me; she was carrying a rag in one hand and a glass jar in the other.

I’ll never forget that day. The lady began to rub me lightly, removing every speck of dust from my body. I was dust-free for perhaps the first time in my life. She looked me over, smiling at what she saw. Next, she applied this smelly stuff and rubbed me real hard. I felt renewed as she rubbed me harder and harder, faster and faster. When she finished, I was jubilant. Ah, to be young again…new and shiny!

But time moves on, even for me. The first lady grew older and older. One day, a new lady rubbed me lightly with a new cloth. It was nice; she did that almost every day but with much less enthusiasm. The man who helped everyone grew old as well, but at least he used me from time-to-time. He never talked to me like the old lady did. I noticed him moving slower and slower, sitting in a wooden chair, trying to catch his breath. Waking up the next day, I noticed a young man dressed in similar white entering through the door. I tried to talk to him but he was looking at the tired old man. As the day progressed…

Good day, young man. Do come in and welcome to the office. May I assist you with your rain wear? Feel free to place it on one of my hooks. What is that made of, not cloth I see. It is dripping all over the floor. I suggest you hang it on me. Uh, hellooo there, hey!

Oh well, at least I have his wet cap on my hook. How loud can I shout without disturbing the others? So, where was I? Ah, now I remember, the younger man. I couldn’t help thinking how much he looked like the older man. He even sat and crossed his legs like the older one, swinging one leg back-and-forth when he talked. A few days later, I saw him but I never saw the old man again. I liked the old one because he hung his hat and coat on me and he often took a moment just to tug on my hook. It felt nice to be used, to feel useful by him and others in the room. The man made some changes to the room: new chairs not made of wood; mirrors were hung here and there; flowers that were no longer real (Yuk!). I just remembered the oddest thing, the day the black talking boxes were replaced with yellow and blue ones. I heard music coming through the walls. It was like magic and I almost felt like dancing the Lindy.

Sir, please come in. You look cold. Let me take your heavy coat. May I suggest sitting by the heat register in the far corner. I noticed the heavy snow when you opened the door, and the wind, wow! Are you sure you won’t let me hold your coat? No one will touch it. Please? Uh, hellooo sir, look at me!

Many years have gone by since the day I heard the invisible music maker. The people have changed drastically. I think they have forgotten how to talk to each other, sitting like zombies tapping on little boxes and talking to tiny machines that talk back. The kids do the same thing, only more frequently. People seem to be rushing here and there, as if the world is going to end tomorrow. The staff, now there are three girls and one guy, they rush around and spend time tapping on thin desk-top things that beep incessantly. The man in white has been replaced by a helpful young man dressed in a casual shirt and a nice pair of pants. The peace and quiet I recall fondly has been dashed by a talking picture box hanging from a hook on the far wall. I see it every minute of my long day, every day.

Everything in the room has changed, but not me. I have stood in this same spot day-in and day-out, ready to help when needed. Over the years my load has grown lighter and lighter. I have become a dusty ignored relic, the last vestige of days long gone. I am no longer dusted or rubbed; oh, how I wish for that again. Only the occasional breeze will release me from my dusty burden. My bones have grown weak and shaky. My voice is nearly mute; my hearty yell is but a whisper…

Wait, I think I see a little girl and her mom walking in. They are both wearing light spring jackets but what’s the use of talking, trying to get their attention, offering my help for the millionth time. The little girl has something cradled in her arm. It looks like an antique doll, in fact it looks like that same doll I saw those many years ago when I was young and strong. I am in luck; they are sitting very close to me. I wonder if I can, one last time. They are going into the man’s room next. I better gather my strength. …Little girl?

“Mommy, did you see that? See that wooden thing with the funny wire things hanging on it? I just saw one of them move all by itself.”

“Dear, it was probably just the wind.”

“Hello mam and hello little one, please follow me.”

The little girl looked at her mom, then back at me. Walking over to me, she tugged on my hook and placed her precious dolly lovingly on my bottom shelf.

Thank you, little girl!

The End

copyright© 2021 Dennis De Rose

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Dennis is a wonderful storyteller and a good friend. See below for links to his other writing and his editing business.

My New Children’s Book is Published

Lords of the Arctic

My latest children’s book has been published! It was exciting illustrating for Patti Petrone Miller (author) and her wonderful story about arctic animals and climate change. This project was hundreds of hour’s worth of illustration. Finding ways to bring vibrant color into the arctic scenes of winter took some extra creativity and illustrating animals is something I thoroughly enjoy. I look forward to working with Patti again soon ❤

Yutu is a fifteen-year-old Inuit boy who lives in the Arctic region and is closely watching a family of polar bears. Solar is a large male, Climate is a female, Ice and Snow are the cubs, and all will learn what survival will be like in a new world of melting ice.

It’s an exciting and sometimes dangerous journey full of beautiful scenery and lots of other Arctic animals that they meet along the way.

Yutu’s parents head an Arctic conservation team. His father is an environmentalist, and his mother is a marine biologist. Together they team up with Yutu’s best friend, who is a veterinarian. Yutu’s younger sister, who is a photographer, also tags along to capture the animals on film. His grandparents tag along to make sure this journey supplies them with enough clothing, shelter, and food.

It will be a long journey as they follow the bears through the brutal and fragile terrain of the Arctic, hoping to find a way to save them from extinction.

Lords of the Arctic is an ongoing series that will take the family through the winter, spring, summer, and fall in the Arctic and Antarctic. It will focus on the many animals that live there: such as narwhals, seals, penguins, and whales, to name a few. This series will teach children the importance of becoming guardians of the Earth and doing their part so future generations of all matter of life can survive and thrive.

Teachers can add these books to their classroom curriculum. Climate change is a reality that their students need to know about. This series will introduce students to climate change and its effects on the environment on the most northern and southern continents.  Children will learn about Inuit Indians, Arctic animal life, the geography of the Arctic regions, and how Yutu and his group measure the effects of climate change. Most importantly, they will learn what they can easily do themselves to battle this global crisis.

Sneak Peek

My Prima Dreams by Dennis De Rose

Thank you, author and editor Dennis De Rose for responding to last Wednesday’s Visual Writing Prompt. Your story was vivid and alive, I’m happy to be sharing it here! He’s happy to hear any feedback so comments are welcome!

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My Prima Dreams

… by Dennis De Rose

Bonjour mes amies, have you got a moment? Let me tell you a little story. My name is Mathilda and I am not what I used to be…

It was 1945 and the Big War had just ended. I remember the American soldiers freeing us from those German war dogs. That’s what my Maman called them. All these years later I am still haunted by my memories: looking out my bedroom window, seeing mothers and their children shot and killed or reduced to bits of bloody flesh thanks to German Sprengebombes, so many falling from the sky. I would go to bed shaking and wake up still cringing under my covers. I was only ten years old.

I will never forget the day Maman told me we were going to take a little walk, just a few streets down from our home. After lunch she bundled me up, grabbed a small bag from the floor and we began our little journey, I remember looking around, seeing people who appeared to be dazed as if they were looking for something that should be there but wasn’t anymore. The Americans were busy moving huge blocks of stone with giant growling machines. Ladies in uniform were handing out water in metal containers and sandwiches wrapped in heavy brown paper while talking to the lost ones, trying their best to comfort them. One of the ladies smiled at me and gave me a piece of bread and cheese. That little act of kindness will be etched in my memory forever.

Oh that building, it was like a giant stone masterpiece with its huge arches, two winged angels looked down on me from maybe 500 feet, at least that’s what I saw when I looked up. The golden façade nearly blinded me. And when we stepped inside it took my breath away. The Grand Foyer was magnificent, mirrors everywhere, parquet floors, sculptures and paintings, colored marble all around.

Maman had enrolled me in the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris and we were inside the Palais Garnier, a monument dedicated to producing the best opera and ballet worldwide. You see, Maman knew I had my heart set on becoming the best ballerina ever, she had watched me as I pirouetted through the halls, dressed in my pink tutu. But I did not know I would be staying here for a very long time, only allowed to see my Papa and my Maman every Sunday.

I kissed Maman on the cheek. She handed me the cloth bag and Mme. Carlotta showed me to my tiny room on the very top floor. She had a grumpy face and she was very quiet. Quiet people make me nervous; they cannot be trusted. The room was dusty and very hot, too hot for winter. Looking around, which didn’t take long, I spied a small rickety bed, a wooden chair in need of serious repair, a little beat-up wooden table, an old desk light with a funny looking bulb in it and a clay pot under the bed. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the dust motes flying all around. The one saving grace was the small dirty window that actually opened so I could see outside and get some fresh air.

The hot air in the room, my room now, made me tired so I decided to nap; I hadn’t slept well the night before. A sharp knock at the door shocked me to attention. Opening the door, I expected to see the sour Mme. Carlotta. The lady gestured and mentioned her name, Mlle. Yvette. I followed her down a set of backstairs and into a small poorly-lit dining room.

Our first meal was not gourmet, a bowl of warm thin soup, a crust of bread, a slice of goat cheese and a small glass of watery wine. Mlle. Yvette sat at one end and Mme. Carlotta was seated at the other. Suddenly, it struck me, no one was talking. I raised my hand to ask a question and before I could utter one word, my fingers were whacked with a long narrow stick courtesy of Mlle. Yvette. I cannot tell you what I was thinking, it was very unladylike. If my Maman ever heard me say those words I would have soap in my mouth before I could blink an eye.

Another sharp bang on my door, and I was awake at 6AM the following day. Fifteen minutes later we were seated at the same table drinking weak coffee and eating a slice of stale bread with butter and a slice of the same goat cheese. It looked moldy but I dared not utter a peep. Without a word spoken, Mme. Carlotta grabbed me by the hand and yanked me toward a small closet on the other side of the room. She glanced at me as she opened the door. I remember thinking she might be going to shove me inside and lock the door. Instead, she handed me a dirty white tutu and an old pair of pointe shoes, obviously one size too small, while gesturing toward a screened-in alcove.

My first day of beginner instruction and it continued until 10 that night with only two short breaks in between. I found out the hard way that my pirouette was a disaster, my plie was horrendous and my pointe work was shoddy at best. Over time, my grand plie, my demi-plie and my pointe work improved.

Let me rest. I need something to drink. All this reminiscing is making me thirsty. Now where did I put that bottle of Dom Perignon? Here it is. Half a glass, there we go. You know, I have to laugh. We French must be in love with the letter P, so many ballet words begin with that letter. How funny is that?

Now, where was I? Oh yes, the second day things started to look up. I made a friend, very quietly I might add. Violette Verdy was a third year student and at the top of her class. She was blonde to my black and tall to my short. Maybe she felt sorry for me but we became friends and I never questioned her motives. She was the Ying to my Yang. We became inseparable, on the sly of course.

You know, from that day on, my tutu seemed cleaner, my shoes no longer pained me and the long hours didn’t seem as long as before. But the food was still substandard, nothing could fix that. I felt lighter on my feet and my dancing improved (Violette worked with me afterhours up on the roof). But don’t tell Mme. Carlotta or Mlle. Yvette, that’s our secret. My room was still hot and dusty but I found out Violette was no better off.

I saw Maman and Papa every Sunday and I would show them what I had learned. We talked about the school and my new friend, Violette. But I never complained about what went on at school or during classes. They laughed when I told them the students had a nickname… Les Petite Rats. Maman was such a good cook but when she asked me what we were eating I would change the subject.

In 1950, Violette graduated at the top of her class and was given the coveted title of Prima Ballerina. I graduated from Intermediate two years later, dancing in several shows in and around Paris until I met my future husband, Michel, a pastry chef. By that time, Violette was touring all over Europe but we still kept in touch by post. We spent as much time as we could together whenever she was performing in and around Paris.

Violette gave up dancing in 1965 when she married Charles, a famous singer, and settled on the outskirts of Paris (I remember teasing Violette because Charles was five years younger). Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris was looking to replace Mme. Carlotta and Mlle. Yvette due to their age and less than desirable disposition. Violette was a welcomed addition to the staff. In her free time, she often played with our three children, Mireille, Michelle and Michel Jr. Violette and Charles never had any children of their own.

Time flies when you’re having fun, that’s what they say. After my children were grown and had families of their own I decided to do something else after helping for years in our bakery. I never forgot that little dusty room and how it bothered me so much. I spoke to Michel and we agreed that I should clean houses to help me pass the time. We didn’t need the money. A few years later Michel sold the bakery.

I’m ready for another glass of wine. When I think about it, I have done quite a bit in my life. The love of my life, Michel, passed away eight years ago but we were happily married for almost 60 years. Violette, God bless her, died one month after my Michel. Luckily, Charles is still around and we spend quite a bit of time together. He still sings like he’s 30 and he fills my days with joy as we sit around remembering the “old” days.

Say, it’s been awfully nice chatting with you. I have to rush off. Charles is meeting me at the old bakery (I still get a discount). I’m not what I used to be but I’m happy.

Bon soir!

copyright© 2020 Dennis De Rose

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Dennis is a wonderful storyteller and a good friend. See below for links to his other writing and his editing business.

Interview with Marie Lavender, Author of Chasing Ginger (The Misfits Series)

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Marie Lavender, author of Chasing Ginger.

Please enjoy!

Thanks,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview

1)      What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

 

My name is Marie Lavender. I live in Indiana, actually.

 

2)      What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

 

Chasing Ginger is my latest book release. This novel is a steamy romantic comedy – adult contemporary/chick lit/BBW romance/billionaire romance.

 

3)      What is the book about? 

 

The book is about Ginger’s journey, which includes meeting a new man she likes, and deciding what she wants for her life – dreams and all. But it starts with her getting involved in a drug trial. What happens next is just chaos, and it triggers the rest of the story.

via Interview with Marie Lavender, Author of Chasing Ginger (The Misfits Series)

Dance of Life – In Response to Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

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He looked deep into her eyes, and she responded by pressing her thigh into him. This was the tango, one of the most sensual dances ever envisioned.  It requires close body contact with your partner, especially the midriff.  Your arms are not as entwined as your legs.  Often described as the most romantic, yet erotic, partner dance.

She lingered with her thigh for a moment longer than the music required, sending a not so secret message to her partner. Their relationship was more than a dancing pair for exhibition.  Dance was a long lasting conduit of intimacy.  He responded to her by squeezing her hand and she smiled that knowing smile he was always expecting. Silky, confident movements with the thought of more private moments, was a physical metaphor for their enduring connection. The tango represented to them their amorous partnership, their never ending love of each other in the dance of life.

Check out the author’s beautiful blog: Dance of Life