Article, Cereal Authors, JD Holiday, Truth, As Strange As Fiction, writer's life

Truth, As Strange As Fiction: Desperate Mind

perfume-labTruth, As Strange As Fiction:

Desperate Mind
by
J.D. Holiday*

I have come crossed a few people in my life who for one reason or another have found something or other about themselves that they were afraid would be found out and to cover it they made up an unbelievable story to hide their secret.
This person is the first I came across to come up with such an elaborate lie to hide they’re desperate secret.
It was the man who hired me at my lab job in a cosmetic factory where I was a a sample girl at the time back in the early 1970s. My job was making samples for the customers and taking bacteria samples and sending them for quality control. The man’s name was Mark* and he was intelligent, and probably attended a ivy leaque school, attractive, well dressed with brown hair and long sideburns always neatly trimmed. But he was also insufferable to deal with. He had to habit it of making everyone feel they were stupid because he knew so much more than they did about the cosmetic business and his reprimands would be sharp, loud and everyone would hear when he told you with attitude, ‘go back and think some more about what you were doing and do it correctly’ eye roll and all. I, myself, was afraid to disappoint him for fear of being reprimanded. But in retrospect I think that made me do my very best. As for Mark, new looking back with what I learn about him, if that was his only flaw I would have to say it wasn’t much at all.
I never look at people and see them through their religion, their color, gender, their looks or anything else, and never dared to assumed their sexual preference. As a child I remember learning for myself that if I smiled and was nice to people they would do the same to me. Well, you know how that turned out, but I’m a dreamer and really liked being liked so I kept that up through most my life. Simply, I treat people as I want to be treated and if that’s one basis flaw, if it is a flaw, I have.
As the boss of this lab Mark’s main skill was to make sure that the samples were exactly what the customer ordered. And boy, was he good at it! He could take any mistake a lab techs made whether it be the eyeshadow, face makeup, creams of all kinds, mascara, you name it and he could name what was missing or had too much of in it to made it right. Nothing left the lab to be sent to a customer unless Mark approving it. And he was rarely wrong.
Mark was friends with one of the owners’ son, Harry* who was the supervisor in the factory making sure that production ran well. Harry was a skawny guy, with drooping shoulders, losing his short whitish blond hair and wearing gray overalls daily.
Very different from Mark in every way.
The lab itself was made up of cheap kitchen cabinets along four walls of the lab with two rows of cabinets occuping the center back to back. My station in the lab was in the far dark corner, against a wall and pretty much hidden from sight by a make-up formulas filing cabinet, and far away from the long glass picture windows. Mark and Harry’s desks were side by side right in front of my station.
The two of them spent many an hour just sitting at their desks which happened to be right in front of me and they did nothing but talk as their jobs required just to monitor things on occasion, but most of the time, with little to do there they sat. If they weren’t friends they certainly spent a lot of time together in the lab.
As part of my job I not only made samples but I had to take care of the sample room where samples of every product ever made in the company’s 40 years or so was housed and I was in charge of it. The only other key was in Mark’s desk. I had to add a sample of everything made daily by all the lab technicians. So I spent part of my time away from my desk and when I was at my desk I didn’t pay any attention to what Mark and Harry talked about so I have no insight into how close they really were.
But all hell broke loose one day after I was there about 6 months.
Backing up a little, the company bosses hired the pill popper, Bromilda* (see: Truth, As Strange As Fiction: Man With A Gun for more) to be Mark’s assistant three months earlier to this event. She had a mediterranean look, was medium built, nice wavy brown hair that I admired but not a smart dresser. Why he needed an assistant I have no idea but management had known her years ago when she was a young lab tech in their lab but left to join another company and was now returning. Though way after this all happened, I wondered if the bosses had a ulterior motive.
There were eight other lab techs and most of them are pretty boisterous all day long, laughing and joking with a few of them constantly maligning others behind their backs when anyone left the room. I felt Bromilda fit right in with the latter group. Once she join that team, as it were, she mainly sat at her desk all day too, though located at the far end of the room away from Mark and Harry.
Now others may have known more about this than I did before hand but I only learned about it the morning it happened. And I was so surprised I can’t even say that I ever had an inkling that this event was going to happen.
As I remember it I believe it was a Friday in October and the days are just starting to get cold when on arriving at work and was about to take off my coat when Bromilda approached me and taking my arm, said, “I have something to tell everybody, come with me,” as she dragged me along with her to the front of the lab. Talking loudly to be heard she took the others to listen and said that Mark’s fiance had been killed in a car accident overnight. I had never heard that Mark had a fiance and was very shocked. I felt so bad for him and I could tell the others did to as the whole day was a solemn one.
Now Bromilda and I did not get along from the start. But she came to my desk and asked me what I knew. But there was nothing I could tell her as this news about Mark was new to me. For the life of me I can’t remember what I did that weekend it was pretty much uneventful but Monday morning once again there was a crisis at work and it about Mark. The place was in a hush. And you could feel the tension in the room as Bromilda (in Harry’s chair,) and Mark sat at the desks in front of mine. There was no sign of Harry.
Bromilda and Mark whispered their shouts at each other. And I couldn’t describe it as anything but. What could possibly have been the matter especially with Mark just losing his fiance what could this be about? Mark was in distress. You couldn’t help feeling bad for him. The two of them did a lot of hands flinging out, heads bobbing and animated gestures. Once in a while I would turn and look that them. It was mind-boggling without knowing what could possibly be the matter other than the obvious.
At some point they got up and left the lab. Once they were gone though the rest of us seem to settle down and able to concentrate on our work. After some time had past I had to go to the sample room in the back of the factory and as I made my way there I looked around for both Bromilda and Mark and findng no sign of them. It was at the door to the sample room that I saw the door was ajar and I I heard Bromilda’s voice. “But why lie about it,” she was saying, “it’s just you don’t need to. You need to talk to someone.” I seemed frozen in place, and at that point they turned and saw me. Mark’s head went down. Looking away from me, too, Bromilda said, “can you come back later?”
“Sure,” I croaked out and left more bewildered than I was before.
Mark never came back to the lab! The next day, Bromilda set in his place. And while I was at the Bunsen burner preparing lipstick samples with a glossy shine, someone whispered to me, “Mark never had a fiance, he made it up. The company sent flowers to a funeral home and the funeral home says there was no such funeral going on there.”
I remember saying something like,”that doesn’t make any sense.”
Someone else added, “Mark’s gay and he was trying to cover it up.”
Another said the boss called him and he had to admit it.
Others piped-in and the discussion was about how Mark wanted Harry and Harry said no but in was much more colorful description than I will use here. We never saw Mark again. He called someone in the company to say he had a job in California and was going there, that’s what he wanted to do.
Bromilda slid into Mark’s job. A few days later Harry was back and he was sitting in the chair he used to occupy when it was Mark’s desk.
I have known desperation in my life, but I never had to hide who I was nor absorb or deal with denying it. What happened to Mark has probably played out one too many times. ~ JD Holiday

My other lab story: Truth, As Strange As Fiction: Man With A Gun
https://cerealauthors.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/truth-as-strange-as-fiction-man-with-a-gun/

* Names have be changed to protect the innocence. 😀

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Article, author, Fiction, JD Holiday, Writing Process

The Write Dream by J.D. Holiday

Permit your dreams to see the daylight. ~ by Bernard Kelvin Clive

   

           So you don’t think you can write but you have thoughts that could be a story. You can imagine how a scene or two would work. Come on, we all have those times when a story could start with a thought. An imagining. A daydream or even a nightmare. So what’s holding you back?

              Is it your horrible spelling, grammar and maybe it’s you lack of understanding of writing techiques.

              I believe the best tool at your disposal is reading. Read what interest you. Read what you enjoy and especially read the genres you think you would like to write in.

              While reading other author’s books or ones written by your favorite authors, pay attention to how the book is written. From good books you can see what you should do and what you shouldn’t. Learning the skill of writing is in the soaking up of techiques and putting that and your imagined story all into your own words. You want to learn how to show your readers your story using scenes you write so they can feel like they are there in the story with your characters.

              Writers write to express who they are and to tell what they know, to teach and share the stories they see clearly in their imagination. Some write to purge unhappiness or injustices for themselves and others, to entertain themselves first, and then, those readers who find their works. Writing takes you away from your own reality, to places you create. You can forget your immeditate problem taking a brake from it when you write, or read. Use what you know from your life in your stories. If you are writing for children use your childhood and think back to it. Think like you did when you were a kid. I write out my scenes as I see them in my minds eye, and make an outline that I update as I go along.

              You can always get help with spelling, punctuation and grammar. You can always pay someone to edit for you. You should invest in a good dictionary, thesaurus, and books on grammar and writing whether you find them on online sites or books that sit on your desk along side of you, or both.

              So if you have a story to tell, invest some, and read a lot. Give it a go and write it. If you haven’t tried before, the whole experience might take you places you might like.

The best book I’ve read about writing is:

HOW TO WRITE SHORT STORIES by Sharon Sorenson

This book is amount the most valuable books I own. Even if you think you will not be writing short stories you might find that writing chapters is like writing short stories.

The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1580628559/ 

 

 ~  © 2016 JD Holiday

Cereal Authors, Character Quotes, Fiction, JD Holiday, Uncategorized

Janoose The Goose: Character Quotes

LayerCoverLooking out the window, Janoose was shocked at what she saw. Deedee was being chased by a fox!
Deedee tried to fly away by flapping her little wings, but her wings were not strong enough to get her off the ground.
“We better do something or Deedee will become duck soup!” Janoose said. ~ Janoose The Goose, a picture book by JD Holiday.9780981861418txtEbook 2010_Page_05

http://www.amazon.com/Janoose-Goose-J-D-Holiday/dp/0981861407

JD’s Site: http://jdholiday.blogspot.com/

Fiction, JD Holiday, Literary

From the short story: The Boy In The Leaves by J.D. Holiday

 

The Boy In The Leaves

from Short Stories and Other Imaginings for The Reading Spot

by J.D. Holiday

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014 by J.D. Holiday

The Boy  In The Leaves B&W FINISHEDFinal 3-25-13  JDHOLIDAY

A small boy laid there, motionless. Unlike the leaves around him he lay undisturbed by the wind gust.

Max stepped away. It was just a little kid. He looked asleep, his dark skin was a shade of blue and purple, almost translucent. Thin parchment spanning a fragile frame.

The boy wore black jeans and an orange T-shirt with a Save The Oceans’ logo across his chest. A crusted gash was on his forehead. Any time now hed move, open his eyes and jump up, laughing.

Hes dead,” Tony said again, this time contemptuously, his eyes wells of tears.

Maxs chest felt crushed like the time hed fallen on his back from the school yard jungle gym and he couldn’t pull air in. He managed to say, Maybe hes not.

Tony shook his head. The little piss head. Dumb shit! He didnt do what he should have and now hes dead. Stupid kid!

Max stared at the kid. For a moment he sawTonylying in the boys place. Max choked. Hes sick or something. He hedged closer and squatted down, hesitantly touching the boys face. The skin was unusually cold, and the cheek dented in easily, like clay. Max jumped back falling on his backside.

Hes dead. Cant you see that cut on his head? They smashed him with something. Hard!” Richie loudly told him, his hands clutched at his side.

No. Maybe it was an accident. Or a car hit him.

Grow up, Max. It happens,”Tony said softly now, grabbing Maxs sleeve and jerking him to his feet. We have to tell.”

On his feet again, Max let Tony continue pulling him toward his own house. At the front door Tony using his key, lead Max inside.

They softly moved through the silent house to the kitchen in back, bright light from the many windows illuminating their way. Nothing was ever out of place there. Always a bleachy smell in the air as if someone wiped off everything to disinfect and kill all the germs before they contaminated the inhabitants of the house. This house gave Max the creeps. There was something missing from it. What it was Max knew well, though things have changed since his stepfather now sucks it all up in their family. There was no love and what was there, felt like old toast taste; brittle, crackly and harsh. Most times Max could get Tony to come over to his house and hang out. When Max was here though, at Tony‘s, he felt it. Something always spooked him, only worse this time. Finding the boy did it, never having seen someone dead before.

He could almost see Tony getting beaten up here. Marus broke Tony‘s leg with the baseball bat Tony usually kept leaning inside the garage door. Tony said he was batted to short stop, the patio doors calling him out. His parents told people he’d fallen from a backyard tree. Afterwards, Tony put the bat through the lattice work decorating the front porch, out of sight under the stairs so Maris couldn’t use it again.

Copyright by J.D. Holiday 2014

 

JD Holiday, Literary

Too Many Bobs by J.D. Holiday- © 2013 All Rights Reserved

 This is part on a short story,  Too Many Bobs, for my short story book titled: Short Stories and Other Imaginings For The Reading Spot. © 2013 J.D. Holiday

Being another warm fall day following weeks of oppressive summer heat and leading into mid-October it seemed the uncharacteristic weather intended to hold off the cooler season indefinitely. Stephanie threw her coat in the backseat, cracked the windows to take in the pleasant early morning breeze. 

The gates of the swanky red granite mansion high on the mountain above the city were open. The guard ‘phoned the house’ before letting Stephanie drive into the sweeping circle driveway with the cat she was here to deliver beside her in the carrier on the passenger seat. Bob was still groggy from the meds he was receiving for his wounded tail.

The massive mansion was three-stories with a wing on each side of it, and French doors instead of windows on an upper terrace; an ornamental railing expanded the whole second floor facade. It was like something out of a celluloid movie. The building itself was specifically built for a railroad baron with new money in the late 1800′s.

Visiting one of these historic homes today was one thing Stephanie never expected when she arrived at her part-time job with Dr. Lite this morning.

The animal hospital was in chaos. For apparently the second day, the computers were down. No one had called for the cat yet and Dr. lite handed Stephanie the gray cat with black and white markings, an ink smeared and coffee stained note plus the bill for services. The only things readable on the note were; the name Bob, and this address. Not one employee from yesterday was in today. All anyone knew was that the cat ran under a lawn mower, injuring its tail. Dr. Lite told Stephanie to deliver the cat, and while she was there, collect the money for treatment. Stephanie laid the sleepy cat inside a cardboard carrier and left.

“Well, Bob. I’ve brought you home safely,” she said, glancing down at the drowsy cat in the half opened carrier on the seat next to her in her ten year old Ford. Why would people who can live here name their cat, Bob? I would think, Percy or Rupert would be more like it. Bob, face it, you are a very ordinary cat. No offense. Really. Your not a Persian or Siamese, I mean, you could be my cat,” she finished, with a smile while noticing that no one was around the wide expanse of lawn and circular driveway. Several towering trees stood on the property yet not a single leaf lay on the well cared for lawns.

Closer to the house she saw behind a manicured bed of young fir trees a five-car garage. A beat up flat bed truck was parked there with landscaping equipment loaded on it.

“Do I pull up to the front, Bob, behind that Mercedes, do you think, or head around back by the landscaping truck?” Stephanie decided to park a good three feet behind the luxury car keeping her distance, as if parking too close might damage the luxurious motorcar in some way.

Getting out, Stephanie went around to the passenger side to grab the carrier. “Oh, you are one heavy cat,” she mentioned as she climbed the granite steps to the entrance and pushed the doorbell beside the double doors. Sighing, Stephanie thought, I could never see myself living in a place like this. Not that she wouldn’t want to, under the right circumstance. Maybe once she graduated college and had her veterinarian license and was making decent money—for a few decades. Even then, she didn’t think it would ever be a possibility.

Stephanie sat the cat carrier down, smoothed back her brown shoulder length hair and glancing down at her pink scrubs wishing at the moment she was better dressed when the door clicked open. A stern looking, elderly man in black suit, white shirt and waistcoat answered it. The butler.

At his questioning stare, Stephanie started saying, “I-I brought back the cat from the animal hospital.”

At that moment the cat popped out the open carrier, dashing through the open door, startling Stephanie and the butler. “Oh,” the butler murmured, looking after the cat.

In haste, Stephanie searched her purse for the note Dr.Lite had given her while adding, “We couldn’t reach you, I mean, this house…”

The butler interrupted by adding without glancing back at her, “Well, you had better come this way then.”

Stephanie stepped inside and took in the enormous marble floored foyer partially covered with a cranberry designed Oriental rug. A highly polished dark, clawed-foot table was in the center of the foyer under a dangling chandelier which had an arrangement of over-flowing flowers on it. A massive cascading staircase was located behind it all.

The butler led her to the left through a double set of white pocket doors pushing them open before ushering her into another huge room with multiple seating areas. Lush furnishings and dozens of ornate artworks filled the room.

“Please wait here,” ‘Lurch’ said, backing out of the room.

The butler’s steps receding to somewhere she suspected was at the far end of the house. Stephanie chose the closest seating area and sat on the edge of a maroon upholstered, gold framed chair to wait for who she suspected would be the cat’s owner.

Taking in the room Stephanie spied the dark floor to ceiling bookshelves at the far end. Another wall was filled with glass cabinets displaying decorative vases, and crystal and ivory statue. And above the five foot high marble fireplace was what looked like a painting by Matisse. She stood to have a closer look but Bob appeared and sat on the rug a few feet from her.

Stephanie smiled seeing the cat. “How are you feeling, Bob? Glad to be home?” The cat strolled closer and she bent to pat his head but he chose that moment to jump up and bite Stephanie in the leg.

“Shit!” Stephanie shouted, heedless of her surroundings. No sooner had he bitten her, the cat meowed and ran through the archway leading back into the foyer.

Hobbling around on one foot a few seconds Stephanie reached down and picked at her shredded tights pulling it away from the lightly bleeding wound. That was when an woman, elegantly dressed in a taylored green dress suit with blonde hair curled above her creased face came into the room. The woman raised her eyebrows in surprise as her eyes moved from Stephanie’s face down to her leg. “Yes? Who are you and who are you here to see? Robert?” the woman said in a cold voice, rivaling ‘Lurch’ without any curiosity as to why Stephanie would be favoring her bleeding leg.

Embarrassed, Stephanie grabbed her purse from the chair and fished inside it to find a tissue. She started to dab at the bite mark with it while keeping her eyes on the woman.

Stephanie frown. “Robert? Oh, I see,” she said. “Oh, yes. He was here, he bit me and left the room through that archway,” she continued, offering the woman a smile as if to say no harm done and then went on. “I think we can chalk that up to his injury. He’s in pain. When they hurt a member like that, and-and if it’s not kept still it would probably be sore, which could upset him, and-and making him strike out. I’ve seen this before, working part-time at the hospital. He’s had all his shots so there should be no problem.” Stephanie stopped there not wanting to babble anymore.

The woman’s now shocked and red face puzzled Stephanie. On second look, Stephanie thought the woman was angry.

“I’m afraid I don’t understand. You’re saying that Robert,” the woman emphasized the name and pointed at Stephanie leg, “Bit your leg? This is unbelievable… I have a garden party starting in an hour. And right here, in this room anyone arriving could just walk in!” the woman’s voice now reaching a feverish pitch.

Stephanie raised her leg so the woman could see the bloody wound which was beginning to swell. “Yes he did. There is a break in the skin as you can see. It is starting to get a little sore. Look, I was told to come here and get paid. That’s why I’m still here,” Stephanie finished, a little angry herself.

The woman stood up taller and her face grew redder, if that were possible, and pointed to Stephanie’s leg. “You are telling me that Robert bit you. I just cannot believe that,” the woman said, “I grant you, Robert has always been a little bit unorthodox, starting his own landscaping business and getting that

beat-up truck and mowing equipment when he has a perfectly good trust fund and money of his own. But are you trying to say Robert would bring you here to …and give you money. Oh, put your leg down, I don’t want to see it, and I don’t want to hear anymore!”

Something was wrong here, but what? Stephanie thought of more questions but only said, “Look, I was asked to come here to bring Bob-ah, Robert home.”

The woman shouted, “Bob! You’ve been calling him Bob? Oh, how could he dare to bring you into my house, and he’s injured? He-oh, oh …” that’s when the woman stopped and covered her eyes with a hand. “I have to talk to him. I’ll be back. AND don’t go into any other room. Just stay here,” she said pointing with force to the flowery Persian rug before poking the same finger in Stephanie’s direction and then sailing out the way she had come.       

~ JD Holiday