http://www.anthologiesonline.com/ Welcome to the Writing Site with an Emphasis on Anthologies
Read short fiction by Delores
by Delores Liesner
Iím so glad youíre here with me, Rae. My family is so desperately sad, itís hard to even communicate anymore. Like my Mom - If I try to say what I feel, Mom cries. If I donít feel like talking, Mom cries. If I feel like crying, Mom cries. Iím worried about her, Rae. Then thereís the two-headed monster.
Two headed monster? You havenít even met the new science teacher who started at semester!
Funny, Rae - but I think you know I mean me. I feel like a two-headed monster. Most of our friends from school have stopped coming to visit. And when they do come itís like talking to strangers. They look at the wall, their feet, and boy, they canít wait to get out of here - like cancer is contagious or something. Thatís one head. Then thereís the big head the people at church want to give me. They treat me like - well, like Iím an absolute saint or something because I havenít given up the faith and cursed God. But Iím just me - and you know that Rae - at least YOU make me feel normal.
You ARE normal, Carla. Maybe youíre the only normal one of our bunch. Now donít get that look in your eye. I know Iím not normal (whatever that is) and Iím proud of it - but seriously, Carla, I know what you mean about how people treat you differently. Sometimes I almost feel guilty when others donít get it that we can laugh so much when we are together - like Iím not taking this seriously, or something. But then I remember how things always happen when weíre together and I start laughing again!
Oh, Rae, you know how Iíve needed your craziness - I couldnít have made it these last months without you. I just wish I could talk to the rest of my family and friends without having them go ballistic. Iíve written in my journals, Iíve shared in church, I gave each one of my friends a teddy bear from my collection, and still I lay here thinking and thinking. I canít talk to them all or get to them all and somehow, I want to leave one more message.
I know Carla, I sat up most of last night thinking of everything from renting a billboard, and getting one of those planes with the banner sticking out behind - ďCarla says helloĒ -
Ha! You sound like that crazy midnight movie we saw that time we stayed up all night! Remember?
Remember? Iíll never forget it. That poor guy in the mental hospital only said hello. I never laughed so much in my life. But maybe he had the right idea! Itís so much easier to say than Good-bye.
Thatís why We promised Rae - we promised only to say hello. But no one else would understand our little secret. I donít think anyone ever figured out why we ďcracked upĒ every time someone said ĎHelloí. Remember the manager answering the phone behind the curtain in that little boutique in the mall? You walk up to the counter, and the curtain says Hello! Gosh that was hysterical! The clerk couldnít check you out fast enough! But anyway, that wonít work - youíre the only one who would understand. Soooo- do you have any more ideas?
Actually, Carla, I do. Now stop laughing. Itís right here in my backpack!
An idea in your backpack - now thatís original! What did you smuggle in here this time?
Welllll, even though Iíve never thought of you as a typical woman before this moment... especially when you snort like that...I have something every typical woman wants!
Thereís a man in your backpack?
Ha Ha! Something even better! This makes the top ten list for sure - youíve heard that the typical woman likes to have the last word? Well, right here in my backpack, ladies and gentlemen . . . uuugh if I can get it off the floor...
What on earth have you got in there? That looks heavy. Well, girl, unzip your lip!
Ok, ok, glad your curiosity is still working, here my dear are two harmless looking little cassette tapes. This one is for later - to you from me. Now donít look like that --This blank cassette is for YOU, (open your hand please) and Here is the cassette recorder that goes with the cassette tape. And there my dear (excuse my pointy finger in your face) is the voice that goes on the cassette tape in the cassette recorder. Get it?
Oh, Rae, you ARE a nut -and a perfect copy of Miss Morton! I would just love to see her face when you do that!... but what a wonderful idea. Turn it on. Letís do it.
Wait a minute - donít you want to figure out who you want to talk to or what you want to say before you begin?
Now when did I ever think before I spoke? Why should I be any different today! Letís see, Testing! Testing! - To my friend Rae - Hello! - Oh, (Gasp), Rae I canít even SAY hello anymore without laughing. Iíd better take your advice and shut this off a minute and think. I really want to do this tape. So how can I start...letís see. I canít really start with Hello because only you would understand, I canít start with Good-bye cause thatís an ending...I donít want to start with an ending...
Ummm Carla?...remember that class with Miss Morton on word origins?
You mean someone actually LISTENED to Miss Morton?
Yeah, Miss Straight A- someone besides you - now think - Origins of common words and phrases - wasnít good bye in there?
Oh, yeah, you mean how Good-bye is shortened from God Be With You?
Uh, huh, and who wasnít listening?
Rae you are just too much! Itís perfect- thatís how Iíll start. . .God Be With You... - ok letís turn this thing on again. Uh, letís see...On, Off, Play, Volume, here goes: God Be With You, Mom and Dad - No more tears now - just think of me with Jesus and putting my Ďtear bottleí up on a shelf with all the others up there - maybe right next to Grandma Nelsonís. I wish I could retire your tear bottle too mom, but I guess like you used to tell me, itís tears that water the seeds of life. Thanks mom for showing me where God says He keeps all my tears in a bottle and how precious our tears are to Him. Sometimes I thought my bottle would be the biggest one in heaven, or at least the fullest - but now I wonder if there is a bottle for laughter too - or if laughter is the sound the tears make when they escape from the bottle - like a butterfly from itís cocoon?Ē Think of me that way Dad - out of my cocoon and free again to run in the fields -no more collapsing legs or tubes and junk. And Mom, Iíll have my famous Jensen blond hair again to fly behind me in the wind when I run... and, hey- Jase and Kim - you guys get along you hear? Listen to Mom and Dad and look out for each other and donít forget to feed Mutts. You guys can learn a lot from that pooch you know, I sure did. See if you can write something good from each day - it really helps when you have a down time to look back at what you wrote and count your blessings...and to my friend Rae...Hello? Ha Ha! Hello? Click? Oh phooey, I thought it would be funny to turn the volume down - looks like I shut me off! Well, Iíll finish it later.
Yeah, later. . . Carla?
I was thinking about your question yesterday.
Yeah, yesterday when you asked - if I would help you plan your funeral. But I was thinking, maybe you really want to leave that - you know - leave the thoughts you wrote down when you first found you had cancer. I think your folks will understand.
Yeah, I know youíre right. I think this tape will help me to say my good-byes, or hellos or whatever. Itís a great idea. Iíll take your suggestion and make a list before I finish it. Youíll take care of the tape? Rae..... I am ready.... to go, you know - spiritually speaking. I want the others to know that too. And Iím sure sick of -well - just sick of being sick. Mmmm I hear our moms out there talking- visiting hours must be over. Youíll be back tomorrow?
You know I will Carla. Tomorrow and tomorrow.
Rae, if... mmmff - sheesh - you been workin out girl? - That hug like to smush my bones! ..... Love you, Rae
Love you back, Carla! and Yes, Iíll take care of the tape, and make copies and everything...and ...
Rae, you wonít forget the password?
No, Carla I wonít forget - Itís Hello! Forever Hello! Gotta go now - Hello Carla!
Mom and I whispered ďHelloĒ all the way out to the car. Hello hall, hello shoes, hello floor, hello purse, hello elevator, and when we got outside, and turned to look back at the hospital, Mom nodded her permission and we both yelled a big echoing HELLO toward St. Lukeís entire fourth floor. Hello, Carla - God Be With You.
Racine Journal Times Questions for People You Should Know
Name: Delores Liesner
Age: Senior Discount 63!
Personal/family: Still happily married to Ken. Offspring Laurie/Doug Kujawa, Aimee & Ben; Cheri/Frank Penza, Michael, Kristin, David, Daniel, Kimberly & Faith and Kevin/Kris Liesner, grand-cats Norman, Catsby & Cash.
Education: Pre-School teacher, Spanish, Gateway Technical College and Cardinal Stritch, CLASS (Christian Leaders and Speakers Seminars) Gotham Writerís Institute, Write-to-Publish.
Hobbies/interests: Kaleidoscopes, rocks, judging Forensics, creating healthy recipes. Learning to play melody chimes and guitar.
Occupation: Sound Words - Freelance writer, reviewer, speaker. Published including: Focus on the Family, Renaissance Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, God Allows U Turns books, Health and Wellness magazines, Womanís World, guest columnist on CBN.
Volunteer service: Disaster help, budget counseling, senior tax assistance, coaching Awana competition, Biblical counseling, personal discipleship, and sharing guardian experiences and knowledge with other seniors and caretakers.
Recent Accomplishment: A story, The Bargain, was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieterís Soul, and the book, Eating with Dave - A Healthy Response to a Cancer Diagnosis, is available through Nutritional Designs Pharmacy -Northwestern Avenue, Educators Credit Union-Newman Road, via internet at www.eatingwithdave.com & Feb. 13 on Channel 4 Morning Blend.
How did it come about: Conference editors and publishers suggested or requested submissions, including Davidís story, and Chicken Soup stories. Chicken Soup contacts past contributors with requests for stories.
Why is it important? Average books reach 7,500 readers; anthologies can reach a million with your message. I feel the presence of my Creator when I use the gifts He gave me, and this fulfills my goal to show that God cares for each of us individually, meeting needs in every area of our lives Ė even dieting!
One choice of a dinner companion, dead or alive: The Perfect Stranger described in David Gregoryís book Invitation with a Perfect Stranger Ė An Invitation Worth Considering. He is more intriguing to me than husband Ken or even Antonio Bandaras!
My friends describe me as: Hyper-busy energizer bunny, shops till they drop; always there with help or an encouraging word; an enigma, vivacious, funny, a box of surprises.
I knew I was an adult when: I got my first paycheck from Wisconsin Gas knowing I could buy something other than the crackers and orange juice I lived on for two weeks until that first check!
My first job/weirdest job: My first and most unique job was living in as a lady-in-waiting and part of a staff for a personable magnate in the Upper Peninsula. It was elegant, exciting, educating, and besides excellent wages and guest tips that sometimes were 1/3 my weekly wages, provided me with the love and respect I still have today for those of Jewish ancestry.
Person I admire most: My husband, Ken is still my knight for admirably surviving my emotional passages and the insecurities and baggage from formative-years abuse, being a patient and godly, partner, daddy and grandpa.
What I miss most from my childhood: Pinkie-finger-sized wild strawberries weíd find in the woods or near roadsides.
In the next five years, I would like to accomplish: Revisit Spain, find an alabaster kaleidoscope, vacation with both sisters, finish 2 books, win an Amy award, and perhaps have a one minute radio spot like: Got A Minute? Communicate! (one-minute tips on listening) or I just had to tell you Ö(about our community).