About ME

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Mansfield, Texas, United States
Mr. E is a Christian, Husband, Father of 2, former Army Officer and Texas Rangers Baseball fan.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fresh Memories and a Cold Breakfast (Tears of the Singer, Chapter 2, Part 2)

Enthusiastic laughing caused Josh to look away from his hot breakfast. Two young men, teenagers judging from the slightly bagging pants they wore. They were rapidly talking and laughing about the double dates they were going to have that evening. One of the young men caught Josh's attention. His messed brown hair reminded him of someone. He looked closer, trying not to stare. "Eric," he whispered to himself. His mind immediately drifted back in time.

Eric Chambers had been Josh's best friend since Kindergarten. He was impressed with Eric because he ate paper and could run really fast. They did almost everything together. They even took guitar lessons from Josh's grandfather together; at least until Eric learned percussion in the Jr. High band. It was with Eric that Josh first discovered his unique ability. His "gift" as his father called it. His "curse" according to Josh. One evening after watching Caddyshack, Josh and Eric came busting through the door of Eric's home, just like the two young men who just entered Lexi's Breakfast and Beds. They were still laughing about the Baby Ruth "doodie" in the pool, when they noticed Eric's mother standing in the entryway to the living room with tears in her eyes. Laughter turned to tears as Eric's mother struggled to tell Eric that his father had been killed in a car accident on his way home from work. Eric was devastated. Eric had been very close to his father, even closer than he was with Josh; now he was gone. Eric's relationship with his mother had been strained the past few years, as Eric had taken a lackadaisical view of God and religion. His mother was very big on Jesus and it hurt her to see Eric laboring with his own relationship with God. They had many arguments about it and they had grown distant.

Two days later, Josh and Eric were sitting on the edge a creek behind Josh's house. Josh had been trying to teach himself the latest hit song from the radio, when Eric arrived. "Have you talked to her yet?" Josh gently asked his closest friend, as Eric sat beside him.
"I don't know what to say to her," Eric said without emotion, "She doesn't understand me at all." "You need to say something to her," Josh pushed.
"Don't you think I know that!" Eric yelled.
Sensing his friend's anger, Josh backed off. He decided he would play a song that his grandfather had taught him. As Josh began to play he closed his eyes and prayed that God would heal his friend's heart. The soft tunes of the song filled the air. It sounded like a cross between a country-western song and a folk song from the sixties. His grandfather had taught him the song as soon as he mastered all the cords. The song had no words, but Josh had been experimenting with a few verses. After a few seconds, Josh began to sing softly; however, the words he had written were not the words that were coming from his mouth. He sang words he couldn't understand. To Josh it sounded like he was mumbling. He tried to stop, but he couldn't, the words kept coming and the guitar kept playing his grandfather's song. He suddenly felt the urge to cry, he tried to fight it; he had to stay strong for Eric. Despite clinching his eyes tighter, tears began to flow from his eyes. What would Eric think? Was he possessed?

Finally he stopped singing and the music stopped. He opened his eyes to see Eric staring at him with an astonished look on his face. "I'm sorry, Eric, I didn't mean...," Josh started to say.
"What is that?" Eric interrupted, pointing to the ground to Eric's left.
"What is what?" Eric asked, puzzled.
"That...that right there." Eric stammered and continued to point.
Josh looked down. Next to his left leg, was a small glowing object. He reached down and picked it up. It was pulsating blue and it was in the shape of a tear. "Where did this come from?" he asked. "You," Eric said.
"What do mean me?" Josh asked.
"You," Eric said again, "You started playing your guitar and then you started singing about my dad, my mom and me and then.."
"I did what?" Josh was confused, "I wasn't singing about that, I was singing...well, I was singing...well, I don't know what I was singing, but I wasn't singing about your family."
"Yes, you were," Eric said firmly, "and when you started singing about us, I looked over at you and you were crying. I mean you were really crying. Then suddenly that...that tear thing came out of your eyes and fell on the ground." Eric was speaking quickly.
"This came out of me? You've got to be kidding?" Josh couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"I swear man, it came right out of your eyes." Eric was staring at the glowing tear. He couldn't take his eyes off it. "Can I see it?" Eric asked.
"I guess so," Josh answered and handed Eric the tear.

As soon as Eric touched the tear, Eric felt like he was full of static electricity. He felt like every hair on his body was standing on end and his arms and legs felt like that do when they go numb from lack of circulation. He started to see pictures in his head. He could see his mom at home. She was sitting on the couch looking at a picture of Eric and his dad. She was praying and crying. He could hear her plainly saying, "Oh, God please help me. I am scared. I don't know what to do. I love Eric, but he hates me, or at least I think he does."
"I don't hate you mom," Eric wanted to scream. "I can't replace his father, Lord, what do I do? What can I say to him? We need each other and we need you. Please Jesus, help us both."
At that moment, Eric could hear, see and feel his mother's grief and fear. He suddenly knew exactly what to say to her. He had to let her know that he loved her and that everything would be all right.

Eric's vision was interrupted by Josh shaking him. "ERIC...ERIC!" Josh was yelling. "Eric answer me!" Eric's numbness wore off.
"I'm fine." he mumbled. "Wow, what happened?"
"You went into shock or something," Josh was now speaking quickly himself, "You went all rigid and this funny grin came over your face. I thought you were having a seizure or something."
"It wasn't like that at all," Eric said, reassuring Josh. "Look, I hate to leave you right now, but I really need to go speak to my mom."
"Are you sure you are OK?" Josh asked concerned.
"I've never been better." Eric answered quickly, "I gotta go," and he got up quickly and left.
Josh was left sitting alone with his guitar and a lot of questions in his mind. What had just happened? Stunned, he slowly got up and walked back towards his house. He promised himself he wouldn't say a word to his parents until he figured out what was going on. He was a little afraid.

The next day Eric told Josh, how as soon as he got home, he hugged his mother and told her how sorry he was for arguing with her. He told her that he loved her and that they were going to be OK. He told Josh how he and his mother and talked all night long and how they had expressed to each other the fears they had and how they had prayed together. Eric said that tear had saved his family. Josh later learned that, even thought the tear had long lost its glow, Eric still kept it in a box under his bed.

"Honey, are you all right? You haven't touched your food." Jamie was standing over him with a look of concern, her smile was gone.
"I'm fine, Jamie, thanks!" Josh wondered how long he had been sitting there. "The waffles are fine." he said.
"Okey..dokey," Jamie said, "Just let me know if you need anything." her smile had returned.

Josh's stomach growled. He cut off a slice of waffle and put it in his mouth. Josh's mind was full of fresh memories, but his breakfast was cold.

Tears of the Singer is a book that I am writing. I am posting new segments from time to time and when I am finished I will publish it as a whole for the public to buy. For those who follow my blog...you can read it for free, or you can follow it on Goodreads, even if it is one little piece at a time.

Click here to read the Prologue.
Click here to read (Chapter One, Part 1)
Click here to read (Chapter One, Part 2)
Click here to read (Chapter Two, Part 1)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Morning at Lexi's (Tears of the Singer, Chapter 2, Part 1)

"So how do you do it?" Thomas inquired again.
"Could you drop me off at Lexi's?" Josh asked, ignoring the question for the second time, "I'm really tired."
Catching the hint, Thomas sighed, "Sure." They rode the rest of the way in silence. A few minutes later, Josh stepped out of Thomas's truck, took his guitar and backpack and mumbled a quick, "Thanks", to his early morning benefactor. "God Bless!", Thomas said loudly and then he drove away. His faded blue pickup made a left at the next blinking yellow light and was gone.

Lexi's was the name of a small hotel-diner in Hubbard. It's official name was Lexi's Breakfast and Beds. An unusual name for sure, but it's owner Lexi was an unusual person. Lexi, short for Alexis, was a woman about 4o years old. She had a tremendously bubbly personality, except in the mornings; at least until she had her coffee. She had reddish brown hair and wore colored scarfs or handkerchiefs in it to match her colorful choices of clothing. If her coffee didn't wake you up in the morning, her loud friendly voice and her bright clothing would. She refused to call her place a motel because it sounded trashy. She refused to call it a hotel because, in her opinion, it wasn't big enough. Bed and Breakfast sounded cliche, so Breakfast and Beds it was.

Josh opened the door to the "Beds" section of the building and trugged wearily up to the front desk. Tonight's clerk was named Ashley. As Josh opened his mouth to ask for room, Ashley spoke first, "You staying for just the rest of the night, or tomorrow night too?" She was gruff in her tone, but not rude. "If you wanting breakfast, the diner opens at 6:00 sharp." Josh, needing to catch up on some laundry, decided to pay for the night, plus one. "You look familiar, have you stayed here before?" Ashley asked, as she handed Josh the key to his room. "It's been a while back." Josh replied with a slight yawn. Josh took his key and headed upstairs to where the only 10 rooms in the place were located. He unlocked the door to room 4, stumbled inside, fell onto the bed and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning Josh awoke to sunlight streaming through the window. He looked at the clock. It read 8:28. Reluctantly he slid out of bed and trudged over the bathroom. He took a long shower and saved. He put on his least wrinkled clothes and went downstairs for a late breakfast. Lexi's was busy as usual. A sign at the entrance read, "World famous waffles served here. Please wait to be seated." He laughed to himself at the sign and wondered, in which world.

The dining area had a full kitchen separated from the rest of the restaurant by a bar from which some customers sat on bar stools. There were several booths along the walls and near the windows, with seven to eight tables in the center. The wait staff was made up of young ladies all wearing aprons of various neon colors. It was a seat yourself style diner. Josh scanned the crowd. Lexi, was busy behind the counter serving coffee to the local postman. She was wearing a neon pink apron. In her hair a bright pink scarf. Their were three other waitresses on duty this morning, they all looked as if they were in their early twenties. The first was a thin brunette who wore neon green. Her name tag read Meg. She was busily scurrying back and forth between the bar and the tables and booths closest to the far wall. Meg seemed to enjoy her work and was constantly engaged in conversation with her customers. The second was a shorter girl, also brunette, who wore neon blue. Her name tag was smudged, but he heard one of the customers call her Elisha. She covered the center part of the diner. She too served her customers with a cheerful attitude. The third was a average sized young lady with blond hair. Her apron was neon purple. She served the booths along the windows and the area closest to the entrance. Josh chose a booth with a window seat.

Josh had barely sat down, when the purple clad waitress approached with a glass of water. Her name tag read, Jamie. She had blue eyes and a smile that was a bright as her apron. "Morning!" she chirped and handed him a menu, "Would you like to try our world famous waffles?" "Does it come with eggs?" Josh inquired. "It comes with whatever you want, sweetie," Jamie said with a smile. "We can do eggs, bacon, sausage, you name it, we can make it." "Then the waffles it is," decided Josh, "and I want my eggs scrambled please." "Bacon?" Jamie asked. "Sure," Josh replied, "and some coffee." "Sure thing, honey, I'll have it right out." Jamie took the menu and with a quick bounce she was off. All of the waitresses had huge smiles on their faces as if they didn't have any problems at all. Even the two cooks in the kitchen looked as if they were smiling as they worked over the hot stoves. There were not many places where the employees enjoyed their work so much. Lexi's was one of them.

Josh looked around the restaurant. In Meg's area sat three gentlemen who were probably farmers. Two of them wore overalls. All three of them wore caps, one of which had the typical John Deere logo and colors. From what Josh could hear, they were talking about the lack of rain and the concerns they had about selling their corn. At a table in Meg's area sat a man in a business suit. He was reading the business section of the Wall-Street Journal. Josh surmised he must be a local banker, because who else in the small town of Hubbard would even subscribe to such a paper. One of the table's in Elisha's area had a mother with a small child. The mother looked worn down from lack of sleep. Her infant slept peacefully in a portable car seat/carrier next to her. The baby would stir from time to time in response to a couple who was talking loudly at the table next to them. The mother would give irritated glances over at the couple when she thought they may wake her child. The couple looked to be in their early sixties and they were reading the local paper, The Hubbard Herald, or at least the woman was reading the paper. Her husband looked as if her were just listening to her read it to him. They were arguing about how one of the local elected officials was misusing funds to give Christmas bonuses to his attractive office assistants. Josh's observations were temporarily halted as Jamie suddenly appeared with a cup of hot coffee. "Here you go dear," she said, still smiling, "cream and sugar are on the table. Your waffles should be ready in a few." She was off as quickly as she appeared.

In one of the booths near him, sat a young couple who were engaged in a conversation about a recent trip to the nearby city. The young man was looking deeply into his partner's eyes as if every word she said was a much needed breath of fresh air. There were rings on their fingers. "Newlyweds," Josh thought. No other man would pay such attention to his wife's conversations that way. They were in love. Josh was jealous. He remembered times when he thought he was "in love;" but it was all a lie. No one really loved him. They just pretended. They lied to get close to him, not because they loved him; they lied to get one of his tears. How he hated his "gift." "Sometimes I wish I could go away!"
"Go where?" Josh was startled. Jamie had once again suddenly appeared next to him, this time carrying a plate of hot waffles and eggs. He realized he must have been thinking out loud. Jamie sat his breakfast down on the table. "Wishing, you were somewhere else?" Jamie asked. "Just remember, no matter where you go, there you are," she said, still smiling. "You need some more coffee, extra syrup?" "No!," Josh replied sharply, a little irritated at himself and Jamie, "thanks." Jamie never lost her smile, it was as if his rudeness didn't phase her at all. "You just hollar if you need something, ok?" and off she went to help a new customer. Josh picked up a fork and started to poke at his waffles.

Tears of the Singer is a book that I am writing. I am posting new segments from time to time and when I am finished I will publish it as a whole for the public to buy. For those who follow my blog...you can read it for free, or you can follow it on Goodreads, even if it is one little piece at a time.

Click here to read the Prologue.
Click here to read (Chapter One, Part 1)
Click here to read (Chapter One, Part 2)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Courageous, Star Trek, and This & That for the Week!

I can't wait for this movie to come out! It is Courageous, from the makers of Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof. Opening Day is September 30!

The next chapter of my book should be posted soon for you to read; I have been busy watching the newly re-mastered versions of Star Trek: The Original Series on DVD. I bought all three seasons on Monday and I have been watching them, when I should be writing. I promise to have Chapter 2 (at least Part 1 of Chapter 2), ready to read by the time I go to work on Saturday.

Our house is now officially for sale. I am hoping that it sells quickly so we can move to the Dallas area. It's tough when the entire family is only together for the weekends. We need to be together again! Keep praying that a full-time job for me comes through in that area as well.