Who’s to Judge Another’s Love: Unconventional Love Stories

My newest book, Who’s to Judge Another’s Love: Unconventional Love Stories, is now available on Amazon.

The great thing about love is that anyone can love, and anyone can be loved. These stories put that to the test.
Unlike your traditional love stories, Who’s to Judge Another’s Love provide a glimlpse of unusual love stories that typically don’t get told.

Unconventional love stories. Keep an open mind.
And if you’re one who likes the traditional love story, there’s one for your tastes too.

View it on Amazon

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January Storytime Bloghop

Storytime Blog Hop January 25th, 2017

Welcome to another chapter in Storytime Blog Hop. We have new short speculative fiction tales from authors around the world.  My contribution below.  Follow the links to all the other stories and participating authors in the blog hop.  Leave us comments.  We love hearing from you.

Jesse and Tyler

“What if they don’t like me?”

My nerves were shot. Tyler and I dated for two years and tonight I was going to meet his parents. He just recently told them about us because he knew they would have a hard time accepting our relationship. They agreed to meet me and to try to keep an open mind.

Tyler calmly smiled. Those were two of the traits that endear him to me — his ability to remain calm and his smile. “Jesse, they know all about you so there won’t be any surprises. Besides, what they think about you won’t impact my feelings for you one bit.”

“I wanted to hear ‘they’ll love you’ or ‘everything will be fine’, but I knew better. Tyler is too honest for such white lies. I appreciated that ninety-nine percent of the time. This just happened to be a one-percent moment.

I watched him set the last plate on the table. He looked handsome this evening. He didn’t wear anything fancy — a blue polo shirt and Khakis — but he wore them well, if you know what I mean. I had a strong urge for some physical contact when the doorbell rang.

Tyler opened the front door. His mom looked at me, gasped and slapped her hands over her mouth. Her face flushed. She may not have been surprised but she didn’t handle this well. She quickly tried to recover. “Um, it’s nice to meet you, Jesse.” Apparently his mom didn’t have trouble with white lies.

“Jesse, this is my Mom, Mary, and my dad, Wayne.”

“I’m glad we finally get to meet,” his dad said. “Tyler has told us all about you.”

“Welcome to our house,” I said.

Things went fine during dinner. Small chit-chat prevailed. Afterwards we retired to the living room for more talk.

His parents shared stories about Tyler as a child, which were entertaining and very enlightening. When his dad mentioned how Tyler had taken his first step at nine months his mom started crying. “I’m sorry.” She blew her nose.

“What Mary is trying to say is that we have looked forward to being grandparents. As you know, Tyler is our only child. If you two stay together, well…”

“There is no if!” Tyler said through gritted teeth. “We love each other and are committed to making our relationship work.”

“We know you are dear,” his mom managed. “Maybe given enough time we can adapt and accept Jesse.”

“Mary, stop it!” Wayne scolded her. “We can’t accept this relationship. Jesse, I’m sorry. I know Tyler thinks he loves you and you seem nice enough, but you’re too different for us to ever be comfortable with. This just isn’t normal. You’ll be societal outcasts.”

“I don’t care what you or anyone else thinks,” Tyler snapped.

I had already felt guilty that Tyler would never have children if we remained together. Now I felt even worse as I listened to his parents’ disappointment. “Maybe your parents are right,” I managed through my sobs.

“No, Jesse. I love you! I don’t care what you look like and I don’t care what society thinks.”

He turned to his parents. “I know you would love and accept Jesse for who she is if you could see past what she is.”

Mary started to say something, burst into tears and fled out the front door. Wayne followed, but stopped in the doorway. “Son, you’ll have to walk this path on your own. We cannot support our son being married to a ghost.”

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope you enjoyed! Read more stories by selecting the links below. These are fellow writers and friends of mine.

The Poisoner of Time by Karen Lynn
New Stork Inc. by Katharina Gerlach
THE THIEF & THE POCKET HEART by Juneta Key
Hello Again! by J. Q. Rose
Reflected by Elizabeth McCleary
Veronica by Jessica Kruppa
Last Stop by Erica Damon

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Embarrassing Moments

Josh double bounced on the diving board and dove into the pool. When he hit the water his swimsuit scooted down to his knees. He frantically pulled it up before he resurfaced.
He looked around expecting everyone to be laughing at him. He scanned the pool but no one paid him any attention. He couldn’t believe his luck. “That was close,” he said to himself, then swam to the four-foot area and joined his best friends, Flipper and Allison.

“I just had a horrible scare.”

“What happened?” Allison asked, concerned.

“When I dove off the board my shorts fell down. I barely got them pulled up.”

Flipped laughed. “That would have been embarrassing!”

“It would have been awful!” Allison agreed.

“What’s your most embarrassing moment?” Josh asked Flipper.

Flipper answered immediately. “It was in third grade P.E. I really had to go to the bathroom. We were doing sit-ups. When I finished I noticed Melanie starring at me with her mouth open. I looked down and I had peed a little.”

“You didn’t notice?” Josh asked astonished.

“Not until I saw the wet spot on my shorts.”

“What’s yours?” Allison asked Josh.

“Last year we flew to California to visit my Mom’s family. On the flight home we sat in the second row from the front. I went to the bathroom in the back of the plane. As I walked back to my seat I noticed people were laughing. When I sat down a guy in a seat across from me pointed down the aisle. I looked and saw a string of toilet paper from the bathroom all the way up the aisle. It had stuck to my shoe and I had drug it in front of everybody.

“Oh, that’s horrible,” Allison laughed.

“The worst part was walking back down the aisle to pick it all up.”

“So what’s your most embarrassing moment?” Flipper asked Allison.

Allison thought for a moment. “Last year in Mr. Burke’s Social Studies class he asked a question and I blurted out the answer without even raising my hand.”

Flipper gasped. “Did they suspend you?”

Allison giggled and splashed him. “Shut up. I wasn’t finished. Anyway, he said ‘Are you sure?'”

There were several moments of silence. Finally, Josh asked, “What happened?”

“That’s it,” Allison explained. “I got the answer wrong in front of everybody!”

Flipper continued mocking her. “I don’t think I can hang out with you anymore.”

“That’s not a big deal. I get answers wrong all the time,” Josh countered. “Besides, that’s not your most embarrassing moment. Remember after the soccer game last spring we saw that boy you like – Alex. You saw him wave and you waved at him all excited but he was actually waving at his friends behind us and not you?”

Flipper laughed hard. “That’s so embarrassing!”

“I DO NOT like Alex!”

“You do too,” Josh argued. Then doing an imitation of her he said, “You turned red and waved like he was a movie star!”

Allison splashed Josh then jumped on his back and dunked him. Josh had an alarming sensation that was confirmed when he got his head above water.

“Is that brown in the water?” Flipper asked.

Josh was horrified. “I think I have a new most embarrassing moment.”

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Sledding Inside

Flipper loosely gripped the book in both hands. He moved his thumb and fingers back and forth causing the book to flip up and down. It was his trademark activity – where he got his nickname. It was a habit, probably a compulsion. He paced as he flipped, which meant he was deep in thought.

He was in his cousin Emma’s upstairs bedroom with their best friend Josh. The three fifth graders had been playing video games but Emma’s mom told them to find something to do that didn’t involve a screen. This meant, of course, they were now bored.

Josh jumped up from the floor. “I know! Let’s slide down the stairs.”

Two minutes later they were in the hallway looking down the steep staircase, almost drooling. Emma sat in a clear tote waiting to be launched.

Flipper was worried Emma might get hurt. “How is she going to stop?”

“She’ll stop at the bottom.” Josh stated like the answer was obvious.

“But what if she crashes?”

Flipper’s question caused them to pause, each pondering the revealed risk that had previously escaped them.

They lined the walls with pillows and padded the bottom of the stairway with cushions and blankets. Flipper insisted on going first to make sure it was safe. He wore Emma’s bike helmet, had on a pair of goggles instead of his normal black-rimmed eyeglasses, and was tightly secured in the tote he was sharing with three blankets.

Emma peered from the bottom of the stairway holding her IPad just below eye level, recording this historic feat.

“Are you ready?” Josh asked.

Flipper leaned forward. He stuck his left arm, his dominant, in the air giving Josh a thumb’s up, then laid his arms on the sides of the tote.

“One, two, three.” At three Josh pushed Flipper over the edge.

The next day Flipper would agree that sliding down the stairs in a tote was a bad idea, but for the first eight steps he was having as much fun as he did when he played video games. Unfortunately, the staircase consisted of thirteen steps.

On the ninth step the front of the tote caught and sent Flipper and the tote tumbling. It turned out the bike helmet was a good idea. Another good idea would have been arm pads. Flipper instinctively reached out to break his fall. It would be only seconds before he realized that was a terrible idea.

Flipper lay at the bottom of the stairs trying not to cry. The pain in his left arm and the large lump near his wrist made that extremely difficult.

Five hours later Flipper woke up in the hospital bed, his arm in a cast. The first face he saw was his mom.

She smiled and gently brushed his hair back from his forehead. “The surgery went well. You have to wear a cast for a few weeks but your arm is going to heal just fine.”

Flipper’s dad, his Aunt Lavon, Emma, and Josh were also in his hospital room.

“Did you get it recorded?” Flipper muttered.

Emma nodded her head but didn’t speak.

“It was great!” Josh exclaimed. “It might have won money on America’s Funniest Videos.”

“What do you mean ‘may have’?” Flipper asked.

Aunt Lavon put her arm around her daughter. “Emma erased the video. It was disturbing to watch.” A tear fell from her eye. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know what you were doing. I would have stopped you…”

Flipper’s dad cleared his throat. “Lavon, remember two years ago when Emma fell and broke her arm while I was watching them at the park?”

Lavon nodded her head.

Dennis smiled. “Well, I guess now we’re even.”

 

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Satisfyingly Strange Short Stories, Volume 3

The third (and personal favorite) Volume of my Satisfyingly Strange Short Stories series is now available on Amazon.

The only humor you will find in these five stories is of the dark, sinister persuasion. They are twisted in more ways than one.

The stories features a bully, a ghost, an arsonist, a stalker, and a talking mirror. With unnerving plots and carefully designed twists, these tales are sure to provide plenty of goose bumps. Although the stories can be read in under thirty minutes, their ominous aura will remain with the reader for days to come.

Buy on Amazon

Satisfyingly Strange Short Stories: Volume 3 by [Bush, Bill]

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Christmas Night Prank

Josh missed his parents.

His dad was deployed overseas and his mom had gone to visit him. This wasn’t the first time both of his parents had been overseas without Josh, but it was the first time it had happened at Christmas time.

He thought it would be no big deal. He was twelve, after all. Besides, he got to stay with his best friend, Flipper, and his family. He had fun at first, but now that Christmas Eve had arrived, Josh was miserable.

Allison and her parents joined them for dinner. Also visiting was Flipper’s grandma who had Alzheimer’s and kept asking the same questions over and over again.

He didn’t mind that so much. She was nice and kept giving him pieces of candy — more than he could possibly eat. But he worried he would hurt her feelings or excite her too much. His parents had lectured him about being on his best behavior, which meant no practical jokes. That was like torture for Josh! So far his parents would be proud of him, but he felt like he wasn’t able to be himself.

Since Allison was Flipper’s cousin her parents agreed to let her spend the night with Flipper and Josh. They settled in Flipper’s room — Flipper and Josh in his queen-sized bed and Allison on the floor.

With the house quiet and dark Josh felt lonely. He tried not to think about how much he missed his parents by talking to Flipper and Allison well into the night. In fact, they chatted so long that Josh’ dinner wore off.

“I’m hungry.”

“Now I am too,” Flipper said.

“There’s some summer sausage in the fridge,” Allison suggested.

The three fifth-graders tip-toed downstairs as quietly as they could. As they went through the living room they saw that the meager selection of presents under the Christmas tree had grown substantially — Santa had visited!

After a substantial snack they snuck into the living room to snoop.

Josh saw his name on a small present about the size of the video game he hoped to get. He felt another pang of loneliness. He knew his parents had left gifts for him to open, but it wouldn’t be the same without them.

His need to be ornery and his need to get his mind off of his parents collided.

“What do you say we have a little fun?”

“What do you have in mind?” Allison asked.

“Let’s move everything around.” Josh didn’t think they would go for such a large task at — he looked up at the large, decorative clock — one forty-one in the morning, but they agreed.

Allison took a picture of the tree and presents with her phone. They moved the couch away from the wall and placed the presents on it. Flipper crawled underneath the seven-foot artificial tree. Josh pulled on the high branches, Allison the low branches, and Flipper pushed against the tree stand. Slowly, they inched their way across the carpet.

When they made it to the other corner Flipper said, “We only knocked off five ornaments. Not bad.”

They pushed the recliner to where the tree had been, the love seat to where the recliner had been, then the couch to where the loveseat had been. Allison pulled up the picture of the tree and presents on her phone and they intentionally placed the presents back under the tree.

“Quiet!” Allison whispered with sudden urgency.

The two boys froze. They listened and remained completely still for an agonizingly long five minutes. A toilet flushed; a door opened; footsteps down the hallway, then a bedroom door closed.

Flipper let out a deep breath. “That was my grandma.”

“That was close,” Josh added.

They got back to work. After a long and painfully tedious process of matching the presents to the picture — which Flipper and Josh didn’t think was near as important as Allison did — the three beamed with pride. Flipper and Allison collapsed onto the couch while Josh ran to the restroom. What he saw in there gave him another idea.

“We need to wish everyone a Merry Christmas,” Josh said returning from the bathroom.

“How?” Flipper asked.

Josh smiled and held up a roll of toilet paper.

“How does toilet paper say ‘Merry Christmas’?” Allison asked.

“We’ll need some tape.”
“I hate to ask,” Allison said hesitantly while Flipper retrieved a roll of tape.

Josh brought a chair from the dining room to stand on and hung toilet paper from the ceiling so it drooped down in front of the tree, spelling out ‘MERRY X-MAS’.

Finally, around three, the kids settled back into bed and fell asleep.

A few short hours later they awoke with a start at the sound of a scream.

They rushed downstairs with Flipper’s parents behind them.

Flipper’s mom gasped.

“What happened?” Flipper’s dad asked.

The sun shined brightly into the room, illuminating the tree. Even with toilet paper hanging from the ceiling and the room’s furnishings rotated ninety degrees, everyone’s attention was elsewhere.

At the bottom of the stairs, Flipper’s grandma stood, laughing hysterically.

 

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Joey Believes In Ghosts

Nine-year-old Joey poked his head into his parent’s room. “Mom? Dad? Can I sleep with you tonight?”

“Sure, honey,” his mom mumbled.

Joey crawled between his mom and dad and buried himself under the covers. The ghosts were bothering him again. He couldn’t wait to move into a new house. He desperately hoped there wouldn’t be ghosts there too.

He peeked from underneath the covers. The ghosts were gone now. They never bothered him when he was with his parents. Still, he trembled.

His dad wrapped his arms around him. “It will be better tomorrow, I promise.” Continue reading

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Satisfyingly Strange Short Stories, Volume 2

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My second installment of short stories is now available at Amazon. This time the stories center around children and animals, with a pesky ghost thrown in. What the stories lack in adult supervision they make up for in unexpected twists. … Continue reading

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The Christmas Parade Miracle

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Martin was a most unlikely candidate to dress as Santa Clause for the annual Christmas parade. What transpires as he rides atop a fire truck waving at children will change the course of many lives for years to come. My … Continue reading

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Advent Calendar

SIGN UP FOR KATHARINA GERLACH CHRISTMAS ADVENT CALENDAR

I’ve been invited by Katharina Gerlach to participate in her Winter/Christmas Advent Calendar. Sign up to receive a short story or flash under a 1000 word’s each day from different authors. My story: The Lonely Snowman. Sign up here. On the 26th, get all stories in a free e-book at the end of the countdown. Indie Author’s Advent Calendar 2016 Continue reading

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