Short Story Sunday: Sunday School

Sunday School (an exceptionally short story)

Sunday morning. I was downstairs fixing coffee, listening to NPR and savoring the quiet time before the rest of the family got up.

Yes, quiet time. That is a rare commodity for a parent.

I’m wiping down the kitchen counter and thinking about the game schedule for today when I look up and a guy in a black suit with slicked back hair is standing about 4 feet from me with a smirk on his face.

Sure my skin prickled because I knew who this guy was.

“Whatever you want to sell I’m not buying,” I told him.

Suddenly visions of a beautiful wife, perfect kids in boarding school, money, freedom, maid service, more women…and fame. My dreams in youth of being an actor and being a politician and being the guy who starts the mega technology company and being a household word…they all come to mind. All the doors that were slammed in my face could be opened right now.

If only…

I looked at the man. He smiled. The cat started to scratch at the door to get out. I could hear the coffee dripping. A toilet flushed upstairs.

The man spoke “Why sleep with someone who has been trying to drop those 50 pounds for the past 10 years when you can have the most beautiful women in the world? Why be stuck fixing eggs for a bunch a loud kids when you can have meals fixed by the finest chefs? Why watch the game on TV when you can own the team?”

“Dude, I’m busy. Go away.”

“With your heart you should be in church,” he said that with one of those nasty sarcastic tones that I absolutely hate.

“Fuck you and get out of my house.”

He vanished in a cloud of sulphur smelling smoke. I don’t even know if he was The Guy or just one of his helpers.

Over the years I had a lot of opportunities and talent to go with it, but it was always the wrong time and wrong place. Or I was just too stupid or inexperienced to know what to do with the opportunity.

I’ve lived a life of regrets, but I landed here, right where I am now, in a house full of love. I have kids telling me about school and a wife showing me a painting she is working on. We go to work and we get tired and we do it all again. And it’s the best. And we learn something new every single day.

This is my Sunday School. This is my religion.

 

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coffee

More from Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com.
Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

Short Story Sunday: Dark Politics

What we needed was something different…

 

Dark Politics

by Juliette Kings aka Vampire Maman

 

 I’d dined with The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, alone. It had been a private affair with only the two of us. I’d acquired signatures, state secrets, just the right amount of English blood, and enough charm to last me a while. He came away from it feeling quite satisfied with himself, though a little pale.

Heading to my private quarters I was stopped cold in my tracks. There he was, at the end of the hall.

“Well, this is random.” I said to the familiar apparition.

“I have been waiting for you madam.”

“I never imagined you’d stoop so low as to be a ghost.”

He smiled. “I never imagined you’d stoop so low as to be president.”

I smiled back. “The first woman president. I bet you never thought you’d see that in your lifetime.”

“I’m dead my dear. Remember?” He laughed in a cold manner that made my breath turn to a cloud before my face. “I loved you.” He whispered.

“You used me.”

“You used me as well Madam.”

“So I did. But times have changed Mr. President.”

The ghost smiled and came close. “You amaze me Madam.  Never has there been a president so popular or successful. The economy is good. Unemployment is below 2%. We’re not in a war and our schools working. How do you manage it?”

I shrugged. “I love the American people. I love my country.”

The ghost laughed. “You don’t have to campaign with me dear.”

I had to smile. At one time we’d been so close. “Why did it take so long for you to show yourself?” I asked.

“The White House isn’t my usual haunt. If I’d known you’d be wearing that dress I would have come back sooner.”

“I’m not even wearing a corset.”

“Or a bustle. That is one reason I never gave women the vote, you do know that. Damned bustles looked so silly. Who could take a creature who wears one of those things seriously?”

A song blasted from my hand. The ghost looked startled. “My daughter just texted me.” I held up my phone. She was just down the hall but I’d promised I’d check in before I went to bed.

“How is she doing since…I’m so sorry.”

“She’s doing ok. Some days are hard, especially holidays and special events.” My husband had passed away during my first term of an unexpected illness. I would never admit it out loud but grief, combined with my dedication to the job, shot my ratings in the polls up to 97.4%.

I looked fondly upon my ghostly friend, a great man who was rarely remembered. One of the many forgotten 19th century presidents.  Just so many men with beards. What a shame.

“I wish I could hold you.” I said, remembering a time long ago when that was possible.

“I should have asked you turn me when you had a chance.” He said, standing so close I could feel him but not touch him.

Passing my hand through his heart I told him the truth. “You made a good president but you would have been a horrible vampire sir.”

“I suppose you’re right. Good night my dear”, he said with a gentle smile. “Be careful.”

I smiled. “I will, my darling. I will.”

If the Titanic had safely landed on April 16, 1912

April 16, 2012 is the one year anniversary of the blog Vampire Maman. It also would have been the 101st anniversary of the docking of the Titanic in New York City, if the Titanic had docked.

I have in my possession a curious bit of history. This one is real. Not fiction. It gave me the chills to read this and copy it for this post.

In a scrap book is a press release that would have gone out if the Titanic had landed safely in New York.

Rather than throwing it out an executive employee of the White Star line put it in his scrap book. And that is where it still is. And here it is…copied exactly word for word from the White Star Line.

______________________

To be released for Publication after arrival of ship, April 16th.

The latest Ocean Marvel White Star’s “Titanic”

Largest Vessel in the World Arrives in New York.

THE ACEM OF LUXURY AND COMFORT – SOME STRIKING INNOVATIONS.

The largest steamer in the world arrived in New York today (April 16) from Southampton and Cherbourg and Plymouth. Larger even than the giantess “OLYMPIC” the new White Star Line leviathan “TITANIC” began her maiden trip under the most auspicious circumstances.

Many wonderful innovations have been made part of this newest of transatlantic wonders. The “TITANIC’S” 66,000 tons of displacement and 46,328 tons gross register are not her sole claim to distinction as the most elaborate handiwork of shipwrights. The “TITANIC” is the first steamer to be built with private promenades in connection with some of her splendid suites. Heretofore the floating apartment hotels, but fall to the “TITANIC” to provide the transatlantic traveler with an actual private residence, even to the exclusive promenade deck without encroachment upon the hundreds of first-cabin voyagers.

The “TITANIC”, like its sister ship, the “OLYMPIC”, possesses the great length of 882 feet, 6 inches, and a beam of 92 feet, 6 inches. Over the boat deck, the “TITANIC’S” beam spans 94 feet even, from rail to rail.

Four great funnels rise 81 ½ feet above the uppermost deck with a total distance of 175 feet from the top of the funnels to the keel.

Fifteen watertight bulkheads divide the great vessel, making her unsinkable even though half of her compartments should be filled with water.  Eleven steel decks add to the “TITANIC’S” staunchness while an ideal of the vast promenading space may best be had when it is noted that the main promenade deck alone has an unbroken sweep of 190 yards on either side of the ship.

A Parisian Café and Palm Room are but some of the features of this remarkable vessel which will now enter regularly in the Plymouth-Cherbourg-Southampton-New York service with the “OLYMPIC.”

Besides the main dining salon, which has seating capacity for nearly 600 passengers, there is an a la carte restaurant, French service, which seats 200 passengers. The restaurant features will be especially appreciated by those who do not have the desire to be held to regular hours for dining, for night suppers, dinner parties, etc.

The size of the staterooms is also one of the remarkable features of the new giantess “TITANIC.” Varying from 8 feet to 9 feet, 6 inches in height, they are all roomy. Some of the 2-berth cabins are 17 x 10 feet, 6 inches in size. There are no 4-berth rooms, and a great number of single-berth rooms, 8 ½ by 10 ½ feet, have been provided.

A great swimming pool, squash racket course, gymnasium and the Turkish baths are all closely together on the lower deck, from which elevators carry the passengers to the various upper decks.

As in her sister ship, the “OLYMPIC,” passengers on the “TITANIC” will descent the grand staircase to the main reception room, which, in turn, leads into the great dining salon, from which it is separated by glass. Stretching the full width of the vessel amidships, the main dining salon is light and cheerful, and at night, with its myriads of electric lights, it presents a veritable fairyland.

Describing the gathering of the voyages in the reception room, awaiting the dinner hour, a writer has aptly remarked:

“Upon a dark, richly colored carpet, which will further emphasize the delicacy and refinement of the paneling and act as a foil to the light dresses of the ladies, this company will assemble – the apotheosis surely, of ocean-going luxury and comfort. What more appropriate setting than this dignified Jacobean room, redolent of the time when the Pilgrim Fathers set forth from Plymouth on their rude bark to brave the perils of the deep!”

There screws, propelled by turbine and reciprocating engines, furnished the motive power of the great “TITANIC.” Leaving Southampton and calling at Cherbourg and Plymouth for continental passengers on Wednesdays, she is expected to reach New York on the following Tuesday evening. The two ships will maintain an ocean ferry with regularity of other ferries across a river, for their immense tonnage displacement makes them practically impervious to the elements, no matter how adverse these may be.

The “TITANIC” and the “OLYMPIC,” as instruments of commerce, represent the highest skill and perfection yet reached in naval architecture; and in the struggle for supremacy they will easily hold the place of honor and the historic names that have been given them.

titanic now

_____________________________

titanic
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Those with serious inquiries about the scrap book and all contents may contact my friend Steve at Crown Precious Metals in Sacramento, California.
 
Crown Precious Metals
3245 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 456-6227
http://www.eastsacpreciousmetals.com/
 
Read an account of the tragic night from a survivor of the Titanic tragedy at Yesteryear Gazette:  http://yesteryeargazette.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/how-i-was-saved-from-the-titanic-1912/