All For One



“Fifteen hundred dollars? Are you kidding me, Tom?”

She paced the bedroom in anger, looking at the bank charges on her phone. Tom stepped to the tall redhead but sighed searching for the right response. She continued.

“It was supposed to be an oil change and your stupid lefty card!”

He froze and looked down at the hunter green berber carpet. She dropped her broad shoulders and chewed on her upper lip.

“Tom baby, I’m sorry. This isn’t your fault and I didn’t mean the thing about the card. You’re….”

Tom raised his left hand and fought back tears. He stayed in guilt over the past few years of their lives together.

“Suzanne, it’s fine. It was a shakedown but I wasn’t prepared for it. Honey, I should’ve used our back channels to get the car serviced. I wasn’t…”

Suzanne stopped him by leaning in and touching his right hand. She pulled Tom in for a hug. He pulled back then moved in for a light kiss on the lips. He felt her phone vibrate against his left shoulder. She looked at the text message and then lost control of her legs, falling against their queen sized bed.

“What is it Suz?”

He took the phone from her hand and read the words.

“Going to Piedmont for the civil rights protest. I know. I know. But I’m still going.”

It was from their oldest daughter, Danielle, a law school student in Atlanta, about 30 miles from their home.

“I have to go get her, Suzanne. With her record and civil disobedience being banned in the city after the Christmas Day Massacre, anything could happen to her.”

Suzanne wiped away tears from her cheeks, her fair skin flush from emotion.

“I can’t go with you. The other girls will be home from their friends’ party in less than an hour. Plus, it’s Saturday and the family travel restrictions on people like us will put us all in holding.”

Tom walked to a dresser a few feet from their bed. He opened the top drawer then pulled five hundred dollars cash and a stun gun.

“I’ll take care of it. If something happens, I’ll go down for her and they’ll let her go on a parent violation since she’s still in law school on our dime. Then she can use her law office contacts from there. Call Joanna and tell her what’s happening. She’ll be our back channel if it gets bad. This is Plan C. We’ve gone over it dozens of times.

He walked to the threshold of the bedroom then felt her soft hands on his. He turned and kissed her. Their lips released.

“I’ll try to make this as okay as possible. Joanna will help you if it doesn’t work out. I love you.”

Suzanne pushed a button next to the light switch and their television monitor showed a picture of their daughter’s apartment.

“Tom, the security system’s been activated. She’s left the complex. It the campus perimeter is blocked, pay off a Yellow driver. They got me through the police barricade last time. He looked at her and shrugged.

“Yeah well, I’m not as pretty as you so it may take more than a twenty. I may have to say Heil Trump or something.”

They both laughed then dropped their smiles.

“Suzanne, our family is all we have, I’ll keep us as one.”


****blogger’s note****

This is part 2 of many more to come of a serialized fiction series about life under a Trump Presidency.

Here’s the Stone Roses.

House Of Cards


“Hit me”, he murmured to the tall, blonde Trump Mart black jack dealer as he waited for his car to be serviced and his License and Registration Card to be renewed. Her long, slender fingers placed a nine of clubs next to his three of hearts and eight of diamonds, he made no eye contact when he mouthed “stay”.

“Runson, Thomas Runson!” The Trump Mart Registration clerk called from the other room.

The dealer showed a ten and an eight. He smiled at his bet of thirty dollars. He’d gotten lucky enough to pay for his card.

The dealer spoke in broken English, her Eastern European accent inquired, “Uhgint sir, maybay you vin your cah servishing?

He rolled his eyes, collected his debit card with a picture of the current President and namesake of the store he was inside, then replied.

“No, I don’t gamble, that much.”

As he walked to the registration counter, he recognized the clerk. His face was familiar but he couldn’t recall a name.

“Oh my God, Tom Runson! There’s so few people like you around here, these days, I should’ve known I’d run into you, here.”

Tom measured his response. If he said the wrong thing, the clerk could rescind his registration and make his life as someone on the wrong end of his state’s political spectrum, very difficult.

“Hey, it’s been a long time, what, twenty or so years?”

The man took over the conversation.

“Nineteen-ninety damn seven, Tom. I saw you at Kip Perryman’s wedding. We’re in 2020 now, old man. How the hell are you?’

Tom’s memory cleared. The man’s first name came to him.

“Good to see you, Steve. Since you hold my life in your hands, you don’t need to know much about me. Are you still married? How many kids?”

Steve ran his thick fingers over a balding head of gray and black hair.

“Three boys, all out of high school. One’s in the Army in Brownsville, Texas helping build that great wall we need. Another one’s learning electrical work over at the tech school in town. The other one’s like you. He thinks college is going to do something for him. But hell, I ain’t paying for it, he is. I’m on wife number three, but dang it if she don’t get her act together I may be looking for another one, kind of like our great President, Mr. Trump.”

Steve’s smirk was aggressive, cocky but Tom wasn’t taking the bait. Steve handed over Tom’s card.

License Number 45730829

Thomas Bruce Runson

123 Crooked Bend Way

Daily, Georgia 30715

Birthdate: September 9, 1970

Height, Weight, Eyes, Hair: 5’8 175 lbs brown hair brown eyes

Sexual Orientation: Straight

Marital Status : Married, to a woman

Political Affiliation – Liberal Democrat

Occupation: Communications

Watch List Status : 7.4

He swallowed hard, then replied.

“Good luck, best wishes to the college kid.”

Tom turned and let out a deep breath. Encounters with Trump Mart employees could hurt people with his politics and activism.

He opened the door to the garage and saw his next problem. Two mechanics stood under his Honda Pilot Hybrid, with mischievous grins. Tom shrugged and braced for bad news.

“Mr. Runson, one of these days, you people are going to learn these cars are crap. We found a crack in your head gasket, You ain’t going nowhere, today.”

Tom’s car had less than twenty-five thousand miles on it. This was a shakedown. His hands became fists and white formed in his knuckles.

“Just tell me how much you’re charging me and who’s ordering me a rental. I’m going to play cards.”

*****blogger’s note*****

Every other day for the next six months, 180 days, until the American Presidential election, I’ll be serializing a dystopian story set in the year 2020, during a Trump administration. Enjoy.

Here’s Radiohead’s House Of Cards.

100 Word Song – Cup Of Coffee


I’m living in an alternate dimension right now, teetering on mental breakdown because of real world wildness of my oldest daughter moving into college tomorrow and my real job, outside of the blog, book writing and Lefty Pop (, becoming overwhelming. I apologize for the lateness of this week’s 100 word song.

My writing friend, Valerie The Word Pirate of selected this week’s tune, Cup Of Coffee by Garbage. My 100 will be connected to Velvet Verbosity’s 100 word prompt, Wharf, as well

Back to Silas in the garage, now unarmed and vulnerable.

Last time:

“Silas, pick up the money and the gun. They’re yours.”
Archie held back Roscoe and Kenny, who stared in amazement.
Silas kept his eyes on all 3 men, scooped up the cash and gun, holding it down to the garage floor. He spoke.
“I know how to end this.”
Roscoe yelled.
“Yeah, we kick the shi…!”
Archie pushed him then motioned for Silas to continue.
“I have Bart’s stash, all of it.”
Archie shook his head at Roscoe, who growled.
“Meet at Tampa wharf in 2 hours. I’ll give you 3 grand, then you put a million miles between us.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

You have six days from NOW, to write 100 words inspired by Valerie’s pick of Garbage’s Cup Of Coffee. Use the media that are social to advertise you magic, then link up with the green mr.linky button at the bottom.

Never Said


It is a 20-year-old tale told by a fool, full of drunkenness and pity, signifying something, and when the Facebook friend request popped up I ignored her on instinct. The following message made me grin, wide, but guilt as cargo. My wife sat three feet away on the family living room sofa as I read.

What is the airspeed velocity of a flying monkey?

I remembered. Two decades earlier the person behind the message and I sat on a sad, yellowed couch watching The Simpsons. It was the episode where Mr. Burns unleashes his flying monkeys. We quoted every line, laughed at each joke, and plotted our own entertainment successes that never happened. Against better judgment, I answered.

Fly my pretties! Fly!

I didn’t wait for her response. I shut my laptop and walked into the kitchen to look for a diet soda. I opened the refrigerator, popped the top, and drifted into a memory.

I stood in front of a dirty fridge looking at a twelve pack of beer, a pack of cheese, some condiments and left over pizza. She had followed me into the kitchen, chattering about our plans.

“When we make it as comedy writers and stand ups, we’re never drinking cheap beer from a can.”

I swigged a Natural Light while tossing her one as she leaned against the lime green wall phone with a cord that could stretch into all five rooms; kitchen, bathroom, living room and two bedrooms. She caught it with her left hand and said.

“Tell me your first joke you’re going to do at the open mic tomorrow.”

I frowned at the thought of performing in front of just her. As close as we were, it was a competitive relationship. I didn’t trust her. If she liked my material, she’d downplay her delight. If she didn’t like it, she’s patronize my feelings. I took the bait like a hungry catfish.

“Hey, how’s everyone doing? I just graduated college and my post graduate work is making strangers laugh enough so that the important guy in the back running this place gives me a break and I’ll have my own sitcom by Christmas. So please, for the love of poverty, don’t forget to tip your waitresses. I plan on sweet talking one for a twenty buck loan at the end of the night.”

She drank her beer, then grinned. I fumed.

“What?” I demanded.

She stepped toward me, tossed back another drink, and answered.

“That’s so adorable, you’ll get laughs and get laid by the waitress.”

She patronized me. I knew her so well. I walked past her and looked for the black spiral notebook that contained my best stuff. I felt her hand on my back as I reached the bedroom.

“Who is she?”

The refrigerator door shut and I was back. My wife stood a few feet away with her arms crossed, holding her cell phone with raised eyebrows and a mischievous smile.

“Somebody I used to know from my stand up comedy days. I denied the friend request. answered her message, then walked away. I was going to tell you.”

She met me in front of the fridge and leaned in for a kiss. She brushed away strands of brown but gray-tinged hair from my eyes.

“I know, but I was bad. I looked her up on my phone. She’s not as pretty as me, and it looks like she’s unhappy with her life. If she messages you again, tell me, and I’ll have her killed by the end of  the day.”

We both broke into loud laughter. I composed myself, kissed her, then said.

“You’re the funny one, these days. Maybe I should take you to an open mic.”

I followed her into the living room. We never said anything else, about her, or my life, back then.

100 Word Song – Worrisome Heart


No lead in or exposition, just a song, more Silas and Olive, and a request to go see my sometimes writing partner, Tara aka @Tara_R from She chose today’s 100 word tune, a jazzy number from Melody Gardot called Worrisome Heart.

Here’s my 100.

Last time:

Silas swallowed, thought about Olive, then his hand shook. His finger was close to the trigger. He dropped it on the ground. Archie smiled. Kenny and Roscoe ran next to him, but Archie stopped them with one sentence.

“I know what it’s like to be surrounded by people with troubling ways and worrisome hearts.”

He stepped toward Silas. The gun was equal distance from both men.

“Everybody wants the short cut get to where they’re going. We’re not like that.”

Silas stared at the money in his other hand, then dropped it to the garage floor, too.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days from NOW, to write 100 words off Melody Gardot’s Worrisome Heart, Use the media that are social to advertise your magic. Also link up to the green Mr. Linky button, below.

100 Word Song – Wish I Could Fly Like Superman


Sorry for the lateness of this week’s 100 word song. Between work, being featured on my first ever podcast interview, and some Lefty Pop aka business, it was an overwhelming day. Wait, what? Podcast interview? Oh, yeah. If you do this blogging thing long enough, hit a BlogHer conference and treat people decently, someone will hand you a small snack of internet fame. My writer friend Poppy Marler aka aka @poppyjmarler hit me up in San Jose and asked me to do a Skype interview last Wednesday. It ran today. I wouldn’t shut up and used the phrase “be a whore” professionally. Here’s the link to Poppy and her friends Tammy and Vanita’s site Blogging Betties. They do a great job and were very nice to me. Hope you have 45 minutes.

Today’s 100 word song was chosen by Dawn of The Dawnie Project . She suggested 1979’s Wish I Could fly like Superman by The Kinks.

Last time:

Silas scanned the garage. He saw nothing that Roscoe, Archie or Kenny could use as a weapon. Archie spoke.

“There’s 300 dollars on the red toolbox to your left. That’s what these two owe you from the deal with Bart and that shiner.”

Silas walked over, then picked up the cash. Kenny and Roscoe took several steps toward him. Archie shouted.


Archie approached.

“I know who you are, Silas Royster, of Daily, Georgia. You’re better than this. But you’ve got fly away like Superman from those two girls.”

Silas pulled the gun and aimed it at Archie.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have 7 days to give up 100 words inspired by The Kinks Wish I Could Fly Like Superman. Use the media that are social to advertise you magic and the green Mr. Linky button to link up.

Between Something And Nothing


You’ll see some changes to this space as weeks progress. I learned from my BlogHer trip that I must more organized and focused in what posts here so you can know what to expect and grow along with the content. My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog will be a platform for my serialized fiction, subsequent published books, and other writing. This has always been a writing blog by a writer who likes to write.

Lefty Pop, aka or @lefty_pop or will be the destination for my opinions, politics, and pop culture material. My partner, Linda Roy aka @modmomelleroy of and I are planning some changes there that will feature more video and podcast blogging. We’re very excited about all of this.

I will write about music here, because a) that’s my gimmick b) you can’t stop me.

I’ve neglected my serialized short story, Light Of Day, about Silas and Olive, two 19-year-old lovers on the run in 1989 Florida. It’s coming to an end, sometime in the next two to three months.  So, let’s get on with it. Here’s a new story episode, no prompts or tie ins, just a several hundreds words of the inevitable confrontation.

Last time:

There was a party of four riding in the Cutlass as Silas drove from The Jade strip club to Finn Brothers Garage. Zola and Olive shared the backseat as Olive changed clothes and chattered about her shift as a waitress among nude dancers and grabby men. Silas drove while a stark disquiet rode shotgun. As he pulled the car to a stop in an alley between the garage, Olive blurted.

“What the hell did you tell him, Zola? He hasn’t looked at me once since I got in the car.”

Silas parked, took the keys from the ignition, and tossed them over his right shoulder. Without turning around he delivered the plan.

“I’m going inside and getting the money. Zola, if they don’t have the two thousand you said they’d have, I’m taking whatever I can get. If something happens, let Olive drive, she knows how jacked up the brakes are on this car. If, I’m not out in five minutes, get the hell out of here.”

He walked past the passenger side window as Olive rolled it down and stuck her head out.

“Honey, I love you, forever, okay?”

The pacing of her words were typical Olive, Silas thought to himself. Quick, deliberate, and with emphasis on forever and okay. Everything he’s learned about her over the past few hours from Zola told him to not answer, keep walking, and perhaps, not come back. He gave in, one more time.

“I love you too, Liv. He felt tears well, so he squeezed his eyes shut and pivoted. By the time he got to the window, Olive was smiling. He leaned in and kissed her, tasting liquor, lipstick, and lies. He put his left hand in the waist of his blue jeans and adjusted the gun so he could draw if necessary.

He walked into the auto body shop, let the metal door slam shut, then looked over the empty bays as the echoes died down. Both Finn Brothers and their cousin, Kenny, stood thirty feet in front of him. None of them were holding money.

Here’s The Ocean Blue with their alternative 1989 hit, Between Something And Nothing.

I wrote two books. They got good reviews. The third one, a sequel to the first, Woman Of Troy, is on the way, very soon.

The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on for your kindles, and in paperback from