26 Aug 2016, 2:57am
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The Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 6

Macedonia HotelThe Macedonia Hotel

A NANOWRIMO

Relay writing project

 

 

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


The Macedonia Hotel

(This fictional piece is the product of a relay writing project by the Wayne Writer’s Guild In honor of NANOWRIMO-2015.  Any resemblance to real events, people, places, or things is a coincidence and neither intended nor implied to be real and accurate.)

 

 

 

I extend my thanks and gratitude to the contributors who shared their time and talents to make this NANOWRIMO Relay Writing Project possible.

 

The individual chapters are the intellectual property of the author.

 

Special thanks are extended to John Cieslinski for his generous use of the book store’s back room.

–Kate Chamberlin, Coordinating Editor

July 20, 2016

 

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

Chapter 6

Dark Times

By Mary Stanton (aka Claudia Bishop)

 

Ivory jerked awake into darkness, and for one terror-stricken moment, she was back in that house, and he was coming, she knew he was coming and there was nothing she could do to save herself or her sisters.

She gasped and sat up. The lights on her laptop glowed orange/white in the gloom. The familiar, musty smell of the cupola at the top of the Macedonia hotel washed over her. She wasn’t home. She’d fallen asleep over her work, and her shabby room, her refuge, was just two floors away.

She sighed and stretched. She was safe. For now.

Or was she? The sounds of the party below had reached shrieking heights. Somebody had turned on a boom box, and the bass rumbled of unidentifiable music shook the floor under her feet. Wild laughter spiraled up the stairs.

Ivory picked up her cell phone, hesitating. Should she call the cops? Even that fat police chief ought to be able to do something about it.

Ivory had discovered the cupola the first week she’d moved into the hotel, and quickly made it her own. The space was small—no more than eight feet square, and the only furniture were a shabby velvet arm chair, and a wobbly card table. She’d shoved the table in front of the little window so she could look out over Main Street while she worked and dreamed of better times.

She looked out the window now; Chief of Police Wardle spent a lot of time at the Hungry House Café across the street, scarfing up French fries doused in gravy and if all he had to do was stump across Main and wave his badge around, the reprobates would go home and she could go to bed in peace.

But she couldn’t see Main Street. She couldn’t see anything. White fog obscured the air outside. She rubbed heavy condensation from the glass with the sleeve of her hoodie.

Snow. Inches and inches of snow. Not unexpected in an upstate New York November, but a real pain in the butt nonetheless. The snow plow hadn’t made it out yet, and the street was slushy with tire tracks and ice. The few cars parked in front of the Hungry House were draped with sheets of white. Nobody trudged down the snowbound sidewalks.

A faint yellow glow from the cafe windows told her the place was still open. Ivory sat back, scrubbed her face with both hands, and then closed her lap top. The thump of the bass beneath her feet changed to a faster beat. She had to do something. There was that pretty girl, Grace, to think of; Ivory wasn’t at all sure Randy had gotten her out of there safely. And there was that constant, maddening maelstrom of noise. Ivory hated noise. Noise meant her drunken step father cranking the TV volume up to intolerable heights, her sisters screaming when he swung his fists, her mother sobbing helplessly. Nope. That wasn’t going to happen here, in her refuge. Ivory wouldn’t let it. She’d shut that bunch of fools up herself.

“Reprobates,” the Lady’s voice whispered in her ear. “In my hotel….”

With the suddenness of a slammed door, the party stopped. The voices and the laughter cut off as if a knife had severed them. Somebody jerked the electrical plug on the music, or it sounded like it.

Reprobates….

Ivory smiled to herself. It’d be pretty darn cool if she could depend on the Lady for a bit of help now and then. Maybe she’d stop at Big Bertha’s 3rd floor ‘suite’—and what the heck had Social Services been thinking of to get that sloppy little witch a suite?!—and see if the Lady had struck them all mute, or something.

She tucked her lap top under her arm, slipped out the door, and paused at the top of the landing.

The lights were out along the stairwell. Billy Beckwith was a slob, but he was more scared of the Macedon code officer than he was of a little work, and the forty watt bulbs along the stairwells were always on at night. She sighed. So maybe the Lady hadn’t worked some magic after all; maybe it was that reliable upstate New York phenomenon, a power outage. She’d have to go down to the lobby and roust Billy out of bed so he could get the generator going.

Ivory tucked her laptop more firmly under her arm and felt her way carefully down the stairs. She figured the last time the carpet at the Macedonia had been replaced was maybe 1902, or even earlier, maybe, and the worn spots could trip you up. The last thing she needed was a broken leg. No way to help her sisters if she was laid up in a cast.

The third floor was dark, quiet, and silent. Ivory hesitated, not sure if she should check on the party-goers. If Grace were still there—Ivory laughed a little. Of all people, Grace would be just fine.

Ivory crept down the next two flights, pushing down panic. She didn’t like the dark, She’d never liked the dark. She stopped on the first floor. She’d been in the lobby earlier that afternoon when that salesman had checked in. Brad? That was the name he’d given Billy. He’d looked like a pretty decent guy, and Ivory was sucker for a Southern accent. Billy had put him in 13B. If she tapped on his door, maybe he’d be willing to give Billy a hand with the generator.

And maybe not, Ivory thought grimly. She’d watched that sequel to the X FILES and Agent Muldar had it right: Trust No One.

She made it to the lobby, and heart slowed back to normal. A pale light steeped in from the front windows, and she could see Billy at the front desk, slumped over, fast asleep, the slug, oblivious to the blackout. She stepped up to the desk, and thumped her knuckles on the splintered top. “Mr. Beckwith.”

He sat there, unmoving.

“Mr. Beckwith!”

Exasperated, Ivory pulled out her cell phone and switched on the flashlight.

There was a very good reason Billy didn’t answer. He wasn’t asleep.

It looked like he was dead.

 

Author Bio:

 

Mary Stanton is a well-traveled American author known for her children’s fantasy series Unicorns of Balinor and adult mystery series Beaufort & Company. Writing as Claudia Bishop, she authored The Hemlock Falls series.  Born in Florida, raised in Japan and Hawaii, and educated in Minnesota, Mary has lived in the Rochester area since the mid-1970’s. Prior to her writing career, her experiences include being a nightclub singer, medical examiner, claims adjuster, and Director of Volunteer Services. www.marystanton.com

mmwstanton@aol.com

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

18 Aug 2016, 4:11am
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the Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 5

Macedonia HotelThe Macedonia Hotel

A NANOWRIMO

Relay writing project

 

 

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


The Macedonia Hotel

(This fictional piece is the product of a relay writing project by the Wayne Writer’s Guild In honor of NANOWRIMO-2015.  Any resemblance to real events, people, places, or things is a coincidence and neither intended nor implied to be real and accurate.)

 

 

 

I extend my thanks and gratitude to the contributors who shared their time and talents to make this NANOWRIMO Relay Writing Project possible.

 

The individual chapters are the intellectual property of the author.

 

Special thanks are extended to John Cieslinski for his generous use of the book store’s back room.

–Kate Chamberlin, Coordinating Editor

July 20, 2016

 

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

chapter 5

The Crystal Dragon

By Alex Rea

 

The Macedonia Hotel is the best place to be if you want to hear tales about the yesteryear and the people that formerly dwelled in that location. The woman in room number eight, Mrs. Bonnie Black, was the original proprietress of the edifice. One can resolve that she stays around hoping for someone to restore the hotel to its early glory. She often said that the hotel was one of the best things to happen to the area.

In that location, with the Canal nearby, there is a great deal more story to add to the stories one might try. Not everyone is able to hear the stories, but to the ones that do they are unforgettable. tales are narrated by the spirits that inhabit the building and the surrounding regions. They are telling us about their lives and how life was way back when.

There is a young lady that sits in a rocking chair that has been seen rocking her baby, making sure no one can take her away. They died in the cold of a harsh winter, asleep in the chair. To this day some can still see the chair moving when no one is in it. Off of the upper balcony, some can see the gallows where many were hanged. Because the wrong person was put to death, none that was hung can successfully move on. The person who did the crimes, had gotten away, never to be caught.

The judge that had tried them had lost his mind completely and was put into an insane asylum. He passed half a dozen years in the mental institution and finally committed suicide. He returned to the hotel as the most familiar place from when he was alive.

If you can hear them talk about their stories, you hear the same theme: It was the judge. The Judge is the soul that performed all the crimes, that is the reason he lost his mind. The people he had condemn to death was for profit. They were forever telling him what was going to occur to him after he died. He did not believe them at all.

The best story though, is about two women often seen in the great room having tea. These women were iconic to the area as they both had wealthy husbands and were a contributing influence to the Palmyra- Macedon area. They are Bonnie Black, the original owner of the Hotel and Mrs. Barbara Blocket, lady of the famous Blocket House in Palmyra. When these ladies get together for tea in their dresses and gloves, it is a sight to see. Mrs. Blocket often can be heard talking about how her house has undergone many changes throughout the years. The last time they were spotted having tea, they were speaking about the people that live in or utilize the buildings that used to be theirs. Mrs. Blocket smiles at the music that is being put back into her place. Her house is being filled with love and light as the Spark Of her former church’s Congregation has given the old house life again. She is delighted with the direction they are conducting themselves within her sacred space and are using up the riff-raff off the streets by spreading the love and light into the community the way that she used to. The dead are no longer in the streets.

The lady of the Hotel says to Mrs. Blocket, that they have done the same for her space in Macedon as well.

They walk through the Butterfly Trail to see what has been done to clean the place up. It was a place to picnic by the water and see the boats go through the channels and Canal Locks. I know that when I hear their stories, I am going back through time right there with them.

Others at the Hotel are from all walks of life. There’s some good and some bad. They are the ones to watch out for as they can drain every single drop of energy from your body to manifest themselves. One of them is named Jason.

Jason, his wife and child, and his wife’s sister all shared a room that was barely big enough for even one individual. Jason had cancer while he was still alive. They went from room to room doing drugs with other past tenants. They consume the life force out of people without them knowing. This brought out the big guns rather recently when one traveler stopped in. This mortal, not knowing their birthright or where he hailed from was unbeknownst to him and others, very powerful in magic.

He was losing time from being drained by Jason. When it was found out, a stronger force was sent in to protect him. This would have been to be considered an unlikely love story, considering that both bodies were male. But the force that was sent in has many people and spirits within the individual physical structure.

One being from 1890, she is very beautiful, with period dress and gloves of white. It was explained that a woman from that time period could not let her ankles be seen or marriage was a must by the man who had seen them.

The courting started slow at first, and then Sir Robert regained his memory, from another life that he had been. The woman was none other than his darling wife Maria, just as he had remembered her. Sir Robert has experienced many lives because he is a Dragon in human form and because the dragons are all but gone from this world, a very special gift was bestowed upon Maria. She had been granted the gift of becoming a Crystal Dragon.

 

Author Bio:

Alexander Rea is a 50-year-old man. He was born in Chambersburg, PA. Grew up in Moss Point, MS for part of his life, then moved to Shippensburg, PA. Presently, he lives in NY. In a master’s program for alternative medicine. He writes short stories to relax.

magicwillow365@gmail.com

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

 

11 Aug 2016, 8:08am
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Comments Off on The Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 4

The Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 4

Macedonia HotelThe Macedonia Hotel

A NANOWRIMO

Relay writing project

 

 

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


The Macedonia Hotel

(This fictional piece is the product of a relay writing project by the Wayne Writer’s Guild In honor of NANOWRIMO-2015.  Any resemblance to real events, people, places, or things is a coincidence and neither intended nor implied to be real and accurate.)

I extend my thanks and gratitude to the contributors who shared their time and talents to make this NANOWRIMO Relay Writing Project possible.

The individual chapters are the intellectual property of the author.

Special thanks are extended to John Cieslinski for his generous use of the book store’s back room.

–Kate Chamberlin, Coordinating Editor

July 20, 2016

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

Chapter 4

A Light in the Darkness

By Kc Meyer

 

Ivory made her way carefully toward the door to get away from the crowded apartment and dangers it held. She wished she could take her friends with her and get away from it all.

“These people are driving me crazy” she muttered to herself. “All I wanted to do was get away from home…the yelling, the screaming, the beatings, the mess, the drudgery and the people who never really cared whether I lived or died, and what do I end up getting myself into? Social Services seemed to think that a rundown, filthy, two bit, flop house was some kind of a solution! I would have been fine if they had let me go with my real dad as I pleaded for them to do.  This place is full of dirty old…reprobates.”

That made Ivory smile a bit. Vocabulary was her forte…she loved to read and write.  Mrs. Scotsman, her English teacher, had been the one who encouraged her to pursue her literary gift. Now she was lucky if she could find a quiet, safe place to study at all.  She quickly stopped talking to herself when she saw Randy. They were both Seniors in school.  He’d also been here before. He was a really nice guy but he didn’t always choose the best friends to hang around with.  Ivory saw that he was walking toward the door with Grace, Sandy’s younger sister. Grace was using her white cane.

“She doesn’t belong with that crowd” she thought.  “I hope he watches out for her.”

As she inched closer to the door, through the boisterous, inebriated and sometimes lecherous crowd, Ivory noticed that Grace looked ill and scared.  She also looked young and vulnerable. But at least Randy seemed to be leaving with her. Thank goodness.  Soon they were out the door.

A protective instinct washed over Ivory as she thought about her younger sisters at home.  She missed them so much sometimes she could hardly stand it.   She worried about them all the time and took every chance she could get to see them at school text them or meet up with them when they weren’t at that house she used to call home.  She wasn’t allowed to go there, not that she had done anything wrong. But her mother was so afraid and dominated by her abusive boyfriend, and he was so clever at being a conniving fun drunk, that she chose to believe him over her daughters.  One of these days she was going to change all that for her sisters.  He was so cruel when he was drunk.  He’d hit them as well as emotionally abused them; they were all scarred.  She was now an emancipated minor and able to make decisions about her own life with approval of her social worker, but in a few months she would be 21 and old enough to sue for custody of her much younger sisters.  She had plenty of evidence and knew she could count on her social worker to help.  She intended to raise them right. She had already talked to Social Services about it and had even met with a Legal Aid lawyer to find out what her options were.  The plan was in the works.  Just a few more months and she would be of age and then she would begin the long process. But what chance were they going to have if she couldn’t make a good enough living to support them?

She needed to graduate and find a good job while going to college part time. It was all about her sisters now. Somehow she was going to get them out of that house.

“In the meantime maybe I can at least keep this girl out of danger” she said to herself.  “I’m going to talk to Randy on Monday and see what I can do to convince him to watch out for her.

Finally, Ivory also slid out the door and into the dark hallway, able to head, unseen, for the stairs and then to the cupola. If there was one place in this flea-bitten excuse for a hotel where she felt safe, it was in the cupola. Oddly enough, everyone else stayed as far away from there as possible…it was rumored to be haunted. Actually, Ivory knew it was haunted because she had met the woman who haunted it.

As a matter of fact, they had become great friends.  Ivory went there during the week after she was finished with school for the day and done with her shift at Hamburger Hut.  She often bought her supper before she left for the evening and took it with her up to the cupola.  She had set up a cozy niche with a lamp and old overstuffed chair she found, where she could curl up and study without being bothered by anyone.  She only came down when it was safe to be in her own room…except tonight some jerks had decided she and her suite mates were fair game.  Well, tough luck boys…you can say whatever you want about us but we know the truth and someday, when all of this is behind me and I am in a college dorm studying my heart out, your misadventures and disgusting, misogynistic behavior will be great fodder for my first and highly successful novel. The thought of that put a small smile on her face.

Ivory reached the cupola and there she was…her only true earthly, or should we say “other-worldly” friend, The Lady in the Cupola. She was staring out the eights in the window, hovering a foot or so above the floor, and when she turned, she smiled beatifically  at  Ivory as tears shimmered down her translucent face.

“Ah, my friend, I see you have escaped the throng of revelers and, what do you call them…”reprobates” unscathed, yet again.”

“Yes, and I truly get so sick and tired of it. But it won’t last forever.  Someday, not too long from now…”

her voice trailed off. She didn’t need to finish her sentence.  The Lady knew all about her and her life, her sisters, her hopes and her dreams.  They had been friends since the first Saturday evening they met when Ivory escaped the first wild party someone decided to hold in the suite.

“You’re crying, my lady.  What can I do to help?”

“Oh my dear young friend, you are so dear and so sweet.  With all you have to worry about, you fret over my tears.”

“You are the best friend that I have,” smiled Ivory.  “And I want to help you however I can.”

“It’s my same concern, the one we’ve talked about ever since we met.  But it seems to be getting worse. The thing we have to do is change this run down, dilapidated, sad, sad hotel back into the glorious inn that it was when I first opened its doors over 125 years ago.” the lady sighed.  “How can we do that, dear, lovely friend?  What can we do to find the beauty, hope, joy and kindness that once inhabited these rooms?  How do we bring back the fellowship, respect and camaraderie that once made this hotel the shining star of the Finger Lakes area? How do we do that, my dear, dear girl?”

“Well, we will find a way, my Lady, we will.  I know you won’t rest until we do and I will help you. Just as I won’t rest until I get my sisters to a safe place and just as this town won’t be prosperous or happy again until we turn some things around. “Actually”, said Ivory, I have a plan.  “It’s only in the planning stages, but I think it just might work. ”

“Then you’d best get busy with your studies my friend, because the future lies in the hands of you and people like you who can mold it and make the world better. You won’t be able to do anything for the Macedonian, for me, for you or for your sisters if you don’t graduate.  And there will be a reckoning for those who have destroyed this beautiful place.  Oh, I don’t mean to do anything horrible or violent…but I do have some thoughts on how to rid ourselves of unwelcome and unwanted…”

“Reprobates” they both said simultaneously, laughing as they did so.

At that, the Lady vanished and Ivory switched on her laptop and began to review what she had written:

“The Macedonia Hotel was a charming, three story hotel with a beautiful wrap-around porch, gardens overflowing with color and draperies hanging at the windows made of the finest damask.  It was a jewel of hotels in the upstate region of New York State, in a quaint little village not far from Rochester.  But in the ensuing years, it was ruined by “reprobates.”  Until, one moonlit night, a face peering out through the windows in the shape of 1888 was illuminated for all to see.  Startling many, it only held mystery and intrigue for the girl from the Third Floor.  She knew she had literally found a kindred spirit.”

 

Author Bio:

Kc Meyer has lived in Wayne County most of her grown up life, but she’s been writing since she was in grade 2. Prose, poetry and short essays are her favorite genres.  She and her husband/best friend live on a farm in Wayne County. Kc was happy to join WWG in 2006 and has published with the Guild in three collective anthologies.

(contact information withheld upon request)

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

 

4 Aug 2016, 4:14am
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Comments Off on The Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 3

The Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 3

The Macedonia Hotel

A NANOWRIMO

Relay writing project

Macedonia Hotel

 

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


The Macedonia Hotel

(This fictional piece is the product of a relay writing project by the Wayne Writer’s Guild In honor of NANOWRIMO-2015.  Any resemblance to real events, people, places, or things is a coincidence and neither intended nor implied to be real and accurate.)

 

 

 

I extend my thanks and gratitude to the contributors who shared their time and talents to make this NANOWRIMO Relay Writing Project possible.

 

The individual chapters are the intellectual property of the author.

 

Special thanks are extended to John Cieslinski for his generous use of the book store’s back room.

–Kate Chamberlin, Coordinating Editor

July 20, 2016

 

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

Chapter 3

Stranger in a Strange Town

By Jeffrey Thomas Cook

 

The road had grown somewhat narrower and the sunlight had long drifted behind the horizon. Bradley Bemiss had been driving much longer than he had planned that day. On his way from Syracuse, he was disappointed that he hadn’t quite made it to Rochester yet. But his eyes had started to lose their focus and the Town of Macedon looked friendly enough to stop and spend the night; ‘if’ he could locate a Holiday Inn, Best Western or something of that sort.

After a few fruitless miles, he had just about reached the outskirts of town when the lurid and indecorous sign of the “Macedonia Hotel” happened to catch his weary, bleary eyes. The snowflakes were falling now and for lack of a better choice, Bradley pulled into the patched parking lot and located an available parking spot.

Despite the hotel’s unattractively rugged exterior, much to his surprise, the Macedonia Hotel actually appeared to be teeming with life. As the old saying goes, the more the merrier! However Bradley had the overwhelmingly odd feeling that he had perhaps made an error in his choice of lodging. He never really enjoyed traveling outside of his home state of South Carolina. Still, being a road warrior salesman for the Southern Belle’s Clothing Company, he had been on many a sojourn to the north. How bad could this place be?

Before he had even made it to the front door, Bradley needed to stop short, as an empty soda bottle skimmed loudly across the walk in front of him. In the dark of the cold night, it appeared that it had come out of nowhere. It wasn’t 10 minutes earlier that an aggressive driver had cut him off on Main Street., not to mention the three deer that nearly took out his Prius two minutes after that; this place certainly seemed to have Bradley in its sights. Nonetheless, he couldn’t wait to get to his room, throw himself down on a clean mattress and unwind before bed.

The front desk attendant seemed more interested in his NY scratch & win tickets then he was anything else. As Bradley stood at the counter, he made every effort to make himself noticed. After he rapped his knuckles and vehemently cleared his throat, the unshaven man grunted something unintelligible to his potential patron.

Bradley considered walking back out the door when the man put down his tickets and his dirty scratching penny and spat out, “One room?”

“That would be just fine,” quipped Bradley. “I’m from out of town. I’ve been on the road most of the day and really just need a place to finally lay my head down.”

Billy squinted, “Yer a country boy, aren’t ya? I could tell by your accent.”

It always amazed Bradley how many people from the north proudly identified his accent before he could actually utter two sentences, because in this neck of the woods, it really was about as obvious as a pumpkin in a strawberry patch. Yet they would always amuse him with their keen knowledge anyway.

Pointing over his shoulder to the worn room key wall behind him, Billy uttered, ”Yer in luck, I got two rooms left.” He turned, “You say you want just one roo?

Bradley looked around, winced and nodded, “I’m pretty tall and all but, yeah, I’m pretty sure I can fit into just one room, sir.”

Billy nonchalantly gestured past Bradley, “Just thought that one might be with you….”

Bradley turned his head, roughly 10 feet behind him, there appeared to be a remarkably young and sullen-looking girl staring at him. She did not avert her stare when Brad turned and looked at her. She seemed to be clueless and without inhibition. Bradley had an uncomfortable feeling that he had walked into a really odd, modern episode of the Twilight Zone.

He turned and stated, “I’m sorry, sir, she’s not with me. I’ve never seen her before.”

“Well, I have,” Billy spat. “She lives here in Macedon, and she’s here with a bunch of other kids. There’s a little gathering goin’ on here. Since you ain’t from around here, I guess you haven’t noticed.” He paused and looked at the clock on the wall behind him. “Don’t worry, them kids oughta’ be outta’ here by … 1 or 2 am.”

Bradley grunted with some disappointment.

Billy continued, “Why don’t you take room 13B. Between rooms 13A and 13B, people tend to complain a lot less about 13B.” Willy offhandedly snorted and turned back to his quick win games.

Bradley exhaled. ”Okay, let me go to my car and grab my cell phone before I head in.” Looking over his shoulder to see if the girl was still lurking, he saw no sign of her and wasn’t quite sure if that was a really good thing or a really bad thing. He turned back to Billy & asked, “Do you, by chance, have a porter or a bagboy to help me out, sir?”

Billy forced a wince and scoffed, “Everyone’s got a dream, son. Everyone’s GOT a dream.”

Bradley stared at him for a moment. He started for his car and quipped, “I will take that as a NO.”

When outside, he unlocked his car and snatched up his phone. Bradley had noticed one thing about this sparkling town they called “Macedon”; people here were a bit short on southern hospitality. This was a no nonsense kind of place.

He locked his car up tight and trudged back to the hotel entrance. This time around he couldn’t help but notice the distant rumble of some over-played Bad Company song as teens’ voices crackled from high up above. The snow had quickened and Bradley instinctively looked up to see four or five girls having a belch competition on the roof of the fine establishment. This place, to his recollection, was a lot more interesting than anything he had ever encountered. Macedon was enticing yet somehow … forbidden.

Bradley had almost reached the building front when something caught his eye.  The hotel had a huge tower; a cupola, if you will. Its grandeur seemed slightly out of character, but what really seemed to unnerve him were the garish and unsightly numbers scrawled under it. “Est. 1888”. It was an ‘old’ building, no question, but what made matters worse, was when he stopped and stared hard at the numbers. There appeared to be something moving up there; between the 8’s. Something or someone was actually in the cupola. Brad shuddered.

His attention was broken by two unwieldy and apparently inebriated teen boys who nearly knocked him over from behind. They brushed past him as they darted into the front door of the Macedonia Hotel. Bradley thought it best to get inside unscathed before he got bounced onto his Southern Belle keester. He dearly wanted to make it out of this state without contusions, stitches or negative mental hygiene arrests.

Once inside, the lobby now had a collection of more boisterous individuals. From their demeanor, it seemed clear to Bradley that they were quite comfortable in these confines. He pushed his way back to the counter, “If you don’t mind, I’d just like to get my key and call it a night as quickly as possible. I could make mention of some other weird things that are going on with this place, but I’ll just save it for another time.”

Billy seemed preoccupied. Nonetheless, he methodically turned, grabbed the key to 13B and dropped it on the old wooden counter. Bradley took the key, made sure to put it in his pocket.

Billy mumbled, “That’ll be $50.00 cash, son. No checks, no plastic.”

Bradley cocked his head, frowned and fumbled into his pocket. He fished out the fee for one night’s stay and plopped it in front of Billy. “Y’all have a great night now.”

Bradley turned with his baggage, but then stopped. “Hey, one last thing, sir…” Billy huffed and waited irritably with one eyebrow raised. Bradley continued, “Why does it seem like some of these people – I don’t know…” He looked back and forth uncomfortably, “Um, well it seems like some of these folks…live here?”

Billy had fielded this question before. And without hesitation, he flatly exclaimed, “Son, you can check out from this hotel at ANY time, but, you are correct, some of these people never really leave.”

 

Author Bio:

Jeff Cook worked for fourteen years at the Town of Penfield scripting many meaningful productions as well as some entertaining narratives. Upon resignation, he’s flourished as a freelance contractor, writer and multi-media 3-D artist. Through the Macedon Players, he is currently finishing editing of an original script for a full-length stage play with the working title of “Cake and Brandy”. He is proud and honored to have contributed to the Wayne Writers Guild’s most recent collaborative work.

jeffreythomascook@gmail.com

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

 

28 Jul 2016, 12:36pm
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The Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 2

Macedonia HotelThe Macedonia Hotel

A NANOWRIMO

Relay writing project

 

 

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


The Macedonia Hotel

(This fictional piece is the product of a relay writing project by the Wayne Writer’s Guild In honor of NANOWRIMO-2015.  Any resemblance to real events, people, places, or things is a coincidence and neither intended nor implied to be real and accurate.)

 

 

 

I extend my thanks and gratitude to the contributors who shared their time and talents to make this NANOWRIMO Relay Writing Project possible.

 

The individual chapters are the intellectual property of the author.

 

Special thanks are extended to John Cieslinski for his generous use of the book store’s back room.

–Kate Chamberlin, Coordinating Editor

July 20, 2016

 

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

 

Chapter 2:

The Zipper Creep

By Kate Chamberlin

 

“C’mon, Sis. It’ll be fun, Grace’s 18-year old brother, Sandy, cajoled her shortly after their parents had gone to see a movie in the West Wayne Plaza Theater. “You spend way too much time alone in this house. Mom won’t mind. You’ll be with my friends and me.”

He playfully punched her arm. He was 13-months older than her and his friends were her friends, too, especially Randy. Sandy loved being the life of every party and couldn’t understand why, just because she was blind, being in a crowd made her nervous.

“You know my friends and there will be other’s there to meet, too. It’s only a short walk to the hotel,” he persisted.

They were suddenly startled by a loud Bam! Bam! Bam! As the front door of their home at 12 Stone Street nearly splintered.

“Let’s go, guys,” their friends, Dan and Randy yelled as they pounded on the front door.

“Here’s your long, white cane. C’mon,” Sandy said as he pulled her out of the faux-leather lounge chair, shoving her braille book onto the end table. “It’s only a short walk to the Hotel where Big Bertha is living.”

Grace knew the party would be noisy and wasn’t so sure there wouldn’t be drugs. The Macedonia Hotel wasn’t known for its “good” reputation. It was even said that it was haunted. The other three really wanted to go, so Grace didn’t feel she could just say no. Besides, Randy would be there. Grace quickly fluffed her long, curly brown hair with her fingers, swiped lip gloss on her full lips, nestled the stylish, reflective lenses on her small pert nose, and tapped her way over to answer the door.

***

They’d climbed the rank smelling stairs to Big Bertha’s 3rd floor room and could hear the loud, thudding music. It seemed to shake the whole building. As they came closer to her suite of two rooms provided by the Social Services Department , there were bursts of loud, raucous laughter. Grace tried to calm the uneasy feeling that was growing in the pit of her stomach.

They walked into the suite and were immediately sucked up by the crowd. People were shoulder to shoulder, butt to belly, and only smoky air to breathe. Randy and Grace became separated from Sandy and Dan, although, Grace couldn’t tell who was where anyway. She was glad Randy had a strong hold on her hand. She could barely hear Randy when he yelled into her ear, “Here’s a chair. I’ll try to find us a soda and be right back. Okay?”

She nodded her agreement and sat down. She checked her talking watch for the time, but could not hear the tiny voice. She thought ruefully how loud it sounded in church when she’d accidently bumped the time button.

“Hi, Grace,” a nameless voice hollered and passed on before she got out her, “hello.”

As people passed by her, she detected a sweet smell. She’d heard that marijuana has a sweet smell and wondered if this was the real thing.

She reached out her hand to try to figure out what was near her. To the left she felt a wall with flocked paper on it. Her chair was a caned back and seat with curved wooden arms and straight legs.

From the arm of her chair, she gently reached to the right. Her fingers felt denim. It was just a quick touch but she recognized the feel of fabric over a zipper. With her face flushed and turning redder, she stammered, “Oh, excuse me.”

A stranger’s thick, deep voice mumbled, “That’s Okay, Honey, I’ll give you a half-hour to stop!”

Grace rushed to get up out of the chair and felt a cold liquid slosh on her head.

“Grace, for crying out loud. Where are you going in such a hurry?” Randy asked trying to keep hold of the red Solo cup of soda she had just smashed into.

“Oh, gosh, what a mess. Do you see a napkin or something?”  She yelled at him to be sure he heard her above the noise.

“I’ll go get something. I found the kitchen on my way to the drinks,” he hollered back.

Grace didn’t know what else to do but to sit back down in the chair and hope the zipper creep had moved on. She sipped her soda but found that it made her queasy. She bit her lip to calm her stomach. She checked her watch again but, of course, it did not speak any louder than the first time she tried it. Her cold, sweating hands stuck on the wood arms of the chair as her fingers rubbed up and down on them. How long had Randy been gone. And, for that matter, where were Sandy and Dan?

To take her mind off her rising frustration and panic, she tried to eavesdrop on the conversations that were around her. The smoke was making her feel sicker.

She heard a boy say, “Randy’s pretty lucky. He can leave this one out here and make it with Big Bertha, too.”

“Yeah,” came a reply. “Big Bertha really knows what she’s doing. What a piece of…” but, the rest of his comment was lost as another conversation burst into loud laughter.

Grace needed to get to a bathroom very quickly. She had no idea where the bathroom would be. She didn’t even know where the door was to get out of the apartment. She stood up and took a step. She felt someone’s foot pull out from under her foot just as she put her full weight on it.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Could you tell me where the bathroom is?” she said as she steadied herself.

“Why sure, Gorgeous, it’s just down the hall. I’ll go with you.”

At first she thought he recognized that she was blind and he was being helpful, but, the way he draped himself on her and sloshed his drink on her, she changed her mind. With a quick “no thanks.” she twisted out of his grip. The twisting motion disoriented her even more.

She really had no idea which direction to go to get to the door. Her panic was heightened as she bumped from person to person. Her shoulder hit something hard and her hip slammed into something even harder; a doorknob.

As she turned the knob, she prayed that this was the door out of the apartment and not a closet. Grace tried to remember if they had turned left into Big BerthaÆs apartment or right. Her breathing was shallow and irregular with her heart thudding in her breast, she opened the door. The cooler, stale air of the hallway hit her face. Once she let go of the door, she’d be in limbo. Her mind was a blur, her hands were sweaty and cold, and she thought she would surely throw up. She tried to think. Did we turn left after coming down the hall or did we go right?

Grace pulled the apartment door closed behind her and stumbled to the right. Big, Rough hands steady her.

“Whoa, too much to drink, little lady?”

Her mind raced as his hands began to massage her arms and pull her in for a hug or something more intimate. She felt the saliva begin to well up in her mouth, her palms began to sweat again, and there was that awful taste in her mouth as all the contents of her nervous stomach shot up and out all over the stranger. Grace never heard the apartment door being flung open.

“Get your hands off of her, fella!” yelled Randy, as he put an arm around her shaking shoulders. “Grace, are you Okay? Why did you leave the party?  I told you I’d be right back.”

“I’d like to go home. I’m not feeling well,” was all Grace could mumble.

***

Alone and curled up in her pho-leather lounge chair at home, her mind wandered from the braille lines her fingers tracked. Grace was confused. She wanted to believe Randy’s explanation of being delayed by giving Big Bertha a helping hand with getting another case of sodas or did he really go up on the roof with her? Everyone knows how easy it is to fool a blind person. So much depends on trust. Could she trust Randy or, for that matter, her brother and Dan again?  Maybe it just wasn’t worth the emotional investment.

A key clicked in the door latch. Grace’s parents had returned home from seeing the movie and sharing a soda at The Hungry House Cafe. Her mom flipped on the light switch.

“Grace!” she said, “Why are you sitting here in the dark? You need to get out more!”

 

Author Bio:

Kate Chamberlin, BS, MA and Dave were married in 1970 and raised three children plus two grandchildren in Walworth, NY. Many of her stories were inspired by family, teaching career, and six guide dogs. When she became blind in 1985, the screen reader on her computer enabled her to become a free-lance writer, newspaper columnist, an on-line literary magazine staff editor, published author, and keep in touch with her ever expanding family. www.katechamberlin.com

kathryngc@juno.com

“Dream it. Write it. Read it.”

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

 

21 Jul 2016, 7:18am
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the Macedonia Hotel, Chapter 1

The Macedonia Hotel

A NANOWRIMO

Relay writing project

Macedonia Hotel

 

By the Wayne writers Guild

Completed July 2016


The Macedonia Hotel

(This fictional piece is the product of a relay writing project by the Wayne Writer’s Guild In honor of NANOWRIMO-2015.  Any resemblance to real events, people, places, or things is a coincidence and neither intended nor implied to be real and accurate.)

 

 

 

I extend my thanks and gratitude to the contributors who shared their time and talents to make this NANOWRIMO Relay Writing Project possible.

 

The individual chapters are the intellectual property of the author.

 

Special thanks are extended to John Cieslinski for his generous use of the book store’s back room.

–Kate Chamberlin, Coordinating Editor

July 20, 2016

 

 

Wayne Writers Guild

Meets at 7:30pm – 9:00pm, on the 2nd and 4th. Tuesday of each month

Books, Etc. of Macedon, NY

John Cieslinski, Owner

78 W. Main ST. Macedon NY 14502

Phone 585-474-4116

 

Chapter 1

The Macedonia Hotel, Est. 1888

By Chuck Martin

 

The Macedonia Hotel stood ominously in the center of town, on the north side of Main Street, which ran east and west through Wayne County, for the most part, that is. The entire facade was just as dreary as the sides and the back of the building. The only possibly endearing characteristic of the entire structure was the huge gable mounted at the top of the third story with an ordinary nameplate – “Macedonia Hotel, Est. 1888”.

It was a sad looking hotel, with extremely weathered clapboard siding. The current owner, Billy Beckwith, claimed that the weathered siding gave the building character. Most folks thought that Billy was just too cheap to replace the siding. Others thought the structure should just be torn down. The tax assessor even made the claim that the Macedonia Hotel was the “ugliest building in town”.

This did not bother Billy Beckwith one bit. Billy was making a killing on the room rentals, some of which were long term. The longer the stay, the greater the discount per diem.

The parking lot of the hotel completely surrounded it, with parking spaces for a minimum of 55 cars. Since there were 50 rooms, that seemed adequate to Billy Beckwith. A one night stay (or stand) was quite reasonable, if all you wanted was a bed.

The three story structure required fire escapes, per code. These were quite sound, though quite ugly, as they all needed paint badly. “Function first, aesthetics are secondary,” Billy would say, with a smirk to anyone who criticized his property.

Most rooms had a window, but a few did not, due to architectural restrictions. These “restrictions” were caused by the incompetence of the designer, way back in 1888.

There were no elevators, much to the disappointment of many first time tenants.

“The exercise is good for you,” Billy would proclaim, with his usual smirk, which usually brought a grimace back at Billy.

Billy would do his best to keep a full-time clerk on duty. The job was easy, though low paying. It seemed Billy would hire almost anyone to fill the position. The hours were brutal – noon until midnight, five days a week with Sunday and Wednesday off. Billy would often take a 6am to noon shift, then fill in Sunday if he couldn’t find a Temp to work the odd hours.

The stairs to the roof were narrow, but allowed lovers and others to “hang out” up there when the weather permitted. A railing prevented the inebriated from falling off the roof, but it did not prevent a suicide in 1916 on a warm April morning of that year, nor the one that occurred in 1963 just after the Kennedy assassination. No one ever explained the motives for the suicides, nor did they ever prove that those deaths were the result of something even more heinous. But still people were allowed to use “the roof” – no charge.

Most of the hotel rooms were small, but the philosophy of the original owner, Benjamin Black, as noted in his ancient journal, which was always available in the lobby, “If all you need is a bed, what’s the problem?”

Some of this man’s comments were cold, and uncaring when referring to tenants inhabiting his hotel. Benjamin died in 1924, mysteriously. Some claimed that his spirit never really left the dwelling, perhaps due to the fact that his cousin, Boris Black, whom he hated, inherited the hotel. Benjamin had no other family, and left no will; so, Boris claimed the property.

When Boris Black took over the hotel in 1924, the building was still in good condition, although Benjamin had never painted the cedar siding, which weathered and gave it a rustic look.

Cousin Boris thought that he could have done more business if his predecessor had paid more attention to esthetics and modern upgrades. Back in those days, there was a carriage house and a stable. They were long since torn down to make parking space for the more modern transportation, the automobile.

People who passed through Macedon were happy to have cheap rooms available at the hotel. They were tired and sleepy when they came in, and quite often, happy to leave the next morning. Some only stayed a few hours, but that’s another story, or perhaps, hundreds more stories.

Over the years, the Macedonia Hotel got the reputation of being seedy and shabby. Some folks would forego the Macedonia Hotel and continue on to Palmyra, where the lodging was more upscale. Some claimed there was more “action” in Palmyra, whatever that meant.

But in Macedon, one could cross the street and get a drink, or a sandwich at the same little bar. If you were too tired or lazy, you could even have your meal and drink delivered by who knows who, from the Hungry House Cafe, though it was somewhat expensive to do.

Within the walls of the hotel were guests who, it seemed, never left. Folks without family or friends, people who didn’t want responsibility, people on welfare and even a few families resided in some of the slightly larger rooms, hoping that their luck would change soon and they would be able to secure employment, then move to better accommodations; an apartment, a house, or even a trailer which might be better than permanent housing in an old hotel.

Children would occasionally play in the parking lot of the hotel. Street hockey, badminton (sans net), or soccer were favorites. And, occasionally, there was a “near miss” when a tenant came motoring into the lot hurriedly, or worse, drunk. Parents of said children, who were “clean” and/or sober were at wits end as to what to do with the kids. Should they play in the utility rooms? But then, there was always hope. They hoped and prayed, that their life would change.

When the factory down the street, to the east, was hiring, some would jump at the chance to change their lives. If they could secure employment at the “plastic factory” they would be set, or, if they could get employment at the gasket factory in Palmyra, they would be able to get off relief and get an apartment, hopefully.

It seemed that some tenants though, would go up on the roof and drink beer, or smoke pot, even though they appeared to be able bodied, rather than apply for a job. Of course, on the other hand, their mental condition was unknown, and it also seemed that no one cared.

Macedon was a friendly town, but people just plain did not often get involved into other people’s lives. That is, not too much. Therefore, no one knew who was able bodied and who was not, if they lived at the Macedonia Hotel.

Occasionally, an ambulance would wheel into the hotel parking lot. For a while, in the summer of 2015, the local ambulance would go to the hotel almost weekly. Sometimes they were called by a mischievous child playing with a cell phone, once by a distraught wife who thought her husband had abandoned her; once by a troubled man who threatened suicide, but wanted the EMTs to talk him out of it.

One time, a man was taken out on a Saturday night, completely covered by a sheet. The ambulance left with no siren on. No one seemed to notice and no one seemed to care, and, as usual, Billy Beckwith was not talking. Not to the press, the cops, or anyone else.

All he would say to the police was “I know nothing.” That sad event did not even make the papers.

Sometimes the police would stop and warn the children not to play on Main Street. The police were once warned of a drug deal going down in the parking lot. Everyone scattered when the police came and no one was arrested. The police chief was not able to chase anyone on foot, as he was too obese to even think about pursuing any perpetrators on foot.

It was rumored once that a murder had been committed in the parking lot around midnight on a hot July night in 2015. Before Captain Carl, the Chief of Police could get to the scene, a black Lincoln sedan was witnessed leaving hurriedly. No corpse was ever found. Mysteriously, Room 21, which had been rented by a surly young man the night before, was now vacant. No luggage was left behind, nor any evidence of illegal activity.

When questioned, Billy Beckwith just replied “I know nothing,” and “The gentleman paid cash for one night, and now he’s gone.”

Billy commented that he did not need any bad press. None was published either, and life in the hotel went on as usual. And why not? There wasn’t even a police report.

Captain Carl commented to Billy, “I guess there’s nothing to report.”

Most of the time, the skullduggery and shenanigans at the Macedonia Hotel were unnoticed, unpursued, and unpublished by the press. Oh, for sure, some folks knew some questionable things that went on there, but Billy Beckwith would always insist when questioned, “We run a respectable business here.”

Most folks and tenants believed that Billy himself believed what he was saying to them.

Over a period of 127 years, several small fires were reported at the hotel, but were always extinguished by the tenants, as fire extinguishers were readily available, or by the fire department.

Billy posted signs in not-so-conspicuous areas of the building stating “No Smoking Allowed,” although Billy rarely warned anyone about smoking. Of course, smoking was not a good idea, even though a sprinkler system had been installed in the hotel many years before by Billy Beckwith’s predecessor, Bilford (Biff) Boynton.

The inhabitants of the building were the biggest fire hazard of all. Cigarette butts could be found everywhere. Surprisingly, over-sized ashtrays could be found in every room.

One of the spookiest things about the hotel was the basement. It was dark and dingy. Down there, an ancient steam boiler ran from November until May first, no exceptions. The radiators clinked and clanked for the entire six months, much to the chagrin of the tenants.

When Billy received complaints, he replied, “You want the heat on, or off?”

Another complaint was that there were only two bathrooms on each floor, Men’s and Women’s. Within each bathroom there were 3 sinks, 3 showers, and 3 stalls. No one knew when they were installed, but they looked 100 years old, easily. They could get very busy, what with children needing them so often and all.

During the busy times, one might find a lady using the Men’s Room and vice versa. This could present a serious problem at times, not to mention the possibility of hanky-panky.

According to Billy, that would not be tolerated. Although Billy himself was once found in one of the Ladies Rooms, in one of the stalls. He eventually was able to redeem himself by claiming he was working on a toilet, which was leaking. No second party was known to be in the stall, although Mrs. Fisher (Room 27) claimed she heard two voices coming from the stall, but admitted that it could have been Billy talking to himself, as was his claim.

Occasionally, a bathroom would be “Out of Order,” and this would sometimes cause even more problems. When confronted Billy would simply say “Use the bathrooms on the other floors.”

Be that as it may, tenants were able to carry on. Amazingly, no matter what the issue, the crime, or the tragedy, the people lived, visited, or slept over at the Macedonia Hotel day after day, night after night. And Billy Beckwith collected the rent and room charges.

On the evening of November 27, 2015, a young man stopped at the Macedonia Hotel to check the room rates. Billy was working the desk that night, as it was a holiday weekend.

“One person or two?” He asked the young man.

“Does it matter?” was the reply.

“Oh, I guess not. Room 37 has a queen bed and I don’t have anyone to get more towels and soap anyway. You can have it for the single rate.”

“Thank you,” the young man said. “And I see it’s on the third floor.”

Billy smiled.

“And oh, by the way, is there a room up there in the cupola, where the hotel sign is, and the date, 1888? I thought that was odd.”

“No, no room up there. There’s an access way to it, but it’s like an attic.”

“Well,” said the young man, “When I looked up, I could see a face looking out through one of the eights. It’s like there are little windows within the eights, right? I thought it was unusual. I restore old houses and buildings and I’ve never seen any windows like that. I’m sure I saw a face in one of those little windows, you know, looking out at me.”

 

Author Bio:

  1. A. “Chuck” Martin is a charter member and the current moderator of the Wayne Writers Guild. He has contributed to all seven publications of the guild. He has also published two books of poetry of his own, “The Human Theater” and “The Human Theater-Part two”. Chuck has six grown children and lives in an “empty nest” with his wife, Marlene in Marion, N.Y.

camcraftenterprises@yahoo.com

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Cat Chronicles: No More Cats!

Cat Gato-E picCat Chronicles: No More Cats!

By Kate Chamberlin

July, 2016

During our 45 years of marriage, we’ve survived living with cats of various ilk and personalities, but, they’ve all been neutered males and named Gato with an alphabet letter.

As I nestled with my little eight-toed, mitten kitten, Gato-A on my mattress, which rested on the floor of my first studio apartment, his purring lulled me to sleep, as well as woke me the next morning–or maybe it was the troop of fleas he shared with me from the shelter and the itching that pursued.

Gato-A did not like the men I dated, but one of them became my husband. They faced each other like two alley cats about to brawl, however, throughout the years, they came to an understanding: They were both here with me for the long haul. Gato-A ruled our household for about 15 years when he died. Fortunately, my husband isn’t dead yet.

Shortly after Gato-A’s demise, my friend phoned to say someone had dropped off a cuddly, tuxedo kitten in her front yard. Did I want him? My children and I went over to check him out and thought he was the spitting image of Gato-A, even though we knew Gato-A couldn’t have sired any progeny. Gato-B accepted my husband and children as litter-mates. The children loved the cat and even my husband got caught giving him a little pat on the head from time to time.

He still professed to not really like cats and grumbled that we’d not get another one when Gato-B died.

At the loss of our sweet, Gato-B, of course, we wanted another cat, but my husband stuck to his refusal to get another one.

One day after he’d gone to work and the children had hopped on the school bus, I was working in my “command center”, when I heard a little mew. Was I hearing things? I followed the sound to our 12 year old daughter’s room.

Apparently, while waiting for the bus, her girlfriend had brought up a kitten, complete with litterbox and food. They’d smuggled it into her room, fed it, and assumed it would sleep all day until they returned from school. Our daughter intended to tell us a tale we couldn’t refuse! She was right.

Gato-C had a leg that had been damaged during birth or gestation, so no one else wanted him. How could we turn out a gimpy gato? Officially, his name was Milo, but we all called him Gimpy Gato.

Unfortunately, he met his demise as the dinner for one of the roving coyotes. My husband was adamant about no more cats. I quietly started to kid around about getting three little kittens. As an elementary teacher, I wanted to name them Winkin’, Blinkin’, and Nod. It was Christmas time, so our son and his friend said we should name them Egg, Nog, and Rum. My husband said they’d be named, No, No, and No!

Gato-D came to us via our college age son. He and his intended bride were moving to an apartment that wouldn’t take pets. The previous year, they’d found an abandoned little kitten, nursed its infected eye back to health, cleaned his coat until it was shiny and thick, and fed him. They fed him so well that his girth made his head look very tiny.

Being used to  an apartment, he moseyed right into his new surroundings of our game room. He soon adopted the entire house, the yard, and eventually, commanded the neighborhood. As his territory enlarged, his girth decreased.

Gato-D became a mighty hunter, leaving his trophies on the patio and our front door step. One day I opened the door to let him in and he went directly under the dining room table, instead of rubbing my ankles. Although I’m totally blind, I could tell that he had a mouthful by the sound of his hello meow. Then, I heard him scramble as his prey fluttered up to the underside of the table. His sparrow wasn’t dead! The cat caught the bird, I caught the cat, and they both went right back outside. My husband just shook his head and snickered something about: dumb cat.

Gato-D’s demise was untimely, even though he’d reached a ripe old age. One day, when I let him in, he went directly down stairs and didn’t come back up all day. Usually, he’d come sit with me as I read or wrote my newspaper column. Mid-afternoon, I went to look for him.

As I reached to pet him, my hand felt the wet and sticky feel of his head. He didn’t move, but cried out in distress, as if he wanted to be left alone. Without a word, we rushed him to the vet’s, thinking he’d been attacked by a coyote.

The vet cleansed the three puncture wounds on his head and said that a coyote would never let dinner go. Gato-D had been chased, captured, and shaken by a large dog!

Our neighbor had a big Shepard, so he was suspected of the dastardly deed, but we never confronted the neighbors. We tried to spare our two young children by letting them think that the coyote did it.

It was quite a traumatic end and, as predicted, my husband said: Never again. No More cats!

Now, we are empty nesters. My husband is retired. Our three children of our A-Team are all grown-up and married with children of their own. Even the two grandsons we raised, our B-Team, have flown the coop. Our daughter has carried our tradition of having a family pet to new heights. She has one husband, two dogs, three sons, four cats, a Leopard Gecko, tanks of fish and she thinks we need at least one cat to go along with my retired guide dog and my working guide dog.  My husband says, No way; however the other evening, I caught him googling our local Humane Society. That night I dreamt of Winkin’, Blinkin’, and Nod.

Our daughter insisted her 8-year old cat could train my young guide dog that cats are family, not dinner. She swore the cat actually thought he was a dog anyway, because he’d been raised by a Great Dane and a Pit Bull Terrier.

The dog training center had signed off re-training Tulip Grace, saying that dogs are descended from wolves and it is second nature for them to hunt small prey for their dinner.

I thought that living with a cat, might help Tulip realize cats are our friends, not dinner. My husband smirked, “A cat training a dog? I don’t think so.”; however, we accepted Gato-E into our family.

He was a bit over-weight, very loveable with a loud, rattling purr and wrinkled whiskers. His almost curly, marmalade and white fur rejected any of my attempts for sleekness, yet, he loved to be brushed and groomed.

On their first meeting, Gato-E raced backwards in panic as Tulip lunged forward to snarl and growl her greetings. from then on, Gato-E avoided going into any room where he detected Tulip. Apparently, the dog had trained the cat, instead of the dog learning cats are our friends. My husband quipped, “So much for cats rule and Dogs drool.”

Sternly saying “Leave it”, became my mantra whenever the dog and cat came near each other. Eventually, my guide dog associated the reprimand with leaving the cat alone.  She doesn’t re-act when Gato-E darts between her legs or butts his head in greeting or jumps onto my lap.

Next week, I’ll start taking her for a walk around our neighborhood to see if she recognizes other cats as family or dinner.

For now, we have harmony within our family. As a matter of fact, yesterday, I found my husband snoring in his heated lounge chair with an orange marmalade ball of fur snoring on his stomach.

   No more cats? Indeed!

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Donna Grahmann for some of the warm fuzzes to my Cat Chronicle, and to Edie Pasquini for the photograph of Gato-E.

25 Mar 2016, 6:06am
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Look Who’s Talking

WWG prompt: Call The Kettle Black

Look Who’s Talking

By Kate Chamberlin

March 13, 2016

 

Mommy,” Melissa said, her shining face full of youth and joyous expectation. “I’m pregnant.”

“What!” her mother darkly hissed. “You’re what?”

“Mommy, you’re going to be a grandmother, just like Mimi” Melissa said with warmth in her voice.

“You little slut,” her mother spat out. “You’re only 19. Whatever were you thinking?”

“Mom….”

“So, just who do you think the father is?” her mother threw at her. “How do you think you’re going to support you and the baby when he booggies on out of your life?”

“But, Mom,…”

“Is the sperm provider that bloke in the tight jeans and pink shirt?” her mother cut her off. “He’s just a wiper at the sleazy car wash joint.”

“But, Mom,…”

“How dare you embarrass our family by getting preggers without a husband,” her mother loudly railed. “You’re barely out of high school and no job.”

“Mother, you were 19 and unmarried with no job when you had me.”

Thus, when the pot accuses the kettle of being black, it is the pot’s own sooty reflection that it sees.

29 Nov 2015, 3:56pm
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Thanksgiving Preparations

Thanksgiving Preparations

By Kate Chamberlin

December 02, 1998, November, 2015

 

 

The guest room drapes aren’t finished, the hallway light is out, and the dish washer is gushing soap. Can you tell it’s just moments before our family and their guests are due to arrive for the Thanksgiving weekend?

 

As the doorbell rings, the phone jangles, the dogs bark as they race down the hallway, and the tall clock chimes the hour. Let the family circus begin. I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

I’m trying to get my children to keep Thanksgiving day or weekend a time to come home. I don’t mind traveling to their homes for Christmas, Easter or any other holiday or even just to visit, but, I’d like everyone to come home for Thanksgiving.

 

Throughout the years, we’ve had the children’s friends, their pets, their allergies and their love with us at our groaning board. We always seem to find a balance of family, friends, and no-one. I have so much to be thankful for.

 

Oh dear Gussie! The cat just dropped a dead mouse at my feet. The toilet is clogged and the fuse to the bedroom wing blew out.

Maybe next week, we’ll be able to fondly reminisce about the Thanksgiving that was.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

16 Sep 2015, 3:27pm
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WWG new anthology

wwg_09-15Wayne Writers Guild Publish Sixth Book Sent 9/9
By Beth Hoad

First organized on a dark and gloomy night in November 2002, Wayne Writers Guild is a group of published and unpublished local and area writers. For the past thirteen years, they have gathered to discuss and share their work twice a month at Books, Etc. in Macedon, NY hosted by owners John Cieslinski and Maryann Miller.
Between the covers rendered by Alex Darrow, WWG has just released their sixth in a series of books featuring a collection of literary endeavors from a dozen of the members. Editor C. A. (Anne) Stahr, a Human Resources Manager and Literacy Volunteer, said works were gathered from members in January with the completed volume released in July, 2015. The book is similar to their previous publications and is described as an anthology of poems, essays and stories written by the members.
WWG is a diverse of writers with varied interests. Judi Allen of Macedon, an office administrator in her former life, enjoys creating both prose and poetry while Merton Bartles, also a Macedon resident is a retired technical writer who draws on his military background and life experiences for his creative writing.
Kate Chamberlin of Walworth is a former school teacher with a unique approach to her writing since she lost her sight thirty years ago and is a published children’s author, Anglican educator and free-lance writer/editor. L. John Ceislinski, Books, Etc. owner, retired from teaching in the Rochester area has written several theater pieces for his Flour Town Theater in Hilton.
Rand Darrow was a Fine Arts and Art teacher in Manchester-Shortsville School for 31 years and although deaf in one ear writes musicals and songs, sculpts and makes puppets. James Lake worked for Xerox for 16 years as a metal and plastic engraver and is an avid racecar enthusiast with a large collection of photos of the many races he has attended.
A Marion resident, blue collar poet C. A. (Chuck) Martin is the only remaining charter member of WWG who contributed works to all five previously published WWG books. While science writer-editor William Preston is a “technical” writer for the Department of Radiation Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, his 30-year favorite pastime is writing poetry.
Previously published, former British citizen Alex S. Reid draws on his European past as inspiration for his essays. Also a published author and poet, retired teacher Sally Valentine won first prize in a Writer’s Digest contest with There Are No Buffalo in Buffalo. The final contributor, poet A. Whitney said she often dreams out loud, and so she writes.
The book entitled, Looking Out From Within: Poems, essays, and stories from the Wayne Writers Guild, can be found at Books, Etc. in Macedon and online.
WWG meets at 7:30 pm every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in the cozy “back room” at Books, Etc. and welcomes new writers and guests to join their casual group.