Category: creative writing

And so the game begins/Episode 42 of Street Dreams by Ken David Stewart

047 “I appreciate your apology Tony, but I’m going to need a little time and space to process it,” Whisper said.
“Yeah, I can accept that. Why don’t you give me a call when you’re ready to talk about our relationship,” Tony said.
I’ve got an idea,” Harold said. He was now comfortably seated in this white Lazy Boy chair.
“Why don’t you and Herbie stay here and join us for a game of Jukebox. “We’re kind of in a party mood tonight I have some potato chips, dip, Pepsi and coffee. Would you guys like to stay and help us party?” Harold asked.
Tony was seated next to Herbie on Harold’s couch. He turned his head towards Herbie to gage his friend’s reaction. Herbie shrugged his shoulders, “I’ve really got nothing pressing to do, if you’d like to stay,Tony” Herbie said.
“I’m in, too,” Tony told Harold.
“What’s your last name, sir?” Tomy asked Harold.
“It’s Peyton. I’m Harold Payton, but just because I’m an old guy I don’t want you guys calling me Sir or Mr. Peyton. Harold, suits me just fine. Whisper, could you find the chips, and the rest of the refreshments and bring them to the coffee table?” Harold asked.
|I’m sorry but I don’t have any alcoholic beverages in the house. Would you guys be okay with a couple of Pepsi’s or Tim Horton’s coffee, let’s say?” His gaze was towards Tony and Herbie.
“That would be just fine with us, sir, Tony answered. Sorry, I meant to say Harold,” Tony said looking a little embarrassed.
Harold laughed and said, “That’s okay. I can see that you’re a fast learner, Tony.”
“Are you good with the Pepsi or coffee too, Herbie? Harold asked.
” A cup of coffee would be great,” Herbie replied. Herbie did not have much in terms of a social life and he was not used to be being treated so well by other people. Harold stood up. “Ricky, could you explain the rules of the game to everybody while I use the washroom?”
When Harold had returned from the bathroom, Whisper had finished dispensing the nights refreshments and Ricky had succinctly explained the rules of the game to Tony and Herbie.
“Before we start our game, I want to ask, “what were you boys doing before you arrived at my house?” Harold asked.
Tony was a little taken aback by Harold’s query, which he started to answer after he popped the tab off his Pepsi can.
“Believe it or not, I was reading a book Harold. I know that I don’t look like the literary type, but I actually read nearly every day. When I’m in a good space I write some of my own fiction, too.”
“What book were you reading this afternoon?” Harold asked.
“The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,” Tony answered.
Herbie Schultz started to laugh, “I know that my friend kind of looks like a thug, but he’s really smart.”
“That’s one of the things that attracted me to Tony,” Whisper said. “I’ve always liked the bad boys, but it’s not easy finding a tough -looking dude as intellectual as Tony is.”
“We’ve got some things in common, Tony. We both like books, writing and Whisper,” Harold said.
“What about you Herbie? What were you up to earlier today?” Harold asked.
I wasn’t doing much of anything when Tony called. I love music and I spend a lot of time on my Spotify app. Motorhead is one of my favourite rock bands and I was downloading one of their albums called, Aftershock, the Tour Edition,” Herbie answered and reached for a handful of salt and vinegar potato chips.
Harold started to laugh. “I’ve got something in common with you too, Herb. I would say that Motorhead is probably my favourite rock band. I know that it must sound strange to hear a senior citizen say they like Motorhead.”
“No, I don’t think that’s strange. I mean Motorhead hass been around since the 1980s and that was the only era that they had any real commercial success speak of,” Herbie responded.
There was something about Harold that allowed Herbie to be so loquacious this evening. Hw was normally so shy that he would rarely contribute anything to a conversation.
“Herb, I would guess that you are going to be very good at Ricky’s Jukebox game as you appear to have a vast store of knowledge about rock music,” Harold said,” as he took a sip from his Tim Horton’s coffee cup that had an engraved image of a bulldog on it.
“Thank you,” said Herbie. I’ll give it my best shot.” As Herbie’s social anxiety was decreasing rapidly he sunk into a more relaxed posture on Harold’s couch and took a big slug from his can of Mango Pepsi.
“Well, that’s enough chit chat for now. Let;s get the game started. Seeing as I invented Jukebox, I get to choose the first song of the evening. I need the rest of you to go to the kitchen and wait until you hear a song that I am about to play on You Tube.”
Ricky was feeling more happy and confident than was was usual for him. He loved spending time with her stepdad and was amazed by the way that Harold had changed the previously tense atmosphere in the house to one of calm anticipation.
Whisper Tony Harold and Herbie all moved into the kitchen area just a few feet away. They needed to move from the living room so that they could not see the information displayed on Harold’s 42 inch widescreen Samsung TV.
It wasn’t long before Ricky started using the search engine on YouTube to find his first song selection. Ricky liked to play his music loud and in under a minute those assembled in the kitchen could hear the opening chords of the song. Almost immediately Herbie yelled out his answer, “That’s Bang Your Head, otherwise known as Metal Health by Quiet Riot.”
“Bingo!” Ricky yelled back.
“Way to go Herbie!” Whisper said as she patted Herbie on the shoulder.fantasy-23

 

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Episode 41 of Street Dreams/Harold Meets Tony

Episode 41
Tony Barrows was starting to feel lonely. He put down the novel that he had been reading, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He thought to himself and started to laugh,
“Most people think I’m a punk and a loser. Just another greaser high school dropout. That may be true to a certain extent, but how many greasers would be sitting by themselves on a Saturday night reading a classic novel in American literature. Not too many would be my guess,” Tony thought. “Come to think of it, I’m probably the only one.”
Tony now felt restless as well as lonely. He decided that he would give his nerd buddy Herbie Schultz a phone call.
“So what’s happening Herb?” Tony asked while rolling himself an enormous blunt.
“Hey Tony. I’m on my PC right now. I’ve got the Spotify app open and I’m downloading an album by Motorhead,” Herby replied.
“Yeah, which album are you downloading?” Tony asked.
“Aftershock The Tour Edition. I’ll tell you Tony, Motorhead really rocks out on this one.”
“I will have to look up that one myself. I haven’t heard it yet. Remember when we went to see Motorhead a couple years ago?” Tony asked.
“Of course. The concert was awesome. We got really wasted that night. Motorhead played loud enough to make your ears bleed,” Herbie said.
“Louder than everything else, right Herbie. Listen up. I got an idea for tonight. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss Whisper. I wouldn’t admit this to anyone else Herb, but you’re my only real friend. How about you and me go for a drive in my truck tonight to look for Whisper?” Tony asked.
“I thought that you didn’t know where she went after you threw her out of your truck,” Herbie said.
“I’ve a strong hunch that I know where she is. As I drove slowly down the street that day I saw an old guy come to his door and ask Whisper if she needed help. Maybe she’s still with him now, Tony said.
|”Sure. I’m not doing anything tonight. Let’s go for a ride.” Herbie said.
Tony had a good memory was able to recall the exact street and house where the old man lived. Tony parked his white Ford 150 in front of Harold’s house. He and Herbie walked up to Harold’s front door and Tony rang the doorbell.
Harold answered the door not recognizing the two young men who were standing at the entrance to his house.
“Hey guys, how can I help you? Are you looking for someone?” Harold asked.He had a weird premonition that he’d seen one of these men before.
“Yeah, I’m looking for my girlfriend, Whisper,” Tony answered.
Harold now realized that the husky young man was the male that pushed Whisper out of his truck and threw her duffle bag on the road.
Whisper overheard Harold and Tony Barrows talking at the front entrance of the house. It was not difficult to decipher Tony’s unique baritone voice. She walked up to the right side of Harold and said,”What do you want Tony? I see that you brought your little buddy Herbie along.”
“I just want to say I’m sorry for pushing you out of my truck I’m sorry about our fight,too. It was all my fault. I was having a really bad day. I had a horrible migraine headache. Still, that’s no excuse for the way I treated you.” Tony said.
Tony put out his right hand and attempted to shake Harold’s hand. Harold reluctantly shook Tony’s hand. He wasn’t sure about Tony’s intentions toward Whisper and wondered how sincere his apology was. Harold was not totally surprised to see Tony. His intuition had told him that Tony would likely come to his house looking for Whisper one day.
Harold looked towards Whisper, “Should I let these guys in so that we can have a chat with them?”
“Yes, I think that would be okay,” Whisper answered.
As soon as Tony and Herbie entered Harold’s living room he asked them to be seated on his couch. Tony looked at Harold and said, “I hope that we’re not interrupting anything sir,” He saw the whiteboard, washable felt markers and felt eraser. Tony chuckled a little and said, “Are you guys in the middle of some kind of class?”
“Oh no. We were just getting things set up for a gamee my son Ricky invented. He’s named the game Jukebox,” Harold answered. Whisper sat on a chair that she brought from the kitchen. She sat across from Herbie and Tony, but was unable look them in the eyes. She felt awkward and uncomfortable, but she was relieved that she was not alone with Tony. She knew her boyfriend well enough to know that he would not get hostile or aggressive in front of Harold and Ricky. She was also not surprised Tony could talk his way into Harold’s home. Tony might be a greaser and a loser, but he could be very charming by acting polite in the presence of people that he didn’t know. It worked in Tony’s favour that Harold was very curious about people and tended to give strangers the benefit of the doubt.
Ricky was not intimidated by Tony and he could easily surmise that Herbie was not a fighter. However, he was quite willing to act as security for Whisper and his dad if Tony tried anything. Tony studied Ricky for a few minutes and he could sense that Ricky was not afraid to go toe to toe with him if the situation went south. That did not mean that Tony was afraid of Ricky. Tony had never lost a physical fight is his life and was certain that he could take Ricky if Ricky wanted to be a hero. Still, he respected a person that did not display any fear of him.
Harold was not easily intimidated either. He had to admit that he was looking forward to the day they would get to meet Whisper’s boyfriend.
“I realize that it may look a little strange having a whiteboard in my living room. To put you guys at ease, I assure you that I’m not going to teach a class this evening even though I am a retired schoolteacher,” Harold said with a mischievious grin on his face.
This caused Herbie Schultz to give off a nervous laugh. He was used to getting into bizarre situations when he went somewhere with Tony Barrows. He realized that life would never be boring as long as Tony was his best friend.fantasy-10

Pizza Hut Episode 38 of Street Dreams Podcast Version

Episode 38 Pizza Hut 

“What should I cook for supper tonight?” Whisper asked Harold. 

“ Nothing,” Harold replied. 

“Aren’t you getting hungry? It’s already after 5 PM,” Whisper asked as she sat up on the couch that was close to Harold’s white Lazy Boy chair. 

“Oh, I’m hungry all right but I’m a little pressed for time this evening. I need to buy a new ice pick at Canadian Tire. I can’t find my old one. I was looking for it in the woodshed, but it was nowhere to be found. Both the front and back steps are getting very icy and I will need to break up the ice with a pick. I was thinking about heading out to the Canadian Tire store in Southdale,” Harold explained. 

“Why would you want to drive all the way to St. Vital? There’s a Canadian Tire outlet on Regent. That would be your closest one,” Whisper said. 

“I know,” Harold replied, “but a friend of mine works the evening shift at the Southdale store. He was my neighbour for a few years but I haven’t talked to him for a while and I want to ask how his new job is going. His name is James and he is a nice young man. He was a schoolteacher for a couple of years, but found that he wasn’t cut out for the job. When his second year of teaching was over, he resigned and picked up an assistant manager’s job at Canadian Tire.” 

“That’s interesting Harold but what are we going to do for supper? You said that you were hungry,” Whisper said. 

“I’ve got that covered. You’ve cooked a lot of good meals for us during the last two weeks. I think it’s only fair that I treat you to dinner at Pizza Hut tonight. We’ll eat supper before we go to Canadian Tire.” 

“You mean like a date or something, Harold?” Whisper asked mischeiviously Harold laughed out loud.  

“That’s a good one Whisper. I’m sixty-five and you are twenty-two. Don’t you think there’s a bit of an age differential at work here?” 

“|I’m flattered anyway. I would love to go out for supper with you,” Whisper replied. 

“Well, let’s get going,” Harold said. 

“You might need me to go out and clean the snow off the car. It’s been snowing quite a bit today and there’s probably two or three inches of snow on the roof of the car. I also need to shovel around the tires of the car so that we won’t get stuck,” Whisper said. 

“You’ve only been staying with me a little while, but I’m starting to wonder how I ever managed before I met you. I could clear off the snow myself, but I would feel pain every time I moved a muscle. This arthritis has really been giving me grief. The funny thing about osteoarthritis is this. It won’t kill you, but it sure can make your life miserable,” Harold said. 

Whisper put on her white downfilled parka that Harold and bought for her at Hangers clothing store.She then pulled on her new black leather snow boots that were also a present from Harold. 

“My God, Harold thought to himself. Whisper looks beautiful today. So did Erica, but she had a different kind of beauty.” 

 Harold’s turned on the ignition to start warming up his red Ford Taurus. Whisper brushed off the snow on the roof of the car. Whisper used the rubber broom with a long white handle. It was so much easier taking off the large clumps of snow with the rubber broom that she found in Harold’s cleaning supplies closet 

“Where did you get this broom, Harold?” Whisper asked. 

“I’ve had that white broom for ages now. I bought it for myself when I used to be a part-time Amway distributor.” 

“What’s Amway? Whisper asked. 

“I’ll reserve my answer for another time. It’s too long a story,” Harold replied. 

Once Whisper had removed all the snow from the car, she threw the rubber room in the back seat and climbed into the passenger beside Harold. As soon as they drove a short distance out of Harold’s driveway, he felt his car shake lightly for a few seconds. 

“There are some wicked patches of ice under the snow,” Harold said. “Thank goodness that my neighbour recommended that I get snow tires installed for the winter season. Before I had winter tires, my car would often fishtail whenever I tried to stop at an intersection. I feel much safer safer now.” 

As soon as Whisper climbed into the passenger seat she automatically fastened her seatbelt. As she turned her head she noticed a zippered red binder in the back seat of the car. “What’s in the red binder?” Whisper asked. 

It contains my favourite CDs. The CD player in the old Taurus is still in good working order,” Harold answered. 

“Can I look through the binder to check what CDs you have?” Whisper asked. 

“Sure, but if you’re looking for any contemporary music you won’t find any in there. I pretty much stopped listening to modern music after the 1990s grunge era ended. 

“That’s awesome. I love the music from that era. You got any Nirvana in your binder?” 

Yes, I do. Nirvana is my favourite Seattle grunge era band,” Harold replied. As Whisper was going through the plastic sleeves in the red binder she found the Nirvana’s Greatest Hits CD. 

“Do you mind if I play Nirvana’s Greatest Hits in your CD player?” 

“Knock yourself out. I love Nirvana’s music. I was upset for a long time when I heard the news about Kurt Cobain killing himself,” Harold said. 

“Some people don’t believe it was a suicide. They think that maybe Courtney Love paid someone to put a hit on her husband,” Whisper said. 

“Yes, it’s still a very controversial topic. Apparently the surviving members of Nirvana don’t believe the report that Courtney had something to do with Kurt’s death,” Harold stated. 

The first track on the CD was You Know You’re Right. Harold and Whisper listened to the whole album with both of them singing along with the choruses on the songs. 

Episode 39: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 fantasy-42

The Plot of Street Dreams by Ken David Stewart December 22, 2019 

Harold Peyton suffers from severe bouts of clinical depression as well as writer’s block. 

Harold Peyton is physically healthy. 

Location Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Elmwood. year 2019. 

Harold had been divorced from his ex-wife Clarissa for nearly five years now. 

A man named Tony Barrows had pushed a young woman named Whisper who is in her early twenties out of his truck and on to an ice- covered road. 

Harold invited Whisper into his home. 

One year ago, in 2018, Harold’s daughter Erica had been killed in a car accident by an inebriated driver. 

Whisper suggests that Harold write about a strange young woman that arrives at his door. 

Whisper has a criminal record for shoplifting and is presently homeless. 

Harold drives Whisper to a local EIA office. 

Harold has a stepson named Richard. 

Harold has a younger brother who suffers from schizophrenia. 

Tony Barrows lives on Spence Street in downtown Winnipeg.  Tony is very macho. 

Tony Barrows has one friend who is a nerd.  He is called Herbie Schultz. 

Tony has no problem picking up women as he has the persona of a tough guy. 

Herbie Schultz is forever grateful and is fiercely loyal to Tony, as Tony once saved Herbie from taking a terrible beating from two elementary school bullies. 

Whisper finds out how many medications that Harold Peyton takes daily in order to function. 

Harold does not know how to cook for himself. 

Harold suffers from severe arthritis. 

Whisper offers to cook meals for Harold. During that time, she offers to teach Harold how to cook healthy meals for himself. 

Harold allows Whisper to live with him for an indefinite time period. 

Whisper learns that Harold has an extremely painful arthritic condition. 

Whisper notices how many Bibles and Christian audiobooks Harold owns. 

Harold is enjoying smoking the cannabis that Whisper has given him to try. 

Harold tells Whisper that some of his friends worry about Harold’s spiritual condition. 

Harold receives a phone call from his stepson, Ricky Kramer. Ricky asks if his stepdad, Harold, if he can pick him up when he is released from jail in a couple of weeks. Ricky also asks his dad if he can live with him on a temporary basis. 

Harold admits to himself that he enjoys Whisper’s company. She is able to ease the pain of the loss of his deceased daughter, Erica. 

During the last year, Whisper was a heavy crystal meth user. 

Harold and Whisper go to the Grunge headshot/coffee shop. Harold buys a bootleg Bob Dylan concert album. While they are at the Grunge they listened to a musical set by a male who performed a Bob Dylan tribute set. 

Harold reveals the dysfunctional nature of his relationships with his family. He is divorced from Clarissa, his stepson, Ricky is just getting out of jail, his two biological children, Jasmine and Derek, detest Ricky, their stepbrother. Jasmine and Derek are very much estranged from Harold. They live in two different cities in the United States with their families. Tim Kramer, Ricky’s biological father he is the violent and abusive man. 

Harold bought himself a beautiful wooden walking stick with a black lab’s head as the handle carving. 

Herbie Schultz’ back story. He has ADHD is 33 years old is live with foster parents in group homes for most of his life. Herbie is a high school dropout. He has been fired  from several jobs where his supervisor and coworkers think that Herbie is acting too weird. 

He suffers from schizophrenia and had a recent psychotic break. The police had to be called and they took him to the hospital ER. 

Herbie lies to his apartment superintendent and tells him that he had a grand mal seizure, not a psychotic break. 

Clarissa Peyton, Harold’s ex-wife’s back story. She is a Christian legalist. Clarissa is avery strong -willed person who despises weakness of any kind in others. Clarissa is a staunch conservative Baptist. She derides Harold for checking out a charismatic Pentecostal church. 

Tony Barrows takes Whisper with him to a wild party on Beliveau Road. At the party Tony assaults a man then he Whisper and Pixie, a female guest at the party, flee the scene when the police are called. Pixie tells Tony that she needs a ride home. She says that she lives in Fort Rouge with her boyfriend, Ricky, who is Harold’s stepson. 

Two police constables, Bill Noble and Melissa Parks drive to the house to investigate a report that a young man inside the house is badly injured. The two police officers search the house, but just see a lot of blood. The injured man has somehow been removed from the house. 

Pixie Lambert is the young girl at the party that Tony and Whisper agree to give a ride home. 

Pixie claims to have murdered her mother’s boyfriend in self- defence. Pixie killed Stan with repeated blows to his head from a hammer she found in his workstation. Pixie escaped by taking a Greyhound bus from Fargo, North Dakota to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. On the Greyhound bus Pixie meets Ricky Kramer. Pixie and  Ricky share a common interest in the Charles Manson story and true crime stories in general. 

Aleister Richter is the name of the young man that Tony Barrows viciously assaulted. 

Hartley and Kerry Popovich bullied Herbie Schultz in  elementary school. They fled from the house party and put Aleister in Kerry’s old car. Kerry and Hartley met Aliester at a downtown pool hall. boys wanted to score somdrugs and Aleister had the supply drugs that they wanted. Aleister had been both their drug dealer and friend ever since. 

Aleister Richter’s back story. Aleister’s parents separated just after his fourteenth birthday. Aleister hated school and skipped his regular glasses to go to the library and stay in one of the library’s private rooms until a staff member found him and kicked him out. While in school Aleister committed several acts of vandalism. 

Hartley and Kerry drove along Bishop Grandin Boulevard. Their car skidded off the road and ended up on the shoulder. It was a cold winter night. Harold and Whisper stopped for them to see if the people in the stranded car needed help. Hartley’s glove compartment contained the drugs they had just bought. Constables Noble and Parks arrived shortly after. Hartley tried to push Constables Noble out of the way and tried to start the car to get away. He was tackled and handcuffed by Constable Parks. 20190318_123936

episode 37 of street dreams a novel

Episode 37

After about a fifteen minute ride Kerry and Hartley Popovich could hear Aleister trying to speak. At first, all Aleister could manage was a few garbled words. His two friends were now starting to hear some words and phrases that were decipherable. Aleister attempted to say a few things that sounded like:

“Where am I? I’m in pain. I need help.”

Kerry turned around and said to Aleister, “We were just at a party. You got the crap beat out of you by a big dude that you were arguing with. Someone called the cops so we picked you up and got you into Hartley’s car. The grey interior of the old Ford Tempo was stained with the blood from the wounds in Aleister’s head. The good news was that the blood coming from Aleister’s head was now starting to coagulate.

Hartley was now doing over 110 km/h when the car skidded on a snow-covered patch of ice and fishtailed off to the right shoulder of the of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

About thirty meters behind them was a red Ford Taurus with Harold Payton driving and Whisper Willows riding shotgun.

“Hey Harold, look to your right. There’s a car on the shoulder up ahead. Looks like they’re going to need help,” Whisper said.

Harold and Whisper were just returning from getting a late night supper at Pizza Hut. The driving was hazardous tonight as a heavy snowfall had just begun.

One of Harold’s personality traits was both a blessing and a curse. He was a nice guy. Too nice a guy. Whenever he encountered someone in trouble, he wouldn’t hesitate to try to assist them. No matter how much trouble a stranger might be in or how dangerous this intervention might prove to be, Harold would jump in to help them without any reservations. Harold Peyton could be very impulsive and perhaps even a bit self-destructive if he felt that the situation warranted it.

Harold drove his car right behind Hartley’s car. He and Whisper got out of the car and trudged through the snow toward the white Ford Tempo. Whisper could make out a bumper sticker that read, ‘Crash and Burn’. Harold approached the driver side door and knocked on the glass. He called out, “Are you people all right? Do you need help?”

Hartley was still in a bit of a daze as he hit his head on the steering wheel causing the car’s horn to go off.

“Yeah, we need help,” Hartley answered as he lowered his shoulder and banged the front door open. The passenger side door was old and rusty making it difficult to push open. The light in the interior of the car came on so Harold could now see inside the vehicle. He could see another young man occupying the passenger seat. He could make out a third young male who was trying to prop himself up in the backseat. This individual gave out a shriek of pain as he tried to move himself into a sitting position.

Whisper opened the back door of the car and made a quick visual inspection of the man who was in obvious pain.

“How do you feel, dude? What the hell happened to you?” Whisper asked Aleister.

Whisper could see that the injured man had bloodstains on his beige Slipknot T-shirt. He also had some bruises on his forehead. She asked Aleister to turn the back of his head towards her. Whisper noticed three small places where blood had previously been flowing from Aleister’s head.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch me, lady. My neck and back are killing me and I feel like I just got run over by a semi- trailer,” Aleister said in a low pained voice.

Kerry spoke up, “Don’t try to talk now, Aleister. Save your strength.”

Then he turned towards Whisper and Harold and said, “Look we just came back from Boogy’s Sports Bar. We were watching a wrestling pay-per-view and having a few beers when we noticed that Aleister had been in the washroom for a long time. Hartley went into the men’s room to check on him and found Aleister slumped on the floor. There were bloodstains on the wall behind him. Hartley and I got Aleister out of the bathroom and into our car.

Harold Peyton moved closer to Kerry, “Hey, my name is Harold and this is my friend, Whisper. Back in the day I was a medic during the war in Vietnam. Can I check on your friend’s condition?”

Before Kerry could answer a police patrol car with its lights flashing pulled up right behind him. Constable Bill Noble and Constable Melissa Parks got out of the patrol car. Constable Bill took a quick check around the area to see if there was anything dangerous around the scene that he and his partner were about to investigate. The wind had picked up and Bill’s ears were getting cold. Hartley panicked and placed his car key in the ignition. Constable Noble saw what Hartley was trying to do and snatched the car keys out of his hand.

“What’s your hurry, Bud? Are you trying to get away from us? Let’s see your driver’s license and registration.”

Hartley remembered that he had put his bag of drugs in the glove compartment. He knew the cops were going to search the car. He gave Constable Bill a shove and was tackled from behind by Constable Parks. She quickly and efficiently put the hand cuffs on Hartley. 20180924_100134

Episodes 5-7 of Street Dreams, a Novel by Ken David Stewart

Episode 5:

Harold watched after the Ford 150 drove away. He stood and stared at the young woman and started to think what he was going to do about her. Harold didn’t even consider calling the police. Instead he opened the front door of his house and called loudly to the girl in distress.

“Come here young lady. You need to get out of the cold or you’ll freeze to death!”

The young female looked towards Harold with a confused and frightened look. She wiped the snowflakes off her hoodie and walked awkwardly towards the door that Harold was holding open for her.

“Thank you so much Mister. You may have saved my life. May I come in your house?

“Step into the living room and make yourself at home,” Harold replied.

“Thanks. Hey, I should introduce myself. My name is Whisper,” the strange young woman said as she found a place to sit on Harold’s yellow and orange patterned sofa. Whisper admired the brass antique lamp to the left of the sofa. The full décor of Harold Peyton’s living room had the ambiance that could only come from a man who appreciated fine art.

“Could I interest you in a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee or perhaps a mug of hot chocolate?” Harold asked. “By the way, Whisper is a beautiful name. Who gave you that name?”

“My grandma came up with it if I remember correctly,” Whisper replied.
While standing in the hall, Harold now had a good opportunity to observe Whisper. Her hair was blonde highlighted by orange streaks. It presently looked wet and tangled. There were still some snowflakes in her hair. Whisper’s make up was smudged and smeared from her tears. Whisper had a gold rod piercing through her nose. She wore orange lipstick and had a pentagram tattoo on her left forearm. She was not very attractive and was slightly overweight giving her somewhat of a pudgy look. Harold thought that Whisper resembled a naughty, terribly neglected little elf.

Episode 6:

“I would love to have a hot chocolate, sir. What’s your name?” Whisper asked.

“My word, where did all my manners go? With all the excitement going on, I failed to recall that I haven’t told you my name. It’s Harold, Harold Peyton.”

“Could I ask a big favour of you. Mr. Peyton?” Whisper asked sheepishly.

“Oh, you don’t have to call me Mr. Peyton. I’d like it very much if you just called me ‘Harold’. What would you like me to do as a favour to you?”

“I would like to take a shower and get myself cleaned up,” Whisper asked as her face reddened with embarrassment. “But I would like to drink my hot chocolate first, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course, you can my dear,” Harold answered. Harold wondered why he had called Whisper ‘my dear’. After all he didn’t even know this girl yet.

“Did you bring a clean change of clothes to put on after you wash up?”

“Yes, I have some clean clothes in my duffle bag,” Whisper replied.

“I just asked in case you didn’t have a fresh change of clothes with you. I still have all my daughter’s clothes in a closet in her bedroom. You appear to be about the same size as she was and her clothes would probably fit you.” Harold’s countenance suddenly looked very pained.

“You said ‘was’ Harold. What happened to your daughter?”

“Today is the first anniversary of Erica’s passing. While getting a ride home from a party her friend’s car was involved in a head on collision. The driver of the other car was inebriated. Erica’s friend suffered severe injuries but survived. Unfortunately, my daughter did not survive the accident. As soon as he finished saying this, Harold Peyton sobbed, and his body began to shake uncontrollably.

Episode 7:

“Sit down in your Lazy Boy, Harold. I’ll make myself a hot chocolate. Would you like something to drink too?” Whisper asked.

“Yes, I would like a cup of coffee if you don’t mind making a pot,” Harold replied starting to regain his composure.

“No problem. I see that you’ve got the good stuff, Tim Hortons. It should be ready in a few minutes.”

After setting up and turning on the percolator Whisper returned to the living room.

“I’m very sorry to hear about you losing your daughter. It must be very painful for you.”

Yes, it is, but I should be an old hand at grieving by now. My wife Clarissa divorced me five years ago,” Harold said, causing another tear to trickle down his cheek.

“That’s terrible, man. Two major losses in five years! No one should have to suffer that much.”

“I agree, but it happened to me. It is what it is,” Harold said taking out a handkerchief to wipe away his tears.

“But I’ve told you enough for now about my problems. What happened to you out on the street. Who was that guy that pushed you out of his truck?”

“That would be Tony. He’s a real piece of work, man. He pushed me out of his truck after I told him that I wouldn’t have sex with him. Tony just figured that I owed it to him. He called it ‘taking it out in trade’. He said it was only fair because he let me sleep on his couch for a few nights.”

“Why did he drop you off in front of my house?” Harold asked.

“For no particular reason. Tony and I had been having a wicked fight for about fifteen minutes before he drove the truck down your street. Tony told me that I was giving him a migraine headache when he pushed me out on the road. We were just driving around in circles. I really don’t have any place to go anyway,” Whisper explained. ken-2018

Painting Cars Part Two

Painting Cars Part Two

I turned to one of my little pals, Chucky.  Chucky was a cute little five-year-old with blonde hair and a buzz cut.

“Hey, Chucky, look what I found in the bushes,  An open can of white paint and a piece of board that we can use like a brush,”

 

“That’s cool.  What are you going to do with it?”  Chucky asked with a quizzical look on his face.  My little buddy probably hadn’t washed his face in about a week.  You could almost see a film of dark grey covering his face.

 

“See that red Ford Thunderbird just off to my left?” I asked

“Yeah, it’s a beauty,” Chucky replied.

“It is indeed a beauty, but you know what it’s missing?”

“What?”  Chucky asked.

“It needs a little white stripe along both sides of the car,” I said.

“Yeah, it would probably make the car look even cooler,” Chucky said.  He was starting to shift and shuffle his feet.  You’re not thinking what I’m thinking are you?  Chucky asked.

“Well, we’ve got the equipment. We’d be doing the guy who owns the car a big favour,” I said.  “Chucky, look in the bush and see if you can find another piece of wood that we can paint with.”

Chucky started to sort through the brambles when he spotted the handle of a small brush under a large rock.  He lifted the rock up and pulled out had a dried- out paint brush. It still had partly solidified yellow paint on it. Chucky shared his find with me.

“An actual paint brush, that’s even better as it has some yellow dried out paint on it.  All we need to do is find some water to loosen up the paint on the brush,” I said.

Chucky and I looked across the back lane and spotted a waterspout attached to the apartment building. In a couple of minutes, we had a suitably wet paint brush.

“You know something, Chucky?  The yellow paint on the brush probably means that there’s still a can of yellow paint somewhere close to where you found the brush,” I said.  In less than a minute Chucky and I were stomping through the twigs, branches and discarded garbage in the thicket.  Our diligent search paid off.  Covered by several copies of old newspapers was a small can of yellow paint. The paint in the can was hard. It had mostly solidified.

“How about if I paint the Plymouth and you work on the Ford Thunderbird?” Chucky suggested.

“That sounds like a plan to me,” I said as I proceeded to dunk my wooden stick into the container of white paint.  Chucky did the same with his yellow paint can.  It took most of my strength to loosen up the dried out white paint until I got to about the midpoint on my broken piece of wood.  Although the paint was a bit waxy, I was able to make a somewhat horizontal white strip along the passenger side of the Ford Thunderbird.  Chucky was a little more creative with his handiwork than I was.  He started to make several different designs on the blue Plymouth.  As I took a short break from my painting job.  I walked over to check the car that Chucky was working on to examine his work. In a few short minutes, he had painted a symbol of a star, the moon and his initials, CB.

‘Isn’t it beautiful?”  Chucky asked.

“Oh yes, the Plymouth looks so much better now.  I wonder if the owners will pay us for this?”  I wondered.

“Yeah, maybe the owners will give us five dollars each,” Chucky replied.

“After they pay us, let’s go over to Clancy’s Corner Store and buy some football cards,” I said.

In the nineteen fifties, you could buy a pack of CFL football cards that came with a stick of pink gum.  My buddies and I had a lot of fun.  both collecting and trading these cards.

Just as we were finishing our conversation, a young woman who was still in her housecoat and curlers ran out of the apartment building’s back door.  She started yelling at us, “What do you little brats think that you’re doing?  My husband just bought that new Ford Thunderbird last Thursday and now you’ve ruined it.  I’m calling the police,” she said as she stomped back to the apartment block.

Chucky and I just froze in our spots. We immediately turned around and took off down the back lane so fast that we were almost tripping over our own feet.  When I made it to my house, my grandmother met me at the door. “I see white paint stains on your hands and on your T-shirt.  Where have you been young man, and just what have you been up to?  Where did all these white paint stains come from?” my grandmother asked.

“My grandmother was a very imposing woman and had a very stern look on her face.

“Chucky and I found an open can of paint in the back lane and started playing around with it,” I said, as my face was starting to turn a deep shade of red.  My grandmother looked very suspicious, but seemed to be giving me the benefit of the doubt. A few minutes later, my grandmother, known in the neighborhood as Bapi, was visited by a young man who was one of our neighbours from the apartment block.  He was an office clerk about twenty-five years old.  His face was beet red and he had tears flowing down his cheeks.  He was so distraught that he was stuttering and stumbling over his own words.  All my grandmother could make out of his rambling speech were a few keywords and phrases such as ‘your kid’ and ‘painting my brand-new car with an ugly white stripe’. Bapi also could hear the perplexed young man yell loudly, “Who’s going to pay to get my car fixed?”

When my grandmother stared at the young man she heard a car door slam across the street.  By looking passed the man’s right shoulder, she could see two police officers approaching our house.

 

“How are you today, ma’am?” the older police constable asked politely.

With great trepidation, my grandmother asked. “What’s wrong, officer?”

A younger constable climbed up one more step leading to my grandmother’s front porch.  “We had a report that your grandson and some of his little friends were vandalizing some cars this afternoon.”

“Yes,” added the older constable with the grey hair, “the boys began applying paint to this man’s Ford Thunderbird and one Plymouth belonging to one of his neighbours.”

Shortly after, another car pulled up.  This time it was my parents.  My grandmother was trying to tell them what the police officers had just said.  The police constables informed them that they were unable arrest such young children and told my parents to discipline me as they saw fit.  And believe me, my parents did just that.  One at a time, they took turns giving me a very hard spanking.

After the third spanking, it was over.  My bottom was now a bright shade of red, I still wondered what I had done to deserve such severe punishment. I was still surprised that the young man who stopped at our front door wasn’t going to pay me for the beautiful white stripe that I had painted on his new red Ford Mustang.images-81

The Life and Times of Keith Ross by Ken David Stewart Eps. 3 & 4

20190318_123936Episode Three

This morning Keith Ross was hoping that listening to Creflo Dollar’s message would help to improve his mood and provide him with some inspiration. He did attend a local church occasionally, but preferred to stay at home and watch services via the internet.

Keith had many TV preachers that he watched including Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joseph Prince, Patricia King, Jim Richards and Todd Bentley. Many years ago he got introduced to the Charismatic stream of Christian theology through the influence of one of his old girlfriends.

He preferred to believe in a positive, motivating theology. He knew that there were more mainstream theologies out there, but over the years he had become very disillusioned with them. Keith’s father had been a Baptist preacher who taught a very conservative view of the Bible and the Christian life. Keith had always thought that there had to be more to Christianity than this and his former girlfriend had shown him that that he could go much deeper in his relationship with God.

Keith wanted to believe that God loved him and wanted him to be blessed with good health and financial prosperity. He did not want to get rich. He only desired to get all his debts paid off and to have enough money for a comfortable lifestyle.

The next morning Keith Ross woke up and felt miserable. It was another morning where he felt as if he had never slept during the night. He groggily got off his ragged, old, broken down couch where he slept most nights. He often fell asleep on the couch while reading or watching TV.

Keith frequently watched Fox News before he went to bed. When he was young man, he was very much a socialist, but as he got older, he began to see the negative characteristics of a totally socialized society. At first, he wasn’t crazy about Donald Trump, but during the first six months of Trump’s presidency, Keith was starting to really admire the way the new president took tough stands on issues that he strongly believed in.

He took out his favorite glass of water from the kitchen shelf and began taking his massive regimen of medications and dietary supplements. Keith followed this with a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal. He preferred Frosted Flakes, but he had recently decided to be more careful about his food choices.

As soon as he finished his breakfast, Keith felt so tired that he lied down on the couch. After about five minutes had passed, he got up and looked out the window. The sun was shining brightly. He promptly turned on the weather channel to check today’s forecast. The weather channel reported a high of 28°C with sunny skies throughout the day. He started to think about going for a bike ride. Keith looked up at his beautiful, black Giant mountain bike parked a few feet behind his large, flat screen TV.

Keith decided to make himself go for a bike ride. He now had too many days when he had to ‘push himself’ to do anything. Was he getting old or was it just that he was out of shape and not eating nutritious meals? Probably Keith’s chronic fatigue was due to a variety of factors.

There was beautiful weather outside and Keith enjoyed his morning bike rides. He rated his physical stamina by his ability to keep going for bike rides year after year.

When Keith returned from his ride, he returned to his old, broken down orange and yellow couch. Keith didn’t know if it was just psychological, but Keith found that taking short power naps during the day allowed him to get more accomplished.

One of Keith’s favorite avocations was writing fiction novels. He had self published three of his original works so far, but none of them had made him any money. Nevertheless, Keith enjoyed the writing process and he found it to be very therapeutic. He found it amazing how the act of writing dredged up memories from the past and old traumas that you thought you had forgotten.

Keith was presently working on a novel that he had temporarily given the title, Chaos. He had just started his first rough draft of chapter five after re-reading and self editing chapter four.

About

Hey, welcome to my new blog.  My name is Ken David Stewart.  I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I decided to return to blogging after leaving the blogosphere for a few months. After a time of discouragement with my past results with both blogging and creative writing, I now have the desire to get back in the saddle.  I guess I missed the writing process more than I thought.

Over the years I have authored, and self published three books on amazon.ca and amazon.com.  None of my books made me rich and famous, but I enjoyed writing them. It was fun.

I am 67 years old and live with my wife, two dogs and a cat.  I love animals; all animals.

I am a semi -retired teacher who now works as a substitute teacher. I have a wide variety of interests. This becomes obvious when you’ve read some of my fiction writing blog posts.

Unfortunately, I suffer from a chronic and persistent affective disorder that for periods of time, puts me on the sidelines of life.  Fortunately, I also have periods of mood stability that allow me to be surprisingly productive.  For about a decade I was employed as a mental health worker.  Consequently, I know more about mental health than the average person.  My experiences as a life skills worker has provides me with a unique base of knowledge that shows up in my writings.

Along with mental health, my other interests include watching  NFL football, professional wrestling, practising my bass guitar, blogging and fiction writing and watching videos with my wife.  I work out at the gym when my arthritis and fibromyalgia pain is only of moderate severity.

In this new blog my subject matter may include excerpts from my fiction writing, current affairs issues, excerpts from my personal journal, and reviews of music, videos, books and audiobooks. I hope you enjoy my blog.

Ken David Stewart