Free Story

Application At 30

Love is waiting for those who find the strength to break the chains that bind them.

 Monday 9:00 a.m.

The blonde woman walked into this office’s human resources department. At the first desk she asks, “May I fill out an application?”

The smartly dressed raven-haired woman raised an eyebrow at the short black skirt and handed over the application with an expression that said, if you wish to waste your time go ahead. The blue eyes of the receptionist became slightly troubled when the blonde woman sat and an ACE bandage could be seen on the upper thigh of the left leg.

The blonde woman set herself in what she hoped was a professional pose in the seat then looked at the application.

First line; name. She wrote, “Candice Michelle Barton.”

She thought, “What are these words? I know they mean me; as far as what my parents called me. I have no connection to them. Candice Michelle Barton has no identity without him.”

Second line; date. “February 2nd, 2015.”

She thought, “Two days after the trial. Six months since I dropped his bowling ball on his head.”

Third line; social security number. “010-01-0101.”

She thought, “Had to ask my mother yesterday. Didn’t remember it.”

Fourth line; phone number. “000-555-1234.”

She thought, “Got my own phone for the first time yesterday. Had to look at it to remember the number.”

Fifth line; birthdate. “January 23rd, 1985.”

She thought, “First day of existence in the hands of a weak woman and a bastard.”

Sixth line; maiden name. “Barton.”

She thought, “At least the asshole didn’t force me to marry him.”

Seventh line; address. “800 Upcreeknopaddle Rd. Anywhere, USA. 80000”

She thought, “I hope I bought enough locks. I’ll pick up a couple more for the windows today.”

Eighth line; email address. “Not applicable.”

She thought, “Never had the privacy to have my own email.”

Ninth line; desired salary. Stuck.

She thought, “I should put minimum wage but I don’t know what that is. If I put down the desired salary then I need to calculate a thirty percent reduction because I’m a woman.”

She wrote, “Minimum wage.”

Tenth line; availability. “All day, every day.”

She thought, “I’m finally free to decide that for myself.”

Eleventh line; position desired. “Anything that pays.”

She thought, “I should be an investigator for the city. I have a talent to attract all the deadbeats to me. I wouldn’t have to work hard. They’d come searching me out.”

She actually wrote, “Mailroom.”

Twelfth line; education. “G.E.D.”

She thought, “Had to drop out in the ninth grade after the man who fathered me pushed my mom down the stairs and broke her back. I had to stay home to care for her, the house and become his new target for abuse. My father owned my virginity.”

Lines thirteen through fifteen; college and other education. “Not applicable.”

She thought, “The bastards kept me from that experience.”

Line sixteen; work experience. “First job.”

She thought, “Thirty and looking for work for the first time. Those assholes really screwed me; in more than one way.”

Line seventeen; special skills. “Cooking multiple meals in less than ten minutes; the first one for the wall so he could pound on my psyche and the second for him to eat.

“Cleaning a rage-cleared table in less than two minutes to avoid the fists.

“Household handy-woman because he couldn’t be bothered to get off his ass to fix anything.

“Physically tough; except for nerve damage in my left arm from repeatedly being thrown up against a wall and raped.

“Setting a bowling ball trap so I didn’t have to stand close to him to gain my freedom.

“Sitting in a police station for hours detailing each and every reason I had to drop the bowling ball on his head; killing him.

“Sitting in a courtroom listening to the D.A. try to convince a jury that what I did wasn’t self-defense.

“Winning a victory for me and my fellow punching bags by being found not guilty; self-defense; justifiable homicide.

“Not breaking down when I finally gained the freedom to make my own decisions. Taking it one day at a time.”

She wrote, “Cleaning, organization and a willingness to adapt.”

Line eighteen; references. “Do people with the ability to sweep the obvious under the rug count? What about his friends? They were the only people I knew.”

She wrote, “Douglas Bender. Attorney.”

Line nineteen; have you ever been convicted of a felony?

Candice snorted as she thought, “The D.A. tried.”

She wrote. “No”

Looking over the application, it seemed pretty sparse even for a temp job like this. She read the disclaimers for the first time in her life.

Signing it, dating it then handing it in, she was asked to wait.

The raven-haired receptionist took the application into the corner office and Candice could hear murmuring for a few minutes. An older brunette came out and asked the blonde to step into her office.

When they were seated the older woman began, “I’m Samantha Franklin. The application is thin but my receptionist Kelly said the bandage on your leg should be all the interview you need. Tell me your story.”

Candice sat back in her short, mini-skirt; the best thing she owned; displaying the bandage and responded, “I don’t have a story. I was born two days ago when a jury saved me from the life of a punching bag. Thirty years of being seen as less than human by my father then the first boyfriend who rescued me from my father. I’ve only been a full human for two days. This is the first application I’ve ever filled out. This is the first job I’ve tried to get. The phone in my purse is the first I’ve ever owned. When I can afford it, I’ll have a computer then the very first email address I don’t need to have approval from a man to use. I’m not looking for pity. I found my strength to take control of my life. I just need the first job to solidify my place as an independent, free-thinking woman. I’m a clean slate ready to do whatever job comes my way. The only thing I’ve been trained to do is take the hits and keep on living.”

Samantha was impressed. “I’ll make sure you have a job. In fact, you’ll start here. I’ll pay you two dollars an hour above minimum wage to learn how to work in this office. Welcome to the world, Candice. You have real friends waiting out here.”

The blonde woman smiled then she was introduced to Kelly Richardson. The raven-haired woman took her to the conference room with the packet of new hire paperwork.

Kelly’s confident brown eyes looked into Candice’s blue after the door was shut and they were seated, “I’ve never experienced it but my sister did. What’s the bandage covering?”

Candice responded, “A burn scar.”

Kelly sat forward and hugged the blonde. “From this day on you have a best friend right here. Let’s get you into your life Candice.”

By the end of the day, the blonde had a work email address and she sat in front of a computer and thought about the first letter she’d write. She didn’t have anyone to send it to but used her minimal typing skills to write a general letter she’d send when she had someone to receive it.

The letter read, “To all my fellow battered women; I cry for you, I live for you and when I find you, I’ll save you. On this day I do declare that each and every one of you are loved by someone who truly loves you. I’ll fight for the day when all of us can say; NO MORE!!! I send my love on the air and hope you can feel it. Use it to strengthen you until you can throw off your own persecutor. We are human. We deserve to be free from pains we don’t bring on ourselves. We don’t deserve to be seen as less than human, slaves, stress relief for the fists of man.

“Stand up with me and call out; WE ARE FREE! Join me as I stare into the future unfettered by the demands placed on me by a boy. Real men don’t pound on women. Real men don’t yell, spit on, rape and hold women down. These are the actions of cowards. These are the actions of boys who refuse to grow up.

“I also call to anyone who knows a woman who gets battered. Don’t turn a blind eye. Don’t say, it isn’t your problem. Find the strength to pull them out of their dungeons and set them free to live as the should; free to be what they want to be, free to live without hurt and free to be the beautiful souls they could be. Every back turned to the pain is complicit with the fist that adds a new bruise. Every step away from the woman you know is in danger but who can’t ask for help is a dagger being twisted in her guts.”

Candice saved it in her draft file and would send it when she could.

As she was leaving, Kelly held onto her arm and said, “It’s time this independent woman teach her new sister how to be the same.”

Candice went out that night to learn about being her own woman.

She thought, “It shouldn’t take a bowling ball to the head to find this. It got the job done but it really was as if she was born at thirty. Kelly was seven years younger but had more experience living her own life.”

Into Anywhere, USA they desired to go did these two women bless the world with their independent and vibrant spirits.

Striving For Greater Value

To remain happy with displaying the animal sides of our natures is; in essence; denying our very humanity. It diminishes the value of the treasure to be obtained to force a woman to give of herself instead of seeking the greater reward of her free choice. I know; having been a male all my life; how hard it is to deny our animal instincts but it is this very fight; so our human minds may seek the greater treasures that await; that makes the fight worth it.

We; as human men; though it’d be easier to give into our instinctual impulses; need this fight because it makes us better men. Human men have always sought out the greatest challenges; to build, to destroy and to conquer. The greatest battle to be fought is the one against our own natures.

When we can rise above the animal; control it; and let our rational mind greater sway, we open endless possibilities because that which we seek most in this world – women – will become something more than the appeasement of a moment’s carnal delight. They become jewels, more precious than diamonds. They become wealth, greater than all the gold on the planet.

This is in response to a recent story concerning several young men forcing themselves on one young woman. The consequences to the young men will be serious but the consequences to that one young woman will be devastating for years; until she finds her value again as someone greater than a few young men’s plaything. She’s a human woman and this alone makes her worth more than all the wealth available.

We; as men; also need to hold ourselves to higher standards and say; “Our lives as free men; for the whole of our lives; are worth more than throwing it all away to appease a momentary desire.” If the woman you seek is worth throwing your life away for then, by all means, let her know the proper way so she may decide if you’re her knight. If the individual woman is only worth a few minutes of your time then value the human being and let her live as she chooses.

This isn’t about denying ourselves anything but giving ourselves a chance at something greater than giving into momentary lapses of control that could see us throwing years of our lives away and; worst of all; damaging a human woman whose only crime was; SHE WAS THERE.

We’re no longer cavemen. We’re no longer barbarians. We have the ability to be greater than that. We have the ability to say; “We’ve grown into HUMAN men and seek the greater experiences that come from balancing emotion with controlled rational thought.”

To all women who’ve experienced this pain or not; YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN PLAYTHINGS. Your free choice in the greatest treasure available.

To all men who’ve fought the battle and attained your woman’s free choice; Congratulations!

The Social Media Shield

Shielding the ability to make assumptions through the use of the computer is an injustice. Social media provides a glimpse into people but in no way provides a complete picture. Yet the idea we can make decisions of absolute certainty about people based on the small glimpse through the shield of the computer is; in essence; denying the humanity of people.

A man may genuinely be a soft soul; who’d never harm anything; yet makes one statement to this very core of who he is and it gets assumed he’s hunting for carnal delights. This isn’t to say; he’d turn it down; but this is a man who easily respects others and doesn’t get unreasonably upset when interest isn’t returned.

A woman may be genuinely interested in subjects that historically are predominately male and express her opinion in this arena. This shouldn’t be a call to arms to defend the male cave; especially if she knows what she’s talking about.

When we allow ourselves to respond unreasonably to a moment’s strong emotion, we make of ourselves victims of assumptions that do harm; mostly to ourselves. We may push away those who’d be the best in our lives for the sake of a momentary, emotional belief; this is unusual so might be trouble. Trouble is nowhere in the vicinity of the mind of the speaker yet the wall of difference that slams up between keeps understanding away.

It is our willingness to take a moment, let the emotion settle and let reason reign that allows us the opportunity to connect to those who could be the best our lives come into contact with. They may be different from the normal but that could be the very thing your own life needs to find real fulfillment.

It the interest of fairness there is the potential that real harm exists but to lay a generalization that; where one person in a particular group may be interested in causing harm, it colors the opinions of the rest is unreasonable. Blinding ourselves with generalizations and not be willing to gauge on an individual basis may have the consequence of chasing away the good and inviting the bad free reign in your life.

Stand in gale, holding on for dear life. The first to offer a hand of assistance is the man you’ve spent years assuming is a terrible soul. The second is the man you don’t know but assumed was the gentlest of people. As the gale intensifies and threatens to blow you into the sea, it is the man with the sour look on his face who finds the will to fight for you. The other turns and looks to himself.

This; in itself; is a small glimpse and people change through experience. The one who was good was confronted with a real threat and balked. The one who was sour may’ve become this person through lifelong experience with others assuming bad things but found his heart to try when tested. In the end a life was saved in the face of wrong assumptions.

The next scenario involves a man who needs help but with something unique. In order for this man to find the help he needs, he must remain silent. The answer to his trouble will come from the one who has the desire and willingness to understand he is hurt and not the uncaring soul everyone assumes he is. This is a man who needs something he cannot seek out but simply hope relief will come from one who finds him important enough to pay attention to.

In the end we can only do the best we can but that is, the question I must ask; are we doing the best we can or allowing ourselves to be complacent and allow the pain of assumptions to continue?

Nearsighted!

I’m comfortable. Got my phone/tablet is front of my eyes and I’m making connections to people. That’s an intesting tidbit. I’ll like that. I like that pic of the puppy.

“Ugh…ouch…stop it!”

“What was that? Didn’t catch it. Did you know So-and-So is marrying Mr. So-and-So? Your favorite artist just released a new song. It’s good. Why aren’t you answering?”

Ugh. I have to take my eyes off my phone/tablet. So inconsiderate!

“Huh? Why are you bleeding? Answer me!”

Got to get up from my comfortable spot and shake your shoulder. Cold. Why is that?

“You’re dead?”

Can’t deal. Get comfortable again. Insert attention to the phone/tablet again. This world’s much better. That’s another pic I’ll like.

Motivation to open one’s mouth vs. intent to cause harm

There’s a blurred line that’s getting wider by the day between the need to call someone out for committing harm just for the crime of opening their mouth to express an opinion. The freedom of speech was made into to a right for the purpose of protecting a person’s right to say unpopular things. If it was only popular speech that’s allowed we wouldn’t need the constitutional right. Our society is getting too far away from the demand that people grow thicker skins against the words people say. It’s only the actions taken we have a right to judge. This is not to say I agree with what comes out of some people’s mouths but I do respect their right to say it. If I don’t want to hear it, I have the right to walk away.

This being said; I do think a few topics can be looked at from the perspective; speech equtes to action. I don’t think we need to throw people into the snake pit but some aggressive counseling might be needed. I read recently about a female public figure taking heat over social media because she was supporting something important to her. The verbal abuse she took was unwarranted and the speech aimmed at her terrifying. I do not belittle the emotions she experienced but I read, she intends to seek legal action without determining if the words thrown were accompanied by evidence that action was to follow.

We’ve gone backwards as a society if we’re allowed to take action against someone just because we were frightened for a moment by the words they say. We can’t have it both ways. If we say a person has a right to speak, whatever comes out of their mouths; then we can’t become unreasonably responsive just because we don’t like what they have to say. We simply need to be aware if the speech has a serious potential to become action.

I also question the motives of several public figures when they race to the defense of someone who was the target of unfriendly words. Many seek the podium to express on air, their outrage, and demand a person’s life be ripped apart because they said a word. When does the soapbox drama end for the sake of someone’s ability to keep their name in the spotlight vs. the person they seek to victimize because that person expressed their opinion?

It is a sad truth that many of our greatest social issues are kept in the spotlight by those who can’t stand the idea of returning to mediocrity if the issue were allowed to die a natural death by being put on the back burner where it should be. We need to change the focus of importance. We wouldn’t need a library full of laws if we could put things into proper perspective.

It isn’t as important to break people down to subsets then write a mountain of laws to protect each subset. We just need to change how we view the basic laws. Murder is murder regardless of who was killed. How it was done is important for the technicalities of the law and for those whose job it is to determine penalty. The why, is also important for the same reasons. What we don’t need is a thousand people coming out and saying it was worse because the victim was part of a particular subset and the perpetrator another. One person killed another. It doesn’t get worse than that.

Our need to overdramatize kills the very foundation of what the law is meant to do. The law is meant to break things down to the logical and keep emotion out of it. Emotion is what leads to false imprisonment. Emotion leads to people being punished to a greater or lesser degree than the crime warrants. Then there’s the whole concept of punishing people for taking advantage of a right and calling it a crime.

Two people expressing opposing opinions is healthy. The only time it becomes worrisome is one one side or the other is prepared to use a battering ram to run their opinion down the other’ s throat until they change their minds. The process of friendly debate keeps our society running but when someone isn’t willing to say; “It’s possible my opponent is right and it’s possible I’m wrong,” then it has the potential to turn from words into action.

Keep on believing in what’s important to you. Talk about it in an uplifting way to help others see its merits. Credibility in arguments is lost the moment too much emotion is allowed to infect the words. Emotion is a great motivator or a brace to hold you up but it can be a wall you run into at full speed the moment you let it out of your control.

Be wise, speak your minds to your hearts content and chill out about the words people use. The emotions built, to cry foul at the words, may blind you to the real problem coming right behind them.

C’mon Guys!!!

In response to recent events in the news, I have to say; “C’Mon Guys!”

To be fair it must be said; when men post photos of women it’s their way of showing their appreciation. This is understood. But when did we decide respect doesn’t matter? Fighting against the blood flow when it travels south is rough; I know. The fight is worth it for the sake of basic respect. I’ve yet to run into many girls that don’t appreciate being appreciated for how they look. I’ve also yet to run into many women who take it well to have nude photos posted without the RESPECT of asking. To take pictures of unconcious women and share them with others is RAPE gentlemen.

I say; post all the pictures you want, if the girl has been asked; then granted permission. There’s nothing wrong with this; regardless of stuffy, old-fashioned opinions. If we’ve made the choice women are free to make there own choices then we can’t complain just because they choose to go against the norm.

I also say; it’s worth it to fight against the “STUPID” that affects us mortal men and think about showing the respect women deserve. Your lives will be better for it. We’ve come too far as humans to keep getting caught by the animal side of our natures.

It’s very hard to be a man who shows respect for women and keep running into the wall of distrust built because of idiotiotic behavior. I understand it’s hard to fight the spur of the moment decision but you need to ask yourselves; are the consequences truly worth it, when you take what you think is a simple picture and share with your friends, and it lands you in jail?

Her voice on the subject needs; and deserves; to be heard!!!

A Little exerpt from my new story

This is a little more than the one page I was mentioning. It’s roughly 3 pages but gives a good taste; I think; of where I’m going with it. The story will eventually lead into the fantasy elements I enjoy using. Please tell me if you like it or not.

The title I’m working with right now is, The Hidden Paths to Power. The story is about a girl who has some horrible experiences but leads her onto a path she could never have guessed possible.

Part One

We stood there, facing each other on the cusp of a war between us. I displayed all the rage and hate I could at the boy who would lead me down a path I could not have foreseen. He stared back with as much hate because I refused to give him what he wanted.

Now he was poised to take his anger out on the world and it would be my job to stop him. Why were we at such odds? That was tough for me to answer because I didn’t live in his head so could only speculate about why he felt the issues between us were worth the cost to innocents; who had nothing to do with us. I wouldn’t have anything to do with him if he didn’t force our confrontations.

As I stood there waiting to see what he would do next, I thought back to when it began…

I suppose the real beginning was when we started high school together. We’d been in the same schools since kindergarten but had little in common. If I forced my brain to remember I think Ryan Gilpatrick and, I; Deana Boller, talked maybe five times before high school. I don’t believe I flaunted the fact that I was the blonde, popular girl. I went to school, hung out with my friends and never went out of my way to be mean to anyone.

We lived in Aurora, Colorado which meant the population of kids to socialize with was huge. Was I supposed to feel bad because one boy slipped my notice?

The start of our freshman year in high school was nerve-wracking for all those who were entering a new world. I spent my days just getting used to the environment and the difficulty of the work. I was chased by nearly every boy but I hadn’t allowed boys to take up my concentration because I had a legacy to uphold and it was important to me to uphold that legacy.

The four girls I called my best friends were all I wanted. Where in the rulebook does it say that if someone gains an obsession with you; you’re obligated to give that person your attention? Maybe much of what occurs later could have been prevented had I been aware of this issue.

That, I think, is where the real issue started. I didn’t even know Ryan well and it hadn’t been a priority for me.

That’s no excuse for how he reacted. Half of our freshman year was in the history books when I came to school one morning to see Trevor McShane; the school bully; harassing Ryan. I can’t say that I wouldn’t do the same thing as I did even knowing what I know now.

Ryan was the school target for all the mean things anyone wished to dish out because he let others bully him. I never joined in as I saw Ryan for what he had the potential to be. He was the smartest kid in school and had a fondness for inventing gadgets. Unfortunately this love of the mechanical left Ryan with little desire to get out and run or play a sport; or anything that would give him some muscle.

I came up behind Trevor saying, “You look like a dork holding him like that. Why don’t you let him go and stop looking like a fool?”

Trevor let go of Ryan and spun around, “I think I’m going to get a kiss from you in payment for sticking your nose in my business, blondie.”

I got a little perturbed as I responded, “I’d rather kiss the droppings left by Mr. Carter’s rats.”

Trevor decided that my being a girl didn’t rank high on his priority list and he swung his fist. Having a dad who was a tad overprotective of his little girl meant that I had been in lessons since I could walk on how to protect myself. I ducked the clumsy swing and came up with my books to his nose and my knee to his groin. It was interesting to see which part of his body he felt the need to protect with his hands as he slumped to the ground.

This situation quickly gained the notice of the hall monitor when he finally showed himself. The black guy who was supposed to be keeping an eye on this part of the school took the three of us into the office. Trevor had a reputation as a bully so it didn’t take long to convince the vice-principal Mr. Fredericks who started everything. Trevor was suspended for three days. I was suspended for a day which was mostly to appease Trevor’s mom who felt her little boy was just the most precious person and couldn’t possibly have deserved what he got. I was taken out for a nice dinner by my parents after they heard about it.

The troubles with Ryan began shortly after that. At first it was just him showing his appreciation for me sticking up for him. Then he would find excuses to be around me all the time. I explained as gently as I could that he didn’t need to carry on about it. It really started to become an issue when Ryan’s brown-haired head would appear frequently near my house during the summer.

Then came the week of homecoming during our sophomore year.

Ryan found the courage somewhere to approach me and ask me to the dance. I saw that he dressed nice for the occasion and I was touched by the flower he brought to go along with the asking. I didn’t want to embarrass him so I asked him to follow me to a secluded place by the school. When I was sure no one was listening I told him I wasn’t going to the dance. I tried to let him down gently.

I guess some could say that what came of that moment I should have seen but I didn’t. I saw his face fall but I didn’t see anything to indicate where things would go from there. Ryan called in sick for the rest of the week. I wasn’t sure how to feel. I talked with my mom and she even agreed I handled it well since I didn’t go out of my way to hurt him.

Copyrighted by D.A. Smith 2014

It’s a new day!

I recently republished all my stories and feel I have them the way I want them. I hope those who read the books do so with pleasure. All the links along the left side will take you to the books that most interest you. Though I don’t stick to one genre all my stories have one common element. Strong women characters. Even my first, Old Powers Reborn. Though the main character is a man the lead female character is a strong woman with much to admire. Most of my stories have mature elements in them but I hope people see that they have a point; that they aren’t thrown in to be gratuitous. Be well, take care of our world and write me if you wish.