Millstones and Milestones

Seventeen. My oldest daughter would have turned seventeen last week. Seventeen seems like such an unimportant birthday. You became legal to drive the year before, and it will be another year before you are an adult. Seventeen is just seventeen.

As I sit here at the park watching my boys and my little girl play at the park, I can’t help but think there is more to being seventeen. This year would be the last she would be a child. Responsibilities sh e will never have to face would be looming around the corner. Decisions about the future would need addressing. She does not have to worry about any of that, but I wish she did.

This morning might have opened with a big breakfast, if we could get her out of bed, and she would have gotten hugs and kisses until she told us to go away. We wouldn’t listen. A dinner of her choosing and a cake made by her mom (or maybe her brother since he loves to bake) would end the day. Would she go out with her friends, or would she stay home with her family? I don’t know, and I never will.

My wife asked me if it would ever stop hurting. I told her no. It will always hurt when those two lonely milestones come around.

For my part the grief for her, my Hailey, hangs about my heart like a millstone grinding away at the wheat of my soul with a slow persistence that I may never be rid of entirely.

Thankfully, I have my wife and children to keep me whole. They are the light that chases away the darkness that wants to feed the destructive urges that lurk beneath the surface. They may never know exactly how much I love them, but I try to show them and tell them every day.

Beyond the Darkside, 29-7 to 11


Aldric stripped down until he was naked before the shower. He turned his head to look at the mirror and appreciated his appearance. If not for all of the blood he could have appeared on any health magazine. The lower gravity of the moon made movement fare less stressful on the body, and there were plenty of people who took advantage of that and let themselves devolve into soft, squishy people, as featureless as they were boring. “Evan is one of those people,” Adlric thought aloud. “Was. Was one of those people,” he corrected himself. He was glad the little nerd was dead, but he wished he could have strangled the runt himself.

Aldric never let the gravity differential get in the way of staying in good shape. The use of artificial gravity fields and resistance bands allowed him to remain lean and strong. Well defined muscle stood out beneath his taught skin. The accident and his subsequent recovery had limited Aldric’s time at the gym, but his appearance defied suggested the opposite. He was in the best shape of his life and he felt as healthy as ever.

He shook his head and grimaced. He was amazing and Evan was a simpering dough-boy. Why had Margaret chosen him? Why had she come back? Couldn’t she have just died like she deserved. It was bad enough that Aldric couldn’t shake the feeling of Evan still being alive, but to be confronted in his building by that slut was just too much for a man of his superiority to swallow. Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside, 29-7 to 11”

Beyond the Darkside, 29-5 and 6

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He stumbled into his bathroom and stared at the mirror. He looked like hell with his bloodshot eyes, the spattered blood covering his face and hands, and the caked and matted hair plastered to his skull. Thankfully, he managed to get his shirt off as soon as he got to his room. It was a wretched stinking mess of blood and viscera. He did not want to see it in the mirror any more than he wanted to spell the stink of it.


The shower attached to his office was a luxury few could afford. The cost of importing was still high despite the progress in lunar self-sufficiency that he championed. Soon it would no longer matter. All of earth’s resources would be at his fingertips and people would pay whatever he asked to bring it to the moon. The project would pay for itself in a matter of months. Of course that assumed that he did what he told his shareholders.


The truth was far more ruthless. Why aim for being the master of the moon when he could conquer Terra and the rest of the solar system along with it. His ambitions were never so lofty before, but his near death experience left him realizing he could so much more. Why waste his time and efforts giving other a chance to be more when he could give them a new sense of direction. He would give them a purpose that they never knew they needed and in time they would see him as God amongst men.


Its Been A Year and the Loss is Still Painful

It was a year ago today that my friend Jan Marie passed away. I didn’t find out until ten days later. I spoke to a mutual friend who was also worried about her and suggested that she check the local paper just in case. Sure enough Jan’s obituary was posted online and confirmed what we were worried about. Having my fears confirmed left a hollow place in my chest and that emptiness still persists.

I never met Jan face to face, but we chatted online on an almost daily basis and frequently spoke on the phone. She was a good friend and a huge supporter of my writing. She designed and created the cover for my first book and my second book as well, but more than that she encouraged me when few others did. Jan loved my family as if it were her own and often sent things she had found or created that she thought we would enjoy. She was special to me and I will never forget the smiles she brought to my face.

Despite the happiness and support she brought me, she struggled to see the value in her own work and life. She struggled with physical and mental disabilities that so many people would have succumbed to. She was estranged from her family, but when her mood was good and she was in a positive cycle you could tell she loved them but struggled to express it.

It was ironic that a woman of such limitless creativity struggled to find a way to communicate with others. Her passions were immense and her principles uncompromising. Often we would speak and I would try to help her understand that people made mistakes and should be given another chance, but I think I could learn something from the way she would not bow to pressure or let people live to a standard that fell short of her own. She could be harsh and demanding, but there was pain and beauty beneath that exterior and I only wish that more people could have known it.

She would have loved seeing the way my kids have grown in the last year, and I am sure she would have sent me dozens of emails with promotional materials for my new book, but she is gone and I can’t help but feel poorer for the loss of her company even though I am far richer for having known her.

God Bless you, Jan. I hope you have found peace at last and that the pain is a long distant memory.

Book Review: Epona


Amelia remembered the first time she stepped into the stables belonging to the Frenchman. They had been pristine. His barns were built of not wood but of stone and mortar, which held them together well, despite the cold climate. The stalls were kept so clean that the horses never had a speck of dirt on them, even after being contained in them for some time. The men who took care of the horses lived in housing that was contained inside of the barn. She and her father would live in an apartment above the barn with one bedroom, a bath and kitchenette. Everyone who worked with the horses ate together in the mess which was a hundred feet away from the barn and the hay.

The first thing Amelia saw when she entered the barn, was a statue of a woman. The statue sat on a table leaning against a tall post in the middle of the barn. Both dried and fresh roses fell around it and on it and made it appear to be a shrine. The sweet smell of perfume from the roses permeated the room. The aroma surrounding the image produced a tickling sensation on her skin that Amelia had never experienced in her short life. The statue appeared to be a stout woman in a robe, sitting in front of a horse that lay down with its head resting in her lap. Amelia remembered touching the shrine and experiencing the sensation of knowing the woman. Suddenly she stood in a meadow

Robin Whitten. Epona (Kindle Locations 91-101). Jupiter Gardens Press. Kindle Edition.

Book Review





Epona by Robin Whitten

Life is messy and none of us has any real control over our own lives. If we are lucky we are able to surround ourselves with the things we love and the people we love so that life can be enjoyable. Robin Whitten’s novella, Epona, is the story of Amelia and the way her life was effected by horses. Continue reading “Book Review: Epona”

A Whisper at Midnight – A Christmas Ghost Story

 This a re-post of a short story I wrote years ago. I intended to have a sequel written for this year, but I’ve been busy getting things closed up with my old job and getting ready for my new one, so here is my personal classic.  Enjoy.


“Psst! Wayne! Are you there?” That is what I heard every night at midnight since I had taken the job at Heceta Head Lighthouse.

“Like I would be anywhere else,” I grumbled back. It had been a rough day and I really wasn’t in the mood to chat with Victoria, the ghost who lived in my new home.

“Oh good, I was afraid you wouldn’t be here tonight. I had the most wonderful day and just had to tell you about it.” Victoria had the uncanny ability to disregard my mood all together. I wasn’t sure if it was a ghost thing or just a Victoria thing, but she ignored my mood entirely and talked to me like I was in the same mood she was in, no matter what her mood was.

“Alright, just let me make some coffee before you start telling me so I can pay attention.” I had fallen back asleep once when she was talking to me and she did not take too kindly to that. When I had woken up the next morning my refrigerator had been unplugged and the door left wide open. Everything had spoiled overnight and my kitchen smelled like a landfill. The next night she acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about, but I know it was her. I threw on a thick robe and stumbled into the kitchen and fixed some coffee and a bagel, all the while Victoria just floated behind me, waiting patiently for me to listen. Continue reading “A Whisper at Midnight – A Christmas Ghost Story”

Thankful For What I Have and What I Have Lost


I really didn’t intend to write a Thanksgiving post. To me those sort of posts seem overly sappy or completely contrived. My goal is to do neither, but I think I may end up more on the side of sappy, so bear with me, okay?

I am so thankful for my family. I have a beautiful wife that loves me despite the fact that I am such a screw up. She stands by my side and supports me in everything I do, even when my choices are not always the best. I love you, Tracy. Continue reading “Thankful For What I Have and What I Have Lost”

Book Review: Done With Death

While Chuck was pulling out of the driveway and driving away from Sarah and her list of his amazing characteristics or lack thereof, the neighbor’s brand new kitten ran away, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, straight into the path of Chuck’s oncoming car. Chuck’s last living words where “Are you fucking kidding me?” as he hit his brakes and in doing so, at 45 miles an hour, managed to kill yet another cat, while his front tires rolled off the car, plunging both vehicle and driver straight into a tree. Chuck was thrown through the windshield and instantly broke his neck on the oldest oak tree in the neighborhood, which Number Sixteen had conveniently saved from being cut down during last month’s neighborhood planning meeting.

 This was how Chuck met his demise.

Dead and not really knowing it, Chuck stood there, staring at his car and the body of a person he feared he may have hit and killed, lying at the base of the tree.

“Hey man, you okay?” Yelled a voice from across the street. Chuck looked up to see a kid with long red curly hair and glasses in a plaid shirt, standing there smiling at him.

And this was when Chuck met Number Sixteen, the kid who had been mocking him in Halo during the past week, and the person who had received Chuck’s file. “Looks pretty bad from over here man. Are you doing okay?”

“Call 911, I think I just killed someone.”

Number Sixteen began to laugh out loud, walking over to the scene of the accident.

“You did kill someone, Chuck…” He leaned down and looked at Chuck’s dead body. “Looks like you just killed yourself man.”

Chuck’s eyes widened as he looked down at the body in front of him. Realizing this kid was telling the truth, he began to panic.

“But, but…Oh my God, but am I? No I’m not. Wait! Are you telling me…I’m dead?”

“Dead as a doornail, man!” The kid shook his head and continued. “Not bad work if you ask me. It took a little bit of planning, but got to say, it all went pretty damn smooth. I should be getting a promotion for this one! I even took out two cats to make this all happen, you should be feeling so proud of this! A death as well-planned as yours is what my coworkers strive to achieve their whole careers…. oh wait, man I am so sorry. I forget myself. This is so new to you.”

Normally, Chuck’s mind could comprehend intense situations. But then again this was the first time his brain had ever seen itself sprawled on the ground.

David Babineau (0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00). Done With Death (Kindle Locations 91-110). Same Size Shoe. Kindle Edition.
Book Review Done With Death

To quote a favorite movie, “Death is just the beginning.” When death comes calling and you leave your body behind, what happens? Are there Angels of unsurpassed beauty waiting to greet you at Heaven’s pearly gates or is there a host of demons  preparing for your arrival with a bath of fire?  Up and down are the only two options most people consider, but what about that grey area in the middle? Continue reading “Book Review: Done With Death”

Twelve Years and So Much Has Changed

Hailey Swett, Leukemia
Hailey Swett: Day 1

Twelve Years ago yesterday, July 7th, my first born, Hailey Thompson Swett, was born. It was my proudest moment and I couldn’t believe I had a daughter of my own. Tracy and I did not find out what we were having before the birth, and I was sure it was a boy. I was surprised when it turned out to be a girl, but in a good way. She was perfect and I loved her with my entire being. Continue reading “Twelve Years and So Much Has Changed”

100-Word Challenge, Day 240

“No shit! Why do you think we’ve kept you locked away in here?” The man grabbed Evan by the collar and dragged him back to his mat on the floor. “I don’t care if you die or not, but Isis thinks you might be important, so I would appreciate it if you would just lie here and wait like a good boy.” He emphasized the last two words with another pair of kicks.

Evan sputtered and coughed as he clutched at his ribs. “Stop. I’ll stay put. I didn’t know,” he said.

“Stupid ass.” The man walked to the door and opened it wide. “Don’t expect any more food today. You’ve screwed that up for yourself.” The man left the room and slammed the door shut behind him.


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