Published 8:49 am Thursday, May 31, 2018

“Unexpected Behavior”

By Kevin F. Wishon

Dating is supposed to be an enjoyable time when you get to know someone. On the other hand, how well do you know someone until you have seen this person outside of their comfort zone? A trial or stress may disclose more about a person than ten dates may reveal.

When I was new to dating, I quickly discovered this fact. At that time, a woman I was dating shared with me her favorite date ideas as a hint for future outings. I was thankful for her help. It took the stress out of the decision-making process and made it easier for me. I did not care what we did, but when she told me she wanted to visit a Halloween horror exhibit, I was delighted. I had never attended a haunted horror show and was sure I would enjoy one or so I thought.

In mid-October, we arrived at a warehouse after 9:30 PM. Forty-five minutes later, we were still standing in line waiting. Most of the crowd was anxious, but my date was excited, and it made the delay bearable. Additionally, because of her positive mood, I had no reason to suspect things were about to change. Eventually, the show began, and the lights dropped to total darkness. After our eyes adjusted to the dark, the group we were with proceeded in pairs towards a dimly lit doorway. This door led into a long hallway. Within moments, the group we were walking with ran ahead of us in terror. My date and I were clueless until a hand from within the hallway wall reached out and grabbed her. Unexpectedly, she screamed, turned, and ran into me knocking me into the hallway wall and bruising me.

After this fright, it took me a minute to convince her to complete the walk. She was terrified and gripped my hand so hard it ached. As we continued, with each new horrifying scene we encountered, it was the same thing, and she would turn and slam me into the wall trying to escape. Her terror filled flights bruised my hips, shoulders, and arms. Annoyed, I started holding her shoulders from behind, pushing her forward, so she couldn’t turn and run into me. This technique worked well for the remainder of the walk. While it did not stop her moments of panic, it did prevent further collisions.

Eventually, we walked into the final area, which consisted of numerous plastic wrapped mannequins – chained and hanging by their feet from the ceiling. We floundered through the sea of hanging bodies seeking an exit when we heard a chainsaw crank behind us. The chainsaw accelerated with its unmistakable roar, and my date fled in terror leaving me behind to find my way. Several moments later, I found the exit and stumbled out into the cold October night air. My date was standing among the people with whom we had initially started the walk. They were still recovering from the fright.

     Most of the visual scenes I encountered that night were not so much scary as humorous. However, I found my date’s behavior less than amusing. She had seemed eager to be frightened, but when she was, she became hysterical. With this revelation in mind, I kept our future dates silly and straightforward.


By Gaye Hoots

The sun is shining as

I savor my coffee and

Appreciate being pain-free.

I walk next door where

Three of my beautiful

Granddaughters greet me.

The twins are eager to

Discover life’s mysteries.

I want to freeze frame this.

Life is fleeting,

My phone buzzes,

A picture of a granddaughter,

Lost to us too soon.

A baby begs for my arms.

My mood improves.

The phone again,

My sister recovering

From a stroke,

Headed back to

The hospital.

Thinking of Faye,

I watch the babies play.

The phone again.

My daughter needs my help.

We make a plan.

The babies climb

Into my lap.

One wants me,

The other wants my phone.

I hold them tight.

They need me less,

Every day.

I smile and put

My phone away


By Marie Craig

I have too much stuff

I am so grateful that this is my problem

Instead of being homeless or losing everything

Today I’ll tackle some of the surplus

And either throw it away or give it away

Here I come, unneeded merchandise

Oh, here’s my book that listed all my wedding gifts

I’ll just take a minute to remember all those treasures

I can’t get rid of this — too many special items

Here’s a receipt for $15.49 when I bought fabric,

Pattern, zipper, tiny buttons for my wedding dress

And a sample of each piece

There are our wedding picture and newspaper clipping

Which listed what everybody wore and all the guests

I had forgotten how many people signed that happy day

Gifts ranged from listed china and silver to a bust of Mozart

I should check off the things I still have

No, I must keep going in my down-sizing

I’ll put this back on the shelf right beside the book of photos

That’s a keeper, now I need to find a loser

I have a feeling that may be difficult to do

“Unexpected Behavior”