Philotorials – A Creation of Author Louis Berry

Philosophical editorials are the unique creation of author Louis Berry, but everyone is invited to participate. Brief passages will discuss how our everyday existence clashes with that which is meant to enhance our experience of eternity.

Louis’ novels “There’s Something in a Name,” and “Erstwhile” can be purchased from Amazon sites worldwide.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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Is the Earth Hell in Disguise?

Metaphorically speaking, for the humans that occupy the orb the answer is an obvious “yes.” One cannot imagine a place in the universe whereby beings are made to perform menial tasks daily that yields nothing more than a token reward … and we’ve been convinced this is a noble pursuit. Purposeful distractions occupy the mind in order to keep it from venturing beyond the physical existence that seems so vital, but has very little bearing on the eternal existence we are all experiencing.

Religions across the globe teach of hell and all it holds for us. Ancient texts speak of a hell that embodies both extreme heat and cold. The earth has both. It is not until human beings embrace these teachings and convert them into the use that best suits them that we learn of the fire and brimstone that awaits those who go against the teachings of God. Why would this be necessary if the earth truly is the final state of existence for a wayward soul? So that those who desire to exert influence will instill fear in their followers of a circumstance worse than the one they are currently experiencing … and become controlled.

Unadulterated use of one’s mind must always take note of the counter-argument; what about all of the good in the world? Religion teaches us that heaven is a place of perfection. Given all of the imperfections in the physical world, we must apply the synonym “purity” when describing the existence to which we all aspire. Earth does not hold this type of existence and never has. Only those who are pure of thought and free of anything greater than the most basic of desires are our children.

There are two points in our existence when humans desire a perfect existence; when we are young have our entire lives ahead of us, and as we approach that inevitable day when our flesh will die and make way for the energy that resides in us all to free itself of the many imperfections we’ve endured over the decades, and move into an eternal existence; a pure one.

Constant circulation of energy around the earth intertwines itself among the planet’s many inhabitants in a spider’s web that encases and entraps those who pursue a merely physical existence. Wanton desires can only be overcome shifting one’s focus from the basic needs to sustain a physical life to those that will ensure an eternal one. If one cannot, or will not, make the distinction between the two they will be damned to repeat the life cycle again. This will be manifested in one of two ways; either by experiencing reincarnation of the spiritual soul doomed to inhabit another physical manifestation anchored to the planet, or by being anchored within the DNA of each new inhabitant that comes forth upon earth. Either’s purpose is to allow those who fail in the current manifestation of life another chance at redemption. Most religions tell us that there is the possibility of salvation … an escape from hell. Yet earth occupies a spot at the edge of the universe resembling a period, the end point. It is our duty to expand our mind beyond this existence, and embrace the eternal … and give our children the same freedom from tyranny.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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My Wife Calls Me a Hippie – Should That Piss Me Off?

Given my penchant for all things natural I have been given that decades old moniker by my soul-mate. At first, since I am a child of the sixties, it was welcomed, even going so far as to imagine myself with long hair and a tie-died t-shirt. As I began to digest the history of hippies I began to take offense. The hippie generation began with the first children of the Baby Boomers; those born after World War II. Certainly, stories of the horrors of war were passed down to this new generation and they wanted nothing to do with it when it came time for them to serve during Vietnam. Obviously, there were those of the same generation who did serve … and die in a faraway land.

A lifetime of experience has taught me that war is about nothing more than money and resources. Insatiable lust for “more” keep the bombs falling all over the globe, fueled by public sentiment as a result of mainstream media conjured fear that someone wants to kill us all. This degradation has not suddenly occurred. It has developed over the last four decades; those in which the hippie generation were in control. During that time corporate profits were deemed to only have to increase, lest one be called a failure. How can that possibly make sense, when we all understand that the earth has a finite amount of resources. So, in order for those elements to which we exert control increase, someone else’s must decrease, and therein lies the parasitic nature of the human race.

Exacerbating things even further is the understanding that in order for corporate profits to continually increase the money supply must do the same. The amount of money in each of  the consumers’ collective pockets must increase, which fuels inflation, which in turn destroys the wealth accumulated over the lifetimes of the working class. Evil created by an incessant need for “more” by the ruling class.

I’ve seen several documentaries about how hippies have brought about many positive changes to our society due to their free thinking, and breaking down the status quo. But why would a true hippie need to force products onto people that were well beyond their basic needs; the main tenant of hippie-ism for those living on collectives? Instead, after emerging from their drug induced haze they figured out they actually have to produce something to get by in this world. And, with the same zest for life with which they railed against illegitimate wars they pursued corporate board rooms. Now, at the end of their tenure and as they slowly fade into the retirement communities accompanied by vast fortunes, let us look at what they’ve accomplished. Healthcare for all, in a system where no one can opt out without being penalized, and whose rates are set to increase 20-50% in 2016; thereby crippling an already shaky economy. More recipients of food stamps than at any time in  history. $18 trillion in debt, and that’s just what they report. No one talks about the almost three hundred trillion of liabilities for the GSEs. Constant wars across the globe, regardless of what is reported on the news. Very few monopolistic corporations left to exert competitive forces onto each other for the benefit of consumers. Nearly ninety-five million U.S. citizens of working age who have given up looking. (Ever wonder how they can report unemployment at 5.3% … lies)

For those who profess to have cast away the need for material possessions in order to experience a fuller life, their generation has certainly done a number on the world. Manipulating the system such that younger generations are left holding the bag for your sizable portfolio is counter to everything your professed about your existence. The live-and-let-live attitude you espoused in the sixties has become a take-it-or-leave-it of the new millennium. The arrogance with which you prescribe how everyone else should conduct themselves is laughable. The generation subsequent to the one referred to as, “The Greatest Generation,” has its own aptly earned moniker; The Most Selfish Generation.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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What is Bitcoin Worth?

First, let’s make it perfectly clear that I am not offering any sort of investing advice. Bitcoin, and its underlying block-chain are however a very intriguing proposition. If you haven’t availed yourself of the plethora of articles and Youtube videos describing exactly what Bitcoin is and how it works, do yourself a favor and educate yourself to this potentially life-changing phenomenon.

It cannot be emphasized enough when looking at Bitcoin one must divorce themselves from what we’ve been taught qualifies as a currency. The coin itself is merely a measure of the transactional capabilities of the underlying structure. It does have value, and that’s what I’ve been contemplating for the last year. How do you know how much each Bitcoin is worth?

For so long I have tried to view Bitcoin like I would a stock, and it’s very hard for me to invest in any financial instrument that is trading over $100, let alone $200. But this is not a stock; it’s a global network meant to facilitate the movement of money across the globe with much less friction that the current system. I’ve never been one to prescribe to religious teachings for anything more than historical context. However, if the story of Jesus over-turning the money changers’ tables is true (and even if it’s not) than the vig charged by banks has been a societal issue for thousands of years.

Since anyone who buys Bitcoin is purchasing a piece of the network that enables global financial transactions, I personally believe that when must break that network down to its least common denominator. In this case it’s called a Satoshi. When you look at a Bitcoin, its value is stated as 1.00000000. The zero the farthest to the right is a Satoshi, and if anyone wants to send a transaction across the network, you must own at least that denomination on which to piggy-back the transaction. That is why you cannot separate the Bitcoin from the underlying block-chain. So, that Satoshi has to have some value, right? So how do we place a value on it?

I’ll start with how much it would cost to wire a thousand dollars from Orlando, FL to Hong Kong via Western Union. Per their website, the least one would be charged for this transfer is $12. If we place that as a value for the one Satoshi, that would mean each Bitcoin would be worth $1.2 billion dollars.

Obviously, the purpose of Bitcoin is to remove the friction from the system, so that valuation would be well overstated. However, there has to be some value to this new network … and coin. Even if that Satoshi was worth a penny, the value of each Bitcoin would be one million dollars.

Am I saying that these values should be considered fair values? Of course not. However, it does illustrate that there is a great deal of value in the network that has already been built, and seeks out innovation and acceptance. One thing I have learned in my life is that when someone looks me in the eye and tells me, “This is the best alternative for you.” The passion with which they try to transfer “need” to me is nothing more than a reflection of their own wanton desires. When financial experts tell you, via the main stream media, that Bitcoin is worthless, take the opportunity to think for yourself. No one else will.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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Knowledge and Understanding

Knowledge and understanding offers one the opportunity to assess exactly what happens in the world around them. Universal energy varies to the degree that it inhabits each human on earth, and its emission from those beings are in direct contrast to the pure expression sought by individuals.

When animals coalesce in a societal framework, the law of nature dictates that the weaker will benefit from the strong. Only those who have adequate intellect can see the strains in the fabric. Those who control the life’s blood of that society have the power to distract the uneducated with glitzy bobbles that flash in one’s eyes and keep the mind occupied and distracted. In this environment every expression of human desire is manifested in that which stimulates the physical. When humans feel the lack of accomplishment in their souls, they then seek out self-approval through vicarious successes performed by other individuals or groups. This completes the cycle that those in control salivate over, because it renders a large segment of the population useless to offer resistance. Slowly, the pressure builds until the structure becomes vulnerable and it breaks.

Age and experience, or lack thereof, dictates those who are easily swayed by those controlling the mainstream. Shunning of propaganda can only be accomplished by removing one’s mind from the dogmatic influence of those who wish to merely profit, while presenting a friendly, benevolent air.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

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The Universe’s Energy Resides in Us All

Human age and that of the universe stand in stark contrast. Our physical presence and its endurance can be compared to the size of a snowflake versus our Earthly atmosphere. Questions about how we can extend our existence beyond death have raged since man’s development of consciousness.

As we age our bodies become less flexible, strong, and generally decay; which is in direct contradiction to the energy that continues to grow within each of us. A myriad of experiences continues to grow throughout life; however, they are nothing more than mere puzzle pieces scattered about in our conscious and sub-conscious minds like so many stars in the heavens.

Energy must be concentrated in order to exert its most influential effect. There are so many facets of energy, positive and negative, that are attracted to that which resides in others. What’s difficult is the recognition when associations become counterproductive. That recognition is made more difficult because the aspect of the energy of an associate, that might be detrimental to our growth, also resides in us. However, that person may make that portion of his soul the dominant, and it is recessive within ourselves; but still recognizable and comfortable.

Lovers will come and go, but once the right energy comes into your life, and compliments that which you embrace, all others become irrelevant. Experiences turn from respective to prospective. What awaits you both, in an infinite future together, is only limited by human imagination. That, can only pale in comparison to reality.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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Mythical or Mainstream – Which are You?

There is a very fine edge on which what is real and what is mythical come together and create the necessary environment to propel one’s soul into its deserved eternal state. Most humans chase that ethereal mist in all the wrong places, which is no fault of their own. We have been conditioned to accept the mainstream ideals that perpetuate this notion. Only through experiencing life in its most basic can we allow ourselves the opportunity to bond physically, through sex, and emotionally, with that person who helps us achieve a heightened state of awareness.

Mainstream forces will have you believe that which you cannot touch is embodied within the notion of celebrity they’re peddling. A broad brush may be able to cover the needs one has to find a compliment to their own existence, but only sloppily so. Sadly, by allowing this to happen it removes focus from what is truly important. Subscribing to mainstream propaganda will accomplish nothing throughout one’s life. It only bloats our understanding of what life should be. What’s most dangerous in subscribing to such nonsense is that it forces us to place our faith in images that embody nothing more than a fragile existence.

For those of us who have been fortunate to lead a long and fulfilled life we understand that as time draws nigh that which is important can be counted on less than a single hand. As we age we discard the synthetic in favor of that which is genuine. Our circle of friends decreases to only those we can communicate with honestly; and we are thankful for that understanding.

Only our imagination can create a vision of what awaits us after we die, but we choose to believe it will be an extension of our bound souls. Healthy bodies beget healthy souls, and it is incumbent upon those who desire the most from eternity to take care of both the physical as well as the emotional being. It is that mythical existence that we all crave.

Let us combine our physical and mythical selves at this moment in time in order to achieve the nirvana we crave.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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Chapter One – Louis Berry’s Novel – Erstwhile (Adult Content) NSF Young Readers

The day spent on the beach ebbed into an evening together absent the desire to move away from the comfortable energy that surrounded the couple. Richard dug in the soft white sand with a shovel as his wife ferried the evening’s fare from the house. She carried a red thermos in her left hand that contained Sangria, and a picnic basket in her right. In it were crackers and Brie with slivered almonds sprinkled on top that had been warmed in the oven. He continued to dig as Susan placed the thermos and basket onto the seat of one of the couple’s two chairs; Adirondacks that her husband bought not long after inheriting the house. They were sturdy and held up well over the years.

Richard stopped digging when he felt the hole was the right depth and width, then threw the shovel hard, blade first, into the sand pile. It stuck firmly in the heap and came to rest with the handle pointing toward him. From the house he had brought some old oak logs for the fire. They were stacked neatly in a pyramid, six feet away. Immediately upon finishing, he walked around the dunes looking for driftwood or old, dry palm fronds to use as kindling.

The couple had taken time to shower away the glaze of lotion and sweat that accumulated during the day. Each was smartly dressed. Richard had on a green plaid polo shirt that accentuated his eyes, and tan, pleated Docker shorts that displayed his muscular legs. On his feet he wore a pair of black Teva sandals.

Susan wore a sleeveless blue denim polo shirt and white shorts. Her shoulders were a red from exposure. She removed the appetizers from the basket and placed the Brie on the flat left arm of her chair, and the crackers on the right one of his.

Richard continued to search the beach while carrying a bundle of palm fronds and other small sticks cradled in his left arm. The flat heel on his sandals sank into the sand and when he rolled onto the ball of his foot, the beach that accumulated on the back of his cruiser dusted the back of his calf. His thoughts were occupied with the search, so he did not realize what was happening. Occasionally, he brushed the back of his legs with his free hand to remove what he thought were sand gnats.

When Richard felt he had enough debris to start the fire, he turned and began to walk toward the pit. He looked at his wife and the figure she cast in the late afternoon sun. The glow around her enhanced her appearance to an angelic state. He flashed the impish smile she loved. Whenever they were alone together she provided the emotional salve necessary to mollify his innate despair.

“Are you ready for a drink?” she asked, as he dropped everything he held into the fire-pit.

“Let me get the fire started and I’ll be ready,” he said.

“You look like the cat that ate the canary. What are you thinking about?”

Richard stopped what he was doing and walked over to his wife. Slowly, he raised his hands to her face and gently cradled her cheeks. Pulling her softly, but firmly toward him, he gently kissed her. Then he slowly dropped his hands away from her face and moved them toward her waist. Interlocking his fingers, he let his hands come to rest at the small of her back. He felt his love for her in every part of his body. He could only describe the feeling as celestial. To him, it bore no resemblance to the tedious nature of life. It was uplifting. Or, it might have been the high produced from looking at his beautiful wife in a bikini all day. His love for her was not purely physical, but he was drawn to her in a primal way. Richard unlaced his fingers and wrapped his arms tightly around her. “I’m sorry to squeeze so hard. It’s just that sometimes I’m so overcome with my love for you, I’d just like to melt into you.”

“How did I get so lucky?” She asked gazing into her husband’s eyes.

He loosened his embrace, kissed his wife and backed away from her. Reluctantly, he returned to the task of building the fire. The sun descended quickly toward the horizon. Its warmth waned, the winds calmed, and the waves subsided.

Richard crouched over the fire pit, then stopped working and turned to his wife. “I think I’m the lucky one. I’m not sure what I’ve done in my life to deserve someone as beautiful, intelligent and sexy as you. Maybe it was something I suffered in a past life that the cosmic energy is trying to make right.”

“I really don’t think you have to have some sort of justification or rationalization for our relationship. It is what we make it.”

He returned to the task at hand, thinking about what his wife said. When he finished stacking the wood, he carefully examined the miniature bonfire. Would the shape allow for enough oxygen to fuel the fire? Yes. Will the flames from the burning debris spread evenly over the oak limbs? It looks like they will. Richard removed a wand-lighter from his back pocket, reached into the pit and began to click the trigger rapidly. After the third pull, a blue and white flame extended from its end. He lit the debris and moved quickly to the other side and repeated the task. The rubbish caught fire swiftly. Flames curved over the oak limbs and the wood began to pop and crack. Twigs quickly burned, curled and dropped off the branches into the bottom of the pit. The embers turned quickly from a bright orange glow to gray ash as they hit the sand.

Susan moved toward her husband and handed him a glass of Sangria. He took it from her without removing his stare from the fire.

“How’s it going?” she asked.

“I think it’ll be alright. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Susan walked over to her chair and sat down, took a glass she had poured at the same time she made his and placed it on the arm of the chair. After taking a sip she sat quietly and watched him brood over the fire. He watched it burn the protruding knobs on the bark as the flames lapped over the wood. They glowed orange, then changed to a glimmering white as the heat grew more intense when the wind gusted, and then back as it died down. He sipped from his drink, and licked the excess from his lip. The firewood shifted in on itself as the debris that supported the bonfire burned away. Richard examined it carefully to make sure there was enough oxygen to sustain the fire. When he felt comfortable it had developed a life of its own, he walked over and sat in his chair.

“Would you like some brie?” his wife asked, as she reached toward him holding a cracker with a wedge of cheese on top.

“Thanks,” he said, as he took it from her and ate it in one bite. Without a word he then stood and handed his glass to his wife. She took it and looked at him curiously. Facing the chair, he leaned over and picked it up by the arms. It was heavy and he had to use the muscles in his back. He felt the soreness associated with the strain of fighting a fish earlier that day. Placing the front of the chair against his shins, he slid his feet along the sand and moved toward the fire, turning slightly before dropping the chair next to it. After helping his wife stand, Richard placed her chair facing his. They sat down. He leaned over and in quick succession pulled apart all four of the Velcro straps on his sandals, removed them and placed them on the sand next to him, before lifting his feet and resting them in his wife’s chair; one on each side. Not a word was spoken as he gently stroked her hips with his feet.

“You’re getting sand on my white pants,” Susan said, albeit hesitantly.

Buzz kill, he thought to himself as he smiled.

She placed her feet on the edge of his chair and they sat with their legs intertwined.

“We’re gonna miss the sunset.”

“The sunset can’t compare to you, dear.”

Susan smiled and took a sip of her drink. He traced the outline of her frame with his eyes, enjoying how her shirt fell open nicely, exposing her neck and chest. Richard imagined himself leaning over and gently touching his lips to her soft skin. Her shirt was unbuttoned to a point just below the bottom of her breasts, exposing a hint of cleavage. She wasn’t sure what was going through her husband’s mind, but she did know she was on display for him and relished the attention. The silence between the two spoke volumes. Neither words nor actions were necessary to feel love from one another. His eyes moved from her cleavage to her legs. He appreciated how silky her thighs were, and how they came together at her buttocks. Her calves were equally shapely and desirable. Appreciating her sensuality gave him cause to remember times when he had given his wife a full body massage. He recalled how his hands moved over her, applying enough pressure so any tension she felt drifted away. The desire for his wife became difficult to resist.

Richard finished his drink and looked around. There were a few couples on the beach enjoying the sunset.

“Would you like some more Sangria?” Susan asked, as she leaned over the arm of her chair to pick up the thermos.

“Sure,” he replied as he held out his glass. While she poured he looked at the dunes near the house. Would they provide adequate cover? They would have to wait until after dark. “Thank you,” Richard said, as his wife finished filling his glass.

“You’re welcome,” she replied and placed the thermos back on the ground.

He stared at the horizon. The bottom half of the sun was hidden by its edge. Susan shifted her body in her chair to face the setting star. “Isn’t it funny how when you look at the sun in the sky, you don’t ever see it move, but when it reaches the horizon it appears as though it’s falling off the edge of a table?” Susan asked.

“Yeah, it is amazing.” Richard thought for a moment. His tone became dazed and philosophical. “I guess the horizon gives us a point of reference to measure its movement. Do you think we’ll know when the end is near with the accuracy we do at the end of each day?”

“The only thing that scares me about death is facing it without you.”

They sat silently, staring at the glowing orb, watching as it disappeared. At the moment the last sliver of orange dropped over the horizon, Richard softly impersonated the canon used to celebrate every sunset in Key West. “Boom!”

The sky’s color ranged from light blue to black as the couple enjoyed their Sangria by the fire. When they finished the first pitcher she walked up to the house for a refill while he tended the fire. Neither was in any hurry to leave the beach. The number of passers-by dwindled the later it became. Being so close for so long without touching increased their libidos, while the alcohol they consumed lowered their inhibitions. Richard reclined his body in the chair, slung his left leg over its arm and leaned toward his wife.

“Let me ask you something.” Susan’s words were not full. She forced them from her inebriated mind and through a mouth numbed by alcohol. He didn’t notice; his head was thick for the same reason.

“What’s that?” he asked, as he slung his head, heavy with wine, looking at her through his eyebrows. Her eyes sparkled in the light from the smoldering coals. The few flames that were left created shadows that danced across her face.

“At what point in our relationship did you become committed to me?”

“Day one,” Richard answered, without hesitation.

“No,” she said. “Forget all the romantic bullshit.” The wine spoke freely for her. “There had to be something I did that gave you an indication that I was committed to you.”

Richard thought, but only briefly. “Do you remember when I came to pick you up for our weekend trip to the Bahamas?”

“Yes.”

“My mind was on all the things we had to accomplish before we left; making sure we had our luggage, the time it would take to get to the airport from your house, and God forbid, what if we forgot our tickets? As we got into the car, do you remember what you said to me?”

“No.”

“You said, ‘you can kiss the girl now.’”

Susan smiled at the recollection.

“I don’t know if you recall, but that was before we had ever made love, and that statement conveyed the sentiment that with all the distractions in the world, the most important consideration is us. Until then I never knew a relationship should be free of outside influences.”

Susan looked around the beach. It was black and difficult to see past the glare of the glowing coals. There was no one in sight. It is Sunday night. Everyone must be at home, she reasoned. The tingling began in the pit of her stomach and radiated through her extremities. Her lust took over. She stood and walked to the back of her chair, then grabbed it and pulled. Resting its weight on its back two legs she dragged it away from Richard’s chair. She then walked back to where her chair had been and began to gently sway. Each undulation of her body began with her feet, twisting in the sand, and then worked its way up her thighs, through her stomach ending at her shoulders. Susan flipped her head forward. Her hair fell into her face as she gyrated and looked at her husband through the veil she had created and smiled in a manner he had never seen before.

There were no flames dancing above the fire, only orange, glowing coals. Richard worried someone may see his wife, but rationalized doing nothing to stop her by convincing himself it was too dark for anyone to see. The man was aroused and curious. She continued to sway back-and-forth in the cool evening breeze.

Susan felt her husband’s eyes all over her body. He watched intently. She continued to dance as she slowly began to unbutton her blouse, one-by-one. The anticipation was almost too much for him, but he resisted walking over to her and undressing her himself. The pleasure of watching her dance was one that had never been equaled. Her actions lifted their bond to a devout status.

When Susan freed the last button she held her shirt at the bottom and allowed it to drift open, then closed it by bringing the two front panels together; teasing her husband. After several playful repetitions, Richard thought, finally, as she let her shirt fall open and off her shoulders. She held her arms straight down behind her allowing it to slide away and onto the sand.

Susan continued to sway; worried she would not be able to maintain the rhythm of her dance while trying to unfasten her bra. She felt awkward as she reached, with both hands, behind her back to unsnap the hook. When her bra fell open, she quickly brought her arms together and held them tightly to her chest using her forearms to hold it as she clasped her hands. Still looking at him through her hair, she shook her head denying him the pleasure. She maintained this position while continuing to rock gently. When she moved her arms away from her chest she kept her hands clasped. Her bra slid down her straightened arms. His view was still obstructed, but her husband’s intense stare assured her she was not inept.

He sat patiently, waiting for his wife to discard her bra. Eventually, she did by tossing it, next to her shirt. There was no noticeable disruption in the rhythm of her dance, maybe because there was no disruption in his palpable, primitive craving for her.

The confidence she felt grew. Her body continued to undulate in unison with the light caused by the flickering flames that occasionally rose from the hot orange coals having found adequate oxygen to reignite. Slowly, she made her way toward her husband. He reached out, taking her by the waist. She gently shook her head and backed away. The dance was not over. Richard became frustrated and returned his arms to the chair’s rests. His fingers fell over the edges and he gripped them tightly and gritted his teeth as his passion raged. He knew his wife was expressing something to him that transcended the physical, and he must allow her to complete her story.

Susan’s body continued to sway as she leaned over him. She removed Richard’s taut hands from the chair and interlaced her fingers in his. Slowly she stroked the palms of his hands with her thumbs. Relax. Susan leaned into her husband. The strength in his arms provided support as she was suspended above him. Their clasped hands moved slowly outside the frames of their bodies as she came closer. Richard admired his wife’s body. A lump developed in his throat as he watched her breasts change shape as she came nearer. Her flat tummy folded at her waist and showed barely a wrinkle. His heart raced, but he kept telling himself this was her show. Let her lead. She gave a kiss so deep Richard felt it all the way down to his toes. Every part of his body was tense with desire. Her lips melted into his and their unity became soulful. She pushed against his hands. He offered the resistance she needed to stand, but maintained contact with her lips as long as he could by leaning toward her. Once again his eyes were drawn to her bosoms as they retained their naturally perky shape. Her areolas were drawn tightly together. He imagined himself stroking her hardened mammillae with his thumbs. Sensual sensations stimulated part of his body, all without the pleasure of touching her flesh. It amazed and scared him to know he was so into his wife.

Susan backed away slowly, maintaining the rhythm of her dance as she caressed her body. When she moved her hands to the button on her shorts, she smiled at him, as she performed their mock removal.

Richard could no longer hold his tongue. “Come on! You’re killing me over here.”

Without a word she continued her dance. She turned her back toward him. He watched giddily as she slid her shorts and panties over her petite, round bottom; hardly able to contain himself.

When the last of her clothing fell onto the sandy beach, Susan stopped her dance, walked over to her chair and removed a towel that was neatly folded and laid across its back. She spread it on the ground and laid on it, on her side, in full view of Richard. The glow from the fire illuminated her perfectly formed physique. Tan lines created by the sun accentuated the parts of her body he desired to touch the most. He dare not move until she signaled him over with her finger, come here!

Richard stood and made his way to the towel. He removed his shirt along the way and lay down next to her, then kissed her gently and embraced her. Her body was soft and warm. Susan wriggled away from the embrace as she sat up. Eagerly, she removed his shorts and tossed them onto the pile of clothes, then lay down and pulled him toward her. The two held each other. Neither had ever felt so close to anyone. Their hearts beat together, they breathed in unison, and their souls no longer ached for the perfect mate. Richard kissed Susan. It was a deep, long kiss. He rolled over, allowing his straight, muscular arms to hold his body above hers. She rubbed them with her hands and enjoyed watching his eyes as they absorbed every inch of her body.

She felt warm, from her belly-button to her thighs, as his hands gently stroked all of her. He resisted the surging primal urge that raged within him. It was not a selfless act, but one borne of the desire to experience everything they could offer one other.

The warmth Susan enjoyed grew unchecked. Her desire needed to be satiated. “I want you in me,” she whispered.

Richard did not rush. Slowly he made his way to the joining. Gently, he made love to his wife. Passionately, he threw his head back and looked toward the house. Something inside caught his eye. In the kitchen window he saw a red, stained-glass heart Susan’s deceased father had given her on her fifteenth birthday. Richard thought about how much the man meant to her. A great sense of doubt overtook him when he realized he had no idea what it took to be the kind of man that would enable his wife to experience the life she deserved as they grew old together.

 

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

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Chapter Twenty-Three: Louis Berry’s Novel, There’s Something in a Name

After breakfast they drove to Owen’s house. He felt like a kid excited to share his secret fort with a new friend. Monica’s anticipation was built upon tattered nerves. She tried to liken one hundred feet to something she encountered in daily life. Owen sensed her nervousness and explained everything she needed to know to make a dive like that; and the necessity of a ten foot stop. And, as she had done before, Monica asked intelligent questions. Giddiness escalated within him the closer they got to his house.

It took less than an hour to prepare the boat and gather necessary provisions. Owen switched on the motor while Monica stowed supplies below deck. Exhaust gurgled in the brackish water.

Habitually, Owen reached toward the throttle to grab the St. Christopher necklace Julia had given him. His heart sank when he realized it was no longer there. Ritualistically, he kissed it for luck each time he set out for the wreck. He shook away his disappointment and laughed at his superstitious nature before bumping the throttle with the heel of his hand; engaging the motor in reverse. Slowly, the boat moved into the channel. When it was clear of the dock, he reversed speed and moved past homes that lined the canal before heading into the gulf.

He navigated the waters around the Keys speedily and recklessly without concern for who might take note of his boat and its seemingly urgent path into the open ocean. The long ride offered the opportunity to once again think about how he left Julia. Opportunities lost had driven him to vow that when another presented itself it would not be squandered. Sharing his secret with Monica was meant to fill that void.

The boat skipped across the waves and Monica’s nerves became fatigued. She worried about her ability to make such a difficult dive without professional training. Life for her had been a struggle against a homeland she loved and missed. The horizon she stared at had an endless and eternal quality that represented a great deal of uncertainty. She wondered whether or not she could see the actual spot on the globe that was their destination, or did it lay beyond her perspective. “What awaits us out there?” she asked, pointing in front of the boat.

Owen smiled. “A treasure that will make life worth living for us both.”

She nodded her approval, and then asked a more ethereal question. “What do you think awaits us after death?”

Owen shifted his gaze sharply from the ocean that lay ahead to his friend. “Why are you so gloomy today?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “No reason. We have a long way to go and it’s definitely a worthwhile subject … among friends.”

He returned his attention to the waves that effortlessly tossed the boat. “I’ve never really been a big believer in Valhalla, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

He took a deep breath and exhaled. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t believe that to get into heaven, if there is one, that it’s conditional on the accomplishments of one’s human self. The vision of my God is one that loves all and forgives all, which is something we have not been able to do.”

We?”

“Humans,” he answered. “We do everything in our power to segregate each other into neat little categories in order to define the kind of person we think they are. It doesn’t matter the kind of person we are.” He stopped and looked at Monica. His glance was met with a curious look. “Take Ivy, for example. He spends much of his day denigrating everyone he meets without the same credentials he possesses.”

“And, your point?”

“My point is that somewhere, buried deep inside him is a truly good person, and when he dies I choose to believe that my God will accept him regardless of the many he has refused to acknowledge. That good person will survive forever among all others.”

“I like your sentiment,” she hesitated, “but I must say that I find it odd coming from you.”

“Why?”

“Because … as un-accepting as Ivy can be, you are equally accepting … of other men’s wives into your bed. That makes you a hypocrite, in my book.”

Owen nodded. “I understand.”

And?” she insisted.

Owen throttled down the boat until it simply drifted aimlessly in the water. He swiveled around in his chair and faced his friend. “I’ve thought a lot about that. Before last night my response would have been that if it wasn’t me it would be someone else, so I might as well enjoy the pleasure of their infidelity. You opened up a lot of old wounds for me, and that has allowed me to see things more clearly than I ever have before.” He paused. “Not until recently have I come to understand that I suffer from depression. I’m not sure if it’s caused by being beaten into an emotional fetal position by the only father I ever knew or if it’s how my brain is hard-wired.”

Monica interjected, “They have medication for that.”

Owen shook his head. “I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“There have been suicides linked to anti-depressants.”

“But that is such a small percentage of people who use them.”

“One is too many. Besides that, if I were on anti-depressants now, I would not have the benefit of clarity you’ve brought to my life. I’m afraid it would have masked the breakthrough I had last night as a result of our conversation.”

“Which is?”

“After we talked last night, I lay awake for quite a while thinking about my life.” Owen held both hands to his chest. “I now realize that because of my depression I am attracted to gregarious types because they provide a balance for me. They are the court jesters in the halls of the dark, dank castle that is my mind. I’ve had three friends who committed suicide. They were all very outgoing, yet volatile people. I can remember being inebriated most of the times we were together … and if we were all four together, man!” Owen’s tone shifted from that of an excited discovery to a more somber one. “It’s not that I don’t love them, because I do, and I miss them terribly. I wish I could tell them what I now understand. It may have helped save their lives.” A tear rolled over Owen’s lower eye lid and down his cheek. He quickly wiped it away with his thumb. “I thank God that you were able to be the kind of person that I was incapable of being for my friends.”

Monica was stunned. “That’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever been given.”

“Good, because I was afraid I’d never be able to show you how much you mean to me,” he said, as he shoved the throttle forward once again, engaging the boat’s motor and propelling them forward. He maneuvered it left and then right as he read the G.P.S. coordinates attempting to get the boat back onto the course that would take them to his shipwreck.

Nearly two hours later, Owen throttled down the motor in the exact spot he needed to drop the bow anchor. Hurriedly, he stood in his chair and stepped one foot onto the dashboard as he launched his weight forward over the windshield. Quickly he walked to the anchor-locker, opened it, grabbed the anchor and tossed it overboard. He gave it time to sink to the ocean’s floor; watching the anchor line disappear over the bow. When it stopped moving he tied it to the cleat before carefully making his way back over the glass and into his seat. He engaged the engines in reverse and slowly backed the boat. When the line became taut he shut down the engine and looked at the GPS. Ocean currents kept the boat hovering over the wreck.

When Owen removed his shirt and began to put on his wetsuit he asked Monica one last time, “Are you sure you’re ready to make this dive?” She nodded. It was obvious she was nervous. Her curiosity provided the drive to perform such a dangerous task. Treasure had a way of distorting vigilance. “When we get to the bottom I want you to look for a mesh bag. It’ll probably be buried under a foot or two of sand, but I’ll show you where to look.”

She nodded. Her arms and legs felt numb as she put on the wetsuit he had given her to wear. When she was finished he helped with her buoyancy control device and tank. Monica breathed through the regulator and found the air to be cold. Chills ran down her spine. Once she was suited and ready to go Owen put on the rest of his equipment. This was the first time in over a year he made a dive of significant depth with a partner. It felt good and his excitement could hardly be contained. He gave a both thumbs up signal and they moved to the diving platform. Owen went into the water first so that he would be there to help if she needed it. He held a nylon rope that was tied to one of the aft cleats. It would secure the mesh bag. There was no way he would allow it to be left behind, again.

Owen held Monica’s hand as they descended into the darkness. He made the trip as slowly as he could for her benefit, but knew they needed to be quick about their business. When the white sands of the ocean floor came into view of their flashlights, a moray eel quickly slithered into an exposed hole in the hull of the ship that protruded from the bottom. Owen quickly surveyed the territory and pulled on his friend’s hand, guiding her to the spot where he wanted her to look for the bag. He knew she must be terrified, so he stopped and looked into her eyes. She appeared relatively calm, but he asked her anyway if she was okay by pointing to her and then giving the okay sign by encircling his thumb and forefinger. She nodded and he breathed a little easier.

The spot where she needed to search was communicated by making digging motions with his hands above the area. Once she began, Owen swam away to look in another spot.

Monica waved her hand gently over the ocean floor generating a small current to move the sand and create a crater. Her approach led to murkier water and diminished sight. With every breath she became more uncomfortable, bordering on claustrophobia. When the sense of urgency became too great she stopped brushing away the sand and plunged her hands into the ocean floor. She desperately wanted to surface.

While digging she frantically looked around for Owen. He was nowhere to be seen. Surely he would not leave me alone down here, she thought. Her breathing became quick and short, but she was not deterred from the task at hand. She dug deeper and deeper, while moving her hands away from the center of her search. Disappointing Owen was not something she would allow to happen.

Monica plucked her left hand from the sand and held the gauge that dangled from her buoyancy control device. She had been under water for over thirteen minutes and knew time was short. Just as she began to feel like a failure something brushed past her pinky. Fear kept her from grabbing it outright. Slowly she slid her fingers over what felt like a piece of metal. She maintained contact, but dug vigorously into the sand until she was able to wrap her fingers around whatever it was. Tugging mightily did nothing to budge her find.

Suddenly, a tap on her shoulder frightened her. Monica rolled over onto her back and saw Owen. He held out his hands, palms up, questioning the luck with her search. When her fright dissipated she realized she had not let go of her find. Relief overcame her. She took Owen’s hand and forced it into the sand next to hers. He dug as she had until he felt what he knew to be his mesh bag. The smile on his face grew so wide it caused the mask’s seal to break away from his face. Cool ocean water rushed in before he had a chance with his free hand to secure it once again.

He pulled with all of his might. The bag was heavy and buried in the sand. It wiggled slightly, but he persisted and it began to slide toward him. Monica tapped him on the shoulder. She motioned to her wrist that they were running out of time. He nodded by quickly bobbing his head. Frustrated, he acknowledged the obvious. Monica pointed to the ocean floor vigorously and waved it away. She wanted to leave the bag, but Owen would have none of it. He shook his head forcefully. There was no way he would leave it again.

Owen pointed toward the nylon rope that was swaying in the current a few yards away. He wanted her to retrieve it, and she did. Without loosening his grip he removed his fins. He then sank his feet into the sand on either side of the treasure. When he had done so, he reached down with his free hand, secured both to the handle and pulled using every ounce of leverage he could muster. To his astonishment the bag slid out of the sand relatively easily.

Monica handed him the loose end of the rope and he tied it to the handle, making so many knots upon knots that there was no way it would come loose when they pulled it to the surface. Once he finished, Owen took a deep breath and pushed it out through his regulator. The mass of bubbles rose toward the surface and the two exchanged smiles filled with satisfaction. She could not resist reaching down and holding the bag in her hands, massaging the coins between her fingers. Owen reached down and grabbed her left hand. When she looked at him he pointed toward the surface with his thumb. She nodded, let go of the bag, and the two began to swim toward the boat.

The journey away from the depths was joyous. Monica was no longer scared and the satisfaction Owen felt was palpable. Dutifully, he watched the instruments that hung from his equipment to make sure they were not ascending too quickly in their fervor to get to the boat. A couple of times they looked at one another and grinned uncontrollably.

Owen’s elation quickly shifted to worry as they neared the surface. There were two boat hulls hovering on the surface of the water. Monica had not noticed it and he questioned whether he should alarm her. He did nothing until they got to the ten-foot stop. They drifted at the depth while Owen tried to develop a plan to get on the boat safely. The pirates would not leave before murdering all witnesses.

Thoughts raced through his mind until his concentration was broken when he saw the bag of coins ascending toward the boat. When it passed the couple Monica saw it too. She quickly looked at Owen and then toward the surface. There she saw the two boats. He saw the panic in her eyes before she began to swim quickly toward the surface. There was no other choice. He followed her.

When he reached the dive platform he took off his mask, tossed it over the side, and wiped away the saltwater from his eyes. He saw three Bahamians; one of whom held Monica by the arms from behind. His mask had landed at the feet of another man, who held a rifle with its butt against his hip and the barrel pointed skyward. Owen unbuckled his vest and allowed it to slide off his shoulders, sinking to the depths below. He knew that if he had any chance of saving his friend he had to be free of all encumbrances.

Reluctantly, Owen climbed into the boat. One of the men grabbed him and shoved him toward the helm. On the deck at the third man’s feet was his bag of coins. The apparent leader, the man with the rifle, saw that Owen was looking at what he considered his find.

“Nice bag of coins, huh?”

Owen acknowledged begrudgingly with a nod, and looked at Monica. There was a peace he sensed about her. Maybe she was simply relieved to breathe through her nose. Regardless, her demeanor had a calming affect on him, until he realized she might be in cahoots with the pirates. She appeared too calm. He was so nervous that it felt as though his legs would collapse beneath him at any moment.

“Take the wetsuit off the girl, mon,” the leader of the gang instructed the man who held Monica by the arms. “She might bring quite a price in the black market.”

Black Market, Owen thought. They really are going overboard trying to make it look like they aren’t all in this together. He looked into the faces of each of the men. None of them looked the least bit familiar to him. The two underlings wore side arms that were holstered and locked down with a leather strap. Appearing to be the most immediate threat was the leader. He had scars on his face that seemed to physically manifest a psyche that was equally damaged. He was jittery and sweat streamed down his face. The man paced back-and-forth in the small space between the boat’s stern and its helm, much like a caged lion contemplating his next move to ensure survival. Owen saw that his finger held the rifle’s trigger in a manner that was much too precarious for him to try to disarm the man. He looked once more at Monica. There was no way he could rely on her, and for his own safety had to count her as one of the bad guys. She will be taken out last, he thought.

The man holding Monica was wispy, yet wiry enough to present a threat to anyone who crossed him. She was spun around by her arms so that she faced him. He smiled at her through rotten teeth that were brown like his skin. She turned away in disgust. The leader sat on the edge of the boat and watched as his compadre unzipped the wetsuit she wore. When the zipper was just below her navel the man grabbed its open collar and pulled it over her shoulders and down to her waist. She stood helpless with nothing but a stringy bikini top to offer protection from physical and emotional abuse.

It became apparent to Owen by the men’s lustful stares they had never seen her before. Each of them was drawn in to her beauty and Owen saw his opportunity to strike while their minds entertained fantasies. Slowly, he slid his right foot backward to plant it at the juncture of the deck and the wall. He planned to spring toward the leader and disarm him before he had a chance to lower the barrel of his gun.

Just before making his move, the leader hopped off the edge of the boat and announced, “There will be time for that later. We need to get rid of the man,” he said as he lowered his gun and pointed it at his intended victim. When he turned to face Owen something caught his eye. “What’s that, mon?” the man pointed toward his dive belt. His hand shook and his manner was edgy. Something silver captured his attention.

Owen looked down. Hanging over the belt was the St. Christopher pendant that Julia had given him. Rather than spend time below gathering Spanish Pieces of Eight, Owen wanted to find the charm he had always used to guide him safely in his travels.

“I threw that overboard the last time I was on your boat.” The man walked toward Owen, reaching for it. Instinctively, Owen reached down and grabbed the necklace and held it tightly to his waist. The man lowered his gun and pressed it into Owen’s chest, pushing him backward and letting him know who was in charge. Owen held the charm tighter as rage grew within him. He thought about how Bobby made him grovel for the most basic of necessities, and how Jenny never came to his rescue. Living on the fringe for so long had colored his outlook on life and he realized that, with Monica’s help, life was not disposable. A week earlier he would have faced death and accepted it. The instinct to survive had never been stronger. He knew there was something greater that awaited him. What that was, he had no idea, but the desire to seek out experiences beyond the physical overcame him with a fury.

He lunged and grabbed the barrel of the leader’s rifle, then tried desperately to yank it from the man’s hands. His grip was too tight. A chill ran down Owen’s spine as he realized he had provoked the man and was unable to disarm him. Determination to fight until the very end cloaked him like a shield. Owen pushed the barrel of the gun skyward as he bull-rushed him.

The thug who held Monica at bay stepped back, planted his foot on the deck of the boat and lunged into her with a punch across her left cheek. She quickly collapsed onto the deck. Owen pushed the leader against the edge of the boat and had an advantage as the man leaned backward precariously over the water. He turned and saw the man who hit Monica kicking her ribs repeatedly. Owen pulled the rifle and the leader back into the boat. He had given up his advantage to try his best to take aim and shoot the pirate who was killing the only true friend he had ever known. The two men struggled mightily with the rifle, Owen desperately tried to hold a steady aim, and the leader tried with equal determination to disrupt him. Just as Owen felt he had a bead on the man, he felt a crushing blow to the back of his head. Desperation caused him to squeeze the trigger. The sound of the rifle reverberated across the water as Owen fell to the deck. He heard the leader yelling at one of his underlings. “You kill her. Take the damn gun out of its holster and shoot her right between the eyes.”

Through blurred vision Owen saw the silhouette of a man walking toward him and holding the rifle across his body. He knew he had to rush the man again. It was his only chance. He gathered his feet under him and acted a bit more dazed than he actually was in hopes of not exacerbating the man’s edginess. Just as he lunged at the man with every ounce of energy left in his body, Owen heard the distinctive click of the gun’s firing mechanism. His momentum shoved the man backward and over the side of the boat with ease. The man let go of the rifle as he waved his arms in the air trying desperately to regain his balance as he fell overboard. Somewhat astounded at his good fortune, Owen stood at the edge of the boat holding the rifle. Before he had a chance to gather himself, he realized that the man who was ordered to kill Monica was moving toward him. He held an aluminum gaff and raised it high over his head, then swung it swiftly downward, toward Owen. Pain radiated through Owen’s extremities as he held his left arm up to absorb the force of the blow. Instinctively, he drew his arm into his body to protect it from further damage. The rifle fell to the deck between the two men.

The pirate looked at the bent gaff he held in his hand and tossed it overboard. He drew his gun from its holster and took aim at Owen. Monica struggled mightily against the pain of broken ribs and a crushed jaw as she pivoted on her side in order to swing her legs around and trip the man. He fell, but held onto the gun. While he gathered himself, Owen reached for the rifle and pointed it at the man. He refused to fire it, shaking his head as he stared intently at the man imploring him not to fire his weapon. “Jump over the side of the boat and you can live.”

Without a word the man scurried to his feet and did just that. Owen and Monica were relieved to witness his acquiescence. He stood, holding his arm tightly to his stomach, and walked backward reaching for the captain’s chair as he watched Monica closely. When he felt the chair behind him he spun it on its pedestal and sat so that he faced the rear of the boat where she lay.

“Are you okay,” he asked.

She shook her head. “I can’t breath,” Monica replied, in a shallow voice and through clinched teeth. “I think my ribs are broken and I’m sure my jaw is too.”

Owen had forgotten about the third pirate, but realized he must have hit him when he pulled the rifle’s trigger. While the thought of having killed someone seeped into his psyche, Owen saw the hands of the pirate leader grabbing the side of the boat as he tried to pull himself aboard. He stood and walked slowly to where the man was; held the rifle firmly against his ribs with his good hand and pointed it at his head. It was obvious the man was filled with evil, and the only thing the other two were guilty of was not having an adequate spine. He mourned the one man he had been forced to kill, but this was not a man. If he did not shoot him Owen was certain that the man would live to terrorize others. A great sense of satisfaction came over him as he pulled the trigger and watched blood explode from the man’s forehead. He walked to the edge and watched as the pirate’s lifeless body sank into the water. Owen threw the rifle in behind him, and thought about how he might see him again if he ever came back to the wreck. He looked at his arm and could tell it was broken. It would be quite a while before he came back, if ever.

“Hey, Mon,” a voice called. Owen walked to the stern of the boat. He saw the second man treading water. He asked, “Can I get in my boat now?”

“Wait until we’re gone!” Owen barked.

“Mon, can you leave now, please? My arms are getting tired.”

Owen smiled, nodded and then walked back to the helm, stopping to pick up a machete. Quickly he hopped on top of the bow and cut away the anchor rope. The boat drifted while he walked cautiously back toward the controls. Once there he stopped and removed the Saint Christopher medal from his belt and hung it around the throttle lever. In one swift motion, he turned the ignition key and shoved the throttle forward sending the boat bouncing on top of the late afternoon ocean waves toward the nearest hospital on Stock Island. Monica was silent the entire trip. Her skin became pale and clammy. He worried several times that she had died. Remorse was an emotion he never understood, but he knew that he was responsible for her, and if she died he would never be able to forgive himself. Only then did he realize his animalistic rage had given way to an unyielding passion like he had never known. Guilt overcame him as he realized the contempt he held for those who chose a life based upon greed could be employed when describing him. Voracity for possessions that merely held physical value could no longer be ignored. He would have gladly traded his life for all that it provided, but when his avarice nearly killed Monica he understood their relationship meant more to him. Desires that were once carnal and mortal became spiritual and eternal.

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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My Mother’s Day Post

In the name of my mother, my wife and I have funded a scholarship for a graduate student at the Florida State University – Panama City Campus pursuing their Masters in Elementary Education for the Fall Semester of 2014 and Spring Semester of 2015. As I have moved through my life, and experienced its ups and downs, mother has always been a constant source of love and inspiration. I watched as she worked hard to provide a good home for me, overcoming obstacles that seemed insurmountable. Relentless pursuit of her Masters and Specialist in Education taught me that with the same laser-like focus I could achieve anything I truly put my heart and soul into. Thank you, mother, for giving me the tools to shake off the past and move toward a bright and eternal future; for giving me the desire to create something beyond myself. Because of you I will continue to strive to squeeze every ounce of life with the time I have left.

It was the generosity of many people that gave me the opportunity to play football at FSU, and I will never forget that. Those experiences and accomplishments will be cherished and I take from them but a small morsel of satisfaction. However, my life is moving into a greater state of awareness and it is all because of my mother’s example. My path has crossed many Hall of Fame coaches and players in college and NFL football (however briefly) that society considers heroes. Those acquaintances have served a small purpose in moving me along life’s path, but the one constant has been mother’s love and example, which I now know is what will move me toward eternity. It is difficult to convey the sense of pride that fills my soul at being able to help someone along their life’s journey. I’m certain our small gift will return multiples of its face value.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Please support my writing career by visiting my website here where you will find links to purchase my novels in many formats, and from Amazon.

I am also crowdfunding my career via Bitcoin. Your donations are sincerely appreciated.

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