Scene One – BLACK SWAN – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2018
“I dropped him, Bobby,” Dave says snuffing out his Camel cigarette. “It was him or me. Every day in ‘Nam was like that. Never knowing. I can’t remember a day when I would relax. How could I?” Dave shifts his gaze from me to a distant tree outside the window. “He looked like a local, but he came on like a VC. I had to off him.”
Scene 1 – SAVE RUDY – Hillcrest Middle School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 1951
“Die, Nazi, die,” resounds across the snow-covered playground as Gordon heaves an ice ball like an arrow into my friend Rudy’s shoulder. Spinning backward, he falls over walls of a snow fort we are building. We call Gordon the Black Knight. His chest is like a barrel and hands are bigger than grapefruit. He shoots another arrow as I duck behind crumbled snow. Gordon has few friends and enough time to pack snowballs during morning recess, stockpile them in the sun to melt and freeze in shadows of afternoon recess to become arrows of ice.
Scene One – MY STORY – Madison, Wisconsin, June 3, 2012, 7:15 a. m.
He ate a doughy and flavorless bagel in his dream. Bobbie tossed from left to right and faced into the golden morning sun – awake. A corner of his bedsheet, crumpled and wet from chewing, hung from his mouth then dropped to the bed as bile arose from his gut.
Scene One – YOU’LL FIND HER – Summerset Nursing Home, Madison, Wisconsin, June 2008
“Dad, where’s your mother buried?” I ask.
“Mother or step-mother?” He lifts his head from the pillow. His face is the color of the pale white bedsheet like a shroud draped over his thin body. “Why do you ask, Bobbie?”
Scene One – THE FINEST SILVER – Dubai, United Arab Emirates, City Centre, September 1980
A delicious odor of roast goat overwhelms the fragrance of cardamom infused in my Arabic coffee. “Ah, Friday morning in the souk offers unusual pleasures.” Moussa leans across the table and flicks an ash from his Turkish cigarette. “I observed a herd of fine beasts on my way to meet you. Today is their turn.”
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, writer, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.