The Fifty-Fifty Brother

Photo courtesy of Donna McNicol

The Fifty-Fifty Brother

Fifteen-million dollars.

Half of my inheritance.

All resting on this one chance encounter.

The terms of my father’s will had been specific.


I knew Dad had had a mistress. (I suspect he had had many.) But this one was different for some reason. This one gave him a son.

And now… This ridiculous hitch in his will.

I had been groomed to be the new CEO of Hilldenbury International. I would be, no matter how this foolishness played out.

But, if the worst happened…

If Bartholomew (my ill-conceived half-brother) was shown to have “a heart-of-kindness, like my beautiful Felicia” to quote my philandering father, Bartholomew was to receive half of the estate.

I would inherit the business; he would get the rest.


I had hired the best detective agency. My father’s attorney presented them with the scenario my licentious father had planned.

If Bartholomew offered assistance to this vagrant itinerant upon their meeting, then he was to be recognized as Mr. T.Y. Hilldenbury’s long-lost son.

If not, the entire fortune was to be mine, Bartholomew was to be forgotten.

Sweat was dripping from my face, and that of my solicitor as we watched the scene play out before our eyes.

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction.




The Miniseries 

Saul and David

The Israelites want to be like the nations around them. They want a KING.

God grants their request.

We find out, even kings appointed by God are still human.

Saul is anointed King of the Israelites.

  • He and his son Johnathan are formidable warriors.
  • Saul succumbs to the power of the kingship.
  • He disobeys God.
  • He rages against David.
  • Saul’s son is killed in battle and Saul kills himself.

David is anointed King of the Israelites.

  • He lusts after his best friend’s wife.
  • He orders the friends murder in battle.
  • David repents.
  • He chooses to keep his heart with the God of the Israelites.
  • God forgives him.

As I was watching this one, I was struck by the humanity of David – his sinfulness- yet the compassion and grace granted by the God of the Israelites.

Written for Movie Critiques.




The Miniseries 

Joshua and Samson 

This episode of THE BIBLE was on the violent side. I guess it would have to be since it’s the Biblical version of Saving Private Ryan.

This episode tells the story of Joshua and the story of Samson.

Joshua is now the leader of the Israelites.

  • The obstacle in the path of the Israelite’s capturing their Promised Land: Jericho.
  • Jericho was a city fortified as no other.
  • God provides a very unique way of scaling-the-impenetrable-walls of Jericho.

Samson was a child foretold by God.

  • His birth was promised to mother and she was to raise Samson as a Nazirite.
  • Samson was to free the Israelites from the clutches of the Philistines.
  • Samson had the strength of a one-man-army.
  • He slayed a lion with his bare hands.
  • He massacred an army of Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
  • Samson had a weakness- he kept falling in love with Philistine women.
  • It was not an army that led to the downfall of Samson: he was neutralized by a pair of shears.

As I was viewing this one, I thought of this song.

I think this is a song Joshua and the tribes of Israel would have enjoyed singing in celebration.

I hope you enjoy it.


Written for Movie Critiques.

THE BIBLE: Part 1 Genesis

Daily Express

THE BIBLE: Part 1 Genesis 

The Miniseries

I have never seen the miniseries THE BIBLE before, so I thought that during this Easter season, and I am quarantined with plenty of time, I would relax and enjoy it.

Episode One (includes these Biblical stories)

  • Noah telling the story of
    • The Creation of the World
    • Adam and Eve
    • Cain and Abel
  • The story of Abraham
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • The children of Israel arrive in Egypt

While watching the story, I was transported back to vacation Bible School days and some of my favorite Sunday school teachers telling me the Bible stories.

While in college, I was blessed with the opportunity to perform the intermission for the rising Christian band- Fireworks. One of the songs they did became a favorite of mine. It was about ‘the pillar of salt’ story.

I hope you enjoy it. I still do.

Written for About Me. 




David Baldacci

FBI Special Agent Amos Decker goes on a much needed (but not desired) vacation with his partner the former journalist but now FBI Special Agent Alex Jamison.

Alex and Decker travel to Baronville to see Alex’s niece for her niece’s birthday. Of course, given Decker’s propensities, they find a murder. Detective Decker feels compelled to assist in solving it.

Good cops, bad cops, irate off-line killing machines and the drug-dealers, even the butler, are all involved in this new cast of characters.

A great read!!!!




The ride to the zoo has taken forever.

I’m not sure what Mom and Dad were thinking

when they thought I would enjoy a six hour trip.

(I’m seven. Almost seven and a half.

I know that if it takes six hours to get there,

it will take even six loonnngggeeeer hours to get home.


  Finally ….”Look, there on the sign. There’s monkeys and tigers. Even a giraffe.

Mom says that even the snakes skunks are kept alive here. “Are there alligators”

    Elephants .   .   .   .   Pandas .   .   .   .   .Gorillas .   .   .   .   .  Hippos

    Monkeys .   .   .   .   . Spiders .   .   .  .   .  Frogs .   .   .   .   .    Tiger

    Alligators .   .    .   Crocodiles .   .   .   . Lemurs .   .   .   .   . Zebras

    Orangutans .   .    . Meerkats .   .   .   . Sea Lions .   .   .   .   Tapirs

    Penguins .   .   .    . Tortoises .   .   .   Chimpanzees .   .   .  Otters

    Rhinoceroses .  .  Wart Hogs .   .   .   .Anteaters .   .   .   .  Sloths

I’ve never seen so many animals at the same time! I even got to feed pygmy goats.

So much better than a circus. Sure, there are no clowns… Did you see that monkey

show off his bright red butt                      Mom says it’s time to leave.

      I’m so tired, bet I sleep                             all the way back. Mom 

                       Dad … Don’t                                                  wake me ’til

                              we’re                                                            home.


Written for FANSTORY. I have never written a concrete poem before. As a teacher, I loved to use them as teaching tools, but I always felt the creation of them was a little beyond my grasp. I had the idea of a zoo trip from personal, previous experiences. I hope when I hit ‘save’ the formatting allows for a concrete poem? (The ‘save’; button ruined the concrete poem, so I had to be creative.)

Fix Two: I tried the … … … And that was better.

Fix Three: Then, the great ideas to bold my carnival cage…

I hope you still enjoy it!

Photo was from UnSplash: Nikolay Tchaouchev




“You’re right. It’s not your classic mug shot.” Lieutenant Grady sat holding a copy of the arrest report. “He wasn’t a mere small-time criminal either. His rap sheet is now sixty-two pages and it’s growing. Seems he’s been at this for more than seven years.”

Officer Mitcham sat across from him and placed two coffees: his- two creams and three sugars, and the Lieutenant’s — black, no sugar. “I heard he was apprehended at the local Holiday INN at the CORNER of BROWN Terrace and Vine STREET.”

“That’s right,” Lieutenant Grady continued to summarize the report. “He was found ALONE. Gave no resistance. Seems to be no accomplices. He was a bit RED-NOSED. Far-away look in his eye. But very compliant. Night before last, the STORY goes, we got intel on the suspect from an anonymous caller.”

Officer Mitcham sat more upright. “That’s unusual for it to have been an anonymous call. We’ve had that huge reward out for him ever since he STOLE that crystal WHITE Lamborghini from Arthur and BABES McPhee.”

“Yes, she was to DIE for.”

“You talking the car or the wife.”

“The car, stupid. But she wasn’t too BAD either. Now get your mind outta-the-gutter.”

“My mind…” Officer Mitcham chuckled. “What else does it say?”

“Says during the call you could hear a Christmas CAROL being sung in the background.”

“What song was it?”

“What difference does that make?”

“I was just wanting to know how detailed these investigative reports actually are.”

“You rookie. You’ve never actually written up an arrest report. We’ll put an end to take after VACATION.”

Officer Mitcham moaned, “Shoulda kept my mouth shut.”

“Well, I’m glad we caught him when we did.” Lieutenant Grady didn’t force Mitcham to suffer long. “You know the Captain had stopped granting us leave for our vacations until we did — or until the newsprint died down AFTER Christmas. And that was not likely to happen. I’ve had this vacation planned with Delores for the last two years. We’re on the EXPRESS flight to New Delhi, India, tomorrow night. If I had to pull out of that flight because of a bad Santa, I think she would divorce me. We’re going to MEET her family there for a reunion. She hasn’t seen them in five years- except for SkyChatting. ”

“Are they flying as well?” The officers had often talked of evening plans, which would have included their wives, but they had never gone to discussing extended families. Just no need.

“No, they’re in Hong Kong right now. Even though Delores’s dad is one of the big-wigs with Cybor-Jet, he’s still reluctant to fly any more than he has to. That’s why they are permanently living over there. They’re taking the train to New Delhi instead of a PLANE. Even short flights he avoids. I know I’m not looking forward to this trip, even when it’s nonstop. Fifteen hours in a seat is a killer.”

“Two Ambien, that’s why they were INVENTED. You’ll be out BEFORE you know it.”

“Maybe. You have any great plans for the holidays?”

“Yes, I do.” Officer Mitcham grimaced as he said the words. “I’m going to have a WONDERFUL time explaining to my five-year-old son why Santa’s been arrested.”

“At least we didn’t have to shoot him.”

Written for FANSTORY.  The challenge of this contest: Write a story or a poem based on the words listed below. All the words are found in the top 10-11 best Christmas movies of all time from Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Esquire, and/or Good Housekeeping.

The rules:
1. You must use AT LEAST ten of the listed words. There’s a good variety of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
2. Either fiction, nonfiction, or poetry is acceptable.
3. Prose must be a minimum of 500 words.
4. Poetry should be 40 lines maximum.
5. Highlight the chosen words in the text and include them in your author notes.
6. Your entry doesn’t have to be about Christmas.

Words, in alphabetical order:
1. alone (from Home Alone)
2. babes (from Babes in Toyland)
3. bad (from Bad Santa)
4. before (from Nightmare Before Christmas)
5. brown (from Charlie Brown’s Christmas)
6. carol (A Christmas Carol)
7. corner (The Shop Around the Corner)
8. Die (Die Hard)
9. express (Polar Express)
10. inn (Holiday Inn)
11. invented (The Man Who Invented Christmas)
12. meet (Meet Me in St. Louis)
13. plane (Planes, Trains and Automobiles)
15. red-nosed (Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer)
17. stole (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
18. story (A Christmas Story)
19. street (Miracle on 34th Street)
20. vacation (National Lampoon’s A Christmas Vacation)
21. white (White Christmas)
22. wonderful (It’s a Wonderful Life)

You will find all the words for the list in this story. I highlighted the words by CAPITALIZING them- I tried to make them bold but the advanced editor was not cooperative? Or I was using it incorrectly? I hope that this is OK?