Short Stories

The Weather Vane – Joy

The Weather Vane – Joy

Short Stories
This story was originally written in 2004 and has been edited for Lambchow. The Tractor Seat, another story in that original series, share the same setting although a different time period. Both stories borrow my memories of a real-life neighbor from my childhood, Johnny Darst. In an era of farm modernization he still did things the old-fashioned way. Not because he had to but because he wanted to. He found joy in working the land, I hope that you find joy in this short story. “Lisa! Look what the mailman delivered,” Ryan said holding up a large package. “Well, what is it? I can’t tell through the brown paper you know,” she asked. Ryan put the package down and carefully opened it. Once the brown paper was gone and the excelsior packing had been removed, a bright copper, rooster-
The Life Preserver – Peace

The Life Preserver – Peace

Short Stories
The Life Preserver Dale Heinold - 2004 Edited for Lambchow - 2016 The Mary Ann is a sailboat with a white bottom with blue trim. She is large enough to live in and has a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. The interior of her cabin is paneled in teak and walnut, and although she is over seven years old, her owner has made only minor changes to the cabin decor. When she is not on Big River, she is moored at the Monroe Yacht Club or MYC. The MYC is like a country club for yacht owners and is situated on the west side of Big River. MYC’s main building is a brick, Victorian affair with a gigantic chandelier in the lobby. Due to an impending flood, the Mary Ann’s skipper had to move her down to the public dock on the east side of Big River. There she would be more protected from the tre
The Fishing Pole – Paitence

The Fishing Pole – Paitence

Short Stories
My family has been making the annual trek up to Sunshine Lake for years. The appointed time is over October’s Columbus Day weekend. Three days of camping and fishing with friends and relatives. Over the years, there’s been a variety of family members who have taken this annual journey. One year, it was Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad, and us three kids: Dale, David, and Dianne. I was 10, David, 8, and Dianne was 6. It was a special year because Dianne was old enough to actually go fishing instead of just pretending with a cane pole that had no hook. Dad had the Galaxy 500 packed and ready to go. The luggage, Coleman stove, and food were stowed in the trunk. A big canvas tent was across the floor of the back seat, leveling the whole area. That gave us plenty of room to move around or li
The Tractor Seat – Kindness

The Tractor Seat – Kindness

Short Stories
This story was written in 2004 and edited for Lambchow. This story is special because it weaves in some real life memories. - Dale Summer 1968 Johnny heard the rat-a tat's coming, the unmistakable sound of multiple playing cards striking bicycle spokes. In this case, it was a red Schwinn stingray with a banana seat. David, who was soon to be ten years old, lived about a mile west of Johnny’s place on the blacktop road. "Helen, David's coming. Better get some cookies out," Johnny yelled through the screen door. He glanced up at the peak of the barn roof at the old weather vane. "Coming from the south, going to be a hot one today," he thought to himself. Rat-a-tat tat tat. David was halfway up the long lane. Johnny put on his barn boots and grabbed an old pair of work gloves and one of
Danny’s Firetruck – Goodness

Danny’s Firetruck – Goodness

Short Stories
Christmas morning came early for Rod, earlier than it should have anyway. Rod and his wife Evelyn had two children, Ben who is six and Daniel who is three, or as he would say, ‘twee’. Their house is in a subdivision of Madison was built just after World War II. ‘Cute bungalows, perfect for a new family’, was the advertisement when the houses were first built. But that was many years ago. Now that section of Madison is considered to be part of the poor side of town, not that their neighbors were bad people. It’s only that most of them are poor. To their right is Mrs. Anderson, a 68 year old widower. She is the last of the original owners in the subdivision. She is also the only one that is not poor, at least not poor in money. But in other treasures like friends and family, she is do
Sally’s Horse – Faithfulness

Sally’s Horse – Faithfulness

Short Stories
Sally’s first ride on the carousel in Humboldt Park was for her third birthday, June 12th, 1937. It was a real family affair with Mom, Dad, grandmas, grandpas and all the assorted uncles, aunts, and cousins. It was one of those beautiful days that happens in mid-June, just warm enough but not hot. Sally’s mom had curled her blond locks and had let Sally wear what she called her princess dress; it was all pink with ruffles. A picnic lunch of fried chicken and fixings had been enjoyed. The chicken wasn’t the Colonel’s special recipe but Grandma Sharp’s; KFC hadn’t been invented yet. A homemade angel food cake by Grandma Sauder made it an official birthday party. Sally opened her gifts after the candles and cake. They were mostly small toys and clothes; times weren’t the greatest when it came
The Nurse’s Hat

The Nurse’s Hat

Short Stories
My journey in writing began in earnest on a December evening in 2003. Betty and I had stopped for supper at Applebee's after some Christmas shopping. As I looked at the various pieces of memorabilia and stuff on their wall I saw an old football helmet. It had look used and even had a few battle scars. I began to wonder what story it had to tell. At that point imagination took over and I began to create a story around that football helmet. What followed in the next few months were a series of stories prompted by some article on Applebee's walls. Each story portrayed one of the nine fruit of the Spirit.  The stories originally had a wrapper story explaining where the writing prompt came from, Applebee's became Finnegan's Inn. While I've removed the wrapper story that introduced the writing p
Patricia’s Date

Patricia’s Date

Short Stories
My journey in writing began in earnest on a December evening in 2003. Betty and I had stopped for supper at Applebee's after some Christmas shopping. As I looked at the various pieces of memorabilia and stuff on their wall I saw an old football helmet. It had look used and even had a few battle scars. I began to wonder what story it had to tell. At that point imagination took over and I began to create a story around that football helmet. What followed in the next few months were a series of stories prompted by some article on Applebee's walls. Each story portrayed one of the nine fruit of the Spirit.  The stories originally had a wrapper story explaining where the writing prompt came from, Applebee's became Finnegan's Inn. While I've removed the wrapper story that introduced the writing p
A Tattooed Heart

A Tattooed Heart

Short Stories
I’m an artist whether you like it or not. My brushes are needles and my canvas is skin. You can call me Red or don’t call me anything at all, I don’t really care. Or at least I didn’t until a few weeks ago. Most folks want their skin art to say something, to mean something. Sometimes rebellious, sometimes tribal, occasionally cute, and yes, sometimes stupid. They think that a band of barbed wire around their biceps makes them strong. Or a flower makes them attractive. The worst, of course, is the Chinese characters that don’t mean anything close to what they think it does. But hey, who am I to judge. Sign the papers, pay the money, and I’ll ink you with whatever, well almost whatever, you want. A few weeks ago I was just finishing up an ankle rose for a “don’t tell my mommy” but old
The Neglected Gift

The Neglected Gift

Christmas, Short Stories
A few days before Christmas a young boy received a gift. The small package was brightly wrapped in shiny red paper and topped with a green bow. A small tag read, “Do not open until Christmas.” The boy pondered what could be in the package. He shook it, but it made no sound. He pulled ever so slightly at the paper to see if he could find an opening. His Father firmly told him to place the gift under the tree and leave it alone. He did so; carefully placing the gift under the tree. But his mind would not let him leave it alone. He imagined all kinds of good things that could be in the box. Every time he thought he had it figured out a new idea would pop into his head. His ideas started with what could fit inside the box but grew when he considered that what was inside could lead to something
Angel’s Breath

Angel’s Breath

Christmas, Short Stories
Angel’s Breath Dale Heinold - Christmas 2014 “The Christmas Pageant will begin in five minutes,” a nurse announces through the PA system. My daughter, Angel, has been typecast, beautifully and rightly so, as one of the Christmas angels. “Alright, let’s see, wings?” “Check,” she replies. “Golden thing that kind of sort of looks like a robe?” “Check“ “Halo on straight?” “Check, um I think?” “What are your lines?” “Daddy, I’ve been saying them all morning,” she pleads. “Come on, one more time.” “O that’s terrible,” she moans. “Your forgot your lines? That’s ok the first one is…” “No the TV,” she says as she grabs the remote to turn up the volume. On the screen is a video of a manger scene without a Baby Jesus. The scrolling banner under the reporter proclai
A Thanksgiving ReDo

A Thanksgiving ReDo

Christmas, Short Stories
Thanksgiving Day. Like much of the country I sucummbed to the white noise of the football game and an overstuffed gullet and soon drifted off to sleep. I’m not sure what caused this dream, the oyster and corn casserole or the extra helping of “pink stuff” (a cream based cherry jello salad of family renown). I remember waking up in our old house.  “Hurry up sleepy head, the parade’s coming on soon,” I heard my mother yell. That woke me up real quick. Not that I might miss the famous parade but that I heard mom’s voice. Its been, five, no six years since she died. I found the bathroom but things were all out of perspective like the room had grown or I had shrunk. After splashing some water on my face I looked in the mirror. Gone was the fiftyish weathered face. Staring back at me was a mu