Tag Archive | short story

Off You Go


I grew up surrounded by the scent of water and motor oil. Water from the lake near my home and oil, the unfortunate gift left behind by the boats as they loaded and unloaded in and out of the murky waters.

Swimming, sun bathing, and bicycles filled the summers of my youth. These were summers made for true adventures—-Nancy Drew level adventures.

So, I was completely caught off guard when the day finally arrived. My Dad moved my bike from the garage to the driveway. He called up to my bedroom from below. He stood silently, wrench in hand, over my cobalt blue, Schwinn Pixie. The bike of my little girl dreams. It was fully loaded with a custom license plate and pink and white plastic streamers that danced happily from the ends of the handle bars-sheer perfection. With one strong tug, he tore off the confidence I relied on from my training wheels. He told me to hop on and that he would be right behind me holding on.

The gravel road was filled with big, bubbly pockets of hot tar from the summer sun. We were off and running. I felt the strength of my Dad’s hand planted at the back of my white leather seat.

Slightly out of breath he yelled, “steady, steady, balance, easy does it.”

We whizzed on faster and faster, and he continued “pedal, pedal, don’t forget to pedal.”

And then, the single magical moment when I knew, and he knew I knew.
I was staying upright on my own.

I turned my head and there was nothing between us but a road of freshly popped tar bubbles, and my Dad in his Bermuda shorts and knee socks waving to me from a distance.

I could almost hear his thoughts…..

There you go…..fly, fly. You can do it, I know you can. You did it. Don’t look back.

There are moments when a secret smile of success says it all. Simple moments that fuel you for a lifetime.

Debbie Hope
Full of Hope

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Today is the day..A September 11th Short Story


Simone heard the guttural screams first and then, deafening silence. She managed to wipe some of the debris from her eyes and straighten her legs.  Her eyes were coated with a gritty, thick layer of something that felt like sand. She grabbed onto the corner of the desk and worked hard to find her footing and regain her balance. She swore she felt the building sway, but how could that be?

She had no sense of time and was unnerved by the sudden and inexplicable quiet. Where was she? The last thing she remembered she was sitting at her desk putting the final touches on a presentation, but now couldn’t remember what it was about. She continued to brush the powdery substance from her clothes, but as she did, more settled quicker than she could keep up with. There was a horrible taste in her mouth and she felt a sticky, thick film caked on her gums, tongue, and teeth. What she wouldn’t give for a drink of water.

The piercing screams returned and people rushed past her door towards the stair well. She decided to follow them. On her way out she glimpsed a calendar lying open. It read Tuesday, September 11, 2001. She knew she would never forget this day.

Her office was on the third floor so she didn’t have far to go to get out of the building and onto the street.  A sea of weary, frightened faces blurred past her. People were pushing and shoving each other in search of something that resembled a safe haven. She noticed a man slumped on the bottom step in his stocking feet. His shirt was tattered and torn. He must have slipped and slid to the bottom. He didn’t look well. His hands trembled and he was struggling to get up.  Simone pushed through the crowd and held out her arm to help hoist him to a standing position. He latched onto her with desperate force and eventually rose to his feet. Upon standing, he was thrust into the racing crowd and she quickly lost sight of him. She looked down and swiped the film from her watch and noticed it was barely 9 A.M. Panic poured through her. Was it possible the building really did move? She reminded herself she was in a strong building in the middle of New York City; she would be fine. Breathe, breathe.

She caught bits and pieces of conversations and heard someone say, “What the hell happened,” as she tried to piece the morning together in her mind. She remembered that while on the third floor she heard a thunderous boom. It sounded like the whirl of a massive engine, but she quickly dismissed the thought as ridiculous.  She finally made it onto the street and the scene was like nothing she had ever seen. People scattered in every direction – utter chaos. Police, Fire, and other rescue vehicles covered every inch of the street. She couldn’t imagine why they were so intent on running into the building that she was so determined to escape. Heavy soot continued to fall in huge chunks from the sky like snow, but heavier. Everything as far as she could see was buried under a blanket of grey. She broke into a furious run and without warning, leaned over and threw up.

She caught a glimpse of her reflection in a broken window pane and froze. She looked like an angel who had risen from ashes. Every piece of exposed skin was covered under a thick veil of filth. She was not alone in this hideous disguise; everyone as far as she could see wore the same cloak. She looked and felt like death. At that very moment something clearly spoke to her spirit. She heard the words, “hope will rise from these ashes” and somehow she knew it would.

Peace to all on this day!

Debbie Hope

aka Full of Hope

Remembering September 11th

A Summer Mystery Teaser


A bolt of lightning flashed so bright I could see the fear in Gabby’s eyes. I could see my reaction startled her. “What’s the matter, what do you see?” she said. I assured her it was nothing and we continued on with our scavenger hunt in the sweltering heat. The brewing storm unnerved me.

Gabby and I were one of four teams playing that evening. Ruby and Fiona, our rival team, was hot on our tails so we had to keep moving. The thunder that followed the lightning shook us to our core. I felt it rumble through me and down to the tips of my toes. We had been out for two hours and a little on edge from the intense heat.

In the distance, Gabby saw Fiona’s hot pink baseball cap hovering over Ruby. She looked like she was helping her up from a fall as Ruby was rubbing her ankle. Gabby secretly smiled to herself and knew this would give them an advantage. “Come on Miranda, let’s move it out. We’ve got the lead and we need to keep it that way.” I toweled the sweat from my neck and quickened my pace. “When we’re done I want to have a swim at the pool to cool off. A perfect way to celebrate our victory,” she said.

The next leg of the treasure hunt required us to separate as we worked to gather our final clue. We checked in with each other by cell to see if either of us needed anything. Gabby mentioned that she saw Ruby and Fiona and it looked like they were arguing. We laughed as we were familiar with their incessant bickering. We knew Ruby wouldn’t stand a chance, Fiona always won.

When we finally met back up with each other Gabby sprinted past me. She yelled as she raced by, “I checked us in at the finish already, hurry up and let’s go take that swim.” Her voice trailed off as she flew by me. I spun around and followed in her dust.

We both arrived breathlessly at the pool only to discover the gate was locked. “Oh well, so much for our dip in the pool, got any other ideas?” She shot me that familiar look and I knew she had something in mind. “Give me five minutes, stay here and don’t move I’ll be right back.” I had just enough time to reach down and pull my phone from my pocket and she was opening the gate from the other side. “Unreal, how in the world did you get in?” I said. “Well, let’s just say there are advantages to dating the lifeguard.”

We raced to the edge of the pool, kicked off our sneakers and dove into the lapis colored water. We earned this private piece of heaven. I was the first one in and Gabby followed. We splashed around and laughed as we re-lived the events of the day.

We were dying to know if we beat Ruby and Fiona. Suddenly, and at exactly the same moment we saw it and gasped. We could hardly speak. There it was, the hot pink cap floating on the surface, and that wasn’t the only thing floating in the pool on that hot humid evening.