Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Among Native American people groups there is a parable story about seven grandfathers. Presented here is my fable for the Tsalagi or Cherokee people. In recognition of November in the USA being Native American Heritage Month.

My name is Uheeso-dee-tluhda-tsee, Lone Panther. My father named me after the great cat. My father said he saw the great cat in a dream. He was always nearby and he always watched my mother. When my father took up his spear and knife to scare away the big cat, or to fight it, he looked into its eyes and saw that it was alone and waited for me. When I was born, my father named me Uheeso-dee-tluhda-tsee and told me the story. He would tell me the story many times before brother bear and he struggled. Then my father went to join his fathers beyond.

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The phone rang. He didn’t answer it. It said “private number”. He had stopped taking calls for quite some time. If he didn’t recognize the number, he let it ring. It kept ringing. He decided  to let it go to voice mail. If it went to voice mail, he might call them back. He just stared at the phone until it stopped. There was no buzz notifying him of voice mail. The phone rang again. It said “private number”. Maybe I should answer it this time, he thought. “Hello?”


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She was a friend of a friend. We met at a gallery showing. Our conversation was pleasant. I had not been out in quite some time; nor in the presence of a lady so charming in a longer time. I insisted we have dinner. It was late, but she acquiesced. I smiled and dialed a favored haunt. With a bit of a french accent, the manager on the phone agreed to hold a table for two. She looked at me and asked, “Is it just that easy? At this hour?” I answered, “Yes. Shall we?” I extended my arm. She laid her hand gently on my forearm. In moments we were in a car heading for a late dinner.


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My mother’s family came from central Georgia. She had six sisters and two brothers. As often as we could, my parents piled us into the family  car, a station wagon, to make the five hour trek from Charleston to Milledgeville. It was a pilgrimage of sorts; off to reconnect with family. There is nothing quite like a large family of siblings connecting with their cousins who also have a large family of siblings. Meals were usually had around long tables with benches for seats and foldout card tables for the overflow. Noise, laughter, and at least one argument was always part of our visits. I never cared for the road trip to Georgia or the even longer road trip back, but I always enjoyed my time with my cousins. These were special times, special adventures, special moments.

One special moment was a visit to Uncle Jake’s and Aunt Mildred’s farm. Even though raised in the south by two country born parents, we were pretty much city kids. The idea of having and raising pigs, having a working farm, was quite foreign to me. I recall one trip where the kids went down to see the livestock. The older kids were down there, near the wood-railed fence, looking at the pigs. I wanted to go down there with them. I don’t think I was allowed, so naturally, I tried sneaking down there to be with the big kids, anyway. I got about half way down there when a pig came out of the pen and chased me back up to the house. I tried three more time before giving up. The same pig would come out of the pen and chase me back to the house. I think I spent the rest of that visit on the porch or in the house. I was miserable.

Meals for a large family with a visiting large family were noisy and a flurry of motions in getting everything prepared and set to the table while still hot enough for everyone there. In one of those meals I recall the flurry of motion, emotions, and conversations around the table. It seemed that a torrent had descended on the kitchen and after a brief storm the kitchen was empty again. Empty except for my brother Rob and I. We sat at the table picking at our bowls of oatmeal and staring at the glasses of buttermilk. These were new experiences for us both. We sat there and were told we could not go outside unless we had eaten our food. We were having none of that. We sat and complained as little boys would do.

Our host, Uncle Jake, came into the kitchen. He smiled at us. It was like he wanted to laugh but didn’t. He seemed a very big man to me. He wore a short sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up just a bit, and he wore bib-overalls. He was a working man who understood hard work. I was a little boy who was at war with a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of buttermilk.

Uncle Jake sat across the table from my brother Rob and me. I wish I could remember the entire conversation. His words have been lost to years and time. He talked to us like he was one of us. Told us it was good for us. He had us try little bits, then a little more. My brother Rob may have been smarter than me. He ate his up and drank a good portion of his buttermilk then was excused to go outside and play. Uncle Jake was exceedingly patient with me. With his encouragement, I finally finished my oatmeal. He let me go without finishing the buttermilk. I complained rather sadly at how it tasted like it was bad. I remember I felt like I finally escaped when he said I could go. I do not think I even said thank you. I ran from the table as quickly as I could and joined the kids outside.

I do not remember the rest of that day or that weekend. It was so long ago and blended into other memories. What I do remember the most was my Uncle Jake taking a moment to spend time with me to ensure I got enough to eat. I remember his face and how he genuinely cared. To this day I still do not much care for buttermilk, but I do owe and credit my fondness for oatmeal to my Uncle Jake who took the time to be with his baby sister-in-law’s little boy and helped him eat his first bowl of oatmeal. There were other trips, other visits, but none that I remember more than this one. I wish I knew him better and had other memories I could pull up. But, this is a good one. I am glad he took the time with me, helping me get through a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of buttermilk.

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It was nearly Passover. The city was stirred up. Roman security was at high alert. A Nazarene jew had been judged, beaten, and condemned to die a terrible death. The morning had been filled with throngs following the Nazarene carpenter teacher from one judgment to the next.

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He always seemed strong to me. Larger than life. My earliest memories of him are of a fast-acting, quick to anger man with red skin. He was a hard man who appeared to feel no pain. He was my dad.


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He threw a leg over the bike and sat in the saddle. He was a bit nervous. He could feel the weight as he balanced the bike between his legs. He leaned a bit to the left and right, adjusting to the weight. It seemed a lot heavier than he imagined it. He could manage it. He took the key and put it in the ignition. His mind went immediately to all of the things you used to do. After looking around and realizing those days are done, he pulled the clutch lever and checked the gears were neutral. The fancy, high-tech gauge had a big “N” in the middle. He did a quick mental ‘hmmf’ and turned up the corner of his mouth without thinking. “That makes it easy,” he said to no one in particular.

“It sure does,” piped in the salesman. He had forgotten about the sales guy.

“Technology, unh?” And before the guy could say anything, a little push with the thumb and the bike rumbled to life. He grinned. He could not help it. Something ingrained made him pump the throttle a few times. The injectors removed the need to prime any carburetors, but it was fun to do and sounded great. A quick, natural move of his foot and the big “N” on the speedometer became a “1”. He pulled the throttle back and loosened his grip on the clutch handle a bit. The big bike began to roll forward. A little more throttle and a lot less clutch and he was rolling.

The salesman was saying something but the vibration and the sound of the bike throttling up stole all of his attention. He rolled out, into the street, and gave it a lot more throttle. He felt the vibrations of the motor increase along with the satisfying roar coming from the tail pipes. Clutch – click – roar, he cycled up the gears to a cruising speed. It was satisfying.

The wind around the windscreen barely buffeted him. The windscreen was in the right placement. Still, he could feel the air rush past him as he cut through it. The weight of the bike at first was a concern for him. Now it was a calming assurance. He was not a light feather to be pushed around by any car or truck that came by. It was all very satisfying.

The large tank and wide saddle made the center of the bike seem more stable. The handle bars were adjusted to his reach and liking. The large tires were a throw back to the “bobber” cruisers from old black and white photos. He didn’t mind that at all. They touched more of the road than those skinny tires did, and he liked the look. That is all that mattered. The engine had all the horses and torque you could want; probably far more than you would ever need. He accelerated a bit to get a sense and feel of the power he had in the bike.

He had no real plan for where he was going. In fact, he had no plan at all. He rode away from the dealer. Stopped for the red lights. Rolled through the greens. Watched for impatient drivers through the yellows. He went to one side of town, chose another street, and went to another side of town. He stopped some place and got a burger for lunch. He sat near a window to eye his bike until lunch was over. It roared back to life as he got comfortable in the saddle. He shifted with his toe, and he was off rolling down the street again.

He had barely used any gas. The big 5-gallon tank was an inducement to go ride a long way. He had not decided what was next. He was not sure which way to go. He began to think through his options. He knew the highway was out. It was a 3-lane ribbon that cut through town that became a 2-lane river that fed into the city where it became a twisting network of multi-lane super-highways where the biggest danger was a driver not looking out for anyone; especially a motorcyclist. He chose instead a 2-lane, narrow county road that led out-of-town and into the unincorporated, rural areas between the towns. It was a good opportunity to ride slight curves and bends in the roads, to see farms swish past, and trees become and endless blurs of greens and browns. The large rural route mail boxes would swoosh as he rode by them. There was nothing around him except for the sounds of the bike, the vibration of the engine and the road, and empty 2-lane road.

In front of him was an old 2-lane stretch of highway. There was no destination. There was no place to be. There was simply the ride. After so many years, there it was again. Like an old friend he missed and thought he had lost. There was simply the wind and the ride. And so he did.

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By Dave Doc Rogers
© 20091125

She shivered a bit. It was late. It was dark. It was cold. She was told this was the place to be. She was scared. She had never just gone with a guy she didn’t really know, and now she was. The car pulled up. It was late model, the current trend car. Someone had money, she thought. She stepped into the illumination of the street light. She saw him lean over and pushed the door open.

“Awesome! Get in! You’ve got to be cold.”

She nodded as she adjusted her cowl and cape against the weather. She stepped carefully over the wet sidewalk onto the road. She could see him better now. He smiled showing his fangs. She smiled back as she pulled open the car door.

“This is going to be an awesome party. I am glad you decided to come.”

She looked back at him clicking her seatbelt in place. “Thank you for inviting me.” He was dressed in black and charcoal with hints of blood purple for accents. His hair was jet black except for a streak of white and purple mixed. His make-up gave him a smoky ash hue. He looked hot, she decided. Maybe this won’t be such a risk after all. She let her mind wander a bit, imagining, as he shifted the car into gear and pressed the accelerator.

It descended through the trees all the while locking its eyes on the female attempting to hide near hedges. She had her back to the building as if to make herself shadow. But to this predator she stood out vibrant and hot. Anticipation was building. A car pulled up. The one in the car was dark. It only gave off a faint glow. This one had the ‘taint’ about it. Better to wait and watch, it decided. The car door opened slightly. The female rewrapped her cloak about her and walked into the street. She stepped around the car and got in. In just a moment the car sped away down the street. Curiosity overcame hunger and it followed the car.

The music could easily be heard from the street. Aleister quickly ran around the car and opened the door for Leticia. Her black and crimson cloak suited her well. Her pallor and death stair excited him. She had not been boasting when he was teasing her at the coffee shop. She was really into this. They would be such the epitome of the Dark. This was leading up to being a great evening out. They had even timed it right for a midnight entrance. 

The vibration of the music started to penetrate them as they walked up the flights of stairs. The sixth floor was chosen for it significance as well as it was a large empty former office space. They said that a murder was committed here when it was an office. Someone had stressed out and went postal killing one, wounding others, before turning the gun on himself. They were hoping to tap into that energy and ‘edge’ through the night.

It had floated along after the car, driven by curiosity more than anything else. It passed by others feeding but did not stop. The thrill of the unknown had supplanted other more natural desires. For the moment. In the distance, it could hear the sounds of deep electronic drumming to an aerobic beat. The car was headed to where it was strongest. The car it had been following came to a stop among other cars. Some were warmer than others. Others showed the cool blues of having been here too long. The dark one got out of the car and opened the door for the female. She was still radiant. It fluttered down close and followed them to the building.

The female shuttered slightly as it stepped in close to her. Noiselessly it followed them up the six flights of steps. The pounding of the bass drum sent echoes through its being. The rhythm became its own intoxicant. Soon it was drawn to the spots on the floor. Bits of splatter remained. A slight taint of life remained where several were shot. A bigger spot was found where one of the victims had expired while first aid was being attempted. A shiver went through the creature. There was a faint shimmer of life still in the spot where the shooter committed suicide. As the people moved out of the way, it was able to see the glimmer of the man. His shade. His ghost still standing there. Still holding a gun. Still trying to end it all. As it reached out to touch it, to taste its pain, it felt a shimmer of a drain run through it.

The creature stopped to sense the air to see what had happened. It slowly turned, scanning the crowd around. It locked eyes with the female it had followed earlier. Her black and crimson cloak had opened and her cowl rested on her shoulders. The green eyes stared at it in hunger. The crimson-auburn hair hinted at the life flowing through the veins. The pale skin gave off an aroma of purity. The dress was gauzy thin. The heat of the female was maddening. It lunged for her.

The young man stepped in the way. It circled around the male when a strong hand grasped it and held it in place. It was shoved into the male’s space. The female drove them both back to a wall. She fell on the male’s neck but pierced the skin of the creature. It could feel the life force draining out of it. The male shuddered in his excitement. The female held them both there until she was finished.

The male smiled down at her. She really did know how to hunt wampyr and would let him taste death. His soul became darker. His taste for death just became an addiction.

She smiled back. She knew the lust in the young man. She wanted him now and badly. He was dark but not dark enough. He needed more death seasoning.

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Uncle John

By Dave Doc Rogers
© 20090131
For the “Support our Support” contest at Writers Café
He sat on his couch, surrounded by loved ones, showing a turkey shoot trophy for first place. He was an older man reliving the vigor of youth. I sat there watching as a young man, ignorant of the importances of life. Here was my uncle; my mother’s sister’s husband. I suppose proximity and familiarity diluted the strength of this man. I did not realize until much later the value of the man who sat there excitedly retelling how an “old man” like himself out shot all of those “younger” guys. My dad, no longer a young man himself, shared in that laughter. Knowing eyes did not divulge much more than laughter.
It was the thing all young men did. They kissed their wives or their girlfriends, waved good-bye to their moms, boarded a bus, and went to basic training. For those living in rural, depression-era Georgia during the 1930s and early 1940s, a money earner for the family just got on that bus. They would have to do with even less now. Some may have argued that very point. Others said nothing because it was the right thing to do. In middle Europe at the same time, no one had an option. They were engaged in a war.
My Uncle John arrived at boot camp, received the haircut, was issued new clothes, was told where to go. He distinguished himself as a country boy who could shoot. They transferred him to one motorized division to another one for special infantry. After training, he went to England. After England, he spent considerable time in France. He was with the boys that survived when they landed at Normandy. He was with them when his division was honored for holding a key city until relieved. I was told his tank was hit. He went one way. His best friend went the other. They didn’t see each other again for many years. Grown men bawling like babes on a downtown street.
The honored sergeant returned home. There were no outward signs of damage. It was a different era. They didn’t talk about combat fatigue or battle stress. They just dealt with ‘their’ issues. Those that served in the Pacific or in Europe understood what it was like. The horror stories these men could not share because the eyes staring back at them would disbelieve. For an infantry soldier, warfare gets very close and personal. Uncle John was no exception. My mother related a story after my uncle’s return from war where his mind returned to war while his body was in central Georgia. It involved shoving his oldest boy against the wall, shouting interrogating words in German, and a loving family trying to get their dad back. When he came back to his mind, he left for three days. He loved his family much.
There were no other tales told of my Uncle John beyond here is a man who helped raise ten kids, loved his wife, worked really hard, loved to fish, loved to hunt, and loved his extended family as his own. He and his brother-in-law helped create a legacy of sorts. Because of their honored service to their country in extremely difficult times, many of the children of the extended family proved themselves also in military service; even in times when the military effort was disliked. I, too, served.
A movie came out about saving a private which lead to a mini-series about a parachute infantry regiment. My Uncle John was one of those that shouted Currahee! He was one of the fortunate few that returned home. Having watched the mini-series several times and knowing what I know of war from books, film, interviews, and marginal experience, I gained a better measure of the man who sat upon his couch surrounded by loved ones talking about a turkey shoot trophy. I never heard him make a big deal of his time in Europe. I heard him make a big deal about his family and living life. His sons and daughters spoke more of their father’s time in Europe than he did. He was one of the fortunate few that returned to live life among people, to face the challenges of normalcy, to hope to never send their sons and daughters to go do what he did.
My Uncle John spent the remainder of his days a father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather. He had the misfortune to bury his wife at younger age than should have been. A man of goodly physical strength waned to old age and disease. He was laid to rest, a hero; not of war but of life. War shaped his passion for living. Life tasted all the more sweeter. Those things taken as common and unappreciated became of high value, because of whom and what he left behind in Europe during the 1940s.
My Uncle John rests with his wife now. He lived a full life; fuller than most, perhaps less than others. He gave of himself willingly for God and country and for a people he did not know. He returned and worked and lived. No one knew the horrors he saw except for a few, a band of brothers. Greatness is not always born out of doing well in great events. Most of the time it is born out of doing the most commonplace things to the best of your ability over the balance of your life and hoping it was enough to impact another’s life.
My Uncle John’s legacy continues on through his children, me, my writing, and through the living that hear the retelling of his life.

In loving memory:
John Lee Eubanks
December 23, 1920 to April 27, 1997
506e PIR, 101st Infantry Division, USA
“Easy Company”


John Eubanks_WWII 506PIREasyco01

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An Interesting Evening in August

(An Hogwart’s Invitation)

By Dave Doc Rogers


[For the ‘Welcome To Hogwart’s’ contest at Writers Café]



* * *


“Archie!” A pause. “Archie!!” Another pause. “Where is that daft little boy this time?”


Shutting the door behind her, Emelia walked further into the garden. “Archie, you h’best not be playing your games again.” Her eyes cast about their small yard. She did not see him. She scowled looking one last time round before marching back to the house.


“Where is Archie?” Mrs. Dunmore asked without turning from the sink. “It is time to wash up for dinner.”


“I couldn’t find him, Mum.”


“Did you look?” Pause. “Did you really look?” Another pause. Mrs. Dunmore turned from the sink wiping her hands on her apron. “Really,” she said slightly exasperated. “You are a third year; about to start your fourth, mind you. I would have hoped your mind would have been on more than studies and prefects.”


Mrs. Dunmore looked at her daughter. She had honey-blonde hair and brown eyes. Not at all like her father. More like herself, she thought. She was nearly as tall and nearly as sharp tongued, which Mrs. Dunmore noted, Emelia currently held in check. Good. She is getting smarter about things, she thought to herself. Without taking her eyes off of her daughter she called out, “Mrs. McGonagall.” In walked a tabby cat, purring and rubbing against Mrs. Dunmore’s legs. “Please go fetch Archie. He seems to have hidden himself from his sister.” There was a slight pause, “Again.”


The cat looked up, mewed once, and exited the pet hatch set in the kitchen door leading to their garden.


“Emelia, do wash up. Then set the table. Thank you, dear.” Mrs. Dunmore turned back to cleaning and peeling the vegetables in the sink. She began humming to herself. This signaled to Emelia the conversation was over and she should be about her tasks.


* * *


He wanted to laugh but he knew the slightest sound would give away his position. He held his breath and counted. She never looks longer than 60. Tonight was to be no exception. He knew it was time for dinner. He could see his mum’s shadow from the light pouring out of their kitchen window. Emelia called from the door. He didn’t answer. She walked into their family garden; a little patch of greenery that his mum would fuss over. More than once he would receive a scolding for playing where he should not. He didn’t much care for the scolding but playing in the garden was fun. And hiding was always great fun. Especially from his sister Emelia. As she went back inside, he knew it was only a matter of moments before Mrs. McGonagall, the family pet, would come looking for him. He enjoyed his last few moments as he looked over what little bit of his home town he could see.


The roundabout at the end of his street was there. Not very far at all. An easy walk from the front door. It always seemed further from the top of the tree. The Downs stretched off to Eastwick Close. He knew this because he was told never to there on his own. Ladies Mile Estate stretched away south to other streets, houses, and little backyard gardens like his own. He was told not to go there alone either. North of him the constant rush of cars and lorries of various sizes and speeds would run down the expressway. The A27 ran on like a dark ribbon east and west. He always fancied that he might be able to see his father pulling off the A27 onto Carden Avenue. He never did, but he looked anyway. It was getting dark. The lights of the cars and various lorries blended into a stream if you squinted. Yellows and whites one way, reds the other.


A meow nearby broke his thoughts. Archie looked down. It was Mrs. McGonagall. How she got up here without being seen he was not sure. “Is it time, Mrs. McGonagall?” The cat meowed in reply. “Okay.” And together they began climbing down the tree.




“Archie, we are expecting guests tomorrow. They will be flying in from all over. Your mother and I expect you to n… to be available.” Mr. Dunmore looked over the top of his newspaper at his son. The images on the front of the paper also looked at him. One winked and smiled. It was an uncle of his.


“Are we not having the party then? For my birthday?” Archie replied with growing concern in his voice.


“Yes, we are having your friends over for cake and ice cream. And you can run around in the garden as well.” Mr. Dunmore looked to his wife. She didn’t seem pleased at that last bit of information. “We will be having over additional guests later.” He looked at his son with an air of expectation. “It isn’t everyday a young man turns eleven.” Mr. Dunmore smiled happily.


Archie didn’t understand what his father was hinting at, but if it meant he was actually getting two birthday parties then he was very pleased with that idea. His mind drifted off to the possibilities of gifts and running around the garden playing games with his friends. Tomorrow was going to be a special day indeed.




Archie awoke energetically. He was eleven. “I am eleven,” he said to no one in particular. The white painted ceiling of his room remained white. He looked to his dresser. It was just as he left it the night before. Nothing had changed.


“I’m eleven years old now,” he said looking about his bedroom. His shoes, socks, and pants lay exactly where he left them as he changed into his pajamas last night. He slid out of bed. Put his foot into each one of his slippers and stood up. Nothing had changed.


He walked over to the window and stared out into the garden. He saw a garden gnome meander along the wall heading toward the far end of the yard. Beyond the downs was the expressway. The morning sun was casting long shadows with everything. “Humph.” Nothing had changed.


He went about his routine of getting dressed. He left his pajamas and slippers on the floor wherever they landed. He picked up the brush from his dresser and ran it through his hair a few strokes. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. His hair was only slightly tamed by the brush. Nothing had changed. He shrugged at himself in the mirror then turned to his door and left his room for downstairs.


He walked through the kitchen. It seemed everyone was still asleep. It was still summer and waking early for school was still a long way off. Why didn’t he just sleep in until his mum woke him up? He couldn’t possibly answer such big questions while being so hungry. He began rummaging through the cupboards and shelves of the pantry. He was not sure what it was he wanted but he knew he would know what it was once he saw it. He continued his search through the pantry for a few minutes more before deciding on the refrigerator. There were several interesting things in there. Some of them he knew would get him into trouble if he had them for breakfast. After standing in front of the refrigerator just staring at all of the containers, bowls, plates, and bottles of miscellaneous this or that, he decided on a jar raspberry jam.


Archie set himself some bread and butter to spread. He set them beside the jam on the kitchen table. He had turned to pour himself some milk when he heard a tapping on glass. He looked about. He did not see anyone. He began pouring again. Again there was tapping on glass. He set his glass on the table and closed the refrigerator. His eyes wandered around the small kitchen. He did not see the source of the tapping. He continued making his breakfast.  As he was spreading butter across his bread, he heard the tapping on the kitchen door. He pushed his chair back and went to investigate.


Peering out the window, Archie did not see anything. In fact everything looked as it always had. Nothing was unusual or had seemed to change. Archie unbolted the door and opened it to take a better look outside. As he opened the door an owl flew up. Being caught off guard, Archie fell backwards into the kitchen. The bird flew in, flapped around, and then settled on the kitchen table where it seemed to notice the bit of breakfast still there.


Archie cautiously got to his feet. The owl was large and carried an envelope in its beak. The owl seemed to be waiting for something. It just stood on the table staring at Archie. They just stared back at each other a moment when Archie noticed there was writing on the envelope. He read the address.


Archibald Dunmore

Number 231 Mackie Avenue

Patcham West Sussex

“In the kitchen”


“Hey, that’s me!” Archie exclaimed.


Before Archie had a chance to react, the owl dropped the envelope and flew at him. Archie dropped to the floor again as the owl shot out into the garden, swooped past a garden gnome nearly getting him, and flew out of sight.


“How odd,” Archie said out loud.


“What’s odd, dear?” Mrs. Dunmore asked sleepily as she made her way to the sink to pour water to boil.


Archie shut the door and walked back to the table. He picked up the envelope and stared at it a moment. “Something was pecking at the windows,” he started. “I opened up the back door to see what it was. And in flew an owl with this envelope. As soon as I said who I was it flew out again and was gone.”


“An owl gave you an envelope!” Mrs. Dunmore clapped her hands together. She no longer sounded sleepy but very excited. “Quickly! Who is it from?” Archie had never seen her in such a state.


“It says it’s from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and it is addressed to the kitchen. How would they know that, Mum?”


“They just do, Archie,” she said offhandedly. Mrs. Dunmore stared intently at the envelope. “Well, open it up, Archie. What does it say?”

Archie looked from his mother to the envelope. Yes, what does it say? He thought. He opened the envelope and pulled out the card. Mrs. Dunmore had moved in close to read over his shoulder.


Hogwarts School


Witchcraft and Wizardry


Dear Mr. Dunmore,

            We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

            Term begins on September 3. We await your owl by no later than August 5.


Yours sincerely,


Minerva McGonagall



“You’ve been accepted, Archie!” Mrs. Dunmore wrapped up Archie in her arms and kissed him soundly on his cheeks. She set him back down then ran up the stair waking everyone in the house.




The rest of the day was a blur of activity. Visitors started coming by with odd presents. Musty old books, pens, quills, and miscellany that did not seem to fit school needs. But Mrs. Dunmore would thank them, say that would save on shopping in Dagon’s Alley, and checked another item off of the list that came with the letter from Hogwarts. Some people arrived by the fireplace. Archie had not seen anyone do that before. Which explains, Archie thought, why some relatives would come to call without having a car parked outside. Most came walking up from the Downs. Very few drove a car.


It was all a bit much for the young Archie. He much preferred playing football with his friends taking turns as keeper and midfielders. The roundabout had always served as their playing field. Today was no exception. They played until lunch. Then there was cake and ice cream. After that party games and presents. Before he realized how much time had passed he was being called in to get cleaned up for dinner. Reluctantly, Archie said good-bye to his friends.


Archie came down after getting cleaned up. Their comfortable house was full of people. Some he remembered as being relatives. Others, he had never seen before. They were all dressed oddly for August along the coast of Sussex. They were dressed in capes and pointed caps. Some wore hooded capes and they would drop their hood as they came out of the fireplace or through the front door. They were excited to see Archie as he descended the stair.


“Another Dunmore to attend Hogwarts!” Cried out an elderly gentleman in a loud voice. Everyone cheered along with him. The man kept drinking from a glass goblet that filled itself up with wine whenever he took a drink. He was starting to sway dangerously.


“The Second Party,” as Archie would later refer to it, finally came to an end. There was a modest collection of needed school supplies and gifts that would be specifically for the train ride to school. And promised companions as he went shopping for the rest of his list. Archie didn’t quite understand it all, but there were several knowing looks which told him he was in for some surprises.


As the well wishes wound down and people started leaving through the fireplace or walking out into the garden to jump on a broom and shoot away into the night, Archie realized something had changed. Although he really didn’t feel any different, in less than a month everything will have changed. His life as a normal boy, a ‘muggle’ as he learned, was over. Starting next term he will be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The day had become every long. Archie had gone up to his room amidst all of his new and new to him school supplies, he watched out of the window as the elder Dunmore had mounted his broom and took off. Several others followed after him. He kept laughing and casting odd lights over the house tops. At first he could hear the complaints, but as they moved further and further northeast he lost them, except for the lights that slowly disappeared beyond the A27.


Archie said to himself. “I guess a lot of things did change today after all.”

© 2009 Dave Doc Rogers

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