I started this blog with the intention of chronicling my journey as a writer. Therefore it seems appropriate to report that I have just published a new short story.
MR. JABLOWSKI’S TREASURE
Available now as an eBook on Sony and KOBO, and via SMASHWORDS and soon to be available at other retailers.
Originally written as an entry for the Toronto Star short story contest many years ago, I didn't enter the story as it was too long to meet their requirements! When I edited it down to meet their word count I felt I had lost some of the important flavor of the tale and it simply wasn't good enough at the reduced version. I was going to enter the story for the 2013 contest, but discovered that as an employee of the Toronto Public Library I was not eligible, as the Library is a sponsor of the contest.
Here’s a brief synopsis and I’ve included a sample to whet your interests. If you decide to purchase and you enjoyed the story please let me know!
A young boy in 1966 is given too much freedom and while he works hard to escape the summertime blues, the bullies and boredom, he makes an amazing discovery. This discovery unfortunately leads to tragic consequences.
The passage of the subway train made a dull thundering sound as it squeezed down the tunnel from the Warden Ave. station into the final stop at Kennedy. My head snapped up, awoken from the sleep of the tired commuter. The black walls of the tunnel were in sharp contrast to the bright piercing signal lights that lined the dark dirty walls. My chin sank back down to my chest and I forced my eyes open, returning to the land of the living. It was a pressure induced, begrudging sleep, and I looked to each side to see if I had insulted either of the two fat women that I was sandwiched between, my head resting on one of their broad shoulders while I was in the embrace of the subway snooze, but both were still snoring away.
Then I saw Old Man Jablowski sitting directly across the car. I involuntarily gasped, but the train squealed, traversing a tight curve and my gasp was lost in the train’s scream. There he was, as large as life itself, a newspaper clasped in his large hairy hands. I closed my eyes, as if this would make him disappear, yet there he remained when I looked again. But it wasn’t Old Man Jablowski, just a look-alike! He wore the same dull gray fedora pushed back revealing his white hair and the checkered sports coat worn by all tired old men.
The white light of the station platform flooded the train as the subway train pulled to a shuddering stop. The Jablowski clone folded his paper carefully and slipped away into the crowd as commuters filed out of the subway car. Swallowed up, as if he he had never been there to awaken the memory of the real Mr. Jablowski. But he had been there, just long enough to dredge up those painful memories that I had prayed would stay buried forever!
I hadn’t thought about that old man for decades, thirty years to be precise; not since that long hot summer in 1966 when I was ten years old. Of course the reality was that I hadn’t given any thought to that entire summer, not since the day I walked back into the crisp, cool halls of the Crescent Road public school the day after Labor Day to begin grade five and let that summer slide away into oblivion! In the summer of 66 my parents let me run wild. I was old enough to be considered responsible and careful enough not to get caught. My father and mother trusted me and in the end that was just a little too much. After all they knew everyone in the neighborhood, if not by name then by face. It was a time when people expected the best from each other and from life and more often than not they were not disappointed. Our street was just like all the streets in our little world. Post Second World War Two bungalows laid out in neat geometric squares. Every house had a car parked in the driveway and although they weren’t new they were well kept. It was not quite the world portrayed in TV shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and the “Nelsons”, but close to it, an age of innocence.