Category Archives: short story

Look for my Ad!

Did you catch my ad on WOW? Or someplace else? If you purchase a copy of any one of my picture books this month, please tell me where you found out about the book, send me a copy of your receipt and I will enter you into a drawing to win one of the other four (my choice of book) in paper or eform (kindle, bn, other) according to the format you purchased.

email me at: joanleotta@atmc.net with your receipt!

 

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Teachers Can and Do

I always hated, and never believed,  that old chestnut that teachers are people who cannot actually do what they teach–nonsense! Teachers are those who share with us the technology (so to speak) of the art or craft  they have fallen in love with. They want to share with us what they love, share the how-to and the mystery of it.

They become educators when they draw out of us our desires to pursue a field to the limit of our ability, usually thanks to their support, inspiration, and ministrations of technique and method.

As a working journalist, story performer and more I want to share with others what I have learned and to inspire others to follow their dreams in whatever field they desire–esp in

writing and story performance. Yep, I talk and write for audiences. It’s that simple!

This month I have had the opportunity to be a teacher and to share my love of these two modes of communication on Donna Washington’s Blog, in Ruby for Women Magazine (writing only in that one. March starts a three-part series for those who want to get started in writing) and here, on this blog by reminding you that I have two new publications out this month–My children’s book, Rosa’s Shell and my book of poems, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon.

PS Today the literative.com site has one of my writings up as the prose winner of their winter contest!

https://literative.com/writing-contest-winners/cold-snap-creative-writing-contest-winner/

Do check it out!

I’m happy to come and and talk to your school or group about writing (for adults, for children, poetry) story performance (or to give a story performance!)

Please do contact me and let me know if you would like me to come! Those who do, if they are fortunate enough also share what they know by teaching!

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A Short Tale for the Holiday

Take a look at this tiny tale!

I’ll be working on it to make it better and larger in the coming months–or do you like it as is? I’d love to have your input!

Gregor the Ghost woke up late afternoon on Halloween, his very favorite day. He would walk along the streets and no one would be afraid! They would think he was just another child in a ghost costume! When the moon was high, he joined the crowds going from house to house for candy.

He noticed a girl dressed as a green and yellow spider all by herself.

“What’s wrong ?”

“No one wants to go with me. They say I’m too scary ”

Gregor laughed.”Spiders don’t scare me.”

Ghost and spider gathered candy together. Neither one scared the other!

Counting My Blessings

A few days ago, a wonderful storyteller, Antonio Sacre, posted on his FB page that he had performed in a number of different countries this year, etc, listing it all in a summary form. It was impressive.  And instructive. Sometimes when we think about individual accomplishments we forget that all of this comes from God and to Him belongs the glory. As it says on the emblem I wore on my school uniform, Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.

So, I listed all of the writing of mine that had been published this year, including my non-fiction writing (which I rarely talk about on this site).

Publications in 2015 with a brief look back at 2014 at the end

 

 January 2015

Newspaper These are listed right from my invoice–all in this block were printed in Sun News during the year

Review of food sub bible
Review of  raw energy in a glass
Review of Caffe Diem and Kudzu joint venture for kicks
Restaurant article (small on Villa Romana) for coasting
Cooking with Honey (will turn in by 28th)

 

Carmen (the entire year right here in reverse order) These are for profiles in excellence on http://www.disability-marketing.co0m

Makies coming before the end of the year—

 

Poems (and play) (wherever you see the words HAts OFFm this means that North Carolina Writers Netowrk ran a small feature celebrating the accomplishment

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose ten-minute play, “Pinpoint Wisdom,” will be produced by Fort Point Theatre Channel of Boston as part of Channel/Dance: An Evening of Movement, Art, and Theater, February 13-14, 2015.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, “The Cardinal’s Mirror,” was accepted for the Poeming Pigeon Anthology (The Poetry Box).

Also, she is 30/30 poet for Tupelo Press. For the month of February,

 

New Year Morning at the Beach published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

The Penny Dreadful accepted At the Farmstand, atwenty-one-word stories for its next issue.

February

Play Produced! Pinpoint Wisdom by Ft Point Theatre in Boston

Newspaper

Review of taste of home cookbook
 
Review of which wich for kicks
Travel article, Rome for March
Goffinet chirping birds
Chef huckabee article
Review of DOUBT

Carmen—see January

Poems

(Published: 13 February 2015, ncwn)

poem “Ora Pro Nobis” is forthcoming in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing (March).

In Righter Puiblication Monthly,

How Long Will Winter Be? By Joan Leotta

February Joy by Joan Leotta

Essay

Fiction

March

Newspaper

Feature for food on zeppole and soda bread
Kicks café old vienna
Article on Chef Joeseph Bonaparte and HGTC
Indian food for diabetesw
Spring green tonics
Bonjour y’all book review

Carmen-see January

Poems

Published: 05 March 2015Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who in Knot Magazine for their spring issue on women in art, Dorotea, my tribute to Dorothy Lange, the photographer

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Morning Comes” is forthcoming in the “Insomnia Issue” of the journalThe Art of Being Human /An Anthology of International Poetry, compiled and edited by Daniela Voicu and Brian Wrixon (Volume 14).

www.mciwritershouse.com/authors-spotlight ran Mar 21, 2015 – A Platter of Mezze By Joan Leotta …

March 15 sent the poem Forbes field to the Hobart contest–accepted

Righter Publications published Path, Big Dog andRobin Crossing

Essay ==east iowa review http://www.portyonderpress.com/eastern-iowa-review.html–two cups of coffee–accepted on march 1!

Fiction

FISH OR CUT BAIT STORY Published  (accepted in 2014—Egidio Learns to Fish)

March 12 sent a cup of compfort to omdb.com ,accepted on march 18

(see May also! Same item)March 28 sent a flash fiction to spelkfiction@gmx.com Also, the online journal Spelk Fiction has accepted one of Joan’s flash fiction pieces, “The Magician’s Trick,” which will appear May 27.accepted on Mar 30—it will go up on the site ma

April

AWARDS FROM PRESSWOMEN< NC CHAPTER

Congratulations! You won several awards in the contest:

Too Hot to Cook won 2nd place, published in 2014 in newspaper

Carousel Ride won 3rd place essay, , published in 2014

Summer Storm in the Canyon got an Honorable Mention-poem

Newspaper

Feature for food  Passover meal
Kicks Play Review Atlantic Stage
Peter warren book review
Book review foods that make you say mmmmm
Book review  looking around
Book review  let the beauty inside you become……
Kicks Restaurant Review–CIAO

Carmen-see January

Poems

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who had three poems—”The Autistic Boy,” “Backporch morning,” and “Blooming Bush”—published by A Quiet Courage. Her poem “Sampling Oysters” is forthcoming in Postcards, Poems,and Prose,

Righter publications published April Excitement and

April Birthday and

April 

Essay

Fiction

her prose piece “The Lion Tamer” has won an Honorable Mention in The Maine Review’s annual short fiction contest.

 

May

Book accepted Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who inked a contract to publish her first children’s picture book, Whoosh, withTHEAQ, LLC, a Minnesota-based publisher. The release date is scheduled for August, 2015

Newspaper

Feature for food  Mothers Day
Chefs of the Coast—cookbook review
Readers corner review (see Vicki)
Lombardo’s Bistro for Kicks
Bob’s Red Mill cookbook review
 
Kicks Restaurant Review—Le Bon Café
Ally’s Kitchen—cookbook review

Carmen—see January

Poems

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who has three poems forthcoming in The Art of Being Human (Volume 15): “The Autistic Boy,(reprint)” “A Secret Mermaid,” and “Waiting (on a train platform).”

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Morning Comes” (reprint)is forthcoming in Anthology: The State of Open Mic in NC, edited by Melissa Hassard, book canceled later in the year

Farm Market Opening Day and Merry Merry Month of May published in Righter monthly

Al Dente poem accepted by Poeming pigeons (came out in fall in anthology)

Essay

Fiction

 June

Books  Came out  Desert Breeze, Secrets of the Heart and the collections of shorts, Simply a Smile

Newspaper

Chefs of the Coast—cookbook review
Ice cream cookbook storey press)
Vegan frozen things cookbook review storey press

Carmen see january

Poems

Published: 26 June 2015poems accepted for an international, English-language anthology:Gust of Wits. ( those what would henry do, cameras, ocean, faye’s daisies, and can I live here—word on that on june 4

Red Hawk” will appear in the August issue of the Indiana Voice Journal.

Reunion was published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose short story “A Glass of Water” received an honorable mention in the Pikes Peak Pen Women’s Flash Fiction Contest. The story will be included on their website.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose 21-word short story, “At the Farm Stand,” is forthcoming in Penny Dreadful.  came out this month

July

Newspaper

Turkish food ran July  15
Mystery writers of america—cookbook review
40 Fun Fables
Everyday vegan
Southern made fresh
Watermelon Savory
Kicks article on theatre, atlantic stage move and new season

Carmen see January

Poem

08 July 2015Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “The Moth” was accepted for the new Janes Boy Press publicationIshka Bibble. It will appear in the October issue.(postphoned to later in the year)

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Joan Gabrielle—A Handy Name appears as part of the “All About My Name” Poetry Series from Silver Birch Press.

Picnic—Fourth of July and

Shell Tree Edisto Island published in Righter

Essay

Fiction

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose flash fiction piece “A Glimpse of Glory” is forthcoming in September’sIndiana Voice Journal.

 

August

Interview in paper/online, Various articles about me and my work on the project Poetry Opens Doors published in Brunswick Beacon this year, and Star News

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, who was featured on The National Federation of Press Women website. Her career advice? Be persistent, be honest.

Book came out WHOOSH, Auugst 12

Newspaper

Barbecue Lovers The Carolinas—cookbook review
Hummus
Food gifts
Kids with diabetes

Carmen—see January

Poems

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Al Dente” is forthcoming in the Poeming Pigeons’ food-themed anthology to be published later this year is this double counted?(see earlier on acceptance of this poem)

August 13 sent languid lusciousness with lemons as revised to silver birch—accepted ! aug 30

Marking August Days published in righter Monthly

Essay Review of poetry book

From my heart to yours—review of a poetry book

Fiction

September

Newspaper

Vegetarian Thai (ran in August)
175 essential slow cooker
Thyroid health and diet

Carmen

Poem

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem “Leaves”(redo) will appear as part of the Winston-Salem Writers Poetry in Plain Sight Bus Project in the fourth quarter this year.

Also, her poems “Languid, Luscious Lemons” and

Happy Together” are forthcoming from Silver Birch Press as part of their Sweet Word and Songs projects, respectively.

September Brings Pears and

September published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

October

Newspaper

Preservation Society book review
A real southern cook in her savannah kitchen review
Article on Italian regional foods
Trim healthy mama–review
A dairy good cookbook–review
Pure pork awesomeness
Fuzzy mud

Carmen  see jan

Poems

Sea glass was accepted by postcard poems and poetry to run later in the year—ran in October

“The Queen of Long Division” has been accepted by Silver Birch Press to be a part of their  Sweet Words for Halloween Series

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta who won two prizes in the Mid-South Poetry Festival: First Place in the Doty Katz Memorial for “Spotting  Carolina Jessamine and Gahzal on the beach won a second prize in the ghazal contest

Carving out the Moon and Travel on Faith published in Righter Monthly

Essay

Fiction

Midnight Plumber ran again on my blog –first published by KRL in October 2014

 November

Newspaper

·         Joint review Ebenezer scrooge and State of the Heart-non food
Real and slow article ran first week nov
Oz cookbook
Joint review of two Robert rose books
Maple mania  running nov 18
Maple 100 recipes, book review
South Carolina blues—review non food

 

The Southerners Cookbook

 

Carmen—see January

 Poems

Sitting Down and Pumpkin Festival Dinner – Circleville, Ohio  both published in November’s Righter MOnthly

Nov 29 received acceptance for Indian Ice Cream Treat from the work the World Enough Writers Ice Cream Anthology.

Sent sleeping on a pile of coats to silver birch and it was accepted

Essay

Fiction

JOAN LEOTTA: Perspective | 50-Word Stories  accepted and ran

fiftywordstories.com/2015/11/16/joanleotta-perspective/

Nov 16, 2015 – Arachne’s skill still amazes me. In the early morning sunlight, I have often watched dew shimmering in rainbow-drenched glory along silken …

November 25, 2015 | Rachel Richey of Literative Newsletter, https://literative.com/
has just informed me that my entry into their last contest is the winner and will go up on the site on Friday–so, in between shopping and leftover turkey sandwiches, take a look!   TIGER is the name of the piece

 

December

Newspaper

·         Spiralizer cookbook–ran in early month
Atlantic Stage review of Scrooge for Kicks
Twelve Days of Cookies ran on Dec 9
Complete wild game cookbook book review ran on Dec 23
Good cheap eats dinner in 30 min or less
Georgialina review of book
probiotics book review
Healthy eating for the new year -article, gturned in

Carmen

Poems

the perfect tree published in righter monthly

received a note from poetry in plain sight that my poem,blue jay day will be their January poster

Essay—profile of Joseph Bathanti out now in the January issue of NIAF magazine,

reprint of the Big Box ran in grannysublogspot Dec 20

Fiction

Short story the surprise ball published in Righter monthly
Shaun Levin\!”The Fish Knife”. Accepted and will be coming out in February in A3 next year.England

2014 Notes(not all)

 (2014

Five Little Bears Came to My House today won  Third Place in the Caldwell Nixon, Jr. Award sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society.)

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta, whose short story “Voice of an Angel” has won First Place in the 2013 Charlotte Writers’ Club Contest!

May 2014 Hats Off! Joan Leotta, , Second, in the “Short Story” category of t

he 2014 Anthology Contest sponsored by the Winston-Salem Writers. in theWinston-Salem Writers 2014 Anthology  Leotta (“The World Turned Upside Down”) (May) poem “Falling Shells” is forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly/Prolific Press. Also, her short story “Cottonwood Grove” will be published in an anthology of Westerns from Cane Hollow Press. “Cottonwood Grove” is also available as a Kindle Single.

Hats Off! to Joan Leotta whose poem, “Leaving Sunset Beach,” and one of her sunset photos will be on the cover of the July issue of Righter Monthly Review. Also, her essay “To Fly,” about her first car, is forthcoming in the July issue of Sasee magazine.  December 2014 they published a Big Box as well)

 

Then I prayed for each person who read my articles, poems, essays, short stories, books, and who saw my play (produced for the first time in Boston in February). I also prayed  for the editors and artists who dealt with bringing them to production. I prayed that my work would be a blessing to them and continue to be so in 2016. Then I prayed for all of the editors who read and turned down my poetry and stories in 2015. Their rejections in many case caused me to strengthen the work before it found the right home(I don;t send non-fiction out on spec any more–only write it when assigned). And believe me, those of you who only see my acceptances–when you send out poetry and fiction,m the rejection pile is high.

As I make my plan for 2016, I pray that my work may be a blessing to many and honor God in every way.

 

Free Halloween Story! Midnight Pumbers

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This is a non-scary ghost story! It first appeared in Kings River Life, last year. Enjoy with your family–the little girl? Me at age four in the costume made by my Aunt Claudia.

Midnight Plumbers
By Joan Leotta

My name is Tirzah. If you’re a student of the Bible you may have heard of me. My sisters, Mahlah, Hoglah, Milcah and I, daughters of Zelophahad, were the first women to be able to inherit property under Mosaic Law. We were always forward and independent thinkers. So why should it be different now, just because we’re dead?

While alive, as a wealthy girl, I was sought by many. I married the handsome Zeno. He turned out to be a liar, a cheat, a gambler, a drinker, a wife beater and worse. How could I live with that? Well, to be honest, despite the advice of my sisters, I decided I could live with the constant lies. I lived with the heart- rending knowledge that Zeno often spread his seed with other women. I even paid his gambling debts by selling my share of my mother’s jewelry. I silently endured the many nights when, sloppy with wine, he beat me. What I could not live with was the last thing Zeno did. He murdered me.

Looking back on it now, I realize he had planned the crime for some time. Ashamed of the bruises from Zeno’s beatings I usually went alone to the well, in the heat of an afternoon instead of in the morning and late evening with the other village women. One afternoon Zeno followed me. At the very moment I was leaning over the well to pull the bucket up, he hit me over the head with a stick and pushed me in. Only Zeno was there to hear my cry as I tumbled headlong into the water of the narrow well. Just before I hit my head again on the wall of the well and succumbed to eternal sleep, I heard Zeno laughing.

My body became stuck between the wall and the bucket. To be honest, the well was narrow and I was not. Shortly after the fall, I felt myself rise from the well. Not all of me. Just my spirit. I could see my body still wedged in the well, my brand new robe heavy and wet. Not understanding how, I floated along and saw Zeno peer into the well to be sure I wasn’t moving. Then, he took a palm branch and began to walk backwards to our tent, carefully using the palm frond to brush away his footprints as he went. Clever. The Angel of Death fluttered down beside me and whispered, “Wait and watch with me.”

In the cool of early evening, before sundown, the other women came to the well. Unable to pull up the stuck bucket, my sister Mahlah looked down and saw my body. When the screams of the women were loud enough to reach my tent, Zeno came running and began to tear his robes and hair. He loudly proclaimed he had been asleep all afternoon and loudly lamented my passing. The other villagers pulled my body out.

The Angel of Death and I watched it all from the shade of the nearby palm trees. Shades in the shade. Then the Angel escorted me upward to the Almighty, who in a strong but comforting voice, judged me. “You are to be allowed to join in the joy of My presence for all eternity.” At last, a home I would not have to clean. Feeling suddenly bold, I asked the Almighty for a favor.

“Beloved Mighty One, thank you for allowing me into Paradise. But I have a problem. Zeno is going to escape punishment. Despite the suspicions of my sisters, the other villagers believe Zeno’s story. Everyone knows I go to the well alone each day so they believe I fell in. Since the villagers are not going to punish Zeno, I would like you to smite him–or Lord, could I push him into the well?”

God refused my request to punish Zeno myself.

“Vengeance is mine,” the Lord told me. “He will have eternal punishment unless he repents. However, since you are so interested in earthly justice, Tirzah, I will send you back to earth to bring justice for others whenever a crime involves water. You can use water and other natural elements to punish the guilty who might otherwise escape justice.”

Comforted by this new job, I toured the earth in my new status as spirit (some say ghost.)
Usually I could only appear to humans as a face in water but on the day you call Halloween, I could be seen in a full fleshly form. Also, on that one day, I could ask the Lord for special direct intervention.

My first case was in my village. A man from another tribe who often stole our water seemed to always escape punishment. With the help of a few camels, I tripped him. He fell into the well where he remained trapped until our village elders found and punished him. Justice.

I handled crimes large and small –bullies stealing water jugs, young men pressuring young girls into poor relationship choices, thefts, murders and more, as long as lakes, streams, fountains, wells, aqueducts and Roman baths, wherever or whenever water was connected to the crime. Eventually, I heard about the New World and I came.

I arrived in America just in time to deal with Blackbeard, a notorious pirate. One day, he checked his reflection in a pool to see if he was scary looking enough for battle and saw me instead! I yelled “Whoosh!” (I don’t do Boo!) And he was finished. The Governor of Virginia helped.

In what’s known as modern times, I thwarted U-boats sneaking across from Germany to North Carolina. Afterwards, I traveled through various cities, finally landing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city of three rivers. I put myself in the water system and floated about, at last taking up residence in a golden box. I liked the idea of living in a golden house, an idea I admit I copied from a very bad man, Nero.

Actually, my home was a brass box called a water meter. After three thousand years, no water crimes seemed to need me as an instrument of justice, so I began acting as muse to Claudia, the artist who lived in the meter’s house.

At midnight, when there were no other sounds, I often whispered color combinations and ideas for new watercolor paintings to her. Anyone else might have thought it was just water gurgling in the old pipes. Claudia knew better. She listened to me. She was never afraid of my noises.

After many earth years, my friend Claudia grew ill and moved to a place where nurses cared for her. Claudia’s niece, Jenna, checked on the house weekly. She even stayed overnight occasionally.

I decided I liked Jenna as much as I liked Claudia. Around midnight I often called out to her from the pipes, but she slept right through most of my attempts at conversation.

One late October midnight when Jenna was NOT there, I heard scuffing, scraping noises. Raccoon? I went back to sleep. A loud bang and the sound of breaking glass fully woke me. I floated up the basement stairs and into the kitchen. Two young men with black cloth on their faces had smashed through the back door of the house. They were stomping around the kitchen. I stayed invisible–just a cold damp presence in the already chilly room.

“There’s nothing here, Bert.”

“Downstairs, stupid. The copper pipes we want are in the basement. Those will bring us the dough.”

They swept past me and clomped down the stairs carrying a sack.

I followed the unsavory pair and watched them unpack hammers, axes and saws. They tore open the walls and exposed the house’s copper piping. They cut the pipes. Water rushed out onto the floor. I fled back into my brass home’s welcoming walls.

“Look! The meter’s brass, Bert.”

“Often is in these old houses. Brass brings a pretty penny.”

“Don’t these things have numbers on them?”

“We’ll just file it off. Bernie, my salvage man, doesn’t really look too close at what we sell.”

Then the one called Bert pulled a blowtorch out of his sack. Suddenly a flame was aiming at my home! Fire! I tried to interpose myself between the flame and my box but before I could even bid a proper good bye to the brass home I loved, they had torn it away from the wall and pipes. Water spurted all over the place. I wanted to attack the awful pair, but well, I was simply too horrified to take action. Besides, at that moment, I felt this was a crime against me and in such cases, vengeance or justice is the Lord’s. The duo stripped all the copper piping away and stuffed it and my home into plastic sacks. There was water everywhere in the basement.

Then they pulled the bags “bump-a-lump, bump-a-lump” up the steps. I watched as those two awful men dragged the pipes out of the house through the back door, through the yard in back to the street behind and into a waiting truck.

I drifted back to the house and suddenly realized (ok so see how fast you are at age 3,000) that the crime was not just against me. It was against Claudia and Jenna and Claudia’s house. I could act!

So, having gained back my common sense and sense of purpose, I flitted into one of the open pipes, through the city water system, over to the home of Claudia’s niece Jenna. “Aunt Claudia’s house,” I called to her. She went back to sleep! I kept whispering to her and the next morning, her subconscious, filled with my warning, got her to check on Aunt Claudia’s on her way to work. Jenna heard the whoosh of rushing water as soon as she got to the door. The dear girl called the police and sat down on the front stoop to wait until they arrived.

I returned to the basement and noticed one of the thieves had left his saw. In just a few minutes, the police arrived. Two patrol officers exited the car and ran up to Jenna. One was tall and handsome and the other was short and wide. Jenna showed them into the house. The three followed the noise of the rushing water to the basement. Jenna surveyed the scene from halfway down the steps.

The officers slogged into the now knee high water and looked for the meter and water turn off. Jenna pointed to a bit of brass pipe. “I’m pretty sure that’s where the water meter was.”

Short and Wide responded. “Gone but there’s often there is a second one, outside. We’ll call the fire department. No use getting wetter. Let’s wait outside.”

The fire trucks pulled up in a cacophony of siren noise. Finally, a fireman using a metal detector found the water turnoff point. Then they all went downstairs with Jenna to survey the damage and figure out a bailout strategy. No one noticed the saw in the water in the basement. It started to rain.

Handsome checked the back of the house, but found no clues. The firemen recommended a company to pumping out the water and gave Jenna the name of the man in charge of water meters so she could request a new one. Expensive wall and pipe replacement and other repairs would delay the process of selling the home to pay Claudia’s medical bills. I was angry. My poor Claudia and Jenna!

Handsome cop told Jenna, “We call these thieves the midnight plumbers. They strike empty houses and office buildings, steal the copper and leave a mess. We think one particular pair is active in this area, but we can’t prove anything. I hate to say it, but they’ll probably never be caught.”

I was not willing to accept the verdict of the policemen that these fellows would never be caught. After all, resolving water crimes is my specialty.

I floated back down to the basement and hovered over the forgotten saw until I grasped the spirit of the owner. Then I followed the scraps of his disgusting spirit to where he and his partner were selling the stolen copper and my former lovely brass home to their friend Bernie, a salvage yard owner of few scruples (evidently).

I heard them tell Bernie they planned to hit a large deserted office building in a place called East Hills the following Tuesday–Halloween Night.

Through the pipes and off to the police station, I hurried. It was not hard to find Handsome. I floated up to Handsome’s desk. I checked the calendar on his desk and saw he had night duty on Halloween.

I bided my time. Sure enough, he was soon on his way to the men’s room. I plunked myself into the sink but he was in a hurry and the whole time he washed his hands, he simply admired himself in the mirror.

Back at his desk, I tried whispering into his ear:”Tuesday, East Hills”. I said it over and over, but he seemed to think my voice was a fly and kept swatting at his ear. I shifted my efforts to Short and Wide. He didn’t seem to understand either. I changed tactics.

Handsome poured himself a cup of coffee. I slipped into his coffee cup. The cream, I must say, gave my face an attractive glow. As he sipped, I whispered: “Tuesday, East Hills, copper thieves!”

He looked down into the cup, saw me and then stirred the coffee to erase my image. Insulting! I disappeared. I think he didn’t want to admit he’d seen a ghost in his cup. Unsure if the two cops had caught my message, I decided to take charge. After all, Tuesday would be Halloween night. I did not need to tackle the twin bad guys alone. I could enlist some help of the Heavenly kind

Halloween night, the weather was perfect for me–dark clouds blocking the moon and threatening a stormy evening. Despite the problems it might make for little candy seekers, I had requested those clouds from the Almighty. In the deep darkness, I hovered over the thieves’ target building.

At midnight, Bert and his pal arrived. They broke a window in the back of the building. I waited for the yowl of a modern alarm. None came. The abandoned building’s burglar alarm was long gone.
I followed the pair to the basement. They unpacked their new hacksaw and other tools. Bert used the saw to bite into the pipes. As the water flowed freely around them, they packed up a load of long copper pipes. I moaned and muttered. My noises unnerved Bert so much he cut his hand.

“Hey, I’m going to take this copper up to the truck and put some stuff on my cut.”

I signaled the Almighty for help. When Burt was just a few steps from the truck, the Lord tossed a lightning bolt that hit and shook the getaway vehicle. Bert dropped the pipes and stared in horror at the fried Chevy Blazer.

“Heelllllp!”

In a jiffy his pal came running up the stairs.

They were both standing in a puddle next to the truck, trying to figure out what to do next when the Lord hurled more lightening down at the ground in front of them. The shock traveled through the water to their feet! Thanks to their shoes’ rubber soles, they were shaken and stirred but not fried.

I laughed! They both turned to the sound of my voice and froze in terror, mouths wide open, unable to utter the screams their mouths had formed. They could see me!

Another lightning bolt cut though the sky, igniting a fire on the building’s roof. The fire alarms were still working. The keening cry of the fire trucks rent the night.

Bert and his friend left the pipes, jumped into the truck, and tried to get their fried engine to turn over. I waved my robes in their headlights.

When the firemen arrived, I hid myself from them; I was only visible to the two miscreants. They jumped out of the truck and pointed at the me only they could see. “A ghost, a witch!”

Babbling, the pair threw themselves into the arms of the firemen who pushed them aside. The firemen had a building to save. I heard another siren.

The thieves heard it too and started to run. I swirled my robes at them and moaned. A police car careened into the parking area. Handsome and his partner stepped out! They had taken my hint after all.

Handsome recognized the felons. “Well, Bert, good to see you! Hands on the truck. I see the piping you were stealing. You’re both under arrest.”

I called up to the Lord, “Please stop the rain so children can collect their candy.” Everything was under control.

I floated over to Jenna’s to tell her about it all. After an initial fright, she accepted me. We talked until dawn when I had to resume invisibility. The Almighty asked me if I wanted to retire. I told Him I would not resign until Justice had been served in Claudia’s case.

Before the bail bondsman could work his magic to release Bert and pal back to the streets, I visited them in jail. I woke them with a “whoosh” of water from the tiny metal sink. Then I spoke. “Lightening can follow you anywhere and water is not your friend. Confess all your crimes.” The next day they changed their pleas to guilty and added a confession to Claudia’s case. Their lawyer was amazed. I was happy. The Lord, to commemorate my good work, sent a good soaking rain down on the city–at midnight that night.
End