Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ride Home Excerpt from Glass Skies Over Home

Now Available: Glass Skies Over Home

Glass Skies Over Home is a journey across three novellas, plunging deep into the human heart and penetrating the darkness that holds us to mystery. Three lives spin far from the ordinary life, thrusting them into extraordinary circumstances, and there’s no turning back. Challenges that lie before them will raise the stakes high, insurmountable odds, breaking them beyond limitation, and pushing them to the brink of death, but for them to surrender is for them to deny destiny. They ‘re chosen, and fate is waiting.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Along The Rails

Along The Rails
Melissa R. Mendelson

The train was late again.  Commuters muttered with disgust, and time flashed across small, thin screens.  An announcement overhead informed those freezing in the winter cold air that the train would be arriving at the station ten minutes later than expected, and the waiting room downstairs was well-heated for those suffering from deep freeze.  But by the time the passengers make their way down the escalators to that room, the train would have come and gone, and the next one would not be until another hour or so.

Shoving his hands into his pockets, William stomped his feet against the concrete platform.  His toes tingled from the cold, and his hands were becoming numb.  White clouds of air escaped his lips, and his ears waited anxiously to hear the train.  And tears stung his eyes from the bitter wind, and again he stomped his feet.

The approach of the train silenced the chill racing through him.  As the doors swung open, warm air struck him in the face, and winter was quickly left outside.  A seat was taken beside the window, and the train lurched forward.  And commuters around him moaned at being late to work, but not him.  He had only one place in mind today, and he wondered if that man would be there again.

The ride to his destination would take almost an hour, and the train would make several stops before he arrived.  So, the only thing to do in the meantime was to lean back in his seat and relax, but sleep would not find him here.  Nobody talked about the tension that rode beside them, but there was no trust left to allow your eyes to close.  Instead, people occupied themselves with reading or listening to music, but not him.  His attention fell on the flat television screen in the corner of the car that he rode in.

"Today at the eleventh hour of this morning, a memorial service will be held on the outskirts of Long Island to remember that day forever marked in history, where so many lives were lost and our world changed," a reporter stated.  "There were no warnings given as the Tsunami slammed into Long Island, breaking it apart, and there was no time to react as it fell into the Long Island Sound.  And only this small piece of land near Great Neck remains, and here you can see all these people behind me already placing lit candles on wreaths into the water to remember those loved and lost."

The train came to a halt, and commuters flowed in and out of the doors.  Feet stomped the cold and snow away from where they stood, and bodies quickly filled empty seats.  Attention turned to hand-held gadgets, and the train lurched forward.  And the ride continued.

His destination was approaching.  He didn’t want to be late.  Sometimes, that man stayed there all day, but other times, he was gone in a blink of an eye.  And William wasn’t sure why this man captured his attention, but there was something in his eyes when he watched the world go by.  And William wanted to know what that was.

"Final Stop.  Great Neck."

The announcement came a minute before the train reached its destination.  Only a few passengers were left.  It was another day taken off from work, but lately, William wondered what the point of his job was.  What was there to his life, and why did he do nothing but work every day of it?  He felt like he was disappearing.

A memorial park had been created in Great Neck near the waterfront.  There were swings, slides and monkey bars, and there were also hand-painted, golden benches.  And William would take a stroll through here on his days off.  Last week, he found him sitting on one of those benches, crying, and when he took a seat beside him, the man was gone.  But he returned the very next day.

The man wore a long, brown trench coat with white sneakers, and a baseball cap covered his bald head.  He never seemed cold or warm, and he never spoke.  He just watched people walk by like he was not even there, and he listened to their conversations.  And he would begin to cry.

Today, he was there.  He sat in the same position with his arms slightly crossed and his legs tucked under the bench.  His eyes watched people walk by, holding wreaths and candles in their hands, and he gave them a nod.  They didn’t seem to notice, and his eyes fell onto the waterfront.  And a dozen lit candles attached to wreaths held his attention, and a tear slid down his cheek.

"Morning."  William took a seat beside him.  "It’s cold today."  The man did not respond.  "Clear skies, though.  It’s perfect for the memorial service.  Are you here for the service?"  The man looked away.  "Can’t believe it’s been three years."  A tear slid down the man’s cheek.  "All those people…"  The man gave him a nod, which was a first.  "Did you lose someone here?  Someone close?"

"I lost everyone."  That was the first that William ever heard him spoke.  "I could not save them."

"Nobody could."

Silence fell around them.  It seemed like a lot of people took today off, and small crowds continued to walk by, oblivious to the two watching them.  And maybe his supervisor would understand why he did not come in today.  He was from Long Island, but then he moved to Queens to cut down the commute to work.  But that was not why he came.

"I can’t tell you what you seek."  The man glanced at him.  "You left before it was too late."

"Before what was too late?"

"The Tsunami."

Maybe it was guilt that brought him here originally.  He lived on Long Island all his life, and he knew many that died.  He had decided to move on the spur of the moment, thinking it was the right choice, and then Long Island was destroyed.  And he was cut off from a world that he knew and loved.

The man beside him continued to cry, and William noticed something odd about his tears.  They were almost like little crystals, and as they fell, they disappeared.  There was no trace of water or tearstains on the man’s pants or the ground.  It was like he was never crying, and no sobs escaped the one sitting beside him.  But the tears were real.

"Why are you crying?"  He asked that question only once or twice before, and the man never answered him.  "Is it because of what happened?"  Now, the man stared right at him, almost intently.  "Is it for them?"

"For them and for you."  The man brushed some tears off his cheek.  "I wish I could talk to them."

"Talk to who?"

"The dead."  William was about to say something, but the man cut him off.  "I would tell them that I was sorry."  He glanced at William.  "I am sorry, and that is why I cry."

"I don’t understand."

"I don’t expect you to, William."

"How…  How do you know my name?"

"I know everything."  The man looked at his feet.  "I know that after a great tragedy, life goes on."  His eyes returned to William.  "And life will always go on."

"Do you know what I see?"  The man looked at him, questioningly.  "I see us living but not living."

"This is not the life you wanted."


"But you’re alive."

"I know, and I shouldn’t complain.  I wasn’t there when it happened."  William stared out at the waterfront.  "Maybe, I should have been."

"There’s a reason why you weren’t."  The man turned away.  "It’s good to have hope."

"What if I lost it?"

"I doubt that."  The man smiled.  "You were always a believer."  His smile faded.  "I can’t save everyone, William."  He rose from the bench.  "But maybe I can save you."

"You never told me how you knew my name."  William tossed a pebble toward the waterfront.  "How do you know me?"

The man was gone.  William’s eyes raced along the park, but there was no sign of him.  The swings gently rocked back and forth with invisible riders, and the wind slipped across the slide.  And people continued to move on by without a second glance at him, and he sat alone, looking for the one that vanished.

Then, something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.  It was a small, white feather drifting nearby.  It was soft against his skin, and it felt warm.  Where did this come from?

The memorial service had begun.  Dozens of people clustered together as a priest read the prayers.  A train flew through the station, and the next one would not arrive for another hour or so.  And William followed a small crowd of people that passed by.  He would pay his respects to those he loved and lost and to those, who never had a chance.  As a dozen lit candles attached to wreaths floated across the waterfront, he started to cry, and as he did, someone touched his shoulder.  But when he turned around, nobody was there, and he felt guilty for hating his life.  He was still here, and he was still alive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Forever Soldiers

Forever Soldiers
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Faces of them
are held before me.
Faces of those
that brought the world here.

And I see
them march forward,
ready to continue
to change the world
for the better,
for all of us.

Walls of eternity
carry their name.
The flags are raised high
in their honor.
Names forever
echo in history,
and here we see
the forever soldiers.
Here we see
the forever soldiers.

Children today
run and play
in a world
changed by war,
but if they did not fight,
would we have
what we have today?

And the tears still fall
down on those graves
that we sadly still have
in these days of war.
And the tears still fall
down our faces
as our sons and daughters
go off to change the world,
to save the world.


I'm not one for war.
My heart is peace.
My dreams live hope.
I'm not one to fight,
but sometimes we have no choice
in a chaos world,
and if we don't fight,
our freedom will die.
What will be left with
but the unknown darkness
and a void that I cannot dare
live in.
So fight we must.
Fight we must.
Our freedom needs us.
We need to be the forever soldiers.

Chorus: (twice)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2007 - Present

Semi-Finalist and Finalist, Gotham Screen's Screenplay Competition

Second Prize Winner, WRHammons Fiction Contest

Publication: Names in a Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 Contemporary American Poets

Appearance: Homework (ABC News Program):  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3600484

Appearance: Cinematherapy

Quarter-Finalist, 15th Annual Writer’s Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition

Doll House (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Appearance: The Writing Show

Session I and II (Short Stories), Glass Cases

Trials of Youth (Short Story), Memoirs of Meanness

Essence (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Second Chance (Short Story), Glass Cases

Lizardian, Top 5 Screenplays/NYC Midnight

Time's Karma (Short Story), Hampton Literary Journal

Summer Over The Death of My Youth (Short Story), Glass Cases

Dark Blue Heroes of Honor (Poem), Poets for Living Waters

Finalist of NewsPortalSite’s Writing Contest, Haunted By Regret (Short Story)

Discussion (Short Story), Fiction 365

Waiting (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Winter Green (Poem), By The Millpond Newsletter

When The Dust Settles (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Gadfly OnlinePassenger; No Leaders Among Men

Quarter-Finalist, Waken Dream, NEXTV's Writing Pitch Competition

Our Lives, Our City, Our Dreams (Article) Yahoo! News

Storm Coming (Short Story), Glass Cases

Clay Pigeon (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Publication: Whispers in the Night, Espresso Fiction: A Collection of Flash Fiction for the Average Joe

One Mile Left to Go (Short Story), Jolt Literary Journal

Gadfly OnlineWe Are The Villains Of This Story; Letters Cast Away; Leaving Nowhere Behind; After Dark: My Favorite TV Shows; My First Taste of Road Rage; Bleeding Through Reality (Let The Fiction In); Rampage; Going Haywire

Deep Dreams of the Beating Heart (Poem), India's The Eternity Magazine

Poem: Dreams Under Silver (Saving the Monroe Movie Theatre), The Photo News

Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Appearance: Haywire Series Episodes 17 and 18

Gadfly Online: Living According to Tolstoy, Welcome Back to Tango of the Road Rage Drivers, When I Tried To Become A 9-1-1 Operator, Alarm Set, King of the Lonely Hill, Never in Stone, Saving Gifted Men and a Touch of Paranormal, (Alien) Baby Got Back, Glass Eyes, One Way Ticket, Friendship Rises Over The Dead Zone, Hail to the Three Kings, Baby, The Death of the State Employee, Heroes in Dark, Beyond The Spielberg Dream (My Love of Science-Fiction), A Brief Glimpse Over The Edge, Ghost in the Sands of White (For Walter White), Bye, Bye Mr. Burn Notice Spy, Simple Thoughts, Feeling Yourself Explode (My Take on Being Mad as Hell), Never Meant to Love

Waiting For The Fall (Short Story), Fiction 365

Gadfly Online: Burning Down The Doll House, Over The Porch, Concrete Dreams, Front Page, Cruising Along Fate's Darkness, Where I Hit Record, The Trouble with Past Lives, NeedlePoint, Rhythm of Life, Checkmate, The NY State of Mind Does Not Brake For Enlightenment, You Killed Me Before, Guns Talk (A Parody of 'Little Talks' by Of Monsters and Men, Bleu Room with a Red Vase: Catching A Star At Jones Beach, Dialing The 4400 (A Parody of Adele's song, Set Fire To The Rain), 'Slip and Fall': A Review of Nick Santora's 2007 Thriller, Movies That Speak Volumes, Faded Shades of Rainbow, Remembering The Final Cut: Dedicated to Robin Williams, Don't Forget To Tip Your Cows, Lies (Parody of Sia's song, Chandelier), I Am A Clone, Here We Go Again (Another Tango Driver), Gold Beyond Blue, If Sam Axe Died, Unions

Poem: Behind The Door, Soul Fountain Vol. #47

Poetry: Discovered and Dreams Always (For Paul Walker), Soul Fountain Vol. #48 Final Print Edition