“A Pale Metal Steed”

Here is a short story that I wrote a few years ago based off of a writing prompt. The prompt was, “Having the strength to tell your parents_________.” I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A Pale Metal Steed
Written By: Frank Cormier

A Black & White taxi sat idling in front of 1525 Hope Lane, a large white Colonial style house with royal blue shutters. A decorative mailbox painted with the name “Taylor” on each side framed the left side of the driveway. The morning dew clung to the front lawn, a bright sun unable to burn it away.

“This isn’t going to be easy,” the hack said to his fare, a military man in his late twenties. He was decked in full Marine dress uniform, sat rigid in the back seat, eyes closed, offered no response.

“I bet you’ve seen more of the filth this world has to offer than guys twice your age,” he continued. “Most people don’t know what life is at your age. And they certainly don’t know about death.”

The cabbie peered into the rearview mirror and noticed that the young man’s hat had slipped over his eyes. He studied the colorful ribbons and medals decorating the uniform. What a great looking uniform he thought, impressive.

“All of that training you go through,” he said, shaking his head. “You know the basic training, the hand-to-hand combat, the specialty weapons schooling, the inspections, and the daily physical workouts; all of it. I mean, like, WOW!

“You are trained to be the best. Handle any situation. Don’t crack under combat pressure. You know, ALL of it.

“I never served in the military,” he said as he turned toward the back seat. “I’ve been driving a cab longer than you’ve been alive. Never have done nothing else. And it’s too late for me to do something new now.”

He read the name tag on the uniform aloud, “Taylor.” The young man’s shoulders had slumped a bit since they had parked. He looked out of the passenger window and spied the mailbox. “Well, I guess we’re at the right place,” he said to the young man. No response. He thumbed a white envelope as he contemplated his next move.

“I know you must be tired and all from the traveling. Let me go and see if anyone is at home.”

He quickly exited the cab, crossed over to the driveway and surveyed the house for a moment. He removed his hat and scratched his head as he studied the flagpole. The flagpole boasted an American flag at full mast. The flag was limp.

He put his hat back on then marched up the driveway to the front door. He was presented with the choice of ringing a doorbell or using a fancy brass doorknocker with the name “Taylor” emblazoned on it. He reached for the doorknocker then pulled his hand back deciding the doorbell was the better option.

A gray haired man, late fifties, clean shaven, dressed in tan khakis, loafers, and a ribbed white sweater opened the door. The taxi driver handed him the white envelope without explanation. With a puzzled look on his face, the gray haired man accepted the envelope; “Mom & Dad” was written on the outside.

As he opened the envelope his wife silently approached. He held the letter at arm’s length and read it to his wife:

“Dear Mom & Dad,

I hope you are both well. I have some news to share with you about me. Please know in your hearts that you are both excellent parents that any son would be proud to call his own.

It truly breaks my heart to have to tell you what I am about to share and I apologize that it has taken me this long to find the strength: I am dead.

It is my wish that you always keep a place for me in your hearts and thoughts. I miss you.

Your loving son,

Michael J. Taylor, Jr.”

Copyright (C) 2015 by Frank Cormier. All rights reserved.

To Recline or Decline?

As some of you may or may not know, I travel for work. This means that I have the good fortune of being stuck in a cylindrical tube, at altitudes unnatural for any living creature, breathing recycled air, with enough leg room to cross my toes to get comfortable.

I typically try to sit near the front of the plane so that I can exit quickly once we’ve landed. To exit before the plane lands is something I have no desire to try. “I decline.”

Sometimes those seats are not readily available (if you have ever flown on Southwest you know what I am talking about or if you don’t have enough status on one of the other airlines and get pushed back because your money is not as good as the money a frequent flyer spends on said airline), so I sit a little further back. (If my company weren’t so cheap about flying, I might actually accrue points on one airline and get to sit in the “big boy” seats in First Class! I bet there is enough room to cross my ankles.)

When I am catching a 6 AM flight, and haven’t had any coffee, I’m a little brain dead in the morning. One morning while in this state, I made the mistake of sitting in the tiny hard cushioned “seat” that was directly in front of the emergency row. If you never have had the luxury of sitting in one of these torture chairs, count yourself blessed. These chairs do NOT recline! I am flummoxed as to why they don’t even recline a little? I think I read once that the electric chair reclines to make the prisoner more comfortable before getting zapped. (Now you’ve read it too!) I could be making that part up, but it helps me with my disposition. You see, I was flying to California from Rhode Island. For those of you that are not good with geography… it means I was flying “cost-to-coast” which is a long f@$#ing flight!

By the time I landed and got off the plane, I was walking like Frankenstein. All straight backed and stiff legged. I would’ve put bolts on my neck had I any at the time so I wouldn’t have to explain myself to the curious onlookers with the raised eyebrows. I acknowledged their presence with a grunt, “Uhn.”

The next time you fly, please try to remember what you have read here and don’t sit in those seats! And remember, even the electric chair reclines… well at least for this story it does. 😉 Choose to “recline” and “decline” those seats!

Copyright (C) 2015 by Frank Cormier. All Rights Reserved.

Abundance is Everywhere – Especially Snow!

I have heard over and over from others be they my mother, or friends, or total strangers, how there isn’t enough to go around. Enough what? I suppose it depends on the context. This winter was one of the severest ones on record in the New England area. We had an abundance of snow! Here are some pictures from my backyard showing minimal, medium, and maximum amounts of snow.

Little Snow Medium Snow-1Lot of Snow






I know it doesn’t seem like a lot at first blush, but look at the trees in the last image and where the snow comes up to on them. That is almost three feet of snow!

Abundance is plentiful and it really depends on your focus. Just look at the number of bloggers on the Internet! I am certain that you can find a blog on just about any topic you can think up. And if one doesn’t exist, go and make your own blog. There’s plenty of room for others.

Some believe that money is in abundance where others do not. If you are of the belief that money is scarce, then maybe this image captures your belief?


As you can see, there is not a whole lot of money there, but it is still better than nothing. Now imagine if there were a little more money… Maybe this image better represents your thoughts about money?


As we learn to accept that there is more, then more appears. Again it still may not seem like a lot of money, and again I would argue, it’s still better than nothing. What if you were to imagine even more money? What would that look like to you?


TwentiesI know it’s not a whole bunch of money, but you have to admit that the amounts have increased significantly!

And I would argue that there are even more examples of the abundance of money. In fact, if it were possible to ask each resident of New York City for a dollar, and they were kind enough to give one to you: You would be an instant millionaire! There are over 8 million residents in NYC alone. Even if half of them gave you a dollar you would still be living large. And that’s only asking for a dollar. Imagine if you asked for more?

Nature works this way too. There isn’t just one grain of sand that makes up a beach, there is and abundance of sand grains! And if you have ever tried to dig a hole or till a garden in the New England area, there is an abundance of rocks just below the surface of the top soil.

Though many things are in abundance, it does not relieve us of our responsibility to be conscientious of how we should use them properly and not waste the resources. Whether that resource is from nature or manmade. All should learn to “Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle” as the saying goes.

Next time you are feeling you are lacking something, look around you and see all that you already possess. You will be surprised just how much you have! 🙂

Copyright (C) 2015 by Frank Cormier. All Rights Reserved.


Is it “Paraphrasing” or “Plagiarizing” when you reference yourself?

What can I say about plagiarizing that hasn’t already been said? I’m paraphrasing here of course. I was thinking about ideas of topics to write about when I came across several short stories that I had written and am thinking about posting as a blog. They have not been previously published, but several of them have been submitted to writing contests. (Which I might add left the judges speechless! – I never heard from any of them.)

This is a whole new forum for me to express my ideas, thoughts, and dreamed up stories. It is the narcissistic side that all of us have embedded in our psyche that caused me to create a blog page and expose myself to critique and hopefully a few fans that will like what I have to say and how I express myself. Only time will tell if what I have to say will be enjoyed by the masses.

I’m thinking my next topic may be about brevity; however, a lot has been written about it already… I welcome your concise comments!

Copyright (C) 2015 by Frank Cormier. All rights reserved.