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Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

February 1, 2023 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as ,

Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

You can read Kidd’s monthly column, Infused with Meaning, here on the 25th of every month. More information about Kidd is found on her website, make sure you take the time to read her “about me” section.


A selection of books that include Kidd’s short stories.


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Trash Day by Kidd Wadsworth

January 29, 2023 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as , , , ,
The following story is a repeat of Kidd Wadsworth’s from October 2019. We hope you enjoy it as much now as we did then.

My neighbor, Sterling, complains. It seems I don’t bring my trash cans up promptly. But hey, I’ve got a life, and they’re TRASH CANS!


I’ve got a big brain, too. One morning as I watched Sterling take his trash to the curb and leave for work, I got an idea, a how-the-Grinch-stole-Christmas-idea. I grinned and patted my little dog on the head.


As the garbage truck rounded the corner, I ran down to the curb and drug my neighbor’s still-full garbage cans back up his driveway. When the truck had passed by, I drug them down again.


That evening, eager to see Sterling’s expression, I left work early and returned to find him standing at the curb gazing bewildered at the trash still in his trash cans while mine, and everyone else’s, were clearly empty. The next week, he put his heaping cans at the curb. Quickly, I once again hauled them back up his driveway, returning them to the curb when the garbage truck had passed.


That night, his shouting rocked the neighborhood. “No, they’re not picking up my trash! It’s been two weeks! 110 Paxinosa Avenue!” I felt sorry for the trash guys. Well—almost.


The next week, he had two cans full of trash and three extra bags. It was a trash party! I crossed my fingers, praying he wouldn’t wait around for the truck. He paced on the sidewalk, but after several glances at his cell phone, he got in his light blue Prius, and drove away. I’d barely gotten the trash up his driveway when I heard the truck pull around the corner. On a hunch, I stowed the cans inside his garage and snuck out the back gate.


Wow, talk about dedicated. Those garbage guys actually walked up his driveway and looked around for the cans. They clearly had a note in their hands. They checked his address. Knocked on his door. All this for trash. Impressive.


When they left, I put the cans and the bags at the curb. Took two trips. That night, a volcano erupted next door. I felt a little guilty—not a lot guilty—but a little guilty. I mean, I felt guilty in between giggles.


On trash day eve, nightmares of my neighbor assaulting me with a garbage can lid and a turkey bone rocked my sleep. I woke bleary eyed, to see my neighbor standing at the curb, surrounded by trash. I decided it was time I fessed up. About then, the garbage guys arrived. I ducked behind my window curtains. It was ugly! The shouting, the claims of innocence, “There was no trash!” Shall I speak of the birds shot in the air, the words beginning with … well you get the picture.


About a week later, my neighbor had a backyard barbeque. I brought beer. There were four of us neighbors (right, left and across the street), beers in hand, feet on Sterling’s brick retaining wall, when Sterling told the story.


“No?”


“Really?”


I thought no one knew. But everyone has windows facing the street. When Sterling went inside for more chips, Frank winked at me. Mark held out his hand. “Fifty, or I tell him now.”


I paid.

*


Occasionally, I try humor. Let me know if I got it right.

You can find some of Kidd’s stories in the following anthologies.

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Hi, May I Help You, Please

November 25, 2022 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as , , , ,
Photo by Mike on Unsplash

I was sixteen and working my first job at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. We were a lively crew. Jerry had the front register, Juanita and Javier were making sandwiches and scooping fries, Greg had the grill, and I was on the back register.

It was a hot day, scorching hot, hot as only Texas does hot, when the big boss, the district supervisor, left his skyscraper in Dallas and drove down to inspect and grade us. He didn’t know, and didn’t care, that we enjoyed the camaraderie of our team, took pride in our work, and routinely invited our family and friends to come to the restaurant. His opinion of us was all too clear in the way he strutted about, his huge smile never touching his eyes. It didn’t matter that the restaurant ran like a well-oiled machine; we were lazy hoodlums that needed to be whipped into shape. After he’d chastised Jerry and the others for trivial mistakes—I believe Javier wasn’t properly using the pickles to spread out the ketchup on the bun—the district supervisor meandered on back to my register to judge me.

Just so you know, I might have inherited a bit too much Texas ornery, Texas gall and Texas stubborn. Of course, I personally don’t think a person can have too much ornery. And gall, life is just plain boring without gall. Stubborn though . . . well . . . stubborn does tend to get a person into trouble.

Ding.

I stepped on the pedal. “Hi, may I help you please?”

Through the speaker came a broad Texas accent I easily recognized, “Yeah. I’ll have fries, a large Sprite, a single, with cheese, tomato, everything and extra ketchup.”

Reader, are you paying attention? The customer said, “Everything and extra ketchup.” Javier, standing not ten feet away, ears pricked to the speaker, laid a bun open on the sandwich board. Greg dropped a single patty of meat dripping melted cheese onto the bottom half of the bun.

I wrote the order down on the outside of the takeout bag. Fries, lg sprite, single, cheese, tomato, everything, no mustard, no mayonnaise.

Right on cue, know-it-all-supervisor-guy spoke, “He said extra ketchup, not no mustard, no mayonnaise.”

I didn’t bother to turn my head and look at him. No, that would’ve been polite. Instead, I opened the bag and put it on the end of the sandwich station and spoke with my back turned toward him. “But he meant no mustard, no mayonnaise.”

Without seeing the supervisor’s face, I knew his fake smile was history. Tension vibrated from his body. After all, time was running out. The car would begin rolling forward any second. If he wanted to clarify the order—

“Ask him if he wants mustard and mayonnaise.”

At the sandwich station, Javier never paused. He kept right on making the sandwich—with no mustard and no mayonnaise. I always liked Javier. Juanita dropped the fries into the open sack and gave me a wink.

The district supervisor repeated, “Ask him if he wants mustard and mayonnaise.”

“I will not,” I said, pulling the drink. “He’s already given me his order.”

The beast shoved me aside and stepped on the pedal. “Sir, would you like mustard or mayonnaise on your sandwich?”

The customer’s loud Texas twang echoed through the speaker, “NO! I told ya, I only want ketchup!”

I tried and failed, to keep the grin off my face. Javier chuckled as he put the neatly wrapped hamburger in the bag.

Yeah, we were only teenagers, working a summer job for minimum wage, but we knew how someone from our hometown ordered a hamburger.

You know, that big boss, that supervisor guy from the corporate office, he didn’t say another word to me all day. Sometimes you’ve just gotta love that Texas stubborn.

Kidd has stories in the following anthologies.

Kidd Wadsworth is also the author of the fantasy novel “The Death of Magic” which you can now read for FREE at https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/59915/the-death-of-magic

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Get Me Outta Here!

October 25, 2022 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as , , , ,
Photo courtesy of Olga Guryanova on Unsplash

Get Me Outta Here!

by Kidd Wadsworth

We arrive at 6 am. I sign a piece of paper which informs me of the risks of my day procedure using phrases such as “unforeseen side effects, including death.” A plastic bracelet is secured around my wrist. Promptly at 7 am, I kiss my husband goodbye and follow a stern-looking nurse through a side door. She points me to a changing room.

“Nothing on underneath. Only the gown.”

I obey.

She takes my clothes, my shoes, my underwear. I am left barefoot in a nearly see-through gown I hold shut in the back with a tight grip on the gaping cloth.

“Lay down.” She points to a narrow bed on rollers.

Again, I obey.

Three seconds later, I have a tube in my arm. Another nurse takes my blood pressure and my pulse. “Did you have anything to eat in the last twenty-four hours?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“No cereal, no fruit, no bread, no banana . . . “The list continues. On and on.

“No.”

“If you’ve had something to eat, I need to know.”

“No, I have not had anything to eat.” Does she think I’m lying?

“This form says that I’ve asked you if you’ve had anything to eat and you’ve said, no. Sign here.”

I sign.

Too late, I realize I didn’t read the form. As she walks away, I almost call her back, but that’s stupid—isn’t it? I mean, why am I so nervous? This is just day surgery.

They wheel me away down a hallway, into an elevator, and then into a room crowded with people. Surely this can’t be correct? This is minor surgery. What are all these people doing here? I count fourteen. Really? Fourteen?

Two nurses or doctors—let’s just call them people in scrubs and masks—strap me down to the table.

Why straps? Do they expect me to try to make a run for it?

“Just relax,” one of the people who had strapped me to the table says.

Does he really think the phrase, “Just relax,” makes people relax? I think unstrapping me might make me relax.

Above me lights, so many lights, perhaps fifteen or twenty, glow brightly, each one with a shiny metal hat to direct the beam. Moving my head slightly from side to side, I intently examine the fixture. Something’s wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Then I realize that although the fixture is polished and highly reflective, I can’t see my reflection on any surface. Someone has deliberately designed the fixture so that I, the patient, cannot see myself strapped down to the operating table.

My heart pounds in my chest.

I gasp for breath.

Calm down. It’s only day surgery. This probably isn’t a horror movie. Surely, they aren’t going to harvest my organs and sell them overseas or implant an alien fetus in my uterus.

Yet, there is something about those lights, as if no one wants me to realize what a precarious position I’m in. Precarious? No, helpless! And the masks? Of course, they are wearing masks. That way I can’t identify them in a police lineup when I finally manage to escape and notify the authorities.

As every instinct in my body screams, “Get out! Get out now!” the nurse/doctor/whatever who had strapped me down, injects something into my IV.

I want to shout, “No!” But I don’t. Afterall, what can I do? I AM STRAPPED TO THE TABLE!

“Count backwards from a hundred,” he says.

I try to control my shaking. “One hundred.” I am so obedient. Why am I so freaking obedient?

“Please keep counting.”

“Ninety-nine . . .”

I’m an educated, adult woman. Why did I allow someone to strap me, nearly naked, to an operating table in a room full of strangers?

Strangers?

My doctor? Where is my doctor? Am I in the right room? What if there’s been some clerical error?

I realize I never read the name on my bracelet.

What if they think I’m someone else? What if they amputate my leg or remove my brain!

 I lift my head, straining to see the thin slip of plastic. I can’t quite . . .

I wake in recovery. Home by super. The operation is a complete success.

Nope, never going back.

Kidd Wadsworth is the author of the high fantasy novel: “The Death of Magic” which you can read for free by clicking here: https://www.scribblehub.com/series/588059/the-death-of-magic/

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Featuring Kidd Wadsworth, Author of the Month

April 28, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as ,

Kidd Wadsworth writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. It’s time we put on our capes.

You can read Kidd’s monthly column, Infused with Meaning, here on the 18th of every month. More information about Kidd is found on her website, make sure you take the time to read her “about me” section.


A selection of books that include Kidd’s short stories.


0 0 Read more
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