Coffee Cup Series A


A sense of humor, of course, became a family thing because of my Dad’s marvelous way of putting a light-hearted take on serious situations.

Our family get-togethers were ripe with humor and hearty laughter, and several of my five brothers were especially adept at telling stories and jokes.

This pictured coffee cup was a birthday gift from my son and his wife, who actually picked it out just for me. They understand that writing is my way of life!


*** Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg


FANS Chapter Four Excerpt


by Barbara Anne Helberg

FANS Chapter Four Excerpt — The Accident

Freezing rain jammed the flimsy windshield wipers on the beaten Hardbakin’ Bakery Chevy truck. Rodd didn’t see the sliding tractor-trailer until it curved through the light-controlled intersection outside Findlay.

Panic-stricken, Rodd tried daringly to avoid the semi-truck, but there was no chance at all for either driver to bring tons of steel and iron under control in time to avert a crash.

The tractor-trailer cab wrenched loose, careened into the opposite lane of traffic, while the trailer sliced away the right half of the Chevy and took most of Rodd’s right leg with it. But Rodd didn’t remember inclusively. While the driver of the semi departed from life, a childless thirty-four-year-old married Kentuckian, Rodd learned later, in an instant of pain, opened veins and blood-curdling screams; while two other cars crashed into the loosened cab and disassembled vehicle in a noisy, glassy metallic storm; while metal and human parts littered the highway; while red flashing lights canvassed the scene and yellow lamps crisscrossed the darkened skies; while sirens screeched their sing-song warnings and policemen and orange-jacketed emergency rescue workers filled the dark, blocked roadway in orderly, trained movements… While all this ensued, Rodd was mercifully rendered nearly unconscious, so that he didn’t remember the horrifying details but only snatches of it and of his personal chaos. For that he was grateful.

Each time just before he woke from the nightmare that caused him to sweat through his clothing, Rodd glanced back at the West Central fan to see the letters on the emblazoned chest change from West Central to “Loser.”



*** Credit:
FANS Excerpt and Artwork from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Scrabbled Short Story I

If you can build a story with seven words only, perhaps you can solve this Scrabbled Short Story post.

Viewing the Scrabble board, find the seven individual words and arrange them in an order that tells a seven-word story.



*** Credit:
Scrabbled Short Story and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

ANSWER on the Board:
“Roaches In Attic. Panic.
Bugman In Traffic.”

FANS Chapter One Excerpt


by Barbara Anne Helberg

FANS Chapter One Excerpt — That Was Then

I’d had the privilege of seeing Roddell Lawson, “Hot Rodd”, my news copy name for him, in his high school hey-day and to write about him for the West Central population, 1,007 strong, in the local Town Crier. I had oozed superlatives and invented new adjective phrases like “hoopsicord in motion” to describe his hardcourt talent and to keep the fans rushing in for more.

Hot Rodd went across state to Toledo College, cracked the senior starting lineup there as a sophomore and took off like a rocket we all never wanted to see land.

That was then.

The accident changed everything.

Soon, I learned there was, still, his sports spirit… The fire of desire burned on low flame in the back of his eyes. It was there to see if you knew him like I did.

Later, I learned, too, there was his son, waiting.



*** Credit:
Story and Artwork from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg