Wednesday Story: A Better Life

The story below is written for the Wednesday Stories challenge hosted by my good friend Debb Stanton of Inner Sunshine.  My story is scheduled to post on Debb’s blog, under Wednesday Stories (?) tomorrow.

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A Better Life

Jill hated living in the slum part of town. The pretty paint jobs that people saw as they drove past might give the impression to others that the neighborhood was a decent middle class area. But that impression only went surface deep.

Jill hated having soggy, water downed, pancakes for breakfast every morning, hated getting up at 3am every morning so she could be at work by 4am to do her 3-1/2 hour shift, at the machine shop, before school and then working another 4 hours after school. She hated being so poverty stricken that the money she earned, working, couldn’t even be used to buy nice clothes for school so she wouldn’t get teased. She hated digging her clothes out of the huge mission bin, hoping to find something that fit right that wasn’t full of rips and holes – only sometimes getting lucky enough to find one or the other, rarely being so lucky as to find both. She hated that all her time was spent working, going to school, doing homework, and sleeping. She hated that she didn’t have time for any kind of a social life, not that she had any friends in which to have a social life with. Even in her neighborhood, she didn’t fit in. Still, it would be nice to have the time to have fun, to have a social life of some sort.

The closest thing Jill had to a friend was Miss Betty. Miss Betty had some weird long last name that was difficult to pronounce so she just had everyone call her Miss Betty. Her one rule, in that regard, was that no one but NO ONE was to ever call her Betty (unless they were family or peers), B, or Miss B; It was always “Miss Betty”.

Miss Betty little older than Jill, barely out of teacher’s college herself. She was funny and quirky, and marched to her own tune. The seemingly opposite of a “straight as an arrow” type personality. Not that she couldn’t hang with the most prim & proper, stiff-necked people and do so naturally.

Miss Betty wasn’t at all the type to let others tell her what to do or how to act. She was very much the type to take outcasts and misfits under her wing and help them. It was Miss Betty who had taken an interest in Jill and gave her hope for the future. Miss Betty who encouraged her to dream and reach for the stars.

Jill hoped to, some day, find a way to a better life. A way out of the neighborhood she lived in where things were constantly breaking down and the houses, beyond the nice ones that the general public saw as they drove past, were in constant need of repair and fresh paint.

Jill’s one mode of escape was writing. Through her writing anything was possible and Jill hoped to one day, be an accomplished writer.

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Thank you for reading.  Hope you enjoyed.

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Meekah’s Forever Home (My #WWBH Story March 11, 2015)

My story was inspired by the 2 photos below (courtesy Tena Carr/Taini Writes) and written for the WWBH Blog Hop Prompt

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Meekah’s little paw twitched as she dreamed.  Dreamed of hummingbirds that flitted around in the bush in her backyard.  She loved to tease the little birds, chasing them too and fro, watching them fly about in a frenzy.  Course she would never actually bother trying to catch one, not when she was well fed with tasty food & treats.  Some would say she was a “Fat, Happy kitty”…  Meekah couldn’t complain.  Nice owners (tho she wasn’t too sure about that weird contraption that the alpha-male rode around in), good food, 3 squares a day, a comfy bed on which to sleep, and all the petting  & attention a kitty could wish for (the trick was to act aloof when asking for a petting, like you could care less either way)….  Yep, life was good here.  The only down fall was the back door neighbor cat that came over to visit on occasions.  She wasn’t too crazy about that cat and was quite vocal in letting her displeasure be known.  Course her humans thought that they had adopted her but, realy, it was she that adopted them.  
From the moment she laid her kitty eyes on them from her kennel at the Humane Society she knew they were the perfect owners.  She knew she belonged with them.   She would have had said so otherwise, and if that hadn’t worked….  Well there was always her claws.  Letting the lady pick her up, Meekah gave a good loud purr of contentment as she chuffed the women’s  chin with her head.  The kitty cat way of showing humans’s they were happy.  The women laughed as she stroked the top of her head.  “We’ll take this one.” she had said, and Meekah was given a new home, a Forever Home
 
“How’s my lazy kitty?  You taking another nap”….  That was Regina the alpha-mom.   Meekah rolled on to her back as Regina petted her, giving her access to her underbelly.  Regina gave such good belly rubs…  and chin rubs too.  Regina rubbed & scratched Meekah’s belly. After a bit, Meekah gave a bit of nip.  Not enough to hurt or draw blood, just a way of saying that that was enough.  Then she jumped down from the bed and headed to her food bowl, meowing at alpha-mom to follow.  At the food bowl, Meekah looked at her food bowl then at alpha-mom, meowing some more in the kitty cat way of communicating she wanted more food.
“You’re becoming a fat kitty with all the food you’re eating.”
Meekah simply purred louder.
Check out this week’s prompt and join in with your own story – there’s still time.  (My apologies for wrong date in the title.  That is actually the post for this week).

Dangerous Mission, Dirty Cop (My WWBH Story)

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IMG_20150217_174409“Are you out of your ever loving mind,”  Brenda all but shrieked.  Remembering, only at the last second to keep her voice down.

“Hush,” Samuel admonished, “You trying to get us killed?”  As if Brenda needed a reminder of how dangerous a mission this was.  Tracking down and trying to get intel on some dirty cops that had somehow managed to escape detection over and over.  Ones not above using their power and authority to hurt others.  The situation went farther than the usual simple, low-level “dirty cop” scenario.  This situation definitely involved some “higher ups” and a lot of greasing each others hands.  The whole situation made the usual look like a routine traffic stop.  One wrong move and they could both end up dead….  If they were lucky.

Samuel suddenly put his arms to out the side stopping Brenda dead in her tracks.  Putting his finger to his lips, he motioned her to get down.  From her crouched position, Brenda could just barely make out the faded uniform of one of the dirty cops that she and Samuel intel on.    Training her ears, Brenda tried to listen and gather as much info as she could as “uniform” stopped to talk to someone, she didn’t recognize.  But at the moment she was much more aware of just how closely Samuel was to her….  Too aware.  It didn’t help that he was so close that he was all but in her lap.    Definitely not a good situation to be in on this kind of mission.  She needed to concentrate, and not on the 5’9″ set of muscles practically breathing on her neck.  Using the innate ability she had to shut everything else out of her mind.  It was just the thing for which she had been promoted to “the team” simply known by as “The Academy” for the building in which HQ was located an old non-descript building that had the look of an old school.

Brenda studiously focused her attention back to the the two guys they were watching.

“Phewww”  Samuel exclaimed, after  ‘uniform’  and the other guy moved on, “Any closer I’m afraid we might have ended up in a coffin.

Brenda gave a sigh of relief when Samuel finally stood back up, motioning that it was safe for her to do the same.    She was beginning to feel like a bat in a cave when it was dark out.   

“Were you able to catch what they were saying?”  Samuel whispered to her as she walked just a step behind him.

“Yeah, some.”  Brenda responded back in a whisper.  “Sounds like something going down tomorrow afternoon.  Not sure it’ll be big enough to catch em on though.”

“It’s something anyway, ” Samuel replied back, “Come on let’s get out of here and report back to HQ.

Brenda had no arguments with that one.

Proposal in a Shoe (My WWBH Story)

This week the lovely Heather has the prompt cues for us at WWBH:


“You know,”  Gerrad was saying, “We probably ought to think about getting up and getting dressed, don’t you think.”  Molly thought she detected a slight waver in his voice.  Nervousness?  No, Gerrad was never nervous about anything.  She was sure it must be that he was simply out of breath from the intimacy they had shared that morning upon waking.  “Yeah,” she responded, “We probably should.”  

Molly dressed quickly as Gerrad did the same,  then looked around for her shoes.  Oh, yeah, right, there they were.  Next to the door.   Molly slipped her feet into one, but they wouldn’t go on her feet.  “What the heck,” she muttered as she slipped her foot out and back in.  Still her foot wouldn’t go in.  It felt like something was blocking her foot.

Bending down, Molly picked up the shoe to inspect it.  Reaching into the shoe, her hand touched something.  Grabbing a hold of it, Molly pulled out the offending obstruction.  A jewelers box??  How in the world had a jewelers box gotten in her shoe.  She looked carefully at Gerrad who was standing next to the bed passively watching her with an eye slightly raised.

“You wouldn’t happen to know anything about this would you?”  She inquired.

“Why don’t we open it and see what it is,”  Gerrad responded his expression not changing as he crossed the bedroom to stand by her.

Molly opened up the box to find a beautiful diamond solitaire inside.

“Hmmmm, yes, that does seem like something I might get you,” Gerrad was saying,  “Why don’t you try it and see if it fits.”

Somehow knowing that the ring would be a perfect fit, Molly slipped it on to find she was right.  The ring fit on as if it had been made just for her.  Her eye’s glimmered with tears as she looked up at Gerrad.

“It was you that got this for me, wasn’t it.”

“Yes,” Gerrad admitted as he came to stand in front of Molly.  Taking both her slender hands in his own, he brought them to his lips.

“I’ve never loved another women the way I do you, Molly.  Never wanted a women the way I do you, with every fiber of my being.  I want to come home from work each day to your smiling face.  To fall asleep holding you and wake up each  morning with you in my arms,  I want……”   Gerrad stopped as if he could’t find the right words to express his feelings.  

By now, tears were flowing freely down Molly’s face and it seemed there were tears in Gerrad’s eyes as well.

“Yes.”  Molly exclaimed.

“Yes?”  Gerrad replied

“Yes, I’ll marry you.  I’ll be here when you come home, be here to care for and comfort you….”  

A loud whoop came from Gerrad’s mouth as he swooped Molly up and spun her around before setting her carefully on the ground  and indulging in one last long kiss before they finished putting there shoes on.

{Word Count:  499}

More WWBH story entries from this week:

Trying to Remember (My WWBH Story)

My story was inspired by the photographs provided by Leanne.

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Brenda stopped writing and set her pen down on the diary she had picked up at the local stationery store several weeks earlier.  She had never been one to write in a journal or a diary, had never seen the sense in writing a bunch non-sensical crap about what had happened throughout each day and how she felt about it, but her therapist had recommended the idea as a way to work through the psychological difficulties she faced since her accident a few months earlier.      The therapist had voiced concern, on a number of occasions, that she still hadn’t been able to fully face the events of the life-changing accident.  The problem was she couldn’t really remember much of the accident.  The memory of accident plagued her at night and on a number of occasions she had woken in a cold sweat with only the vaguest of memories of the accident upon awakening.   The idea of the diary was to write down every and anything she could remember and to write down both her progresses and back-steps throughout the journey of her recovery.  The hope was to bring the memory into the forefront of her mind so she could face it once and for all.

The writing seemed to help some.  As she wrote little things like the little bits & pieces of broken details she remembered or how her physical therapy was going the memories got a little stronger each day.  Brenda closed her eyes as the memory of the events preceding the accident began to take hold.   This was another part of her recovery.  To face the events leading up to the accident as well as the accident itself.  She had to come to terms with the accident, to face it head on.  Not just in her dreams at night but in reality of daylight.  Squeezing her eyes tight, Brenda forced herself to view the events of the accident in her mind as they had happened that day.  She could see herself getting into the car. Saw the car driving down the highway.  Saw herself looking in the side view mirror.  Saw the bright headlights in the car behind.  Brenda forced herself to keep her eyes closed and concentrate on the memory as the headlights in the car  behind got larger and larger till they were filling the side-view mirror…  Then nothing.  She could remember nothing further. 

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Dis-Heartened, Brenda picked up her pen, once again, to write the little bit she had managed to remember…  At least it was progress.

Click the froggy to see more stories written for this weeks WWBH.

You can also head on over to the 2015 WWBH page and the 2014 WWBH page to read past stories submitted for other WWBH Hops.

Determined to Finish (My WWBH Story)

Here is my story based on the two photos in the story.  I did got a little bit over the 500 limit but only by a little bit  so hopefully none of the other hop ladies are counting 😉
2015/01/img_3902.jpgMonica hoisted her pack further up on her shoulders.  Sweat dripped from her brow the saltiness of it stinging her eyes, nearly blinding her.  Her legs were cramping something fierce, her stomache felt like it was on fire, and her head was starting to pound.  But she refused to give up.

Monica took a long drink from her water bottle. She was determined to finish the 5 mile hike that she had set out on.  Was determined not to give up.

Monica had spent the entire spring working to prepare herself for this hike.  She had started out with short 1/4 & 1/2 mile  walks, working her way up to 1 & 2 mile walks and eventually 3 & 4 mile walks.  Finally, she was ready for the 5 mile hike…  Or so she had thought.  Now she was beginning to have doubts.  a 4 mile walk didn’t at all compare to a 5 mile hike through rough terrain.  Most of the hike, so far, had been steadily uphill.  she supposed the good news was that at some point they would make their way back to the starting point and would be heading downhill the point.

Her mind wandering, Monica didn’t see the small, out of place, boulder till she tripped right over it and went  head-long  into the guy in front of her.  Luckily Monica was a lightweight in size, her petite stature barely moving him.   The guy recovered quickly, but Monica wasn’t so lucky and went sprawling to the ground.

“Hey, you okay miss?”  the guy asked.

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“Yeah,”  Monica replied, “I’ll be fine.”  But as she tried to push herself upright she began teetering & wavering,  The guy she had bumped into helped  her upright and led her a few steps further to where a huge boulder sat on the side of the path.  After helping her to sit down, he asked just a few questions about how she was feeling and what kind of symptoms she was having.  He then reached into his own pack.  Monica was surprised to find him pulling out a small bag of salt.  Not the normal everyday salt like you might find on most kitchen tables or restaurants, but “Real” Salt.

Salt, of course.  She should have thought to bring some salt along herself.  Monica recalled her grandmother’s “old-wives” table type remedy for dealing with symptoms of dehydration.

The gentleman asked if she had a back-up water bottle.  Monica handed the bottle over and watched as he put a good size portion of salt in then gave it several good shakes to mix the salt in.

“Here, drink this.”

Monica started to take a big long gulp, but the gentlemen helping her stopped her.  “Whoa, slow down there.” He instructed.  “Slow sips.  You’ll make yourself sick otherwise.”

After a short a while, Monica began feeling better.  “Thank You”  she said with a smile.

“Not a problem.  You feeling a bit better now?”

“Yes.  Much.”  Monica answered.

“Wonderful.”  the guy replied,  “My name’s Brian, by the way.”

“Monica.”

“Nice to meet you, Monica.”  Brian replied, taking her hand in a firm yet gentle grip.  “So,”  he continued, “Think you feel up to continuing the hike?”

“Sure do.”  Monica replied with renewed energy.

Click on the little froggy below to read more entries from this weeks WWBH Hop

 

 

Aunt Cindy the Hero (my #WWBH Story)

This week we are being given the opportunity to write a story for a prompt that we wanted to write one for before, but ran out of time…

There are a number of WWBH Prompts that I had wanted to write a story for and ended up running out of time to get it done.  It would be a chore (and time consuming) for me to go back and look at the prompts and try to figure out which ones I had written for and which ones I hadn’t… and then which of those I wanted to write for.  I do know that I had thought to write for the last regular hop (right around Thanksgiving time) but with prep for Thanksgiving with extended family, Thanksgiving with immediate family, plus Shabbat & weekend…  Well, there just wasn’t time (heck  I have enough trouble finding time under normal circumstances).

So, now that I am given the opportunity to go back and write a story for a prompt I missed (and actually have some time to do so)….  Here’s my story:
grace-familyIMG_12586dPhoto credits: public domain free photo searches on the Internet

Everyone at the table was quiet as they bowed their heads for the usual Thanksgiving prayer.  Emma knew this part of the tradition well.  Gramps, as the eldest male in the house, would lead the family in prayer as he did every year.  The rest of the year Emma’s dad would say the meal prayers, but at Thanksgiving Gramps was given that privilege out of respect. There was something different in the air this year, however.  Even at 5 years old, Emma could feel it.  She knew that her Aunt Cindy (her mamma’s sister) wasn’t with them for Thanksgiving this year, but didn’t really know why.  Emma loved her Aunt Cindy.  Aunt Cindy loved to play with her and read her stories.

“Mamma,”  Emma said in a small voice after Gramps had finished with prayers,  “I miss Aunt Cindy.  I wish she was here.”

Roger heard the tiny gasp from his wife and reached under the table to squeeze her hand.  She squeezed back with a sad smile before turning to respond to their daughter.

“I know you do” sweetheart,” Cathy replied, “Your Aunt Cindy was a very special woman.”

“What happened to her?” Emma wanted to know, “Why isn’t she here?”

Cathy hesitated for a moment.  They hadn’t really talked about the death of her sister, since the night it happened.  She wondered how much to share with little Emma.  She knew that Emma loved her Aunt Cindy deeply more so than any of her other aunts.

“You know that your Aunt Cindy worked on the Rescue Squad as a Paramedic, right?”  Cathy asked of Emma.  Emma nodded.

“Being on the Rescue Squad was a very rewarding job for your Aunt Cindy and she loved being able to help people. But it could also be very dangerous and things could go wrong very quickly.  Your Aunt Cindy was on a call for a drowning accident.  We still don’t really know all of what happened, but somehow she fell into the freezing water and got trapped while trying to rescue the victim.   She died a hero, trying to save another person’s life.  I know it’s sad that she’s not here with us but she will always be in our hearts and in our minds and we can remember the good times with her and remember that she died while helping another person.”

“I won’t ever forget her, I promise”  Emma said solemnly.  “Maybe when I grow up I can do something to help people that are hurt or in trouble like Aunt Cindy”

Cathy smiled warmly at her daughter, “Maybe you can.  And, remember, you don’t have to be all the way grown up to help people in trouble.  There are things you could do even now to help someone….”

“You mean like knowing how to use 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency or how to listen & feel to know if someone is breathing and has a heart beat”  Emma replied, talking about what Aunt Cindy had taught her…

“Yes, sweetheart, just like that.”

There’s still some time left to write your story for that “missed” prompt that you always wanted to write for.    Go to WWBH Kick-Offs for look at past  hops.  You can also check out the stories submitted for past hops on my WWBH Page

Running For Her Life – My #WWBH Story (November 19, 2014)

Her denim skirt whipped around legs, at times so tight she thought she might fall in a heap in the ground.  But somehow she found the strength to keep going, to keep running.  She couldn’t stop.  Not when stopping  meant falling victim to the trap that had been set for her.  Not when it could mean her very life.   She felt as if the whole galaxy was closing in on her as she struggled for each little step, for each little breath.  Her legs ached, her lungs ached, hell every atom in her body ached. The saltiness of her tears stung her eyes so that it was difficult to see.  But she kept on – one step at a time  second after second, minute after minute.  How long she had no idea.  Time ceased to mean anything any longer.  All that mattered was running.  Running until she found the safety of old magician.  The one that lived along the waters edge.  No one knew his exact abode.  No one had ever seen it.  She only knew that it he lived there and that she must find him if she was to have any chance of being safe again.

Approaching the water’s edge, she kept her eyes open.  Not wanting to make a sound to call out until she was certain the magician was nearby.  Calling out her name would draw attention to herself.  Something she couldn’t afford not until she knew the magician was nearby  and close enough to be of assistance.  Then, suddenly, she saw something.  Two small glimmers of light that skimmed and bounced along the waters edge.  At times coming almost next to each other, at others flying apart as if they might go in totally opposite directions.  It was now that she called out to the magician.  Her voice just barely above whisper and even that rang loud in her ears, her fear so great.  The 2 glimmers of light bounced around in their erratic way.  Again she called, slightly louder…  As loud as she dared.  Her breath caught in her throat.  The two glimmers of light began to merge together, becoming a larger light that grew and grew until they illuminated into that of a elderly man.  She wondered briefly if she had made a mistake.  How could this decrepit looking old man be of any help to her when her very life was in danger.  What could he do except maybe some magic?!?  She hoped it would be enough, for he was her last hope.  Her only hope.  She watched in disbelief as he was once again illuminated in a bright light, seeming to disappear into it.  Only to appear once more…  As a knight might on a white steed.

The story above was written for the WWBH challenge dated November 19, 2014 and was  inspired by the following picture:

Photo Credit HJ Musk

Using the following 5 (required) words

  • salt
  • galaxy x
  • denim x
  • trap x
  • magician x

The Value of Hard Work and Life – My #WWBH Story (November 12, 2014)

The picture for this week was:

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Courtesy of Wikipedia

And the 5 Required Words:

  • Footloose
  • Inherit
  • Genuflect
  • Stun
  • Audacious

and my short story……

Jonathon held the folded flag respectfully in his lap as the bugle played ‘TAPS’.  His thoughts were, with genuflect, on those who had died – Giving their lives for their country.  He thought of his comrades who had died years ago when he himself was in the service and all who had sacrificed their lives after his tour of duty was over.  Even now nearly half a century later he didn’t understand why so many of his comrades had to die while he had gone on to live a full and prosperous life.

So many of his comrades had had their whole lives ahead of them and  yet they were taken from the world too soon.  It was part of war and he had accepted it as such, but he hadn’t liked it – then or now.    Jonathon recalled the days before the war, before being thrust into adulthood.  The days when he was “Footloose and Fancy Free”.  Even in those days, however, children were raised to be respectful to their elders and to all service personnel and were raised to value hard work and appreciate the value of life.

He was stunned to see that these days that respect just didn’t exist like it use to.   He didn’t say anything as some young whippersnapper (about the same age as himself when he was enlisted in the army) was audacious enough to set their booted foot upon his chair, just inches from the flag he held.  Jonathon wanted to reach over and cuff the lad on the ear but he held his hand, and his tongue, knowing it would do little good.  You just couldn’t get through to these kids many of which had life handed to them on silver platters.

Even with the little bit of an inheritance he had received from his grandparents an inheritance they had worked hard to save up for him, he had had to struggle to make a decent start in life.  No,he thought to himself sadly, kids these days just didn’t know the meaning of true sacrifice and hard work.  They didn’t know or understand how valuable life truly was.  Didn’t appreciate the freedoms they had or those who had died that they might enjoy those freedoms they took for granted.

Check out the other stories submitted by clicking on froggy below (and if you hurry you can submit your own story – you have till this evening.  If not mistaken, our next host is Heather at Reading, Writing, Inbetween.

“Time Together” My #WWBH Story for October 22, 2014

 

October 22, 2014

Betty laughed as she fed a spoonful of chocolate chip M&M vanilla caramel ice cream to her boyfriend as they viewed the city lights from the vantage point of  the patio of their hotel room.  Roger accepted the spoonful with a smile then playfully returned the favor with an offered spoonful of his own.

Betty had been looking forward to this vacation with her boyfriend and fiance Roger Corter for over a month.  Both worked long hours; Roger working two jobs – one full-time and one part-time,  Betty also working a part-time job on top of a full-time load of classes at the local college.   Time together was precious and vacations together even more so.

Roger and Betty had known each other most all their lives and had  been dating off and on since Junior High.  They were planning to marry in a few months time.

They had arrived in the small town of Truth and Consequences earlier that evening after a several hour drive.  The drive itself was uneventful.  Gorgeous, but uneventful.  After checking in to their hotel, Betty and Roger had decided to check out the city’s sites.  Tomorrow they would check out one of the city’s hot springs spa.  For now they enjoyed a quiet evening together in their hotel room playfully feeding each other bites of ice cream.

As Roger fed Betty a bite of ice cream he accidentally, or purposely, got some on the tip of her nose.  Betty retaliated with another, well-placed, swipe of ice cream on Roger’s nose.  With a laugh Roger playfully licked the spot ice cream on Betty’s nose, his lips landing on hers in a gentle kiss.  A few moments later, Roger pulled Betty over on to his lap.

“I didn’t think we would ever be able schedule a vacation together” Roger said said as he wrapped his arms around  Betty’s waist.

“Nor did I”  Betty replied, snuggling against Roger chest with a contented sigh.

Roger brushed his lips lovingly against the top of Betty’s head.  He couldn’t wait till the day when they would start their new lives together as husband and wife.  He felt as if he had been looking forward to that day nearly his entire life.

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The above story was inspired on the below photos provided by our WWBH co-host Debb Stanton (Stanton Sunshine)

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