THE PRESERVATION FOUNDATION, INC.
A Nonprofit Publisher Established In 1976
Preserving the extraordinary works of 'ordinary' people

Writers Showcase


Have a story you'd like to post?  You don't have to enter a contest to do so.  Here's how...
Want to publish a full length book manuscript?  We can help!  Click here.
Buy our members' Ebooks and Paperbacks.  See our list.
Flash!
News From Our Writers 
  2014 Contests 
Rules, Deadlines, etc.
Contest Judging
How done? How long?
Contest Winners
Check the competition
Who is Publisher Richard Loller? Click here for his  journal of fishing and farming (updated 12/15/2013).

Enjoy our story collection
Search by author or title

Send us your story

Make a tax deductible gift

Who we are and what we do
E-Publish with us
Become a member

Help out!  Buy our books!

 

Nonprofit Accountability HQ
See our full listing.

Scroll down to see recent stories

Jungle Cruise From Hell

A Funny Story About a Father’s Love


Frank Mann

 
© Copyright 2014 by Frank Mann


Photo of a black jaguar at evening.

...George Mann, at age 75 harbored a dream for years about doing something really memorable and special with his two sons while he was not only still alive, but healthy enough to enjoy it himself. A lifetime woodsman , he'd had us in the outdoors since we could barely walk. At age three we could both recognize an owl hoot, or a whipporwill's unique nighttime cry. Even then, we both could tell a racoon track from an oppossum or squirrel or rabbit.  A really different hunting trip was what he had settled on over a year ago, and we all cleared our calendars for the ten day trek, and started dreaming about the challenge of hunting down "el Tigre" in Central America....

More...




Bawa



Mamta Dalal

© Copyright 2014 by Mamta Dalal


 


 
Except for my maternal grandfather, I lost my other grandparents at an early age. My grandmothers passed away before I was born so I never had a chance to even see them. My mother’s father - my maternal grandfather - was the only I grew to know a little.

"Bawa", as we called him affectionately, stayed at my maternal uncle’s house, which was in another city, Bangalore, thousands of miles away from us. As a child, I met Bawa only twice a year, when we visited our relatives during my bi-annual school holidays. How thrilled he used to be on beholding my little sister and me during those visits! He doted on us and often took us out for ice-cream treats and we were glad for our affectionate, though sometimes authoritarian, grandfather.

Unknown to us, though, there was another side to our grandfather. In his heyday, Bawa had been an acclaimed and accomplished classical singer and musician. Innocent as we were in our childhood, my sister and I were never aware of this aspect of his personality....

More...



Code 309.81



Melissa Cronin

© Copyright 2014 by Melissa Cronin

Painting of a road sign showing car going off cliff.



The driver loses control of the wheel. I grip the passenger side door handle. We veer off the road and over a cliff, the car plummeting thousands of feet into a gray canyon. My stomach drops, twists. I try to scream, but it won’t come out.

I wake, clenching my sweat-soaked t-shirt, my chest burning....

More...



You Want Me To Do What?
 

James Sclater
 
 

© Copyright 2014 by  James Sclater

 

Boy with alphabet letters coming from his mouth.

This is a story about the impact of stuttering on the life of a young person and how one adjusts to it as one ages. Speech therapy is much different now than it was when I was in grammar school and high school. So much more is known about the physical aspects of it. I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had not had a speech impediment. I am certain that attempting to deal with it has impacted my life in ways I don't realize even now....

More...




I'm Still Here

Sara Berelsman

© Copyright 2014 by  Sara Berelsman         
 

 

Photo of a painting, Acedia, the noonday demon.


I haven’t been in this dark of a place in a while. And every time it happens, I pray to God that I won’t return to this place. As much as I wish it wouldn’t happen, I come out stronger every time I emerge, and it brings me closer to God.
Chronic depression and bipolar disorder are chemical imbalances. People with these conditions do not choose to feel these emotions and we can’t just “snap out of it.” Please don’t criticize what you don’t understand....





Evacuation

Matt Blackner

 
© Copyright 2014 by Matt Blackner



Photo of men preparing a stretcher.

      It was in the cold winter of 2007 that something happened I’ll have a hard time ever being able to forget. I was in a wilderness program called Aspiro and we had been going on weeklong camping trips all over Utah for a month. At this time we just happened to be down in Moab where the desert red rock sharply contrasted with the frosty white snow....

More...




My Father the Vulture




Jaka Wescott


 
© Copyright 2014 by Jaka Wescott

 

Photo of the inside of a storage unit.

I wrote this nonfiction piece after visiting this little town near allentown. Perhaps it was because I'd just finished watching Gilmore Girls, and possibly because I find small towns inherently creepy, but that place was full of characters, events, and situations that just begged to be described and set down. As I stood there, I realized that the only reason I could witness these absurdities was because of my father's unique job. I wanted to write something that was as much about him as it was about how I felt....

More...





Restocking A Personal Library

 

 

Kristin K. Fouquet
   



© Copyright 2014 by Kristin K. Fouquet
   


See Kristin's short documentary film
on this subject.  Click here.

          
     


Photo of Kristin and her new books.


Books are relics. You may interpret the statement as you wish. In the digital publishing age, the hard copy is becoming rarer. I am not opposed to online publications or eBooks at all. Some of my first literary writing credits were with the former and I believe along with the latter, a tangible version is a nice option, if not the first. Isn’t that it?...

More...



Well, Major, What Do You Know?


Richard Franklin Bishop




© Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop  
 

Photo of C-5A with smaller aircraft.

My Military Life Series (Without Deadly Force)
Part One - Enjoying Asia
Part Three - My Life As A Non-Combatant
Part Four - A Mysterious Disappearance
Part Five - Controlling An English Disaster
                       (Of American Origin)   
Part Six - Well, Major, What Do You Know?                    

I was stationed in England and had been enjoying every minute of it. As a newly promoted Major in the US Air Force, I felt that, after achieving "Field Grade" rank, I had finally "arrived" in my career as a REGULAR Officer. Later, leaving my normal job as an Accounting & Finance Officer to accept the higher job as Base Comptroller was “right-on” in my book.

More...





Controlling An English Disaster
(Of American Origin)


Richard Franklin Bishop


© Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop  
 

Pilot ejecting from jet.

My Military Life Series (Without Deadly Force)
Part One - Enjoying Asia
Part Three - My Life As A Non-Combatant
Part Four - A Mysterious Disappearance
Part Five - Controlling An English Disaster
                       (Of American Origin)                       

In 1968, after serving exactly one year in Thailand, I had applied for and was given another overseas assignment, this time to England. The U.S. Air Force called this a “Consecutive Overseas Tour.” This Permanent Change of Station (PCS) was considered to be a “Plum” by me since for 11 years I had been trying (unsuccessfully) for an European overseas tour after obtaining my Commission as a U.S. Air Force Officer in 1957. The Main Island of the United Kingdom seemed to me to be an adventurous destination for an American, or as the tongue-in-cheek saying goes: “two English-speaking peoples separated by the same language.”...

More...


A Mysterious Disappearance


Richard Franklin Bishop


© Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop  
 
My Military Life Series (Without Deadly Force)
Part One - Enjoying Asia
Part Three - My Life As A Non-Combatant
Part Four - A Mysterious Disappearance
Photo of temple and boat in Bangkok, Thailand.

I was on a roll! My one-year assignment, received at Scott Field, Illinois, while assigned to the Headquarters of MATS (Military Air Transport Service) was to Thailand. And I thought it was a Winner! Instead of a Headquarters Staff Officer, I was to be out in the field; an Accounting and Finance Officer (A&FO) again. But, I had to bounce around within the country a little before my final assignment came in....

More...





To See The Queen





June Calender


 
© Copyright 2014 by June Calender

Map showing Lo-Monthang.


                                Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?

                                I’ve been to London to see the queen.

                                Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?

                                I spied a little mousy under her chair.

This was my second trek in Nepal with a small group. The subkingdom of Mustang had at that time had less than 1000 western visitors. I wanted to see a place where the wheel was used only for prayer barrels and time seemed to have stopped. I found time had not stopped, but  the country was aging badly because of melting glaciers and its isolation. Since I was there a road has been built across Mustang (with Chinese investment) and I do not know if the area still has a king and queen since the Maoist government has been in power....


More...




My Life  As A Non-Combatant


Richard Franklin Bishop


© Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop  
 
My Military Life Series (Without Deadly Force)
Part One - Enjoying Asia
Part Three - My Life As A Non-Combatant

Photo of a beer bottle on a table looking out to a Saigon street.

As I look back on my life, I find that I have been extremely lucky and, while fate certainly has been searching for me, it has never really looked far enough around the corner to "get" me. At the same time, my Military experiences pale in comparison to those Combat troops who were "really there" in America's conflicts. Because of my eyes, I was a non-flying Air Force Officer, and through no choice of my own, I was also a Non-combatant....





Shadowing Dashiell Hammett
 
 

Dale Fehringer

 
 

© Copyright 2014 by Dale Fehringer 


 

Photo of Don Herron.

He looks the part, and we could tell who he was from a block away. Today was the day he was going to guide us around the parts of San Francisco where Dashiell Hammett lived, worked, and wrote. And there he was, standing on Market Street, in front of the historic Flood Building, on a sunny Sunday afternoon....

More...




Grandpa's Time Machine


Nancy Loera

© Copyright 2014 by Nancy Loera
 

 

Photo of a person fishing with a cane pole.


The story you are about to read is true or as someone in the literary world would say "non-fiction." I can honestly say that I have my very own, ultra cool, one of a kind time machine. It's capable of whisking me away to a moment in my past and back again whenever I choose to go...




More...








If I Were 22 Again

 Dick Miller

  

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 





Photo of Dick at age 22.

If I were invited to give a college commencement address, it would be mercifully brief, and along these lines.

If I were 22 years old, as are many of the members of the college graduating classes of 2014, and had the opportunity to ask my 70-year-old self for some tips, here’s a baker’s dozen of ideas that I would pass along....

More...




Dad's Brief Stage Career

 Dick Miller 
  

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 

Photo of the actor who played the role in the 1951 film.


For a number of years my parents were active in amateur theater productions, mostly at our church and in the local community center dramatic group. Mom was the one who liked to be on stage and dad worked behind the scenes. He designed and built sets, painted, acted as stage manager, and did just about anything but step out onto the stage....

More...




TALLY HO -THE BOXes

     A Merrie Olde Chase

(Without The Horses & Hounds)

Richard Franklin Bishop

   © Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop  

 
My Military Life Series (Without Deadly Force)

Part Three - To Come

Photo of a C-130.


In the middle of September, 1967, I was transferred from the Headquarters of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), Scott Field, Illinois, to Southeast Asia for a standard one-year tour of duty in Thailand....

More...




The Fabric of Family

       

Lane Elizabeth Dooling

© Copyright 2014 by Lane Dooling

 

 

Photo of a sign pointing to a reunion site.


Looking back, I have always been aware of how special family traditions are - as a child, teenager, young adult and now full circle as a parent. I remain a bit amazed at the power of simple family traditions - how the smallest practices seem to have a special meaning to be long remembered....

More...



Enjoying Asia  



 
Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop   

My Military Life Series (Without Deadly Force)

Part Two - To Come
Part Three - To Come

Photo of a USAF C-124.


We were stationed in Japan for three years beginning in 1959. The assignment was at Tachikawa AB about 15 miles from downtown Tokyo on the big Island of Honshu, Japan....

More...




On the Trail of the Tyrant


Evan L. Balkan


 
© Copyright 2013 by Evan L. Balkan





Statue of Lope de Aguirre.

“When I saw the vessel with full sails sailing away, I felt like one born again. I gave thanks to God for having saved me from the clutches of the monster.  I did not even mind being poor and destitute. I found the island and its town destroyed.”
 
So said a Captain Altamirano, recalling the departure in 1561 of Lope de Aguirre from Margarita Island....
More...



The Wonderment of 
Young Children

 Dick Miller 
  

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 

Photo of a child with eyes wide in astonishment.


There he stood in the middle of the aisle at the Target store, mouth agape, eyes like saucers, staring at my two leg prostheses as I sat in my motorized wheelchair. He had been obediently following his Mom as she headed in the direction of the checkout line, but this sight brought him up short....

More....




Cedar Walls


Rachel M. Barker

 
Copyright © 2014 by Rachel M. Barker





Photo of a cabin interior with cedar walls.
He wakes up, still shell-shocked by last night’s conversation.  She has already left for school; it is 7:45 am.  Last night, she told him that she doesn’t like the cedar walls of their basement apartment.  Because they remind her of him, and what happened on the fishing trip when she was ten years old....

More...



The Shower


Rachel M. Barker

 
Copyright © 2014 by Rachel M. Barker

Photo of a pregnant woman with a hand on her belly.

Amy mentally approaches the event with her usual combination of “Damn, do I really have to?”  and, “When is the soonest I can leave without appearing reprehensibly rude?”  Staying at home and mercilessly chipping away at herself seems a much healthier alternative.  She is all too aware of how her family perceives her.  The terms “fruitcake”, “nomad” and “lush” all run through her head in a tizzy.  She hates them for thinking this, even though they are all perfectly applicable adjectives.  And true....

More...





A Very Special Favor
 
 

Dale Fehringer

 
 

© Copyright 2014 by Dale Fehringer 


 

Photo of William Saroyan's grave.


Thirty-two years ago Bob Damir faced a dilemma when his friend, William Saroyan, died. An unusual request was included in Saroyan’s will, which Bob had been asked to fulfill. Bob wanted to do this favor for his friend, but it would be quite an imposition.

William Saroyan (or “Bill” as Bob knew him) was a popular author in the 1930’s and 1940’s; at the time one of the best-known writers in the world....

More...




Positives and Negatives

 

Geary Smith
 
 

© Copyright 2014 by Geary Smith 
 
 

 

Photo of a girl's legs in cowboy boots.

I don’t like this at all,” said Somer.  “This is crazy.”

Somer tied her snow boots, pulled up her coat sleeve, and adjusted her wool cap that

covered her eyes.

We did not have to shovel snow back home in Texas,” said Somer.  “This is crazy to
shovel snow just to get out of your driveway.”...

More...




So You Want To Lead A Band


 Dick Miller 

  

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 

Photo of a band and high school conductor.



I was a Physics and General Science teacher in a large New York City high school: large in enrollment, small in facility. In fact, it was the same school I attended some years before (but that’s another story). The school was overcrowded, so some students (and teachers) started as early as 7:00 AM, while others stayed as late as 4:00 PM. I was on one of the later shifts.

I took advantage of that late schedule by coming in early to rehearse with the school band. I’m a trombone player, and this was a good opportunity to keep in practice. The band had only one euphonium player (the tenor voice of the tuba family), which reads the same music as a trombone, so my contribution was welcome....

More...




We Do Not Choose
Mental Illness and
We Do Not Choose Addiction

Sara Berelsman

© Copyright 2014 by  Sara Berelsman         
 

 

Image of a red button with HELP on it.


We do not choose mental illness and we do not choose addiction.

If you think otherwise, then get on your knees right now and thank God, because you have never experienced the true horror that is addiction. You have never suffered through mental illness. You are one of those people who happened to be born with a “normal” brain. Many times I’ve been jealous of you, but I’m not anymore. These are the cards I was dealt. I often think that God just took the stack of cards and flicked them out onto the population, and is then sitting back, watching crazy situation after crazy situation unfold. God has one hell of a sense of humor....

More...

Elmer's Tune  

A Homage To My Father 







 
Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2014 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      

Newspaper photo.


It’s now been 96 ½ years since my Father, Elmer Jewell Bishop, “joined-up” with the U. S. Army for service in the latter years of WW I. Although, in his case, it was somewhat different since he volunteered by enlisting in Company “B” of the 3rd Illinois National Guard, a State organization....


More...



We Won!


 Dick Miller   

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 


Offical signaling touchdown.


Texans certainly take their football very seriously. I know, because I married one....

More...




Barney's Nose for Trouble
 

James Sclater
 
 

© Copyright 2012 by  James Sclater

 

Photo of a great dane.

The Cosgrove sisters lived next to us in a big sprawling one-story house with a great hall running down the middle of it the urban version of a dogtrot house. Each lady had her own bedroom, but there was only one bathroom for the entire group. Jeannie, a former schoolteacher, was the oldest, followed by Vidalia, Gussie, Roberta, and Penny. None had ever married; they seemed quite content to dote on the children of relatives living in Modelle....


More...


The Accidental Tuba Player


 Dick Miller   

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 


Photo of a brass tuba.


I’ve never had a tuba lesson in my life, but I’ve enjoyed playing the instrument for more than 40 years. It all began by accident.

I was playing bass trombone in the South Shore Community Band on Staten Island, New York. We were rehearsing in preparation for one of our two annual fund-raiser concerts when our only tuba player announced that he was retiring and moving to Florida. There didn’t seem to be a ready replacement, so the band director, Charlie Stieg, asked if anyone in the band knew anyone who could take on the role with the concert approaching. One of the scheduled numbers was “Victory at Sea,” which had a prominent tuba part....

More...






Amulet of Nekhbet


Jordan Elizabeth Mierik

© Copyright 2014 by Jordan Elizabeth Mierik

 

View of a street scene.


In 1920, Emma made the decision to accompany her archeologist husband on an expedition to Ancient Egypt.  Unfortunately for her, it was far worse than she’d been warned.  Bored and irritable, Emma hung around her neck an amulet dedicated to Nehkbet, the Egyptian vulture goddess.  It certainly was a pretty bauble, but it also sucked her away into a void, from which her descendents have been trying to retrieve her....

More...



Just Call Me Mr. Kotter


 Dick Miller   

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 


Photo of some of the caracters from the TV show.


You may recall the TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, starring comedian Gabe Kaplan. It aired in the late 1970s and is notable for bringing a young John Travolta to national attention. The premise is that Kaplan, playing Mr. Kotter, returns to teach at the high school he himself attended. He winds up with a class of misfits, nicknamed “sweat hogs” in the show, of whom little is expected except, perhaps, from Mr. Kotter.

So, in fact, did I....

More...





The Subway


L. Rehfuss

© Copyright 2014 by  L. Rehfuss   

 

Photo of a subway token.


It's 5:55pm, and he's where he has stood every night since I started taking the subway one year ago. His job is to watch tokens enter a small machine in front of him or glance at monthly subway passes being flashed before his eyes. The purpose for this seemingly tedious assignment is to move people through the turnstiles quickly....

More...


Flo

The Dog Who Would Rather Work Than Play

 Dick Miller   

© Copyright 2014 by  Dick Miller 

 

Photo of Flo.


After we had to have our beloved dog Buddy put down, and after our period of grieving passed, my wife Mega and I realized that we missed the companionship that only a dog can offer and started our search....

More...


A Salute From The Black Aces


William Wayne Weems
 

© 2014 by William Wayne Weems

 

Photo of a school safety patrol badge.

Here is a Tennessee tale from the mid-1950's. At the time of this account there was a road intersection on the South side of Nashville called "Five Points". It was and is a complex interchange for ordinary city streets, and the source of a depressing number of traffic accidents.

More...



Faith

Sara Berelsman

© Copyright 2014 by  Sara Berelsman           

 
 

 

Photo of balloons rising above trees.


“Faith” is defined by the dictionary as, “Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” I’ve always struggled with my faith. It’s unfailingly been difficult for me to do, or believe in, anything without a logical reason or evidence behind it. I think I might have believed in God when I was younger. That belief disappeared when I went to college. I regained that belief when I gave birth to my first child. My convictions had evolved, however. Still, I couldn’t gaze upon the tiny face of my perfect baby, count all her little fingers and toes, or hold her close to me and feel her heart beating without thinking this was a miracle. This had to be a miracle. Did I have any logical evidence behind it? No. I still don’t. Yet I believed. I still believe…that she is a miracle. Nothing that flawless could come together and form the miniature person who came out of me without some kind of divine intervention. That is just my belief....

Read any of these outstanding stories, or, if you'd rather browse among
the 1001other stories in our bountiful Book Case,
Click Here...

Top of Page

The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher