Ginger O’Neal, TSS

March 21st, 2015 by George Martorano

The ambulance moved at an unwavering pace. Its red lights flashing. Leaving Philadelphia early. The driver and P.A. Assistant knew they could make the four-hour run and be back at home-base by evening and their own dinner tables.

“Well, she finally got what she wanted.” “What’s that, Bill?” Bill, driving, looked at P.A. Owens kinda disturbed. “The snow.” “……snow?” “She always complained she wanted to be around snow.” “…..oh, that was when she talked more. She hasn’t spoken much since the second stroke. What’s her age now, anyway?” Bill touched a dial on the dashboard. “Close to a hundred.” “Geez, you got her chart, Owens!”

Owens looked back at the old gray woman asleep with the help of the shot. After all, they needed her medically safe and relaxed for the trip. They were taking her from Pen Care Nursing Home to one far in the Pocono mountains, near the small town of Kane, Pennsylvania, and the name of the nursing home, Kane.

For a long time she fought with the law firm in uptown Philadelphia to relocate her where there would be snow most of the year. Ginger O’Neal finally won. That same day, another stroke hit which made her more unable for the useless world of a nursing home. Yet, when she was told, heard, she was being relocated to a snowy area, somehow the poor woman’s eyes had shown happiness, even lost tears down her rosy cheek.


The blue vehicle moved slowly along the winding road. It had to as it’s been snowing for three days now and putting another foot and a half of new white already on top of the old layer.

Attendant Joan Dressit pulled her normal space, right alongside of the wide service door. She didn’t like the long wide front steps, the entrance nor the back door next to the kitchen’s small loading dock. No, the side service door Joan preferred because it was level with the ground. Living in snow country all her life, Joan liked walking straight in from snow and ice; even her home was ranch-style with no steps whatsoever. However, once in and already taking off her parka, she’d use the elevator to her station up on the third floor. After all, not liking steps didn’t mean she like those grueling flights of marble stairs.

In the elevator, she looked at herself and her red cheeks made her laugh. Her workouts and outside chores around her small farm kept her face red. What makes her laugh is the black hair she has and dark eyes. So with the red cheeks she thinks she looks like an unpicked Coupee Doll and being forty-three doesn’t help.

She gave herself a half spin to the side, then the other way…..”Not bad,” Joan commented about her figure, only to herself though…..and with the bell’s ding she exited.

“Is that you…..?” “Yes…..” Joan answered Jeanette, the third-floor attendant she was relieving.

“God, how can you stand this shift? In Vegas they call twelve-to-eight the graveyard shift. Here they’re waiting for the grave.” “Be nice now, Jeannette. Remember, Bob wants you all warm and ready,” said Joan, hanging up her wraps. “Warm, the only thing my husband Bob likes hot is his bath.” “Well, do it in there.” “Yeah, right, you see my Bob lately. I gotta grease’m. No, better, I grease the both of us to get in the tub,” Jeannette rambled on, yet quickly putting on her coat.

“Anything I should know?” asked Joan, looking on the desk to see if there were any medical orders from Doctor Lividstein. “No, weasel-face Lividstein took off just as I was getting here. He didn’t say a word, and there’s nothing written there, so all is well that ends well. Bye,” and Jeannette headed for the elevator. “Bye,” answered Joan, not looking, only putting her lunch away in the small refrigerator.

“Oh, check 314, she came in today, O’Neal…..!” “What…..?!” and Jeannette was gone. “Nobody told me, what’d she say, O’Neal?” and Joan, talking to herself, began looking through the file. When she found it, she began to read the new arrival’s chart. That done, she made her phone call down to the main desk to Lou Manners, who was on the last shift s she, on the graveyard shift as Jeannette would say.

After hanging up the phone, Joan picked up her chart and started to make her rounds. All floors at Kane Nursing Home had sixty rooms. Yet the third floor was half full and it’s been that way since Joan started there three and a half years ago. Seems the higher you go the less they install. Matter-of-fact, those richer residents got the lower floors, even the rooms on the first floor are bigger with wall-to-wall carpeting. Here, they’re smaller with only throw-rugs.

Halfway along the hall, Joan began to feel the chill. She looked for the open doors. All residents up here have their door left open. Up here the severely disabled ones are unable to hit their emergency buttons. Also, the doors are left open for the ones that are not actually strapped in their beds in case of an accident. Up here the beds are actually only a foot off the floor to prevent real injuries.

[To be continued]

By: George Martorano
copyright: 12973

The Unseen Bow

March 21st, 2015 by George Martorano

Again with the eve, the prison chapel bell tolls…. Clang ! Clang! Clang!
Yet, for me and the sound, nothing left but my own forgotten story; aah.. and the hunt for thyself ….
a search along hard-road-thought, where I drop and bleed.

These nights where acts go off in my head as if a play, the curtain rises and falls,
nay and never applause, only the bow before the steel toilet.

The cells’ my theater…. lights fade across an unseen, dark audience,
thus, I stand center-stage with in the four walls, costumed in prison garb…. waiting waiting… closing my eyes, hold my breath….

Then… the distant bell tolls…. Clang! Clang! Clang!…. And, I bow.

By:George Martorano


March 15th, 2015 by George Martorano

Nice Again

I walk along a tree-line way with soft, yellow street-lights as a path’s glow…. Thee apartment not far. It shall be the first encounter of love for me, in oh-of-time so very very long ….And I say to myself….

“How on earth will I get the deep, stain of prison from me, how ?” For I have to take her in my arms to begin. Maybe, if i say thus first …. She will know. She will at least try to know ….

“Prison, Prison night. Took all of me. I am free now darling. But can you vision to see; of how the cold cold of alone can be. My heart in mud, stuck, wishing waiting to reach for any care. My eyes, did think only to stare, aah nay and not even a blink.

” Prison, Prison night. Endless. A dread after each sunset. Your thoughts roam; then lost. You swallow the taste of nothingness. All feelings tumbling down…. Gash ! Gash !

“Prison, prison night. Hear this story, never have I told; the harshness that unfolds. The years tried my soul. Turning dreams away. My God! I was bold. I was bold. Less crumble to cell floor, hurting, hurting all the more.

“Prison, prison night. A darken blend that shocks. Tears like breath come; create to join with any smile, create to join with any sigh….. Hear my voice!…. Hear my cry !…. I scream, pray !…. Poor poor poor fellow lived I ….And, still before thee now my “nice again” …. I wonder wonder why ? God placed me, far far, with in the gray-divide.”

By: George Martorano

Aubrey (Part4)

March 15th, 2015 by George Martorano

The green car pulled up Fulton Street slowly, from her window the same coffee mug releasing steam….. Pam saw the elderly black couple looking at the few homes…..The car stopped in front of Aubrey’s house. The couple got out, the wide woman in jeans was carrying a bucket with cleaning items sticking up. The man had keys in his hand.

“…..he’s unlocking the door,” Pam said to herself, quickly heading outside.

“Excuse me, sir.” Pam was off her front step and approaching.

“…..yes,” the man in a red baseball cap replied.

“This is Mr. Brown’s home, and who…..?”

“Yes, I know. Me and the misses,” he pointed to his wife, and she smiled, “were hired by Mr. Brown to take care of the place.” Pam couldn’t believe what she heard.

“…..take care of it?”

“Yes, even paid the taxes and some other bills. Mr. Brown thought it best now that the place be looked after.”

“You, you know Aubrey? I mean, Mr. Brown. You know where he is, I mean…..?”

“Yes, Miss, ah?”

“Oh I’m sorry. I’m Pam. I’m a friend of Aubrey. I live over there,” she pointed.

“You see, I used to work at the mental hospital. I’m retired now, do odd jobs, so Mr. Brown hire me for this,” and he unlocked the door, started to go in with his wife following.

“Is Aubrey alright? I haven’t heard from him?”

“Yes, he’s fine. He helps there, now.”


“Yes, he’s their best mentor,” and they both entered.

The man stood at the door a moment…..grinned at Pam and gently closed it. Pam stood there with all kinds of thoughts whipping around in her head.

“…..a mentor?” she said and turned for her open front door.

The couple came there twice a month to look after the place. Pam tried to talk to them again, but they really didn’t have anything new to say, only that they communicated with Aubrey by mail. All Pam could do was go on with her life. She could rent a car and drive out there again but he never wrote her.

It was a Tuesday morning they were there, Aubrey’s brother and sister. They looked fine, not crazy at all, and dressed in leisure clothes. The sister was standing on a chair in front of the house. She held a paint scraper and was chipping off the old paint on the window frame. The brother was in the lot, lawn tools were lined up against the wall. He must be putting the lot back together. There was already a pile of debris along with a pile of weeds. They were going about their work as if they had been there for years. Pam wanted to go out and speak to them, but she didn’t. No, she just sat there by the widow and watched the faces that resembled Aubrey.

Just after noon, Pam had to make some errands. In a blue sweater, her blonde hair loosely up…..she walked by the two still at work. They both smiled and waved, and Pam did the same back to them.

When she turned the corner, turned just a few feet, he was there, coming. Aubrey, carrying a brown shopping bag of groceries. They both stopped, stood there a few feet from each other.

Then it happened….. he smiled.

“…..hi, Pam. “She couldn’t believe her ears or the way he was dressed in a sport jacket and tie. Something was entirely different about him.

“Hello, Aubrey,” she paused…..then said, “Your family, they’re, I mean, they’re…..”

“Yes, I know. I took them home with me. They’re fine now,” and he stopped talking and stood there…..

“I came to see you once,” she said, and his smile broadened. “When they came and started cleaning the house, I mean the black couple, I didn’t know what to do…..? Why didn’t you write?” and her eyes watered up.

Aubrey moved closer to her and she began to hear him speak, speak in a way she never heard him.

“…..God does things in his own way. He took me to the edge and over it. He did it so I go there, for them,” his chin motioned to the dead-end street, his brother and sister there. “They were there for years, ill. I had to become the same, the same to save them…..and me. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Pam looked up at him. She did absorb what he said, truly she did. Then she spotted the flowers, simple flowers lying on top of the items.


“Yes,” and his face brightened up so, “for you,” and he held the beautiful yellow flowers out to her.

“For me…..?” Their hands touched as she took them.

“Yes, who else.”

Pam heard that, heard that and moved the flowers to her breast, held them there.

“…..oh, Aubrey,” she began to cry as he stepped to her and one of his arms wrapped around her waist….. and a kiss followed, a very wonderful kiss.

[The Finale ]

By: George Martorano
copyright: 12973

One Of Many

March 5th, 2015 by George Martorano

See him home…. He is young. He does not say much but he has a nice smile. He is shy to most things, especially girls. As a teen. Always respectful to others, he found some comfort; found.. it all.. by smoking weed.

The young man then fell in love. With that stage of his life opening up to him…. He needed some cash…. So, selling weed was cool; he got to understand business some what; meet new people. He even started saving for marriage, an apartment with her he longed of; gosh, maybe even with a fireplace.

Then, arrested; thrown into the 4th world, prison. Bending his young mind, breaking his body; toying with his very soul .

And all I can write, tis thus…. World ! See him home. Please be so kind and to.. see.. those.. home !

I subscribe myself ,
George Martorano