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1) “Who is Dr. Kaiser and why is he doing this?” Dr. Kaiser is an Optometrist that practices in Del Rio, Texas. He owns Kaiser Eye Care and House Call Eye Care. He started this website to give new writers more exposure and readers a source of income. Times are tough and this is a simple way to supplement one’s income.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mekong Ambush by Dale Day

Okay, the masses have killed poor Luke's story. It is not a joke, it is an ironic story that apparently does not appeal to everyone's delicate tastes.

Therefore, I am posting another story..different genre. This story is written by an award winning author and it is part of the second issue of Short Story of the Month.

So without further delay, here is Mekong Ambush, by Dale Day:

MEKONG AMBUSH
By: Dale Day


“What in the hell am I doing here? My job is behind a desk, not out here on this damned, stinking river.”
The sights and sounds of Vietnam fade with time. The smells never go away. The stench from rice paddies filled with human waste overpowers the nostrils. The rot of jungle vegetation turns the stomach. The overpowering essence of sweaty bodies crammed together in the dank heat stays in ones lungs forever.
Even being in the middle of the wide Mekong River did not take one far from the odors. They were added to by the fetor rising from the water. Add the stink from shipboard oil and lubricants and the stomach churned and prepared to empty its contents -- nothing to do with seasickness.
SSG Bill Sanders stood on the bridge wing of the barge, relieved that the passing air eased the power of the smells. The Spec-5 manning the fifty caliber machine gun next to him avoided most of it with the cigarette hanging loosely from his lips.
The Captain, a Warrant Officer, had welcomed Bill aboard. Having anyone from the Group Headquarters on his supply vessel was rare. That Bill didn’t have to be there piqued his curiosity. “Aren’t there easier ways for you to get to Can Tho?” he’d asked.
Bill shrugged. “I’ve been in the Army for twelve years and it wasn’t until I got into this accursed country that I learned we had a navy.”
That brought a laugh from the captain. “You may find it hard to believe but we have hundreds of vessels, more than many countries.” He added that he’d been serving on Army vessels since he’d gone through the school at Fort Eustis. “I just found it fascinating.”
“If you like boats, why didn’t you enlist in the Navy?”
The captain shrugged. “I didn’t enlist for it. They just found out that I’d skippered fishing boats and that was the end of that.”
As a Personnel Sergeant, Bill was all too familiar with how that worked. “The needs of the service,” somehow changed the fortunes of many who’d signed up for other jobs -- himself included.
“What the hell you doin’ on this tub, Sarge?”
The Spec-5’s voice brought Bill out of his musing. He turned and replied, “Just believe that I need to get out of my air-conditioned office now and then to see what the troops are doing.“
“It also gives me a chance to make sure the guys in the field are doing their jobs and ensuring the troops are getting what they’ve got coming.”
“Well, I sure as hell could figure out better ways of getting around.”
Bill had to agree. As the Personnel Staff NCO for the 53rd Support Group, his job was to coordinate personnel matters for the men and women serving in the Mekong Delta. Most of it could be easily done from his desk in the air-conditioned headquarters of the group. He could not be further from combat, stationed in the port city and R&R Center of Vung Tau, south of Saigon.
Bill was certainly no hero. Nor did he have a desire to be one. The army had been good to him since a kindly judge had given him the choice of viewing his neighborhood from behind bars -- or of seeing the world in a military uniform. He felt it was his duty to serve his fellow soldiers to the best of his ability and that meant personally visiting the various units to see what the individual Company Clerks and Battalion Personnel Sergeants needed in the way of support from the Group headquarters.
The acres upon acres of warehouses and storage compounds in Vung Tau were the staging points for supplies and munitions going to the troops fighting in the Mekong Delta. Bill was, of course, aware of the Military Occupational Specialties for Watercraft Operator and Engineer, along with the officer specialties of Marine Deck Officer and Marine Engineering Officer.
Of even greater surprise was the amazing number and variety of water vessels operated by the Army. The 5th Heavy Boat and 544th Medium Boat Companies stationed out of Vung Tau were subordinate units of the group and were the first Bill had ever heard of.
They sure as hell weren’t luxury boats. The crews spent most of their time onboard, living in makeshift structures. This particular craft had dry foodstuffs in the hold and pulled a refrigerated barge loaded with frozen meats and vegetables. It was Tail End Charley in a convoy of LCMs that had departed from Vung Tau early in the morning.
The first port of call was Bill’s destination, Can Tho, a major staging area for troops in the Delta. The convoy would go on from there to take supplies to Long Xûen, the closest they could get to the border with Laos.
The first part of the voyage had almost been pleasant. Leaving harbor, they had entered the sparkling clear water of the South China Sea, sailing to the southernmost outlet of the massive Mekong River.
Bill spent most of his time at the railing, gazing at the schools of fish glistening in the azure sea. They were beautiful. But, as with the rest of the damned country, nothing was as it seemed. One of the crew pointed out some long, slithering sea creatures, telling Bill, “They’re deadly poisonous Sea Snakes.”
Now, they had moved into the murky green waters of the river with tall grasses and reeds covering the banks on either side. The stink had returned, pushing away the crisp ocean breezes.
“You ever had to fire that thing?” Bill asked, pointing to the machine gun.
“About every other trip.”
That shocked Bill. “You gotta be kidding?”
“Nope. Charley knows we’re sitting ducks out here. He comes after us with RPGs and eighty mil mortars.”
He tossed the butt overboard into the murky green water and quickly lit another. “Lucky for us, their aim is usually shitty and the Monitors come up in time to chase ‘em off.”
The Navy’s heavily armed Swift Boats were at the head of the convoy, covering the heavily laden munitions barges. That left his boat a Sitting Duck in the event Charley decided to come after it.
Bill had heard the crew joke about how Charley would get sick and tired of eating rice and decided to go after a “Reefer Barge” in order to get some steaks.
Bill shook his head. “They couldn’t pay me enough to spend a tour on one of these things.”
“It fucking beats slogging through the jungle trying to avoid booby traps and punji sticks. And I don’t have to carry one of those damned heavy packs and get to sleep in my bunk at night. Hell, we even get hot meals on a regular basis.”
Bill was constantly amazed how soldiers found their own way to make the most of what the military gave them.
Bill heard the ricochet and was slammed back by the projectile before he heard the sound of the shot. He hit his head hard against the steel bulkhead and saw stars as he crumpled to the deck.
The Spec-5 screamed and fell to the deck. Bill struggled to crawl to the man, swearing at seeing the gaping hole in his chest.
“God damn it! Why din’cha close your fucking flak jacket,” he groaned, seeing that the bullet had buried itself deep. Bill tore open his First Aid Pack and ripped the package of a pressure bandage, knowing it would do no good for a punctured lung.
“Medic,” he screamed. “Man down. We need a medic.”
It was doubtful anybody heard him. Rounds slammed into the steel plating of the barge and a couple of projectiles erupted against the hull. In addition, the other fifty caliber, plus the two sixties, spit out streams of bullets toward the riverbank.
The boy could not speak, his gray eyes growing dim as his life oozed away. He tried to point to his breast pocket and Bill soothed him. “I’ll make sure they get it,” aware the dying soldier was trying to point out where his last letter home was stashed.
Knowing there was nothing more he could do, Bill picked the Spec-5’s helmet from the deck and put it on after tossing his soft fatigue cap aside. He buckled the chin strap and rose, grabbing the handles of the machine gun. He pulled the trigger.
Nothing happened!
“You dumb shit,” he growled, pulling back the cocking lever, angry that he’d been so stupid. In truth, it was the first time he’d ever fired one of the damned things.
A half-dozen sampans hiding in the thick foliage were the source of the ambush. Bill fired, inexperienced and not knowing that the fifty tended to fire high. It took him a moment to realize that he was wasting ammo before he lowered the muzzle and drew the stream of tracers into the flimsy craft. He got lucky and hit something, watching with bitter satisfaction as the craft exploded in flames.
It was over almost before it started, at least how Bill felt it. The Monitor reacted quickly and twenty millimeter shells blew the remaining sampans all to hell.
The adrenalin coursed through Bill as he hung onto the handles of the machine gun.
“It’s too late, Sarge. There’s nothing’ I can do for him.”
Bill turned to see the crew’s corpsman closing the corporal’s eyes, placing one of his dog tags in his mouth where the mortuary crew would find it. Another crew member relieved him at the gun so Bill staggered into the wheelhouse.
“You handled yourself damned well for a Desk Jockey,” the Captain said.
Bill glanced down to the wet spot in his pants and grunted, “Yeah, like a real fucking hero. I pissed my Goddamned pants!”
The corpsman came in and examined Bill, cleaning a nick where he’d been hit by a piece of shrapnel.
“Look’s like you got yourself a Blue Wienie, Sarge,” he said, referring to the Purple Heart he was entitled to.
“And I’m puttin’ ya in for a Bronze with a Vee,” the Captain added.
“Aw shit! Ain’t none of it gonna bring him back. Hell, I don’t even know his name.”
Added to the reek of the rotting jungle was the acrid smoke from the burning sampans.

The End


I hope you enjoyed this story and if you have stories of your own or are curious about the website it is www.shortstoryofthemonth.com.

Thanks again,

Dr. Kaiser

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New edition coming out soon

Just thought I would give a brief update. We are rocking and rolling along. I have received lots of new stories for consideration into the next issue. Lots of good stories out there. Keep them coming.

I am not sure who is reading this blog, but so far the reception seems to be very negative. Please lighten up and enjoy life. My life is very busy and this is one of my sources of entertainment. Don't make it an arm wrestling match....nobody enjoys that.

Thanks again for reading.

Dr. Kaiser
www.shortstoryofthemonth.com

Friday, January 30, 2009

Why Write a Short Story?

Hello,

Many people have wondered why I have started Short Story of the Month and what type of stories we are looking for.

I'll address the first question first. I started Short Story of the Month to create an online magazine that people will want to read and enjoy. If they want to read it, it will give the writers more exposure and it will also give the affiliates a source of continued monthly income. These are two pluses, as I see. There has been much skepticism about the validity of the program and all I can say about that is time will tell. I am committed to making this work. If you are reading this and are curious, check it out: http://www.shortstoryofthemonth.com

To answer the second question. The types of stories we are looking for are of any genre. Basically we want entertaining stories that complete a thought or process. I have received a few stories that were just ramblings or abstract thoughts that led to nothing. One was a hateful rant from an adopted girl. Not entertaining. If you want a comparison of what we are looking for, think Stephen King short story - good, Cormack McCarthy story - bad.

Thanks for reading and I'll be back soon.

Dr. K

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Greetings to all you readers! First story ever chosen!

Hello! My name is Dr. Ron Kaiser. I am the administrator of Short Story of the Month. As we progress with this idea, I will keep you up to date on new ideas, findings and other things.

I know if you are reading this you want to read new stories. That is what I am trying to supply. Some of the best short stories to be found.

Along with this, I am giving you an opportunity to create a new source of monthly income with our affiliate program. This is a no risk program, as the money you earn goes directly into your Paypal account.

I have been asked on some forums to provide proof of payment. I don't know how to do that since the payment goes directly to you. If you are a member and have experienced the ease of payment with this program, please reply to these types of posts. I really appreciate it.

Thanks again for visiting this blog and check out the site at http://www.shortstoryofthemonth.com.

Happy Reading!

Dr. Kaiser 1/28/09

PS Here is the first story ever chosen:



THE TOWN THAT WENT BROKE

By Luke Warm

Horace Hucklebee woke up and fell out of bed, as was his normal routine.

“That damn bed is just too small,” he would exclaim, to his sleeping wife, every morning.

Being six foot five and 385 pounds and sleeping in a full-sized bed caused this recurring event, but Horace was a stubborn man, and would not buy a bigger bed. Growing up in a small west Texas town, the youngest of 6 children, and living with a “cauliflower” ear caused his stubbornness. Every little thing he achieved in life was achieved with great effort.

As he picked himself up from his dirty, gray carpeted floor, he thought of all the money people owed him. In any other town, his plumbing company would be flourishing. In Heath, Texas, it was failing, as was every other business in town.

Horace was looking forward to today’s events, which would include fixing Mrs. Hudson’s septic tank and a meeting of all the small businesses. This meeting was to discuss the acceptance of a proposal from an oil company to buy Heath. Of course, no one knew what to expect and nobody questioned why the offer was being made. They were only looking for a way out of their predicament. This oil company went by the name of Enron.

Horace waddled to the bathroom and proceeded to perform his morning constitutional. After successfully filling the toilet, he proceeded with his routine of shower, shave and shine. Not much hair on old Horace’s head. His 58 years had been kind to his belly but not his head.

“Harriet, get your lazy butt out of bed and fix me some eggs and grits!” he growled. “And don’t forget the damn coffee. I need to be wide awake this morning.”



Unfortunately, the idea of credit had gotten out of control. Residents of this town forgot what paying bills meant and were living the “American” dream, at the expense of every Heath business.

It all started two years ago, when Mayor Hissle proclaimed that Heath Texas would take care of its own and loan out $5,000,000 equally, to the 3500 residents. This was the total amount in the city coffers, after a settlement between Heath and Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart had planned to open a new store, but the town’s small business owners did not agree with their plans. A skirmish broke out, between Wal-Mart brass and a small business owner by the name of Henry Hawkins. Henry ended up in the hospital with a broken hand and lacerated liver, after the “brass” gang tackled him onto the front of one of their Hummers. As they tackled him, the Hummer somehow lurched into reverse and backed into the local sewage treatment plant, causing an eruption of epic proportions. The plant was conveniently located next to the now well-fertilized vacant lot Wal-Mart was interested in purchasing. This “shitstorm” ended with the $5 million settlement and an agreement that Wal-Mart would not attempt to open a store within 50 miles of Heath Texas.

The money was supposed to be paid back with 6% interest in 48 payments. However, Harry Harky, the town “idea” man came up with a great scheme of a small excursion to “Vegas” for “investment” purposes. His grand plan was to win enough money to cover the interest and build his own version of Wal-Mart. As luck would have it, 2,500 of Heath’s finest residents (the others were minors and could not go) had the same idea. The end result was disastrous. The roulette wheel ended black when 2,500 Heath residents bet red. Not just once, but for a record tying 43 times. This unbelievable stretch of bad luck led to an extension of the loans, for twelve months. The citizens, realizing that the city would always be there, felt that the extension was not good enough and took it upon themselves to extend their loans even longer- to the tune of 20 years. This was an ad hoc referendum, which passed unanimously in a special city election.

Local businesses were feeling the crunch most of all. The townspeople’s once trusted line of credit had turned into pure neglected debt. It seemed everybody owed someone else money. Businesses were paying their payrolls with promissory notes. Individuals were calling 1 800 numbers for bankruptcy assistance. The town turned into a cesspool of negligence. Only the welfare recipients were getting paid and inclusion in this “club” was growing exponentially.

Good old Harry Harky once again devised a grand plan for a recovery. He found a Ponzi scheme on the internet that was promising a 100% daily return for an investment of as little as $5. Word of this “savior” program spread like wildfire, and once again 2500 residents sent their meager savings and food money to hell. The promise was squashed when the website was attacked by a “so-called” hacker and never worked again.



Horace’s entrance into the law firm of Harbaugh and Hannerty was anything but subtle. He did not have time to change clothes after mending Mrs. Hudson’s septic tank. Needless to say, his appearance was disheveled and he reeked of 10 year-old sewage. The folding chair he tried to mount did not hold his girth. 385 pounds of bald plumber crashed to the ground, slinging questionable brownish material onto many unlucky bystanders.

Harbaugh and Hannerty was the town’s only law firm and had been solvent till the Vegas excursion. The former plush furnishings had been replaced by camping furniture and secondhand chairs, from a flea market in Houston. The only original piece of furniture was an opulent, mahogany table that had been handed down to young Hannerty by his father. This table stuck out like a sore thumb and only added to the ambiance of modern day failure.

The thirteen Heath business owners’s crowded into the law office and awaited the arrival of Thomas Timmons, the Enron lawyer who would present the deal. The heat was stifling and Horace’s stench mixed with the aroma of nervousness, creating a fragrance that would attract a flock of buzzards. They were all silent until a small, whine escaped from Hortense Harris, the owner of the town’s only convenience store. A new odor followed.

“Damn microwave, bean burritos,” she muttered.

At that moment, Thomas Timmons burst into the office talking on his cell phone. The tang of the room and the heat caused his “shit-eating grin” to ironically turn to a frown of feces-smelling disgust.

“Let me get back to you, Terry,” he exclaimed, closing the cell phone quickly.

Thomas Timmons was on a fast track to the top. He had latched his wagon to this oil giant but had more ambitious goals. An even bigger company had been courting him. They were offering a larger, progressive salary and new surroundings outside the country.

He knew that this deal for the purchase of this town was merely speculation. The engineer that “discovered” the possibility of a huge oil reserve, under the town, had just graduated from Tarleton State. His degree was in geography and his uncle was CFO of the corporation….so no arguments were to be found.

“My company is ready to offer, the people of this fine town, $4,000,000 in stock options for all the property inside the city limits,” he pronounced.

“Any debts will be absorbed by my company, as well,” he continued.

Now, even though he had not introduced himself and his offer seemed off-the-wall, many of the business owners were already doing the math in their heads. They would be debt free and have money in their pockets. The once proud town of Heath Texas had been pummeled into submission. The offer seemed like their only choice.

“When do we get paid, if we accept your offer?” questioned Harvey Hampton, the owner of the Heath supermarket.

“You won’t get paid in cash, but in stock options,” Thomas explained patiently.

“How does that work?” asked Helen Hand, the owner of the Heath beauty shop.

“You will all receive stock certificates, divided at your discretion. These certificates are worth a certain amount of money at the time of dispersion. The beauty of the offer is that these certificates will only increase in value and make all of you very wealthy,” Thomas embellished. He knew that he had these “hicks” in the palm of his hand.

This explanation caused quite a fervor. Helen Hand, who had a problem with incontinence, felt a mild wetness in her panties. Harry Harkey crossed himself several times, counting his blessings that such an opportunity was presenting itself. Harvey Hampton was already calling his wife and telling her to pack her bags. Hortense Harris was quietly crying, between burps. Mayor Hissle was on the phone to the mayor of Hye Texas, bragging about the “generous offer”. Other business owners were “high fiving” and “slapping skin”.

Only Horace was reluctant. He just didn’t feel right. Maybe it was the reek emanating from his clothes or the sudden strange offer, but he was suddenly violently ill. Projectile vomit issued from Horace all over Thomas’s $2,000 Armani suit.

“Sorry I puked all over your duds,” apologized Horace, wiping green ooze from his mouth.

“It’s okay. I needed a new suit anyway,” Thomas lied. He needed to end this meeting before these victims came to their senses.

“Here are the papers for you to sign,” Thomas explained as he choked back his lunch. “My assistant will notarize them, just as soon as you sign them.”

Mayor Hissle stepped around a puddle of vomit and pronounced, “I’ll be the first to sign!”

All the others followed, except Horace. He wasn’t sure if it was his compromised state or the fact that he didn’t want any part of Thomas’s proposal.

“I would like to sell my plumbing company for $15,000 to anybody interested,” he yelled. “You will get my share of the stock options.”

Horace wasn’t sure if his offer would be taken seriously. Abruptly, three punch-drunk Heath owners slid through the puddles of vomit to bid on Horace’s business. Horatio Headdress was the only one with the monetary resources needed to purchase Horace’s plumbing business. He was part Apache Indian and his tribe owned a casino in New Mexico.

“I’ll pay you $30,000 for your business,” Horatio proudly exclaimed. “I know I will get five times that much from you shares.”

“Sold!” Horace bellowed, causing some greenish-brown slush to fly from his t-shirt.

Thomas smiled. He had his signed agreement and it had only cost him a new suit and the possibility of Hepatitis. His cell phone vibrated. It was his dream company – Worldcom.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Short Story of the Month Press Release

Shortstoryofthemonth.com Introduces Exclusive New Short Story Club

Short Story of the Month.com, a brand-new short story resource, is proud to announce the release of version 2.0, now open to the public at large. SSOTM is an exciting new program designed to appeal to avid readers, assist aspiring authors, and would-be entrepreneurs, bringing all three together in a way never seen before.

Del Rio, Texas (PRWEB) January 21, 2009 -- Short Story of the Month is proud to announce version 2.0 for it's current members and is now open to new members as well. For those not familiar, Short Story of the Month offers an exciting new approach for story lovers, new authors and Internet marketers alike. A mix not found on or offline. SSOTM is the brain child and an extreme labor of love, created by Dr. Ron Kaiser.

Short Story Lovers have a New HomeDr. Kaiser, an Optometrist and Entrepreneur from South Texas, is a devoted reader literally revolutionizing the short story ezine with the this development.

What is SSOTM?

Helvetica, sans-serif; TEXT-DECORATION: none" href="http://www.shortstoryofthemonth.com/">Short Story of the Month, put simply, offers a monthly ezine, a forum, and a private members blog.

According to Dr. Kaiser, "Short Story of the Month, put simply, offers a monthly ezine, a forum, and a private members blog."

For a small monthly fee, each new member not only gains access to the exclusive "back end" but also receives an exciting monthly ezine containing three fresh new stories from up and coming authors.

How can members monetize SSOTM?

New authors can receive an excellent stipend should their story be selected as one of the THREE new stories in each monthly ezine. Select authors will receive payment of $100 upon publication, and there is no limit to how many times your stories may be submitted or accepted.

Short Story of the Month also offers it's members the ability to market the program to other story lovers. Providing each paid member with an affiliate link leading directly to their own version of the main page of the website. Each time a new member signs up using the affiliate link, a commission is paid directly into that users Paypal account, instantly.
Easy, painless, and wait free. An affiliate concept found nowhere else!

Version 2.0 of SSOTM offers far too many features to be listed here. To obtain the full experience the site now offers, please visit ShortStoryoftheMonth.com.

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