My first novel!
A Soldier’s Embrace is a sweet, yet exciting story. The characters are captivating and the settings are perfect. The dialogue between the characters is well written and realistic. Ms. Romero has written a great historical romance.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Confessions from a bathroom stall

I've never understood why people talk on the phone while they're peeing. Or doing the other. Aren't some times in your life in need of a little get away "me" time? Anyway, the bathroom was tiny and over lit with only one stall. As I head for it, my arm stretched out to push back the stall door, I hear someone talking and realize the stall is occupied. Okay. Fine. I can hold it.

As I'm standing there, I look around at the unpainted tile in the ceiling, trying not to look at the set of pigeon-toed black pumps pointing toward me. I instead study the tiny flecks of yellow paint flicked carelessly on the ancient ceiling fan this quiet whisper comes from the stall.

"Carol, are you sure he was dead?"

I freeze staring slack jawed at the door. The person in the stall begins to move around, hunting for toilet paper before she adds, "Calm down, you're freaking me out."

I wanted to blurt out-"You're freaked out?"

A normal person would leave, right? A clear minded individual would find another bathroom. Not me! I can't, I gotta go. I'm already doing the pee pee dance. I have the bladder the size of a pea. No, make that several pees, all about fifteen minutes apart. I spend my life excusing myself to the bathroom. TMI? Sorry, but I digress.

"It's no big deal..." I didn't catch the rest of what she said because she flushed. I couldn't believe it, at a moment like that, she flushes! Anyway, she pushes open the door open with a shove, still clutching the phone.

I lowered my eyes and rushed in, angry at myself that I didn't get a look at her. Even if I did get a look, what was I going to do? I had a flash of myself at the police deptartment giving a statement. "yeah, well, I was waiting to urinate and this woman in the stall I was waiting for said..."
I hear her wash her hands and the conversation turns more bizarre. "Did the clown ever show up?"

What the hell do these people do? With that, the woman walks out, still jabbering away and I'm left standing there in the bathroom stall slack jawed and did the clown ever show up?


  1. LOL! Julie, this is without a doubt the beginning of a short story. You have to write this up! Truth really is stranger than fiction.

  2. Thanks Jennie,
    Yeah, I was thinking about that while I was standing there waiting.

  3. So weird–and funny! I agree with Jennie, it has all the ingredients for a short story :)

  4. So, the fish she bought as a birthday gift for a friend's kid died and the darn clown didn't show up for the b-day party. Really, Julie!

    People talk way to much in the potty these days.

  5. I have the entire story, but it won't all fit in one comment post, so this is part one:

    The birthday party was in full swing. Eight, nine, and ten year old boys ran haphazardly around the backyard, swinging at bunches of balloons strung on wire between the towering oaks. Five boys sparred for space in the hammock, its worn old ropes threatening to give way; a group in the driveway threw hopeful balls at the tall basketball goal; another group stood next to a brightly colored trunk, in the midst of what had once been an organized jumble of striped shirts, polka-dotted bloomers, oversized shoes, red wigs and bulbous noses, magic tricks, balls and hoops and wands and even a small unicycle.

    The picnic tables were dressed with plastic cloths in rainbow hues. Coordinating paper plates designated place settings. Carol stood and stepped to the porch rail as the garden gate opened and watched in anticipation as her husband ushered in the clown, the clown she'd hired as a surprise for her nine-year old son's party.

    But the person who followed Jack through the gate and up the shaded porch steps was no clown. It was a tall shapely young woman, dressed in a French maid costume, stiletto heels, and fishnet stockings. She stared at her in confusion giving way to horror as Jack introduced the woman to his wife.

    "This is Candy, Honey. Get it?" He displayed a wide, shameless grin as he laughed heartily at her expression. "Don't you get it? She's a stripper! She was at Joey's bachelor party, and WHOOEE! is she GOOD!" As Carol stood, dumbfounded, unable to take her eyes from the scantily clad apparition before her, Jack explained further. "Aw, Hon, these boys are too old for a plain old CLOWN party! Tristan's nine today - he's a man, and it's time he learns a few things about life. Believe me, this is a party these boys'll never forget!"

    Carol finally found her voice, though it sounded so small and far away it frightened her. "Wha...what happened to the clown I hired?"

  6. Part two:

    "Aw, he's still coming, coz I couldn't cancel him. But he'll come later, after Candy's done her show. Then she'll do her show AROUND him, while he TRIES to do his! It'll be hilarious! It'll be great! Don't you get it?" He threw his head back and laughed at the image of the stripper dancing seductively around the confused clown as he attempted to maintain his composure in front of the young impressionable boys.
    Carol suddenly realized why Jack had been working so much overtime the last few months; yes, it had been ever since Joey and Amanda's wedding. She remembered the affair he'd had the second year of their own marriage, and how furious he had been when she'd discovered his infidelity; how he had beaten her savagely that night, the first of many beatings that had continued over these ten years.
    Later, Carol couldn't explain quite what had come over her. She had a vague recollection of inviting the woman into the kitchen, of fishing $20 out of her purse and sending her out the front door. She remembered lifting the heavy cast iron skillet from the bottom shelf beside the oven, and she remembered the stunned look in Jack's eyes as he turned and saw the pan coming down on him. She remembered his crumpled form hitting the tile floor, and how heavy he was as she dragged him to the basement door and shoved him down the dark stairs, listening as his head hit the cold concrete below with a sickening thud.
    "Brenda. I'll call Brenda," she thought wildly. "Brenda'll know what to do." As she dialed Brenda's cell number, she glanced out the window at the happy groups of boys in the yard, oblivious to the ghastly scene that had just taken place in her kitchen.
    "Where are you?" she whispered as Brenda answered brightly.
    "Carol? What's wrong?" Brenda immediately heard the urgency in her best friend's voice. She had heard this voice many times before, usually in the middle of the night following one of Jack's beatings, and she knew how to comfort her friend; she also knew the futility of begging Carol to leave her husband. But this time there was something different in the voice; this time, a cold chill began to creep into the bathroom stall where she sat, steeling herself to calm her friend after what she somehow knew would be a grisly tale...

  7. Ethel! Oh my God, you are priceless! I love how it tied in at the end. Thank you so much for the laugh. Okay, I have to know did you write that earlier for a magazine? Is it part of your book? It is excellent-so visual with Candy showing up to Tristan's 9 year old's party.

  8. Lord, no, I've never done ANYTHING like this story! It just came to me instantly and I made it up as I went along.

    I have a dark side.