The Devil You Know, Part X #52weeks52stories


#52weeks52stories: Week 20

Word prompt: mania

Word Count: 1570


Part I    |     Part II    |    Part III    |   Part IV   | Part V

Part VI   |   Part VII   |   Part VIII   |   IX   |

(All links open new windows.)

Adrenalin and exhaustion warred inside Sally Bennett. She was dead tired. Just a few hours ago she was a patient in this same hospital, making deals with her doctor to escape the confines of her hospital bed and go home.

To face life without her husband; to understand why he’d attacked her and Graciela Ramirez; to understand how he ended up dead on the floor of Graciela’s bedroom.

Now everything had changed.

Frankie wasn’t dead, nor was he her attacker.

But according to this doctor, she could still lose him.

Fighting the mania in her mind, Sally swallowed deeply, pushing the burning bile back into her empty stomach.

“Dr. Stanley, please. What does that mean? How serious are his injuries?” She clutched at her stomach. “How did he get injured?”

“Mrs. Bennett, I cannot say for certain how your husband sustained his injuries. I can tell you from the bruising on his hands and face he was involved in a physical altercation—a fight—and ended up on the floor. As he tried to stand, he was hit with a large, heavy object twice, fracturing his skull.”

Sally swayed and teetered on her feet.

Carolyn screamed out, “Mom!”

All the detectives raced to catch her, but Brian Holland reached her first.

She struggled to stand on her own but found she couldn’t and leaned against the brawny police officer. Tears streamed down her face as she turned to Gavin Marks.

“The man. The man in the morgue. Did he do this to Frankie?”

Wary of admitting how little information they had in the case… now cases, but knew she deserved the truth.

“We don’t know ma’am, but it is the leading theory due to his resemblance to your husband. He must have been trying to switch identities but until we can find out who he is, it’s just a theory.”

She turned back to the doctor. “Take me to him?”

“Of course, just understand his appearance is unsettling.”

He opened the door to the critical care suite behind him and Holland escorted the distraught woman into the room, closely followed by the Bennett children.

Sally froze in her steps at the foot of the bed, covering her face with one hand in horror.

With the head of the bed elevated, Franklin Bennett appeared to be napping, but the large pressure dressing covering half of his head and dipping to just above his right eyebrow told a different story.

Purple bruises near his left eye and on his chin stood out against his ghostly pale complexion.

Officer Holland tried to maneuver Sally around the bed to the only chair in the room, but she pulled free, navigating around humming and beeping medical equipment to get to her husband’s side.

She bit her lip to muffle her sobs as she slid her hand under the snapped sleeve of the hospital gown and pulled it free.

Her chest heaved in a combination of relief and agony seeing the crossed rifles tattoo on his upper arm.

Sally raised her hand, tentative at first, but then smoothed his right brow.

The sebaceous cyst was there.

This was her Frankie… and he didn’t even know she was in the room.

She looked across the bed at Dr. Stanley, her eyes full of sorrow.

“There’s nothing you can do?”

He responded, keeping his tone low and even.

“It is a life-threatening injury, and to be honest with you, Mrs. Bennett, I’m surprised he’s made it this far.”

He motioned to Frankie’s hands and face.

“The coloring of his bruises leads me to believe his injuries were sustained seventy-two to ninety-six hours ago.” He paused. “He… lost a lot of blood. But I believe the position of his body and the cooler seasonal temperatures played a part in keeping him alive. That and he has the heart of a lion.”

She looked down at the love of her life in awe. The heart which almost failed him two years ago was now the only thing keeping him alive.

She reached out to caress his cheek before realizing Dr. Stanley was still speaking.

“Excuse me, Dr.?”

“I said his blood pressure is the issue. It’s far too low for your husband to make it through surgery right-”

“What? Surgery? For what?”

He sighed, glancing over his shoulder at the three detectives standing in the doorway before continuing.

“As far as we can tell, Mr. Bennett’s brain activity is normal and that’s a miracle in and of itself. But bleeding in his brain has caused swelling and pressure. If we don’t get that pressure released soon… there will be brain damage and it will be permanent.”

Sally swayed on her feet and sagged against the bed. Brian Holland was ready this time, having moved the chair to the side of the bed.

Gently gripping Sally by the shoulders, he pulled her backward until he had her in the chair.

Darrin, Carolyn, and Joanie were huddled at the foot of the bed, each with a hand touching their father. The officer got Carolyn’s attention, gesturing for her to take his place with her mother before he stepped away, joining the detectives in the doorway.

Sally didn’t notice the activity around her. With her gaze focused on her husband’s face, she addressed Dr. Stanley again.

“Is he scheduled for surgery?”

“No. We’d lose him on the table.”

She slumped in the chair and suddenly realized Carolyn was at her side. She gripped her daughter’s hand, looking for strength.

“So, what’s going to happen to my husband? He’s just going to die?”

“That’s not going to happen if we can help it, Mrs. Bennett. He’s made it this far because he’s a fighter.” He pointed to the multiple I.V. poles attached to the bed. “We’re giving him fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, and that is his third unit of blood. We have three more on standby. Once we get his blood pressure up and stabilized for one hour, he goes into surgery. The two top brain surgeons in our area have examined him and are just waiting for our call.”

A spec of optimism began to bloom in Sally’s chest.

It wasn’t the end of them… yet.

“Dr., I’d like to donate blood for my dad.” Darrin didn’t bother wiping the tears from his face.

“Yes, all of us will,” Carolyn added after exchanging looks with her sister.

“Of course, I’ll get someone to take you down to the lab for typing and matching.”

He stepped back from the bed and pulled out his phone, but Sally stopped him before he could dial.

“Until then, Dr…. until then what happens?”

“We wait, Mrs. Bennett, and pray for the best.”

She stood. Returning to Frankie’s bedside, she slipped his limp right hand between both of hers and bowed her head. Carolyn moved closer bowing her head too.

Darrin and Joanie joined hands at the foot of the bed and followed suit.

Dr. Stanley brushed past the detectives in the doorway and they followed him into the hallway.

“Doctor, what are Mr. Bennett’s chances?”

He turned to Gavin Marks.

“Det., I really-”

“Just tell us what we’re working with…please.”

The doctor removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes before responding.

“I’m being cautiously optimistic when I say 25-30%, Detective”


“But he has a lot going for him… no life support needed and he’s not in a coma.”

“What? He’s not?”

“No. Mr. Bennett has responded to testing in every way… except for waking up. I’m encouraged by his strong brain activity and strong heartbeat. But the clock is ticking and the window of opportunity to save him is down to 6-8 hours.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

Brian Holland stepped back down the hall, peering into Franklin Bennett’s room. His family still stood around him with their heads bowed.

Pete Hill scrubbed his hand through his salt and pepper buzz-cut.

Gavin Marks leaned against the wall, hands shoved deep into his pockets. Marks’ head was also bowed, but he was deep in thought.

Ganson finally said what they were all thinking.

“If he doesn’t make it, we may never find the answers we need to solve our cases.”

“It’s time for some good old-fashioned police work, gentlemen.”

The law enforcement officers all exchanged knowing smirks.

“Your trial by fire continues Holland. Tell Lothern to do another search on the name Gary Sievers but include a search for the last name alone too. Ask him to pay special attention to smaller towns and to put names on the info requests… make someone sit up and take notice.”

Holland pulled out his cell and stepped away.

“What are you thinking, Marks?”

“The answers are staring us in the face. I think once we confirm the identity of Sievers or whomever he is, everything will fall into place. We’ll solve our case, your case, and there’s a real chance we could learn the identity of the Senior Citizen Rapist.

Let your captain know we’re working together, Ganson, then we need to pay a visit to your crime scene.”


The detectives never got back to the apartment where Franklin Bennett was found that night.

An alert patrolman spotted a late-model Ford reported as stolen abandoned two blocks from the Ramirez home.

A routine retrieval and impound became evidence when an inspection of the vehicle’s contents turned up a name on the priority list.



©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved


Song Lyric Sunday | “Trapped By A Thing Called Love” – Denise LaSalle

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “a song from an artist/singer who shares your name.”


Ora Denise Allen is better known by her stage name, Denise LaSalle, and is legendary on the R&B circuit. She recorded and toured for over forty years, and was a big draw at yearly blues and jazz festivals around the world.

Sadly, we lost Ms. LaSalle in January of this year when she succumbed to heart problems after having a leg amputated just three months earlier. She was seventy-eight-years-old.

She left behind a huge music legacy, including many songs she wrote or co-wrote. One of those songs, Trapped By This Thing Called Love (which she co-wrote with former husband, Bill Jones), was certified gold, reaching #1 on the R&B charts. It was her only Top 40 pop hit, reaching #13 in October of 1971.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Trapped by A Thing Called Love

by Denise LaSalle

Written by Denise LaSalle and Bill Jones

Somebody tell me, what has this man got
He makes me feel what I don’t want to feel
Somebody tell me, what has this man got
He makes me give what I don’t want to give

On solid ground, I feel myself sinking fast
I grab a hold but I don’t think it’s going to last
I’m slowly losing my ground, slowly sinking down
Trapped by this thing they call love, oh, baby

(Hooked on this thing called love)

(Hooked on this thing called love)
Somebody tell me, what has this man got
He makes me cry, Lord, I don’t want to cry
Somebody tell me, what has this man got
He makes me lie when I don’t want to lie

He calls me up and I tell ’em to say that I’m not in
Then I cry all night if he doesn’t call again
I’m slowly losing my ground, slowly sinking down
Trapped by this thing they call love, oh, baby

I’m slowly losing my ground, slowly sinking down
Trapped by this thing they call love, oh, baby

(Hooked on this thing called love …)
I’m trapped, I can’t help myself
I’m hooked on you baby, I just can’t help myself
I can never be happy loving no one else
Oh, baby
Ooh baby



Compiled from Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google.

The Devil You Know, Part IX #52weeks52stories


#52weeks52stories: Week 19

Word prompt: task

Word Count: 876 (Reading time: 1 min, 55 sec.)


Part I    |     Part II    |    Part III    |   Part IV   | Part V

Part VI   |   Part VII   |   Part VIII   |

(All links open new windows.)

Apprehension hung in the air as Sally Bennett and her children huddled into the small conference room.

Joanie and Carolyn sat side-by-side at the end, clutching hands and watching their mother.

Det. Marks took a seat at the other end of the table.

Darrin stood behind his mother’s chair, curious why the large uniformed officer was standing so close to her.

“Detective, please, what is all this about? Why did you insist I return to the hospital?” Sally’s voice was hoarse from exhaustion and stress.

“Mrs. Bennett, Dr. Lacey updated his report to rename the man we first believed to be your husband John Doe 417.”

Sally held his gaze. “No, it’s not Frankie.”

“Your husband was adopted as an infant, correct?”


“And he had no information about his birth mother? Never went looking for her? Anyone ever come looking for him?”

“All he knew was she was an unwed teen, and he was adopted by an older couple from Maine.” She glanced back at her son then addressed the detective again. “But I remember Darrin telling me no record was found of Frankie’s adoption. How is that possible?”

Gavin stared at his clasped hands, choosing his words carefully.

“Ma’am, I wish I had answers for you, But I promise you, we’re exploring every possibility.”

“What does that mean… exploring every possibility, and why did you demand my mom come here.” Darrin stood behind Sally, his hands clenched in anger.

“Mr. Bennett, we-”

“Enough!” He motioned toward his sisters. “Their nerves are frayed, and hearts broken.” Darrin rested his hand on Sally’s shoulder. “Whether or not you find my dad; whether you find the answers to this case… I have to protect my mother and sisters. If you know something we don’t, tell us. Otherwise, I need to get my family as far from here as possible, so they can rest their bodies… and their minds.”

Gavin Marks saw the fear, anger, and defeat in the faces of Sally and her children.

Swallowing his pride and the rest of his questions, the detective stood and walked toward the door.

Though his face was devoid of expression, he narrowed his eyes at Brian Holland as he passed and knew the uniformed officer understood.

Marks paused at the door and turned to Sally.

“Mrs. Bennett, please come with me… your children too.”

Sally and her daughters left their seats, following the detective without question, but Darrin hesitated.


She paused in the doorway, half-turning to her son.

“What else can we do, Darrin? We need answers.” She left the room with Officer Holland close behind.

Marks stood at a large gray door just down the hall. As the small group caught up to him, he peered through the window and waved his hand. A door release buzzed, and the detective pulled the door open just in time for Carolyn and Joanie to walk through. A glance over her shoulder brought Sally relief when she saw her son was the last person through the door.

A lone nurse sat at the large nurse’s station. She exchanged looks with Det. Marks and placed her hand on a file next to her.

He knew the task was done and motioned for the family follow him again.

Just past the nurse’s station, three men were standing in the hall. Marks stopped when he reached them and turned to Sally.

“Mrs. Bennett, this is detectives Ganson and Hill from Baxter, and this is Dr. Stanley.”

The men all murmured greetings.

Marks nodded for Ganson to continue.

“Ma’am, we answered a call earlier this evening after a lady found her neighbor dead in his apartment.”

Sally gasped, clutching her chest.

Ganson held up his hand. “I apologize for saying it that way but let me finish. The man wasn’t dead but critically wounded. Paramedics got him stabilized enough for transport and due to an emergency at the closest hospital, we ended up here.”

“Detective, what does this have to do with our family?” Carolyn was now showing the same anger as her brother.

“The neighbor and the landlord identified the man as Gary Sievers. Is that name familiar to you?”

Sally glanced at each of her children as they shook their heads, weary and confused. “No, it isn’t, detective. So, what does he have to do with all this?”

Ganson looked to Hill, who spoke up.

“Mrs. Bennett, after the doctors worked on the victim, I went through his clothes looking for a cell phone… business card… anything that could lead us to family or friends. I found a wallet and the driver’s license identified the man as Franklin Bennett.”

His sisters emitted twin screams and Darrin moved to their sides, holding on to them both.

Sally grabbed the detective’s arm. “Where is he? Where is my husband?”

“Mrs. Bennett-”

She cut Gavin Marks off with a glare.

“I want to see him now! You should have told me he was here the second I walked in. Where is he? Tell me now or I’ll check every room on this floor!”

Dr. Stanley stepped in her path.

“Ma’am, you don’t know everything yet.”

“I know he’s alive!”

“Yes… he has a pulse and a heartbeat, but it may not be enough to save him.”


©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved


Song Lyric Sunday | Heart of Mine – Boz Scaggs

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “heart.”


The Song Lyric Sunday-crowd know well what I mean when I say sometimes you just can’t shake a song… and Heart of Mine  is another of my longtime favorites.

After an eight-year absence from recording, the always amazing Boz Scaggs returned in 1988 with the album Other Roads. The album reached #47 on the Billboard pop album chart, while the lead single Heart of Mine was a big Adult Contemporary success, peaking at #3 on that chart. The single also reached #35 on the Billboard pop singles chart. This single was produced by Stewart Levine (who also produced Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes’ Up Where We Belong and Simply Red’s two #1 hits, Holding Back the Years and If  You Don’t Know Me By Now).

It’s not a big song or anthem. It’s quite simple actually, which I believe is part of its charm.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Heart of Mine

by Boz Scaggs

One day you may find true love
That will last forever and ever
Till then you’ll spend
A lifetime wishing one together

You never thought she’d say goodbye
And you’ll never understand
The reasons why

Heart of mine
How will you keep from dying
Stop the reminiscing
Who is she kissing

Heart of mine
Oh, what’s the use in trying
No one can mend you now

Love plays cruel games
You can’t believe
She’s found another lover

Does she miss me?
Sometimes you just
Can’t help but wonder

No, you can’t hold
The hands of time
And you’ll always be
The one she left behind

Heart of mine
(Oh, heart of mine)
How will you keep from dying
Stop the reminiscing
Who is she kissing

Heart of mine
(Oh, heart of mine)
Oh, what’s the use in trying
No one can mend you now

And you will never
Understand the reasons why

Heart of mine
(Oh, heart of mine)
How will you keep from dying
Stop the reminiscing
Who is she kissing

Heart of mine
(Oh, heart of mine)
Oh, what’s the use in trying
No one can mend you now

(Heart of mine)
Oh, heart of mine
(Heart of mine)

Heart of mine
(Oh, heart of mine)
Heart of mine


Compiled from Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google.

“He was supposed to love us not treat us like we were nothing.”

Free, a Novella 3D cover


Lenore “Lennie” Porter’s life had not gone as she planned.

The marriage she put her heart and soul into failed.

The man she sacrificed so much for abandoned her.

But Lennie refused to be broken. She pushed on, running a successful business and raising her three sons alone.

Through health scares and severe family dysfunction and trauma which forever changed their lives, the Porter family clung to each other to keep from sinking into the darkness.

With her marriage over long ago and her adult sons living their own lives, Lenore Porter decides to sell the cold fortress she worked so hard to make a warm, loving home.

A short, final inspection of her former home turns into a confrontation with ghosts from the past, and decisions and events Lennie felt she’d dealt with and moved on from.

Free, a Novella is a short, clean read recounting one woman’s determination to not be broken by life or lose her identity.



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The Devil You Know, Part VIII #52weeks52stories


#52weeks52stories: Week 18

Word prompt: ranch

Word Count: 1181


Part I    |     Part II    |    Part III    |   Part IV   | Part V

Part VI   |   Part VII   |

(All links open new windows.)

Darrin Bennett drummed his fingers against the steering wheel. Marbury, Pennsylvania wasn’t a large city or even a business hub. But as one of four cities that shared the interstate exchange, evening traffic was always headache-inducing as suburbans scurried back to their ranch-style homes.
He glanced at his mother in the passenger seat. She’d been quiet since they left the coroner’s office.
“How are you holding up, mom?”
Just like she’d done in Pax Lacey’s office, Sally Bennett sat with her back straight. Her seat belt strained against her as though trying to push her back in the passenger seat.
“Tired. Confused. Pissed off. Scared.” She fingered the small handbag in her lap. “It was horrible enough being attacked in the Ramirez home. But we both lived through that and are so grateful.”
Tears pooled in her eyes.
“Then to see your dad… my husband lying dead on the floor…”
Sally leaned her head back, causing the tears to run down the sides of her face.
“… and now we know the man is not your father. No one knows who he is, or what has happened to my Fran-”
Her voice broke as her husband’s name disappeared inside a deep sob.
With his eyes still on the road, Darrin reached over, gripping his mother’s hand. Exhaustion bore down on him and his nerves were as frayed as Sally’s.
He and Merri should be busy packing up their kids and dropping them off with Merri’s parents before heading to Carolyn’s for a hang-out weekend to plan Sally and Frankie’s thirty-second wedding anniversary dinner.
But instead, he was living out the plot of some bad movie-of-the-week melodrama.
Sally’s deepening sobs synced with the throbbing in Darrin’s head.
He knew she couldn’t take much more. Since the week began, his mom had: sent his dad off on a business trip; been attacked in a client’s home; found out the attacker was her husband… and he was dead; now knew the attacker was not her husband but shared his face.
Darrin needed air, but with one hand on the wheel and the other still holding his mom’s hand, increasing the air conditioning or opening a window would have to wait.
His mania calmed as he passed the Limerick Avenue ext. The next exit would lead to Colon Regional Hospital.
Apprehension tugged his mind. Why was his mother ordered back to the hospital not by her doctor, but by a police detective?
He did not understand what they were walking into, but he would demand full disclosure from the police. They had the right to know. Is mother needed to know. He wouldn’t risk losing her to hysteria again. After this meeting, he would find Sally’s doctor and get her re-admitted… at least for the night.
Darrin flipped on his turn indicator as he approached the exit and glanced in his rear-view mirror to make sure his sisters were still behind him in Joanie’s Ford Escape.
Sally’s sobs had turned into pitiful moans. Darrin gripped her hand tighter, determined to do right by his mother and for his family.


Ganson and Hill were incredulous as Marks and Holland recounted the week’s events involving the Bennett family.
Pete Hill whistled long and low while staring through the unit window at the comatose man.
Lennie Ganson rested his hands on his hips.
“Well, you guys have seen both men. What do we have here? Doppelgangers? Twins? A bad remake of The Boys from Brazil?”
Gavin Marks leaned against the wall, his arms folded across his chest.
“I wish I knew, but nothing has added up in this case from the start. Pax confirmed the ID of the body in the morgue fell through before we stumbled upon you guys.” He tilted his head across the hall. “Your guy’s ID says he’s the real Bennett, and his family will be here shortly to confirm, but that still doesn’t tell me who’s lying in the morgue.”
Pete pulled out his notepad.
“The landlord who called 911 and the woman who found this guy gave his name as Gary Sievers. Said he kept to himself, didn’t go out much, but only at night when he did.”
Brian Holland took out his own notepad and copied the details from Hill.
“His injuries were life-threatening so the paramedics were focused on stabilizing him for transport, not searching his pockets.”
Marks addressed Officer Holland.
After we speak with the Bennett family, we’ll need to visit the crime scene and speak with the people who found him,” he grinned at Det. Ganson, “if you don’t mind us visiting your county?”
Ganson threw his hands up.
“With everything I know… and don’t know about our cases we need each other to put the puzzle pieces together. Visit away!”
The men shared a laugh while a young orderly approached them.
“Detectives, we have a small conference room set up for you just past the nurse’s station.”
The small group followed the orderly down the hall. Marks paused before entering the room.
“Holland, the Bennett family should be here soon. Go down and wait for them and get them up here as quickly and quietly as possible… without telling them too much.”
“You don’t think any of them are involved in this do you?”
“Oh, no. They’re as much in the dark about this as we are. But Mrs. Bennett… well, after what she went through the night of the attack and just being discharged from the hospital today, I wanted her seated and calm as possible… and a doctor close by, before we tell her about her husband. Of course, she’ll be glad he’s alive, but his condition isn’t stable and he does require surgery… if he ever gets strong enough.”
Holland’s large frame sagged.
“She gets good news, then bad news, then even worse news.” He grimaced. “Bet a week ago, she never imagined her life taking a turn like this.”


Darrin eased into the parking space and cut the engine when he saw he sister take the space next to him.
Still holding his mother’s hand, he gave it a gentle squeeze.
“Ready for this, mom?”
She didn’t respond and he turned toward her, and his heart broke more.
For the first time since Tuesday night, Sally Bennett was asleep without the aid of emotional shock or prescribed medications. It wasn’t a peaceful sleep, however. Her furrowed brow and tight jawline proved her mind was not at ease.
Carolyn tapped on his window and Darrin opened the car door.
“Wish I could just let her sleep.”
“I know. I wish we all were asleep and could wake up from this nightmare.”
“Nothing is ever going to be the same again, is it?”
They both glanced at their baby sister standing near the back of Darrin’s car.
“We’ll get through this, Joanie, one way or another.” Carolyn’s faint smile did little to encourage her sister.
“No, we’ll get through this together.”
They all turned at the sound of Sally’s voice.
“I just hope that includes your father.”


©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved


Song Lyric Sunday | “Coming Out of the Dark” by Gloria Estefan

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “demons/devils.”


I interpreted this week’s theme to mean ‘dark/darkness’ and came up with another long-time favorite.

Coming Out of the Dark is the first single released after singer Gloria Estefan’s accident—an 18-wheeler rammed her tour bus, nearly causing her death—when her Get on Your Feet Tour was in progress in 1991. It is also the first song that Estefan performed publicly after recovering. The song is inspired by the near-fatal accident and also is dedicated to Emilio Estefan, Jr., Gloria’s husband.

The song is a soul ballad which includes the use of a choir. Among the voices in the choir are Gloria’s colleague, the Cuban singer Jon Secada, and the R&B singer Betty Wright (both had participated in backing vocals on Gloria’s album, Cuts Both Ways as well as Into the Light.)

The title was inspired by a phrase her husband had written on a piece of paper as a helicopter transported her for delicate surgery to repair her broken back. Gloria explained to Billboard: “My husband had been in one of the helicopters traveling from one hospital to the other. It was really dark and gray, and he was traumatized. He got this ray of light that hit him in the face, and he got the idea for Coming out of the Dark.”

Gloria was careful not to turn Into the Light into a pity party. “I hate pity,” she told the Los Angeles Daily News. “I’m very self-reliant and independent, and I’m used to that role. I don’t like people feeling sorry for me. So I wrote Coming Out of the Dark to let the people around me know how important they are to me. But that was as far as I wanted to go with the accident. I didn’t want this to become ‘the album on the accident.’


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Coming Out of the Dark

by Gloria Estefan

Written by Gloria M. Estefan, Emilio Estefan, Jr., and Jon Secada

Why be afraid if I’m not alone
Though life is never easy the rest is unknown
Up to now for me it’s been hands against stone
Spent each and every moment
Searching for what to believe

Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now
It’s shining on me
Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me
You’re sharing with me

Starting again is part of the plan
And I’ll be so much stronger holding your hand
Step by step I’ll make it through I know I can
It may not make it easier but I have felt you
Near all the way

Coming out of the dark, i finally see the light now
And it’s shining on me ( I see the light, I see the light)
See the light
Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me
You’re sharing with me

Forever, forever I stand on the rock of your love
Forever and ever I’ll stand on the rock
Can’t nobody stop me from watching
Forever, forever I stand on the rock of your love
Love is all it takes, no matter what we face

Coming out of the dark, (Coming out of the dark)
I see the light, I feel love shinning on me (Shining, shining)
Shining on me
Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me
You’re sharing, you’re sharing with me, sharing with me, sharing with me

Coming out of the dark,
Making it into the light
Your love shining on me, shining on me, shining on me
Coming out of the dark,
I see the light, I see the light
Shining, shining, shining on me
Shining, shining
Coming out of the dark
I see the light now
Yes I see the light


Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group, Foreign Imported Productions & Publishing

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google.

Song Lyric Sunday | “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” by Charley Pride

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “angel.”


Everybody and their brother has covered this song, but Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ is a song written by Ben Peters, and recorded by American country music artist Charley Pride. It was released in October 1971 as the first single from the album Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs. The song has since become one of his signature tunes and was his eighth song to reach number one on the country charts. Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ was also Charley Pride’s first single to reach the pop charts, peaking at number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100, and also went into the Top Ten of the Adult Contemporary charts. It also reached #19 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100. The song spent four months on the pop chart, longer than any of his other hits. Billboard ranked it as the No. 74 song for 1972.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’

by Charley Pride

Written by Ben Peters

Whenever I chance to meet
Some old friends on the street
They wonder how does a man get to be this way
I’ve always got a smiling face
Anytime and any place
And everytime they ask me why
I just smile and say

You’ve got to
Kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Well people may try to guess
The secret of a happiness
But some of them never learn it’s a simple thing

The secret i’m speaking of
Is a woman and a man in love
And the answer is in this song
That i always sing

You’ve got to
Kiss an angel good morning
And let you know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Kiss an angel good morning
And let you know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, YouTube, and Google.

The Devil You Know, Part VII #52weeks52stories


#52weeks52stories: Week 17

Word prompt: cell

Word Count: 1513


Part I    |     Part II    |    Part III    |   Part IV   | Part V

Part VI   |

(All links open new windows.)

“What? When was she discharged?”

“It’s been at least two hours.”

Gavin Marks hung his head while rubbing his brow in frustration.

“Ma’am, Mrs. Bennett is a victim and a witness in this case. The department was to be informed of her release.”

Donna Marcus was at a loss.

“I know, detective, I know. It’s on the patient chart and in the patient care system, but I just came on duty. I know there were emergencies on the floor in the afternoon and the shift was understaffed. Any number of things could have happened, including one nurse thinking another made the call. I’m sorry.”

Gavin understood how a well-planned day could go south in a matter of moments.

He reached out and shook her hand.

“Thanks for your time. I apologize for my rudeness. This case has stonewalled us, and Mrs. Bennett is our only lead. I hope your shift is an easy one.”

“Thank you, detective.”

Gavin walked away, pulling out his notepad and cell phone. His call to Sally Bennett’s home went unanswered. He swore under his breath when he realized he hadn’t gotten her cell number too.

As he reached the elevator, the doors opened and Brian Holland stepped out.

“Got the message to meet you here but you don’t look happy to see me.”

The detective smirked at the uniformed officer.

“The hospital discharged our only witness over two hours ago. Just called her home… no answer.”

“She’s had a rough couple of days… could be asleep.”

“True. But three of her five children are in town and I doubt they’d drop her off and head back home after finding out their father tried to kill their mother and her client and now he’s dead.”

It was Holland’s turn to smirk. “Good point.”

Gavin pushed the button for the elevator.

“Let’s take a ride over there… see what’s going on. This case is dead in the water. There must be something Mrs. Bennett has forgotten that will point us in the right direction.”

“Sure thing. Let me call Lothern.” The officer reached for his radio.

“Not necessary, dude. I talked to your sergeant and had you re-assigned. Hope you don’t mind, but you’re on my team in four days, anyway.”

The elevator doors opened and the big man grinned as he stepped inside.

“Nope, I don’t mind at all.”

“Welcome to the Special Investigations Unit. Your first case is a real cluster.”


It only took a few minutes for Connie Pierce and Walt Stokely to tell the police what they knew about Gary Sievers.

Neighbor Jill Vick had nothing to add. The forty-seven-year-old disabled woman lived right across the hall but spent most of her days wearing headphones or ear-buds.

Noah Lambert lived across the hall from Connie but had been at work all day, then spent the night at his girlfriend’s.

Lead detective Leonard Ganson was pissed.

“Someone tried to commit murder and no one heard anything. That’s just great. That’s just freakin’ fantastic.”

He lit his third cigarette since arriving at the scene.

“Man, calm down and stop acting like it’s the first time we’ve had no witnesses. Pete Hill had been Ganson’s partner for fourteen years.

“And stop smoking like a chimney. If the captain shows up and sees you, it won’t end well.”

“Just once I’d like to have a willing witness or a repentant suspect who fears for his immortal soul and confesses.” He took a long drag on the cigarette before continuing. “It’s gonna be a long night.”

Connie stood in the evening twilight watching the paramedics stabilize Gary Sievers for transport.

Attached to the gurney, a short I.V. pole held twin bags for O positive blood and simple saline. A light compression bandage was wrapped around his forehead “to keep his brains from falling out” she’d heard one paramedic say to the other.

The small case tracking Gary’s vital signs showed they were impossibly low.

Walt slipped an arm around Connie.

“I’m sorry, Pierce. I should have opened the door when you asked me to.”

Surprised by the gruff man’s sincerity, she offered him a sad smile.

“Don’t blame yourself, Walt. We didn’t know. Gary kept to himself so much, not seeing him daily wasn’t a big deal.”

The paramedics lifted the gurney into the back of the ambulance. One jumped inside, administering aid to Gary while the other packed aware their medical gear.

“Will he make it?”

“I can’t say, ma’am. We’ve stabilized him the best we could, but his pulse rate hasn’t improved. If he can last through the ride to Colon Regional, the docs there may be able to improve his odds.”

He closed the back doors of the ambulance and hurried around to the driver’s side. Connie followed.

“Wait. Colon Regional? Trinity Memorial is right down the street.”

He opened the door but paused long enough to respond.

“Yes, ma’am, but their ER is closed down. Some guy rushing his buddy in after an accident lost control of his truck and plowed into the emergency room. They’ve got dozens of injuries to deal with.” He climbed inside the vehicle. “Baxter General is seventeen miles across town through evening rush hour traffic.”

He radioed in his departure time and started the ambulance.

“Colon is in the next county, but it’s only six miles away, a straight shot… and this guy’s best chance.”

The ambulance pulled away with sirens on, and Connie’s tears returned.


Seated back in Pax Lacey’s office, Carolyn and Joanie clung to each other, sobbing. Darrin sat next to his mother, exhausted and defeated.

Sally sat perched on the edge of the sofa watching the coroner as he placed first a call to Detective Marks—which went straight to voice-mail—and another to check on the status of the fingerprint search for the man he now knew wasn’t Franklin Bennett. He completed the call and scrubbed a hand over his face.

“Still nothing on the fingerprints.”

“How is that even possible? Everyone is fingerprinted for something these days.”

Anger marred Carolyn’s tear-stained face. “I was fingerprinted for a background check before I could volunteer at my daughter’s school.”

Joanie nodded. “I had to be fingerprinted when I worked at the bank.”

“Don’t forget our driver licenses,” Darrin added while staring at his fingers.

Pax stood and approached the family. “That just means this man has been off the grid for some time. But we’re just getting started We will find out who he is.”

“Please. You have to… soon.” Sally’s voice was shaky and stilted. “Finding out who this man is may be the only way of finding my husband.”

The distraught woman wavered and her son slid closer to support her.

“I can’t make any sense of this but that man isn’t Frankie. And we know Frankie didn’t go with Bill Reynolds. But, he wouldn’t have lied to Bill about me being ill. That means the man lying in that room talked to Bill… and he’s done something to Frankie.”


After exiting the elevator, Det. Marks and Officer Holland took the shortcut through the emergency room to reach law enforcement parking.

Marks pulled out his cell phone to check his messages.

“Hey, Marks! How’s it going?”

He stopped and turned to see Leonard Ganson standing in the doorway of an exam room.

“Lennie, hey man, what’s up? Aren’t you in the wrong county?”

The wiry older detective snickered. “Yeah, yeah. I’m on your turf. Gotta follow the case, right? Assault victim found unconscious in his apartment. Trinity’s ER is shut down. Colon was closer.”

“Tough break. Heard about Trinity too. Anything good happen for you today?”

“My wife told me she loved me.”

Marks laughed. “That’s gotta count for something.” He motioned to Holland. “This is Brian Holland. He joins Special Investigations Monday. Brian, this is Leonard Ganson, a senior detective in the Baxter major crimes department.”

The two men shook hands.

“Congrats, Holland. Now you’ll get to work double shifts and drink bad coffee in a suit.”

Brian chuckled. “Thanks, man.”

Pete Hill rushed toward the men panting. “Got an ID on our vic! Franklin Bennett… has a Marbury address.”

Marks and Holland exchanged quick glances. Before either could speak, Holland’s cell phone rang.


“Yes, I’m with him now.”

“Okay, I’ll let him know. Thanks.”

“That was Lothern. Says the coroner’s trying to reach you.”

But Gavin Marks didn’t hear the officer. He walked past Ganson and Hill into the exam room.

A nurse was washing up the unconscious man lying in the bed.

“I’m sorry, sir. No visitors.”

Gavin opened his jacket to show his shield clipped to his belt.

“Oh, sorry. But like I told the other detectives, he’s still unconscious. We’re prepping him for surgery and hoping his blood pressure rises enough for him to live through it.”

She said more, but he didn’t hear. Standing at the foot of the bed, Gavin just stared at the man.

Holland joined him, his mouth gaping open when he looked at the unconscious man.

“What the hell is going on?”


©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved


Writer Wednesday | “Family Matters”

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Even though loss shaped Olivia Chandler’s life, she never learned how to deal with it. Thrust into the foster care system as a child, little Livvie Chandler was told to ‘just forget’ and ‘be good.’ And for twenty-eight years, that’s what she did.

In this short snippet, Olivia finds out Willis Benson is terminally ill. The executor of her father’s will has been protector, mentor and surrogate father to the closed-off attorney.

Olivia moved on after her father’s death and her mother was sent away, but this could be the loss that sends her spiraling out of control.


“How long has he known?”
“Since July.”
“July?” Thoughts and images raced through Olivia’s mind. She spent time with Willis five or six times in the last four months. And never suspected a thing.
“No one knows. Two weeks… two hours. Any answer would be a guess.”
“That’s unacceptable, Ian. His condition must tell them something. Who is this doctor? Maybe we should get a-”
“Olivia, stop.”
She frowned.
“Dad signed a DNR.”
Dizziness and nausea gripped her. Heat enveloped her body as sudden fatigue caught hold and dragged her toward the floor.
Ian was the only reason Olivia didn’t fall. He held on and propped her against the wall.
Ian spoke to her but Olivia heard no words. Her jumbled thoughts were of Willis Benson, the man in the brown suit she met as a ten-year-old. The only constant in her life since that fateful day when everything changed.
Ben Chandler planned well for his daughter’s future. But it was Willis Benson who fought for Olivia… and her mother. He risked his own job future and status in the firm to carry out Ben’s wishes.
When Olivia turned eighteen and took partial control of her inheritance, Willis was at her side. He answered Olivia’s questions and gave mild guidance, but Willis insisted she make her own decisions.
Years later when Olivia refused to visit her mother ever again, Willis accepted it and continued to stand by her.
Now Olivia needed to accept the fact if… no, when Willis suffered another cardiac episode or seizure, no life-saving measures would be taken.
He would die… and leave her.


After winning her young client’s custody battle, Olivia Chandler knows she can no longer hide from her own childhood trauma. With support from Bruce Bellamy and his family, she enters counseling. Her therapy will not be easy, and may not be successful unless Olivia can forgive her mother for the years Olivia spent in foster care. But is Sarina Chandler the only one in need of forgiveness?

Bruce introduces Olivia to his adult children. But her continued refusal to visit her mother pulls at the seams of Olivia’s new-found love with Bruce. The unexpected death of her mentor blind-sides Olivia causing her to withdraw back into the darkness of her mind. She pushes everyone away… including Bruce Bellamy.

Defeated, Olivia Chandler believes it her fate to concede to the same trauma-born mental illness that took her mother. But two voices, one from the present and one from the past, will challenge her to fight for the future her father intended for her to have… or succumb to madness.

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