Posts filed under ‘PUBLISHED WORKS’



I mentioned this in a past entry that I had my story, He Flew Away, accepted by Cemetery Moon.
It has now been published and I am providing a link if you should like to make a purchase. It’s been a long time since my last publication and my hope is this is only the beginning.
Check out the Cemetery Moon website, and if you are interested by a copy which includes my story.
Whatever you do, support writers. They are a voice during conflict as we are now suffering and a way to, however brief, enter the world of the mind.

January 25, 2018 at 11:47 pm 1 comment


Some time ago I told you that I had a story accepted by Cemetery Moon. I recently received word that the story, He Flew Away, will be published close to Halloween. As a preview, if you remember our infestation of stink bugs on the east coast, you might enjoy this story. After the story is published I will provide a link to purchase the edition.

I also want to tell you that my good friend and published poet, Steve Kupferschmid, has had a poem accepted by The Aurorean, a magazine published in Farmington,ME. If you enjoy the poetry of Billie Collins, you are in for a treat. I will keep you updated on these publication.

I know, after promising to write about writing, I have let you down. It’s just that there is so much happening to this country, I cannot fail to have an opinion.


August 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment




I had intended to post this yesterday, but transferring from one computer to another shut my goals down.

Finally here it is. I wanted to share with you a story of love, although you will have to read this short story to the end to see what I mean.

This is my first published story, published by Enigma. The location of the story is the Mid Atlantic Air Museum located in Reading, PA. Every year the present a fantastic show during the first weekend in June celebrating the men and machines of WWII. If you are drawn to history, to see aircraft of that era flying as well as reenactors and vehicles of the war we fought, I encourage you to attend.

I am member of the museum and have worked admissions for more than ten years. If you can locate me, when you make the effort to attend, tell me if you enjoyed the show, and if you can’t attend, tell me if you enjoyed the story.




The June morning was brilliant and clear with just enough of a breeze to keep you cool despite the predicted eighty-degree day.  At the age of eighty-two, for Christopher Johnson, getting up in the morning was not an easy chore and had lately not seemed worth the effort.  He turned his head and looked at the pillow beside him.  “I miss you so much honey,” he said quietly.  His wife Peggy had died less than a year ago.  One night they went to bed as usual.  The last words he had said to her were the words he always said to her before falling asleep, “I love you.”  When Chris awoke, Peggy was dead of a heart attack.  A few days later he was looking into her grave knowing a large part of his life was now buried in the cold earth.  After almost sixty years of marriage, the pain of her loss was intense, almost as intense as the love they had shared all those years. 

With Peggy still on his mind, he sat up and began to stretch his arthritic limbs knowing the pain that would follow.  Next he stood up and took a few steps; those first steps, they were the worst of the day.  He winced with every movement, but soon his joints and muscles settled down to the constant pain that accompanied him these days. 

He had gotten up earlier than usual, for today, unlike most of his days, he had an appointment, something to do.  He opened his closet door and, in the back, he found what he was looking for: his U.S. Army ranger dress uniform, the one he had worn on his return home after being wounded during World War II.  With persistent pain, he maneuvered his body into the uniform that, after sixty years still fit his slender frame.  He looked in the mirror, and the toll of those sixty years stared back at him.  The hair on his head and his mustache had gone gray years ago.  His eyes, once admired by his fellow soldiers for their ability to spot enemy aircraft or fortifications before anyone else, now watered behind heavy bifocals.  He inspected his image, looking over the uniform for signs of moth damage.  The area of his uniform he examined first was his chest; there hung the Purple Heart and the Congressional Medal of Honor.  He was proud to have served his country, proud of his awards but knew, that in combat, a split second could mean the difference between a dead soldier and a hero.  Satisfied that his uniform had survived another year, he returned it to the closet and dressed in his usual summer shirt and khakis.

While Chris hung up his uniform, his mind still held the Medal of Honor and the events that led to its award.

The day was D Day, early in the morning of June 6th.  Chris was among a group of Army Rangers that would be the first to hit the beach.  Their objective was to climb and secure the cliffs overlooking the landing sites.  These cliffs held guns that could hazard the ships and soldiers, and the hazard needed to be removed.  German soldiers were stationed on the cliffs, ready to rain death on unprotected soldiers landing on the beach below.  Chris and his three buddies Frank Grimes, Larry Schwartz and Duck Dupont were together in the landing craft, along with twenty other rangers heading toward the beach.

Chris had begun basic training knowing no one.  Soon he gravitated to three other guys who seemed to be as lost and alone as he was.   The four of them gradually became friends and survived the ordeal together.  Of the three, he was closest to Duck Dupont.  Duck’s real name was Willard; he gained his nickname Duck during a basic training class.  The class was walking past the artillery area when a practice round went off.  Most of the class flinched, but Duck was on the ground with his head covered by his hands.  From then on he was known as Duck.

His thoughts returned to June 6th.

It was still dark and they landed unopposed.  The men quickly and quietly disembarked and headed for the base of the two hundred foot cliff – it would be quite a climb.  When everyone was in position, they fired ropes up the side of the cliff.  This brought the response they expected, Germans began firing down the cliff and rangers began to collapse on the beach.  Chris and his friends were to stay together and climb along with most of the rangers while the rest provided cover fire.  Soon the German fire lessened then ceased as the rangers continued their climb.

The four friends were the first to reach the top of the cliff.  What they saw sent a shiver through them all.  Before them, set back about fifty yards from the edge of the cliff, stood a series of three bunkers. The first light of dawn streamed through the trees beyond the enemy, and all seemed quiet and peaceful except for the machine guns projecting from behind sandbags.  They knew they had to act fast, for if they didn’t, the rangers coming up the cliff would be cut down as soon as they reached the top.  They split up into two groups; Chris and Duck went to the left – Frank and Larry to the right.  The two flanking bunkers had to be eliminated before the middle position could be attacked.  Each group approached the nearest bunker and tossed a grenade inside.  The simultaneous explosions sent German soldiers into action.  The rangers had missed one.  Along with fire from the third remaining bunker, a fourth bunker opened up along with mortar fire from behind the bunker.  The fourth bunker surprised the rangers and had a clear shot at them.  Duck was literally cut in half by machine gun fire.  Larry was attacking the third of the bunkers they had seen, having just pulled the pin from a grenade when he was shot.  They never did find Frank.  Chris entered the first bunker they had taken out, pushed aside the mangled German bodies and manned the machine gun.  He quickly took out the bunker they had overlooked before, creeping up to the last remaining bunker; he destroyed it with grenades.  The actions of the four men had saved the lives of the rangers now reaching the summit of the cliff and helped secure the landing site for the invasion.

           In the early morning silence, after the heat of battle, Chris collapsed on the ground part from fatigue, part from pain, but mostly from grief – his friends were gone.  Chris had shrapnel wounds in his left arm and hip.  At some point his helmet had taken a hit and deflected the bullet but the impact gave him a nasty scalp wound.  Blood now streamed down the side of his face and soaked his collar.                                                                                                                                                             

These are the memories that flooded into Chris’s mind as he put away his uniform and prepared to spend a weekend at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum as a guest of honor, something he had done for the last five years.  This would be his first year going without Peggy at his side.  He knew it would not be the same without her, but he still looked forward to the event.  

          The museum had organized a weekend devoted to the history of World War II for the last ten years.  It was a living history lesson with vintage aircraft flown in from all over the country, and encampments set up with hundreds of reenactors dressed in the World War II uniforms of the United States, England, France and Germany.  The museum also invited veterans from the war who would give first hand accounts of combat.  But none of them told what the war was really like for their memories were selective, cleansed by time, and they all carried within them that area of memory they would never enter again. 

World War II weekend started Friday morning and, although he wasn’t scheduled to give his presentation until Saturday, Chris always went Friday to wander the hanger and apron crammed with vintage World War II fighters, bombers, trainers and transports.  He could remember when the skies were filled with their kind.  Now there remained only a few of each.  On those warm Friday afternoons, he enjoyed walking through the encampments.  At one point he saw three men in ranger combat uniforms.  He smiled to himself, glad to see his branch of the army represented.  Chris loved strolling through the tents.  In his mind, there was nothing like the smell of a real canvas tent; the open flaps were your windows and the grass was your floor.  He had seen the tents his grandchildren used when they camped, it was like camping in a nylon bag, no smell, no character. In one of those old canvass tents, he could stand, close his eyes, and the memories of his days in the army would flood into his brain.

  Another reason he enjoyed the Fridays was the veterans whose attendance was heavy.  The old men and women enjoyed the smaller crowds and slower pace that Fridays afforded.  He enjoyed conversations with his contemporaries, reliving the past and recalling the days they were once young and involved in the great adventure they shared. 

Saturday morning arrived, the sky again clear and blue.  He went through his morning routine, slowly struggled into his uniform and waited for his nine o’clock ride to the museum.  Chris looked forward to the day.  Although he had never made a big deal about his award, one day bathed in the admiration of people who appreciated the sacrifices made during World War II did not hurt him, not at all. 

With his first lecture scheduled for 10:30, he was anxious to get to the museum.  He found the tent for his lecture.  There were about fifty folding chairs set up.  He took a moment and stood there alone, letting his mind recall memories that he usually avoided, memories that he would touch slightly, just slightly today.

As he waited at the speaker’s platform, the tent began to fill up. At the back of the tent, he spied the three young men in ranger uniforms he had seen the day before, standing together apart from the crowd.  Maybe today they would learn something about the uniforms they wore.

The chairs were full and people were standing in the back as Chris went into his presentation.  He shared with them the events of that early morning on the French coast, sanitized, but with enough action to keep the crowds attention.  After thirty minutes he was done and ready for questions.  Half way through the questions one of the men dressed as a ranger raised his hand and said, “Sir, I just want you to know we appreciate what you did for your country.”

  That brought a smile to Chris’ face, “I appreciate that son,” he answered.

The presentation over, the tent was cleared, and it was time for a little lunch and a chance to watch the vintage aircraft flying.  This was the part he most enjoyed.  The drone of the B-17 accompanied the whine of the Merlin powered P-51s.  He knew the planes were the big draw, not old men wearing old uniforms, but he was happy to be part of the show.

First to fly were the trainers, SNJs and T-28s.  Then the observation aircraft would fly, the L-19s, followed by the transports, the C-47s and a C-54.  Before the fighters and bombers took off, the reenactors took the field in front of the crowd.  To the left were the men in German uniforms, to the right the U.S. Army.

The uniformed men fired blanks and mock mortars at each other.  There were also smoke grenades thrown by both sides.  All this action took place in a grassy area between the runway and aircraft taxiway.  As usual, the fire department stood ready for the grass fires the smoke grenades always started, and this year was no exception.  The grass fires were more of a nuisance than a danger, and they were always rapidly dealt with.  In fact, the dense plumes were greater than any of the regular attendees of the show could remember, and the fire company quickly prepared to hose down the grass.  Chris stood there with the rest of the crowd as the shroud of smoke drifted over them.

Suddenly, he felt a tap on his shoulder.  It was one of the rangers, “Sir, we need your help.”

 “Sure son, what can I do for you?” came Chris’ reply.

  “Could you join us sir?” the ranger questioned.  The ranger started walking towards the smoke set off by the mock battle, flanked by the two other rangers Chris had noticed before, and bewildered, Chris followed.

Soon smoke enveloped the four men.  The crowd, watching the firemen putting out the grass fire saw the three reenactors on the field but could not imagine why an old man in uniform was traipsing in after them.  They saw the four enter the clouds of smoke and lost sight of them.

Chris walked, not knowing where the three young men were taking him.  His arthritis bothered him as he entered the smoke, but a few steps into the haze his pain was reduced, and then gone.  He noticed something else; he no longer wore his dress uniform but wore the ranger combat uniform, same as the reenactors.  All at once he was puzzled and amazed and had no idea what their destination could be.

The three re-enactors slowed down and Chris easily caught up with them.  “How in the hell are you, Chris?” asked Duck.  Frank and Larry were slapping his back and pounding his shoulders, his young shoulders. 

“We’re on a mission and need your help,” said Frank.  “We need the squad together,” he continued. 

“I’m your man,” said Chris taking off his helmet and running his hand through his thick dark hair.  His mind still could not wrap itself around what was happening.

Some of the crowd there to watch the flying saw four figures begin to emerge from the smoke, the figures of four young men.  The men entered another cloud of smoke before them and were gone.

Chris and his three buddies came out of the haze.  They were on a dirt road surrounded by a forest.  They were all holding rifles, but Chris could sense no danger.  They were on patrol and Chris felt better than he had ever felt in his life.  He was with his best friends, men he had missed all these years and men he loved.  The sky was so blue it almost hurt his eyes. The trees and grass were the greenest green he had ever seen.  He set out with his three friends, easily matching their stride.

Suddenly, Chris’ eyes filled with tears.  He did not know how, did not understand what was happening, but somehow he knew his young and pretty Peggy was waiting up ahead.


                                            THE END 





February 15, 2017 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment


My short story, He Flew Away, has just been accepted by Cemetery Moon.

If you are familiar with the invasion of stink bugs you might enjoy this story. I’ll let you know when it is available and how to get a copy.

January 8, 2017 at 12:00 am 6 comments


Some time ago I received a questionnaire from Book Buzzr, a marketing website I’m using to promote my novel, New Moon Rising. I thought I would share my answers to give you a closer look into who I am.



Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Now a retired scientist, I spent 34 years studying renal physiology.

I’m a Newark, New Jersey boy now living in West Chester, Pennsylvania, divorced with two outstanding daughters. One is a farmer working for the Rodale Institute and the other is pursing and MFA in fiction at Syracuse University.


Describe your book, New Moon Rising, in 30 words or less.

The novel is science fiction centered on the Ring of Fire. Think of the movie, Deep Impact, but in reverse.


What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Editing? I hate editing. The initial story just flowed. I went along with the characters and saw the action through their eyes. But when it came to editing the adventure was over, and I missed it.


What books had the greatest influence on you?

When I was in high school I read three books by Tom Dooley, a doctor who went to Laos, among other countries, to provide medical assistance. Of the three, the only title I can remember is The Night They Burned the Mountain.

His work was influential in establishing CARE.

What Dooley did to me I could never reverse. His words established in me the need for a sense of purpose, that you must strive to make a difference. Even at my advanced age, I cannot shake this mind-set.


Briefly share with us what you do to market your book.

Not enough. I have has one signing at a local bookstore which went quite well.

I am, of course on your site. I also have a blog,, where I have discussed my novel and have provided links to my publisher, Melange Books, barns& and, where my novel is available.  But the primary purpose of my blog is to provide help for writers on the road to publication.


How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

I read a great deal, as most writers do. I firmly believe the basis for any writers desire to write begins with reading and the love for books. Of house and outside chores also require certain amount of time.


What are you working on next?

I have multiple short stories I am editing and hope to publish.

I also have two novels that are written and need to be edited and published.

The first, Sweet Depression, follows a corrupt high-level officer in a pharmaceutical company fulfilling his need for control and greed with devastating results. Think of a cross between novels written by James Patterson and Robin Cook.

The second novel, The Beast Awaits, combines illicit stem cell research creating a monster mindlessly intent on destroying our world.   

October 7, 2016 at 9:24 pm 1 comment


I just received this email from Google.  I have no idea of it,s importance, or whether I’m being ripped off ( which happens these days, but has always been the practice of a certain element of society, i.e., losers).

I’m also including the sit they reference.

To be honest, I would prefer you purchase my story from Melange Books.  I make money, and more in important, my publisher makes money.

As a side note, I occasionally check my name on Google. It’s not an ego thing, I just want an update on what of my work has been published. Interestingly, I did discover one of my stories publish.  That knowledge was new to me.  I also found that the first two chapters of Elmo’s Sojourn has been published in China. I waited for the money from millions of sales to roll in.  Of course, I knew that China has little use for our copyrights, but the next time I visit the Orient, I expect a huge outflowing of love.

In spite of my age, I still dream.


March 31, 2016 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment


Happy Valentine’s Day.  Here’s my present; a free story.



A VALENTINE’S GIFT                                 



Jim Reed sat in a desolate park in a seedy section of the city and pulled the collar of his badly worn coat up as the North wind howled, he sipped from the bottle concealed in the brown paper bag and, with each sip, a grimace spread across his face while momentary warmth filled his empty belly.

“That god damned day is coming,” he thought.  He did not have a calendar for a calendar needed a wall on which to hang and his watch was gone, hocked long ago.  Jim kept track of the date and headlines the world produced from the newspaper machines along the sidewalk.                          

He drank rapidly; trying to prevent his mind from wandering to the day he lost his future, his purpose, that Valentine’s Day five years ago.  But he could not prevent his numbed mind from reviewing his life and recalling the day his reason for being was erased.

                                              * * *

While in college, Jim developed a drinking problem, and it lingered after graduation.  He found a job as an accountant, worked hard during the day and drank hard during the night.

A friend from work wanted to fix Jim up with a girl.  A date was arranged, a Dutch-treat dinner.  Jim arrived at the Italian restaurant early, sat at the bar drinking red wine when a stunning woman with long black hair walked in searching for someone.  She approached Jim and said, “I’m Debbie Wilson, could you be Jim Reed?”

Jim could not believe that this woman was his blind date.  He gulped down his wine, took her hand, and headed for the restaurant area.  He drank less than he usually did on a blind date and just enjoyed talking to Debbie.  Before he knew it, they had spent two hours over dinner, and he was sober.  He wanted to pay for dinner but Debbie demanded to pay her own way.  She smiled and said, “Next time you can treat.”  This brought a grin to Jim’s face.  Debbie paid her part of the bill, and as the cashier placed the change in her hand, Debbie exclaimed, “What’s this?”  She looked down at the dirty white penny in her hand.

“That’s a steel penny,” Jim explained.  “One year, during World War II, pennies were made of a lead composite in order to save copper in order to make shell castings.”

Debbie’s eyes brightened as she said, “This is going to be my lucky penny and always remind me of this night.”

Their relationship grew into love, and six months later they were married.  They bought a small house and soon Debbie was pregnant.  Jim’s life had a hope he had never imagined as he watched Debbie grow with their child.

They found a hospital providing a room for natural birth, but had the facilities to cope with any problems that might occur.  One day, as Debbie was preparing a special dinner to celebrate a special day, her water broke.  Jim rushed her to the hospital thinking, “By the time this Valentine’s Day is over, I’ll have two loves, not one.”

After they entered the hospital, a nurse took Debbie’s blood pressure and immediately had her rushed to the emergency room.  Debbie’s eyes reflected the fear Jim felt as he sat at her bedside.  When Debbie began to convulse, Jim was escorted to the waiting room.

Hours later their obstetrician entered the waiting room and sat next to Jim.  The doctor’s eyes never left the floor.  In a soft voice he told Jim, “I’m sorry but your wife is gone, we lost the baby girl too.  If you will come with me, I’ll take you to your wife.”

Jim felt horror, shock and helplessness all at once.  On shaky legs he followed the doctor and soon found himself standing next to a bed and staring down at Debbie’s pretty face.  She seemed so much at peace while Jim was in such torment.

The next few days were a blur; Jim drank himself into numbness while friends and family expressed their regrets.  Jim stayed numb for five years, never cried over his loss, keeping the grief tied up inside.  He stayed numb as he was fired and eventually lost his house.  He had been homeless for two years now and just didn’t give a damn about anyone or anything.

                                                * * *

Jim left the park and made his way into the city.  He mumbled, “That god damned day is here,” as he sat on the grate of an office building immersed in the steam, trying to stay warm.  The hour was late and the street strangely deserted.  Steam created an odd glow around the streetlamps. Through the mist, a small girl approached and stood before him.

“I’d like to help you mister,” she said.

Jim yelled, “Get the hell away from me,” but the girl wouldn’t budge.  She just stood before Jim as her eyes filled with tears.

 “I’d like to help you mister,” she repeated as she placed a small cloth sack before Jim.  As she turned to leave she said something strange, “We love you.”

Jim watched through the mist as the girl departed; saw the tall figure of a woman waiting in the distance for the child.  The child stood next to the woman and they joined hands as they looked back, and then melted into the mist.

Jim sat there, drinking from his bag and lifted the small cloth sack.  He opened it and spilled its contents into his hand.  He sat there looking at the single dirty white penny.  He lifted the paper bag to his lips, and then tossed it away as tears coursed his face.



                                              THE END


February 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment


On the eve of this horror holiday, I thought I would offer a zombie treat.

This story was published in the now defunct Blood, Blade, & Thruster in their Winter 2006/2007 issue.  Included in this issue was an interview published with Piers Anthony.  This association caused my writing career to soar.  JUST KIDDING.  I should have saved that for April 1st.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story, and if you have a moment during your busy life, LET ME KNOW, my ego would appreciate the response.


As Norman stumbled through the dank Haitian swamp, he groaned, “Willard, it feels so unnatural walking around with my arms outstretched, but I can’t seem to put them down.  “I have an image to uphold.”

Willard, who was shuffling along, shook his head and sighed, “Of course it’s unnatural, you’re a zombie, damn it.  And your image is history.”

Norman complained, “I didn’t ask to be a zombie.”  With some difficulty, he swiveled his neck and surveyed the Haitian countryside.

Norman took in the landscape surrounding him.  He walked through a village.  It was nothing more than a few huts of mud and straw along a dusty road.  Chickens pecked in the brush along the roadside.  Chickens!  For some reason their presence made him uncomfortable.  “I really don’t want to be a zombie,” Norman muttered.  He was a forty-year-old college professor, a dark-haired trim man who always dressed well.  Now he was walking around covered in grime and dressed in rags.

Willard said, “If you didn’t want to become a zombie, you shouldn’t have run over the old voodoo woman’s chickens with your jeep.  Was she ever pissed?  She’s also the one that converted me into a zombie, but that’s another story.”

Norman looked at Willard and could not guess what he once looked like.  Willard was pale, gaunt and dressed in rags.  His age made undeterminable by his zombie state.

“As soon as you angered her she began making one of her little dolls.  She cackled while she worked.  That is never a good sign.  The doll is where your soul now resides.”

“I can’t believe this is happening to me, Willard.  I came to Haiti to do research on Haitian religions.  I am, or was, a respected and well-published anthropologist.  Now look at me.  I’m wearing rags and walking around like a…, like a …

“Zombie!” asked Willard

“Just because I ran over a few chickens?”

“Um, Norman, they looked like chickens, but they weren’t.  Nothing around the voodoo woman’s house is what it appears.  They were once her enemies.  She changed them into chickens and you freed them from pecking for insects along the road for the rest of their lives.  You ended their suffering.  So naturally, in her anger, she turned you into a zombie.  I am assigned to train all novice zombies.  To instruct how to attack people teach them what are the best parts to eat.”

Norman made a face at this remark.

“Now what?” asked Willard?

Norman sighed, “I’m a vegetarian.  But I will eat dairy.”

Willard said with disgust, “There are no vegetarian zombies.  And attacking the dairy section of a store is not going to do much for the zombie image.”

Norman grumbled, “Oh, I wouldn’t want to do anything to detract from the zombie image.  Give me a break.”

As the two zombies were arguing, Willard happened to glance over to the voodoo woman’s house.  There she stood in the doorway.  Willard could tell she was not happy.

She hobbled toward Willard and Norman, a waddling mass adorned with bones and beads.  Her crown of thick dreadlocks made her appear as if some multi-legged beast was sitting on her head.

The old voodoo woman shouted at Norman, “I knew you be a trouble maker, with your fancy jeep and running over people’s property.”

Norman mumbled, “Sorry about the chickens.”

“You sorry all right.  You be good and sorry real soon.”

The old woman produced her Norman doll, lifted the doll skyward, and began chanting in a low rumbling voice.

Norman’s soul returned to his body.  He felt like his old self.  He laughed with relief, then glance up.  Willard stumbled toward him, arms raised.

“Willard old buddy, we’re friends – right?”

Willard only growled and roared.

Norman looked desperately for an escape.  On either side of him, zombies with ash-gray complexions staggered in his direction.  He was surrounded.

The old voodoo woman said, “Here be my ‘children’, and they be hungry.”  She cackled as the circle of zombies grew smaller and smaller around Norman.

From beyond the wall of the living dead, Norman pleaded, “Please, make me a chicken!”


Those that observe ‘Mischief Night, please be kind.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

October 30, 2015 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment


In the future, I plan to submit a post looking at great science fiction authors and their stories which have elements of fiction that become fact.  Just consider Jules Verne and the Nautilus as an example.

I’ve just run across a posting in Science Daily which I will share with you.  But first, I offer you a story first published in Aphelion, The Superior Species.  Read them both and tell me what you think.



The two men sat atop a snow-covered mountain looking down on a land that would one day become Switzerland.  Their prominent brows and wide noses marked them as a distinct species, one of two inhabiting this land.  The other was an aggressive tribe that they watched.   That they feared.  With their high nasal voices, the two communicated their feelings to each other, the love for the land that lay before them.

They did not see the band of ten savages obscured by the falling snow approach the hill on which they sat.  They appreciated the beauty that surrounded them.  The area was covered in a thick blanket of snow and they were sure that there would be more to come.  Recently, the period of snow and ice had been extreme.  The lithe figures approached, preparing to attack.  With spears held high, the savages crept up on the pair.  As one of the muscular men talked to his companion, a spear pierced his breast.  His companion rose and was himself impaled by a spear.  The savages celebrated their kill in a most gruesome fashion.


John and Paul had hiked the Alps of Switzerland for most of their lives.  Friends in England since their youth, they both chose to seek employment in Switzerland to be near the mountains they loved.  Both enjoyed the solitude, hiking the mountains high above the point where novice hikers would stop.  As they hiked that June day, they would have an experience they would never forget, an experience that would alter mankind’s perception of his place on this planet.

While on the lower levels of the Alps, they drank in the fragrance of the sentinel pine.  And as the winter ice retreated, they had to climb higher and higher to enjoy the solitude they cherished.  This June day, they hiked into an ice-shrouded valley that was new to them.  Paul was the first to notice a dark mass protruding from the ice half way up the valley wall.  It stood out black against the pristine ice.

“Do you see that, John?”  Paul pointed.  “I’m going to check it out.”

As Paul approached, a slight wind ruffled Paul’s quarry.

“John, come up here!  It’s hair.”

The two men approached.  They could make out a shape in the ice beneath the hair.  They peered into the ice and both came to the same conclusion.  Buried in the ice was the body of a man.

* * *

The two police officers responding to the Englishmen’s call were used to this sort of thing.  Hikers were often lost in the Alps.  When egos outdistanced skill and training, along with a lack of preparation, the results were often disastrous.  And when the weather became unforgiving, they weren’t found until the first thaw.  The two officers worked to reveal more of the body by chipping away some of the ice.  The face was revealed along with other details.  The more ice they cleared from the body, the more both men knew they were not uncovering an ordinary hiker.

“We had better place guards and call the university in Zurich.”

* * *

Dr. Hans Bueler looked down on the body.  He could not hide his excitement.  As he examined the corpse he talked to the policemen protecting the site.

As his investigation proceeded, he said, “Gentlemen, I do not know if you appreciate the magnitude of this find.  This is, by far, the greatest discovery in the study of our ancient ancestors to date.  You will notice the prominent brow, wide nose and lack of chin.  Notice also the muscular shoulders.  I will require further study, but I am positive this is the body of a Neanderthal.

“I am sure you also have noticed the cause of death.  I refer to the spear point protruding from this individual’s chest.  Gentlemen, this is a crime scene, a murder.  However, you will never apprehend the murderer, for this crime took place thousands and thousands of years ago.


It was a wild night with a howling and frigid wind buffeting the windows of the senior faculty house on the Yale campus.  Sheets of rain kept all the details of the world beyond the windows indefinite.

Four men, leaders in their fields, sat before a roaring fire, the flames reflecting off the dark wooden panels of the study walls.  Each man held a brandy stiffer and appreciated the ambiance of the room and the moment.  The men were in one of the faculty houses provided to senior members of Yale.  The residence was that of Dr. Carl Gold, an evolutionary psychologist.  Gold was in his mid sixties, and with his trim build and gray mane of hair, would not be out of place in the boardroom of a major company or arguing on the floor of the senate. He was a leader in his field with a worldwide reputation.

Gold had invited three men he knew by reputation as giants in their own fields.  He also knew them all personally, in varying degrees, and was confident that what was discussed this stormy night would not go beyond the walls of his study.

Across from Gold sat Fred Fielding.  Tall and gaunt, Fielding had a permanent tan from his many field trips as physical anthropologist.  Next to Fielding was John Sanders, a world-renowned human geneticist.  Sanders published his work in all the major journals, but most of his work was now tied up in the debate over the use of human stem cells.  Sanders, with his short thick build, was the opposite of Fielding.  With his thick black hair and swarthy complexion, he was often mistaken for a maintenance man.  The broken nose he earned during his collegiate boxing career added to the image.

The last of the three invited guests was Dr. Bill Mark, a fertility specialist and adjunct professor in Yale’s medical school.  Tall, slim and blond, with his athletic build, he appeared to be in his mid forties although he was well on the way to sixty.  As each man introduced himself and discussed their specialties, Mark wondered if he had been summoned to this meeting by mistake.  His discipline did not fit in with the others present.  He was not a researcher.  He was a physician.

Gold surveyed his colleagues and friends.  “Gentlemen, the storm that rages beyond these walls will be dwarfed by the storm that may rage within these walls tonight.  I’m sure you are all aware of the magnificent discovery made in the Swiss Alps.  The body of a perfectly preserved Neanderthal, using carbon dating, is estimated to be thirty thousand years old.  I have spent my life in the study of these creatures.  From the time the first Neanderthal skull was found in 1848, this subset of man has remained a mystery.  We are still trying to fathom the extent of their intelligence and how they fit into the human tree of development.

“There are many facts about these distant relatives of modern man that lead to fascinating conjecture.  To begin with, their brains were ten percent larger than that of modern man, yet they are thought to be simple brutes.  We now know that Neanderthals manufactured tools and produced art.  The mask found on the banks of the Loire in France was an unexpected find.  The fact that they produced art indicates they had an appreciation of life beyond their own existence.  They apparently did lack one skill.  They were not as adept at fashioning weapons as their fellow bipeds.

“Another intriguing discovery found in the Kebara Cave in Israel was a Neanderthal bone of extreme importance.  The bone I refer to was a Neanderthal hyoid bone.  This find dispels the theory that Neanderthals could do nothing but grunt.  The presence of a hyoid bone indicates they were capable of speech.  Taking into consideration other aspects of their skulls, it is thought that Neanderthals had a high, nasal voice.

“There are many questions to be answered, and now we have the means at our disposal to journey from conjecture to fact.  I have obtained a sample of the newly discovered Neanderthal.  The reason I have called you all together this evening is to formulate a plan, that my utilizing modern genetics and in vitro fertilization, will produce a Neanderthal.  We shall be able to answer all the questions that have plagued modern man about the Neanderthal enigma.”

Fred Fielding was the first to speak.  “As a physical anthropologist, I look forward to examining the body of the recently discovered Neanderthal.  But your point is clear.  To see how the physical characteristics, whose meaning we assume to deduce, come into play in a living specimen would mean phenomenal advances in our knowledge of man’s distant relative.”

John Sanders, the geneticist, now spoke up.  “With a specimen from this newly discovered Neanderthal, modern genetics could solve, once and for all, the debate of where Neanderthals reside in man’s family tree.  However, what you propose is to produce a living individual.  To do that would require cloning, a method too dangerous to try on a human – to say nothing about it being illegal.”

Gold said, “My dear Dr. Sanders, you would not be cloning a member of the Homo sapiens species.  You would be cloning an example of Homo neanderhtalensis.”

A smile crept across Sanders’ face.  This argument would be viable, until the law caught up with the science.  “In that case, I am willing to isolate the DNA.  What we would need next is a human egg and female willing to carry the Neanderthal to term.”

All eyes were now on Dr. Mark, the fertilization specialist.  He said, “I now see where I fit in.  I see how we all fit into this project.  I will not mince words.  I feel uncomfortable about this proposition.  The mechanisms of the plan would be simple.  I have a supply of donor eggs.  We can remove the egg’s DNA and using cloning methods described in the literature, insert Neanderthal DNA and initiate mitosis.  I also have a group of women we use in my practice who are willing to carry babies as surrogate mothers, but refuse to see the baby after birth.  They want no chance to form an attachment to the child.

“I think the experiment Dr. Gold proposes can be accomplished.  My question is should it be done?  By using the scientific name of the Neanderthal as a loophole, we feel we are free to create an individual who may possess human emotions, who may possess a soul.  This is much different than cloning a sheep or a cat, no matter how much we choose to belittle the difference.  I am not sure I can proceed with this endeavor.”

Gold said, “I picked you, Bill, because I knew you would not go easily with this plan.  What we are planning to do is of profound importance, and also of profound scientific and moral complexity.  Yet, for science to advance, sometimes risks must be taken.  I appreciate your arguments.  I know there are risks, but we have the capacity to venture into the unknown and bring light to a land of mystery.  Through our expertise we can gain knowledge of the beginning of our humanity.”

The debate went on until dawn lit the study windows.  Fielding and Sanders warmed to their initial confidence.  Mark persisted in his initial skepticism.  But in the end, as a new day on Earth began, a new chapter in mankind’s knowledge was agreed upon.


John Sanders received the frozen tissue samples from Gold.  As he gazed at the sample packed in dry ice, he could not believe he was peering into a box containing a tissue sample of a ‘man’ dead thirty thousand years.  Sanders’ ego did not get the better of him.  He knew he had been out of the lab for too long to attempt the important work that lay ahead.  He employed a promising PhD candidate, Michael Rose, to do the actual work.  He would tell Rose as little as possible about the nature of the experiment.  The meeting at Gold’s study had left him with the feeling that he was involved in a conspiracy rather than an experiment, the fewer people that knew about the true purpose of the experiment, the better.

Sanders’ first meeting with Rose went well.  “Michael, I would like you to help me in a special project.”

“Certainly Dr. Sanders.  I’m a little desperate for a new project now that the study I’m working on is going nowhere.”

Sanders said, “It’s a cloning experiment.”

“Fantastic,” said Rose.  “What will we be cloning?”

Sanders hesitated, and then answered, “A non-human primate.”

“Has that ever been done before Dr. Sanders?”

“Not to my knowledge.  We would be making history.”

Rose could not believe his luck.  He was going from a dead-end research project to an historic experiment.

“When do we begin?”

“Immediately,” Sanders said.  “I already have a tissue sample from which you can extract the DNA for the cloning.  I also have a list of references I want you to read and extract from them the method used to fertilize the egg and develop it into an embryo.”

* * *

Two weeks later Rose had the DNA extracted and the materials he would need for the union of the egg and extracted DNA to begin their journey to a living entity.

Sanders called Mark, “Bill, we’re ready to implant the DNA into the eggs.”

“I’ll ship them out by express mail,” said Mark.  “Good luck!”

The eggs arrived in a container of liquid nitrogen.  The paperwork indicated that there were ten eggs contained in the container.  When all was ready, with Sanders at his side, Rose began the cloning experiment.

The eggs were rapidly thawed.  Once thawed, Rose removed their DNA and inserted the ‘primate DNA’ he had prepared.  Each egg was given its own petri dish of life sustaining fluids and put into an incubator.

Both Sanders and Rose periodically checked on the eggs.  Initially, all ten began to divide.  But soon four of the small balls of cells died.  The remaining six progressed to a point where they could be slowly cooled, then frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen until they could be implanted into a uterus.

Rose was excited as he entered Sanders’ office.  “Dr. Sanders, the embryos are frozen.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the experiment.”

Sanders said, “I’ll let you know how things progress.”

“Do we have the monkeys that will carry the embryos to term here?”

“No Michael, the implantation will be done at another institution.”

After Rose left, Sanders sat at his desk and thought; You’ll be told the embryos all died after implantation.  For you, this experiment is over.

Strangely, Sanders found himself feeling envy for Rose.  His dreams had recently been haunted by what this adventure might produce.


Bill March had three women he had used as surrogate mothers in the past who refused to see the babies for whom they had made life possible.  They were ready to perform the function again.  All were young, in their mid to late twenties and all were single.  They were all paid for their service and all three shared similar feelings about their pregnancy.  They wanted to provide a family to couples who needed help.

The three women were each implanted with two of the Neanderthal embryos.  They were all told that the fetuses belonged to a very wealthy couple, and that they would be paid well for their services and their confidentiality.  When it came time to deliver the babies, the births would take place at the couple’s country estate.  All preparations had been taken to equip a room at the estate with the criteria of a delivery room, all the latest equipment necessary to handle whatever emergency might occur.

Two of the women miscarried.

These miscarriages revived the doubts March originally felt about the project.

Pat Meyers carried the last two fetal Neanderthals to term.  She knew she was pregnant with twins, but she grew no larger than she had when she carried a single child.  This disturbed her.  She also knew she carried two boys.  Even with her doubts, it made her happy to know she was bringing joy and creating a family.  She was making it all possible.

Two weeks before her due date, she was moved to a country estate in northern Connecticut.  The house belonged to Gold and had been in his family for many years.  Mark told the two nurses who would assist in the delivery, “The babies may seem somewhat peculiar.  You will be paid to overlook anything out of the ordinary.  After all, we must be sensitive to the parent’s feelings.”

Pat went into labor and had an extremely easy delivery.  Although she had carried the babies to term, both were less than four pounds at birth.

Each nurse cared for one of the infants.  The boys were covered with a fine down of black hair.  One of the nurses whispered to the other, “Look at his head.  It’s so misshapen after such an easy delivery.”

Once the babies were settled in the nursery, the nurses left the estate.  As they walked to their cars one said to the other, “Those infants were indeed peculiar with their misshapen skulls and covered with hair like an ape.  But the one thing I will never forget about them was their eyes.  They weren’t the eyes of any baby I’ve ever seen.  They had a weird look to them, like intelligence.  I felt they were looking right through me.

The other nurse responded, “Did you also get the feeling that they feared our touch.  I’ve never seen that in a newborn before.”


From the time of their births, the babies struck Gold, Fielding, Sanders and Mark as odd.  The infants appeared tense, as if they had an inherent fear of Homo sapiens.  The only time they relaxed was when they could see one another.

“Strange,” Gold noted, “it’s as if they know they are alien to us.”

The babies grew into muscular toddlers and were walking at six months.  Gold and Fielding closely followed their development.  Sanders and Mark occasionally inquired as to the progress of the children, but other projects quickly took them out of the picture.  Their major concern was when Gold would go public with the astounding accomplishment.  They were eager for the recognition their work would bring.   Gold would answer their inquires by saying, “Soon, very soon.”

Fielding spent hours observing the Neanderthal infants, monitoring how their bodies developed as they matured.  They were far more agile than he expected nothing like the lumbering brutes commonly associated with Neanderthals.  As expected, their frames indicated that they would develop into adults of short stature compared to modern man.  Their physique began to fill out, becoming more muscular than that of human babies.  Gold, however, would uncover the true mysteries of the Neanderthals when he studied their psychological development.

The infants began talking at eighteen months, and not with the fumbling birth of knowledge of speech associated with human children.  Gold discovered them talking one day as he entered the room where they slept.  He was stunned, for he never heard them parrot sounds as children do to develop speech.  The Neanderthals did possess the high nasal voices predicted by the bone structure of their skulls.  Gold found the sound of their voices annoying.

Studying their psychological development, Gold thought, these infants are progressing far more rapidly than human toddlers of comparable age.  He began recording his conversations with the Neanderthals.  During one of his sessions with them they both seemed withdrawn.  He asked, “What do you boys think about?”

The Neanderthal born first was called Adam, the other John.  Adam answered, “Why, he asked, ” are we so different from you and the others we meet?”

* * *

It had been four years since the Neanderthals were cloned and Gold became more and more ill at ease about what the experiment had created.  Fielding and Sanders wanted the results of the experiment to be published.  Mark preferred to be left out of the picture.

One night Fielding and Sanders visited Gold in his study, site of the initial plans for the project.  Fielding asked Gold, “Carl, don’t you think it’s time to publish our Neanderthal results?”

Sanders added, “The boys have shown none of the signs of premature aging that many of the animals clone in the past have exhibited.”

Gold said, “The boys are coming along fine.  In fact, their intelligence level, given their age, is remarkable.  But I still feel we should wait to publish.  There is something strange about the boys.  I would prefer to let them develop further before we go public.”

In the end, Fielding and Sanders persevered.  A manuscript was prepared and sent to Science.


When news of the existence of the two Neanderthal children became known to the scientific community, Gold was overwhelmed with requests to study them.  The boys were now ten, and possessed all the characteristics of the typical Neanderthal physique.  They were short and extremely muscular with prominent brows and wide nose associated with their kind.  It was their mental abilities that Gold found both interesting and disturbing.

Gold taught the boys to read.  Now they devoured books.  They were sponges for knowledge.  Fielding still visited the boys.  On one such visit he told Gold, “You know Carl, physically, the Neanderthals are developing precisely as expected.  It is their mental faculties that I find intriguing.”

“I share your amazement,” said Gold.  “They have a thirst for knowledge that far surpasses what their human contemporaries demonstrate.  It’s almost as if they are making up for thousands of years of extinction.”

* * *                           A wild storm raged as Gold drove to the Neanderthal residence.  They were fifteen now and had become something beyond human.

Gold entered the living room to find Adam and John reading.  They were always reading.  Gold stood drenched before them.  He reached into his pocket and produced a revolver.

Adam said, “I fully expected this to happen some day.  I expected history to repeat itself.  You fear us.  I have read all that has been written about Neanderthals.  I know the conjectures your fellow scientists have about our intelligence.  I knew, early on, that you realized how wrong those theories were.

“At the same time, we both realized that you would not accept us as merely different.  Because of your human egos, we appear threatening, superior.  John and I are ready to accept the only outcome this experiment could produce.”

Gold shot twice with the realization that he was the savage were and the Neanderthals were the superior species.


Now here’s the article from Science Daily.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

Barnes &

January 15, 2015 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment


Continued as promised…

Okay, sit back from the edge of your seats.

Here’s some hints as to who the character is and the reward I’m offering.

First, as you all know by now, I have a profound love for books. In New Moon Rising the character shares the same love and, in the story, is on my dream vacation. What’s his name?

As for the prize, it is twofold. Now you’re back to edge of your seats again. I can feel it.

First, you will receive a signed copy of my e-book, Elmo’s Sojourn, mailed to you as a printout. Also, you will receive a copy of my, as yet, unpublished manuscript, Elmo’s Invention, which is a prequel to the e-book.

That’s it, my friends. I’ll alert Amazon to expect the rush to buy my novel.

Good luck!

To ease your buying enjoyment, here’s a link to my work for sale by Amazon.

September 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


March 2023

Posts by Month

Posts by Category