Umbrellas by Richard Becker

"We don’t need an umbrella,” he said.
She looked out at the rain streaked window and frowned.

“We’re going to get wet,” she said, measuring the distance between the car and the front door of the school with her eyes.

“We’ll be quick to the door,” consoled her dad. “We’ll run so fast the rain won’t catch us.”

“Yeah, right,” she said. “Everybody else has an umbrella. Except us.”
She waved at the tight procession of shuffling peers and parents. Their colorful umbrellas broke up the gray of the day with big splashes of yellow and red and green.

“They’re beautiful,” she said with a wry smile and then a pout at the prospect before them.

Her dad opened his door and quickly shut it before circling around to the other side of the car. She felt a breath of cold air spread across the interior and then a burst of it as he opened her door to the wind and rain.

“Come on,” he said, holding out his hand with a laugh.

She laughed too as she jumped down, narrowly missing a puddle, and her feet slipped on the rain-slicked blacktop. Holding onto his hand, she was able to keep her balance.

“Backpack up,” he instructed, helping her lift it to cover her head before taking flight.

They sprinted across the lot with big, uneven steps, avoiding lakes and rivers that pooled haphazardly across the uneven parking lot. And as they approached the procession of umbrellas, she saw the procession very differently as they dashed alongside it. Most of the parents looked grumpy, drawn up against the cold, taking tiny steps as hands tightened around the handles.

“Be careful,” warned one of them, as she drew her son closer as if to ward off the cold.

“Don’t splash,” huffed another, directing her daughter to move away from the curb.

“Hurry along,” frowned a third, giving them barely enough space to pass by.

But with each indignation, her father only laughed harder as they passed. Sometimes he would even stop or spin around with her, wishing everyone a good morning or inviting them to reflect on the beautiful day and wondrous weather. And every time he did, she immediately felt warmed by her own laughter.

“Oh my, come inside, come inside,” fretted the principal waiting for them at the front door. “The two of you are getting all wet.”
“Yes,” said the little girl. “Isn’t it grand?”

And in the moment, her smile stretching wide until her cheeks hurt, she understood. It really was grand to skip across the parking lot in the rain, dance rather than complain their way inside, and warm themselves not with layers but with the happiness in their hearts.

“You and your dad need an umbrella,” the principal offered.

“We don’t need an umbrella,” she smiled.

Luminary Unpretentious beauty Shedding innocence and skin;She stripped their superficial labels To show both, vice and virtue, live within.Then down underground Gone green doors, pan, and glassShe disappeared behind unseen tears To save, for her love, the last dance.***A figment by Rich Becker; Bettie Page, 1923-2008


Unpretentious beauty 
Shedding innocence and skin;
She stripped their superficial labels 
To show both, vice and virtue, live within.

Then down underground 
Gone green doors, pan, and glass
She disappeared behind unseen tears 
To save, for her love, the last dance.


A figment by Rich Becker; Bettie Page, 1923-2008


Liquid [Hip] Picks 11.13

Ten tracks from diverse artists.


Milwaukee Art Museum by Rich Becker

Milwaukee Art Museum by Rich Becker


Lost Monday by Richard R. Becker

“Put it down,” Kari Dell said, never turning from the window. “Over there.”

“Very well,” said the hotel attendant, setting down the silver dome. “Will that be all?” 

“No,” she snapped before softening. “I would like to see some sheep today.”

“I’ll ask the doctor to bring the car around.”

“And Monday,” she added. “It would be good of you to return it.”


“You took it yesterday. I would like it back.”

“But that is when you checked in, Madame.”

“Codswallop,” she frowned. “You made that up. It’s clearly a plot to kill me.”

“It was,” he slumped. “Yesterday.”


Lost Monday doesn’t read like much at a glance. It’s 100 words drawn together after Janet Reid, literary agent announced a contest inspired by author Kari Dell. Dell was on a rodeo vacation and forgot what day it was. So she suggested someone kill her with words in a hotel just down the road from a state mental hospital.

Reid tossed in a few more rules for the informal contest with less than 24-hour notice, including the words: kill, dell, plot, sheep, and codswallop. Win, lose, or draw: It was fun to throw in with about 100 others. Enough so that I thought to share the scrap on Facebook.

Post-punk  art house rockers The Veda Rays self release their debut, densely dark  and beautiful. Gamma Rays Galaxy Rays Veda Rays. http://bit.ly/oj8GKU
Post-punk art house rockers The Veda Rays self release their debut, densely dark and beautiful. Gamma Rays Galaxy Rays Veda Rays. http://bit.ly/oj8GKU
The grave of Billy Clanton.

The grave of Billy Clanton.





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