Special to The Monitor
PART 10: “LONG ARM OF GOLDEN SASSAFRAS” | BY BRENDA LEE HUERTA Mary’s smile was as wide as Texas as she approached them. Her heart was super light after her “meeting” with Henry and Aronia. “Thank you for waiting. I’m so sorry. It’s just that I feel uncomfortable with company and not wearing a mask or gloves. My house was a mess. This COVID19 has turned my worldupside down. I’m so sorry, here I am babbling away!” Read the full story at themonitor.com
PART NINE: “THE WORLD’S A SMALLER PLACE” | BY RODA HILENSKI GRUBB In one quick motion Mary jumped to grab the door, pushing Michael back onto the front porch. “I’m so sorry!” She donned her brightest smile. “I just got home and was headed for the shower. Really, Mrs Vargas, you do need to call and let me know when you’re coming over.” “Sorry, dear, I was so excited to have you meet Michael. He told me he was anxious to meet you after I told him how kind you’ve been.” She looked deflated. Read the full story at themonitor.com
When I returned to McAllen to visit my parents the first week of March, I thought I’d only be here for a few days. A global pandemic had other plans for me. Eight weeks later — 56 days and counting — this is my new reality. This 28-year-old CNN reporter is back in her hometown, living with her parents, and a new sort of rhythm has set in. And what a different rhythm it is. I had just come off the heels of the experience of a lifetime as an embedded presidential campaign reporter for CNN. I spent a year covering Elizabeth Warren, attending all her public events, asking the Massachusetts senator questions every chance I got, and crisscrossing the country — sometimes visiting several states in a day. It couldn’t have been more frenzied or hectic. Read the full story at themonitor.com
PART EIGHT: “THE GOLDEN SASSAFRAS” | BY CHERI DE LIS The door closed behind her. Mary wished it separated her from the nightmare of the past 48 hours. Now it was here, the dreaded return to the room where Sylvia’s blood silently screamed up at her from the stained tiles. Read the full story at themonitor.com
The Internal Revenue Service has set a deadline of Tuesday, May 5, for some veterans and disabled Americans to request an additional $500 child...
PART SEVEN: "A Part Too Cruel" | by Dora Gonzalez Mary stared at the corner of the picture table, blood clinging to its sharp, broken edge, dripping to the floor with a mind of its own. Her eyes moved to her friend’s unmoving form still cradled in her arms and panic spread through her ten-fold. Her mind questioned over and over ... What do I do now? Mary glanced at her friend’s unmoving eyes and forced herself to feel for a pulse. She simply wouldn’t accept Sylvia could be dead. Her hand was shaking so hard she barely managed to press two fingers against the side of Sylvia’s neck. She gasped. Was there a pulse? Maybe her friend was not dead, just unconscious. Yes, that was it. That had to be it. Read the full story at themonitor.com
PART SIX: “PANIC” | BY SCOTT W. KIMAK Blood ... slithers down my arms, searching for myfi ngerti ps, gathering there until it forms. Then the droplets grow until they can hang on no longer, slipping from my fi ngers and plummeting to the cold, tile fl oor beneath me. They strike the surface with a resounding echo, reverberating through my frame. My body shakes. A cold winter chill seeps into my bones, waking me from my stupor. Read the full story at themonitor.com
By Keely Lewis By some quirk of fate, my husband and I took a long-planned tour of Italy in October, never imagining that within four...
PART FIVE: “MEANWHILE, BACK IN CHINA” | BY VIRGINIA HAYNIE GAUSE Mary jumped when the phone toned, “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” “Oh,” she sighed, recognizing her neighbor’s number. “Why is Mrs. Vargas calling me now?” “Hi, Mrs. Vargas, how are you?” Mary greeted in a chirpy voice. Read the full story at themonitor.com
PART FOUR: “THE NEXT ADVENTURE” | BY BARBARA ERTL After learning as much as she could from TV, Mary decided there would be no safe place next to a swimming pool for her. The safe place would be home after every precaution had been taken. Images of gowned and goggled people rushing through hospitals swam through her head. Long lines of people seeking unemployment compensation, seeking food outside grocery stores, seeking tests for the virus were frightening to her. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this; a pandemic, as it was being called. She liked new experiences and often called them adventures, but wasn’t sure in which category a pandemic would fit. Read the full story at themonitor.com