9/11 Cry Over the Ocean

This day 18 years ago my children were still on vacation and we were all at home. We sure went to sleep early that night and we had no idea what was going on in America – at the time of the first terrorist attack in NY it was about 10PM September 11 in our birth country. I woke up pretty early next day and, while putting the water for coffee on the stove, I turned on the little TV we had in the kitchen.

Then I dropped down on a chair with my hands clenched on my lap. The disaster that was going on in the US left me speechless, with tears coming down on my face.

The country I loved so much was deeply injured. The horrific scenes of terror were hardly describable. My children came in one by one and stopped in the middle of the room confused and scared. One of them came and sat on my lap, and we prayed for America.

Will she recover?

The pain is not forgotten, nor the thousands who died. The wounded people and the first responders are still recovering. Many had learned to live with their heart broken. Others couldn’t do it anymore.

Are we a stronger Nation now after we faced the evil in so many ways since then?

I think we are. Because every time when we forgive and embrace others we drink from the magical fountain of strength.

Did we forget? No. We will remember.

Are we waiting for the evil’s raw hits unprepared? We know he is roaring and trying to steal, kill and destroy.

We are getting ready to face it every single day. Some of us might pay the big price, but most of us will be victors.

The gatekeepers are doing their mission, in any capacity we are called to be. We love. We forgive. We embrace.

But we also are here to defend this land.

September 11, 2001.

We will not forget.

#usa #unitedwestand #terroristattacks

The Hungry and the Kind


IMAGINE GETTING the news that your 21 years old granddaughter is dropping by with 12 people, teens and young adults, you have to feed and shelter over night.

That’s what I did to Maicutza, my grandmother from my father’s side, who lived in the countryside in Transylvania. We were on our way home from camping in the mountains for a week, tired and hungry, when we went out of food. There was nothing to buy from the communist store in the nearby village, not even bread.

That early morning we dragged ourselves from the railway station through my grandma’s village, caring huge military type backpacks, heavy tents and camping gear. When I opened Maicutza’s gate, the fragrance of amazing food filled our lungs.
We dropped our burdens in the yard and I showed the way to the house, stepping over the two big rocks on top of each other that were the stairs to the narrow veranda.

Maicutza showed up to greet us with her sweet, kind smile and rosy cheeks. She kissed me with love and invited us inside.
The big kitchen was also the living room and one of her two bedrooms. The stove was filled with simmering pots and pans and the aroma of food in making was out of this world. One of her roosters accompanied by vegetables had made its way in the biggest vessel. Stuffed cabbage rolls, meat and potatoes were cooking in another pots.

Both beds by the walls were covered with homemade donuts let to rise on white tablecloths. I counted them. There were more than one hundred.
Everybody found a place to sit, since Maicutza has had 8 children and she didn’t get rid of the chairs and the benches by the wall.
Food. My grandma’s food. You can imagine the joy.
( PHOTO – Maicutza’s house )

In Good Hands


In Good Hands
By Rodica Iova

Oh, how much I love you, beautiful.
My heart trembles inside me for the sake of you.
I am your smallest servant, someone called
To watch up in the tower.
I have pledged allegiance to the flag,
So you can lean on me, my Lady.
We are many.
You are in good hands.

The One Hundred Dollar Bills – 2 & 3 –


The wind blew another few bills and spread them on the ground. Spencer picked them up one by one and looked around. They surely belonged to somebody, maybe to the guy sleeping on the shore not far away.

Just to be honest, Spencer knew he wasn’t a perfect guy. He often got drunk, liked a good smoke now and then, nothing too strong, and enjoyed women’s company a lot. However, he had the kind of integrity to give back what didn’t belong to him and help people in need.

“Hey, pal, is this money yours?”

Another hundred bill was fluttering partially caught under the man’s foot.

The guy didn’t answer. Spencer didn’t give up and bent over him. Maybe he was high on something. “Hey, buddy, can you hear me? You lost all this money…” The man didn’t move. Spencer shook him by his shoulder and the guy rolled on his side, uncovering a large bloodstain sucked into the sand.

Then Spencer went into his emergency mode. He searched the guy’s vitals. The stranger didn’t have a pulse. Spencer pulled up the stranger’s shirt and saw a big wound in his abdomen. He knew what to do. He called 911 and performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for the next 3 minutes until the lifeguard came and took over without success. A couple of police cars arrived and the law enforcement secured the perimeter. Two fire trucks blocked the streets and the whole area was filled with police officers in no time. The ambulance was waiting for the detectives to finish with their work and take the body to the morgue.

Spencer gave his first declaration at the scene and handed the money to the detective who was writing the report.

“Death by stabbing with a sharp object, maybe a kitchen or a butcher knife.”

“Butcher knife?’ Spencer asked pretty animated. “My new roommate is a butcher.”

“And where is your roommate now, sir?”

“I don’t know. Maybe he was still sleeping in his room when I came to the beach this morning. I didn’t check.”

“Do you mind if we go and talk to him, sir?”

“It’s all right. Maybe it’s the best if we walk. I live two minutes away.” Spencer really didn’t want the neighbors to see him coming out of the police car.

“Let’s walk, then,” the detective approved, and one officer joined them.

The young man grabbed his surfboard and walked back to the cottage. The sun was pretty strong already. Spencer turned the key in the keyhole and stepped inside in silence. The policemen pulled out their weapons and made a sign to the young man to wait outside. Spencer went outside and walked around the house, stopping under his roommate’s open window.

Next second, the butcher landed on top of him, crashing him to the ground.

“What’s wrong with you, man?”

Jeb was totally wasted. He remained flat on the dirt and mumbled, “No one makes fun of me on social media. No one. I have nine hundred followers and this guy mocks me all the time. Not anymore.” The detective cuffed him easily. “I’m arresting you under the suspicion of murder. You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say may be used against you in the court of law.” The second police officer was holding a plastic evidence bag with the knife.

Spencer followed the small cohort to the street. “This guy seemed normal,” he confessed to the detective. “He was supposed to bring me his background check today or tomorrow. Paid his first and last months, has a job, never uses the kitchen. Cool. I assure you, he looked normal. I had him in my house for three days.”

Waiting for the police car to come, Jeb sat down on the sidewalk. “Would you call my boss and tell him I can’t go to work today?”

“We’ll take care of that at the station, sir.”

The butcher spat on the ground. “I really didn’t want to kill that guy. I wanted to scare him, that’s it. He pulled a knife, I pulled my knife and…” A trace of saliva made its way on the man’s chin. “Do you have a beer?”


A police car stopped in front of them and the officers helped the man get in the back with no problem. The atmosphere was calm and the street was quiet, only the new guy watching from the second floor of the next door house shouted, “If you need a lawyer, call me! Chris Andrew. My number is online.”

“Yeah,” Spencer yelled back, “they will give him a personal laptop at the station.”

The neighbor closed the window.

Spencer dragged himself to the neighborhood store to get something to eat and a six-pack. He still had a month to find a new roommate.


The End

The One Hundred Dollar Bills -1-



I didn’t forget about finishing my mystery book “The House”. I am glad that many of you enjoyed reading it and I promise I’ll work on finishing what I’ve started and post it here.

Now, here is a prize for YOU, my readers who enjoy mystery by the beach.

I’m ready to publish my latest short mystery story on Kindle. However, because you are part of my team, I’m posting it here for you to read it for free.

“The One Hundred Dollar Bills” comes in 3 installments.

– Part One –

The One Hundred Dollar Bills

Short Mystery Story


Rodica Iova


A Dash of Suspense and Humor


It was almost dawn on the Balboa Peninsula when Spencer looked in his fridge. Even though he was sure he wouldn’t find anything to eat, only some leftovers from 8 days ago. He knew the right number of days because that was when Julia left, for good. Jeb the butcher, his new roommate, didn’t use the fridge.

Spencer ate at work when he finished his night shift an hour ago, but he would really enjoy a snack, a piece of cheese or something before going surfing.

He gulped down a bottle of water and put on the wetsuit. Spencer was kind of tired from work, but he knew going in the water would make him feel better. One of his buddies called him “depressed” the other day, but Spencer didn’t want to admit that. Julia wasn’t the only girl who left him, and he always moved on with the light speed.

The breeze picked up and he liked the brisk through his long hair. The surfboard was in the alley between the houses and the man walked to the end of the street carrying it on a side. The waves rocked the immensity of the water in a calm sequence. It was 7 AM and he could see a few surfers quite a distance from the shore.

A seagull was eating something on the sand and didn’t move when he put down his surfboard close to it. Then he saw and marveled. The feathered creature was pecking into a bill, a one-hundred-bill.

Spencer smiled at such unexpected fortune. “Hush! Go away!” As he bent down to pick up the money, the bird didn’t let go. It moved away and continued making holes in the valuable paper.

“Where did you get that?” Spencer stretched his leg to dab the bird, when a new seagull crossed his way flying with another bill in its beak. “This is crazy! Who brings such amount of cash to the beach?” The man could feel his body getting tense as the adrenaline kicked in.

He got nearer to the bird that was pecking on the money and tried to catch it. Sadly, the seagull flew away with a piece of the bill. Spencer picked up the fragments left on the sand and chuckled, “Easy come, easy go…” Then he saw the paper was stained in red. The intense color stayed on his fingers and he realized it was blood. That explained why the seagulls tried to eat it.


(To be continued)