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


One Unusual Day


The house is getting ready for a birthday party. A surprise party. I was surprised to hear about the preparations because I had no idea whose birthday was. I hear the party is going to be in the backyard, with balloons, cake and everything. Our first grader is busy-busy making invitation at the kitchen table. I don’t want to intrude, and I ask for details a little bit shy.
“It is my guinea pig’s birthday,” she says.
I look at her mother and whisper, “She doesn’t have a guinea pig.” The mother nods her head. “She has one.” I look around to spot the celebrity. “It is my pet we played with last night,” she explains. Ah! I remembered the furry toy we were squeezing to make its bum move.
I get an invitation on the spot. Such an honor.
“What’s his name again?”
No answer. We look at each other, the first grader, the toddler and I. Nobody remembers.
Then mama comes back to the room.
“His name is Lenny.”
Such a relief! The toddler starts playing with his play-dough. His sister makes yellow stars on a big birthday announcement.
Let’s the party begin. Happy Birthday, Lenny!

JUST IN: The party was wonderful. It started in the backyard with balloons and fun on the slide while I was taking a nap. Then it moved in the house. Candles, one balloon, and a nice Polish chocolate and honey cake. We sang “Happy Birthday, Lenny!” Our celebrity was totally surprised by such event in his honor and couldn’t say a word. Mom served chicken soup as well. It was only one minor incident when the toddler tried to get more cake from the plates of two guests. But mama handled it with grace, and nobody cried.



I’m watching him as he grabs to the rail to go down the steps.

“Stay on the porch,” I say.

He turns his head to look at me as he goes down another step. Toddlers.

“Stay here with me,” I demand, holding back my smile. I love this grandson so much. His little feet move forward with no intention to listen to me.

“Do you understand English when I’m talking to you?” I bring out my artillery.

He stops. “What is English?”

“English is the language we are speaking right now. Do you understand my words?” He smiles and waves his hand. “Of course I understand you, Buni.”

“But do you want to listen?”




I didn’t tell this to anyone.

As some of you know, I see my heart doctor now and then.

Yesterday. He gives me a routine check up and seems pretty pleased, as he can see I am beaming.

“Not bad,” he says, “not bad at all.” He doesn’t need to adjust my meds, I look happy and we continue our chat.

‘What I need you to do now is to take a good walk everyday.”

” I try to do that,” I say.

“Good. When I see you next time I need your heart to be stronger.”

Then I spill the beans. ” When I don’t walk outside, I walk in the stores when I do my grocery shopping.”

I see his face changing. Is that a smile? No. It is a mimic of surprise. “Madam, walking in a store doesn’t count for strengthening your heart.”

Now I’m surprised. “Why?” I should have stopped asking questions.

He starts to laugh and keeps laughing for a while. The nurse stares at me without a word.

“Because when you go shopping you walk a few steps and stop to see this item. Than You move another two-three steps to reach to another thing. And so on.” He looks me in the eye. “Doing your groceries is not the exercise you need to help your heart.”

I’m astonished. Life’s not fair.


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Don’t Ask

biffar-doors-high-security-district-small-12820PHASE 1 – It might be easier to walk into the White House without appointment than into the 99c Store’s restroom on Harbor. It took two representatives, one out loud call on the store’s microphone, one guy from the loading section in the back and an angry security lady to finally open that door that had a 9 digit pass.
I felt honored. 
PHASE 2 – While inside, another victorious elderly lady with a walker stepped in the high security area next to me. When she kindly asked for some toilet paper, “If you, by any chance, have some to spare.” She stretched her hand under the little wall between stalls, and I handed her the treasure.
Sharing with others brings joy.
MORE BY Rodica Iova here

Taxes, Duh !

A few days left to do my taxes.
Early this morning – getting mentally ready to go through personal docs to find the Tax File.
I don’t take an early breakfast.
Breakfast anyway.
Thinking of looking for that file.
Watched Live our Secretary of State’s Rex Tillerson statements in Moscow.
Came in my office and cognitively tracked down personal docs’s location.
Swept the floor in the kitchen. Slowly.
I need to do my taxes.
Pulled out the Tax File.
Found some family pictures in the process.
I miss my mom.
Maybe I should eat some fruit.
Green tea it is.
Second green tea.
Opened the Tax File.
I feel I could use another coffee.
I don’t like procrastination. I will just do this.
The End
*LAUGH A LITTLE with Rodica Iova’s “The Couch Day”
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Toddler’s Agenda


The emergency shout mobilizes the entire house. Somebody has to run and wipe out his bum.  Otherwise…

Daddy saves the day.

Clean bottom and clean hands will keep the walls and the floor clean as well. He is hungry.  Why would people take the jar with mayonnaise out of his hands? When a toddler needs to eat right away, a toddler needs to eat right away.

Coffee. He sees it on the edge of the counter. By the time he stretches his arms to get it, it’s gone. Far towards the window, where he can not reach without a chair. The people in this house don’t love him. He screams, but immediately sees grandma’s glasses on the couch. He likes those glasses.

Mommy picks him up and gives him a kiss .

“You are such a good boy! Are you ready for your breakfast?” Before he can answer, he finds himself strapped down in his high chair. And the glasses had vanished. That’s not fair.

“Pancakes and yogurt?”

He loves his life.



CHECK OUT “One Strange Wagon” children’s story by Rodica Iova on Amazon and Kindle.