Debbie Stanton | Stories

Hello readers! Did anyone notice I put the wrong date on the prompt? The prompt was for September 5th, not 4th.

I’d like to dedicate today’s stories to cancer survivors everywhere. In my estimation, they are modern-day heroes who are worthy of our respect and honor.

Here is my story for today.



Debbie Stanton


photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

Jenny opened the door of her detached garage. It sounded like a haunted mansion door on late-night movies. Besides sheltering her beat-up Jeep, the garage held her pottery wheel and supplies. She’d had many happy hours here already.

Sometimes Jenny came out here to mull over a problem. She found it amazing that cold, squishy clay helped her find answers. Maybe it was “the zone” others had spoken of.

Jenny turned on the songs from her phone. To avoid splashes of clay, she set it high on a shelf.  She needed to work some clay in order to think of a new concept for the marketing department at work.  Her goal today would not be to make a tiny dog or pony. No–she needed to hear the wheel making her work into art.

If only Jenny could make the squirrels stop playing in the chimney, the day would be perfect. Well, she’d make it good anyway. Okay. She took a deep breath and exhaled. Jenny was ready.

Execute now, Jenny. You can do it,” Jenny commanded herself out loud.

Jenny’s boss at work, Curtis, went through a philanthropic bent recently. His company was chosen to be the official sponsor of an institution that found housing for displaced people due to the pandemic. In these uncertain times, more compassion was needed in addition to food, shelter, and medicine.

Curtis found the love of his life three months ago. Jenny wondered if his renewed hope and optimism fueled his philanthropy. She was sure it hadn’t hurt. All she knew was, her old boyfriend Phil had departed because she chose to be generous, even if she didn’t know the people she donated to.

Phil wanted to claw and scrape his way to the top and buy a mansion before his friends could. He’d always believed that other people and companies should help the poor while he tried to reach his selfish ends.

Jenny stopped the pottery wheel and took her clay to the table. Once she sat down, she punched the clay, turned it, and punched the clay again.  Her process today resembled her mother making bread from scratch.

The disparity between races and social classes made her very angry. She could probably channel her anger into finding a solution and a new concept if she just thought about it enough.

Thinking of her mother gave Jenny an idea. She missed her mom so much. She wanted to donate to charity in her mom’s honor. What if…

That’s it! She’d make gifts from clay and sell them. Her art teacher at university felt it a shame that Jenny didn’t try to sell her work. Now she’d be glad to if it could help.


Two years later, Jenny went to the garage to work some clay, but this time she needed help of a different type. She needed to find a way to manage the success she’d had with her new concept that had been instituted immediately. Jenny’s new husband, Derek, was already in the garage, which they had turned into their artists’ workshop.

“Hon, what painting would you like me to start for the Foundation?” He adored Jenny because she was the type of person her old boyfriend would dump. Jenny and Derek had the same love for people, and this carried into their marriage, her artwork, and his beautiful-beyond-measure paintings.

Jenny held up her pointer finger. “Hold on, I’m getting an idea,” she said. She thought over the last couple of years.  Once a week, visitors to her tiny gallery bought something in honor of a lost family member or friend, and Jenny’s company turned the proceeds over to those who needed it most. Once they got married, Derek found a larger gallery to rent, and it also carried Derek’s line of paintings and drawings. Curtis, of course, was ecstatic. He and his wife were still going strong.

“How about you paint a symbol of compassion, or why we do what we do,” Jenny said.

“I know just the thing. I’ll paint a symbolic heart. You gave me your heart.”

Jenny beamed. “And you gave me your heart. I guess love really does make the world go ’round.”


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