My Debut Short Story “Cold Red Washcloth” Live on MasticadoresIndia

© Story by Joni Caggiano Photo Courtesy of

The fog was so feathery that its appearance was like a thin sheet floating just above the tops of the Longleaf Pines.  Sleep would not come easy tonight as I climbed trees and drove my bike to our town’s small store.  Catching the sun coming up tomorrow was what I wanted, and I was considering staying up all night.

Closing my eyes again, the next thing I knew, someone was shoving my shoulder.  I saw my mom standing over me.  “Get out of bed, Josie Karen, and dress as fast as you can.  Your father was in an accident, and he is bleeding, but he doesn’t know how bad it is, so we have to go and find him.”

There had been talking of moving again just when my fragile heart felt at peace, with the “Big Four,” the name I gave our four acres of milk colored sand, massive oaks, and pine trees.  Melting into the land, I learned to become a part of the forest.  It was a sanctuary that embraced only delight and food for my fantasies. 

To continue reading go to MasticadoresIndia ( now called ChewersMasticadores ) and please don’t forget to like and subscribe – and tell your friends too.

Thanks to Terveen, Editor of MasticadoresIndia, for continuing to support and encouraging me to work on my first short story for publication.

54 thoughts on “My Debut Short Story “Cold Red Washcloth” Live on MasticadoresIndia

    1. Thank you Francis. Only through Terveen’s supportive encouragement as I was really nervous about this one. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you my friend. We are in Charlotte now and hoping there may be some photo opportunities. Thank you so much Francis. Big hugs and sending our love to you all. ❤️

      1. You are very welcome Joni! Enjoy Charlotte and it will be wonderful if you have some good photo opportunities. Big hugs to you both and all the best! 🌹❤😊

      2. We met a young man at a restaurant and he told us there was an entire art district that was full of wonderful things to photograph but we were both a bit over whelmed and tired. I really want to photograph some of the beautiful old tobacco barns around here. I need to go on a day trip with a girlfriend photographer of mine and take a day trip to the ocean. It is a beautiful city. Thank you Francis I appreciate this kindness. It was in pending as I wasn’t able to get much done on this trip. You are hopefully all sleeping, sending everyone there bunches of love. oxoxoxox

      3. That sounds fantastic Joni. I hope you have a great field trip with your photographer friend. Get yer rest and enjoy the city! Sending you guys much love as well. ♥️🌹😊

    1. Thank you Tim. I am delighted you enjoyed it. Hopefully I will get more confidence after I have written a few. Hope you and your family are all well. Hugs 🤗 Joni

    2. Tim, thank you so much for reading. I realize how precious everyone’s time is, so reading a story verses a 25 second poem is a gift to the writer and hopefully a bit of a gift to the reader. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Blessings and hugs to your family!

    1. CD you are always too kind to me. Thank you for always being so generous and for reading. Sending you and your family blessings. Big hugs, Joni xoxoxoxo

  1. This is an incredible story, Joni. You write with such feeling and description. I could smell the smoke in that hotel, and see your Mom’s lipstick. Utterly brilliant ❤️

    1. Hello my dear friend. I was just commenting about you to another friend. I want to take a day trip to go looking for photo opportunities even if it is just the old barns around here. Thank you for your kind comment Jill, you are such a wonderful friend. I was in Charlotte and your message was in my pending folder. I will give you a call soon. We should set something up. I am desperate for some photographs. Think about where you might want to go. Sending you my love sweetie, love you your precious family! xoxoxoxo

    1. Thank you Navin and how very kind of you to read. I was traveling three days ago, this ended up in pending. I appreciate your kind comment. Big hugs, Navin

    1. Thank you so much, what a very kind thing to say. I really appreciate you reading my work. I still need a lot of practice but I’m working at it. Hope you are having a wonderful week. Sending a hot air balloon full of barista‘s that work for fun, and are also incredibly gifted bakers that just like gifting great coffee. They might want to stay the night don’t worry, there is a tiny house included that pops out of music box. They’ll stay in there and leave the tiny house, which works great as a playhouse, large dog house, or you could pay one of the barista‘s and they might stay there and work for fresh garden vegetables. ❤️🤗🦋

      1. Bless your heart ❤️ How kind, big hugs and happy Friday. Have a great weekend. ❤️🤗🦋☕️☕️☕️🥮🥐🥮

  2. I applaud you for venturing outside your comfort zone and exploring expression in all its forms. This is a compelling story and written at a very readable pace. Well done!

    1. Thank you Brad, hi praise from you as I love your stories. I continue to work at it and I am blessed that I have found a mentor in Terveen. Of course my quest is to write a great story with much less words. Thank you for reading as always and for your continued support which is always so appreciated my friend. Love and hugs Jonikins

    1. I think you’re right about that wise one. By the way, we are at the point where your brother and nephew have left the island. You are now back at yellow door and facing your first really bad storm on the island. If you were a stranger reading this book, or the person you are even a little bit now, you would pack that sling of yours and head to that island for the rest of your life. How I would love to run away there for about two weeks. We have fallen in love with all the characters, that are so well developed. We are enjoying every word and every chance we have to sit down together and read you’re beautiful book, yellow door. Enjoy the rest of your week, big hugs.

      1. We are too. It is so interesting to actually feel the storm and see it through your eyes. We get very strong storms in NC too. Sometimes when the lightening gets pretty close and that can be scary. I can’t imagine what the wind would have been like on the island. Blessings dear wise one. ❤️

    1. Thank you Cindy you are a sweetheart to read the story. I promise the next one will be shorter. I know how incredibly busy you are and a 4 1/2 minute story is a long time. Hope you are having a blessed week my friend, sending you much love big hugs and happy writing. Love Joni

      1. It was lovely and captivating dearest Joni and worthy of every word. It truly wasn’t long since it captured my full attention. You are so sweet. Thanks for the love and hugs well appreciated and needed right now as I am standing up by a thread at the moment. Hugs and love. 🤗💖

      2. Just said a prayer for you Cindy. Take it easy sweetie. I have had to make some hard choices lately. We will talk off line sometime. Love you sweetheart. ❤️🤗🙏

    1. Thank you so much Mich. thank you for your kind compliment, it means a lot to me, and for taking your precious time to read a 4 1/2 minute piece. I am working hard to learn how to write a short story with less words and just as much impact. ❤️🤗🦋

  3. Congrats! Nicely penned, Joni! I’ve been to Masticadores several times. Tim Price gets published there sometimes.

    1. Thank you so much Resa. Yes Tim Price is an amazingly talented individual. He writes and photographs for MasticadoresUSA. I sure love all the work you do Resa, with Holly and Tim. You do a lot of charity work, your designs are amazing and beautiful. It is always a treat and I love the little chicklets too. Big hugs and love, Joni

      1. Thank you. Your dresses are so beautiful and I love that your big heart provides them for charities. Big hugs and thanks 🤗❤️🦋

    1. Trust me I believe in angels too and know they exist. I will tell a story one day that is true and those that don’t believe in angels may. Thank you for reading sweetheart. Love ❤️ you. Big hugs too.

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