Tuesday 31 January 2023 – On a Frosty Day recap

Volume 1, Issue 5

Site of the unnamed character confronting its past and “KEEP OUT UNLESS YOU ARE READY” sign.

Part Two of ON A FROSTY DAY saw the unnamed character’s past resurrect itself behind a chain link fence and sign that read “KEEP OUT”. Was that a suggestion or a command?

But the second sign, “UNLESS YOU ARE READY”, seemed a direct challenge. Given its unremarkable journeys had produced this moment, the character must be ready to go beyond the fence and signs. How could it not be? Of course it was ready.

But for what? And what would happen if it wasn’t? Those doubts caused it to step away.

Updates on the unnamed character’s thoughts and reactions to the sign will be posted in the coming months. Before then, and in February, is DEAD AIR. It’s a story about a country whose music broadcast is hijacked. What happens if its musical identity is taken away? THE 3:57 will introduce DEAD AIR one week from today on Tuesday 7 February.

Until then, cheers.

William E. Spear

Tuesday 24 January 2023 – On a Frosty Day, Episode Two

This episode may be found through the link below. Enjoy!


Full Transcript –



Welcome . . . to The Three Fifty-seven.

[The On A Frosty Day Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and this is Episode Two of ON A FROSTY DAY.

In the previous episode, and without warning, the unnamed character’s daily exploration had been interrupted by a fence and KEEP OUT sign. The character evaluated the circumstances as the temperature dropped.

And now, Episode Two of ON A FROSTY DAY.

[The On A Frosty Day Theme plays]

Barely beyond my reach were tens of thousands of jumbled journeys towering above me. In between was a chain link fence that stretched forever from left to right and as far up as I could tilt my head back.

Either I had sipped from Alice’s DRINK ME bottle or someone had sprinkled the EAT ME cake on the fence. Either way, going forward was a challenge.

Another gust of wind rattled through me and clanged the “KEEP OUT” sign. The twisted part slid down and showed a few letters: “S”, “R” and “E”, and a “Y”.

The last summed up the moment as in “Why?” W-H-Y.

[Interior Music]

My adventures had been more routine than dangerous. No outer space people hovered in their outer space crafts. No wild animals prepared to pounce from leafless trees.

The nearly twelve hundred score journeys had been indistinguishable travels.

[Interior Music]

Another blast of wind reminded me of the falling temperature and I pulled my jacket even tighter.

The dangling sign banged louder against the fence, clattered to the ground, and revealed its full message: “KEEP OUT . . . UNLESS YOU ARE READY”.

[Interior Music]

I stared at the sign and . . .

. . . Stepped away.

[Interior Music]

You have just listened to Episode Two of ON A FROSTY DAY.

Theme music is through the courtesy of Lexin Music. Interior music is by Grand Project. Both are at PixaBay.

The Three Fifty-seven is written and produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

[The On A Frosty Day Theme plays]

The End.

Tuesday 17 January 2023 – Background of ON A FROSTY DAY

The setting for ON A FROSTY DAY is late December at a reservoir.

ON A FROSTY DAY presented itself on a cold Sunday afternoon. The unnamed, ungendered, and nearly nondescript central character could have been any one of the people in heavy coats trying to stay warm.

Several walked on a causeway from the shore to an island in the reservoir. I wondered how they might react if the causeway was suddenly blocked by a fence with a “KEEP OUT” sign. Would they try to get around it? Would they climb over it? The temperature was dropping so standing still was not a comfortable option.

What would they do?

The central character’s reaction will be available in the second episode of ON A FROSTY DAY series and Part Two on Tuesday 24 January 2023.


William E. Spear

Tuesday 10 January 2023 – On a Frosty Day, Episode One

This episode may be found through the link below. Enjoy!


Full Transcript –



Welcome . . . to The Three Fifty-seven.

[The On A Frosty Day Theme plays]

My name is William Spear and this is Episode One of ON A FROSTY DAY.

The story is about an unnamed character whose daily ritual is interrupted. There are no warnings or explanations. Only change.

And now, Episode One of ON A FROSTY DAY.

[The On A Frosty Day Theme plays]

The sun shone with mid-morning brightness and sparkled on the reservoir. However, the coldness of the air reminded me of the lateness of the hour. I pulled my jacket close and looked around.

I had explored from here 23,359 times before. Wandered the landscape that extended in all directions. The journeys had been pleasant. Some were foggy, others were painful, but none left any traces..

And all were behind me.

But as I launched this new expedition, each from before . . . rose up.

[Interior Music]

Not half of them or every third. Not the Tuesdays or the Sundays. All of them. The landscape – a moment ago untouched and limitless – was littered. Gone were the open territories. No journeys yet undiscovered. And, thank you Mr. Frost, no roads not taken and no paths not traveled.

But there was a way forward.

[Interior Music]

Blocked from going in a straight line, I cobbled a path of zig-zags. Five steps sideways, two backwards, three forwards, sideways, backwards, forwards just like a crossword puzzle. I was nearly within reach of the re-appeared journeys. Until the way was confronted by a fence and . . .

. . . A sign, partly folded over, that read “KEEP OUT”.

[Interior Music]

You have just listened to Episode One of ON A FROSTY DAY.

Theme music is through the courtesy of Lexin Music. Interior music is by Nature’s Eye. Both are at PixaBay.

The Three Fifty-seven is written and produced by William Spear.

Thank you for listening.

[The On A Frosty Day Theme plays]

The End.

Tuesday 3 January 2023 – A new year and a new story

Welcome to the 2023 edition of THE 3:57 BY WILLIAM E. SPEAR and twelve months of creating, finding, or re-discovering stories. The schedule for the year is to publish a post every Tuesday and release a podcast episode on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

Introducing ON A FROSTY DAY

A walk around a nearby reservoir allowed for thoughts on the first month of the New Year. January is named after Janus who had one face for looking forward and another for looking backward. It is a time of beginnings and endings. Every New Year resolution is homage to Janus and for improvement during the coming months.

Do we have a similar process to cast off the previous twelve months? What is the opposite to a resolution for the future – a good riddance of the past? As we lift a champagne glass to the glory that lies ahead, are we – should we be – mopping up the debris we left behind?

However, what if the past and future are the same? Neither is dreary nor spectacular. Each is acceptable but unremarkable. Day after day after day of sameness.

This month’s story, titled ON A FROSTY DAY, finds an unnamed central character embarking on its latest adventure. And, as shown in this excerpt, barely remembers any of those from before:

“I had explored from here 23,359 times before. Wandered the landscape that extended in all directions. The journeys had been pleasant. Some were foggy, others were painful, but most left no traces.”

The first episode of ON A FROSTY DAY and Part One will be available on Tuesday 10 January 2023.

Until then, here’s to a new year of stories.

William E. Spear

STACIE (Vengeance is Hers)


A middle aged woman has mourned her friend’s death for 37 years. Now she wants to permanently end her grief.

Synopsis (excerpted)

Georgia, an executive who is professionally-dressed except for her clunky and juvenile-looking wristwatch that no longer works, is walking across Baker’s Field. It is the baseball field she last saw her friend, Stacie, 37 years ago. The two were in an automobile accident that killed Stacie and left Georgia in a coma for months.

Georgia believes she had been drinking before the accident and blames herself for Stacie’s death. She has grieved every minute of every day. Her only comfort is heavy drinking. She has been in and out of rehabilitation a dozen times. But being sober makes the memories worse so she starts drinking again.

As Georgia walks on the baseball field, an Unidentified Character appears behind her sending a text. Georgia receives the message which shows as Unknown Number on her phone: “Getting closer.” She turns around.

Elsewhere, Georgia’s friends, JoAnn and Modyra, are in a café waiting for her. They discuss strange text messages they have been receiving for the previous weeks: “One more year”, “Expect the worst if I am first”, and “Thirty-seven is long enough”.

As they talk they remember Georgia and Stacie’s accident from 37 years ago. They also remember Stacie’s sister, Stephanie, vowing revenge after Georgia was found “Not Guilty” on charges related to the death. JoAnn sends Georgia a text they look forward to seeing her at the café.

Back on the ball field, Georgia sees no one behind her. However, as she continues walking, she sees what looks like her and Stacie when they were in high school. High-school-aged Georgia is thanking High-school-aged Stacie for a watch. Georgia recognizes the watch, checks her wrist, and sees that hers is gone. She calls to the high schoolers and follows them into a dugout but they disappear.

She sits and starts taking sleeping pills and drinking whiskey. She receives JoAnn’s text and replies that she is running late but will be there soon. A moment later she receives another text message from Unknown Number: “Can almost touch you.” Georgia looks behind her but again sees no one.

She hears her name called and the image of 22-year-old Stacie is standing in the dugout. Another voice asks “Stacie?” and it is the image of 22-year-old Georgia. The 22-year-olds embrace and catch up.

Back at the café, JoAnn receive a text saying “Baker’s Field”. In mid-meal, JoAnn and Modyra leave the café and head toward Baker’s Field.

As 22-year-old Stacie and 22-year-old Georgia talk, they reveal it is two minutes before their fatal accident 37 years ago. Georgia pleads with them not to go but they cannot see or hear her. They walk away and moments later, Georgia hears the sound of an automobile accident. She slumps onto a bench, finishes her pills and whiskey, and slips into unconsciousness.

The Unidentified Character walks into the dugout and rouses Georgia’s spirit from its overdosed body. Georgia thinks it is Stephanie and declares herself ready for Stephanie’s revenge. The Unidentified Character reveals itself as Stacie’s Spirit. The two have a lively exchange about the cause of the accident and Georgia’s role. Stacie’s Spirit replays part of the evening from 37 years ago in which she took Georgia’s flask before any alcohol was consumed.

Now understanding she did not drink before their accident, Georgia no longer wishes to kill herself. She is still overdosed but JoAnn and Modyra find her and they call for emergency help.

(End of excerpt)


Stacie is a three-part web series in pre-production in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. The production is finalizing its budget and locations.

More to come,

William Spear

Beyond Reach – Chapter Five: Responsibilities

Chapter Five: Responsibilities

Part One: Preparing For

Rosabella grinned and complained to her niece that his manner was intolerable. “Yes, yes,” said the niece smiling slyly, “I can see your suffering from here.”

They laughed and went to bed.

Mattia did not have the benefit of sleep. He wheeled himself up and down the gallery’s elevator two dozen times. Boxes upon boxes were brought from his third floor apartment and emptied.

He straightened fixtures and arranged displays. Highlighted, accented, and illuminated the lobby.

One remaining detail – a table with an invitation and rose lit by a gentle single light – was put in place by the front door as the sun began to streak the night. Giving one last look at his creation, he dimmed the lights.

Then he wheeled himself onto the front sidewalk under the galłery’s marquee and waited. It was not long until he heard her voice:

Mattia! Returned
Have I to see by
Day the one whose words
By night have moved me.

Mattia returned the greeting:

Rosabella! Your
Presence outshines all.
To join me, please come
To the gallery.

Rosabella answered she would be there in three minutes.

He rolled into a shadow of the still-dark lobby. And waited.

It was an agonizing three minutes for Mattia. “This was a mistake,” he thought. What was he thinking? She would never . . . –

-There she was! Rosabella Terrazzo! He wanted to hide in his apartment or crawl under his wheelchair but it was too late!

She walked into the gallery wearing a face mask and found the invitation: “Welcome to Nuovo Galleria’s Presentation Titled ‘Facing Fear’.” She looked around.

Part Two: Approaching

Two lights came on and lit up a wall with thirty shots of her talking about gardens and flowers.

A row of lights lit up tables in the back with dozens more of her describing opulent dinners from long past.

And, there! In the middle of the lobby were the tiniest of lights intimately twinkling upon photographs of her smiling over flutes of Méthode Champenoise.

“Those are my favorites,” Mattia said from the shadows. “I trusted your eyes.”

Rosabella spun around not knowing which direction to face. “I’m sorry for losing your trust.”

“You didn’t,” he said. Mattia pushed himself from the shadows and rolled his wheelchair to her. “I took it back.”

She pulled over a chair and they sat six socially distanced feet apart without looking at each other.

Rosabella spoke of inheriting the family business half a century ago. “I was twenty-five and terrified of failing,” she said.

“Afraid of letting down her family. Of not putting food on the table or not keeping a roof over her siblings’ heads. Afraid of . . .”

“. . . Of what?” Mattia asked.

She paused, took a deep breath, and continued, “Never laughing or enjoying conversations the way we have.” She spoke quietly.

Her silence filled their conversation.

Mattia wheeled back into the shadows and returned with a bottle of Méthode Champenoise and two flutes. Rosabella decided that the champagne would keep out any pandemic and lowered her face mask.

The glasses were filled and they toasted to “Laughter and Conversation.”

Part Three: Acknowledging

He spoke of buying the building fifty years ago to display his photographs. Others in the area asked to show their work and he turned it into Nuovo Galleria.

He met his wife at an exhibition and they married soon after. For a dozen years their world was each other and the gallery. Every day he would serenade her with poetry.

Sometimes he would quote from legends – Claire de la Chovney, Moss Iverson, or J. L. Beckdar. More often it what his own words. Improvised in, and flowing from, the moment.

Then she died.

More silence.

Rosabella stood to look at the pictures. In the back, off to the side, was a canvas hanging on the wall. Under it was a picture of a woman.

“Who’s this?” she called to Mattia.

“My wife.”

Rosabella marveled: “She is beautiful.”

“I visited her grave yesterday evening. Reminded her that my Love had not dimmed in the thirty-five years since her death. But I would no longer allow the pain of her death keep me from living.”

Rosabella questioned “What changed?”

“When she died all beauty left. Until I saw you.” He proposed a toast to “Beauty Most Everlasting.” They clinked glasses and drained their flutes.

She spoke: “I’ve been thinking . . . ?”

Mattia chimed in: “That’s never been a strength of mine.”

Rosabella laughed and continued: “I’ve been thinking that maybe I could . . .”

Mattia wheeled toward her and spoke, “I am sure you could. Why don’t you?”

“Yes, of course I COULD,” stumbled Rosabella. “What I mean is . . .”

Mattia wheeled closer and said, “What DO you mean?”

Rosabella’s wasn’t sure. She asked if the lobby was getting warmer. Mattia refilled her glass and she finished it in one drink.

She had no idea how to say what was on her mind!

“Come on, Rosabella,” she told herself. “You can do this! Figure it out!”

She had given presentations to wealthy and powerful individuals for half a century. She had spoken to thousands of people at a single time and had been interviewed in hundreds of publications.

But words had never gotten lost inside her head. She had never forgotten what to say. Until now.

Part Four: Accepting

Mattia asked her to continue but she couldn’t. “Think, think, think,” she told herself.

She pulled her chair next to his and whispered: “I have been thinking I could, . . . or you might . . . or maybe we could do something like this . . .”

They leaned toward each and . . .-

“-That doesn’t look like social distancing to me,” said the Favorite Niece.

Mattia looked up and smiled, “One of yours?” Rosabella sighed and agreed: “One of mine.”

The niece, wearing a face mask, came closer and asked for an introduction. Rosabella obliged: “Mattia, this is my niece.”

“FAVORITE niece is what she means,” said the niece.

“Only if you leave now,” countered Rosabella.

The niece continued, “You’ve got less than a minute to hide until the rest of the family drags you off to meetings with the attorneys and investors.”

Rosabella had forgotten about the meetings! She resumed her duties the night before and the meetings would finalize the details.

The niece spoke again and with more urgency: “The family will be here any moment. You can’t go with them.”

Rosabella saw her family crossing the street. She looked at her niece and told her she would not hide from her responsibility.

She kissed Mattia’s hand and apologized: “I have to go.” Mattia pressed his cheek into her hand and nodded his understanding.

She walked out dictating letters to her niece.

Mattia wheeled around the lobby. There were shots of Rosabella everywhere. He filled his glass and raised it to his deceased wife and then to Rosabella.

“To ‘Beauty Most Everlasting’,” he said and drank the glass in full.

Behind him he heard, “It’s a good thing I brought another bottle. And breakfast.”

He spun around and there was Isabella and the Favorite Niece – both in face masks. He wheeled up and asked about facing her responsibility.

Rosabella explained she drafted a letter of resignation and appointed her niece as Special Liaison to the Outgoing Chief Executive and Assistant to the Chair to the Executive Council. Her first task was to deliver the resignation letter to the investors and attorneys.

“By the way,” asked the niece. “Do you have a table to set up breakfast?”

He tilted his head to the back of the lobby and in a moment breakfast was served.

The newly installed Special Liaison to the Outgoing Chief Executive and Chair to the Executive Council hugged. All three raised a glass to future success.

Alone, they dined on breads, pastries, and sipped cappuccino. Mattia thought this could be a new great meal. Rosabella agreed and raised her glass in a toast.

“To ‘Great Meals’?” he asked.

“And ‘Overcoming Fears’,” she said.

They clinked glasses, toasted each other, and laughed.


About the Artist:

The art for BEYOND REACH is by N. Krok. The artist is a graduate of Raritan Valley Community College and is finishing up their degree at The College of New Jersey in Art Education with a minor in Art History. They enjoy graphic design, art history, and finding new adventures to read and writing some along the way.