Thursday, June 23, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Nine

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Nine

Well, I did it. This morning, a day before my 40th birthday, I shipped off my book to be published. Ok, ok maybe that's embellishing a little. I just wrote a children's book and created it on a photo book website, but still! It's in the works and I am so excited! And how funny that this post came on day thirty nine of my story-a-day series! So, in lieu of a story (because allllll of my time has been poured into this) here is one more little taste. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Eight

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty eight

A peek at my book...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Seven

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Seven 

On Saturday we climbed a mountain with our close, dear friends
You’ll never guess just how this lovely fairytale ends
Now let me say the weather was the best it’s been in months
I did not turn down anything they offered me, not once
That means I ate black currant cake and beer and ice cream too
Fresh snap peas from the garden, bacon, what’s a girl to do?
And then the coffee, bread and veggies with my bacon lunch
Let’s not forget the wild strawberries on the hike I munched!
Now there were games and goats and sheep and a horse named Skarlet
But it was Balthazar who proved he was the worthy pet
A mouse and then a bird breathed their last breath on this dear earth
The bird he could have left, but with that mouse he proved his worth
Now I could have gone three more days without eating one thing
But when we got home I just had to have one more big fling
I downed a candy bar, and I just shoved it down the trap
And soon thereafter all I could think was why did I do that?
And with a bucket next to me, I went to bed, my friends
And that, dear ones, is how this lovely fairytale ends

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Six

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Six

Fathers Day Edition

Probably my favorite stories of my dad happened two summers ago when I went to Montana with our girls. The first time he met them, he gave them some clothes he had found in a to-give-away box and a stuffed Mickey Mouse who’s dressed like a diver. Whenever the girls wear the clothes we ask them, ‘’do you know who gave this to you?’’ And they know. Lily sleeps with the Mickey every night. My dad brought gluten-free cookies to our meeting, which just blessed me so much. I sat on a picnic table by the river and watched as the girls explored and my dad followed them and held their hands. Another time he met us at a school close to my mom’s house and brought lunch. Sandwiches and chips and strawberry and chocolate milk. Oh, the flavors I hadn’t tasted since childhood. Lily loved the sweet milks. He pushed them on the swings and followed them around the playground equipment. Then we went with him to WalMart and he tried on sunglasses with the girls and introduced them to the one thing that became the talk of our trip. Drinking fountains. They don’t exist in Slovakia and Lily was in awe. I mean, try to imagine when you used a drinking fountain for the first time. You were pretty excited, weren’t you? As it splashed your nose and spilled down your shirt a little. Anyhow, ever since then we have been skyping with my dad and younger brother, Cody, on the regular. Sometimes they play guitar for us. Sometimes Tomáš joins in. It makes me really happy when he does. It reminds me of another special memory, when Tomáš asked for my dad’s blessing to marry me. This is not tradition in Slovakia and he was nervous. My dad played guitar and sang  a song as Tomáš and I sat and listened at my grandma and grandpa’s table. Seeing my fiancée value my dad like that (the first time he met him) was so precious to me and I will never forget it. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Five

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Five

When I look at you, sometimes I feel as though my heart could burst from love for you, from pride. From your beauty and cuteness. You are the most confounding little bundle of mischief, a button-pusher extraordinaire. You smash through boundaries your sister tiptoes around. You break rules. You are a force to be reckoned with. A hurricane.  A great wind, with her possibility for damage and simultaneous quiet power. You will not be duped. You look straight through people. Perceptive to the core. Quiet. Watchful. Restrained. What will come of you, Little One? May your powers be used for good. May we lead and guide you and hone that raw steel into a beautiful sword. Not one that hurts, but one that divides soul and spirit. Your eyes hold secrets. You are loyal to the end. Great mysteries are wrapped up inside you, little Rosy. You have the fight in you. May I never strip that from you, but celebrate it. People love you from the outset. You possess a je ne sais quoi. You are captivating. I am lucky to know you. You delight in mischief. Your joy bubbles over in your laughter. Your skin is magic. You are quick as a whip, and funny. Really funny. Never lose your curiosity, it is a gift. What will come of you, Little One?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Four

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Four

When I look at you, you are already too far away from me for my liking. You grew so tall so fast, it made my already-too-short time with you feel like it was on fast-forward. Likewise with your abilities. So quick to learn everything, your life felt sped-up. But when I look at you now, tall and graceful like a ballerina, beautiful like a lily, every once in a while I catch a moment where it feels like life slows down and I get to just watch you. Dance across a room or sway gently in a soft slow breeze. A film in slow motion. And I hold my breath because I want to capture it all and hold it close and dear because I know in an instant it will be gone again. And you will ride away on your scooter and join all the big kids without so much as a glance over your shoulder because you are fearless. And I will try to grasp you by the back of your shirt and you will slip through my fingers like all good things in life because you are fleeting. A vapor. And I just love you so damn much I ache with the pain of it. But when you smile that one smile, the one just for me, when you hear something you know I think is funny, and your eyes are blazing sapphires, I could live in that look forever. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Three

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Three

May stepped carefully out of her car, trying to at least somewhat avoid the puddles that were everywhere. She popped open her red and white polka-dot umbrella and quickly locked her car. She clutched her purse to her chest and ran into work. She just needed to talk to her boss about something and it happened to be in the midst of a downpour. She ran as best she could, but there was no avoiding the puddles or the rain itself. In about 25 seconds’ time she got completely soaked. Well, the top of her head was dry. She knocked on her boss’ door and with a shocked look on her face, she stood up to come talk to her in the hallway. May smiled, ‘’yeah, I know.’’ Her boss smiled too. She asked her about switching some shifts so she could go visit some friends in a neighboring town. Her boss had no problem with that, so as quickly as she had come she was gone. She opened her umbrella and readied herself to get soaked to the skin, but when she stepped outside it was barely dripping and the sun was blaring through a break in the clouds. The air smelled strongly of roses and peonies and she just stood there. The hot sun on her wet clothes felt so amazing and that perfume was too beautiful to even believe. She breathed deeply. She closed her eyes and turned her face upward as she listened to the songbirds sing their sweet songs.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty Two

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty Two

Cauliflower, cauliflower
Lost my head with you
You caul-ed my name
I quickly came
Now what am I to do?
I should be steamed
At what you’ve done
My stomach is upset
You crucifer, it’s just no fun
To live with the floret

Monday, June 13, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Thirty One

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty One

A True Story

When I was eighteen I got into a car accident. A teenage boy didn’t give me the right-of-way and turned left right in front of me while I went through a green light and I smashed into the back rear side of his car. Thanks to my trusty 1966 Volvo station wagon I was mostly unharmed. A police officer told me later that if it wasn’t for my Volvo I could have died. It was a surreal moment, the traffic light was at the peak of a hill, and as I came up the hill and as the boy turned in front of me, I remember screaming ‘’No! No! No!’’ three times before impact. Then I remember my gum had hard chunks in it. I later realized they were my teeth. I took the gum out and put it on my steering wheel. My friend Josh just happened to drive by and saw my very recognizable car, so he stopped to make sure I was ok. My mom told me to go to the E.R. just to make sure I wasn’t injured. As the doctor did the exam he asked where I worked. ‘’I’m currently unemployed.’’ ‘’What’s your favorite animal?’’ ‘’Dog.’’ ‘’I’ve got seventy of them, do you want a job?’’
And that’s how my one-year career as a dog-musher-helper-slash-nanny-if-you-can-really-call-it-that-when-the-boys-did-their-own-laundry-and-usually-made-their-own-meals began. The truth is, I became a member of a family of mushers and had the privilege of helping them with the dogs and even travelling to Anchorage, Alaska to see their oldest son finish the Iditarod, one of many, many times the family would collectively compete in the longest dog sledding race in the world. And there are plenty of stories to be told about this alone. But that’s not the reason I’m writing today. Today I was reminded of a young man named Mike who was working for this family when I joined them. He was from New York and was a true adrenaline junkie. And at the end of a long day of mushing, he would come to the family kitchen and cook a meal and tell us stories of his adventures. Mushing was one of them for him. He had left New York to get away from it all and found happiness in the quiet little town of Seeley Lake, Montana. And it is one of his wild stories I want to share with you today.

Picture it. Pamplona, Spain. Early 90s. A young man, full of recklessness and a thirst for the ultimate rush decides to take part in the famous Running of the Bulls. He told the story something like this. They released the runners and released the bulls and he was doing pretty good for quite a while. Doing pretty good at not getting trampled or killed. And he rounded a corner and turned to look over one shoulder at one bull that had gotten close and in so doing didn’t notice the other one on the other side of him who put his head down and essentially scooped him up with his horns by the small of his back. He threw Mike, who was wiry and short, probably about 145 pounds, up and over the back of himself. He was gored. He went to the hospital and a nurse was working on stitching him up, but, as he told it, was working too slowly for him so he used what little Spanish he knew to basically say ‘’gimme that!’’ and stitched himself up. Sounds too fantastic to be true, right? I know. But you don’t know Mike. I wouldn’t have believed it either if I didn’t see the huge scar with my own eyes, and hear many other too-fantastic-not-to-be-true stories.   

Story-a-day - Day Thirty

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Thirty

A True Story

''Rosy, go get dressed, it's time for church.'' 
''I don't wanna wear that.'' 
''Why not?'' 
''I don't like it.'' 
''It's adorable.'' 
''Well what do you want to wear.''
''I want to wear tights.''
''It's hot out.''
''No it's not.''
''Yes it is.''
(Insert LOTS more arguing here)
''Fine, wear the tights, but you're going to be hot.''
''No I'm not.'' 
''But you're wearing this dress.''
''No, I wanna wear this one.'' (ugly {in my opinion} brown, worn-out, hand-me-down dress)
''Oh my word, FINE! But you're wearing your new sandals.''
''Why not?''
''They're too tiiiiight.''
''No, they're not. You've never worn them, how do you know? And besides, when they're too tight, you just loosen them. That's the whole point of having these kinds of sandals.''
(Tomáš steps in) ''Just let it go, it's not worth it.'' 

**** Later ****
''Rosy get dressed.''

(Here's all she refused):
She refused (and, no doubt will refuse all summer) to wear shorts. Even when I try to bargain with legging-shorts because she LIVES for leggings. No go.
She would not wear the adorable dress I picked out. She insisted on a t-shirt.
When I gave her a t-shirt, she cried that the shoulders were too tight going on.
Again she refused the sandals in favor of hopelessly beat-up tennis shoes and socks (remember, it's hot).

After going to their Babka and Dedko's house we went to a housewarming of our friends.
(Realizing it had been a long time since she'd peed)
''Rosy, come go piddle.''
''YES! You can't just not piddle.''
(Finally reluctantly goes with me)
(I realize she's wet her pants)
''Noooo, I'm not going in that toilet.''
''What? Why?''
''Because it's blue.''
(We've run into this before).
''Ok, look. I'll take the bowl cleaner out.''
(I flush the toilet)
''No, it's still blue.''
(She flushes again, I look in toilet and realize the minerals at the bottom of the bowl are stained blue).
(Insert copious numbers of explanations) No go.
(I Call Tomáš in for backup)
''Rosy, you have to go. You can't hold it. Do you want to go in the tub? I'll hold you and we'll dry you off just like at home.'' No go.
''Ok fine. Let her hold it.'' (Beyond frustrated and angry)
(I let her pee in the grass outside, she has zero problem with this).

(Lots and lots of tears and frustration at home while trying to get her into bed. I frustratedly shove her pajamas on while she criiiiiiiies that she doesn't want those pajama pants. I shove them on anyway. I go into Lily's room to calm down and lay with her a while. A short time later the door opens and Rosy comes in with different pajama pants on and she waves the other ones at me, ''where should I put theeeeeese?'' she asks. (my head almost explodes). You may believe that was an innocent gesture, but if you heard the way she asked it, she knew EXACTLY what she was doing. And with that I coined a new phrase. Not hard-headed but titanium-headed.

Our Rosy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Nine

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Twenty Nine

My nose is a leaky old faucet
'Cause it lives on the verge of a drip
And if given the choice I would toss it
Put a new one above my top lip
And my eyes are a puddle just waiting
To spill down my cheeks on my shirt
Tell whoever is cutting their gosh-darn spring grass
That on them I'll be putting the hurt
But I must say the worst is the sneezing
'Cause it taunts and teases, it's true
And more often than not you are holding back snot
While you hope that the sneeze gods grant your ACHOO!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Eight

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Twenty Eight

I’m regretting that run
For I know it was one
That I should not have taken so far
And when given the choice
I will raise up my voice
And say thanks I am taking my car

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Seven

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Twenty Seven

There once was a young girl named Lily
She liked to wear things that were frilly
She danced and she drew
Preferred flip-flop to shoe
And objected when Mom called her silly

There once was a young girl named Rosy
Loved to snuggle up all warm and cozy
Her objective was fun
Her laugh second to none
But her sister would say that she’s nosy

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Six

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Twenty Six

Renata Billingston was going on her first cruise. She believed that true happiness lay behind the doors of that ship. She’d dreamed of going on one since she was a teenager and finally she was getting her chance. She’d worked double shifts at J-Mart for months to pay for this expenditure and cajoled her friend LeAnn (from J-Mart) into going with her. It was kind of a birthday present to herself, she told people, since she was turning 30 this month. She and LeAnn had shopped for cruise outfits together and were both hoping to catch the eye of some eligible suitors while aboard. They got their nails done ahead of time, LeAnn’s with dolphins, Renata’s with life preservers. LeAnn got a perm and Renata got her hair frosted. They packed a lot of perfume and a lot of hairspray and they were ready to party!
They stood in line at the bottom of the ramp and gazed up at the enormous vessel. It was impressive by anyone’s standards. Both girls were giddy with excitement. The line started to move. They dug out their tickets and turned toward the door. LeAnn looked around, ‘’aren’t there an awful lot of old folks here?’’ Renata turned and looked, ‘’of course there will be old folks, there are people of all ages.’’ ‘’Yeah, but I don’t see any other ages.’’ Both girls scoured the crowd. They were the youngest ones there by far. ‘’Ummm,’’ LeAnn said loudly. Renata got frantic. It was true. There couldn’t have been a single person there under 60. Or 70. ‘’Where on earth did you book this thing?’’ LeAnn asked. ‘’I just searched cheap cruises and this one came up.’’ ‘’Didn’t you read the fine print? No, wait. Didn’t you read the extra-large print? Surely it was written there somewhere.’’ ‘’Maybe we can still get our money back,’’ said Renata. ‘’No way. These things are always no-refund.’’ The girls shuffled up the ramp towards the door. When they reached the front, a chipper old man reached for their tickets. ‘’Welcome aboard The Old Grey Wave. Say, aren’t you two a bit young for this one?’’ ‘’Um. Yes,’’ LeAnn said curtly. ‘’Well, never mind. As long as you can cut a proper rug, we’ll keep ya.’’ LeAnn scoffed. ‘’Just don’t be surprised if ya can’t keep up with us,’’ he beamed. Full-on denture grin. Renata laughed nervously. ‘’Well come along now, lots of folks behind you.’’ The girls checked their room number and looked around for signs. ‘’This way,’’ Renata pointed. LeAnn grumbled behind her. They got on an elevator and LeAnn exhaled with great annoyance. ‘’Look, can we agree to just try and make the best of it?’’ Renata pleaded. ‘’Easy for you to say, it was your mistake.’’ ‘’Yes, I know, but…’’ she trailed off. The doors opened with a quiet ding and LeAnn rushed out and stormed down the long hall to their room. They started fiddling with the key and after several tries the door opened with a young man standing in the doorway. ‘’What the?’’ asked Renata. ‘’Wrong room,’’ he stated. Both girls got starry-eyed. ‘’Hello,’’ LeAnn said with a very sudden change of mood. He took her ticket. ‘’Let’s see, 32D is down the hall on the right. This is 32E.’’ ‘’Oh thank you,’’ Renata exaggerated. He just nodded and closed the door. They hurried inside their room, not even noticing how tiny it was. LeAnn flopped down on a bed. ‘’Someone’s mood has improved.’’ LeAnn smiled a devilish grin. ‘’Let’s go get something to eat,’’ she said. ‘’Ok,’’ said Renata, ’’let’s freshen up first.’’ ‘’Of course!’’ And just like that, the girls were back in their pre-party, dress-for-success, teased bangs and lungs-full of Aquanet giddy mood.
They headed down to the dining area, or to be more accurate, the feeding trough. Rows and rows and rows and rows of food. All for the taking. Fried everything. And a serve-yourself ice cream machine. Or twelve. The girls took a plate and piled it high. They both secretly scanned the room for the young man. ‘’May we sit here?’’ asked a smiley couple. LeAnn looked at Renata. ‘’Why sure you can,’’ said Renata. ‘’I’m Fred, and this is my wife Barbara.’’ ‘’Nice to meet you,’’ said Renata. ‘’Well, you girls are awfully young for this kind of get-up, are you not?’’ ‘’That’s what they keep telling us,’’ LeAnn said through gritted teeth. ‘’Nice to have a little youth around for a change, though. Gets a little depressing bein’ around all these old folks all the time.’’ ‘’Ohhh, I don’t know. Is it really that bad?’’ Renata asked, eyeing LeAnn. ‘’At least the food’s good,’’ Barbara smiled, with impossibly tiny portions spread out all over her plate. ‘’I don’t know who they think they’re feeding here, but we don’t eat much.’’ Renata looked down at her glut-fest. ‘’Yeah.’’ ‘’Do you ladies want to play some shuffleboard later?’’ Fred asked. ‘’Sounds tempting, Fred, but we’re gonna work on our tan,’’ LeAnn cut in. ‘’Well all right, then. We’ll be on the upper deck after dinner if you change your minds.’’ ‘’Thanks,’’ Renata smiled. LeAnn plowed through her plate. ‘’We’re gonna go get a drink, see ya,’’ she told Fred and Barbara. ‘’Oh. Ok,’’ Renata stood up. LeAnn pulled her arm.’’ ‘’See you around,’’ Renata told them. ‘’You girls enjoy yourselves,’’ Barbara called. ‘’That’s what it’s all about,’’ LeAnn sing-songed.

The girls sidled up to the bar. ‘’A rum and Diet Coke, please,’’ Renata told the bartender. ‘’And you, ma’am?’’ ‘’I’ll have a screwdriver.’’ LeAnn whispered to Renata, ‘’ma’am? How old does this guy think I am?’’ ‘’Never mind him,’’ Renata reassured. LeAnn swung around in her stool and faced outward. She crossed her legs. ‘’Ohhh,’’ she groaned disappointedly, again at the realization of the age bracket. Renata sipped from her tiny straw. ‘’Let’s go get some sun.’’ ‘’Already?’’ Renata asked, ‘’I just got my drink.’’ ‘’Well, hurry up!’’ The girls pounded their drinks and went back to their room. They changed into their bathing suits and headed to the upper deck. They found some free chairs and lay down their towels. ‘’Yoooo hooooo!’’ Both girls sat up and looked. It was Barbara. ‘’Girrrrls! Do you want to join us for shuffleboard?’’ ‘’Oh good night!’’ LeAnn grumbled, ‘’I’m going back to the room to sleep.’’ ‘’Ok,’’ Renata conceded, ‘’I’ll see you later.’’ She walked over to Fred and Barbara and asked them to teach her the rules. They played for a while and she was really enjoying herself. ‘’Do you guys go on cruises often?’’ she asked. ‘’Oh yes, quite often. Our son works on the ship as a plumber, so he gets us great deals!’’ She laughed. ‘’That’s great! So the job has its perks!’’ ‘’Yes!’’ they agreed. ‘’In fact,’’ Fred paused, looking in the distance, ‘’here he comes now!’’ Renata turned and peered down the deck. ‘’32D?’’ she asked, in disbelief. ‘’Why, yes! How did you know?’’ ‘’We ran into him earlier.’’ ‘’Tony, this is Renata, but I guess you’ve already met.’’ ‘’Oh, yes, haha, nice to meet you,’’ he shook her hand. ‘’Care to join us for some shuffleboard?’’ ‘’But I don’t  have a partner,’’ he protested. ‘’Renata, would you do him the honor?’’ She blushed. ‘’Why, sure.’’   

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Five

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Twenty Five

John and Bobby, Erik and Sherman stumbled their way to the entrance with a whole lot of you-go-first,-no-you-go-first finger pushes. They were a pale lot, which was only exaggerated by the fact that they all wore all black. All the time. Skinny, too. Except for Sherman who, beyond all explanation, was of average build, depending on who you’re averaging, of course. However, for all the body mass he had going for him, he more than evened the score with the lack of pigment in his skin. You guessed it, Sherman was a redhead. You thought John, Bobby and Erik were white until you stood them next to Sherman, who made their whiteness almost look khaki. So, these four friends decided one day to leave their video game lair and do something death-defying. I don’t know, maybe all their princess rescuing and end-boss defeating bolstered their courage, or maybe all those hours of games messed with their heads, but whatever the reason, they decided to go to the swimming pool. The outdoor swimming pool. When they finally made their way to the desk, they realized it was a pretty girl taking money. Really pretty. ‘’Four today?’’ she asked. ‘’Uh, four p.m.?’’ John squeaked. ‘’What?, I mean are there four of you?’’ ‘’Oh, yes,’’ he said self-consciously. ‘’Eight dollars.’’ The boys bumbled with their money a while, trying to make everyone’s come out even before Bobby finally just said ‘’here,’’ and handed her a ten. ‘’Here you are,’’ she said and pulled out a big stamp. She took each of their hands and stamped them with a big blue wave, definitely the closest any of them had ever been to a person of the female persuasion, at least a female of her caliber. She gave them directions about using the lockers and showering and sent them on their awkward little way. They must have been 25 minutes in the locker room before emerging out into the pool area, in all their glory. Erik, despite being the skinniest of the bunch, managed to look the most normal. Or the least abnormal, if you will. And despite the fact that they were cinched to the nines and hanging on for dear life, his swim trunks were well within the acceptable realm. Bobby, however, chose to swim in near-pants. I can’t even call them shorts. They were longs.  Long, black, short-pants with pockets. John actually swam in a t-shirt. And Sherman. Sherman inexplicably took the Speed-o route. The only piece in his wardrobe that was not black. And not only not black, but pink. The friends moved as one unit. Clutching their towels and trying not to be seen. It wasn’t working. They were seen. Oh, they were seen, all right. Dropped jaws, sunglasses pushed down noses, the whole bit. So, they lay their towels out in the far corner of the pool area. By the deep end. They cocooned themselves in sunscreen, SPF 80, and then made their way to the edge. Bobby sat down and slipped into the pool, now with a 40-pound weight hanging from his waist. John had a black cotton bubble billowing and suctioning to him. But it was Sherman who took the proverbial cake. In keeping with his theme of questionable choices, he decided to jump off the high-dive. But not just jump off the high-dive. Take a running leap off the high-dive. In a pink Speed-o. In blinding white skin. And in the last split-second before he jumped, he saw that the lifeguard now on duty was the pretty girl from the entrance and he just flailed, and landed as flat as a pancake, belly-flop style, on top of the water, creating the loudest skin clap you have ever heard. His head also smacked the water, leaving him disoriented, so the girl dove in immediately. With strength and grace she pulled him to the edge, where the other lifeguard helped her pull him out of the water. She asked him some questions to make sure he was all right, while his counterparts stood around him. Satisfied he was fine, she returned to her post, and they to their towels. There were jokes about CPR and the princess rescuing Luigi and after a couple of hours of uneventful swimming, the boys went home. On the doorstep of Erik’s house, he turned to them, ‘’Zelda?’’ he asked. ‘’Zelda,’’ they confirmed in unison.    

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Four

This post is part of a series of short stories and poems.

Day Twenty Four

When life gets you down and you’re feeling
As blue as the ink on your shirt
Just look at the carrot you’re peeling
That just had his face in the dirt
You don’t hear him whining, now do you?
Not even when losing his skin
He lays in a pile and asks with a smile
Which soup you are putting him in
I know it’s a little unnerving
That’s absurd, I hear some of you say
But if you will follow my point to the end
It might change your blue-feeling day
So why is it carrots? You ask me
I am not a vegetable, right?
Just repeat that aloud
When you’re in your dark cloud
And everything will look more bright.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Three

This post is part of a series of short stories.

Day Twenty Three

And I lay down in the field of daisies and looked up at the sky and it was not lost on me that the moment was magical. The clouds were scoops of whipped cream, but the real stuff, not the kind that comes in a plastic carton, that is to say they were a little sharp and jagged on the edges, not smooth and cloud-y like the whipped cream that comes in a carton. And they moved fast. My favorite pace for clouds to move across the sky. The air was a little cool but the sun was warm, like cocoa in a cold metal thermos. I was in love. In love with the world. I could not conjure up a thought of a better place on this earth at that moment. A hawk flew across my viewfinder and bees buzzed in the daisies all around me. Trees swayed and perfume wafted. Mother nature’s perfume. I turned my head to one side and squinted, peering into the micro world of bugs under the flowers. And I wondered. I wondered at the bigness of it all. The bigness of the smallness. And I thought about that mysterious world at the bottom of the ocean that we have only just begun to discover. And who can know the mysteries of these insects, these bees, those clouds above me? And I closed my eyes and fell asleep. Just for a moment. And in my mind was a dance, a royal ball of old, with ladies and suitors and dresses and wigs. What a strange thing to dream in this moment. And I stood up and brushed myself off and walked back to my car and returned to work. 

Story-a-day - Day Twenty Two

This post is part of a series of short stories.

Day Twenty Two

There once was a shirt who lay on a stack
He wished he was green or yellow or black
But he lay there just waiting, he knew that he knew
That his boy liked orange 'bout as much as the flu
Still, he straightened himself and he stuck out his chest
Hoping somehow to stand out among all the rest
But his boy came and went, after taking a green
Even though it was stained, and he was all clean.
So what could he think? When day after day
His boy would choose others to go out and play
So the next day he said I am not going to hope
I am not going to look like a fool or a dope
So he lay back and put his sleeves under his collar
(If you guess what happens I’ll give you a dollar)
And he took a deep breath, exhaled, closed his eyes
Then his boy grabbed him out, much to his surprise
And he held him out straight, and what did he say?
With a smile in his eyes, he said It’s picture day!