(Dazzling, Clandestine and Pug)
Darlene looked down over her shoulder. Mr. Knickerbockers was coming up the long wooden ramp at a run, eager to reach the top. She climbed up on the railing on the side, waiting for him to reach the spot where she could swing her leg across his back and jump on. She would then hold on as he jumped off the platform into the tank, 40 feet below.
She adjusted the strap on her bathing cap and saw that Mr. Knickerbockers had reached the top. He approached her at a run – she would have to swing her leg up quickly and jump at the same time if she wanted to catch him before he rocketed past. She did miss now and again – only to land painfully against the wooden rails on the other side or in one heart stopping leap, almost all the way across the other side! Today she landed safely on his back and grabbed hold. Billy, the announcer, was already half way through his bit. Read the rest of this entry
(Garnish, Wise, Politics)
Dear Dorothy, December 1, 1948
I was glad to get your letter in the post. It was forwarded to us by the state department. You will notice that the return post on mine is Paris, France. Yes, my dear Paul has been stationed here for four years, four years! I shall love every minute of it, do you hear? Paris! Read the rest of this entry
As published in “The Valdosta Magazine,” Winter 2010.
The Christmas Box by Monique Nagel
Early on Christmas morning my family gathered around the tree my stepfather had cut down, decorated with ornaments that we kids had used our entire lives. Our home was decorated with popcorn garlands, lights, construction paper chains, and cards everywhere. The entire Holiday Season was spent with Jingle Bells frolicking on the radio and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer flying across the television. We played UNO at the kitchen table and laughed until we cried. My mother and stepfather were the glue that held this happy whirlwind together. Read the rest of this entry
(Napkin, Tonsils, Watermelon)
It was the day before Thanksgiving and the turkey rolled out of the oven. Juice splashed everywhere but Mary caught the frisky bird and got it back into the pan.
“Turkey not done yet Mama?” Daddy called from his recliner.
“Very funny!” She hollered back, and then a few minutes later, “Okay, wash up for dinner and then everyone into the kitchen to say grace!” Mary walked through the living room, shaking Daddy’s big toe and went through the bedrooms in the back. “Kathy, you and your fella come on out here and eat.” As 16-yr old Kathy followed her boyfriend out of the bedroom Mary whispered in her ear. “He’s a cutie!”
Kathy blushed and walked away, hand over her eyes. “Mo-om!” Read the rest of this entry
Serendipity, Renaissance, Monique
There’s a girl sitting on my doorstep in a lovely Renaissance wedding gown, crying her eyes out, was Elise‘s first thought. The second was that the gown was muddy and torn. The girl’s mascara had run all down her face; her lipstick and hand prints had smudged the glass on the door of the shop. The peculiar scene looked all the stranger for the lack of any evening traffic out front. There was no one chasing her and no banged up car in the road. Elise had no idea who the girl was or why she was crying.
She stood back in the shadows, watching the girl for a moment. Long dark hair, cut in that new layered look that was so flattering these days. Her bangs were sticking up in the front and tangled. Large brown eyes stared at the door in front of her, not seeming to see anything at all. There was a scrape on her elbow and you could see where she had brushed against her dress, marking it with scratches of blood and dirt. The girl didn’t look panicked, just…despairing. Like she’d given up on something that meant everything. Had the groom left her at the altar? Had she tried to chase him? Elise stepped out of the shadows, she simply had to know. Read the rest of this entry
Indonesia, Javanese, Woman
(Another one for the kids)
Berani slowly opened her eyes. Someone was crawling over her, sticking their legs into her belly and sliding down her back. She rolled away and rubbed her face, hiding her eyes. She could smell wood shavings; it was a smell she always associated with hamsters and gerbils. They were like captive mice to her, always behind glass and inaccessible. Not the same smell as the rats that roamed the floors and shelves at night. They were dark, furtive things that darted around the floor looking for food. The ones that lived in the walls and floors. She would like to run and chase and catch them! It was a vague thought, sleepy-headed and unfulfilled. Read the rest of this entry
Birds, Waffles, Shenanigans
She sits at the kitchen table, almost nine o’clock at night, listening to her 16 yr. old daughter and her boyfriend giggle while they wrestle in the other room. The bedroom door is open, they are just playing, and she could hear them talking and laughing all the while. No shenanigans are being attempted tonight. Just two kids having fun with each other. The television is off, no music either. Just two kids. It makes her remember what it was like, that young love. Read the rest of this entry