(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
George stood over June’s body, looking down. He was still angry, and still wanted to hurt her but the kid had gone and called the police; it was time to leave if he ever intended to get out. The evening darkness would hide their escape. It would be hard to get Geoffrey to go, but there really was no choice was there? Already Geoffrey was holding his head and rocking back and forth, like he had done as a child. Now there’s a blast from the past, thought George. There was a time when Geoffrey had been very familiar with that position. Read the rest of this entry
Since many of you have requested that I further this story, I’m going to give it a try. I will add to it in installments, until it ends or we all get tired of it. Here we go, and thank you all for encouraging me!
(Continued from the post “Leave it in Beaver”)
June’s apron is a little messy now, but that’s alright she won’t be needing it anymore. No more chopping or cooking, vacuuming or washing clothes. She won’t have any more reason to be mad at me for tracking dirt into the house from the garden; or for watching mean tv shows like CSI and Hill Street Blues. She wants to watch baby shows like Gilligan’s Island and Lost in Space reruns over and over while she eats chocolates one by one from the box. She always offers me one, but I know her game, she’ll snatch it away at the last second and laugh while she pops it into her mouth. 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
Bojangles, Vineyard, Jackalope
Carl and Martha Dubois were sitting on the porch one summer morning. Eighty year old Martha was doing a crossword puzzle from the paper, eighty-one year old Carl was reading the sports section.
“Carl.” She had a distinct northern accent, and sounded a lot like Katharine Hepburn in “On Golden Pond.”
“Hmm?” He absently waved at a fly. 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
Persnickety, Tribal, Melancholic
The characters in this story are fictional, as are the portrayals of any people, groups or chiefs. This is only a parody and no offense is intended or should be taken.
The elders sat around the fire, each of them squirming uncomfortably. The Chief had served dinner to the council earlier; it consisted mainly of meat and a starchy root sauce. It was winter and there weren’t a lot of plants around for them to eat; no fruits or berries for fiber. While it did smell wonderful (hence the large turnout for tonight’s meeting) it did tend to leave a fellow a little… bound up so to speak. Read the rest of this entry
Monocle, Owl, Lamp
Linz, Austria. April 30, 1945.
A man moved casually down a dark alley, unafraid of the dense fog and dark shadows. Seen only from behind he was any old Joe; any man with an overcoat and hat, collar up against the cold winter night. He stopped in front of a doorway, checked the address against a paper in his hand and knocked.
An elderly gentleman with uncommonly long fingers answered the door and took the invitation that the visitor held out. His hand slid into his suit pocket and retrieved a monocle with which he read the engraved words. The elderly butler removed the glass piece and deposited it into his pocket before addressing the gentleman on the step. Read the rest of this entry