She pranced across the stage in her delicate blue taffeta dress. “So arrogant,” he thought. Her dance went on and on it seemed. Then with a twirl, she began to call out in song, as if she was some sort of sparrow. He shook his head in disgust, thinking of the way she had treated him at the party the night before, how she had turned on her stilettos, her diamond necklace swinging around with her. He had waned to grab it and choke her after the loud comment she had made about his brother.
So what if she didn’t know Richardo was his brother. He hated her FOR him. Her arrogance wasn’t just a part in the play, it was real. It was HER.
“BOO.” he shouted, as the audience turned to stare at him. “BOO!” he laughed this time. You are such a fake, a liar. How can you project yourself with such beauty, when you are so ugly inside!”
He got out of his seat, scooting down the row and stomped out of the theater. It as quiet as he walked out into the lobby. The he heard it-tears. He peeked back through the door and saw her collapsed on the stage crying.
The audience was peering around, wondering if this was somehow a part of the play.
He laughed and walked out the door. “Let her figure out how to handle it,” he sneered and hopped on the next train back to the village
The warmth of July summer entranced me. I’d come to the beach to escape. Make-up covered my bruised face, I’d used my married sisters ID to check into the motel. I didn’t really feel safe, even walking on the beach in the windy dusk on this isolated island. I knew he had his sources, his “people”. I walked near the edge of thee beach grasses, ready to dash into the light of a lobby or bar.
Suddenly, I heard his voice on the deck on the motel. “Where is she!” he yelled.
This IS atrophy I thought, frozen in my steps.
I am shaking, tears stain my cheeks, my heart throbbing. Running to his room, I think, “Oh, it was just a dream,” then, realize it wasn’t. What scares me most is the truth.
What You Could Be
I look at him, same age as you,
when death snatched you out of the blue.
He’s just 15, but teachers say,
that he will make it big one day.
I touch your photo, hold it too,
each time I pass, your place, your room.
It looks just like it did that day
when Hell took you and life away.
I see him grow, a brilliant smile,
when he creates, he dreams, compiles.
The things I wish that you could see.
I wonder, Babe, what you could be?
It’s just so wrong that you aren’t here.
I see your face, your eyes, your fear.
Still, no one knows, but you and me,
The truth about what you could be.
I pray the day will not be long,
When something might take up the wrong.
And somehow just, please let me see.
The beauty of what you could be.
“My heavens!” gasped Catherine as her daughter swished by in a dress that was little more than a scrap of material. “ Where do you think you are going, dressed like that?”
“Oh, Mother,” Emily smiled as she swirled around in the light blue knee-length gown,” Don’t you ever get out and go anywhere? Shorter dresses are the fashion this spring, everyone is wearing them!”
“Well, you certainly aren’t,” her mother said roughly. “There’s no telling what people will say about you, or about our whole family , for that matter.”
“Mother, it is 1923, for goodness sake.” Emily cried out. “I don’t want to go to my coming out party dressed like girls did when you were young.”
“Party?” Mother huffed as she arose from the dining room table. “What party?”
“I told you last week, Mother dear,” Emily replied. “”Everyone is going. It is to be given at the school.
It isn’t like I was going to some night club or something.”
Emily’s mother sighed, as she sat down. Her hands covering her face so that Emily would not see the tears forming in her eyes. Emily was her youngest child. How she hated to see her grow up. Was she really being silly to forbid her daughter to go to the school dance or wear the silky blue dress?
Many years later, Sarah saw her mother turn toward her as she gathered up her books. Sarah really hated reading. Especially these old-fashioned books that her teacher assigned. 1923, why that was 50 years ago. Imagine a mother thinking a dress below your knees was short, or that a school dance was some sort of travesty. She smiled as her mother saw that she had actually been reading. Her mother didn’t see that the owners name was written neatly on the inside cover. Her grandmother, Sarah Jefferson been the author of the novel she had been reading. And the night of the school dance was the very night that her grandmother had first met her grandfather.
DP Challenge 9-18-13
She walked out in the cold of winter, faded dress blowing in the wind, torn shawl clutched to her shoulder. There was no term “Civil War” to her. The soldiers had conscripted her husband, leaving her with three young children and a belly swollen with child. The war was old, many soldiers had deserted. She had no slaves, many slaves ate better than she and her children did.
The ham was gone from the barn loft where she had hidden it. The Yankee soldiers had stolen it. She was lucky she hadn’t been beaten and raped. She remembered the quote she had read in the newspaper, “It’s a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”. “What,” she cried, “ about the women and children?”
During a week when we have been cursed by floods like we haven’t seen in decades, I have been amazed at how the heat from a few hours of sunshine, mixed with the extreme humidity have affected us.
We spend our winters in the mountains, praying for warmth, the heat of a warm fire, the fragrance of smoke as it spits it’s sparks and curls of smoke drift across the room.
In summer, we have spent years in a drought situation, accompanied by late frost, cold weather, name the weather curse.
This year, its been rain, rain, rain. We are 14” over the average. We have been flooded daily for a week, the 4th of July caused major damaged, it has rained almost every day, the water has no where to go, creek banks have washed way, yards, fields, gold courses are lakes, and still it rains.
I must admit that during a few hours of sun-temperatures only in the low 80’s, the heat felt overwhelming, with the humidity so high, it was almost visible. This is not the way we usually think of heat in July. But every few decades, the weather seems to sen us an often unwanted surprise.
The flight of life, all I am or hope to be. I close my eyes.
I am a child, turning as I look for signs of growing up,
then a teen, swirling in front of a mirror,
dreaming of college, midnights out, no curfew.
Suddenly, I awake to the sound of wedding music
and then a baby cries as I shake my head.
The laundry awaits, my feet hurt.
Life, where is it going, it used to seems so slow.
Now I’m bandaging skinned knees, paying mortgages.
I see my teen swirling in front of a mirror.
I find myself looking at the obituaries in the paper.
I notice a little gray in my husbands hair.
Graduations, weddings, then accidents, surgeries,
my back hurts when I garden all day, the house needs repair.
I cry at the tombstones of my parents,
suddenly becoming aware of my own age,
Life, speeding by at the speed of light.
Computers have replaced the written word.
I feel outdated, like I don’t belong here anymore.
Struggling to keep up, I feel the desperation of loosing my edge.
Yesterday, I was young, had hope, dreams, health.
I remember whirling in the wind beneath the moon,
Oceans waves crashing behind me, the bright lights of town
glowing distantly, calling to me, “Come, live, love!”
Now it is nighttime, winter, cold and bare.
The dreams have been fulfilled or died long ago.
I try to imagine where it all went, how it got away,
A tear rolls down a weathered cheek. I close my eyes once more.