Archive for fiction

Think Before You Speak

“You can have the whole farm, I don’t care.” He said in anger. It had been their most vicious fight ever.

She returned with a deed for him to sign the next day.That wasn’t what I meant.

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Tomorrow May Never Come

Andre sat on the grass at the edge of the field. The last game was almost over and they were tied for the championship. His mother, Shawna, came over and quietly put her arm around him. “It’s ok, baby.” she whispered, “you are playing great!”

Andre got up, threw his baseball glove on the ground and stomped away. Tears rolled down his dark, refined cheeks as he put his hands to his head ad let out a loud, angry roar. His mom knew when to back off, Andre was like that. When he got too upset, the best thing to do was just to leave him alone.

She walked back to the bleachers, waiting for the long game to end.

Sitting in the grass again, Andre tossed a baseball from hand to hand. “Why?” he said to God, himself, maybe no one. “Why John? He was everyone’s friend, a great sport, a talented player.” Taking a deep breath, Andre slammed the ball down, and shouted, “Dammit, he was 15 years old!” Andre didn’t cuss. He took himself very seriously, he had plans, class, he had been raised right.

John had been his best friend. They had played ball together since they were 5 years old. Three weeks ago, the team was in the next to last inning and John had made a terrific double and stole third. When the next boy struck out, John had walked into the dugout and told Andre that he didn’t feel good.

“Just sit this last inning out, John.” Andre had suggested. Nothing happens in right field anyway and we are way ahead.

“I didn’t come to sit.” John smiled and headed out to practice throwing the ball with Andre before the inning started.

Suddenly, a mom on the bleachers touched Shawna’s shoulder and said, “Is something wrong with John?”

Shawna looked out on the field to see John running towards home, his mom running to him. Suddenly, a cloud of dust rose up as John collapsed and fell.

His mother was screaming . “Call 911! Call 911!”

The ambulance took forever. It must have gone to the wrong field, the Fire Department was right above the field. No one seemed to know what to do.

Now it was the championship, without his best friend.

Andre tried to block out John’s big family sitting at the hospital, rocking back and forth, praying, crying, waiting at the hospital, then the a doctor calling them into a private room.

When John’s family came out, holding hands, they were crying, holding hands. “Hes gone.” John’s mom whispered. “Gone.” She was in shock.

Andre looked at the scoreboard as he walked to to home base. He was the last hitter in the tournament. The championship was in his hands. He swallowed the tears that had choked him, took a deep breath and nodded that he was ready.

“This one’s for you, John.” he whispered as the ball sailed over the fence.

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If You Can’t Say Anything nice…

Grandma looked at me sternly, as I stomped into her kitchen, mumbling in a voice I did not think she could 78260103hear. “That stupid Melonie!” I muttered. “She thinks she is so perfect, queen of the world!”

I grabbed a cold Coke from her refrigerator. Its pale green bottle made my mouth water after a tiring day at the high school.

Grandma stood up and walked over to me. “What is the matter with you, young lady? You know what I have always told you. ‘If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

“Well, I certainly couldn’t think of anything nice to say about Melodie!” I exclaimed. She is a bully, she teases kids that don’t have as nice of clothes as she does, or aren’t as pretty, or popular. I hate her!”

Grandma pulled up a chair beside me and sat down as I picked up my drink. The checkered tablecloth held a wet spot where the drink had moisture running down its side. I found myself using my index finger to trace the circle, over and over. I knew Grandma was right and she had told me, over and over not to speak badly of anyone since I was a little child. I as ashamed.

Who was this Melodie treating like that? Grandma said to me, her hand on my shoulder.

Everone.” I said with a hiss in my voice. “It especially bothers me when she picks on kids who already have low self-esteem or can’t buy nice clothes. I wish she could spend just one day not being ‘Miss Rich and Beautiful’ and learn what it feels like.

I though of Grandma’s quote about not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice. I couldn’t imagine myself going up to Melodie and saying what Grandma suggested. It just didn’t seems strong enough somehow.

Then I remembered a quote I had read in literature class, just that day. I recalled days of sitting in the warm breeze on the beach and writing things in the sand that were bothering me, and watching the waves crash in and take them away. I decided to do something a little bit more my style. I Tomorrow, I would write a note, fold it, and put it on her desk before she came in. It would say something about her attitude and she would not know who had said it. It had come from our literature book, just a few days ago. I liked it, I had made a point to remember it because it reminded me of Grandma’s saying. It said, simply,

If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge.”
by Napolean Hill

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The End of the Game

DSCN1351He sat silently on the bench, eyes closed, fist clenched. “How could he let her manipulate him like that?”

Crowds of shoppers hurried by, bracing against the winter wind, hurrying to some warmer place. He didn’t notice the cold or the shoppers, his world had been shattered. He felt nothing.

She was waiting in the check-in line at the airport, visions of the tropics in her eyes. Her Mastercard was filled with the money he had given her, supposedly to pay for reservations and the honeymoon.

She smiled, perhaps sneered would be a better term. The fourth desperate man she had done this too. Men were just so vulnerable and stupid when they thought a beauty such as Allona actually wanted to marry them.

Joseph walked back to his apartment, took his gun from the desk and twirled the barrel. He felt like such a fool. Could he even face his co-workers again?

Allona, as she called herself this time, boarded the plane and took off for Cancun where she would enjoy a week in he sun, perhaps meet her next victim, maybe even change her name again. Once she had perfected the scheme, it seemed so simple. She would “play” them a while, until it got boring and then manipulate them into asking her to marry them. How nice of her to take care of all the details if they would just give her the funds.

Joseph put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger. Just as Allona emerged from the plane. The policia were waiting when she got to the hotel. She would not ruin another man’s life.

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The Winds of Time

photo by dawn Q. Landau

He stood silently offshore, staring at the remnants of an ancient lighthouse. After hours upon hours of research, he had traced his great-times-3 grandfather to this place. He had been the last lighthouse keeper. That had been in the early 1800’s-during the war of 1812, in fact. He spent weeks here, alone as his family waited on the mainland. During fierce battles and raging storms, they were terrified that he would never come home. But he did, and though the lighthouse did not survive to love he passed on to his family was alive and well.

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A Trip to the Past

DSCN2077

“Serena,” Raven sputtered excitedly as they walked to the cafeteria beneath the beautiful autumn maples.

Raven turned around and giggled. “Serena, what’s wrong with you?

“There’s this new cafe off campus.”

“So?”smiled Raven, walking as they talked.

“Well, they serve tea ,coffee, hot chocolate or pastries, but that’s not the exciting part.”

“Then what is?” Raven asked, stopping in her tracks.

“When you walk in the door, you go back in time.” Serena whispered. “I swear. I thought I’d been drugged. Even my clothes were from the middle ages. Everything was, the food….”

“Raven grabbed Serena’s hand. “What are you waiting for, let’s go!”

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A Country Girl Meets the Big City

Arriving on Cecelia’s block had been quite an adventure. Everything looked the same. Rows and rows of tall brown buildings, each apartment with its private fie escape-seemingly the only thing “private” about the north-eastern metropolis. The noise was so uncomfortable, everyone seemed to be in such a rush. Honking horns and sirens filled the background. She had resorted to parking blocks away at a price high enough to buy a good meal in the Carolina’s, where she lived. Why hadn’t she just invited her cousin to her house where she could have at least have experienced a breath of fresh air!

Arriving on Cecelia’s block had been quite an adventure. Everything looked the same. Rows and rows of tall brown buildings, each apartment with its private fie escape-seemingly the only thing “private” about the north-eastern metropolis. The noise was so uncomfortable, everyone seemed to be in such a rush. Honking horns and sirens filled the background. She had resorted to parking blocks away at a price high enough to buy a good meal in the Carolina’s, where she lived. Why hadn’t she just invited her cousin to her house where she could have at least have experienced a breath of fresh air!

She walked quickly into the entryway where four elevators and some vending machines resided. Pushing the button to the fifth floor, she looked cautiously around her, hoping to see nothing that dwelt in this checkerboard city. As the door opened, a man emerged. Just a regular man, she sighed in relief as she went in and he emerged.

She took the note card with her cousins apartment number on it out to refresh her memory. “519” it said, as she began looking from side to side on the hall. At last she found it and breathlessly knocked at the door.

“Sophie!” her cousin said as she opened both the door and her arms. “It’s so good to see you! Welcome to my humble abode.”

“Humble?” thought Sophie, “we’ll see.”

She walked into the apartment and was pleasantly surprised. In contrast to the outdoors, it was surprisingly individualistic. The colors were bright and welcoming. The space, though relatively small, was well arranged and felt roomy. She began to feel better, more at home.

She thought of her home in the mountains, the sound of the trees whooshing in the wind, her dogs barking at squirrels in the woods, the long dirt driveway, the peace and solitude.

“What drew people to a place like this?”She thought. Money? Friends, and education, a boyfriend. She sighed and whispered, “who knows?” to no one.

Cecelia had gone to pour them a cup of coffee. This would be an interesting adventure. Next time, Sophie smiled, she would be inviting Cecelia to her house.

She walked quickly into the entryway where four elevators and some vending machines resided. Pushing the button to the fifth floor, she looked cautiously around her, hoping to see nothing that dwelt in this checkerboard city. As the door opened, a man emerged. Just a regular man, she sighed in relief as she went in and he emerged.

She took the note card with her cousins apartment number on it out to refresh her memory. “519” it said, as she began looking from side to side on the hall. At last she found it and breathlessly knocked at the door.

“Sophie!” her cousin said as she opened both the door and her arms. “It’s so good to see you! Welcome to my humble abode.”

“Humble?” thought Sophie, “we’ll see.”

She walked into the apartment and was pleasantly surprised. In contrast to the outdoors, it was surprisingly individualistic. The colors were bright and welcoming. The space, though relatively small, was well arranged and felt roomy. She began to feel better, more at home.

She thought of her home in the mountains, the sound of the trees whooshing in the wind, her dogs barking at squirrels in the woods, the long dirt driveway, the peace and solitude.

“What drew people to a place like this?”She thought. Money? Friends, and education, a boyfriend. She sighed and whispered, “who knows?” to no one.

Cecelia had gone to pour them a cup of coffee. This would be an interesting adventure. Next time, Sophie smiled, she would be inviting Cecelia to her house.

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Forest Primeval

IMG_0073I have been “kidnapped”, or so it seems. let’s just say I have awoken in a new place,in a new home,you might say optimistically.It is a forest somewhere that I have never been. I have everything I need to make a home, then begin a plan to find out where I am and someone I can communicate with. First step-find water. Mark my way back to where I began, so I will at least have a “starting’ point. Hopefully the water will lead to civilization, where I can observe the people, the buildings, read signs, get some idea where I am. Where that first step leads me, who knows? My second step will have to consider what I have found out there.

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A Gift for the Market

The sun was a ball of fire rising through the fog. Finally, the clatter of rain had turned to an autumn portrait of drying flood waters. We rode down the muddy path in our weathered farm wagon, bumping along, hooves clomping, with the wagon filled with produce for the market in town.

The chill in the air, the slush of mud, I pulled my shawl close around me. Then I saw the reflection of the wet green world upon the river. I realized that without both the sun and the rain, we would not be on our way to market.

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An Ocean of Trees

Somewhere in the shadows of his dreams, the young man drifted in and out of the haze. Trees seemed to be every where, he looked around and everything looked the same. Here and there a branch would be different or a limb wold be broken off, but nothing in the real world went on and on without variation!

The, within his dream world, he thought of the ocean, how it went on and on, the waves crashing, the winds pounding, shells sprinkled about. There were a few things that went on and on without variety. But what did it mean? What was the purpose of this dreams.

Within the mist of dreamworld, he recalled what he had been thinking of as he went to sleep. What would I like to be when I am grown, what do I love? He thought of hikes he had been on, the whispers of the forest, the gentle breaks in its continuity. Its peace, the way it drew him back, time after time.

Suddenly, his eyes opened- “An OCEAN of trees!” the forest was like the ocean, simply a different entity. It went on and on, it was tranquil, yet mysterious. Forestry, that’s what it was, he would study forestry! Somewhere in that never ending topic, he would find himself. His eyes softly closed again.

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