Posts tagged fiction

A Quiet Place

The river was out of its banks again. Muddy torrents rushed around the bend as they headed for the dam at the old water plant. Trees swayed at the edge of the water, looking as if they would topple in at any moment. She had walked down this trail so many times, it had been her “quiet place” as a teen. But not today, it held the roar of a restless spirit. She saw the old mill stone laying near the path. Beside it, something caught her eyes. A human skull, she thought, sucking in her breath. No! Not again!

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Amidst the London Fog

Young John was quite angry with his brother’s room-mate for pulling such a childish prank on him over a simple remark made in an ale house during the past weekend.

It would seem that someone who had attained a degree in philosophy and was working on his Master’s would have more maturity, especially with his career in the higher echelons of the English Court in jeopardy.

The question was, as John saw it, what his response to the forged letter addressed to and published in the London Newspaper should be.

His anger was definitely interfering with his common sense. After all, many people who read the article which proclaimed him to hold unpopular and possibly damaging political views, would believe the he had, indeed, written it, and held to the views it projected.

What could he do? “Rather,” he sighed, “what SHOULD he do?

With much thought and craft on his part, John decided to make use of the newspaper to get back at George’s room-mate, just as the newspaper had been used against him.

John, an excellent artist, made sure that the comic of the culprit was shown with him clearly writing up the fake letter, while dressed in the outfit of a jester, just different enough in character so as not to project slander. He proceeded in requesting that it be published on a Sunday, when many readers would see it.

John would come out looking bright and intelligent while his nemesis would look like an utter fool.

John smiled as he licked the envelope, stepped out the door in his long black coat and made his way to the Newspaper office, in the thick London mist.

On his way out of the newspaper office, he stopped to buy a newspaper from a young man who was hawking the latest edition with a loud call, “Graduate student found dead in his quarters!”

John placed the coins in the lads hand and opened up the paper to the front page. With horror, he discovered that the dead man was his brother’s room mate and realized that his letter might make him look guilty of committing murder, or at least some sort of involvement in the tragedy. He hurried back to the desk where he had dropped off his letter and was able to retrieve it just as a clerk approached in order to collect the latest contents of the “in” box.

John breathed a sigh of relief as he tore up the letter and threw it into a barrel filled with flames surrounded by a group of vagrants, warming themselves against the cold mist. He shivered as he thought of how the nature of his act of craft had nearly propelling him into the justice system when he had done nothing at all.

Indeed, his speed and quick wit in retrieving and destroying the comic and accompanying letter had been the better craft, after all.

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Now I Know….

DSCN2081After the darkness,

Blue skies surround me

Clouds drift on the horizon

Drifting away at last

Every day is different

Fresh and exciting.

Gladly, I look for

Hovering bees and bugs

Ice melted at last.

Just one warm day

Keeps me hoping

Long after cold returns

Moonlight sparkles

Night times stars

Overhead-your head and mine.

Perhaps I treasure nature

Questioning it’s rhythms

Reining in its surprises

Turning from chill to warmth

Until I come upon the first

Violet, a sure sign of spring.

Wonder if other over it as much

X-citined as I am

You may know-tell me

Zestfully smiling.

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Victorian Romance

She slipped down the stairway that emerged from the lowest level of the castle. Surely Papa would be busy by now and that lazy idiot guard of his, Hathaway, would likely be in a drunken stupor at his “post”in the cove-like area at the bottom of the stairwell.

Hopefully, Jesop would have had equal luck getting out of his home on the other side of the valley so they could meet up where the bridge crossed the ravine between their families fortresses.

To have to go through this ridiculous, and quite dangerous routine to meet up was beyond pathetic.

After all, she was 17, and would spend the summer in London during “the season” this year, (an obvious excuse to find suitable husbands for the daughters of the well to do in the area). My goodnesss, he was 26, the oldest son of a prominent banker, already working at the bank and being well trusted and trained by his over-protective father.

But, still, this lamplight adventure continued on into its 5th month, ever since the ball held in Sheldon Hall at Christmas, when Isabelle had literally run into Jesop, trying to get away from the party into the carriage house where rumor held it that a much more interesting gathering was being held by the younger set than the prim and proper event having been so meticulously scheduled by their parents.

She had laughed nervously, that cold night as she tripped over her maroon gown heavy made with many layers of cloth and held out stiffly by whalebone settings, sneaking down the last set of stairs to where the guard had already been taken care of. Jesop had heard her attempt to come quietly down the stairs and had waited, in the shadows to see who it was. .

Having liked what he saw, Jesop helped her up and they raced through the courtyard to the carriage house which was already filling with young couples who had gotten the message. “thought the grapevine” that the real party would be held.

Just as Isabelle reached the edge of the bridge, Jesop appeared and whirled her around in delight. “How are you, my love?” He whispered as she reached up and kissed his cheek. “Quite well,” she said breathlessly, looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed, and watching to make sure that her lamp was not too near her hair or dress.

Jesop held her hand as they returned to the secret room they had discovered not long after meeting, where they could build a small fire in the grate and enjoy each others company for a little while as the moon shown down outside. Most likely it had once been the quarters of a groomsman or such.

Suddenly Jesop turned as the wooden planked door began to open. “Papa!” Isabelle whimpered, as she saw the tall stately Earl Montford walk in. Jesop and Isabelle looked at each other with a look of sheer terror.
“Well,” laughed the earl as he put h
is cane aside and walked towards the fire. I see there will be no need wasting our summer in London “during that horrible ‘season’ society insists upon having, seeing that you have already made a quite suitable choice of companions.”

Isabelle and Jesop looked at each other with sheer relief.
“Yes, Papa. We have.” smiled Isabelle, here heart still pounding.


I assume nothing inappropriate has been going on these past five months,” the Earl laughed.

“You knew?” stuttered Jesop, shivering, even in the light of the warm fire.

Surely you don’t think I became an Earl through my stupidity!” he laughed. “I expect you will be announcing your engagement as soon as possible,” He stated.

Oh, yes, papa, Isabelle said as she hugged her father with relief and delight.”

The warm spring moon was full and bright as Papa followed the young couple back up the moss-covered stairway and into the main house. Though the young couple didn’t see it, papa’s eyes were bright and his smile filled with delight. He remembered well the night his father had caught him with Isabelle’s mother and all the wonderful years that had passed since he was first witness to both his fathers wisdom and love.

She slipped down the stairway that emerged from the lowest level of the castle. Surely Papa would be busy by now and that lazy idiot guard of his, Hathaway, would likely be in a drunken stupor at his “post”in the cove-like area at the bottom of the stairwell.

Hopefully, Jesop would have had equal luck getting out of his home on the other side of the valley so they could meet up where the bridge crossed the ravine between their families fortresses.

To have to go through this ridiculous, and quite dangerous routine to meet up was beyond pathetic.

After all, she was 17, and would spend the summer in London during “the season” this year, (an obvious excuse to find suitable husbands for the daughters of the well to do in the area). My goodnesss, he was 26, the oldest son of a prominent banker, already working at the bank and being well trusted and trained by his over-protective father.

But, still, this lamplight adventure continued on into its 5th month, ever since the ball held in Sheldon Hall at Christmas, when Isabelle had literally run into Jesop, trying to get away from the party into the carriage house where rumor held it that a much more interesting gathering was being held by the younger set than the prim and proper event having been so meticulously scheduled by their parents.

She had laughed nervously, that cold night as she tripped over her maroon gown heavy made with many layers of cloth and held out stiffly by whalebone settings, sneaking down the last set of stairs to where the guard had already been taken care of. Jesop had heard her attempt to come quietly down the stairs and had waited, in the shadows to see who it was. .

Having liked what he saw, Jesop helped her up and they raced through the courtyard to the carriage house which was already filling with young couples who had gotten the message. “thought the grapevine” that the real party would be held.

Just as Isabelle reached the edge of the bridge, Jesop appeared and whirled her around in delight. “How are you, my love?” He whispered as she reached up and kissed his cheek. “Quite well,” she said breathlessly, looking back to make sure she hadn’t been followed, and watching to make sure that her lamp was not too near her hair or dress.

Jesop held her hand as they returned to the secret room they had discovered not long after meeting, where they could build a small fire in the grate and enjoy each others company for a little while as the moon shown down outside. Most likely it had once been the quarters of a groomsman or such.

Suddenly Jesop turned as the wooden planked door began to open. “Papa!” Isabelle whimpered, as she saw the tall stately Earl Montford walk in. Jesop and Isabelle looked at each other with a look of sheer terror.
“Well,” laughed the earl as he put h
is cane aside and walked towards the fire. I see there will be no need wasting our summer in London “during that horrible ‘season’ society insists upon having, seeing that you have already made a quite suitable choice of companions.”

Isabelle and Jesop looked at each other with sheer relief.
“Yes, Papa. We have.” smiled Isabelle, here heart still pounding.


I assume nothing inappropriate has been going on these past five months,” the Earl laughed.

“You knew?” stuttered Jesop, shivering, even in the light of the warm fire.

Surely you don’t think I became an Earl through my stupidity!” he laughed. “I expect you will be announcing your engagement as soon as possible,” He stated.

Oh, yes, papa, Isabelle said as she hugged her father with relief and delight.”

The warm spring moon was full and bright as Papa followed the young couple back up the moss-covered stairway and into the main house. Though the young couple didn’t see it, papa’s eyes were bright and his smile filled with delight. He remembered well the night his father had caught him with Isabelle’s mother and all the wonderful years that had passed since he was first witness to both his fathers wisdom and love.

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The End of Her Dream

Corrina admitted to herself that she had scanned the obituaries for year, hoping, silently that his name would not be there.  It had been over half her lifetime since the less that two years they spent together, but those two years had changed her, made her what she was, Today, so was that short column in the obituaries, a story of life after her, of a few short years when he had tried to settle down, have a family, be free of his demons.

Her most daring adventures, were with him, her look into a world she had no idea existed were during her time with him.. The lights of LA from San Bernardino, the distant curves of the San Juan from a pull-off on the edge of a cliff.  Eating burgers from a grill in the forest by the side of a road.  saving a secret souvenir found among the shacks and shadows near those Mississippi tenant farms.

She remembered the big cities up north, staying with French-speaking Canadians with snow piled high on the road side in late April. She remembered the fear from some of the things that happened there,and from some that happened nearer to home.

There were things Corinna  did, and did well, in  that long ago day, that she can not imagine even trying, now as a grandmother. In  these few years and in all the ones after, she was always hoping he had  loved her like she lived him,though  in her heart of hearts, she knew he never did.  No the for even kind, maybe the for now kind.

His family was good to her when she was not close to her own,  She still smiled, when she thought of her visits wit them, after he left and they still hoped they hoped he would go back to her. He didn’t.

Time went on, life went on, they had separate lives, a few strange connections, accidental ,meetings with each other,  family members, a silent pain in the quick conversations, always a feeling of “what if…”

Corinna had countless dreams of him, he made her, but never knew it.  Why did  she often dream of him, crazy dreams, a little too real, instead of dreaming of the man she spent her life with smiled and suffered so many years with.  She didn’t know.

Tonight, the dreams were different. There was no quiet ending, no sad goodbye, no answer to the “what if…”.  The dreams-no, nightmares, were surreal, unimaginable.  She woke up shaking, her heart thumping, time after. time.

Corinna was miserable, She finally told her daughters, one who knew a lot about those days and the younger,  who knew only  little, why she was in such a strange mood. She had to think of a way to find out what happened why, who was thee, who had been by his side.

Finally, she though of an answer.  A bit crazy, but probably not unwelcome.  There was one person who would care that she still cared and tomorrow, she would write an old fashioned letter, never knowing if it would be answered or not.

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