He woke up, feeling more groggy than he had ever felt, not sure why he would feel so poorly. He thought about the night before and realized he could recall showing up at Lindon’s Bistro and getting seated, but nothing else. His whole body was shaking; was there a draft in here? Dexter raised his hand to his head and realized for the first time that all of his hair was gone. What? Where was his hair? Who would shave his head and why? Standing up and slowly walking toward the mirror Dexter could barely recognize his own reflection. Never before had he been without his brown curls. Who did this?
I am terribly afraid of spiders. I have tried to desensitize myself. When I was student teaching the teacher I was working under had me do a whole spider lesson with the kids to get me past the fear. I have had to get help for nightmares, when they are bad I cannot sleep. Some people think it is funny and enjoy either showing me spider pictures or fake spiders, but it really isn’t funny. When I was teaching my own class and the kids would find out how I feel, I would teach them about sensitivity and empathy using myself as the example. When my kids were little, I tried to never show them my fear. My daughter, however, is terrified! I have had to go to her apartment to get a spider when she has been alone with no one to help her.
Brad was so proud of himself. He had worked for the past two weekends, up and down ladders, installing posts and brackets, to make a new ropes course in the backyard. The great thing about it, he had thought, was that with people being on the ropes course, squirrels would stay out of the yard and away from Marj’s bird feeders. He led Marj out to see the new course; he had a wide grin on his face. Brad looked over at Marj and his smile disappeared. Maybe she didn’t like the ropes course at all?
Brad, What is with all the ropes in the backyard?
Well, you know how you said you wanted to feed the birds? I saw the other morning that there were squirrels hanging onto all of the feeders and there was barely any food left.
And so you thought you would give them a better walkway to the feeders?
Haha, Marj no! I figured if I set up a ropes course the squirrels would see that it is an area for humans, not for birds, and they wouldn’t bother.
Brad, don’t you think they can tell when there are no humans on the ropes course?
Well, yeah I guess so.
So, don’t you think they would use your ropes course as an easy way to get to my birdfeeders when no “humans” are out there?
Well, then maybe it wasn’t the best plan but it is an awesome ropes course!
Beyond the broken fence post and far beyond the wall there is a tiny garden where witches come to call.
If you are to come here bring food and water too you may never leave this place the witches wait for you.
Sophia stood before the fence. She knew the rhyme; her mother had been saying it to her since she could remember. She just didn’t know if it was true or just one of those tales that someone starts to make someone else scared. The one thing Sophia couldn’t make sense of though is the fact that there was a little garden right on the other side of the fence in their yard. If it was only a scary story, why did their yard fit the story so well. Sophia just stood there, staring, contemplating whether she walk over to investigate or not.
I had to go slow, all the snow on the road, and no town trucks had been out to plow yet. I hated these back roads when it snowed. The snow in the trees was like a blanket trapping you into this small space. Everywhere you looked all you saw was white. It was beautiful but…
Who is that? Why is there someone even on this road? Shoot, I do not know if I should just stop here and wait…. wait for what? Should I try to back up and get out of here? Then what? I must get home. What am I going to do go back to the market and say that someone is walking down the road toward my house and since I do not know who it is, I will not drive toward him or her? People will think I have lost my mind.
But what if I go up slowly behind him and it is some psycho. I will be trapped because there is not anywhere to turn around up there. I do not think I would even have time to turn around before he was in my car or attacking me.
Good God, Crystal, stop with the creepy movie stuff! Other people live in this town and other people walk on this road! What are you going to do, never go back to your house because some guy decided to take a walk on the snowy road?
But who could it be? The Johnston’s are both in their 80’s and Mr. Johnston had no reason to be out in this cold. Becka lives with Luke…Oh, it is Luke. But where is his car? I did not see it back in town and it is a little cold to be walking right now.
Great, what do I do?
Okay, I will go past this person and see who it is. It is just someone I am forgetting about. My imagination must stop!
I’m taking a writing course “Writing for Children” and one of my assignments at the beginning was to write a 500-word descriptive piece about a childhood memory. I wrote about how my sister and I used to explore through my grandma’s woods and find old trash piles. This photo reminded me of it. Here is an excerpt…
. . . The trail wound down the small forested hill showing which direction we needed to go. In some places the trail became a few inches wider, but most of the time we had only enough room for one foot. We clambered on, one foot in front of the other and followed the path down until it disappeared around a corner of dirt and stone. We crept to the edge of the path’s end before it turned and led in a new direction. Here, we stopped in our tracks. As we turned, our eyes seemed to arrive before our minds as we looked down at the treasure trove of garbage, with its mountain of old appliances hovering over endless treasures and special finds. To some, this was a dumping area, but to my sister and me it was a land to explore and maybe find a valuable someone accidentally left behind.
Veva knew that nothing which had been done in the past could be undone, she could only hope to find some forgiveness in her heart. She was not sure if that was possible.
Two weeks ago Veva heard some terrible news about an old friend. Struck by COVID Meg had not made it. She was so heartbroken at losing her friend, especially because there would be no services to honor Meg’s life. In her sad state she decided to call her coworker, with whom she had become very close with in the last ten years at the same advertising company. She knew Barb would be able to give her the sympathy she needed at this horrific time.
Veva called Barb on her personal cell phone, wanting Barb to know that it was not a work related call. After the third ring, right before the call went to voicemail, Barb answered.
“Hey Veva, what’s going on?”
“Oh, Barb, I just found out one of my oldest and dearest friends died from COVID!”
“Veva, that is awful. Where did she live? Will there be services?
“She was from Syracuse, like me. Her brother said they can’t have any services because of social distancing so they will bury her ashes with just the immediate family and priest.”
“Wow, that sucks. Hey listen, can I call you back? I just got to the store and I just have to run in to return something.”
“Sure, Barb, talk to you later.”
Veva was left alone to cry. She thought Barb would offer to come right over and keep her company. She had thought wrong.
A few hours passed and Veva had still not heard anything from Barb. When she tried calling her the call went directly to voicemail. She wasn’t sure if she should be mad or worried. Putting her concerns aside she wanted to check Facebook to see what kind of tributes were being made to honor Meg’s life. Turning on the computer and navigating to Facebook, the first picture to show up on the feed was Barb, sitting alone at a small cafe, drinking a glass of wine. The caption read: “I love being alone!”
Veva was taken by surprise. Hadn’t Barb said she was just returning something and would call her right back? Here Barb has posted a picture of herself enjoying a glass of wine alone. She could have asked Veva to join her, she could have waited to have a glass of wine to comfort her friend. Obviously, the wine was more important that she was.
Veva sat back and closed the browser. No point in torturing herself anymore. She was now hurt twice in one day.
Jessie walked down the wide hallway, her heels clicking on the marble, as she observed the works of art. The museum had this gallery and although she had been to numerous galleries, this one always displayed the most beautiful pieces by famous artists. At this moment she seemed to be the only one in the entire building as there was nothing but silence besides the clicking heels.
Artwork was Jessie’s passion. She loved to dabble in different mediums but found she was best at pencil drawing, capable of having images pop right off a page with her illusion work. She had been interested in illusion since she was a little girl. Magicians were fascinating to her. One of her most favorite artists to date was still Salvadore Dali. She wished she could draw the surrealistic images he was able to produce easily with paint. If Dali were still alive, Jessie would be at his doorstep begging for lessons.
Jessie enjoyed all artwork. She loved Monet, but didn’t everyone love Monet? Then Van Gogh. He was a bit crazy and you can see it in some of his work, but still the detail he was able to put into his paintings amazed Jessie. She was not too crazy about Norman Rockwell and other artists that drew such real life images, entertaining or not. To Jessie, artwork was an expression of all the craziness floating in your brain.