Friday, December 12, 2014

Lena's Story and Poetry Corner: Violet Hopes

Lena's Story and Poetry Corner: Violet Hopes: One of my short stories is included in this anthology.  Read stories from several talented authors.  When you buy a book from you...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pre-judgment Day

“Mark Thomas, this is your pre-judgment day.  You were not scheduled to be with us yet.  However, your guardian angel asked that we review your life up until now, in order to gain redemption from your sins when your time comes to join us in heaven.”

“Gosh mister, how could I have been so bad when I’m only nine years old?”

“Age is a miscalculation by many who arrive at these gates.  Satan has no age limit when he tempts to sin.  Now pay attention.”

Even though Mark felt wide awake, a dream sequence began.  

“Hey cool, that’s me, and Joey and Steve.  I remember this day.  We were playing in the huge mud puddles after school right after that really big storm.  Here comes Piggy Myrtle.  She’s so fat…”

“Enough commentary if you please.” Mark felt a gentle rap on his knuckles and decided to zip his lips.

Mark watched as he and his friends giggled and pointed as they saw Myrtle heading their way.  They devised a plan to play a trick on her.  As she approached, the boys began to chant.

If Myrtle Piggy had her way,
She’d eat donuts every day,
She’d wallow in a crib of mud,
She’d snort and holler and smell like crud.

Mark and his friends rode their bikes on either side of the puddle, slinging mud all over Myrtle, causing her to fall into the mud puddle.  They rode off laughing still singing the rude song.

This time, Mark actually saw what their prank caused.  Myrtle sat crying until she noticed that she lost her mother’s ring her Aunt Rose gave her when her mother passed away.  She searched frantically through the puddle but could not find the ring.

“I can’t go home without mom’s ring.  Dad will kill me.  He told Aunt Rose not to give me the ring but she did anyway.  Dad told her I would lose it.  He was right.  I am so stupid.” 

She did not want to go home but eventually it became so dark that she had too.  By the time she arrived she was shaking from being wet and cold.  Her father yelled at her for being late and ruining her school uniform.

“Those cost money and you are hardly worth it.  Look at you.  You will never get married and you are too stupid to finish school.  You aren’t living with me forever little girl.  I won’t have it.”  With that, he smacked her hard on the back of her head and sent her to her room with no supper.

After washing her clothes, she has to take a cold shower.  She only a thin sheet across her bed, so Myrtle wrapped her nightgown tightly around her legs to keep warm.  Her attic room attic blew cold air through the boards all night.  

“Myrtle, why ain’t my breakfast on the table you lazy chit.  Git yourself down here girl and fix your pa something to eat.  You expect me to go to work hungry?” 

No answer came from up the stairs.  Myrtles father decided he would treat himself to breakfast out, cussing his lazy offspring.

After work he saw there was no food cooking.

“I’ll be darned if I’m cooking my meal two days in a row.” He stomped out and had dinner at the diner along with a few pints of beer.

Hearing the phone ring as he staggered into the house, he knocked it off the hook then picked it up and yelled “Hello, what you want?”

“This is Rose.  Did you know that Myrtle never showed up to school today?” Aunt Rose was the secretary at the school.  “Chuck, can I speak with her please?”

“Girl, git you fat butt down here right now and talk to your Aunt Rose.  Do you hear me Myrtle?”  Not a sound came from upstairs.  “Guess she ain’t here,” he said, hanging up then passing out in bed.

Rose didn’t take his word for it since she could tell he had been drinking.  Rose drove over and let herself in the house.  She walked up the stairs and noticed first the clothes hanging over the rail to dry. When she stepped into the child’s room, she shivered from how cold the air was.  That is when she noticed Myrtle on the bed.  When she reached out and shook her, she felt how hot the child was and that Myrtle did not respond.  She immediately called an ambulance but by the time they arrived at the hospital, Myrtle had passed away.

“Did we cause her to die?”  Mark asked.

Indirectly, yes you and your friends played a part in it with your tomfoolery.”  

“Tom who?”

“Shenanigans, pranks, bad behavior…”

“That’s the same day I got ran over by the car.  Can I go back and make things right so both Myrtle and I won’t be dead?”

“You can give it a try.” 

Mark found himself back on earth and riding away with his friends.  “Hey wait you guys.  We should go back and check on Myrtle.”

“You check on the piggy if you want,” said Joey.  Me and Steve are going to the park to throw some balls.”

Mark turned around and found Myrtle sitting and crying in the mud.  

“Did you lose something?”  

“Yes, my mother’s ring.” She said between gulps and sobs.

“I’m sorry.  We shouldn’t have teased you that way.  Let me help you find it.”

Mark did find it and then asked Myrtle to come to his house.  His mother scolded Mark and then gave Myrtle something to change into while she washed her clothes.  While Myrtle changed back into her clean uniform, Mark told his mother about Myrtle.  Mark’s mother drove her home and helped carry two large boxes into the house.  One was full of clothes and blankets for Myrtle and the other was filled with food.  She helped Myrtle start dinner and then left before her father came home.

Mark saw Myrtle in school the next day and smiled.  They each had been given a present, the future.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eyes in the Sky

  *Image from

“Young man ‘Eyes in the Sky’; you have completed preparations for your Vision Quest. You have purified your body in the sweat lodge and have fasted since yesterday’s sunrise. Now we must venture forth, past the streams and trees, until there is but rock beneath our feet.”

The Medicine woman swathed in decorative hides, ornate with bones, bags, bangles and beads led the young brave away from the camp and into nature. Large walking stick in hand, she rattled and jingled as she walked through the solitude of the woods. Higher and higher she climbed, not winded in the least even for her sixty plus years. They stopped on a ledge about half way up the mountain allowing ‘Eyes in the Sky’ to look down upon their village, which resembled child toys with a scurry of ants. Even the war horses appeared to be no larger than gnats.

They rested but did not sleep when the darkness enveloped them. The shaman woman chanted over the flames but neither ate. ‘Eyes in the Sky’ yearned that his vision would show him where his future lay, hoping in his heart that he was meant to be a warrior like his brother and father before him. They were a proud tribe of hunters too. Either would be fine. His eyes grew sleepy until the shaman shook her rattle in his face.

“Stay awake, stay alert, young pup. How can your spirit helper show you the way to your vision if you are asleep?”

The next day they reached the summit where neither bush nor grass grew within the chalky, white rocks. Aspen and pine so blue it blended with the sky. Juniper, fir and cottonwood had led the way until all that remained was thin and stunted. The medicine woman picked a flat spot for him and one a bit back from the edge for herself. The shaman prepared a fire.

“Earth and sky, wind and water, grant ‘Eyes in the Sky’ a vision that will lead his way in life. Help him to become the man he is meant to be.”

Dropping incense from the bags about her neck, she then passed him his first pipe. He choked on the first pull as it burned to his gut. The air about him warmed, and the rock beneath him felt as soft as a fur cover. Last words he heard from the medicine woman was that they would fast and pray for three days. Between the fasting, the thin air and the exertion, ‘Eyes in the Sky’ fell over onto the ground in a deep trance. He could feel the blood pumping through his body, his muscles relaxing and his mind opening to enlightenment.
In the dream he was sitting among his people but no one noticed him. He cried out but no one answered. Late that night a huge bat landed on his shoulder. Days past into years; still he sat, watching. His people went from a proud strong nation, to poverty, distrust and weakness. Illness claimed the children who hadn’t enough to eat. The warriors and hunters were all gone; taken by the white men.

The dream began to change. Many bats joined the large winged bat that had kept him company. They guided the way. The shaman looked up, seeing the bats but not the boy. She told the village to pack; they were leaving. Those that survived walked towards the south, away from the only land they had ever known. Days and nights they walked, eating what little mother earth provided. After many moons had passed they reached a fertile land of water, grass, buffalo and trees laden with fruit. A few stray braves joined the women as they walked. The shaman stated that they would stay in this place Earth Mother had gifted them. Young men came from further south and showed them how to plow the land and grow abundance of foods to feed their people. Soon the village was safe and productive again. They made baskets that resembled horns and filled them with plenty from their gardens to give to others living close by. They invited them to come to a grand feast. Tables were erected and covered with meats, sweets, fruits, nuts and vegetables. His people rejoiced and shared the bounty.

‘Eyes in the Sky’ awoke suddenly from his vision. When he returned to the village, the medicine woman took him back into the lodge to decipher his vision while the village people prepared for a celebration of him becoming a man.

“Your power animal is a bat. He symbolizes letting go of the old ways and embracing new. Your vision tells of battles to come which we will not win. If we stay, we shall loose our people. We must venture forth and live as growers of the earth. Some will consider you an annoyance but you must stay persistent. Some will not listen and they will parish in the end. You ‘Eyes in the sky’ must be strong and lead your people to the south where they will find peace and prosperity.”

The boy who became a man began his crusade. As the wise woman foretold, many warriors would not listen and remained behind. Some of the hunters and young men followed their families though. Years later they found the land of plenty but mourned all those they lost. They celebrated their fruitfulness and rejoiced over the vision that brought them to this land of plenty. The last thing they celebrated was the life of a great chief who had the vision to change. ‘Eyes in the Sky’ lasted but two years after they had arrived but he died in peace. He sailed away into the night on the wings of the great bat.

Each year, on the anniversary of his death, they honor him by the sharing of cornucopia symbolizing fertility, fortune and abundance. Each is decorated with the symbol of the bat.