Friday Fast One

Evan ball player

Evan George Gordon

“You’re welcome to use my sister’s glove,” Evan offered. “Brothers’ gloves are too big.”

Ashley picked it up, turned it over a few times, then put it back down. “I should get going.”

Evan shook his head. “No, because Nana invited you for dinner. Leaving now would be a sin. Some things you could get away with, but insulting her…nah, can’t let you do it.” He threw his mitt back in the box. “What’s the worst that can happen?”

They turned their heads towards the top of the stairs where a woman’s voice could be heard on the other side of the door. Evan didn’t find anything worrisome about the words or tone, and yet…

“It was too good to last,” Ashley whispered. “Tomorrow morning? Maybe we can try again tomorrow morning.”

The older boy nodded, hearing the pleading fear in his young friend’s voice. So close, yet so far. “We’ll try again tomorrow.”

(From “Who Knows”)

Wednesday Words

Gone Gated Door

“Let me tell you about my kid brother. Always followed me, he did. I went to New London; he did, too. I toyed with the idea of  and successfully conned my way into reserving land during my wild youth. He ‘went off the reservation’ for a season.

“I decided to volunteer for the advocacy; he did, too. I traveled the world capturing atrocities on film; he did, too. For a while, I headed a news company; he took to the same trade, other side of the screen.

“I drove myself to utter madness while looking into a lover’s eyes; a loved one saw the madness in his.

“You think these are the ramblings of one who’s had too much to drink, looking to find someplace new to sleep instead of breaking through the locked gate.

“I’m not the one locked in a prison.”

(From “Quietus: Quintet’s Demise)

 

Tuesday Tidbit

Alle Yomin

Alle Yomin

“Sometimes, my boy, what you fear most is often found within. So, be careful of how quickly you judge. Be careful of how quickly you condemn. Most importantly, be careful of how quickly you kill.”

Desmon Rune looked at the elder, this level of respect keeping him from saying something rash. “I’m not afraid,” he said.

“Of course not; there’s nothing to fear. Surrounded by the words of so those who lived before you, learning by the actions of those around you…So many possible offerings to give those who will follow you.”

Desmon walked backwards towards the door, anxious to get to the Learning Hall.

(From The Atkinson Chronicles)

Call Me, Al – Flight Risk

Flight Risk

Alven Sydney wandered for almost an hour before he found his runaway. He called his wife from a payphone, reassuring her that their eldest child was safe – angry, but safe. He watched as the sullen teen made her way from the pier towards the arts center, where she was expected to be, almost an hour later than the start of lesson that didn’t exist.

“Amelia, I think a different detour might be in order. Don’t worry and don’t wait up.” He paused. “If she’s serious about taking a plunge, maybe I can oblige.”

“The kids would be jealous if they knew,” Amelia told him. “Fine, just don’t get yourself killed.”

Alven made one more call before he returned to the car, pulling up to the front of the center sometime later as though nothing was wrong. Alejandra slammed the door with enough force to rattle the glass. “I hate work. That old bat-.”

“What did we say about-?”

“What do you care? You’re only married to my mother and-.” The teenager stopped the moment Alven turned off the radio.

“What have you been doing all this time?”

Alejandra didn’t answer, picking at the stickers on her notebook. “How long are you grounding me?”

He sighed. “Tonight, we rewrite the rules,” Alven said. “If you want to jump, let’s make the jump worthwhile, shall we?”

“How come you never get mad?”

Alven smiled. “It’s like Einstein said, ‘“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.’ It seems to me that most problems come from anger…and running away.”

She ignored him, ejecting the disc from the player only to find it blank. “Let me guess, ‘The Chipmunks’ Greatest Hits,’ right?” She spun it about on her finger a few times before returning it, then tapping the ‘play’ button.

While ‘Flight of the Valkyries’ filled the car, Alven watched Alejandra try to get her bearings. By the time ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ finished, they had arrived at their destination.

Alejandra wrapped her scarf about her. “What-?”

“I believe Albert said, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience.’” Alven stretched himself slowly. “Didn’t you say you wanted to know what it was like to free fall?”

She shoved her hands into her coat pockets. “Dad ordered me never to jump out of a plane, not that Mom will let me take lessons.”

“Wrong. You have money enough for-?”

“I don’t want you paying for it, though. My dream, my savings.”

Alven nodded. “Fair enough. As for diving, we don’t have to have a plane, just a plan.” He led the way to a tall, nondescript, windowless building, holding the door open for her before she could read the cardboard sign.

“Don’t expect me to be the miller’s daughter and spin straw into gold.”

“Then don’t expect me to be some boring professor who has only lived life through books. Let’s go. Bruce is expecting us.”

Alejandra followed him to the top of the stairs, feeling as though they were at least three flights up. “If you’re trying to scare me, it’s working.”

Alven put an arm around his daughter. “You and I are going diving, tonight.”

She shook her head. “That’s nonsense. You’re afraid of heights. You’ve always said-.”

“What I say and do aren’t often two different things. However, if you think you can run and hide from whatever you’re afraid of, I’m telling you – you’re wrong. You can never run away from yourself.”

“Who says I’m doing that,” Alejandra challenged.

Alven was silent as his friend Bruce took charge, explaining the basics of a simple skydive, while the three of them suited up.

Alejandra’s eyes opened wide as she stood at the edge of the wind tunnel below. Alven whispered as best he could, “Chin up, look straight ahead and let go.” He squeezed her hand. “My turn to follow your lead.”

After the lesson was over and another appointment made, Alejandra asked on the drive home, “What was that for?”

“Just following your lead,” Alven repeated. “Fly a plane, drive a speed car, scuba dive, I suspect you’ll rewrite whatever rules you’ve got in your head that are holding you back.”

Alejandra laughed. “I think ‘reckless’ describes you best.”

Alven gave her a side hug. “That’s a start. Sky’s the limit.” He whispered, “And next time you say you’re off to ‘violin lessons,’ be respectful enough to your mother and actually attend some, please?”

Blindsided…

books2

Reading Corner by Tommia Wright

“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail.” ~Alfred Whitney Griswold

(Extended Exposure)

Rita Freemont held her taser, finger poised on the button. Scully’s silence only increased her heart rate as she pushed the door open, thankful it didn’t creak this time.

She scanned the living room first, frowning. Most break-ins resulted in things taken. Dozens of plastic bags piled upon and all around her coffee table was the last thing she expected. It was senseless to remain in her apartment if it meant more unusual finds.

Rita backed out of the apartment, deciding it was best to call the police from her neighbor’s place. Taser back in her purse, other hand poised to knock on the door, she could hear the familiar yipping of her little rescue mutt.

Jared Russell juggled another half-dozen bags with Scully in tow.

“Did your landlord kick you out,” she quipped, grabbing a couple of the bags from him then leading the way back inside, securing the door this time behind them.

Her fiance shook his head “The moronic mob wanted to clear the alternative high school of any and all ‘questionable, demonic texts’ from their library. Some of the kids and I threw as many as we could into my car, the principal’s car, and anyone else’s in the area.”

“Why didn’t they just lock the doors and call the police?” Rita sorted the books so none of the paperbacks were folded under the weight.

“What good would keys do when it’s the damn janitor’s leading the charge? Don’t worry, sheriff’s on his way, but still… Do you know how long it took just to get the library to the state it was in now? Idiots want a bonfire, they could drive out to the beach like everyone else and roast their own marshmallow brains.”

“Which section did you manage to abscond with?”

Jared’s lip curled up. “The Banned Books display collection, law, and science. Heaven forbid if the kids learn anything practical, right?”

Almost…

hh-bookshelf

All right, so this will be another ‘braided/mulit-layer bit of insanity: The Story-A-Day challenge with the May Month focus of “Get Caught Reading,” a book/reading quote, and a different character (or two or few) spotlight snippet. Let’s see how this goes:

 

“A home without books is a body without soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Amelia Livingston (Call Me, AL) waited patiently as the children wandered all about the library, returning to the blue ottoman only to put another book in the basket. She was grateful that the manager adjusted her check-out limit, given how quickly they devoured the stories.

When they’d return home, the books had their designated bookcase in the living room (large enough to combine the ones she had started with for each of their rooms, with room to spare). She hoped that maybe this blessed characteristic would remain with them as they grew up.  True, she was spoiled with her own library growing up, the daughter of two professors.

Amelia vowed to not let that part of her soul vanish.


Atkinson Fahti (Escorting in Twilight) marveled at the collection of books and scrolls throughout the entire dwelling. Even where there weren’t shelves, reading materials took over. Scrolls were saved for special occasions in his village.

Elle Yomin smiled. “In time, you’ll be able to read and understand all of these stories and so much more. In fact, I’m certain you’ll grow into being quite the storyteller yourself. Where do you want to begin?”


 

Let me know your thoughts, dear reader.

Yonkers

Y2020

Yonkers

“Trains, like time and tide, stop for no one.” ~Jules Verne

‘We’re on our way to Yonkers to see the Hudson River Museum. Prepare for the most wonderful surprise soon, sweetheart! We love you! Grandma and Grandpa Grant.’

Ashley held the postcard, the first of many depicting Grand Central Station. This was the card that kept his hope alive, which helped feed a lie. This was the card that brightened his day until that distressing night. And yet…

‘We’re on our way to Yonkers.’ That was one of the first destinations Grandma and Grandpa Emery brought up, to finish the US collection. That dream washed away with so many other goals.

He took the Jules Verne classic off the shelf. This was the story that started it all, the beginning of so many travels, both real and imagined. It was part of the ‘Most Treasured’ that he had placed in the suitcase before-. It was the first to perish in the bonfire, the last to be replaced.

Ashley smiled, recalling the day Professor Wilder gifted it to him. The note inside read: ‘There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. ~Thomas Aquinas. Maybe together, maybe solo – may you go out to see the world!’

He placed the postcard inside the book, along with the note. ‘Past’ and ‘Future’ together for the ideal present.

Voice

V2020

Victoria

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.” ~ Margaret Atwood

“I’d only left the country once as a child. Grandma and Grandpa took me to Victoria, B.C.,” Ashley said. “Between the gardens, Craigdarroch Castle, all of it…everything was so wondrously breathtaking.

“My grandparents had their garden and I dreamt of a library. Inspired by stories, photos, whimsical nonsense, I suppose. Some of the rooms were inspired by the classics, others from museums, galleries, and castles. Each room had a purpose, a designated ‘voice’ if you will. Perfect harmony, from the calming blue ocean of the soft carpet underfoot to the seasonal collage of the ‘practical’ rooms, and the stars above, waiting for a guide towards the second star on the right.”

Evan shook his head as the thunder clapped in the distance. “And you claim you can’t find words.”

“To be fair, I wasn’t expecting a basement. Almost a ‘coming up from the ashes’ bit, I suppose. Another level of story, huh?” He smiled. “Hey, before you fly out tomorrow, I’ve one more precious item to entrust in your care – for keeps.”

 

Uncovered

U2020

Uruguay

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” ~ Martha Graham

Ashley moved the dance bag aside so Evan could have a seat. The other man grabbed a tango recording before sitting down.

“I know I taught you to tap,” Evan said. “But, when did the interest in tango begin?”

“Grandma and Grandpa Emery fell in love with it when they went to Uruguay. They say it originated there and not Argentina. I’m not going to argue. As for me dancing the tango, uh, no. That’s just a motivator to cleaning the house.”

Evan laughed. “I looked at all of the different classes Ms. Gates teaches and this was near the top of the list.”

“I love tap dancing. It…it helps me calm down sometimes. Tried tango once. Not ready for it ever, so… Swing, folk, jazz…I can have fun with those and do especially improv. I mean…” Ashley sighed. “Tango involves trust. I don’t have that outside of this family, not really.

“I’ll give her credit for drawing me out of my shell without pushing like Professor Wilder did. Not that I let my guard down completely, but…There were different styles she taught me, improv and ballet being my favorites, and she let me progress with tap. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t always find the exact words for what I’m trying to say.”

“Uh-huh,” Evan said. “Well, you’ve done quite well with your avoidance dance over the years for me to fail you. I’m sorry.”

Ashley shrugged. “That third year in college, when you told me to ‘come home,’ I thought you were…mad isn’t the right word, but…insane. To see what you all pulled off from some childish sketches-.”

Evan pointed at him with the recording. “Hey! Those were some imaginative architectural designs and you know how the older sibs get – they love a challenge. Besides, those ‘childish sketches’ have turned into a seriously nice sanctuary. Mama always said, right after your first visit to our place as kids, ‘Y’all know who’s gonna live in a library.’ And she’s right.”

The older man grabbed the journal from the backpack. “Let your mind dance around this: You’ve uncovered quite a bit, from Alaska to Uruguay to who knows where else. Not every story is written strictly with words and not every life fits into a single volume.”