Monday, May 26, 2014

A House Divided, Built Upon Sand and Stone

   "We are strong.  We adapt."  Marco spread his arms, circling the ashes of his home.  "This is just another test we've been sent to face."
   Marco was a youth minister.  He helped guide many young people through their troubles.
   Now, he needed God to guide him.  Because his family refused to listen.  All they could feel was grief and anger.
   He prayed for God's forgiveness.
   His family did not.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quiet

   All Bethany needed was the quiet.  An hour of no children running, screaming, or pulling each other's hair.  And no husband to come home, complaining about his sex life and how hungry it made him.  An hour of quiet was all she had--and all she wanted.
   "'Ey, you."  The warden banged against Bethany's cell.  "You're next."
   The buzz of the hair clippers at once numbed and thrilled her.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Breaking Routine Is Unfamiliar Territory

   Ever since aunt Cheri visited the grand canyon last summer, she has wanted to go back.  
   "Oh!" she says, "We should've done the donkey trails!" The flowers on her nightgown swirl around her fuzzy slippers.  "Everyone says that we should've!  We need to go back."  She stubs her cigarette in the tray.  "We missed the best part!"
   "Aunt Cheri, if you wanna go, go!  It's only an hour drive."

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just Another Day

   Calvin let the phone ring three times before dropping his pen, "Good Morning, this is Calvin.  How may I help you today?"
   The elderly man on the other end took five minutes explaining his predicament, and two minutes in, Calvin went back to writing in his padfolio.
   "Well, sir that does sound like a pickle."  Calvin pinched his nose above his black glasses and continued to listen.
   "Uh-huh..."

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Casual Quip Between Friends

   As our plane descended, the dense forest developed texture, like a warm bumpy green knitted sweater.  Beside me, Virgil gripped his leather-bound journal hard, leaving indentations and most likely fingerprints.  
   "Virgil," I said.  "We've flown to the Amazon countless times--"
   "I know!" His voice carried over a three row radius.  "Don't tell me to get a grip.  Or so help me, Kris!"
   I turned to hide my grin.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Past is Full of Pandemon-idiom

   A stick-in-the-mud met a behind the times man at a hole in the wall.  She would never dress to kill, and he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.
   After one look, she pegged him as another fuddy-duddy.  In half the time, he pinned her as a halfwit.
   As a friend of both, I can say, yes.  They're a pain in the butt.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Parted and Precious

   My grandfather waited twenty years to open a bottle of vintage port that my grandmother had given him as a surprise.
   Tonight would be their fortieth anniversary, and he sat in vigil beside it, lighting a candle.  His hands shook, but his eyes were steady.
   It took years for grandpa and grandma to find one another.
   And in a way, they were both still as distant as the stars.

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Childhood Ideal

   A pink ballerina ornament hanging from the Christmas tree twirled to musical bells and chimes.  She spun round and round in a slow, rhythmic circle.  Her toes bent to a perfect point and her gracefully lifted arms never flinched in fatigue.  Through all of her pain, she managed to look beautiful.
   Looking beautiful was all that mattered--all that was valued.
   She was an ornament.
   She was a woman.