I love meditation tapes, especially the ones that take me on a mental walk to exotic places. I recently got one such tape free from lime wire, but it was not exotic—it was erotic. Kinda More
Exploring the Writer Within
21 Oct 2009 14 Comments
in flash fiction Tags: blog, creative writing, flash fiction, Flash Fiction Stories, flash fiction writer, micro-fiction, Pittsburgh, Short Short Stories, short stories, short story, short story writer, story, sudden fiction, Terry Elkins, very short stories, Whyguy, Whyguys Blog, writer, writers, writing, Writing Flash Fiction
Martha Brentwood stood stoic against the first arctic gale of the season, as she waited for the number-seven to carry her to Saint Ann’s Cathedral for the sixth time in two years. A trip she never got used to. The harsh breath of winter bit at her as rabid flecks of crystalline powdered snow threatened to bury her where she stood. Her mourning-black Cashmere coat was faded by time, and it did nothing to cover her bare hands, but she didn’t shiver, she didn’t blink, and she didn’t move. Her heart was warmed by the precious memories of Anna, as she recalled their first encounter at the fourth street USO where they both worked so many years ago…Lost in her memories she hadn’t heard the number-seven slide to a halt in front of her—she was somewhere in time.
A barrel chested man bounced off the bus with the grace of a younger man. His chiseled features, leather skin, and gray hair—all marked by time, gave him the look of distinguished charm, contrasted only by his simple black slacks, and weathered pea coat. Blinded by the snow he stumbled to a halt mere inches from the statuesque beauty before him. Her soft-powdered-pale skin was nearly lost in the backdrop of winter’s fury. But her sea-green eyes and luscious ruby lips cast a luminescent glow like a watch keepers lantern meant to guide lost sailors home. He knew this beauty, and rusted memories of a love long past broke free from their moors as he recalled a four day furlough, a sailors first kiss, an enchanted honey moon, and a sobered divorce sent first class mail from Normandy.
“Martha—Martha, are you ok dear?” Martha was pulled back into the ferocity of the storm as her memories faded back into the shadows of yesteryear.
“Excuse me, do I know you?” Martha asked.
“It’s me, your ex-husband, John Brentwood.” As frozen tears of remembrance welled in her eyes, John asked, “Where are you going, Martha?”
“I’m going to say good bye to an old friend at Saint Ann’s.”
“Me too,” John said, “but why are you standing here?”
“I’m waiting for the number-seven to take me there,” Martha said with a tremble in her voice.
“Martha, honey, you’re standing in front of Saint Ann’s.”
Startled by this revelation, Maratha’s knees buckled and John reached out to her. As they clasped hands, the cold-cheap -gold bands they had given one another over half a century ago were reunited. But this reunion was cut short by the somber chimes of funeral bells.
They turned, facing the marble steps of Saint Ann’s, solemnly remembering why they were there. It was Anna who had introduced them all those years ago, it was Anna who had brought them together on this day, and it was Anna they were going to see. Arm in arm, walking silently, they faded into the storm as they climbed the last twenty-three steps to good-bye.
Terry Elkins (whyguy)
Please feel free to comment on this story. 🙂
21 Oct 2009 25 Comments
in flash fiction Tags: Buttercup Memories, Buttercups, Daises, descriptive story, flash fiction, Indiana parks, Inspirational, Michigan City Indiana, micro-fiction, Short Short Stories, short stories, smoke long fiction, spring, Washington Park Zoo, Whyguy, Whyguys Blog
It was the season of daisies, spring was in late bloom, and the warm breath of an anxious summer gave me an early morning hello. The sky was a gentle shade of springtime blue, and cotton candy clouds made their way to nowhere—a day I couldn’t resist being lazy. In search of a bit of inspiration, I grabbed my copy of, Selected Poems by Henry David Thoreau, and walked to the park
Washington Park, and the adjacent zoo, in my hometown of Michigan City, Indiana, is gorgeous this time of year. A gentle breeze blew across the clear calm of Lake Michigan, past the sculpted sands of a deserted beach, and ruffled my graying hair. In the distance, a lion welcomed in the day with a mighty roar—as macaws, peacocks, and ring tailed monkeys chimed in, not to be out done by this king of beast.
To my surprise, the park was all but empty except for a young mother who sat on a cool carpet of green rocking a newborn in her arms. She kept a watchful eye on her other child, whose curly locks of golden hair, and precocious giggle, reminded me of a young Shirley Temple. Her daughter, who must have been four, was lost in a world of magic—chasing fairies, dancing, and talking to leprechauns—or so I imagined.
I watched this enchanted child dance to the rhythm of the day as flecks of shimmered sunshine pierced the luscious emerald canopy—the golden hues fluttering about her like translucent butterflies.
Twirling barefoot in a sea of daisies, her yellow sundress took on the shape of a flower as she began to sing—accompanied only by a robin’s song.
“Buttercup, Buttercup, I love you. Buttercup, Buttercup, do you love me too. Buttercup, Buttercup, it’s time to wake up. Buttercup, Buttercup…”
Soothed by the lullaby melody, the scent of lilacs and early morning tulips, I leaned against an ancient oak and turned to my favorite Thoreau poem, Mist, and read.
Fountain-head and source of rivers,
And napkin spread by fays;
Drifting meadow of the air,
Where bloom the daisied banks and violets,
And in whose fenny labyrinth
The bittern booms and heron wades;
Spirit of lakes and seas and rivers,
Bear only perfumes and the scent
Of healing herbs to just men’s fields!”
The spell cast on me by the day was broken when I heard the mother call, “Buttercup—Buttercup, it’s time to go.”
I looked up from my page into the sparking blue eyes of innocence now standing before me—a bouquet of daisies in hand.
“Hello little one,” I said. “Is your name Buttercup?”
“That’s what everyone calls me,” she said with a giggle in her voice. “What’s your name?”
“Everyone calls me Terry.”
“Terry, these are for you.” And she thrust the bouquet of daises into my hand.
“What are these for?” I asked a bit perplexed.
“They’re for you silly.”
I let out a laugh. “No-no-no honey, I mean why are you giving them to me?”
Buttercup smiled a child’s toothless smile and said, “Because you’re here.”
“Thank you very much, Buttercup.”
“You’re most welcome,” she said with the voice of an angel. “Bye.”
As she ran back toward her mother, I took in the intoxicating aroma of kindness, and a warm tear trickled down my cheek. It was the first time in my life anyone had ever acknowledged my existence with a gift for no other reason than I was here.
I had come to the park to find a bit of inspiration in a poem, and instead I found it in the heart of a child.
Terry Elkins (whyguy)
21 Oct 2009 12 Comments
Wayne Dyer, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Eckhart Tolle, and many others—all wise men, have taught me many things over the years, but the wisdom that I have found in one small child’s words have taught me the most about the power of living in the moment.
When I was a young father and my now twenty-three year old daughter was four, I was put in charge of watching her. I was given explicit instructions to keep an eye on Sara by my wife: Don’t let Sara eat cookies for breakfast, play with Mom’s makeup, or dress up in Sara’s new Easter dress.
Check, check, check…got it. “Don’t worry,” I said, thinking, how hard could it be to watch a four-year old. With a bit of trepidation Mom left us alone. After mom left, I laid down for a quick nap, knowing Sara would be fine. After all, she was playing quietly, so how much mischief could she get into.
After some time, I woke up to the sound of giggling coming from Sara’s room. I was curious to what she was doing so I lumbered to her room, pulled back the lace curtains of the French doors, and peered through the window. My heart quickened, my eyes bulged, and panic over took me. Sara was having a tea party with Ken and Dreamtime Barbie, Teddy the one eyed bear, and Curly Q the half-bald Cabbage Patch Kid that Sara decided would look better with a trim. She was serving cookies and milk to all partygoers and she had on my wife’s lipstick (both on her and Ken). She was also wearing her frilly pink Easter dress, with full compliment of stockings, gloves, and black pearl dress shoes.
I panicked and thrusts open the doors—it cracked with the sound of thunder against the wall. Sara gave a quick jump, smiled, and said with the voice of happiness, “ Hi Daddy, want some milk and cookies?” She was oblivious to the predicament we were in, but I was not. I had failed completely at my mission and knew when Mom came home I was a dead man.
I grabbed Sara’s startled hand, and dragged her to the bathroom. I tossed her onto the edge of the sink, and as I began wiping the overused Ruby Red lipstick from my perplexed child’s face, I noticed rips in her stockings. They were soaked in a dark crimson, and both precious knees were swollen, scraped, and bruised.
My voice cracked, “What happened?”
She shrugged her shoulders—casually pronouncing “I fell down, no big deal.”
My hands trembled as I began working on her wounds. My eyes darted around the room, and my breath quickened as I berated my daughter. “Your Mom is going to kill me! Why didn’t you wake me? Where’s the Band-aids? Doesn’t that hurt? Why aren’t you crying?”
Sara stared into my soul with her precious blue indigo child eyes, and softly spoke, “Daddy, I got hurt earlier, why cry now?”
I huffed, “But what about Mom, she’s going to be pissed?” Sara again shrugged nonchalantly.
“I think we’re both going to get grounded,” I said.
Sara laughed, and that’s when she said the wisest words I have ever heard from a child. “Daddy, I got hurt earlier and Mommy don’t get home until later, now we have all day to be happy.”
A wash of calm overtook me, tears welled up in my eyes, and my spirit became still. I lifted Sara into my arms, and asked, “how about some more milk and cookies Pumpkin?”
She smiled, wrapped her arms around my neck, and squeezed my waist with her legs, as she whispered in my ear, “I love you Daddy.”
The rest of the day, we were happy.
This incident taught me the power of living fully in the moment, and not to worry about the what happened, or what may happen, the only time we have to be happy is now. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now”
These are the words I live by till this day.
Terry A. Elkins (whyguy)