#12DaysBop : Day 5 – Camellia Blooms

It’s day 5 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is flowers. I love flowers. And this time, I went with something true, for someone I remember…

IMG_2655They say, as long as you remember someone, they are still alive. At least in some way. I like that thought very much. Because it means you’re still alive. Because, I remember you. We went to high school together. You were one of my friends. I had so few friends back then.

I remember your smile. The way it made your eyes crinkle. I used to look in those eyes of yours. They weren’t the prettiest I’d ever seen. But they were pretty. Yes, you weren’t a hot chick. It was the 70s. The days of Charlie’s Angles. Dukes of Hazard. You certainly didn’t compare to Jill Munroe, or Daisy Duke. But then, who did? You looked pretty to me.

I’m sorry for all the 33 years we missed between then, and when we met again. It was sad to learn you were so very ill. I remember calling you. Some people said I was doing that ’cause I was being nice to you. They said I was doing that ‘cause it was the right thing to do. But you knew. You knew I was calling you because I wanted to. I wanted to talk with you. Not that I ever said much. But I did love to listen to your voice.

I’d hoped to visit you someday. Meet your family. But that never happened.

You loved the pictures of flowers I shared with you. Especially the Camellias. I find sometimes, walking here, through the Camellia trees filled with blooms. I remember you. Your smile. Your laughter. The sound of your voice.

I’m glad I do. And maybe someday. When when it’s my turn to move on. I’ll get the chance to visit you again.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 5 – The Gift Of Flowers

Have You Forgotten?

Why do you say
There is no hope?
Why do you act
So doomed?
As if the world had ended.
Or will end soon.

Don’t you understand?
Don’t you see the truth?

Each day of life we get
Is a gift.
Each heartbeat.
Each breath.

Why do you give up
On the future?
On the unknown?
On what hasn’t happened yet?
Do you really know
What is to come?
Do you know
What each day will bring?
Can you see
Ahead in time?

How do you know
The Earth will not quake today?
A gigantic wave
Won’t wash the oceanfront away?
Someone else
Won’t plow their car
Into the side of yours today.

How do you know
This won’t be
Your last day?

Yet you sit there.
Doing nothing.
Not living at all.
Not smiling.
Not laughing.
Not feeling the breeze
Flow past the fingers
Of your hands.
Not feeling the warmth
Of the heat
Within your house.

Not thanking God above
That your heat beats.
That you aren’t
Hooked to a machine
Just to stay alive.

You don’t see the flowers.
You don’t see the clouds
Floating in the sky.
You don’t see the trees
Along the ground.

It’s as if your blind
To everything around.
Everything life gives to you.
Each day.

Even when you know
It doesn’t have to give you
Another day at all.

Why do you stay inside.
For the days of glory
Long past now?
When you were happy.
When you didn’t have a worry
In the world.

Why do you sit there
And wish
Those days would return?
When you know they can’t.
You know there’s no way
To turn back the clock.
And yet you wish
Things could just be the same
As they were in the days
When you were happy.
When you smiled.
When you laughed.

When the world was a place
You wanted to live in?

Why don’t you want
To be alive right now?

Have you forgotten
The simple joy
Of each breath you take?
Have you forgotten
That you have food to eat
Every day?
More than you need.
More even than you want.
So that you throw food away?

When you know
You could be that person
You saw just yesterday.
The one on the corner.
Dressed in rags.
Outside in the cold.
Without a coat.
Holding up that cardboard sign.
“Will work for food.”

And you sit there
And complain
About your horrible life?
You call that person
With that sign
A failure.
“His kind are what’s wrong
With the world today!”

And your Jesus said,
“The poor will always be here.”

And yet you say,
“Hide them from me!
I don’t want to know
Such people exist!
It spoils my view
Of the world that I live in!”

And you hear the words
Of that song you heard
On the radio
From years ago,
“Get a job,
You fucking slob.”

And you drive away.

Have you really forgotten
The gift you have been given
By life
Every day?

Friday Night Write : Eleanor Rigby

I should have screamed, “Don’t touch me!” I should have pushed her away. I should followed through on my threat to never talk with her again. I should have listened to the voice in my head that screamed, “She’s dangerous!”

Hell, I told her that. When I decided to talk with her again. “Do you have any idea how dangerous to me you are?” She laughed that unforgettable laugh of hers. And I felt so stupid. So silly. At the thought that she could be dangerous.

Damn her, and her smile, like the sun on a summer day. I had no defense against that. Damn her and her deep blue eyes. Filled with a simply joy at just being alive. Like a moth to a flame. A deer caught in her headlights.

I should have stayed alone, kept my distance. Everything had been safe. Secure. Every day was the same. Every week. Everything centered around work. It was all I had. All I was. My family needed me to work. My wife depended on me to bring in my paycheck. We had bills to pay. College tuitions. Car payments. The house.

I was just a normal guy. Going to work every day. Doing the job. No dreams. No goals. Ignoring the world. Hell. I knew I was miserable. Isn’t everyone? The guys I worked with always said, “Yeah. The job sucks. But it pays the bills.” And, “You have to just suck it up. And do it. Even if you don’t like it.”

And then, she came along. And I stopped going to work for the paycheck. Going because she was there. And she was alive! Real! And I was that guy stuck in the desert, looking for water, just to stay alive. Seeking an oasis amid the sandstorms, and the endless dunes, and the scorching heat.

She was that oasis.

I never would  have touched her if she hadn’t touched me. And I never did kiss her. Never would have either. I would have torn my heart out to keep her safe. To see her smile. To look into her eyes. To hear her laugh. Until she came along, I’d never realized how alone I’d become.

I can’t forget the day I got my Network+ Certification. Everyone was happy. Saying, “Congratulations!”, like they were supposed to. Not her. She smiled and looked at me with those deep blue eyes of her. And the next thing I knew, her arms were wrapped around my neck. And I’d wrapped mine around her in response.

She woke me up! And no matter how much I want to. How hard I try. How much people encourage me. I can’t go back. I can’t.

I can’t be normal again. I can’t be like everyone else again. I can’t be dead inside.

I should have listened to that voice in my head that screamed, “She’s dangerous!”

I wrote this for the 15th Friday Night Write over on Sweet Banana Ink. Please, go visit there, and read the other stories that were written and shared this week.


The Burial Of The Soda Cans

“I will never forget the sacrifice they made, nor let it be in vain.” I held up the bag of empty soda cans. “They sacrificed their contents so that I would not throw things at other people.” I dumped the contents of the bag into the recycling container. “They surrendered all they were to help me cope with homework, housework, laundry, dishes, and yard work.” The cans made a lot of rather loud pinging, and clanking, and tinking sounds as they bounced around, entering the recycling container. “If not for them, I would not be the person I am today,” I announced as I closed the lid to the container. Then I took a single step backward, and held my hands before my face, as if I held up a trumpet. And I quietly voiced the tune of taps. “May they rest in peace,” I spoke, when my musical salute reached its end. I saluted the recycling container, then turned, and went back inside the house.

My mother, bless her soul, watched my burial of the cans. She was standing in the kitchen, laughing as hard as I could remember her laughing. It was good to hear her laugh. Since Dad’s deployment had started, I don’t think she’d laughed at all. So, doing something silly that brought laughter to my Mom. Well, that made the burial of the cans thing worthwhile.

I captured these words in response to the 45th Motivation Monday prompt. I was the judge this week. So I couldn’t really enter. But I had fun writing this little off the wall tale. Wakefield Mahon hosts Motivation Monday each week. Please go read all the short pieces of fiction people created for this week’s prompt. The are all worth reading. I enjoyed each story.

A Clip From Chapter 26 of JuNoWriMo

Sunshine needed to get out and about. Mystica knew exactly what to do. She crossed the lake, and sat down in the rain, right next to Sunshine. “Let’s have a girl’s day out,” she said. “We’ll go to a village I know of, and we’ll find some new clothes for you. And a hair brush.” She smiled at Sunshine, “Is there anything you’d like to do while we are out?”

The rain began to fade, until it stopped. And Sunshine smiled. “Yes, Mommy! Yes! Let’s have a girl’s day out!”

Mystica picked Sunshine up, and called on her White Magic. “I’m going to try something different.” She winked at Sunshine. “Merlin said I can go anywhere I want to go, and get there very quickly. Let’s see if he was right. There are shops I know about at a village several days from here. Let’s see how long it takes us to get there.”

Sunshine thought that was a marvelous idea. “Let’s go, Mom! Let’s go!”

Musica called to the White Magic. It wrapped around them both. Then she spoke, “Let’s go!” There was a flash of white light. Everything just became a blur of swirling colors. It felt like they never really moved. But when the white light faded, and the colors stopped swirling around, they were standing on the outskirts of the village Mystica had spoken of.

It was the village Mystica had protected from the wolves.

She took Sunshine’s hand, and the two of them walked into the village. As the villagers saw Mystica, the word that they were being visited by the White Witch. And the White Witch had a little girl with her.

Mystica asked if everyone was OK. She healed those that were not feeling well. And she introduced Sunshine to everyone. “This is Sunshine. She’s my adopted daughter.” Everyone was happy to meet Sunshine. They made her feel welcome.

“Sunshine. What a beautiful name. She’s a beautiful little girl.”

The mothers of the village gathered up, and decided Sunshine needed a few things. They got her a little hand-held mirror, and a hairbrush. They helped her brush her hair. They picked out a couple of sun dresses and a pair of sandals for her.

Everyone ate lunch. The village had a picnic. Unplanned, and hap-hazard. But it was fun.There was singing, and dancing. Sandwiches made with chicken and turkey. And some of the best tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and green beans Sunshine had ever had.

Sunshine was happy. And of course, it was a beautiful day. And the more Sunshine smiled, and laughed, and played with the children in the village, the more beautiful the day became. The villagers asked Mystica about her daughter. Mystica explained that Sunshine was a special little girl. One blessed with wild magic.

Much to her surprise, the villagers accepted that. Several even told her, “We know you. And that you protect and help people. And we believe that if you say Sunshine is not dangerous, then she is not dangerous.”

Several of the mothers of the village sat with Mystica, as they watched the children play such games as tag, and tug-of-war, and hop-scotch.

Sunshine had never been a little girl. She’d never played with so many children all at once. She’d never had so much fun. Mystica watched her, and couldn’t help but smile. It was so wonderful to see Sunshine being a normal, happy, 4-year-old child.

Other children in the village asked her questions, “Are you a fairy?”, and “Did it hurt when your wings started to come out of your back?”, and “When will you learn to fly?” Sunshine answered all the questions. “Yes, I’m a fairy,” and “No. It didn’t. They just started coming out one day,” and “My wings have to grow a lot more before I can begin to learn to fly.”

Several of the girls in the village, and Sunshine, walked through a field of grasses. They picked little wild flowers. And braided them together. Making little headbands they could wear. They helped Sunshine pick the right kind of flowers, and braid them together, so that she had her own flower headband.

Sunshine’s favorite part was when the girls showed her how to brush her hair out, and put it in a pony tail. Sunshine loved that.

As with all good days, eventually, the sun begins to set. And when it did, Mystica and Sunshine knew it was time to leave. The girls of the village had all hugged their new friend Sunshine good-bye. And everyone thanked Mystica for coming to visit them. And for letting them meet her daughter, Sunshine. “Don’t be a stranger,” they told her.

The two of them walked from the village, and as they did, the white magic wrapped around them once again. And in no time at all, they were walking in the clearing by the lake.