california-snow

California Snow, 1949, Part 1

by summergrace

 

Historical Fiction

January, 1949 in Glendale, California. It is snowing. Agnes looks out the window of the house she is living in to her front yard. There is snow on the palm trees to the right side of her house. Snow on palm trees! She thought she would never see the day. Agnes had seen snow in Utah, where she was from originally. But when she went to live in Southern California in her late twenties, some 13 years before, she thought she’d never see snow again..or at least not like this. She thought she had moved to a sunny paradise. The snow keeps falling on. Agnes shakes her head and turns away from the window.

A little ways away in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Glendale, California, the snow falls on the sleeping dead beneath the flat stones. The snow swirls over the churches at Forest Lawn where weddings and funerals are held. It looks like a winter wonderland, not a California cemetery. The snow has accumulated along the drives at Forest Lawn. Snow falls on the grave of Agnes’s sister, who had died young a little over ten years before, in the late 1930s.

Once the snow has stopped, a man with a camera can be observed at Forest Lawn. He takes a photo of one of the churches surrounded by white, on the ground and the drive around it. The tombstones beneath the snow, flat to the ground, cannot be seen, the snow is so deep. He knows this photo will be historic- Forest Lawn in the snow! Snow rarely happens in Southern California, and not this much. Many decades later, this photo will be used as a Christmas Greeting photo on the Forest Lawn Cemetery facebook page.

Back at Agnes’s house, she opens the front door, and looks out. The snow has stopped! She is reminded so much of Utah right now. A child’s voice comes from inside the house. It is Agnes’s 4 year old daughter, Winifred, better known as Winnie.

” Mother! Can I play in the snow? I’ve never seen snow!”

Agnes replies, ”Yes, but I must get you dressed warmly enough to go outside”

Just then, Agnes’s other child, her son Walter, runs up to her by the door. He is five years old. He shouts, ”I want to go play in the snow, too!”

Agnes looks down at him and says, ”Yes, you can, but I must get you and Winnie dressed warm enough to go out in this- you are not used to cold or snow..

 

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why-can't-i-be-you

Why can’t I be you?

by Grace C

The face in the photo smiled from a computer screen. It was a vintage photo taken long ago, and faraway. It was the face of Courtney’s great grandmother who had died too young. She had only been in her late thirties when she’d collapsed one day. Well, heart problems ran in her family, and all that had happened a very long time ago, in the 1930s. Courtney had been born long after she had died, and because her great grandmother’s death had been so tragic, nobody really talked about it. Growing up, Courtney had only heard whispers of the past.

Courtney had always loved the past and history. It spoke to her. She wondered why she had not been born in another time and place than early 21st century America. So, she was always researching the past. This interest had led her to see her great grandmother’s photo for the first time when Courtney was 21. Olive had been a beauty. She had been glamorous, a wannabe actress who never made it. She looked exactly like Courtney would have wanted to look had she been born back then.

Courtney found her great grandmother Olive’s photo on a genealogy website. Some long lost relative she didn’t know had put it on there.The family never really talked about who they were related to back then, or who some living long lost relatives might be today, and obviously, someone other than her grandmother, Olive’s daughter, now deceased, had some family photos and put them online.

Olive smiled in all the photos. She looked happy. Courtney wondered why she couldn’t have had Olive’s life, even her unhappy ending. Her own life was so empty and boring she felt. But Olive, a Hollywood wannabe, who had never achieved her dream of becoming a actress, and who had had to come home to the small town in Nevada, which she had left to chase her dreams, was nobody to be envied, even so many years later. Or so it might seem. However, Courtney sat by her computer screen late at night, and looked at Olive’s face musing “Why can’t I be you”? She fell asleep wondering why she couldn’t have been Olive.

 

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talk-with-my-brain

Talk with my Brain

by stargazer5

Following is a conversation between me and my brain.

Me: “Come on Brain, I’m really worried, we only have an hour left!”

Brain: “Yeah… no, I don’t think so. Let’s do something else”

Me: “Argh, you’re useless! Where’s Sensibility, or Practicality? Or even Blind Terror? Surely they can motivate you to study?”

Brain: “Sensibility is AWOL, and Practicality had a break down and is sobbing quietly.”

Me: “And Blind Terror?”

Brain: “Tranquilized and caged by Strange Calm. And before you ask, Drive to Succeed had a nasty collision with Impending Failure, Dignity still hasn’t been found and Whimsy is running the show right now. But it’s not all bad.

Me: “There’s good news?”

Brain: “Of course! Blind Terror will be up and about in about an hour or so.”

Me: “You mean right about the time for my test?”

Brain: “Exactly!”

Me: “…”

And this is why I no longer talk to my brain.

 

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back-to-the-world

Back To The World

by MyLittleWhiteRose

Early morning sun rise shone across the horizon, casting long shadows on the land, giving the world an orange glow. Not a single cloud could be seen. Open ground as far as the eye could see, like a patch work quilt of fields. Trees scattered about in clumps, standing tall in the presence of the sun. The wind blowing through the long, wild grass, it dancing in the wind to a silent music. The air was crisp and fresh after the storm that went on the evening before. All remnants of the said storm were almost all gone, washed by the rain. Birds were chirping, animals chattering. The beginnings of everyday going ons about to start. A girl, sitting in the field on a blanket, seeming unaware to the beauty around her by the outside world, took in every breath, every sound of all that was around her. The sound of the wind as it picked up, scattering dead leaves on the ground, the feeling of it blowing through her hair and cooling the heat of the sun on her skin. To her right, a mouse scurried by, back to the safety of its home. Above her a crow circling around, no doubt to descend on his helpless prey. She tasted the air on her tongue as she breathed, cool and fresh and gliding down her throat filling her insides with gracious oxygen, after depleting the used. She could feel the prickle of the grass through the wool woven blanket she rested upon. Her eyes that were closed opened and she took in the sights. The sky like a rainbow, mixed with purple and pink. The light around her orange and glowing. Stars still out as they slowly fade away, the crescent moon still visible in the morning. It’s shine being outdone by the morning sun. She breathed. In, and out. A continuous process to keep her alive, her brain going, her senses livid. In the distant, if she listened hard enough, she could hear the faint sounds of car horns, alarms, the sounds of the city, people working hours on end, never resting. She wished to stay here, basking in the sun away from the bustle and problems in the world. A world full of selfish and cruel people, taking what they want and never giving back. Never stopping to listen to the sounds of nature, the beauty the world has given us. Every morning she sat out here in this field, on this blanket, just taking in all that has been given to her before she goes back to the ungrateful, unforgiving world we live in today. She took one last breath, stood, blanket in hand. She brought her hand to her mouth, pressed it to her lips and blew a kiss to the sun. She then turned and walked away. As she went the the wind roared, blowing past her with force. She smiled as Mother Nature said its good bye.

 

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evil-lives-with-you

Evil Lives With You

by Grace C

Sometimes evil is revealed in death sometimes in life. Sometimes those who do it go to the grave with their secrets. Sometimes they are exposed in life.Evil lurks everywhere. Maybe it lives with you?

The girl drifts in the stagnant water of the water of the river close to shore. It’s midsummer and she’s dead. They tried to give her a name.She had been brutally beaten. What a beauty she must have been in life, they thought. Failing in their quest to find her name, she was buried as a Jane Doe in 1976 in the small country cemetery. What was remembered was her tattoo of a black cat.

It’s 2006, and Roberta’s husband, Henry, had just been buried. She had expected it, they were both old.He had been ill a long time.She had stopped crying for now, but she didn’t know when it might start again. It was a hot evening in midsummer.It’s midsummer and Roberta’s husband, a good man, had just been buried. The relatives had left, even the kids, and gone to dinner. She didn’t feel up to joining them, she needed to be left alone she said.

So she was in the still too warm house alone. Roberta went to the bedroom they had shared and sat down on the bed.She opened a drawer of a small table. He had never let her open it in all the years they had been married, and he’d lived in the house since before they were married in the early 1960s.

She was a bit surprised when she opened it, nothing unremarkable was in there. She’d always wondered. Then she picked up a book from the drawer and out fell a drawing,of a nude girl lying, it seemed asleep, on the floor of a forest. What! she thought, but then she noticed the tattoo of the black cat on the arm of the girl in the drawing. It was unmistakable. Why would Henry have chosen to draw this, Roberta wondered, when the local Jane Doe in this rural area was known as “The girl with the Black Cat Tattoo”? Evil lurks everywhere.

 

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wings

WINGS

WINGS- by FaeLuna

“It will give you wings!” said the teacher wistfully.

Skeptically, the girl opened it. Wings don’t fit on humans, she thought. At first, she read hesitantly: “Aai…I–” And then the wings appeared. They were just stubble, barely visible, but they were wings. Her reading started to become smoother: “I…I l-o-ve–” Then the wings started developing, blossoming into feathers as soft as silk, and as white as an angel’s gown. She gasped, and the wings finished growing. WINGS…

One jump, and she was airborne. Soaring over treetops and through the sun, she was a fairy, wind blowing against her hair.

POOF! She was a princess, golden curls and silver crown sparkling with laughter. A handsome prince would one day claim her hand.

Her reading again grew better: “I. Love. T-oo–” She was a Lady Knight in shining armor, saving people far and wide with her magical sword and girl-power.

POOF! She was a goddess, benevolent and just to her worshipers, and all-mighty in times of distress.

She tried to read it one last time, and it came out clearly and beautifully: “I love to read,” she whispered. She was flying, flying so high on her wings of words that she could never come down. She was a star, an everlasting mark for the children just like she used to be, who had yet to grow wings.

One last time she saw her teacher and heard her voice.

“WINGS.”

 

shock

Shock

Shock- by stargazer5

I sigh and rifle through the antique jewelry boxes one more time just to break up the tedium of this lost vacation. Amidst the dull chestnuts and bronzes, faded blues and greens I find a black box that was so worn that the satin edging felt bald. Something about this one ring box pulled my hand like a strange flesh attracting magnate. I tried and failed to move away, I was completely transfixed by a simple old box.

I flipped the lid suddenly and cant help but grin at the brooch I see inside. “Oh yeah, this is perfect for me,” I whisper as I turn the sleek serpentine pin over, each little scale is hand etched and the tiny stub legs and whiskers seem so delicate. In one front paw with wicked scimitar claws in miniature was a tiny ruby. I run my fingers over the tiny antlers to feel the tingle of sharpness against my skin and find myself awed at the tiny well-worked dragon.

I bring it up to the counter and set it down so the man behind the cash registure could price it. I frown when he frowns down at me and grumbles, “About time that one chose someone to take it home, was beginning to think it’d be here forever.”
I tilt my head and lift an eyebrow, “You do know that it’s just a pin right, it doesn’t choose anything, it doesn’t think.”
He chuckles and shakes his head “Believe what you will lass but know the best part of ‘believe’ is ‘lie’, that’s more than a brooch and I think that in the end you’ll know the right of things. That’ll be twenty pounds for it.”I stay silent and place my money on the counter and then leave the store quickly.

I head back to my hotel room and take the pin out. I cant help but scream and then pass out when the little dragon yawns and raises a paw to me in greeting.

skypainter

Sky Painter

Sky Painter- by SerenaLantha

Above the clouds lives the man who paints the sky. Draped in a smock and with brush in hand, he has grown to love only his sanctuary within the air; however, there once was a time when he used to desire nothing more than leaving and exploring life on the ground rather than suspended above. Every few moons he thinks back on all the trouble his curiosity had caused; he remembers and tells his story to the other creatures of the sky so that whenever he again wishes to relive or recreate his adventure, the fowls remind him where he is most needed.

Up before dawn then back to a misty bed of stars well after midnight, the painter had nothing to look forward to except the next day’s canvas. It was a lonely, redundant task which people did not seem to even appreciate. Nothing is worse than an unappreciated artist starving for a change!

At midday when the sun hid his work, the artist watched from his home the specks of people below. He always cringed at the sight of a girl fight; laughed as young boys ran from angry mothers; cried when once eternal lovers parted. He would have traded all the gems of the night sky for but a day of such joy and misery. For months he dreamt of nothing else until it became a distraction; he began painting the sunrise a deep indigo and dusk a bright magenta-to say nothing of the rainbow which stretched from one end of the earth to the other between one and three each afternoon. Fortunately, their confusion loud and known, he tried concentrating only his duties.

Yet, he found himself returning to the same beautiful, haunting hope which consumed his mind. Taming his thoughts and wandering detail brush was difficult to accomplish with all the happy faces taunting the single soul dwelling within the heart of the sky. Eventually he ceased even trying.

Visiting was not impossible; all he needed to do was lay down his spotted palette. He fought himself for hours, even missing a storm as he paced from one cloud to the next. Finally discarding all his tools, the artist wished and wept with all his power until granted what he desired most. Everything around him was jubilant, no obligations to meet him while on earth.

The perfection did not last long. By nightfall, all the world became black; the stars, shielded by graying clouds, no longer offered the silver outline which enabled the nocturnal to continue away from their beds. The man, never before witnessing such darkness, could only pray to the master who had first given him the position of sky painter for another chance.

The artist had been abandoned until daybreak, finally able to return home once his wails began deafening the sky’s keeper. Without hesitation, he finished the sunrise before morning could depart. Content at last, never again has the painter asked to leave his perfection within the sky.