OLD MR. BOSWORTH

This is a (not so short) piece that I wrote for Bloggy Moms in response to one of its monthly prompts:  “Everybody said the old Bosworth Mansion was hunted.”  Please click the link for the full prompt.

I am quite glad to be able to write a response.  The week had been a busy one for us here leaving me without much time to collect my thoughts for writing posts and visiting blogs.   Generally, I like writing (kind-of) creative pieces because they help me think of something other than worries (I am a worry nut) during my ‘free’ time.   I like doing creative stuff, e.g. crafts or violin practice,  but they require a dedicated time.  Writing, on the other hand, can be done while I am doing menial labor.    I can let my mind wander off while I am doing dishes to compose a piece.  Specifically,  I like writing for Bloggy Moms is special to me because it is where I started my creative writing journey.

Anyway, here is my piece.  Pardon me if you find any crass humor/words in it.  My male consultant told me that it was the way to go. 🙂 

Thank you for coming by.  Enjoy (if you can). 😉 

___________________________________

Mr. Bosworth stood by the shelf, running his shaking hands through the dust covered volumes and pulling out a leather bound book. As soon he did, it fell off his hands joining those already on the wood floor with a defeaning thud.

“It seems like your hands are bothering you again, Deary,” said a soft voice coming from the center of the mostly bare room.

“They shake a little more these days… must be the weather, Sweet Pea.” The old man replied, but shoved his hand in the pocket of his silk dressing gown in frustration. He grabbed his cane and shuffled towards the window. He leaned against its sash, pulled out his pipe from his breast pocket and put it in his mouth. From behind the curtain, he watched the sun sink beneath the autumn foliage, occasionally flecking an imaginary ash from his shirt.

“You have been a little too restless lately,” said Mrs. Bosworth, concern edging her voice, her white hair and cream house coat catching slivers of light as she turned to look at her husband. Mr. Bosworth pulled himself away from the window towards an empty chair beside her.

“The tree branches have been scratching on the roof so much. And the intruders…they just keep coming. Bothersome folks.” He replied in between sighs as he slumped himself on the chair.

“Everybody said the Old Bosworth House was hunted … ” she said with a raised brow.

“Malarkey! We have lived in this house for ages, and have yet to see any ghost nor hear any of the mysterious sounds that people said come from this house.” Mr. Bosworth protested.

“People believe what they want to believe… those who do not believe, come here to find out if the rumors are true anyway. Ahhh, how bold could some people get! Remember when some young people drunk themselves silly in the backyard…. or the lovers who were caught by the husband or whoever….” She said with a wave of her hand. “We should do something about these trespassers….” She added after a pause.

“Leave them alone. They are mostly harmless folks. Nobody had really dared to come in.”

“I hope it remains that way. ” She said as she tugged at a yarn. “The other day, somebody tried to climb the branches of the tree, maybe to climb in through the window. I would have scolded him but he scrambled down as soon as he saw me.” She resumed her knitting. “If only our children were here….they can take care of this house for us.”

“Sweet Pea, they have their lives. They’ll join us when they join us.  Aren’t you glad to be resting in peace at last?” teased Mr. Bosworth.

“Resting in peace, my foot.  But better our children’s noise  than the outsiders’…” Mrs. Bosworth answered. “It’s been a long time since I hugged them. The last time was when….” She finished her recollection with a sigh and squinted back over her yarn and needles.

Husband and wife fell silent, both retreating   in their memories. Voices from outside the house, however, snapped them out of their reverie. Mr. Bosworth shuffled to the window followed by his wife. Parting the  curtain, they saw three bike-riding  teen-aged boys  passing through the open gates towards the  house. “The first one to run away has a small dick!” yelled a rather crass youth. “Coward Anton!” Shouted another. “I tell you, there’s a white lady in there!” A voice responded from the gates. “That was the boy in the tree,” Mrs Bosworth said.

Squaring his jaws, Mr. Bosworth moved away from the window, towards the stairs, knocking things down on his way, his cane tok-toking on the floor. The steps creaked under his feet. He was panting by the time he got to the door, just when the boys were stepping right up to it. Before anyone could touch the it, however,  Mr. Bosworth turned the knob and pulled it in.  As soon as the door opened,  the boys’  eyes went wild and they  ran as fast as they could screaming “Ghost!” Ghost!” as they scrambled onto  their bicycles.  

Writer's Workshop

I AM AUTUMN

I have danced all that I can
until my limbs got tired
and the music faded
with the last echoes of the wind
’til nothing was left but the pregnant stillness
the quiet of waiting.

I have sung all the songs
I can sing with the whistling of the wind
and the voices of the birds
as my accompaniments
until my own voice faded into whispers
and quiet reigned.

I have sheltered all I can shelter
under my canopy
given them shade from the burning sun
kept them dry under the pouring rain
until my shelter was no longer enough
and they all fled
leaving me in the quiet, waiting.

I have listened to young lovers’
whispered pledges of forever
to the silent sighs of weary elders
leaning on my ample pillar for rest
til my own strength ebbs
and flows to their tired limbs
helping them wait for their silent rest.

I have exalted in the sun
and gloried with the wind
cavorted with the rain
I have raised my palms to the sky
and let my bowers quiver
and move in the breeze.

I have done all I can
and all that I should
and yet still give until the very end
when in the colorful blaze
of the last farewell
I plunge into that quiet rest
that will make me new.

__________________________

I had Bloggy Moms’ In mind when I wrote this piece. The prompt is as follows –

“For this week’s prompt, I want you to write about your favorite thing about the season. The only catch is, you must not tell the reader what it is. You must describe it. Become your favorite thing, just long enough to give us 250 words. You can write more, but not less.”

Unfortunately, I ran out of words to meet the 250 word count.

I also tried to meet Trifecta: Week Forty-Three ‘s word  prompt:  AMPLE, i.e.,

Thanks for dropping by and reading.  I appreciate your visit and comments even when I do not get to reply as quickly as I should.
Bloggy Moms

Inspired By: ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN

She unfurled her wings and took flight
from where she first opened her sight
towards a place she’s never known
what dream or hope fired her sojourn.

Poverty or riches, loss or love
bouying her soul, she soared above
all the ties that would have her bound
that she’ll be free to find her ground.

How well she kept her fears at bay
oft times, all she could do was pray –
when arrows hit and make her fall
her broken spirit will be made whole.

Then she will go on with her quest
with new found courage in her breast
Her suffering transformed her soul
all the more, she gave life her all.

When at last, she closes her eyes
she will behold the greatest prize:
far greater than finding herself
is the repose in her Maker’s breast.

__________________________

This post was written following the Bloggy Moms prompt for the week:

“We are going to draw inspiration from our own bookshelves. This week I challenge you to choose a book from your shelf and use the title of this book as the title and premise of your story. For example, on my bookshelf, I have The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. If I chose to use this book as my muse, I would title my story “The Witching Hour” then proceed to write a story based on the witching hour, incorporating it into the story. Try to avoid rewriting the book, just let the titles get your muse going. You only have 500 words this week so use them wisely and paint me a scene I will remember for a long time.”

I chose Jim Fergus’ One Thousand White Women as inspiration because I have just read it. The book was a well written semi-historical account of a fictional lady’s journey to the West to fulfill a secret government bargain: deliver 1000 White Women to the Cheyennes in exchange for horses and peace. This book taught me about the Native American culture as Gone With the Wind taught me about the American South and the Civil War.

For this poem, I tried to go beyond my comfort zone – writing in 8 syllables for each line, trying to make them rhyme in aa-bb fashion, or however these terms are called in poetry terms. The task was quite difficult. The search for words and rhymes, I think, made me venture far from the initial design that I had in mind. By the time I reached the last line – I needed to so that I can make the deadline 🙂 – I was tired and lazy. There are 9 syllables instead of 8. I am too attached to this poem to be able to view it more objectively. I hope you find more sense in it than I can.

thank you Stephanie for the prompt and the chance to go out of my usual box. 🙂
Bloggy Moms


	

SLEEPING BEAUTY – A RETELLING

Well, I can almost breathe – I am more than half-way through packing.   Tomorrow, we will be on a plane that will bring us halfway across the world.  I am both excited to visit my birth home and  a little intimidated with having antsy kids in a long flight.  There are so many friends I want to meet again but time and logistics do not seem to make that possible.  Right now.  As my husband says, I should leave all of my worries behind and just go with the flow – a difficult task for one with worry as her twin. 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to post something more substantial than my giddy excitement and worries.  So I thought of digging some old posts from my ex-main blog.   Since Trifecta started us on a re-tell mode, I decided to put  up my re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.  This was written following a Bloggy Moms Writers’ Workshop prompt for us to choose a favorite fairy tale character and to rewrite the story according to that character’s point of view.   Several months ago, when I wrote this piece, I did not know of any movie version to this story.  Now, I heard that Angelina Jolie is playing Maleficent, the evil queen in Sleeping Beauty.

 

Anyway, here is my story.  I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

 

_________________________________________

 

“Ahh.. my dear Wife, do not worry so much. Our friends have been busy with all of the preparations. Besides, That Godmother of yours took charge of everything – guests, banquet, details details. You know how persnickety she could be with details,” said my husband as he came in and saw me pacing in our nursery.

I managed to smile at him. I knew he understood all of my anxieties.

Prologue

Once there was a big Christening like this one that we are going to have. The King and Queen, for all of their care, failed to invite one fairy because she had not come out of her tower for many many years. When the King and Queen remembered to, they were not able to prepare well for her coming. As a result, she was not given the same treatment as my Godmothers were given. Old Fairy took great offense for the perceived insult and laid a curse on the little child. Thanks to a young novice fairy who managed to bestow her gift last, the curse was mitigated. Instead of the child dying from a needle prick on her 16th year, she would simply fall asleep for 100 years until a prince came and awakened her.

On the day before I turned 15, I learned about my cursed life when I overheard my parents, the King and Queen, talking about it. It turned my happy world upside down. To say that I did not like the fate that awaited me was a great understatement. Sleeping for 100 years might as well be death, a death that was delayed. I would wake up alone in the world. And if anyone managed to fall asleep with me, they too would be taken out of their time, their family and world. Who knew what awaited them when they woke up. The curse was on me, not them.

I sought my fairy Godmother to find a way to break the curse. Alas! Even though over the years she had become the accomplished fairy that she is now, she had no power to undo someone else’s will. She could not break the old fairy’s curse. It was from the old fairy herself that I had to find relief. So I went to her.

The Exchange

My godmother transported me to the realm of Old Fairy. Before long, the Old Fairy’s minions had brought me before her. Even before they could put me down on the floor, I was on my knees to tell the Old Fairy about my petition. The very walls seemed to tremble with my fear, but I found my voice and stated what I needed from her.

She looked at me with her beady eyes.

“So you ask to be freed from the curse. What can you offer me in exchange of so great a favor?”

“I have nothing. I have no kingdom nor priceless gems nor magical artifacts to give.”

She stared at me. I felt my soul being torn to pieces.

“Yes you have, yes you have”, she said softly as though in a dream. “A lot! Your godmothers gave you a lot.”

I shuddered. But if my gifts would free me from the curse…..

“Your beauty! Every perfection you have now shall now be mine! And you shall walk where I have walked, trod the paths I have trod, live what I have lived ……

My head spun. My heart seemed to have been ripped out from me.

And there was laughter, a joyless laughter, echoing, reverberating through the hills and valleys, bending down the trees, smashing down rocks, filling the heavens.

When I came to, I was in a different world. I did not recognize the filthy and ragged clothes covering me. My hands were rough and bleeding. And my long silken hair ….. But there was more. My being itself changed. There were emotions and thoughts that I did not recognize – malice, anger, hate, resentment, fear, and other things I had no name for. There was the laughter in my head – mocking me for what I had become and might become. I understood then that when the old fairy took what I had, she turned me into herself. But there was no time to sort things out. There was danger! An angry mob was chasing me. I ran and ran and ran to the rhythm of that laughter that seemed to have filled my being.

But I was raging inside. I was angry. I wanted to call down fire and storm, to smash everything around me, to punish those who did this to me. For a time, Old Fairy and I were thinking as one. I knew I had to resist. The laughter got louder.

The Handsome Stranger

While in my miserable state, a handsome young man on a splendid horse and wearing splendid clothes appeared as though magically. With a velvet voice he said –

“My fair lady, what have they done to you? I know you are angry and want to punish those who hurt you, those who betrayed you. Come with me and we will make that happen.”

The laughing in my head seemed to have paused in reverential silence. Hope and joy, if ever it knew joy, was sparked. It had never encountered this kindness. “Make things right, make things right’, its voice relished the very taste of the word. Yet, even as the sweet prospect started to envelop my thoughts, something deep within me cringed and softly whisper “No. Revenge is not for you.” It was what remained of the self I gave up and I clung to it. I fought the tides inside me. I struggled with all of the will left in me. But the laughing voice and my own miserable state were starting to defeat me. My strength was getting feebler with each second that passed. I did not know how much longer I could go on resisting. My hand seemed to reach out to the stranger’s outstretched arms of its own will. “Help!” I heard my soul stir and with the final gasp of the dying – life again ran through my veins and somehow I managed to turn away. The voice was silenced. The laughter stopped. The stranger disappeared. And I was all alone again. And calm.

A New Beginning

I lay crumpled under a tree for how long I did not know. Daytime came and with it the dawning that this would now be my life. Had the curse been broken? Or had it just began? I did not know. I had to begin anew. That was all that I knew. I was no longer a princess. I no longer had my famed beauty nor great qualities. Old Fairy took them away. I was henceforth a borrower – of somebody’s body, somebody’s life and all the gifts and curses bestowed on it, in addition to whatever qualities or failings that I managed to bring in.

I had to find a shelter. Since I did not know how to make anything, I decided to look for a cave. I must have been distracted because the only thing I remembered was that the minute I decided to look for a cave, a gray wolf appeared. It looked at me as though to call me. I followed it until we reached a cave. There, I settled myself and lived on the bounties of my surroundings. The wolf proved to be a faithful companion.

One day, when we were out looking for food, we saw some hunters. As soon as they saw us, they let their arrows fly. I was hit and left for dead but not before I heard a jubilant “The witch had fallen!” I, a witch? Who would think otherwise? The last time I chanced upon myself on a river, I saw blotchy skin, squinty eyes, ears sticking out of a head, long nose, fat lips. Wispy brown hair hang limply from my head, more tangled than the forest vines were. But I willed myself to survive, if only for the hope of breaking the curse and seeing my people once again.

Once again, I was angry. With anger came the desire to avenge myself. I heard the voice mocking me once again, urging me on to fight and destroy those who sought my own destruction. With what? I was powerless…. “Say you will and the power will be yours. Want it. Desire it,” the mocking voice said. I could not. And never would.

The struggle inside me became so intense that I felt little sparks come out of me. The power that seemed to radiate through me scared me. It was not mine and yet mine. If not for Wolf, I would not know what would have become of me. Wolf carried me on his back and went on as though at somebody’s bidding. We traveled many days and nights. While we were resting in what we thought was a secluded spot, woodsmen found us. One cocked his arrow in alarm. But the other one stayed his hand. The latter took pity on a wounded woman and offered us food. He even led us to an empty cottage in the forest when he learned that we had nowhere to go. For once, I met kindness after my exile and I felt my heart sing.

Princess Finds Happiness

Often did I meet this young man. He stopped by our little cottage as he went about hunting, walking, wood gathering. Sometimes we talked , and we became friends, if there could be friendship between a hag like me and a young man like him.

In the meantime, thankful for the house Wolf and I were staying in, I tried to make it as pleasant as I could. I tended a little garden and brought in flowers when I could. If this little place would be home – whether for the time being or not – I resolved to make it a good one. I employed myself in learning new things. The loss of my Godmothers’ gifts often made learning quite difficult, but I did learn. I was more than happy. I guess the happiness showed in my face. I once caught the woodsman looking at me with a smile. “You should laugh more often,” he said. Happiness had this other fruit – the laughter and the mocking voice was silenced. Victory was sweet. I still longed for home. Whenever I thought of the world and people that I left behind, I consoled myself in the thought that they’ve been spared from suffering the misfortune that would have befallen them had I stayed. They may have been saddened by my disappearance, if they even noticed that at all, but their world, their lives would have gone on, as mine had. They would live their lives in the fullness of their time. Maybe, the spell had been broken after all.

I must have been enjoying myself too much, forgetting my exile, that one night, in my dream, I heard a voice say – “Beauty yet sleeps. True love of a prince will wake her up and set her free.” How odd, I thought. I had never felt beauty more alive than when it was warding off the ugliness that was threatening to overpower me. Besides, if that Prince should come, he’d better come now before the woodsman completely enthralled me. Would it be enough if one acted princely? Would he love me? I would be happy to be stuck with him for all time He’d be a prince. I am a princess. Ah. WAS a princess. Silly!

One afternoon, while the woodsman and I were gathering wood and hunting some game, he told me to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes, there was a ring of flowers on my hair. But before any of us could speak, armed men suddenly appeared and were upon us. “Grab them!”, ordered the leader. The woodsman fought as valiantly as he could but we were outnumbered. Someone lunged for him. To save him from the blow, I threw myself down and got the sword that was meant for him. My woodsman, in a burst of strength, managed to come to my side. “My lady, my life, ” as dew fell from his eyes. And at that, light seemed to envelope us and transport us back to my familiar grounds. My Godmother was there ministering to us. “What took you so long?” she said to me and my bewildered woodsman. With a twinkle in her eyes, she quipped, “For all this trouble, you might as well have slept!”

Some Loose Ends

I need not say that my woodsman turned out to be the son of a king after all. He spent most of his time in the woods to avoid the constant matchmaking that had been his lot since his return from a campaign. What made him choose me, you may ask. He said that I made him laugh. He said that I was real. He said that he found what I did with my life utterly beautiful and impressive.

When all of the preparations for our wedding were finalized, my woodsman and I got married. How happy my parents were to celebrate a wedding on my 16th year instead of a funeral. However, they were not too happy to know about the things I went through to dispel the curse that had loomed over our lives. It would not have been necessary to tell them about my adventures except that they would be quite curious if my 16th birthday came without the expected drama and tribulation. (Though they might have simply dismissed such absence in the thorough removal of needles and anything that would have pricked me.) You see, Old Fairy took my form and lived ‘my’ life. Hm. Except for my ‘odd’ behaviors here and there, my parents would not have suspected anything out of the ordinary.

When the spell was broken, Old Fairy was transported back to her tower while I was transported to my own realm, with my own prince to boot. We also recovered our respective appearance. My husband did not mind the change in my looks so much. “That was the least of my concerns,” he said in his characteristic way. To him, the physical beauty I regained did not add any to the beauty that he found in earlier days. But he did rejoice with the restoration of my Godmothers’ gifts. If I might say, however, after going through the struggles I had, the perfections that were given me did not seem so material anymore. They were and would always be appreciated nonetheless. As it turned out, Old Fairy took away only the gifts that were bestowed upon me during my christening. I retained the qualities that were inherently mine. Thus, even though I gave up the privileges from my Godmothers, I had mine, insignificant though they might be, to work with. In the end, the struggles enriched my own merits and won for me the victory I sought.

As for Old Fairy. Ah! That name no longer befitted her. As I was transformed by my exile, so was she. She cast me into her mold and her life so that I would eventually be like her. The events, the handsome stranger, the emotions, all of these she encountered in her youth; all of these she brought up to bring me down her path. My victory over her desires and snares freed me as it freed her. She no longer had to be a prisoner of her own choices and ill feelings. On the other hand, living ‘my’ life and enjoying the gifts she took from me opened her eyes to goodness and happiness, even if very reluctantly. So you may be surprised to see that she no longer looked like the crone that she was. Peace had transformed her features. One would be likely to see a kindly wizened face that could be prone to give way to a scowl from time to time. But that was alright.

And my Godmother. I would not have done what I did without her help. As it turned out, she was always looking out for me. It was her strength that shored mine when it faltered. It was she who spoke in my dream and sent me my wolf companion. Where could he be now? I wonder.

And so, here we are now. In a few days, our first child will be christened. On that day, we will celebrate this child and the new life for everyone.

THE CAROUSEL – PART 3

This post continues the story I started for Bloggy Moms and continued in a recent post.

THE CAROUSEL – 1

THE CAROUSEL – 2

Thank you for visiting and your comments. 🙂

___________________________

Abuelo collected a rusty saw hanging from a nail on the wall and went out of the front door where  scraps of wood were stacked. He sat on his stool and picked up a piece of wood the width of the door using it to measure other pieces of wood. His rusty saw screeched as he cut the pieces of wood to size. Darion sat under the window, an arm propped on a knee, the other curled against the lamp, while he listened to the approaching voices.

“Darion! Come out. Where’s your loot?”

“Aya, Bandar! What is this noise about?” Abuelo lifted his head to meet the new arrivals, addressing the tallest boy in the group.

“Abuelo! We want to see the thing that Bandar picked up from the dump. Did you see it? It was really shiny but Bandar ran away before I could take a closer look.”

“Darion, your friends are here. Show them what you have.”

Darion slowly got up, shuffling his feet towards the door, lamp in the crook of his arm.
“It’s just an old lamp!” cried one child.

“I knew you were telling tales again, Bandar!” said another amid the raucus laughter and teasing of children.

Bandar reached and grabbed the lamp from Darion’s arm.

“This was not what you found!” Bandar sneered as he inspected the lamp on his hand. “Where is it?”
“Give it back! It’s not yours!” Darion moved to snatch the lamp, starting a tug-of-war punctuated by the taunts and cheers of children who readily took sides. The clink of glass against earth ended the spectacle as a collective gasp witnessed the multiplication of glass. Abuelo’s quiet command broke the silence.

“Clean up the glass, Darion.”

As though on cue, the children scampered away like frightened rats, afraid of the scolding that Abuelo might give.

“LIAR!” Bandar yelled at Darion. His “You’ll regret this, Darion!” echoed through the hills as he ran backwards, clenched fists waving at Darion.

Abuelo returned to his work, sawing and hammering with urgency.

After he finished collecting the broken glass, Darion went inside the hut and put the base of the lamp on the window sill. He stood by the window, his head resting on the sill, looked into the distance, past the dump, past the bracken waters, and into the horizon where water met the sky. He relieved the moment when, in the music filled room, he was running on green grass elated by the wonder and newness of a different place. The door squeaked, footsteps padded on the floor. Darion stared in space.

(WILL BE CONTINUED)

Writer's Workshop

THE CAROUSEL – Part 2

This post continues THE CAROUSEL.  This is  a response to the challenge posted by SAM for Bloggy Moms Writers’ Workshop for this week – This week’s prompt is to write what you DON’T know. Add a scene to a work in progress that requires you to do a little research. Write a story from a different genre than you are comfortable with. Step outside your comfort zone, think outside the box, and write something new. And since I know we are all busy, let’s keep it simple with no more than 700 words.”

When I started the story, I only wanted to respond to a prompt.  I did not think much about the setting, or the characters or the events.  But then, I got curious about the story itself and wanted to continue.  However, I found that I could not do that without having a tangible, if that is the proper word, for the place that was described in the story.   In the end, I went back to my roots, remembering that in the Philippines, there is this beautiful island in the middle of nowhere.   That served as the inspiration, except that in the story, it is a garbage island.

I am also linking with Trifecta whose challenge word this week is ALLEY -3: a narrow street; especially : a thoroughfare through the middle of a block giving access to the rear of lots or buildings.   The word somehow fitted with my plan for the next chapter (I hope that the use meets the criteria though).

Head on over their pages for great stories. 🙂

Here is Part – 2.

________________________________

Old man and boy stared into each others’ eyes for what may have been eternity; the wise knowing eyes against those that saw beauty for the first time; the former seeing loneliness and longing waking into the want and poverty around him. Old eyes blinked.

“You may keep it. For now.”

“Don’t tell anyone about the ca… your find.” Abuelo added though he knew he did not have to.

“Bandar might know, Abuelo.” He whispered.

The old man sat motionless for a moment. Lifting himself on one knee, he pushed open the window above his head. Light came in and illuminated the surprisingly clean room. Crates and boxes containing scraps found from the dump – materials for Abuelo’s varied projects or things stored just-in-case – lined the rough stone wall.

He looked into sacks and boxes, searching for something. Finally, from one of the covered boxes in the bottom of the pile, Abuelo retrieved an oil lamp with a metal base.

“Take this …” he said, handing the lamp to Darion, “…and give me that … toy.”

Darion’s arms closed upon his treasure as he looked at the old man, distrust and confusion in his eyes. Abuelo turned around and lifted a wooden plank from the floor, revealing a recess where some boxes were. Abuelo moved a box and dug a little pit. “It will be safe here.” He said. Darion slid towards the hole, deposited the carousel into it, and covered it with dirt.

As soon as the floor was in place, excited voices wafted into the room. Darion and Abuelo peered out of the window and saw Bandar with some children coming down an alley between the huts and garbage hills.

“I saw it. You didn’t!” Bandar said, his voice rising above the cacophony of doubting voices.

“Who would throw anything as pretty as you claimed, HA?”

Abuelo ducked away from the window.

“Pick up the lamp, Darion.” He said.

(Please click here for PART 3)

Writer's Workshop

THE CAROUSEL

This piece, a beginning of a story which hopefully, I will be able to continue and finish, was written for Bloggy Moms’ Writers’ Workshop.  The challenge was to  write a response to this picture prompt: 

________________________

Darion straightened up, wiping the sweat pouring down his brow with a grimy arm. He looked up and confirmed what he already knew – the sun, pale behind the ever gray clouds, was up above his head. It was hot, sticky hot. Rot rose in the air in a vaporous langour. Moisture trickled back down. Darion wrung his ragged sweat soaked clothes and flicked a fly that got caught inside.

The ground shifted as he sat to rest. He had been digging for scraps since early morning. All he wanted to do now was to run up and down the heaps with his friends. He squinted his eyes. There were only a few people in this side of the island. Many, including his playmates, flocked to the other side to check the refuse that was freshly dumped from the sea. He smiled when he saw a friend working not too far from him.

“Bandar! Bandar!”

His voice was drowned by the buzzing of the flies and the roaring waves.

He picked up a rusted tin can and tossed it, relishing the clank that it made as it hit other debris on the ground. He tossed more in succession, each time aiming further than the last toss. He stopped when flies swarmed around him, forming a halo about his head. There was no discriminating between him and the ground he was on. He frantically waved his arms then gave up and found a new spot to sit on.

The sun was beating on his back. He was hungry. He reached for his sack and rummaged for the tin where he stored the crusty bread that he found earlier. After a brief struggle with the bread, coarse crumbs filled his mouth, sucking the last bits of moisture. But there was no water around, not in the dump, at least. He looked around but saw only the garbage covered hills and valleys of this place he called home. Valetta. He propped himself up on an arm and rose, bracing himself for more scavenging. Bandar was dragging his sack towards a new digging spot. Darion hollered at him, throwing a flying tin can in salute. Bandar responded in kind. The sea breeze carried his “Later!” and odiferous wind back to Darion.

He hoisted his sack over his shoulder and walked bent over as he surveyed the ground before him. He was stooped down to pick up a piece of broken china when, from the corner of his eye, he noticed a bright reflection not too far ahead, between him and Bandar. He walked fast towards the place, checking if his friend noticed it too. When he got to it, he knelt on the ground, his back against Bandar and the people who were coming back from the shore.

He removed the debris surrounding the reflection as fast as he could, excitement growing within him with each piece of debris that was removed. Finally, the shiny thing was free – a  glass ball resting on a golden pedestal. The ball was caked with dirt but the metal base was clean enough to catch the sun. He lifted it up and wiped the glass with his shirt. He gasped when he beheld the little horse figures inside. He caressed the smooth red and green stones on the pedestal. He traced the wrought metal work on its edge. His eyes squinted at the light bouncing off the glass. His heart skipped. He had not seen anything this beautiful before.

“Darion.”

Darion nearly jumped when he heard a voice on his shoulder.

“Bandar! I thought you were working.” Darion managed to say as he quickly tucked his find under his shirt. It was cool against his skin.

“What was the shiny thing in your hand?”

“Nothing. A piece of glass, that’s all.” Darion said as he tried to slip past his friend.

“Let me see! Let me see!”

“No, it’s mine!” He burst into a run, up and down the dump’s heaps and mounds. He ran and he ran until he reached the little hut where he and his grandfather lived.

The door scratched the ground as he opened it. “Darion, is that you?” A voice said from inside the dark room.

“Yes, Abuelo.”

“You are early?”

“My sack was already full, Abuelo.” The contents settled when he put the sack down.

Darion went to the corner across from Abuelo and sprawled himself on the floor. He pulled out his loot and looked at it.  He smiled at the bejeweled  horses inside.  He felt a button under the base and turned it. A melodious sound filled the room and the horses pranced inside the little world. Darion blinked his eyes when he saw images of big tall trees and castles passing by as the horses moved. Something stirred in his heart. He stared at the images until  he was no longer in the dark steamy room. He was with the horses where the ground was green and grass tickled his feet.

A hand on his shoulder pulled him back.

“Where did you get that, Child?”

Darion hugged his globe close to him in response.

“You have to put that  back  wherever you got it. That is bad luck!”

“This is mine, Abuelo. I got it from the dump. It is mine!”

“Child, child. That does not belong here. Not in this house. Not in Valetta.”

“It is the best thing I ever had. It is mine!”

Abuelo turned Darion to look him in the eye.

“Listen to me. Put it away, my child.” He said urgently.

(HOPEFULLY, WILL BE CONTINUED) 🙂

____________________

Writer's Workshop