THE STALKER

He was approaching.

She swooned.

He passed her by.

She followed, discreetly.

He saw her,  and smiled then laughed.

She exalted, swooned some more, then blushed –

a hanger dangled from her schoolbag.

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Except for just one event, this story is true.  🙂

Years ago, when I was much younger, I had a flaming infatuation with a young college boy who passed by our apartment each day.  I fell in love with his red sperry topsiders first.  When I looked  a little higher up, I noticed his dark  hair, the fair face, the black eyes.  Oh my! He looked just like my idol – Robi Rosa of the  Menudo fame. (CAUTION:  Clicking Robi Rosa will lead you to a video of him singing ‘If You’re Not Here’.  Live.).

Each day, I would be waiting by the window or a nearby bench to see him go to school or go home – or wherever he went when he was walking away from school.   Somehow, I managed to work my school schedule and activities around his coming and going.  My friends at school knew that I could not stay for longer than a certain time on certain days because I needed to rush home to  see this guy.  My housemates would call me whenever they see him  too.  Watching him and giggling after having a sight of him became a daily ritual for us.

My infatuation and the thrill of being infatuated were so that I began following him, at a respectable distance, of course, when he walked to the bus stop.  To conceal myself, I would carry with me a paperback which I read while I was walking.  How I managed not to step into traffic, only Providence knew. But one morning, when I was  getting ready for school and  knew that he would be passing by on his way home from an early class,   I  dressed quickly.  I tossed  things here and there and everywhere, then left when I had all that I needed for the  day.   I caught up with  him at the bus stop and waited for him to get on his bus.  Afterwards, I took the bus that would bring me to school.   When I got my wallet from my bag to pay my fare, I saw the hanger hooked on a bag strap.  I surreptitiously put it inside.

I never knew his name.  My friends  gave me a theme song – “Tell Me Your Name”  by a Filipino artist.  But I never really wanted to know  his name.  Neither was I interested in meeting him.  I was afraid – afraid to hear a less than pleasant voice, afraid to see a speck of dirt on his nail, afraid of any random thing that could deflate my illusions.

In time, I moved to a different city.  That ended my trysts with this young man.  I have almost forgotten about this time in my life.  Yet now that I remembered it, I felt giddy and silly and young once again. 🙂

Thank you for dropping by and sharing a bit of silly.

Thank you Studio30+ for prompting me about a favorite childhood memory. You gave me an idea about how to  respond to Trifextra’s 33-word challenge this week, i.e. The Rule of Three is a writing principle that asserts that, in writing, groups of three have the most impact. This week’s challenge is to write 33 words using the Rule of Three somewhere among them.  It is up to you to interpret the rule, just make sure to use exactly 33 words.

CAROUSEL – Part 4

I have been meaning to continue the story that began with this post and continued here and here but my family and I  have been mostly in and out this summer that I could not focus on the story.  That I discovered Grimm did not help because I found myself watching its entire season in Hulu.  Now that I’ve caught up with the latest episode and have nothing more to watch, so far, I was able to push the story a bit.  At least, I hope so. 🙂  I do want to see where this little project goes.

Thanks to  Trifecta  for the prompt:  “heart, i.e.,   personality, disposition”.  I got an anchor for the installment.   

Let me just give this brief background.  The story is set in a place called Valetta an island which is essentially a garbage dump.  Darion, a scavenger boy,  found a carousel to which he instantly got attached to.   Instead of showing the find to his friends, Bandar, et. al., he ran home.  There, Abuelo told him to return the carousel to where he found it because it would bring them bad luck.  However, Abuelo relented and instead helped Darion keep it in a secure place.    Bandar and company soon arrived demanding that they be shown the carousel.  Darion, upon Abuelo’s advice, showed them an old glass lamp.  This angered Bandar and a quarrel between him  and Darion followed.  The quarrel ended with Bandar threatening harm upon Darion.  

Thank you for coming by and reading. 🙂

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“I’m going for a walk. Would you like to come with me?” Abuelo asked as he put the saw back to its nail.

“No, Abuelo,” Darion mumbled as he shook his head while keeping his eyes fixed in the distance.

“Bar the door behind me then.” Abuelo glanced at Darion as he stepped out of the threshold pulling the door behind him.

Darion watched the old man, the wood he was working on tucked under his arm and a bolo dangling from his belt – disappear in the path towards the cove as the folks called it. Ordinarily, he would have gone with Abuelo. He loved to listen to the latter’s stories that get so fantastic that he could not tell whether Abuelo was teasing or not. One time, Abuelo told the story about big fire trees, palatial homes, horses, nobility. Even a king. In Valetta! Abuelo even told him not to tell anyone. He often found the tales so wild that sometimes, he wanted to believe the things people say about Abuelo when they think that he or Abuelo were not listening.

“Crazy old man,” the nastier folks said.

Trees. Horses. Blue waters. Green grass.” He smiled at the remembrance but he did not have the heart to listen to Abuelo’s silly stories this day.

And yet…. “ Darion lifted his head with a start, realization dawning upon him.

He rushed towards the spot where they buried the carousel. He was lifting the top box when he heard a thud on the roof. Before he could take a step, however, dozens of pebbles rained upon the tiny hut. He saw no one from the window but heard the scamper of feet and laughter.

He ran towards the door and opened it only to see Valerio coming down the path to the house. Immediately, he bolted the door, shut the window and curled in a shadowy corner of the house.

 

A LOVE STORY

“You must be a writer,” said the email that Imee just received.  “Hmmm, did this, Jack or somebody,  even pay attention to what I wrote?  My  info was  lifted from the Bible.” She thought.   She was not very impressed, to say the least.  However, out of  charity, she typed in a polite response  to Jack.

“He is too young for me, 30 to my 33 and some.   And he is Traditional Catholic!  Oh Pharisee of Pharisees,” she told her friends.

Yet, somehow, the emails kept flying back and forth, back and forth.

One day, she asked “Can you send me a picture of yourself?”

When she checked her inbox, her eyes widened in disbelief.   “What the… ?”  Attached to the mail was   a grainy black and white image of a face with distorted features and tongue sticking out.

“I had no available photo so I scanned my face,”  he explained unconcerned about how he looked in the picture.

“How unpretentious!”  Imee concluded.

So, the emails turned to phone calls;   the phone calls into long conversations; the long conversations  into a romance.

“We should see each other,” they both agreed after some time.

“He may be a psycho.” Her friends  warned her.

“Well, there is really not much crime in Maine, so you should be safe.” Someone said to boost her morale.

“Are you desperate?” were the unspoken words of some.

She was scared but she had to find out.

One day, against some well-meaning advice, she packed her bags and took a 22-hour   flight to see Jack.

Their meeting changed the course of their lives.

More than a year later,   Imee’s  life was packed in three big suitcases.  They had all that she would need in her new life.    Leaving behind home and all the comforts that went with it, she boarded another long flight.   At the end of it waited her Jack,  frozen flowers in hand.  Together, they walked the aisle to  Happily-Ever-After Land.

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The above post is my response to Trifecta:  Week Thirty Seven’s challenge, i.e., to write a response  in 33-333 words using the third definition of the word “FLIGHT” – 3a : a trip made by or in an airplane or spacecraft   b : a scheduled airplane trip.

Thank you fro dropping by.  Do visit Trifecta for wonderful responses. 🙂

THE AMAZING UGLY SWEATPANTS

I wrote this post following a prompt from Studio30+ which was about, you guessed it, Ugly Sweatpants. 🙂 Studio30+ is a community of writers which I stumbled when I read Jester Queen’s post, ‘Show, Don’t Tell’.   To make a story short, I signed up with Studio30+ and found Jester Queen’s post to be very helpful. 

I had some fun concocting this little tongue-in-cheek piece.  I hope you enjoy this one. 🙂

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One morning, three years and a day from her fairy tale wedding, Cindy woke up into what for her was a bad dream.

“Waaahhhhhhh!” three month old Aspen wailed in the next room.

“Mommy, me poop-yyyy!” intoned her two year old Brendan in her ear.

She opened one bleary eye after the other, and gave the sleeping prince beside her an envious glance.

“Zzzzzznrookkkk!” Frank went as his breath teased a wayward puff of hair on his forehead.

Resisting the urge to whack him with a pillow, she dragged herself off the bed and shuffled to the nursery room while she held on Brendan’s little hand for support.

She went to the crib and pacified Aspen with a binky. Then she laid Brendan on the changing table to clean him up. Midway through, Aspen cried again.  It, however, did not wake her husband, much to her chagrin.

The wailing got louder.

Sigh! And it is only 6:00” thought a sleep-deprived Cindy.

She picked up her children, deposited them in the family bed, and tried to put everyone back to sleep.

A few minutes later, Cindy herself got ready for the day.   A big deep sigh from her brought Frank to his senses.

“What’s the matter, princess?” he asked in his sleepy voice.

“I look ugly.” Her lips quivered.

“You’re beautiful.”

“No, I’m not. I’m fat and misshapen.”

“You’re a mother of two.”

“So, I am ugly!” Her frown just got deeper.

“Now now, don’t work yourself too much. Relax. Sleep when the kids sleep.” He cooed to her as he held her close.

“Easy for you to say!” She sulked all the more.

***

Finally, the day was well on its way. Frank had left for work. Cindy was left in a sleepy daze nursing Aspen for the nth time that morning while taking care of Brendan’s demands and wondering how she would accomplish the chores that needed to be done. She was tired and sorry for herself.

Overcome by it all, Cindy found herself slouched on the couch her head cradled on her palms and had a crying fest with her children.

She grabbed her iPhone and tapped some numbers. Soon, the face of a white–haired woman with a kindly smile and mischievous eyes appeared on the screen.

“Yes, child? It’s been a long time.”

“Oh, Godmother. I feel so miserable. I never knew that happily ever after could be so tiring  and  unromantic.”

“Hush, Child. Reality bites. You knew that you would have to do things other than staring at each others’ lovelorn eyes,” said the rather practical Godmother. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Help me. I have two babies and lots of housework and I can’t keep my clothes clean and I’m tired and ugly and all so alone….” She managed to say between sobs and sniffles.

“Oh my. I can’t send you anyone right now. It is difficult to get a visa for household help these days.   Mmmmm…would you mind an au pair, however?”

“As long as she’s not young and pretty and not too smart, that may be fine Godmother. But I really need help now…”

“Do you have any mice in there, by any chance?”

“No, Godmother, mice are no longer welcome anywhere.”

“It would be nice if you have a hamster handy for just days like this.” Godmother teased Cindy.

“Well, mmmm, let’s see.” After some moment, her face lit up. “Aha! Try this one. Go to the nearest mirror..ah..no no no..avoid the mirror… stand where you are. Remember how you turned for the waltz during your wedding dance, do the reverse turn. Counter clockwise, yes! Do a counterclockwise. Make sure your arms are spread out like a bird’s wings in flight. Do it now and let’s see.”

With trepidation, Cindy did as she was told. As she turned, she felt free. Light seemed to sizzle around her. When things settled down, her long wavy brown hair was in a tight French braid, she was wearing a loose cotton shirt neatly tucked in on a pair of ….

“Gasp! What ugly brown sweatpants these are, Godmother!” But she felt as light as a feather and as chirpy as a bird.

“Well, you look happier. So, it worked. Don’t look at pictures of glamorous women right now or the pants will lose their magic.” After more admonitions from Godmother, Cindy bid goodbye and resumed her humming.

“Someday my prince will come……” she sang as she scooped her crying children. “Ooops..”

“Salagadoola menchicka boola bibbidi bobbidi boo…” she sang instead and danced with the children until Aspen fell asleep and Brendan got bored.

Then she grabbed the vacuum cleaner, and washed the dishes, and did some cooking, and prepared dinner, all in between taking care of the children. She even managed to have a nap!

Soon, the day was done. Cindy heard the garage door open and close. She pirouetted clockwise and she was back in her regular clothes, still all chirpy and happy like. She straightened her hair and gave it a toss, enjoying the thick cascade that settled nicely behind her. With her children in her arms, she greeted her husband with a smack on his cheek and a big smile.

Francis gave her a puzzled look.

Cindy just smiled and said “Dinner is ready, my love.”

Not daring to upset the boat, Francis without a word went to the dining table and enjoyed the company of his happy wife.

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. 🙂

 

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“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. 🙂

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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.

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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