John Stehnach’s artworks will be displayed in our community room’s gallery from February 16th – March 31st
Contest will run from February 3rd – February 28th
Winners will be selected on March 2nd
Pick up the coloring contest page on February 2nd from the front desk. You can color it in while at the library or on the go. Be sure to write your name and contact information on the back of the coloring page when you turn it in at the front desk. All ages are welcome to enter into the coloring contest, there will be two categories (children, adult). 1 winner and 2 runner ups will be selected for each category. 1st place winner gets the prize!
Ages: Children (Under 18)
Date & Time: February 23rd from 9AM – 12PM
Registration: Not required, but you must wear socks!
Join us for the epic return of our inflatable bouncy house! It will be set up in our community room for kids to come in and jump around! Just be sure you bring or wear a pair of socks.
Ages: Children (Under 18)
Date & Time: February 19th from 5PM – End of Movie
Registration: Suggested in advance so we know how much pizza to get! Call or come in to RSVP
Join us for our second Pizza & Movie night! Our first one was such a success, we wanted to do it again. Don’t miss out on this awesome event. The movie will be rated G, smaller children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Ages: 6 & Up
Date & Time: February 19th from 3PM – 4PM
Registration: Required in advance, call or come in to RSVP
Join us in the community room to learn how to make your own catnip pillows to take home to your kitties!
Ages: Children (Under 18)
Date & Time: February 12th from 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Registration: Required in advance, call or come in to RSVP
Join us in the community room for some holiday fun! We will be making some delicious Valentine’s day treats that you can eat or take home, and while we wait for our treats to finish we will make a fun craft. Don’t miss out!
Word Count 490
Going Through the Process
By Mike Cecconi
They told us that it was our choice, of course, when we were kids. The government had scanned our genes and said we had the potential to manifest our superhuman abilities if we were able to expose ourselves to The Process.
Only three percent of the population even gets the chance to try but what do you have to lose, right? Even after that, so many come out of exposure to Process only superficially changed, no powers, just orange skin or horns or now they’re two feet taller.
A few people, The Process will cripple or kill, a few will get godlike powers like Superman or Thor from the old moviefilms, most folk just grow longer thumbs or are able to talk to voles or their hair’s blue now.
There are some of us who are in-between, though, with powers useful in certain situations but not in crime fighting ways. I know a woman who can make plants grow ten time faster if she looks at them funny. She can’t kill Dr. Metalface when he’s trying to steal the Statue of Liberty, sure, but she feeds half of Africa just by meditating on a veldt somewhere. That’s real power. That’s changing the world, not just punching a guy in a gimp mask.
After the Process, I was an initiate in a support program to help us identity our gifts and how to use them. Eventually we figured out my enhancement was that I could dampen the effects of mental illness within a certain range. After years of practice, I can extend a bubble hundreds of yards in all directions where every single person’s mental illnesses are temporarily tamped down and evened out.
At first, they had me cool off hostage situations or drove me to potential suicides to calm them down. Sometimes they needed someone made sane enough to remember their crimes or some otherwise forgotten password. I wasn’t a superhero but I was a useful tool.
Finally, I asked if I could just have a sanitarium and live with all the craziest people in the world, all their terror and fear shut down by my gift until the day I died. I thought it was how I could do the most good in the world. The government told me no, though, they have more use for me as a military asset. But I disagree.
I’m leaving on a train for D.C. in the morning. I learned what my power really means, I can pull people up out of their madness! I’m going to get within a mile of the Capitol then just sit down. Give me a week sitting on the green of National Mall, making brain-sick people sane and we’ll save the world by lunch that Thursday.
Maybe not every superhero punches the moon in the face. Maybe only sanity itself can save the world now. Maybe sanity is our new superhuman power, maybe it’s our last. Maybe.
Word Count 492
From Initiate to Hero: The Rest of the Story
by G. Ackman
“Dad, whose statue is that?”
“That’s Rudolph, son,” dad sighed.
“Who was he?”
“Well, he lived a long time ago and became very famous.”
“What’d he do?”
“He was a little like Paul Revere – made famous not so much for what he did but for what someone wrote about him.”
“Huh? I don’t understand.”
“Sit down here, and I’ll tell you all about it.”
“One Christmas season, a long time ago, a little deer was born and his parents named him Rudolph.”
“That’s a funny name.”
“No one uses it anymore, and that’s why it sounds funny to you. But there used to be lots of Rudolphs. It was the second most common name after Prancer.”
“Yes, son, like you. Anyway, this Rudolph was a bit different. You see he was allergic to pine, yet he just loved it.”
“I do too.”
“Yes, I know. But Rudolph wasn’t supposed to eat it and every time he did, his eyes would swell all up and his nose would turn bright red and be all stuffy. Everyone laughed at him because he kept on doing it anyway. His mom and dad would tell him to stay away from the pines, but sure enough, there would be Rudolph, every afternoon, nibbling away, and the next morning – poof! big red nose and watery eyes.”
Then, one Christmas, the weather was just terrible. Way too foggy to navigate so Santa was not going to be able to go on his rounds. We were so sad thinking of all those poor children waking up Christmas morning to no presents. Then Dasher – your great, great uncle – came up with a great idea. He suggested that Santa put those LED headlamps on each of the reindeer and that would make it easier for him to see. Everyone agreed that made sense, so Mrs. Claus headed right out to the store and bought every single headlamp they had. All the reindeer strapped them on and got into harness. It worked – those bright lights pierced the heavy fog and Santa made his deliveries with no problems. Christmas was saved, thanks to Dasher’s initiative.”
“But I still don’t understand. If it was Uncle Dasher’s idea, why doesn’t he have a statue?”
“Well, a little boy, Robert May, happened to be awake when he shouldn’t and saw the reindeer, including poor Rudolph and his swollen nose, flying away from his house with their lights on. Later, for his own kids, he made up a story about the reindeer and their lights, but he changed it to only one – Rudolph – and made it where he had been bullied because of his nose and then saved the day. So Rudolph, an initiate reindeer, since it was his first ever Christmas flight, became the hero. A few years later, the singer Johnny Marks turned May’s story into a song, and pretty soon, everyone knew the story that never was – Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”
Would You Like Desert?
By Sally Madison
The dinner was over and the young women were picking up the dishes to take to the kitchen of their student residence, when the door knocker sounded. “I’ll get it,” said Eloise, the house matron, as she proceeded to the door. “Oh, hello, Prescott, hello, Arnold, come in. We’re just finishing dinner. Would you like some desert?”
“Hello, Miss Eloise, looks like our timing is just right. Yes, we’d love desert.” The young men took off their great coats and top hats, and hung them on the coat rack. Entering the dining room, they greeted the young women, “Hello Millie, hello, Audrey.” Millie, clearing the dishes from the table, lifted her head with a jerk, surprised to hear men’s voices. Her body froze, but her hands shook, dropping a plate on the floor. “Whoa, Millie, we didn’t mean to startle you. Here, let me help you.” Arnold was bending to pick up the pieces from the floor.
Millie’s eyes focused on Prescott, as if she had seen a ghost, as she backed into the kitchen. Arnold continued to pick up the pieces and hand them to Audrey, who had watched and was shocked at Millie’s behavior. “What’s wrong with Millie?” inquired Arnold with a nod of his head toward the kitchen door.
“I’m not sure why Millie would have behaved, so rudely,” Audrey said, taking the pieces from Arnold. “I’ve noticed, she has been reticent lately. Maybe she’s not feeling well, but that doesn’t explain her behavior.”
In the kitchen, Millie was bent with her head over the waste basket, emptying her supper from her stomach. Audrey entered casually, but became alarmed, seeing Millie in such a position. “Millie, dear, what is wrong with you?” Audrey raced to her friend and put her arm across Millie’s back in support, just in time to feel Millie’s body collapse. Audrey guided her to one of the kitchen chairs.
“I’m fine,” Millie weakly protested to the coddling. “Take the cookies in, while I frost the cake.” Audrey, seeing Millie was a little better, postponed an additional explanation for the moment, and grabbed the plate of cookies, put on a smile, returned to the dinning room. Millie, cleaned herself up and began the process of frosting the cake.
Not hearing anything from the kitchen for some time, Audrey returned to check on Mille and to bring out the cake. When Audrey looked about the kitchen, she was shocked and horrified at the scene she beheld. There were cake crumbs and frosting all over the kitchen table top and legs, on the chair and on the floor. Millie was crying, crumpled in the corner, with cake crumbs and frosting over her face and clothes, the empty cake plate next to her. “Our dear God, what has happened to you, Millie?” Audrey whispered to her distraught friend as she bent to console her. Both girls sat on the floor and cried, one from shame, one from fear.
Word Count 491
Of a Feather
By Mike Cecconi
She was reticent to talk about it with her family or her friends but she knew she’d have to break it off with him. They’d met when he was working the bird desk at the biggest pet store in the area and she was looking for a present for her niece. He was just so passionate, he was just so knowledgeable, just so… nice. So kind. He listened, really listened.
She’d spent her teens and most of her twenties chasing after boys who played guitar and boys who thought they were men that also played guitar. Deep brooding “complicated” types that wore their emotional trauma, real or imagined, like sheriff badges and were happy to similarly deputize her into emotional trauma with their own cool indifference and acid condescension.
He didn’t try and sell her anything she didn’t need or cost her anything she couldn’t space, either in her nieces’ cockatiel or in the matters of their love. He was honest in what he needed and what he could provide back to her. That one would’ve gotten him a larger commission but it didn’t have the temperament to be the pet for a child. Renegotiating his student loans gave him anxiety attacks, he didn’t know how to fix a car and didn’t particularly want to. Always laid it out true.
She worked as a lobbyist for environmental groups in the state capital, however, and eventually her work was noted which lead to opportunities in Washington. Her skills translated and it had been her dream since college to get there. There would’ve been no such instant understanding of his skills in another town, though. He was great at what he did not because of some connection or a particular degree, rather through steady learning and slowly building local reputation.
No one anywhere else would know that he was deservedly called “The Bird-Man of Albany” and even fewer than that would care. He wasn’t old but still was too old to completely rebuild his life from scratch anywhere else and she knew it. Neither of them possessed the emotional fortitude for a long-distance relationship, something he initially denied but could only argue against with half-a-heart in it.
Some of us need to fly free of our cages, she told him, others are defined by their walls and neither approach in this life is right or wrong, we’re all slightly different breeds with very different needs. He understood that after a little while, even if he didn’t want to.
Nonetheless, he was gallant and romantic in his little bookish secret way. Once he realized there was no talking her out of it, he paused for a slow breath then spoke “Well, we had some good times for a little while there, didn’t we?” to which she agreed before he continued:
“No matter what, though, we’ll always have parrots.”
And he was right. No matter when and no matter what, they would always have parrots.