Tag: Spring

SPRING: Give Me a Break By Peg Scarano

Word: Spring
Word Count: 487

Give Me a Break
By Peg Scarano

It’s supposed to be the time of year when the dirty snows of winter melt away the salt and grime that collected in our streets and in our lives over the past four or five months. The days get longer in spite of the fact we turn our clocks ahead an hour. The earth moves closer to the sun and every normal human being under that sun wants to get outside to be closer to it. It is time for cabin fever to go away while we all anxiously await the most anticipated malady of all – spring fever!

I’d like to know, what the hell happened this year? I go away for the majority of the winter for two reasons. The first is because I don’t enjoy being cold and housebound and the second is because I am lucky and I can. One would think when you plan to arrive back to Central New York on the 16th of April that spring would be well established and in the midst of making great strides to green things up.

Not only did I come home to all browns and grays, it snowed today! Isn’t that just a fine howdy-do!? There is not a touch of green anywhere! The wind is blowing like it is the middle of March and I have been chilled to the bone since I stepped out of the car. Let me just add, three days ago I was in north Jersey, a mere 150 miles from here, and it was 83 degrees! How long have I lived in a polar vacuum or on the polar express? Too long apparently!

Since there was nothing that was going to lure me outside today, I decided I might as well spring into action in the house. This was really a no-brainer since we gutted the kitchen while we were away and every single thing that belongs in my kitchen is currently in a bedroom. This is a huge inconvenience. And, in order to put things away, I pretty much have to spring clean (how ironic is that?) every single thing I touch.

I have only been home a day and the weather has caused me to lose the spring in my step which I had revitalized while basking in the warm southern clime and breathing the salty sea air. I remember, while sowing my wild oats in college, we used to celebrate the end of winter with a spring break! Now I find myself longing for winter to give me a break!

As I take a break from cleaning to whine about my homecoming, I am looking out my new glass back door at the gray sky and the white flakes floating in the air, trying to keep in mind Alexander Pope’s famous quote that “hope springs eternal in the human breast”. I am eternally hoping in my heart that spring will spring before summer arrives!

SPRING: Spring By Nan Ressue

Word Count 429
By Nan Ressue
Many of us have seen you. We have all wondered at those swirling orbs overhead, those group formations of mysterious shapes, some modest, some gargantuan. We know about the vehicles which execute breath taking aerial maneuvers as they accompany aircraft in flight. We have heard about occasional interactions with terrified humans and we worry….we wonder…
Who are you and where did you come from? We already know what other planetary worlds are like because Hubble has shown us. We‘ve seen inhospitable gaseous environments with deadly swings in temperatures and the dryness everywhere with its parched, cracked surfaces. Colors proclaiming death, the sickness of grey dust and orange red deposits of unknown minerals poisoning the surface and always…dryness everywhere.
We know you have supplied assistance to our race in the past because Einstein and Tesla have told us of their mental connections to intelligence greater than theirs. You leading the way has resulted in giant leaps forward for the common good in many ways. We value the unbelievable physical remnants in which you have played a part. They attest to your concern for our welfare and advancement and give us hope that you are here for a benevolent purpose.
Yes, we do know about the moon and the truth that it was not always there. Intelligence greater than ours placed it as an observation platform, a giant hollow metal ball, covered with craters of equal depth, one which vibrated for hours after the free falling lunar module crashed on the surface. The astronauts never told us what was on the back side of the moon. Are we capable of guessing? Are there fragments of your world that are beyond our comprehension?
Do you have a sun star centering your world like we do, providing the just right amounts of heat and light for you to flourish? Our precious water ranging from trickling springs to unfathomable oceans makes us unique among most. Yes, we do have one of the universe’s treasures. Life giving water, precious beyond diamonds, giver of the colors you see when you draw near; .heavenly blue and luscious green for without the blue there can be no green.
Yes, I know why you are here and why you return. It’s our treasured water and it will always be. It’s water, the beginning of our life stream and without it, the unquestioned end of it all.

SPRING: All the Lonely People By Sally Madison

Words: 500
All the Lonely People
By Sally Madison

Eleanor, with hunched shoulders, shuffled as she carried a brown paper sack that leaked juice from a smashed tomato, when the sack split, freeing the eggs, bread, and rice in front of the church. She collapsed to her knees with a burst of tears, in frustration. Slowly, she was picking up the rice, when she noticed the doors of the church. Tears welled in her eyes, as she remembered the dream, as if it were yesterday.

A grubby man with the shaggy beard, wearing the same clothes since spring, stared at the little boy. Uncomfortable with the man’s presence, the boy ran back to his mother. The mother cautiously assessed the man as harmless, at first, but thought differently, as time went on… as the man continued to watch the boy. With increasing frustration and anger, she finally gathered the picnic dishes and Kool-Aid thermos, stuffed them in the hamper, and threw them into the back of the station wagon. Reaching across the picnic table for the prize, his dog-tags dragged through the spilt ketchup, as he grabbed the abandoned hot dog. His eyes lit up in wonderment, when he spotted another heavenly treat. Gently, he picked up the precious find. The memories of this treasure brought tears to his eyes. How long had it been, since he had tasted… a marshmallow?

A brunette stood on the corner, waiting, with sullen face. The red fringe of her panties could be seen through the slit of her tight short skirt. She put on her best smile and bent forward, trying to create more cleavage than her push-up bra and adolescent breasts could produce above the low-cut top, as each expensive car went by. Pulling out her compact, she gently pressed fresh powder on the purple spot on her cheek that had been created by the diamond-ring of a backhand. Her eyes were still red and swollen from the pain, and tears. Another car cruised by. She awkwardly walked to the curb in her too-high-heels, just like the ones her Barbie doll wears.

A drop-out sat leaning against a tree, with splayed legs in dirty, ripped jeans, his arms too heavy to move, knuckles cut and bloody. The holes in his KEDS showed no socks, but dirty toes, while the white t-shirt had since turned gray, with yellow-stained arm pits. His shaggy hair nearly covered his stoic eyes, but not the crystal salt tear residue on his cheeks.

A man in black entered the diner sideways to accommodate his rotund body, and sat at his favorite table near the window, table number 5. At table 2 sat Mr. Brown, at 4 sat Mr. Maddocks and at 9 sat Mr. Felner. Each tipped his hand or fork to Father McKenzie, as he passed by, every evening.

While stuffing his cheeks from the bread basket, Father McKenzie couldn’t swallow. He reached for his wine glass, as his throat closed. Choking, his eyes became bulged and welled with tears.
…where do they all come from?

SPRING: Laurel Doves By Sharon Collins Chapter 3

Word Count 499
Laurel Doves
By Sharon Collins
Chapter 3

Père Jean, Grand-mère’s gracious friend, appeared in the doorway of her dreaming. “It is time Isobel! She and the others must attend me now!” With quick kisses, moist upon both cheeks and the whispered word, “Demori,” lingering in her ears, Geneviève bade farewell to her beloved Grand-mère. Obediently, she joined Hèléne and Marie-Claude just inside the gates of Montsegur as dawn broke on March 16, 1244
Following Père Jean through the gates and past the Pope’s guards, Geneviève could not help but marvel at his most unusual display of richly embroidered attire. Where was his simple, dark blue robe? ‘Who was this powerful figure to whom the soldiers bowed? Why were they addressing him as, “Your Excellence?’ None of these wonderings did she give voice to. The tension in the two hands holding hers kept her silent. Thus it was that, that Père Jean, L’Évêque, the Bishop, led the littlest heretics away from the pyres and out of recorded history.
Climbing down Montsegur is harder than climbing up it. Its steepness and treacherous stones tempt delicate ankles to twist and snap when mornings are clear and eyes are tear-free. But the smoke that clogged the spring air stung tear-filled eyes making a safe descent impossible. Marie-Claude lost her footing first. Grasping the hood of Hèléne’s cloak in desperation, they both tumbled down the sharp incline. Coming to rest in a tangle, both scrambled to their feet, bruised and in muddy disarray. Geneviève helped straighten their cloaks and pick the blue-green pine needles from their har.
“Beware mes petites colombes; you cannot truly fly and it is a long way down,” cautioned Père Jean. His nickname (my little doves) for the trio, brought the only smiles that would shine on this most tragic of days.
Despite the desperate urgency of their flight, Père Jean ushered his little flock, back up the path to where a side trail split off. Around a hairpin turn was a small clearing, used in happier times by merchants to store their wares as bundles were ferried up the final ascent. There he let the girls catch their breath but refused their questioning eyes. With their hoods thrown back, it seemed as if three halos gleamed in the hazy dawn. ‘Angels, not doves,’ he mused; ‘one golden-blonde, one bright-copper, and one burnished-brown.’ Lifting hands in prayer he whispered, “Thy will be done. God’s will, not mine.”
Acceptance had been the hardest lesson for Jean. He had battled the outcome of this day for so long…since Béziers and Minerve, three decades of fire and grief. Today that struggle would end and fade like the smoke-filled breeze into memory. Tomorrow, a new and more subtle campaign would begin, and its warriors would not be tired, old priests; they would be little girls. His young charges, so different in appearance and personality, but united by blood, a very special line of blood, were destined to become the newest Soldiers of The Way. Keeping them safe was his sacred vow.

SPRING: Sunday Morning By Sam McManus

Word Count 500
Sunday Morning
By Sam McManus
Every other Sunday morning I called shotgun, which meant I also had to load the jugs into the trunk of the station wagon, but I didn’t mind.
“It’s not fair,” my brother said. It was his own fault he was too slow.
“It’s your fault you’re too slow,” I told him.
Old Betsy wouldn’t always start up on the first try, but when it did we felt like it was going to be a good trip, like our own little good luck charm. It almost made up for having to get up at five in the morning on a weekend. Almost.
“It’s your fault you got a big head,” Teddy retorted, sulking from the back seat. It was a lame reply, but he had never been very original.
“And you get to stare at it the whole way there,” I said. “Cause I’ve got shotgun.”
“Both of you, shut up,” our mother said, her eyes never leaving the road for even a second.
If it was up to her we wouldn’t ever hit the road on Sunday mornings. If it was up to her we wouldn’t have an old station wagon that started up on every third try. But it wasn’t up to her, and neither was our dad leaving in the middle of the night and never coming back. It just was, and she expected us to adjust as she always had.
“How come this spring is so far away?” whined Teddy from the backseat. “Why can’t we get water bottles from the store like everyone else?”
“You got money to spend on those water bottles from the store?” asked Mom. Teddy sat there biting his lip. “Thought not,” Mom continued.
I could probably map out the route in my sleep, we had gone so often, the stop at Crazy Eddie’s gas station, the begging for ice cream at Holland Farms, the silence of the back road we turned off on when we were almost there. Then there was the praying that began about halfway there that Old Betsy wouldn’t break down and leave us stranded. It had only happened once, but it was a clear and present worry nonetheless.
“I hope we’re the only ones,” I said, right before the last turn.
“I hope we’re the first ones,” Mom said. “Because if we’re not…”
“There might not be enough water left to fill all our jugs,” Teddy interrupted. We had heard and seen it all before. If we got a late start, Mom said we might as well not go. The spring might have been a secret, but enough people knew about it to make it not quite secretive enough. It was pretty much dried out after filling sixty bottles, like clockwork, so if you weren’t first there were no guarantees. The only time we had was on Sunday mornings when everyone else was getting ready for church, or still fast asleep.
“Maybe afterwards we’ll stop and get that ice cream,” Mom said. But I knew we wouldn’t.

SPRING: Spring Hopes Infernal By Maggie Robertson

Word: Spring
Word Count: 482

Spring Hopes Infernal
By Maggie Robertson

Interesting how humbling and humiliating both begin with hum, as it’s what happens when you forget the words.

She fancied herself a writer, but the words would not come. Her mind seemed as barren as the hillsides she gazed upon as she sat by her window. Late April, spring started… a month ago? Yet the hills were dull white, with spikes of brown tree trunks, the occasional black profile of evergreens breaking up the pattern.

Her desire to speak had waned; those years were behind her. Or maybe it was the passion that waned, beaten by mind-numbing work that failed to speak to her heart. After all, it was the passion, the sense of purpose, that fueled the courage to stand up in her own space. Dreams unfulfilled flitted though her head, and she could barely remember the person who thought those dreams possible. Now, she wanted to lock herself away from the world, live life on her own introverted terms, only interacting with others when she absolutely had to, like when she ran out of chocolate.

She heard the words of a song playing absently in the background, something advising her to “build a little birdhouse in your soul.” She didn’t so much have a little birdhouse in her soul, as a giant bird nest, and not a neat one, either. When she opened the door, there were twigs and hay and grass and hair and feathers everywhere.

Life had turned on her in a most unexpected way. No, not devastating loss or a health crisis or a natural disaster. It was the insidious plot turn of finding herself embedded in meaningless work, locked in without an exit plan. She had retreated into her head, spending most of her time there and feeling helpless against the rages of the world.

To her, it felt like that moment in a movie. The moment when the hero, or heroine, seems defeated beyond hope, and some monumental action brings him, or her, back from the brink to defeat whatever it is that is challenging him, or her. Sometimes it’s a secondary character nobody expects to rise to the occasion, but finds the strength, courage, and opportunity to save the day.

She waited for her unlikely hero, or heroine, to step forward and save her days. She waited, and she waited, and she waited. But happy endings are not guaranteed in life. Life continues on, leaving us wondering, what does the future hold? After all, we’re all just making it up as we go along.

Her cat, Henry, jumped up on the windowsill and sat, gazing out the window with her.

“It’s all going to be OK” he said.

She turned and stared at him for a minute.

“How strange,” she muttered.

“You think I’m strange,” Henry replied. “You’re the one with the talking cat.” and he stalked off to find a good napping spot.

SPRING: Spring of Wisdom By B.A. Sarvey

Word: Spring
Word Count: 500
Spring of Wisdom
B.A. Sarvey
It began as a trickle—an inkling of an idea. Out of a crevice in the bedrock, it seeped up and burbled: clean, clear, cold. Constant renewal, as water flowed from the depths of the earth, kept it that way.
As a wee mite—barely four—she discovered it when she strayed from Papa’s side, while walking in the glade. No stream nor lake gave rise to the spring’s existence. Its gurgle entranced her, as did the sunlight flashing on its ever-moving surface. Papa had warned never to eat or drink anything in the wilds unless he said it was safe. But surely, this inviting water held no ill. And so she had knelt down and sipped tentatively.
Delicious! Water, crisp as a bite from an apple, pure as the stars, in such an unexpected place. Akin to the water she helped pull up from the well, yet different. Sweeter. It made her feel independent. She became aware of things—sounds, movement—she never noticed before. The powerful response frightened her. Perhaps the water bursting from rock was harmful. Because she had done the forbidden, she did not tell Papa about the spring.
But over the years, she returned often, drawn by the remembrance of the first sip. Dipping her cupped hands in the spring of wisdom, bringing the water to her lips, she felt a special communion with the plants and animals dwelling there. “The spring of wisdom” she had dubbed it, because it made her feel sage beyond her age.
Not until Papa’s unexpected death and Mama’s deep mourning did she discovered the true magic of the spring. It was an accident, really. Slipping away, she poured out her anguish of loss into the pure waters. Not only was Papa gone, but Mama, too, it seemed. Tears mixed with its sweetness. When she finished her story of grief, she looked into the dancing pool and saw the broken face of her mother.
“So this is where you have been coming all these years. I should have known,” Mama said.
“You knew of this spring?”
“Where do you think I wandered of an evening while you and your father shared tales? It is my private place. I come here to think, to unburden my heart, to sip the water that renews my spirit. Its music brings me joy, its seclusion gives me independence.”
“The water makes me wise. Opens my eyes to everything around me.”
“Not the water. The secret,” Mama said.
“The secret? You mean me–doing something I shouldn’t have done?”
“Yes. Forging independence by your actions. Courage to strike out and act on your own—maybe not always wise. But experience teaches lessons obedience never will.”
“The spring was my guilty indulgence. Now that you know, it won’t feel the same.”
“You will visit as you always have, and so will I, being very careful not to arrive at the same time. The only change is that we will be allied—independent together, wisely springing forth.”