Tag: Translucence

TRANSLUCENCE: Lying in the Sunshine By Beverly Jones

Word Count: 415

By Beverly Jones

Like patients with hemorrhagic fever, when the mills and factories along the river began to close, the towns leaked workers searching for work in the cities. The proud buildings brooded with doors boarded and windows broken where vandals and rowdy teens had hoisted bricks through them.
The land survived though. The farmers remained, continuing their age old routine of milking cows and harvesting corn.
The young woman walked the path along the crest of the hill. She could see the fields not yet plowed, polka dotted with early dandelions. The trees showed off their translucent baby buds. The sunlight and breezes played across the fields, ruffling the grasses.
She smiled at the tiny kitten following her. Sitting down on the new grass she spoke to the baby cat who smelled the dirt and pounced on blades of grass.
“I draw strength and comfort from these hills, you know. But…”she paused, tickling the kitten’s belly. The kitten stretched, reaching her paws to the girl’s fingers. “They don’t awe me and fill my soul with longing as the sea does.”
She thought back to vacation trips to the beach. Oh, the sand hot beneath her bare feet. The sun on her bare shoulders. The waves crashing against the rocks exposed by years of erosion. The approaching storm black with clouds nearly skimming the tops of the angry surf. She stood on the sand facing the rocks as the sea slammed through holes worn in the limestone, drenching her with salt spray.
She thought of the John Masefield poem she learned in school, “I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky….I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.”
She stretched out on the ground and spoke again to the fuzzy grey kitten who began to climb up her shirt, its tiny claws digging into her ribs, tickling more than hurting her.
“It’s all about decisions, isn’t it?”
The kitten began crawling along the front of her shirt.
“The land my great-great-grandparents fought for, both against the Crown and Mother Nature. Or the ocean which fills me with longing I cannot name. What should I do, small cat?”
The kitten had reached her face. It yawned and lay down with its head snuggled under her chin.
The young woman smiled and closed her eyes, waiting for answers, basking in the spring sunshine.

TRANSLUCENCE: Night Shade By Nan Ressue

Word Count 383
Nan Ressue
We live in Cookiecutterville. You know what I mean. It’s a town of identical houses in soul draining rows of sameness and the inevitable death of curiosity. This was true except for the house next door on our east side. They never came out of the house, at least not when I was around to notice quirky behavior.
“Never?’ you asked
“No, never.” I replied
Their bedroom window which faced mine was covered with a vanilla colored shade from the roller to the sill that never moved. I studied it sometimes, thinking it was probably silk and had that watery wavy pattern woven into the fabric The color changes throughout the day intrigued me; a rosy glow in the early morning as the sun rise gained momentum, a bright gold gradually mellowing as the day progressed, a warm blue grey as evening approached and a deep licorice end- of- day black.
That’s the way it was every time until the time when night turned into day. The shade had become translucent with an unexpected light in their room projecting the outlines of the occupants on its golden surface.
“How do you do?” I said in silent conversation. “I’m your next door neighbor”
He was a middle-aged man with hair long enough to lay on his shoulders and had an athletic body and a bare torso. She was shorter than he, had tousled hair and was half undressed. I watched as he pulled her closer to him and kissed her check, moving his hands from her waist to her shoulders. She was beginning to back away as his fingers continued upward to her neck . Her hands were against his chest now, pushing and pushing as the long supple fingers made their circle around her throat. Her hands became fists as she pounded on his gut, gradually slowing until she became limp in his arms. He threw her down to the floor, violated and discarded+
Suddenly the light was gone and the shade was black. Both stunned and numb, I could hardly believe what I just saw. I finally found the strength to pull my cell phone out of my pocket with trembling fingers and dial the number.
“Hello! Hello!” somebody finally responded. This is 911. What is your emergency?”

TRANSLUCENCE: Meeting Mr. Morgan By Sally Madison


Word: translucence

Words: 488


Meeting Mr. Morgan

By Sally Madison


Sarah’s heart quickened as she saw him come into the room, where she was talking with her sister.  The white silk and lace fan fluttered. She had seen him before and knew a little about him. Mr. Morgan was an investor and new in the community, and also an eligible bachelor.  He looked so debonair as he scanned the sea of young ladies.  Spotting a face in the crowd, he smiled and joined one of the groups. Sarah perked her ears as he greeted Rachel, “you are the loveliest young lady in Alexandria, my dear.” Sarah heard his slight southern drawl, and melted inside. Quickly her soft blue eyes turned to green with envy. Sarah thought ‘that is because you have not seen everyone else in this room.  I’ll get your attention, Mr. Morgan.’

Holding her fan discreetly she was able to see him smiling and laughing.  Her cheeks turned red with vexation.  The majordomo entered the room and announced the first cotillion of the season. Carefully, Sarah sashayed through the crowd to become part of the line up at the door.  Her silk fan may have been translucent, but the intricate lace allowed a sideward glance.  Sarah maneuvered just in front of Arthur Morgan letting the lace hem of her hoop skirt touch his boots. She saw her opportunity; her feigned swoon

was perfect.  Morgan reached forward to catch Sarah by the elbow to steady her. “Are you alright, Miss?” Arthur questioned concernedly.

Sarah spoke softly.  “Thank you so much, sir.  Could you please help me to a chair?”

After guiding her to a settee on the side of the room, Arthur sat beside her. Having all of his attention to herself, she pretended to be embarrassed. “I should have known better. I haven’t eaten a thing all day. It was just a spell; it will pass; I was just a bit faint.”

“I don’t believe we’ve been introduced.” Arthur smiled, entranced by her beautiful face. “Allow me. I am Arthur Morgan, of Charleston.”

“Although it is not polite for a young lady to introduce herself, I suppose circumstances will allow it.  I am, Sarah Hogan.” Her smile was infectious as he stared at her.  An awkward silence passed without his response.

Apprehensive about the quiet, Sarah asked the only thing that she really wanted to know. Timidly, she spoke, “I noticed you were speaking to my dear friend, Rachel, a few minutes ago, are you in correspondence with her?”

He broke from his hypnotic state, realizing she had asked a question. “Yes…but no… but actually, she is my cousin,” he replied.  With great relief Sarah sighed.

“Shall we join the others?” he suggested as he rose.  “Please take my arm and let me support you”, he stood and he bowed, so Sarah could hardly refuse the offer.


With a twinkling in her eye and a blush on her cheeks, Sarah crossed the threshold leaving innocence behind.

TRANSLUCENCE: The Translucence of Love by G. Ackman


Word count 495


The Translucence of Love

by G. Ackman

As the November evening sun sent its shadows lengthening on the walls, Carla sighed and thought back over the day   It had been a good one, actually.  Her son, Alex, had been to see her and he snuck in two things that meant the world to her – her dachshund Brandy and a chocolate milkshake.  The doctors had no real clue what a person needed.  They only thought in terms of pharmaceuticals   Those fifteen minutes with Brandy nestled in her arms did more for her than any of their chemical concoctions ever would. She missed those big brown eyes and long, soft ears.  And the taste of that milkshake was pure heaven.  This was going to be so hard on Alex.  He had been her rock since his dad had left them fifty-two years ago.  That had been a hard time.  She was scared, alone, and so unsure of what to do.  But her dad had flown out and helped her get herself back together, even paying for the divorce.  And by no means had that been the last hard time she experienced.  There had been many.  Alex had been hit by a car when he was eleven and suffered massive head injuries.  There had been two or three instances of unemployment and being nearly destitute.  An emergency surgery.  Each time she had relied on her dad.  And he had always been there.

At least, he had been until thirty-two years ago when pancreatic cancer took him.  The doctors had given him twelve weeks to live, but he died in the eleventh, her sitting by his side and holding his wrist as he took his last breath.  After that, her hard times were handled without him.  And there had been several.  Another long bout of unemployment that saw her adding water to 99 cent shampoo to make it last longer.  The dark time in her life when her grandson was killed in a car accident.  The loss of four beloved dogs and her sister.  Lonely hours of retirement.  Each time she had wished she could pick up the phone and say, “hey, dad, what’s up?” and he would respond as he always used to – “the price of gas.”

The darkness settled more firmly around her shoulders.  She was so tired and thought she could sleep now.  She nestled her head into the pillow, feeling the cool cloth against her cheek.  Just as she prepared to close her eyes, her attention was caught by a vague, shimmery translucence off to her right.  She kept her eyes on it and it gradually coalesced into a shape she knew well.  It was her dad, and the lineaments of his face warmed her heart.  His words, “hi honey” brought back the sound of his voice to her memory.  Oh, how she had missed that voice.

“I came to get you,” he said and held out his hand.  She grasped his hand in hers and followed him from the room.

TRANSLUCENCE: Deceptions of Translucence By B.A. Sarvey

Word Count 500
Deceptions of Translucence
By B.A. Sarvey
Howard watched the translucent objects floating to the ground. He wasn’t sure what they were. They looked like gigantic jellyfish. Perhaps they had come to colonize the river–missing their mark, landing in the big field, instead. The field was littered with well over a hundred.
After a billowing poof, came a plop, the pale, balloon-like creature flopping over, giving up its lungful of air; collapsing on the ground. Writhing and shaking in death-throes, every one of them shimmered in the early morning light. Howard marveled at the breath-taking beauty, the luminosity with which they died, as though their very essence clung to light. Was the light. Then, in their last moments, each spit out a dark seed. Each seed was jettisoned forward and continued to advance, whether by its own volition or on the wind, Howard didn’t know.
As they came closer, Howard realized they traveled on two sticks which churned back and forth, propelling them. He soon saw that the seeds had faces and upper appendages. Not unlike enormous beetles, their arms and legs pawing the air, they clawed their way to the river and the base of the cliff where Howard made his home.
Eventually they swarmed beneath a stand of river birches, no longer resembling seeds, as Howard had first thought. Clearly, they were related to those on the other side of the valley. Their speech was rapid and several spoke at once, so Howard couldn’t understand their words. His chest tightened, however, with the urgency and vehemence of their voices. Silently, he stepped backwards, away from the cave opening. A trembling began at his knee, spread up and outward, to his toes; the tip of his ear.
Howard was no longer merely curious about the intruders; no longer thought their manner of arrival marvelous. Or beautiful. They were an angry swarm of hornets. Threatening. Combative without justification. Whatever their purpose, whatever the harsh words imparted, Howard knew their arrival signaled change, for him as well as for those on the other side of the valley.
Small, insignificant Howard. The situation exceeded his experience, yet he had to try. Had to warn, to defend, to defeat. Clutching at his chest, he fought down his desire to flee. Translucence imparts an air of fragility and Howard had always suffered from this notion. Now he knew that translucence was nothing of the sort. Just look at all those glimmering carcasses strewn across the field. They were not free from disguise—guileless—as he was. Perhaps somewhere within, Howard, too, could be bold, deceptive in his innocent appearance. Shifting his weight from foot to foot, right, then left, right again, he formed a plan. Shy became sly. The element of surprise, lost to the invaders, belonged to him.
Howard hovered near the entrance to his cave. The translucence of his wings, as he spread them in morning’s soft warmth, gathered the glow of dawn, released it tenfold: a muted beacon above the river valley. It was time to act.