Tag: Turmoil

TURMOIL: Consuming the Turmoil B.A. Sarvey

Word: TURMOIL

Word Count 500

Consuming the Turmoil

B.A. Sarvey

“Friends? I’m glad someone looked after you.” Luna’s mother shook her head.

“I assured her you were answering a special call,” added Papa.

“Rather, stepped through an invisible wall. Picking posies one breath, gone the next. The turmoil! We searched.” Mother sniffled and embraced Luna. “My girl. I didn’t want to leave….”

“I was lost yet strayed no farther than a fawn from its mother. When I looked up, you had all disappeared.” Luna pulled away. “Imagine my turmoil—heart pounding, confused. Alone.”

Howard twitched nervously, discomfited by Luna’s reaction.

“Pardon our rudeness. Thank-you for escorting Luna.” Extending his hand, Papa added, “Mathias. My wife, Hildie. Come. Join us.” Mathias ushered the group to the cook-fire where he ladled out a spicy brew.

“W…we are the thankful o…ones. L…luna—enriched beyond w…words.”

“What has my princess been getting you into?”

“Vanquishing invaders,” said Guff.

“Turning m…moth-eaters into p…plant-eaters.” Howard spread his wings. The moths descended.

“Ahhh! Fine specimens.”

While they supped, they recounted their adventures, beginning with Luna’s abandonment. “I sought my soul’s quieting, as you taught me, Papa. Peace consumed my turmoil. And I decided.”

“Decided?” Hildie scrutinized Luna.

“To follow my destiny. Now it has brought me home again.”

Mathias smoothed Luna’s silver hair. “We are all born to special purpose. Some are nurturers, others protectors. Some cook or weave to provide for the clan, others plant or hunt, heal, or build, or counsel.”

“What of me? Where do I fit?”

“Sometimes, Luna, as governed by the stars, in years of uncommon floods, a child is born with heightened skills.” Mathias hesitated. “We never told you—your gifts go beyond your clansmen. We know. We see. Now you have been into the world, you have discovered not all peoples have these abilities. Abilities you think nothing of because they are nothing unusual. Here. Abilities so common to us they are like seeing the moon or feeling breezes cross your brow.” Glancing at Hildie, he continued. “We have our limits, though. We cannot enter the next realm, as you must have done that day. You crossed over.”

“It’s not the first time,” Luna admitted. “Just the longest. You’re telling me others cannot?”

“Nobody here. Perhaps your new friends were also born of the floods. You say they have extraordinary gifts?”

“Guff has lightning in his fingertips. Howard’s belief illuminates. The moths communicate without speaking, and know the way.”

Hildie grasped Luna’s hand. “Nurtured you best we could. Please understand.”

“Sheltered you more than we should have,” admitted Mathias, patting his daughter’s head. “Losing you again, aren’t we?

“Guff’s Meme says she can teach me,” Luna said.

“Then you should go to her,” Mathias said. “You were right to seek destiny.”

Forced to seek destiny,” countered Luna.

“Destiny, I think,” said Guff, “sought you.”

“And b…brought us t…together.” Howard’s wings blushed rose and aqua; a tremor traveled toe to tip.

“To new adventures!” Guff saluted Luna.

Pulling Luna close, Hildie said, “May winds and destiny always lead you home again.”

 

TURMOIL: It Will Be OK By Peg Scarano

Word:  Turmoil

Word Count: 500

 

It Will Be OK

By Peg Scarano

 

We had just learned Emily had permanent vision loss in her left eye.  But this amazing 14-year-old said to her mother, “It will be OK, mom.”  Little did we know there was still more news to come.

After Emily calmed me down, the good doctor told us there was more we needed to know and he began explaining the phenomenon known as sympathetic ophthalmia.  In quick layman’s terms this is when the good eye senses the traumatized eye and in “sympathy”, the good eye goes blind as well.  The occurrence of this is rare, but it can happen any time during the lifetime of the victim.  The only thing to 100% prevent this from happening is to remove the damaged eye within 14 days of the initial trauma.

Oh my God.  We spent the next five days making appointments and traveling from Albany to Buffalo seeking the advice of ophthalmologists.  I had several conversations with doctors I knew personally and professionally at the hospital.  We also called several specialists in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.  After being assured by all but one specialist, that Sympathetic Ophthalmia is indeed very rare, we still thought the best decision was to make an appointment with the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia to have Emily’s traumatized eye removed as soon as possible – the 14 days were running out.

 

Relieved that we had finally made a decision, we discussed our conclusion with Emily, who still had not shed a tear over this devastating event in her life.  Stoic as ever, she said, “OK.”

 

Around midnight, Emily came into our room sobbing, waking us up from a sound sleep.  “Emily, what’s the matter?” I exclaimed.  Between sobs and hiccups, she finally managed to explain her thoughts.  “I don’t want to take my eye out!  I’m only fourteen.  Technology is changing all of the time.  Maybe someday they can fix my retina and optic nerve.  Please, don’t make me take my eye out!”

 

We were dumbfounded and at a loss.  Our turmoil returned with a vengeance.  What should we do?  If we do not have the surgery and she someday loses the sight in her good eye – how do we live with that as parents?  If we go ahead with the surgery, against Emily’s wishes, how will that affect her as an adolescent and later on, as an adult?  Will she resent us and our decision?  Will she become defiant, lose interest in school and friends or turn to other means of rebellion?

 

After a long, soul-searching night, we decided to cancel the surgery.  We thought of Emily’s strength and courage throughout the last ten days.  Her positive attitude and sense of humor never faltered.  We chose to support our daughter and her decision and have never looked back.  She is now 28 years old, successful in her career and personal life.  She is happy and we have a relationship I treasure more than life itself.  I have to believe we made the right decision – together.

 

(See below for a professional description of Sympathetic Ophthalmia)

 

Professional Description of Sympathetic Ophthalmia

 

When there is significant damage to an eye, bits of eye tissue can be absorbed into the blood stream.  This causes the body to create anti-bodies to get rid of that tissue (because it is foreign to the blood).  It is possible that these antibodies could make their way to the good eye (at any point in life), and start attacking the eye tissue (as they were created to do), which could lead to blindness.  The only way to 100% prevent that from happening is to remove the bad eye and all the damaged tissue before it has a chance to be absorbed into the blood stream.

 

With today’s advancements, ophthalmologists can repair damaged eyes much better than they used to, so they can reduce the amount of damaged tissue that could potentially be absorbed into the blood stream; which is why Sympathetic Ophthalmia is much rarer today than years ago when more primitive surgeries did not repair the damage.

TURMOIL: No Word from the Castle By Sally Madison

Word: TURMOIL

Words:   496

No Word from the Castle

By Sally Madison

Having heard no word from the castle, the senior officer stationed with the troops consulted with his subordinates.  How strange that they were given an order to prepare for battle, but the general has not appeared, to lead them. The would-be heroes of the day lost their patience. The senior officers and their servant rode to the castle to investigate.  They approached the castle, expecting to see the workings of the morning, but there was an ominous silence. They cautiously approached, confused why there were no sounds or activity at all.  The officers proceeded, leaving the servant tending the horses.

 

The front door easily gave way at the officer’s touch; no sounds were within. He prepared himself with his sword held high, expecting an enemy at any second.  No one was about, in any of the down stairs rooms. He silently climbed the stairs, searching around each corner, examining each of the rooms for signs of the General’s presence.

 

The officer searching the kitchen saw no signs of a breakfast being prepared, no dishes, kettles, or fire in the hearth. Finding the stairway to the dungeon, he raced down.   He grabbed the iron bars of the door and shook them as hard as he could, but they did not give, and no key hung near by.  He only managed to arouse a few rats, he presumed. Going back upstairs, he checked the gardener’s room and the maid’s room, but no one was found. All was quiet, as if they had vanished.

 

The officer in the barn stood stunned.  There were no sounds, because there were no horses. He looked for signs of horse hooves in the dirt – nothing.  The horses had vanished.

 

The officers met in the dinning room. Comparing their findings, each one was perplexed at the silence.  The captain leaned against the table, drawing attention from another officer who noticed a note on the table.  The note reported that the Turks had brought the plague with them.   What’s this? A plague?!  How can this be?  Where are the officers?  They would not have deserted without notifying their troops, even if there was a plague.  Confused, they walked out to their horses, which had been held by the servant.  They spoke among themselves, but not so quietly that the servant couldn’t hear.  What kind of a trick was Allah playing with them?

 

The servant’s eyes widened as he listened to the officers; fear struck his face.  They all rode back to the troops.  The servant led the horses back to their rope corral.  The servant,  bursting with excitement, crouched down to whisper to the others who had encircled him, looking for news. “There is plague at the castle.  All are dead.” They stood quickly and responded loudly,  “What?  Overnight?  All dead?  Plague?” Getting louder and louder, they drew the attention of the soldiers.  Turmoil erupted, “Did we hear ‘plague’?”  “Plague at the castle.”  The rumor was echoed, again and again.  Panic set in. “Plague!”

TURMOIL: Turmoil in the Forest by G. Ackman

Word: TURMOIL

Word Count 484

 

Turmoil in the Forest

by G. Ackman

 

“Mom, dad said I could go hunting with him this year – well, he said as long as you say it’s okay, but it’s okay isn’t it?  Please?”

 

Mom kept her back turned, fixed her mind on dinner for the family, and didn’t answer.  She didn’t want her sweet, gentle son to become a killer.  It was so barbaric, but she also knew that hunting was a major sport in the area.

 

“Mom?  Did you hear me?  Dad said..”

 

“Yes, son, I heard you.  Why do you want to do this?”

 

“Why?  Well,  it’s a..it’s a…it’s a….I just do, that’s all.”

 

“Son, sit down here and let’s talk for a minute.  Then, if you still want to go hunting with your father, I won’t stand in your way.”

 

She could clearly hear the eye roll, but chose to ignore it.

 

“Once we lived in harmony with these creatures that you now want to hunt and kill.  I never have and I never will. I enjoy watching them frolic in the yard.  The young ones are so cute.  They haven’t done anything harmful to me, and I don’t see the sense in killing them just for the fun of it.  It’s not like we eat them or anything.”

 

“I understand, mom.  And I like watching them too, but there’s so many of them.  It really would help them if we thinned out their herd some.  And the cars.  You have to admit that it’s hard for us to live peacefully with them because of the cars.”

 

“All right, son” she sighed, knowing the battle was lost.  Hunting season only came once a year, and now she dreaded it even more than ever.  She still shuddered anytime she glanced at the wall in the den, where the head was mounted. She hated it being there.   It looked so alive somehow that she kept expecting it to reproach her for its death.

 

She knew all the logical reasons for the hunt:  keep the herd healthy, prevent starvation, reduce accidents with the cars.  She knew all the sportsmen’s arguments too:  the thrill of the chase, the watching and waiting, the sudden sight of a fine specimen coming into view.  She knew all that.  She knew that their species caused great turmoil for her kind.  But she still couldn’t condone hunting them.  Humans were so helpless.  Their skin doesn’t keep them warm in the winter without them adding fake layers.  They don’t seem to understand or follow nature’s signs.   Their eyesight is weak, their sense of smell is abysmal and they smell pretty bad, too.  Yet, there was something endearing about them – especially the young ones playing in the yard, laughing, and chasing each other.

 

She watched her son scampering off to give his father the good news.  She shook her white tail in resignation, leaped over the brush, and began grazing.  Soon another head would be on the wall.

TURMOIL: Blue Waters… By Nan Ressue

Word: Turmoil

Word Count 340


Blue Waters…
By Nan Ressue

 

I sat on the bench, quietly, thoughtfully, so pleased to be in this beautiful place called Blue Waters where peace reigns and turmoil melts away. The sun has broken through the trees, beginning its daily journey from the technicolor horizon and lays a  kiss of warmth on my cheek.  The dew is releasing its midnight grip on the marsh grass in front of me as the entrapped pools of water find their way to larger swirls and finally join the larger safe water coves.  There is an expectant hush while I patiently wait for the visitors.

I wait expectantly, hopefully for that first sound; rasping, raucous honks that signal approach Sounds increase and multiply as the source draws nearer.  I stand and shield my eyes to view the brightening sky and am rewarded.  Here they come, winging their way to this comforting spot, formation flying at its best.

They are closer now and the leaders are directing the squadron to circle and settle into calm waters, splashing down in waves .Some of them are more athletic than others,  coming in for a smooth landing as if the water surface was a runway; others crashing rather than gliding.  “Oh well, I got down’” you could almost hear him say.  One hundred? two hundred?  Who could count them?  Soon they are all down, swimming, roosting, preening, diving to check out the bottom, enjoying the  needed respite that we humans understand so well. The turmoil of travel had vanished and peaceful rest takes its place.

I can’t tell you how many hours I spent at the Blue Waters while I shared the peaceful hours with these magnificent birds. But suddenly it was over with a tremendous upward explosion of energy as they left the surface of the water by some silent signal. The rest had been accomplished, the goals reset, and the next chapter of the journey was about to begin.

Farewell Geese.  I salute your beauty, strength, and determination. Do drop in again .soon.

TURMOIL: First Step By Sharon Collins

TURMOIL

Word Count 405

 

FIRST STEP

By Sharon Collins

 

My next step, my very next step is the one…just like Grandmother’s…just like Mother’s.  In the torchlight, He stands before me, the Headsman, his hooded-eyes dark with doubt. The others ring him, their dark eyes full of menace.  Watchers all, they have arrived to witness my Judgement and determine Justice.  Bleeding, but still alive, I stand, the stone behind supporting me more than I let on and meet his dark gaze with my green one.

 

Lying before me, its life’s-blood soaking the pine needles is the She-Wolf.  Clamped in her terrible jaws, a shattered shell embedded deep in her throat, is Mother’s Necklace of Shame.

 

Dizzy with pain, I cannot give satisfactory explanation.  Searching for words, I replay the chaotic memory… in the falling gloom, they strike.  Snapping fangs circle; pain explodes with each lunge.  Their attack coordinated and precise, becomes a dance of death. Mine.   Muscle meets tooth and gives way. Shoulders to the rock-ledge, I  stab, lash, whirl, over and over and over… when I can  fight no longer, I cry out for Mother.  I know not how, but she comes; she protects me.  A feral screech deafens me as fur and fury leap from the rock ledge. An enormous Forest-Cat launches and collides with the She-Wolf.  Wolf-fangs reaching for my neck snap instead on sharp shell.  It howls; its agony cut short by sharper fangs piercing its throat.  As the death-echo fades, she straddles her kill, muzzle dark with blood, and looks at me, freezing me with Mother’s amber eyes. Her growl scatters the pack.  I wait captive in the spell of her stare.   Slowly she blinks and is gone, a swirl of shadow among the trees.  I collapse in grateful sobs until I hear the Watchers approach.

 

Struggling to stand, I cannot explain that Mother’s spirit has saved me in death even as her sacrifice saved me in life, so I stand mute.  My Judgement and Justice are satisfactory or they are not… I can do no more than wait.  Refusing to lower my gaze, I watch as the Headman pries The Necklace from the She-Wolf’s mouth.  Wiping a crimson smudge from the longest shard, He approaches cautiously and marks my forehead.  Then folding the shattered-shell necklace into his pouch, He steps back…He steps back leaving my way clear.

 

Swallowing the turmoil, accepting the pain, I step just as Grandmother had.