Short Stories/Writings

Short Story: Start Over

The tears suddenly stopped. Her folded hands on her chest felt her breath return to a normal pace as she let her entire body ease into the bed. Lila decided to stop crying and was able to instantaneously convince her body to do so. She had made up her mind. Her life needed to change and she was the only one who had the power to accomplish it. Lila understood she was a victim, yes, but she chose to not let that fact lead her life anymore. She slipped into sleep knowing tomorrow was the first day of the rest of her life, a better life for her and her daughter.

“What do you mean you are leaving? Where on earth would a young woman and her baby go that is better than being at home with her mum and dad?”

“Momma, I don’t expect you to understand what I need to do. This isn’t about you or father, this is about Grace. I must let her have a life better than what this town can provide. I need to start over.”

“You forget this town is the place you grew up, it is perfectly fine for your child. Do not insult my intelligence, I know this isn’t about Grace, this is entirely a selfish move on your behalf and I won’t let you take my grand baby away from me!”

“Oh, who is being selfish now!” Lila knew this fight with her mother would go on endlessly if she kept sparing with her. Lila zipped up her bag of everything she possessed, brushed her mother’s shoulder as she walked past and went out the bedroom door. Marion followed her daughter downstairs to the kitchen, walking in a hurry as though she was not ready for this decision to be final.

“Of course you are doing this now, while your father is out working the field for the harvest, not here to convince you to stay. We both know very well you put his opinion above mine and how he has the power to sway your choices. This is a juvenile act and I insist you wait until he returns. Think how upset he will be when you and Grace are gone when he comes home.”

“Guilt trips aren’t going to work here mother. My mind is made up. Plus, I talked to father before dawn and said my goodbyes. Do you honestly think I would leave without telling him? Is that what you think of me?”

Marion stood by the sink with her mouth wide open.

Lila glanced out the back window and felt a pinch of guilt seeing her brother smile and laugh at Grace out in the yard. Frank was too young to understand why she was leaving and Lila fumbled with the right words to say to him.

“Think of your brother at least, he adores Grace.”

“I know. I will write as soon as we are settled, I promise. Momma, I need to do this. I’m tired and weary of being constantly reminded of my mistakes and what happened in the past. I want to focus on the future and be a better mum for Grace. The carriage will be here any moment. I must go.”

“You didn’t make any mistakes Lila. That man is the one who made the mistake. Why should we all suffer because of it?” Marion put her hands on her daughter’s shoulders and looked straight into her eyes, sure she could push this idea off until another day.

“I’m going outside now, with or without your support.” She kissed her mother’s cheek and walked out the door.

“Lila, what do you say I take Grace on a quick walk to the Smith farm, I think she loves their horses. She seems to light up near them.” Frank looked at Lila, tears in her eyes, a large suitcase in her hand. “What’s going on?”

“Frank, Grace and I are leaving. I need to get far away from this place and start over. I will miss you so.” Lila hugged her brother as she heard the carriage come over the hill to fetch her. “I haven’t much time, say your goodbyes to Grace.”

As she watched her childhood home shrink in the distance, Lila knew this was her path forward, an unknown path full of potential and hardship and hope. She knew she had the power to create whatever life she wanted for her and Grace. That conviction would not let anything or anyone stop her. Lila had let a man have power over her for the last year. Their encounter, ever so brief, not only left her as an unmarried mother, but left her with nightmares, left her untrusting of men and left her stripped of the exhilaration for life she aspired to always keep. The three months of Grace’s life gave Lila back some of that innocent joy. God showed her there was happiness to be had even in the darkness.

Lila decided this carriage ride would be the last time she thought about the truth she was hiding. Leaving behind her town and family meant leaving behind the secrets and lies. Her mother could never know who Grace’s father really was and this was the only way to ensure it.

Short Stories/Writings

Poem: Is Light

God is light. The brightness in the east through the trees in the morning while the bitter wind tightens the cheeks. The streams of glow dancing to greet the day, a welcoming gratitude of what shall become and of curiosity and wonder to say.

In the darkness and shadows where troubles lurk and swallow, a feeling of concern can break the day. Disenchantment weighs heavy where sun cannot breakthrough and weariness leads to dismay. The splendor of life falls short when luminosity and hope are led astray.

God is light. The beacon in the west while waves flow over the sands and colors emanate art across the sky. Washing melancholy away from the soul to clear the heart to continue wanting to stay. An aura of surety must shine over the shroud of bleakness causing the gray.

Certainty of a new dawn bathed in a blaze of sun lifts the heavy veil from which we cannot overcome. Propelling us to ignite our foray into the deep, rekindling our love of yearning to prevail and proclaiming forth the way.

God is light. A pillar in the root of life whether there be night or day. Rays of sunshine, lost resolves at bay, spirits sorting through this life ever looking for the might, pave a path and affirm we will lead the day. Time ventures on with tribulations and gateways to destruction, but faith and an enduring theology of reliability in oneself will always oversee today.

Short Stories/Writings

Short Story: Be Quiet

The following is a short story I wrote for a local newspaper (sadly now gone) in 2015. I felt as though it was appropriate to share again in 2021.

I won’t talk about it. My self-confidence is below the surface. I turn on my self-preservation mode and I will remain quiet. No one wants to hear what I have to say. Retaining the aura of perfection is required. How can anyone measure up to perfection? My thoughts that were about to be spoken quickly become the past and lack of communication becomes the future. Communication dives down with self-confidence and they hold hands waiting for a wave of conviction to sweep them up.

It is as though this fear in me is ingrained. It is a fear of rejection, a fear of losing my job and a fear of being unloved. Envy rises for those who do a better job deflating this fear, but all I seem to do is magnify it. Every action and thought is clouded with contemplations of the consequences that will ensue if I speak my mind, if I tell the truth.

The foundation of this fear started in kindergarten. Speak when you are spoken to. The wrong answer produced laughter from my classmates. My soft voice was followed by angry voices informing me I need to be louder. Survival behavior became to just not speak, only when obligatory.

Maturity helps slightly and allows that conviction wave, on occasion, to bring self-confidence and communication to the light. The sun shines on those great undertakings while the waves are calm, but inevitably it all sinks once again. The aura of perfection is once again shattered, and of course I cannot be faultless, but the world doesn’t know that. The world is about achievements and beauty and making a difference.

Living knowing how to sink the fear is the ultimate achievement. The epitome of life is to live as though you were dying and do the things you always wanted to do and say the things you always wanted to say. I have yet to meet a person who lives this way so I’d say we are all comparable in this facet and all completely imperfect. The world is ignorant of this reality as well.

Until the time comes when we can all embrace the glorious messes that we are, the world will continue to expect perfection, our self-confidence will continue to take dives, we will let fear win and lack of communication will bask in the glow of it all. Acceptance and encouragement need to become the landscape we live in.

Feeling as though we matter and our thoughts and opinions are worthy even if they bring on waves is central to improved communication. This way instead of being quiet we can be brave and open about changing the stance of perfectionism. We can build ourselves up and be accepting of what other people have to say.