Respite, the oasis. Ever an illusion out of reach. She possessed an overwhelming yearning to escape the dunes of her self doubt. Each grain: regret, anger and sadness; creating the towering hills of her internal hell. The landscape never changing. Up one sandy crest, only to slide down to the foot of another. How long had she wandered through this desert?
Sometimes, she would get enough energy to run. The sand fell away beneath her dirty bare feet as she raced towards the peak. Her chest burned with each breath, and the dryness in her throat felt like swallowed needles. She kept her focus on the summit before her, pumping her arms in determination. As she reached the apex of the ominous ridge, she jumped, and spread her arms out to take flight.
“What you fail to understand, Hailey, is that we’re just worker ants in this scenario. And we’re going to continue to be just worker ants, unless we aspire to be more.” Annette flipped her hair over her shoulder and shook her head, causing her blonde tresses to shimmer like sun hitting water in a stream. She dipped her chin and looked at me over the rim of her glasses, “I’m aiming to be queen of the hill. Where does that leave you?”
I was quiet for a moment. A wave of irritation washed over me at her revelation, and I tried my best to push it aside. Ambition was a double edged sword, and I was certain Annette had no clue which side did what. She struck me as the type of person who just lashed out blindly, hoping any slice she made got her closer to her goal. The mask she wore was crafted by layers of designer makeup, which she no doubt lost sleep over to apply each morning. As I stared at the empty, relentless vessel before me, I considered where I might be in five years if I held her position.
This is an evolving story, if you missed the beginning, start here.
Ald let out a heavy sigh and lead Pistol past Ellie towards the tack shed. After a few steps he said, “An animal with big eyes, then?”
Ellie followed to the side, she knew better than to follow directly behind a horse. She kicked at a loose rock in her path and replied, “Well, sort of, I think. In The Book of Three it was a pig named Hen Wen. I guess pigs do have big eyes…” she trailed off as Ald spun to face her.
Pistol jerked his head, not expecting Ald’s sudden motion. The horse lifted his top lip and laid his ears back in annoyance. Ald reached a hand to stroke Pistol’s muzzle and frowned at Ellie, “Come on Elle, really? Am I missing something? How is a bug-eyed animal going to tell us where the treasure is?”
“I know where it is!” Ellie persisted. Her arms were cross across her small, flat chest. She tapped one toe in obvious annoyance.
“Oh really?” Ald asked. He paused at the gate, looking over his shoulder at her. “Let me guess, you figured it out from another story?”
Ellie rolled her eyes and then glared at Ald. Being her best friend, his skepticism was the toughest to bear. It wasn’t her fault that she was the better reader between them. Perhaps his disbelief stemmed from him not having read any of the stories. She figured he also bore some irritation at the fact her introducing him to The BFG by Roald Dahl had been a red flag to his parents, prompting them to pay closer attention to Ald’s reading habits and blacklist titles as they saw necessary. It was a complicated situation for two kids to be in.
Her senses were heightened as she flipped through the faded photographs. The smooth surfaces slid easily beneath her fingertips, like a fresh deck of cards. A musty scent wafted from the wooden box, mingling with the cool summer air. The sprinkler clicked rhythmically, spraying water on the yellowing grass to the side of the house. The mist drifted on the breeze to tingle against her arm, prompting gooseflesh. As she slid her tongue along her lips, she could taste the tangy remnants of the lemonade from the empty glass sitting on the table. She stared at the features of the girl in the photo at the top of the stack before her.
He remembered the day the crown was placed upon her brow. The power she immediately commanded. The instantaneous praise of those bowing before her.
Greg wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. After working with him for five years, Arnold felt he had spent an acceptable amount of time with Greg to have such an impertinent opinion. Greg was the type that evoked cringeworthy feelings from Arnold at the thought of conversation. Arnold wasn’t sure if Greg was just missing a few screws, or if he was trying to be as pessimistic and argumentative as possible whenever he opened his mouth. The thought intrigued Arnold, if it was all an elaborate act, the guy deserved an Oscar.
His marvelous appendage, the topic of constant flattery, became an awkward topic. An erroneous tail drop had him wishing he could forfeit the favor-filled stares that were once a source of swagger. He was at his wits’ end.
Inktober 2016: Lost
While lounging in the garden as part of his morning ritual, Felix found himself too lazy to swat at the approaching butterfly.
The flittering insect circled his nose twice before deciding the pink knob was a perfect place to land.
Suddenly, Felix realized what it must be like to see the world through the eyes of a Siamese.
Inktober 2016: Hidden
“Why does the willow weep?” the girl asked her mother, blue eyes shining with curiosity. Her mother’s lips curved into a knowing grin and looked to the tree, as if visiting a distant memory. The girl looked to the tree as well, eager for an answer to her question. The girl tugged lightly at her mother’s hand hanging at her side. “Is it sad, mommy?”
The mother knelt to her daughter’s height and brushed light-brown bangs back from the round face of her child. Nodding, she replied, “Yes my dear, the willow is sad. And that is why it weeps.”
The girl furrowed her brow and looked to the tree, then back to her mother, “But why is it sad?”