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.
Relax you say? Mia’s got no problem with that. Just sit back and enjoy her chill posture.
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.
My brother and I use to fish the rivers to the north. We would make a day of it, waking before dawn and driving up in the mountains that further delayed the sun’s rise. The fish are more fierce there, my brother once explained to me when I was young. I had believed him, because to a young child, anything that could survive under the ice of frozen rivers and lakes were more than just a little awe inspiring.
I remember the peace that would come over my brother as he cast. The natural ease in the motions spoke of his devotion to the craft, and it always motivated me to try harder with my own casts. I could never make the line dance like my brother, but he would always smile at my attempts. He always took the time to teach me, to slow down my eagerness to throw the line as far as it could fly. Through his patience I learned so much. Continue reading
“Red is power.”
“Red is love!”
Gale twisted the hem of her shirt between her fingers as her sisters fought. Jeanne, the youngest, refused to agree with their eldest sister, Heather, on the meaning behind the strange glass bottles. There were three vials: red, green, and yellow; and they were set against the twisted root of an old yew tree. Gale had heard the stories around the village about a witch making the woods her home, so while her sisters squealed with delight, Gale stood apart from them and the gnarled tree.
Did he think me gone?
The irksome fool. I may not be where he could see me, accost me, but I would never be gone. It would be too much of a kindness if I merely ceased existing, to let him go on in peace. No, he has wounded me too deeply for me to submit into nothingness. The idea that I do not even trouble him as a passing thought torments me on a daily basis. How can he live in peace while I continue to suffer at the mere sight of him? Continue reading
1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”.
Hyperbole: a word that I always have to look up the definition – and then when I read what it means, realize I do it on a daily basis. For some reason this really amuses me. It is also one of those words that I read completely wrong, every time. Hyper-bowl is not right, and really screws up the flow of a sentence.
But when I stop and think about it, there are a lot of words in the English language that amuse me for odd reasons. Take “onomatopoeia” for example, another word I often forget the definition of. When I see the word, it makes me think of some strange library or magic dictionary. Mostly because it rhymes with encyclopedia. Encyclopedia in my mind = books on a shelf (library) and pages of information (fat dictionary). Makes perfect sense.
A term that will stick with me for the rest of my life that was hammered into me during a high school English class: anti-transcendentalism. I cannot remember a lick regarding what the teacher was teaching us about this term, and in addition, I loathed reading and examining the Scarlet Letter. I’m also completely convinced that my teacher had an unhealthy obsession with the term “anti-transcendentalism”, and took it as a personal challenge to use the word as often/creatively as possible during that part of the curriculum. It was pure torture. I can still see her crazed, smiling face chirping the word repeatedly and saying something about it being such a lengthy, wonderful word.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn new words. I love the word a day calendars, and I always make it a point to read the weird word being featured on thesaurus.com when I’m writing. Which reminds me that I called a thesaurus a theOsaurus well into high school, and I can recall one of my teachers asking which dinosaur I was referring to.
Oh hyper-bowl, look at the rabbit hole you’ve pulled me down.