Archive | April 2014

Rea’s Family Tree

Rea“What’s the point?”  Rea kept her gaze upon the tree ahead of her.  “Grammy, why put plastic eggs on the branches?  You don’t expect us to climb up and get them anyway.”

Eighteen going on ten, Rea found this entire tradition to be nothing short of ridiculous.  Why couldn’t her family be normal and fill eggs with money and candy?  Instead, for the first week of Spring, her family adorns a tree in honor of their ancestral lineage.

“Why can’t we start using different colors,” she asked.  “I’m sure Granny Kate wouldn’t mind being purple this year.”

Her grandmother smirked and coughed to cover a laugh.

“Blue for the men, pink for the ladies.”

Rea stared at the multitude of eggs on the bottom few branches and pondered aloud.  “I’m surprised you can find any more room up there.  Especially if Justine keeps popping out kid after kid.”

I need to go help your mother in the kitchen.”  Her grandmother kissed her cheek and return inside the one-story rancher. 

This was Rea’s first year as the  “Tree Keeper”, the one to manage the family history records and photos.  It was her task now, as the eldest female in her generation to maintain the list and plan the family reunion.  The worn books were cool to look at; the dresses were so different then and the furniture so detailed.

Even though this was a responsibility of honor and importance, Rea didn’t want it.  After all, she was heading off to college next month.  She didn’t want to be saddled down with tattered books and binders full of cemetery records.  She’d need room for her theatre programs and photo collages of her best friends.  All of this “stuff” would only keep her locked in the lives of people in the past instead of focusing on the ones she loved in the present.

Rea plopped on the wicker chair and stared through the intense sun glare.  “The tree does look beautiful,” she had to admit, “but next year I’m definitely putting a purple egg in Granny’s Kate’s spot.”  She smiled and joined the family that were still there.

 

 

Advertisements

Anne and the Spirited Crowd

Multi-colored stone with accents of black, silver, and red.

Multi-colored stone with accents of black, silver, and red.

Jealousy. Ferocity. Passion. She struggled with all as she stared out at the crowd. They blamed her. Doubted her. Scorned her even. Yet, they had no clue. No sense of the truth. She’d never tell them. Wouldn’t admit how much they rushed to judgment. They believe d what they wanted without hesitation.

 Now, here she stood, angry at all she lost and grieving for what taken from her. Her child, now being raised by the friar and his wife. Stolen out of her arms in the name of God and all that was holy. Because clearly, she was not.

 He was here, the man she loved. Yet, he chose to stand beside a woman that offered normalcy and prosperity. She could provide him neither. Despite his cowardice, she loved him still and hoped that afterwards he’d realize the error of his ways.

 The heat intensified and the crowd’s anticipation flooded her sensibilities. The fear stabbed at her with as much strength as the ropes that bound her to the post.

 They gagged her mouth, refusing her the courtesy of any last words. But she didn’t need sound to get her message across. They would suffer for this choice but not because of any actions she took. Their hatred and closed-minded perspective would lead down a path of misery until they succumbed to the pain and frustration. She wouldn’t haunt them nor curse them for eternity. She pictured her daughter and said good-bye.

 The smoke filled her nostrils, and she coughed through the handkerchief. The crackling grew louder and the first touch of fire scourged through her every muscle. The pain seared not only her skin and clothing but her spirit too. “Make it quick,” she pleaded. “I’ll move on to a new life. Just hold on, it’s almost over.”

 The sky blazed in an orange haze, and her spirit flew home.

Rosa and Those She Loves

Rosa

Rosa didn’t want to go; however, the time had finally arrived. She stared at her grandfather’s pocket watch and counted along with each tick-tock.

 

“Come now, Rosa, we’ll be late.”

 

She accepted the hand offered to her and smiled in response to Patric’s pleading eyes. She’d loved him at first sight and knew without a doubt that they’d spend the rest of their lives together. Here they stood on the precipice of a life-changing choice. If even one of them hesitated, well that was something she had no desire to contemplate.

 

“Let’s go,” she replied. “I just needed one last look.”

 

“You spent your childhood here,” Patric said as he wrapped her in a supportive embrace. “We had a lot of great memories here.”

 

She laughed when he whispered in her ear. “Remember how you hid under the bed when my parents came home?”

 

“Yeah,” he said. “I can’t believe she knew I was there the entire time.”

 

“That was quite a revelation to announce to us during our engagement party. I thought you were going to turn purple.”

 

Being near him brought her comfort mixed with utter joy. She rested her head back against his chest and gazed up at her bedroom window. “You think they’re okay with this? Really.”

 

“Hey,” he said, turning her to face him. “They love you no matter where you live.”

 

“It doesn’t hurt that they love you too.”

 

“Eh, yeah, that doesn’t hurt.”

 

“I love you more though.”

 

“You better,” he replied through a smirk.

 

Rosa kissed him softly and brushed the hair from his eyes. “Always.”

 

“I’ll give you another minute.” He kissed her forehead and slipped his hand from hers, not before giving it a squeeze.

 

Memorable moments from her 30 years of life flashed before Rosa’s eyes. The peeled paint on the siding refreshed and the flowers bloomed as she recalled her father teaching how to ride a bike. She remembered the day her parents brought home the German Shepard that became her best friend. Rosa grabbed her remaining piece of luggage and rubbed her fingers over the “For Sold” sign before joining her fiancé on the beginning of their journey.