WOW. I can’t believe this challenge will soon be over! A HUGE thank you to Carol, who hosted this amazing challenge. 🙂 I loved all the prompts and the fact that you can take pictures to illustrate your story as well! Good luck to all the teams!
“I never stood a chance, did I?”
“That’s the sad part – you did, once.”
I’m not sure why I fell in love with her.
“I never stood a chance, did I?”
“That’s the sad part. Because once, you did.”
I’m not sure why I fell in love with her. Maybe because she was beautiful. Maybe because her hair was as golden as the purest honey. Or maybe it was because of her angelic voice. I don’t think it was any of those.
The day I met her I was at the beach. I never liked the beach. But that day I was, for some reason there at the beach, just standing with my toes digging into the sand, the wind blowing in my face and the waves leaping up in front of me.
And then I saw her. She had her hands on a rustic trolley that looked like it had been run over by twenty trucks and then put back together piece by piece. Her trolley was filled with shells. All kinds of shells; and the trolley was filled all the way to the top.
I approached her. I started talking. She seemed shy at first, but then she opened up. I spent some time with her, and we started hanging out for while. She was different from everybody else I had ever met. She always found the good in everything. Then I realized that I fell in love with her. Every minute I spent with her, it seemed that her voice because sweeter. Her hair more golden than honey.
Her eyes bluer than the sea. Her smile warming my heart more than ever.
One day she introduced me to her Dad. He didn’t like me. He looked me in the eye and told me that his daughter deserved better. And he was right. She did.
After that I didn’t hear from her for a long time. Until one day I found out that she was married.
Then I remembered how much we were in love. The sunsets we spent together. Our first kiss. The song we wrote together.
The day we met.
“I never stood a chance. I never should have thought I could be with her.”
“Did you love her?”
“Of course I did.”
“Did she love you?”
“Then you should have gone after her.”
“You don’t understand. Her Dad didn’t like me.”
“If you really loved her you would’ve gone after her. Like I said before; you had a chance once.”
I’m still not sure why I fell in love with her. But I did. We could have had a life together; but I didn’t take the one chance that I had.
There you go! My last story for this challenge. This story was kinda sad… And I don’t usually write stories like this, so I hope you liked it!
“What are you talking about? I threw it out a long time ago.”
Photography/artwork: none (I’m SO sorry, Carol!!! :/)
“Why is your pumpkin still here?”
“What are you talking about? I threw it out a long time ago.”
“Well it’s still here.”
I get up from my seat on the porch. There it is. Right where I had put it about a month ago. I sigh. “I thought I threw that out.” I pick it up by the stem but it falls and about half of it breaks of and splatters the porch steps with orange black pieces of mushy pumpkin.
“Help me, will you?” I gallop down the rest of the steps and get down on my knees. Ivy, my best friend, gets on her knees beside me and we pick up the pieces.
“Ew.” I grimace as I pick up a moldy piece, nearly breaking and falling through my fingers. We gather all the pieces up and carry them to the bin, saving the still intact other half of the pumpkin for last. I pick it up, and a note smudged with pumpkin seeds and mold slips to the ground. Ivy picks it up.
I hurry back after dumping the pumpkin in the bin. “What was that?”
Ivy lets her arm flop to her side and tries to hide the paper in her fist. “It’s a note. Nothing of importance.”
I grin and nab the paper from her. “What is it?”
She pauses, forcing her eyes to look up at me. “It’s from your Dad.”
I open my mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. I try again. “From Dad?” I look around, as if surprisingly my long lost Dad would be there, standing right beside me. I fumble with the paper before opening it up, not caring about the moldy pumpkin smeared all over the front.
“To my dearest daughter, Jordan, I’m sorry for not being around all these years.”
“Yeah right he’s sorry.” Ivy mumbled, looking away.
I glare at her. “I’ve wanted to come and see you, but I never have been able to. If you can ever forgive me, put on the necklace I enclosed and you will be with me. I promise. I love you. Dad.” I try to keep the tears from spilling. “The necklace. It’s not here.” I rush towards the bin.
“Jordan, your Dad is long gone. For all you know he’s in heaven and putting on the necklace means going to be with him there!” Ivy rolls her eyes.
I spin around to face her. “Hey. Don’t talk that way about my Dad.” I grit my teeth.
“The Dad who left you and your Mom the day you were born?”
“He didn’t leave, Ivy! You have no proof that he did. He disappeared. He said he was sorry. He said he loved me!”
“Jordan, maybe its time to let go. This is why I didn’t want to show you the note! And why in the world was the note in a moldy pumpkin?”
“I don’t know if you’re serious or not. You have a Dad, Ivy, he’s always been there for you. It’s easy for you to say. If I have one shot at getting my Dad back, I’m gonna take it.”
“What does it even mean about if you put the necklace on then you’ll be with him?” she stops. “I just want to see you move on, girl. I want what’s best for you.”
“Ivy! Just stop. At least I’ll have something from him!” I yell, trying to keep the tears from spilling.
That quiets her.
I huff and pull open the bin lid. I tip it over and begin rummaging through it. There it is. I pick it up, the chain glimmering in the sunlight. I brush the love heart locket with my finger and open it. It’s a picture of my Dad and me when I was born. “Dad…” I whisper. “I miss you.”
I rub the necklace on my pants and hook it around my neck. Ivy’s hand reaches my shoulder. “I’m sorry, Jordan. I didn’t mean-”
I look up. “Me too.” I stand up and hug her. “Finally- finally I have a picture of what my Dad looks like. Finally I’ve got a piece of him.”
I close my eyes.
“Jordan-” Ivy pulls back from the hug.
“What?” I wipe my eyes. “Oh my- Ivy!” I practically jump on her. We’re not at my house anymore. We’re somewhere else. On a bridge. In the jungle. Above a river, and the bridge is up high.
“Relax, girl.” Ivy rubs my back. “Where are we?”
I shiver. “I don’t care. But we’re- I’m-” I stutter. “Get me of this thing!”
Ivy gently pushes me forward and I edge across the bridge, gripping the ropes as tightly as I can muster.
We reach the other side of the bridge and I breath a sigh of relief.
“Where are we?” Ivy repeats.
Trees surround us on all sides, and a monkey swings from a tree. “I don’t know. But this is definitely a jungle.”
“I see that.” Ivy says.
“Maybe this is where my Dad is!”
“You didn’t take him literally, did you?”
“No, but what if he’s here?” I say. “This is where he disappeared to!”
“Aren’t you the least bit surprised we’re here?”
“Of course I am.” I step over a log. “C’mon.”
We walk up a trail a little way, and then there is a wooden sign stuck into the dirt. “Welcome to The Jungle.”
We keep on walking and then suddenly a shadow looms over us and the ground shakes as a huge bee lands on the jungle floor in front of us.
Ta da! I didn’t finish it, and I probably never will. Who knows? 😉 That wasn’t my best work, and I certainly didn’t like it but I hope you enjoyed it anyway!
I wonder if James ( I changed the name to Paris) has died (I changed that to ‘fallen’) yet.”
10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.
…did her heart just stop?
I can’t believe I am here. I swore I would never come back. But here I am. With my feet planted on the rocks covered with decaying leaves. Here I am at the bottom of the steps. Now I just need to bring myself to climb up.
I close my eyes, clenching my fists at my sides.
I need to do this. There has to be a way. Breathing in, I open my eyes and begin the long trek up the steps. I stop, feeling the gentle breeze waft through my hair. No one knows about this place. No one but my sister, and my parents.
I begin the countdown.
10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.
…did my heart just stop?
I’m at the top, and there it is. The bench, the view, the mountains, and the branch where my sister hung before she plunged to her death.
I suck in the air.
Just as I left it eight years before, there is the rock lying under the bench, unmoved.
I drop to my knees and edge it to the side. A white piece of paper peeks out from underneath. I stop. What if this doesn’t work? Will I get my hopes up for nothing?
I have to do it.
I grunt, pushing the rock out of place. The paper is there, a little wet, a little dirty, but I grab it and open it. I can still make out the writing.
That was me, my stupid ten year old self who wrote this letter as a joke. My sister always used to love this place. She would lean over the edge of the mountain and feel the breeze pushing against her auburn hair and blue eyes. I would warn her not to fall. She would laugh and dismiss me.
Then one day, it happened. We were talking, and as usual, she leaned over the edge and a gust of wind slapped her back and she slipped, and fell. She hung onto that branch, far down enough for me not to be able to reach her, then she lost her grip and she fell. It was all my fault. I wrote that dumb letter. I didn’t mean it. It was only a joke. But it became true the day that she died. I’ve always blamed myself. I never did anything to stop her. All I did was tell her not to do it. But I never did anything. She was younger then me. It should have been me.
I fumble through my pocket and fish out a pen. Pressing it down onto the bench, my shaking hand manages to write some words onto the bottom of the page.
“Dear 8-year-old self,
Your sister is going to die if you don’t stop her. Do something. Tell her not to lean over the edge of the mountain. Grab her. Please. Do something. It will determine your whole future.
Your 18-year-old-self “
When Paris died, my Mother’s heart broke and a couple weeks later she passed. My Father’s heart was broken twice, and he has never been the same. It’s like he has forgotten who he is. Like he doesn’t care about anything anymore. He barely looks at me anymore. I want to change that. I want to have my old Dad back. If my old self finds this letter, she will know, and she will be able to do something about it.
I look at my watch. It’s a time watch. It enables me to go back to the past. But, if I do, I will never be able to go back to the future again. I won’t know anything about what I did in the future, so I won’t remember my sister dying. I won’t even know about my warning under the rock. It’ll all be by chance. If I don’t find the paper and Paris falls, I’ll have to live the sorrow over again. If I find the paper, everything will go back to normal. I fold up the paper and stick it under the bench, placing the rock on top of it.
I place my thumb and index finger on the face of my watch and twist clockwise. Then, I pull out the tab, twist my fingers anti-clockwise, twist the tab to the time frame of 8:00 and push the tab back in. I glance around, close my eyes and feel myself swaying.
My eyes flutter open. Ah. Another beautiful day. I glance out the already open window, blinking to take the blurriness away.
I push the covers of my chest and kick my feet up, sliding of the side of the bed and feeling the soft carpet beneath my feet.
I smile. My younger sister Paris is still sprawled across the bed, her hair spread around her small face like the mane of a lion. The sheets are half pushed of her, and her leg, covered in the cloth of mint green pajamas is hanging of the edge of the bed, while her arm is propped up against the wall.
I grin. It’s Saturday. A beautiful time of the week.
A head sticks in the doorway. “How are my lovely girls this morning?” It’s my Dad. His eyes twinkle. “Ready for another day?”
I nod and grin. He comes over and gives me a hug, despite my tousled hair, squinty eyes and bad morning breath. “How’s my little girl?” he picks me up, despite me already being ten years old, and swings me around. I giggle. “Good. And how are you, Daddy?”
“As bright as ever!” he said, kissing my cheek and placing me down.
I love my Daddy. He is the funnest, happiest guy I have ever seen. I hear the familiar aroma of bacon and egg drifting into my room, and I guess Mom is in the kitchen getting breakfast ready. “Get dressed now.” Dad says. He walks over to Paris, and shakes her shoulder gently. “Paris, honey,” he says, “Wake up!”
Paris stirs. Her eyes open, she smiles when she sees Dad, then she turns around and I can see her chest lifting heavily like it does when she’s fast asleep.
“Let her sleep for a little while longer.” Dad winks. He grabs my yesterday clothes of the floor and chucks them at me. I laugh, and he walks out the door. I hear his heavy slippers hitting the wooden stairs.
I slip into my clothes, and troop down the stairs.
Life is good. I have funny parents, a beautiful little sister, a great home, nothing bad could ever happen.
Breakfast is over, and Paris has already been sitting with us for ten minutes. She asks Mom if we can go for a walk in the forest.
She says yes.
I know what my sister means. She wants to go ‘the bench’. The place where we always go and talk about things that a eight year old and a ten year old talk about. I grin.
“Just be careful.” Dad says. “I don’t want you hurting yourselves.”
So a few minutes later Paris and I are walking through the forest, holding hands and talking about the future. Roses and other flowers adorn the forest.
We never talk about this. I don’t know why we are now. We usually talk about our gardens, or our collection of barbie dolls. But not today. I like this. Paris is saying how she wants to have ten children. I laugh.
“You don’t want that.”
“Yes I do.” Paris says. “I could even have twenty!”
“I couldn’t.” I say. I look at her. “What if I forgot about you?”
“I would never forget about you.” Paris says. She is two years younger then me, but she is sometimes like my older sister, and she is almost as tall as I am.
I smile. “I love you.” Paris squeezes my hand. We reach the stairs and we climb up.
We reach the top, and I immediately sit down, the view of the mountains seeping in.
I know what Paris will do. She will go right to the edge of the mountain and dream of flying. And I will look quickly over my shoulder and tell her to be careful.
She goes to the edge and leans forward a little. “This is soooo pretty, Kari!”
“Be careful, Paris! Someday you’ll fall!” I say. My foot kicks a rock underneath the bench. I remember the note that I wrote there. I roll my eyes. I move the rock out of place and pick up the paper. My eyes scan it, and they reach the bottom. Down there, is something I never wrote. It’s a warning. From me. Eight years from now. I look up and turn around. “Paris!” I yell.
My yell frightens her and she titters and screams. I leap up and grab her hand, pulling her up. “Don’t do that, Paris!!” I scold her. “I told you one day you will fall!” I say, pulling her into a hug. I can feel her body shaking against me.
She nods. “I won’t.”
I smile. Before our walk home, I take the paper from under the rock. The writings below have disappeared. I breath heavily. Closing my eyes, I rip it up and crumple the pieces in my hand. I sprinkle them over the cliff, careful not to get to close the edge.
“What was that, Kari?” Paris asks.
“Oh, nothing.” I say. “Don’t do that anymore, okay?”
My heart is still beating. I think an angel put those words there. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have tried to stop my sister.
Well, I hope you liked that! It was a little weird, but oh well. 😉 😀
As I said in my last post, I’m hoping/trying to get back on my schedule, but my sister just got married so I had been helping with all the preparations. Sorry the pictures are kind of bad. 😉 Anyway, here we go!
|Prompts I used/points|
“Have you ever dreamed of flying?”
I watched as everything faded before my eyes.
This could not be happening.
Photo/artwork points: 18
Total points: 22
I watch as everything fades before my eyes. As we drive down our rocky hill I watch as I see the blue fence of our porch and the green of our almond trees shift from view.
This can not be happening.
Have I ever dreamed of flying? Of course I have. Who hasn’t? Who hasn’t dreamed of soaring above the clouds; free; happy; away from the troubles of the rest of the world? No one. No one that I know of. Each person I have ever met wants to get away.
But now, I want to stay put on the ground. I want to walk on the same grass where I took my first step.
Climb up the same tree where I marked the highest branch as my own. I want to live the rest of my childhood here. I want to have the same fun and adventure I had for my first years. I don’t want to leave. I see the yellow on the wattle tree beside our swing set fade into a blur, and our plum tree loaded with fresh plums slowly disappears.
I feel like I’m a tiny person trapped in a place where I don’t belong. Longing to be where I do belong.
Where the only things that hear my singing is the trees. Where when I feel like crying; I can, without any ears to hear me. Where when I’m happy, I can laugh my feelings out to the azure sky.
The memories of our picnics under the creamy clouds, the sunsets in the evening, and the sunrise, both beautiful scenes we could see above the mountain peaks from our windows.
I remember our raft where we floated on our pond, fishing out yabbies in our nets, and wading across our driveway when the rocks below overflowed.
I hear the signal of our car flick to the right, and we turn, leaving the gate, the pond, the rocks, the trees, and my home.
But then I smile. At least I can still remember all the memories. At least, wherever I go, I can make new memories. New cherished moments. And whatever time brings, this place will always be in my heart.