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Showing posts from April, 2010

Missing Alice

On a windy spring day, she drives down a winding road. Dry oak leaves blow in front of the car as if someone forgot to tell the leaves that it was spring, not autumn. She thinks about death during her drive; she kills off not one or two characters in her novel, but a whole slew of them. She's worried that she hasn't written the emotion to carry the deaths. But her lack in narrative emotion, she realizes, comes as a result of strong faith. She knows there's a heaven. When people die, they don't just die. When people die, there's sadness and missing, but not devastation. They don't disappear for good.

When she reaches home, she's met with news of a death. A woman nearly fifty years her senior, a woman she visited regularly. A woman she brought homemade peach jam to, who welcomed the gingerbread boy with blocks, who showed her newspaper clippings. In fact, she visited this woman in the hospital not four days prior. The woman's family was there, all gathered…

The Menu

Supper's late.

The sun peeked out from behind the clouds, so instead of making supper, they go down to the river. She sits on the naked roots of a tree that weaves in and out of the bank, overhanging the water. How odd to look down and see water rushing underneath. Next to her is a sapling sheared down by beaver teeth and left to rot. The sky is blue, and the air is fresh.

When the gingerbread boys return from explorations over the stream that feeds the river, they all clamber over an old and massive stone wall, thick with moss and lichen. Where the forest floor was the tan of bleached leaves only a week ago, now wild lily of the valley carpets it. Ferns curl upward, lifting their fronds to the sky, stretching after a long winter's nap. Parchment berries spot the ground, specks of red amidst the green. Soon, she thinks, the lady's slippers will rise, ready to dance.

But now, supper.

At home, she measures the spices and stirs. She boils water for the rice, She roasts the vege…

Saturdays at Lockwood

She remembers long Saturday afternoons spent in Lockwood Library: Mom at the copier with piles of coins, sister claiming the best of the blocky chairs available. The options were limited. Ride the elevator up and down, up and down. Run out to the vending machines, having first snatched a quarter from her mother's towering pile. Quarter in, press F8, curly-cue swivels around, out pops frosted nut brownie.

Or there were the stacks.

Mostly, she spent time in the stacks. The one row of children's books, mostly books that sported shiny gold Newbery stickers. Somehow she got her hands on a bookmark that listed all the Newbery award winners, and she decided she would read them. Some of her favorite books were Newberies: A Wrinkle in Time, Tuck Everlasting, Bridge to Terabithia, The Westing Game, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. She thinks she read these books long before those Saturday afternoons, though. They were quickly joined by Summer of the Swans, My Side of the Mountain, The W…