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Scrambled Sage



Having fun with Creative Writing



Updated: 2013-09-08T12:37:45.866-07:00

 



Update-- Blog is closing

2013-09-07T20:37:48.020-07:00

On Monday Sept 8, 2013, this blog will be closed. You can find my stories, poems, and novels at my wordpress blog (previous post). Thanks so much for being my readers. You are more than welcome to participate in my new blog.(image)



Announcement

2013-05-01T06:43:32.797-07:00

I am moving my poems and stories to Cyn Bagley - Poet and Writer.

I'll keep this blog for reviews and other things.(image)



A glimpse of the past

2013-04-30T08:30:29.598-07:00

a glimmer in the mirror
catches a reflection
of the young girl
I used to be

uncertain, unpolished
although my skin was smoother
than it is now
I didn't see the beauty
of blue eyes and gold hair

then I see me now
wrinkles cross-hatched
near my eyes and cheeks
the sternness in the mouth
with a twinkle in the eyes

the years slip by so fast
leaving not wisdom, but experience
in its wake




(image)



The black horse

2013-04-29T08:00:09.409-07:00

His legs churn at the point where the surf meets the beach Beautiful, majestic a wild dance [...]



To Tequila - a little chihuahua

2013-04-28T07:45:56.429-07:00


she curled herself
into my arms
her back pressed
into my chest
the spring wind
went cold

Many times we've sat
on a bench
her small body
tucked into my coat

the gold tan highlights
in her fur
calm the thoughts
swirling in my mind

we are together
one
a small chihuahua
a large human




(image)



The Next Big Thing

2013-04-27T09:00:02.167-07:00

The internet has become way that people with the same interests can get together and share hobbies and in my case writings. In the process I met Zteve T Evans, another writer who has a body of work about the travel, animals, plants, and Northern European myths and legends. So yes, he tagged me with "The Next Best Thing." So what is "The Next Best Thing?" It is a group of tagged writers, giving you a taste of their works-in-progress (WIP). You could call it a chain letter. Zteve T Evans was tagged by Diane Jackson who was tagged by  CR Hodges who was tagged by Timothy Hurley. See how that goes? So let's get to the questions: What is the working title of your next book? The working title is Dark Moon Rising. I am pretty sure that the title won't change. Where did the idea come from for the book? This will be the second novel in the EJ Hunter trilogy. The first book in the series is She Called It, Wolf. I enjoy reading fantasy books, but I was not interested in paranormal romance. I wanted a book that had some mystery, some romance, and a story. What genre does your book fall under? Contemporary Fantasy with some adventure. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Bruce Willis would make a good macho werewolf. I am not really into the newest actors. Whoever got the job needs to be in good physical shape and have a tough outlook. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A scientist is trying to build super soldiers for the government by using werewolf DNA; the protagonists are on the hunt to find the scientist and to come to terms with a government that wants to use the werewolves for their own purposes. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? This book will be indie-published on kindle and smashwords. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? I am still on the first draft. It takes a minimum of three to six months depending on if I get sick or not. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? It is closer to Eileen Wilks' Lupi series than any other werewolf book out there except mine has more contemporary fantasy elements and doesn't fit in the urban fantasy corner. Who or what inspired you to write this book? This series came to me in dreams. Also it helps that Stan Grimes, a poet friend, and Zteve T Evans keep asking me when I will get that book done. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? An important part of this book is the terrain. The werewolves in the book live in the hard harsh high desert environment of Northern Nevada. A lot of fantasy is either in cities or castle cities. The desert adds an element of harshness and a need for good survival skills. So Mari Collier is picking up the banner of the "Next Big Thing." You can find her webpage here. [...]



The call

2013-04-26T08:08:05.394-07:00

The male goldfinch
sits on the very tip
of the very top
of the cherry tree
in full regalia

He stretches his body
to almost four inches
golden breast puffed out
beak to the sky
and calls

Each call pierces the sky
as he pushes it from his toes
to his beak

Each call a cry for a mate
a nest and chicks

Ever hopeful
he flits to the next tree
to try again


 

(image)



This generation

2013-04-25T09:28:24.057-07:00

She rides her motorized scooter
to the morning gathering place.
Lights her cigarette,
she interrupts the scuttlebutt
by clearing her throat.

When I was young,
no no-account child would run
in front of my scooter. She patted
it like a favorite steed.

The conversation turned
to the no-accountedness
of the next generation.
I listen quietly, nodding my head
at each punctuation.
Remembering my grandfather saying
similar words.

--of this generation.





(image)



Lifetime of patterns

2013-04-24T09:35:48.589-07:00

my hands cramp as I hold
the fabric in my hands
The floss crosses
and the pattern emerges

some patterns take weeks of work
before the picture develops
some patterns take only days

a lifetime of patterns
stacked on my kitchen table
memories of decades

--one needle stitch at a time





(image) (image)



Soft Spring Rain

2013-04-23T14:24:17.074-07:00

 I see the rain tap on the window
lying in bed, the pain radiating
from my hip to my knee--

The chickadees dip and fly-
their nest under the metal lip
of a vent in a our building

The cottonwood trees send messages
covering the air in brown and gold
They too are looking to recreate

As the pain eats into my head
I lie there
wishing I too could fly

on the spring rain--





(image)

(image)



Free Fiction Monday - Under his spell

2013-02-11T13:47:16.308-08:00

When Anne needed time alone, she would get into her car and drive. Sometimes she would drive to the store and assuage her yearnings with retail therapy. Other times she would drive to Tahoe, park on the side of the road, roll down the window, and watch the animals, birds, people, and lake. Once the yearnings subsided, she would start the car and drive back to the house.

At two thirty her children would rush through the door, excited about school. She would pull out some milk and cookies, and then set them up for homework. Mark would come home around dinner time. Anne would get ready for work. Mark would give her a quick kiss and she was gone.
If Anne had time to explain what she yearned for, she would probably say that she needed alone time.

Or maybe she would say that life had her by the throat. She didn’t know what she wanted. It was some nebulous thing that didn’t include husband, children, or survival.
As she stood behind the counter, helping folks check-in, Anne didn’t have time to feel that empty hole. Not until she saw a black-haired young man with a diamond earring, his arm around a girl with spiked hair. They didn’t seem to notice anyone around them as he kissed her.

Anne sighed.

It was three a.m. when Anne walked back to her car to go home. To her surprise the black-haired young man was sitting on the hood. He smiled at her. His canines looked slightly longer than normal, but it was hard to tell in the darkness.

She ignored him until he grabbed her wrist when she tried to turn the lock in the door. Anne looked into his eyes. “What do you want?”

“I couldn’t help but notice you today,” he answered. He pulled her closer to him. She pulled back.

“Here’s your chance,” he said. “To dance with the devil.”

This time she let him pull her close. In seconds his canines snapped out and he was drinking from her neck. It was the most sexual thing she had felt in a long time. Her yearnings died as she let him drink.
A few hours later her body was found drained of blood and decapitated. All that was left was the mourning(image)



Writing Perchance to Dream today

2013-02-08T07:50:16.372-08:00

(image)
The hubby and I near Tahoe Lake.
My health hasn't been good for me this week. I had my labs on Thursday, was sick on Friday and Saturday, and then on Monday night I received a call from my doctor that I needed more labs because she thought I had an infection. I am still waiting for a news.

On the other hand I will be writing on this novel today. Depending on circumstances I hope to have a chapter up later in the afternoon. I apologize to my friends who have been reading the book. I appreciate your concern and encouragement.(image)



Free Fiction Monday-- Operation Adam and Eve

2013-02-04T08:21:10.364-08:00

Sepia tones from the late afternoon light glowed through the portal as Ella carefully checked her spacesuit before donning it. This would be the first time a human had stepped foot on Pegasus IV. Ella felt some awe, but she was more worried that she would fall flat on her face in front of an inter-global audience. It was her first time to be showcased on "Planetary Survivor," and she wanted to make a good showing. "Check, check," said Roman, her audio-video specialist, and short-time companion for this stint. It was his job to monitor the A/V feed, plus to make the show better, he had already recorded her responses. This show would be live video, not live audio. It was one less thing for Ella to worry about. Her main objective was to walk around on this brown-gold planet without getting killed. Once she finished her contractual obligation, she would have enough money to become a biologist. Then she would have a chance to do some real science instead of this commercial version. She took a deep breath, tasting the oxygen in her mask, and gave Roman a thumbs-up. He pushed the button that opened the portal. She watched it slowly go up, squared her shoulders, and walked down the ramp. Show time. Roman and the inter-global audience watched her square her shoulders and walk down the ramp. The clump, clump added tension. She stopped, waved at the camera, and then stepped onto Pegasus IV's soil. It was then that the unthinkable happened. In stunned silence, they watched Pegasus IV swallow Ella, silver space suit and all. Roman hit the off button, and yelled into the microphone, "Ella, are you okay." Nothing. In less than twenty minutes, Roman and the small space craft were off and zipping around the planet. He had a feed to the producers. All agreed that there was no way to rescue her. She was probably already dead. The producers hoped it didn't cut into their profits. Roman had a tear for Ella and in no time was off to pick up the next contender and the next planet. *** Ella knew she was in trouble after that first step onto the supposedly firm soil of Pegasus IV. She knew no one could hear her screams when the soil turned into quicksand. It didn't stop her from yelling, and wiggling. And she knew it was all over. There would be no biology and no science for this girl. She hoped she wouldn't see her entire life flash before her eyes. It was pretty pitiful and not very interesting. She was the last of her family. They were colonists on Pegasus I and were still paying off the debt. In other words, they were still serfs. Because of her dreams, her entire family had died in a TV show called "Who wants to be a tetra-millionaire? Death Match." At the time Ella had been trying to get a loan or a sponsor for college. When she was denied, she lost her dreams and her family in one blow. As she sank further into Pegasus IV's soil, it became clear that she would die either by crushing or asphyxiation. It wouldn't take long for each of her ribs to break and then her lungs and heart to be crushed. It wouldn't be long now. "Goodbye, Ella" she whispered to herself. The crushing stopped. In her head she could hear some whining static. The tones when high and low until she heard a booming voice ask, "What are you?" "Aaiiee, turn it down." Ella couldn't put her hands over her ears. Besides it was in her head. She could feel a pounding headache and then silence. A little more static, and then the disembodied voice said in a more normal tone, "What are you?" Ella could feel some hope as she answered, "I am an organic life-based form from Pegasus I. I am human." The silence lasted long enough that Ella lost hope, and then she heard the high pitches and st[...]



Free Fiction Monday-- Writing the End

2013-01-28T19:10:09.089-08:00

The rough-hewed walls of the cave sparkled with pyrite. In the front of the cave was a log fire, which kept the small area around the fire warm enough that I could take off my coat. There didn't seem to be anyone in the cave, but myself even though there had to be someone there to keep the fire going.

I saw piles of notebooks stacked against the cave wall. When I picked up one of the notebooks I could see the dirt ground into the cover. Inside the notebook someone had written stories and words. There were also scratches and blotches on the paper. I set the notebook down on a small table, which held an inkwell and quill. There had to be someone here.

I sat on the floor with another of the notebooks, trying to read the stories. I threw the notebook down when I realized that each of the stories were missing an ending. There was no resolution. It was like someone had put a paren on one end of a thought and forgot to close it with another paren. I was curious before, but now I was furious. Who would do this?

"May I help you?" asked a soft voice that came out of the darkest part of the cave.

"Where are the endings," I asked with barely concealed irritation.

"It's a long story," the voice whispered.

"I have all day," I answered. I had all night, because I could see the stars come out in the sky from my vantage point. They sprinkled past the fire.

"I write the stories of the world," said the voice. "If I ever write the endings, the the world will end."

"You have got to be kidding," I said. "No one has that much power."

"Here," said the voice. "I'll show you."

A young man in a dark hooded cloak walked into the light. His face was distorted like a TV without a clear channel. He took his quill and wrote the words "the end."

A huge light appeared in the distance as I saw the sun explode. "Stop it, stop it." I yelled.

The young man waved his hand "It's too late."

I swear, I watched him disappear as the blackness roiled over me.(image)



Friday Excerpt - Perchance to Dream Chapter Twenty-four

2013-01-25T08:30:16.903-08:00

We were in my mini-van on the way to a friend of Shadows that sold guns to desperate people at desperate prices when I received the call. "Get the phone," I said to Shadow. I was the only one to drive the mini-van. While I was concentrating on the road, I heard Shadow say, "yes, yes." He put the phone against his chest and said, "Pull over." I pulled into a parking lot for one of the store fronts that carried car parts. "We need to go back to the house," he said. "They didn't arrive at the safe house." I knew who they were. Yesterday afternoon we had put John, Emily, Daisy, and Nonie on the white van. I didn't slow down as I pulled a U-turn in the parking lot, pulled into the street, and headed home. I heard him give orders for a search from the safe house. "We'll start from our end." He said. "I have an idea what route they took." "No, we don't" I said to Shadow. "You have been infiltrated. I suspect if we drive straight to the compound, we'll find the van there." Shadow shook his head in agreement, but he didn't answer. It took us only a few minutes to reach the house. Shadow got out of the mini-van, sat on the ground, and took a deep breath. I got out of the mini-van, stood in front of Shadow, and yelled at him. "We don't have time for your mumbo-jumbo. We need to find them now." "I don't have time for this," he said. "You'll have to wait." I wanted to scream at him, hit him, and hurt him. If I could hit something it would take away the pain in me. I had let my responsibilities go. I had let him talk me into a safer place for them. "Whatever happened," he said. "Happened yesterday." I flopped on the ground and pulled my lips closed tight to keep the words inside. He was right. I didn't have to like it. We had to find them now. We couldn't save them from something in the past. In this time, in this age, it wasn't possible. Shadow pulled out a piece of string from his pocket. He mumbled something over them. It sounded like nonsense to me, and then he moved the string to the cardinal points of the compass. The string straightened out like a brick when it faced the direction of where the white van went. "Let's go," Shadow said. He stood up and pulled me to the mini-van. I drove while he turned the string towards path the white van had taken. When the string went limp, we would stop and Shadow would get out of the mini-van and pointed the string in different directions until it would point in the right direction. We finally reached a subdivision on the other side of the city. It seemed like hours before we were led to a small house with an attached garage. We drove into the driveway. The magic in the string had dissipated as soon as we turned into the driveway. I could see it whoosh out of the string. We got out of the mini-van. I could see slashing colors all around me. When I told Shadow, he asked to describe the colors and what direction. I could see a red slash across the garage door, plus there was yellow on the ground and an ugly green. There was a criss-cross of orange around the house. "The house is booby-trapped," Shadow said. "Does the orange lines go towards the horizon?" He pointed west. "Yes," I said. Shadow pulled out a pair of ugly iron scissors. "Where do all the lines meet?" I walked him over to the far fence and then placed the scissors around a big knot of orange. "Hold it," he said. Then he took the scissors from my hands. "Is it still on the same place?" I nodded, yes. "Then get back over to the mini-van." I left him there holding the scissors. When he saw that I was at the mini-van, he cut through the orange knot. There was a boom and Shadow fell to th[...]



A Book of Ghosts

2013-01-21T10:27:09.749-08:00

I held the large leather bound book between my hands, pushed closed so that it wouldn't open to the page. That page. I heaved the book into the fireplace. The book opened and I saw the ghosts as they curled with the smoke and up the chimney. I witnessed the destruction of the book, watching the pages curl, fire flame, and then at the end the book was dead. The ghosts,  curls of smoke edging the flames, flashed and then were gone.

When my fiance brought me to the house. I had been impressed with the sitting room, the kitchen, and mainly the library. Seth had smiled wearily at me. "You will get tired of it soon, Kathy," he held my hand as he led me to the library. "The books are dead with ghosts occupying every page."

I hadn't understood then. We married and started our family. When I was full with our first child, I started seeing a strange emotion cross Seth's face. I was happy with knitting booties and blankets. My mother came to help us decorate the little room for the new arrival.

Seth tried to tell me not to get too attached to this baby. "It might not arrive." His voice broke. But, I didn't know the secrets his family had tried to conceal for centuries. The book was in my bedroom when I started those first labor pains. Seth started when he saw the book open to that page. He tried to shut it. I didn't know why the book scared him.

The labor was long. I screamed often. My mother attended me because neither doctor or midwife could make it to our home in that blast of winter that had settled over us at those first labor pains. After hours of labor and the last scream, the child, a baby boy, was in my arms. My mother wiped my head and showed Seth his first born.

Seth screamed in agony. "Don't let it touch the baby," he screamed. But it was too late. The book snapped at the newborn in my mother's hands. When the book touched the baby, I felt the last breath leave its little body. Seth stabbed the book and the book stabbed back. I lost them both that day.

As the book curled in the heat, I crooned. "You have taken them away from me. I have taken them away from you." As I walked away from that house, I smelled brimstone. The house exploded behind me.(image)



Late Friday Excerpt- Perchance to Dream Chapter Twenty-three

2013-01-14T11:01:25.583-08:00

What I didn't know until later was that when the van had been driven about twenty miles from the house, the driver turned the van into a driveway of a small garage where an ambushed waited. Even though John used every mental weapon he had to protect his charges, it wasn't enough. John, Emily, Daisy, and Nonie were captured and were on their way back to the Magii compound. Shadow's organization was infiltrated, and we only learned of it the next day after we set in motion the plan. At least our four captives didn't know the plan. Maybe if I had understood the signs of nausea when I ran to the bathroom and vomited the bile from my stomach, or the bruises on my arms and legs, or even the feeling of apprehension I felt when the white van left. If I had taken into consideration any of those things, John might be alive. Sorry for the late and very short chapter. It just didn't want to go longer. Plus I have been dealing with a migraine and the aftermath for a few days. So I have another chapter on its way for Friday. Have a great January. [...]



Free Poetry Monday - Young Lovers

2013-01-07T07:46:47.030-08:00

chubby Madonna
blue-stretched blouse
bronzed shoulders
low-rider jeans

One day she'll hold
his child closer
than she holds him.(image)



SALE: 50% off on Conjure Man until the end of January

2013-01-06T17:56:51.426-08:00


 This book is three books: The Wooden Seed, Running to the Sun, and Healing the Rift. It is a combination Navajo (Dine) and paranormal story. 

Tessa finds a wooden seed that has the power to close rifts to other dimensions. Her nemesis, Luce, is a possessed soul who is trying to gain control of the world through power from the rifts.

The clash comes at a price for Tessa and her friends and family. 


Promotional price: $3.50
Coupon Code: XU34V
Expires: January 31, 2013

Update: The link to Conjure Man at Smashwords. (image)



Friday Excerpt - Perchance to Dream - Chapter Twenty-two

2013-01-04T09:12:17.900-08:00

There would be plenty of time to get our act together. I took Shadow by the hand, past the kitchen where Daisy and John were eating breakfast, and to my bedroom. We lay down on the bed and made love until we fell asleep in each other's arms. We didn't speak of love. Not now. Not until we had made our little home and family safe. Shadow had told me of his father's obsession with power until when Shadow was in his early teens, the demon who had been courting his father, finally took over his father's life. He didn't know if his father was even in there anymore. That night Shadow showed me the chain on his arm. When he was eighteen the demon masquerading as his father, put him in the pentacle and forced a gate into Shadow's head. But Shadow had been prepared. He had found a tattoo that would chain him to his own body and when the demon tried to take over his body, Shadow possessed the demon. It now powered Shadow's magic. He told me all of his secrets. How he had had to do evil things in the service of the demons just to gain his freedom. He had established his tattoo shop to find people will the fight the Magii church. It was a small group who were willing to die for their beliefs. I had looked at him and asked, "Are you willing to live for your beliefs?" A smile broke from his lips, and I knew at that point that Shadow had not thought of living until now. I felt his hands cupping me as the bed sunk under our hips. I would not push him away this time. I feel asleep. THE CLATTER IN THE KITCHEN WOKE me up. A warm spot next to me on the bed was the only evidence that Shadow had slept beside me. It was late afternoon and we would have to get his sister to a safer place. I stretched, and felt a headache from not getting enough sleep. Well, a shower would take care of that problem. Shadow found me dressing, my hair wet. He pulled me to his chest and his hands wandered over my body. I smiled as I tried to untangle my hair. "Daisy will be one the road in the next few minutes. You want to say goodbye?" I sighed. Daisy had been my enemy for a long time. Now she was my almost sister-in-law, I was not into these lightning fast changes. But, she carried a child that would change our world for good or evil. I would rather we had some influence over Daisy and this girl child. Maybe we would learn to be friends or at least friendly enemies. I nodded. "Yes, I want to say goodbye." I pulled away from his arms. We would have more mornings like these, more time to be together, someday. Daisy was sitting on a chair in the kitchen, eating breakfast. John was cooking bacon and slipping eggs onto Emily's plate. Emily was chattering at Daisy. We couldn't understand what she was saying, but Daisy nodded at the right places. After surveying the kitchen, I took over the cooking and added more eggs and bacon so that there would be enough for Shadow and Nonie. Nonie was making toast and Daisy at like she had been hungry for a long time. Her belly had dropped and she was resting her hand on top of the belly. I looked at Nonie significantly and sighed, "Doesn't she have three more months before the birth?" Nonie looked carefully at Daisy. "She should, but the father was possessed when she was impregnated. The demon may have influenced the sperm." Nonie could help with the birth, but Daisy needed someone who could help with a supernatural because it was obvious that the baby was not normal, at least not a normal human. I wanted both mother and child to survive. The smell of the bacon waf[...]



Happy New Year 2013

2013-01-01T13:38:02.682-08:00


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KT Tunstall - Black Horse And The Cherry Tree

2012-12-29T13:38:29.474-08:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PQmDUEv939A" width="480">(image)



Free Short Fiction - White Snows of Russia

2012-12-28T13:00:20.101-08:00

The old man pushing the broom across the cobblestones didn't look like much. His hands were gnarled with arthritis, the large veins caused his nose to look a purpley-red , and his back was hunched. The push broom swished and scraped on the cobblestones until he had cleaned all the debris. He leaned over and picked up the debris and put them in the plastic can near the doorway. He had been like this since the war, one of the old ones would tell folks who were curious about this little gnome of a man. Inside the back of his eyes, if you looked hard enough, you could see the whiteness curling around. He didn't see you. He didn't speak to you. He had no contact with anyone except the owner of the B&B. For the work the old man did, he gave the old man a place to sleep and food. The owner had tried to give the old man money, but the old man threw it on the ground and went back to work. When the owner had tried to give the old man a bed, he would find the old man sleeping on the cobblestones. Finally he set up a military cot in the garage. It was warm there even in winter. The old man would sleep with an old pillow and scratchy wool blanket over him. The owner knew the old man could talk because he could hear the screams in the night coming from garage. "Snow. Snow" were the only words he could say. He pushed the broom, he ate lunch, and he sat on the old wooden bench and watched the birds. When he was a young man, he had a name: Hans. He had a fiancée, Gertrude and he had just been given his first assignment. He gone through the training and he was ready to protect and to defend the Fatherland. Before he marched with his unit he had been presented with the belt. The last guardian was dead and someone had to accept the belt. It was furry and scratchy.   His Oma warned him that the belt was special. "You never speak of it." He had known that the belt had special powers. The guardian's job was to escort his family to the river Styx and make sure that the family made it safely to the Underworld. The job was dangerous because sometimes the guardian didn't come back. He had been chosen for the job because he had the most duty and honor among the cousins. He hugged his Oma, mother, and shook his father's hand. "They say it will be over before winter sets in," he told him. "Then I will be home." He had been so proud of his uniform and his duty. His unit was marching to Stalingrad. The Russians retreated, leaving starved hungry peasants. It had been easy those first few months. The Fuerhrer would have his breadbasket, Ukraine, by winter.  Then the snow started. It was first a few flakes, then more flakes, until the flakes turned into a blizzard. It was cold and the uniforms the men wore didn't keep them warm enough. They were hungry and tired and cold. The weather was against them. If only they had been able to pursue the Russians. If only they had known more about the weather in the Eastern Front. If only-- still the officers marched them through the snow. The peasants burned their food and their homes in front of the soldiers so they couldn't reprovision or shelter from the storms. The diesel in fuel tanks froze, leaving the soldiers without tanks or vehicles. It was the worst storm in Russian history and the German soldiers were unprotected in the middle of it. Then the unthinkable happened. They were defeated in Stalingrad. The blood and bodies was more than even a soldi[...]



Free Fiction Monday -- Santa's Boots

2012-12-24T10:42:17.437-08:00

Every morning Earl Olsburg would crawl from under the blankets, place his bare feet on the dirt floor, quickly pull on his woolen socks over his thermals, and then light the fire in the coal-wood stove across the room.

The one-room cabin would warm as his siblings slept on the bed. He would carefully stoke the blaze until he could feel its cheerful warmth. Then he would completely dress in his clothes and outer-garments. Next he fed and watered the chickens and one cow. By then his younger sister would be gathering the eggs. Earl would chop the kindling and stack the wood against the wall near the stove. The room would be warm as mother readied a breakfast of eggs and toast. They would all eat together around a small table in the corner.

Since the death of their father a few months before, Earl at twelve was the man of the house. When his father was living, he would bring a small fir home so that the family could decorate it with with ribbons and popcorn. On Christmas morning each of the children had small stockings filled with an orange and small bits of hard candy. Earl would save bits of the candy to remember Christmas.

Without a father, they wouldn't have much of a Christmas. Still this Christmas Eve, mother pulled out the last of her sugar and flour and made cookies. The children sang carols as they decked the small room with fire boughs. They fell asleep under the blankets.

On Christmas morning, Earl slipped out of bed and started his morning routine. Turning towards the door, he stopped. In front of him were two black-polished boots filled to the brim with candy. His heart stopped and started. He looked to see if his mother was up. Surely she didn't have enough money to buy these beautiful boots, let alone the candy. He knew how much money they had to the last penny.

He knelt down and looked at the boots again in their black shiny surfaces. Around the boots were four oranges. He looked up and saw his mother climb out of bed. When he saw her face filled with astonishment and yes, tears, he knew she had not done this.

They carefully divided the candy. Then Early put on the boots. They fit perfectly. For the first time in months, Earl believed in hope.(image)



Downton Abbey Gingerbread House 2012

2012-12-18T11:09:00.239-08:00

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