She often came this way. She stopped and sat on the fence, looking at the single, timeless standing stone. It always caused her carefully controlled mind to wander. Back and forward. Backwards, she wondered where they came from. What they meant? Were other stones buried by the sands of time somewhere deep around this one, perhaps in a circle? Maybe this was a lone stone. Perhaps meant to cure sick children? How will we ever know, she wondered, what the prehistoric people who raised these stones really were doing.
Then there was that other theory. The one that some thought explained the pyramids as well as the standing stones. The theory that said that we weren’t alone in the universe. Perhaps other beings had helped those prehistoric people build these complex stone structures. Most discounted that theory of course, but she found herself thinking of it. It seemed so impossible that the prehistoric citizens could have done it themselves.
A timeless mystery of the universe. She started walking again, her imagination making her smile.
The news ran up and down Burning Fork and Birch Branch roads in Magoffin County, Kentucky faster than the water in the creeks. The family ran into the house to turn on the radio, their only means of communication with the outside world. The address by the President of the United States was playing. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the U.S. had entered World War II.
The young man from Michigan enlisted in the Navy. He was to be sent to Kentucky where his fate would intertwine with that Appalachian family because of this Great War.
Against her own will, she takes a different route than usual for her morning walk. It is bright and sunny outside. One of the first sunny days after a brutal winter. It seems that the weather has jumped from the dead of winter right into summer. It even seems hot. She vows to cut her morning walk a little short.
Then she sees a tree-lined avenue to her right. Its beauty astounds her. Her feet take her toward the avenue and she spots park benches all along the way. She craves the shade-lined portion of the avenue. She sits on one of the benches. Recently, she hasn’t enjoyed the sun. She feels the sun reveals too much about her. The tired face, the slumped posture, the aging. Those are private things. She doesn’t want anyone to look too closely. They might figure her out.
Beyond the shade is the wondrous sunny part of the avenue. It’s lined with cherry-blossoms. The scent wafts toward her and is sweet. People are meandering along the sunny avenue admiring the cherry trees. She doesn’t feel she has a right to the cherry blossoms, to the sunny portion of the avenue. That is for the young, the people with life ahead of them. Those who still have hopes and dreams. Not someone like her. Someone whose hopes and dreams have been stolen away.
She sits and enjoys the shade for a while. She pulls herself up and starts for home. That’s where she belongs. Behind the draperies. Where the sun doesn’t shine.
A small crowd of protestors formed in a midwestern town in the U.S. They were taking a chance of being arrested by the roaming police of the U.S. government.
“Aaron, I’m terrified that we’re actually doing this,” Mandy said.
Aaron replied, “We have to be brave or we will never get our freedom back.”
The crowd was protesting the discontinued social programs, particularly those that provided them food and medical attention. The President had all social programs abolished in 2017. Since then, the disabled and the elderly people in their community had suffered and many had died.
Now it was 2019. There were few jobs. People tried to farm, but the change in the climate made it almost impossible. Aaron had organized this small protest.
A young girl was carrying a sign that said, “Love.”
They heard the police before they saw them marching in. They stood their ground. The police began the carnage by knocking the sign out of the young girl’s hands.
She took a walk that hot, sweltering day, taking her puppy who was learning to walk on a leash. She lived in the country and the road in front of her house was deserted. A day could pass, hours would go by with no traffic coming or going. She thinks that her sneaker caught on broken asphalt and down she went. She was walking too fast. For some reason, she couldn’t get up. Hours passed. Her puppy laid down beside her. She raised her hand in desperation, hoping someone would see it above the weeds.
She tried to keep in the shadows of the tall buildings. The buildings made the streets like canyons. There were nooks and crannies. It was easy to hide. She slipped from building to building. Then she waited before she went to the next building. If they found her, they would take her cargo and kill her.
Svetlana was a Russian girl working for the Americans. She was a mule, but her cargo was only information. The Russians would do anything to stop her delivering it to the Americans. They weren’t far behind her, but they seemed confused concerning her whereabouts. Svetlana was good at what she did.
She could see the place where she was supposed to meet her American contact. She slipped in and out amongst the trees. Right before she walked in the door of the restaurant, she heard a gunshot. She smiled. They missed. She was here.
“I’m sorry, Stan,” Janice said. “I didn’t mean to overfill the cup.”
Stan, the cook, was thinking that he was going to have to fire Janice. She just was not a good waitress.
The diner was full for lunch. Many professional people grabbed lunch at Stan’s Diner and he liked for his service to be impeccable. Janice was sloppy with her work, but she was not an experienced waitress. He was just giving her a chance because she couldn’t find any other job.
Meanwhile, Janice was embarrassed. She really needed this job. She was serving a woman in a booth alone. She was so nervous, afraid she would do something wrong. Suddenly, the woman she was serving spoke to her.
“Young woman, could I speak with you?”
“Yes,” Janice replied.
“Is this your chosen career?”
“No. I was an English major in college and can’t find a job.”
“I’m a writer,” the woman said. “Why don’t we talk about you working for me?”