She had escaped him. She found a room in this hotel over 100 miles away. Why was her judgement always so poor? Why did she always end up with the wrong man? She was still shaking as she put a few things away and went to shower. Those were questions she had tried to answer for years.
After showering, she realized she hadn’t eaten much in two days. He had yelled. Then pouted. Then yelled again until she was able to sneak out. She dressed and went down to the restaurant.
She was eating. Suddenly, a voice behind her said, “Surprise!”
Photo credit to Dale Rogerson
“It was Momma’s summer house,” Miranda said to the real estate agent, “Don’t you think a buyer would love it out here?” Miranda continued.
“No,” the realtor responded, “I know it’s your family home, but the demographic who might buy it work all the time and wouldn’t be interested.”
Dejected, Miranda walked in the house with the realtor. His phone rang. He turned to Miranda and asked if he could show the house in just a few minutes.
A young woman and her husband bought it on the spot. She was a gardner and loved the summer house.
“Come look,” Maxine called to her cousins. “Look what I’ve found.”
Maxine and five of her cousins were at their homeplace on Birch Branch. They had been given a day by the attorney to come get whatever belonged to their family. Maxine was cleaning out the shed and found these ancient toys.
Kevin said, “I feel like we’re looking at our parents’ lives. I guess in some ways we are looking at their childhood here.”
The cousins finished up with a last look at the house and the property on Birch Branch. They knew they would never be back again.
She sat down at the end of the counter in her favorite diner. She knew she had to eat while someone else was with her very sick mother. Ruby, the waitress, came and took her order.
Her cousin, Mac, suddenly walked into the diner and sat down beside her.
“Ally, we have to talk about her estate,” he said. “She wanted the cousins to share in the estate.”
“What do you want me to do, Mac? There is no will.”
“Make a fair distribution, Ally.”
“If she wanted you to have anything, she would have made a will,” Ally said.
Sasha drove home from town. As she passed a driveway, she almost crashed her car as something hit her in the driver’s side door. She knew instantly it was a deer. She pulled over and jumped out. There she was, by the car. She had hit hard, destroyed the door, but she was still alive. Sasha loved the deer and fed them daily. She knew she couldn’t move her and she called her neighbor to help. She seemed to have a bad chest injury.
John knew she couldn’t be saved and humanely shot her. Sasha felt her heart break.
“Do you think you can meet me at the town square,” Albert asked quietly.
Juliet replied, “I will have the driver ready to take me to town as soon as he leaves. He is my friend and sometimes my confidant.”
“We will just run away, darling! It doesn’t matter if we’re married,” Albert said.
“Can we go far away? I’m afraid he’ll find me?”
Albert said, “Yes. I will keep you safe.”
Juliet and Albert met in town to leave her abusive husband. When they tried to catch the train, there he stood. Albert knocked him down with one blow.
He didn’t dare go home. He had worked all day, but he and his buddies had slipped out to the car and had one too many snorts of Old Crowe. He didn’t want to incur Pansy’s wrath, and he didn’t want to scare his sweet daughter.
That bike had been sitting there all day. Everyone was gone. He jumped on it and headed to the bar. He’d have another drink or two. Gus would let him sleep it off in the back room.
Sitting on the bar stool, he turned around and there stood Pansy. She offered him her arm.
Photo Credit @ Jellico’s Stationhouse
“What is it, Mama?” the boy asked as they walked down the sidewalk with the great wheel looming in front of them.
“We don’t know, son. Some say it’s our Great Escape to another world since we can’t drink our water here anymore. More people are sick from poisoning from pollution.”
The citizens were gathering around the wheel, which seemed to be slightly vibrating. Some were afraid. Most seemed relieved. They had received leaflets dropped from the sky.
“But where are we going?” the boy asked.
His mother told him she didn’t know. She hoped to a safe, clean place.
Photo credit to Jennifer Pendergast
“My God, Nathan, let’s stay out of that old house,” Karen said.
Nathan and Karen were college students doing a field study on water pollution in the Everglades in South Florida. They had spent most of the morning taking water samples from the swamp. South of Everglades City, they had happened on an old, deserted house.
Nathan went into the house, wanting to explore. Karen followed.
Nathan reached to grab the banister and Karen screamed no. On the post, there was an otherworldly green lizard-like creature.
“Polluted water isn’t all there is here,” he thought, jumping away.
Photo credit by Shaktiki Sharma
Mary lived in the country, outside a small town. Ben’s family moved next door. She was ten and he was six. Ben’s sister, Dina, was one year old.
In the summer, they played outside. Boy games. Baseball. They camped in a tent in Mary’s backyard. They were imaginative like kids are. They would have been lonely without each other.
They would lie on a blanket on a hill in the yard and watch the clouds overhead and name their shapes.
They grew up and drifted apart. Much later in life, they all found each other again. Siblings of the heart.