Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seven Secret Saturdays

The whole affair lasted only seven weeks. It began innocently enough, two people, nearly strangers to one another met in the classics section of a bookstore in a town where neither of them resided. They were a man and woman, and they had met but once before. The circumstances of this first meeting seem innocent enough to passerby, however, in the weeks to come these meetings would have to move more private quarters. A book club met on the first Saturday of each month, here, in the classics section and it proved that fateful day to be the perfect excuse for both of our players to be present. Whether this had been intentional or not does not matter to our story. We are most concerned with the reason for the meeting and less on how it came to be.
Abigail Adams, the woman with the famous name, but no famous or connected family tree, was approached by a mysterious man in a coffee shop one day. He handed her an envelope and walked away. It was a case of mistaken identity that would change her life completely. The man was a delivery man only and was told to deliver the envelope to a young lady who frequented that particular coffee shop and matched the description given to him. However, the vague description and lack of request for confirmation from his master led him to make his delivery to the wrong young lady.
Richard Post, was also delivered an envelope while attending to his weekly errands, however he was the intended recipient. His father, Preston Post, was summoning him to work on a special project. While Richard did not want to comply he felt he had no choice and followed the instructions given to him. He was annoyed that his father did not wish to contact him directly, but reflecting upon this, he realized that their relationship had never been one of direct contact. Preston Post was an operative in a secret world. Richard Post knew nothing of his fathers affairs and even in youth, when curiousity gets the best of young men, knew there were some things he'd be better off not knowing.
Abigail was puzzled by the invitation in the envelope. She was asked to meet a man in a bookstore she was unfamiliar with, and had no idea who might have sent the invitation. Thinking perhaps this was a prank being played upon her by her naughty brother, she laughed and put the letter aside. While finishing her coffee and her letters, she picked it up again, and saw the foreign seal in the letterhead, that she had overlooked before. How could her brother have gotten paper with a watermark in it? Perhaps this was enough to peak her curiousity, perhaps it was her unfeminine sense of adventure, or a lack of fear, but she decided to attend the bookstore that Saturday and find out for herself what this was all about.
Richard met the woman on Saturday. He found her out easily. She was wearing a red scarf, just as his instructions had predicted. She however, had no idea why they had been asked to meet. Richard and Abigail, both lovers of classic literature, and both with adventurous spirits, decided to join the discussion beginning to form by the book club, and ended up having a lovely day in the midst of books, coffee, and a budding new friendship. After the bookclub discussion was over and the members went their separate ways, Richard and Abigail talked over the invitation Abigail had received. When questioning one another, Richard discovered that he had met Abigail once before, she was an editor for a local paper and he had written an article about the towns elections several years ago. She had been the editor who had polished his story and accepted it to be published. This had been his one and only attempt at anything journalistic. His father had tried to encourage him to be interested in politics, even at only a local level, but Richard was much too romantic for all the challenges of understanding the world politico. He had gone back to writing his poetry. Richards main source of income was the teaching job at the young men's preparatory academy he himself had graduated from before going off to college in a foreign land.

copyright 2009, all rights reserved

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let me explain my title.

I have a habit of writing on bar napkins. I get inspired when I'm having a few drinks, especially with my friend, Lyndsay, and I never seem to have a notebook. I think I write more freely when I'm in a bar because there are so many faces to inspire me and I'm not as shy after a couple glasses of wine. One thing that is quirky about it is that most often I immediately give them away. If you have ever been lucky or unlucky enough to get one of these gems we probably had a fun time together and I'm thankful you were there with me. Lyndsay has a big pile of them and I will have to go visit her and see if any are worth posting here. I'm going to try to write more. I've always liked it and even if I think my musings are not the most polished or intelligent, I promised my friend Kerry to do this for myself. I am one of those people that does too much for others without noticing how little I do for myself. Kerry is an inspiration to me. And I am going to see how this goes. So, to anyone reading this...I hope you enjoy it and I welcome comments!

Monday, February 9, 2009


She touched the spot tenderly,
caressingly, almost lovingly,
The color rose in her cheek.
She could not help but watch herself in the mirror.
The sight of her graceful white hand on the spot mesmerized her.
The skin beneath her fingers seemed to be warmer each moment,
Her eyes shone with excitement and just a tinge of fear.
If he walked in now and saw her like this, he was apt to do most anything,
She took her hand away and looked again at her reflection.
The place was red and tender.
She could see the outline of his fingers.
She picked up her makeup, and in slow motion, began to cover the bruise.

copyright 1997 Sharlene Thornton

Portis Early

On very few occasions did the temperature matter to Portis Early. Having been raised in the Delta he had grown accustomed to the heat and sultriness of the South. When autumn came, and close behind it, those few fleeting months of reprieve, it didnt change him like it did most folks. He just kept working on those cars, trucks, and tractors that people brought him. Whether he was in the yard or in the shed, he had work to do and unless it was too dark to work, he took no mind to the weather. That is until one particular day late in September of 1956, when he woke up just as he did everyday, went to the door, and threw it open, and was startled at what he found. The weather that day threw Portis off his routine. It was indeed a rare sight in September to see that a bank of clouds had gotten blown off their course and seemed to hover right there in his yard. There was a frost on the ground, and little else visible in the dense fog, Portis took a step outside, to access the situation. He fell right to ground. His porch was gone. He looked at the ground, right there, were his porch should be but it looked as though he hadnt ever built one. The door was a good three feet off the ground and didnt even have a step up to it. Frightened he climbed back inside and closed the door tightly. As he swallowed hard to get his head together, he went to get the gas lantern from under the stairs and found Tiger, the old orange cat and Blue, his hound huddled together and looking worried. This may have frightened him more than that darn porch being missing. He returned to the door and bracing himself, for what he couldnt imagine, he opened it wide. Now Portis was a God fearing man, but he seldom spoke to the Heavens. Today he muttered, God Bless Me.
Portis walked what he thought should have his 40 acres, where his garage should have been, the garden, the tool shed, and found nothing. Only the house stood. Portis, frightened, as never before, went inside and sat at the kitchen table. He wished for the heat of yesterday and the certainty of his surroundings. How did this happen? he wondered. Am I alone? He knew he was alone, but hoped he was not.
Portis woke up with a start. He was very cold. Blinking rapidly to bring the room into focus he sat up and realized hed just had the most disturbing dream. He must have kicked off his blankets in his sleep. Rising slowly, as he was beginning to do as the days hastened on and made him an older man, he tried to remember the dream. It was something about the fog. He just couldnt remember.
He went to door just as he did every other morning and flung it open. The fog was so thick he couldnt see but a foot in front of him. Stepping out onto the porch, he noticed that hed need to replace it soon. The creak on the second board was getting louder. If in response, Tiger his old orange tom cat came screeching up the step and through the door, followed closely by the hound dog. Just in time, Portis reached down and grabbed the dogs collar. Now why, Blue, do you have to torment that damn cat every morning? And how did you get out of the fence this time? I swear, dog, if you werent the best hunting dog I ever had, why Id.. This was a morning ritual. The dog had a house outside with a nice fence around it and slept outside weather permitting. Most of the time it was his choice to come in or not and most of the time he wanted to stay outside. The cat had his own little door and came and went as he pleased. Right now he was in the kitchen fussing for his breakfast. Bringing the hound, Portis went in to prepare food for the bunch of them. Then without notice, no thunder, no wind picking up by degrees, no leaves turning over, the sky just let go. Portis had never seen it rain so much. The roof began to leak in a few places and as Portis busied himself finding buckets and pans to collect the water, he began to feel a little sick. Stopping to look out the window he was shocked to see the house had lifted off its stilts and was just floating right along. They were passing the garage where Portis made his living keeping other folks vehicles running. He closed his eyes tight and squeezed them. He sneezed just then and woke himself up.
Portis was not a man who sneezed often. But there were a few things that could set him off. One was that darn ragweed that grew out by the barn and the other that darn cat his daughter had insisted on getting from the fair years back and then had left for Portis to tend to when she went away to college and then never came back for when she married that yuppie from up North. Sure enough, it was the cat, sleeping up under the blankets, as close to Portis as it could get. Portis shoed the cat away and then rose out of bed to begin another day. He opened the door and called to the hound. That damn dog wouldnt sleep inside unless it was powerful storming outside and no fence Portis could build would keep it in the yard. Blue was a good dog and never bothered any of the neighbors. Of course, the nearest neighbor was a good half mile away and Portis lived on 40 acres of partially wooded land. The dog could find plenty to do at home. Portis surveyed the weather as he did most mornings. It never really mattered too much. One day was the same as the next anyway. He lived in the Delta and he knew to expect humid, muggy days with little relief until the thunder came. If a day was cool it was winter. If it was hot, well then it was one of the three other seasons. Portis didnt expect to feel a chill this early in the year. Why, it was only September. He made breakfast and gave the cat and dog some kibble. As he stood at the sink washing the dishes, he heard the heat pump turn on. Now, the thermostat was always set at a decent 50 degrees. The house didnt have air conditioning, but Portis figured no need to change the thermostat. If it fell below 50 degrees, he would be surprised. He went to check the pump, making sure it wasnt malfunctioning. It was outside at the back of the house. Opening the door for the second time that day he was hit with a blast of cold air. He stepped back stunned and closed the door. Now, what could be going on? he thought to himself.
As he rolled over and woke himself he wondered why he was having so many dreams about the weather. Weather was just weather after all. Wasnt it?

copyright 2008, all rights reserved


He turned over carefully,
Hoping the new position would renew his slumber.
As the morning sunlight continued to dance on his heavy eyelids,
He knew he would have to rise soon.
He remembered to thank God for the blessing of a safe nights sleep,
And another day to live,
He wondered what challenges the day would bring,
What blessing in disguise or otherwise,
What new experience or old habit,
As he pondered this bright new day and the blessing of his life,
The noise of early morning traffic increased,
The city was also awakening,
Soon the buses would be running,
Taking people to work and school,
And routines would be continued,
He stretched, yawned, opened his eyes,
And sat up from the bus stop bench,
He gathered his blanket, untied his cart,
And shuffled away from last night's bedroom.

copyright 2009, all rights reserved