The first submission received was from Rona Rosian Boley who chose the first prompt: Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down…. Below is a little about Rona and even further below that is her submission titled: “The Letter.” Enjoy!
Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down and the shadows on the ground gave the illusion that there might be something edible to peck at. Success was found with several rotting apples lying under a nearby tree. The feast was suddenly interrupted by a booming bark and the bird gave a startled squawk as it flew high up to the safety of the branches above. From its perch, it peered around to find the source of what was now a continuous series of excited barks.
Golden panes of light shown onto the yard from the living room bay window of the small Victorian home in the evening darkness, and as the bird could now see, a large German Shepherd was standing on its hind legs, face pressed against the glass.
Inside the home, a female voice called out, “Asher! ENOUGH!” Asher gave two more short barks and then trotted over to the owner of the voice.
Heather Collins came out of her bedroom, sweatpants and T-shirt replacing her daily school dress attire. She was in her third year of teaching first grade, and while she loved shaping young minds, by Friday she was in dire need of decompressing from dealing with 30 little individual personalities all week.
She grabbed her mail off the dining room table where she had set it down earlier and headed to the living room with Asher quietly trotting behind her. Sitting down on her favorite spot, a seat tucked under the window, she sorted through the small pile of ad sheets and envelopes that had come that day. As she came to the last envelope, her breath left her in a gasp. She paid no attention to the now cascading mail as it slid from her lap onto the hardwood floor or the soft whimper that came from Asher.
Her eyes stared at the return address on the envelope, unbelieving of what they saw. After all this time, was it really him? The name reached up to her, like a hand out of the past. Her mind began to whirl as memories came flooding back, and with them a multitude of emotions. Suddenly, it was as if the room faded around her and she was transported back in time to that first moment.
It was 11th grade English and she was staring out the window, bored with Mr. Pagano’s droning voice. The classroom door opened, and there HE was. She was vaguely aware that there were others in the room, but like every cheesy romantic cliché she had ever read about, everyone seemed to fade into a hazy periphery. Had a heavenly choir of angels broken out in song or a unicorn pranced slowly by the classroom door, it would have somehow been believable and not out of place.
Mr. Pagano took the note handed to him, glanced at it and then announced, “We have a new student joining us. Please welcome Rick Anderson, coming by way of Michigan.”
Before she knew what was happening, Mr. Rick Anderson was walking directly towards her. Apparently in her distracted state, she failed to hear Mr. Pagano instruct him to sit in the empty seat beside her.
“Heather, you can share your book for the rest of class until I can get one from the supply area for tomorrow.”
Share? Share what? Her mind failed to grasp the concept of the word, her brain cells having taken a momentary leave of absence. With a disgusted mental snort at herself, she came to her senses at the sound of the desk chair scraping along the floor and found herself staring directly into the face of her new classmate.
His eyes were brown. No, not just any brown. Heather tried to decide exactly how to describe the shade and the best she could come up with to herself was root beer. Root beer? Heather was not one given to flights of fancy. She was serious, studious, honor roll ever since middle school. The fact that she could become so completely flummoxed by the sight of one guy was incredibly disturbing to her. Horrified by the realization that she had been mindlessly staring at him without uttering a peep, she cleared her throat and said, “Hi, I’m Heather.”
His answering smile and response of, “Yeah, I know,” confused her.
“You know my name?”
He gestured his head towards the teacher, “He told me to sit here, remember?”
“Oh! Yeah. Right.”
Good grief, could she embarrass herself anymore today? Believing that silence was her safest course of action, she took that route and the rest of the class period passed without incident. When the bell rang, she quickly stood up, ready to flee the scene of her humiliating loss of common sense.
Before she could move though, Rick spoke to her and asked, “Hey, mind if I hang with you at lunch? It sucks being new and the cafeteria is always the worst part when you don’t know anyone.”
Heather thought of the mine field of verbal snafus that awaited her if she agreed, but he looked so eager and appealing, that she found herself answering, “Sure.”
And that, as the saying goes, was the beginning of it all. Her trip down memory lane was swiftly brought back to the present with the resuming of Asher’s excited barks.
“Asher, what are you barking at,” she snapped.
She looked through the frosted window to see why he was so wound up. The sudden flapping and swoosh of a blackbird past the window caused her to issue a small shriek and yank the curtains shut.
Heart pounding from both the letter still in her hand and the unexpected close up view of wildlife, she went into the kitchen to make herself a calming cup of tea. As she waited for the water to boil, she looked down again at the envelope, wanting to make sure it truly was his name on the return address. She tried not to think of the last time they spoke. Even now, after all this time, the pain still welled up inside of her, like a hot poker to her heart every time she remembered it. With trembling hands, she turned the envelope over and opened it. Taking a deep breath, she began to read.
Let us know what you thought of the first submission. What appealed to you about the use of the prompt and the story in general.
As always Happy Reading and Writing!
Blogmas Day 1-COMPLETE!