#1
Way out yonder, I trotted down a one lane road behind some rusted old truck. Every speck of civilization morphed into a shack as I approached. There's no way I'll make it home in time for supper.

I walked through the front door with an empty McDonald's sack in my left hand. Glanced around at my family sitting around the dinner table.
Baby! We waited for you to eat!
Sorry, Momma, I ain't hungry.

I went and laid down on my makeshift bed on the floor of Granny's room. Momma came and sat down next to me.
Your Aunt took a turn for the worst. She won't be home for Christmas.
I grunted and muttered some muffled reply into my hardened pillow. They weren't real words. I didn't have anything to say.

I snuck out around eleven that night, long after the porchlight had been turned out. Gave a treat to my puppy to keep him quiet. Tiptoed around Granny's while she snored softly, accidentally bumping her nightstand and knocking over an unopened bottle of sleeping pills. Passed by the open door to my seven year old cousin’s room, and couldn't help but notice how tightly she clung to her threadbare teddy. I sat rocking on the porch swing in the backyard until a truck pulled up with its headlights off, and climbed inside.

It'd been a while since I'd seen him, but in the chozzled cemetary out beyond the woods in my backyard, we smoked green until our eyes turned red, laughing at the Christmas lights burning out along the houses.
They don't have nothing on the stars.
It'd been even longer since I'd seen the stars. We drank spirits to get us in the Christmas spirit and I told him that he'd always been my best friend. We both apologized for saying things we never meant.
Wanna have some fun?
Hell yeah.

We hopped in the truck and he drove down to a nearby indoor ice skating rink. Snuck in a waterbottle of vodka each in our coatpockets. Slid them slowly out of our pockets, and gingerly poured them onto the ice, turning it to slosh. Slyly discarded the bottles in the nearest garbagebin. Laughed hysterically as an older woman hit the softspot and flew headfirst to the ground. Noticed the fake ice had developed droplets of red as the security guard escorted us out.
You're lucky you ain't going to jail, boy.

It must be morning, I grunt; I heard Granny sobbing. Attempt to bury my face beneath blankets and pillows. No dice.
What's wrong?
N-Nothing. Looking at old pictures.

I rubbed my eyes and crawl towards her bed, pull myself up. She's thumbing through a photo album. Pointed out a picture of her father, on the deck of a navy ship. Dressed in all white, in front of a seascape, shirtfront full of symbols I'd only seen in movies.

You should have seen the blues and golds, that's what he always told me. Even back then, I only saw the grays. I hope you see the colors the picture keeps covered. You know, y'all were born on the same day, some seventy years apart. I hope you have his heart. He walked the streets of Nagasaki, in late August, 1945 and my momma said he didn't smile again until his tour ended and he met his three year old daughter for the first time. We moved down South, he said he couldn't handle anymore winters. I missed the snow. Still do.

She turns the page. No pictures, just words.
He gave me this poem on his deathbed.
Can I read it?

I hope
the battles that you fight
do not leave you scarred
but if you ain't so lucky,
you remember who you are.

I hope
that at a few stoplights
you will make a wrong turn,
savor every sight you pass,
and never forget what you learn.

I hope
the weather treats you right
when you decide to bloom,
but if it just ain't your night,
that you weather the monsoon.

I hope
when you finally decide
to pass on the gift of life,
that they'll fight like me
and they'll have your eyes.

I hope
that when your hammock
eventually wraps you in a cocoon,
you will turn into a butterfly,
and know you'll see me soon.


He never quite finished it. He never could've finished it. It just ended.
I slipped her a slight smile, and she turned the page. She begins to cry. There's color in this one: red, white, and blue flowers resting on the green grass beside a rustic, two-person tombstone. His name and his wife's; his birthdate, and her life.
I can't believe I'm going to watch my daughter die.

She set the album down on the nightstand, next to the fallen bottle of sleeping pills and an American flag lamp. I hugged her briefly before making my way into the kitchen. Drank last night’s lukewarm coffee and walked into the bathroom. Applied shaving cream to my cheeks. Heard giggles.
It looks like snow!
When have you ever seen snow?
TV!

My Cousin watched transfixed as I slowly drove the shimmering blade up and down my face.
Will you take me shopping?
I don't have much else to do. Sure.

She spoke the entire drive to the mall, savoring every house, tree, cow and sign along the county road. A curious girl inside a looking glass.

I stood a few feet behind her in a department store line. She was holding women's pajamas in her mother's size and a purse full of pennies. My bank account was empty, but I had a twenty in my pocket. I held a snowglobe, a Midshipman sitting beside a fireplace. I thought it perfect.

I tapped my feet to Silent Night, and watched The Grinch on the TV. The tinsel and holly on the walls drooped a little too low. I saw a fat, bearded man standing outside on his cigarette break. My little green-eyed cousin completely oblivious.

The cashier smiled as she approached.
They're for my Mommy!
She stopped smiling as my cousin handed over her Ziploc baggy full of pennies, and began counting.
I'm sorry but there's not enough here.
My cousin began crying. I handed over my twenty and set the snowglobe aside.

The cashier wrapped up the pajamas and we drove to the county hospital. There was a nativity scene in the parking lot -- baby Jesus and the three wise men in a hayloft. I walked up to the manger and whispered,
I know you're just a child, but I hope you realize this isn't right.
We walked through the automatic doors and inside the lobby was a huge Christmas tree, with dazzling lights and ornaments. I saw the reflection of a stillbody on a stretcher being wheeled in the door and pointed out a particularly cool ornament to my cousin.

The receptionist led us to my Aunt's room.
Mommy!
Hey honey!
She looked a lot better than she had in a long time. I could almost see traces of a smile on her face. We hugged her. While they exchanged gifts and tears, I excused myself to the bathroom. Went and spoke with a doctor.
How's she doing?
The test medication we've been giving her is working well. She might be alright, after all.

The nurse said it was time to leave shortly after I got back. I shot my Aunt a smile and gave her a hug. As we walked briskly back to the car, my cousin skipped, giddily.
Mommy told me that the doctors told her the cancer might recess.
It sounds like it might.
I can't wait to tell Granny and Auntie!
Me either, me either.

When we got home that night, long after the porchlight had been turned out, I realized everyone was asleep. I supposed the good news would have to wait until morning. I asked my cousin,
Will you help me with something?

We searched the kitchen and came across some baking soda and sugar, enough to fill two buckets. We walked outside. She steadied the ladder as I climbed atop our house with the buckets. I tipped them cautiously in the gutter above Granny's window, creating light flurries in the wind. We lined the windowsills around the house with the rest of my shaving cream, and snuck back inside as the first shards of morning light refocused my eyes.

It must be morning, I grinned; I heard Granny sobbing, ever so softly. I sat up and glanced at her, laying still with her eyes closed, wrapped up in her comforter like a cocoon. I slowly approached her bed, and accidentally bumped the nightstand: sending the lamp and an empty bottle of sleeping pills to the floor. I froze, but luckily, she didn't stir. I placed everything back on the nightstand, then turned to her and yelled,
Merry Christmas!
Last edited by SilenceEvolves at Dec 24, 2008,
#2
I don't care what anyone else says. I loved this. The beginning was a little awkward and there were a few things I could pick at but I needed something like this right now.
thanks
Anatomy Anatomy
Whale Blue Review

Park that car
Drop that phone
Sleep on the floor
Dream about me
#3
thanks jimmy. this is completely different now. didn't feel like creating two threads though.

appreciate any comments/criticisms. please bug me if I haven't returned something to ya, or leave me a link if you'd like me to.

I probably won't get back to ya until late Thursday or Friday though.

until then, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
#5
Quote by jiminizzle
I don't care what anyone else says. I loved this. The beginning was a little awkward and there were a few things I could pick at but I needed something like this right now.
thanks



x2

(I'll try to get to nitpicking soon. for now just have an especially good christmas)
Anatomy Anatomy
Whale Blue Review

Park that car
Drop that phone
Sleep on the floor
Dream about me
#6


There are nitpicky spots, phrasing, the usual. You can figure them out. They don't matter so much.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#7
Quote by DigUpHerBones


There are nitpicky spots, phrasing, the usual. You can figure them out. They don't matter so much.


This indeed. I don't really have anything else to say, unfortunately. I enjoyed it very much, as it made my heart all warmy.
#8
This is very pretty and retains your attention very well. It was really cool reading something different from you, mate.

Changes could of been made, but they're far from essential and the content seems fine to me. But, maybe there are sections that you wrote in haste so they could be altered slightly.

Could you tell me what you think of Planet Rozanne please? If you have the time, of course. No hassle if your too busy.

Digitally Clean
#9
There are definitely sections I wrote in haste as I wrote a lot of this while I was on the clock at work haha.

Now that it isn't Christmas anymore really, I just wanted to say that maybe if you looked again things aren't as happy and heart-warming at the end there as you might think they were. Maybe that's my fault though.

Hearing that this actually made you all happy though makes me want to change the ending and make it happier, ironically, lol.

I'll get back to everything later tonight and throughout the weekend. I'm gonna go watch Tropic Thunder with the family.

Merry Christmas one last time, y'all!
#11
i read this a few hours ago and enjoyed it. i dont remember finding anything wrong with it. this is great, i'll re-read it now.
#13
"I slowly approached her bed, and accidentally bumped the nightstand: sending the lamp and an empty bottle of sleeping pills to the floor."
empty bottle people, granny wanted to sleep..... get it?

great piece btw; you captivated me, I connected, I smiled, I got a big "OH NOES" at the end there, but all in all, one of the best pieces I've read on this forum so far