jump to navigation

The Easter That Wasn’t November 5, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Fiction, Word Play.

I pulled the photo out of the shoebox hidden in the back of dad’s closet. Memories came flooding back.

I remember everything about the Easter that wasn’t. Everything.

The day dawned dark and cloudy.  The sun shone somewhere, but it couldn’t break through the insistent gloom which colored everything in our world a somber gray.  Everything.

Dad dressed us in our Sunday clothes, his countenance as dark and forbidding as the sky. 

While pulling up Timmy’s slacks, he started talking.  Rambling really.  I don’t think he meant for us to hear.  His words spilled out like raindrops.  Cascading tears.  Coating everything with wet sadness.  Everything.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  She was supposed to be here too.  With us.  Not gone.”

On our way to church, a neighbor stopped us.  She meant well, I suppose, but we didn’t want our picture taken.  We didn’t want to remember this day.  The Easter that wasn’t.  We just wanted it to be over.  To be behind us.  We wanted to leave everything behind.  Everything.

We stared at the camera, but the smiles wouldn’t come . . . no matter how hard she coaxed.   I wonder she tried at all.  Would she have smiled in like situation?  I doubt it. 

Even then, at age three, I questioned her sanity.

At the church, the minister greeted us at the door and escorted us to the front pew.  There, we sat, ramrod straight, staring at the casket.  And the cross.  Our backs to everything else.  Everything.

Dad’s words filtered back, “It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  She was supposed to be here too.  With us.  Not gone.”

During the service, dad didn’t have to remind us to stop fidgeting once.  That was never his job anyway.  That was mom’s job.

And now she was gone.  And everything changed.  Everything.  

* * * * *

I chose to write FICTION for the DP Weekly Writing Challenge:  A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words (“tell a story based on this picture”).

Image Source:  Michelle W ~ Weekly Writing Challenge

Bargain Books Aren’t Always A Bargain November 5, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Travel & Leisure, Writing & Writers.

Sometimes books in the bargain bin are no bargain.

They landed there for good reason, not being worth the paper they’re printed on or the time it takes us to slog through them.

They may contain fascinating stories, poorly told.  Or peculiar stories filled with incomprehensible poetic prose.

While rummaging through my parents’ house this summer, I picked up a book, Murder Most Scottish.  The title caught my eye.   An anthology of 19 short stories and a novel, introduced as follows:

Wikipedia ~ Bookplate (in Public Domain)

* Murder for political advantage.  Murder for love.  Murder for profit.  Scotland can claim them all as part of its colorful history.

* The murderers on parade in these stories constitute a veritable rogues’ gallery, driven by motives as different as lust, greed, patriotism, maternal instinct, revenge, financial desperation, and jealousy.  Their methods involve a number of imaginative variations . . . 

I read all twenty tales and recommend none whole-heartedly, except perhaps The Killing Game by Bill Knox.  I enjoyed traipsing through the Highlands with Chief Detective Inspector Colin Thane as he unraveled a tale of Cold War espionage.

Each of them offered something of interest: unique twists, unexpected turns, unlikely victims, unsuspected perpetrators.

But, on the whole, the return on investment was marginal, at best.

Anyone intrigued by these tales of intrigue can get a copy for $0.13 (yes, 13 cents) plus $3.99 S&H from any number of sellers on Amazon.

Or you can have my copy for FREE . . . come and get it!  😉

Aah . . . that’s better!

Are you a member of the Clean (Book)Plate Club?  Do you feel compelled to finish a book once started?  Or do you shove tasteless literary morsels aside and reach for something more appealing to your palate?

Related post: WP Daily Prompt ~Bookworm