Random Word Story #33: A Place Behind Her Eyes

adult beautiful beauty blond
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I use a random word generator and write a quick story with them. It’s fun! Check out my category of them. ūüôā

queen
valuable
grape
fixed
star
sin
Here’s my story:

These were NOT Cheerios!
Stella flung her styrofoam cup across the table and watched the golden rings dance across the kitchen carpet. A few made it into the dog water dish. That made her grin for the first time in days. “Bullseye.” she murmured into hand.
The lady wasn’t happy. She even said, “I’m NOT happy, Stella.” as she stooped out of sight beneath the table to scoop them up.
Stella heard at catechism that lying was a sin. She guessed lying to kids must be an exception because the grape juice was NOT grape juice either! Yuck!
This place was a nightmare already! It was everything she feared a foster home would be. There was nothing familiar… No one to trust… And, nothing good to eat!
Jean, the case worker, said she’d only be here until her mother got “fixed“.
Yeah right.
You can’t fix stupid.
She loved her mom but good choices weren’t her specialty. Running off to Hollywood to become a STAR and leaving her 8-year-old daughter alone at the park was her latest “brain fart”. Jean asked her not to use that term but Stella knew the word “retarded” was a no-no and, besides, it really fit the situation. It stunk!
Stella had to believe her mother was just stupid or the unbearable alternative of her mom not regarding her as valuable would have to be considered. That would NOT be okay.
The lady sat down beside her. Stella hadn’t even noticed that she had vacuumed the mess and cleared the table while Stella was visiting the “place behind her eyes”. She was the queen of that secret place where time stands still and everything is true.
Stella went there often. Stella wanted to live there forever. Now, she was NOT happy.

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A True Story and Real Life Dilemma

oppossum

The following is a true story. By the time this is posted, I will have added a photo. For now, the story is more important:

Early in our camping experience last summer, my granddaughter and I heard my Jack Russell Terrier barking and came upon a baby opossum peeking out from behind our generator bin. It was frightened and clearly a bit young to be wandering around on its own.
I called the dog off and she scampered out of sight. (I say “she” because Nature makes females a bit more sturdy and independent early on. I will never know her true gender but my guess is an educated one.)
She appeared once more that day around our log splitter. This uncharacteristic sighting made me snap a photo and assume “something” had happened to her mother. When I told my husband, he said he had seen a dead baby opossum in the nearby bushes, the day before. Seems my “guess” had more legitimacy after that.
It was Sunday, and we were hours from leaving for home. I had learned from other lessons of interfering with Nature, that my human instinct to “get involved” was not always wise for either the wild animal or for my heart. I felt I just HAD to give her a chance. She had survived, so far, and although I could not take responsibility for her, I didn’t have to all-together turn my back.
Just before I left, I took a large handful of dry dog food and piled it, undercover, near the generator bin. With a heavy heart, I went home.
The next week, the dog food and opossum were gone.
I thought of her often throughout the summer. I also accepted the “not knowing” of what happened to her a mixed blessing.
Around the middle of October, my dog came strutting back to my campsite with a prize catch. My heart sank! He had caught and killed a juvenile opossum. It was from under the place where I had, months before, left the dog food. Even this moment, my heart is racing and my stomach is turning at the telling of an “almost” triumphant tale.
I have little doubt that the opossum was the orphan I had met in June. She HAD survived but had not learned enough to continue to survive.
This winter’s harshness has made me consider her violent end a possible blessing against the option of freezing or starving. Without a mother, her instincts may not have well prepared her.
The moral of this story,¬†that I hold on to, is that I HAD cared. That I HAD tried to help. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have done more and that I really need to let go of the heart-sickening guilt I keep revisiting.
There would be those who would say, “You didn’t care or do enough.”
I would beg to differ.
The sick feeling in my stomach while writing this is still there.
I also had asked myself a number of questions. Here’s a few:
Can I find her in time?
Is her mother temporarily trapped in a dumpster and might she return?
How could I safely capture and transport her in the same car as my dog?
Would I really be offering her a better life by interfering?
Would my husband’s opinions on my decision matter?
Is there a law against bringing wild animals into a day care setting?
Would the Animal Hospital accept her?
How terrified would she be in all this?
Yes…I DID care deeply but I knew that caring didn’t give me the “right” to affect absolute changes nor did it protect me from possibly doing more harm than good.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope in telling this story, “little opossum’s”,¬†AND my dilemma, speaks to you.
Don’t forget…I also may be wrong in my conclusion that every sighting of an opossum¬†was the¬†SAME opossum. And that my friends,¬†is where hope lives.

Random Word Story # 32~ Moving Along to Nowhere

5211895183_cc7770c5dd_bcombatant…hard…fantastic…square…habitual…defector

Here is my story:

There was something dark about the store clerk at the new Dollar General. She stood with rounded shoulders, and a defeated look in her eyes, as I approached the counter to check out. I would have guessed that she was much older, if we weren’t face to face. She was not much beyond the age of twenty, as I would learn, yet had the demeanor of a lone surviving combatant from a long lost battle.

Her southern drawl set her apart even further.

“You aren’t from around here, young lady.” I said.

“No ma’am. I’m from Alabama. Been he’ ah for two weeks, or so. I’m hopin’ to bring my kids he’ah soon.”

“My… you have children? You’re just a young thing.”

“I was twenty last month and I’ve got three baby boys back home with my momma. Their daddies were scumbags and I cum up here and met the love of my life for sure!”

Her grin was bright and happy but the sadness in her eyes did not fade. She nervously chewed on the side of her tongue as we spoke. It occurred to me that she may have been a beautiful child, once upon a time. Her face was heart-shaped and she had large blue eyes but her hair, seemed as though it was as stressed as her posture, with frizzy ends on a carelessly gathered ponytail.

I saw her as a defector. She’d left her children, after all, while pursuing what I could only imagine was an habitual trail of scumbags. Without having to ask, she went on…

“Met James on the internet. He’s going to bring my boys up soon and we’re buyin’ a house too.” She grinned as her eyes looked through me to an imagined “happy place”.

“That is fantastic! A new beginning, in a new place. I’m happy for you.”

Then I noticed  scars in both of her thin eyebrows and one that ran along her chin too. As she packed my items, her hands trembled.

My, too quickly made judgement, softened as I asked myself, “Why ¬†do so many young ladies have to live such hard lives?”. I felt the urge to hug her and to tell her that things would get better…that she would find her happy ending, but I didn’t believe the latter. Not everyone gets a square deal. Her children would probably have similar fates without the foundation of roots and family and I felt helpless, very helpless to remedy her troubles. In fact I, shamefully, wanted to get away from her as quickly as I could, as if hard luck and ignorance were somehow catchy.

She continued, “James will be picking me up soon and we’re gonna call my kids to tell them about our house. We ain’t been approved yet but we’re hopin’ to hear this week. That ‘ill be ten dollars and seventy cents ma’am.”

“Thank-you. Best wishes to you and James.”

That night, I said several prayers for her family. I held on to a glimmer of hope for her sons, realizing that they might have a slightly better chance to find stability, simply by not being ¬†“beautiful” daughters.

It has, now, been six months … and I have not seen her at the Dollar General again…

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My other Random Word Stories were complete fiction. Sadly, this one, came from a true encounter that I had last Fall.

Monkey Finds His Way

Monkey in Bali, Indonesia
Monkey in Bali, Indonesia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A little monkey got up one morning and decided to only look down from the trees.
It was wonderful!
He noticed that other monkeys lived in his neighborhood, he found a banana that had been overlooked, and he discovered his own shadow. Suddenly, he almost fell. His mother caught him and smiled gently.
The next day, the little monkey decided to only look upward.
It was wonderful!
He saw the clouds and the bluest sky. A flock of birds passed over and his heart felt as though it would burst from the beauty of it all. Suddenly, he almost fell. His mother caught him and smiled gently.
On the very next day, a bit more cautious little monkey, decided to look only behind himself.
It was wonderful!
All the while he walked, he could still see his soft leafy nest. Now, he was sure this was his best decision, yet. It made him feel warm and safe. Suddenly, he almost fell. His mother caught him, once again, and smiled gently.

This time, his mother warned him that he must look around to best prevent himself from falling. Little monkey had fun looking around until he noticed ugly, fearful things were in the forest.
This was not so wonderful!
“Mother? I was happier when I looked down and looked back and looked upward. How can you look around and still smile?”
“I have an eye for beauty, a mind that knows discovery and warm memories of safe places, all those things make me smile.”

“I just don’t understand why I must look around when I don’t want to see ugly, fearful things?”

“Because, my dear little monkey, I will not always be near enough to catch you.”

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I have no doubt that this story has already been told, in some form or fashion. I am alarmed by what I consider over-protectiveness on the part of ¬†many young parents who want only happy, dreamy feelings filling everything in their children’s environment. Because of that opinion, I wrote this story today, and my words came to me separately from any other sources. ūüėČ

The Question Mark Tree

question tree 1

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Carmella May Sweet,

Climbed to her seat,

Up in the Question Mark tree.

She was given a task,

Her teacher had asked,

Just what she wanted to be?

As she wondered, “Why?”

Her brother played spy,

Watching her, way down below.

Grandma came home,

Daddy dug loam,

Her thinking was sorrily slow.

A small forest newt,

In a bright red suit,

Crawled happily in the shade.

Carmella knew,

The day would be through,

Before her decision was made.

The farmer next door,

 Swept his barn floor.

As daylight turned to dark.

Suppertime near,

No answer yet clear,

Her dog was beginning to bark.

All day had passed.

She walked home at last.

Troubled ’bout who she would be.

Homework undone,

She started to run,

An answer came through suddenly.

No need to decide,

But simply take pride.

In all that she is everyday.

So much of what’s you,

Is more than you do.

So this is all she could say:

I’m a sister, granddaughter, daughter and friend.

A neighbor, love Nature, these things have no end.

I think I’ll simply wait and see.

For now, I like just being me.

Doctor Hopper

designallDoctor Hopper, a handsome dude,

 Only eats from happy food.

A helping hand or handmade gift,

Gives this fellow quite a lift.

He always shares and travels miles,

Seeking kids who offer smiles.

Wanting things, just isn’t why,

A person, sometimes, needs to cry.

Being glum is not okay.

It’s not your birthday every day.

A sour frown’s no good to eat.

Insects only like what’s sweet.

You’ll find this superhero bug,

In every single happy hug.

The doctor wants the world to know,

Nectar comes from the love we show.

Cheer for your friends, and family too,

Keep him fat, he counts on you.

Random Word Story # 27~ The Gloved Hand of Fate

Random words generated by…creativitygames.net

sparrow pillow policeman headline hygiene definition

Here’s my story:

English: A pile of pillows.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Newton was the definition of perfect hygiene. Ever since he was small, he was germ conscious. So when it came to choosing his new pillow, Newton took no chances.

He spent hours, which became days,…and months, choosing the most hygienic replacement for the place his face would rest, half of the time, in each day. Sampling was his biggest obstacle though. How might he give a new pillow a serious try when other customers would have placed their germy noggin upon any prospect? Newt had become an expert in avoiding contaminants in his 22 years and the “pillow problem” was not going to defeat him. So, he devised a solution by covering his head and face with extra-large surgical gloves. It was quite a stretch, indeed. But Newton was determined and the scoffs and laughing of patrons did not interfere in the least.

His inspiration for the “war on germs” was a near-death experience with influenza as a child. Newt vividly remembered struggling for air and the pictures of the doctors faces, sullen and clueless. His mom’s sobbing from somewhere beyond, still woke him out of dreams in a cold sweat. His asthma was a condition not a death sentence, after all.

The term “all natural” had become his signature. “All natural Newt” researched his selection and was thrilled to find a shop which proclaimed everything beyond its door held the desired title. Naturally Nature, a small store next to Organic Offerings, had an ad in the directory and pillows were boldly printed in their inventory list. Newton, armed with surgical gloves, was finally optimistic about finding his new pillow. He made a purchase and his first, direct, contact with his $200.00 gem came that evening.

The headline in the newspaper two days later: Man Killed by Sparrows

The article read: A policeman at the scene, tried to resuscitate Newton Jones who appears to has suffocated. A pillow filled with sparrow feathers was found beside the deceased. Although illegal in this country, sparrow feathers are used in imported products. Apparently, Mr. Jones had a violent allergic reaction to the feathers. When the victim was discovered, foul play was assumed due to the surgical glove stretched over his face. After a brief investigation, it was deemed a desperate attempt by Jones to relieve his symptoms. Coroners claim he suffocated by his own glove…hand.