The Meet

Dinah took a deep breath. She fixed her eyes on a point at the pool, bent down toward her toes with arms outstretched, and dove. The water was brittle and icy, as her body broke through the surface of the pool. She soon shook off the shock of the frigid temperature, as she was focused on the goal. She wanted gold. She wanted to win.

Quickly she moved into her learned rhythm. Right stroke. Left stroke. Right stroke. Her arms worked mechanically, as if they were attached to someone else, or perhaps even something else. She cut through the water like a steel knife. Seamlessly and effortlessly, it seemed like her body moved across the pool.

The nearest competitor was just a few seconds ahead of her. Her arms and legs had yet to start burning. She could press ahead, knowing that anaerobic respiration had not yet tried to get the best of her. Just a little faster, she thought to herself. Right stroke. Left stroke. She was almost at the wall.

Then her finger tips touched the tile. Bells and cheers resounded through the room, ricocheting and echoing off the water and walls. She had arrived victorious. She managed to beat her competitor by a sheer few seconds.

As she emerged out of the pool, a towel was draped around her shoulders. She looked out to the stands. Her eyes pored over the excited crowd, and stopped short at the empty seat where they should have been sitting. The accident had cut their life short, just a few months before the final meet. She didn’t know if she had it in her, until now.

“This is for you.” She whispered quietly, while still maintaining a smile for the onlookers.

 

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The Brick

Dusty picked up the brick, lifted up his arm, and hurled it at the window of the Field’s home. The brick made it’s target, shattering the glass of the living room window. As a light turned on, Dusty turned and ran away from the scene of his crime.

He wondered if anyone had saw him, and what he had just done. Fear and anxiety began to creep slightly into his heart, as he continued to run on breathlessly, curious if the cops would be called. Dusty decided that he had an alibi, as he was dressed in his sweats and sneakers. He was simply out for an early morning jog, as it was a little after 4:30 am. Nothing strange about that.

As Dusty jogged past the homes with their neat little yards, tucked behind metal gates, and manicured hedges, he considered his little hovel. He lived on the edge of town, with his mom’s tacky garden gnomes and pink flamingos peppering their non-existent yard. They lived in a trailer, which resembled the tin cans that contained Dusty’s usual dinner of sardines or tuna.

Sometimes, Dusty felt like his life was more like that of the fish he and his mom so often ate, to stay alive. Things just were never fair or easy, and it always seemed like everything always got so much harder, all the damn time. He was always under the gun, under the pressure cooker, with never a chance for an escape, except into the mouth of the predators that lived so well, while he struggled.

That brick was a symbol of his disdain, his resistance, his sign that he was still here, with heart beating, and blood boiling. He wanted change, and he wanted it now.

A Dream for Autumn

Vera carried the umber watering can over to the faucet. Reaching out to turn on the tap, she paused to look out the window. There were only a few clouds in the western sky, and a flock of geese was flying past. Migration season was coming.

Fall was Vera’s favorite season, perhaps ever since a little kid. The best parts were the changing colors of the leaves, crunching, and jumping in piles of leaves with a laugh. She looked forward to mugs of hot apple cider, hot cocoa with whipped cream, and spiced pumpkin pies. Fall’s arrival would be heralded at the local doughnut shop, with pumpkin and apple cinnamon crumb doughnuts.

Vera was lost and thought, and realized that the watering can was overflowing, as she forgot to turn of the tap. She shook off her daydream, and poured off the excess water. Making her way over to the house plants along the windowsills, she each gave them their portion.

There was an ivy with cascading leaves, a small rubber tree plant, and some delicate African violets. The aloe vera plant was doing quite well, and thankfully she did not have to use any for recent burns in the kitchen. Three stubby cacti sat in a row, soaking up the southern sun. She didn’t water those today.

Soon, it would be time for coffee and reading the morning paper. It was a little after 7 am and the day had just begun. Vera walked over to open the front door, and deeply inhaled the cool morning air. She smiled, as she could feel it in her bones, the changing of the seasons. The arrival of Fall, was definitely a very welcome thing.