Darren McCarthy’s fearful screams could be heard across the restaurant, as his mother whisked him to the darkened coat check room. The check girl immediately saw what was happening and got him into the room quickly.
“Ma’am! Is everything okay?” “He’s going to be fine. He’s just afraid.”
His mom cradled his head and comforted him.
“What happened, ma’am?” “He watched a scary movie last night. The artwork in the ceiling made him remember it.” “Which movie?” “The Poseidon Adventure.” “That doesn’t seem so bad.” “Movies and reality are not so different in his eyes.”
(Author’s note: Took last week off due to the fires in Oregon. Back today. Enjoy!”)
Dance Hall Days
by Miles H. Rost
A staple of New York youth. A way for the kids of the neighborhood to have fun and forge long lasting friendships.
When us kids needed to hash out things, we didn’t take to our fists. We took to the sticks. Whoever ended up scoring the most, or when our moms called us in after the sun went down, they would carry the day.
Once we moved to the west coast, there was no more stickball. You moved up to the sandlots. The skills learned translated well for the batting, but the running killed us.
Author’s Note: Welcome again. Things were busy this week, and I’ve been confined to my bed due to a nasty head cold that my unforgiving students gave to me. So, nothing new came out since last week. Hopefully, things will change this week.
Peter Brislin couldn’t contain his excitement at seeing the beautiful new plane that was pulling off to the side of the terminal. The young 8-year old was so excited to see the brand new DC-10.
“Ain’t that a sight, Petey? Big ol’ plane for my big ol’ boy,” his mother said, grinning all the while.
“Is that what I will be flying on today, Mama?”
“Yes, you’ll be flying on that type of plane. You’ll be going to places that you would have never dreamed of while here.”
Peter looked on with excitement, holding his suitcase with his clothes and toys.
“Will you be going with me, Mama?”
“You’re going ahead of me. I will be on a later flight, as I have to finish things here.”
Peter looked up at his mom and smiled.
“I can’t believe I get to go on that plane!”
After waiting for another hour for their plane to pull up close to the terminal gate, the big DC-10 with the large Northwest Orient Airlines banner across the top.
Peter’s mom walked with her son out to the stairs and slowly helped him up the stairs. After they reached the top, she waited next to one of the stewardesses. Peter waved at his mom as he was led to his seat by another stewardess. He buckled in, and his mom smiled a sad smile as the other people filed through the plane.
“Your son is traveling alone today?” the stewardess asked her.
“Yeah, I’m sending him to his uncle and aunt in Portland.”
“You’re not going with him.”
“He’s going to a…a better home. I can’t provide for him here.”
The stewardess looked at her, and noticed the small bruises on her face, covered by a large floppy hat on her head.
“I understand. I wish you could go with him.”
“I wish I could too. I just can’t, not when I have another little girl to protect from the man I married.”
The mother gave a brown paper envelope to the stewardess.
“There’s a note on the front. That’s for the head stewardess. It tells her what needs to happen, and how he needs to get led to where his aunt and uncle will pick him up at the terminal. It also has important papers that they need to have. Guardianship papers.”
The stewardess took the envelope and put it under her arm.
“I’ll do my best to make sure he gets to his destination safely. I’ll even check with the pilot to see if we can do something special for him.”
The women bantered for a few minutes, solemnly. Once all the passengers were on board, the time came to seal up the plane and get ready for takeoff. His mother walked down the stairs and stood far off to the side, looking for her son in the plane. She saw a small hand waving on the plane, and she waved back, tears now flowing down her face.
It would be the last time she would see him.
On the plane, Peter smiled as the plane started taxiing to the end of the runway. The stewardess that talked to his mother came up to him and smiled.
“You must be Peter.”
“Yes. Mom told me I’m not supposed to talk to strangers. But you’re helping me, and you’re nice, so you’re not a stranger.”
She chuckled at Peter’s insistant declaration.
“Well, Peter, my name is Tanya. I will be helping you and the other people in this plane, and if you need anything at all, let me know by pressing this button over here.”
“Could I have a soda?”
“After we take off, I’ll get you what you want. We’ll get you to Portland safely, too.”
“Okay! Thanks Miss Tanya!”
The stewardess smiled, but as she left Peter’s seat, her face betrayed a sadness that no one else could see. The brown package that she had under her arm was now placed in a secure spot on her seat. She would help get Peter where he needed to go.
Klaus started to stir, as the winds gently caressed his face. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. He looked around, and found himself on a beautiful windswept beach.
The sands were like salt and pepper, dark and light waves of sand coarsing across the entire beach. He saw the ocean’s waves crest and fall, the tide coming in and going out. The sky was a beautiful blue, with the sun overhead as though it was late afternoon. It was, in his mind, the perfect time and perfect place. It was where he wanted to be for his entire life, and he was there now.
He started walking down the beach, letting the waves lap at his feet as they lazily came and went. He breathed in the sea air, the scent of salt and marine life wafting like a gentle perfume into his nostrils. He walked for what seemed to be a long time, when he saw someone in the distance.
He continued walking as the figure in the distance got closer. He was happy that he wasn’t going to be the only one on this beach. He kept walking, kicking piles of sand and leaving his footprints behind on the soggy sandy shoreline. As he got closer to the figure, he noticed that it was decidedly feminine. And she had a familiar look to her. He got closer, to the point where he got to see her face.
He blanched, because what he saw could not be true. He was looking at his own mother, who had passed on many years before.
“Mom?! Is that you?” he cried out.
She walked over to him and smiled.
“It is me, Klaus,” his mother said.
“But, I thought you were dead.”
“My body is dead, but you know that my spirit lives on.”
Klaus took a nervous breath.
“But, if you’re not here, is this a dream?”
“It very well may be. However, I am here to offer some help.”
He looked at her, and gave her a look of wonder.
“You have been having trouble with your life, and where you want to go.”
“That is true, mom. I have been wanting to do something that is my passion, and the world seems to want me to go a different direction.”
His mom chuckled.
“Do you remember what I told you when you decided to go to business college?”
“I remember. You told me, ‘Don’t do what you want to do for money, do it because you love it.'”
“That’s right. Now, are you doing what you love to do?”
He looked down at his feet, and shook his head.
“I’m doing what I can to survive.”
“Then, my son, you should change it and look at doing something you love.”
He looked at his chestnut-haired mother, smiling cherub-like.
“I still wish you were around, Mom. I could use your help at times.”
She smiled back at him, and bowed.
“My darling son, I’m always around.”
She suddenly disappeared.
It was then that Klaus awoke from his slumber, in a sweat. He looked around the darkened room, at the alarm clock that signaled 4:30AM. As he turned himself over to go to sleep again, he mused at what he dreamed.
He looked at a picture of his mom, sitting on top of the nightstand.