Abigail was walking home from the dollar store when she heard the little voice. She had the day off and needed some new rubber gloves for washing dishes, as she was allergic to the soap. It was a beautiful Fall morning; warm and breezy and the few leaves that had already deserted their branches were racing with the wind across the road and through the grass.
Abbey liked to look around, she found other people, and the hints about their lives you could see in passing, fascinating. She was on a quiet street and at first the voice sounded like a squeak. She kept walking, ever mindful of rats in this city but then she heard it again, and recognized words this time.
“Hello, hello,” the little child’s voice called.
She tried to see where the voice was coming from. And then there it was- the house she was passing had the front door propped open and the little girl was standing there looking out. Abbey gave her a quick wave and kept walking.
The sound of little bare feet slapping concrete followed her and the little girl grabbed onto her shirt.
“Hello,” the little girl said.
Abbey smiled warmly at her. The girl’s clothes were worn and tattered and her face was smudged with dirt.
“My mother won’t wake up,” the little girl said. Continue reading
By Edele Winnie
Ellen cursed and tried to start the school bus again. The morning was cold and it was starting to rain. The motor coughed and choked but did not catch. The last of the other school buses had just left the muddy lot. She pounded the steering wheel angrily while the rain began to drum on the roof.
All the grade school kids would be waiting in the storm. She had no way of contacting anyone at this point. Ellen considered giving up, but shook it off. She just wasn’t made that way. She was a fighter. She found herself staring at number 13, the bus at the back of the lot that was never used.
It had begun to pour. The dull grey sky dumped a slurry of rain onto the bus lot. With her coat over her head, Ellen hurried to the little building- they called it the key shack- where things were stored. The keys, all gone now, had labelled hooks. The hook labelled thirteen was empty. It had always been empty.
There was no phone in the shack and Ellen had forgotten her cell phone. She could drive somewhere, she thought, and phone her boss. By then all the kids would be wet and late for school. Thunder cracked overhead and startled her. The rain was pounding down and she did not want to rush out. There were cupboards in the shack and she began to look through them. She found the keys in the old table with the battered drawer. The key fob read thirteen. There were two keys, one was obviously for the ignition and the other appeared to be for a padlock. There was a raincoat by the door and Ellen pulled it on quickly. If she was going to get those kids to school on time she had to leave now. She opened the door and ventured out into the storm to number thirteen.
She did not look long because she was hurrying in the rain but the bus looked fine. The tires looked good and there was less rust than on her usual number 42 bus. The door was padlocked. Ellen fiddled with the keys and popped the lock off and climbed the steps. The bus did not smell like feet, or lunches, or little girl nail polish. It smelled a little musty. Outside the storm hammered on the bus roof, lighting punched the sky and thunder howled. Ellen was safe inside. Continue reading
By Edele Winnie
“These are good quality snippers.” Mark commented. He was a tool guy, so he knew what he was talking about.
They were pruners, the long handled kind, well used, probably fifty years old.
“They don’t make things with this kind of quality anymore.” Mark continued, handing them back to Sheila, his pretty, petite brunette wife.
She accepted them carefully. The pruner blades were shiny and extremely sharp. Someone had taken very good care of them over the years. Even though her hands were small the pruners seemed to fit her perfectly.
Mark and Sheila had liked the house the first time they saw it. It was small, but they were not planning children. The house was in good repair and the surrounding garden was impressive. It was not fancy but rather well maintained and lovingly cared for. Sheila imagined that the pruner had been used to trim the lilacs and dogwoods. Continue reading
Story by: Henry Martin
Photo by: Karl Strand
She’s been haunting me for years, ever since the fateful night I took her from her bed, and carried her into my car.
Now and then, when I’m alone and everything is hushed, I can still hear her cries as she makes her way toward me. Then I stop wherever I am at the moment, staring motionless until she reaches me. She is wearing the same raincoat she had on when I put her in the back seat of my car, slammed the door, and sped away from her mom.
She used to be the object of my hidden affection—affection I could never express when her mother was around. But as soon as I found myself alone with her, I would run my fingers through her blond hair, whispering gentle words of love. My Lee . . . that’s what I had called her. My beautiful Lee. Continue reading