It is a waste to ignore the musings of the mind.
|Writing is the communication of the writer's hopes and dreams. To write is to express the laughter, the tears, the joys of the heart. It is the writer's desire to communicate all his feelings and desires in her/her heart to a reader.|
|Grace saw Martin through tearful eyes and felt the kiss he planted on her cheek. When he bundled Jess in his arms, she knew her little girl was going to be well cared for. She stayed crouched on the ground, praying for Jess and for Martin as they sped to the village hospital.
Ana and her Mom came upon Grace at that minute. They helped her off the ground and led her back toward home. Lita and Jo followed behind in silence, afraid to start a conversation. Their faces were pale against the afternoon sunlight.
"Here we are, Grace, please go and rest in your bedroom," Ana's Mom said.
Grace, as if awakened from a deep sleep, looked up and saw Lita, Jo and Ana staring, their eyes dulled by the accident and their lips were closed tight.
"How can you do this to Jess, girls? How and why didn't you stop her climb the tree?"
She didn't wait for their reply. She began to sob, her heart was breaking, her cries were deep in her breast. The girls just stared at their feet, as if their lips were clamped tight and the guilt in their faces kept them humbled.
Ana's Mom, Martha, took hold of Grace's arm and led her to her room. She closed the door behind her and stayed with Grace for a long while. When she came out, she found the three girls still huddled together, consoling each other. She took pity on them and led them to the kitchen, where she gave them lemonade.
"I want to know what happened out there, Ana," Martha said as the girls took their drink.
"It's not my fault, Mom," Ana said. "Nor it's Lita's and Jo's."
"All right, all right. I didn't say it's any of your faults. I just want to know what happened."
Lita, Ana and Jo eyed each other, deciding who should speak first.
"We tried to stop Jess from climbing the tree," Lita said. "But she did it anyhow. We couldn't stop her because we were asleep."
"What?" Martha did not want to believe what she heard. "You fell asleep... how?"
"We had our picnic and it got hot, so we all laid on the blanket and fell asleep." Jo was quick to answer.
"And while we were asleep, Jess must have gotten up and climbed the tree," Ana added.
"Jess woke us up but she was already up in the tree," Lita said.
"We asked her to come down. At first she didn't want to, then she started to climb down. And that's when it happened." Lita shivered, covered her face with both hands, remembering the sound of the branch breaking and Jess falling down to the ground.
"There was a very loud snap of the branch when Jess stepped on it. All we could do was watch as she crashed, face down, to the ground." Jo started to cry.
Martha was wide-eyed, her mouth opened to say something but she didn't. Instead she felt her knees wobble and she gave in and slumped on the floor.
"We thought she was dead, there was a lot of blood coming out of her mouth and nose," Ana said.
(to be continued)
|Hiding her fear of a scolding from Jess' Mom, Grace, Ana blurted.
"Jess fell off the tree and is I think half-dead on the ground."
Grace flew out of the house, her feet thudded the ground, her heart thumped against her breast, her breathing was tight against her throat, as she prayed for Jess.
"Come on, Ana," her Mom said, pulling Ana as she, too, hurried out of the house.
As they ran after Grace, they heard shouts from behind. They stopped, looked back and saw a group of four men barrelling down on them. The group hurried past them in a rush of breathing. Ana noticed Jess' Dad was one of the group. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Grace practically stumbled as she reached Jess' motionless body. She knelt and cradled Jess' as she saw the blood oozing out of her mouth. Lita and Jo stepped away as Grace rocked her daughter in her arms.
"Oh, my God, oh, my God," Grace breathed, pressing Jess to her breast.
Within minutes, Martin, Jess' father, came upon his family. He did not hesitate. He bent down, gave Grace a kiss on her cheek, picked up Jess without a fuss, his arms bulged with his daughter's weight. He turned, his feet heavy on the ground, as he rushed off. Half-way to the road, a horse-drawn cart waited. He handed Jess to the driver, jumped into the cart and took Jess off the driver, who roared the cart off to the village hospital.
(to be continued)
|Ana, trembling and crying, ran, her feet hardly touching the dusty ground. Her thoughts were ahead of her, though. "What shall I tell Jess' Mom?" As she ran, she realized she could not in all honesty tell Jess' Mom what happened. She stopped and fell to the ground. She looked up and was suddenly aware that her Mom was looking down at her.
"Mom, Mom," she cried. Then she fainted.
"Oh, my god, what is the matter with you?" She held Ana, almost dragging her to the house. "Ana, Ana."
"What's wrong with her?"
"There you are, Grace. My daughter just fainted. I heard some kind of noises and I came out of the house to see what it was all about. I saw Ana running towards me."
"Come on, let's take her to your house." Grace took Ana's other limped arm and both Moms dragged and half carried Ana to the house, the nearest house to the mountain.
In the house, Ana recovered slowly, saw Jess' Mom looking down at her. She sprung up and started crying again.
"I'm sorry, Mom, but there was an accident."
"What accident? And who's hurt. Speak."
"Jess fell off the tree and is half dead on the ground." Ana blurted as she began to cry again.
"Oh, my God, tell me where she is, please." Grace shook Ana's arm.
|"Yo-hoo, everyone, wakey, wakey!!!"
Lita knew something was wrong when she awoke and did not see Jess by her side. She jumped up and almost collided with Jo.
"Sorry, Jo, I must have dropped off to a nap." Lita brushed off the grass on her jeans.
"Oops, sorry, too, I didn't mean to bump into you." Jo suddenly realized Jess was missing.
"Yo-hoo, I'm up here." Jess stood on a large branch of the grape tree, her left hand held on tight to another branch as she waved with her right hand..
"Oh, my gosh, Jess, please come down this minute." Lita ran to the tree, her eyes were wide with alarm.
"Jess, Jess, please come down now." Jo pleaded.
"My gosh, Jess, I don't want your Mom to scold me. Please come down." Ana added her plea.
"Look at you three down there. You're scared to bits. Don't worry, I won't fall. Can you see, I'm holding on to this branch?" Jess was enjoying the looks of fright on her three friends.
Alert now and uneasy, Lita took off her shoes and started up the tree. She took one step up but she fell and landed on her back, on the grass.
"Lita, please don't climb up. I'll be all right." Jess became anxious.
Jo and Ana rushed to Lita and helped her off the grass. They led her back to the blanket, where they sat and had their nap.
For about a minute, Jess looked and waited until the three got to the blanket. When she saw Lita sat down without a word, she realized her friend must really be worried.
"Okay, okay, I'll come down now." Jess started her way down the tree. As she stepped on another branch, it cracked, and Jess went flying down. She reached for something to hold on, but she was falling into space.
Lita, Jo, and Ana heard the branch as it cracked, and they looked up. Aghast and frightened, they saw Jess fall and landed on her face on the ground below. They ran to her when she didn't move.
Lita got to Jess first. She screamed and cried as she knelt to turn Jess over. Jess' face was covered in blood, her eyes were closed, and she was not breathing.
"No, oh no, Jess, wake up, wake up." Lita paled. She turned to Jo and Ana, her face was twisted, her mouth was moving but both Ana and Jo heard no sound from her.
Jo and Ana clung to each other as they froze at the blood oozing out of Jess' mouth and nose. They heard Lita's scream but they just stared and held each other, trembling.
"Ana, run and get Jess' Mom, quickly." Lita shouted as she realized she was shocked at seeing blood. "Hurry, Ana!"
"But... but I don't want to." Ana cried, tears steaming down her cheeks.
"Go now, run." Lita and Jo screamed.
(To be continued)
|She was a young teen, full of promise, excited with the world, a free thinker, as she thought so herself. She grew up with a mother, whose religious beliefs became a daily reminder, to her. She loved her mother but as she became older she realized her mother did not love her.
"Don't climb a tree, Jessica."
"No, Mom, I will not climb a tree."
Off she went, running toward the mountain, where her friends were waiting for her.
It was the mountain she learned to love, just about 500 feet high, and there were pathways that lead up to the top. She and her friends climb the mountain as often as they can, during school holidays.
"Well, finally, you got here." Echoed her friends as she approached them.
"Sorry, guys, but I woke up a bit late."
"Shall we start our climb now?" Lita said, her best friend among the three girls. The other two were Jo and Ana. They were all in the same grade at school.
"Let's!" Jessica led the way. The others followed behind her.
"What are we going to do today?" Lita came abreast with Jessica.
"Actually, I wanted to climb that grape tree that we found yesterday."
"Oh, no, but your Mom did forbid you to climb a tree." Lita was aghast.
"Yes, you must not disobey your Mom, Jess." Jo put in as she followed close to Jessica and Lita.
"I don't want your Mom to scold me if anything happens to you when you climb a tree." Ana echoed as she mentally counted her steps.
"Okay, okay, I hear you all. I will not climb a tree today." Jessica laughed out.
"Here we are. That didn't take us long to get to the top today, eh?" Jessica panted. She found a tree branch and sat on it. The other three found their dead branches, and exhaled loudly.
Jessica looked up and gasped.
"Look at those bunches of grapes up that tree. Bunches of them, and they look like they're ready to be eaten."
"Please, don't do it, please." Lita went white.
"You're not going to, are you, Jess?" Jo and Ana got off their branch and stared at Jessica.
Jessica just laughed, ran to the seven-foot tree, and began to climb it. Lita ran after her and grabbed at her right leg. Jo and Ana followed and grabbed at her left leg.
"Let go of me, you brutes." Jessica laughed as she slid off the tree.
Lita, Jo and Ana let go as they all fell to the ground.
"Well, don't blame me if you cannot have those bunches of grapes. Just look at them. They are ready to be eaten." Jessica got off the grass and started to walk away from the tree.
"We brought some drinks and some sandwiches, just in case we get hungry." Lita said.
"That's right, here, you can have some peanut butter sandwich." Ana took out a sandwich from her bag.
"Thanks, Ana, but I'm not hungry with a sandwich. I really would like to have some of those grapes."
"Please, Jess, don't climb the tree." Lita pleaded.
"We don't want you to get hurt if you fall. That is quite a high tree." Jo said.
"Please, Jess, try not to look at that tree. Why don't we find a better place to eat our picnic?" Lita suggested.
"Yes, why don't we? Look at that mango tree up there. It is shady, and probably we can reach up to pluck some of those mangoes that are just hanging low to the ground. We don't need to climb that tree." Jo added.
"All right, all right." Jessica agreed as she began to walk toward the mango tree.
The other three clapped their hands as they followed Jessica.
|She clung to his right arm as she limped, holding on to her cane with her right hand. She advanced inch by inch toward the field just ahead. She heard the voices and she turned to him.
"Did you hear that?"
"Yes, there must be a whole lot of them, celebrating the return of spring." He laughed, not realizing he dragged her.
"Stop." She breathed hard. "You're dragging me again."
"I'm sorry." He slowed down, and stopped a two steps ahead of her.
"You go on ahead. Don't worry about me."
"No, no, here, take my arm." He turned, and gripped her hand. He slowed to a pace with her.
They neared the festivities just then. The crowd was two-feet deep, there was a fence around the field perimeter. As they got there, he dropped her arm and jumped over the barrier. He joined the crowd without a backward look at her.
She looked awkwardly at the fence and decided it was impossible for her to jump it. She stood for a mere moment, and then turned around. She limped back to the bus stop, without a backward look.
She realized at that very moment she was a lost soul without her ID. He had asked for it a few days back, convincing her it was safe in his pocketbook as they travelled. He added it was safe for her to walk without a purse since she had the cane.
She stopped, and thought of calling him. She shook her head and continued her limp toward the bus stop. She had some cash in her jacket pocket, which she knew was enough for a ticket home.
She didn't think he'd miss her. She saw his face when they got to the field. He was excited and his face was all smiles. That was the scene she kept before her as she walked on.
Now she realized she was on her own. However, his words rang in her ears: "I shall never let you down, never leave you because I love you. I will be your protector as we grow old together."
It was a classic pretence. She felt betrayed. She knew then she was not going to believe him at all - no matter what sort of protestations he'd say to her. She sniffed and felt a pain on her left leg. She limped on to the bench at the bus stop. She sighed heavily as she pulled a tissue out of her pocket. She wiped away the tears that stung her.
|The sea air felt good as it warmed me under the bright sunlight coming through the open roof. The sea was calm and the ship was sailing through the waters of the Pacific! The pool was occupied by vacationers who were escaping the coldness of the winter. There were deck chairs, with people either snoozing or reading or just chatting with each other. My husband and I stepped into the Lido Deck!
Yes, it's the open air deck of a cruise ship, the Veendam. For anyone's information, Veendam is a Holland America Line - one of the ships that travel from San Diego, California to the islands of Hawaii.
I remembered how frozen I felt minutes before we boarded the ship. We went directly to our cabin, and changed into appropriate clothing - to enjoy the warm breeze of the sea, and enjoy the laziness of the afternoon!!!
Then came the time to visit the beautiful islands of the Hawaiin Peninsula. What a treat it was. We stepped off the ship, and found our way to a shop - the Segway Shop. The instructers, a guy and his friend from Europe, were superb. We got about 15 minutes of practice (since we have never in our life operated a Segway!), with some sort of nervousness and a weakening of the knees. The practice was over (10 minutes of leaning forward/backward, left/right, bending knees - and off we took to the streets of Maui, sailing into the warm breeze, waving to cars as they sped to their destinations. Believe it or not, cars stopped when we crossed the streets! My thought at that time was, would California drivers have stopped?
We stopped at a Japanese Temple, observed people walking at parks and lanes, took a rest to stare and look at what was left of sugarcane fields, smelled the sweet aroma of coffee plantations, but we were awfully disappointed we did not see any pineapple plantations. No matter, we loved the rolling waves of the sea; participated in learning the "mahalo" (meaning thank you) word, and enjoyed the company of other Segway-learning people!
Then, of course, there was always the shopping areas, the people with smiling faces, and the crowd of vacationers tripping from one area to another.
In the end, we boarded the ship again as we relaxed once more at the Lido Deck; that is, after enjoying the lunch. We wanted to stay a little bit more, but the next island was waiting and we dared not miss it!!!
So we said Aloha to Maui as we sailed to Kawaui!!! Aloha can mean either Hello and/or goodbye!!!
|As we leave the month of December in the year of 2014, we tend to think back and remember what we did that made 2014 special to us.
What did we do to make our life more interesting to write about?
We made writing the focus of our life. We struggled to write fiction, nonfiction, perhaps some autobiography, or even a novel. We determined to keep our writing specially significant, to show how much we have grown, how far we have learned the meaning of showing and not of telling. We have decided to accomplish something that is dear to our hearts: that our writing has grown in stature, in truth, in honesty.
We are, in a sense, looking at how much writing has taken charge of our life. We have dreamed, we have tried to accomplish something that we thought was a mere idea, and made that dream a part of our life. We have succeeded in learning the very heart of writing, and we thought we have embraced that writing as part of our life - for the coming year, 2015.
And so, we now welcome the new year. Are we ready to accomplish more to make our writing much, much more a part of our life this coming new year? Are we ready to continue learning more about the writing, the publishing, the submission, the editing? Are we ready to do more than dream?
Let's do it!!!
|Today I saw him again: a young man, awfully looking thin in his black shirt and pants, begging by the side of the road.
I hated myself for not stopping to talk to him. I cried because I didn't go near him, thinking it might not be "safe" for me. I despised my reaction because I was plain selfish and a hypocrite.
The first time I saw him I thought of my grandson. How terrible it was for me if that young man was my grandson. How did this young boy get to that situation? Why was he begging? Why wasn't he in school? Why? Why? Did he run away from home? Did he have a mother? Did he have a family? Where were they, why did they let this young boy beg and go hungry?
"Are you all right?" asked my husband when I got home.
My emotions got hold of me, and I just flopped down and gave in to tears. Flabbergasted, my husband stood in silence, listening to my "bubble". Many minutes later I calmed down, and I told him what happened on my drive home.
"I understand your frustration," he said. "Remember, though, that young boy may prefer to beg."
"How can you say that? He looked as if he had no "meat" on, so thin and gangly, as if he had had no food for such a long time."
"He probably had an argument with his family, and decided to prove to them he can live without them."
"That was not like him at all, the way he looked. His eyes were expressionless; he didn't smile when someone handed him money, just nodded at the guy in the car. He didn't look aggressive because he merely sat by the side of the road, looking lost and forlorn."
"Maybe he is all alone in the world," added my husband, as he tried to give reason to the young boy's situation.
"But surely, there must be agencies that are able to find such people and take them in and give them help?"
"There are lots and lots of reasons that he ended up begging. But I'm sure you cannot blame yourself for what happened to him."
"I'm not, I felt so guilty for not stopping, for not strong enough to talk to him, for not giving him a chance to tell me all about him."
"Would you like me to drive you back where he is, so you can talk to him?"
When we got to the place, the young man was no longer there. I asked the shop owner if he noticed the young boy, begging in front of his shop. But the shop owner said he did notice him, however, he got rather busy with his customers he didn't see him leave.
I looked for him at the side of road every day since, but I never saw him again.