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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2279481
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         Kendra, the groundhog, worked hard during the winter season. Each year, when February 2nd rolled around, she was in fear of seeing her own shadow. If she had seen her shadow, she would've had to retreat into her den. This meant that there were going to be six more weeks of winter. If she didn't see her shadow, it meant that spring would be arriving early.

         The winters were cold. The trees were bare. This made Kendra feel lonely, isolated, and afraid. When the winds came up, she began to cuddle underneath the covers. The howling wind made her quiver, while the sound of the river, crashing on the rocks, made her want to scream. She didn't know what to do. She did gain enough courage to gather some wood. Sitting by the fireplace made her feel cozy and warm.

         When the nighttime came, the moon was full. The coyotes would howl so loud that it made her nervous. She knew better than to go out at night; if the coyotes would've seen her, she could've easily been their dinner. Being attacked was a nightmare that haunted her every night. Too much craziness happens when the full moon is out.

         One night she had a clever idea. She decided to play along with all the craziness and howl at the moon. No one would ever know the difference, at least that's what she thought.

         Kendra went outside and heard an awful loud sound. The growl was horrendous. She was horrified. What on earth could it be? Could this be the end of her? How was she going to protect herself? The sound was getting closer. She couldn't see what was around her. All she could see was her shadow. The shadow was getting creepier and creepier. Then a part of the shadow was reaching out to grab her. Help me, Help me, Please help me!

         She woke up to find that it was a nightmare. Was she relieved? You might say that, up to a point. Many nights were like this. Startled by the shadow, she couldn't lie down and go back to sleep. She dreamed that the nightmares would go away. No such luck. This was happening continuously. She kept saying, I'm not as strong as I could be, not as daring as I should be, and not as brave as I ought to be.

         Before her, an image of a giant pumpkin was growling at her. The pumpkin had a look that would scare anyone away. It had an upside-down smile or frown that was very menacing. One look made her feel like she would be mauled by a group of bears. This was an angry, hateful, pumpkin that haunted her on a continuous basis. Everywhere she went, her legs would tremble and her emotions became out of control. Being eaten alive wasn't something that she wanted to carry on her shoulders. Her mind was dragging; it felt like she was carrying a heavy burden, unbearable to think of anything pleasant.

         February 2nd was different this year. It was 2029. When adding these numbers up, 2+2=9, you would get 13. Kendra woke up and gave herself a stretch. She walked out the door and soon discovered that she didn't see her shadow. This meant that an early spring was arriving. She felt peaceful after hearing the birds chirping happily. The sun was shining; it wasn't too hot, it was just right.

         For the first time in Kendra's life, she felt safe and secure. She decided to go for a walk; it was a gorgeous day for it. Contented, alert, and feeling at ease, she did just that.

         She took a walk along the lake, picked up a few stones, and skimmed them across the water. The rippling effect created dreams that brought joy to her life. She decided to become the best groundhog ever. She didn't want anyone to experience the horrors of winter ever again. To be able to do this, she knew that she would have to come up with a plan.

         Sitting back and glazing at the cloud formations, she had an idea. There was a cloud formation that had caught her eye. It had three big hearts, (1) it would encourage others, (2) be thoughtful and kind, and (3) become brave and strong. This would give them the ability to be assured that nothing would try to scare or harm them.

         On February 13, 2029, she met another groundhog. He was solidly strong, handsome, and full of courage. He introduced himself as Spunky. Spunky was a devout groundhog who was full of understanding and had a good insight into how to diffuse a situation. Kendra couldn't ask for a better groundhog than he was.

         Spunky caught Kendra by noticing that her goal in life was to make people comfortable. She didn't want anyone to be afraid.

         They had a long conversation. She let it be known to him about the fears she had about seeing her shadow. She told him about her nightmarish encounters. Like the gentleman he was, he offered to allay her fears. This was an exciting day for her!

         Spunky was able to give her comfort from all her pain. Was this going to be a friendship turning into love? A lifelong companion? Would there be a marriage proposal?

         The first day of summer came around in June of 2029. This was the day that Spunky thought of proposing. Without a doubt, he was all pumped up about her saying yes! He decided to put on a spacesuit to celebrate this wonderful occasion. Kendra declined the proposal; she has only known him for four months. Spunky was disappointed by her rejection. He thought that she would jump at it. Little did he know that she would end up having another nightmare, even when everything had been going so well. She was afraid to mention that she was having another setback.

         Spunky made himself scarce for a while. He decided to make another proposal on July 4, 2029. During his absence, Kendra realized that she may have made a mistake by turning down his proposal. Hoping that he would return, she set up a table with good food. She had prepared juices that left a refreshing taste in your mouth. Her plan worked. So, once again, Spunky came along with a beautiful bouquet of roses with baby's breath. He presented them to her, looked at her with those beautiful eyes, and said, "Kendra, will you marry me?" This time, without hesitation, she happily said yes, Spunky, of course, I will. Then, he said, "Kendra, you have made me so happy."

         Kendra explained to him why she turned him down when he had asked her before. He told her that she never had to be afraid again. He wanted her to know that he was there to keep her safe. Wow! Kendra was feeling secure. Kendra and Spunky were wed on July 4, 2029.

         Where would the honeymoon take place? It took place at Honeyville Island; an island located in the mountains of Switzerland. It was a destination where people in love would go. The view of the mountains was breathtakingly beautiful. The rising and setting of the sun put you in a romantic mood. The ambiance in the air was thrilling. Everyone was holding hands while eyes were sparkling, and lips were shining. Words were spoken eloquently; they left much room for decisiveness. When expressing love toward one another, precisely the way you want it takes a great deal of precision.

         Kendra and Spunky's love was filled with devotion. They vowed that they would be there for each other even though circumstances would try to tear them apart. It was a refreshment of their dedication to commitment. It's a clear-headed approach to a genuine bonafide kind of love. It was the perfect place for their honeymoon. Anyone with this in mind would be excited for them. Kendra and Spunky were able to enjoy their place for a month.

         When they returned in August 2029, they were fully rejuvenated. They were known as Kendra and Spunky Clevenger.

         Kendra and Spunky have many challenges ahead of them. One was to show that they were true to their vows. If they were to fail, then other groundhogs wouldn't trust their kind to help them.

         On September 1, 2029, an incident came up that was sure to cause division between them. A woman with pompous words told everyone that Spunky was unfaithful to her. She said that he was sneaking around when she was gone. Even though Kendra knew better, it caused her to have doubts about him. After that, a pompous man was telling Spunky that Kendra was sneaking around on him. At this point, Kendra demanded an explanation from him. Spunky insisted that it wasn't true, but, in Kendra's eyes, he was lying. Spunky was deeply hurt by this. He didn't know what to do about this; he was clueless. He loves Kendra and wants to be her lifeline of security. How was he going to regain her trust? He decided to tell her where he was at all times and let her know when he was leaving. Perhaps a bit extreme, but he wanted her to know that he could be trusted. He needed to give her more hugs and kisses; this would show her how valued she is to him.

         On Christmas day, December 25, 2029, he would surprise her with the company of other friendly groundhogs. Whenever he'd be away, she would have company. He wanted to reassure her that she would never have to be alone. The groundhogs welcomed her with open arms. Kendra was surprised beyond belief. She couldn't thank Spunky enough. She decided to get a mistletoe to hang above the bedroom door. When he walked through the door, she gave him a nice big kiss. She told him that she wouldn't mistrust him again. She said that she knew better than to mistrust him. She didn't know why this happened.

         Things were looking up for Kendra. Her insecurities became security; she didn't want any woman to make her have doubts about her man. Spunky had to set it straight with the women that Kendra was his one and only woman. This meant that he wouldn't tease her about having other women; this was a rule that he valued, because, when you have a good woman, you don't need to cause doubt in her about talking about other women. Spunky wasn't afraid to speak to other men when he heard them talking about another woman in their life. He tells them, "Stop! If you have a good woman in your life, you don't want to risk losing her by talking about other women. It is bound to happen if you do that." Of course, some said, "Yeah, right, she knows that I wouldn't do that." Many will find that after doing this too many times, their woman will have doubts about their relationship and will eventually leave.

         Kendra was proud of her man, Spunky, for speaking up. His mission was to guard her against all that. It is a trust issue. She could depend on him to stick up for her when needed. Reliability is an important factor in a relationship.

         Spunky has a lot of responsibility. He wants to build a greenhouse so that she can grow flowers of her choosing. She would have her place to relax and unwind. He thought this would relieve her of the tension that's been building up inside of her. Having peace and harmony makes it better for everyone; it makes the environment a better place to live. Kendra will have a sanctuary where no one can harm her.

         Kendra's greenhouse would be completed in the springtime, thought Spunky. Sure enough, springtime came in March of 2029, and her greenhouse was completed. It was the day of unveiling for Kendra. Spunky had her put on a mask; this was so he could take her to the greenhouse without her seeing it beforehand. He took off her mask and showed it to her. She couldn't believe her eyes, it was everything that she dreamt about. Joy filled the air; no words could describe how she felt. She gave Spunky the biggest hug and kiss to express how she felt.

         Everything was going fine in her greenhouse, until, one day, someone took the flowers that were beautifully arranged. Who could've done such a thing? She mentioned this to Spunky, and he was forlorn. He decided to do some investigative work. The thief was none other than a bear. Of course, Kendra became frightened again. She was afraid that she was going to be eaten. When the bear was caught, it became annoying. Trying to figure out what all the commotion was about, it was told that Kendra went here for rest. The bear wanted to know who Kendra was. A person who didn't want to be identified told the bear about her fears. This didn't sit well with the bear. When he found out that Kendra was a groundhog, he wanted to try and pursue her. The chase was on. It wasn't long before the bear found Kendra outside sitting on the porch step. The perfect opportunity arose for an attack.

         The bear stiffened up, its mouth was closed, then it slowly began to bear its teeth. Just seeing this incident taking place, made every bone in your body begin to shake. It was like your body becomes frozen, like an iceberg or a statue. Talk about the fact that your end could be near. When Kendra opened her eyes, she saw the bear approaching angrily. What did she do? It was unbelievable what she did. She stood up as tall as she could, with her hands raised, and looked the bear straight in the eyes, pointed her finger at it, and said, "I know you want to eat me, but, I am telling you that you won't find me fit to eat. If you try, the taste will be so rotten that you'll spit me out. You'll learn your lesson by never thinking about me again." This made the bear cower down; it turned around and ran speedily away from her. If it wasn't for Spunky's help in protecting her, she never would've become so bold. Kendra was relieved of all her fears.

         When Spunky heard what Kendra had done, he was very proud. That's my woman, said Spunky, to all friends and family members. They all agreed that she'd come a long way from being the timid groundhog that she was. Timidity brings courage, courage brings strength, strength brings bravery, and bravery brings hope. Together, they provide a willingness to persevere when struggles become too overwhelming.

         Spunky and Kendra Clevenger thought that after two years of feeling good about themselves, they had everything under control. Even Spunky didn't think that anything could go wrong. Well, once again, another incident happened. This time the weather was foggy with a chance of showers. They acquired space to be foster parents to animals that were abandoned. Their goal was to make them feel that they have a purpose in life. They needed to feel accepted, rather than be stuck in their downtrodden state of mind.

         It was soon autumn in September 2029. It was beginning to get cooler outside. An intruder appeared on their land taking pictures. Why was he/she doing this? What kind of trouble was going on now? It was good that they had security. They checked their cameras and found that the intruder was throwing chickens onto their land. They were mocking them by calling the groundhogs chicken. They were told that they were acting like chickens by squawking all the time. Why do people need to attack two groundhogs that have been nice to everyone? They are very much in love; they don't deserve to have such treatment. Besides being told that they squawk like chickens, they also remarked, that they lay eggs like chickens too.

         After putting their heads together, they decided to put some kind of trap outside, hoping that she/he would get caught. They found out who the intruder was. It was Sydney the Gopher. Sydney was always digging up holes. "Hey!, what do you think you're doing?", cried Spunky. "Here, take this shovel and cover up the holes", Spunky thundered. Sydney was so scared that he ran all the way home. Did this prevent Sydney from digging holes on the property? No, he is a gopher, that's what gophers do. What could Kendra and Spunky do to alleviate such a problem? Kendra had a bright idea; a lightbulb went off inside her head. Since gophers dig holes, why couldn't they section off a piece of their property for Sydney to dig holes in? There was one requirement; when he dug a hole, he was to kick the dirt back into the hole. This meant that he was able to dig holes, but, once he did, by covering them up, the property would look good to others. This should make both parties happier. Another thought was that Sydney could dig some holes so that Kendra could plant more flowers. Now, that wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Better News Ahead?

         The Clevengers are happy. Sydney decided to dig holes for a lovely flower garden. When the flowers were in bloom, the colors were extraordinarily beautiful. To view the property now, you would see the love in the work that was performed. It's truly amazing what love, dedication, and friendship can do. It does wonders for the mind, soul, and body. Nothing could be more perfect than this.

         The future looked bright and filled with promise. What a wonderful feeling! The ladybugs, hummingbirds, and butterflies were displaying a panoramic display of total brilliance. A brilliance so sublime, that any admittance of negative thinking, coming from a bad taste of memories, is a past inclination toward bad fragrances. Remember, a wishbone from a chicken makes your wishes come true if you're the one that gets the most significant broken piece. Wishing upon a star will bring beautiful memories; your destiny is waiting for you. The fulfillment of your dream is the most significant accomplishment that you can have; it brings happiness to yourself and those around you.

         Kendra, Spunky, and Syndey were having a glorious time working together. Life is changing all the time, no one experiences happiness without having setbacks (this is part of life). It is harder for some than most, to handle setbacks. They're not easy, but, finding a way to get through them can make all the difference in the world. When you're successful, says Spunky, then you can claim victory when overcoming obstacles. Sydney, the mole, agreed with what he was saying. When I'm digging a hole out of boredom, I can feel good about the results of seeing amazing flowers grow. Sydney saw for himself that flowers are planted, they bloom, wilt, and die. Even though Sydney felt blue (depressed), when his flowers died, he was able to revive himself; he experiences happiness, joy, and love, from what he was able to do. He thanked Spunky and Kendra for showing him such hospitality and good advice.

Winter of December 20, 2029

         Winter arrived on December 20, 2029. The first day of winter brought another strange visitor. Forgetting to mention that Kendra grew up in Flower Garden, New Bulbland, she learned that Spunky came from Seedling, Bloomswell. Very different places amounted to well-known flowers, coming directly from the seedlings that have grown into a well-grown flower, well-developed, perfectly bloomed, and, in its elegance, stands tall and firm in strength. Positive thoughts can make a dreary garden into a landscape of colors; its arrangement is well equipped for a nice event. It has a fantastic appeal that makes the color of your eyes sparkle, twinkling away at the love you've got in your heart. Another way of saying it is that every beat of your heart shines for that special someone in your life.

         Kendra, Spunky, and Sydney had the same nightmare. They saw an angry pumpkin blasting away at them for not paying attention to it. The pumpkin demanded their attention. There happened to be a full moon this very night. The owls were screeching; their hooting was loud enough for the ground to shake. It made the bears come out of their den. They ran around in circles, while the porcupines were sticking together with their needles glued so tight, that they weren't able to pull themselves apart. Talking about porcupines, what sticks together, stays together. This was a joke, so bizarre, that the porcupines had a porcupine needle fight. Soon, the angry pumpkins and the porcupines had a battle between them. The owls tried to chase them away from each other by hooting and screeching viciously at them. Did this do anything to end the battle? No, it did not. It looked like it was going to be a fight to the finish. What would it take to end the feud, before someone got hurt or killed? Out of the blue, a hawk by the name of Digger swooped down and picked up the porcupines. Then, it dropped them into a pond. Digger returned to swoop down and pick up some angry pumpkins. This turned out to be the perfect time to smash the pumpkins, turning them into a nice big pumpkin pie. Suffice it to say, this ended the battle between the porcupines and the angry pumpkins.

The New Year

         Christmas was near and the New Year of 2030 would soon reign in. 2030 was interesting. You add 2 + 3 together, and you get 5. Having two zeroes in the year meant that there would be no end to the amount of fun they'd be having. The added version of 2 + 3 = 5, means that they'd have five times the amount of joy. What better way of knowing that the New Year will be a time of rejoicing and gladness? Finally, they'd be relieved from all the chaos of the previous year.

         Kendra's favorite flowers were the tulips. Her thinking was that two lips pressed together would be ideal for having a romantic dinner. It's a fondness that describes the emotions that drew them together at the beginning. Having conflicts in a relationship will have an impact on whether it can remain strong, or whether it will collapse from the turmoil it brings. When storms hit, it can crush your dignity; the very place where your character comes out. Emotions can be stuffed to the point where you're not wanting to talk. A mixture of feelings will enter into this. Sadness can turn into anger, which can only lead to words that are harmful to the other person or animal. It's important to break that cycle and open up to one another. Attempt to explain why you're feeling the way you do. The other person may be feeling similar things. Once these feelings are expressed, a good outcome would be to give each other a pat on the back or a hug. This will alleviate the pent-up emotions that led to a bitter feeling; a rotten taste that doesn't quit eating away at you. This is where hatred can develop.

Running for Office

         Spunky and Kendra's friends wanted them to run for political office. "Not us," said Kendra, "this would only bring all my fears to the surface; everyone would know how vulnerable and weak I am regarding fear. What would the people think of me then?"

         As the New Year went on, Kendra talked to Spunky about the possibility of the two of them running for political office. "Kendra", said Spunky, "what do we have to offer to the people?" Sydney happened to overhear the conversation. He said, "why not come up with an acrostic poem for the words political office?" They agreed that Sydney could work on that.

Put on your armor for protection,
Often; it will make you feel safe and secure.
Live out your life for the betterment of your soul.
Increase your knowledge; it will bring good
Thoughts about yourself in manner and deed.
Involve yourself in the interest of
Caring for other people by your
Actions; you can help people
Live in a place of peace with understanding.

Offset the negativity with words of a
Finer way of helping others live
Fuller lives with the support of prayer.
Intelligence, used wisely, will
Continue to reflect lower-income people
Effectively and efficiently.

         Sydney presented his acrostic poem to Kendra and Spunky. He was proud of himself for the work he'd done. It suited the groundhogs well. They congratulated Sydney for doing such a commendable job.

Getting on the Ballot
         The first step to getting their names on the ballot was to share the Acrostic Poem. The second step is to get them on social media. This was going to be a challenge. Kendra knew that the media would intensify her fears. Can she withstand the pressure?
         Kendra was enjoying her flower garden when the media snuck up on her by taking camera shots. She got spooked by this, but the coverage of the garden was a spectacular introduction for a nice couple. This was deserved. With great precision, the words would articulate the way they met, what they've been through, and how they pulled together to overcome hardships. Kendra felt that she was ready to be a candidate for political office. Spunky was also up for a challenge, so he agreed to put his name on the ballot also.

Landslide Victory

         Sydney was happy to go on the campaign trail with them. It was November 11, 2030, and election day was here. Sydney came up with a new name for their political party. The name of the party was the Groundhog Rationality Party. Would this name be a stickler? Well, it worked. They pulled it off with a landslide victory. Spunky and Kendra were surprised. They weren't quite sure what to say. They thanked the voters for electing them and said that they would do their best job to support their causes.

Life at the Groundhog House

         Election Day was over. What would be expected from them, now that they were living at the Groundhog House? The house was nicely decorated with furnishings far beyond what Kendra even imagined. She has never seen anything as nice as this before. She was in total comfort.

         There was a reporter that was very skeptical of all the attention that was being given to Spunky, and Kendra. He began to ask them what seemed like hundreds of questions. Being a bit miffed at what was going on, Kendra kindly asked the reporter what the deal was. What is it that you are searching for? " The reporter was getting uptight. He said that it's important for everyone what you're all about. I think that you are nothing but phonies. I don't believe that you are speaking the truth, because you're liars. This rattled Kendra. Why do you not believe that we're telling you the truth?" For now, the reporter was silent. He was suspicious now because he thought that she was hiding something since she had questioned him.

Secret Revealed

         Kendra thought about what transpired with the reporter from social media. She wondered what he was going to do. After a few days had passed, she couldn't believe what she had heard on the news. The broadcast was about Kendra's fears. What will I do now? This weighed heavily on her shoulders. She immediately began to think about the angry pumpkins and bears. She was going to talk to Spunky. After all, he was her saving grace. Spunky said to her, "We are going to pray about this. Let's get down on our knees and talk to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ about this. Kendra thought that Spunky had the best idea ever. They got on their knees and Kendra began to pour out her heart to God. She told Him about the fears she had concerning angry pumpkins and bears. Right after she prayed, she didn't feel stressed anymore. She felt a calmness that wasn't experienced in her life before. She knew that she would be able to face any situation coming her way.

Problems Handled

         After the broadcast, phone calls began pouring in. The news media spoke highly of Kendra and Spunky. There was a podcast made about how to keep angry pumpkins and bears away from you. It showed a little girl looking at a huge pumpkin and a bear. The girl turned into a giant version of herself. The pumpkin and the bear turned around and ran fast the other way. This didn't mean that Kendra wouldn't have problems, but she was able to handle them better.

Anniversary Date

         Spunky and Kendra Clevenger wanted to make a day of celebration. It was the first anniversary of being elected into political office. They wanted everyone to be a part of this. It was going to be a party that no one would forget. The bash would be set up with no alcohol, drugs, or smoking. There would be a place to do karaoke, dance, and play games. A live band would be performing different genres of music. It would be a blast and a half!

Afterward Conversations

         The live band had everyone tapping their toes. Most people were out on the dance floor having a jolly good time. There were fast dances and slow dances. So far, there have been no complaints. It was nice to put on an event without anyone complaining. The conversations were heartwarming, uplifting, and satisfying. The rumors about the party were flying. They asked when the next party would happen. Kindness, laughter, and joy filled their hearts with caring and love. The time was worth having another celebration. Was it going to happen? Time will tell, but, for now, it looked like there would be more of these events in the upcoming years.

Written by Anna Marie Carlson
Preferred Author
August 30, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Anna Marie Carlson (annamc.poet at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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