From Charleston SC
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw Emily sat at the table, slowly stirring her coffee. What had happened the previous evening had left her more than restless throughout the long night. This morning, she was weary, her nerves frayed and her thoughts jumbled. She had not expected the reaction she’d received when she’d told Joshua she was leaving him and taking Zoe with her. She had expected an angry, belligerent man, but all she had witnessed instead was a seemingly broken and distraught one. The amazement on his face had not lied: he was stunned. She had watched as he’d slowly lowered himself into the sofa’s cushion, his head in his hands, and begun to weep. Despite the seriousness of the moment, a grimace of a smile had graced her lips as she steeled herself and thought, “Crocodile tears. There is no way he still loves me.”
A Twist of Time
The day was a formidable one at best with the downpour of rain and the occasional streaks of lighting that stretched across the expanse of the skies along with the ominous rolls of thunder. Looking out the large window that covered the entire wall of one side of the den, Piper yawned and sank deeper into the cushions of the comfy sofa, the book she was reading perched on her chest. It was such a dreary day that she could not help feeling sleepy again even though she’d risen later than usual that morning.
The Antique Trunk
I don’t really know why I gravitated to the old, dilapidated trunk in the antique store that afternoon while wandering amidst the many vendors’ galleries, but I did. It was as though I was compelled and drawn to the old trunk for reasons unbeknownst to me. I remember running my fingers over it, feeling the raised ridges of peeling paint as I gingerly lifting the faded, damaged lid. From what I could see at the time, it held an assortment of old clothing, costume jewelry, books, and other such items. It was an intriguing assortment of unknown treasures, and I was sure there would be something within that would prove to worth at least the asking price of $28.00, so I had quickly rummaged through my purse for the money, as though unable to do otherwise. I didn’t really have the extra $28.00 to spend on frivolous things, but instinct told me my purchase would not be in vain. It as though the old box had called my name, urging me to claim it as my own.
A Poet is Born
It was an excruciatingly bitter, cold night in January of 1788 at the house on Holles Street in London. Frost littered the windowpanes, icicles hung from the rooftops, and snow fell softly with gaslights spreading their dim light across the cobblestone street as the wind howled its fury. Upstairs on the second floor, a lady’s maid mopped Catherine’s brow as she strained and pushed for the nineteenth time. This was decidedly proving to be no easy endeavor, and young Catherine cried softly between contractions, fearful she would be unable to accomplish this thing called childbirth. In the drawing room downstairs, Captain John, or “Mad Jack” as he was more famously known, paced repeatedly across the Persian rug, pausing to pour himself yet another glass of whiskey. The crystal decanter clinked loudly as he did so. In his semi-drunken and excited state, Mad Jack was unusually clumsy. The servant who stood nearby at the ready mused that it would be no time before the decanter or the glass – or both – were inadvertently dropped and broken.
His name is John, and he is a violinist. He realizes it is April 15, 1912 and only two days before his twenty-second birthday, yet he knows this date will live on in history and well beyond his own years. It is a bitterly cold night, but he continues to play his instrument, tears streaming silently down his ruddy and reddened cheeks. The once larger band he has been playing with up until now has been reduced to a scarce eight members. Despite the dire and tragic circumstances that surround them this April evening, the eight members have made a concerted choice to play on the Boat Deck Level of the Grand Staircase in an attempt to soothe the frantic passengers onboard the large ship. They secretly hope that it will also allay their own nerves and fears.
Thank you, Vocal (For Breaking My Heart)
OK, we’ve all been there at one time or another as a writer. You work hard – very hard – on a particular piece, you edit and fine-tune it time and again, and then, you finally post it for publication. Once your poem, commentary, short story, or even prelude to a novel has been published by Vocal, you find yourself repeatedly checking its stats, sure that the throngs of people on Vocal will love your piece as much as you do. As days – and even weeks - go by, your stats change only minimally, so you try to convince yourself that not everyone has the same refined taste as you when it comes to writing. Surely, however, Vocal in all its prestigious glory will recognize your work’s superb nature and award you that long-awaited and coveted prize - or at the very least, bestow an accolade of praise. So, you patiently wait, day after day, week after week, until the designated day finally arrives, all too sure that your name and piece of work will be cited as a big winner. Repeatedly throughout the day, you check the Vocal homepage until finally, at long last, the list of winners appears. What? Wait a minute and hold the presses. There must be a huge mistake because your name is completely missing from the list. In abject despair and disbelief, you throw yourself on the floor and cry for at least half an hour, completely and utterly devastated. Sure, there were thousands upon thousands of entries, but everyone you know loved your piece and assured you it would be a winner, so how did this happen? How in the world did you not get it right this time? You were so sure you’d written the perfect piece.
Letter to Verona
Dearest Juliet, I write this letter to you, fair Juliet, where you are in far away Verona, Italy, because, unbeknownst to you, we share a bit of common ground, so to speak. Since you are a woman of such passion, I am quite sure that you will be able to understand why I feel drawn to write to you. Please allow me to elaborate a bit.