Conditioned to wait. Proceed with caution only once approval is granted. Check weapons, assess immediate threats, wait for notification.
The barn was in clear sight of the house. He built it that way so that she could see it from the kitchen window. She watched him while she fussed about doing her lady duties, he would say. He liked to know that she kept an eye on things, on him, while he worked. Feeding the pigs and tending to the hens. He was outside all day, with the animals, thinking only of her. Farming can be lonely. But not for him. He wore a smile all day, knowing that she was there, in the window of the kitchen, looking down on the barn, counting the minutes until he would be coming in for lunch.
The sky was dark. The smoke-filled air eliminated a view of the moon or any visible stars. Forest fires were burning too close for comfort. Above me, I saw nothing but blackness, an abyss. I had read something once about nearing a full moon. The energy shift that occurs, the effect it can have on people's moods. Did I wonder?
Once upon a time, in a land far and away from here, there lived a young boy with thick brown hair that fell across his forehead in rich, luxurious curls. Bertrand was full of zest and ambition and maintained goals greater than most envisioned. On the surface, his life appeared to others to be perfect, he was surrounded by maids and nurses providing for his every whim, but it was anything but dreamy in reality.
"Mom!" He cried and rubbed his eye sockets. He woke from his slumber alert. The air was dry, his throat parched from lack of water. His eyes darted to the left and then to the right, desperately searching the vast darkness, seeking the woman he knew as a mother. He saw her nowhere. He stood up and dragged his blanket. Once a pale shade of blue, it was now grey and lifeless, worn thin in places that he rubbed on his cheek.
The trees stood perfectly still, their branches barren, waiting patiently for life to emerge from their thick skin. Wind hardened the trees, rendering them heartier, more inclined to survive the following season. Each spring promised a new beginning. The eruption of tender grasses and sweet wildflowers signalled the animals that it was safe to give birth to their offspring. New life quickly surrounded the pond. Baby rabbits, birds, and deer all were learning the traditions of their forefathers, eager to frolic amongst each other.
Morning came earlier for me than I would have liked. It happened often, but I adapted. I rose, pulled on a pair of dungarees and a blouse, brushed my teeth and hair and promised myself today was going to be a fantastic day. I just knew it would. Every day had the same beginning and the same prospects. Equal opportunity for goodwill, equal chances for blessings to fall from the sky and smack me in the face.
Ruth met Howard in a dark pub on Maisonneuve Boulevard in Montreal. Now finished with the Army, she was eager for change. Her assignments were complete, her uniforms now retired. Instead, she now wore a pencil skirt and a silk blouse with long loose sleeves and tailored cuffs that featured pearl buttons. She opted to wear kitten heels because she didn't feel the need to appear taller, and her feet preferred the comfort of a shoe that respected women's rights to choose. Ruth was an admirable woman.
Daniel opened the apartment door with a key he had possessed since he was a boy. Still on the same piece of green yarn, it slipped in the keyhole easily. The air was stale. The place had been closed tightly for too long, drapes drawn on the windows shutting out the world. The hardwood floors needed cleaning. He moved slowly from room to room, taking in the smells, touching the furniture, noting the photographs carefully hung on the walls, and in small wooden frames on the tabletops. He peeked in the fridge; he sighed, saddened; there was little work to be done in there. Confirmation that he hadn't been eating properly. Finally, Daniel set his coat on the back of his favourite chair, an overstuffed club covered in dark lavender velvet. He loved it because it was eccentric and comfortable, everything that he had known Theodore to be.
Braun's Imagination, a divinely unique toy store on Whyte Avenue in Brooklyn, was designed for children of all ages. Alfred Braun constructed the store out of an empty shell from a leftover clothing manufacturing warehouse into a magical space of wonder. It was something to be seen in the nineteen forties immediately before the United States entered the Second World War. With walls of brick and a shining hardwood floor, Alfred filled the shelves with shiny toys and books. The Great Depression had left the hearts and wallets of many homes broken. Alfred hoped to improve morale in general. To put a jump back into the step of his banker, to see more school teachers smile, to hear the laughter of children in the streets of Brooklyn where he had decided to settle.
I was the second born. We were squished in like sausage meat in a casing. I couldn't wait to get myself out of there, too-tight of quarters for this guy. Unless you've been through it, you have no point of reference. I was the second to be born and the first male. I am a dominant and capable alpha. If I remember correctly, there were five of us. There are parts of my first few weeks that are fuzzy. It is natural. I understand that it happens to humans as well. Forgetting things from the first days of life. Anyway, there were two boys, I think, and three girls in our litter.