Monday, November 14, 2011

The Day is Past and Gone

Yes, I have stolen the title of a hymn to use for my post title. But not in vain. The exciting weekend is over, the wedding day a thing of the past. Rebekah has taken on a new name and she is happily off on her honeymoon with her husband. It was an amazing wedding. Everyone looked gorgeous and picture perfect! Not for MY camera, though. My camera never takes perfect pictures. Never. Even if I bang it up and scold it and threaten to throw it in the creek. :P
Everyone was in good spirits at the wedding, especially me. I felt truly blessed to be able to reunite with several of my friends who travelled with me to Poland, and to meet two people who I have been longing to meet for ages: Elisa and Nathan!!! I only knew them over the internet, but finally got to meet them in person this weekend. :D They were awesome!! I also got to meet many of their awesome friends! :) We had a crazy time at a table in the far corner of the reception hall, tearing up the table decorations and mixing a "drink," if you could even call it that. :P It was a mixture of sauce, water, candle wax, and other weird stuff.

The third day of the weekend in Oregon was Sunday, so we stayed for church and then for their fellowship meal afterwards. The awkwardness of meeting people for the first time was over and I found myself having quite a lot of fun! After the meal, a bunch of the teens walked over to a gym and played basketball and volleyball. My sister and I joined in volleyball until we had to leave. Our last moments together were sad. At least for me. I didn't want to leave. :( But alas, all good things must come to an end. All good earthly things, that is. If you know what I mean. :)
Yes, that was my weekend. Very, very exciting. And epic, if I may use the term. :D One of my biggest dreams has become a reality! And I will always be thankful that God has allowed this amazing thing to happen, after so many prayers. :)

NaNoWriMo has been going downhill lately. I am currently only on 14,654 words and slowly making my way up, but I'm supposed to be at 23,000 today. The weekend was a pleasant distraction. I don't regret it in the least. But I really have to procrastinate about my procrastinating and get serious about this again. Another problem is that my ideas are running dry. My imagination is failing me for the first time this month. I have reached Chapter 5, but I have no clear picture what is to come next in the story. I'm really having fun with my characters though! They're my favourite ones yet! :D So, that's a plus.
Alright, I have decided to give in and post my short story. I will do small sections at a time, as it is much too long of a story to post all at once. Please let me know what you think! I always like feedback!

by Julia Duke

I stared at the crumpled letter lying in the corner, neglected by all in the room. Tears stung my eyes and I clenched my fists in anger. I glanced round at my family. Jerry sat in a numb state on the sofa, fixing his gaze on the ground. The half-empty coffee mug on the table left evidence of Mother’s previous presence in the living room.
I returned my gaze to the letter and shut my eyes, trying not to believe it, trying so hard to forget it. The delivery of the yellow telegram had dashed so many hopes to pieces. From the moment the officer placed it into Mother’s hands till the time she opened it and began to read, I knew. The way her eyes pooled with tears before she even came to the fatal words. The way her gaze drifted towards the wall, her face growing pale and her grip on the paper loosening. My heart racing, I snatched the letter out of her hand and read it out loud, not believing at first. Not wanting to believe. My eyes scanned the words again. Walter Tarnika. Killed in action.


Mother’s face peered around the corner of my bedroom. I tried not to look shocked as her thin form came into view. Her hair lay in tangles, while her dress was dirty and worn, the top buttons missing from their usual places. I closed my book and leapt up from my bed, placing the hardcover back on the shelf among many others.
“What is it, Mother?”
“We need to talk. All of us. Jerry’s waiting in the living room.”
“What about?”
“The future. Our family’s future.”
I nodded and followed Mother out of my room, watching as her feet dragged along the floor. Jerry hopped out of the rocking chair as Mother entered, and plopped himself down on the sofa. I took my place beside him, while Mother stood beside the rocking chair, resting a hand on it. She heaved a sigh.
“Children… As you both know, things haven’t been going well for us lately. Money is running low, and we’ve had to ration our food.”
“I’ll say,” Jerry cut in, rolling his eyes.
Mother flashed him a look. Jerry grew silent and dropped his head.
“The thing is, there’s not much for work here and I can’t raise enough income to pay the mortgage for the house.”
Her eyes darkened, contrasting with her pale face.
“It’s been two weeks since the funeral. I think it’s high time we start a new life.”
I glanced at Jerry, then fixed my eyes back on Mother. “Meaning?”
“Meaning we’ll be moving. To another state. To a new town. We’ll meet new people and start a fresh life for ourselves.”
Jerry leapt up, his eyes widening. “We can’t move!”
“And why not?” Mother asked, her complexion weakening from the reaction.
“Because… All my friends are here! All of Celia’s friends! We can’t just leave them!”
I laid my hand on Jerry’s arm, attempting to stop him, but he slapped it away and continued.
“Please, Mother. I’ll find work. I’ll do anything!” He pounded his fist. “Oh, if I could only join up, then I wouldn’t have to be a burden on you two.”
Mother stepped forward. “Don’t speak that way! You know you’re not a burden on us. Listen to me.” She paced in front of the wireless, one hand on her hip, the other on her forehead. “I don’t want this any more than you do. But times are hard and this is the way it has to be.”
“Then I don’t want to be a part of it. I’ll leave if I have to. I’ll fake my age. Others have done it!”
I sensed a cue for me to speak, and stood up. “Jerry, you’re only 15! They’ll never let you through! And anyway, you can’t leave us. Dad’s gone, and you’re the man of the house now.”
“Well, I don’t want to be! Dad abandoned us! He left us alone in this world to fend for ourselves!”
Mother’s voice cut in, quiet yet sharp. “Don’t ever say that again, you hear me?”
A dull silence filled the room. Jerry stared at Mother, his mouth open in preparation for his next words, but they never came. I sensed the tension between the two and stepped back a little.
“Mother, I—I’m sorry…”
Without answering, without her face so much as flinching, Mother drifted towards the hall and disappeared.
I glared at Jerry. “Nice going.”
“Oh, you think I’m going to have pity on you? Just because of you and your friends? Jerry, we’re a family! We have to work together! Can’t you even try to understand?”
Jerry had nothing to say. At least, nothing worthwhile hearing. I turned and left him to dwell on his own thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. one word....


    That was SO good Julia! Now I really want to read more!!!! Please post more! :) Oh, and never stop're really good!


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