Posted in Blogging, Fiction, postaday, writing

Flashback Friday

Hello, people!

Here we are again, another Friday, another start to a weekend. I sure hope it’s a great one for you!

This is a short story I did in September of 2012, it’s a bit dramatic, but that must have been how I felt that day. I don’t really remember…or I plead the fifth.  😉

Hope you enjoy it.

 

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The Dancer Who Didn’t Want to be a Dancer

 

Dani could feel the sweat dripping down every inch of her body. She was so tired but knew she couldn’t stop. Didn’t dare stop. Her body screamed at her until Dani had no choice. Exhausted she dropped down to the floor in a puddle of limp muscles. Her breathing was labored, she had been practicing for two hours straight. No breaks, and she just couldn’t do another minute.

“Get up!” she heard a voice yell. “Get up this instant Dani!”

She raised her head and glanced at her least favorite relative. Dani came from five generations of dancers. Her family were world renown, the most famous dancing troupe in the world. And Dani hated it. She loved dancing, but she hated dancing too. The endless training, the constant traveling, the different towns, and cities. Faceless audiences that always demanded more. Down through the generations dancing had been a way of life for her family. They married other dancers, had babies that grew up to be great dancers. Their whole world was dancing, practicing and routines. She hated it all.

“Dani! You will never be a great dancer if you don’t continue practicing.”

Dani winced at the loud voice in her ear. Her Great Aunt Claudia nudged her with her cane. It was a bit more forceful than necessary. But Dani has always known Great Aunt Claudia disliked her. She never knew why, but it had been proven to be true in the past.

“I cannot go another second, Madame,” Dani told  her. “My body refuses to do it.”

“Don’t be a stupid child. It is not your body that is weak, it is your mind. Now get up and continue with the practice,” scolded Great Aunt Claudia.

Sighing, Dani pushed herself up to stand.  She knew her Great Aunt would not leave her in peace, so once again Dani would dance.  Even though her body ached and her feet were bleeding she would continue with the practice she hated so much.

One day I will leave this,  I will run away and become what and who I want to be.  I  will be ME!  Thought Dani as she pushed through the pain and danced in front of the mirrored wall, with the critical eyes of Great Aunt Claudia following her.

“Again Dani! Do it again but with more grace!” yelled out Great Aunt Claudia. “You are moving like a clumsy elephant! Pick those feet up! Jump higher!”

Dani could hear the thumping of Madame’s cane as it hit the floor behind her. She always referred to her Great Aunt as Madame, like the other students. She had never felt close to her Great Aunt even though she was brought up by her. Madame taught dance to young men and women, because Madame could not dance herself. When she was nineteen she fell down a flight of cement steps and broke her back.  That was forty years ago since then she has had to walk with a cane and was never able to dance again. So she taught.

Having generations of dancers behind her, Dani knew Madame was a great teacher, very sought after. But Madame was always tougher on Dani.

“I swear you can not be Edward’s child. Edward was a fantastic dancer. The best in the family. Even that woman he married was a passable dancer,” commented Madame. “I often wonder if that woman did not cheat on Edward and have some other man’s baby. For you are nothing compared to Edward.”

Dani swallowed her hurt. This was not a new dialog with Madame. Dani had heard it many times before.  Madame never liked her mother and it was well-known in the family that Edward had always been Madame’s favorite person. Dani remembered her parents as loving parents, to her and to each other. She was ten years old when they died in a terrible car accident.  Dani’s parents and an older cousin named Amelia was in the car when it was hit by a truck.  They all died instantly. Amelia was another one of Madame’s favorites. Something else Dani was never allowed to forget.

“Why did Amelia have to die too!”  Madame cried. “Such a talent  that girl was. So beautiful and graceful. She was born to dance just like Edward. To die at the young age of fifteen was too cruel.”

Dani stopped dancing and watched Madame work herself up remembering that tragic accident. She wiped her face of sweat and waited for what she knew was coming next.

“Why was it not you in that car? Why were you left behind and Amelia wasn’t?” Madame asked. “I will tell you why! It is because you were a sickly child, and your mother did not want to take care of you. So she left you with your nanny and took Amelia and my Edward for that fateful drive.”

Dani remembered that day also. She had caught a terrible cold a few days before the accident. They were supposed to go Christmas shopping, but she had been too sick to go. So her parents and Amelia  went without her. They never returned.

“It just wasn’t fair to take such talented and loved people and leave me with you,” Madame cruelly stated.

That was all Dani could listen to. She had heard the same things spew out of Madame’s mouth for years. The hateful words that stung so sharp. Dani had always tried to be what Madame wanted, but it was never enough. She could never be her father or her cousin Amelia. And she was reminded of that fact in every possible way. She had twelve years of being told this again and again. It gave her nightmares at night. It echoed in her heart every single day.  She was tired of hearing it. She might not be a great dancer, but she didn’t want to be either! She had never wanted to be.

Dani wanted to be an artist, a painter. Every moment she could she painted her beautiful pictures. That was the only time she felt at peace. She loved the feel of a paintbrush in her hand, the colors flowing over canvas. Watching those colors become something beautiful, full of life.

Dani had enough. She could not listen to another hateful word. She ran to the door and opened it.  As she ran down the hall and out the building she could still hear her Great Aunt’s words in her head.

“You should have died that day! You and that woman who gave birth to you! Not my beautiful Edward and Amelia! YOU!”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Flash Back Friday, poetry, postaday

Flashback Friday

Hello, People!

It’s been pretty warm here in my part of Alberta, Canada. Hot and dry. Plus, lots of grass fires surrounding us. Makes for a not so pleasant time outdoors, I can tell you. We had Canada Day on the first of July and I know the US is having their Independence Day celebrations this weekend. Happy fourth of July you guys!

Just please, be careful out there if you are traveling, camping or shooting off fireworks. We don’t want anyone hurt or worse. Also, if you have pets, please keep them safe and secure as this is a very frightening time for them with all the loud noises.

So, because it’s so warm and dry here I thought I would bring back a poem I wrote a few years ago. It remains one of my most popular poems as far as views go. Hope you enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend no matter where you are at!

 

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Rain Flowers

Spring brings soft rain
winter ends its pain
flowers in glorious color
stand tall and reign

New green grass grows
rain never slows
it’s refreshing drink is savored
only a matter of time I know

Soon color to the land will come
flowers, shrubs, gardens, so awesome
Windows opened wide, no longer
will I be sunk in winter’s boredom

I rejoice in rain clouds in the skies
as birds compete on current highs
Leaves show green on the trees
as if they’ve been brushed with dyes

So let it rain, let it pour all day
I will no longer be winters prey
Gray and gloomy it might be
soon rain flowers will gently sway

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Flash Back Friday, writing

Flash Back Friday

Hello people!

For today’s Flashback Friday, I didn’t go too far back. Only as far as Feb of last year. I thought I would dust it off and display it once more. It’s still one of my personal favorites as far as stories go. Hope you enjoy it!

I wrote this story as part of WordPress’ Weekly Writing Challenge. We were to write a 1000 word story based on a picture. This is the picture my story is based on.

Source: Cheri Lucas Rowlands
Source: Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Juanita’s Joy

 

Juanita trudged up another hill, carrying her paints and brushes in sack over her back. No one seemed to know Juanita’s exact age, not even Juanita herself. She had been orphaned at a very early age, left to fend for herself in a hard climate, sparsely populated.

Today her gray hair was swept back in a ponytail, her clothes ragged but clean. Her face lined by the harsh sun until you couldn’t distinguish one line from another. Her toothless mouth wide in a smile of pure joy. She loved her life, hard as it was. She knew nothing else, so was content with what  she had.

She taught herself to paint  early in life after she found a few used brushes and paints behind a small shop. Years passed and she became better and better at her chosen work. She sold a few paintings to the frequent tourists to provide food, clothing and her precious paints and brushes.

One day she saw an old abandoned building, sitting alone and forgotten. In her mind, she saw a blank canvas, a beginning of something beautiful. So she started her painting. She loved her old town, the people in it as they had been kind to her all her life. She wanted to give something back and all she had were her paints and her imagination.

She wanted to give the old building life again. With her vivid blues, reds, yellows, greens and purples she painted from sunrise to sunset. Soon the townspeople began to come and watch her paint. They would drop off pitchers of water and baskets of food.

They watched her paint and sometimes heard her sing softly to herself as she painted life into something that was left for dead. That building even got a new person to live in it, as Juanita painted a man in the window content with his work.

When someone saw she had run out of a certain color, a new jar or tube would show up on the doorstep the next morning when she trudged up that hill to the building. Juanita would just smile, and continue with her work.  Her painting was the talk of the town and they would ask the other, “Have you seen what old Juanita is doing to that old building? It is a work of beauty!”

Juanita painted what she knew about life, what she enjoyed. Her neighbors plowing their fields in the hot sun. Ribbons the color of the rainbow gently swaying in the wind. Oxen and cactus and the rare flowers of the desert. She painted them all in a mural that was a beacon to everyone who came through her town.

The townspeople began calling the building “Juanita’s  Joy.”

One day someone noticed Juanita did not show up to paint on her building. They got some friends together and went looking for the old woman. They found her in her old ramshackle hut. The town doctor said she died peacefully in her sleep. The always joyous heart, giving out as she slept.

They gave her a fine funeral, buried her under a large tree near her beloved painted building. The whole town mourned a quiet woman who always looked at life with eyes full of color. The owner of the old building donated it to the town in Juanita’s name. They put her paintings inside for all to see and it was run as a gallery for young and old artists.

One day a beautiful sign showed up on the building.

Juanita’s Joy

A place for all to enjoy beauty in all its glorious colors