A blog of stories and ideas

Important–URL change!

Hello everyone! I’m moving to an upgraded blog! My new URL is simply utilityfeather.com. If you follow me here I would be incredibly grateful if you’d make the move with me to my new blog. 🙂 My content remains the same, just a better look! Thanks everyone!

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Attempt at a Santa Sighting

My favorite Christmas memory would have to be running down the stairs to see the presents Santa left. I was about six, and when I made it to the living room, there was a note lying on the table.

My brother and I, curious, had asked for a picture of Santa and Rudolph. Of course, the note was from Santa Claus, and the pictures were there!

Upon closer inspection, my brother and I realized that they were pictures from the movie “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. I was disappointed for only a second, though, because Santa had an explanation!

“Dear Sam and Sarah, unfortunately I forgot my camera, and couldn’t stop to take a picture! Here’s a movie version of us instead.”

That rascally Santa had gotten away without being seen again!

DSC_2852_2

How the Dragon Got its Flame

Our assignment was to write something along the lines of “How the Leopard Got its Spots” by Rudyard Kipling. I came up with “How the Dragon got its Flame”. My writing style differs quite a bit from Kipling’s, so this is my take on a “How ___ got its ___”. Referring to anyone reading this as “Best Beloved” kind of weirds me out, so, instead I’m saying Reader. Also, I’m going to try to work on some illustrations, but until then enjoy this dragon picture from the interwebs. -Sarah

Dragon

In a time long ago and a land far away, there lived a creature named Dragon. He could swoop through the skies on wings wide as an oak tree is tall, scales glinting like rubies in the sunlight as he soared over the earth.

Dragon was a beautiful creature, strong and proud, but the people and animals living near him were of a different mindset. You see, dear Reader, Dragon could come off as quite an imposing fellow, and as such the creatures he came across would simply run in fear of him. Dragon was a gentle thing, though, and he could never understand why the people feared him.

I’ve never done anything bad in my life.” He thought to himself one day, basking in the warm sun. “Although, I suppose I’ve never done anything especially good, either.” 

From that day on Dragon made it his goal to find something he could do to help, so that, maybe, people would realize he wasn’t such a bad creature.

He flew for what seemed like forever, perusing the valleys and villages below, until he came upon an especially attractive specimen. Leaning himself to the side, he circled the town for a while, gazing at the sight.

As the mountains he had drifted over for the last few days slowly came to an end, the hills stopped rising and falling slowly, undulating over the open land, and instead had rooted themselves into jagged, rocky little outcrops with wicked points. An especially crooked cliff leaned out precariously, hooked edge providing ample shade for the kingdom nestled at its base.

A castle stood in this kingdom’s middle, tall and proud, surrounded by a small, storybook like cluster of homes. The little town was covered in a thick layer of snow. “Strange,” Dragon thought, “since it’s midsummer.”  Curious, he glided down towards the warm lights of the homes.

Arriving at an inn, he sidled up to the barn, long tale slithering behind him. A horse stood outside, shivering in the cold. Dragon walked hesitantly toward it, waiting for it to run away. Even though the horse neighed, rearing on its hind legs, it didn’t flee. Dragon noticed a strange contraption tethering its snout to the fence.

“Excuse me, could you tell me where I am?” Dragon said cautiously. He tried a friendly smile, which, unfortunately, only seemed to scare the horse more as he revealed his rows of sharp teeth.

“You’re in Blithe–” the horse stopped herself, “well, this used to be Blithe. It’s Gelid now.”

“Why isn’t it Blithe anymore?”

“Our good king was overthrown by a wicked man.”

“Is that why it’s so cold?” Dragon asked. The horse shook her head.

“No, it’s always been cold. But it used to be beautiful, too. We were happy, and the king gave us all fires and homes so we could be warm.” She was opening up as the conversation went on.

“You mean this king took away your homes?” Dragon was shocked.

“Our homes, families, everything really. He took the homes for his army, and he forced almost everyone to work for him…He took my husband to pull his carriage, and he tied me to this fence so I wouldn’t follow. We would have taken back our homes, but no one can defeat him. He can cast spells that help him fight, and everyone who’s tried to rebel has been imprisoned.”

Reader, it may be helpful here for you to know that Dragon, though the most genuine and caring creature, had quite a temper. When he realized how cruel this king was, he was infuriated. He rose into the air, almost forgetting to cast back a goodbye to the helpful horse, and rocketed towards the castle.

Bursting through a stained glass window, he landed with a crash in front of the King’s throne. The King stood, startled, sitting back down as he regained his composure. Guards flooded towards Dragon, but the King waved them away.

“Ah, I see another warrior has come to dethrone me,” he laughed maliciously, “what is it this time? I’m too cruel, or too neglectful? Ooh, maybe it’s that I’m a wicked wizard with a heart cold as ice. Trust me, creature, I have heard them all, and I know I’m everything I just said. I like it that way. So please, strike up a fight. It’s my favorite part of the day.” He winked a beady eye, thinning hair falling out of place as he sat forward in anticipation.

“There’s a difference this time.” Dragon said defiantly. The King raised an eyebrow. “I am Dragon, and I’ve decided to do good. No one, including you, will stop me from helping the people of Blithe!”

Dragon catapulted upwards, crashing into the chandelier. The ceiling above it crumbled, sending the fixture hurling toward the King below. The King raised a hand and the chandelier suddenly changed course, plummeting into a wall. The bricks tumbled down, cutting the room in half, and trapping the guards on the other side. It was just Dragon and the King now.

Dragon swooped down, reaching out with his talons and swiping quickly at the King. No matter what he did, the King’s spells simply repulsed his attacks. As soon as he neared the King, it was as if he ran straight into an invisible wall. The King laughed, balling his hands into fists, and threw a punch. A strike of lightning emanated from his fist, heading straight for Dragon.

Dragon dodged swiftly, roaring as he charged toward the King. The King, caught off guard, had no time to cast a spell. Before they knew it, both had crashed through the castle’s wall, and were tumbling through open air.

Dragon recovered quickly. Opening his wings, he caught himself. As he searched desperately for the King, he felt something grab onto his tail. Whirling, he flicked his tail quickly to no avail. The King clambered onto his back. Flying as fast as he possibly could, he yowled as the King clung on, laughing wildly.

Dragon careened forward, suddenly finding himself in the middle of a wide, icy lake. He could see the lights of Blithe glittering far in the distance. Plummeting into a dangerous nose dive, Dragon raced toward the water, turning sharply at the last moment. The King screamed, torn off of Dragon’s back.

It took all his effort to avoid sinking straight into the frigid water, but Dragon righted himself, hovering above the water. He let out a howl of joy.

“Don’t think you won that easy!” A voice said behind him. Dragon’s heart sunk, and he turned. Sure enough, there stood the King on an ice float, wet and ragged. Shouting victoriously, he threw a punch, and a ball of lightning raced towards Dragon, hitting him square in the chest.

Dragon tried to flap his wings, to move anything, but he was helpless. He plunged into the deep, icy waters below.

As he felt himself sinking, Dragon couldn’t help but think of the people he had tried to help. His fiery temper flared, and he felt himself concentrating on everything inside him–anger, fear, and courage balling into a warm, crackling presence in the pit of his stomach.

Opening his eyes, he realized he was shooting upwards out of the water. As he broke out and into the air above, he opened his jaws, letting out a jet of flame. He melted the ice float the King was standing on in a matter of seconds. By the time he closed his mouth, smoke drifting from his nostrils, the King had disappeared.

Dragon flew back to the city, roaring the good news. The people hailed him as their hero, and their good King was put back into his rightful place. Dragon personally brought Horse’s husband back to her, and burned her chains with one of his flames. The city returned to it’s former dazzling beauty, and Dragon spent the rest of his days lighting fires for the people of Blithe and keeping them warm and safe.

That, my dear Reader, is how the Dragon got its flame.

Derailed

Our writing assignment was to write a dialogue based on this picture:

Conversation_Pic

So, here goes nothing! Please tell me any suggestions. I don’t do dialogue a lot.

 

Fog perched on the horizon, waiting to swallow him whole. Right now, he thought, I wouldn’t really mind.

“Peter… Please don’t be mad. Let me explain.” She interrupted his melancholy reflections.

“You don’t need to explain, Rachael. I get it. You don’t want to date me. You’ve made it clear. I’m going to wait for the bus.” Peter shifted awkwardly as he tried to lift himself from the train track to walk the short distance back to the high school.

Rachael stopped him, placing a hand on his shoulder. Annoyed, his cheeks flushed a bright red–but he stayed.

“I need you to understand. I’m leaving for college, and you have two more years of high school left. If we were the same age,” she paused, running a hand tiredly through her hair, “it would be different.”

“You’re eighteen, I’m sixteen. So what? I mean, yeah, you’re going to college in a different state, but we could still date long distance…”

“Now we both know that wouldn’t work.”

“You could have at least told me you didn’t like me before I dragged you out here and asked you out.” Peter mumbled, seeming to suddenly find his shoelace a fascinating object.

Rachael managed a smile, “Peter, you’re my friend and you always will be. It’s just–not like that. You’re going to find a girl who’s so much better than me. I promise.”

“Maybe I’m not, Rachael.”

Rachael straightened up, pointing her finger accusingly at him.

“Don’t you dare say that, Peter Wright. I know that isn’t true. You’re smart, funny, and you are one of the greatest boys I’ve met in my entire life. You will find the perfect girl for you. She’ll be amazing. That girl just isn’t me. Once you meet her you’ll realize that.” Rachael smiled. “After all, what girl could resist that hat hair?”

[Peter gave a defeated chuckle, slapping the hat in his hands back onto his head. He could tell Rachael wasn’t giving this one up.“You win, Rachael. Can we please go catch the bus now? It’s about to leave.”

Rachael nodded, a smile touching her lips. They rose, walking silently back to the school as the fog crept ever closer.

 

~Two years later~

 

Peter shrugged his backpack higher onto his shoulders, pushing his way through the busy campus. It was his freshmen year at college, and he was loving every minute.

He reached a quiet, empty stretch of path on his way back to his dorm. Taking it as a good time to check his watch, he didn’t notice the footsteps until he had almost run into the girl.

Wooah!” He grabbed her by the shoulders to stop her from plowing into him. She looked up, embarrassed.

Peter reeled back. She’d changed, but that blonde hair, those icy blue eyes — they were exactly the same. He struggled to find words, but she spoke first.

“Oh! I’m so sorry!” She giggled a little. “Um, I’m Rachael. Nice to meet you.” She stuck a hand out awkwardly.

Peter shook it, head blurry with astonishment. She didn’t recognize him. “I’m Pete.”

“Pete! That’s a good name.”

Peter was too confused to say anything back. A silence dragged, and she began to walk away.

“Well, maybe I’ll see you around.”

“Wait,” Peter’s words flowed without his consent, “do you want to go get a coffee?”

“Actually, yes. That would be great.” She bounced back toward him, flipping her hair subtly.

They walked slowly towards a nearby cafe.

“So … How long have you been at college, Pete? I just transferred here from a different university. I’m a junior.”

“I’m a freshman.”

“You’re awfully quiet.” Even Peter could tell she was flirting. It was incredibly strange. Like he’d been put into a weird high school dream. He stopped walking.

“OK, this is insane. Do you really not recognize me?”

Rachael stopped, obviously confused. “Should I?”

“Rachael, it’s Peter. Peter Wright.”

Rachael’s mouth dropped open, her face flooding with realization.

“Oh my gosh. But … you look so different! You’re hair — and you’re taller than me — you look so much older!”

“Yeah, I grew up.”

“Peter, the last day we talked…” She drifted off.

“Trust me, I remember. That day on the train tracks. We promised on the bus that we’d stay friends, and yet here we are. Haven’t spoken since then. You didn’t even recognize me.”

“Hey, in my defense, you look a lot different. I mean, the famous hat hair is gone! It’s been replaced by something short!” She laughed.

“Why did we stop talking, Rachael? I know it was awkward, but still.”

Rachael sighed. “I can’t remember. High school is just so complicated. Awkwardness is fifty times worse there than anywhere else. I was too caught up in it. Plus,” she hesitated, as if contemplating whether to finish the sentence, “age was so important then.”

Peter looked down at her. A misty fog hung over their heads as a train horn blared in the distance.

“I think the weather knew we were going to run into each other today.” Peter said, smiling.

“Maybe. It is a lot like the last time we saw each other. But this time there’s one difference.”

“What’s that?”

“You win.”

She reached for his hand as they walked into the cafe.

Happier picture of train tracks

Happier picture of train tracks

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A Magical Meeting

Our assignment was to write about a famous person we’ve met, and if we haven’t met a famous person, then to write about who we’d like to meet. 

Never in my life have I met someone famous. Of course, I still have quite a bit of life left, so I have many chances to come. If I do meet someone famous, I hope beyond hope it would be J.K. Rowling. I grew up in a magical world, dreaming of Hogwarts and lamenting when my acceptance letter didn’t come at my eleventh birthday.

I believe that the Harry Potter books, with their interwoven, charming, passionate, sometimes heart-wrenching stories are a big part of why I love writing today. The books were the fuel for my imagination for years and still are (as I write this a half-finished Gryffindor scarf lies on my cluttered desk to await a day where I actually have time to knit).

If I could meet J.K. Rowling, I could ask her what inspired her to write the books that are so near to my heart. Perhaps I could find the definite futures of my favorite characters, learn about their lives after the pages stopped. Most importantly, I could talk to the person who created a world that sparked my love of creativity, and tell her that her characters have reached the world in a way very few can.

Since I’ve found Serenity

The assignment this week was to write about a meeting with a famous literary character. Of course, when it came to literature my mind went straight to Firefly. So, here’s my meeting with Captain Mal, one of the most awesome characters to grace outer space.

ImageAll around me, people were barking orders. Marching calmly from one computer to the next, uniformed men spoke quickly and firmly, swatches of speech commanding harshly to “bank a sharp left” and “deploy warning beacons” drifting back to my ears. These hurried, desperate sentences meant very little to me.

Of course, I knew what was going on. A ship was chasing us, and we were failing to evade them. The Alliance ship I was on was unarmed, just a transport ship flying through open space to its destination. We would soon surrender and try to be polite and diplomatic as they boarded our ship in the hopes of them doing the same.

I cocked my head calmly to the side as the shouts grew more desperate. Perhaps I could escape if the crew was incapacitated. Deep down I realize I should have cared more about the fate of the ship and its crew, but I truly didn’t.

Before you call me an awful person, let me explain. I was not on the Alliance run ship of my own will. The government had sent a team to kidnap me, rip me away from my home, my family, even my planet. Why, you ask? A few months ago I had published an article. A quick read — short and simple — but brimming with the rebellion I felt. The Alliance was a despicable government, and too few realized it. Teenager though I was, it was all too clear to me that the Alliance was not interested in leading its people, only manipulating them. So, since I couldn’t jump on the nearest Browncoat (the rebel army) ship, I did what I was best at and wrote. With every word of my writing the public read, they became increasingly aware of the Alliance’s twisted nature. It spread from planet to planet like wildfire, and soon our section of the solar system was sending out a higher concentration of rebels than any other, and the beginnings of an Alliance-Rebel war began to broil. Thus, I had been taken. I was to be imprisoned on the Capital Planet and made an example of for my mutiny. This ship was transporting me to my fate.

I was woken from my reverie as a bang sounded. Jumping up, I waited, vaguely registering a twinge as my raw wrists rubbed against my shackles, as the airlock door crashed down.

“If you could hand over all your weapons calmly it would be greatly appreciated-” an Alliance crew member ran forward only to have his ribs hit firmly by a strong fist, “-if you do that, then we’ll take your weapons by force.”

The man who spoke reached down and picked up the offending Alliance man’s gun with one hand, tossing it teasingly to a black haired man in a lab coat behind him. The black haired man (a doctor, I presumed) caught it clumsily and rolled his eyes.

Strolling easily through the ship, the man picked up different objects with a keen eye, commenting on them wittily to the terrified crew members. The crew that had followed him in was quickly tying the Alliance crew up, meeting little resistance to their efforts. I examined the man as he tinkered with an Alliance hologram projector. His hair was a dark reddish brown, complementary to the rust colored shirt he wore. Leather suspenders peeked out from under a long, well worn leather coat. He seemed to be in his thirties, and, overall, gave an impression that he had little tolerance for nonsense. He looked familiar, somehow, but why?

He was coming closer and closer to my hiding place behind the desk I was chained to. I closed my eyes and tried not to breath as his footsteps grew closer — I was too close to escaping this ship to get stuck on a thief’s.

Listening carefully, I heard the footsteps stop. I waited, eyes still squeezed shut. Nothing. Maybe they moved to a different part of the ship, I thought hopefully. Gathering courage, I opened my eyes and heaved a sigh of relief. I sat up, turning my head to the side.

The man sat was crouched there, head cocked to one side, staring at me. I let out a startled scream.

“Well, look here, she’s alive!” He said, standing up to come to my front. I struggled to keep a stoic face as he analyzed me with hard, wary eyes.

“What’s your name, kid?”

I lifted my head, sitting up straight only to be pulled back by my bonds. Recovering with some dignity left, I replied.

“Sarah.”

Reaching into his coat, he pulled out a knife. I began to protest, kicking as I tried to scoot myself backwards. Without a word he reached behind me and cut the rope holding me to the desk. Sitting back down, he sheathed the knife, raising an eyebrow as I sat frozen, still in shock.

“Well, Sarah, I’m Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the ship Serenity.”

I felt my jaw drop. The Serenity? Captain Mal? Surely not. Surely I was just dreaming, stuck on an Alliance ship with no hope. I bit my lip, hard, wincing. Not a dream. Realizing that Mal was staring at me like I was crazy, (understandably so as I sat, dirty and panicked, my wrists dark with bloody sores and, now, my lip bleeding uncontrollably) I struggled to think of something to say. Somehow I had to tell him that his ship, his crew, was the reason I had the hope and courage to publish my article. I had to tell him that the way they had stood up to the Alliance was historic, and that everywhere aspiring Rebels told awe-inspiring stories of their adventures. Of course, being far more skillful in written words then spoken ones, I spit it out in the most garbled way possible.

“You’re the reason I’m here.” I said, words slightly slurred as my lip continued to bleed. Mal recoiled, offended. I waved my arms frantically, trying to explain.

“No! No! That’s not what I meant! I meant to say that you and your crew are the reason I became a rebel journalist! You inspired me to write and stand up to the Alliance — which they did end up kidnapping me for, so, I guess you kind of are the reason I’m here…” I trailed off awkwardly as he smiled.

“Wait, kid, are you that journalist? The one who’s article incited the biggest Browncoat rebellion in years?” He was laughing in disbelief. I gaped. Surely Malcolm Reynolds hadn’t heard of me.

“You’ve read it? I didn’t take you as the literary type from the stories I heard.” I said excitedly.

He shrugged nonchalantly, “I’m not.”

“What are you doing here?” I asked, realizing how strange this encounter was. He smiled before he replied.

“Every once and awhile my crew likes to take some of the Alliance’s things, just to get on their nerves. Their chasin’ us anyway, so why not chase them sometimes too?”

“Shiny.” I replied, using the slang word for cool without a thought.

Before I could wonder if he knew the meaning, a shout came from the direction of the airlock.

“Mal! We got all the valuable stuff! Let’s get outta here!” A man’s voice sounded gruffly through the ship.

Mal stood, motioning me to stand.

“C’mon, kid, let’s get out of here.” I got up, following him.

“What are we going to do?” I said anxiously.

He turned to me, looking me straight in the eyes and replying with one word.

“Survive.”

(Awesome Serenity picture from http://www.alphapatriot.com)

One For Embarrassed, Please

Our assignment was to write about an event in our lives from another person’s point of view. I have a bad habit of not hearing people talking to me once I’m doing something, and also laughing whenever I feel awkward. So, there’s plenty of me laughing in this.

I refilled the popcorn machine carefully, wondering how we managed to go through so much popcorn and so fast. The movie theater I worked at was never crowded, and yet, the popcorn always ran out at least twice a day. It was a mystery with no answer.

I sighed and returned to the cash register as a new group of smiling, slightly damp teenagers burst through the door. It must have been raining outside. The first, a tall boy, probably around nineteen, bought his ticket calmly and stepped to the side. The next costumer, a short, teenage girl walked up. Her friends, a brunette boy and a blonde girl, hung back with the tall kid.

She smiled, clearly a shy person.

“Two tickets for Wreck-it-Ralph, please!” she said, unzipping a huge wallet and digging around inside of it. I entered the order into the cash register, waiting for the price to come up when she raised her head with a start, frizzy brown hair flying into the air.

Oh! Also, a box of gummy worms please.” She added on awkwardly. I punched it in silently.

The price finally appeared on the screen.

“Thirty-two dollars.” I said quietly. Passing over a few bills, she stepped back to await the receipt. I counted, reaching to hand her the tick- wait, that was strange. I recounted. Only thirty dollars.

“Ma’am,” she was oblivious to everything I said now, listening to something one of her friends was saying, “Ma’am, thirty two dollars? This is only-” nope. None of this was getting to her. I spoke up.

“Thirty-two?” A few tries later, she finally noticed.

She scurried back over, embarrassed.

“Well, I’m an idiot.” She said, breaking into a laugh. She fished back into her wallet for the two dollars. “Uh-oh. Sam, do you have any cash?” She looked back toward the brunette boy, who shook his head. Finally, a little while later, two dollars was scrounged from the group and she handed it to me, still laughing at herself. Cheeks a vivid red,  she apologized again,

“Sorry, it’s been a long day.” I laughed a little to make her feel better, even though she was obviously crazy. I handed her the tickets, and she scurried away towards the theater, gone as quickly as she had come.

Different Walks

Our assignment this week was to write about a place from four points of view. So, here it is! (Also, I’m usually sure to put pictures in my post… But I’m reluctant for this one. I think, since it’s from so many points of view, that I don’t want one or two pictures to put a defining, tangible look on the place they’re in. Anyway, I’ll probably put pictures in later, once I find out the right ones.)

The Child

“Mommy, look!” the little boy shouted, overcome by the vividly colored butterfly that fluttered in front of him. His mother laughed at him a little, pulling him along through the paths.

“Come one Teddy, we have to go to class!” she said sweetly, helping him as he stumbled a little, legs more used to crawling than tromping. He stopped, gazing in wonder at the misty lake beyond, the trees waving in a cold, monday morning breeze. He gave a childish gasp and ran to catch up with his mom, who had allowed a small gap to open between them. Arriving alongside her, he continued along through the wonderland, touching the leaves and giggling at squirrels who scampered away from him in ridiculous fear of the harmless child.

He walked through this park every day on the way to preschool, but each time it held new wonders for him. Somedays it was warm, sunny, and bugs flitted throughout the bushes. Other days, his mother rushed him through hastily, water falling down around Teddy’s smiling face as he struggled to get out from under the umbrella to splash in the puddles.

Teddy’s favorite days, however, were the ones like today– where red, gold, and orange leaves swirled from the gargantuan trees all the way to the ground, and he could shrug deeper into his warm coat to watch the birds fly from branch to branch. The pathways held unknown sights everyday; forever dewy, fresh and glorious in his innocent eyes.

The Teenager

Blowing past the little boy, who stared at him in amazement, Theo sped along, friends behind him. Skateboarding deftly through the walkers, he only slowed once he had reached the park’s bridge and realized he had left his friends thoroughly in the dust.

Assuming a bored position, perched on a stone wall, he waited as his friends caught up to him. The water was glistening with a fiery light from the sunrise, but Theo just shielded his eyes, mumbling to himself.

“Ugh, that’s so bright. I should have brought my sunglasses.” A butterfly landed on his hand, happy to find a break from the strong breeze. Theo would have examined it closer– he used to love butterflies– but his friends were in sight now, and how girly would that look? He flicked away the winged creature. Definitely not worth the embarrassment, especially since his girlfriend was here.

“Hey man, we stopped to get a drink. Here, I picked one up for you.” Theo propelled himself off the wall he was sitting on and grabbed the soda, sucking down half of it before a man with a briefcase rushed through the scene, running roughly into him and knocking the drink from his hands. It fell to the ground, foamy contents spilling wildly over the bridge’s wooden planks. Theo looked up angrily, shouting at the man as he rushed away, already out of earshot.

“What was that for, dude! Watch where you’re freaking going!” He yelled, wiping soda from his forearms.

After some deliberation, he and his friends decided to go back to the drink stand for some more snacks. They were skipping school, anyway, so it’s not as if they had anywhere to be. Laughing at the drink-spilling event now, Theo began to walk away.

“Oh, wait, you think we should pick that up?” He gestured to the mess of soda and ice spread over the bridge.

“Nah,” his friend replied, “that’s why they hire people to clean, right?” Theo laughed in agreement, continuing on his way.

The Businessman

Ted swerved his smartphone out of the splash of soda, muttering a hasty apology as he continued on his way. Birds chirped around him as the sun rose ever higher– it was almost ten o’clock. Theodore walked even faster, shoving the smartphone into his pocket as it buzzed with text messages from work.

If he didn’t hurry, he’d be late again, he was sure of it. Ted couldn’t afford to lose that promotion over another late day, so he dashed through the park as fast as possible. A butterfly crossed his path, and he longed for the days when he would have had time to stop and marvel at it’s colors.

The path swayed toward the lake, benches dotting the area, and he swerved off the cobblestone to avoid a slow-walking old man, cursing as he stepped into an oncoming wave and soaked his dress shoe. The elderly man laughed at him.

“Bad day, son?” Ted sighed, turning around. He had no time for this.

“Yes sir. I’m actually in a hurry, sorry.” He blustered away, ignoring the old man as he laughed at Ted’s rush.

The Older Man

Walking slowly into the tree-lined park, Theodore took a deep breath. A little boy ahead of him was giggling as a gust of wind surrounded him, jumping up and down with glee as the wind lifted his hair. Theodore smiled, reminiscing of the days when he had the energy to jump and spin, and- he reached up and touched his sparsely covered head- missing even more so the time when he’d had a full head of hair.

As it was, he was frail- spotty, wrinkled skin covered in copious amounts of cloth to keep out the chill, and the little hair he had was snowy white in coloration. In short, Ted thought, he was just old.

However he still, as he always had, loved walking through this park. During fall the leaves changed to the colors of gilded fire, and the sunrise painted the sky a watery orange-pink over the lake. The bushes were forever a brilliant, emerald green, teaming with feathered and furry wildlife.

Crossing the bridge Theodore stopped for awhile, gazing upon the clear blue water and the brilliant, cloudless sky. He took a step forward, landing with a slosh in a puddle of caramel colored soda. Bending down with a groan at his stiff muscles, he gathered the melting ice cubes into the styrofoam cup, reaching for the lid and tossing it all in a nearby garbage can. He shook his head– who could just leave their trash to mar such a beautiful place? Perhaps they didn’t appreciate it yet.

Theodore remembered that, as a kid, he  hadn’t seen the beautiful expanse of woodland for what it was. Now, for him, it was an escape from the factories and busy highways he passed everyday. He came here for a little glance at how God made the world, not man.

As the path neared the lake, a man in a tidy suit swerved past him. The man tripped into the lake, and cursed under his breath.

“Bad day, son?” Theodore said humorously. The man simply turned, muttered something about how he didn’t have time, and rushed away. Thedore laughed. You never had time until you were old, like he was– and then you realized you should have made time. Arriving at an old, beat up bench, Theodore sunk into his familiar seat to watch the waves lap against the shore; the beautiful park forever dewy, fresh and glorious in his experienced eyes.

Favorite Hobbies?