The Bear That Stayed In the Past
It was the day that I walked up into my attic that I finally took time to remember my childhood. It was
a bear, hidden under a thick canvas cloth, that I had never really took the time to examine before, with my fear of any hidden parasites that may be lurking in the corners of the attic. However, as the spring break started I was determined to organize the attic, and decided to tackle the ‘lump’ as we called it. Unsheathing the cloth, I saw an old bear towering down on me, with a signature on it’s paw. “Gifted with love- from grandpa,” The message read. Though my mind was growing weary, and some of the memories with my grandfather had begun to blur, I suddenly started to picture scenes that were hidden deep within my brain.
I remember my childhood in bits and pieces, like framed pictures of specific events that existed on a shelf. There was the time I challenged my brother to a race down the steps of the rocky hill on the side of my grandfather’s house. My mother warned us to never run down the hill or we would injure ourselves – but that didn’t deter us at all. We waited for her to go to work and immediately started running around the sunny hills. What else was there to do in the hot summer sun but run, hide, play, and relish in the bright light. There was also the time I climbed the mango tree in my grandfather’s backyard and got stuck. So I snacked on mangoes and hoped someone would find me before my grandfather came home. The Australian sun was always more bearable in the shade of a tree and a cool breeze, but being stuck all day didn’t help. I ended up with a bright pink patch all over my arms and legs.
My grandfather hated when we climbed his mango tree. He sued to complain that we’d shake the fruit right out and that they’d burst and spoil when they fell on the ground. Though he was a man of few words, you could not help but stop whatever you were doing and listen when he spoke. I remember visiting my grandfather before he passed. I wanted so badly to believe my memories and hold on to that day as it was; I booked a flight and made the one thousand five hundred mile journey back to Australia to see him.
But the thing about memories is that the more you remember them, the less reliable they become. I started to imagine and picture things that didn’t really happen. My brother, who grew up in that house, does not remember a mango tree at all. No matter how much I described it. My grandfather however, had a faint memory of a tree in his garden which he knew bear fruit, but not mangoes. I never really knew whether my most cherished memory was real or not.
Then there was the night when I bought the bear. It was a rainy Christmas eve, and the hustle and bustle on the street seemed to have intensified, with parents rushing around to buy last minute gifts. I however, was safely covered in the snug blankets on my bed, bursting as I thought of tommorow. The next day, what stood before me was a bear, christined “ Big Bear,” Being able to touch and smell the bear again reminded me of how much I had missed home. It brought tears to my eyes that surprised me. I sat in silence for some time on some milk crates facing a window where you could see the courtyard, enjoying these memories and the mango tree that I could clearly visualise.
Migration ( Continuation of @ChrisSadhill One Liner)
Sarah stared across the field of poppies, looking where the sun was slowly dipping beyond the horizon. She looked up, knowing that she would never likely see the same patch of sky again. With a bulging suitcase in one hand, Sarah wondered what her new life would be like.
To put it mildly, Sarah moved a lot. She had been in an apartment, a cottage, and once even in the confinements of a hotel room before. Just a few year ago however, Sarah had moved to Australia feeling safe and secure- certain that she would stay in this place permanently. Just a few years ago, she had felt sure she would remain with her friends for the rest of her youth. Just a few years ago, migrating to America was the farthest place her mind could ever wander.
Sarah dragged her feet inside, but she was too saddened to finish packing. Her mind was fixed to the reverberating sound of her mother’s hollering in the near empty house. Her eyes were glued to the floor. Sarah thought of the farm where she had grown up, of the fields of golden flowers, buttercups predominant. Every spring, while working in the fields, Sarah’s father had gathered them for her and woven them into a crown, before coming home to crown her ' His Little Princess."
Then there were periwinkles, the lilac blue reminding Sarah of her grandmother’s house. Memories of her invoked warm feelings, and Sarah yearned to belong to the snugness of wintry days by a fire again. S
arah drifted over to her suitcase, melancholically packing her “Future Is Yours” bag her mother had given her. Sarah became aware of a stinging pain in her right hand. As she peered down, she found the culprit- A card she was too forlorn to open from her classmates. Sarah’s pale hands gently creased and edged open the envelope.
“Prepare for the exciting voyage of your life- it happens to everyone,”
Sarah read as her eyes scanned the card. Her mind wavered for a moment between her farm that she had spent a year on already, and the horrible visions of her new hometown that she had dreamt of every night since her parents broke the news. Sarah sighed, her heart and mind feeling mixed with emotions. She looked outside, knowing that maybe her trip wouldn't be so bad after all.
The Last Mile
Bree jogged among the sparse group of people that journeyed down the Great Australian Track. She looked as the scenery bypassed her, gravel and an occasional dead-ish shrub. The sun beat mercilessly down onto the cracked earth, and the only sounds in the perfectly-still afternoon air were footsteps and heavy panting. Bree is in a competition to see who would be the newest member of the “National Athletes Team-NAT” but would she make it?
These thoughts echoed through her mind as she came to a halt with the last handful of runners. Bree had been jogging, crawling and practicing all the other things professional atheletes did for weeks, and her blisters had started to get blisters. Each of her limbs seemed stiff as rock, but as Bree ran across the track toward the NAT HQ, she remembered the NAT captain Max, say that the last challenge would be different.
“You’ll do fine,” She mumbled to herself, and fell into a deep sleep.
The incessant ringing of an alarm clock had brought Bree up from her bed and down the corridor, with Max as her lead. Following his commands to keep up, Bree found herself walking towards the athletics track from the day before. However, she heard a sound, a lively rushing noise that had been absent for a long, long time. It was only when she got closer did Bree notice the river, water rushing over the smooth pebbles, curving and bending up and down.
“The person who crosses that river first will joining our team… The only thing you have to use is all the rubbish you have amassed over the competition. That is all,” Max informed.
Bree looked at her pile, and then the rushing rapids. All this time she had thought it was a mere fitness activity, like running, pulling, jumping. Jumping! The idea struck her like a lightning bolt, and Bree hurriedly began, She started tying garbage bags together, and glanced at the sharp rocks downstream. I can’t mess this up, not when I’m so close, Bree told herself, thinking of the arduous track that she had journeyed down. A little water wasn’t going to stop her! After she had nearly 20 metres of ‘garbage bag rope’, Bree strapped it to a tree, and took a deep breath. She had stuffed all her plastic bottles under her cardigan, and presently swung out into the river.
“She’s going to die!” A voice called.
But Bree had firm hold of the rope. She swung out past the middle of the current and beside the bank. His heart jumped with alacrity as she pulled herself into the sunlight, realising she was finally a member of the NAT team.
The Adventures Of Charlotte P2 ( Into The Wild)
I ran out onto the deck, scanning all directions for somewhere to escape. However, water surrounded us, and rain flickered onto my shoulders like tiny runners fleeing for the hills. Suddenly, the boat lurched, almost capsizing, and for a moment I stood transfixed, a child caught in a situation they weren't prepared for. Then I was hurled into the air, wooden floorboards swaying away from me. Plunging into the water, the sounds of calling were muffled, and darkness surrounded me on all sides.
Water. I chortled out a mix of water and saliva as I slowly rolled over on a sandy beach. Blinking away the sleep from my eyes, I found myself surrounded by lush greenery and the sweet scent of tropical flowers. It didn't take long for me to realize that I had washed ashore on a remote paradise, far away from civilization.
Sitting up despite my remaining sleepiness, I suddenly realised that my mother was no where to be seen. The silhouette beside me that I had thought was her was actually the captain's son. What was he doing here? My mind raced with questions.
Call for help! The thought was crystal clear, the flight response in full effect, but the rational side of my brain dissuaded it, calling wasn't going to work anyways. The calming breath I took to steady myself did nothing of the sort, as I slowly tapped the unconscious sailor on the shoulder, hoping he could give me the answers to my questions.
They’re All Just Memories ( A True Story)
The most interesting thing I found in the old house was a clock. A mahogany grandfather clock standing in the corner caught my eye when I discovered the long-forgotten attic. There was a film of dust blanketing the outer layer of the wooden clock. The dust slowly rolled to the floor as my fingers ran past sooty surface. I could see that the hands of the clock were moving, ticking by at each second as time flew. How long had this been here? Continuing to examine this peculiar antique, my fingers ran across a set of carvings within the aged wood. It was just on the rim around the glass face of the clock. Brushing away the dust that had built up over what looked like decades, it revealed intricate carvings set within the red wood. Faded gold paint glinted slightly as I blew away the last piece of soot concealing it. I had spent some time looking at the intricate carvings. My mind was blank. What was this meant to mean? Tracing my index finger through the carving, I slowly deciphered an ‘S’ and a ‘J’. I stood there in front of the clock, pondering about the meaning of this before something else captured my attention- a framed photograph sitting on the shelf above the grandfather clock. Carefully taking the photo with both hands, I looked at it.
An old man.
He was captured in the picture stroking his long, silver beard and looking out the window. There was a clock standing behind the man. He looked familiar. Suddenly, I felt like a light was switched on. The man in the photograph was my grandfather! The two letters carved into the clock was his signature. The clock was his. I held the photograph close to my chest.
Fond, yet antiquated memories resurfaced, projecting into my mind. I saw seated on the bench in a park. Alabaster snow that carpeted the ground, each breath was a milky mist. Grandpa was seated next to me, sipping coffee from a faded blue thermos. We gazed into the distance; silvery trees surrounded the frozen lake. It looked like an orchestra. Then, I remembered exploring this very house a long time ago, he’d summon me downstairs for dinner, always greeting me with a warm smile. Those times were long gone now.
I gazed nostalgically at the grandfather clock; tears brimmed up in my eyes. Gently placing the picture back on the shelf, I stepped back and bowed at the clock. As I looked up once again, it was like seeing his face again, I watched the subtle movements the hand each second. These precious memories were preserved within time. I sighed and looked out the attic window, with each soft tick of the clock, time flew by.
I had grown up.
The Adventures Of Charlotte P1 ( Sink or Swim)
It was engraved in my memories, like the etchings in a plaque. It was an adventure that would never leave my mind. The start of my journey had begun in a simple night, as my mother and I boarded the cruise in our small town.
“Let’s make this a night to remember.” I whispered, as I gripped onto my mother’s arm. I shivered as I stepped onto the drenched floor of a new ship that the locals and the paper had been buzzing about. A large cruise ship, if I recall correctly, and I ascertained my thoughts as I glimpsed the jewellery and handbags that were streaming aboard the ship. But as the last passenger boarded and the ship door closed, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wayward was coming our way…
An hour and a half had passed, and now the boat was swaying harder and harder from side to side. I sat by my mother’s side in our cabin, and gently swayed myself back and forth. The waves hit harder with every blow, and I felt as though the roof was to collapse on us every moment. I realised that it had only took a few minutes from the nice wave-pool waves to transfer into what was a raging tempest at its fullest.
A few hours later I felt the lights die down as all passengers started drifting off into a restless sleep. I could hear my mother’s breathing sounding across the room, but I tossed and turns. It seemed as though an ominous cloud hung over my head, and I began hearing the faint sounds of rain in the water. I felt the water rock back and forth, finally lulling me to sleep.
Boom. Crackle. Cold.
These were the first three words that came into mind as I jolted awake. My hopes of making a night to remember aboard the unsinkable had quickly escalated into a nightmare. Panicked footsteps echoed throughout the cruise, and I pulled my mother awake. “What is it?” She murmured, but sat up, alert of the faint hollering below deck. We both rushed out of our cabin, and into the crowded corridor. What’s going to happen to us?” I whispered fearfully, clutching onto my mother. She looked back at me.
“I don’t know.” She said.
The Secrets Of The Shadows
Shadows dance in winter's night,
hiding secrets in pale moonlight
As Winter's shadows whisper and sigh,
they weave a matrix of snowflakes falling from the sky
And the shadows of winter, haunting and still,
dance on snowy hills while sending a chill
Down my spine as I watch from my window covered in ice,
Frost-kissed shadows, paint a canvas of darkness so precise
The shadows of winter nights, like ink spilled from the sky,
hide secrets in their depths, and I wait to be mystified.
A thick fog envelopes me, hazy and unclear
Lost in a maze, where true despair is near
My tears flow like a river, forming a steady stream,
and heartache whispers like a winter's breeze, silent and unseen
In a world of gray, I have lost my way
And in the starry night, only a little light still stays
My emotions will soon succumb,
every tear making me numb.
But even in the darkness there is a light,
and in hope's embrace, gloom will take flight
For a flicker of hope lights the way,
and will continue to guide me through each new day.
I rush out under the blanket of darkness, with a flickering lantern in one hand. The time has come for me to escape from the palace, but as my shoes hit the mud from last night’s deluge, I wonder if I have made the right choice. Looking back at the silhouette of the castle, I can vision the candlelit towers, bright in the darkness. I disappear amongst the trees.
Standing at the train station, I look around but it is past midnight, the precious half an hour where the palace is not constantly swarmed by guards and servants. I hear a distant rumbling, and a train rushes through and doors open, a monotonous voice announcing the “Bradbury Villeton”. I gulp, and step onto the first form of public transportation ever.
They don't recognize you. They don't recognize you, I murmured to myself, looking around. By “they” I meant an old man, a doctor, and the train lady. The ringing of the phones and the whispers of voices whistled through the train to the point where I became worried; that even the slightest movement could make someone notice me just a tad too much, and that meant someone finding out who I was. I stared out of the begrimed window, and I remembered my last thoughts before leaving…
I had been staring wistfully at the thin halo of light still visible between the murky clouds, when my watch beeped. 00:05, I read, then quietly crept out of bed and into one of the many hallways. Excluding the occasional bustling maid, the castle was completely empty, and it was perfect to put my plan into action. I checked that all my belongings were still bundled up in my suitcase, I disguised myself as a maid, and crept along. Sorry mother and father , but I had to. I couldn’t see dawn signify another day while I listlessly did nothing but wander around the castle.
Although my parents wanted me to have an easy lifestyle and handed everything to me on a silver platter, it was all getting to much. A tinge of homesickness floods into me as the train screeches to a stop. I look out, but the castle is only a speck, like the baked dirt on the window pane.
My stomach churns as I step out of the train into the billowing wind. My horse has stayed put where I stationed it earlier for my plan, and I jump aboard. Taking a deep breath I look into the woods again. It’s time to step into the wild, but as I race off at record breaking speed, I can’t help but feel adventure singing in the wind