In between story circles, hit hard
For the last week, I’ve been posting about the short stories in Shifting Sands Short Stories collection that span more than two decades as part of the Storyteller 2017 book campaign.
Thematically and chronologically, I have divided them into three circles: early years of immigration with stories Danillo, Honey Azrael, & The Temptation of Martin Duggan.
The second circle of stories from retail experience includes: Tonight on Main, Therese’s Mind, Boxcutter Amy, Orange Nights and the Death Song.
The third circle of stories is from the media business; both print and digital.
These stories include: In the Shadows, Iron Horse, Foxy, Riddleyville Clowns and Chatamal.
In the final countdown, I would like to touch on stories like “In the Shadows” that fall into a dark period of life. Husband Ludek lost his job in the mid-2000s due to crisis in the automotive and housing industry.
The story was inspired by us living apart, when Ludek had to take a job in Prairie-du-Chien, WI.
Ludek and I had to Cringe confronting the reality of the crisis.
We didn’t want to lose the house, because of the unsure future, so I stayed in Michigan.
On several occasions, I took the Amtrak train 500 miles out west to visit with him on the Mississippi River, or we stayed in Milwaukee.
“In the Shadows” story is set in Milwaukee and in the botanical gardens. It was inspired by a wedding party in the gardens.
The characters lived in the state of impermanence Transient
Excerpts from “In the Shadows”
With a shaking had speckled by age spots, Agnes Loire dressed in pink and white purchased three tickets to the Boehm Botanical Gardens near Bales Corners in Wisconsin. An elderly clerk taped a red band to her tiny wrinkly arthritic wrist refusing to give her a discount.
As Agnes reached into her pocket to feel an amulet with dried periwinkle in it, the clerk looked somewhat familiar.
“Do I know you from anywhere?” she asked the old man.
He shook his head and turned back to his business of taping red bands to people’s wrists standing in a long line in the glass atrium.
Just before Agnes entered the new modern building with a two-story atrium and a vaulted ceiling, she paused to watch a white limousine arrive. The morning sun illuminated the vehicle and the grounds. The internationally renowned gardens were a marrying haven for couples.
The flowering pink, white and maroon crabapples in the arboretum swayed in the southerly wind spraying the area with petals of blossoms.
Agnes breathed in the early spring scent, fresh with promises.
In the meantime, the photographers had eagerly gathered to take the first shots of the bridal party. Bridesmaids in bright green dresses and beige high heels stepped out of the limo.
The last girl was taller, her dress a tone lighter and she was wearing flat shoes with no heels.
Finale countdown to be continued……..
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