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llaura bullock

Award Winning Children's Author

Category

Short Stories

Little Yellow Bird

There once was a little yellow bird who did not like to wake up early. All his other brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles and even his parents were always singing loudly and constantly in the morning.

All he wanted to do was sleep in silence and enjoy the hush of the daybreak.

The other birds did not understand such strange behavior.

Everyone always asked him, “What kind of bird are you who doesn’t like to sing early in the morning?”

He just shrugged at their questions and quietly went about his day.

Night time was when the little yellow bird loved to sing and enjoy the cool breeze and look up at the stars.

He was singing so loudly that the people came outside from the big wooden house and cheered and applauded him.

From that day on, no one bothered him to sing during the daytime.

Sequence

Viv woke with the jolt of the dream still fresh in her mind.

Was it real? She was being chased down the road through the tunnel to the riverbed until she fell. Reaching for the fence just as splashing feet approached her.

It took a moment to realize it was just a dream.  She jumped into the shower to try to wash away the fear and to face the fact that she was no longer in danger.

As she left for work she noticed her shoes were muddy at the front door and her raincoat was wet from river water.

Was it just a dream after all?

Viv stood motionless while trying to decide.

 

 

Moving Day

There once was a mouse, who lived under a house and enjoyed eating peanut butter cups.  He watched tv through a hole, underneath the bedroom floor and somehow avoided the cat. One day he heard a raucous and the floor lifted high as he watched a big crane lift the house into the sky.  He didn’t know what to do, so he ran down the flue and now he lives in a big shoe in the alleyway.

Sister Unknown

Betty Sue and Bobby Sue were twins who never knew. They lived apart right from the start and shared the same events each year.

They grew an inch and lost a tooth and lived each day without any fear.

At 23 they married their first husbands and lived the life of steadfast love and marital duties.

All they did in parallel without the truth that another was in tune.

Some years flew by and husbands of 2 until they found the path that led them to each other.

A miracle, a mystery, a mirror of each other to see. They wondered much but not too long as they lost such time already.

The choice was simple and happened instantly. To live together from that moment they met and each day until old age came knocking.

They shared such laughter and love that grew more than they had ever imagined. The best of friends even so far apart didn’t break the bond of birth.

Soon the reaper was near and they were ready to depart. Betty Sue and Bobby Sue held their hands together and with grit and might died in each other’s arms, just as they first started.

TREDOT

    His steely eyes scanned the horizon for anything. All that could be seen was the burning of flesh, ground and debris. There was no more life before him. The battle it seemed had won nothing but his fear. Destruction had become his world, the burning embers like a warm blanket. Days had turned quickly into years since the first bombing took his family and childhood. Aslain had been searching for assurance and yet he held fast to his trepidation.
    To recall a time when Tredot was green and lush with vegetation and life seems to be impossible. The land was divided not only by ash but by two tribes that were both fighting to survive.
    The Tredotians were warriors and the Chalcovs were scientists. Both tribes had been battling for decades on a land that the Tredotians took from their neighboring Chalcovs. Always it has been this way between the Tredotians and Chalcovs.
    The Chalcovs had been researching and testing the vital elements to be able to sustain life on Tredot once again. Since the battlefield had taken over, nothing had grown from the land. Craters held no more than trelie particles and the remains of Tredotians and Chalcovs alike. A hybrid of Chalcov erluce and lichion plants have successfully produced a new and thriving life force to potentially feed all tribes on Tredot. Artificial substances have kept them going but only barely.
    Will the leaders of Tredot allow the Chalcovs to regenerate the land with their new found plants? Years of fighting and prejudice may stop the progress from saving both tribes. Dylathe was the key-for if he could convince the Tri-Lise then all would be saved for a blessed future. (The golden-orbs of the Desyn Ridge predicted this moment).
    Aslain knew only of the warrior ways of his tribe. Death, fighting, and power seemed endless, yet he didn’t enjoy it as much as other Tredotians. Aslain was deep in thought when Dylathe cried out to him, “Aslain, let’s not defend our separation any longer. I fear for us all- your tribe and mine-we will not survive unless we can regain the plants of our lands.” Aslain listened as he and a few others only remained after the last firebomb of destruction. “Dylathe, I hear your cry and true cannot deny our plight. What can I do among what we both know is certain? How can I change what is and always will be?” Aslain exclaimed.
    Dylathe knew that reasoning was null. At least they were talking if only through shouts across the free zone of the Desyn Ridge. Here there was no fighting but just an empty open trough dividing what was once green and harmonious space. Tredot became the battlefield of these two tribes after both their planets had simultaneously been destroyed by the expansion and explosion of Meteor Rains in Sector 3.
    Before their arrival, the planet had been monitored for decades. Both Tredotians and Chalcovs escaped their planets to land on Planet Dexla. (Tredot as it is now known). Tredotians claimed it on the south side first before discovering that the Chalcovs were simultaneously on the same side experimenting and growing various life forms in bacteria and land vegetation. Once discovered, the battle between the two tribes had destroyed not only the new life, but the greenery native to the planet itself.
    Tredotian lust for power and control overshadowed their reasoning and belief of future preservation, peace, or scientific value. Chalcovs were weak and not to be trusted as they could create some attack weapon with their “science” or so Tredotians all believed. Chalcovs were always more interested in botany than in mind/body control and their experiments were purely to provide sustenance for their tribe as well as for future generations.
    Besides temperament, the difference in looks between the Tredotians and Chalcovs was stature. Both were light in flesh color a sort of grayish blue with pronounced large eyes and thin slits along each side of their heads to hear. Their mouths were small slits like those on the side of their heads. Tredotians were taller and muscular overshadowing Chalcovs by 2 feet in height. Chalcovs hands were webbed and they moved quicker than their Tredotian warriors.
    Suspicion and fear motivated the Tredotians all these years to try and destroy the Chalcovs and their way of life. But now that there was nothing left to ingest, there was no choice but to try another way for the survival of Tredot as a whole.
    The Tri-Lise had called a ri (a 40 day rest of non-violence). After the last burn out nearly destroyed everything, it was time for a change. The Tredotians had conquered and covered the land, but at what cost to Tredot? What use was it to be masters of a planet doomed to die of their own hands? There was nothing left to overtake and now their survival was at stake. The Tri-Lise consisted of 2 Tredotians and 1 Half-Breed Tredochalv. There wasn’t much intermingling between the two tribes and a Tredochalv was a rarity.
    Dylathe was on his way to visit the council not knowing that Aslain was as well. “Come Dylathe”, Aslain shouted. “I see you follow my lead as if you can’t escape me.”  Dylathe proudly answered back, “It is truth in that Aslain, I do head north to seek the Tri-Lise as leader of my tribe.”
    Aslain almost chuckling responded, “Ah then my most hated friend, we will find our way apart, as I care not to have you by my side.” And with that, Aslain cut up the dried river side through the burnt Woodland of Tinsadt to the pass above.
    Dylathe continued on the straight road not daunted by Aslain’s words. How could they ever be more than warrior and scientist, opposed at every side and always resentful?  They both knew that the Tri-Lise would decide the fate of Tredot.
    Aslain wondered to himself how the weak tribe of Chalcovs could sustain life for the future and with that he moved forward leaving Dylathe far behind. Upon reaching the tip of Mount Stine, Aslain gazed upon the woods that now charcoal, were once lush and green. With his own eyes he saw the destruction all around him and for the first time ever, it caught his breath.

Tradition

I can recall how the smokey-lined clouds covered the sky.
The silver sun could be felt piercing through the double-paned window. Lost thoughts are found in a day such as this one.
The woman allowed her wishes to wander away.

Sitting knees high alone on the moss covered mat, Clara felt the comfort of her cottage in the world of `Eire. She’d taken so much and everything she touched seemed to fall apart. Her parents had died years ago and all that was left was the small one room cottage to call her home. Turmoil and strife entered her world as the years passed. Pots of her favorite flowers were the only things among the trees that seemed to calm her inner storm. Political turmoil in an unforgiving city left her even more isolated for her beliefs were not the common ones.

Walking through the yard, the wind whispered softly through her golden-red hair. It flowed freely around her face and down the middle of her back. That is when I met up with her as I was walking down the dirt road that went past her small home into town. She introduced herself to me as Clara, “just plain Clara is all”, she said. But plain could hardly describe her. As I spent many a night thereafter with her, I could see how her life touched some in ways I could only dream of for myself. She filled a room with rainbows. Smiles appeared as she walked by. Clara was beauty intensified. Her intellect spewed forth in the words that she spoke. Her kindness was seen by young and old. Her giving heart shone for all each day she woke. This was the Clara that I grew to know and to love.

So many nights we just stayed in and talked over a supper of cabbage and corn beef and a pint of ale. I remember one night that I can never erase from memory. Clara offered to me a world of information and the secrets she held deep inside.
This is the tale she told me:

“I was once in love and thought I would make a life of my own when my parent’s were still alive. I was pregnant and my father didn’t know. I was in love with a man on the other side, and he stepped over the line and was executed. Before I knew about it, three weeks hastened by quickly. I lost the baby and then received an anonymous letter detailing the information of my love’s death. After that, I became so aloof and secluded, that nothing could bring me happiness. My parents died in a plane crash two months later.”

That was all she said. But that was like Clara to be to the point and then say nothing more. No one really knew the secrets she kept inside, and for a brief moment I shared one with her. I’ll never know why she told me on that rainy October night, but I’ll never forget she held her head high so she wouldn’t cry.

Years have passed since I’ve been through Dungby as I left there and Clara behind for London and education at the University there. But, a phone call brought me back.

This time, the rimless sky was upon its closure as I stepped down from the bus onto the dirt road. Grey-silver streaks lined her hair now. Welcoming me once again, we shared a drink of ale and laughed at the times passed. I could see that she had found that things that fell apart were never hers to keep so close to her heart anyway. The strain of life never took away the dimples in her smile. Clara, just as I remembered, gave Dungby its completed charm. Still, I could see the sunshine through her soul as she walked into the room.

I decided to stay for a little over a week. As the days went by, friends stopped by for Clara’s advice. I laughed a little as I sat listening to their idle words and at her kindness to let them speak. Now it was their turn to show her hope. Those books she kept were still on the shelf to inspire those young and old. Always the same it seems to stay and nothing much really ever changes.

“Thank you for coming back to say goodbye”, Clara whispered to me. I laughed and replied, “sure, but where am I going?” Clara just smiled and that was all that was said.
I was about to leave with my bags packed and everything, when the noise came. It is the loudest sound I can ever recall hearing in my entire life. That knocking on my hotel room at such an urgency I could feel the vibrations on my head. I stayed a little longer than I expected.

I didn’t shed a tear as they buried her deep. I remembered the stories and the dreams she instilled in me. They still sing her songs and bring by stories for Clara to hear. As I walked down the dirt road into town, I passed Clara’s home and left Dungby for another life. Clara still stays with me in `Eire and in all she knew.

Her body lives in the hills and through the veins of a little town where I found my dreams and met a woman who never changed when life laid down before her.

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