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Eugenia's Journal Of Short Stories

Updated on September 12, 2014

As Through The Looking Glass, My Thoughts Reflect

"The world is a looking-glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it in turn, will look sourly upon you. Laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion." William Thackeray

Thus, are the written meanderings of my pen. Each word is a glimpse into the inner being behind the face, through the eyes, which watch the world around me.

It is our duty to use what talents we have and not allow these parts of our being to atrophy. And what better way to use them than to pleasure another with small portions of ourselves.

Come with me now as I attempt to entertain you with my thoughts set to paragraph with the hope that something may give you pleasure as you read.

SHARED HEARTS by Eugenia S. Hunt

It was the summer vacation of my tenth year, a time in my life when the simple fact that school was out was enough to render my existence near perfect. My days were pretty much my own, warm, simple, and uneventful. I fully expected this vacation to be very much like those of past years. However, in August, my life changed, never to be quite the same again.

Michael, my first cousin, a Floridian, and five years my senior, these qualities alone being intriguing, was going to visit with us in South Carolina for two weeks. Though I looked forward to this unexpected summer adventure, I really did not expect to be spending much quality time with him since I was just a little kid and a girl, to further complicate shared mutual space.

Upon Michael's arrival, there was much excitement for all of us and it took time to get accustomed to having a male teenager among us. Though each of us was unsure of the other, with his warm hilarity and loving ways, he had soon become a quality member of our household. And, to add to the fun, he quickly entitled my younger sister and I the nicknames, "Tatter Bug" and "Twinkle Toes."

My first distinct memory is of the first morning at breakfast. At that time, we did not own a toaster, and never missed the luxury. Our grandmother, who lived with us, was always on hand to make breakfast, especially the toast. She would spread butter on the bread heavily and place it on a rack in the oven to heat and turn a golden brown. Michael must have eaten six slices, with grape jelly, that morning, announcing his intention to weigh one hundred pounds before returning to Florida. I remember thinking that he was a bit thin and really did not think he could accomplish such a feat in only two weeks. However, I thought him courageous for trying, just the same.

Soon after Michael's arrival, I introduced him to the boys who lived next door, since they were similar in age and he was off doing "guy stuff" right away. With this, I resigned myself to the fact that I would see little of him for the remainder of his visit. To my delight, I soon found that I had underestimated my cousin.

Every morning, Michael challenged me to a pillow fight after breakfast and then had me help him make beds, whistling or singing at the same time, as though I were actually enjoying it! As the days passed, I was surprised to find I not only enjoyed our shared chores, but looked forward to them.

With my cousin, I was discovering a world I had really never entered before. A world of sharing, caring openly, and looking for that proverbial silver lining, regardless of our circumstances.

Each night after dinner, Michael would go to his room to practice his violin. I would sit on my bed across the hall and stare at that closed door, as I listened to his music, sharing our unspoken love for its quality.

In two short weeks, I was amazed to see Michael accomplish his weight goal. And, to further prove my misplaced lack of faith, not a day passed that he did not share a portion with me. With that sharing, he made me feel important to him, bridging the gap of age that I had once thought would separate us.

It has been forty-eight years since that summer vacation. Not a year has gone by that Michael and I have not spent time talking and sharing our lives with one another across the miles of our geographical separation.

During that summer of my memories, a young teenage boy entered the life of a lonely little girl and built the foundation to a lifetime of friendship and shared hearts.

LINGERING REMINISCENCE by Eugenia S. Hunt

Days of discovery locked in splendor,

Laughter attacking recesses of pain.

Realm of love known only by one,

Yet, abundant to the given.

Tasks of joy, chorus of delight,

Shared images wrapped in cleft of song.

A redbird carrying secrets,

As a small messenger in flight.

Within struggles of life, pleasure found,

In days cast mid summer's spell,

Held in the mind, trapped 'neath one heart.

Breaking the crust of shielded hurt,

To shine, forever, in lingering reminiscence!

EXPOUNDED FEAR by Eugenia S. Hunt

The heat pierced the dust in the air, penetrating through my skin. From every direction, all terminating at once in my eardrums, came sounds of screams coupled with loud rasping, clanking percussion, vibrating through me to tear at my taunt nerves. I held tightly to the scrap of security in my upraised hand, fearing I would be consumed within the masses and sounds around me.

Up ahead, I could see a clearing in this confusion, encircled and set apart by scraps of unpainted lumber. Just a few steps and I could reach this Oasis away from the rumble of my surroundings.

My relief was short-lived. Once inside, a massive object loomed high above me with four extremities of near equal length. To my horror, it seemed to reach to the depths of me with an unblinking stare. I turned, wishing again to find an escape from my inner fear, when suddenly I was lifted high into the air as though I weighed nothing. I found myself being lowered upon the massive object, my protests unheeded.

I ached with a need to scream but no sound would come through my constricted throat. Breathing was impossible, though my heart was racing. Tears welled in my eyes and spilled to my flushed cheeks as the creature beneath me began to move. I was still clinging tightly to the same scrap of security that had been my only comfort. As we moved ahead, I found myself being propelled gently, with a quiet sway.

Slowly, my fears diminished, my tears dried on my chin, and my heart resumed its normal rhythm. I took a deep breath and, to my astonishment, found a smile beginning to spread through me, reaching the corners of my lips.

All too soon, I was lifted up again and placed safely on my feet. Immediately, I released my security hold, turned and darted back, squealing with my newfound voice, a crescendo above the Carnival's clamor.

Please, Daddy, please, I want to ride the pony again!!!

GARDENING DAY by Eugenia S. Hunt

It was the day after New Year's and my husband decided it was time to plant the Poinsettias, from the living room Christmas decorations, in the back corner of the yard.

As I watched from the kitchen window, he began to rake the area, sectioning out a 4 x 6 foot plot of soil. Once this was accomplished, he lit a cigarette and stood back to observe his work.

After finishing his cigarette, he began to remove the grass from the top of the soil, loosening the soil and removing any stones in the way.

At this point, it was time for another smoke and observation.

Once happy with his efforts, he walked back to the porch to retrieve his ground cover and scissors, carrying them to the site of activity along with several, very large rocks. He planned to use the rocks as a backdrop for the plants, against the fence behind. Now it was time for another cigarette and some thought.

After placing the ground cover over the soil, he took out his scissors and began cutting little crisscrosses in the cover in each location he intended to place a poinsettia. He removed the first plant from its festive container, placing its roots in the ground under the proper crisscross, and covered the roots with topsoil.

Again, he returned to the house, this time for a cup of coffee and, once back outside, another smoke.

As soon as he had secured the other three plants in place, it was, of course, time for another break.

When satisfied with the placement, he returned to retrieve the mulch from the patio. This was fortified with another cup of coffee.

Five hours from the beginning of his gardening, the mulch was in place. This called for another break and a trip to the house for "show and tell" and lots of praise from me.

As a final touch, he decided to place a little white fence, which was twelve inches high, around the garden to keep our 40 pound dog, Raven, from walking on the plants...Yeah, that'll work!

While he is taking his final viewing and having a smoke, I am back at the kitchen window thinking that he has done a beautiful job. The rocks are a very nice touch.

However, with the little white fence in place, we now have, what resembles, a very attractive, little "Pet Cemetery" in the corner of our back yard!

Yes, the Poinsettias are doing quite well!!!

(Thankfully, in June of 2007, my husband quit smoking and, after two years, is still smoke free.)

MY FARAWAY FRIEND by Eugenia S. Hunt

In June of 2007, I had to say goodbye to my childhood friend of fifty-three years. She chose to leave this world that had never been very kind to her, leaving behind a friend who will miss her for years to come.

Terri lived next door to me from 1954 until her family moved in 1963. Though we were miles apart, we stayed in touch and visited whenever we could. Later, she moved states away, and I began traveling to wherever the Air Force decided to send my husband and me. However, I could always count on a phone call, a card, or a letter from Terri, especially in October.

It was strange not to hear from her this October. She has always remembered me on Halloween since we were children. That was always our favorite time together. We, literally, ran from one end of town to the other, collecting and swapping candy and fun!

The phone rang one afternoon in October, 2006. The voice on the other end was creepy and sounded like an old man with a very scratchy throat. I almost hung up on her when, all of a sudden, she began to laugh. She had totally caught me off guard, for I had forgotten it was the thirty-first. She laughed and laughed at my surprise and her clever trick!

I have so many fond memories of our friendship. I still remember the first day I went over, at age three, to play on a pallet in the backyard with her, then only a year old. I remember riding my blue tricycle and watching a three year old, Terri, ahead of me, on her red tricycle, with long pigtails in ringlets.

Terri's voice still rings in my head and I hear her excitement, the day she ran across the driveway to get me when her new baby sister came home from the hospital. I remember her most prized possession, a doll named Angel, who stood as tall as her head.

Engrained in my memories are the adventures we had with our friend, Pam. Terri had an amazing imagination, and we were caught up in her stories, pushing the world aside, during those summer afternoons. We'd run through her backyard for hours on end with visions of horses and other characters in our heads.

It was fun to attend church with her, sharing that special time with her family. And she enjoyed the Sundays she went with me.

We had wonderful, silly times staying up all night in the basement of her home, giggling so loudly that her father would come down over and over to quiet us, which, of course, only made us giggle more!

The last time I saw Terri, we spent the weekend together at my house. I was home alone for a couple of days, and she came over to keep me company. I am so thankful for the memories of that weekend and the quiet time we had together.

So, here's to all of our shared phone calls, letters, and love for each other over the years! And to you I say, don't let time pass so quickly that you don't take the time to visit those you love, who love you. You just never know when you may lose the opportunity forever!

I will always cherish my friend and will miss, very much, sharing my life with her, especially every October!

PASS MY WAY by Eugenia S. Hunt

As the sun, burning brightly,

Softly cleansing each new day,

Spreading rays so lightly,

As it travels on its way.

So, a friend shares their love,

As the sun shares her rays,

Like a warm, winter glove,

On a cold and snowy day.

At times, it might be only

A spoken word or two,

When I was quiet, lonely,

You knew I needed you.

Or on the days of sunlight,

When the sky was vast and blue,

We found ourselves, to our delight,

Laughing each day through.

Because you are, to me, my friend,

The reason why I say,

I thank the Lord, all is well,

For you have passed my way.

LIFE'S HORRORS by Eugenia S. Hunt

The night grew dark with mystery as the clouds densely shrouded the face of the moon. In the distance, a barking dog began to howl, then, suddenly cried out as if in painful terror and fell silent. There was nothing but space and quiet all around her. Each step was slow and mechanical as she proceeded toward her destiny. A destiny that she had lived in dread of since first being told of the stories behind its existence.

Now the structure of her long awaited apprehension loomed ahead with gaping holes staring back at her. It watched her every move, waiting patiently for the inevitable meeting she must face.

Horrible things crept through her imagination. In her present terror, she thought she saw a demon streaked with blood with skin as pale as death pass by her, close enough to touch.

The cold, dark road gave no comfort, only yielding the entrance to the narrow pathway leading toward the source of her dread. She felt the blood rush inside her, as a human heart pounded, beating its drum of fear. As her feet touched the path, a series of explosions ripped through the silence, sending a shock through her body. Her steps froze as if nailed to the spot. As her insides churned and her fright mounted, she thought she could not go on. But she remembered the promise she had made to see this to the end.

With fists clenched, she ascended the final heights to reach the gaping hole ahead, as two eyes, bright and staring, caught sight of her. Then, so suddenly, it was time. In that instant, she realized just how frightening life's horrors can be, as she breathlessly whispered, "Trick or Treat."

HOME IS IN A MOTHER'S HEART by Eugenia S. Hunt

The day was cold with a north wind whipping through the water oaks and palms, as they shared their existence in the small Florida town.

Our steps were quick as we crossed the stretch of ground paved and lined for parking. We felt both excitement and uncertainty, waiting outside the hospital's locked door, as the attendant walked toward us.

Moments later, we were led into a lounge just down the hall from the outside door. It was a room bare, void of décor given from loving hands to a home. Only a few chairs and a small table completed the furnishings of the living quarters.

Looking on from our vantage point by the window, we watched the attendant and my friend's mother, as they walked across the courtyard to join us.

From where I stood with her excited daughter, I studied the woman. She walked with quick, short steps, her face partially hidden by long, dark strands, her eyes lowered and quiet.

At that moment, I began to feel such loss for these two people. A woman, so injured by life, that she must, forever, give up her freedom and exist in clinical surroundings. Her child, growing up without her guidance, in the hands of strangers with no home of her own, clinging to this shred of relationship.

Just then, the attendant led her charge into the room. Suddenly, she looked up and caught sight of her child and, as her hands went to her face, it came to life.

We sat together, three women, so alike and yet so far removed from each other. As mother and daughter talked, this woman, who was once so beautiful and alive, but whose life and mind was now slipping away from her, swung as a pendulum, from tears to singing of long loved songs. She remembered every word and every drum roll, with a once deep, rich alto voice, still filled with emotion. With the completion of her music, she looked at her child and, at that moment, I ceased to feel pity.

The love in each of their faces was so strong, it overwhelmed me. Through all the years of pain and separation, its strength had held on and flourished. I sat quietly, warming in its glow.

As I watched them together, my thoughts were of beauty and joy, not of my surroundings or the losses I felt standing by the window only minutes before.

Much too soon, it was time to leave and, as we walked along the sidewalk, she waved to us from behind that locked door to her world. But there were no tears, only pleasure and pride as she gazed at her child.

Across the miles of their separate lives, home was found in a mother's heart.

OCTOBER'S SUNSHINE by Eugenia S. Hunt

She came to me at summer's end,

A day when winter longed to send

The chilling winds that blow astray,

Flowing colors of Autumn's day.

Inside my heart, a tiny glow,

Flickered lightly, begin to grow;

Reaching out, I held her near,

Touched her skin, so soft, so dear.

I met her eyes and felt within

Eternal love, as it began;

A baby girl, God did bestow,

October's sunshine, set aglow.

EVENING REFLECTIONS by Eugenia S. Hunt

The silence reminds me of a tiny baby girl fast asleep in her cradle. Far off, the ocean waves run their hands along the sand. The chirping of the insects add mystery to the leaden night.

Clouds softly pass and the moon suddenly relights the sky, as if a switch had been touched by an unseen hand, turning it to silver. The stars peep through, shining as tiny, topaz fireflies on a summer night, against an ebony sky. A soft breeze rustles through the emerald palms.

Over the horizon stands a lone hotel with lights gleaming as eyes watching the passing cars. Streetlights cast eerie shadows upon the street as it again becomes deserted.

Resembling a tall sentinel reaching for the porcelain clouds, stands a single Date Palm.

As I sit here alone, I can quietly reflect on thoughts of my childhood. I remember peaceful nights of play before my mind was filled with adult realities.

The concrete patio, beneath my feet, feels of sandpaper.

The moment has passed too quickly. It is time to rejoin humanity. As I step across the grassy, moss green lawn, the scent of the salty air, carried by the breeze, breaks into my meditation. The bark of a dog somewhere close by drags me back to reality.

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