Finding Spring in San Diego

I stare out the window of the car, watching the red trolley whoosh by, its horn blaring a dull warning.

“Is it winter?”

In front, my mom doesn’t answer. She’s pushing the buttons that make the sound come out of the speakers. I hear lots of noise, some fun music, and boring NPR. My parents always listen to NPR. They were so impressed when I learned how to tell Google to “Play NPR,” but now they just tell me, “Ok, that’s good, Ben, you don’t need to turn it on right now.”

Not the Best Timing

Jenny Jemima had never been in love until she met Steve. They had fallen in love one New England summer over their shared passion: antiquing. Steve was a history buff and loved finding rare items that had, supposedly, been owned by well-known people in the past. A chamber pot once owned by Benjamin Franklin was one of his prized possessions. 

Into the Depths

Drop. Drip-drop.

Gaden hadn’t seen the light of day in a week. He hadn’t seen his family in even longer. Months had gone by since he had joined the exhibition to find a passage through the complex cave system of the Tirdanthe Mountains. He never wanted to go underground again.

Drip. Drip.

The cold air was wet with the expected smell of damp earth. It was the whiffs of putrid decay that unsettled him.

The Secret at the Redstone Inn

“Let’s move it to the right just a bit more. If we push it all the way to the wall, the trap door will be fully covered. No one will ever know it’s there.”

I felt calloused hands lift me up, straining against the weight, and then all four of my legs landed firmly once more on the stone floor. Only the leg that rested on the loose stone felt a little wobbly.

And there I sat, in the kitchens of the Redstone Inn, bearing a secret I wasn’t able to share.

Motherhood

Sam raised her face to the bathroom mirror and faced reality one more time. The red-rimming around her eyes had lessened but the puffiness was still there. Any remnant of her concealer had been rubbed off during her hasty attempt to dry her eyes on the walk over to the bar. The prominent dark circles under her eyes gave her the look of a loser in a boxing match. After shuffling around in her purse for a few seconds, she dug up a sticky tube of drug store concealer, along with a strawberry fruit strip wrapper and small green toy apatosaurus.

The Mockingbird

The old man sat on a bumpy stone wall overlooking the harbor and watched the men and women docking their sailboats. Wood gleamed in the morning sun and brightly-colored sails caught the eyes of the other onlookers. Each had their favorite team but everyone knew who would win: the gallant Flaming Dragon and its bold red and gold sails. Thanks to the deep pockets of city’s wealthiest citizens, there were rarely any other victors.