Trials


Airplane tracks across the sky decorate Edna’s days.  Every morning, as the parents lock themselves behind their computers and the children plug themselves into various machines, the silences within the house grow. 

She misses noise.

Edna wheels herself out the back door and parks upon a path in the garden, lovingly tended by nameless strangers speaking words she cannot understand.

They, also, are plugged in.

Are they disconnected, she wonders, or is she?



She stares at the sky.  Thousands of miles above her and a lifetime away, a plane full of passengers heads east. 

Edna’s husband was a pilot.  Every evening she and the children would lie on the grass, staring at the sky, pointing, wondering if this plane or that might be Daddy’s.

It was a noisy time, their childhood.  Full of screen doors slamming, children arguing, music blaring.

The children grew up and moved away.  Her husband died in a plane crash.  She was alone.

She took in children like feral cats; feeding them, clothing them, helping them with their schoolwork before returning them to their parents at the end of the day.

Her children worried about their inheritance.  They sold her home, rotating her between households once a year like an ill-fitting but necessary piece of furniture; Phoenix; Columbus; Ann Arbor; Indianapolis; each house the perfect temperature; perfectly clean; perfectly silent.

Her grandchild comes into the garden.  She lingers at a rose, lightly fingering its petals. 

Edna smiles and wheels towards her.  “Hello, Cassie” she says. 

The child smiles.

“Do you like flowers?”

She nods.  “Yes.”

“I could teach you,” she says.  “I know all their names.”  She wheels closer.  “Would you like that?”

“Yes, please.”  The child is polite.

The back door opens.  “Cassie, get away from those flowers,” her mother says.  You’ll ruin them.”  The child releases the red blossom.  “Come inside, now, and play your computer game.”

The child turns away.

Tears trail down Edna’s face.  “Everything is lost,” she says.   

“Hush, old woman,” she chastises herself.

This post was written in response to this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was trail.

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Trials

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trials


Airplane tracks across the sky decorate Edna’s days.  Every morning, as the parents lock themselves behind their computers and the children plug themselves into various machines, the silences within the house grow. 

She misses noise.

Edna wheels herself out the back door and parks upon a path in the garden, lovingly tended by nameless strangers speaking words she cannot understand.

They, also, are plugged in.

Are they disconnected, she wonders, or is she?



She stares at the sky.  Thousands of miles above her and a lifetime away, a plane full of passengers heads east. 

Edna’s husband was a pilot.  Every evening she and the children would lie on the grass, staring at the sky, pointing, wondering if this plane or that might be Daddy’s.

It was a noisy time, their childhood.  Full of screen doors slamming, children arguing, music blaring.

The children grew up and moved away.  Her husband died in a plane crash.  She was alone.

She took in children like feral cats; feeding them, clothing them, helping them with their schoolwork before returning them to their parents at the end of the day.

Her children worried about their inheritance.  They sold her home, rotating her between households once a year like an ill-fitting but necessary piece of furniture; Phoenix; Columbus; Ann Arbor; Indianapolis; each house the perfect temperature; perfectly clean; perfectly silent.

Her grandchild comes into the garden.  She lingers at a rose, lightly fingering its petals. 

Edna smiles and wheels towards her.  “Hello, Cassie” she says. 

The child smiles.

“Do you like flowers?”

She nods.  “Yes.”

“I could teach you,” she says.  “I know all their names.”  She wheels closer.  “Would you like that?”

“Yes, please.”  The child is polite.

The back door opens.  “Cassie, get away from those flowers,” her mother says.  You’ll ruin them.”  The child releases the red blossom.  “Come inside, now, and play your computer game.”

The child turns away.

Tears trail down Edna’s face.  “Everything is lost,” she says.   

“Hush, old woman,” she chastises herself.

This post was written in response to this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was trail.

Labels:

26 Comments:

At March 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM , Anonymous thepsychobabble said...

I think in that situation, I'd share her feelings.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Booguloo said...

Beautifully done.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 13, 2012 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous Scriptor Obscura said...

Wow. What a story. Wow. That's all I can say right now...I don't know what else to say here! This is so well-written. I really liked this story. Thanks for sharing it here with all of us, Kelly. You are a very good writer. Keep up the excellent work! :D

 
At March 13, 2012 at 10:25 AM , Anonymous Amanda said...

This is wonderfully written! And more relevant than I'd like to admit, though it's been on my mind too.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Amanda!

 
At March 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comments.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 1:53 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Kind of ironic that we're supposed to be so connected by our electronics, while our live interactions shrivel away.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM , Anonymous Bella said...

Kelly, as usual, you deliver a beautifully written post. Just the other day my mother and I were commenting how even though technology has allowed us to progress as a society, it's also served to create a great divide in relationships and families. There are days I yearn for the old days--days filled with board games and outdoor play. Days when families had dinner together and actually had conversations. Sigh.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

This is so sad. We should all honor our elderly and not pack them away like old baggage.

 
At March 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM , Anonymous Morgan Dragonwillow said...

This is wonderfully written. Sad.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 3:27 AM , Anonymous Mel @ According To Mags said...

I like this one a lot. Very well written and rings true in some situations.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 3:57 AM , Anonymous The Gal Herself said...

"You'll ruin them." Indeed. This is very moving.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 4:46 AM , Anonymous Neesa Cambay said...

This is so sad.

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At March 14, 2012 at 7:05 AM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

I also fear that this is where our lives may one day arrive, such has been the impact of technology alongside the selfishness and greed of man. Brilliantly and poignantly written of here.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 4:05 PM , Anonymous Rachel said...

Very moving and relevant. I told my ten year old niece how as children our parents kicked us outside to play from morning to dinner time. She had a horrified look on her face and asked, "What did you PLAY with?" I laughed and told her we played in the woods. She did not get it at all. I can't imagine being ten and not knowing how to entertain myself outside. Shocking.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM , Anonymous karen said...

Wow, there's so much in that. We've done away with a lot of the technologies available, and I am dying to put a fence up in our back yard to be able to kick my kids outside without me more. Not so much to get them away from me but rather to give them that time without me. We live in a place that does require the fence, fast cars in the alley, and the area is on the rougher side, otherwise I'd kick 'em out now!

 
At March 15, 2012 at 3:53 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Karen!

 
At March 15, 2012 at 3:54 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Rachel.

 
At March 15, 2012 at 3:54 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

 
At March 15, 2012 at 3:55 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I liked that line. Thanks!

 
At March 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM , Anonymous Olddognewtits said...

I sat with "this" woman, an old family friend, last week. Very sad. Remind me to invite all of your to my home daily when my kids leave home. Well said.

 
At March 15, 2012 at 1:16 PM , Anonymous Christine Hanolsy said...

I love that first line. Well, the whole first paragraph is perfect, but especially that first line. Though the part that really resonated was "...get away from those flowers... You'll ruin them." I found myself saying almost the same thing to my son the other day. This makes me think twice.

Very nicely done!

 
At March 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. My heart feels a little bit broken after reading this. Poor Edna. You've painted her picture beautifully. I've got the playing-outside type of kids, and I'm grateful for it. The flip side is that when they see their friends' gaming systems, they're completely dumbfounded. :-) Hope to see you back again soon.

 
At March 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM , Anonymous Lexy3587 said...

What a sad picture of what's lost when you plug in and disconnect. Really well written, the old woman is such a vivid character. I can't even imagine telling someone to stop being outside and go play your computer game, but it's true, it is becoming like that.

 

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