by Diana Beall
The raging storm came with a mighty roar. The wind blew fiercely, lightning flashed every few seconds, and thunder roared as the rain came splashing down against my window. It was so frightening, I couldn’t close my eyes. I wanted to scream, and I held it in for as long as I could, until a huge shadow passed by my window. “Mom-ma, daddy,” I yelled at the top of my lungs. They both came rushing in as the loving, concerned parents that they are.
“It’s only a bad storm,” my Mom would say as she kissed my forehead. “But, there’s something at my window,” I explained. My Dad walked over to the window and said, “Oh, I see the problem, son. What you see is a shadow of a large branch that keeps moving in the wind. I’ll fix that and close the curtains and make it disappear. Now, everything is all better.”
With my eyes still wide open, I asked, “What if there really is a monster or ghost out there?” As my Mom stroked my head, she talked about the bottle tree in our front yard. I listened as I did when it was Christmas Eve and she
by Ruth J. Hartman Last June, I traveled with my parents to a family reunion in Mississippi. My husband couldn’t get off work, so I rode the two-day trip from Indiana in my parents’ backseat.
The condo we stayed in was nice, but crowded. There was only one bedroom so I bunked on a scratchy, lumpy couch. It just happened to be six inches too short for anyone taller than a gnome to stretch out on.
Always a light sleeper, I tried to get at least fourteen minutes of shuteye before the next day’s onslaught of loud and affectionate relatives. But I kept hearing a bird that would not quit singing. The silly feathered thing sang all night long right outside the living room window. Were it not for the six inches of plastered wall between us, it would have literally been sitting on my head.
After several hours of lying on the too-short, scratchy couch, listening to the obnoxious bird twitter and chirp, I realized he was singing several different songs. With nothing else to do, I kept track. I counted twenty-one different melodies in his repertoire. He would only stop for a few minutes at a time. I assumed he was taking
by Cathy C. Hall
That Southerners are polite is a well-known fact. Not so well known, perhaps, is that we’ll take politeness to extremes, just to prove the point.
Hilton Head, South Carolina, is just across the Herman Talmadge Bridge, spanning the Savannah River. Today, Hilton Head is known as a resort area, golf courses and outlet stores covering almost every square mile that’s not beach. But the summer before I started high school, when my family rented a cottage there, Hilton Head was not nearly as developed. One lone plaza, with a grocery store and an ice cream shop, were all that the island had to offer on the social scene. So it was not too surprising to run into folks there. But to find folks we actually knew? No one expected that.
There we were at the ice cream shop, me, my three brothers, and Mom and Dad, filling up on double scoop cones. In walked a young teenager that my oldest brother recognized as a schoolmate. The schoolmate’s family followed close behind. So, we all chatted awhile, the parents discussing about where we were renting in relation to where they were renting. No one was really paying much attention. It