Category Archives: stories

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 10): Warmth

      …  Parts 9 (Found)8 (Lost), 7 (Rock), 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays…

     The smell of grits pulled me out of the dark place to which I had been dragged by the lightening bugs.  It was a welcome change from that odor of fear in which I had last bathed.  As I opened my eyes, half expecting to see old Mary’s muzzle, instead, I saw only a band of white.  It was evident that I lay upon a bed, softness all around me.  I gave a start, that terrible notion of being back in Virginia taking hold for an instant.

“She’s awake!  Doctor!”

     That was Anna’s voice!  My sweet, courageous Anna!  Then, what I saw was no fevered illusion.  It had been her, in the flesh, if only one of her.  She had indeed come back for me.  I nearly cried with gratitude to the Lord above.  She was safe.  I was safe.  Even old Mary, whom my torpid limbs had endangered, was safe.  And warm!  It was so blessedly warm here.

     Where was here, as a matter of fact?  I turned my head gingerly toward the source of those dulcet tones, wary of the pain I’d felt the last time I’d tried to move.  Now, I felt no pain at all.  I did feel the softest touch, though, upon my face.  The warmth of those fingers was as the kiss of the sun on a cold winter’s morn.  I tried to reach up, but my arm felt like lead.

“Don’t try to move, honey child.”

     That whisper into my ear fed me more than any mana from heaven.  I felt my whole body relax, letting go of the fear and tension of the past days.  But why were my eyes covered?

“I can’t see you.”

      I felt another hand take hold of mine, caressing it tenderly as one would comfort a wounded house cat.

“Shh, shh.  Don’t you worry.”  

     How could I worry?  I was too happy to be here, with her by my side.  She must have intuited my thoughts, for she gave my hand a gentle squeeze, before continuing,

 “Your head is bandaged all the way around, to protect you from moving too much.  You took a right good fall from old Mary.”

     My happiness turned instantly to sorrow.  I felt ashamed of my clumsiness, having again thrown our plans into disarray.  My mouth must have turned down, because Anna recognized my shame right away.

“No, no, don’t you even.”  

     My hand got a slightly sharper squeeze, now.  Not painful at all, but enough to know that she felt I was thinking nonsense.  

“That fall was all my fault.”

     Her fault?  But I was the one who’d fallen off of the horse!

     She took both of my hands by those long tapered fingers, shifting to sit up, as nearly as I could tell, directly in front of my propped up head.

 “Now look, Miss Willow.”  

     That formal tone got my attention.

 “I knew that you had never sat such a saddle before in your life, so it was my responsibility to keep you from falling.  I failed.  Had old Mary not answered my calls, we might still be out there looking for you.”

     Her calls?  What calls?  Did she mean to say that the cry of that strange bird had been her, all along?  I set my head slowly to one side, pondering the possibility until a mild ache reminded me not to move.  She must have taken my meaning, for she burst into a laugh so sudden that she let go of both of my hands.

“You mean -do you mean to tell me that you thought my calls to old Mary were some animal  out there in the woods?  Is that what you were trying to say that made you pass out when I found you?”

     I closed my mouth, only just having realized that it was hanging open.  What a fool I was.

“Oh, my dear Willow, I forget how little of the outside world you have seen, trapped in that big old house.  I am sorry, I do not mean to laugh, it’s just that I never even thought of it!”

     Of course, I finally understood.  No bird in the woods could be dangerous.  Just like the lightening bugs.  I’d been delirious.  I hung my head just a little.  Then I felt warm arms around my shoulders, gently hugging me.

“Well, now, you are not to worry.  We’ve arrived safely at our station, and can rest here a few days before going on.  You need time to mend.”  

     She paused, and I felt the bed lighten, as she must have stood up.

 “Doctor H. here is going to have a look at your head.  Don’t be afraid.”  

     I felt her pat my hand, before placing my arm at my side.  Then the bed tilted again, as a heavier weight sat beside me.  A smell of rose water told me that this man was a gentleman of standing.

“Hello, Willow.  Welcome to my home.  I am the Conductor in this town.  My wife is preparing some breakfast, if you can hold a bit of food down, but first I must see to your head.”

     He spoke like a white man accustomed to authority, but kind in it’s use.  His accent was from Maryland, but if Anna trusted him, then so would I.  I opened my mouth to thank him, but he quickly cut me off.

“No, no, don’t try to speak.  You have a serious concussion, and need to save your strength.”

     I felt the bandages unwinding, my head feeling more light, as if a pressure were lifting away.  While the ache grew a bit sharper, the growling of my stomach was beginning to compete quite successfully.  After re-wrapping my head, the doctor pronounced me in good recovery, and withdrew from the room, if the sound of his retreating footsteps and the soft click of a door was any judge.

     I felt Anna sit back down on the bed beside me and take up my hand.

“I can hear your stomach rumbling, so that makes two of us.”

                  I smiled, hearing the mischief in her voice.

 “Dr. H. and his wife are good white folks.  We can rest here, for a while.”

     I recalled dimly that Dr. H. had been meant to meet us with a carriage out there, in the woods.  From there, ‘Joe’ was to have driven us along the road into town.  But that was before we met with the bear, thankfully.  I felt a pity for the poor beast, and a guilty gratitude, as well.  Had it not been for that terrible sacrifice, we might now be sitting in a slave gaol, rather than this warm refuge.  My stomach rumbled, reminding me that I needed to sit up a bit more to eat.  

     Just then, the door opened again, and a smell hit me that I had never in my life expected to enjoy.

       This is the continuation scene in my new historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 9 was last Sunday, and Part 11 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 18 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning, and historical stories inspire tool-building, right?  “Of course right!”

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Some Tours are Worth Marching, Part II

      …  Results of an UnSat Plebe’s Cost Benefit Analysis…

     I was  asked about the follow-on effects of last week’s post, and whether I decided to leave Annapolis.   I did not.

   This expedited my decision to fight harder, not bilge out. I never resigned, much to the disappointment of several: I did make some bad decisions about what to study, choosing those menus and extra briefings over my calc and chem, resulting in non-passing grades in those courses (my A’s in English and History were not enough to pull up the rest of my GPA), and the Academic Board, where the Superintendent informed me that I would be involuntarily separated due to issues that included my continuing weight loss, and my Company Officer’s report fearing for my health (who, having threatened to send me to Bethesda Navy Medical, I admitted that I had a history of weight loss, anemia, and amenorea under extreme stress, insisting that I could deal with it).

     But, not resigning, not even looking for the CIR brick (I wonder if that old joke is still part of the Tradition), made a difference.

     On the day I was leaving my company area for the last time, on the stairwell, an upperclassman, the only one I liked or respected, as I recall, stopped me, commented that he respected the hell of a fight I’d put up, asked me if I was part Native American (he was from one of the SWern states), and when I said that I wasn’t sure, but the family legend said yes, he said yes, too, held out his hand to shake mine, and when I said ‘Thank you, Sir, he said, not Sir, and thank you for fighting.’

     That handshake and comment taught me:

“Sometimes you gotta fight, when you’re a man.”

     And he respected me as if I were a man -the first time in my life that I had won such respect.

That mattered.

     I hope that that upperclassman who shook my hand has remained in service, because we need more officers in the Admiralty with fair-minded integrity, if we are to survive these crises we face now.

Shira

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

(P.S.:   the handshake and ‘brain-dumping’ C-PTSD symptoms I arrived with, were questions after posting this, and so this post is thanks to comments from part I

S.)

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this anecdote may encourage out of the box thinking about our military, and might also help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 19 of 67 plans…),

  Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning.  There is also my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 9): Found

      …  Parts 8 (Lost), 7 (Rock), 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays…

     I heard that strange bird make it’s call again, closer still, which augured nothing good.  If this was to be my end, I wanted to at least let old Mary here get away.  I tried to lift my head, and got kicked by more lightening bugs for my trouble.  Never knew those bugs could kick anything, but they sure did.  I tried to puff out a breath.  No.  That only made her come closer.  I began to feel myself tremble, and even thought I smelled the stench of fear that could only come from my body.  Horse sweat smelled sweeter and pure.  That smell was so close I could see myself rolling up onto old Mary’s back, my leg levitating over the saddle as if by some art of magic.  The pain that exploded through my body as my head came up was no magic.  Try though I did to stay quiet, a croak escaped my throat .

“Hush, now.”

     I was sure I’d finally gone mad, out here.  I imagined I had heard the voice of my dear sweet Anna, whom I feverishly hoped was far away, safe from these dangers.  Feeling a gentle touch upon my neck, I tried opening my eyes again, and beheld four familiar windows into the soul of the one I most feared to see:  Anna was indeed there beside me, rolling me onto old Mary, who had apparently once again done her circus trick of laying her large frame right down on the ground.  This blessed creature had practically wormed herself under my body, somehow.  Kneeling right beside her, in double beauty, were two images of my Anna.  My dear, sweet, wonderful, and now also in danger, Anna.  I tried to warn her about that strange bird, but my mouth only admitted a grimace, and then the lightening bugs had their say, forcing my eyes closed again in a nauseated haze.  I felt a finger upon my lips as the earth seemed to pull my limbs down, and then, forgive me, the pain and smells all faded away again.

       This is the continuation scene in my new historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 8 was last Sunday, and Part 10 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 18 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning, and historical stories inspire tool-building, right?  “Of course right!”

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

short narrative nonfiction: Some Tours are Worth Marching

      …  Memories of an UnSat Plebe’s Cost Benefit Analysis…

     I was chopping down the hall after breakfast, almost to my room.  No upperclassmen around.

 

“Miss Jones!”

     Him.  And of course, I’d not had time to memorize that damned menu for tomorrow’s evening meal.

 

“Yes, Sir!”

“Hit a bulkhead!

“Ay, ay, Sir!

     Before I had even gotten to the side of the hall, he was standing there, waiting.  What did this guy do, camp out in his classmate’s room by my door?  F***’in-A!

 

“Miss Jones, did you try to hip-check Mr. O?”

     That fat Firstie I ran into on the way to Morning Meal Formation?  Seriously?  He’s twice my weight!  Actually, almost every upperclassman was twice my weight.  This one probably weighed three of me.  Why on earth would I ever try to hip-check the guy?

 

“No, Sir!”

“He says you tried to hip check him this morning!  What the hell, Miss Jones!”

     Mr. Dizane stared at me with open contempt.  He was Marine Corps option, with muscles on his eyeballs.  I was 105 soaking wet, which was 5 pounds and several weeks below my “allowed” weight.  The day he’d jumped up on the scale with me to shout that I was “screwing up, Miss Jones, you’re not eating, Miss Jones!” was a study in stupidity.  How on earth was 10 minutes in the Wardroom, while hefting tables and singing Anchors, Away, followed immediately, of course, by the Marine Corps anthem, supposed to be enough to eat anything?  Being the only plebe in my company not getting chow packages was a serious problem.

 

“I didn’t see him, Sir.”

“Bullshit, Miss Jones!  Give me a Form 2!”

“But Sir -”

“Are you being a Sea Lawyer, Miss Jones?!  You are not getting Liberty until you graduate from this place!”

     That was it.  I knew he wanted me gone, but this took the cake.  My fist curled around the edge of the demerit form as I pulled it from the lining of my cover, placing it back on my head just so, before handing over the form.

 

“Permission to speak freely, Sir.”

     He’d looked me up and down, taking his own sweet time, my frickin’ study time, to answer.

 

“I bet you want to hit me, don’t you, Miss Jones.  Don’t you?”

     He stepped closer to me, his nose nearly touching my forehead as he looked down at me.  I gritted my teeth harder as I stared straight ahead, forcing myself to un-clench my fists.

 

“Go ahead, Miss Jones, let’s hear this one.”

     By the time he’d stepped back, I was shaking with anger, my jaw nearly locked closed.  I looked him in the eye, imagining him swallowed up by the Atlantic.  I could even smell the salty air beyond the Severn.

 

“Sir, I suggest we take our rifles, and both run the sea wall.  Let’s see who drops in first.”

     Had I just said that?  Oops.

     Cost of “correctly” insulting an upperclassman:

          1. yet another 15 minute full military briefing on the Pheonix II missile system,

           2. blowing yet another calc or chemistry exam, and

            3. likely going to the Ax Boards, if my GPA fell enough.

 

Benefit: the look on his face was priceless.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

(P.S.:  too bad I didn’t think of the new title, or the handshake and ‘brain-dumping’ C-PTSD symptoms I arrived with, until after posting this, and partly thanks to commentors…

S.)

 

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this anecdote may encourage out of the box thinking about our military, and might also help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.  Writing is my personal contribution to Project Do Better.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

   This, btw, was the first time I’d been given the respect that men generally only give to other men.  The second time was when I lived and worked in Izmir, in 2005, and the third time was when I was a PhD student in Bath.

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past via Stayed on Freedom’s Call,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plan list) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

  Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning.  There is also my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 8): Lost

      …  Parts 7 (Rock), 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays…

     In my fear of the slave hunters, I had forgotten my fear of riding.

     That was a grave error.

“Shoot ‘im again!  Shoot ‘im!!”

     As I looked back at that bear, its terrible face lifted to the sky, my grip on old Mary’s mane slipped a little.  I let go with my right hand, reaching down as I turned my head back, feeling for the reins.  More shots rang out, and I jumped, losing the right rein I had just retrieved.  I was barely managing to keep my seat, stretched over the pommel as I was.

     Then I saw the log.

     When I awoke, it seemed like days must have passed.  Night had fallen, cold and still.  The smell of pine needles and earth was mingled with a foul under taste.  Blood.  I lifted my head a little, and saw lightning bugs appear just above my eyes.  Wait, that couldn’t be right.  It was too cold now, for lightening bugs.  I tried to get up, and immediately regretted it. 

     My aching body protested, the slightest movement producing a jolt of pain that yanked a whimper from my lips.  As if in reply to that pained prayer, a sound like somebody sweeping dirt under the carpet came from beside me.  Try as I might, though, I could not make my body turn over to see the source of that sound.  I sighed in despair.  Even that hurt.

“Dear Lord, please let me go.”

     It was the only prayer I could make.  But it was not the Good Lord who answered me.  Instead, I felt a familiar muzzle nudging my shoulder, just as a strange sounding bird made a double cry.  I felt a shuffling against my left arm, and then the fall of four hooves stepping over me just as gently as could be, touching the ground inches away from my chilled limbs.  That muzzle lowered itself back to my head, breathing into my face as I’d gotten used to old Mary doing.

     Old Mary!

     That strange bird called again, closer this time, and I began to worry, alone out here in these woods.  I had tried once to be still like a rock, and look at me.  Instead of being like a rock, I appeared to have hit my head on one.  Not exactly walking by faith.  Even worse, I’d got old Mary here into danger along with me.  Anna would not be happy with me.  But right now, that was the least of my troubles, for she was not here.  In point of fact, I didn’t even know where here might be.   My dear guide Anna could navigate these woods in surety, I could not.

     And now, we’d gone and gotten separated.

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 7 was last Sunday, and Part 9 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning, and historical stories inspire tool-building, right?  “Of course right!”

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

short narrative nonfiction: “I Shouldn’t Exist?”

      …  Memories of visiting mid 1970’s NYC from NJ…

     We were in one of those tunnels, smelling the stink of the city.  Was this the Lincoln, or the Holland?  I could hear Suzanna calling the gas station owner a putz, again, over the cough of her little VW’s engine.   I thought I’d seen a flash of blue light for a second, but then the engine stuttered.  I hoped we wouldn’t break down.   She’d said that he watered down his gas to make more money.  How did they put water in the gasoline, anyway?  Wasn’t it all closed up somewhere?    I turned to Suzanna.  She knew so many interesting things, and never told me to stop asking questions.  

She wouldn’t look at me.

     My stomach started to get upset, the way it did with other people, when they got mad.  But I’d never seen Suzanna mad at me, even when I peaked in her room at the Wonder Woman poster she was saving for my seventh birthday.

“Look.”

     Her voice was wrong, not hers.  I tried to look over at her, but I couldn’t move.  What did I do?     It was like …   Why were we pulling over?

     Suzanna looked up at the rear view mirror, at something behind us.  When she turned back, leaning to look me in the eyes, her face wore a mask of fright.

     “Alright, that cop is going to think you’re my daughter.”  

     She looked at me in a weird way.  Like I scared her, and went on,

“So he’s going to think that I’m dating a Black guy.  So don’t go making any of your smart alec remarks.”

     She turned back to her window, working the hand crank and pushing on it to finish rolling the window down.  Just then, a big white man with a very pink face appeared in her window, looking over at me, then back at her.

     It was that same look I’d seen every time a kid was about to beat me up.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

  Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning.  There is also my historical series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 7): Rock

      …  Parts 6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays:

          We’d started on our way again, in spite of it being daylight. It was early morning, with the rising sun just as freshly awakened as we were. I was awake and worrying about our plan so as not to worry about little Sal and Miss Mary. Anna had agreed that there was no point in waiting, since we were only about a day’s ride to our next station. Still, I fretted, though I tried not to let it show.

I did not want my companion troubled by my inconstant humors. That turned out to be a good thing, it would seem.

“Stop!” Her urgent whisper had sent pins and needles from my belly up through my arms.

“Get your head down, quick!”

Anna had grabbed the reins out of my hands and led all of us over to a large fallen tree
before I even knew she was beside me. Our horses must have been well trained, for they followed her tightly together with their heads down, so that I could hardly move at all. I flattened my body along old Mary’s neck, feeling as if I might fall off any moment. Then Anna did a thing I had never even heard of.

“Just hold right on, and be still, like a rock.”

She clucked her tongue and patted both horses heads. To my utter surprise, we four, like the Children of Israel, fell to the ground as one man. Even more amazingly, we did so in complete silence. The sounds of a few birds, preparing for the long winter ahead, and a light breeze rustling the fallen leaves of a few trees also preparing to brave the coming cold were all that my ears could tell me. I started to raise my head to look around, but felt the lightest touch of Anna’s hand upon my arm, warning me not to move.
Then I heard them.

Voices, moving through the woods, only just coming within my hearing. Yet my sweet
Anna had heard them well before now, and acted with steadier nerve than many a man. How did she do that?

Then came another sound which I heard at a distance, but well enough to bring the taste of
bile to my throat.
A dog had barked.

I began to pray, as the smell of my own sweat hit me, mingled with the smell of horse and
pine needles. My face was buried between the necks of our two horses, who had somehow
managed to lay themselves down with us still mounted upon them. Not if I lived a hundred years and finally got to see a circus perform did I ever expect to see something like that. I gave thanks for this minor miracle, and asked the Almighty for the grace to let us remain unseen and unheard by those who sought our return to bondage. I also prayed for forgiveness. I would need it, if I got to my sewing basket before those patrollers got to me.

“Stay here, and don’t move.”

What was she up to, now? I felt Anna move, silent as the grave, from off of her horse,
gliding low across the ground over to a large bush that might have had some berries on it, a few weeks ago, and scatter something, then glide back to our hiding place, almost in the blink of an eye, despite the distance she had covered. The dog barked again, closer this time, and I heard shouts, as if several men were following.

As the racket grew louder, Anna looked both ways, as if about to cross a street in the Federal City,

“Hold on tight, old Mary won’t let you fall.”

Before I had time to ponder those words, she had clucked her tongue and patted both horses heads again. I felt both of our mounts surging up into the air, and wrapped my fingers in old Mary’s mane as my feet found the stirrups. With another click of her tongue, we both began to walk backwards! My stomach roiled as the shouts and barking grew closer, and we were finally able to see our pursuers. The were indeed slave patrollers, and most likely looking specifically for us.

Then, I saw another sight which I shall never forget. A black bear, which I had somehow
utterly failed to notice, was sniffing at the bush Anna had just left. As the shouts became orders to stop, directed at us, and the barking became the baying of a hound which has cornered its quarry, the bear looked at them, and stood up. Growling.

As if this were exactly what Anna had been waiting for, she gave a sharp whistle, and the
ears of both our mounts perked up to points.

“Hold on!” Anna spurred her horse, and jerked to the left.

All I’d had time for was a glance her way, as old Mary surged forward, in time with her
companion, wheeling around so sharply that I only just managed to stay seated. I heard the sounds of a dog crying out in pain, a bear growling at the sky, and a gun shot.

I leaned over old Mary’s neck, flattening out with her as she and our friends beside us
stretched their necks. I clung to good old Mary’s mane for dear life, my legs wrapped around her flanks as my fingers clutched the hair of her mane, my face nearly buried in that hair whipping around mingled with mine. Over the noise of our hooves, I could hear the commotion behind us.

It sounded closer.

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 6 was last Sunday, and Part 8 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 16 of 67 plans…),

       and Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning…

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Mindful Mondays, female leaders, and Adulting Ed.

I was just thinking about Amelia, and doing a full review series of El Ministerio del Tiempo, which brought this post to mind. I almost wish that I’d put a fantasy element into my series Ann & Anna, now…

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Community via Books, Lessons, and Story

Shirley Chisholm was a role model for many Black women.

Legal & Financial Pro-Bono and continuing education (aka Adulting Ed.) is easier when there are strong role models for all of us, and helping to build those new role models is also part of Phase I of the Four Freedoms movement -as these shows do:

I’m still emotionally buzzing from the end of episode 21 of El Ministerio del Tiempo and Amelia’s incredible courage, and character arc !!

More than just one protagonist, though, she stands in a line of female main characters (not always lead or protag, actually) who start off as just intelligent, and develop into both intelligent and strong female characters, a bit like Hermione Granger from the HP series:  these ladies began with some kind of growing to do, and did that growing through painful events, but grew, emotionally and personally (courage, commitment, etc) to…

View original post 420 more words

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 6): Believe

 

                 Part 5 was last Sunday

 

     “Yes, Ma’am.”  I nodded again, hoping she was right, but not truly believing it, in my heart of hearts.  I reached out, and she opened her hand, lacing her fingers through mine. I could have stayed like that forever, but old Mary shifted her weight, reminding us that none of us were our own mistresses.  We must hurry on, if we were to remain out of chains.

 

     “Believe it.”    How did she do that?  There it was.  She had that twinkle in her eye.

 

She gently released my hand, patting Mary’s broad neck as she glanced at my reins before ducking under the head of her own horse.  She was mounted before I even noticed.  She was so practiced at this, I knew, but still felt in awe of her dexterity.  Both of mind and of body.

 

As we continued in the direction which, if I recalled my lessons correctly, was meant to be North by North West, I wondered how much longer we might be out here, at the mercy of any poor Marylander in need of our reward money.

 

For, rewards, on both our heads, there surely would be.

 

     “I don’t mean to pry, but I do wonder something.”  I turned my head, and saw that twinkle, again.  “Will we be out here, I mean in these woods, for much longer?”

 

     “No, Miss Willow,” she’d answered with the softness of a fuzzy pod seed, “we will not.”  She’d looked over at me, touching me with her eyes.  “Another day or so, at the outside.  By then we should be in the town of Westminster, where we are to meet up with Dr. H.”

 

I felt badly then, recalling how the panic of little Sal and my dear Miss Mary had spoiled our carefully laid plans for a quiet escape, forcing the retreat to our secondary, and less convenable, escape plans.  I could only hope and pray that things did not go too hard with Sal, Mary, and the others back there, who had been made to pay for my errors, the last time.

I could not bear to think on it.

 

       This is the continuation scene in my new series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

 Part 5 was last Sunday, and Part 7 (Rock), posted the next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

     by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

           We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

( 5 month GED lesson 16 of 67 plans),

   and  Babylon 5 review posts, from a Minbari Ranger’s perspective: story inspires learning…

Toward Peace,

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

Shira

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page, and please do let us know here that you’ve reviewed it there!  🙂

Meddling With Archangels

  I wrote the short story   “Think Before Meddling With Archangels (how I wish I’d thought to shorten that title earlier!) as a completion of the initial scene Angels and Clay Blobs that I started back in 2012, and finally posted in 2014.  In between these two versions, I went through a couple of earlier (one with a name I liked, but feared might catch some flack, so changed it…) versions before finally posting TBMWA, which was my first, and so far only,  entry for a story contest, this one based on rational decision-making narrative.

       The initial scene of Angels and Clay Blobs actually kicked off my very first NaNo novel, Creator: Friend or Foe, which, after 7 drafts, will die a quiet death like every first practice novel.  Hubris and Hemlock, my second NaNo novel, is actually deserving of the title, having a plot!

🙂

I look forward to your thoughts on the writing process.

Shira

Action Items:

1.) What are your thoughts on using story to build new tools for our society?

2.) Share your thoughts on how this idea may help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     help us all  Do Better to build a kinder and safer future for all of us…

 

Peace     ! שָׁלוֹם

Shira Destinie

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

(Online pdfs of 5 month GED lesson 15 of 67 plans…), and

Babylon 5 review posts, from a Ranger’s PoV: how story inspires learning…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira