Daisy waited by the tracks day and night for her beloved. The morning express fueled a jolt of anticipation but would deflate after the final call midnight. For years she kept the routine, working to uphold the promise made long ago. He’d come to her and she’d wait for him in Ljubljana before setting off to travel together. In truth, the two did meet but tragedy struck soon afterwards when their train collided headlong into another. Daisy survived the accident but with anterograde amnesia. Her beloved perished but not before whispering last words that he’d wait for her in the afterlife.
Clark heard a whisper in his right ear. He had been climbing the rock-face of the Yosemite for seven days straight, hardly getting any sleep under the mountain’s shadow. With his head turned, he heard another whisper, this time from his left and a bit more coherent.
“Turn back. This is not your time.”
The mountain then rumbled as several loose rocks tumbled down the cliff side.
“No!” Clark hissed. “Not after that wench left me!”
A jostle of voices now rang between his two ears, almost making him convulse under the strain of his weight. He gasped for breath as sweat evaporated off his forehead. Then he heard it. Her voice rang from up above, beckoning him to come in jest.
Anger seethed from every pore as he tore his pickaxe into the overhanging rock. The mountain however would have none of it. The pickaxe broke off a piece that sent both Clark and the rock-face rolling. When the dust had settled, the tears of rage were no more. They found their peace in the murmurs of the cold-water stream below.
Little Jane walked the run of the fence. Its metallic rails felt like prison bars that forbade insight. “Mommy, Mommy. What lies on the other side?” she asked with one-hand tugging and the other pointing.
“A very bad man” replied her mother with a terse tone.
They came to a stop and Jane heard another voice.
“Can I see her?”
“Not until you pay for your crimes.”
“Please Maryanne, just this once. I’m running out of time.”
Jane heard papers rustling followed by an almost silent weeping. Years later, she would learn that her father died both poor and blind.
Rudolph, the bulldog circled about the twenty-by-twenty fenced yard. Having been chained to a tree since birth, the yard was both his home and universe. Others who ventured close to his territory were met with streaks of vicious barks. Those who found themselves inside the yard feared for their lives.
Rudolph only had a soft spot for two things in the universe. His owner, an old lady who fed him daily, and butterflies that would flutter freely in and out of the yard. Like a child that had just learned to walk, he would prance around dancing with the butterflies before the chain would snap taut, sometimes coiling around and yanking his neck. The old lady would then have to untangle the mess before his ADD kicked in again.
So it came as a surprise that when the old lady had finally decided to enter a retirement home and Rudolph was unchained, he stopped dancing with those butterflies. In fact, he spent most of his time nuzzling the metal leash that used to collar his neck. Like a third arm that had been severed, he had tried reattaching it with his awkward paws to no avail. Tragic that the butterflies that once brought him such joy to life no longer held the same appeal.