Sunday, April 30, 2017

This is our last blog post friends!

Everyday since Sasha found the old woman’s apartment empty, she walked around the city searching for any sign of the woman. She searched the abandoned observatory, the diner, the bookstore, and all the restaurants in town to no avail. After a few days Sasha couldn't think of any more places to search. One morning Sasha was sitting in her apartment scrutinizing a map of the city, when there was a news report on the TV about Rory Langley having been hit by a car. Sasha was not surprised by the report. Ever since the grave robbery the city began looking more and more like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Glancing back up at the TV, Sasha immediately recognized the sketch of the supposed murderer; it was obviously Jenn Sonyac. Jenn worked at the same animal hospital that Sasha brought Cupcake and Lollipop to. “This town must be cursed,” Sasha said shaking her head. With no hope of finding the old woman, Sasha knew it was time to do what she planned to do last week. Pulling out her laptop she booked a cheap flight to Colorado and arranged to meet a couple who was looking to rent their small cabin. Sasha put the leashes on her dogs, grabbed her suitcase that was still packed, and dropped her keys and note off on Ellen’s desk.

Sasha walked several blocks until she reached the airport shuttle stop. As soon as she stepped up to the curb a coach bus pulled around the corner. Just as Sasha was putting her suitcase on the bus, she could feel her phone vibrating in her pocket. Sasha was surprised to see that Wren Henry was calling her.
“That’s odd,” Sasha thought.
“I haven’t talked to him since the time he punched Jamie in the face.”
Seeing the quizzical look on Sasha’s face, the bus driver asked, “Are you feeling alright?”
Sasha turned her phone on silent and then turned to the bus driver, “I’m okay. I’m just need to get out of here.”
The bus driver nodded as Sasha and her dogs took their seats. As the bus pulled away Sasha looked back at the city. All she could think of as she stared out the window were the dirty streets, the odd mix of people, the terrible food, the horrendous smells, the dilapidated buildings, the grave robbery and the murder. As the bus continued moving, the city waned, until, to Sasha’s obvious delight, the city disappeared from view.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"You're not getting cold fins now are you" - Ariel

Sasha was finally back at work after the paint incident. The owners of the book store needed extra set of hands after the giant storm. A tree broke through a window, leaving many of the books to be destroyed by the wind and the rain. Sasha was picking soggy books off the floor and putting them in a pile on the counter. The bookstore was completely silent and there was not a sole in sight, “this is perfect,” Sasha thought. As she’s working, Sasha sees a colorful flyer that had been blown through the broken window. The bright blue bold title read “Movie in the Park,” and the subtitle read “Join us for baked goods, rides, music, and a feature of the Little Mermaid”. At first as Sasha read the flyer a slight smile broke across her face as she remembered how she used to love dressing up as the little mermaid and dancing around the house. As soon as the image faded Sasa crumpled up the flyer and threw it in the trash: “what’s the point of going to a movie if I can’t even hear it,” Sasha thought. As she finished up her work at the bookstore, Sasha looked out the broken window and saw streams of people headed towards the park for the festival. They all carried looks of joy on their faces. “I can’t be here any more,” Sasha exclaimed. She jump out the broken window and ran back to the Victorian. Back at her apartment Sasha began throwing clothes and food into her duffel bag. Cupcake and Lollipop ran around the cramped apartment, barking all the while at Sasha’s frantic packing. After cramming the final book into her suitcase Sasha zipped it up, grabbed the dog leashes, and left her apartment with cupcake and lollipop. Before she left town, Sasha wanted to go by the old woman’s apartment, hoping the woman would agree to come with her. As she walked up the stair she peered out the window and saw the full moon appear to glow a bright orange. “Nothing good ever comes from a full moon,” Sasha thought. She continued hiking up the seemingly infinite number of stairs. When she reached the top of the building, Sasha opened the door to the old woman’s apartment, which was always left unlocked. Sasha’s mouth dropped open. The apartment was empty. There were no book cases, no chair, not even the kitchen was there. Most importantly, the old woman was nowhere in sight. Sasha sunk to the floor with her head in her hands.

Monday, March 6, 2017

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." - George Bernard Shaw

Sasha left the Victorian for the first time since she met the old woman in the park. After looking through her cupboard earlier that morning and realizing all that was left was a can of spam, Sasha’s hunger finally drove her to walk across the street to the 24hr diner at 2am. When she walked out the door she was greeted with pounding rain. She couldn't hear the thunder, but could see the bright flashes of lightning dash across the sky. Instead of going back inside for an umbrella, she just let the thick drops soak through her black t-shirt. As soon as she walked in the diner, there was an overwhelming smell of grilled meat. Sasha picked a corner booth. She couldn’t hear the squeak of the seat as her wet clothes rubbed against the vinyl booth.
When the waitress came by, looking slightly disheveled, she asked Sasha in an exacerbated tone, “What do you want?”.
Sasha picked up the menu and pointed to number 8. The waitress scribbled something on her pad of paper and walked back towards the kitchen. As Sasha sat patiently she couldn’t hear the country pop songs playing quietly over the diner’s speaker. Trying not to loose the sound of music Sasha tried to sing some of her favorite songs in her head. She played them almost as if she was listening to the recorded version on her iPod. She could hear the guitar riffs and the measured beat of the drums. Now Sasha was trying to remember “Don’t Know Why”, one of her favorite Norah Jones songs. There was one line she couldn't seem to remember.
“It was something about the break of day”, Sasha thought.
Reaching the corners of her mind for the missing lyric Sasha began to well up with frustration.
“I can’t remember!” Sasha exclaimed, slamming her first onto the formica table.
The waitress, witnessing Sasha's outburst, quickly plopped a plate of bacon, scrambled eggs, waffles, and hash browns onto the table and scuttled away. The immediate smell of hot cooking oil wafted around the plate. The buttery waffles and the thick cut bacon were exactly what Sasha needed to fill her grossly empty stomach. As she ate Sasha’s anger melted away as she thought about her first meeting with the old woman. The woman never gave her name, she simply began by teaching Sasha how to sign the alphabet by using flashcards. If Sasha couldn’t remember a letter, the woman was never impatient, rather she just waited silently until Sasha signed the correct answer. It was almost as if the woman had no concept of time. There wasn’t even a bed in the woman’s apartment, just shelves upon shelves of books, a small kitchen with two hot plates and two large plush chairs.
Sasha thought to herself, “Does this woman even sleep?”.
“She would have to. The woman has to be nearly one hundred years old, and old people need rest”.
Sasha mulled over the question in her head, all the while shoveling the rest of the food into her mouth. Peering out the window Sasha could still see the flashes of lightning creating the illusion of an enormous crack in the sky.
“I hope someone gets hit by lightning so they know what it feels like being deaf,” Sasha thought.
“No! That’s horrible why would I ever wish that”.
It was as if in Sasha’s head lived a pair of antagonist voices: one a kind old friend and the other a bitter stranger. The two voices battled for dominance and as of late it seemed like the bitter stranger was winning. The only person who was able to quell the awful voice in Sasha’s head was the old woman.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said." - Peter Drucker

It was a breezy Thursday morning with a piercing blue sky but Sasha sat on her familiar park bench with tears welling in her eyes. She could find no joy in the willow tree that provided the perfect amount of shade or the butterfly that landed on her shoulder. Sasha couldn’t even smile at a group of preschool children passing through the park on a field trip. Lifting her head from her hands Sasha caught sight of Pope Michael pushing his confessional cart down the brick path. The Pope was a banal sight. Today however, Sasha couldn’t hear the shrill of the Pope’s golden choir bell. Sasha watched as the bell swayed back and forth. Other passers-by stopped to acknowledge the sound of the bell but no notes reached Sasha’s ears. Ever since the night when Sasha spent hours scraping paint out of her ears, her hearing has gotten worse each day. This morning when Sasha awoke there was complete silence. The beam of light shining off the golden bell mesmerized Sasha. Her stare was finally broken by three firm taps on her shoulder. Snapping her head around Sasha beheld the oldest woman she had ever laid eyes on. The woman could have only been about four feet tall and her face was cramped with wrinkles. Despite her snowy white hair, her twinkling blue eyes had the youthfulness of a teenager. Sasha’s mouth hung open as the woman pulled a white pad of paper and a pen from her coat pocket. The woman wrote slowly but each word was written in the most perfect cursive Sasha had ever seen. After the woman finished writing she held the pad of paper up for Sasha to read.
“Can you hear anything?”
Sasha nodded no timidly.
“How was this woman able to know about her hearing,” Sasha thought to herself.
The woman started to write again.
“I will teach you sign language.”
Stupefied by the old woman’s declaration Sasha simply nodded yes.
The final note read, “We will meet this afternoon at 4:00. I live in apartment 800 at the Victorian”.
“Thank you,” Sasha managed to yell, unaware of her volume.
The old woman smiled as she stood up with ease and walked up the path, past the Pope, and disappeared through the trees.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream." - Khalil Gibran

It was almost 4:00 am when Sasha woke up in a cold sweat, panting rapidly. She had the weirdest dream about a man and a boy walking through Howell park. The boy was leading the man who appeared to be blind and the boy’s mouth was covered in silver duct tape. It was rather cold out and Sasha was wondering through the park in only her nightdress. The mysterious man started sputtering out some sort of prophecy as Sasha walked by: "Your great good fortune, true, it was your ruin". Then just as soon as the dream had begun it was over. Sasha shuddered just thinking about the scene. The words spoken by the old man continued to play over and over in Sasha’s head, so much so that she couldn’t fall back asleep. Sasha felt a tingling sensation that started in her feet and traveled up her body. The sensations caused her to rise out of her bed and leave the Victorian wearing only her silk nightgown. The cool air felt refreshing on her sweaty skin. Sasha continued to walk with an empty mind until she found herself in front of the Graveyard across the street from St. Cecilia’s church. The fog was rather thick but Sasha could still make out two figures hovering over one of the tomb stones. Sasha slowly walked towards the figures. As she crept closer she noticed one figure was digging into the grave while another was keeping guard. Sasha froze hoping the figures wouldn’t be able to see her through the fog. As the guard's gaze swept across the graveyard, he finally laid eyes on Sasha. “I’m going to call the cops! You can’t get away with this!” Sasha shrieked. The words had just vomited out of her mouth. Before she could turn to run away the man digging paused, looked to his right, picked up a some sort of bucket, and and made a throwing motion towards Sasha. Time seemed to bend as the red paint that flew from the bucket filled her ears and splattered the wooden cross behind her. By the time Sasha wiped the paint off her eyes the figures were gone and all Sasha could sense was the faint smell of oranges.   

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"A friend is what the heart needs all the time." - Henry Van Dyke

This was not the first time the city's water had run out. In fact it’s the third time this year. The morning Sasha woke up and heard the breaking news about the water line, she grabbed two empty suitcases and took the #12 bus to two towns over to Coral Gables. Whenever the city ran out of anything she could always count on the grocery store at Coral Gables to be well stocked with everything she lacked at home. Sasha returned to her apartment in the late afternoon with two suitcases bulging with jugs of spring water. Sasha could tell the sun was about to set, so she grabbed one suitcase and a flashlight and headed toward rainbow river.

At the river Sasha could see the slightly metallic hue of the river and the floating trash from last month when the garbage truck broke town. At the river she saw Baker Shefield from upstairs looking rather bitter as he washed his clothes. She shifted her gaze and saw a little boy with his mom pouring water from the river into a plastic jug. Sasha unzipped her suitcase, walked over to the little boy and handed him a jug of spring water. Sasha’s suitcase of water soon drew a crowd. If you just happened upon the scene you might have though Sasha was giving away money for free by the way people were pushing their way through the crowd.

When the crowd began to die down Sasha looked down the river and saw someone with a microphone and a camera interviewing the little boy and his mother. Sasha walked closer and she immediately recognized the reporter as Rick Flame. How could Sasha forget Rick. They were best friends in high school after all. Even though Rick lives in her building, Sasha doesn’t really see him much since he always seems to avoid the lobby at all costs. Sasha paced up and down the river until she saw Rick wrap up his interview.

Sasha approached him with a rather cautious smile; “Hey Rick! Do you remember me at all?”.

A grin spread across Rick's face as he replied, “Sasha? Is that you? Of course I remember you.”

Sasha held out a jug of water towards Rick; “Do you need any water? I have plenty where this came from. You can have as much as you want.”

As Rick stared at the water, his smile began to disappear. “Sasha, I can deal with this on my own I don’t need any handouts.”

Sasha looked at the ground and said “Please just take it. I know your stubborn but I’m just trying to help you out for once.”

Rick looked at Sasha, then at the bottle of water. “Fine,” Rick said. “But I just want you to know I am only taking this because you offered.” Rick grabbed the bottle and began to walk away.

Sasha yelled after him; “Rick! We need to catch up sometime. We haven’t talked at all since high school.”

Rick paused, and as he turned around he said, “Okay. If you ever want to talk just come find me. I live in apartment #403.”

Sasha watched Rick as he gathered all his equipment and walked towards the Victorian. When Rick turned the corner, Sasha went back to her suitcase and finished passing out the remainder of her water to the bathers in rainbow river.

Monday, October 10, 2016

We have a magazine to produce

It was sometime around 8:30 in the morning when Sasha woke up in a groggy haze to her to the piercing barks of Cupcake and Lollipop. Sasha groaned; she had already stayed up half the night since her neighbor across the hall, Dan, felt the need to have a late night jam session with his band Mayhem Lettuce. After wallowing in the warmth of her bed for just one extra minute, Sasha shuffled to the door in her bunny slippers and her fluffy pink robe and quietly cracked open the door. To her surprise the hallway was awash with cameras, photographers, and even a donut bar. Curious as to why people would actually choose to photograph the Victorian, Sasha began to walk down the hallway towards the lobby when she was stopped by a man in a white button up shirt with a tiny gold tag that read producer. The man grabbed her by the arms and began pulling her toward the lobby; “come with me.” he said. Sasha wrenched her arm out of his hand and yelled, “who are you and why are you touching me!” The man looked down at Sasha and asked her “Don’t you know? We’re here looking for residents to be featured in Southern Living Magazine, so do you want to be featured or not?”. Sasha gazed down at the man’s shiny patent shoe which was tapping rather loudly against the tile floor. Her voice began to shake as she replied, “um, uh, I uh don’t really like cameras”. “Look kid, I need an answer now, yes or no!” replied the man. As the silence grew longer Sasha could feel her heart beat quicken and her stomach begin to churn. Familiar thoughts began to swirl around in her head “I can’t do this. I can’t have people looking at me. What if I mess up? I don’t know how to model. I’ll look like a fool”. “I have to go!”, Sasha said as she ran back towards her apartment, locked the door, and lunged for the waste basket.