Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Entry #62

Dreamland Eyes
by Aerin


You smell cow manure even with the wind beating your face at 70 mph. Skip brought me here. Nighttime in the corn fields. White trash faerieland. I haven't been on this road in years, but the bike knows the way.

I pull through rows of adolescent corn and stop.

“Where are we?” Annie asks, dismounting.

“Starcatcher's Rock,” I say. “I used to hang out here. With guys.”

She walks around it, puts her fourteen-year-old palms against its ancient face.

“It's pretty,” she says. I nod. Wet my lips. Skip brought me here young, young enough I only wanted to watch the sky.

She perches on the rock, doesn't look at me.

“Do you regret it?”

“What? Messing around?”

“Having me. Giving me up.”

“Sure,” I lie. She waits. “Okay, no. I don't regret it. You were a cute baby.” I sit at her feet. “But I wanted to go out on Friday nights. Go to prom. Maybe college.”

“Did you? Go to your prom?”

I shrug. “Yep. Hot pink dress. Big hair.”

“How about college?”

“Yeah. Nursing degree. Obstetrics.”

She sighs. Starlight drops into her dirty blonde hair. Did she inherit that wistful look or is it something all of us born here share? Skip said I had dreamland eyes. To see them in this stranger, my daughter, catches me off guard.

“Do you want to head back?” I ask.

“Not really,” she says, and hops off the rock, heads toward the bike.

“Me neither,” I say, and follow her.

30 comments:

BernardL said...

Melancholy reunion with an upswing. Very nice.

Sheri said...

Oh I like that... And I love how you very subtlety say things without saying them. Shows a lot of talent.

laughingwolf said...

oh yes, very well said :)

Sarah Hina said...

Lovely, poignant tale, Aerin. This one really impressed me with its fusion of past and present unions.

Your writing is so natural and effortless to read, and yet filled with beauty, too. The sentence that starts Did she inherit... was my favorite. I like how you end it, too--the daughter leading the mother down a new road.

Beautiful work!

Lena said...

it is amazing how you make the reader read between lines. And it says even more than written words.
A very touching story. Loved it.

Beth said...

I thought I had it, but wasn't sure until the comments. Nicely done.

I read this book recently written just like this, which was so haunting. I can't think of the name, but it's a best seller! lol

Vesper said...

A bitter-sweet taste... Beautifully written, Aerin!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the scenario, the mileau... trading responsibilities (the daughter) for freedom only to discover what's missing. Nice Hallmark feel to it.

September said...

Very sweet. Was she conceived there?
The "Skip brought me here" keeps ringing out - but she doesn't tell her daughter that.
This was written very nicely.

raine said...

Ohhh, a lovely, wistful story, Aerin.
You didn't have to describe a single one of their feelings. I felt it for them.
Well done.

tea and cake said...

I loved this! I also loved the fact that it's a woman driving the bike. Smashing, thanks. Karen

JaneyV said...

Oh Aerin -you know I adore your writing! I love the atmosphere here. Nostalgic, regret? hopeful…

She gave away her baby and then went into obstetrics - So much stuff here, brilliantly understated to let the reader delve into the story and explore.

Starlight drops into her dirty blonde hair. Did she inherit that wistful look or is it something all of us born here share?

Magic Aerin. Love it!

charleneteglia said...

I usually find first person present tense off-putting, but this is so well done! Very, very good.

Scott said...

You managed a lot in a little space. How you communicated her age, fourteen-year-old palms, was perfect. This read smoothly, and also presented us with an intriguing situation. And the honesty of the mother, and the way the daughter took that honesty, and the mother's transformation (if I'm interpretting her correctly). I really liked this a lot. It takes skill to be so clear and concise.

joanita said...

Oh great job Aerin. Such mood, and a whole life told so beautifully in poignant breaths.
The cord between the mother and daughter, and the things unsaid, well.. you said them well.
All the best,
Joanita

Dottie said...

This is beautiful, but not at all sappy. I like the amount of tension you built into the story without creating a fall off the cliff kind of ending. It all felt true.

kgilbert said...

Beautifully crafted story that is both relevant and penetrating. Well done.

JefeB said...

Not sure why, but apart from liking the overall story very much, the phrase "adolescent corn" struck my fancy. I will likely pilfer it!

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

What a great way of storytelling you have! :)

Ello said...

You stink Aerin! Now I have no chance at winning reader's choice! ;o) My jealousy aside, man you are good! What I loved about this piece is it felt so real, so honest and told a story beyond the 250 word count. I could see them and I could watch their body language. There was magic in the words.

iLL Man said...

Good stuff Aerin. I like doing those sort of 'snapshot' style pieces myself. No twists and turns, just the feel and the atmosphere of a moment in time.

Posolxstvo I said...

There's a lot here - but it left me curious about things that are left ambiguous or unstated. Why were they going back to the rock? How did the daughter react to learning that the mother didn't have regrets? What was the occasion of their reunion?

Good stuff. I'd read more...

The Electric Orchid Hunter said...

Ooh, lovely vignette. What I liked most is the bits that were not mentioned, if you understand what I mean. It's like eavesdropping. Mean skills, Aerin!

Linda said...

"Fourteen-year-old palms" is a magic phrase. Well done and well said.

Julie Weathers said...

This was a tale that really tugs at the heart and it was so well done.

Good job.

ChrisEldin said...

This is so tightly written--it feels like a chapter and not a vignette. I love the bittersweet and honest nature of this, and how the daughter takes the lead at the end.
Great job!!!

pernille said...

The others have said it all! The story is so beautiful

Aerin said...

Yoyoyo y'all! Thanks for all the kind words. Now that Reader's Choice voting is closed (hey, I'm all about winning, Ello, love!), I wanted to say - I heart all the love, but I would welcome constructive criticism, too. (And - "I didn't understand this part" doesn't really work.) SPECIFICS, please. If you have time. HA.

Cheers and glasses of champagne to you all!
Aerin

SzélsőFa said...

It was a nice story. There's so much to it behind the words and I loved that.

jason evans said...

Very intrigued by the characters. Great concept, and well handled. Such a careful reconnection. High marks overall.

Congratulations on the Honorable Mention!!