Saturday, January 09, 2010

Entry #82

The Trip
by Aimee Laine


Dozens of colorful images lay in tatters, adorned with wrappers, bottles and a Minni Mouse backpack -- emptied in one upended move at the click of her harness hours before.

“Fifty-five,” she called out -- drew the syllables long. When solid, she gave up her count of the yellow lines that zipped by one after the other -- almost too fast to keep up.

Pressed against the glass, her cheek vibrated. “aaaaaaaaaaaah,” she buzzed, let a tiny giggle escape. Tickled, her hand leapt to her lips, stopped the quiver. When she relaxed to do it again, a circular fog graced the pane -- a blend with the wintry gray outside. Intrigued, she extended one fingertip, recoiled at the cold but returned to swirl a random path.

She breathed another patch to etch with purpose. “M for Mary,” she crooned. Crackles replaced the first before the other three were fully revealed. Mary’s eyes, a brown as silky as chocolate, followed the zig-zags up, down and around the surface. “Triangle!” she announced.

A new shape emerged with each flutter of her lashes -- some she recognized, others went unnamed. Focus intent, the rhythmic jostle lulled her. As she swayed to the cadence, one small hand searched and found purchase; a thumb tucked into her blanket’s satin tag.

Mary drifted but fought against the sleep her body craved. Eyes closed, head relaxed, she spoke once more before she gave in.

“Daddy?” she whispered. “Are we there yet?”

30 comments:

onipar... said...

I like this very much. It had a flowing poetic feel to it that I loved.

pjd said...

Lovely details of the child in the car.

Tara said...

Nice imagery and flow, Aimee :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

I wasn't completely sure if it was a child, or an old woman who had lost her mind, until the end. Wonderfully captured childish stream of consciousness.

We've had our fair share of insanity in this contest. I think that's what kept me guessing.

Craig said...

I wasn't sure what was happening at first but the end ties it together nicely. Wonderfully original.

Bernita said...

Sweet and well done.

JaneyV said...

Once I read to the end and fully understood what you were doing I reread this and was overwhelmed by how magical it is.

Beautiful work Aimee.

Blodeuedd said...

What a nice little piece

Kartik said...

The imagery is simply breath-taking and astounding. I just love the breath fog doodles thing!

catvibe said...

I was trying to make the connection as to how this was inspired by the contest, and then I got it, it was the breath on the window, and the silhouettes of shapes she made. Beautifully written. How wonderful to be in the mind of a child again!

Aniket said...

I used to count them too and who hasn't done the fog thing? :) And was equally impatient. My bro. and I used to sing songs too all through the trip.

These was such a sweet sweet tale. I felt connected to the story as it felt so like mine. I'm sure most will feel the same way. And for that I thank you!

Preeti said...

Beautifully written. Had to read it twice. But was enchanted by the fog bit. It is one of the most unconscious actions that we indulge in. and you've brought it out perfectly. could almost see the faraway look in Mary's eyes as she doodled.

Aimee Laine said...

Thank you all for the nice notes! I struggled with this photo until I asked my kids what they saw. Bird was the first, then they started remembering stuff. My 5 years old said "we saw a bird once out the window" and the idea was born. :)

I'm glad I could bring you all back to your childhoods for a moment! :)

Kate said...

Aw, this reminded me clearly of my family's road trips as a child. I loved the vibration and the sound and the way it opened my imagination.

laughingwolf said...

very well done, aimee :)

Laurel said...

ROAD TRIP!

Oh, and thank the dear Lord for portable DVD players.

This effervesces with radiant childhood energy. Lovely and sweet.

Four Dinners said...

Poetic, sweet and feelgood.

Very nice indeed.

lena said...

I left it thrice and can't believe I have not commented. This is excellent writing. It was like being taken back to childhood.

Aimee Laine said...

Thank you all so very much! I'm glad you could all see what I was trying to show! :) Thank you!

Deb Smythe said...

A whiff of nostaglia, for sure. You definitely took me back. Lovely writing.

Chris Eldin said...

Magical and endearing. You captured the mind of a child very well! I enjoyed reading your story.

raine said...

You have a lovely voice.
Mary was quite real. Thanks for the trip. :)

Jane said...

love the final line, made me smile...think you captured a little girl entertaining herself on a journey perfectly..i stuggled to picture the scene with the first cfew lines but all soon became clear..very nice

james r. tomlinson said...

Those car rides certainly are long journeys for young children. I must admit, at first I thought this might be a kidnapping because of that emptied Minnie Mouse backpack; initially I didn't know what the click was (the seatbelt). Excellent writing.

Aimee Laine said...

Thank you all for the additional comments! I toyed with writing it in reverse, but found I had to leave that line last to tie it all together. :) Thanks so much!

Kurt Hendricks said...

Great job!

I can relate to this so completely; much of my childhood was spent in the back seat of a car. I remember watching the moon out the window, thinking it was following us because it never got further away no matter how far we drove.

BernardL said...

Heartwarming moment and definitely poetic in flow.

SzélsőFa said...

aw, this was so sweet, Aimee.
i have to admint that the first reading the words made little, if any sense to me, but the end cleared it up: for the second reading it was lovely, very logical and sweet. all from a child's perspective. great.

Rabid Fox said...

Really good imagery, and a nice final line to leave it on. Good job.

Aerin said...

Dear Entrants #1-105,

I have read your pieces so that I can fairly participate in the Readers' Choice vote. (I read all of them through last week, before I started commenting.) I will be coming back around to offer my keep/tweak comment, but I didn't want anyone to snark.

Cheers,
Aerin (#236)

BTW, it's perfectly fine if you still want to snark, but this way you can choose a more appropriate subject, like Sarah Palin's hair or the enigmatic career of Justin Timberlake.