A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)
Friday, November 30, 2012
Why don't you call anyone who has nurtured and encouraged you, mopped up your tears or kissed your skinned knees? They can be male or female, family members or friends. Just someone who's loved you, and all your imperfections.
Phone home today, story makers. See you back here on Monday.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
|Story based on a newspaper clipping given to me by a friend. Thanks, David!|
Wing raises the cup to his lips and blows on the tea to cool it. Then, shuffling in his slippers and bent over with arthritis, he begins his daily ritual: a tour of his house. He knows every corner, every drawer and shelf and floorboard by heart. Wing has lived here for fifty seven years.
Six months ago, they tried to take it from him. Developers came with clipboards and winning smiles. They passed him envelopes with cheques inside. "Relocation Compensation," they called it. The price they were willing to pay to tear down Wing's house to build Highway 89. But he refused all of them. Eventually, they constructed the highway around him. Now cars pass Wing's house unceasingly, like waves in a vast ocean.
In that corner of the bedroom, his son, Bai took his first breath. Years later, under that window over there, his wife, Lien died in her chair. Wing can still smell the incense and hear the mourning songs.
The tea cup clatters in the saucer as Wing moves from room to room, remembering.
In the front parlour, he discovers his brother, Chen sitting in the rocking chair.
"You're here," Wing whispers.
Chen smiles. "Hello, old man," he says.
Wing carefully sets his tea down on the side table.
"Is it time to go?" he asks Chen, feeling tears well in his eyes, "I've been alone so long."
"Yes," Chen says.
"Should I be frightened?"
"Not at all."
At the front door, Wing uses a knife to sever the first rope. When it snaps, the whole house groans. He saws through the second and third rope. Beads of sweat form on Wing's forehead and upper lip. He feels dizzy, and his thin arms ache. But he keeps on working. When the last rope has been cut, the house shudders and begins to move.
Wing lowers himself onto the couch, beside his brother. Through the window, he can still see the long lines of cars moving past. But now they are moving too. Slowly, carried on the sea, the house drifts to the horizon.
Friday, November 23, 2012
This weekend, my family is celebrating my nephew's very first birthday. Whaaaa! Happy Birthday, Charlie! And now, in honor of our dear Charlie Bucket's birthday, here's a story excerpt:
"Very softly, Grandpa Joe said, "You're pulling our legs, Charlie, aren't you? You're having a little joke?"
"I am not!" cried Charlie, rushing up to the bed and holding out the large and beautiful Golden Ticket for him to see.
Grandpa Joe leaned forward and took a close look, his nose almost touching the ticket. The others watched him, waiting for the verdict.
Then very slowly, with a slow and marvelous grin spreading all over his face, Grandpa Joe lifted his head and looked straight at Charlie. The color was rushing to his cheeks, and his eyes were wide open, shining with joy, and in the center of each eye, right in the very center, in the black pupil, a little spark of wild excitement was slowly dancing.
Then the old man took a deep breath, and suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, an explosion seemed to take place inside him. He threw up his arms and yelled "Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" And at the same time, his long bony body rose up out of the bed and his bowl of soup went flying into the face of Grandma Josephine, and in one fantastic leap, this old fellow of ninety-six and a half, who hadn't been out of bed these last twenty years, jumped on to the floor and started doing a dance of victory in his pajamas.
"Yippeeeeeeee!" he shouted. "Three cheers for Charlie! Hip, hip, hooray!"
Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dance in your pjs and smash some cake onto your face this weekend, story makers. My little nephew will most definitely be doing the same. (And who's kidding who? I'll likely be joining him.)