Author: Summer Bird

Charlie’s Room: An Unexpected Visitor

Marianne and Charlie loved to read. They would sit on the couch to read in the afternoon, and just tune out the world around them. When they were reading, they couldn’t hear anything.

The funny thing was that they would respond to questions, but their answers wouldn’t make any sense, and they wouldn’t remember later what they said. It was a little like sleep-talking, except they were awake. Isaac wondered if for them reading was like dreaming with their eyes open.

Isaac liked to read, too. However, he was able to hear the doorbell or the telephone when he was reading. If someone asked him a question, he could stop reading and answer the question and remember the conversation later.

One early December afternoon, when the weather was threatening snow but hadn’t yet delivered it, Marianne and Charlie were sitting side by side on the couch reading. They were bathed in the glow of the afternoon light streaming through the front window. Their eyes moved, and occasionally they turned a page, but otherwise they were as still as statues.

Isaac sat in a nearby chair. He had his book out, but he was daydreaming rather than reading. It was hard to focus on the page when there were so many things to think about. Just as he prepared to reread the third paragraph on the page for the fourth time, the doorbell rang.

Marianne and Charlie read on. Isaac sat up and looked around for a bookmark. He found a crossword puzzle magazine and closed it inside his book and set it on the low table nearby. And then he went to answer the door.

No one was standing on the doorstep. Isaac almost closed the door, when a giant white bird flew into the narrow opening and shoved passed Isaac into the house. Isaac pulled the door open a little wider and looked around quickly.

There wasn’t anything scary chasing the bird. There wasn’t anyone running around trying to find their lost bird. There weren’t any other white birds waiting for their chance to fly into the house.

Isaac decided to leave the door open while he found the bird and hopefully chased it back outside. First, he looked into the living room. Marianne and Charlie were still on the couch reading.

“Did the big white bird fly in here?” he asked.

“What kind of bird was it?” Marianne asked, still reading.

“I don’t know. It was big and white and inside the house.”
“Hmmmmm.” Charlie turned a page. “It was probably a chicken.”

“I don’t think so. I do know what chickens look like,” Isaac said.

“Of course you do,” Marianne agreed.

Isaac shook his head and left to check the kitchen. The bird wasn’t there. It was in Charlie’s room. Of course. It was in his closet sitting on a pile of shoes. It hissed at Isaac when he walked in the room.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to spend the winter somewhere else,” he told the bird. “I could maybe spare a corner of the garden shed, if you’re interested.”

The bird hissed.

Isaac left for a moment and returned with a large towel. “I’m going to drop this on you, and wrap you up and take you outside,” he said in what he hoped was a reassuring voice.

The bird hissed louder and tried to peck at him. Isaac wasn’t sure he was brave enough to try to catch the bird in the towel. He’d have to go rather close to that largish beak.

New plan. Isaac retrieved his hidden stash of oatmeal raisin cookies. He would be happy to share his treats with a hungry bird, especially if that meant the bird would be able to continue whatever it was doing before it came inside.

He broke a cookie and tossed half of it in the bird’s direction The bird snapped it up and ate it. Isaac waved the other half of the cookie invitingly and backed up.

The bird flew at him, and knocked him over. Then it took the other half of the cookie and ate it. Isaac curled around the cookie tin and got up, backing out of the room.

He opened the tin and took out another cookie and broke it. The bird turned and looked at him. Isaac hurried down the hall. He made it to the entryway before the bird knocked him over and took both halves of the cookie.

Isaac stood and brushed himself off. Then he opened the tin, took out a cookie, and tossed it out the front door. The bird followed it out. Isaac closed the door. And then he locked it just in case.

He looked out the back door. No bird. He slipped out and closed the door. He left the shed door partly open, just as he promised.

Then he returned inside. He paused, waiting for a moment to see if the doorbell would ring again. Nothing. Perhaps the bird was really gone now. Maybe it was just hungry.

He returned to the living room and sat down. He picked up his book. The magazine slid out and he lost his place. He sighed and put the book back down.

Marianne closed her book and looked up. “What on earth were you doing?” She asked. “You’re covered in crumbs and you have feathers in your hair.”

“We had an unexpected visitor,” Isaac said.

Gratitude

In “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge resolves, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

Is it possible to do the same with Thanksgiving?

And what would the spirit of Thanksgiving look like❓

When I was younger, I remember saying a very LONG prayer to stall bedtime. It’s surprising how many things you can think of to be grateful for when you really try–even at age six.

I’m grateful for night lights. Without them the monsters would have eaten us all a long time ago.

Looking back, I find that I am grateful for the difficult times. The pain in my hands forced me to focus on what I really want to do. I chose art over things like piano or knitting. I found that sacrificing for something helped me value it more.

Negative events really stand out in memories. But I’m thankful for the positive times, too (of course). Trying to focus on and remember the positive relieves stress and gives a more balanced view of life.

Keeping a gratitude journal helps me recall those events and end the day on a happy note. 🙂

I’m grateful for those who read, comment on, or like my posts. Thank you so much! In the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one.” ❤️

Wrong Town

It was high noon. The two men faced each other from opposite ends of the long, dusty main road of the little makeshift town. Inside the buildings, the townspeople hid, watching from the edges of the windows and waiting for the outcome of the showdown.

Sheriff Bob narrowed his eyes. “I don’t think this is the right town for you,” he said at last.

Scott rolled his shoulders back and raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t that for me to decide? I think I like it here.”

“And I think you need to find another place you like better. We don’t need your kind of trouble.” Bob’s hand hovered over his holstered gun.

“Everybody needs a little trouble.” Scott smirked and his hand darted to the handle of his pistol.

Bob grabbed his own gun and just as the guns were pointed at each other, there was a bang and a bright light and both men were thrown onto their backs in the dust a good distance away. They lay there blinking up at the sky as a tall pink rabbit dusted off her fur and looked around with a scrunched up nose.

“Am I dead yet?” Scott asked. “I didn’t think it hurt to be dead.”

“I still haven’t figured out where you shot me,” Bob said. He slowly patted down his arms.

“I didn’t shoot yet.”

“Me either.”

They sat up, only to face an annoyed pink rabbit, who was tapping a furry paw and scowling. Scott frantically started patting the dust around him, looking for his gun, but it had landed far away. Sheriff Bob kept blinking and rubbing his eyes.

“Where are all the flowers?” the rabbit asked.

“What flowers?” Sheriff Bob pinched his arm and winced. “There haven’t ever been flowers here this time of year. You need to come back in the spring to see flowers.”

Scott finally located his pistol and dove for it. Unfortunately, it had broken into pieces. Scott wailed as he tried to fit the pieces together and it became obvious it was unfixable. “My gun! What happened to my gun?”

Hearing this, Sheriff Bob ignored the rabbit and looked around for his own gun. He was relieved to find it nearby and in one piece. He hastily crawled over to retrieve it. Then he sat back on his heels with a groan.

“Your energy is low because of the lack of flowers. I don’t know who came and drained the color and life and flowers and glitter and rainbows from this town, but I promise you that I will bring them back, or my name isn’t Princess Isabella Longhair of the Fluffy Paws!” The rabbit raised a glowing paw in the air.

Scott dropped the worthless pieces of metal on the ground and backed away. “What…?”

The rabbit pointed her paw at the general store. In a burst of light, the previously sun-bleached storefront gleamed in a rainbow of colors, as though it had been made from some strange sort of neon mother of pearl. Vines burst from the ground and wrapped themselves around the edges of the boards. Brightly colored daisies the size of dinner plates bloomed in unison.

The bunny turned towards the saloon behind Scott. Eyes wide, Scott scrambled out of the way and hid behind Sheriff Bob. “What are you doing?” Bob hissed.

“Aren’t you the sheriff? Shouldn’t you be protecting the town or something? Shoot it!” Scott hissed back.

The bunny turned to look at him with narrowed eyes. Scott backed up a few steps. “Run!” he shouted.

They ran and hid in the sheriffs office. When all the townspeople finally felt safe enough to emerge from their hiding places hours later, the rabbit was gone. The town was now covered in color and flowers and glitter and rainbows. “I guess her name really was Princess Isabella Longhair of the Fluffy Paws,” the sheriff muttered.

“I guess you were right, sheriff,” Scott said, as he looked around with a grimace of disgust.

“About what?”

“This is not the right town for me. I’m leaving.” Scott took a step and then paused and looked back. “But before I go, could I ask a favor?”

Sheriff Bob folded his arms across his chest and raised an eyebrow.

Scott smiled sheepishly. “Could I borrow a gun?”

Flashback Video: Mad Plans

This story was originally posted May 12, 2017. It was posted again on May 31, 2019. It was one of the first of my many mad scientist stories. Mad scientists are fun to write about. They are logical, and have goals, and are sometimes also a little bit too dramatic, creative, or silly. It’s all very likable.

This video took a couple retakes to get right. I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know what you think!

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