Tag: rock

Charlie’s Room: New Growth

It was a chilly fall morning, the perfect weather for warm mittens and hats and scarves. The light at that time of day made everything glow. The colors of the last of the fall leaves seemed brighter, and the light streaming past houses and fences and branches shone a spotlight on unexpected things. As Charlie and Isaac walked through the drifts of crunchy fall leaves, one of these wandering morning sunbeams hit a dark greenish rock on the sidewalk.

“Look, that rock is glowing.” Charlie hurried forward and scooped up the rock to show his dad.

Charlie’s back was mostly turned against the light, and the light touched the edges of his hair, giving him a halo. Isaac smiled and looked into the mitten nest. “It is a nice rock. It’s sort of leaf shaped. I like it.”

Charlie looked down at the rock. In the shade, it wasn’t nearly as interesting. “I guess so. Can you hold onto it for me? I would have to take off my mittens to unzip my pockets.”

“Sure.” Isaac took the rock and they continued their walk. When they walked in the door, Marianne was waiting for them. “There you are! I was about to go look for you.”

“Did you need help with something?” Isaac unwrapped his scarf and started folding it up.

“You both forgot, didn’t you?”

Charlie’s eyes grew wide and he grinned. “It’s greenhouse day!” He looked down at his pile of coat-mittens-scarf-hat, and shuffled over a step to tug off his shoes without untying them. “I need to change into my garden club tee-shirt!”

Meanwhile, Isaac put his folded scarf into his coat pocket and found the rock. “Wait,” he called.

Charlie was already halfway down the hall, but he stopped and looked back, eyebrows raised. Isaac held out the rock. Charlie rolled his eyes, but he came back to snatch it from Isaac and hurry back down the hall.

“How long will you be gone?” Isaac asked.

Marianne shrugged. “It depends on how many people signed up to give tours. We may be late. Charlie has a list of questions to ask. This may be the year we finally decide to build our own.”

“I could come along and take measurements.” Isaac wasn’t as interested in the contents of all the greenhouses, but he liked the idea of a new building project.

“We can do that. I already have the tape measure in my purse. You really need to get the doorknob fixed before someone gets stuck in the bathroom for good.” Marianne patted his arm. Then she turned to yell down the hallway to Charlie. “Are you coming? It’s time to go.”

Charlie came racing around the corner, wearing his garden club shirt. He wiggled back into his shoes while pulling on the coat-mittens-scarf-hat pile. Marianne dressed warmly as well, and opened the door. In a moment they were off on their adventure.

It didn’t take long to change out the old, worn-out doorknob. Isaac twisted the knob, and watched to see if everything was working well. It was.

Next job on his fix-it list was the drawer pull on Charlie’s dresser. He examined it a few days ago when Charlie complained about it. It was cracked down the center and had to be replaced.

When he entered Charlie’s room, his eyes were drawn right away to the leaf-shaped rock on the floor by one of the legs of the loft bed. It was sitting in a stray beam of sunlight and looked like it was glowing. Isaac smiled and picked it up to move it to the desk. As he straightened up, he noticed an odd twig that looked like it was growing out of the bed leg.

He leaned in and examined it. How strange. That definitely had not been there before. He set the rock on the desk and decided to worry about it later.

Turning to the dresser, he fixed the drawer pull. It didn’t take long. When he turned around again, the twig had sprouted leaves.

Isaac stepped closer and looked more closely. There was another twig growing higher up on the other side of the bed leg. He turned and narrowed his eyes. The desk chair beside the still-glowing rock had also sprouted.

He picked up the rock and took it out to the garden, just in case. Things out there were supposed to grow. He came back in to clean up his tools. The bed and desk chair were already back to normal.

Later that day, after he cooked dinner for Marianne and Charlie, they all sat down to eat. Charlie happily told them about all his favorite greenhouse features and what he’d grow if he had his very own greenhouse.

“I took a lot of notes and measurements,” Marianne said. “I also have some phone numbers and permission to come and look again if we need to.”

Isaac smiled. “Perfect.” Then he turned to Charlie. “I had to take your rock outside.”

“What rock?”

“The greenish one from our walk. The one that looked like a leaf?”

Charlie shrugged. “Oh. That one. Huh. Let me tell you more about the greenhouses.” He didn’t mention the rock again.

The next day, Isaac looked out in the garden when he was filling the bird feeder. The rock was gone. He was okay with that.

Charlie’s Room: The Invitation

When Isaac was getting ready for work, he found a small piece of paper in one of his shoes. It said: You’re invited to a Dinosaur Party in Charlie’s Room after dinner. Bring this ticket to get in.

At the bottom of the ticket, there was a squiggly drawing of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It looked very festive. Isaac was thrilled to be invited to a party and left for work with a smile.

Work seemed to go especially slow in the way that it always does when there’s somewhere else he’d rather be. Isaac kept losing track and had to reread emails and important documents several times. However, he did his best and somehow made it through the day.

Outside, it was freezing cold. Isaac had parked a block away, which wasn’t too far. He pulled his gloves out of his pocket, and a piece of paper fluttered to the ground. It was the ticket to the dinosaur party.

Just as Isaac leaned over to pick it up, a nearly-invisible wind sprite dashed by in a gust of wind. It picked up the ticket and ran away grinning madly, its feet barely touching the ground. Isaac chased after it, and the wind sprite began to leap higher and higher. It grasped the edges of the ticket and used it a parachute to glide on the air currents.

Isaac ran faster and faster. He lunged forward and almost managed to catch the sprite. It dropped through the bars of a storm drain and fluttered to the bottom, out of reach. The wind sprite hugged the ticket to its chest and laughed a hissy, sighing sort of laugh.

The sprite obviously wanted to keep the ticket, but Isaac needed that ticket to get into the party. He patted his pockets to see if there was anything he could offer in trade. He found an old shopping list with the entries all crossed out.

Storing his gloves in his pocket, he began to fold the list. He quickly formed a decent paper airplane. He balanced it in his hand, then gave it a trial toss. It flew out of his hand and landed a good distance away.

The wind sprite watched the airplane with wide eyes. Isaac left to retrieve it. He tossed it so that it flew past the storm drain a few more times. The air was still and waiting.

The sprite held the ticket a little more loosely as its eyes tracked the flight of the paper airplane above the grate. Finally it flew up out of the grate with a puff of wind that knocked the plane out of the air. It crashed to the ground nearby.

The wind sprite dropped the ticket and darted over to the plane. Holding it out in front, the sprite ran with the wind. The planed lifted up higher, and the wind sprite jumped on and flew away in a wild wave of wind.

Isaac ran towards the ticket, certain that it would be carried away too. But he couldn’t see it fluttering away. In fact, he couldn’t see it at all. He looked all around, in a wide circle, and then returned to the spot where he’d last seen it.

Had that rock always been there? It blended into the sidewalk so well that he hadn’t noticed it before. Looking closer, he could see the edge of the ticket poking out from under the rock. He tried to pick up the rock and move it to the side, but it wouldn’t budge.

Somehow, he knew the rock wanted to keep the ticket, but Isaac needed that ticket to get into the party. He checked his pockets again, shuffling around his gloves with cold hands. He pulled out a penny. This might work.

“Look,” Isaac said. “This was once a rock. Now it is shiny and decorated. Look what it can do.” Carefully, Isaac spun the penny. It managed a few turns on the side walk before flopping over. “This is a real treasure.”

Isaac set it next to the rock. “I’ll just leave it here and look over there for a minute.”

When Isaac looked back down, the penny had disappeared under the rock. The ticket was sitting on the sidewalk, looking only slightly crumpled. He picked it up quickly.

He held onto the ticket tightly and walked quickly to the car, not even stopping to put on his gloves. He shut it into the glove box, started the car, and turned on the heat even before putting on his seatbelt. It took a while for the car to warm up and a little longer for his hands to feel warm.

When he got home, he opened the glove box and was relieved that the ticket was still there. He kept it next to his plate at dinner, where he could keep an eye on it. Luckily, it didn’t go anywhere.

Isaac still had his ticket when it was time for the dinosaur party. He was an old shopping list and a penny poorer, but he didn’t really mind. The party was worth that and more. They had a lot of fun playing dinosaur games and acting out their favorite part of the dinosaur movies and drawing happy dinosaur pictures. It was the best dinosaur party Isaac had ever attended.


Empty Your Pockets

“Mom,” Gracie said. “Mom? Mom. MOM.”

“I’m in the kitchen,” Mom said.

“Mooooooooom,” Gracie said as she hurried down the hall.

“Gracie, what’s wrong?” Mom asked. She turned off the faucet and dried her hands.

“My super amazing beautiful glittery rainbow rock is missing!” Gracie said. “It’s gone!” Read More