What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Santa Special – part 3 – Lillian Morpork

Finally, everything seemed to be going smoothly. The temperature had risen, and all the ice on the road melted, and a breeze dried the road. No more Ice! Arwin thought. Thank heavens for that. Maybe, just maybe, we will make it to Dauphin Lake with no more trouble. I have never had so many things go wrong on what should be a simple bus trip before. You’d think, since this is a very special trip to help a desperate community, that it would have gone smoothly all the way. Oh, well, let’s just hope the problems are over.

The passengers entertained themselves with more singing, and games, and Elizabeth and Robert spent time working with Annabeth and Billy on badge work. Elizabeth taught them both how to knit, and both managed to get a fair amount done on scarves for themselves. Annabeth chose blue yarn and Billy picked red, because, he said, he was Welsh, their flag had a red dragon on it.

“I thought you were Canadian, Billy,” Annabeth said

“Well, yes, but my Mom and Dad’s families came from Wales a couple of centuries ago. So I’m Welsh-Canadian. But mostly Canadian, really,” he laughed. “I just like red. Besides, it’s the colour of the Canadian flag, too!”

Arwin chuckled to herself, listening to them chattering as their knitting needles clicked away. The four leaders were working out a little ceremony for when they arrived at Dauphin Lake. Ted thought they should exit the bus youngest first, and have them stand at attention and salute the Chief. Everyone thought that was a good idea.

“I hope someone there will have a camera to get a shot of it,” Nancy said. “They would love to have a copy of their own.”

Meanwhile, the temperature had started to drop, and soon there was a light fog. Arwin became more alert, and a bit tense, as the fog grew denser. “Hang on, folks – we may be in for another adventure,” she called out. Arwin drove slower and slower as the fog thickened. One by one the passengers quieted down, until the bus was filled with a tense silence, broken only by the sounds of the engine and the tires on the road. It became harder and harder to see, until at last Arwin could see only a few feet in front of the bus. The trees along the side of the road appeared and disappeared like tall ghosts wreathed in gauzy white.

Then the inevitable happened, and something loomed up in the fog hardly five feet in front of the bus. Arwin stood on the brakes, trying to stop, and steered toward the side of the road. The bus bumped off the road, and stopped just before it headed down into the ditch. Arwin sat, hands clamped on the steering wheel, head lowered, and shook.

Ted got up and walked to her. He put his hand on her shoulder and said “Arwin, that was the most incredible driving I have ever seen.” He squeeze her shoulder, and was surprised when she turned and grabbed him around the waist and buried her face against him, sobbing. He undid her seat belt and pulled her to her feet, hugging her and making soothing sounds. Nancy came forward and also hugged her. “Arwin, you poor dear, come back and sit with us for a while.” Both of them led her to a seat. After a while, she was calmed down, and smiling again.

“Ok,” Ted said. “I think we should just stay here for a while and see if the fog will dissipate, or at least thin enough for safe driving. That will give us all some time to calm down – that was scary, and I for one could do with some time to just sit quietly and be glad we are safe.”

About half an hour later, the fog was thinning, slowly at first, then rapidly as the wind picked up and the clouds cleared away. Arwin had recovered her nerve, and soon she settled down in her seat and started the engine. She paused, took a deep breath, and started moving, steering back onto the road.

“All right, folks, we are on our way again. If any of you feel like praying, now would be a good time. Pray that that is the last surprise we’ll have, and the rest of the trip will be nice and boring! If all goes well, we should arrive in Dauphin Lake community around five o’clock.”

Everyone cheered, and then went silent. Arwin glanced in the rear view mirror, and those she could see were sitting with heads bowed and eyes closed. They really are praying, she thought. How nice! It wasn’t long before she was driving along a dry, clear highway with the sun shining in a blue sky. She heaved a sigh of relief, smiled, and allowed herself to look forward to the arrival. I do hope God hears their prayers, she murmured to herself. A nice, peaceful drive now, with no more surprises – that would be the best Christmas gift I could receive.

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