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 18, 2013

A Winters Tale - Part 2 – Lillian Morpork

Abigail Thornbuckle carefully packed the basket of her walker, placing the bags so the contents wouldn’t leak. There was an insulated container of hot tea, a large thermos of thick beef stew a small loaf of fresh made bread, small pumpkin and apple pies, and some fruit. And in another bag, pits of bread, peanuts, sunflower seeds, fruit that was on the verge of going bad, and dried raisins.

The first bag was for the young man she had found camping out in the shelter in the park. He was homeless, out of work, and feeling quite desperate. Agatha had talked with him, and promised him at least one hot meal a day. One thing he had said was that he missed his books, so she had packed up four of Ambrose’s, since she hadn’t had the heart to leave them when she moved, and now found that she really didn’t have room for them all.

She paused and looked out the window. The storm was over, and the sidewalks and roads cleared, but then a strong wind came up and was blowing the loose snow into drifts across them. ‘How will I get to the park?’ she wondered. ‘I have to go, I can’t let that poor man be without hot food another day.

She turned back to the bags she was packing. She had also packed a warm sweater, socks and mittens. She had also found a waterproof foam rubber mattress form their camping days, and it was rolled and ready to go. She knew Ambrose would approve of what she was doing. The young man had refused to go to a homeless shelter. She’d tried hard to convince him it would be best; it would break her heart if he was found frozen to death, there in the park.

The packing done, Abigail, put on her boots, dressed warmly, and pushed the walker out the door. Out on the street, the ordeal began. It was so hard to shove the walker through the snow drifts. Fortunately, some areas where cleared and she could move faster and more easily. She was about a block from the park when she just had to stop and rest.

Arwin Lane was happy to be finished with the last of her Santa Bus route. It hadn’t been nearly as exciting or disconcerting as other years, humdrum, in fact. Now she was headed to the yards and then home. Home to a warm room, a comfy couch, a hot drink and a good, tear jerking Christmas movie; home to enjoy herself.

She noticed a woman struggling with a walker through the snow drifts on the sidewalk, and wondered where she was going with a loaded walker. It was much too cold, the sidewalks mostly clogged with snow, and nothing but the park ahead. Why was she going there? It was just too puzzling for Arwin. She pulled the bus to the curb just ahead of the woman, got up and opened the door.

The old woman looked up, and wondered why the Santa Bus had stopped there, when the driver got out. A young woman dressed as an elf, with a warm coat over the costume. The young woman smiled. “Hello, ma’am, I saw you struggling along, and wondered if I might help. Where are you going?”

I’m Abigail Thornbuckle,” she said. She went on to explain about Henry; how she had met him when she was feeding the birds back in November. “I’m so worried that he will freeze out there at night. I tried to talk him into going to a homeless shelter, but he refused. He said they are crowded, and unsafe. I have a hot meal for him, and some of my husband’s warm clothing. And this waterproof foam mattress to give him more protection from the cold ground.” She patted the blue roll.

“Oh, how kind,” Arwin said. ”I’m Arwin Lane.” They shook hands.

“I’m pleased to meet you,” Abigail said, and sighed. “I’m not sure I can make it. The path in the park won’t be cleared at all, and I do want Henry to have these things.”

“I think I can get you there. The road will have been cleared. It may have some drifting, but the bus can get through. Let me get you and the walker aboard, and we’ll deliver everything to Henry.” Suiting action to word, in a few moments both Abigail and th walker were settled on the bus and Arwin set it in motion.

It was less than five minutes to get as close as possible to the shelter. Arwin got out, lifted the walker out, and helped Abigail down. With Abigail pushing and Arwin pulling, they arrived at the shelter to be met by Henry.

“Oh, Abigail, ma’am, you shouldn’t have tried to come today!” he exclaimed. He turned to Arwin “Thank you for helping her. One last delivery for the Santa Bus” he laughed. They all set to work emptying the walker, and he was very happy with the warm clothes, and the mattress. Once everything was stowed away, Arwin turned to Henry.

“Henry, there is a homeless shelter at the Masonic hall, just a few blocks from here. It’s clean and monitored at all times. Why don’t you go there? What work do you do?”

“I create computer games. They are more realistic than anything on the market now, but I can’t get anyone to try them. I was working as a programmer, but the company downsized, and I was laid off. I’m nearly forty, and they say that’s too old for the market.”

“Maybe I can help you there, too,” Arwin said. She took a pad and pen from her pocket and wrote on it. Handing it to him, she said “Go there and tell them Arwin Lane sent you. I’m sure they’ll hire you; they’re just starting up and want creators and innovators.”

Henry smiled. “Thank you so much, Miss Lane. “I will go there right after Christmas. And tomorrow, I’ll go to that homeless shelter. You two are the kindest ladies I’ve ever met. May I read you a poem I wrote?” The both excitedly agreed, and settled to listen.

“Wandering, wondering, lost all I held dear,
Pondering, thinking of how I came here.
Wandering, wondering, lost and alone.

Just one more drink, just one more beer,
I can drive home, although nothing is clear.
Wandering wondering, lost and alone.

One more corner to go, I tried to steer
But I lost control and started to veer.
Wandering, wondering, lost and alone.

Injured a man and cried many a tear,
Paid when I lost all and life became drear.
Wandering, wondering, lost and alone.

Spent time in jail, was there over a year,
Came out and wandered off, ended up here.
Wandering, wondering, lost and alone.

Then you came along, gave my heart cheer,
Thank you, dear Abigail, for now it is clear
I’m no longer wandering, lost and alone.”

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