Stone and Snow (flash fiction with audio) 

I had heard of this thing that warmed your heart and made the corners of your mouth turn upward. I had a distant memory of feeling it, but I thought it would never happen to me in this new place. I had been sure of it. But, here it was shining out of my eyes for real. Happiness! Imagine that. 

My name is Susan Stone, and for much of my life, I was sure that my family name was based on the hard cold pit I usually felt in my guts. It was my birthright. My dad’s side of the family was filled with women who had a permanent cast of pain on their faces. It was as if we were born with souls filled with bad memories, and we spent our lifetimes carrying them like stones around our hearts. 
 
The stones I carried were like prey for the shiny-haired seventh grade girls in Branton Middle School, the ones with the powder blue eye shadow and freshly polished nails. They kicked the stones down the street on the walk home from school with their giggles and their taunts. I wished they would let me be invisible, but I was their new after-school sport.
 
Today was unexpectedly different.  Today was found treasure. Today I didn’t care about the teasing, or about being far away from Emily and Justin.
 
It all began with the fluffy white flakes dancing outside the window in third period geography. It was like a whisper in my ear from a friend I adored, but didn’t know I had. I knew when we moved here, that there would be snow, but nothing prepared me for this.
 
My imagination exploded!  I found myself on exciting adventures in made up, magical places. There were melodies to hum and to remember. There were boys to dream about in secret.  I could feel it... I had begun casting off stones.
 
I watched as the blacktop, and the lawns, filled with white.  I was carried like drifts in the wind. The flakes created frosting on the maple and oak branches, and the world started to look like a living painting.
 
School let out early, as if to celebrate. As I walked home, I learned about the smell of snow. I learned that it had a sound, and hearing it helped me to find my voice.
 
My awe of the fluffy wet flakes blocked the mean spirits of the shiny-haired girls. My joy took away their fun, and after a few blocks they left me in peace.  For today, the stones were covered in snow, and I finally started to feel at home.

 
(If you leave a comment, please check back. I always respond)

What makes you feel at home? 

2 comments

  • harry d

    harry d maine

    what a pleasure hearing you read your story. you added the inflection you intended when you wrote it i assume and that made the spirit of the writing come alive. So, much strong emotion in this piece. the sadness and fear of the 'shiny haired girls' and the beauty, music and smell of the snow made me smile as i prepare for a large dose of it tomoro. thanks for lightening my mood by casting off a few stones from my backpack. They vanished like antibacterial juice (what a strange place to use that metaphor Harry) off to play the guitar to find "melodies to hum and to remember". thank you for yet another inspiring story. (Your 'book of shorts' is halfway done)

    what a pleasure hearing you read your story. you added the inflection you intended when you wrote it i assume and that made the spirit of the writing come alive. So, much strong emotion in this piece. the sadness and fear of the 'shiny haired girls' and the beauty, music and smell of the snow made me smile as i prepare for a large dose of it tomoro. thanks for lightening my mood by casting off a few stones from my backpack. They vanished like antibacterial juice (what a strange place to use that metaphor Harry)
    off to play the guitar to find "melodies to hum and to remember". thank you for yet another inspiring story. (Your 'book of shorts' is halfway done)

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Yeah! Harry's here... Thanks for your thoughtful comment. It was fun to record the story, and I have been getting interesting feedback. My sister said that she would have read it very differently. She said the way I read it surprised her. She is going to read it to me "her way." I am curious... I like the image of making stones vanish like antibacterial juice. Funny! This story felt different to me to write. I can't quite explain it yet, but it felt like a little victory. It is interesting that you said my "book of shorts" is halfway done. I wonder about that sometimes... :) Thanks again Harry D!

    Yeah! Harry's here... Thanks for your thoughtful comment.
    It was fun to record the story, and I have been getting interesting feedback.
    My sister said that she would have read it very differently. She said the way I read it surprised her. She is going to read it to me "her way." I am curious...
    I like the image of making stones vanish like antibacterial juice. Funny!
    This story felt different to me to write. I can't quite explain it yet, but it felt like a little victory.
    It is interesting that you said my "book of shorts" is halfway done. I wonder about that sometimes... smile
    Thanks again Harry D!

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