A Capitol Christmas
Love at Christmas Time is the Best Present of All
Sophia Tesch, Yahoo Contributor Network
Representative Joseph Christenson spoke to the press corps Christmas Eve. During his speech, given in a church's kitchen, he turned to see-- covered in turkey gravy and mashed potatoes --a heavenly woman with shiny black strands escaping the loose bun that held her long, straight hair. Her chocolaty eyes and caramel colored skin at first glance held warmth unknown to him prior, the warmth turned uncomfortably hot as her eyes narrowed like a fierce jungle cat about to pounce. This intrigued him.
Maria saw the expensive looking man and she knew who he was. His ice-blue eyes were as cool as the December night, aloof. "Oh Lord please help me hold my tongue, it's Christmas." She begged her Heavenly Father. The State Senate passed a bill last session that cut funding for the poor, sending more people to this food kitchen to survive. Yet with television cameras around, they portray themselves as charitable men of God. She was furious! Nevertheless, she must show mercy on Christmas Eve. She began to smack the metal spoon full of potatoes onto a metal dish with frustration.
Joseph turned his head, reacting to the metallic thwacks coming across the row of turkeys and vats of cranberry sauce. A surprising urge to grab this angel in his arms overtook him, despite the gravy, potatoes and cranberry sauce that would ruin is custom-made suit. He reapplied his concentration to the Senator's speech. "We believe the American people will pull themselves up by the bootstraps and continue living the American Dream. Happy Holidays everyone!"
Joseph, bored by the speech, flashed Maria a smile. Her heart melted, her body betrayed her. Was this a cruel trick from God? Perhaps the Devil was tempting her with this arrogant man across the counter, she cursed under her breath while adding dollops of cranberry sauce to each dish before her.
"We'd like a picture in front of the tree," said the newspaper photographer corralling Joseph and Maria between the Senator and Maria's father, the Pastor. "Closer, closer please." The photographer urged. Maria resisted. But the photographer was impatient to return to the office holiday party and shoved Maria into Joseph"There, perfect." He returned to snap the shot while Joseph was trying to ignore Maria's soft body and the longing to untie her apron like a present, while Maria prayed the rosary to keep from thinking about Joseph's wonderful spice scent, the feel of him making her heart rum-pa-pum-pum like a drummer boy.
Now five years later, slightly more than a month after the election, Senator and Mrs. Maria Christenson kiss beneath the Capitol's Christmas tree. Maria looks deep into her husband's eyes with affection, "Joseph, I have a Christmas present for you." Joseph mischievously pulls her to him. "And what might that be my Christmas angel?" "We're expecting a baby, we will name him Jesus." The light from Joseph's smile rivaled the Christmas star. The couple entered the black sedan that drove them home through the twinkling Christmas lit night.
Poem Civic Engagement Power to the PeopleBy: Sophia Tesch
Power to the People!
Will they hold it?
Vote cash money
All ready sold it.
Power to the People!
Will they see?
You’ve got to get off the couch
Power to the People!
Put down the remote,
Power to the People!
Hold it in your hands.
Leaders take the lead.
That’s what’s essential
Throughout this great nation.
Power to the People!
No fairy godmother with magic to fix it.
The magic is called a vote so get out and use it!
A phone, call a letter, to let them know how you feel.
It is only then that the people's power can be real.
No more excuses take the power in hand.
Put time and money where your heart is
No more burying your head in the sand
Run for office make a stand
And you'll see
Power goes back to the people
Freedom isn't free
Short Story Romance Short Story first KissBy: Sophia Tesch
Sheila Wilkes had a crush on Tommy Braxton since she was three years old. They shared blocks at pre-school, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at summer camp, and hours playing and talking up in the tallest branches of the old oak tree that grew in the park to be found half the distance between his house and hers.
It was in this warm earthy scented tree in the tallest branches, hidden by emerald green leaves that they sat one warm June afternoon as the sun was setting in the sky. It was the afternoon of the last day of school and they were discussing their summer plans. This year would be different because Tommy’s family had a reunion in Montana and he would be leaving with his family for two weeks which in the lives of fifteen year olds is an eternity.
Sheila’s gaze was locked into Tommy’s soft green eyes. Those eyes always partially hidden behind a cloud of dirty blonde hair always held a spark of mischief that always promised fun, laughter and a bit of trouble every now and again. The spark never failed to ignite her heart and in the soft orange glow of sunset this time was no different. She noticed that today Tommy’s eyes had something else in them something mysterious that Sheila didn’t understand and that scared her because Sheila thought she knew everything there was to know about Tommy Braxton.
“Well I guess we had better start heading for home.” Sheila said as she started to shimmy back over to the huge trunk of the old oak. She looked away hoping Tommy would not see the tears that were starting to well up in her eyes. “No, wait!” tumbled from Tommy’s mouth as he instinctively grabbed Sheila’s arm pulling her back toward him. “What?” her voice quivered slightly as Tommy coaxed her to look into his eyes.
The trace of tears in Sheila’s eyes looked to Tommy to be like magical diamonds glistening there. As if by magic those tears cast a spell on Tommy, a spell that revealed Sheila to him in a way that he had never seen her before in these many years, he noticed the fit of her old cut offs and the soft curves hidden under her old cotton camp t-shirt in a different way. Tommy became so nervous that his next move was awkward as he pulled Sheila toward him, her soft brown hair brushed his cheek and he almost missed her face entirely. Sheila as she had done so many other times with so many things they had done together intuitively moved in to Tommy’s kiss. Their lips met together naturally the warmth and tenderness they found there surprised them both.
As they both wiped the moisture of Sheila’s tears from their faces. Sheila smiled and they both began to laugh together. “So I’ll see you in two weeks.” Sheila managed through her laughter and her tears. Tommy’s voice caught in his throat in a thick fog of newly discovered desire.
“Yes, two weeks.”
It creeps upon us. Initially the chill wins the morning, and then evening, it steals away easy balmy reverie. It knew we would not give up our summer willingly.
Like a nun's ruler slap on the desk of a desperate daydreamer. September is here. No more tank tops and cut-off jeans put your crisp uniform on! September demands.
September is the fierce parent with demands and obligations of precision, production and perfection. Tepid, loose, free, satisfaction of the beachy days of summer is over. Snap out of your blissful summer stupor and into the snappish clarity of Fall.
Crisp autumn air cracks and whips the windows through the trees.
Leaves like jewels are stolen and tossed violently in the breeze.
We have no cares because we're indoors, cozy as you please.
With a cuppa cocoa by the fire we're tangled at the knees.
We're snuggled up together, warming our bodies and our hearts.
It won't be long before the chill of winter and the holiday season starts.
But that doesn't worry me; it's my favorite time of year.
I'm thankful to share the long, cold, nights now that you are here.
Madison stirred her third pumpkintini, the signature drink of the posh Halloween soiree in full swing at her Cousin Mary's country estate. Mary had met her husband Jim Holloway at an auction at Christie's, he was the hottest hedge fund manager on Wall Street and she was the hottest socialite on Park Avenue, they were the perfect power couple. Mary had always included Madison, her starving-artist cousin, on her guest list. Mary collected party guests the way others may collect figurines and she found Madison to be a fun and whimsical addition to her collection.
Madison was dressed as a modern witch in a short black Betsy Johnson with thigh high laced black leather boots. Her copper curls sprung from the pointed hat and cloaked her in a drape of coils when she wanted to be alone. Plotting her escape, Madison stared mesmerized at the Kieninger mantle clock showing 10:10. Her gaze slowly crept up the wall to the portrait she had painted for her cousin as a wedding present last June. Though she felt warm and happy about her cousin's bliss, an icy shiver crawled up her spine. "Mary was telling the guests that you painted this portrait. Is it true?" It was a man's deep tenor, with hints of San Juan in his accent. Madison cringed; not being in the mood to entertain one of Mary's often pretentious guests, nor to have a superficial discussion about her art.
As Madison whipped her head around, her curls lashed the air, as though looking to punish her intruder, but then finally decided to settle and rest in a soft cascade down her back and shoulders. Her full attention was locked on a pair of periwinkle eyes. His caramel skin, sun kissed tan, glowed warm luminescent beneath the soft cast of the jack o' lanterns' glow. "Come with me." He coaxed. "The Harvest Moon is out tonight." As though under a spell Madison willingly obeyed and they soon found themselves surrounded by Mary's prized Marilyn Monroe roses, they were strangely in bloom, though they weren't usually this time of year, Madison gazed in wonder at the enormous fiery-orange Harvest Moon.
"My name is Madison," she started wanting to fill up the empty space between them with language. "Shhh", he turned to her "We don't have to do this. He was luminescent in moon light on this starless night "I …uh…" she attempted again "What's your name?" He was gazing at her like she was a sacred artifact or alien from another planet she wasn't sure which, but then his finger softly touched her lips. "We don't have to do this." He said as he bent down slowly and captured her in a soft gentle kiss. As he kissed her the world began to spin faster, the earth gave way beneath her feet. Time and space seemed to race and she saw this kiss reenacted in a different time, beneath the sacred stones of Stonehenge, this kiss behind the Coliseum in ancient Rome, this kiss stolen within the Temple of Isis in the Egypt of antiquity, this kiss between solider and French lover, V-Day on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, this kiss amid a sea of naked dancing bodies painted in day glow with Jimmy Hendrix playing Purple Haze in the background. As they broke their kiss Madison was breathless she looked up to him in amazement. "Who are you?" she demanded.
"I'm sorry." He paused as if searching for a way to tell her the deepest secret of his soul. "It's Juan Fortuno this time. I found you too late, I'm sorry I must go now but I'll see you soon." And then he was gone. He was disappearing down the path that cut through the corn field and Madison felt powerless to stop him. After a moment of doubt, Madison began to run after him "Wait. Stop. Don't leave! Please don't leave yet." Just then she heard Mary calling for her from the main house. "Oh there you are. Where did you run off to? Oh never mind hurry, I want you to meet the Senator." Mary took Madison by the elbow and led her through the crowd. Madison put on her usual mask of feigned interest as Mary and the Senator discussed fundraising for the new Children's Art Museum they planned to build downtown. Madison shook to her foundations, this evening had been too much she had to get out of there-- she felt the walls close in on her. "I'm sorry; I'm sorry Mary I have to go. I'll call you later. Thank you. Thank you for everything. Senator, it was a pleasure to meet you. I must go."
Madison ran through the grass, the fall leaves crunched and swirled at her feet. The mist of her breath steamed the night air in puffs of desperation as she finally saw the Midnight Blue Metallic of her Audi A4 glistening under the Harvest Moon. Madison was crazy with panic "Where could he have gone? Who was he? Why did she feel like they had been together forever? When could she see him again?" These thoughts tore at her brain like a tornado ripping at her sanity. She positioned herself behind the wheel and flew down the drive, pointing her A4 toward the highway she made her way into the starless night. "I will see you soon." Juan's words wisped into her consciousness tickling her, it was a distraction. At that moment Madison knew what he meant. The bright lights that tore around Dead man's Curve, she saw the lights and pulled the wheel hard to the right, the screech of the tires, the metallic crunch, the shatter of glass, and then all was still.
Madison watched from the side of the road, the red and blue flashing lights, she saw Mary and Jim talking to the police. She observed the firefighters use the jaws- of-life on the Audi to unwrap the metal to set her body free. It was midnight. The soft tenor whispered to her once more "Are you ready to go?" He was gorgeous, swirling gold and white sparking light, Madison sighed "Yes, I'm ready." Dios des muertes, the day of the dead was her final fleeting thought as she and Juan stepped into eternity--together.
Lots of taking,
Not much giving.
Lots of dieing,
Not much living.
Lots of crying,
Not much laughing.
Lots of lying,
Even more grafting.
But there's still hoping,
And there's still praying.
There's still loving
So it's worth staying.
The world's not perfect,
But it's better than before.
Today is another chance for peace,
To try again once more.
I was Going to Live My Dream But. A Poem About the Little Ways Our Days Evaporate and so Do the Opportunities to Live Our Dreams
I was going to live my dream today. Live to my potential make the best of my life but the children needed breakfast. They wanted scrambled eggs with toast today.
I was going to live my dream today but my husband lost his car keys. He was late for work and it took fifteen minutes to find them.
I was going to live my dream today but on the way to feeding the dog I noticed a long line of ants marching to the kitchen. I had to find the spray to make them go away.
I was going to live my dream today but the baby needed her favorite toy pony that she lost for the fifth time today, it took about forty-five minutes to find it, change her diaper again and put her down for nap. She wanted her favorite story read twice.
I was going to live my dream today but it was lunchtime and the older kids wanted tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Then it was time to clean up and grab something out of the freezer for dinner.
I was going to live my dream today but I needed to put in a load of laundry, do more dishes, and clean up the front room before someone tripped on the toys.
I was going to live my dream but Johnny was having trouble with his homework and tomorrow is the day we are supposed to provide the snack for the class. Then it was time to put dinner in the oven.
I was going to live my dream but then my husband came home. It was time for dinner and he wanted to talk about his day before reading the paper and falling asleep watching baseball on the couch.
I was going to live my dream but the dog needed to be walked.
The cat needed to be fed--again.
The baby can't find her toy pony now and it needs to be found before bedtime in a half an hour.
I was going to live my dream but the HOA says the front walk must be swept and in acceptable condition, by their standards, by tomorrow.
I was going to live my dream but I am exhausted.
I'll try to live my dream again tomorrow.
He started seeing another woman. She's not the first. The betrayal cut deep, flaunting their relationship in front of me after all the things we'd been through together. I had been there for him when every one else turned their back. I thought we had something special. What could I do to make him see that we were meant to be together, just us two? I had to do something.
I heard them in the other room making love. He smuggled her in the dark when he thought I was sleeping. It made my stomach turn I felt sick and vomited on the floor right on the shoes she had left by the front door. I knew he would be mad at me. Fear overtook me suddenly and I bolted out the back door.
I ran for miles before I'd let myself rest. My mind began to regain some semblance of thought. How could I fix this? Maybe if I brought him back a gift to show my love. I would do my best to bring him back something to eat, one of his favorites, he would forgive me. I started to hunt for a good place to get some food.
Later when I had returned with my gift I found him on the couch watching TV. She wasn't there. "Where have you been baby? I was worried." He smiled at my gift and seemed pleased and placed it in the silver box outside where he keeps all the treasures I give him. He let me snuggle with him on the couch. It felt so wonderful to be warm and loved in his arms again. He kissed me on my head and stroked my hair as we watched one of his movies. The movie wasn't my taste but I didn't mind, as long as we were together.
The next morning when he left for work I was in the house for much of the day. I got cozy in my favorite spot on the bay window day-bed. The sun warmed me as I spent lazy hours dozing and watching the birds and other animals play in the back yard. It was a warm summer day and all I could think about was his return later that evening, I wanted to be in his arms again.
The hours past and I began to get worried. Where was he? Was he going to be home tonight? Did something happen to him? I began to pace the floor. I nibbled a bite of food and had some water to soothe my throat but I wasn't hungry. How could I eat when he was out there somewhere in the night?
He returned sometime after midnight, I was so relieved and happy to have him back in our home. My relief was short lived and quickly turned to rage when I saw her with him. That was it. I would no longer tolerate her in my home! He had to understand, I had to take care of this for his own good. This was our home and she was not welcome in it. How did he think he could get away with sneaking her into our own home in the middle of the night? How could he do this to us after all we had been through together?
They were on the couch when I made my feelings known. "Get out of my house!" I hissed at her. "What's the matter with you baby? He asked me. "Go on upstairs I'll be up in awhile." He was so casual about it. Go upstairs to bed and wait for him while he had her in the house? My heart broke with his betrayal. I couldn't take another moment when the tramp looked at him and then back at me in disbelief.
That was all I could take I jumped on her and scratched at her face! She would never take him from me. He was my man I would fight to the death for him! But then the unthinkable happened. He pulled me off of her and he slapped me. It was the first time he had ever raised his hand to me. I ran.
I had never been out this late at night before and I was scared. The sounds of the night, strange and loud pushed me to run faster into the night. As I ran as fast and as far as I could go all the while playing back the memories we had together. The day we met. I had been so young then, we'd been together eight years, the best years of my life. He always told me how beautiful I was and how he'd love me forever. I snapped out of my nostalgic fog when my ears heard the loud engine come around the corner. It was the law. A couple of my friends had been picked up before and I never saw them again.
I tried to run but the officer was too fast. He secured me and sent me to jail. That's where I am now. I don't know if Tom will bail me out or if he will leave me here to rot. He was pretty mad last night. I thought about the necklace he gave me on my first birthday with him, it had been so long ago and the promise that he would be there whenever I needed him. I wore the necklace everyday. I swore I would never take it off. But the officer had taken it when he gave me that God awful shower and now I had lost it. I have lost everything that meant anything to me. How did it all go so terribly wrong?
It was in the exact moment that I had given up all hope and accepted my fate that the door to the cell swung open. There was Tom! He hadn't abandoned me after all. I showered him with kisses. "Come on Kitty let's go home." I let him carry me in his arms. He was taking me back home where we will live happily ever after together forever.
Writing Prompt Write a flash fiction story that is between 300 and 600 words. Think of an animal and write from its personal perspective. Describe what life is like through the eyes of either a real or mythical creature.
Miss Molly McGilk loves to drink milk,
No other drink will do.
Miss Molly McGilk drank so much milk,
She grew, and grew, and GREW!
She grew so tall she could play basketball,
She looked down on all of her older brothers and sisters.
Then she grew taller than the willows,
She used strawberry hill for her pillow,
She swam in the seas,
And her sneeze made a breeze!
"I'm the biggest and strongest girl for miles!"
Sang the fabulous, Miss Molly McGilk.
And every day, without delay,
She still drinks a big glass of milk.