The Last People XXXIV – Traditions

Canada and More 224

As they pulled into the lane of their farm, Jeremiah got out to open the two sets of gates, when Miriam’s phone buzzed with a message. Since everyone that she knew well was in the van, it had to be Roger in France, or…..it was…..and it was from Anuniaq, in Northern Quebec! She began reading Anuniaq’s message in French, while Jeremiah was finishing the second gate. She became so excited, she yelled out the window, “Jeremiah come quick!”

When he leaned in to the open window of the van, Miriam explained, “Anuniaq is coming to the farm, and he is bringing someone with him!” “You mean they’re coming here??”, Jeremiah was astonished. Miriam said yes and Jeremiah asked, “Won’t they get stuck in the snow?” “If they don’t get stuck in the snow coming down here – what about on the way back?” Miriam had already dismissed his question, and said, “He won’t get stuck Jeremiah, because he is driving a commercial snow plow!”

It was three days later when they heard the roar of a large diesel coming down Stevenson Lane. They had a habit of keeping a few windows open, to take in the crisp fall air, but only during the day. The diesel was sounding like the 18 wheelers they used to hear so often.

It was a Friday and they were all preparing for the Sabbath meal. Jennifer loved these times, and was hoping Miriam would teach her the prayers someday soon. She loved the language and the tradition, and was dreaming of doing the same, whenever she had her own place again. She was beginning to think of having a family, maybe even more than baby Jacob, and herself. She believed now that her boyfriend Jacob would have wanted that for her. She admired the candle holders, as she placed them on the table, and placed the candles in each one.

Miriam was hoping that Jeremiah would pull out of the slump he was in. He had been sulking ever since he heard the news about some of the Inuit coming, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was about. Privately, he was worried about being behind schedule for getting ready for winter. The Kentucky trip had taken up several days, even though it was needed, and now he was certain the visitors from Quebec would take up even more of their time. And besides all that, the house was too crowded!

His mood changed dramatically when he saw Anuniaq get out of the huge snow plow, and then help the passenger down from the cab of the truck. They all rushed out of the house to meet them. Anuniaq spoke French mostly to Miriam, after his initial shock at how tall she was. He was about 30 years old, with a strong, quiet looking face. He introduced his passenger as Anhah. She was a short, older woman with long, flowing, silver-gray hair. Her face showed the wrinkles of having survived many rough years, and yet the all joys, and cultural strength of the Inuit. Her eyes sparkled with life. Jeremiah noticed immediately that these two were filled with peace, and they were gentle spirits.

As they all sat around the Sabbath dinner table, Miriam covered her head and began chanting the prayers so familiar to the Pennsylvania survivors. She was singing as she lit the candles, and the words in Amharic were welcoming the Sabbath. Jeremiah joined in for some it and Jennifer too, when she remembered the words. Cathy and Cory were smiling ear to ear, loving the sounds of the languages.

Miriam also sang the same prayers in French, for their guests that night. Their eyes teared up with the sheer beauty of the moment. Unexpectedly Anhah began singing in her Inuit dialect. Everyone was stunned, especially when they heard the translation:

Oh Great One, Oh Great One

We thank You for this food, for this food,

Give us the strength, to hunt and fish again,

And in this place, to gather in the food,

Oh Great One, Oh Great One

No one said a word after they heard this. They just soaked in the beauty. One thing was for certain though…….. life on planet earth was becoming more beautiful all the time.

      

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

A Few Thoughts on Writing Fiction

beauty allswomenstalk

Fiction is a hard sell. In other words, poetry, photography, and art, are going to do much better in the blogging world, than a piece of fiction, but there is a simple, and wonderful reason for that. There are so many incredible blogs, with such outstanding work, that we long to take it all in. So if you do like I do, I go through the reader, just amazed, and I go on to the next post quickly.

Fiction takes a lot of time to read, and when we post it, we are asking the reader to invest time in us, and our work. So with that in mind, I try to keep my segments short. I would like them to be a little over four hundred words, but they always go over it. I cringe when I start hitting six hundred words, because I know I need to make it worth the investment the reader is making.

But I love, love, writing fiction. Several of you have asked me to continue with the Last People series, and that is a huge thrill for me. I am enjoying this series more than any other series I have written. The two main characters are so different from one another, and yet they love each other in amazing ways. I wanted it to be that way. It also gives me a wonderful opportunity to explore culture. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know how I love other cultures and people!

By the way, Robert and Belinda, from the Escape series, wanted me to tell you hello. They are still down in the Dominican Republic, and working on getting married. Don’t expect to get a postcard from them though, they are going to be busy!

Peace.

      

Commentary © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

image from beauty.allwomenstalk.com via google

Blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People on Earth XIII – 10?

Oceans 1207

Looking around the truck, the trailers were still attached, but the trailer hitch for the lab was slightly bent. He thought he could maybe bend it back into shape, with a hammer. It was the truck that was the worst. All the damage was on the front, driver’s side. The tire was flat and the rim was bent. The fender was like crumpled paper. He placed his foot on the front bumper, which was hanging, pushed on it, and it fell with a crash.

He felt awful, because he had been reckless, trying to avoid a drone that did nothing. He looked at Miriam, straight in the eyes, and said, “I’m sorry Miriam……you were right, maybe they were just gathering data”. She looked down, said nothing, but shook her head, saying ok.

More than two hours later, they were ready to travel again. They had unhitched the trailers, unloaded all of the contents from the back of the truck, and changed the tire, with a spare already mounted on a rim. Then they loaded everything back into the truck, and hitched up the trailers again. It was a painful lesson, he thought, about when to listen to the one you love.

He had wanted to make her a nice salad when they got to their new home. Now it would be dark when they arrived, so that was out. Before they drove off he got one of the coolers, and placed it in the front seat. It had fresh fruit, and in another bag they had granola. With a forced smile he offered her some fruit. She said, “Let’s just drive Jeremiah…” His spirits dropped. It was not like her to turn down fresh fruit. Her look said, “I’m not happy right now”.

So the tired couple drove quietly, in their mangled truck, and the transmission was worse now, lurching them forward once in a while. They hoped they would make it there in one piece. Thirty minutes later Miriam reached for some granola and started crunching. “There’re some blueberries in the cooler”, he said quietly. She went for some of those too. She looked at him, knew he was hurting and she said, “Jeremiah, I’m ok, and we are ok…….” “Don’t worry….” Thank God she was talking now, he thought. He smiled at her.

Twenty minutes later Miriam was beginning to perk up, and asked Jeremiah an unusual question. She said in her wonderful French African accent, “Have you ever thought of how many children we should have?”. She had a serious look on her face, so he said, “Well….yes but I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it.” He continued with, “I was thinking 4….. maybe 5.” “What about you?” he asked, as he took a drink of water. “Well I was thinking…….I think…….well…….10!

He choked, coughed, sprayed and spurted water all over the steering wheel! He coughed some more, and she reached over to rub his back. She was giggling now, having great fun with this. He pulled over, and put the truck in park. He looked at her disbelieving. “You want 10 children???!” He couldn’t believe it. She was laughing out loud now, at his reaction. She was trying not to be too loud, so she began stomping her foot, and holding a hand to her mouth. He decided to play this out some more, and go along with it. He said, “What do I look like a machine??” She howled with laughter, and her foot stomped even more.

After he wiped down the steering wheel, he kept mumbling “10 children!!”, he was really enjoying her laughter, and hysterics. In between her howls of laughter, she said, “But Jeremiah…….we need to…….we need to…….. repopulate!!!” She howled once again, and he laughed so hard he had tears in his eyes. They could not stop laughing. “Very funny!” he said. But he loved every minute of it…….he had never laughed so hard in his life……..

To be continued.

      

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

P.S. I had some problems with wordpress today and the butterfly poem was deleted. Sorry!

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People on Earth XI – Journey to Healing

Oceans 2020

In the morning there was no sign of the drone. Miriam convinced Jeremiah to not get a gun, but he was not happy about it. Privately he thought her reasoning was sound though. She told him that if the drone had meant to destroy them, it would have. A rocket being launched into the house would have put an end to everything. Could it be they (whoever they were) were just watching them?

He made them some eggs and turkey bacon, with toast, in the morning. Miriam was not a big meat eater, so she had just the eggs and toast. She admired his wanting to take care of her, and it showed at every mealtime. He didn’t say much as they ate, because he kept thinking, that he was supposed to take care of the family – wasn’t he? Was it just his male instinct causing him to want a gun to protect them? He wasn’t sure but it felt right. It wasn’t until later that Jeremiah better understood, her fear of guns.

They spent half the day packing up the lab. As they worked packing up boxes, Miriam explained about East Africa, and the conflict in Somalia often spilling over into other countries. The kidnappings, and killings were horrible. It was always with guns. However it wasn’t until they emigrated to Europe that she experienced the hatred of white people. The white racists hated them, and wanted nothing to do with Muslims, Jews, or anyone else different than they were.

Miriam, broke down in tears, as she retold the story of how she and her father, were kidnapped, raped, and severely beaten. They were left for dead, in the middle of the night, while a black car went speeding off into the darkness. Jeremiah held her, wanting to erase every hurt of her traumatized emotions. It took a while for Miriam’s grief to subside, and she finished with, “It wasn’t until we made our way to France, that we were safe.” She wouldn’t tell him though what country they were in, when the kidnapping took place in, “In case we meet survivors from there…” she said. She did not want Jeremiah to hate.

Six months after the kidnapping, Miriam’s father became very sick, and eventually died. Miriam was convinced it was from the beatings, maybe brain damage. “I have a lot of forgiving to do still”, she said, in her heavy French African accent. They both wept.

When they did work on the packing some more, Miriam realized it was Jeremiah’s love that was bringing so much healing. He never judged, never criticized, but he did give of himself so completely. At the end of the day, Jeremiah could see that she was tired, and said she should go in to rest. She did go in, and fell asleep almost immediately, on the couch. She dreamt of holding a beautiful baby girl, and her name was Sofia.

The next morning they left early. They had a large pickup now, a Ford F-250. He hated leaving the Mercedes, but they had to. The back of the truck was loaded with food, canned goods, and cold food, packed in coolers, with ice. Next there was the large trailer with the laboratory inside. And finally there was a small trailer, with their suitcases filled with clothing, and some kitchen items. Jeremiah was concerned about the weight they were hauling, and thought for sure the transmission would give out, but they only needed to drive 6 hours.

As they drove away from their first home, they knew they would miss it, but they both knew they were on the greatest journey of their lives, drones, or no drones. She smiled at her strength, this man of love, and took his hand.

He looked down at their bracelets, and said in perfect Amharic, “My Queen……I love you…….I will always love you…….(he had been practicing)…….. It was one of the greatest moments of her life……….she closed her eyes to take it all in.

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last People on Earth IX – Liquid Gold

Oceans 813

There were times like this, where it made no difference she was a bio-chemist, or that he had been a 3rd year med student. It didn’t matter that she was from Africa, or that he was white, with red hair, that she was very tall, and he was not. All that mattered was that they were madly in love with each other. She snuggled closer and laid her head on his bare chest. She could hear his heartbeat in her ear, as he lay lightly snoring.

For weeks before the wedding, they both knew it was time. There was a certain way they both looked at each other, the way he touched her face, the way she rubbed his back. It was the way their lips searched, and found each other. There was a yearning and longing for each other.

And now, as he slept, they held one another. He was dreaming of the wedding again. Picturing in his mind the mountain, and how they made their vows to one another, kneeling, facing each other. They had promised to love each other, and to be faithful, even if they did find other people alive. Miriam had been worried about polygamy, so they had written vows, to only have one spouse, unless they were so injured, from brain damage, there was no choice.

They had also worked out all the details about faith, and placed those promises in their vows. They promised most of all, to love and respect each other. She would say and sing prayers on Friday nights, lighting the Sabbath candles, like her mother had done, and he would share with his family about the Messiah. That was all they ever needed. They didn’t know it at the time, but years in the future, this would still be an important part of their family life. They also promised to never part, during the difficult times.

But that was two days ago, and now as Miriam lay there, on his chest, she thanked God for her husband. She had never met a man so gentle, and yet so strong, at the same time. Tears began to flow, down her cheeks, and on to his chest. She quietly wiped her tears, and began singing softly in Amharic. It was a love song she had been teaching Jeremiah, in her language. In English the words go like this:

As long as there are rocks in the ground and fish in the sea,

You will always be, you will always be, my Love,

As long as the sun sets, on the water, making liquid gold,

You will always be, you will always be, my Love.

Jeremiah heard her singing, and stirred. He was at the part in his dream, where they had exchanged bracelets and placed them on each other’s wrists (instead of rings). She placed a leather one on his wrist with beautiful Hebrew letters from the Aaronic benediction……..  in English the translation was, “The Lord bless you, and keep you….” And the bracelet he placed on her wrist, was gold, and had belonged to his Great, Great Grandmother. She had received it as a gift, before the family emigrated from Holland, and it had been in the family ever since.

Miriam’s voice was unmistakable, and he awoke smiling. He began hearing the words in Amharic…….. “As long as the sun sets on the water, making liquid gold,” He joined in, and in perfect Amharic, they both sang……… “You will always be, you will always be,……..my Love…….”

And their lips found each other, once again……

To be continued.

 

 

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Dreamwalker VII – The Antler Inn

log cabin 2

Contemporary Microfiction

About 45 minutes after leaving the Sanchez house, he was pulling onto the highway, when he got a nagging feeling that he had overreacted. None of it was Linda’s fault, and he shouldn’t have left her there, at her parent’s house. They had driven the four hours together, to visit her parents, and they should have left together. He pulled over. Why was he so stupid? Then the realization hit him like a ton of bricks. He had never been in love before. He had known women, and dated women, but this was the first time he had allowed himself the freedom to love. Now he couldn’t think right half the time. It was all new territory.

He picked up his cell phone, should he call? No, she would hate him for sure now. He dialed her cell number anyway, and got the recording. He didn’t have the courage to leave a message. But listening to her voice did two things to him. First it made him realize how much he loved her, that he needed her, and that led to the second reaction. He was horrified that he might lose her, or that he already did lose her! He felt like cussing because he was so scared, but he prayed instead. He yelled out, “God help!”, and that was it. He dialed her number again, and again it went to voice mail.

He found himself driving again, and for some reason he headed towards the Antler Inn, instead of his own apartment, even though it was an hour further away. Amy had a room when he called, but it would have to be the same room he and Linda had shared. He hesitated but said yes.driving

When he got there, Amy took one look at him, and said, “God, what a mess you look!” He mumbled some unintelligible words, and headed for the room. The room was the clincher. Memories of their time there flooded his mind and heart. He thought of the love making, the pillow talk, the sharing of their dreams together, and of course the many times they read to each other, from Rumi and Gibran. He fell apart with his face in his hands, and wept.

The next morning he made it to breakfast even though he had been up most of the night. Amy served them up some wonderful western style omelets, and sat down across from him. For eighty three years old she had more strength than most women much younger. “So did you have a have a fight with Miss Linda?” She didn’t mince any words. His eyes narrowed, saying he wasn’t in the mood for questions. “I didn’t come here for this!”, he blurted. “Well what the “H” did you come here for?” “To enjoy the fauna?” She had him for sure, and he knew it. He spilled out everything at that point, he just could not help it. He told her everything.

“Well, just call her for Pete’s sake.” “Don’t just talk about it – do it!”, she said. He explained he had called her – three times. “Three times???!!!” “She’s probably called you a hundred and three times.” She continued with “You can’t mess around like this when it comes to love!” “You need to get serious!” She was right of course, and he reached for his phone. The battery was dead! No wonder he had not received anything from her.

He found his charger, and called her from the living room. She answered right away, before she could say anything, he talked like a flood – “Linda my battery went dead, I’m sorry for overreacting, I want to get married, can we buy a house together? Did your father take you home?” He was out of breath when he finished. There was a pause on the other end. “James!” was all she could say, and then he heard her weeping. “I’m sorry, really sorry Linda”. “James I stayed overnight here, but I haven’t slept.” He told her he hadn’t slept either, then he jumped to telling her he was on the way to pick her up. “It’ll only take five hours!” “I’ll be right there!”

Amy heard the whole thing, from the dining room, and just shook her head. “This man is a mess!” “What is wrong with men these days?” “They ain’t got noooo sense…..”

  desert flowers

To be continued!

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google