Adrift in The Guest Room by Janice Lepore

Margaret ran her fingers through her hair, contorted her face, and adjusted her glasses. Muttering seemed to be her ready response to every frustration these days. Why was it when she read some interesting comments, a string of words that tantalized the imagination, an alphabet soup way of addressing an issue, that she could never remember exactly how it went, where she read it, or who said it, without agonizing over who, what and when?

Readjusting the pillows, best she could, she closed the fairly new publication she had been wanting to read. The author’s first two books had been best sellers for several weeks. One was even made into a movie. The premise of this story was how something that happened to the boy when he was seventeen changed his life forever. The author’s face showed that he was fairly young. The back cover of his third book said he lived in North Carolina with his wife and two sons. Where did he get his ideas? Obviously not from the experiences of his many years in the school of hard knocks.

There had been an interesting article in the morning paper about a man who wrote journal style dribble to counteract the drudgery of a factory job for years He wasn’t on the List, so to speak, but his two very different style books had been recognized with several awards. He explained that he spent his mornings with pen and paper at the library and simply reacted to some idea that raced through his head. On the other hand, he acknowledged that he was fortunate to have a wife who was impressed with his ability to describe events and situations; and therefore willing to support the family for a year. It was a challenge he was enjoying with confidence. It made one feel good inside to read this kind of news story.

Back to the novel, Margaret commanded herself. She had to keep her mind occupied. The doctor had been evasive, to say the least, as to how long she would be propped up in bed with an ankle that resembled a tree trunk, and an elephant-sized foot. Muttering aloud, she congratulated herself on having designed such a comfortable guest room with a lovely view of trees and sky. Chuckling to herself, she acknowledged that she had never intended to be the guest!

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Raindrops by Janice Lepore

Susan giggled and continued singing, “Rain drops keep falling on my head” to no one in particular. Clamping the ends of her pillow tightly around her head, Sydney tried to stifle the sound of the rain as well as Susan’s mantra.

 It was day two of their annual family camping trip and also day two of the rain. Sydney actually enjoyed the pitter patter of the rain on the canvas tent as she waited for the excess to run off the angled tarp. There was a rhythm to the combined sounds that made the nights peaceful. It was the dreary, damp days that had everyone mincing words. Reading, writing, playing games together was just more fun in the warm sunshine.

Suddenly Sydney remembered listening to a group singing around a campfire when she was younger and had to go to bed while everyone else – adults, that is – were having fun. There had been words about Moriah and blowing in the wind or something like that. The words had a soft wistful sound that soothed and refreshed at the same time.

 Deeming Moriah the Goddess of the wind, Sydney drifted off to sleep confident that day three would dawn bright and clear, and her twin sister Susan would have no more raindrops falling on her head.

A Sticky Leaves-Taking by Janice Lepore

John ran his fingers through his hair. The lengthy and “funny” story ended with the dog retrieving the stick of dynamite. The supposed-to-be experienced ice fishermen struggled to run in their heavy clothes and boots, whooping at the dog to drop the stick.
The confused dog obeyed and, obviously more intelligent than his master, beelined it for the shiny new red 4-wheel-drive vehicle parked on the ice, and jumped in. It was a skillful and heartfelt leave-taking.
Obviously, the ice fisherman who had been bragging about having the smartest dog on earth was right. The dog had hightailed it for safety. It was the dumb fisherman who now had a fish tale that he never wanted to tell.