Many people see them as the ‘Bringers of Death’. Senselessly slaughtering all you get in their path. Delivering destruction to families… villages… towns… entire countries.
Executioners have used them. Dictators have allowed the extermination of millions of people ‘not of their kind’. Young men, with dreams of immortality, have used them to create havoc in our society.
But they are only the tool. They are a symptom of a far greater disease. Mankind has allowed the development a pandemic of wanton savagery.
Vigorous interventions must be made into the lives of our youth. Accolades of honest, no-strings-attached love must be showered upon them. The survival of mankind is at stake.
Families and communities have a right to safety. Safe countries. Safe cities. Safe towns. Safe families. The change has to begin with us.
LIFE is sacred. It needs to be a cherished treasure once again.
This was written in the form of a diamante poem. Instead of using the parts of speech, I used a syllable count. 1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1 and went with antonyms as the poems endpoints. Written for Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner.
“I thought you’d like it.” Grandpa was smiling. “But the surprises aren’t over yet.”
Sarah was already running passed the “Careful. Slippery When Wet.” signs the get to the new boat. Grandpa and her brother had been working on it during the winter as their ‘togetherness project’. She was surprised when Fredrick told her that the maiden voyage of the craft was supposed to be just her and Grandpa, but it was a good surprise. Sara loved to waters. To spend a day with Grandpa was always a plus.
Sara was barely able to contain her bubbliness and stay on the dock as she waited for her grandfather to catch up.
Grandpa stood beside her as they silently marveled at the magnificent work that he had Fredrick had completed.
“Well,” Grandpa looked had her. “Ready for the unveiling?”
“Sure. Every worthy craft has to have a name fitting for it majesty. Fredrick and I decided on the name for this one’s christening. We thought you should have the honor of revealing it.” Suddenly, as if from the shadows appeared Fredrick and Sara’s mother and father.
Father was carrying a small basket. “Wait. Before this solemn evert occurs, we need to have our toasts ready.” He went to one knee and opened the basket. Swiftly handing out glasses to each of them, he handed a bottle of OceanSpray Cranberry-Grape to Fredrick. “Prepare us, please. Sir Fredrick.”
Fredrick’s smile was ear-to-ear. He twisted the top off of the chilled OceanSpray and filled each of their plastic goblets.
“To Grandfather and Fredrick,” Father toasted. They all took one small sip. There were to be more toasts.
“To the ‘Togetherness Project’,” Mother was quickly following in line.
“To a family a man can be proud of,” was Grandfather’s toast.
Before Sara could say anything, Fredrick busted through. “And now, the time we have all been awaiting. Sara, would you removed the silk covering draped across the bow of our magnificent vessel.”
As Sara stepped onboard the craft to remove the silk cloth masking the port of the vessel, Fredrick boldly announced, “To the Sara Anne.”
There was much hugging and handshaking as Sara stood stunned at this turn of events. Then, ever true to Sara, she let out a squeal of joy that would have awakened dead sailors.
“Now, let’s give’er a spin.” Grandpa loaded the poles and boxes he had been carrying onboard joining Sara.
“See you for supper,” father said as he handed Grandpa the basket that the family had brought.
“Start her up, Sara,” said grandfather. “The fish are awaiting us.”
“We’re going to spend our day fishing?” Sara was taken back and just a bit pale.
“Sure, lassie. That’s Fredrick’s and my favorite pastime on the waters.”
“Grandpa, I’m not Fredrick.” Sara tried to be very polite as she was suddenly filled with incredible hurt.
“Oh. That’s right. You’re with me today.” Grandpa was smiling. “That must be why your family gave us this extra basket. Go ahead. Open it.”
Sara lifted the lid from the basket and found sandwiches, chips, and several chilled waters. “Look under the linen napkins,” said Grandpa.
Sara lifted the napkins and there were two large pieces of red-velvet cake.
“Grandpa!” Sara giggled as she reached starboard to give him a hug.
“Let’s wait ‘til we get to my favorite fishin’ hole.” smiled Grandpa. “Today, dearie, we just feed the fishies.”
“It has to be. The old man said follow the river. There’s not a lot of ways to mess that up.”
‘I don’t know but from what I’ve read in most books, they talk about ‘There’s gold in them there hills.’ and we’re going down from the hills and not up into the mountains Just sayin’”
“I know.” I replied a little spitefully. “You’re the one with the brains. We’re just like pack mules to you.”
“That’s not what I mean at all. I’m just wondering if maybe that old codger was pullin’ a fast one on us.”
“You just don’t trust people. Why would he do that?”
“First- The $25 each we gave him for his mining rights. He just happened to have the deed in his wallet. Second- If there is gold, as much as he implied there was, then why isn’t he havin’ his grandsons go on this grand adventure?”
Just then, there here was a shout up ahead from the lead hiker. “Look! There’s a town just around the bend.”
As we approached the town, there was a freshly painted ‘Welcome’ sign for all to see. Behind the sign, three small one-room cabins.
I started laughing.
“Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Even if there is no gold here… and the old man did swindle us … At least we have great places to sleep for the night.
“We’re good to go. All our domestic necessities in my pack. We’re ready. If she’s there, we’ll see her.” Packing for tonight had to be all cloak-n-dagger. If their parents found out…
“This is the night. According to all forensic records.” It had taken us two years-three summer jobs each (weeding gardens, picking fruit, and shoveling (well, just don’t go there.) for us to finally afford this new gear. “It’s not like they had a very proficient C.S.I. team in 1913,” I chuckled.
“Didn’t really have to, Everything’s in her diary. She stopped writing in it on August 31, 1913. Her body was found two days later. So tonight, whatever happened… happened.”
“Oh, that’s so profound. Let me write that down.”
“You just keep your hands near the recording equipment. We were right about her showing up last time. This year we’ll have proof.”
“Sure we will. We’d have had the proof two years ago if you hadn’t upturned and busted all the equipment. Ruing and screaming out of the house like a mad man from He…”
“We’ve been hiking for over two hours- uphill – the entire way, yet the mountaintop seems even further than it did when we started. Are you sure we’ll get there for sunset.”
“I’ve hike this trail many-a-time, dear. When the lads were only eleven, we made up on to the top to set up camp before sunset.”
“Are you saying I’m slower than the boys were?”
“No dear, you’re not slower. Only less patient.” her husband said with a smile. “At least you don’t keep asking, ‘Are we there yet?’”
“I can clearly see that we’re not there, yet, Sweet’ums.”
“A hint of sarcasm. Still plenty of vim-and-vigor in you.”
“This had better be worth the trip.”
“It will be. And unlike my trip with the lads, we’re carrying only water and a few snacks in our packs. No tents.”
“I think you promised a candlelit dinner at the top. I hope that you’re planning to woe me with trail mix protein bars.”
“No, My Sweet.” Another smile crept across his face as it turned away. “The chopper is already atop the mountain with the rest of our things.” And quickly he continued his assent, not waiting for a reply.
“It used to be a garden. How do you know there aren’t root plants still be harvested?”
“Root plants being harvested … Are you kidding me?”
“Yeh, dummy. You know what a root plant is?
“Of course I know…”
“Alright, kids.” Dad turned his head and interrupted the heated debate. “Either play the game without the bickering, or sit back there quietly and allow the peacefulness of nature to infuse your souls.”
“We’ll stop the bickering, Dad, if you stop with the infusing of souls.” Darla smiled at Leo. Dad had won again with his back-to-nature mantras.
Leo handed the left ear bud to Darla and each began listening to Leo’s new classic from Def Leppard on his MP3.
Darla leaned over and whispered, “Horse, over to the left. I’m ahead by three.” And she smiled.