SHORTS

I always dreamed of writing short stories like the Russian stories I fell in love with in high school senior English class. Unfortunately, my idea of a good short story is not what is being published now, so this is the best way for me to share my “shorts.” I had fun writing them, and I hope you enjoy reading them.

TWO SIDES OF THE COIN

Third in line, Gloria waited on the elderly shopper two carts in front of her.

“Can you fill out the check for me and then I’ll sign it?” The old man shook a piece of paper at the cashier.

Pulling her lips tight against her teeth as she inhaled, the cashier said, “Sure!” as she pushed the check through a slot in her machine. She handed it back to the man and said, “Just sign here.” Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/books/shorts/two-sides-of-the-coin/

PIANO SCREWS

Fingernails screeching down a chalkboard didn’t bother Sidney. In fact, she rather liked that texture. That’s how she thought of sound, as a texture or layering of individual noises. The particular texture of fingernails on a chalkboard was something most people avoided. They claimed it hurt their ears, set their teeth on edge, and gave them cold shivers. But the people who didn’t like chalkboard scratching loved to hear a piano being played. To them it was relaxing, entertaining, even exciting. Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/books/shorts/piano-screws/

SHADOWS

The upstairs bathroom “throne” wasn’t the most glorious place to sit, but she loved it. Tucked back behind the wall, it provided a perfect spot to survey the world through the floor to ceiling window just beyond her feet. A white wide-slat shade hung in front of the window, closed against the intense early morning summer sun and prying nighttime eyes, but otherwise open, allowing visual access to the outside without being able to be seen. Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/books/shorts/shadows/

THE ART OF NOTHING

“What’s the matter, sweetheart?” Old Art eased himself onto the park bench beside me. Draping an arm across my side of the bench, he drawled, “You look just plain down in the dumps, like you haven’t got a friend in this world. Come on, you can tell Old Art all about it. I won’t tell a soul, cross my heart. No, ma’am, mum’s the word.” He zipped his lips shut. “Now, what’s troubling a pretty girl like you?” Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/books/shorts/the-art-of-nothing/

THINKING

I’m thinking. At least, I’m supposed to be thinking. Ticks and tocks echo around the room as the frowning wall clock marks off every second I waste. Tick, tick, tick, tick, and I do nothing but think of nothing. I yawn and massage my watery eyes with long slow blinks, tick tick, take a huge swallow of tea, tick tock, stretch my torso as I reach my arms toward the ceiling, tock tock, pull off my glasses and then shove them back on – nothing helps. Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/books/shorts/thinking/

BLUE AND RED

Blue and red. Cool and hot. Running to and from, toward and away, always running, running, running. Evil versus good? Who knows? Who cares? Just running, always in opposition, always oblivious of everything but the need to keep running. Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/books/shorts/blue-and-red/

ABOUT MARY…

Martha shook her head and sighed. It was always about Mary. It had always been about Mary, ever since their parents died. Mary had been nine, beautiful, with large dark eyes and wavy, almost black hair that always managed to escape her head covering. But Mary had an uncanny ability to read other people’s emotional needs. Read more http://dianawebsterauthor.com/about-mary/

 

© 2015 Diana Webster, Designer Nathan Henderson

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Great Big Rug

Most of us have a great big rug in our life. Often our rug is quite beautiful, but its main purpose is to hide things. We frequently vacuum our rug and make sure that what people see in us, (and what we admit to), is prepared for public inspection. But the things we hide underneath – those are better kept hidden.

Richard Rogers wrote a wonderful song for the musical The King and I that says a lot about the rugs we take such good care of:

Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect I’m afraid

While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows I’m afraid

The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well

All the fear, insecurity, the need to appear strong and brave, the need to impress – those are all swept under the rug, and no one ever suspects a thing.

And pretty soon, we begin to believe the lie. We forget that there are real fears and insecurities deep inside us that need to be dealt with if we are to become who we really are, rather than the façade that masks the person we don’t want the world to see.

You see, admitting to our real self means that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. In the world’s eyes, vulnerability equals weakness. No one wants to appear to be weak. And yet, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, and to appear as vulnerable to the world, is absolutely necessary in order to become a real, whole human being.

We humans were created for each other, for community. We need each other. But we can only be in real community when we can participate in each other’s joys, sorrows, needs, and fears. That means allowing ourselves to be publicly vulnerable and allowing other people to be vulnerable without fear we will take advantage of their vulnerability. Community means to accept and live with our differences, our strengths, and what we perceive as our weaknesses – publicly. In her book A Wrinkle In Time, Madeline L’Engle gave Meg her faults as her saving grace. L’Engle knew that so often it is what we consider our faults, those things we sweep under our great big rug, that carry us through the rougher times in life.

I encourage you to clean house. Sweep out all your hidden self from underneath your rug. Learn to love those parts of yourself you’d rather forget. Let other people love the unlovely about you. And love the dirt from underneath their rugs, too. It is only in learning to admit to, embrace, and love the whole person that we become real people.

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