Archive for August, 2011

A 105 minutes to go

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Sheltered by giant firs and cedars the children ran wild, in, out and about the cooking hut. Their matching blue shirts were the only things that brought order to the chaos. The blue marking them for their overseers too see, and allowing them a chance, a small chance, really only a slim hope of not losing at least one.

 As the hot dogs and juice boxes were handed out, the children bopped up and down on tables designed for sitting. Occasionally one would bash into the large unforgiving beams of the table. The crying was immediate. Sitting still was not on the children’s agenda, they were wild with energy and life. Excitement drove them and the sight of swings and slides and other children having fun made them crazy. They couldn’t get the food down fast enough.

Opp’s the first incident. A little boy was choking on the hot dog he tried to inhale. A young and rather voluptuous young blonde jumped to his aid.  With a quick slap on the back up it came all over the little girl beside him. She screamed and then they all screamed. There is unison of children and screaming, they love it. It is in a way a pressure cap designed to release the excitement, for without it, they would simply blow up, their kids.

They could not forestall the inevitable any longer. The overseers for their part knew what was coming and then everything would be completely beyond their control. There was no immediate fence so it was the six of them against forty, they didn’t stand a chance.

“Who wants to go to the playground” he called out.

Their screams signaled a release. They were gone. An immediate result was a little red headed boy turning to join the chase and running into a little dark hair girl driving him and her into the table. In the blink of an eye they were on concrete base scraped and crying. The other thirty eight never stopped to notice. Fortunately for the crying children two of the female overseers stopped to help. That left just four of them to corral the thirty eight. At an almost ten to one ratio, everything was beyond them, chaos ruled.

Within minutes three of the children had run through the water park fully clothed. Those screams of excitement only served to spur more to follow. There was only one overseer to control the water park. Moments later he too was soaked, good nature took over and he laughed and screamed along with them. The inner child was free.

The other three tried valiantly, but the little ones soon ran them to ground. The injured had by now returned to the battle with the matrons not far behind. The odds narrowed with their return. One looked at her watch to find only fifteen minutes had past. “Oh well” she thought “only a hundred and five more minutes to go.

She smiled as it was impossible not to when surrounded by this much elation. Given the chance children will always rule the day, especially a sunny day at the park.

A short story by David Hutchisonphoto0035


Just Across the Valley

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

How long had he walked, he didn’t know. Exhaustion took him. He had to stop and sit. He might freeze for the cold  bit through his clothes. He sat. It didn’t seem that far away, he had only to across the valley floor. He could see the other side. If strength were with him now, the distance could easily be overcome.

There was a time when youth surrounded him. Nothing could be wrestled from the strength within or without. Fear, never a companion, courage would harness the power needed to vanquish. Age took it all away when he wasn’t looking. The companion had changed.

She was there, waiting, just across the valley. The cabin would be warm and her arms even warmer. She prayed for him to find his way. Her champion, who had campaigned for her against all the others too win her heart. Her lover, for whom she now pined and in her dreams’ saw his return.

War had taken so much away from all of them. Family and friends gone, so many alone and the winter wind blew. It blew through the naked trees and covered the forest floor. The herds slaughtered and fields bare, the plenty gone like its tillers. Only the crows called now.

The cold had frozen the blood from his shoulder and stopped the bleeding. His hand brought snow to an open mouth in the hope of quenching a thirst. The snow brought no satisfaction for the hunger, either in his belly or his heart. The eyes saw the beauty stretched across the valley. The white broken only by sprouts of green from the Cedar, Spruce and Fir. The cabin sat hidden amongst them. It wasn’t far.

He couldn’t let the end come now, not after all the effort and sacrifice. He needed her more than life itself. He pulled on the staff to lift him away for the frozen seat. The legs were brittle and averse to the request now demanded. His will won and they moved ever so slowly, but they moved. The downhill slope pulled each step forward. Some to quick causing a stumble and an impact that should have been avoided.

The blood had begun to run again. He changed hands on the staff allowing the other to put pressure on the wound. The pressure slowed the flow, but brought its accomplice, pain. Neither helped other than too distract him from fatigue. The bottom of the hill was near, as was she and the cabin. He peered through the trees thinking to see smoke from a chimney. Across the valley she waited, now a mere half mile away.

Out in the open the cold would be deeper as the sun had begun to set behind the mountain. He sighted his line across the valley. It would be dark before he got there. He hoped for a moon and its light. He knew he could make it then. The valley floor now graced the soles of his feet.

He stepped from the trees into a bitter and howling wind. The drifting snow straddled his way. He leaned to it and pushed. The wind froze his flesh, made ice around his eyes and beard. His lungs cracked with each breath. Its wetness blew back to grow the ice.

His legs failed and brought him to his knees. Wraiths ran past as he clung to the staff. He saw her and called “Annie.” Did she hear him? She was just across the valley.

David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)



Monday, August 1st, 2011


He’d been watching her for some time. Not all the time, but some time, in between the sentences within those escapable moments, hidden in paragraphs as he wrote a client report on his ipad.

She’s really quite attractive crossed his mind, now seemingly transfixed by her. From a business point of view she was getting a lot more focus than his client. His coffee was cold.

I could just smile as I walk by for a refill he thought. He’d had the thought before with other women and had yet to smile at one.

What is the matter with men she thought having caught his eye several times. He’s cute. He could at least smile it would make it so much easier.

In frustration she looked back at the face of her computer. “I’m so sick of these reports. Can’t these people do anything for themselves? Poop she thought, I need some fun.

 He looked up, she smiled. OK, I’ve done all I can, now it’s up to you she thought.

Damn, she smiled the thought now racing through his very excited mind.

His response was completely unexpected by either of them. He returned her smile.

“I need a refill” he said to himself as he stood and headed for the coffee bar. He retained the smile knowing he would have to walk right by her.

As he neared she held up her cup and said “I’ll have same.”

Without stopping he took her cup. This is turning out to be a damn fine day he thought. He couldn’t stop smiling as he added sugar to her cup.

David Hutchison, Writerphoto0035