The Magical Lake

 

When I saw the following photo on Jason’s blog, I knew I had to think of a story to go with it. Thanks Jason for taking such a beautiful photo and for the inspiration. For more of his photos feel free to check out his blog, http://jasonfrels.com/2021/10/19/evening-reflections/  

 

 

Wow! Catching her breath, she stood transfixed in front of the lake. The sun was hitting the boulders just right, and the scene was dazzling. No wonder this was believed to be a magical lake. Not that she believed in magic at all, that wasn’t why she had come.

Trish had heard the stories, the ones that circulated around. One would have to be living under a rock to not have heard of the magical lake and things that were seen there. Around the water cooler at work one always knew that someone would mention the lake and then the stories would start, “Did you hear…?” . “Did you know what happened to…” That would usually be the sign to Trish that her break was over and she would find more sanity back at her desk. Rolling her eyes she would walk away.

Today she was supposed to have gone away with a friend to hike some and camp overnight in the woods, but her friend woke up sick, so the plans fell through. Not wanting to waste a beautiful Saturday, she decided to go out hiking on her own. While driving she passed by the sign for the lake and decided to stop. She had to admit that she was curious about what this “magical” lake looked like. Now that she was standing in front of it, if she did believe in magic then she could see it happening here.

Deciding to spend some more time here she sat down and opened a book. She was planning on hiking, but it was so surreal here. Why not take a little time to relax and read. That was why she always kept a book in her car, one never knew when it would come in handy.

In no time at all she became lost in the story, lying in the grass and basking in the sunlight.

What was that? Looking up from her book she looked around, but didn’t see anything. Thinking it must have been the wind that rustled some leaves she went back to reading her novel.

A few moments later she heard it again. This time Trish was sure that her ears weren’t playing tricks on her. It wasn’t the wind. Standing up she looked all around feeling her skin start to prickle a little. Not being one to get scared easily she wasn’t too worried, but she did want to know where, oh where was that weird sound coming from!

The story that Jan told on Friday came back to her. No, that couldn’t be, Jan was a dizzy blonde, thought Trish. But she couldn’t deny it, the sound was exactly how Jan had described it. The high pitch noise hurt her ears and sounded like it would shatter glass! Jan hadn’t stayed long enough to find the source of it, she had ran back to her car.

Well Trish wasn’t going to be a scaredy cat, she would not run only to regret it later. Holding her hands over her ears she scanned the lake once more and that was when she saw it in the distance. Some huge gray blob rising up from the water! Okay, now Trish may be breaking out in goosebumps as she forced herself to stand her ground. Hoping with all her might that she wouldn’t rue her decision to stay, as she stared at the huge blob which was coming more into focus.

It was a hippo! What was a hippo doing out here? At least she thought it was a hippo, but she never had seen a hippo like it before. Its neck was long. She was no expert on animals, but she did know that giraffes typically had long necks, not hippos. Trish stood there thinking about its long neck when it opened its mouth and out came that high pitch squealing, or was it singing? Was the long necked hippo actually singing?

Trish didn’t know what to think, either she didn’t have enough coffee this morning or … there really was something magical about this lake. It produced long necked singing hippos, if you could call it singing!

Now the other stories were coming back to her, could they be true as well? Jimmy had everyone laughing when he said he had seen a cow at the lake before. They told him cows were at farms and in meadows, not at a lake, but he was convinced it was a cow! He said its deep brown eyes were so big and seemed to look right through him. That it had a sparkling cowbell around its neck. Yeah, Jimmy liked to tell tall tales.

Trish covered her ears, the hippo was squawking again. She picked up her pace to get back to the car, deciding that a day spent reading on the couch with some strong coffee sounded pretty good to her. Walking back she started shaking. Feeling a sudden sensation that something was staring at her. Her breathing grew a little more rapid as she kept walking. She never did see the brown cow with a sparkling cowbell. The one whose gaze was fixed intently on her retreating back.

Beauty in the Blur

Another one of Jason’s beautiful photos, that got my mind thinking. You can see more photos at http://jasonfrels.com/2021/04/17/a-photo-per-day-for-a-week/

One of the most pleasant sounds of all, was the sound of her granddaughter’s laughter. Maribelle would never grow tired of hearing it.

“There goes another one!” Lizzy ran after the lightning bug trying to catch it.

Maribelle called out to her granddaughter, “Go ahead and keep catching them sugar, Grandma is going to go sit on the porch for a little.”

Lizzy was a joy to have over, but she did have boundless energy, and anymore Maribelle’s energy wasn’t quite so boundless. She found herself looking forward to bedtime. It had been a busy day, but Maribelle did love every minute of it.

Rocking on the porch, she was glad that the temps were slowly falling in the night air. Texas summers sure were hot. Some days could be miserable, but Maribelle would never move out of Texas, for all her memories were here.

Lightning bugs were flying around her blue bonnets. When some landed on the flowers, Lizzy was as quick as a wink to catch them in her hands.

Maribelle thought back to all her yesterdays. Her days of walking along the side of a country road lined with bluebonnets. Every morning she would make the walk into town to work at the mercantile and every evening she would make the trek back on her tired feet. That is until the one day when Brody offered her a ride home, and after that the days ran together in a blur of complete happiness!

Oh how she remembered walking on air when he pulled up beside her, asking if she wanted a ride. Her heart felt as high as being top of the Ferris Wheel. Brody with his dashing, cocoa brown eyes and a smile so bright, that it could light a thousand candles. The Brody who all the single girls were after, but who appeared to only have eyes for Maribelle. Every day he would come to the mercantile and he would always leave with something, no matter how small the purchase was. Maribelle would chuckle to herself, knowing full well he didn’t really need all the things he purchased. She remembered picking so many blue bonnets saying, ” He loves me, he loves me not!”

That day long ago when he asked her if she needed a ride was etched on her heart forever. She had done her best to restrain herself from jumping up and down with excitement when he asked her. Trying to be a proper Southern woman as she politely responded with a “Yes” and “Thank you!” to him. She was unable to say more due to her heart beating outside of her chest. When pompous Clarice drove by and saw her in the truck with Brody, oh how that had made Maribelle’s day! The look on Clarice’s face was indeed priceless.

He was a true gentleman on the ride to her home, and she thanked him kindly when she got out of his truck. Their eyes met and neither one spoke, but a silent agreement had been made and Maribelle never walked home from the mercantile again.

Day by day their attraction grew and love began. The days blurred into each other, and weeks quickly became months.

Southern nights of fishing in the dark and listening to Alison Krauss on the radio, as he sang to her “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”

Days of walking hand in hand through a field of bluebonnets, and having a picnic in the middle of all of them.

The day he proposed, set her heart to spinning and all the wedding planning passed by in one big, beautiful blur.

Then the wedding day came, followed by children and grandchildren and so many moments in between. Life with Brody had its hard times and disappointments but the joys far outweighed the sadness. The amazing love that grew through the years, took center stage. Its stunning beauty shined through the blur.

Mystery at the River

 

 

Thanks to Jason for this photo of his. It stirred my curiosity when I saw it. Hopefully a good story, will come out of this. Enjoy!

Tabitha never knew that days could be so long, with unending nights. How could she put into the words, the way that the tentacles of hope were loosening their grip on her.

At first they had been hanging onto her heart with a ferocious grip. The grip of a mother bear.

Jake was her explorer from the time that he was young. Finding new places to check out was a hobby of his. This river wasn’t new. He had been here many times over the years. Exploring was his passion, but he had favorite spots of his that he would return too on a regular basis. He often craved solitude and this river was the one place that he could find it.

10 days

Her hair blew in the wind. She picked up a scent. Closing her eyes, she went back to the last time she had seen Jake. He had been in a jolly mood that morning, joking with her over breakfast. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of Axe cologne. He was still learning the trick of knowing how much cologne to spray, so as not to overpower. But why? Why would he wear cologne if he had planned on going swimming in the river? Had he been trying to impress all the fish in the sea? It just didn’t make any sense.

10 days of fighting back tears, and then giving into them.

None of his friends had been with him on the last day that anyone saw him. He hadn’t shared any plans with anyone. But he was planning on going to his friend’s barbeque later that day, so it wasn’t like he had planned to go away. Steaks on the grill? Her boy with the empty pit, would not want to miss that!

10 days of poring over pictures of him from over the years as a way to feel his presence.

What had happened? How could Tabitha ever find rest if she never knew where her son had disappeared to? One day all was right with the world and the next day it was turned completely upside down!

Sighing she got to her feet. It was time to go home. Every day she came out here to try and clear her mind, hoping that watching the ripples in the water would calm her nerves.

Turning to go, she glanced once more at his shoes. Why hadn’t she took them home with her? It was like she couldn’t bring herself to touch them. She wanted them to be there for when he came back, for he would be back, he had to be!

What was that? Something silver caught her eye. It was in between the shoes. Confusion came over her. What would he be doing with a shiny cowbell?

A Sign from the Sky?

Thanks to Jason from http://jasonfrels.com/2021/05/15/wildflower-bloom-at-the-refuge/ for the use of another one of his photos, for my story.

This is a continuation from Monday’s post, Flower Girl

Thomas had the windows down in his truck, enjoying the warm breeze. Plus he didn’t have much choice since his A/C had broken. It was okay, he would get it fixed, Susan and him weren’t going far, so he was sure she wouldn’t mind. Now if he and Kelly were still dating, it would have been a different story! He couldn’t be more relieved that he had ended things with Kelly. It was as he expected. She wasn’t upset, in fact she appeared relieved as well. They were just not right for each other.

He had no regrets in breaking up with Kelly, for the past month had been wonderful. Thomas couldn’t be happier that he had accidentally left his wallet at the flower stand. Leaving his wallet behind turned out to be the best mistake ever!

His Mom and sister were elated about Susan and him dating. They got along so well with her, and agreed that she was great for him. His heart was light, and he saw nothing but blue skies ahead.

Today they were going to have a picnic lunch in a meadow. Do some hiking and, maybe canoe down the river and perhaps stay late enough to lie on a blanket and watch the stars together. He brought his guitar along too, she loved it when he sang to her. He had played it a lot less when he was dating Kelly, for she said the noise bothered her ears. She would much rather hear him play music on a Baby Grand piano. The problem was, he wasn’t a piano player, no matter how much she tried to encourage him to become one.

He pulled up beside Susan’s flower stand and she was there waiting for him, looking all cute in shorts with a hot pink top and pink sneakers.

She climbed into his truck, “HI there handsome.” Susan said, while sliding across the seat to be next to him. Thomas put his arm around her, giving her a kiss, and with one hand on the wheel, he headed down the road.

They had parked the truck when they reached the meadow and then decided to hike a little before lunch. Choosing a path that was strewn with wildflowers growing beside it they started hiking. Talking when they wanted and enjoying the silence at times too, while holding each other’s hand’s.

The path led to a small grassy hill. They hiked up the little hill and stood on top gazing into each other’s eyes. Something landed on Susan’s nose, tickling it. It was a purple feather.

“I wonder where this came from.” Susan said looking up into the sky. To her surprise another purple feather fell, followed by another, landing on Susan’s head.

They started laughing, purple feathers, falling from the sky? Thomas gently picked one up off of her head, and said, ” Special rare feathers for my special girl. It is obviously a sign, that I am with the prettiest girl today.” Susan’s eyes sparkled, as he cupped her face in his hands. and they closed their eyes and kissed, as the purple feathers continued to fall.

The Foggy Magic

This photo was taken by Jason, and he is kindly letting me use it. I hope the story does it justice! You can see more photos of his at https://jasonfrels.com/2021/02/28/6644/

It was a foggy morning to go out in her canoe, but Jillian was eager to do it. She had tossed and turned all through the night. When she realized that she wasn’t gong to win with the battle of trying to go back to sleep, she decided that she may as well get up and start the day. Stepping into her newly painted kitchen with her fuzzy hot pink bathrobe on, she turned on her coffeemaker.

The past week had been a busy one consisting of re-painting the rooms in her house. She was so relieved to finally be finished. As she looked around her kitchen she was pleased at how it had turned out. When she was in the paint store and saw the tiger orange paint she knew that was the color she wanted. Her friends would probably shake their heads over the color, but they were used to her unique taste with color combinations. She laughed to herself imagining their expressions when they saw her bedroom. A pale lavender shade with fiery orange spots.

Jillian finished her coffee and blueberry English Muffin and got dressed to go out for a morning of rowing. She knew exactly where she wanted to go, it was her favorite spot. Putting on her bright orange jacket she went out the door, eager for a peaceful morning.

Ahh! She was glad that no other rowers were around. Coming under this bridge was a refuge for her and a place where she let herself dream as she stopped rowing, enjoying being still. This place almost felt magical, like she could row away into another world. After awhile of letting dreams fly through her mind, she looked at her watch and realized that she should probably soon go home. Later today she was supposed to meet Gary for an early supper at the at the Aki House restaurant. Her mouth was already watering thinking of the delicious food they had there. Picking up her oars she began rowing once more.

A strange feeling started washing over Jillian. She should be out from under the bridge by now. Many times she had been here, and she didn’t remember it ever taking this long before to row out from under it. She must have just rowed in farther than she had thought. Trying to ease her nerves she started singing as she rowed.

There was no denying it now, she looked at her watch and she had been rowing for quite some time, but she was still under the bridge. Stopping for a moment, she lay the oars in her lap, as her hands shook and her insides began to feel a bit like jiggly jello, but at the same time she had a sense of excitement. Jillian had always been someone that was up for adventure, not afraid of trying new things. Whatever was happening was bound to be a great story to share with her friends. With a sudden spurt of courage she picked up the oars and started rowing again, who knows where she may end up? Perhaps this really had been a magical place all this time and she was only experiencing it now! Or perhaps her lack of sleep was catching up to her and she was dreaming all of this? No, she had extra strong, dark roasted coffee this morning, surely she was awake!

Jillian hoped she didn’t run out of strength as she kept rowing. It was good that she worked out at the gym, to help keep her energy up. Rowing more she felt adrenaline pumping through her, and then before she knew it, she realized she wasn’t under the bridge anymore. She wasn’t under the bridge anymore but where was she, was the question that now weighed on her mind.

She was staring at a grassy meadow. Rowing to the meadow, she got out and drug her boat up onto the land. Well the sun was still high in the sky, what was to keep her from exploring? She saw woods in the distance, and started walking towards them. Suddenly she stopped in her tracks, looking in shock at the sight before her. Now that was certainly something that one didn’t see every day!

… to be continued …

Looking for Adventure!

Thanks to Jason, from http://jasonfrels.com/2020/11/21/sunset-by-the-river/ for another inspiring photo.

It had been a week now since Henrietta had escaped from the Las Vegas Zoo and she was having a great time! Not only did she have her new turtle friends, Myrtle and Tulag, for travel companions, but she met other friends in the woods as well.

There was Bobo, the brown bear, who was a friendly as could be. They had a lot of fun down at the river, he would catch fish while Henrietta enjoyed swimming and cooling off.

She had met Caramel the rabbit, who had been the Easter Bunny a few months ago and was still hopping around feeling so proud. Caramel had introduced her to his sister Taffy. Taffy was polite to Henrietta but Henrietta got the impression that she still held a grudge towards Caramel for being the Easter Bunny. She didn’t look too happy when Caramel was talking about it with a light in his eyes. Henrietta thought that him being the Easter Bunny was so cool! She secretly wondered if there ever could be an Easter Hippo! She wanted to do something important!

Rascal the raccoon had introduced her to his family, who were all so nice. There were also so many squirrels, chipmunks and foxes that she had met. The squirrels always seemed to be in a hurry to scurry up a tree, so she didn’t talk much to them, but she often heard their friendly chatter to each other in the treetops.

This morning Henrietta had awakened early, she was excited, for they were going to travel more today. They had found a new trail that they hadn’t been on before, and wanted to see where it led.

She was munching grass on the riverbank later that morning when Myrtle and Tulag came to find her.

“Good Morning Henrietta! Are you ready for our adventure today?”

“Yes, oh yes!” she replied. “Lets go! In fact I know the perfect song to sing as we go.”

Myrtle and Tulag silently groaned. They really did like Henrietta, but …. her singing, not as much! Oh well, she was so kind and happy, that they couldn’t help but be happy with her, even if her singing caused a headache. They needed to somehow make their shells more sound proof!

They had been walking for awhile, and Henrietta had just stopped singing, so Myrtle and Tulag poked their heads out to look around. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, a bright, sunny day. Who knew what possibilities the day may hold. Up ahead it looked like the trail may soon end. They were wondering if they would find anything exciting when Myrtle asked Tulag and Henrietta a question.

“Do you hear what I hear?” asked Myrtle.

“The peace of Henrietta not singing?” Tulag replied, as Henrietta harrumphed.

“No, listen!” said Myrtle.

They all froze for a moment, at what they heard. It was human voices, and Henrietta was afraid it was someone from the zoo looking for her. It didn’t take long though to figure out that whoever these people were, they were not from the zoo. They all sighed in relief as they continued to listen.

It was a man and a woman, and they didn’t appear to be very happy. They were clearly arguing!

“It was your idea!” the man said.

“Well she looked nice and said she needed help, excuse me, for having a heart!” the woman sharply retorted.

“So now what are we supposed to do, thanks to the dilemma that your heart got us into!” the man replied back. “We have NO money! NONE, as in zero! He stuck his hands in his jean pockets, not even any coins to rub together! I hope you don’t mind sleeping out under the sky.”

At this the young lady started to cry and the young man’s voice softened.

“Oh Jade, I am sorry. I know it wasn’t your fault.” He put his arm around her and pulled her close to him.

“We will figure something out.”, he said. “Maybe my truck will break down on her, would serve her right for stealing it and robbing us! I am just so glad that she didn’t hurt you! I can’t lose you!”

Henrietta’s eyes started to fill with tears, she felt bad for this poor couple. Then she closed her eyes, and walked off the trail to give the couple some privacy as they shared an intimate moment. It was silent, they weren’t talking anymore, their lips were busy in another way.

“We should do something?” Henrietta said to Myrtle and Tulag.

“Like what? You are a hippo and we are 2 tiny turtles, what are we supposed to do? We don’t have any money.”

“True!” said Henrietta, and they all were lost in thought.

Meanwhile not far from the woods, was a shiny blue truck on the side of the road with its hood popped open.

Tanya slammed it down with a thud! Just my luck, she thought!

She kicked at the stones along side the dirt road. A broken down truck and out in the middle of nowhere! How long would it take for another car to drive by that Tanya could flag down?

She guessed that she would have to walk to the nearest town. At least she had a wad of cash on her, she smiled at that. She had struck it right, picking a couple heading to Vegas for a honeymoon, with plenty of cash on them.

So she would be fine, she would figure things out. She always did. She might not like being stranded on this dusty road right now, but it sure beat sitting in a cell. They would learn, no one could keep Tanya locked up!

She looked around and saw a trail not too far away, looked like it headed into the woods. Ahh! She had always liked the woods, perhaps she would enjoy following the trail for a little. Take a break from being on the road. She smiled as she walked towards the woods, maybe the woods would help her clear her head, as she decided her next step.

(to be continued….)

Journey into the Unknown

http://jasonfrels.com/2020/11/01/big-bend-ernst-tinaja-and-the-boquilla-overlook/

Lisette couldn’t help but sing as she was making breakfast in her spacious kitchen. She was so glad that she hadn’t returned home when all chaos broke out over at Miss. Jill’s shop. She had been scared, not knowing what to do, but there was part of her that just didn’t want to leave. She had made friends here and learned a lot from the stories that Mr. Fluff and Mr.Nutter had told her. Plus now she was as curious as all the other townspeople. They had heard rumors that Miss. Jill and Miss. Libby had escaped from prison. Everyone was anxious to know how things would turn out. Would they find them? Apparently Luke and some others were already leading a search party.

Lisette couldn’t believe how her life had changed. She had never thought that she would be the owner of a Bed and Breakfast, but the sheriff sold it on auction and to her shock there wasn’t anyone else that wanted it! Lisette was so happy, and couldn’t wait to show her parents when they came to visit. Now she had to get back to making her chocolate chip pancakes and strawberry banana French Toast. Her first guests would be down for breakfast soon and she wanted everything to be just right.

Tanya looked behind her and saw that Jill and Libby were getting further and further behind. She could just keep going and lose them, but they did help her escape, so she figured she would be kind and stop. She sat down and took out her water bottle, gulping it down. While waiting for them to catch up she looked around at all the beauty. Sure was a lot nicer than looking at the dingy 4 walls of a prison, like she had done for too long.

This was the perfect place to hide out. They had to be careful climbing though. It would be sad to have escaped from prison only to fall to their deaths out here, and never be found.

At last Jill and Libby caught up to Tanya, with sweat pouring down their faces. They were more than happy to finally sit down! Libby looked cautiously at the mountains ahead.

Tanya saw the concern in Libby’s eyes. “Don’t worry, I will help you.” she said. “You were great back there at the prison. You and the new prisoners. created quite the diversion, upon your arrival.”

Tanya didn’t say how she had inwardly groaned when she realized that they were running right behind her. So much for her being on her own!

Jill was sitting there trying to take everything in. How her life had spiraled out of control! Here she was, an escaped prisoner, sitting in the desert, looking ahead at mountains that she had to climb. She was here with Tanya. Tanya! Everyone had heard of her and the crime she had committed. Jill felt nervous around her, but she felt more nervous being all on her own.

They sat there in silence, all trying to rest a little to prepare for the journey ahead. Their stomachs were growling, and the peanut butter crackers they had in their pockets were barely enough to satisfy. It didn’t take long for all of them to give into their exhaustion and fall asleep.

“Jill, Jill, wake up!” Jill groaned as she slowly opened her eyes. She had been having such a nice dream. Wow! What a beautiful sunset. She was in awe, and then she heard Libby’s words. “Tanya is gone!”

http://jasonfrels.com/2020/10/27/big-bend-the-window/