Monday, December 4, 2017

Hache and the Urchin (1500 word short story)

This is an unedited short story who knows where it will go but just wanted to share it




Hache sipped his hot java waiting for inspiration. Then he saw it and began to draw. The face looked dejected and poverty was its lot in life, yet there seemed to be an innocence which this life had not taken away. The boy may have been as young 10 or possibly even as old as 12. He was at that age where it seemed impossible to tell. His clothes were worn but not filthy and there was no smell which sometimes attended those who had no place to bath. Sympathy moved inside of Hache cause his hand to begin drawing the face he now saw.

Sympathy not something new to Hache. He was usually on the receiving end. Times had been hard and when his patron had to leave town or be lynched by the those in the village he owed, Hache was left with his little savings and his art supplies. Even now it was the sympathy of his old friend Daniel who owned the shop he was sitting in which keep a roof over his head. Daniel had told Hache that it wasn’t sympathy that he expected to be reimbursed when he found another patron, but Hache knew better.

Hache did not know if he would call Daniel a friend and certainly not family though it felt like it sometimes. They were as different as night and day, yet Daniel had always been there to look out for him. Hache had done some work for Daniel and there were a few times, but only a few, when the older man and talked if not like father and son, then like an older brother.

Hache finished his first drawing of the boy and was now started another even as his mind turned back to Daniel. Hache knew when this strange relationship started. It was the day Daniel opened this store with his young wife, Daffodil. Hache just a young man not much older than the boy now waiting in line, when Daniel walked across the street to shew Hache away. Hache had been sitting there a couple of hours staring at Daniel and Daffodil. Hache was drawing then just as he was now when Daniel grabbed his arm and pulled him up to send him on his way but stopped halfway through the pull when he saw what he had drawn. The picture was of Daniel and Daffodil looking at each other the way young married couples do.

Hache had given the picture to Daniel and thereafter Hache was allowed to draw in the pastry shop on a table near the back anytime the store was open. That had been years ago and their strange relationship, yes, Hache thought our friendship has always been strong.  

Hache stared again at the young man as he started on his third sketch of the boy. The look of faint hope touched his face as he looked at the remaining pastries behind the glass display. The look quickly left as he looked down to coin he had in his hand.  Hache guessed that the child did not have enough to but a single pastry.   

“What would you like, young man?” Daniel said to the boy as if he were the son of the local banker.

Hache smiled because once it was the scruffy looking child of the local banker, who had taught Daniel to treat every person who came through the door as a proper customer. Hache smiled, today it seemed to be his day to go down memory lane. The child had come in on that day looking worse than this child and Daniel had thrown him out when he asked for a dozen pastries. It was only a few minutes later that the banker walked in with his son and yelled at Daniel for refusing to serve his child. Daffodil defused the situation with her beauty and charm, but Daniel learned his lesson. Since that day Hache had never seen Daniel treat anyone bagger or banker any different. Yes, some took offense that Daniel didn’t treat them better, but Hache thought Daniel’s actions had served his business well. Hache stared to think of the greatest way it had but quickly put it out of his mind, he didn’t want to think of that today.

 “I want to get one for me and my brother,” the urchin said slowly, “but this is all I have.” The child held up the coin which caught the light for just a moment but then seemed nothing more than a small nearly worthless coin.

“I am sorry, young man” Daniel replied in a voice which still held respect, “but I don’t have anything you could purchase for that amount.”

The face of the child quivered as he dropped the hand which held the coin. The child’s face dropped as if to examine his shoes and he stood still for just a moment.

“Thank you” the boy muttered and turned to leave.

Daniel and Hache both watch the boy turn and slowly leave. The store was empty as the lunch rush was over.

“Wait” Hache got up and walked toward Daniel.

Daniel shook his head “On your tab, I assume. You’re too generous with my goods,” yet he picked two of the largest pasties and place them in a bag.

The urchin returned with a smile and graciously took the bag.

“I can give you this,” Holding the coin in the air to Hache.

Hache smiled and shook his head. “Don’t worry about it for now, maybe later.”

The child stuck the coin in his pocket and raced out the door. Hache watched him turn a corner and move off down an alley. Off to meet his brother Hache assumed.

“You’re too sentimental,” Daniel said with a smile. “You do realize those would have probably been your bag tomorrow you know.”

“Speaking of which”

Daniel reached behind him and hand up the bag of day-old pastries that he saved for Hache. He knew Hache well enough to know what was going to happen. “Just because you give away your meal ticket for today, don’t assume I’m going to give you a fresh one.” Hache smiled knowing he wouldn’t but that tomorrow there would be another bag which Daniel would claim it was better to give it to him than to throw it out to the pigs.

Hache grabbed the bag and raced after the young boy. When he reached the alley he heard a voice which sounded almost familiar.

“What chumps. I told you my luck wouldn’t run out. We’ll take their generosity during the day and steal them blind at night just like we did in the last town.” Then there was a laugh which joined the laugh of the person who spoke.   

Hache turned the corner and saw two young men with their back to him beginning to eat. Hache immediately recognized the speaker and was shocked. Hearing the voice now and seeing him from the back Hache didn’t know how he could have thought of this man as anything but the twenty, maybe even thirty years old he was.

The man held up a coin Hache recognized. “Only use it twenty times the old man said, you’ll lose far more on twenty-one.” The two laughed.

Hache walked up behind the men, took the coin, and quickly stepped back.

The two spun around and looked at Hache with undisguised anger.

“You offered this to me, so I’ll take it.” Then he threw the bag of pastries at the pair.

The second man grabbed the bag and wasted no time looking inside. Hache saw now the child-like face of the man/boy but now saw that he was not a young man but a man cursed with dwarfism. How had he missed it before?

Hache had been tricked, his generosity taken advantage of, but that was nothing compared to the plans of these two thieves. As what they want to do sunk deeper into Hache’s mind he grew angry, then a plan blossomed in his mind.

Hache smiled. “Leave town now. You won’t find any more generosity here.” Then he turned and left. There were a group of sketches sitting on the table of the pastry shop that he wanted to show to the local market owners and the constable.   

“Yes, you have lost far more,” Hache said as he flipped the coin in the air and placed it in his pocket.   


Monday, November 27, 2017

Thankful for the Church

Written by Pastor Charles Areson, Tell City First Church of the Nazarene for From the Pastor's Desk

As we enter a season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, our hearts normally turn toward the things of which we are thankful and the gifts we have given and received. In that spirit, I would like to ask you to think of the church, specifically, the churches of Tell City.

Are the churches perfect, no of course not, but neither are our schools, our workplaces, our first responders, nor our government. Our community is made up of people and people even the best are not perfect. We hope to get better, but we aren’t there yet. This is not the point, if you’re looking for perfection outside of God himself, then you will never be happy.

However, when we see the churches of Tell City there is much to be thankful for. For many, they serve as a place of community and support through life’s roughest times. In death, heartache, sickness, the church has reached out to many and stood beside them. We have seen the church reach out with the Great Day of Service to improve the look of our community. In times of needs, the church has served as a place of help to the poor and needy. Most know of the Widows Barrel and other smaller food pantries operated by volunteers from the churches of this community giving food to those who are hungry.  If I listed all the works of Catholic Charities does for this community then I could take up an entire page. No one can honestly deny; the church is a force for Good in Tell City.


Are needs still out there, yes, but Jesus seemed to indicate we would always have the poor with us. However, our community would be much, much poorer without the giving and love of our churches.  I doubt we could count the tangible ways the churches of Tell City have assisted this community, let alone the intangible support which has been given. Therefore, in this time of thanks and of giving, let us be thankful for the churches of Tell City.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Personal update

Yes I am still writing and the blog is getting ready for a new update in January. I don't want to promise anything as life has a way of changing our plans, but it will be something I hope you can enjoy.

For myself the updating of Impossible to Forgive has been more disjointed than I expected. So post on it haven't been forthcoming which if you were watching you already knew.

In the United States, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. I don't know what your plans are but I hope that they good and that you take time to thank God for all he has blessed you with.

CSA

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

EM Areson and Blogging

My daughter is going to start a blog which contains short stories she will create (thearesonstories.blogspot.com). This blog is to show her how I do it and to introduce you to the beginning work of a young lady who is going to develop into a great writer.

If you like short stories then you might check it out.

However, if you just want to complain don't bother, you might make me angry and you wouldn't like it when I'm angry.

CS Areson

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Impossible to Forgive - Preface

I am attempting NaNoWriMo this year, but instead of a traditional fictional novel of 50,000 words, I am going to write nonfiction. This year I am going to update and expand my book, Impossible to Forgive.


My current plan is to publish my daily work on my blog and ask that you and others you might recommend this to might comment, give feedback, and suggestions to the work. One warning the words are not going to be edited and they will be rough. They may even be a little tough and need to be some toning down.

Preface



More than 150 people murdered, by some estimations. After the investigation was completed, the prosecutor chose only a few of the cases the strongest to take to trial. After much of the most convincing evidence was thrown out by the judge, the “angel of death” was convicted.
My own grandmother was among those victims whose cases, though investigated, never went to trial. Her murder is still alleged. Justice and closure never came through an earthly court of law.
I wish that was the worst thing that ever happened but like many of you, pain doesn’t come from only one source. Later, a very close family member was accused of misconduct. For various reasons, that never went to trial. My personal investigation found far more evidence than I ever wanted to know. Nothing could be reported to the authorities, for various reasons. These crimes caused their own type of damage and pain deeper than that caused by the murder of my grandmother.
The pain and suffering I faced were great, but due to possible legal ramifications the names in this book have been changed and details will be left out. Naming them will not change anything, nor will they change the truths taught in these pages.
It may be that there have been crimes committed against you, which also may never see an earthly judge, but that doesn’t change your struggle. For you especially, I pray that my experiences and my studies will help you find peace in your soul in a world that too often fills filled with pain, suffering, and injustice.
By changing names both the innocent and the “alleged” will be protected. My name will not be changed. I was not innocent. My sins are obvious though all too human: hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Through God’s grace, they have been forgiven and I have found freedom. A freedom you can have and enjoy.  



Charles S Areson

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sign of the Red Flag (A non-horror short story for Halloween)


This is something different from my normal post. This is not a horror story but a fantasy. It is actually a fun little story. I hope you enjoy this rough draft of.....

Sign of the Red Flag


The battle was lost. 

I couldn’t think of anything that we could do. These confused dangerous people that followed the dragons would win. Elizabeth was wore out, her power depleted. We were offered the opportunity to surrender before the battle began but after so much death, I doubted that they would be willing to accept our surrender now. 

I called over my servant and told him to run back and tell the villagers to prepare to move out. He didn’t realize how bad things were. Christy, Martin and Elizabeth had poured everything they had into this battle. My sword was available, but I was no expert. If I fell in battle the alliance would fall apart. 

I knew if they sent forward their main force we and the villagers would be slaughtered. I looked over at Elizabeth and I knew she was thinking the same thing. Maybe if we surrender it could buy the villagers time to escape. 

I looked around and there was nothing to tie my mostly white handkerchief to. I decided that my sword would do. I carefully drew it holding back the flame inside that wanted to ignite. I took the handkerchief stuck it on the end and before anyone could stop me I jumped over the rocks that Martin had moved to protect us.

I noticed the look of shock and fear on the face of the village leader. I didn’t realize why he had such a look but didn’t take time to think what it meant.

When I took the first few steps it seemed that every mental attack was aimed at me. I took a few more steps and stumbled before a small tree. I thought that maybe I should cut a branch and place the white flag of it. I quickly removed the handkerchief and brought my sword down against the tree. It took just a few seconds and the tree was ready. The handkerchief was tied to the top and I held it high in my left hand my naked sword down by my legs but a little out so that they could see where it was. 

I continued to walk slowly toward the enemy. Some of their warriors continued to send attacks in my direction but it seemed as if very thing had paused. I heard some yelling behind me. I knew it was my servant yelling out to the villagers. 

I saw a table sized rock not twenty feet in front of the stones that protected their main force. I planned to go there and lay my sword down. right before I reached the stone I saw it and my heart froze.

 A red flag came up from behind the stones right in front of me.

They meant to destroy us. I didn’t know what to do to show they they didn’t have to do this. As I looked at the stone in front of me rather than lay my sword down I jumped up on it and started waving the flag back and forth. 

I saw more red flags emerge first ten then twenty then so many I couldn’t count.

Then I heard the cheer from the ridge behind. I glanced behind me and the villager that I had sent word to move out had all come to the edge of the battle. The small group of defenders that we had been fighting with had moved from behind their defenses to stand on the open field behind me. 

In the confusion of the moment, I forgot about holding back the power of the sword and it burst into living flame. I looked forward again, now seeing a sea of red flags.

 I yelled “SURRENDER” at the top of my lungs. I meant to say, "we surrender."

Then it happened, weapons were thrown over the stones and men came from behind their defenses with their hands behind their backs (the universal sign of surrender in this world).

We had won but I didn’t know how.

It was explained to me later that the white cloth hanging on the edge of a town was a sign of health. The red a sign of sickness or injury.

Flags had never been used in battle before. The sight of me standing there taking the mental attack of the enemy, holding the white flag told them that we weren’t injured.  They thought we were about to destroy them. 

They had taken more injures than we realized and held up the red flags to show they were injured. Now they were willing to talk. 

When I yelled the word "surrender," it was the act that would make the red flag the universal sign of surrender forever.