Diamond Street

Garrett always liked to joke about the name of the street. ” We live on Diamond Street,” he’d say ‘diamond’ in an exaggerated way as if it meant riches. “Say a few ‘Hail Marys’ and ‘Our fathers’ for me,” her Dad told her when she left for church. Rachel wasn’t thinking about prayers though. Halloween was coming up at the end of the week, and Halloween was always a big holiday in Eureka Valley.

“It’s because this section of San Francisco has the most children in all of the city, ” her Dad would say.

The ethnic makeup of the neighborhood was Irish with some Polish and Hispanic over the hill in The Mission. Rachel and her friends planned to cover as large a swath of it as possible with their big grocery bags to hold the loot.

Halloween celebrations started with a costume parade at school. Rachel and her little brother Ben could hardly eat dinner that night for all the excitement. As soon as the sun set they were off with parents trailing behind.

Later in the evening would be the parade on 19th Street hosted by Cliff’s Variety Store. Heading up the procession was a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex followed by a crowd of costumed kids.

” Will you hold my bag, Mom?” Rachel asked Nora.

“You watch yourself, girl, and don’t get trampled in that crowd. Be sure to hold onto your brother.”

“I’ll be fine. Ben’s holding my hand and Jack is here, too.”

Nora felt that familiar chill. She knew that kids can have an imaginary playmate, but a ghost?

Jack stood next to Rachel. “Tonight is when the spirits can cross over and walk the earth,” he whispered to Rachel in a lilting accent.

“There aren’t any spirits, except you, just lots of kids dressed up in costumes.”

Jack wasn’t so sure about that. A witch standing next to the Frankenstein monster looked like that mean old landlady he had back in Dublin.

” Oh, it’s herself all right.”

“What are you muttering about, Jack? You’re spoilin’ all the fun.”

“Don’t worry Rachie, I’ll keep a look out for you and Bennie.”

In all the excitement Rachel had almost forgotten about her brother who held tightly to her other hand.

“Who ya talkin’ to, Rachie?”

“Oh, nobody. Just talkin’ to myself, Bennie,” Rachel answered as she shot a cool glance at Jack.

“Don’t let go of my hand, Bennie.”

” Don’t worry, I won’t. I don’t like the way that witch is lookin’ at me! She’s creepy with that green goo dripping out of her mouth!”

Rachel shot a wary glance at the witch and squeezed her eyes shut to will her away. When she opened her eyes the ugly crone was gone.

” See that, Jack, you can’t let your imagination run away with you.”

Jack was skeptical, but he couldn’t help smiling at Rachel.

All the children marched behind the dinosaur as the proud parents looked on. Rachel smiled and waved at her mom. That’s when she noticed the ugly witch standing behind Nora and froze.

“What’s a matter, Rachie? Why you stoppin’?” whined Bennie. Rachel looked down at her little brother, and when she glanced back at the crowd, the witch had disappeared.

Jack was wondering why Rachel had stood still as a statue as well. “What’s wrong, Rach?”

” Nothing’s wrong. It’s just all your talk about evil spirits. It’s makin’ me see things!”

But the vision left Rachel with a bad feeling the rest of the evening. She hugged her mom extra hard when she got ready for bed.

” What’s troubling you, girl? You’ve been jumpy as an alley cat ever since we got home.”

“Do you believe evil spirits walk the earth on Halloween, Mom?”

“Course not! And who’s been filling your head with all that nonsense?”

“It’s just something Jack told me.”

“I think you been eating too many sweets. I am putting that candy away, and tomorrow we can donate it to the Nursing Home.”

” Okay, Mom, but save a little of it for Bennie and me, please!”

“Get to sleep now and sweet dreams, dear girl.”

Rachel quickly fell into a deep sleep, but it was not sweet.

“So you don’t believe in spirits,” the old woman cackled. Rachel found herself in a cold, dark cave with the old witch who was binding her with a scratchy rope.

” Who are you and why are you doing this?” Rachel cried.

” None of your nevermind, drink this! ” hissed the hag. I am going to switch you with my little changling, and your mam with never know the difference.”

” She will too! ” sputtered Rachel as the bitter liquid was forced down her throat. ” My mom would know me from your rotten little changling any day!”

“Watch your lip, girlie, or you might just lose it!” screeched the witch.

A small twisted creature made its way across the cave toward them leaving a slimy trail in its wake. As it got closer, Rachel could hear a chittering sound coming from its beak.

“What’s that!” she screamed.

“That’s my little darlin’. She’s been waitin’ for me to bring her a little girl like you so she can cross back into the world,” the old witch replied in a gentle, lilting tone.

Rachel was becoming drowsy but fought to keep her eyes open. She knew if she gave in and fell asleep again the witch would do her worst.

***********************************************************************

Rachel woke with a start, bolting straight up in bed, and pinching her arms to make sure she was really herself.

“What the heck are you doin’, Rachie? ” Bennie asked from the doorway.

” Oh, I had a bad dream, that’s all, Bennie.”

“You’re as white as a sheet!” Jack said as he quickly crossed the room.

” I wish everybody would quit making a fuss!” Rachel fumed.

“Who’s everybody?” asked Bennie.

“Oh, none of your nevermind!” Rachel replied.

“Why you talkin’ so funny?”

” I ain’t talkin’ funny!” she said as a little chitter escaped her lips.


WEP October 2018 Challenge #WEPFF-Write…Edit…Publish October Challenge-Deja Vu or Voodoo hosted by Denise, Renee, Olga, and Nilanjana. Featured image of ‘spooky portrait’ via pxhere.com

Word count:  Abt. 1002

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Only You Believed in Miracles Baby

Let’s believe in miracles, baby.

Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

Do you believe in miracles? This was from my generation. But I think many of us lost some of our beliefs along the way somewhere. “If only you believed in miracles baby we’d get by….”

Jefferson Airplane via Vevo on You Tube:

Reblogging this post because I love the song and the founder of the group Jefferson Airplane and lead singer for this song, Mary Balin, just died 9/27/2018. This music still holds up today.

View original post

by Athanasios Benisis

Posthumous

Posthumous is when something happens after you have died, like receive a medal or some type of acclaim. This happens to war heroes and artists and many people throughout history. With the genealogical research I have been doing I am shining a small light on those who lived before me and whose genes I carry. So far, it is bits and pieces and imagining of what their lives were like. I have found many ancestors and felt that they wanted to be found, wanted someone to know they had lived. Maybe I will learn more about them in the future. That way I will honor their lives posthumously.


The Stream of Consciousness Saturday blog is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “post.” Use it as a word, or find a word that uses it as a prefix. Have fun!

Featured image of ‘Forget Me Not’ flowers by Athanasios Benisis via Wikipedia.org

Making Rounds

I go round and round looking for clues to the connections between people who lived in the 1800s to the 1900s.  Turns out that records were sparce in the 1800s because they just didn’t keep records or the records were destroyed. There was an ancestor named Rachel who must have had a powerful influence because so many women descendants were named Rachel. That is one way I can make connections, by following the names.

A little bunny rabbit has been making the rounds in my yard, nibbling on the greenery. My ground cover has just come around to full bloom and here comes a rabbit. I eye him suspiciously.

http://www.ForestWander.com

Spring Peter Cottontail Rabbit Bunny Trail by ForestWander.com

 


The Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ’round.’ Image of bunny by ForestWander http://www.ForestWander.com via Wikimedia.org

 

WEP- Change Of Heart

HEART SF ♥

It all happened so fast like an ocean wave pulling her out to sea, the wedding in Dublin and the birth of their son, then the voyage across the ocean to a new country. So much hope about what the future would bring. There had not been much to look forward to back in their home town. The oldest son had inherited the farm. Nothing to do but look for the future far away from home in the land of opportunity, America.

Norah missed her sisters and their easy chatter as they all worked in the field. Two of her youngest sisters had already emigrated to Canada, and just one sister and brother remained on the family farm.

“We’ve all been washed out with the tide, carried to distant shores, and now just your letters make me feel like home,” Norah whispered as she put away the latest letter from her sister Mary Ann.

Norah was busy settling into her new home and expecting her second child in a few weeks time. She was grateful to have a roof over her head and that her husband had steady employment even though they lived in a flat. They scrimped and saved to buy a house. They took in boarders, new immigrants from the old country whose lilting speech pulled at her heart. Norah and Garrett were happy to help the newcomers get on their feet. Norah was especially fond of Jack, a young single man who reminded her of her brother. He always had a smile and was quick to laugh. There were jolly parties with fiddlers playing jigs and reels. They didn’t have much in material things, but their music and friends kept their spirits strong.

“When I hear the fiddlers play I could almost believe I am still home in Tipperary,” Norah spoke wistfully after the party ended.

“This is my home now,” replied her husband.

She knew he missed the old country and the horses he used to care for on the farm. Norah bit her lip hard and kept silent. She didn’t want him to think she was unhappy. He was working so hard to make a home for them.

“I do love the evenings when the fog rolls in. It makes me want to cuddle up with you.”

Garrett smiled at his young wife as they walked back to their bedroom, their borders already asleep for the night. It was in the early hours of the next morning when the cataclysm struck. A horrible rumbling and then a violent shaking threw them from their bed. They rushed out of the flat with the rest of the occupants. The air was filled with screaming and the sickening sound of buildings collapsing, with wooden planks and bricks falling into the street. They stood dazed on the sidewalk.

“We better get what we can out of the building before it collapses,” Jack shouted. They quickly ran a relay in and out taking what they could as the building groaned and creaked ominously. They hadn’t had a chance to save much but their lives.

The army moved into the city at the request of the mayor to keep order, provide first aid, and prevent looting. Tent camps were set up in public parks for the survivors who found themselves homeless. People walked around in stunned silence while a child wailed for his mother.

The buildings weren’t the only things broken by the quake. Water mains underground ruptured. Stunned residents salvaged whatever belongings they could, treated the injured, and counted the dead. The moans and cries of those trapped in the rubble would haunt them for years. Their young border, Jack, was killed when a wall collapsed on top of him as he tried to rescue a child.

A woman made breakfast for her family unaware of the broken chimney that caused a fire that burned down her house and half the city. The broken water mains prevented water from reaching the hoses of the firemen. People would later call it ‘the ham and eggs fire.’

What Norah and Garrett couldn’t salvage was burned to ash. They joined the other displaced people in bread lines and tent cities that were set up in public parks. It was the next night that Norah gave birth in one of those tents to a daughter, Rachel. Some of the women assisted in the delivery. An older woman told Norah, “Your little girl baby will have special powers because she was born at night. She will be able to see the dead.”

A chill ran through Norah as she heard the prediction, but she shook it off saying, “That’s old country superstition. We left that behind when we came to our new home.”

“I’m sorry I brought you to this place, Norah,” Garrett whispered as he watched his wife and new baby sleep. His young son Patrick was curled up against his mother’s back.

Many left The City, but the ones who remained were a hearty, optimistic lot, not ready to give up so quickly. Norah and Garrett were counted among those brave ones.

“It all seems like so long ago now,” Norah said as she closed the door to their new house on Eureka Street. “All the bad times are behind us.” Norah walked into the kitchen to finish supper for her little family while Rachel played with her toys on the floor. Patrick had started school, and in a while, they would walk down the block to pick him up. Norah was stirring the stew when she heard her little daughter muttering. She looked over to see Rachel was staring at a kitchen chair and talking as if someone was sitting there.

“Do you want to hold my dolly, Jack?”


WEP Write…Edit…Publish August 2018 Challenge Change of Heart is hosted by Denise Covey, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

Word count: 960

Full Critique

Featured image: ‘San Francisco before the earthquake’ ( unknown author) via wikimedia.org

 

Tutti Frutti

Tee hee and tutti frutti. Does anyone really laugh like that, “Tee hee?” I will have to monitor my giggles and see if I ever hear a tee. And, whatever happened to tutti frutti ice cream? It’s kind of like spumoni, ice cream with dried fruit and nuts. Been watching tons of British detective mystery shows. So happy Endeavour ( It’s spelled the British way, did you notice?) is back. It makes me sad that it may end soon and then will there be another series? I get so attached to the characters. I would miss DCI Fred Thursday like I miss Inspector Japp and Inspector Lestrade. The trouble with having streaming video from Amazon is that I can watch several episodes of the older British mysteries series in a short period of time. And they end before I am ready for them to end. Then I have to look for new ones. Some are better than others. What does this have to do with tutti frutti ice cream you say. Well nothing, but I have noticed that the detectives are always having a cup of tea. Every time they go into someone’s house the homeowner offers them a cup of tea. Or the detectives are drinking ale at a pub after work or during lunch. Or they have a to-go cup of something when they start work, probably tea again. Wonder if they ever have tutti frutti in England?


This is Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘T, tea, tee.’ Featured image ‘Spumoni’ by Didebertin on Wikimedia.org

The Light Organ

Quick search for word ‘lung’ showed word origin came from words for light as in not heavy because lungs of animals would float in water. (Thesaurus.com)

Can you believe that symptoms of tuberculosis used to be thought of as glamorous in the late 18th and early 19th century? I read that recently in an article from Hyperallergic. Maybe it’s not hard to believe because people with anorexic appearance are sometimes admired nowadays. I thought I was reaching an end in my genealogical research but I am still learning a few things. Some sad things I have read are that people in those early days, 1800s to early 1900s, died of drowning, appendicitis, and tuberculosis sometimes called phthisis. Death certificates cited lack of medical care. People even died in workhouses. Many children died young. I thought some of my ancestors would have given up after losing a spouse or their children. Especially during the hard years before and during WWII in Europe. I later discovered that some remarried and had more children. To me this illustrates their courage and optimism.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt was ‘organ’, to pick an organ and write about it. Featured image of a painting by Edvard Munch of his sister Sophie who died of tuberculosis when he was 14.