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The Process by cerealnovels The Process :iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 1 1
Mature content
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 28 :iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 0 0
My heroes—
travel through this life
unknown by the masses,
but dear to me.
They grow strong kindness
in hearts that know fear,
yet find the courage
to love
with gentle actions
that speak light
into our world.
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 5 7
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 27
Chapter Twenty-seven
Huddled beneath a quilt, Rumer sat clutching the leg of her father’s telescope. Skip whined. He wanted to go back inside where it was warm. She whispered, “Hush.” The dog grunted with resignation and pushed his nose beneath the quilt. Across the field she could see the Trinity’s house. All the lights were on. What was happening over there?
At midnight she had been awakened by the sound of a familiar truck. When she went to the window, she had seen Jake's truck. Another drop off most likely. The speed at which Cutter had entered the truck from his own drive had revealed how careless he was becoming. A bad feeling had settled into her gut. This was not going to be a good night. After the sound of the truck had faded, she had gone back to bed. She was so tired. Her desperate prayers had had no effect. It was as if Cutter was prayer proof. Could someone be prayer proof? Fitfully she had tossed and turned. Time had moved slowly.  One hour pa
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 1 8
Mature content
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 26 :iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 0 2
We thought it was love,
but was it?
We thought it would last,
but it didn’t.
We believed in a forever
we did not realize.
It was our dream
that did not come true.
Love is not a dream,
it’s a journey
through the darkness and light
of our days.
If only we had known
how to hold on,
instead of letting go
in the pain,
maybe we would have made it
to a better tomorrow...
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 5 5
Mature content
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 25 :iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 1 4
Owl by cerealnovels Owl :iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 4 0
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 24
Chapter Twenty-four
Woody drove right passed home. “Where are we goin’?” Cutter asked.
“I am takin’ you to my house. Mama just spent the last 22 years tryin’ to save Pop and I will be damned if she spends the next 22 years tryin’ to save you.” Woody gripped the steering wheel tightly. He swallowed once. With eyes focused on the road he continued, “I know Jake probably gave you some kind of shit.  Give it to me.”
“I already took it.” This was a partial truth, he had taken one white pill, he still had two in his pocket.
“Damn you Cutter.” Woody’s face turned red. Cutter waited for his brother to continue, but he didn’t. His color faded and he kept his eyes on the road.
The drug, what ever it was had taken Cutter to a very peaceful place, and he planned to stay there if he could. At the house, Woody said,  “Help me load Beck’s stuff into the truck, we will take it to him t
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 2 4
Beneath the injury,
the infection,
there was joy
that was.
I have spent so much time
preoccupied with the tragedy
that created this wound,
that I forgot
the glorious time before...
the landscape,
the company,
the adventure.
I want to remember.
I want to stop
picking this scab
so it will heal.
Yes, it will leave a scar,
a remembrance of what
I survived and loved.
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 6 6
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 23
Chapter Twenty-three
The too bright sun had mellowed a little. Rumer squinted her eyes against it. The sun was in direct contrast to the depth of darkness she had seen in Cutter’s eyes, they were dark, scary dark, as if all his light had been stolen.
Betsy purred along the highway. Up ahead the church appeared. Already several cars and trucks were in the parking lot.  A sudden gust of wind caused the little truck to sway as it turned. Aunt Grace gripped the wheel and said, “Whoa,” then coasted to a stop. It was then, that Rumer saw him. Jake.  Stupid, worthless Jake was standing in front of Mrs. Trinity’s car, talking to Cutter. That only meant one thing. Rumer bolted out the door. Aunt Grace called after her, “Rumer, let it be.” There was no way in hell she was going to let it be. Jake was going to give Cutter poison, if he hadn’t already. Faster than Rumer, was Beck. Flying through the parking lot, he seemed literally to be air born
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 2 6
Upon this key
are written two words,
I forgive.
I look at all the doors
I’ve locked in hurt or
the misunderstandings
that did not heal
because I kept my silence.
Now, I want to use
this key
and be released
from the poison of my past.
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 11 9
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 22
Chapter Twenty-two
The morning sun was too bright. It glinted off of every shiny object with piercing clarity.  Around the little green tent,  black fabric had been draped to cut the November wind. It gusted though the bottom and swirled around Rumer’s cold legs.  She was not sitting. The seats were for elderly people and blood relatives. She was neither. In the first row, sat Grandma Maxine followed by Mr. William Trinity and his wife. Mr. William looked like his mother.  He was a small buttoned up man with a hen pecked demeanor. His wife was larger than him and was made up to perfection. Her dark brown dress strained magnificently at each of its curved seams. Beside them were the cousins, Alicia and Alec, twins who looked to be around eleven. Both were also dressed in fine designer clothes. Rumer had only seen pictures of them because they never came to visit. Beside them was Beck, holding his mother’s hand. On the other side of Mrs. Trinity was Cutter
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 1 4
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 21
Chapter Twenty-one
Outside in the night was the roar of a motor. Cutter knew so much about cars he could recognize a name brand and the make just by the sound of an engine. Was it a Nova? No, couldn’t be, there was only one Nova? Was she? Cutter’s leapt off Woody’s couch and headed out the door.
Woody called after him, “Where in the hell do you think you are goin’?”
Red taillights set too far apart to be a Nova turned in the distance. It wasn’t her. He needed to see her. Cutter thought of the baby, his baby. Was it still alive? Did Belinda still carry it inside of her? When she told him she was going to abort it, it seemed like the perfect solution. Now…now…could giving a life to the world, make up for taking one? He felt Woody’s hand on his shoulder. “Come back inside.”
Cutter did as he was told.   The  front room was a mess. Beck’s stuff was piled in the corner by the couch and more boxes overflow
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 2 3
what do I do with you?
How do I accept that
there are times
when the light that created you,
is just beyond my reach?
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 6 6
What Rumer Knew, Ch 20
Chapter Twenty
When Woody and Cutter left, Rumer’s heart followed. Why on earth had she rushed into his arms the way she had? The memory of the warmth of Cutter’s body, pressed against hers continued to distract her from the bleakness of the funeral home. It had to be wrong to feel this way, here, now. She did not want to feel this way. If there was some way to not care, she would. Still deep inside of her something, insisted Cutter was worth loving. Maybe not the kind of love that lead to anything like kissing or making babies, but it was love. A love that was stronger than her will.
For the past half hour she had managed to stay out of the viewing room. She could not face the dead body. The image of Mr. Trinity’s face the night of the accident would not leave her. The blood, so much blood. She began to tremble.
Aunt Grace came to her and said, “I think it will help you to see him how he looks now, so your last memory of him won’t be...” Her voice b
:iconcerealnovels:cerealnovels 2 3


Dog by Anna655 Dog :iconanna655:Anna655 52 20 18 by lapaowan 18 :iconlapaowan:lapaowan 9 6 Untitled by ActuallyKey Untitled :iconactuallykey:ActuallyKey 1 1
Verse 1 –
Like water bursting through the dam,
the Southern tide comes surging.
The heralds of a summer storm;
heretics ripe for the purging.
Carried on the rolling waves.
In the Wild, hidden from the sun
you’re only flotsam in the tide.
The dogwood brambles lose their grip,
and you’re swept along for the ride.
Carried on the rolling waves.
Chorus –
Here comes the high-water;
here comes the rain.
Here comes the high-water;
here comes the pain.
Verse 2 –
Like the surf breaking on the shore,
the Southern tide comes crashing.
Against the jagged walls of stone,
thunder and lightning is flashing.
Facing down the rolling waves.
On the ridge where the headstones grow,
you brace against the raging squall.
Like the levee before the hurricane,
until the bugle’s final call.
Facing down the rolling waves.
Chorus –
Here comes the high-water;
here comes the flood.
Here comes the high-water;
here comes the blood.
:iconjames-polymer:James-Polymer 2 3
Discord Server pic by MoonHeart77 Discord Server pic :iconmoonheart77:MoonHeart77 5 5
Twilight Departure
A bright moon, cut in half,
shone in last minute's pale
   blue splendour —
Feathered friends sing a twilight tune;
   Another day's departure.
:iconlady-yume:Lady-Yume 23 17
Little Petals  by ActuallyKey Little Petals :iconactuallykey:ActuallyKey 5 1 Raperonzolo by lapaowan Raperonzolo :iconlapaowan:lapaowan 25 2 Barley by Suvi-Iloa Barley :iconsuvi-iloa:Suvi-Iloa 14 5 Moon among the clouds by Eta-Carinae2001 Moon among the clouds :iconeta-carinae2001:Eta-Carinae2001 6 7 River by Suvi-Iloa River :iconsuvi-iloa:Suvi-Iloa 25 9 Lovely by HaganeSora Lovely :iconhaganesora:HaganeSora 15 3
my desk
From my desk, I can see the beach. I can smell the salt on the wind; almost feel the sand rising between my fingers.
From my desk, I can see light gliding on the waves. I can hear the symphony of waves rolling in and crashing into my bare calves.
From my desk I can pretend I am at the beach, but I’ve still got my sock on my feet and my feet in my shoes. 
:iconfoxseason:foxseason 5 2

Random Favourites

Angel / Anjinho by luciabischoff Angel / Anjinho :iconluciabischoff:luciabischoff 3 2 Stock: Cliche by PoetryOD Stock: Cliche :iconpoetryod:PoetryOD 40 14 Her grandparents by StargardensBreath Her grandparents :iconstargardensbreath:StargardensBreath 11 9 Angel Blood. by Zaellrin Angel Blood. :iconzaellrin:Zaellrin 68 13 Mosaic #17 by KyleWilcoxVisualArt Mosaic #17 :iconkylewilcoxvisualart:KyleWilcoxVisualArt 32 17
the stars in magazines
never shine.
:iconflickeringcandle:FlickeringCandle 13 11
Wind Vane
It was a decade ago that I first walked in the garden of lights by the sea
the wind is warm now like then, the boats anchored firmly
the rhythm of the waves still beats like a heart,
pounding on the bare rocks on this shore that I have chosen for myself
These years have yielded me nothing of permanence
few memories to call my own,
no worldly possessions or prizes from pursuits undertaken
I am looking into nothingness, this decade of empty days
into memories that are not tactile
maybe not even memories at all?
I was always wishing I were somewhere else, someone else
not reaching for the distant  while the people hurry past
taking cover in their laughter and shelter in their touch
I have lived like a wave itself
ever distant and only the sound is what people will remember
the quiet whisper of a life that could have been
reflection of starlight on the surface of the water,
light that shall be gone come the sunrise
just like the silent figure on the rocks
the silhouette among the trees nea
:icontalvipaivanseisaus:talvipaivanseisaus 5 6
Stock: Just Hold On by PoetryOD Stock: Just Hold On :iconpoetryod:PoetryOD 49 9
Love claimed refuge in disillusioned heart.
2013 Delice1941
23rd July2013.
:icond-a-skelly:D-A-Skelly 7 10
Stock: Home by PoetryOD Stock: Home :iconpoetryod:PoetryOD 13 11 Mirage #2 by KyleWilcoxVisualArt Mirage #2 :iconkylewilcoxvisualart:KyleWilcoxVisualArt 47 13
For Luca
1. This summer,
I took my little brother to see the fireworks
on the fourth of July.
Fireworks are the only thing I know of that
shines brighter and whines louder than my little brother.
So we watched together,
as the sky exploded.
I held him as tightly as I could.
2.See, I know that there is going to be a day
when that little boy’s heart breaks open
like a firecracker on new years eve;
there’s going to be a day
when he looks up at me and asks me
where his daddy went;
there’s going to be a day when he wants to meet you.
3. You are the disappointment I can’t shelter him from.
So go ahead and call your new motorcycle your baby,
but don’t you ever call that little boy son,
because you are not a father,
at least that’s what you keep telling everybody.
4. I took my little brother to see the fireworks on the fourth of July,
because you were too much of a coward
to hold that ray of sunshine in your hands
You never deserved to see his sunlight.
He is Excalib
:iconpeppermintpictures:PeppermintPictures 2 2
the July morning was chilly, for the sun had just risen
he stepped into my room, silently, and told me it was time
we left my mother home and drove past the fields of golden wheat
time stood completely still
and the air filled with anticipation
like nature holding its breath
I still remember how my father took me by the hand
something he never did before, or after
we stood there in the golden light, among the ears and the wind
two of us in complete silence
I was almost ten and had read all the books
but I could not have expected this, or understood it
I still don't
I forgot all I read about protuberances
the sunspots and the diamond ring
the light that bends with gravity
The shadows grew pale with the diminishing light
the birds in the trees were quiet as the world stopped
through the darkened glass I could see the silhouette
but when I saw it coming from the horizon
the shadow of the moon, as it washed over us and whisked us away
I turned my eyes to my father, and the
:icontalvipaivanseisaus:talvipaivanseisaus 4 8
If expresses nothing but sad regret.
2013 Delice1941
21st July2013
:icond-a-skelly:D-A-Skelly 5 4
Gorilla by glown1 Gorilla :iconglown1:glown1 34 5 Rainbow Lady of the sky by Moltres27 Rainbow Lady of the sky :iconmoltres27:Moltres27 8 6


The Process
Work in progress. This is plastaline that I am sculpting to make a mold. Then I will cast the mold in glass.

Mature Content

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Chapter Twenty-eight

It had been a long weird day. No one talked to him except two customers and Mr. Halston. Woody had dropped his suit case off, but had not said a word to him. His eyes had spoken though and what Cutter had read in them chilled him. He could not remember clearly what he had said or done the night before. Whatever Mama had said to him was lost. All he knew was that he was not welcome back home and it hurt.

When his shift was over he headed for Jake’s. He needed a fix and a place to stay. When he was almost there a car slowed down beside him and stopped He looked up.  It was Grandma Maxine. Under his breath he said, “Aw shit.” The one person he never wanted to see  was now upon him. She rolled down the window. After a long silent assessment of  his appearance and the suitcase in his hand, she said, “Well you are either runnin’ away from home, or your mama kicked you out. Which is it?”

He would not blame Mama. It was not her fault. "I left."

"Sure you did." He tried to protest but before he could say a word, Grandma Maxine told him, "I  never kicked none of my kids out. Fact is when your pop brought your mama home, I took ‘um both in. That is what a mother is supposed to do. Regardless.” Her words brought the night of the wreck vividly to Cutter’s mind. Pop had talked about this, only he had thought it had been the thing that ruined his marriage.  Cutter didn’t want to think or talk about the past, near of far.

“You can come stay with  me.”

In stunned silence Cutter stared at his Grandmother. Every hair on her head was in place. Her powder blue suit perfectly matched the little blue glass earrings that swung in her ears. Her make up was flawless, her eyes…her eyes held evangelical light. Of this much he was sure, he did not want to be evangelized 24/7. “Uh, I ‘preciate that Grandma Maxine, but I already have a place to stay.”

The light in her eyes changed to anger. “Jake I bet. That good for nothin’ Jake. I swear if you don’t come home with me, you are gonna end up dead and in hell like your pop and his pop before him. Is that what you want?”

At the moment, the desire to have this conversation, and this old biddy permanently out of his face was what he wanted. Mixed in was a hatred for her that he would not have been able to name or recognize. He said, “I don’t believe in hell or God or any of that shit.”

She raised her eyes to heaven and said, “Lo, another true Trinity fool. I won’t argue with you. One day you will find out that what you believe and what is are not always the same.” As she rolled up her window she said, “Call me if you need me.”

Cutter only nodded. There was no way hell he would ever need that old bitch.


Friday night before he and Jake could head out for a party in Dublin, the powder blue Nova pulled into Jake's drive. The instant Belinda swung her car door open, hope and lust stirred inside of Cutter. God how he missed her. As she came toward them she did not even look at Cutter. She grabbed Jake's Metallica T-shirt and jerked him to her face. In a low menacing voice she said, "If you EVER give my Mama booze again, I will kill you."

Jake, the fool stuttered, "W-whhat are you talkin' about?"

"You know what I am talking' about. My mom almost died because of you. She's been in the hospital all week due to alcohol poisoning." Her voice grew shrill, "How many people are you poisoning beside the shit head standing beside you?" She pushed him away from her. Spun around, climbed in her car and slammed the door.

Cutter watched her back up the car and roar away. The image of the whiskey bottles came to mind. He could smell whiskey and blood. The horn started sounding in his head.

Oblivious to his mood, Jake turned to him and grinned. "Man, has she got tits."

Desperate to quell the dark that was starting to envelope him, Cutter said, "Let's go."


In the weeks that followed time took on an peculiar  curve. Jake’s mother wasn’t all tangled up with God, so Cutter could smoke a joint whenever he wanted, because she smoked them too. She was a hard looking woman with cigarette wrinkles and perpetual beer breath. Her hair was died a cheap piss yellow, and her boyfriends were around at all hours of the night and day. Jake was like her stray puppy, she kept him fed and alive but, that was where her responsibility ended. Cutter was just another man in the house and one night she curled up on the sofa with him to offer him her services. That had been an ugly night. For the first time he understood how fortunate he was to have Mama. For the first time, he wanted to go home. He had faked being sick, and Jake’s mother hadn’t tried it again, but it was a terrible strain to live under.

The only light in his world was work.  It was a natural  high for him. Figuring out what was wrong with a truck or tractor was almost as good as coke, but not quite. He made sure he and Jake where not at house when he snorted coke. One, of the many last things that he wanted to happen, was to end up in bed with Jake’s mom.

Christmas came and went, Cutter really expected to at least be asked home for Christmas dinner, but he wasn’t. It didn’t occur to him that his mother might have spent the day, jumping every time the phone rang hoping it was him, calling her to tell him he would come home and do right. He wanted to be home, but not bad enough to change. Rumer had sent him a Christmas card. The baby Jesus on it reminded him of the baby he and Belinda might have had..  New Year’s dawned with him waking up with a strange girl he couldn’t remember. A cold sweat had broken over him, then he had puked on the floor.

A week later, the nasty wind that had been blowing all day, slacked off. It was almost quitting time and he didn’t want to live with Jake anymore. Where would he go? Where could he go? Grandma Maxine’s apartment was empty. She had gone for an extended visit to Uncle William’s. He could break in and stay there until he figured out where to go next. Yeah, that was what he would do.  He turned his attention back to the tractor. It was old and shot. Mr. Teage needed a new one, but for farmers’ “new” meant debt and peanuts hadn’t done well last year.  He wiped his forehead with his filthy hand and concentrated on the motor. He removed the fuel pump and carefully examined it. It seemed fine. Something was wrong, but whatever it was, it would have to wait until Monday. He stood and went to the locker room to change. When he came out, Mama was standing in the garage.

A mixture of emotions twisted and spun inside of him. God he had missed her. He took a step toward her, but before he could wrap her in his arms, she handed him an envelope.  Her bottom lip quivered. She said, “Read it.”

He tore open the letter. The hearing had been moved up.  In less than a week he would appear before the judge. He felt his heart thud, then he shuddered.  His head began to churn out images…images from movies he had seen, and TV shows he had watched. He didn’t know anything about prison, except there were bars and stainless steel toilets and barbed wire, and guards…He folded the paper and put it back in the envelope. There was a little bottle waiting for him at Jake’s house.  He needed that bottle.

Mama didn’t hug him or touch him. Before she walked out, she said, “Let me know if you need a ride to your hearin’.”

“Yes, Mam.”


The Tuesday afternoon before his hearing, Mr. Halston’s asked,  “How you doin’ Cutter?”

“I’m okay.”

“How’s the tractor?”

Cutter took a long slow look at the latest piece of junk he was working on.  “Not so good sir. I think it needs a complete overhaul. Wish I could be here to do it?”

Obvious concern filled Mr. Halston’s eyes. “I wish you could be here too. This whole thing is just damn unfortunate.” He paused, then said,  “If things turn out bad and you land in prison, mind yourself and don’t trust anyone. I had a brother-in-law in prison, died there, from hepatitis.” He shook his head, then added,  “My wife told me to tell you she’ll be praying for you. I will too.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

Mr. Halston patted his shoulder. “Take care.”

Cutter nodded and went to the locker room to change. After he had redressed, he slipped on his jacket and went into the fast falling light to wait.

Five minutes passed, then ten. Where was Jake? He promised he would pick him up tonight. He planned to get completely stoned and laid. Finally a truck pulled up, but it wasn’t Jake’s, it was Grace Bell’s. Fear filled Cutter, what was she doing here? She rolled down her window and said, “Get in, I’m taking you to your mother.” The look she gave him reminded him of Rumer when she was really mad.

The ride to the house was silent. His home appeared in the distance. A mixture of homesickness and fear overwhelmed him, homesickness for Mama and the fear of facing the house where Pop wasn’t.

When they stopped at the gate Grace Bell grabbed his wrist. Her fingers were cold and bony. In a hard and low voice she said, “When we get to the house, you will walk through the door and hug your mother. You will tell her you are sorry. You will behave yourself tonight.” The steel in her voice pierced Cutter. This lady was not someone to mess with. She jerked her head toward the house. "Rumer is up there waiting for you too. She wants to see you and talk to you and try to get you to mend your wicked ways.  Though I think letting her anywhere near you is a bad idea, I had to let her because I was afraid she’d make herself real sick if I didn’t. YOU best not touch her or hurt her.”

“Uh, yes Mam.”

She released his arm.  “Get out.”

Cutter didn’t waste any time doing so. He opened the gate, the truck drove through it, then he climbed back in.

At the house, Rumer was on the front porch waiting for him. Skip was with her. She was dressed in a pink hoodie and jeans. Her hair was pulled back with a fake daisy.  All at once the darkness began to rise inside of him. He could feel a wave of it wash over him. Inside his coat, was the only thing that would make it go away. He wanted Rumer to go away. Her Aunt Grace said, “Get out, tell her bye. You got five minutes.  I’m going inside to check on your mother.” Panic seized Cutter. He climbed out of the truck. In a cloud of angry dust, the truck zoomed to the back of the house. He heard the truck door open then it was slammed closed. A screech pierced the air when the back screen door opened, then closed. Grace Belle was inside. Time slowed as he crossed the yard.  His boots crushed the dull yellow grass beneath them. He braced himself  for  Skip to pounce but the dog didn’t. Cutter looked up at him. His brown eyes gleamed with restrained delight. Rumer had him on a leash. She never did that.
Behind him the setting sun cast a fire edged glow upon Rumer’s tense face. Softly she said, "I want you to give me my first kiss."

What? Her Aunt Grace’s words echoed in his head. She was probably watching them right now. “Your aunt won’t like it. She told me not to touch you.” Her lips looked sweet, so sweet and so pure. How could he resist them? To be the first man to ever touch Rumer Bell’s lips? There would be others, many others, she was too damn pretty for that not to happen. She tilted her face up to him. The instant their lips met, her light stabbed through his darkness. Cutter was stunned by the power of her.
My heroes—
travel through this life
unknown by the masses,
but dear to me.
They grow strong kindness
in hearts that know fear,
yet find the courage
to love
with gentle actions
that speak light
into our world.
I am not able to edit any of my posts. Each post is stuck on premium content and the update button does not turn green. Did I push something I wasn’t supposed to?
Chapter Twenty-seven

Huddled beneath a quilt, Rumer sat clutching the leg of her father’s telescope. Skip whined. He wanted to go back inside where it was warm. She whispered, “Hush.” The dog grunted with resignation and pushed his nose beneath the quilt. Across the field she could see the Trinity’s house. All the lights were on. What was happening over there?

At midnight she had been awakened by the sound of a familiar truck. When she went to the window, she had seen Jake's truck. Another drop off most likely. The speed at which Cutter had entered the truck from his own drive had revealed how careless he was becoming. A bad feeling had settled into her gut. This was not going to be a good night. After the sound of the truck had faded, she had gone back to bed. She was so tired. Her desperate prayers had had no effect. It was as if Cutter was prayer proof. Could someone be prayer proof? Fitfully she had tossed and turned. Time had moved slowly.  One hour passed and then another. When it was almost 3:00 a.m., she got up and took her telescope outside. She had been on the roof ever since. Finally, Jake's beat up truck was coming. She leapt up and zoomed the lens onto the approaching truck, careful not to catch the beams of its headlights.  The truck stopped at the gate. A stoned Cutter stumbled out and meandered up the drive.  It was not funny. He didn’t even seem to care or notice that all the lights in the house were on. She had heard the front door open, then close. In the country sound traveled, so she had waited, waited to hear loud angry voices. None came.

It was not long before she heard the front door open. Again, she trained her father's telescope on Cutter. He walked away from the house, down the drive and then through the fence. He was whistling as if nothing had happened. On the road he headed toward town. When he passed their house he waved at her and shouted something she could not understand. No one was following him. He turned away and continued toward town.

Downstairs the phone rang. Rumer went to her open window. From below Aunt Grace's voice said, "I am so sorry Estelle. Of course I will pray. Do you need me to come over?" There was a long pause and then Aunt Grace spoke again, "All right. Just holler if you need me." Another pause. "Yep, love you too." She hung up the phone.

Across the field Rumer saw the Trinity’s kitchen light go out, followed by the light in the front room. Only the dim light of Mrs. Trinity’s bedroom remained. Rumer suspected it would remain on until the scant remains of night were banished by dawn.

So absorbed had Rumer been in the Trinity household that she had failed to hear her Aunt Grace come up the stairs. Sharply she asked, “Rumer, what are you doing out here trying to catch your death of cold?”  Rumer turned to her aunt.  Her robe was pulled tightly around her lean body. Her eyes squinted in darkness. She looked in the direction Rumer had been focused on. “I see Estelle’s light is still lit. Poor thing. I don’t know what keeps her from just giving up all together." She shook her head. "Cutter left. He is not welcome back  until he straightens up."

A strange mixture of fear and relief twisted inside of Rumer.  Fear for Cutter and whatever future he had, and relief the she would no longer have to fight the temptation to watch him. As she passed through her window, Aunt Grace asked, “Want me to sit with you?”

Did she? No. She shook her head.

Aunt Grace didn’t ask any more questions. She tucked her into her bed and kissed her good night. For a long time after Aunt Grace went down stairs, Rumer stared at the ceiling. In her mind, she could see Mrs. Trinity on her knees in prayer, quietly sobbing her eyes out. How could she still pray, still seek God, when her life sucked so hard? Mother love must be a tough beast.


The sun was just beginning to color the sky. Exhausted Rumer headed for the bus stop. . She had not slept. The first rays of the sun, cast Beck’s form in darkness. He turned when he heard her coming. When she reached him, she saw he looked tired too. Had he slept? She did not ask. An abnormal sort of delight danced in his eyes. He said, “Guess what?”

Though she did not have to guess, she still asked, “What?”

“Mama, told Cutter to hand over his drugs or leave and he left.” Beck's eyes dimmed. "I feel so bad for Mama. She did not deserve any of this. As for Cutter he is getting what he deserves."

Rumer said nothing. This anger in Beck was tied to his grief and it was too big for her to tackle. Several silent seconds passed between them. Beck broke the silence, “Damn it Rumer, you still hung up on him?”

Though she said no, even to her own ears it was not convincing.

Sudden anger flashed across Beck’s face. “What does that idiot have to do before you get over him? He isn’t any good, and here I am good, church going boy and you won’t give me the time of day.”

“Beck, you know that isn’t true.”

He cocked his head. “Do I?”

The last thing she wanted was to get in a fight with Beck. She reached for his hand and squeezed it. His haunted eyes looked into hers. Gently she said, “I see you. Know that I see you.”

Through the haze of his pain, she saw a tiny flicker. He did not smile but he did squeeze her hand before he released it. “I’m sorry I snapped at you.”

The bus pulled up. Beck got on before Rumer. Fear gripped her. He might want to sit by her and people would talk. By the time they got to school everybody on the bus would have them dating. To her relief he sat down by one of his friends. Rumer took a seat in the back. In front of her Susy Jenkins was twisting her hair and talking to  the girl beside her, the roar of the bus was too loud for Rumer to hear what she said, not that she wanted to, susy was such a gossip.

The bus rolled into town. It would soon pass Mr. Halston’s shop. Rumer strained to see if Cutter was at work. With broom in hand he was sweeping dead leaves in the parking lot. He did not look up when he heard the bus. Susy Jenkins said loud enough for Rumer to hear,, “i can’t believe he hasn’t been fired.”
What Rumer Knew, Ch. 27
I am reposting this because the edit feature did not work when I tried to edit.

ongoing story


Words. Lethal, loving, open, wall building. I have been thinking about how words are used and how they are spoken, how they are written, how they are received. What was intended and what was heard are not always the same. What was written and how the words are perceived do not always match up. We all bring such different perspectives to our hearing and our reading of words. What might be a red flag to me, may not even be a pale shade of pink to someone else. I have been thinking a lot about the limitation of my own perception of words and how I have used that to label people. Honestly, I want to put my label gun away. It sure causes problems. It is amazing how fast I can start to classify people, and shove them into little boxes that I label and ignore. I won't listen to that, or read that because in my opinion it means...

I got a lesson in words the other day while driving my mom around. She was telling me a story I have heard SO MANY times. I always derail the story or redirect it because I simply cannot bear to hear it AGAIN. But I decided Friday that for once I would just let her finish. I am working on listening more thoroughly. Its hard. So, I let my mom tell the whole story, right to the end. In the past I had always gotten mad thinking my mom did not understand. I thought she was telling me about how much better off she was, but that was not it at all. For the first time I heard her grief over a person we love being shamed because of their poverty, of being treated as invisible and also for not being honored for their hard work despite their circumstances. When I heard her tell the story ALL THE WAY THROUGH my heart hurt. In the past I had been so busy putting my mom in her box that I did not hear what she was trying to express to me. But, I also felt something else, I felt grateful to have a mom with such a big heart. Words matter. Stories matter. Listen and read all the way through. 


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Joyce Matula Welch
United States
Art and words by hand.


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