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02-16-2015 01:02 PM
Chapter 3 (Word Prompts: Sausage, valentine, repairing, north wind, tenderhearted, awkward, shoulder, interference)
She reported to the university right on schedule. The beginning was a whirlwind of orientation, signing up for classes, joining a sorority and all the other things that occupy a college freshman. She had been disappointed when she learned it would be after Christmas when she could report to the veterinary hospital, but there was little time for that anyway with all the activity.
There had been a strong north wind blowing on January 4th when she reported to the building that would be her home for the next six years, if plans were to go right. And Clarissa had no thought that anything could interfere with her plan.
She discovered that there was a custom for one of the lower level employees to bring in breakfast for everyone. This morning there was the aroma of sausage in the area, an aroma that brought a feeling of expectation from that day on. It was for that reason that she made that her choice when it was her turn.
She learned there were ten other student helpers like herself. Most were from nearby, but several students were from other states and Clarissa made friends quickly with all of the students and the members of the faculty who supervised. Most of the student duties were menial in nature but it wasn’t long before Clarissa’s unique way of communicating with the animals was noticed and she was on call whenever a frightened animal was brought in.
It was on Valentine’s Day when a small pitty type pup was brought in. She was shivering from the cold but also with fear. From the looks of her body she had good reason to be fearful. This was the first bait dog that Clarissa had ever seen, but the other students told her it was far from their first. They named her Valentine in honor of the day and also because of the way she melted everyone’s heart.
Clarissa was attending a particular deep cut on her shoulder while speaking to the dog hoping she could repair the trauma as easily as she could stitch up the shoulder. It was not unusual for some of the other students to watch as Clarissa practiced her magic. Some of them teased her about being the dog whisperer but she knew they were hoping to learn her technique and this made her feel special. She also thought that the more people who could show an animal love, the quicker they would recover. She knew that it wasn’t her words that healed but the love that the animal could feel coming from her.
She had just placed a bandage on the dogs leg when she heard a voice from behind her, sounding so tender-hearted that she thought her own heart might melt. Never before had she felt so awkward, but she had never met a man like Chad before either.
(to be continued)
01-24-2015 10:54 AM
Chapter 2 (Word Prompts: insomnia, wind, edge, change, winter, inactivity, birds, clarity)
Everyone had said Clarissa had it all, that is if they said anything at all. Mostly they took it for granted that she would do everything she wanted to do and was one of those people for which everything worked out. She was following the path she had planned for herself while still in high school.
While the other girls were talking about boys and parties, she knew that many things would change before she was ready to get involved with that. She had plans for her life that went well beyond concerns about a date for the Winter Prom. This did not mean that she didn’t have dates for the Winter Prom and all the other dances. She had a small circle of friends and belonged to several organizations, but they were always the ones that fit in with her plan and left some time of inactivity in every day for her to spend on her obsession. Most of her friends, and even her mother, had no knowledge of how she was spending those nights of insomnia when she was unable to turn off her mind and went back to the computer for more research.
It was during the first year of high school when she had overheard her mother talking to the mother of another friend. She didn’t hear what the other woman was saying but she knew her daughter so she could imagine the complaints. But what mattered to her was that her mom sounded so proud when she commented on the clarity that Clarissa seemed to have for her life. It was the first time she had heard that pride in her mother’s voice and she was determined to keep it there.
Yes, she had a plan that had been born the day she found her first bird’s nest. Sadly it was lying on the ground instead of in the tree where it belonged and the baby birds, who were almost old enough to fly were hopping around on the ground. Fearing for their safety she gathered them up along with the nest and tried to replace it in the tree, only to see it tumble once again with the first gust of wind.
She had hoped the mama bird would find them on the porch where she placed them but they were left alone. Clarissa found some food for them and a few days later watched them fly away. She knew this was what she wanted to do with her life. She would become a veterinarian and help all the animals.
She researched the best schools for this kind of study and the requirements for entrance. She found that her best bet was the state college which was too far from home to commute but not too far for weekend visits. She researched for scholarships as it would be expensive for both undergraduate and graduate school. This was one of the reasons for the activities she chose, otherwise much more of her time would have been spent in study.
She learned a lot about animals and volunteered with an animal rescue, even treating some of the dogs and cats that came in with cuts and scratches, but it was the fearful ones that she was able to help the most, the ones who had been neglected or abused. In fact, even in high school she was building quite a reputation and was being called for advice from many of those who had adopted a rescue animal and, sometimes even from a local vet which made her feel a part of that community, even it was just on the edge.
By the time of high school graduation Clarissa had more than one scholarship and had gotten a head start on some of the classes she would have to take from the information she had found on-line. She also had a recommendation for a part time job in the college Veterinary Department. She was off to a very good start.
(to be continued)
01-12-2015 01:07 PM
(January Word Prompts: insomnia, wind, edge, change, winter, inactivity, birds, clarity)
Another night of insomnia following another day of inactivity. Clarissa thought it would be humorous if she weren’t so tired. She finally gave up and left the soft comfort of her bed. She didn’t bother to turn on the light, there was enough coming in from the moon outside for her to see her way to the living room where she might find some rest in the recliner.
She didn’t have to check to see what was on TV. She had enough experience to know that at this time of the night she had a choice between an infomercial or CNN. It didn’t take very long to find out that she should have opted for an infomercial. A reporter was talking to some very distraught people who were waiting for word of their relatives who had been passengers on a plane that seemed to have vanished out of the sky.
She couldn’t help but think how their lives had been changed forever. She knew how they must be feeling. She hadn’t realized that a storm was brewing until she heard the sound of the wind chimes. Perhaps it was because of the quiet, but it seemed the last time she had noticed their song was the day she got the word that she was now alone.
She didn’t want to think about that day that always seemed on the edge of her consciousness, threatening to break through. She was trying to push it back yet again as she made her way into the kitchen to brew some herbal tea. She really wanted coffee but still had hopes of getting back to sleep and coffee was only consumed when she had given up on that. The water was just beginning to boil when the chimes sounded again. Perhaps it was the steam that transported her back to that winter day.
For the moment it didn’t seem like five months ago for she was standing in the yard with the bag of food to fill the feeder for the birds who came to visit during the cold. She didn’t bother with it so much in the warm months as she thought there was an abundance of insects and other food sources available.
She had just gotten back to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee and sat at her favorite place where she could watch the birds who came to the feeder. She had the habit of keeping her camera handy along with a reference book on birds, although she rarely used either.
A cardinal was the first to visit and she was thinking about picking up the camera when her phone rang at the same time as the wind chime. She would always have that picture in her mind with such clarity: the cardinal and the sound of the cell phone and the wind chimes, along with the feeling of doom that descended upon her even before she got the news.
(to be continued)
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