Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.
Without further delay, this weeks YAFF Muse pic was provided by YAFF Member: Cambria. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies stories, I’ve linked their sites at the end the post. Enjoy!
Around the Streetmarket by: Plamen Stoev
By: R.M. Gilbert
“We’re here to help build a larger medical facility,” the youth pastor explains. “But we’re also here to administer to the people. You’ll be split into two groups and alternate between visits to the current medical station and here.” Pastor Carl gestures to the construction site. “Jason, Marcus, and Sara, will help build today, and Leesa and Kent will go with our translator, Seshawn Rea, to the med center.”
“You ready for this, Leesa?” Kent asks.
“Sure.” I nod.
We follow our translator to a path that leads into a mass of trees. My stomach tightens when a mosquito the size of my fist swarms past my head. Breath, you’ve had your shots, I remind myself. I had too, in order to get the passport to come to this remote community in the middle of the jungle. Heaven, what was I thinking.
“This way, this way,” Seshawn says, waving us forward.
The path narrows and winds. Massive trees, nothing like the ones back home, tower overhead. They grow so tall and so close together it’s like looking at one gigantic green wall. And mud clings to everything. Thankfully, we’ve come at the end of their rainy season.
When we reach the medical facility its little more than large pieces of canvas sewn together, held up by logs. We’re ushered in and instructed to “sit and visit” with the children waiting for treatment. I settle next to a little boy, about seven. He grins, a toothless grin, but then struggles to take a breath.
“What happened to him?” I ask the translator. He rattles on in the native tongue.
The boys face grows serious and he reaches into his tattered pants and pulls out an old, torn piece of newspaper. Instead of showing me an article, he opens his tiny hands as if offering me a gift. There in his palm is a photo. He thrusts his hands toward me.
I smile and take the photograph, examining it—it’s beautiful—a girl running in the pouring rain. It’s dark and mysterious, intriguing and playful all at the same time. “Will you tell him I think it’s very pretty?”
Seshawn nods and speaks to the boy, whose brows crease more than any child’s should. Tears fill his innocent eyes. His head shakes and he mutters.
“What did he say?”
“He says, not pretty. He says, he thinks rain is fun, but she is his death.”
I say a silent prayer for the child and before I’m led away I glance back at this small defeated person. “Do you know what happened to him?”
The translator’s gaze sweeps the room. “Not just him. Them.”
Them? There’s better than a hundred children under the cover of the tent-like room. “How?”
“The acid rain falls on plants and animals. They eat and get sick, here.” He pokes at his kidneys then covers his chest. “And here.”
A week later our mission trip has come to an end. Our youth group boards a plane home.
I glance out the window of the small commuter jet, catching a glimpse of a girl on the runway alongside of us. Black hair, contrasting white, ashy skin, it’s her, the girl from the boy’s picture.
The plane engine roars and we speed forward. I look to see if anyone else notices the girl, but they’re busy talking among themselves.
Twisting back to the window, we’re in the sky. The higher we go, she follows, stalking us. I watch as she evaporates into the air, streams through our jet engine then reappears in a distant cloud. “Wait,” I cry out and turn to our pastor.
“What is it?” he asks, coming to my side.
My finger traces the edge of the window. “Rain,” I say.
“Hmm. You don’t worry about that Leesa, we should be out of the area before it hits.”
©2010, June 28, rmg.
I really loved this picture, a hundred thoughts on what to write came to mind over the course of several days. The idea for ‘She Rains’ came to me at about 5:30 in the morning during a ride with my husband to pick up our car from his bosses house. I liked the idea of writing a short story with a message.
Acid Rain is a reality. It affects our food and water sources and often the consequences go unnoticed. Despite its name, acid rain looks the same as any rain shower, but the harmful pollutants are there. Like those caused by burning fossil fuels. For more faqs on acid rain, please visit: Outside air pollution-faqs.org
What cause(s) do you think deserve more attention and why?
After commenting, be sure to stop by other YAFFER sites to see how the picture inspired them: