A short story by Lisa Barnes ©2008
Nova and Peggy inched their way along the tree branch and looked down at the barnyard below. Being caterpillars, they weren’t moving very quickly. They were way up high now though. Higher than they’ve ever been but something was drawing them. “Keep climbing” Nova yelled out. “We’ve got to get higher”.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could fly,” Peggy remarked suddenly as she slowly inched along.
“Peg, you think such crazy things” Nova replied rolling his eyes at his wife once again. She was always coming up with illusions of grandeur. While most of the time he found them amusing, sometimes they were just downright irritating.
“That’s not so far-fetched, you know,” she replied quickly as they kept moving. “The birds do it and the bees do it…why can’t WE do it?”
“We don’t have wings, sweetheart.”
“I bet one day” she went on, “we’ll be able to fly!”
They both stopped to take stock of where they were. “Look Peg,” Nova said pointing down to the barnyard below. Do you see that bird down there.”
“You mean that chicken?” she asked.
“Yes, the chicken.”
“What about it?”
“The chicken is a bird, but it doesn’t fly. Sometimes we are just given a role to play in this life and that’s just the way it is.
“We’re caterpillars…we crawl around on our tiny little legs….that’s what we do.”
“It still doesn’t hurt to dream,” she snapped back. “There’s always hope.”
“If you say so, dear” Nova said with a sigh. “This looks like a good spot to build our cocoons. What do you think?” He said trying to change the subject.
Peggy looked around at where they were. They seemed to be high enough to be safe. It was just tucked into the tree enough that she was pretty sure the birds would not be able to see them. They must be safe during their time of hibernation. What was this urge that was so compelling them to hibernate? It was overwhelming, but Peggy knew they didn’t have time to worry about it. They just needed to get busy.
So they both began weaving and constructing their little cocoons. “What do you think is going to happen, Novie?” She asked with excitement building in her voice. “I bet it’s going to be something wonderful. Don’t you feel it?”
Nova had to admit; he was starting to feel a little excited about what they were doing. There was something to this not-knowing part. Not knowing what’s going to happen on the other side of hibernation. Would they still be just the same as they are now? Would they change to something better? Something more? Peggy seemed to think so, Nova thought to himself. She seemed so sure that we’ll be so much more.
They had been weaving for what seemed like a lifetime, but as they were closing in their final spots, Peggy looked over at Nova and said, “See you on the other side!” Nova smiled and blew her a kiss. “See ya!” he replied as he closed himself in.
...to be continued…
A short story by Lisa Barnes ©2007
What can be said about Andy? He was one of the hardest working ants before …IT… happened. It’s sad to think he was taken from us when he was in his prime. He was only 20 days old. He had such a long life in front of him, at least another 20-40 more days. His loss will be felt strongly by us all. Andy’s life had meaning and it is my duty to make sure he is never forgotten. So hopefully these few words will give you a good insight into the spectacular ant that Andy truly was.
A good indication of how Andy lived would be to start with his death. The report from the CIA (Crime scene Investigative Ants) was that he was completely unrecognizable due to the manner of his death. It’s a death that all of us in the Insect World fear most. Yes my fellow bugs…he died of SPLAT!
Andy was working hard, as usual, bringing in the food for the colony. He happened to find a gold mine of crumbs and as we all know, Andy was always up for any challenge that he was faced with, especially when it came to bringing home the crumb.
We, as ants, know all too well the dangers that this life brings. There are so many oppositions that want to squash us out of existence. But we will prevail! Remembering those brave ants that have gone before us helps us stay strong in the course.
When Andy had gone out that day to face his challenge of reaching the crumbs, his noted last words to his family were, “If I don’t return, know that I took one for the team.” It was just like Andy to put the colony first which is why we all loved him and we’ll never forget him. His selfless attitude was something we should all strive towards.
According to the CIA report, Andy had reached the crumbs and was on his way back to the colony when the SPLAT! occurred. It has been said that fatal accidents normally happen within a few yards of your home, which is the case for Andy. He was only 10 yards away. From the shape of the blob that remained, the Investigative Ants could only conclude that he was hit with something at least 100 times his size. What a brave little bug he was!
Every day Andy faced his challenges and everyday, except today, he was successful. But I will still never feel that Andy was a failure just because he was taken so unexpectedly from us. I will live my life by the magnificent example that Andy left. I will go to work everyday. I will work as hard as I can. And if by some chance I must be taken from this life the way Andy was taken, then I only hope that my last words will be noted that I, too, took one for the team.
The following is the first poem I ever wrote (or at least remember writing or have a written record of writing). I wrote it on this little old clunker of a typewriter back when I was 13.
I love this poem because it reminds me that I have been a "Watcher" (for the return of Jesus) my whole life. God has put it on my heart to watch for Him. In my youth, this is how I reflected those thoughts God instilled in me....
Will You Be Ready?
What would you do if God came now to take us all up there?
Would you fret? Would you frown? Or would you just not care?
He will come to take us all way up there so high.
Will you be here? Will you be there? On the ground or in the sky?
People see the worldly things but I wonder if they will see God.
Some say yes. Some say no. And some say definitely not.
God is like the mountains, so mighty and so tall.
He is like the stars above, but never will He fall.
Trust Him now and you will find the love beyond compare.
It is not a love you'll say, "Oh I guess it's fair".
It's greater than the tidal waves that drown the cities near.
It is the only kind of love that is always without fear.
Don't ignore this mighty thing that you won't find elsewhere.
Don't sit back and relax until you know you're there.
God is more beautiful than the flowers blooming well.
He is much hotter than the fiery lakes of hell.
Love the Lord and want to share His faithful Word so True.
He can calm the worst ocean and cheer your heart so blue.
Don't give up and say "I'm through" when times are getting rough.
Think of Heaven so faithful and true and think of 'God is Love'.
When you say you've got it bad and you just turn and toss.
Think of Jesus who died alone on that dreadful cross.
What if God would come right now while you were reading this?
Would you see Him standing there or would His face you miss?
If you didn't go to Heaven and you had to stay down here,
Would you even care enough to shed a little tear?
If you don't ask the Lord to come into your heart,
You will have to stay down here and watch the world come apart.
I'm sorry to say that if you will not see the coming Lord
You will have to stay down here on this wrecked up world.
What if God would come right now, would you be ready for sure?
Would you see His heavenly face - so rich, so kind, so pure!
- © 1981 Lisa Sams, all rights reserved
-A short story by Lisa Barnes ©2007
Hope looked through her telescope again and still couldn't come to a complete understanding of just what it is that she was seeing. The news report just had to be wrong, she thought. This can't be it. This can't be the end.
"This is your last chance..." came the fearsome words again from the TV set. Asteroid 954 was only days away from impact, but Hope just couldn't soak in the devastating news.
"This just can't be it!" she cried aloud. "I still have so much to do with my life. I still haven't fallen in love. I still haven't taken risks. I still haven't felt the beauty of having a child grow inside me. It just isn't fair, " she said dropping to her knees. Dear God, why?
The asteroid was discovered just a few days prior, and because of one reporter letting the news slip that the asteroid would be catastrophic to the entire world, everyone all across the planet has been in a panic-ridden state of confusion. It was originally reported that it would just be a NEO (Near Earth Object), but that news was incorrect.
A gunshot rang out just outside her window as Hope sat there on her knees staring blankly at the television. The world has gone mad and she along with it. She knew she had to come to her senses, but she just couldn't get up the gumption to care.
I've got to do what I can to help. I can't just sit here and watch everything end. I won't go out this way, she concluded as she got up off the floor. She walked int othe bathroom one last time and brushed her hair. Staring at herself in the mirror, she couldn't help but feel that it all just seemed so surreal. I must be dreaming, she said to herself. That's the only way she could go on. She convinced herself that this wasn't real. It's just a dream. It had to be.
Hope grabbed her jacket and closed the door to her apartment. She was scared to go out because of the state the world was in since the news was reported, but she wanted to help...someone...ANYone who needed it.
Her neighborhood wasn't recognizable any longer from all the loitering and crime that had taken place over the last couple of days. There were dead bodies lying all around, but no one cared.
There were children and elderly sitting on the side of the road crying, unsure what to do...but no one noticed.
There were screams of horror and fright ringing out...but no one was listening.
Hope silently walked down the street not knowing where she was going. Maybe they can use me at the local shelter, she thought and headed in that direction. She was determined this would bring out the best in her, not the worst. This was her last chance to make an impression before the end came. She would be sure to make it a good one.
Time to speak straight from my heart
Regarding what is right and wrong.
Understand what I'm about to say
To everyone near me today.
Heaven is where I belong!
Oregon is where I reside
Ready to go home at any time.
Does this mean I hate my life?
Absolutely not! It is a gift from above
Realizing my life's meaning is a challenge, yet
Extraordinarily filled with Faith, Hope and Love.
The graveyard lay in silence as a light fog drifted in, encircling each tomb as if guarding against what was to happen. A figure donned in black attire moved quickly, dodging in and out from behind the tombs. Toting a black bag that concealed personally chosen weapons of destruction, the sinister character moved through the fog to reach a marble victim and shrank down to read the inscription closely…
“May She Rest In Peace”
A light suddenly flashed on brightening the working area for the invader. You’ll regret this. You’ll regret what you did to me. I hate you.
The fog whirling around in the light of the flashlight appeared to be in a state of panic…whirling, whirling, doing all it knew how or all it could do to stop this intrusion.
A long tool appeared from inside the dark bag followed by another tool. A hammer and a chisel. I hate you.
BAM! A loud noise echoed from the graveyard. BAM! BAM! The intruder was chilled to the bone in the bleak and dreary night, chiseling on the marble removing the unsavory name that was etched upon it.
The sounds rang out into the calm night. BAM! BAM! A quaint house only a few yards away remained quiet, unaware of any wrongdoing in its vicinity.
The neighborhood was structured with just a solitary road running about two miles from one end of the strip to the other. Only a few houses found their resting spot on this road, some aging as far back as the early 1800’s. Then there were new houses. Mansions some may say to add zest and appeal, not to mention market value to all the homes. The Owens family seemed to own the road, as a lot of the residents have discussed amongst themselves. They had built most of the new homes on this road. They dominated. They belonged.
The graveyard was located in the heart of the strip hosting a small church whose membership consisted of about 200 of its local residents. About 100 tombs were already in place in this small cemetery, and there was only room for a fraction more.
BAM! BAM! BAM! The night trembled under the hands of this vicious assailant. BAM!
I’ll never forgive you! You don’t deserve your name in view for anyone to remember. Remember who you are. Remember what you did. I hate you.
The intruder stopped the assault onto the defenseless stone allowing a brief moment to taste the guilt and the grief and then forcibly returned back to the task at hand. Every so often the figure looked up at the nearby house to be sure there were no unwanted voyeurs. Be careful. You must not be caught. Leave. Leave her alone in her own remorse. Let her lie deep in the dark ground. Cold. Alone. Just as she deserved to be.
The figure loomed in on the tombstone...checking the damages. Don’t stay. Go! Go! Run!
Suddenly the figure darted out of the graveyard and slid into a car hiding in the shadows of the gravel lot. The engine roared to life, and the car accelerated causing rocks to fly in all directions. The wheels screeched when the tires hit the pavement, and the car disappeared into the fog as quickly as it had arrived.
The graveyard settled back into a silent sleep feeling a slight loss of its own innocence.
-Prologue to "Blinded by Sin", an unfinished novel by Lisa Barnes