Danger in the Patchwork Clearing (a narrative poem)

Danger in the Patchwork Clearing
by Kelly F. Barr

Bramble Fleetwood and Flip Gatherson did somersaults among the wildflowers in the Patchwork Clearing. Bramble’s lower jaw dropped and his eyes widened as a shadow passed over them. A chill ran down his spine as he recognized Crooked Claw Fellingward.

“Flip, run! Hawk!” Bramble scrambled back toward Oak Leaf Forest, and Flip struggled to keep up.
“Stay low and don’t stretch your body.” Bramble puffed out as he ran. How had they gotten so far from Oak Leaf Forest?
He could hear his father’s stern voice in his head, “Bramble, never wander into the Patchwork Clearing. It’s too dangerous.”

Crooked Claw screeched and Bramble looked over his shoulder. The hawk was inches above Flip, who desperately weaved and dragged his pudgy belly across the ground. Crooked Claw made a grab for Flip but missed as Flip rolled to the side.

Bramble tripped over something — rocks! He stopped, picked up a rock, and hurled it at Crooked Claw. He picked up another and another and threw them as hard and quickly as he could. One bounced off the hawk’s beak. Another rolled off his back.

Bramble couldn’t remain in this place much longer. The rocks managed to slow Crooked Claw down enough for Flip to gain a bit of a lead. Bramble started to run again. Almost there — if they could just get to the forest.

Bramble burst over the line, under cover of the Oak trees. He turned and screamed, “Nooo,” as Crooked Claw grasped Flip and lifted him off the ground. Bramble watched in horror, but Flip struggled in the hawk’s grip. Flip pounded his fists on the talons that held him, and suddenly Flip was falling. Crooked Claw descended right above him reaching for his falling prey.

Flip hit the ground and immediately made a break for the forest. Crooked Claw was bearing down on Flip. Would Flip make it in time?

Bramble heard a commotion in the trees directly above him. Father, and Flip’s father, and several other men from the squirrel colony were slinging acorns, from a large slingshot, at Crooked Claw. They slung six acorns at one time and hit Crooked Claw’s wing. The wing crumpled and the hawk made an emergency crash landing as Flip crossed under the Oak trees.

Bramble and Flip scooted farther under the Oaks. Their fathers stood before them. How had they come down the tree so quickly?

“Bramble, are you hurt?”
“No, Father.”
Flip’s father checked Flip over. The two dads looked at their sons. “Suppose you two have had a good fright and now know why you’re not to play in the Patchwork Clearing?”
Both boys nodded.
“Good. Now for the next two weeks, the two of you will be teaching your little brothers how to hide nuts and acorns.”
Again, Bramble and Flip nodded. Anything would be better than running for their lives.

Couplet Poem: Life of a Story

Life of a Story
by Kelly F. Barr

A story runs round inside my head,
Often as I attempt to sleep in bed.
Its characters speak to me,
Telling me what will and will not be.
They dictate whom they will love and where they will go,
And from their ups and downs the story will grow.
Each chapter I submit for critique
As tips and advice for improvement I seek.
After edits, Beta Readers have a look,
Then final edits before turning story into book.

Where do my Ideas and Inspiration Come From?

I love to watch people and have enjoyed doing this for as long as I can remember.  Some of my ideas come from things I see people do or simply just from a person I see.  Sometimes as I am people watching, I catch bits and pieces of conversations, not because I am deliberately eavesdropping, but just because of the close proximity, and some of my ideas come from overheard pieces of conversation.

Sometimes I get ideas from songs I hear, books I read (no, I don’t plagiarize), but I can get an idea from something I have read.  Sometimes I get an idea from a movie I see or a character I like or from what I hear or read about someone famous.

Sometimes I get ideas from conversations I have with people.  Many ideas come from people around me, the area I live in, and my life experiences.  Ideas are all around me.

Inspiration is a bit more difficult, and no, I don’t think that ideas and inspiration are the same thing.  Ideas are quick, simple and can be found anywhere, whereas, inspiration is something that stimulates my thinking or makes me feel something or sparks my creativity.  Inspiration is stronger and harder to find than an idea, and though an idea can start me writing, inspiration compels me to write.  Inspiration comes from something or someone who sparks a passion in me.

A good story can be written from either an idea or inspiration, but I believe that it is easier to write a good story from inspiration.  I also believe the story will flow, keep me writing and be finished faster than a story that starts from an idea because something I am passionate about holds my attention longer than a mere idea.

Writing from either an idea or inspiration is still hard work.  It requires time, commitment and dedication.  It requires re-reading and re-writing to get to my best possible finished story.

A Mystery (Day 2)

Tara didn’t get much sleep despite Katie’s best efforts to make her comfortable.  She still couldn’t accept the fact that Jaime was gone and that the last words she spoke to him were in anger.

In the morning, Katie managed to get Tara to eat a slice of wheat toast and drink a glass of orange juice.

“I think I need to go to Jacobson Mergers and let them know what happened,”  said Tara.

“Don’t you think the police are already there?  I’m sure they were planning on questioning some of the people Jaime worked with to see if he had any enemies there.”

Tara began to cry.

“I’m sorry, Tara.  I can’t imagine how you feel.  Is there anything I can do that will help?”

“Thank you, Katie, but, no, there really isn’t.  I just can’t stop thinking about the angry words that I said to him before he was …”

She couldn’t say the word.

“That is quite upsetting, I am sure, but you can’t go through the rest of your life beating yourself up about that.  It will take time, I know, but you’ll have to find a way to forgive yourself for that.”

“Why would someone do such an awful thing?  Who could’ve wanted Jaime dead?”

“Maybe, the person didn’t plan to kill Jaime when he or she stopped by.  Maybe they argued and it happened in the heat of the moment.”

“I suppose that could be true, but wouldn’t that make it a crime of passion?  There would have had to be extremely strong feelings that played into a scene like that.”

“Oh, my, I think we may have seen too many mystery t.v. shows or read too many mystery novels.  We just need to let the police do their job.”

“But, what am I supposed to do now?”     Tara looked despondent.