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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Barbeque/Cookout (09/06/12)

TITLE: Once in a Blue Moon
By Loren T. Lowery
09/11/12
~2nd Place


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In early January, Wuthering Park lay as a white lagoon of virginal snow bordered by pewter hued hills to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Legend has it that these rolling hills along Oregon’s southern coast were formed by a glacier sea. The earth beneath its frozen waters were ground and gentled into sandy, wind-swept knolls as the ice retreated northward – coward not by climate, but by God’s plan for a greater purpose of the dunes.

From the back deck of my cabin, just off the ocean’s shoreline, I looked out upon those hills. Earlier today I’d read there was to be Blue Moon tonight. Such phenomenon promised fleeting moments of magic; and so in hopeful anticipation I donned a pair of binoculars and peered into the darkening landscape beyond my deck.

A rising full moon shimmered behind frost encrusted sea grass crowning the dunes, their proud fronds silhouetted against a starlit sky.

Soon, a speck of light bobbing and trekking its way across the wide expanse of snow caught my eye. Curious, I adjusted my binoculars, blinking several times to clear my head.

Not one or two, but three tiny animals were trudging along in the snow. Standing erect, none wore shoes, but each was dressed in a particular fashionable style. The first - the one carrying a lighted torch - was a badger wearing a green checkered vest. Behind him, a rabbit with a scarlet muffler; and finally, a sorrel pelted beaver with gold-rimmed pin-nez.

I dashed with what stealth I could muster; momentarily losing them when a fog bank rolled in off the shore.

What happened next is hard to explain. The fog lifted and I happened upon them gathered around a roaring fire. The fire was fitted into a hollow dug into the sand and filled with driftwood that popped and spit from the salt and moisture hidden in its core.

Coming into the circle of flames, the three looked up at me in unison; neither surprise nor fear distorting their wonderful and friendly features.

“Welcome, good fellow,” the badger greeted me with a smile. “Join us, please.”

Moving to sit with them, I noticed another miraculous thing. Looking down I was now barefoot; and my feet - smaller. I stretched out my hands and they were the hands of my youth. I felt my face; there was no stubble of beard, only the softness of childhood.

Without ceremony, the rabbit handed me a stick skewered with marshmallows on the end. “Smores,” he explained, winking. “Simon has the graham crackers and chocolate.” He gestured toward the somewhat rotund beaver, grinning sheepishly with the afore mentioned food caught in his whiskers.

“My name is Petra,” the rabbit said, “and Guther is the badger who carried the torch leading us here. We welcome you.”

Taking the offered skewer, my stomach rumbled at the rich aroma of cooking food coming from the fire.

“Portobello mushrooms stuffed with Gorda cheese,” Simon explained, “and I’ve pineapples sprinkled with brown sugar and drizzled with honey, roasting in foil beneath the wood’s embers. Life, I’ve found to be uncertain, so it’s best to east dessert first. However,” he continued, looking at his companions, “I know some disagree, so we’ve roasted some red peppers and corn still, in their sheaves – with butter and pepper of course.”

Sitting with them, I turned my marshmallows in the flames, watching them bubble and brown, as another curious thing occurred. A lightness of heart, which I’d not felt since adolescence filled me. Disbelief became suspended in the aura of these new comrades.

“I know you must have countless questions,” Guther said, “but for now, simply believe what your heart is letting you see.”

“Belief is a heart matter you know,” added Petra sagely. And as he said this – as I shared their bounty of thoughts and food into the waning night’s hours - I realized I was being nourished by something far greater than simple camp food and friendship.

Soon, too soon, the golden glow of a morning sun peeked over the pallid hills. The Blue Moon’s magic vanished like an ebbing tide out to sea - carrying my friends and our time together with it.

Afterwards, I wondered if others would ever believe my tale - intangible creatures speaking of intangible things such as imagination, faith and beliefs. All I can offer is Petra’s words belief is a matter of the heart.

All intangible things that make a mortal world less harsh – what heart would chose not to believe?

_______________________________

Blue Moon: the appearance of the third full moon in a season that has four full moons, instead of the usual three. Colloquially the term is used to mean a rare event.

The quote: “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first” is attributed to Ernestine Ulmer.

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Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 09/13/12
Beautifully written, almost like a "poem within a story." Loved it.

God Bless~
Charla Diehl 09/13/12
Wonderfully written fantasy, filled with imaginative characters and a message for people of all ages. Two big thumbs up for this creative entry.
Ellen Carr 09/14/12
I loved your whimsical story. It reminds me a bit of C S Lewis' Narnia stories. It was enchanting. Just one word I question:in the second paragrah did you mean 'cowered' rather than 'coward'? Well done.
Karen Pourbabaee 09/14/12
ahhh...this was a deliciously delightful tale with such beautiful decriptive imagery and some great little characters...i could see them in a succession of childrens fairy tales...a truly wonderful piece!
Bea Edwards 09/18/12
Simply enchanting! A tale I will share with my granddaughter.
lynn gipson 09/18/12
Writings like this tell it will be a loonnng time before I make to level 4! Excellently written (is that a word?) and such a wonderful, delightful story.

Loved it....

God Bless
Leola Ogle 09/18/12
Wow! I thought I was in the midst of a C.S. Lewis story. Superb! Loved it. God bless!
Noel Mitaxa 09/18/12
This is pulsating with timeless beauty and innocence. As others have noted, CS Lewis has someone moving into his neighbourhood. Loved it for its creativity.
Myrna Noyes09/19/12
The poetic descriptions would have given you away as author even if I wasn't following your brick-tossing link!! You truly have a wise and wonderful way with words!! :D As others have said, this tale is simply delightful!!
Francy Judge09/19/12
What a rich, delightful story to read! I loved the poetic voice, the characters, the atmosphere created, and the message. Everything. Excellent.
Myrna Noyes09/20/12
WOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOO, LOREN!!!! :D :D CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 2ND PLACE E.C. AND IN MASTERS!!!!!!!! I am not surprised at all for your wins, as this story was superbly crafted and had a wonderful message, too! WAY TO WRITE!!!! :) (And I agree that sometimes it is wise to eat dessert first!)
Beth LaBuff 09/20/12
I became totally immersed in your magical tale and am so pleased to see your creativity rewarded with an Editor's Choice award. The images you give your reader are exquisite!
Danielle King 09/20/12
WOW! It's all been said already. This is magical and so deserving of your win. Congratulations.
Margaret Kearley 09/20/12
You had me hooked right from the start with your wonderful descriptions! You painted such a beautiful picture that draws the reader right in. Wonderful writing. Thank you for this - as others have said, a touch of Narnia!
Karen Pourbabaee 09/20/12
Congratulaions...I'm still smiling as I read your tale once again:)
CD Swanson 09/20/12
Beautiful, poetic, and so happy for you. Congrats on your win and EC!

God Bless~
CD Swanson 09/20/12
Congrats on your EC!
God Bless~
Bea Edwards 09/20/12
Way to go Loren! Congratulations.
Theresa Santy 09/21/12
Oh, I loved this! And regarding:

"Disbelief became suspended in the aura of these new comrades."

Well, I think that says it all. Beautiful, enchanting story. Congratulations on your EC!
Leola Ogle 10/02/12
Congratulations Loren! Good job!