"How can you forget something like that?"

Andrea Leahy

leahyIn high school, Andrea was the student of the writer Dan Saucedo, who invited her to be a member of his writers group after she earned her diploma.  From the hurly-burly, the endless vicissitudes of life, Andrea finds refuge in two places: her writing and her garden. She is currently enrolled at West Los Angeles College, intent on pursuing courses that will help her to nurture her ability as a writer.


 Passion for Life

(298 Words Without Title)

I was surprised when she said that she wanted another baby. She had a really hard time in her six pregnancies. Four or five times her heart was broken when the doctor told her that he couldn’t do anything for them. She miscarried earlier when she didn’t even know she was finally pregnant. I didn’t get it; so many hopes destroyed, pain and…another baby?

The little clothing that she would knit herself. The little shoes with big flowers, those hats to match. Because maybe this time it would be a girl. It was; she named this one Nathalie. Putting the little boxes away, along with a piece of her heart, was not enough. How can you forget something like that?

Efforts to get the room ready for this new baby, new illusion. We put new colors on the walls, brought in new furniture and a new set of shoes with hats similar to the ones before. Everything needed is new. That was for Nathalie. She doesn’t want old things or is afraid that what happened before would carry on bad luck to this new light of hope. Besides, “Sofia deserves everything specially designed and made for her.” She would say that every time.

Not only that, it’s her health, too. Every pregnancy, she stays in bed most of the time, knowing that the baby has little chance to make it through the nine months. Little chance to make it through labor, and a good percentage of babies would inherit her imperfections. What kind of life is that? I don’t think she notices, or she tries to block it out. Despite all she has been through, I can see in her eyes the joy this new decision gives her. “Life has been good to me,” she will often say.

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - "Passion for Life"

 

"What if no one ever finds me? Will I die?"

Ever Bonilla

Currently enrolled at West Los Angeles College, Ever enjoys working with computers and looks forward to an exciting, productive future in which he can put his analytical and writing skills to good use.

 

 


Despair

(297 Words Without Title)

It is pitch black, and I can only hear the familiar noise of the door handle jiggling.  I scream as loudly as I can to get a response, but I never get one.

“How did I get in here…?” I whisper. I slightly recall being chased by something to this room.

“So I locked myself in here, huh?” I ask myself.  The room is cramped, and I don’t have enough space to kick the door down.

“What if no one ever finds me? Will I die?” I ask. Panic starts to set in, and I feel cold sweat trickling all over me.  In a flurry, I feel around the room for anything to smash the door open, but I find nothing.

Despair takes a hold of me as I start to convulse, but then I remember a little guidance from my teacher.

“Calm down, take deep breaths, and you’ll tackle any situation that comes your way.”  With a glimmer of hope backing me up, I take deep breaths and meditate.

“Okay, let’s check the handle again, shall we?” I say.  I slowly feel around the handle for a switch, button or anything. I notice the door requires a key to open.

“Let’s check the ground then,” I remark.  I feel around with my hands, only sensing dust and dirt.

“What’s this?” I feel something cold and metallic. “It’s probably the key.”  I grab it and return to the door, put the key in.  I take a deep breath, turn the key, and open the door.  My eyes are blinded by a searing light, and my view adjusts to a pair of persons.

“So did my tips help?”

“Yes, they did, Sir!” I say.

Training to be pararescue sure is tough.

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - Despair

 

"… she imagined herself on a large vessel drifting away across the rolling blue Atlantic."

Pauline Cahill

cahill

Pauline Cahill was born and raised in the Republic of Ireland. She lived in London for a number of years before relocating to California for a new challenge in her life. A very adventurous person, Pauline has a passion for travel, and she has visited numerous interesting places around the globe.  Pauline earned a Gemologist Diploma at the Gemological Institute of America, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts and Science in June 2011.  She hopes to transfer to Cal State Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration.


Bridget's Travels

(298 Words Without Title)

 

From her earliest memories Bridget O’ Mara had always wanted to see the world. As she would help her father pick potatoes from the ground in the freezing autumn weather, she would think of a better life in the future. She hated farm life and having to stay at home from school to pick potatoes.

The rolling hills above the field where she worked on the family’s remote farm in County Clare, Ireland, from early morning until dark night, reminded her of the Blue Ridge Mountains from The Waltons. When she had time on Sundays after church she would walk to the nearby majestic Cliffs of Mohar. The cliffs rose out of the Atlantic Ocean, and she imagined herself on a large vessel drifting away across the rolling blue Atlantic. Bridget’s favorite author was Hans Christen Anderson. She imagined herself in Denmark, touching the Little Mermaid sculpture on Copenhagen’s waterfront. She saw pictures of Paris in a French Café when she passed it on her way to school, and she longed to be on the top of the Eiffel Tower looking down on the dimly lit streets below. Her favorite book, The Diary of Anne Frank, urged her to visit the Netherlands where the original diary was on display. At night she would go out and look at the sky and see all the stars and think about the Van Gogh poster, “Starry Night,” in her dentist’s office. Bridget wanted to go to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Bridget wanted to go anywhere to escape the bleak life of the family farm.

As if awakening from a dream, Bridget suddenly heard the chimes of Big Ben; she was standing under the famed clock with her suitcase in hand, and she knew that her dreams were coming true.

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - Bridget's Travels

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