The following stories were written during the August 17th “Life Elements” workshop at the Greenbelt Om Yoga Studio. They are the result of the “Write a Story” Air Mission. Each participant chose a set of a random name, object and location and created a story on those words. They were kind enough to allow them to be published here. Any ideas or writing generated from these stories belongs to their original authors. Please note that these terrific short stories were written right during the workshop and so are born of the creative yet reasoned impulse so prevalent in the Air Element. My thanks to all of you for allowing me to publish them here.
Name: Lai Ling
Object: Tiffany Lamp
Lai Ling, a 17-year-old girl from Milwaukee was traveling with her adoptive parents through the “Holy Lands.” While in Jerusalem, she separated from her parents and the rest of the tour and found herself wandering down the old, narrow stone lanes – trying to find her way back to the group. The streets were becoming more deserted and she was becoming a bit frightened. Ahead, she noticed a storefront with a beautiful Tiffany stained glass window. How odd she thought and found some comfort in the glass window. She entered the store and it was filled with stained glass items, Tiffany lamps, and some old farmhouse furniture. She forgot for a moment that she was in a strange land where she did not know anyone, the language, or the way around, and felt at home basking in the many colors and warm wood around her.
Object: Baseball bat
Location: Mt. Rushmore
Susanna was an eight-year-old girl who loved sports, especially baseball. She played on an all girls team in her hometown. She lived in a small town in the heart of Minnesota farming country. She dreamed of making a home run someday, which is something she has never been able to do. One day her team was set to play against a rival town’s team and the stakes were high. The winning team would get to go on a trip to Mt. Rushmore with the Mayor and his [unusual] family. (They were very musical and liked to sing a lot.). The game was tied and they were in the 9th inning. Her time to bat was up. Her palms were sweaty, she could taste the dust in her mouth, and her stomach was very jumpy. She picked up her bat, hit it once on each foot, walked over and positioned herself. She looked straight in the eye of the pitcher as she raised her bat. The ball came straight at her. She knew it all depended on her. She swung. Crack, the ball went flying. HOME RUN! Mt. Rushmore is another story!
Object: Chess set
Location: El Camino Real Hotel
Winston wore a white t-shirt and Levi’s every day, and smoked Winston’s. He had to, didn’t he? His teeth were the same yellowed color as the old ivory pieces of the chess set he used to play with the front desk clerk at the El Camino Real Hotel. He came every day around 4:00, after his shift ended out at the oil refinery south of El Paso, and played a game of chess and drank whiskey and water. George, the desk clerk, looked forward to 4:00 every day. One day at 4:03, Winston finished setting up the pieces on the board, and found hat the black bishop was missing. He couldn’t understand it. George shrugged it off and pulled out a quarter to stand in. Winston gave George a disgusted look, turned on his heel and walked out the hotel’s front door George never saw Winston again.
Name: Lai Ling
Object: Tiffany Lamp
Lai Ling was a young, inspiring woman living in China. She wanted to work and study and have a life very different form her other family members. She felt that the only to have this life and follow her dreams was to leave her home. But where to go?
Lai Ling’s most precious possession was her Tiffany lamp. It was a gif from her grandmother who once traveled to the former Soviet Union as an au pair for a Chinese diplomat. The Tiffany lamp stood carefully and proudly on Lai Ling’s table next to her bed.
Lai Ling once saw a photograph of the Chagall windows in Jerusalem, the colors and the artistry reminded her of her beloved tiffany lamp. Jerusalem, maybe that was the destiny for Lai Ling and her tiffany amp.
Who would have guessed that Lai Ling’s Tiffany lamp would lead her to the most unexpected, perfect destination? Three months after she arrived she sat in the chapel gazing at the windows clutching her lamp thinking of her new job beginning the next day.