Emma had been waiting for this, her first Pearl Jam concert, with the anticipation she used to have for Christmas mornings—with the innocent expectation of pleasure, and a greedy desire to fill her senses to capacity. As if in collusion with her wish, Mother Nature contributed with eye candy: leafless tree silhouettes against a cobalt

Ella’s Dancing Dilemma (part 6)

Our dance class went out for pizza afterwards. Betty wouldn’t stop talking about the ballet. Her enthusiasm helped me forget my dancing blunders, and during the ride home, I promised to teach her everything I had learned in class. As I drifted off to sleep that night, having placed my ballet slippers in their proper

Ella’s Dancing Dilemma (part 5)

Half way through the show, my worst fear came true. I forgot my next move! I was pirouetting right instead of pirouetting left with everyone else! Near panic, I looked off stage, hoping to catch my teacher’s eye, but her attention was on someone else. Then I saw Betty. She was doing her version of

Ella’s Dancing Dilemma (part 4)

Dad pulled into the school parking lot just as mom finished sewing on the last strap. I ran inside to get dressed and warm up with the rest of my class. I hoped no one would notice my mended slipper. The red thread didn’t exactly match the pink satin. Two minutes before the music started,

Ella’s Dancing Dilemma (part 3)

Three steps later I was opening the drawer. “I need these,” I said. “I wanna dance too!” Betty declared, reaching for the slippers at the same time. RRRRIIIIPPPP!!!! Horrified, I stared at Betty, who stared at me with big blue eyes. My strapless ballet slipper lay on the floor between us. “Oh no,” I groaned,

Ella’s Dancing Dilemma (part 2)

I asked my younger brother J.J. if he’d seen them. “Not since last night when you and Betty were twirling all around the living room,” he said, gluing another piece onto his model Viking ship. “Thanks,” I said and went to search the living room. Nothing there, except some cat toys we thought had been

Love Potion Number Nine (part 18)

*** I open White Magic Love Potions by Prunella R. Brown tentatively. A tasseled bookmark with five orange tabby kittens marks Love Potion Number Nine. Above the chapter’s title is written, “I cast a wish out to the universe, with all good intentions, and it came back to me as you, Linda. I’ll always believe

Love Potion Number Nine (part 16)

She looked so beautiful. And I felt so ashamed and confused for thinking that. “I don’t know,” I whispered, “leave me alone.” I pushed past her, got my keys and purse and didn’t answer when she asked where I was going. I had no idea, but knew I couldn’t stay. I ended up at a