Photo by Lisa Guidarini
Letter From the Editor
The crisp air of fall has inspired many of the pieces in this second edition of the AAWG eZine. Perhaps it is because fall is a great time to go to the movie theater, that we bring you not one, but two screenplays. We introduce you to Gratitude month, happening in November, and give you the heads-up on Guillermo DelToro’s creepy new novel. An idyllic autumn afternoon sets the stage for a tense father-son relationship, and a woman leaves something behind, while chasing a dream. Last, but not least, because the colder part of the fall will bring about the end of summer’s ubiquitous garage sales, we thought we’d pay tribute. Enjoy!
By Sandra Mytys
Ext. CANADA OCTOBER 1955 – DUSK
Under a light snow French Canadian Trapper ARNAUD LAURET and his son JACOB (15), trudge eagerly towards the trapper shanty ahead. They carry their haul of furs.
There it is! A sight for sore eyes.
Hope there’s wood for a fire.
Left some last time I was here.
Maybe someone used it.
Trappers always leave enough wood for one
fire. Trapper etiquette you might call it.
Suddenly, a strange bright light sears the darkened sky. Startled, they look up to observe a cylindrical object with a bullet-like tip streaking across the sky. Jacob, dropping his pelts, runs forward.
Dad! What is it!
Never saw anything like it.
Looks like it’s headed towards Lake Anjikuni.
Arnaud stares at the now, empty sky. He starts forward leaning down to pick up his son’s discarded pelts.
(looking back at his dad)
What do you think it was?
Don’t know…don’t want to know. Let’s get to
the shanty, son. I’m wantin’ a fire real bad.
They continue to the shanty, with Jacob still staring at the dark, empty sky.
Ext. CANADA 1955 LATE NOVEMBER – EVENING
Humming a snappy tune, trapper JOE LA BELLE snowshoes steadily towards Lake Anjikuni Village. He carries a good haul of pelts. Squinting into the darkness, he sees the outline of roughly made houses but sees no light, no smoke coming from the chimneys. It is eerily silent. His jaunty pace slows. As he reaches the edge of the village, he stops, uneasy. He looks desperately for signs of life…but there are none.
(cupping his hands)
His voice echoes hollowly as he waits for an answer in the stillness.
(under his breath)
What the hell…
Shifting the pelts on his shoulder, he arranges his gun in a defensive position as he walks into town.
Passing darkened windows and empty streets he notes snow drifted against doors and rifles crusted with ice leaning abandoned next to them. Joe runs to a shanty sporting a colorful tin beer sign. Dropping the furs, he beats desperately on the door.
Martin! Edna! Open up! It’s Joe.
No answer. He hesitantly opens the door, his rifle at the ready.
The main room is empty. He lights the kerosene lamp on the table. Pots of food hang over cold ashes. Layers of fuzzy mold coats the meat. A book lies open on a cot, while a cup of coffee and partially mended sock lay on the table. There are no signs of struggle. He checks the bedroom. Nothing.
Joe backs uneasily out of the house.
EXT. CANADIAN VILLAGE:
Seeing the dog sleds drifted over with snow he begins calling the huskies.
Swifty, here boy! Odie! Pepper!
Joe whistles urgently – then he sees the chains wrapped around the tree and runs like a madman towards it.
He starts digging in the high drifts with his hands, until he comes to a lump of fur; the first dog. Digs again, and finds another and another; then stops. Sobs wrack his large frame – tears stain his face.
He heads down the street in a daze until there are no buildings.
The cross looms up in the lamp light. Making the sign of the cross, he tentatively takes a few steps forward holding the lamp in front of him. Light reflecting off the headstones blind him momentarily. But then he sees the unbelievable. Despite the frozen, snow covered ground, the graves are all open and empty.
Joe drops to his knees in despair and shock. Looking upward, his arms extended heavenward, his scream echoing through the deserted town.
Dear God in heaven! What happened here?
Seasons of Change
By Jennifer Yeakey
Aaahh, the smell of fall as it quickly approaches. Soon there will be beautiful shades of orange and reds along the roadside and the smell of burning leaves to fill the air. Decorations will festoon homes to make them appear welcoming, safe, comfy and cozy. The children will be getting ready for trick or treat soon and the excitement in their little faces as they say, “Mommy I want to be a ballerina for Halloween,” will fill the stores. These are just a few of my favorite things about this time of year. Sounds like a piece out of the Sound of Music, doesn’t it?
It is interesting how the seasons run so parallel with happenings in our life and with all the changes taking place. When I think of spring, I think of new blooms; a growth in a person’s life. For Summer, I think warmth; the softening of old hurts or loss. The softening of the heart, if you will. Into Fall, I think calm; a peace we hope to find. And in Winter, I think icy; how slippery situations in life can be at times. For me and so many others like me, Fall is also the time of year where we look back over the past months and reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. Did you know November is also known as gratitude month? It is, though the practice of gratitude is truly timeless and without season.
It was once said by a very dear friend of mine, all negatives have a positive, we just have to put the pain and anger aside to look for them. I have in the recent past been forced to make some very hard and painful decisions, which have led me to start my life over with my beautiful baby girl, who is now three hours away from her father and happy big brother. My daughter and her brother have a relationship like no other I have seen in children that little. From the time she was born, he would tell people “that’s my sister,” as to warn them they had better not harm her. This has been a very trying time of growth and challenge for me, accompanied by both calm and slippery conditions, but it has been a journey well worth the changing seasons. And I have been blessed enough to be allowed this wonderful experience. (See, there is positive number one!) The decision to move my daughter that far away from her other family was not an easy one, but I knew in my head, heart and stomach that it was a much needed move, as well as a healthy one for both of us. I have this theory that before making a major decision in life, you must first check to see if, a) you’re running from something and if you are, please remember that you always take you along for the ride wherever you go, and b) make sure your decision is in line with the following: the head, the heart and the gut intuition.
Let me explain. Where I moved from was a dying city and I had seen no room for growth there. It was beginning to eat me up inside and allowing me to feel hopeless and increasingly negative. I have always viewed myself as a positive person wanting to help other people become their very best, by guiding them to find the positive in whatever negative situation they were going through or have been through. Since I have moved to Illinois, there has been a sense of peace in my spirit in knowing that all is and will be taken care of. It will be here that I’m given an opportunity to grow and help others to do the same. (Positive number two!) I am very blessed to have met some wonderful people here who are willing to help me get where I want and need to be in life to feel complete. (Positive number three!) I was able to find three positives in that negative and painful experience. And in doing so, it has helped to inspire me to keep on keeping on and not lose sight of my dreams becoming a reality. It is when we give up that we then become defeated.
Maybe you were not thinking of reflecting over the past year or even considering taking the time to see all that we have to be grateful for today. But I highly encourage everyone to do this. Make it fun. Get a friend to share a daily gratitude list with you. Everyday, sit down and write at least five things you have to be grateful for, even if it’s just that bowl of ice cream you got to enjoy. (And hey, what’s stopping you from sharing that bowl of ice cream with your friend?) Whether it is the first thing in the morning or the last thing in the evening as a wrap up of your day, there is no right or wrong way to do a gratitude list. Just remember that no matter how little or silly the thing is you’re putting on your list, it’s yours, you own it! I think each of us has a lot to be very grateful for, don’t you? I promise no matter what you are going through good or bad, big or small, you will feel a sense of peace then situations will just be, in effect, what they are. They’ll just be.
Photo by Lisa Guidarini