Mom lay listening to the looters shuffle by, wondering how she had ended up in a South American revolution 3,000 miles from home. None of it made any sense.
A version of this story, set in Bogotá, 1964, won the First Annual Palm Beach Country Short Story Contest in January, 2019. The entries needed to revolve around a lesson that illustrated integrity such as truth, justice, honesty, industry, or academic foundation. I hit of few of these.
About a week into the new year, Susie and I were playing when a clod of dirt came flying over the brick wall, narrowly missing Susie’s head. Hey!” I yelled. The wall was too high to see over. I jumped back as another clump of dirt soared into the air. I was getting mad now. “Ma, cosa fai?"
Susie has always had to share her day with New Year's Eve at the worn out tail end of the Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays. By then, the idea of giving more, and getting more, seems unnecessary.
It was like there was a spotlight on us on that sunny day, a spotlight and a megaphone blasting “Here are American children alone” all up and down the street. I waited for something to happen...
There stood a witch. A long horrible nose quivered in the middle of a face framed by stringy black hair. She opened her mouth, revealing a few yellow teeth and dark holes where other teeth should have been.
“So, you’re cheating,” Mom said, sitting back against her chair. She looked at me, tapping her fingers on the chair arms for what seemed like a very long time. Then, she folded her arms in front of her chest. I waited for the other shoe to drop.
The nomadic life of my youth taught me four things: 1) be at home where you are; 2) let go when it's time; 3) settle in fast; and 4) forget there's anywhere else to be. This cycle puts you right back at 1) being at home where you are.
Mom and Dad made their protocol farewell calls on the Ambassador and Mrs. Sparks and other senior diplomatic couples. They were fèted at our first “despedida,” a goodbye party routinely thrown by Embassy colleagues for departing friends; the “bienvenida” was the party counterpart to welcome new diplomats and their families into the Caracas Embassy.
on Venezuelan Independence Day, she set down in another letter about how the American Independence Day seemed to be done in Caracas. She was an outsider, sharing her observations with perhaps more enthusiasm than she could yet feel.