Attempt

July 28, 2014

She traced her finger along the base of my scalp, right above the nape of my neck. I flinched. She said nothing, but the wordless condemnation blared out loud and clear in my head. 

I should have known I couldn’t part my hair in a straight line. What was I thinking, putting my hair in pigtails? 

My mother’s icy finger, still pointing and jeering at my pounding head, underlined the truth I already knew. 

My pigtail attempt, like so many other efforts in my life, was a failure.

Mini-Me Monday: The King of Cheese

This one was written ten years ago, way back in middle school! I think Mini Maria was a little cheesy… 😉

The King of Cheese by Maria Ferguson

This is a story about the King of Cheese. That’s why it is entitled “The King of Cheese.”  If it wasn’t about the King of Cheese, I might have called it “Unicorn Pastures” or “A Day at School.”  However, this story is about a king, a mouse, who rules over cheese (quite literally, in fact).

Continue reading

Aching for you

For a headache, aspirin

For a muscle ache, ibuprofen 

For an ear ache, antibiotic

For a stomach ache, Tums

For a heartache…what?

I know one thing for sure:

I feel the pain like a cut.

And I can’t get the cure:

It’s miles away. 

When push comes to shove,

The ache’s here to stay.

Oh, my dear love,

The cure’s simple to find,

Just not to do. 

It’s clear in my mind:

I just need you. 

Psychosis

A swirl of smoke paints its way to the heavens. Hate, contempt, anger, and despondency weave their strands.

Gray gives way to a multihued masterpiece: poison green and fevered pink, sickly orange and despairing blue, a psychosis that pulses with the beat of the bass.

The ephemeral tapestry blisters, shudders, and gives way to the breeze, dissipating, leaving only the rank stench of pollution in its wake.

Mini-Me Monday: The Bank

Back in the day, I was an equestrian. Near the end of my horseback riding career, I experimented briefly with eventing. If I had the time, I’d love to explore riding cross country more, but for now, the memories will have to suffice.

Written circa 2007, this was my go-to “describe an obstacle you’ve overcome” or fear-conquering story.


Eventing.  What a nondescript word.  Maybe it hints of competition; but what kind of competition?  A sport?  What sport?  Let me solve the mystery for you: eventing is a type of horseback riding that includes three different events: stadium, dressage, and cross country.  I recently began eventing at a new barn and learned the different types of riding in eventing.  Stadium consists of jumps set up in an arena; I have done stadium for about three years.  Dressage is complex flatwork (no jumping), so I know the basics for dressage.  However, I had never done cross country, which incorporates riding over many natural jumps like logs and banks.  Cross country is by far the most thrilling—and frightening—event. Continue reading

Mini-Me Monday: True Commander

The assignment: write a story that somehow incorporates the fall of Rome.

It could have been a couple of pages long. I certainly don’t think it was intended to be longer than three or maybe four. I gave my teacher seven single-spaced pages. Eight, if you include the (not required) cover page. I dunno why, but I took the prompt and ran with it. I toyed with the idea of developing it into a book or writing a sequel story, but it never happened. Feast your eyes upon the historical fiction of junior high school Maria!

Note: I fought off my urge to edit, so it’s basically untouched since 7-8 years ago. Do let me know what you think of it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I have several critiques for junior high Maria, but I’m going to hold off for now so I can hear what you think first.

True Commander cover photo

Without bothering to remove his mud-smudged armor, Claudius stormed angrily into his tent and threw himself upon his cot.  What had Aurelian been thinking?  Aurelian, the leader and general of the rebel Roman army, had once again lost a battle against Rome due to his arrogance.  How had it happened?  Why had Aurelian let it happen? Claudius asked himself heatedly.  But he knew perfectly well how and why they had been defeated.

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Mini-Me Monday: The Ghost Ship

Written in 5th/6th grade, this fictional short story is a chilling tale of  unashamed info-dumps, family dynamic stereotypes, and predictable…holy mother of  Martin THAT’s the ending?!

The assignment was to write a scary story, I believe. Hyperdetailed prologue notwithstanding, there was no part of the prompt  that required us to name every single one of our extraneous secondary characters.


THE GHOST SHIP

Prologue

Pete was the sixth child in a family of seven children. The three oldest kids, Matthew, Rob, and Katie were in high school and they were much too proud of it. They were very arrogant, and they would often pick on their younger siblings. The only one of his siblings that was actually nice to him was the fourth child in the family, Mark. His younger brother Teddy looked up to him, and Mary, the fifth child in the family, was completely indifferent to his existence. They would all often make fun of him.

***

Pete had an odd birthmark on the back of his left hand. It was pale and it almost seemed to shimmer at night, but in the morning, he was hardly able to see it. Sometimes it would seem large and perfectly round, sometimes it would seem rather thin and curved, and sometimes, even late at night, he wouldn’t be able to see it at all. His older brothers teased him about it a lot, and he felt very resentful towards them. Continue reading

A day on the whitewater

The target was painted on my back halfway through the van ride to the river. Not, you know, once we got on the boat or anything. Nope. The teasing started IN THE FRIGGIN VAN.

Apparently, I was asking too many questions. How was I supposed to know there was a limit to the number of questions I could ask?? I reached it before we even made it to the water.

How big of a step up is Class IV whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork of the American river compared to Class III on the Truckee?

What’s the best river for exciting rafting?

This bridge is really the tallest in California? Do they allow bungee jumping off of it?

I was so excited! I couldn’t help it! When our soon-to-be rafting guide Jeff told me I’d reached my question quota for the day, I was crushed. Well, for about a minute.

Pssst, Sarah, ask him how long it takes to become a rafting guide!

Am I really asking too many questions?

Are we there yet? Continue reading

If I had tears to shed

If I had tears to shed for you,
I’d weep until the puddle soaked my feet.
Kneeling, I’d spread their moisture across the floor
And they’d freeze to twisted stamps of sorrow.

But as I stood, gnarled fingers outstretched
Toward your miserable form,
My shuffling feet would shatter the ice
Into a million jagged fragments,

And when I turned away in horror
The shards would fly as daggers,
And shred your tortured body and soul,
Till naught remained but an icy pool of crimson gore.

Palsied hands trembling, pressed tight against my thudding eyes,
I’d leave you, unaware of the destruction I’d wrought
But for the shuddering of my shoulders
And a stomach-churning scent of salt and iron in the air.

If I had tears to shed.