Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: Grandmothers

The WiRE Part I

Here on Roo’s Island, beneath the rot-rusted trolley bridge (unstable, but no one had actually plunged to their death in years); here at the calm elbow bend of turned benches in Rock Park, Jordan could bear life as it was, in the Now.

Her Agency shift just finished; sorting the castoff crapfeed of the rich, separating Styrofoam from oily bits of foiling and whathaveyous.  This place was her reward, her retreat, her parkit.

Although The Big Thing had laid waste to millions of people and many species of wild animals, plus many rabbles of butterflies – the heartbreak of that lay heavy – they thanked the Creator for honeybees whose hives still functioned, for bats that survived. There was still the shabblestone lane, a hazard… once smooth red brick, now jagged, tearing at her tragictrashed sneaks. Her shoes were sturdy and loyal, but they were also more duct tape than canvas.

Jordan could bear it here, imagine a bluebird perched on the blind light pole, part of the lost heaven her Gram described for her daily, like a multi-faceted mantra. “Oh, the meadow,” Tilly would sigh, her delicate parchment hands navigating tea from pot to cup. “It was all so green, until the Powers got fractious and on a flashnight, there was a lion’s roar… but what do you know of lions?” Tears in her eyes.

“Jordan,” she continued, “you are the keeper of those days. Are you making accounts?” The granddaughter nodded. “Good. This – how do you always say it – this ‘crassdoggish’ world will need to know how things were before the Agency, before the quadrants, and most of all, before the WiRE. Promise me you’ll never tap into it, Jaybird.”

“Tilly, you’re my grandma, and you raised me well. I’ll be a Throwback ‘til I die. I’ll stay freeclear and keep peace.” Her grandmother poured more tea in a silent prayer of thanks.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

I have been toying with the idea of this story for a long while, as I ponder our dangerous future and watch kids all but implant cell phones into their brains. The loss of peace has been weighing on me. Then Brenda’s Sunday Whirl Wordle gave me bits and pieces that seemed to string together with a common rhythm to give me that hardest part – an actual beginning. Thanks, Brenda, for the feast of words!

This also appears “in the margins” at Poets United and at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads’ Open Link Monday, where I am the second-newest toad in the whole danged place. Congrats to LaTonya for joining us; Mary had to bid us adieu because she has so much to accomplish. Mary will be missed, and we will look forward to what LaTonya is up to! Peace, Amy