Your Face Will Freeze That Way (Penny Rader)

I took this picture two summers ago when I was visiting my baby sister, Anna, in Colorado. She was participating in The Children's Hospital Courage Classic bike ride in memory of my granddaughter, Lexi. The Children's Hospital Courage Classic invades Copper Mountain and Leadville for three days, along 157 miles of mountain routes. We stayed in a cozy little house in Frisco. On our way back to Aurora we visited a few towns. I think I took this pic in Dillon, CO.

Did anyone ever tell you that if you crossed your eyes your face would freeze that way?

Yeah? Me too. Only my face is frozen this way because I fell in love with Carlotta. It wasn’t her fault though. It was her grandmother. Her grandmother wanted to marry my grandfather, but he chose another. She never forgave him.

One year ago tomorrow, after Carlotta told her family we were going to marry, her grandmother lured me out to their yard. I thought she was going to give us her blessing. Instead, she cast a spell on me and turned me into a tree. And, well, you can see the expression that froze on my face.

Carlotta doesn’t even know I’m me. I mean she sees me as a tree, but she thinks me, the person, Marcus, abandoned her. She sits beside me nearly every day. Sometimes she cries. Other times she leans against me, her silent grief almost more than I can bear. I watch over her the best I can, shielding her from the sun, the rain, the snow. I bend with the wind to keep her safe, to offer comfort. If only I could wrap myself around her and give her a hug.

Every time she weeps I sprout more leaves. Maybe if she wrapped her arms around me and kissed me…yeah, I know that’s fairy tale stuff.

I don’t know how to break the spell. Several months ago Carlotta’s grandmother had a stroke. She’s stuck in bed, all withered and mute, staring into space. Guess you could say her face is frozen, too.

What goes around comes around.

13 comments:

Reese Mobley said...

Gotta love that karma! Thanks for a great short! And love the pix.

Roxann Delaney said...

ha HA! Great, Penny!

Leadville: Home of the Unsinkable Molly Brown. ;)

Joanie said...

Love this! I've written a lot of stories based on one picture or one line--especially flash fiction. This is a great one!

Penny Rader said...

Thanks, Reese. Karma can be a bee-ach (is that how you spell it?), can't she?

Penny Rader said...

I had forgotten that, Rox. I loved the movie they made eons ago about her. Debbie Reynolds was just perfect in that role.

Penny Rader said...

Thanks for visiting, Joanie. I've heard of fan fiction. What is flash fiction?

Tanya Hanson said...

Love the pic and the post. Good one, Penny.

Penny Rader said...

Thanks for dropping by, Tanya! It's always good to "see" you. :D

Becky A said...

Great little story Penny. You have a great imagination. All I saw was a cool looking tree. Maybe when the old broad dies, the spell will be broken????

Cheryl said...

Loved it, Penny! I really enjoy writing from picture prompts--it's always fun to see what you come up with, isn't it? GREAT PICTURE!
Cheryl

Elaine Morrison said...

Penny - really enjoyed the story! Great creativity!

Calisa said...

Great short Penny! I've never done that, heck, never even considered the option until this. Love it. Thanks.

Sharon N said...

Check to see if my picture appears.
-S