Heavensent~~by Christine Larsen

Without missing a beat,

gliding the thermals,

ONE most special winged soul

looking no different from the rest.

From a vast distance

DROPPED from the sky.

Getting bigger and bigger as she came to Earth,

when happenstanced the body of an angel

grew between her giant wings.

A great sigh echoed through the land.

HOPE was reborn in despairing hearts

that the world would live on,

after all.

Truly, it has been little more than a year of fear, suffering, loss and grief the Covid pandemic cursed humanity with… but to those worst affected, it must seem a lifetime. Many will see their loved ones again sometime in the future; some will not see theirs again, ever.

So much has changed about Life as any of us knew it. So much will never return to the status quo of our yesterdays… and for this, many despair. Many more grieve for all they once had, when too many of us took our good times for granted. There is much fear for the next and future generations amongst those who have lived history’s toughest moments… and survived. Many of those survivors believe younger folk have not experienced near enough hardship to develop the inner strength required; and many are correct.

But, will it require the same courage and tenacity as in the past? Will there be more of these attributes required this time around? Or less? There are so many support systems in place these days that were non-existent throughout previous hardships and in times of greatest need.

Perhaps a whole new flavour of communal understanding and empathy, respect and caring could approach, now the rich, the powerful and the famous have all been levelled to the same playing ground as the poorest and saddest humans. That’s the one thing about this disease — as in other pandemics that have swept our great globe — it bears no respect for any human strengths… or frailties, choosing its victims willy-nilly. Those who succumb are all as one in the eyes of this mass murderer.

Perhaps the despairing hearts will indeed turn as one to something greater than humankind to ‘deliver them from evil’.

Hope springs eternal. Fortunately, this optimism has been the basis of the human condition since time immemorial; and always will be.

Perhaps… after all.


OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.

Christine contributed A Bonny Wee Lassie to the One Million Project: Fiction anthology.

To find out more about Christine and her work:

ceedee moodling  (Christine’s website)

Christine Larsen, Author

 – on Wattpad

–  on Facebook

– on Tablo

– on Amazon

Old McLarsen had some Farms (farming memoirs)

ceedee4kids (Christine’s children’s book site)


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Hope – Against the Odds~~by Christine Larsen

An angel shelters a city. A text caption reads: "A great sigh echoed through the land. HOPE was reborn in despairing hearts that the world would live on, after all."

The odds WERE formidable.

A US Air Corps fighter pilot who found himself in a German prisoner of war camp after his plane was shot down. He survived that disaster, but wasn’t too sure about his current ‘home’. Despite this, he refused to let the probabilities stop him from making the best he could of every moment he would have.

Boredom threatened his sanity, until a light bulb moment illuminated a memory of a gift of an old ‘fiddle’, with the words, “It’s yours, Red. Maybe you can make music with it.” And thanks to that other life and long-lost place, he’d become a musician… a violinist with an intimate knowledge of violins and their magical workings. Getting one now was an impossibility but he had been carving many small things, so… ?

His first move was a common tactic in these harsh conditions – barter, swap,or trade. For tobacco rations, some sympathetic guards desperate for Amerikanische Zigaretten, traded a pen-knife. From his upbringing on a farm during the Great Depression, and his resourceful father he got determination, remembering, “You can make something out of nothing, Son. All you’ve got to do is find a way… and there always is one.”

When other POWs learned of his quest to carve a violin, they began slipping odd bed slats from their already barely underpinned and supported bunks. And he began whittling and carving. Some parts required a sharp piece of broken glass, others an old kitchen knife, ground on a rock to form into a chisel. All took time… a great deal of time. And patience. And stealth.

Glue presented another problem until he solved that one too, with others pitching in to help scrape old dried carpenters’ glue residue from a few chairs in their wretched barracks. Ground and heated and mixed with water, it worked. Soaking of other thinnest of timber pieces in water heated on their communal wood-stove enabled intricate manipulation and bending of the pieces.

It took three months to make the body, but time was one thing the prisoners had aplenty. Eternally grateful he chose not to be a smoker, care-packages provided him and several other non-smoking prisoners with many cigarettes to barter – for pumice for sanding and paraffin oil to bring out the golden glow of the beech wood, the now unrecognisable bunk slats. A sympathetic guard found him catgut for the strings and a real violin bow was like a gift from the Gods.

All was done… but would it play? To his joy, the pilot and his violin produced the pure poignant sounds of that wonderful instrument, as though this one had volumes to say. Although he was banished to the latrine for his earliest practices, he soon regained his old skills. And caused singing and dancing and some relief for aching hearts and bodies.

One Christmas Eve, the pilot played Silent Night, and voices were heard from other barracks, singing that beloved old carol in different languages. Amongst them, German was heard… from the guards. So many of them were ordinary family men far from their homes and their loved ones, too. Somewhere in the shadows, it was said, an elderly guard [maybe the donor of the bow?] stood and sang quietly. And cried softly.

Among the countless tributes, a particularly precious one was 50 years after WWII, when the pilot donated his violin to a special museum aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid, honouring the men and their memorabilia. At the opening, the concertmaster of the NY Philharmonic orchestra played this precious instrument and commented it was ‘an amazing achievement’ with a ‘quite wonderful sound’, when he had actually expected ‘a jalopy of a violin’.

Not really. More like a gift from God, was the thought the pilot had at that precious moment, later shared with his family.

Winning ‘against the odds’ does not always bear the shape we imagined, not always the wish we made. Bizarre how often the worst imaginable outcomes of illness and loss reveal unimagined ‘silver linings’, so often ending in unexpected strength and empathy, and a new or renewed determination to help and support others.


OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.

Christine contributed A Bonny Wee Lassie to the One Million Project: Fiction anthology.

To find out more about Christine and her work:

ceedee moodling  (Christine’s website)

Christine Larsen, Author

 – on Wattpad

–  on Facebook

– on Tablo

– on Amazon

Old McLarsen had some Farms (farming memoirs)

ceedee4kids (Christine’s children’s book site)


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Sticker Pride~~by John Nedwill

Yesterday I had my second vaccination dose against the SARS-CoV-2 virus – or what is more commonly known as Covid-19. The vaccination itself was a pleasant enough experience – our local vaccination centre is in a sports facility – and it only took half an hour, including the fifteen minute wait. I went home and back to work with only a sore arm and a sticker as mementoes of my visit.

Today is a different matter. After I had my first vaccine shot, I experienced side effects: headache, shivering and lethargy; so, I suspected that I was going to feel somewhat the same after this one. And, less than twenty-four hours on from my appointment yesterday, I can report that I am indeed suffering from the post-vaccination blurgh, and it feels like it is settling in for the weekend.

Looking on the bright side, I am more than happy to have been vaccinated. In fact, I’ve been actively looking forward to getting both shots. There are a number of personal benefits. For a start, there is the protection that being vaccinated gives me against infection – and against passing on the infection to others. Yes, I will still have to wear masks in public places for a while (Maybe until next year. Who knows?), but I feel that I can now go places and see people. While my holiday to Japan that I booked in 2019 (Ancient history, that!) may not take place this year, I can at least go back to Ireland and visit my family there – family who I have not seen in eighteen months.

Then there is the benefit to others. Vaccination has been successful in suppressing diseases that were once considered deadly. I’m old enough to have been vaccinated against whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, polio … In fact, I have quite a list of vaccines in my medical records. All of these diseases were common when I was born (I’m 52 this year – work it out for yourself.). Indeed, the year after I was born, a measles epidemic was killing children in Belfast, and two years after that I came through pertussis unscathed. My mother is proud of the scar from her smallpox vaccination, and I can still show you my tuberculosis jab. They’re the reasons why younger people don’t have to worry about these diseases any more.

Currently something like 75% of adults in the UK have received at least one course of vaccine, with just under 50% having received both. So, the likelihood is that anyone reading this will have been vaccinated. However, for those of you who are still waiting or who are feeling some concern – don’t worry. When it comes to your turn, go and get vaccinated. And wear your sticker with pride. You’ve done your bit to make the world a little bit safer.


OMP Admin Note:  John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger.  His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology