Ann Lilly and Norm Levy
Ann Lilly has lived her entire life in the South. In 2001 she moved from Lexington, Kentucky to Hilton Head with her husband and two daughters following a career in accounting. She’s been an active Realtor on the island since 2004. Ann has been writing for many years and recently published her first children’s book, Scoot’s New Home, an illustrated story about a little boat living on Hilton Head. Several of her stories are in IWN’s Time & Tide and Ebb & Flow.
THE RED CLAY ROAD
The big green convertible drives off, getting smaller and smaller as it moves away. I look over at Tom and notice his dark curly hair has grown shaggy and his clothes are hanging loose on his lean frame. He looks so much older than he did when we left Kentucky five weeks ago, but he’s still only fourteen. What’s he thinking? Did he have any idea the places we’d see when he talked me into taking off with him? Tom used to be my brother’s friend but he’s my friend now, my best friend, and he won’t ever say it, but I know I’m his best friend, too.
I’ve changed, too. My jeans are bunched up where I’ve tightened my belt, and my ribs are showing through my striped t-shirt. Running a hand over my head, I feel hair instead of the usual soft blond stubble. I’ve always wanted to let my buzz cut grow out, but my dad would never allow it. He tells everybody what to do, including my mom, and nobody ever crosses him. I’ve crossed him in a big way by taking off, and he’s probably royally pissed. I don’t care; it’ll be worth whatever punishment is waiting when I get home.
The sky’s bright blue with a few stray puffs of white that might turn into thunder boomers later in the day. It’s gonna be a real scorcher. We’re on a two-lane road somewhere in Georgia, and we haven’t seen a soul since we got out of the car.
“Tom, you think we’re goin’ the right way? This is no-man’s land.”
“Yeah, I checked the map.”
We keep walking.
“You sure about that?”
“Yeah, Pat, we’re just a few miles from a big highway. We’ll catch a ride there.”
“I don’t know, Tom”
“Just trust me, OK?”
Hours pass walking in the blistering heat, and it looks like we’ll never find that big highway or catch a ride. There’s no shade, and we haven’t got any water. Waves of heat rise up off the pavement, blurring the road, forming mirage puddles in the distance. The air’s so thick and heavy, it nearly takes my breath. I’m hot, tired, and terribly thirsty. God, I wish we’d thought about bringing something to drink.
Somehow we end up on a remote back road where the pavement changes from concrete to asphalt to gravel and, finally, to red Georgia clay. We are so lost.
“The Red Clay Road,” © Ann Lilly (2015), from Time & Tide
Norm Levy had a long career in advertising that taught him the value of compressed communication leavened with a smidgen of humor. He is the published author of Rhymes for Our Times, a book of rhymed riffs on real news headlines calculated to amuse and to occasionally instruct. He is also a published blues and country western song writer, active on social media, and a proud contributor to the all Island Writer’s Network anthologies. www.rhymes4ourtimes.com
FASHION NEWS – REAL HEADLINES – WELL-VERSED
AT 57, BARBIE GETS A NEW BODY.
COMES IN TALL, CURVY AND PETITE
Associated Press: Barbie, the iconic plastic doll, whose small waist and long legs have been criticized for creating unrealistic expectations for girls, will soon be sold with three new bodies – curvy, tall and petite.
In the REAL world, one can only gripe,
That they CAN’T change their body type.
REVENGE OF THE ANTI-HANDBAG (BIG LOGOS ARE OUT)
The Wall Street Journal: They’re not flashy or hyped. No one is begging celebrities to lug them about. But these discreetly chic carry-alls—from Mansur Gavriel, the Row, A.P.C. and more—are quietly wooing women in the know.
If it flaunts a huge logo, don’t flag it.
If it hypes a designer, just BAG IT.
“FASHION NEWS – REAL HEADLINES – WELL-VERSED” © Norm Levy (2017), from Ebb & Flow.