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 Category:  Children Fiction
  Posted: December 29, 2019      Views: 93

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 ABOUT
LOREN 

"Men have forgotten this truth" said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

"The Little Prince" by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

"My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and - more...

He is a top ranked author at the #91 position.

He is an accomplished novelist and is currently at the #35 spot on the rankings.

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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Belief is a matter of the heart.
"Once in a Blue Moon" by Loren



South of the moon and north of trodden paths, Shelter Beach lies as a white lagoon of sand, quieted by pewter hued hills to its east and the Pacific Ocean to its west.

Legend has it that these rolling hills along Oregon's northern coast were formed by a glacier sea.

The earth beneath those frozen waters were ground and finally gentled into sand that would at last become wind-swept knolls as the ice retreated northward into Canada and beyond.

Glaciers, cowered not by climate, but by God's plan for a greater purpose of the dunes.

Every year, two weeks before Christmas, I return here alone to a family vacation cabin that sits just off the ocean's shoreline.

It is here where I spent most of my childhood summers. It is a place, where memories linger like the sticky substance of honey. Some, half-remembered, but still able to make you hunger for their return.

From my back deck, lulled by rolling waves, I looked out upon those hills through a flurry of icy mist . Earlier today I'd read there was to be Blue Moon this Christmas Eve night.

Such phenomenon promised fleeting moments of magic; and so, in hopeful anticipation I donned a pair of binoculars and peered into the darkening landscape beyond my deck.

A rising full moon shimmered behind the frost encrusted sea grass crowning the dunes, their fronds proudly silhouetted against a paled landscape of muffling sand.

Soon, I spied a speck of light bobbing and trekking its way across the wide expanse of deserted beach. It looked as if it were coming from a small gully formed between the ridges of two darkened dunes. Curious, I adjusted my binoculars and blinked several times to clear my head.

Peering once again into the binoculars I couldn't believe what I was seeing, for there was not one or two, but three tiny animals trudging along in the sand. Standing erect, none wore shoes, but each was dressed in a particular fashionable style.

The first - the one carrying a lighted torch - was a badger wearing a green checkered vest. Behind him, a rabbit with a scarlet muffler; and finally, a sorrel pelted beaver with gold-rimmed pin-nez.

Dropping my binoculars, I dashed from my deck onto the otherwise deserted beach. I momentarily lost them as a fog bank rolled in off the sea. I froze, looking around through the moon-lit mist.

What happened next is hard to explain. The fog lifted and I happened upon them gathered around a roaring fire. The fire was fitted into a hollow dug into the sand and filled with driftwood that popped and spit from the salt and moisture hidden in its core.

Coming into the circle of flames, the three looked up at me in unison; neither surprise nor fear seemed to distort their wonderful and friendly features.

"Welcome, good fellow," the badger greeted me with a smile. "Join us, please."

Moving to sit with them, I noticed another miraculous thing. Looking down I was now barefoot; and my feet - were smaller. I stretched out my hands and was startled to find they were the hands of my youth. I felt my face; and there was no stubble of beard, only the soft skin of childhood.

Without ceremony, the rabbit handed me a stick skewered with marshmallows on the end. "S'mores," he explained, winking. "Simon has the graham crackers and chocolate." He gestured toward the somewhat rotund beaver who was grinning sheepishly with the afore mentioned food caught in his whiskers.

"My name is Petra," the rabbit said, "and Guther is the badger who carried the torch leading us here. We welcome you."

Taking the offered skewer, my stomach rumbled at the rich aroma of cooking food coming from the fire.

"Portobello mushrooms stuffed with Gouda cheese," Simon explained, "and I've pineapples sprinkled with brown sugar and drizzled with honey, roasting in foil beneath the wood's embers. Life, I've found to be uncertain, so it's best to eat dessert first. However," he continued, looking at his companions, "I know some disagree, so we've roasted some red peppers and corn still, in their sheaves - with butter and pepper of course."

Sitting with them, I turned my marshmallows in the flames, watching them bubble and brown, as another curious thing occurred. A lightness of heart, which I'd not felt since adolescence filled me. Disbelief became suspended in the aura of these new comrades.

"I know you must have countless questions," Guther said, "but for now, simply believe what your heart is letting you see."

"Belief is a heart matter you know," added Petra sagely.

As he said this, I glanced back at my cabin still visible over the deserted beach. Oddly, through the wet, gray mist, I could see a reflection of our campfire dancing on the sliding glass door which led into my otherwise darkened home. I glanced back at my friends still busy with their chatter and morsels of food.

"I think I could live here forever," I said.

"It is a pleasant place, this place of belief;" Guther agreed, "but not a place for cowards." The others nodded with a bit of solemnity and ceremony to what he'd just said.

"What do you mean?"

"That, my friend, must be shared at a later time," Petra said.

I looked into his brown eyes and caught the glint of the rising sun peeking above the hills behind me. All three were bathed in the sun's rich golden glow. I turned to watch and now regret it for when I turned back my new friends were gone. There was no sign of campsite, no smell of roasting succulent food - only pristine, untouched sand and the faint outline of a waning tide, crowned with iridescent foam several yards away.

The Blue Moon's magic had seemed to have vanished. My feet were no longer bare, my hands had lost their youth and stubble once more shadowed my face. But Petra's words: "shared at a later time," did not fade from my thoughts.

As I made my way back to my cabin I began to wonder if others would ever believe my tale - intangible creatures speaking of intangible things such as imagination, faith and beliefs. All I can offer is Petra's words that belief is a matter of the heart.

All intangible things that make a mortal world less harsh - what heart would choose not to believe?

Story of the Month contest entry

Author Notes
A moment of whimsy on my part. I identify with Simon the most :)
Thank you for reading.
Comments and edits always welcomed
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Linda Wetzel at FanArtReview.com

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