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Idaho
     

Idaho

5.0 9
by Emily Ruskovich
 

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A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss—from O. Henry Prize–winning author Emily Ruskovich

Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading,

Overview

A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss—from O. Henry Prize–winning author Emily Ruskovich

Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade’s first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives—including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison—we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny's lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho.

In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade’s past becomes the center of Ann’s imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew—and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own.

Praise for Idaho

“You know you’re in masterly hands here. [Emily] Ruskovich’s language is itself a consolation, as she subtly posits the troubling thought that only decency can save us. . . . Ruskovich’s novel will remind many readers of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. . . .  [A] wrenching and beautiful book.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Sensuous, exquisitely crafted.”—The Wall Street Journal

“The first thing you should know about Idaho, the shatteringly original debut by O. Henry Prize winner Emily Ruskovich, is that it upturns everything you think you know about story. . . . You could read Idaho just for the sheer beauty of the prose, the expert way Ruskovich makes everything strange and yet absolutely familiar.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Mesmerizing . . . [an] eerie story about what the heart is capable of fathoming and what the hand is capable of executing.”—Marie Claire

Idaho is a wonderful debut. Ruskovich knows how to build a page-turner from the opening paragraph.”—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

“Ruskovich’s debut is haunting, a portrait of an unusual family and a state that becomes a foreboding figure in her vivid depiction.”—The Huffington Post

Idaho is both a place and an emotional dimension. Haunted, haunting, Ruskovich’s novel winds through time, braiding events and their consequences in the most unexpected and moving ways.”—Andrea Barrett

“Ruskovich digs deeply into everyday moments, and shows that it is there, in our quietest thoughts and experiences, where we find and create our true selves.”—Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

“[Idaho] caught and held me absolutely.”—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

“Ruskovich has written a poem in prose, a beautiful and intricate homage to place, and a celebration of the defeats and triumphs of love. Beautifully crafted, emotionally evocative, and psychologically astute, Idaho is one of the best books I have read in a long time.”—Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees

“Ruskovich has intricately entwined a terrifying human story with an austere and impervious setting. The result—something bigger than either—is beautiful, brutal, and incandescent.”—Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Smith Henderson
With an act of unspeakable violence at its heart, Idaho…is about not only loss, grief and redemption, but also, most interestingly, the brutal disruptions of memory…Ruskovich's language is itself a consolation, as she subtly posits the troubling thought that only decency can save us. When that decency expresses itself—in dozens of portraits of a missing girl, in the epiphanies of a prison poetry class—an ennobling dignity begins to suggest that a deep goodness might be a match for our madness. In any case, that's the best we're going to get. Idaho is also a very Northwestern book. Thoughts eddy here as they do in Jim Harrison's work, and Ruskovich's novel will remind many readers of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping.
Publishers Weekly
★ 11/21/2016
In Ruskovich’s beautifully constructed debut novel, Ann attempts to piece together her husband Wade’s past—namely, the murder of his younger daughter, May, by his ex-wife, Jenny, and the disappearance of his elder daughter, June, which took place years ago, on the mountain where Wade and Ann now live. The book is set in the alluring and haunting landscape of Idaho, spanning over 50 years, and depicting Ann’s obsession and determination to figure out what exactly Jenny’s motives were and just what happened to the girls. Jenny is now in jail, mostly keeping to herself while serving a life sentence, and Ann is caring for Wade while he suffers from genetic early-onset dementia, training dogs, and making knives. All the while, Ann and Wade hope that June may still be alive, after 18 years of no news. With her amazing sentences, Ruskovich draws readers into the novel’s world, using a number of well-developed voices to describe various perspectives, allowing readers to understand the complexities of the story as well as Ann does. Shocking and heartbreaking, Ruskovich has crafted a remarkable love story and a narrative that will stay with readers. Agent: Jin Auh, Wylie Agency. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“You know you’re in masterly hands here. [Emily] Ruskovich’s language is itself a consolation, as she subtly posits the troubling thought that only decency can save us. . . . Ruskovich’s novel will remind many readers of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. . . .  [A] wrenching and beautiful book.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Sensuous, exquisitely crafted.”—The Wall Street Journal

“The first thing you should know about Idaho, the shatteringly original debut by O. Henry Prize winner Emily Ruskovich, is that it upturns everything you think you know about story. . . . You could read Idaho just for the sheer beauty of the prose, the expert way Ruskovich makes everything strange and yet absolutely familiar. . . . She startles with images so fresh, they make you see the world anew. . . . Idaho’s brilliance is in its ability to not tie up the threads of narrative, and still be consummately rewarding. The novel reminds us that some things we just cannot know in life—but we can imagine them, we can feel them and, perhaps, that can be enough to heal us.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Mesmerizing . . . [an] eerie story about what the heart is capable of fathoming and what the hand is capable of executing.”—Marie Claire

Idaho is a wonderful debut. Ruskovich knows how to build a page-turner from the opening paragraph.”—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

“Ruskovich’s debut is haunting, a portrait of an unusual family and a state that becomes a foreboding figure in her vivid depiction.”—The Huffington Post

“Poetic and razor sharp, Idaho is a mystery in more ways than one. . . . Ruskovich’s prose is lyrical but keen, a poem that never gets lost in its own rhythm . . . with a Marilynne Robinson-like emphasis on the private, painfully human contemplation going on inside the characters’ brains. The result is writing as bruisingly beautiful as the Idaho landscape in which the story takes place.” —A.V. Club

Idaho is both a place and an emotional dimension. Haunted, haunting, Ruskovich’s novel winds through time, braiding events and their consequences in the most unexpected and moving ways.”—Andrea Barrett

“It’s been six years since I first read Emily Ruskovich’s breathtaking prose, felt the force of her unsparing imagination, and knew I was in the presence of a singular talent. I’ve been waiting for the novel she would write ever since, and now it’s here: Idaho begins with a rusted truck and ends up places you couldn’t imagine. Its language is an enchantment, its vision brutal and sublime. This book is interested in what can’t be repaired and every kind of grace we find in the face of that futility. It caught and held me absolutely.”—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

“Emily Ruskovich’s Idaho is a novel written like music. Striking arpeggios, haunting refrains, and then you come to a bridge, and Ruskovich leads you up into the mountains, introducing a chorus of rich and beautiful voices woven deep in the Idaho woods, each trying to come to their own understanding of a terrible tragedy. This book is full of extraordinary women and men overcoming extraordinary loss through love and forgiveness. Ruskovich digs deeply into everyday moments, and shows that it is there, in our quietest thoughts and experiences, where we find and create our true selves.”—Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

“Emily Ruskovich has written a poem in prose, a beautiful and intricate homage to place, and a celebration of the defeats and triumphs of love. Beautifully crafted, emotionally evocative, and psychologically astute, Idaho is one of the best books I have read in a long time.”—Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees

“Emily Ruskovich has intricately entwined a terrifying human story with an austere and impervious setting. The result—something bigger than either—is beautiful, brutal, and incandescent.”—Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-11-22
Ruskovich's debut opens to the strains of a literary thriller but transforms into a lyrical meditation on memory, loss, and grief in the American West.Ann, a young music teacher, falls in love with Wade Mitchell, the father of two girls in her school, over piano lessons. That summer, Wade's family is ripped apart by a tragedy that leaves one daughter dead, another missing, and Wade's now-ex-wife, Jenny, serving a life sentence for murder. Against all odds, Ann and Wade marry, and she tries to soothe her new husband's insurmountable grief by piecing together what happened that day. Her efforts are thwarted by Wade's creeping dementia, which has a tendency to turn violent. Ann is left with only the powers of her imagination to reconstruct an account of the murder, putting her personal safety at risk as Wade becomes less predictable. Like memory, Ann's shifting vision of that day is fleeting, ephemeral, and imperfect, scattered as easily as "dozens of blackbirds, startled at nothing." In fact, her emotional porousness might be a key for the entire novel, which hopscotches across more than 50 years and multiple perspectives to draw connections, parallels, and portraits of the men and women who populate Ruskovich's Idaho. We also catch glimpses of Elizabeth, Jenny's cellmate; Wade's fractured recollections of his childhood and first marriage; the final days of May, Wade's murdered daughter; and, at long last, Jenny herself. Ruskovich builds poetry out of observing the smallest details—moments of narrative precision and clarity that may not illuminate what happened the day of the murder but which push the reader to interrogate the limits of empathy. Fans of lush, psychological dramas like the BBC miniseries Top of the Lake or Broadchurch have their winter reading cut out for them. A provocative first novel filled to the brim with dazzling language, mystery, and a profound belief in the human capacity to love and seek forgiveness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812994049
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/03/2017
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
108
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

2004

They never drove the truck, except once or twice a year to get firewood. It was parked just up the hill in front of the woodshed, where it collected rain in the deep dents on the hood and mosquito larvae in the rainwater. That was the way it was when Wade was married to Jenny, and that’s the way it is now that he is married to Ann.

Ann goes up there sometimes to sit in the truck. She waits until Wade is busy, so that he won’t notice that she’s gone. Today, she comes here under the pretense of getting firewood, dragging a blue sled over the mud and grass and patches of snow. The woodshed isn’t far from the house, but it’s hidden from view by a stand of ponderosa pines. She feels like she is trespassing, like none of this is hers to see.

The truck is parked on a rare space of flat land, an unlikely shelf carved into the mountainside. In front of the woodshed, around the truck, a few loose bricks lie here and there in the grass and snow. Spindles of mangled wire lean against the trees. Hanging from a long larch limb are two thick ropes that sway opposite each other now, but look as if they might have once been connected by a flat board—­a child’s swing.

It is March, sunny and cold. Ann gets into the driver’s seat and shuts the door quietly. She pulls the seatbelt across her body, then rolls the window down so that several droplets splatter on her lap. She touches the wet spots with her fingertip, connecting them with lines in her mind to make a picture on her thigh. The picture reminds her of a mouse, or at least a child’s drawing of a mouse, with a triangle face and a long, curlicued tail. Nine years ago, when Wade was still married to Jenny and both of his daughters were still alive, a mouse had crawled along the top of the truck’s exhaust pipe into the engine compartment, and built its nest on the manifold. She thinks of how strange it is that Wade probably remembers that mouse, remembers the sound of it skittering under the hood, and yet he’s forgotten his first wife’s name. Or so it seems sometimes. But the mouse—­the mouse is still very much alive in his memory.

A few years after Ann and Wade married, Ann found a pair of deerskin gloves in a toolbox high on a shelf in a closet. They were much nicer than the work gloves Wade usually wore, and seemed to be brand new except for the odor of something burned. That was how she learned about the mouse in the first place. She asked why he kept the gloves stored in their closet instead of using them. Wade told her that he wanted to preserve the smell.

What smell is that?

The smell of a rodent’s nest that caught on fire.

The last smell in his daughter’s hair.

It was a long time ago now that he said things like that. He stopped talking about the details of his daughter’s death once he saw how much Ann held on to them. He probably thinks she’s forgotten about the gloves, it’s been so many years. But she hasn’t. He keeps them in the filing cabinet with his papers, in his office upstairs. She has opened the drawer just enough to see them.

That mouse had probably been in the truck the whole winter, during that last year that Wade was married to Jenny, that last year that May was alive and June was safe. Ann thinks of the mouse going back and forth in the snow between the truck and the barn, hauling mouthfuls of hay or insulation or tufts of stuffing from the dogs’ beds, making its nest bigger and having babies in it once spring arrived. Some of the babies probably died early on and were absorbed by the nest, their tiny bones like shards of straw themselves. And other mice came, too; you could hear them moving under the hood if you put your ear against it. The little girls liked doing that.

Well, at least Ann imagines they did.

One day in August, the whole family got into the truck. Wade at the steering wheel, where Ann is sitting now, Jenny next to him, their daughters, June and May, nine and six, crammed in back with a jug of lemonade and Styrofoam cups, which they carved pictures into with their fingernails. The girls probably wanted to ride in the truck bed, but their mother would have said it was not safe on the highway. So they sat facing each other in the cab with their backs against the windows, bumping their knees, probably fighting.

They forgot all about the mice. They didn’t notice anything at first, driving slowly over the dirt roads. But once they reached the highway in their town of Ponderosa, a smell like decay and burning hair, skin and seeds sizzling on a hot engine, entered through the vent and filled the whole cab of the truck until the little girls were gagging and laughing and pushing their freckled noses out their windows.

They had to drive on with their windows down, tolerating the smell, for the hour drive through the Nez Valley, past Athol and Careywood, then up the long road nearly to the top of Loeil, the mountain where the birch wood was already cut and piled, ready to be loaded. Their hair and clothes, and Wade’s gloves, held the burned smell in their fibers. Ann pictures June and May. They wait in the sun while their mother rolls the birch logs onto the truck bed and their father stacks them there. The girls lean against the tires, slapping horseflies on their legs, pouring lemonade into the dust.

The smell would have been there on the way back, too. It is the one constant. It connects two things in Ann’s mind that she can’t manage to connect otherwise—­the drive up the mountain and the drive back down. The drive back down is the part Ann comes here to try to understand.

There would have been things Wade had to consider, before he could take control and go for help. Practical things. Shutting the tailgate, for example, so the logs wouldn’t roll out. He would have had to remember to hold the handle up and then push in—­there was a trick to it—­in order to lock the tailgate. That he would remember, that his fingers could do what they were supposed to do even in the midst of his horror, has something to do with the reason Ann loves him. One day, perhaps, everything will be gone from his mind except the trick of the tailgate latch, and Ann will love him still.

She thinks of how easy it would have been to get lost on the way back down, since they’d gotten lost so badly on the way up. How could anything have looked familiar? The narrow, grassy roads. The crudely made road signs nailed to trees: That he had read them an hour before seemed impossible to her. All of it seemed impossible. The summer sky, the snapping of twigs under the truck’s tires. The smell of grease and honeysuckle. Jenny’s breath fogging the window.

Ann has had to imagine most of it, everything beyond the facts Wade told her or she heard on TV. She did try very hard during those early days to keep the radio and TV off, so that everything she knew she knew from Wade. What Wade wanted to tell her, she would keep. But she wouldn’t let herself go searching; she wouldn’t let herself ask.

But all of that is different now that Wade is forgetting. She wants to ask him if he and Jenny spoke, before his memory is lost for good. Did Jenny look out the side window or straight ahead? Or did she look at him?

At what point did he rip down the rearview mirror?

No, Ann thinks, it isn’t even the drive back. It is his getting into the truck at all. Opening the door and getting in. Jenny there with the cup of lemonade shaking in her hand—­or maybe not shaking, maybe perfectly still. Maybe the cup empty. Maybe the lemonade spilled on her lap like the droplets of water now on Ann’s thigh, in the shape of something harmless, something that the child in the backseat might have drawn.

Ann runs her hand over the dashboard and the soft, moist pollen of last summer sticks to her palm. It is all put together for her, here. The rearview mirror is up again, glued in place, and there’s a dream catcher thrown around it, with two fluorescent feathers hanging down. The carpet has been shampooed, the right backseat replaced entirely, with one that looks like the original on the left, only a brighter shade of blue and missing the little holes where the stuffing came out and where the girls might have once stuck their fingers.

Ann turns the key to let the engine run while she sits here. She breathes deeply. Nine years and the smell of the mouse’s nest is gone, but every now and then, when she shifts in the driver’s seat and the dust rises from the cushions, she catches what might be the hint of that old smell, distant and thinly sweet, leather and burning grass.

Though of course it could also be the controlled spring fires down in the valley fields, far away.

Ann and Wade have been married for eight years. She is thirty-­eight now, and Wade is fifty.

Last year, Ann found a box of Wade’s old shirts in the attic. She brought the box downstairs and sat on her knees in a warm square of sunlight on the floor. She unfolded the shirts one at a time, held each one up, and placed some in a pile for the Salvation Army and some in a pile to keep.

Wade walked into the bedroom and saw her doing this.

“Is this too small?” she said. She didn’t turn around because she was trying to decide about an oil stain. She was holding the shirt up above her, to see the light shine through it.

Wade didn’t answer. She thought he hadn’t heard. She folded the shirt and moved on.

But the next thing she knew, Wade was pushing her head down, pushing it hard, into the box of clothes. She was so shocked that at first she laughed. But he didn’t stop. The cardboard edge rubbed against her throat, and her laugh became a gasp for air and then a scream. She clawed at his legs, thrashing blindly. She pounded her fists on his shoes, jammed her elbows into his knees. He was speaking to her in a voice she recognized—­she couldn’t think from where—­but it was not a voice he’d ever used with her. “No! No!”—­almost a growl.

His dogs. He used that voice to train the dogs.

Then he let her go. He stepped back. She lifted her head, slowly, with caution. He sighed deeply, then he touched her shoulder as if to ask for her forgiveness, or—­this occurred to her even in her shock—­to offer forgiveness to her. After a minute, he asked her if she’d seen his mowing shoes.

“No,” she said, staring into the box of clothes. She sat on her knees, shaking, smoothing down the static in her hair, over and over again, as if that would make a difference. Wade found his shoes, put them on, went outside. In a few minutes, she heard the tractor. Wade was clearing the knapweed from the pasture.

In the year leading up to the strange episode with the box of clothes, he had done other things that alarmed her. He made phone calls to his customers, accusing them of sending bad checks, even as Ann proved to him with bank statements that he was wrong. He threaded his bootlaces so that they tied at the bottom instead of the top. He purchased the same pair of pliers three times in one week. He threw her fresh loaf of bread, still sinking in its warmth, into the mulch bucket to feed the hens as if she had baked it for them. Once, in the last week of January, he cut a beautiful white pine and dragged it a mile through the new snow. When he arrived in the yard where Ann was, he motioned to it, smiling. “You think this is too tall?”

A Christmas tree.

“But Christmas—­ Wade, it was a month ago.”

“What?”

“You don’t remember?” She laughed, horrified. “Where do you think you got that coat you’re wearing?”

But the day he pushed her into the box of clothes was something very different; it was the only time his disease manifested itself in violence, violence so far removed from the man he was that Ann couldn’t fathom such a thing happening even in the moments that immediately followed.

But after it happened once, it happened again. A few months later, he pushed her against the refrigerator, so that her cheek pressed against a coupon she’d hung there, for a diner called Panhandler Pies. She fought him, but just like the first time, fighting only hurt her more. When he let her go, she pushed him away from her and screamed at him, but he just stood there sadly, as if disappointed in her.

Another day, not too long after that, Ann poured a bucket of pinecones onto the kitchen table. She intended to decorate them with peanut butter and birdseed, to hang on the tree limbs for the finches. But as soon as she sat down to work, she felt his hand on her head, and he pushed her down into the pinecones.

The pinecones left a rash of tiny cuts on her left cheek.

Later still, the wind blew open the door of one of his daughters’ old rooms. He thought it was Ann who had opened it. He pressed her forehead against the door once it was closed again, and told her, “No, no, no,” until she said, in her fear and shock, “Okay.”

She did not understand these things, but knew that Wade didn’t understand them, either, and so she found no way to express her anger. No way to stop these episodes from happening again. The pain and the shock of them wore off the more they happened, and she began to bear the assaults because she didn’t know what else she could do. She took note of what provoked him, and made sure never to do those things again. No more pinecones, no Panhandler Pies, no boxes of old clothes, no going in his daughters’ rooms. Simple enough. These things were a kind of collection she began to keep, a list she would run down in her mind, eventually not out of pain anymore but out of wonder, as if something were right there on the edge of her life, waiting for her to discover it. At night, when he was asleep, she thought about these things as she studied the face she loved. His pale eyelids stark on his sun-­roughed face. His lips chapped, his cheeks unshaven. Such inherent kindness in his body that it was impossible to picture this man doing the things he had certainly done. She touched her lips to his thick hair, and she closed her eyes, too.

Meet the Author

Emily Ruskovich grew up in the mountains of northern Idaho. She graduated from the University of Montana and received an MA in English from the University of New Brunswick, Canada, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was the 2011–2012 James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. She was a 2015 winner of the O. Henry Award for her story “Owl.”

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Idaho: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
schwind 5 days ago
Please get rid of these reviews, they make so sense whatsoever and are stupid. Waste of time to read. Really!!!
Anonymous 1 days ago
I was walking home from school, by myself as usual, when i heard it. A voice, calling my name. I was lured towards it; like a bee to honey. It was coming from a dark dank alley. I knew i probably shouldnt go there but i couldnt help my self. Next thing i knew i was walking into the alley. At the end of the alley there was a bright light, the voic was comin from there i coul hear more clearly now. " Taylor, i hav been waiting for you." Called the voice from beyon the light. " Come." The voice was so compeling that i steped into th light, then th world turned black. When i woke up i was assulted with unfamiliar sounds and smells. I stood up and loke down at my self and gasped. " What on earth?!!!!!!!!!!!!" I shrieked not caring that anyone might here me. I was wereing a bright silver jumpsuit! It was sleek and extreemly fitted. It reminded me the type of suits astronauts wore. I ran out of the alley and straight into a boy! Embarrising right? But i was so freaked out i just blurted out a question without even apologizing. " What year is this? And where am i?!" Then i finally lokked at thhe boy an immidiatly blushed he was cute. He lokked at me in shock. "What do mean you dont know what year it is or where you are?" Hey spoke with a slight accent i couldnt place. " Its the year 3025 and your on th planet Aurillian." ( Hey guys how do u like it? Ive been hanging around here awile but i finally musterd the courage to write something. Hey ash what happen when u allready
Anonymous 22 days ago
'100K' 2 SPREAD THE WORD
Anonymous 9 days ago
Hope i spelled your name right... i am new too, actually i just discoverd this hidden chat room book club place and still am not sure what it is. But anyway i like your story! :) you can call ma kat (kat29) i am 12 and a huge book lover. Anyway how did you find this place? --kat29
Anonymous 11 days ago
(Ok so hey guys i know im new but i hope its cool with you that im here i already read all the rules and know the theme so yeah i guess here i go.... btw id appreciate it if you tell me what you think yours truly mackenzie(aka mac-n-cheese) have you ever felt like you were meant for something better or worse than the situation you are or were in? Okay now if so you really got to hear this okay so my parents and i were in a teensie weensie argument before (ever happened to you before? No? Okay) anyway like i said little argument and cause you know how parents say your gonna regret this your gonna regret that well yeah you do okay let me explain mysel now. So i got super mad at my parents for something that doesnt matter right now (i know right its not like thats happened before) and then i said "i wish i lived with ME,MYSELF, AND I " then all of the sudden (pause for dramatic affect)....... WHAT THE FREK IM IN WWII!!!!! Yeah thats right he Nazis,Japan, etc wwII.. you wanna know how i figured out? Take a wild guess where i "landed"....TIMES UP Pearl Harbor yeah thats right i just happened to stumble in on one of the most devestating battles in American history. Great news for me!yeah no not really. Then suddenly i feel a hand on my shoulder i look up suddenly alarmed and see very familiar face im still trying to put my finger on it when he says "excuse me little girl. Wheres your family in time like this?" And of course i say "i dont know putting off the image that they are dead then he says "here come with me to my house" as a limosine pulls up tells me to make myself comftorable so of course i do and then as a huge White House comes into view and the sturdy gate towards it opens, i stare at the man with wide eyes and exclaim..... "y y your Frank Franklin D. Roosevelt!!!!" CLIFFHANGER (Ok now i know it prob sucked but practice only makes you better.... cause ALMOST nobodys perfect anyway tell me what you think and if you have any advice please fire away yours truly mackenzie)
Anonymous 23 days ago
It all started with an idea, which turned into a plan, and fell into action. Im Lizzy Thruhser of Boring, Oregon. ((Not the mood boring, the city, Boring)) My father had been waiting for years it seemed for a chance to bribe my naive mother into taking us on a roadtrip to Smith Rock. She always made up excuses like: "im too old to hike" or "Are you really tat crazy to make me think that im gonna climb Smith Rock! Forget it!" My idiot brother though, agreed with him every step of te way. I dont blame him, mark is a athletic dude and ill give him that, hes got braun, he just doesnt have.......brains. For example, a few years ago we were looking at some really cool buffalo and mark patted dads shoulder. "Hey dad, if tats a buffalo, where are the wings?" He asked, everyone thought he was joking until he started shouting atthe buffalo, urging them to sprout wings and fly.<p> So now here we are in a crummy minivan all crammed in like sardines with a bunch of moms unneeded lugage in the back. After a few hours(which felt like forever) we arived at te Royal chariot inn and suites. My dad went in to get a room and we unloaded. Once we settled in we immediatly got ready for bed. Once i got in the covers of the suposedly 'clean' beds, I realized there were multiple stains from unidentible fluids and food items. I was to tired to worry about it, for now, ill just sleep...<p> We woke up early the next morning and got ready for the big hike, then we cramed into the van again and drove off. We started or hike at misery ridge trail. It was hot and humid. By te time i had supposedly reached the top, it had gotten to the point where i needed to lie down. After awhile, my family found me and practically drug me to the top. It was an amazing veiw! Isaoked in my surroundings until, *plip plop* on my nose. Before we knew it we were running down the huge rock, trying to not get struck by lightning.<p> When we had finally made it to te car, everyone was dripping wet. At te hotel we laid low and watched a movie while dad was busy trying to bribe the person up front for free hot cocoas. And that my freind was indeed my crazy day.
Anonymous 23 days ago
{I'm going to get a tiny bit more specific than my state, if that's okay. I'm not going to tell anyone which state or city, but will leave people to guess in the reviews- or Google, if they're corner-cutters.}<p>I step outside of the car and breathe in the warm summer air. Walking to the top of the hill, I smile as the river comes into view with our neighboring state just over its horizon.<p>"Wow," I whisper, turning to face my dad, "isn't this a nice view?"<p>"I'd say so, Skeeter," he smiles, opening the car door.<p>Less than a minute later, he closes the door again with a sigh.<p>"What's wrong, Dad?"<p>"We left the camera at home."<p>Naturally this happened. There was one time we spent the night at a hotel just across the river- which, rumor has it, will be decimated by the new year- and Dad had realized we had left the camera at home. We drove home and grabbed ourselves some pizza, but we didn't even use the camera.<p>Naturally, I groan.<p>The place was beautiful- one spot in town I had never been- and it would be nice to have a camera just in case.<p>We hopped into the car and quickly headed home.<p>~-~<p>I step outside again, noticing something on the hillside I hadn't noticed before. There, overlooking the river, sat a beautiful marble gravestone, a large, jagged-looking cross carved on the top. I moved closer to read the name.<p>DEERE.<p>I peek over the hill again, but instead of just looking at the river, I'm looking for something. There!<p>My gaze catches on the Butterworth Center and the Deere-Wiman mansion, both stops on the Junior Historian Jamboree four years ago, when I was in fifth grade.<p>Naturally he got buried up on top, where he could see the beautiful river, his old home and its historical neighbor, and the pavilion named after him.<p>I snap a couple of pictures, one of the grave accompanied by the rushing river, another where it was surrounded by the pink leaves from the tree by the road. I turn around and see all of the other graves of Riverside Cemetery, starting up top- where we were- and descending into a little grove with just a few markers.<p>It looked so peaceful and serene. And I wanted to explore it all.<p>Dad takes the camera from me, quickly marveling at my shots before doing a leisurely lap around the Deere plot. I follow him. Then he does something unplanned.<p>He actually starts heading down the hill towards the other burial sites.<p>It was totally unexpected for me, at least, because of circumstances earlier that summer. Dad had taken me on a Daddy/Daughter trip to Missouri and Kansas- Missouri to see my college of choice, College of the Ozarks, and Kansas to see the girlhood home of my hero, Amelia Earhart- and we ended up stopping to hike in Hannibal. We walked down a hill which, other than steepness and an area completely taken out by a mudslide, was pretty leniant on us. Until we headed back up. So seeing Dad willingly go down a hill without a vehicle- a pretty steep-looking hill, at that- was a surprise.<p>But I follow anyways.<p>The cemetery was gorgeous, the blossoms on the trees or scattered on the ground, flowers by each tombstone, birds chirping, and not another soul in sight. Some of the stones were old and cracked, while others, much like in the Deere plot, are polished, as shiny as possible.<p>It was impossible not to take pictures.<p>But I honestly wish that I could relive that day over and over again.<p>It was just Dad and I, enjoying serene Riverside Cemetery.
Anonymous 23 days ago
Welcome! This is a story writing hang out! Every few weeks or so I will post a theme so everyone has something to go off of. If you REALLY don't want to follow the theme, you can but I would like it if it stayed organized. <p> At this result, you write your story! It's not a contest, just a place to write. To keep everything organized, I have a few requirements: <p> 1: Please include a title for your story and your name ( It can be a nickname.) <P>2: At the 2nd result, you can review people's stories. If you don't want your story to be reviewed, just make a little note of it at the beginning of your story (It can be as simple as an emoji of some sorts. If you don't know how, just say D.R. or Don't Review) <p> 3: PLEASE be respectful. Don't write anything you wouldn't like to recieve. No swearing or anything dirty or rude. Let's keep this a place even kids can be. <p> Just have fun! I might not be on everyday so I am sorry in advance. If we can, please try to keep the stories organized by using good spelling and paragraphs. It's okay if it's not perfect, I'm sure I slipped somewhere writing this...<p> I hope we can have fun writing together! You can ask questions at the 3rd result. At the 3rd result also, I will keep you updated with the themes and other info. Thanks! <p> -Ash Fore
Anonymous 22 days ago
We loaded up the already packed to death car. Me, my "mom", and my dad piled in. We were headin to Yosemite, California. "Are you excited Amber?" Dad asked. " Um... I guess " I said with a sigh. I was mad at my father. I was mad at him because, he lied to me. He said that we'd always be a family. And now we are seperated. Me with my dad and his girlfriend. My older brother Daniel with my grandma. And my mom on her own with her new boyfriend. That's why I hate these camping trips. They just remind me of when we were a family. I stared out the window. The trees were a bright green. And the soft sky was a dazzeling blue. " Isn't it just beautiful " said Tasha my dads girlfriend. I gave her a quick nod then took out my sketchbook. I started to draw a squriell nibbling on a acorn nut, when we hit a huge bump and the car shook! Tasha screamed. Dad looked fusterated. I just grunted then continued my drawing.--- Once we got there I stepped out of the stuffy car. And breathed in cold crisp air. The sun was setting down and dark clouds were rolling in. " It looks like a storms coming, maybe we should just stay at that motel we passed by." Dad said his face full of concern. I didn't really care. But Tasha sure did. " Oh come on babe. Its just a storm. As long as Im with you I can survive anything!" So SAPPY!!! After we set up the tent, and started a fire dad asked me to go fetch some fire wood. I started off when it started raining. So I treked in faster cause the deeper you go the better the wood. But when I turned around I could see any camp any tent, anyone... The storm started getting worse and worse. Harder rain, loud thunder. And it looks like the lightning is starting. I was soaked, dripping wet. I had to find shelter and survive. I looked around and saw a bend in a tree. Like a huge bend. With a huge hole inside. I slowely creeped in. Making sure there was nothing already in here. It was dry but also a tight squish. But as long as she wasn't in the middle of the storm she was happy. She knows she treked way to far. Past the bounderies. No one was in this area. If she tried looking for someone she might get even more lost. She would have to survive on her own until someone found her.