Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Dabbling-And a Woo Hoo!

I decided to post something a little different this morning. A bit of dabbling. A story I have been playing around with. Not that I haven't posted stories before, but they were always non-fiction based on personal experience, and this is a piece of fiction. I rarely write fiction. So this is a short-short (short-shorts are 500 words or less) Paranormal Fantasy. The setting is from my own personal experience, but that's where it ends. This story is a work of the imagination, and maybe not that great, but it was an interesting exercise for me. I hope you enjoy it.

Kati and the Dolphins

Anni is fourteen and Kati is fifteen when both of their families receive the news they had been waiting for. They are going to America!

For Hungarian refugees who had been living in a refugee camp for the past four years, this is wonderful news. It is their chance at a new life. What is even more wonderful is that Kati and Anni, who are best friends, will be going to America together.

On September 7, 1951, they board the ship, with hundreds of other refugees. Then they stream to their assigned quarters, women and children separated from men and older boys. Kati and Anni will be sleeping next to each other in upper bunks, with their mothers below them.

When the ship pulls out to sea, they gather on the deck. It is a poignant
moment for the adults, who are sad about not seeing their homeland again.

“But we’re on our way to America, the land of the free and the brave,” Kati says. She and Anni embrace this new adventure with hope in their hearts.

Kati and Anni soon begin to explore the ship. They eat together in the massive dining hall, and play together in the huge recreation room on the ship. Meanwhile, both girls parents’ spend most of their time in bed,
suffering from seasickness.

By the second day on the ship, Kati and Anni have made a new friend. He is a young American who works in the galley and brings them treats on his breaks, telling them about life in America. Anni knows that Dave’s interest in them is due to Kati’s beautiful looks. She has long, curly black hair framing her oval face, and the blossoming body of a young woman, while her own body is still in limbo, like her braided locks. But both girls enjoy Dave’s attention.

On the third day of their voyage as Kati and Anni are sitting in the recreation room leafing through a book, Dave rushes in and motions to them.

“Come on girls. I want to show you something,”

They jump up and follow him to the deck.

“Look! Dolphins!” Dave says, pointing to the great Atlantic below them.

“Oh, They are beautiful!” Kati cries breathlessly. They enchant Anni, too. They count six dolphins carrying on playfully in the great waves.

“Listen! They are talking to us,” Kati says, leaning so far down on the
railing that she frightens Anni, who pulls at her friends jacket and cautions,” Be careful or you’ll fall in the water.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind that in the least,” Kati laughs. “They are calling me.
It would be wonderful to join them and ride the waves on their backs.”

“It would not be wonderful for you. You’re not a dolphin. You wouldn’t
survive down there,” Dave says earnestly. Kati gives him a strange look,
and then walks away from them.

After that, the dolphins begin to obsess Kati. She looks for them and talks
about them day and night, and Anni, not knowing how to handle her friends new obsession, grows more and more worried. Even when there are no dolphins out there, Kati claims she can hear them calling her. Her obsession begins to frighten Anni.

On the sixth day of their journey, Kati suddenly becomes very sick. Her
mother, thinking she is seasick, makes her stay in her bunk all day. Of
course, Anni keeps her company.

“Do you feel sick to your stomach?” she asks with concern.

“Maybe a little,” Kati replies. “I’ll be alright by tomorrow.”

That night, as Anni lies in her sleeping bunk across from Kati, thinking she is asleep, she suddenly hears her moaning. Then Kati whispers, “I’m coming. I’m coming.”

“Kati, who are you talking to?” Anni asks. But instead of a reply, she hears her friends soft, lilting laughter. Kati is in her bunk, but her laughter is floating above them, moving across the entire area, before disappearing into the night.

Anni sits up and calls to her loudly. “Kati! Kati! Are you alright?”

By this time both Kati’s and Anni’s mother are awake, and get out of their bunks to see what the problem is.

“Kati is gone,” Anni wails, tears streaming down her cheeks. “She went to join the dolphins.”

“What do you mean she is gone? She is lying right there, in her bunk,” her mother says, while Kati’s mother climbs up and shakes her daughter.

“Oh my God! She is dead! Oh my God!” She screams, waking everyone up. The ship’s doctor is summoned. But it is too late. They take Kati away.
The doctor says she had pneumonia, the kind that strikes like a blitz. Her
mother, blaming herself for Kati’s death, becomes so depressed that she
doesn't utter another word during the rest of the journey. Anni is pretty
depressed herself.

Two days before they arrive in New York Harbor, Anni is up on the deck, watching the waves lapping at the ship. Suddenly, several dolphins appear and begin carrying on with their usual antics. Anni does not call down to them like before. She just stands there and watches them in silence.. Then she hears something. “Wee, this is wonderful!” It’s Kati’s voice!

“You hear it too, don’t you?” a voice behind her remarks, startling Anni. It’s Dave. They stand there in silence, listening to the lilting laughter below, until the dolphins disappear.

“Ill never forget you, Kati,” Anni whispers sadly.

Their arrival in New York Harbor is a somber one. Kati’s parents have to think about burying their daughter in this new land. Anni’s heart aches for them. She wants to tell them that Kati’s spirit is happy among the dolphins, but she knows she cannot. So she give them both a tearful hug, and then walks away in silence, carrying the truth with her into eternity.

The End. :-)

The Woo Hoo is I just heard from my editor at Silver Boomer Books, and "Freckles to Wrinkles" is now published and my copy (and check!) will be arriving soon. My story in the book is called "Guard Duty," and it's a horse story. I was also invited to a big to do about the book in Abilene, Texas, but unfortunately, I can not attend it right now.


Thank you for reading my somewhat simple attempts at writing a short short story. I need lots of practice.

Have a wonderful week!


Jmkdreak said...

WOO HOO congrat's on your story being published!! Another great accomplishment.
Another great short story too, very interesting!


Brenda said...

I am so excited for you!!! I will be looking forward to reading your new publication. Thanks for sharing the short story to us on your blog. I enjoyed it. Fantasy stories are interesting. I love books and really admire writers!
Looking forward to reading more of your work!

Old Lady Lincoln said...

Oh Renie, What a sad but beautiful story.

Now let us know which magazine or book your article about From Freckles to Wrinkles will appear in. I would like to read it.

Congratulations. A little extra money always comes in handy.

Renie Burghardt said...


"Freckles to Wrinkles" is a book of short, non-fiction stories, published by Silver Boomers, of Abeline, Texas. I will post a link to the book in this post a bit later. Yes, the story is a sad one. Thank you for your comment.

Hi Brenda,

Thank you for your comment.

Hi Drea,

Thank you, sweetie. xox

Got to run for now.

Have a great day!


Sandy said...

Well yes a big Woo Hoo to you about your story accepted. I'll check that link out later when I get a chance.

Wow, you are a great writer. I enjoyed the story. I could see the whole thing.

Gramma Ann said...

Hi Renie,

WOO HOO!! and CONGRATULATIONS on getting your story published. I will be looking at "Barnes and Nobles" to see if I can find it..."Freckles to Wrinkles." Sounds like a fun read...

Continue to have a fun week, after your feet hit the ground again;) Hee, hee!!!


hippochick said...

Congratulations!! Anni and Katie are enchanting. Have a great week.

~hippo hugs~

Sammy said...

Congratulations on your story being published! That's wonderful, and what an accomplishment!

I really enjoyed this short short. It's a really beautiful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it.


Nonna said...

Wow!! Congratulations on your story being published! I'm so thrilled for you! I enjoyed your short story too!!

Susie said...

I enjoyed this story Renie. It is sad, but I could almost imagine Kati frolicking with those dolphins..

audrey` said...

Woo Hoo!
Congratulations Renie =)))

You're so talented.
Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

deborah wilson said...

Congrats Renie!

I know that you are happy about this - I liked the little story that you wrote.

I wonder if I have ever lived before? If so, where and who I was?

I was probably a mule.


BClark said...

Great news on your story being published. Now, as to your short, short story, what is not to like. I think it is great, so please do not put down your talent. I don't see that you need more practice. I brag about you all the time, and even send people to your blog so they can see how great you are. Keep up the good work.

Renie Burghardt said...


Well, thank you. I don't consider myself a great writer, but a fairly good one, sometimes. Not all the time. :-)


Freckles to Wrinkles is a book of stories from us oldies. :-)

Hippo Chick,

Thank you, Pam!


Well, thank you for the nice comment!


Thank you, my friend!


Good to have you back in blogland!


Aww, thank you, dear Audrey!


Thanks! And my daughter would classify me as stubborn, too!

B, Clark,

Aww, that is so sweet of you, Barbara. Thank you!

Hope everyone is having a great day! I just got home, and got to go and catch up with some of my chores.

Talk..to..Grams said...

Congratulations on your story! and Yea or maybe woo hoo,for it being published! I enjoyed reading it! Blessings, Grams

Gramma Ann said...

Hi Renie,

How are you feeling? I just read on some else's blog that you slipped and fell in some 'catnip';), I hope all the hurt is going...leave us know.

I hope it wasn't when you finally landed, after you big WOO HOO;))

Have a safe and happy evening.


Midlife Mom said...

Hi Renie! WOOHOO! Congratulations! I want to read your horse story, let us know where we can get the book please! Your short story gave me shivers, I could picture the whole thing in my mind, the old creaky ship, dark cabins, misty weather and of course the spunky dolphins! Great story! xoxox

Renie Burghardt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renie Burghardt said...

Gramma Ann, :-)

It happened almost two weeks ago, and I am doing fine, thank the Good Lord! I slipped on some kitty "spit" that I didn't see, and took a pretty nasty spill. But I didn't break any bones, and aside from being a little sore for a while, I was and am fine.

Thanks for your concern, Ann. I guess I blabbed about it, and shouldn't have. But I am fine!



ancient one said...

So happy that you have another story published. And I definitely enjoyed this one.

Nonna said...

Just stopping by this morning to say hello!! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Renie Burghardt said...

Midlife Mom, Louise,

The image of the book on top on the right hand side of my sidebar, can be clicked and it will take you to the web site for the book for more information about it, and about the authors in the book, etc.

Hey Ancient One,

Thank you kindly! :-)


You are such a sweet friend. Thank you for stopping by again.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Eve said...

Congraulations on geting published.

I enjoyed your story. I wish I could write dialogue like that. And now....when will the movie be coming out? : ) It would make a great children's movie wouldn't it? Of course you will have to flesh it out just a bit. LOL

Mountain Mama said...

Congratulations Renie. It must feel wonderful to be published. And you have been so many times!!!

I like your new story. It is sad but still with hope od a new life in America.

Tammy said...

Wow, what a great blog...I saw you through my friend Patti.

I read your comment where you wanted to go back to Hungary...we just went last May...it was wonderful...the plane ride was wonderful too....not bad at all.

We visited Austria while we were there and took several tours...one of my most fondest memories ever.

I hope you will decide to go.

The W.O.W. factor said...

Hi Renie! Great story! I actually could picture myself as one of the girls...AND CONGRATS on the newest story being published! I'm going to go to FrecklestoWrinkles now & check it out!
Don't spend that check all in one place! :)
Have a great day!

Nonna said...

I love the cover of the book your published in!! Congrats again Renie!!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Tricia said...

Congratulations to you!

I think your short, short story is darling. I always struggle with dialog, which is something I see you've mastered quite well. Very nice.

Mary said...


Kudos on your story being published in Freckles to Wrinkles. It sounds like a great book.

Enjoyed the fictional story as well. You are very talented.

Have a great weekend. We aren't to see a drop of rain this weekend and I hope the weatherman is right. We've had torrents all week and lots of hail and wind.

JennyC&F said...

nice job

Nancy said...

Hi Reniew!

Congratulations on your story being published and the check on its way!!!! Whoopee!!!!

This short story about Kati and Anni had me from "hello." What a touching story, Renie!!! I would just love to read more of your work!!!

(((((( HUGS ))))))

Tina Coruth said...


Congratulations on having your story published! Wonderful!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. You are a talented writer no matter which genre you are writing! :-)

Big Happy Hugs,

JennyC&F said...


Hi there. I just wanted to let you know that I "dropped" the name and link of your book to my Psychological Adjustment Professor (we have to write a book report of all things) and he is looking into your book! Exciting?


Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Jenny,

Wow, yes that is exciting! Thank you so much. That was so sweet of you.

Psychological Adjustment? Now there is an interesting course! We always have to adjust to stuff that life brings our way, don't we? We are sometimes succesful, sometimes not. Interesting course though, I'm sure.

Thanks again, Jenny!