Yellow Mama Archives

Janet Hartwell
Home
Adhikari, Sudeep
Ahern, Edward
Aldrich, Janet M.
Allan, T. N.
Allen, M. G.
Ammonds, Phillip J.
Anderson, Peter
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Arab, Bint
Armstrong, Dini
Augustyn, P. K.
Aymar, E. A.
Babbs, James
Baber, Bill
Bagwell, Dennis
Bailey, Ashley
Bailey, Thomas
Baird, Meg
Bakala, Brendan
Baker, Nathan
Balaz, Joe
BAM
Barber, Shannon
Barker, Tom
Barlow, Tom
Bates, Jack
Bayly, Karen
Baugh, Darlene
Bauman, Michael
Baumgartner, Jessica Marie
Beale, Jonathan
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Benet, Esme
Bennett, Brett
Bennett, Charlie
Bennett, D. V.
Benton, Ralph
Berg, Carly
Berman, Daniel
Bernardara, Will Jr.
Berriozabal, Luis
Beveridge, Robert
Bickerstaff, Russ
Bigney, Tyler
Bladon, Henry
Blake, Steven
Blakey, James
Bohem, Charlie Keys and Les
Booth, Brenton
Boski, David
Bougger, Jason
Boyd, A. V.
Boyd, Morgan
Boyle, James
Bracey, DG
Brewka-Clark, Nancy
Britt, Alan
Brooke, j
Brown, R. Thomas
Brown, Sam
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Burton, Michael
Bushtalov, Denis
Butcher, Jonathan
Butkowski, Jason
Butler, Simon Hardy
Butler, Terence
Cameron, W. B.
Campbell, J. J.
Campbell, Jack Jr.
Cano, Valentina
Cardinale, Samuel
Carlton, Bob
Carr, Jennifer
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Chesler, Adam
Clausen, Daniel
Clevenger, Victor
Clifton, Gary
Cmileski, Sue
Coey, Jack
Coffey, James
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Condora, Maddisyn
Conley, Jen
Connor, Tod
Cooper, Malcolm Graham
Coral, Jay
Corrigan, Mickey J.
Cosby, S. A.
Costello, Bruce
Cotton, Mark
Crandall, Rob
Criscuolo, Carla
Crist, Kenneth
D., Jack
Dallett, Cassandra
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Sean
Davies, J. C.
Davis, Christopher
Davis, Michael D.
Day, Holly
de Bruler, Connor
Degani, Gay
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
Deming, Ruth Z.
Demmer, Calvin
De Neve, M. A.
Dennehy, John W.
DeVeau, Spencer
Di Chellis, Peter
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dilworth, Marcy
Dionne, Ron
Dobson, Melissa
Domenichini, John
Dominelli, Rob
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dorman, Roy
Doherty, Rachel
Dosser, Jeff
Doyle, John
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Dubal, Paul Michael
Duke, Jason
Duncan, Gary
Dunham, T. Fox
Duschesneau, Pauline
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Duxbury, Karen
Duy, Michelle
Eade, Kevin
Elliott, Garnett
Ellman, Neil
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Espinosa, Maria
Esterholm, Jeff
Fallow, Jeff
Farren, Jim
Fedolfi, Leon
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Filas, Cameron
Fillion, Tom
Fisher, Miles Ryan
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Fortunato, Chris
Francisco, Edward
Frank, Tim
Funk, Matthew C.
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Garvey, Kevin Z.
Gay, Sharon Frame
Gentile, Angelo
Genz, Brian
Giersbach, Walter
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Goff, Christopher
Golds, Stephen J.
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Graham, Sam
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Greenberg, K.J. Hannah
Greenberg, Paul
Grey, John
Guirand, Leyla
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Haglund, Tobias
Halleck, Robert
Hamlin, Mason
Hanson, Christopher Kenneth
Hanson, Kip
Harrington, Jim
Harris, Bruce
Hart, GJ
Hartman, Michelle
Hartwell, Janet
Haskins, Chad
Hawley, Doug
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Hayes, Peter W. J.
Heatley, Paul
Heimler, Heidi
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Heslop, Karen
Heyns, Heather
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hivner, Christopher
Hockey, Matthew J.
Hogan, Andrew J.
Holderfield, Culley
Holton, Dave
Houlahan, Jeff
Howells, Ann
Hoy, J. L.
Huchu, Tendai
Hudson, Rick
Huffman, A. J.
Huguenin, Timothy G.
Huskey, Jason L.
Ippolito, Curtis
Irascible, Dr. I. M.
Jaggers, J. David
James, Christopher
Jarrett, Nigel
Johnson, Beau
Johnson, Moctezuma
Johnson, Zakariah
Jones, D. S.
Jones, Erin J.
Jones, Mark
Kabel, Dana
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Kay, S.
Keaton, David James
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Keshigian, Michael
Kevlock, Mark Joseph
King, Michelle Ann
Kirk, D.
Knott, Anthony
Koenig, Michael
Kokan, Bob
Korpon, Nik
Kovacs, Norbert
Kovacs, Sandor
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Krafft, E. K.
Lacks, Lee Todd
Lang, Preston
Larkham, Jack
La Rosa, F. Michael
Leasure, Colt
Leatherwood, Roger
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
Leins, Tom
Lemieux, Michael
Lemming, Jennifer
Lerner, Steven M
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lewis, LuAnn
Licht, Matthew
Lifshin, Lyn
Liskey, Tom Darin
Lodge, Oliver
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lorca, Aurelia
Lovisi, Gary
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Lukas, Anthony
Lynch, Nulty
Lyon, Hillary
Lyons, Matthew
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Malone, Joe
Mann, Aiki
Manzolillo, Nicholas
Marcius, Cal
Marrotti, Michael
Mason, Wayne
Mattila, Matt
McAdams, Liz
McCaffrey, Stanton
McCartney, Chris
McDaris, Catfish
McFarlane, Adam Beau
McGinley, Chris
McGinley, Jerry
McElhiney, Sean
McJunkin, Ambrose
McKim, Marci
McMannus, Jack
McQuiston, Rick
Mellon, Mark
Memi, Samantha
Middleton, Bradford
Miles, Marietta
Miller, Max
Minihan, Jeremiah
Montagna, Mitchel
Monson, Mike
Mooney, Christopher P.
Moran, Jacqueline M.
Morgan, Bill W.
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nelson, Trevor
Nessly, Ray
Nester, Steven
Neuda, M. C.
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Nore, Abe
Numann, Randy
Ogurek, Douglas J.
O'Keefe, Sean
Ortiz, Sergio
Pagel, Briane
Park, Jon
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Partin-Nielsen, Judith
Peralez, R.
Perez, Juan M.
Perez, Robert Aguon
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Pettie, Jack
Petyo, Robert
Phillips, Matt
Picher, Gabrielle
Pierce, Curtis
Pierce, Rob
Pietrzykowski, Marc
Plath, Rob
Pointer, David
Post, John
Powell, David
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Praseth, Ram
Prazych, Richard
Prusky, Steve
Pruitt, Eryk
Purfield, M. E.
Purkis, Gordon
Quinlan, Joseph R.
Quinn, Frank
Rabas, Kevin
Ragan, Robert
Ram, Sri
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Reich, Betty
Renney, Mark
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Rhiel, Ann Marie
Richardson, Travis
Richey, John Lunar
Ridgeway, Kevin
Rihlmann, Brian
Ritchie, Bob
Ritchie, Salvadore
Robinson, John D.
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rose, Mandi
Rose, Mick
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Sahms, Diane
Saier, Monique
Salinas, Alex
Sanders, Isabelle
Sanders, Sebnem
Santo, Heather
Savage, Jack
Sayles, Betty J.
Schauber, Karen
Schneeweiss, Jonathan
Schraeder, E. F.
Schumejda, Rebecca
See, Tom
Sethi, Sanjeev
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Sheagren, Gerald E.
Shepherd, Robert
Shirey, D. L.
Shore, Donald D.
Short, John
Sim, Anton
Simmler, T. Maxim
Simpson, Henry
Sinisi, J. J.
Sixsmith, JD
Slagle, Cutter
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Small, Alan Edward
Smith, Brian J.
Smith, Ben
Smith, C.R.J.
Smith, Copper
Smith, Greg
Smith, Paul
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Smuts, Carolyn
Snethen, Daniel G.
Snoody, Elmore
Sojka, Carol
Solender, Michael J.
Sortwell, Pete
Sparling, George
Spicer, David
Squirrell, William
Stanton, Henry G.
Stewart, Michael S.
Stickel, Anne
Stolec, Trina
Stoll, Don
Stryker, Joseph H.
Stucchio, Chris
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Swanson, Peter
Swartz, Justin A.
Sweet, John
Tarbard, Grant
Taylor, J. M.
Thompson, John L.
Thompson, Phillip
Ticktin, Ruth
Tillman, Stephen
Titus, Lori
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Torrence, Ron
Tu, Andy
Tustin, John
Ullerich, Eric
Valent, Raymond A.
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Walsh, Patricia
Walters, Luke
Ward, Emma
Washburn, Joseph
Watt, Max
Weber, R.O.
Weil, Lester L.
White, Judy Friedman
White, Robb
White, Terry
Wickham, Alice
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Tabitha
Woodland, Francis
Young, Mark
Yuan, Changming
Zackel, Fred
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zee, Carly
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas

Ashes and Dust

 

by Janet Hartwell

 

 

I struggle to breathe in the frozen, gray air. Sandy is holding my hand, gently encouraging me to continue. We run and then walk for a long time before we stop and rest. I am so cold, tired, and weak, I want to sleep, but Sandy will not allow me.

Sandy tells me to try not to think about the horrors of the past two weeks, the man grabbing me off my bicycle, tossing me into his van. Sandy tells me to think about my mom and my cat. Sandy knows I will see them again. I need to keep going.

Sometimes, Sandy carries me and tells me stories. Her stories are about little children overcoming great adversity, becoming people who feel safe, simply because they are who they are.

We are looking for a road. I want to stop and rest again, but Sandy says no, he will come after us as soon as he realizes we are gone.

Sandy helps me climb up a steep, slippery embankment and then lifts me over a snowbank plowed against the guardrail. She tells me that when a vehicle comes up the road, we must jump up and down and wave our arms to get attention, to get help.

When headlights finally approach, we hop around, shout, and wave. The car stops. Sandy drapes her necklace around my neck, holds my cheeks in her hands, and kisses my forehead.

An older man approaches with an alarmed look on his face. Sandy steps away.

The abduction was two decades ago, when I was ten. I went to the convenience store to get candy, and I ended up over a thousand miles away. The police never caught the man who grabbed me. They never found Sandy, or any evidence of her. They say the man who abducted me gave me the necklace, or I found it along the way.

I have discussed Sandy with therapists. I tell them she was seventeen, had blonde hair, and was from California. They tell me my mind created Sandy to help me cope with extreme danger, calling it Third Man syndrome, or bicameralism. I show them the necklace, and they try to identify the material.

 

My Grandma believes Sandy was an angel. My mom says she was the best imaginary friend ever. A psychic told me that Sandy was the spirit of another victim. The woman who babysat me after school said Sandy sounded like the teenager I wanted to become.

I can still see her smile and hear her gentle voice saying, "You're such a good girl!" I think about her every day, and I always wear her necklace.

It appears I live a normal life. I've had boyfriends, hung out with girlfriends, and joined bowling teams. My relationships seldom last long. They intensify my longing for something I cannot identify.

I wake up one day, and I cannot find the necklace. I panic and rip the house apart, looking for it. I cry when I finally locate it. I walk past a mirror, and I glimpse Sandy looking out at me.

I make up my mind to go back to that forest. I request vacation time, and I leave.

A couple of days later, I drive along the road where the elderly couple found me and locate the point where they believed they picked me up. I know this is not the correct spot.

I drive further until I feel a wave of relaxed knowing, then I park the car and walk into the woods. I hear a stream and walk toward it, then I see a group of boulders, and I know which way to head.

I am aware of someone else being in the forest, near me, shadowing me, but I feel safe, not because I am who I am, but because I have a Glock 19.

I walk for hours before I come to his cabin. I crouch behind some blackberry bushes and study the thin smoke escaping the stovepipe. I hear the door open, and I watch him step out. I remember the hair and sneering facial expression.

I stand, and I empty the Glock into his chest and his crotch as I walk closer to him. He sinks to the ground and rolls on his back. I look down at his death face, and I feel complete as Sandy steps inside me, and my lips move when Sandy says, "You're such a good girl."

I pull the necklace from my neck and watch it turn back into ashes, dust, and tears in my hand.

 

 

 

Janet Hartwell lives near the Rocky Mountains with her dog and cat. She enjoys reading short stories and flash fiction, and was recently published in Shotgun Honey. Janet is also an AFOL (adult fan of Lego) and occasionally travels in an RV.

In Association with Fossil Publications