Monday, July 01, 2013

Chris Eldin

A few items by Chris Eldin, aka Church Lady, aka Takoda, who brought us laughs and found many friends here (other writings may be found by searching the blog for her names):

Chris Eldin said...Author, if you give EE just a tad more info, he can't help himself but to rewrite it for you. So don't work too hard. Just delete everything he made fun of and summarize your book in a paragraph. You don't even have to make it interesting, like EE said. That's what we pay him for, and we're not gonna let him slack off on your query.

Feeling desperate about just about anything right now feels like standing in line at a deli and seeing a slightly plump mutton-chopped man in line in front of you who's minding his own business and ordering a roasted veggie panini, and you having a sudden urge to grab him by the lapels and beg him to do you, I mean, do your query. Next, I mean. Yeah. Like having blog fever or something.

--Church Lady

Hush now. Be still. I have a story to tell.

Not long ago and not far from here, in a small town up in the hills, lived a farmer and wife who longed for a baby.

For many years they kept their longing close to their hope, but when their hope ran out they were left only with longing and the longing grew until it became pain. When the pain grew too great to bear, the farmer took his wife down to the coast in the quiet days after the harvest, and told her it was time to put the longing away.

He was a kind man who regretted the harvest, cutting his crops with whispered promises that he would save the seeds and next year they would grow taller and prouder than ever. When he told his wife that they must forget about the baby they would never have, he tried to do it with the kindness he showed his crops, with stories of foreign travel and an unencumbered life, but the tears in her eyes washed away his kindness and in the end he blurted out the truth: 'I don't want to try any more'.

No, you can't have any ice cream. Hush and listen.

The kind farmer removed a Cabbage Patch Kid from beneath his overalls and held it high. "This here's the only baby we need," he said. "Billy Bob'll make a fine boy. Now quit yer' ballin' and fetch me some grub, woman."

But as the kind farmer spat chewing tobacco on the ground, an evil grin surfaced on Cabbage Patch Billy Bob's face, and--

Sit still! You think hillbilly sci-fi is easy to do? Now be patient while I finish telling the story . . .

Opening: McKoala.....Continuation: The Church Lady

A First Kiss

A cloud hangs.
Her shoulders shiver, and
He moves closer.
She tilts her face and hides a smile.
He notices.
She feels a warmth upon her cheek.
He is whispering into her hair,
And watching the corners of her mouth.
She doesn’t hear,
But she notices.
Feed the fire, she says.
He does. His hopes take flight.
His breath quickens.
He gazes at the fire, wondering, planning.
Their shoulders touch.
A drop falls. Then two.
They watch the fire.
It dwindles.
His fingers find hers.
He squeezes her hand. We have to go, she says.
He knows.
The cloud darkens.
More drops fall.
He helps her up.
He brushes rain from her cheeks.
He caresses a line down her nose.
She tilts her face, and her smile fades.
He touches his lips to hers.
A cloud gushes.
She giggles and runs.
She races through watery bracken.
She has so much to tell her diary.


Being 30 pounds overweight and dripping chocolate ice-cream on your yellow blouse then running into a hottie someone you haven't seen in 20 years and pretending you don't remember him and you also pretend to not speak English because it's the only way to save face and later get another chocolate ice-cream because by then it's just what you have to do is like my life.


The hand looms large in front of her face. It seems angry, so she listens.

You have to take care of yourself. What are you doing during the day? It’s not healthy. Have you seen yourself? What I do is half portions. It works. Look at me.

The hand swoops around the body it’s attached to then assumes an accusatory pose. Look at yourself.

She looks at herself. There wasn’t much to miss. Two rolls here. Flabby thighs there. She didn’t have to look too hard to see an elephant sprawling all over the sofa. A big, fat, ugly elephant kicked out by the herd. An elephant this big can find no safe place.

At this rate you’ll be

I’ll be what?

The hand flattens and shows its palm. You’re in denial.

I’m not in denial. That’s a river in Egypt, right?

Not funny. I don’t wanna come home and see this.

She enters phase one of zone-out. She looks at the hand. Once in a while a finger will protrude from the hand, but for the most part, it acts in one unit. Slicing the air for emphasis.

She smiles. Some merlot would be nice. Maybe a chocolate bar.

What’s so funny? Is this some kind of game to you?

No game, she thinks. And enters phase two.

She barely notices the cold skinny hand. It is not one she wants to hold.

A bell chimes midnight. A new year. She walks past the hand and goes to bed.

--Church Lady


Sarah Laurenson said...

She was a gifted writer with a wicked sense of humor.

Amara Royce said...

Thank you.

Robin B. said...

What a writer she was. Reading her writng makes me cry. I wish she had stayed in touch with her writing community - but she had been pushed away, afraid to communicate, because of her husband. He had invaded her privacy in a major way - he'd gained access to all of her online accounts, and had hacked her phone as well.

Shona Snowden said...

McK under her new sign in here.

I had forgotten she did a continuation for that story! Love it.

The story still isn't published. Maybe I should go with her version. It's better than mine.

Tk said...

These are all wonderful pieces of writing. I'm very sad to hear about this tragedy and sorry for all who are hurting. Chris sounds funny, thoughtful, kind and in beautiful control of fantastic imagination.

Mary Cunningham said...

Thanks for posting these. I'd forgotten about Takoda, but I'll never, ever forget her, often, raunchy sense of humor. I wish, too, I could've done something more.

Yes, her writing will be missed, but her spirit and generosity toward other writers is what I'll miss the most.