art by Luis Rubio Vargas
Brenda Petrakos is a writer/performer from Los Angeles, CA.
Her work has been published in various publications including:Voices Of New Women Writers (Duke University Press), poeticdiversity, Literary Angles (Sybaritic Press), Falling Star Literary Magazine, Joy In Mudville: Hollywood Anthology (Metropolis Hopper Books), Afterwords (Really Big Show Productions), 2007 National Poetry Month Prose Winner, Palabra Press, Everything About You Is Beautiful (Really Big Show Productions), The Cobalt Poetry Series, The Valley Contemporary Poets Anthology.
Her Short Story "Cop" was made into a short film - which has since screened at Cinema Slam in Park City, 2008.
Her short story : "Welcome To Heaven" has been optioned as feature film.
The Day of the Wind
The Wind took off his mantle and came to earth. Dressed in what looked like a mechanic's jump suit, the person, formerly known as the Wind, put on a baseball hat and dark glasses and brown gloves. He fashioned lead boots that looked like work boots and covered himself in mud and black ash. He then powdered himself with white dust and looked like a dirty mechanic, smeared and not quite perfect. He wanted to see what it was like not to hover, what it was like to listen. He wanted to stop moving, so he sat in a lawn chair made of aluminum and wire, the seat was from made from nylon ribbons. He put flat heavy rocks in his pants to keep him centered. The Wind sat watching no dust swirl, no trees move, watching the humans move, move without prompting, move as a constant state of movement.
He watched in the middle of the city, sitting on a sidewalk. He watched smooth-skirted women walking briskly in high heels, tall silent men, hands in pockets looking straight ahead. He listened to chattering conversations about nothing, to the sounds of machines and the humming of electricity. He heard running, snapping, and then, the skipping and high-pitched sing-song of a tribe of small children passing him. Only one child stopped and let the others run ahead. Only one child looked deep into his wind face, and recognized he was not. Only one child stepped back, and then, came close, much to the disapproval of the woman who was her keeper, and to the disapproval of her friends who were stopped in their travel. The woman, frazzled and unhappy, rushed at the girl, raising her voice and grabbed her small arm.
"It's not good to stare," she said as she tried to make the little girl move, but the little girl would not. The little one was strong and stubborn, and pulled away to see what she saw. But the keeper was not looking at anything in focus; she was bothered, multitasking and scanning the other children, reaching each one with her eyes and silent commands.
The little one knew something, and then, the other little ones came to see what she saw. They were quiet as they looked at the stranger. The stranger said nothing; he just sat his wind eyes covered with large dark glasses.
The keeper of the children now more flustered because the group of children were staring, all staring. "It's impolite to stare, children... Let's go... Come on, let's go," she kept saying, but they were small and did stare, they all stared, little heads tilted, recognizing something they all knew.
The first child to stop, stood back a bit and said, "I know you... I saw you in the sky before..." but could not connect the rest of the thought.
For no reason, a few of the children started to cry. A few of the boys started to laugh because of the crying, and the Wind realized he could not sit for much longer. So, he started to untie his lead shoes, stood to empty his pockets, and then vanished, leaving behind the glasses, boots, leaving the chair and mechanic's suit, letting the gloves fall to the ground. Strange and strong in moments, the swirling life and wonder that he was, moved first left, and then right, and then up. He whipped the air in a swirl and ran his voice across the faces of the standing children, who, after a moment, ran off to the park - back to the original destination, back to the park, back to orders, back to listening to the keeper's directions, back to fighting over swings and tossing sand at each other. All except the little one, who originally stopped to see the Wind. She followed everyone who went to the park, but the whole time she looked up, the whole time she watched for something for the thing she stopped for. Then the Wind, watching her, made note of her, and called her, Mary, fluttering her dark brown hair, fluffing her cotton shirt and telling her she was beautiful because she saw... she would always see... The Wind cried, Mary every time he saw her, pulled her to himself when she walked, watched her grow, and made her look up... made her hear. The Wind cried, Mary year after year... and reminded her to look... reminded her to see... the Wind cried, Mary that first day, and always... That is why the Wind cries, Mary... and always will... it always will.