Stirrings: Three Novellas
Every morning, in cities across America, people arise to the dawn of a new day, sometimes to the ringing of an alarm clock, sometimes awakening to some other stimulus. In Martin’s case it was shouting he heard outside his hotel window. How was that possible? His hotel room was on the 11th floor. To the couple necking in a car on Mulholland Drive, it was pink glow of dawn that reminded them that the night was over. For Shirley, music from her clock radio meant time for coffee before work, although the thought of going to the office depressed her. For an immigrant Vietnamese boat woman, morning labor pains meant her son was going to be born an American citizen. Chris, waking at 5:00 P.M. knew it soon would be time to hit the streets again, avoiding the police while trying to find a customer for the evening. On a remote mountain hillside, a bobcat hunting quail perked its ears at the sound of a pickup truck carrying a man and a boy as it drove on a dirt road in the valley below. Elsewhere, Mr. Kobayashi reflected on his good fortune in meeting Thomas Ellesmere. Eight people, living vastly different lives, each longing for a better day—what if their paths should cross?
Shirley broke the mold and left her dead-end job, went back to college, earned a degree against the odds, and fell in love. On the verge of a new life, a vacation was warranted and she flew to a Caribbean island to relax and contemplate the future. Wandering along pristine beaches and in small shops in the village, she found a shop called Fantasy Boutique. The proprietress shocked Shirley with a prophesy that she might realize her dream—an unspoken fantasy—while on the island. A boat sailed into the harbor with a stranger on board, but then sailed out again. Then a ferry arrived with Martin on board.
The Night is Far Spent:
Thomas Ellesmere grew up in Honolulu, attended Stanford University, and then joined the Army. At Schofield Barracks in Hawaii in the summer of 1941, he married his childhood sweetheart before shipping out to the Philippines. Six years later, after combat in the Philippines, a stint as a POW, and several years with the occupation forces in Japan, Thomas returned and entered MIT as a graduate student. Thomas was recruited to work for a computer science company in California, saw a different future in the explosive growth potential of small computers, and decided to start his own company. He called Elsa in New York and asked her to fly out to California for a few days. “Why?” she asked. “So we can shop for a wedding dress,” he replied. Under Thomas’s guidance and with his partner David’s technical skills, the company grew and soon was in key partnerships with former enemies in Japan and Germany. Thomas recruited Akira Kobayashi as Chief Financial Officer and made other strategic hires. Elsa succumbed to cancer, leaving Thomas wondering how many more blows he could sustain. When David decided to move on, Thomas created a new operations manager position. The woman he hired for that position ultimately transformed the company and gave Thomas back his life and dreams.
Stirrings: Three Novellas—Craig B. Smith. In every person, there is at minimum a wish for a better day, that dawn will see the stirrings of new hope, a happier life, a love found or reaffirmed. In Stirrings, the first novella, eight people, living “lives of quiet desperation,” trapped by social status, are chronicled. What if, in some surprising way, their paths were to cross? The second novella, Fantasy Boutique, follows two people whose paths do cross, thanks to a small Caribbean store specializing in, of all things, fantasies. They find a way to alter their situation. The Night is Far Spent traces the agony of a man who loses his love and nearly his life in a WWII prison camp, but comes back from the depth of despair to survive against the odds, starts a business, learns to love again, and achieves unparalleled success by forgiving former enemies.