When Anne Fricke first came to the redwood forests and dramatic coastline of Northern California, after growing up in Southern Indiana, she knew she was home. Her writing takes on many forms and genres; poetry, short stories, blog posts and novels. She also dabbles in the realm of fantasy most nights during her children's bedtime. Her first poetry collection Susurrus: whispers behind this life was published in October 2016. She is seeking representation for her debut novel, The Orchard’s Descendant, a journey through life-altering challenges of the last century, weaving love, mystery and a touch of the paranormal along the way.
lazy drops of rain slide down the window
a sigh of relief drifts from my breath and settles,
comfortably, around me
outside my window jasmine vines dance erratically
under the onslaught of heavy, languid drops;
this is no whisper of delicate rain
but a torrential respite of long-awaited showers
voluptuous, gray-hued clouds ease themselves onto the shore,
making landfall as they leave their ocean
they roll stoically towards the mountains,
releasing their renewing nectar onto the
desperately dry land below
plants quiver in the promise of these falling drops,
leaves reach out longingly to gather each tiny
roots swell with anticipation in the slowly-
and I melt, thankfully, into the promise of renewal
Excerpt from Anne's short story
She was born in the heat of the summer. When tendrils of humidity hang from oscillating ceiling fans and the incessant buzz of cicadas texture the moist, oppressive air. The wail of her cry pierced through the blanket of heat settling onto her mother’s sweat-soaked body, scaring the crawdads back into their holes. Her mother, hearing the desperation and longing in the cry of her first born, began to whimper as the vitality flowed slowly and steadily from her battered womb.
The baby grew to be a shy, awkward girl tucked away into a foster home wrought with the comings and goings of one displaced youth after another; relegated to quiet corners, burnt, tasteless edges of casseroles too inadequate to feed hungry, growing bodies and slivers of threadbare blankets commandeered by older, stronger children.
She is a storyteller, a weaver of fantasies whose roots dig deep beneath the earth on which she stands, the long limbs of images and visions reaching towards the sun and wrapping her safely in metaphors and happy endings. In these stories she is never a motherless castaway, bereft of the security of unconditional love, but a flourishing child whose world is full of possibilities.
On stormy days, as clouds grow on the horizon, grumbling and groaning, slowly slogging across the sky, she sits on the back porch, snapping endless piles of stringy green beans, and looks over the grove of orange trees behind the foster home, lined by ancient oaks and approaching kudzu vines. Her feet twitch with the desire to tramp through fields, splashing rhythmically into puddles. As she watches the heavy drops plop decidedly onto the ground she imagines the cool, squish of mud oozing between the toes of her bare feet. She rubs her feet together, tickling her toes and reveling in the sensation of her imagination. She longs to run into the storm and bathe the world with the story of her birth, screaming into the whipping wind the anguish she somehow remembers in her mother’s dying face.