The First 750 Words

The First 750 Blog Carnival

Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy – Short Stories, Essays, Novella, and Other Pieces By Crow Johnson Evans



In this short story collection, author Crow Johnson Evans displays a deep concern and understanding of humanity, a lively spirit of adventure, and a lyrical writing talent. The outcome is a reading treasure providing thoughtful entertainment and delight to all. Enjoy! — Radine Trees Nehring, author of Dear Earth:A Love Letter From Spring Hollow and the “To Die For” Mystery series.

Flights-final1Flights of Fancy is songwriter Crow Johnson Evans’ fanciful journey into prose. Along the flight path the reader has a wide-angle view of terrain stretching from Gibraltar to India, to Texas. This collection is a feast for the senses as it stitches together a patchwork quilt of storytelling, mystery and song. –Alison Moore, author of Synonym for Love.

In Flights of Fancy, a character says: ” I don’t know how long we stayed that way, arms out, feeling the world humming.” Crow Johnson Evans could have been describing her own book there. It hums –with wonder and wit and intelligence, with the natural world and knitting and generosity. It hums indeed. –Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Red Thread.
Bio: She’s not very tall and often seen holding hands with Gravette dentist, Art Evans. Crow Johnson Evans married Art and moved to town 29 years ago. At the time she was a singer/songwriter touring the country.

In recent years she’s been weaving stories and spinning yarns when not helping out at the dental office. Yes, balancing her time between fiber arts and fiction. “Flights of Fancy- Short Stories, Essays, Novella, and Other Pieces” was published by Mockingbird Lane Press this winter. The collection is like a bag of shiny marbles, each one a different size, color, and texture. From country stories to mystery to memoir— this book, like her life, is an adventure.

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Miss Henrietta’s Invisible Doors

She moved her face close to mine, close enough that I could see the little crinkled lines around her eyes and smell her lilac body powder. She said she had something very important to tell me. It was something that most people know deep down in their bones, but choose to ignore. She told me that because she saw the Red-tailed Hawk hesitate on the wind at the moment I called out “hello,” and because it was my eleventh birthday- today she would tell me about the doors.
I came to know Miss Henrietta and Harry on my walks. They lived in a rambling structure. It looked like a little two-wheeled trailer, parked long enough to grow roots. Odd bits and pieces of stuff they’d found discarded magically came together to make more rooms. Whatever she was doing when I came by, Miss Henrietta would stop. We’d sit outside, in aluminum lawn chairs, listen to the woods, drink hot tea and (best of all) we’d talk.

“Where are the doors?” My curiosity was up.

“They are everywhere. If they’ve been used recently, it’s easier to find them.” She took a sip of tea and looked up into the branches to follow the movements of a tiny bird.

“Summer Tanager,” she said.

“What do they look like?”

“It’s that small scarlet bird that just flew up into the black oak.” She pointed up.

“No,” I was determined. “What do the doors look like Miss Henrietta?”

“Oh. They’re invisible. You can’t see them but you can feel them if you pay attention.”

“Where do the doors go.”

“The other side, dear. Don’t be silly.” Her voice was soft and matter of fact.

“I don’t understand.”

Miss Henrietta said I wasn’t to worry, I soon would understand. She slowly leaned forward and straightened to stand, stretching with both hands on her hips, arching her back. The two lawn chairs we used for our visits were so faded the plastic webbing lacked any recognizable color. Looking up at her long bony frame, I wondered how we’d become such good friends.

She pulled a hat from an antler hook to the right of her door, yelled “Back in a while” to the cabin and took up a walking stick.

“Let’s go. We’ll see what we can find.” Without waiting for me to answer, she took off east, walking through the woods toward the county road.

I’ve rarely seen her husband, Harry. When I visit, he’s usually napping or out cutting wood. She says he’s a good man of few words, which made me wonder if he didn’t know many words or he just didn’t like saying them.
Miss Henrietta knows word, all right, big asmall words for ‘most everything in our Ozarks. She’ll say, “Pay attention. This smooth and shiny bark tells you it’s a fruit tree, wild cherry. Look up there.”

As I’d be looking at the glisten of the bark, trying to remember it, she be fifteen feet ahead – talking about some vine or black rat snake. Miss Henrietta is hard to keep up with.

Today, we walked along the edge of the road facing the traffic. Other than a truck stacked with cages of dirty white chickens, one red pickup blasting rock ‘n roll, and a dusty sedan – there wasn’t any real traffic.

“Just past the curve at the McGill’s driveway, Miss Henrietta stopped and stood real still. I froze in my tracks, too. After a minute she asked, “Can you feel anything?”

I really tried, but only felt a little breeze and heard some insects and the McGill’s dog barking. “No, not really.”

“It’s okay if you don’t feel it right off. It takes some practice. That was where the young Williams boy ran off the road about five years ago. That door has been shut a long time. There’s a bunch more up here.” She started walking again.

Across a gully and onto the tracks, she climbed and I followed her. We were just south of the railroad tunnel and north of the Howard’s Fork trestle when she stopped again.

“Close your eyes now and point to where you feel something different.”

Goose bumps crawled from my wrists to my shoulders and I pointed.

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 Author Bio:


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Award winning songwriter/performer, Crow Johnson Evans has turned her efforts of the last decade to fiber arts and writing (CrowSpun). Educated in Zoology, she remains intrigued by nature and its interplay with human life and dreams.  Crow and her husband, Arthur, live in Northwest Arkansas, and enjoy eco-touring to see and photograph rare wildlife. A founding board member of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, Crow celebrates that spark of creativity that writers and musicians, given the space and time, kindle. Crow’s Full Biography

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