Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Changing Seasons

     If you'd have asked her when she was little what she wanted to be when she grew up, she'd have smiled  so deeply it looked like her dimples connected from inside her plump cheeks.  The words would have burst forth like a firework: "A tree!" You might have laughed, missing her frown and disappointment that you didn't believe her.
       
But that was how she saw herself in the universe; a spindly, gawky sapling.  She grew slowly; craning her thin branches to reach the sun. She hungered for the sighs of spring breezes, reveled her soft, new leaves. She craved summer heat and the laughter, new friends and cool, sweet nights. She treasured the dazzling  Autumnal colors she created and shivered in the winter chill; grateful for the time to rest and dream of the next year's adventures. There were tough times though.  She met those who proclaimed friendship and made pain.  Some tore her leaves, breaking parts of her.  Others crept closer still and tried to chew her down to nothing from the inside out. Once, she lost a branch when another crashed down too close to her. The pain  was unspeakable, nearly unbearable.  Her tears were a silent, painful river running through her very core but she stood tall, recovering slowly, proving to herself and others around her that she would survive and thrive.  Her bark grew hard and safe as she struggled in her life; fighting off swirling storms, disgraceful parasites, while accepting loving friends, new experiences and with each cycle, surging with life.  She stood graceful; powerful. Eventually, she fell in love, establishing deeper, thicker roots with another wonderful, strong tree; their lives intertwining, becoming one.  Her leaves seemed greener.  The sun felt brighter on her spreading canopy.  She was a happy tree. At last she saw the first tiny bud and was ecstatic; then another.  How wonderful! They grew, this little family; with many nights when she soothed them with whispers from the    night winds or made them giggle with tickles from her gentle leaves.  She curled her branches around those little buds when storms came; with rain hard and slicing or ice rigid and heavy.  Often she lost her own branches during those upheavals; the pain was gouging, leaving her scarred and raw, but she protected those little buds with every fiber and grain in her solid, wise, trunk. 

  At last, and all too soon, her first bud began to tug, talk of falling off and growing in the soil nearby. The words came in burning stabs.  "Already?" she thought as the cold fear and truth seeped in, causing that river of sadness to rush through her once again.  She struggled with the shock and hurt at the thought of this little bud, who so freely laughed with her, had swung within her gentle foliage, depended upon her for everything now wanting to drop away; leave the security and happiness the tree had tried to build around it.  This knowledge and acceptance cloyed at her heart.  But one day when the summer sun was less angry and the fall colors hadn't yet begun to tingle in her veins, she allowed the wind to take the little bud.  She trembled and shook watching it race into the forest.  Away.  "Be safe, be careful, be strong..." she sobbed into the wind, watching tearfully as a piece of her very soul squealed excitedly into the universe.  She clung to her family bud and wept.  She had nightmares. Called out in fear and beckoned, begged for its return.  But the bud was gone. Those were dark days when her branches hung lower and she didn't feel so tall or strong.  She felt lonely; weak. She missed her baby, her friend. 
       
But the tree had to keep going despite the pain of losing part of her.  Slowly, she found herself laughing again, enjoying her friends, her family and her life but she always searched the canopy, listened to the breezes and worried.  Then, when the renewing rains came and leaves were soft and fresh, she heard it.  "Mama! Just LOOK at me!  Here I am!"  And surely as the seasons change, there was her little bud; craning, stretching, blossoming in the big forest; with lean, strong limbs and leaves shiny; beautiful; healthy.  There were some scars where branches were missing and there were some spots that held thicker bark for protection.  Sure enough, the once little bud was making another beautiful life, settling roots and growing strong and wonderful as she had always wanted; hoped 
      
 There was a surge of pride, love greater than any rainbow that had stretched above her.  Together they laughed and shared in the spring breezes.  They shaded each other when the summer sun threatened to broil and burn their leaves.  They competed and amazed each other with their vibrant, daring colors in the fall and in winter there was sleep filled with loving dreams and memories.  She was a lucky tree.  She smiled to her center; pleased with life that had grown around her.



This summer has been everything; exciting, heart-breaking, fun, sad; the whole kit-n-kaboodle.  My daughter leaves for college and I am what every parent is at this moment; a hot, sobbing mess.  I framed this for her and sent it with my boys since I will not be able to move her into her dorm.  

I love you Honey and miss you already.  I'm so proud of who you are and can't wait to see and share in all your successes as you become, our  Amazing Grace.  


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Personalities

I had put it off because of the stress and worry it creates, but no more.  I vowed to do it.  I called.  I was polite and friendly and made the appointment.  I didn't ask anyone to go with me.  I knew I could do this ... alone.  I took the toddlers to the vet... at the same time.


This is not something regularly practiced since Winston usually sits and yells ( it sounds like a sour, broken fire truck) at everyone in the office or attempts to remodel the facility during his wait time.  I have often had to take him to the car so when his time is due, they text or call and I rush in, rush out... scream/demolition free.  Today, I braved the odds and packed them both up.  They were groggy and sleepy so getting them to the car was like taking candy from a baby.  My soft voice and warm cuddles got them there and when that door shut, it was like a moment in a horror film where the stupid teens realize they have just gotten in to a room with one door and no windows and the "axe-man cometh". Winston's eyes went wide and he began to tremble.  Birdie sat stone still.

We arrived easily enough.  I cooed and soothed and told them I understood.  I hate the doctor too but it's important lalala.   Winston begged every driver that passed us to help him.  Birdie sat.

I checked us in after taking them for a stroll around the snow drifts so Winston could sign his name.  He loves to dot those "i's" .  They smiled and said his name like most people do "WWWIN-ston" he wiggles and smiles and usually blows his nose on people and they find this cute.  I find it damp.  So Birdie followed me, hopped up on the bench and sat next to me.  WWWINston hopped up, crawled through the planters, knocked over the paper adds and several window knickknacks and blew his nose a lot.  He then crawled on to the bench NEXT to ours and did the same; smelling all the flowers and rooting like a pig.  One of the techs came and said his name which drew him out of the planters and into her lap then he followed her into her office and rooted in her trash, her desk.. the whole time she laughed and rubbed him. I cleaned up, pulled his lead and apologized as fast as I could... while...

Birdie sat and looked around fearfully but never left my side.

"Time for weigh in" came the chirp from another tech.  I got up and Birdie followed.  WWWINston charged over and jumped on the scale and began to dance, promptly sending himself into a raging coughing fit which ended in a lugee on their scale.  "Awwwwww...WWWINston" was what I heard.   He jumped off.  Jumped on.  Got weighed.  Now it was Birdie's turn.  In soft, coaxing voices we led her to the mat.  She sat down and looked at me. I smiled and rubbed her shoulders, assuring her it was okay.   WWWINston jumped on and smacked his sister.  She wound up to absolutely shred his face, but didn't.  She just sat.  We were led back to our room.  Guess who was first?

WWWINston!

We got in and he began to snort and snot and promptly piddled on the wall and pooped in the middle of the room.  Nice entrance.  I cleaned up after him and then the techs began to come in.... "I heard WWWINston and Birdie were here!  Do you mind if I come in and... Ohhhhhh WWINston!!!!!! Hey Buddy! Who's a good boy ... Ohhhh I love you... yes and yes and ohhhhh....." and he would wiggle and smile and blow his nose and snort.  Then softly they would turn to Princess Grace... "Hello Miss Birdie... Lovely....Pretty girl...." and she sat.  Looking at me.

It was time for the nitty gritties so up on the table went the unflappable WWWINSton.  He got in everyone's face, licked each item that came near him; testing for flavor and snackability.  He snorted and blew his nose.  Everyone laughed and wiped their ... faces, tools, instruments, shirts... He IS a clown and he is one of the friendliest happiest dogs I've ever owned.  He would get into the "Free Candy" van and somehow make it home safely ... you know what I mean?

Birdie... sat.  Once she whined and I felt her tremble slightly when the doctor came in.  When it was her turn they asked if they could handle her.  "Sure. No problem.  Just so she sees me at all times.  She won't give you a lick of trouble." So WWWINston was set loose and I put her on the table.  I spoke gently to Jackie-O of the K-9 world as she never took her eyes off me.  "Good girl.  Pretty.  You're all right..." I whispered as I touched her face and stroked her tummy.   They checked her tumor and other what-nots.  They spoke softly to her; around her.  She did just fine.  My Nubian Princess.

But WWWINston was not about to be outdone.  Ohhhh no.  He stood up and smacked not just MY legs, but the Doc's.  Then he jumped up on the stool.  This would have been fine if it hadn't been on wheels which promptly sailed across the little room into the desk containing all the cookies. Winston almost shrieked with joy.  Imagine! SNACKS ! FLYING AT YOU!!! I'd be pretty excited.  "Oh hey WHOA there cowboy..." Doc laughed put him on the floor.  She bent to get some equipment and he was right there... literally in the drawer snorting and pawing... just helping out, you know? She laughed some more (I think I heard a snort) and grabbed some crunchy cookies, broke them into pieces and threw them all over the floor.  Most dogs would have been occupied for a while.  Not WWWINston.  Nope.  He basically opened his mouth and sucked them all up, burped and sneezed forcing me to get the roll of paper towels to clean up. (I think it's sad I know right where they are and am not afraid to get them myself.  I am NOT a prima-donna dog owner).  He sat on the floor for a moment until he tooted, scared himself and sauntered off to attempt to whiz on the tree in the corner.

Birdie sat.  She put her paw on my arm.  Only once did she look at the doctor.  It must have been her famous "stink eye" look because doc pulled back.  I reached in and talked softly.  She sighed and looked back to me.

There were three techs in that room when there is usually one.  But everyone just comes in to play with my dogs.  They whisked them away for their blood work and I sat quietly.  I heard laughter and snorting.  Birdie came back and sat on my lap.  I felt another small tremble.  All was finished for my bulldozer and elegant lady.

Out to the counter we went to schedule followups and such.  WWWINston tried to crawl under the door to get into the office with the girls.  This act squished his face and stretched his eyes wider.  He snorted so they knew what he wanted.  "Awwwww...."  They took him in, cooing and snuggling my piglet.  Birdie sat.  A Dalmatian walked in and WWWINston lost control.  He started to scream and cry and moan.  I hustled payment and appointments and turned to my little ones.

"Go home."

They bolted for the door, WWWINston not realizing I had to open it.  Thank GOD his face is already smashed in.  I took them out and to the car.  We drove home.  WWWINston jumped out when we arrived and marked everything he could find.  He dashed around the yard and made himself have to poop again.  Birdie waited at the door.  We all came in, got treats and WWWINston went to bed, snoring like a chainsaw.  Birdie waited until I sat down (she followed me through every step I made from cooking to bathroom breaks) at which time, a huge sigh escaped her and she fell asleep.  She's still snuggled up in my coat, snoring in the late day sunlight as it crawls around the house and peeks in the windows to make sure all went okay.

It's been a long day for my toddlers.

Well hello there.  Just had a good day (overall) and wanted to share it with you.  You know how the toddlers are!  Always good for a story.  Love those pooches!  Have a good day.  I'm glad you stopped by for a smile; no matter how small.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Suspicion

She paced around the kitchen island, down the hall, checked the front door again and wandered back into the front room where she knelt on the couch, pulled back the curtains and peeked at what she knew was there; an empty driveway.  No car, no sign of him.  The wind picked up and whistled low outside.  A storm was coming.  She could smell the rain on its way.  The trees dipped a little deeper and the leaves hissed at her.  "He's not coming.  He's not coming.  You were right."

She let the curtains fall and stepped away from the nay-sayers outside.  He would be here.  He was just delayed by the storm.  She had watched the news and although it had already hit the city, he would have been a little bit ahead of it; if he'd left on time.  And why wouldn't he?  No, her husband would make it home in time for their quiet dinner and she would feel fine again. She smiled at her silliness and sipped her wine.  Sip.  Yes, she didn't want to gulp or get sloshed and be staggering all over when he DID arrive, which would be soon.  She checked the oven, turned it down a little more so dinner didn't spoil and made her lap once more.  She'd been doing this for over an hour.

The rain finally came, but he did not.  The drops fell like her own angry tears.  He was more than two hours behind without a call.  Her mind began to race toward the conclusion that she'd been fighting off.  He was with someone else.   After eleven years of marriage, he'd thrown in the towel without a word to her or the chance to fix it. She had seen the signs of marital restlessness several months ago on her way home from her new spin class.  She'd joined to firm up, get fit and have him look at her the way he did strange women on the street; admiringly, hungrily.  Yes, she wanted to see that look from him again.  She hadn't realized she missed it until he was giving it to others.  It hurt her feelings, made her feel lonely and ugly, unwanted.  And after all they'd been through in their relationship, she didn't want to lose him to a stranger. She was working hard and getting results.  She'd dropped some weight and was pleased with her new, stronger body. She grinned remembering how men at the gym had begun to look at her, leer a little.  They approached her for her number or name or small flirty conversations. One in particular was her trainer, Adrian.  He smelled of soap and sandalwood ~ powerful, strong and comforting.  She loved to be near him just for breathing deeper; laughing at her schoolgirl crush.  She tried not to get flustered when he showed her improvements on her technique or when he touched her on the arm to speak to her after class.   She wondered if her husband even noticed her anymore as she gave herself a sideways glance in the foyer's mirror on another lap of her home.  she hoped he had, liking what he'd seen.  

"Too late" the thunder rumbled outside.  The woman pulled her sweatshirt closer around her body, fighting the chill that was seeping under her skin to her bones, resembling a cold suspicion.  She made another lap, stopping at the stove to pull out and serve herself dinner.  She ate sitting at her place at the table poking at her meal and shoving things around her plate.   Sometimes she even took a bite.  It was his favorite, not hers, but she thought it would be a nice touch for when he got home.

The minutes crawled by.  She  quit pacing and went to bed, pretending to read.  she practiced what she would say.  What would she ask or demand? What would his truth be?  what if he'd been in an accident? What if he couldn't call her to tell her he loved her? Not to worry. Her eyes began to feel heavy.  Sadness crept in and weighed her eyelids down so that she fell asleep on the verge of tears.

She awoke with a panic, the dark stabbing at her and the night screaming in silence that he still wasn't home.  It was 4:30.  She got up and put on her slippers and went into the front room, perching on the sofa and drawing the drapes back just so she could see the drive.  she sighed heavily, praying she was wrong; that the storm which was howling, laughing at her concern for him was not right.  He stayed late for work, he got something to eat and then he got delayed with the storm.  Yes. That was it.

She had almost fallen back to sleep when the lights from his car sneaked up the driveway toward the house.  She thought they went off early; so as not to disturb her?  She thought that was odd.  He sat inside the car for a lot longer than normal.  Was he saying goodnight to his lover on the phone?  Can't wait to see you again? I love you?  She ducked down and watched him childishly.  He wiped his face and held the steering wheel as if he was going to pull away.  At last she saw his shoulders droop.  He must be coming in to shower her off and then slide unhappily into our bed she sniffed.  Anger began to stir and bubble in her soul.  She wondered what drinks they had shared what meal what hotel ... She clenched her fists and gritted her teeth, angry that she had worried and cooked and changed and tried... for nothing.

He came in quietly, she wondered briefly if he took his shoes off so as not to disturb her.  she marveled as he stopped in the laundry room and heard him undress placing his clothes in the washer.  Really? First time he'd ever initiated the laundry on his own. She sat stone still and waited for him to start sneaking up the stairs before she cleared her throat.

"Oh. Hey. You're still up?  It's late..."

"Yes it is.  What kept you?" her tone was flat, edgy.

"Well, something came up."

"Until 4:30 in the fucking morning? or was that just what you were doing?"

"Honey.. I've done something I shouldn't have..." he backed up and stood in the shadows.

"Damn right. I KNEW it..." she was up and in front of him her finger pointing like a dagger.  

He waited until she was in his face and then grabbed her arms.  She was flailing and lashing out, calling him every name in the book.  He never said a word and waited for it to hit her.  The smell.

She was gasping and at last stopped as the stink pinched her nose; warm copper and burnt sugar.  She looked at him, puzzled.  "What.. What IS that? What have you done?" she broke from him and dashed to the laundry room, smashing at the light switch on the wall.  It clicked on and dimly glowed over his clothes, stained and sticky with blood. It seemed like gallons of it, dripping thick and gooey into her wash basin.  She clung to the washer's edge for support and gagged.  He was behind her, smeared with deep red clots and cuts of his own.

"I didn't want to lose you to a stranger." he said quietly.

"What? What?" she hissed as if he'd read her mind.

"You. You go to the gym all the time.  You're never here. with me.  You choose those wolves who drool and hang around you like you're in heat and you just keep smiling.  Your work-outfits get skimpier every time I see you and then you got involved with Adrian...." he trailed off letting her think about what she'd made him do.

"You're talking crazy...I ... never..."she was stammering, the room spinning like a fun house floor.

"I wanted you back.  I wanted you to love me.  So I began to follow you and I watched you.  You were giving up on us...eleven years... Adrian just can't waltz in and take you away... not after all we've been through..."

Tears of shame and confusion streamed down their faces.  He began to sob, reaching for her.  "Don't leave me." and she opened her arms to comfort him.  She ran her fingers through his hair and whispered in his ear.  They sank to the floor and rocked back and forth holding each other.  She pulled away only to wipe his tears and kiss his cheeks, ignoring the metallic taste that flooded her mouth and nose. She kept talking in hushed tones through the night; organizing their new beginning.

The sun sneaked up and peered in the windows, curious how the day would start.  The washing machine was running gently bumping the dryer. His car was gone from the driveway.  She was humming softly, cleaning the dishes from dinner as he showered. He joined her and wrapped her lovingly in his arms.  


"Thank you for dinner.  That's my favorite."

"I know." she smiled softly.  

He kissed her.  She turned and looked into his eyes filled with love for her.  She stroked his face and breathed deeply as the soft scent of sandalwood drifted around her. She was glad they'd had such a nice night together.  happy that he'd made it home before the storm...yes, that is what she'd say....



And hello again.  This one is okay.  Not one of my favorites.  I like the concept and the general line, but it just seems a little choppy.  Eh... not everything I write will be the best I've ever written.  I hope you had a great weekend.  We managed to hang on during the "snowmageddon" storm that crushed us.  It was a nice quiet weekend filled with good food and shoveling. Yay? Well, I hope that's as  much winter as we get but I doubt it.  Be safe in your travels, have a good rest of the weekend.  Thanks for spending time with me.  It's fun, dontcha think? :)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wiped the Tears

God DAMMIT how he hated the burnt sting of Jack Daniels.
                              > Gulp<       >wince<
It was the tenth time he'd thought this tonight and drank heavily yet again, glancing at the three-quarters empty bottle.  He sat pitifully in the night, cursing the silence as it screamed the truth. He had shattered the mirror in the hall when he'd finally seen it; the ugly truth, himself.  This battle with Jack had become a nightly ritual, an unsuccessful attempt at making her smile, her laughter, her love disappear or at least quiet down inside his heart.  No his head. He was going nuts.  It had nothing to do with his heart.  It had been over a year and the problem; his problem only seemed to be getting worse, becoming a thin papery veil of the man he'd (bragged about) been before. He still went out with the guys, chased and conquered meaningless sluts all for the high-fives and boasting but in the end, it was just like JD leaving his mouth and body dry and bitter.
                              >Gulp<         >wince<
Jesus CHRIST this stuff tasted like horse shit and sawdust.  His teeth ground together and his breath heaved out.  His head tilted and he quietly asked the room and all the furniture to please sit the fuck still.  "Just hang on boys..." he slurred; his eyes rolling around drunkenly casting frustrated glances at it all.  "This shouldn't take much longer."  He lolled his head toward the now empty bottle of pills.  "The last supper indeed" he snorted.
                             >Gulp<          >wince<
She had been so lovely; sweet to him.  She had been in love with him.  Love.  What a dangerous word that had been to him; forbidden.  He'd told her many times, warned her, that he wasn't the marrying man.  He regretted that now.  He was angry with his carelessness and stupidity. He felt like an ass picking her up at a coworker's funeral.  It had been a dare from"The Waterboyz".  He'd sat next to her; consoled her, and by the end of the wake had gotten her number on the guise that they could hang out, cheer each other up...what a dick.  He wished he'd just left her alone.  Then he wouldn't want to see her green eyes light up when he walked into the room or hear her laugh and feel her touch his arm when he leaned in to tell her something; wanting the chance to say she was beautiful or that he loved her instead of one of  his "go to's": a filthy suggestion of events later in the night or stuffing his chubby fingers up her dress.  He so wanted the chance to show her he WAS a marrying man; a good man.  He wanted to be her man.  He missed hearing that she adored him. She said it all the time with a quick peck or a gentle stroke of his cheek.  But he had been too busy making eyes down the bar or at the waitress or sending sexts to someone else.  And at last when he thought he'd tired of her; convinced she couldn't "make it worth his while" anymore, he moved on without explanation or apology; as if she were a sport.  Love is not a sport.  She should never have been sport. Maybe if he had been a better man, she wouldn't have killed herself.
                           >Gulp<            >sigh<
The blinks were coming slower and longer.  His teeth thumped with his pulse; distant, deep, getting weaker...
He drained the bottle relieved, at some level, to see the end in sight.  His body was screaming for him to stop; nausea churned in his burning belly, panting and sweating albeit shallow and cool.  He couldn't move. His mind was cloudy.  He looked at the label but the letters were dancing on it so he didn't know what they said anymore.  He drooled and felt his stomach lurch so hard he fell forward cracking his nose on the bottle as they both tumbled to the floor.  He wretched but fought the final act of vomiting.  He would not be discovered in a pool of sick.  He swallowed and swallowed....
                           >Gulp<
Dark
Nothing
For a long time.
When he opened his eyes, he was was initially pissed, believing he was still alive.  Everything was fuzzy and blurry.  He was surprised there was no headache or hangover.  He glanced around, hearing noises and seeing shadows.  He called out angrily and searched but in the end, he found only himself lying in a pool of sick, waiting to be discovered.  He sighed and tried to kick his body... calling it pathetic.  The whispers became louder and more aggressive.  He realized he was bridging the gap..."Gonna meet some ghosts n shit!" he thought childishly.  They were not friendly.  Their warm breathy warning was simple :Not here.  Not you.  Get out.
He had nothing to lose and had to get going anyway so he flipped the bird, said a cordial "Bite me" and wandered out in search of her.  He scoured the town, called her name as if she were a lost pet.  How does one ghost find another?  They can't use a cell phone.  He was tired and frustrated.  At last he made it to their old office.  He wasn't strong enough or didn't know how to open doors or go through them so he had to wait until someone came in or out just like lifers did.  The same was true for the elevator although he thought later he could take the forty flights... he wouldn't feel a thing.  He looked around and enjoyed watching people, following them and noticed he sometimes gave them pause...the creeps? He stopped in the lunchroom and glanced about almost falling to the floor when he recognized the man whose funeral had brought them together.  He and the Waterboyz had always busted on him; rejecting his attempts at friendship.  The man looked surprised to see him.

"Didn't expect to see you..especially here.  You seem more of a titty bar haunter.  What happened? Jealous boyfriend?"

"No.  I got carried away with the whole DIY scene"

"Oh.  Pressure? Embezzle?"

"Wha? Oh FUCK NO... I was never.. you think??? " he stood with his mouth open

The man shrugged indifferently.

"A girl"

"Here?  Janey?"

"yeah. You seen her?" he dropped his head and toed the floor.  he was surprised that the lifers around him didn't bother him and vice versa.

"Yeah."

He felt his heart.. well SOMETHING got all twitterpated inside him.

"Where?"

"Oh she's gone.  Been gone.  Said she was gonna go somewhere that made her happy.  You know she loved you right?"

"Yeah."

"That makes you a douchebag."

"Hey..."

the man shrugged again.  "Whatcha gonna do now hotshot?  Kill me?  You got none of your friends to laugh at your mean jokes and back you up.  Leave her alone.  Don't ruin her eternity too... like you did her life."

But he'd already turned and begun to walk out.  "I love her.  It's why I'm here." he tossed heroically over his shoulder.

"Douchebag." was muttered once more too softly for him to hear.

He had to think.  Where did they go? He spent a lot of time trying to find her.  Of course there had been so many women that he couldn't remember who liked what ... but all he had was time so he wasn't rushing.  He called after her everywhere he went.  He was getting better at finding and seeing others like him.  It was on a cold day (the lifers were wearing hats and gloves, hugging themselves and blowing into their hands) when he at last saw her walking along a street.  She was strolling and looking at the windows which were decorated for the holidays.  He began to remember now.  He'd brought her to Chicago for a conference.  He didn't want anyone to know he'd brought someone so he'd sent her out with his credit card to shop.  In the meantime he had met someone during the seminar and taken her up to their room during lunch for a quick romp.  God he was SUCH a jackass.  He watched her for a long time. 

She walked slowly and looked lovingly at the children who squealed and marveled about the upcoming holidays and why Santa made his elves look just like him when they were standing on every corner ringing bells or checking the naughty lists in the big chairs and listening to all they wanted for Christmas.  He felt her longing to hold a child, be a mother, part of a loving family.  His insides twisted or maybe it was his soul quivering with shame for what he'd done.  Her eyes were green as emeralds.  Her hair just a hint of red.  She had never had a porn star body but one that was comfortable, beautiful and safe.  He was filled with despair at finally realizing these things about her; about himself.

He crossed the street and approached.  She saw him.  Panic filled her eyes.  Sadness filled his heart.  He reached for her.  She jumped at finally understanding they shared the same plane.  He was one of them.  She pulled and tugged but he kept with her and stepped in close to hold her there with him.  At last she stopped.  She stood still and looked at him; inside him.

"I came for you."

"You shouldn't have."

"I was wrong.  I was so wrong.  I love you. I know that now; with all that I am and I will love you forever.  I will spend eternity making up for all the things I've done; the opportunities I've missed, the love I lost in life.." the tears were falling freely.  It was the warmest thing he'd felt in quite a while; maybe ever.  He got down on one knee and looked up at her beautiful face.  He pushed his face into the apron of her belly and smelled her perfume.  He breathed in as hard as he could.
                         >gulp<

She looked at him for a long time and finally knelt in front of him.  She wiped the tears that streamed down his face, holding it in her hands, she looked deeply into his eyes.

"Go right ahead."  and she stood, turned on her heel and vanished into the crowd of lifers, leaving him alone with his demons.




Hello there folks and peoples.  I hope you are having a great weekend.  It has been busy here but I had to sit down and bang this one out.  I liked it.  Liked the feel of it and the ending ~ just skewed enough.  I kinda love it when the "not so prince charming" gets a little more than just desserts.  Trite? Yes indeed, but I like it.  A lot. :)  Well let's hope it's not so long before we hang out again.  We're so much fun together, aren't we? Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Parade

Have we all recovered?  Did we enjoy ourselves and the company of others?  I hope so for you since I have, did and DID.  It was a lovely holiday season though I missed a few faces.  I imagine you were the same or close.  Well Happy Happy Merry Merry... lalala.

Work has been very busy and I have been putting in some  more time.  It is a little bit of a haul for me to get there, but considering how much I like it, it truly fails to be much of an inconvenience; until the day I got a call for an extra shift.  I had nothing going on and didn't feel like doing chores so I said yes.  It was a quickie, wimpy shift only five hours.  I got ready and dashed out the door.  I had plenty of time; or so I thought.

I have developed a simple back roads route to get there.  I get to see some great wooded areas and stay away from the typical Jersey nimrod driver who spend hours buying cheats for GTA5 and enjoys all too much practicing them on our highways and byways.  In order to get to this route, however, I must travel about fifteen minutes on the main roads.  Doesn't seem like much does it? Nah.

I hopped in the car and it was:  "High-ho Gizmo awaaaaaay!" He gladly played songs we could sing to on our little journey. One stop light, and another, then I saw her.  It was too late to do anything.  Oh sure I could have flipped Gizzy into off-road mode and we could have whipped around her on the side taking out or chasing any number of riders, runners or mailboxes that couldn't get out of our way, but I really don't drive like that.  Sometimes I wish I did.

She was a Q-tipped hattie; you know, the slow VERY elderly white-haired, Sunday- driving- hat- wearing ones who looks at each house, trying to determine what is being watched on television as they saunter by.  They might be mistaken or confused by the speed limit signs and ADD the digits they see.  They feel that a stop sign is the perfect opportunity to organize their coupons or cat nap, waving on everyone else who approaches the intersection because... they have the time.... This one? Oh she was different.  

She wanted to be Grande Marshall of her very own parade.  I can say this with confidence since there were American flags on either side of her passenger windows (gently billowing in the breeze she was almost making while racing along at her breakneck speed of nine- Be careful Captain Kirk - It could be too much power for us to handle.  Thank you Scottie, I'll use the chubby pedal to correct our velocity), not to mention the seven mini ones standing at attention along her rear window, as well as several tiny stickers decorating her bumper.  She must have driven off before they could affix the loudspeaker to the top of this fantastic vintage Skylark that could belch out "My Country Tis of Thee" or "I like Ike" at decibels loud and proud... or that someone her age could hear.  I pondered as we putted along if at any point she was going to begin tossing out  rocket pops... you know, the red white and blue icees that taste like someone has stored them for years in their original wimpy wax paper wrappers inside their old fishing bait cooler littered with bits of old night crawler moss and leaking ice bags?  No? Is that just me?  Huh well I DID have a lot of time to think ...
and sing.

 Sweeeet land of liiiiiiiberty of thee I sing....

Sooooo we cruised around and at some points I felt compelled to beep and wave as people came out to see what the bloody hold up was or maybe they were getting their mail.  

"Land of the Pilgrims' Pride..."

At last I saw my chance; a quick left and I would be free.  My heart began to race.  My palms grew sweaty.  Gizmo revved.  He knew it was time to make the break.  All we had to do was wait....

"From ev'ry mouuuuuntain side...."

But she threw us a curve ball and wanted to go that way TOO.  WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? I closed my eyes and gnashed my teeth.  The double yellow lines and oncoming traffic kept me in my driver's Hell.  I wanted to cry.  or defect. I was no longer sure.  I reached down and told Gizmo I was sorry for what I was about to do.  I was going to break the law.  I was going to pass her.  I slipped him into "Oh shit not THAT fast" gear and began to wiggle my toes as I prepared for warp speed achieved with the skinny pedal... something our leader had surely forgotten existed.  I exhaled and began to mash....

But again....she tossed a Screwball across the plate... the signal went on and I could see her gloved hands making caterpillar turns (where the thumbs of each hand meet again and again in little sideways "fist bumps" along the circumference of the steering wheel) and at last she was gone. Elated, I slipped Gizmo out of "Oh shit gear" and smiled.  I turned my head and saw where her great adventure out was... She was going to the animal shelter. I don't know if they have turtles there.  That would be the best pet for her.  Or a snail.  Three-toed sloth? 

The remainder of her parade sighed collectively with great relief and zoomed away (50 in 35) but I think the cop that was tenth in our line understood. There were nineteen of us in all.  I know this because I got to turn left and waited as the rest of my frustrated friends took off for locations/destinations desired.  We were good together.  Beeping and honking and flipping.  Well I try to tell myself waving. But now all I could do was go on my way, alone...

"LET FREEEEEEDOOOOOOOM RIIIIIIIING"


I know I know. Too long.  And I did miss you.  I thought of you often and smiled.  I have another one to post soon. I will write it tonight.  Thanks for coming over and not giving up.  You guys are the best.  And for those newbies whom I've just met, "Hello" I hope you like visiting here and come back again.  Feel free to contact me via email or comments.  Thanks again.

 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Monsters

He drove this stretch only after.  The Blakely farm was where he needed to go so he could collect the courage to return from bliss.  He smoked and stared, allowing the road lead him back to a life he hated.  But he had to maintain appearances if he wanted to keep doing what made him truly happy.  Hunting and killing people was frowned upon as a hobby.  He didn't speed or drive erratically because he had his "toy box" in the back and he didn't want to get pulled over.  No.  He did what he had to for now; obey the law.  He had been in the woods with his latest toy and now he had to go back.  He needed those play things for the safety of those who shared his house. He had to demolish another family to protect his own and keep them alive.  If not, he'd have buried them long ago.  He drove back to kiss a wife he loathed and pretend to enjoy child he'd wished he'd never made.  He cast the cigarette butt out the window, swallowing stale smoke and the pain of stepping back into society.  His mind soothed him by thinking nothing.

The officer watched the cars.  He rarely had to make them stop.  He sat here tucked away in a small alcove on an old forgotten road that lead out to the Blakely farm; abandoned and alone.  There were smaller access roads spindling off that lead to secret fishing spots and sacred hunting grounds. Off-trail hikers and locals heading to small neighboring towns were the folks who traveled this patch.  Hell, he knew most of them and often recognized their cars.  But right now, to be honest, his mind was not at work. He cared not for speeders or teenagers who played their music too loud.  He had bigger things weighing on his mind and in his heart.  The truck prattled by and the driver chucked a cigarette butt out the window.

"Litterbug" the officer sighed and reached up to put the car in gear.  But he just didn't have the energy.  He sank back and wiped his exhausted face.  He checked with dispatch again.  No news.  He bit at his fingernails and stared vacantly out the window.  Thirty-six hours since his daughter had gone missing.  Time was running out and odds were quickly falling out of their favor.

His daughter had gone missing after school let out on Tuesday.  She had been yanked off the street as she sauntered home in new Dora light up sneakers and a baby blue and white striped wind breaker, as she did every day; in broad daylight, through the middle of town.  No one saw a damn thing.  No one recalled hearing her scream, kick, or fight as he'd always taught her; made her pinky -swear she would always do if that kind of danger ever came to her.  He blinked back the tears and fear.  He tried to remain objective, reviewing the case facts;  solve it like any other task he'd been given as an officer here.  He was failing.  The emptiness was choking and the exasperation to find her was cloying at him like the stink of an outhouse in summer.  Where was she?  Who took her? He prayed she was alive; no matter how battered and scared, that she was at least alive. Unable to stand it any longer he got out of his car and paced around the small hidden space.  He scolded the sky and yelled at the ground.  He thought about the facts until his brain ached. He walked for miles in that little tiny alcove, glaring at the sun, sadistically shining too brightly.  There should be no sun; not until his daughter was returned safely ; happily home.  He kicked at the ground, glowered at it, warning it not to be hiding his baby in there somewhere.  He toed the cigarette butt cast aside by the driver.  Again and again.  The driver.  He looked around and saw several butts.  All the same brand.  The same driver.  Grasping at straws but unable to help himself, he fetched gloves from his car and puts several in a Ziploc.  Lacey would process them;  just in case.  He was far from the middle of town and school and the place where is little girl was.. but just in case...

The driver pulled into town and headed down his street suppressing the anger and nausea that were already warming his stomach.  The man emerged from his truck , smoothed his shirt and gave himself a once-over before he disappeared into his house.  Disappeared into the world. The people inside should be safe for a while.  They didn't know it, but he would be able to fake it for a bit; pretending to be a loving husband and father.  

A little girl appeared, rubbing her eyes.  In a small whimpered voice that grated inside his brain like a scratch on a bad sunburn, she told him that one of her classmates is missing.  The woman who sleeps next to him wrings her worried hands in a dish towel holding a cup.  They want comfort and reassurance from him.  He looks at the floor and thinks.  He wipes the tiny smile of satisfaction from his mouth.  They think he is distraught.  

" It's better than being you." he confesses and shakes his head, fighting the tingle of desire to choke the little girl and bash the woman in the mouth. He asks what's for dinner, standing tall and strong before them.  A monster unseen.  They are grateful for his authority and strength, scurrying about to make the day, the house and their life look normal again.  He lets them.  Just like every day until he needs a new toy.

 The monster goes to work.  He endures back slapping and bad jokes.  He tolerates requests from his boss and fellow workers.  He goes home to eat dinners made by the woman and stares blankly at pieces of paper where the child has scribbled in crayon.  He holds a tight smile and says the right words.  Inside his mouth waters for a new toy.  His mind changes channels to daydream of the delicious smell of fear, the sound of begging and the sweet metallic smell as their lives drain into the ground and their bodies grow limp.  He sits at his desk and finds comfort. but he will have to find a new toy soon.  He will not be able to make it so long as last time.  Last time was a rushed job that he didn't enjoy as much. Everyone was looking for her ~ he must have picked the wrong toy.  Must have belonged to an official or something.  This time he would try to be more careful and study it longer to be more sure before claiming his prize.  he didn't want anyone to spoil his fun again.  He might be able to revisit the playground to buy some time before another toy was found.


The days goes by and the officer drifts slowly toward insanity.  There is nothing.  No clothing, no blood, no trail the dogs can find.  He stands on his porch and crunches a pop can.  He would rather drain a bottle of Jack, but because he wants it, he won't take it.  He is trying to be strong enough for his wife and their other children.  An older sister and a younger brother.  He avoids their red, swollen eyes.  He holds them when they come, open-armed and sad.  He's sad too, but feels there is nowhere to go.  No one to catch him as he falls from hope and the happy life interrupted.  His cell shrieks and he snatches it, almost tossing it out into the yard.  He juggles and struggles to catch it like a wiggly fish.  His children cover their mouths to stifle the giggles because there is no room for laughter or happiness here.  Not now.  Not until their sister comes home.  

The news almost steals his breath from his chest.  He sinks to the rocking chair saved for sunsets and hand holding; bed time stories and playful swats as children are reminded to "git to bed" because it's a school day tomorrow.  The DNA matches other evidence at different crime scenes in twelve other cases.  Twelve?  Twelve other families are suffering like he is?  Twelve babies stolen and destroyed? He chokes the phone in his hand at the next sentence which is: There is no ID.  They have no name.  And in that instant, his heart soars because HE knows.  He has seen ... the driver of the truck.  That is the monster he seeks; that he will find and vanquish.  He nods solemnly and clicks off.  The family comes cautiously because the energy around him is electric.  He is panting and sweaty.  Staring out across the lawn, he barely feels the touch of his wife, the tiny hands on his knees nor does he hear the whisper

"What is it?"

"Nothing we can use.  Just that he's done it before.  There are others matching some evidence..." he stops himself from telling them more.  He looks up to Heaven and asks for guidance.
It would be two weeks of incessant sitting in that God-forsaken alcove waiting for that fucking truck.  He sat and watched his eyes burning and dry from lack of blinking but he couldn't stop looking, he couldn't risk not seeing.  He had stared up at the sky and asked for answers and for guidance.  He searched his soul and found a solution he could live with.  The truck ambled up the road and the driver chucked a butt.  He didn't see the sedan pulled back in the alcove.  The officer's heart leaped into his throat, his hands clutching the wheel.  He talked to himself and told himself to slowly pull out and not get too close.  He saw the tag and muttered it over and over.  He turned off one of the fingerling roads and then headed home to put it all together.  When he at last saw the face of the monster he was certain had killed his little girl, he stared long and hard memorizing every curve, wrinkle and whisker.  He drank heavily from another pop can as he chugged it like the jack he wished it were.  Then he got up.

No one worried or questioned his appearance at the school.  He had children who attended.  People smiled and nodded.  It was all he could do to mirror them.  He hoped they did not notice his clenched fists and stiff walk.  He scoured the yard in search of what he was looking for.  When he found it, there was a warmth that tingled in each extremity.  His body came alive and he felt a weakness in his knees as if he were going on a first date.  The approach was swift.  The conversation was little but satisfactory, resulting in  a tiny hand in his.  His smile for the first time in a long time was genuine.  No one thought twice or saw them leave.  The duo was invisible in the crowd of moms and dads and the end of a busy school day.

The cell phone shrieked and startled him.  He answered to the panicked screams and wales of a woman who's been dealt an awful blow.  He nodded, though why, he was unsure.  He reassured, soothed and clicked off.  He silently got into the vehicle and drove back to the house to take care of what he could.

He knew where to go afterward.

The two men looked at each other; a young girl in the middle.  One man lit up a cigarette and smiled.  Pleased with the situation;.  It was a surprise but not an unwelcome one. The other stood stock still and glared at the man who'd stolen his baby.  Now it was his turn to suffer and wonder.  Would she survive?  Who would lose what?  He'd imagined many scenarios but the smile on the monster's face wasn't one.  He'd wanted there to be tears and begging.  He'd wanted to see fear and smell regret as this monster's  own daughter stood before him with a future in the balance.  But what he saw was glee and what he felt was a charge of excitement.  He hadn't wanted it to be so cold.  He had hoped for emotion but not this one.  He blinked and became focused again.  He pulled the little girl to him and bent down.  He whispered into her ear.  She nodded and sobbed.  Her pants were wet from fear.  For a moment, the officer felt bad for doing this to her.  But then he looked up and it dissolved.  He let go of her arm and she rushed to the monster she called "Daddy" and clutched his leg.  She clawed and cried demanding attention.  The monster looked at her with detached curiosity.  She was in his playground and that made her a toy.  His mind could not bend back to his "other life." His body cried out for satiation.  It wanted a toy.  It needed to play.  He pulled her back to see her face.  it was blank, featureless to him.  This made it all right.  It made it easy.  

She thought he was going to pick her up and she wiped at her face.  Her hands and arms opened, tiny fingers wiggling greedily to receive what she thought would be a hug from her father.  She couldn't understand why he wasn't hugging her.   She didn't understand why his hands were around her throat.  She couldn't understand why her air was gone or why her body was fiery and hot.  She couldn't utter the words to beg him to stop and hold her.  She couldn't comprehend that he wasn't going to be nice and be her daddy.  He was hurting her.

The bang was loud.  There was a hot spray and a stink that threatened to get into her mouth if she didn't scowl and pinch her eyes shut. She and Daddy fell to the ground.  Then the man who took her from the school was holding her like her daddy should have.  He said the words she wanted to hear "It's all right Honey.  I'm here." and she cried.  She held him and she called him Daddy.  He hugged her, stroking her hair unaware that her mother was already dead.  

He didn't know he was going to get his little girl back....


I ask you, who is the monster? Heehee. I liked this one although I struggled for a long time with it~ it's not perfect, but I still get the chills when I read it and in the end...it's all about me. :)

Thank you for stoppin in.  Next time, maybe we'll chat a bit longer. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

No Yolking Matter

I pride myself on being a culinary adventurer; both in creation and consumption.  I will cook and sample almost everything, turning shyly away from things that Andrew Zimmern SWEARS are the bomb.  But I do not consider myself weak for turning away from food that looks at me; in a literal sense or smell like something I would flush. We all have limits. And I ... I met mine. I looked at it, smelled it, watched it take shape and yes, I consumed it.  All the while Cheech laughed until he lost air and cried.  Let me now relate it to you since I have only recently stopped rinsing my mouth and hovering over the sink with my jaw triple extended and a burping, gurgling sound escaping from between my frightened, trembling lips.

This experiment, for me was and epic failure.  My husband, greatest love and best friend is to blame and thinks I don't know that he is still snickering over it.  It involves the one ingredient I detest and creates an instant short-out in my gag reflex at the mere mention of it; eggs.  (warlp~ excuse me I cannot control it) I am exasperated by the insistence of those "culinary geniuses" that if you dump, heap, goop and slide one of those abominations on top of ANYTHING, it instantly becomes "Gourmet" .. (and I am twirling an imaginary handlebar mustache with my eyebrow raised and a thick fake "accent Francaise" for emphasis ~ I mean let's get into the mood here....) But I contest those actions by saying "No! You have just made it a dirty breakfast food and it ISN'T for this champion.

Cured Yolks.  There.  It's out there like some tawdry, slutty secret.  They were dried in a sugar/salt mixture until they acquired a consistency of wet, sweaty cheese.  (warlp!~ sorry... it's just my reaction...) Then. THEN they are dried to create a firmness in an oven set at a balmy 150 degrees.  But guess what?  MY oven doesn't go that low so you know what you have to do?  I'll tell you... let me just guzzle some more Listerine.  We got to let them sit in there.  In my oven FOR TWO DAYS.  So for forty-eight grueling hours, those evil, semi-solid wads of yellow disgust and SUPER source of mental distress hid in my sacred oven.  They giggled and taunted me; oh you'd better believe it.  I walked by my once happy stove and I would rat tail it, glare and hiss awful things to it.  I would crack the door and tell them I hated them.  They were gross and I hoped they were happy in their attempt at my family's destruction.  Upon completion of this nightmare emerged waxy yolks that were to be grated delicately onto a freshly made caesar salad instead of parm.. Hmmm let me get this straight:

Knock knock
Who's there
Parm
Parm who?
STOP THE LIE AND PUT PARM ON THE DAMN SALAD YOU EVIL, VILE KITCHEN MONKEY!!!!!
(warlp!)

And so wine was poured.  I drank deeply.  Poured again.  Stared at the beautiful meal coming together before me and watched in horror as this abomination delicately laced my plate. I drank again and glared.  I placed the tool of choice in my hand; an ordinary salad fork and prayed that my sceptor would slay this awful dragon.  I drank again and scooped.  My hand trembled, the villain shook with laughter and dared me to cast it aside and admit defeat; weakness.  I huffed a huge "eff-you" swiped up my glass in my other hand and closed my eyes so as not to witness the carnage about to unfold upon my palate.  My teeth came together and recognized instantly what had gone wrong with this "Gourmet salad".  My stomach began to groan and protest. I swallowed but found my esophagus stubborn and defiant.  (warlp!)  I chased it. with water and wine.  I gripped the table and winced as the fire burned and my body shrieked "Why? Why have you forsaken us? We love you. We take CARE of you! You evil vixen! May you suffer all night with trecherous gas pains and toots unspeakable."

I opened my eyes and quickly blinked back the tears (warlp!) I drank again, refusing to chew any more but deciding the only viable escape was to swallow this torture like a bitter pill.

"Not bad." I whispered and prayed that it was enough.

And hello to you too stranger! I am so sorry to have been away so long.  I have been really struggling with one and I decided to take a break from it and share a quick family update.  I hope you smiled and laughed a bit.  We all need to do that once in a while.  I hope to hammer through my current nemesis and see you again soon.  Thank you for coming by for a bit.  You're so much fun to have around.