Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Imagine That!

This is day 18 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Imagine that...

Originally published November 15, 2009, I tweaked it for today's challenge post.

Image Source: Pixabay
Imagine that we could vacation on the moon. I heard recently that there is water on the moon.  Now why it has taken NASA and a whole host of scientists 40 years to discover this, I'm not sure.  But what a breakthrough.  This could be the resort of the future, the Lunar Riveria.

Let's think about this.  We need transportation, shuttle pilots, flight attendants, gourmet food service and in-flight movies, which means more shuttles, larger accommodations, more pilots (read astronauts) and flight attendants. To build the resort, we need engineers, architects and plumbers trained in minimal gravity design...think toilets.   We don't want that stuff flowing upstream now do we?

As for electricity, how would we produce that in space.  Burn coal?  Can't.  Fire won't burn without oxygen.  Besides we've already polluted one planet.  Let's hope we've learned something.  As far as I know, there is no wind on the moon, so wind-generated power is not an option.  I know, how about giant solar panels so we can capture solar energy and store it.  If you can store solar-heated water, and power lights and radios, there should be a way to power other things.  This is not new technology.  The concept of solar energy has been around for many years.  As a child I had a solar powered radio - actually I still have it, and it still works.  However, the methods of collecting it, storing it and using it have surely improved over the years.

All of these measures are of little consequence, if we cannot breathe.  This brings us to greatest obstacle - how do we get oxygen in adequate supply for survival?  Possibly large tanks of oxygen and a distribution system?  Too bad we can't pipe it in like natural gas. Picture that pipeline!  To go outside one would need to don a space suit in order to survive the lack of air pressure.  Otherwise all the liquid in your body would boil, and what happens next would not be pretty.  There is an up side to this.  The fashion designers would all be competing to come up with the hottest new line of space apparel. Good-bye itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini.  I guess space age swim suits would kinda take the fun out of things - at least for the guys!  That's a argument for indoor swimming pools - heated with the solar panels, especially given that there is an approximate 500 degree swing in temperatures on the moon's surface.  Bottom line is step foot outside without protective gear and you're dead!


At this point I am thinking we need a much larger shuttle system involving cargo transports for the building materials, oxygen tanks, solar panels and storage units, contractors, etc. and that is just to provide life-sustaining structures.  


Speaking of life-sustaining measures, what about food? In such extreme conditions, crops can't be grown or or livestock raised, so all food would have to be transported from earth until we can figure out climate controlled farming.  This would definitely require more transports and create more jobs.

This is just the beginning... Financially speaking, your Lunar Riveria getaway will make a Hawaiian vacation seem like a trip to Walmart, and cause your credit cards to expire on the spot.  So, who's paying for this adventure?  There are many questions unanswered...after all we just discovered that there is water on the moon.


Also see A Lunar Vacation, Part 2.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bears, Beans and Beer

This is day 14 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Bears, Beans and Beer.

Having no critical case for the first time in months, Charlie decided his team deserved some time off, so a long weekend was in order.  He and Alex and some of the other guys decided to go camping, get in a little fishing and enjoy some real down time. These were all single guys whose lives were, for the most part, dominated by their demanding jobs, leaving little time for a social life. Alex was the exception, but he was between relationships at the moment, although Jenna did cross his mind now and then.


"Let's set up camp here," Charlie suggested.  "It is close to the lake with plenty of trees for wood and a clearing for building our campfire. It looks like there is enough light left to put up the tents, build the fire pit and catch ourselves some dinner."

"Hey Alex," called Bobby, "You want to tell us what it was like  for you and that pretty little gal to be rescued by SWAT?"

Alex glared at his friend, "I've already explained what happened. You try being kidnapped, drugged, blindfolded and locked up.  Not funny."

"Let it go," said Charlie, "we're here to relax - no shop talk, no cases.  Kyle, you ready to go see what we can pull out of the lake, while these young 'uns finish setting up camp." Kyle grinned.  He and Charlie were only a few years older than Alex and Bobby, but sometimes they exaggerated the span, just to get under their skin...good naturedly, of course.

As the last of the light faded, they still hadn't caught any fish so they headed back to camp. Alex had the campfire going, anticipating some tasty grilled fish.  Seeing the glum faces approaching him, He shouted "I guess it'll be beans tonight," reaching for the frying pan.  He popped open a couple cans of beans and tossed in some vienna sausage.

"Where's the beer?" called Kyle. "After two hours of sitting there feeding the fish...I swear one even broke the surface and thanked me for his dinner...I sure could use a cold one - or three."

"Over by the log," replied Bobby, "wanna toss me one, too?"

With plates filled with beans, sausage and the bread Charlie had grabbed at the bakery on the way out of town, they sat around the campfire eating and swapping stories, the tales growing taller with each beer. Camaraderie at its finest, taking in all that mother nature had to offer, and tomorrow was a brand new day.

The fire put safely out - it wouldn't do for FBI agents to start a forest fire - the men turned in. Charlie and Alex were sharing a tent as were Kyle and Bobby.  The tents were set up with the entrances facing one another.

It was peaceful with the crickets and tree frogs rhythmically chirping their nightly chorus.

As dawn broke, the men stirred and started digging through the fire pit for coals to get the fire going for breakfast.  Soon bacon was sizzling, the aroma wafting on the morning breeze. 
"Charlie that's some mighty fine coffee.  It'd curl my hair if I had any left," laughed Kyle.

Bobby went to fetch the rest of the bread for toast, and came racing back pale and empty handed. "I saw bear tracks behind your tent," looking at Charlie.

"Did you leave any food out last night?" asked Charlie calmly.

"I don't think so...I don't know, maybe.  Uh oh." Bobby groaned.

As they stood there debating whether to pack up and leave or hoist their food from a branch and just go fishing, they heard a rustle  and all four heads turned. 

More rustling, twigs snapping, imaginations soaring.  Four FBI agents straining to see into the woods. Bobby spots something moving, "BEARS!" Three FBI agents draw their guns, staring, waiting. "Bobby" shouted Kyle, "WHERE ARE YOU?"  

"Up here, b-be-bears." Bobby was perched 20 feet up a tree.

About that time out of the underbrush walked the biggest.....wild...Turkey.




For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
Stranded
The Last Laugh
The Morning After




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Friday, January 16, 2015

The Morning After

This is day 10 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is The morning after.

"Hey Alex, you don't look so good," observed Charlie, "where were you yesterday?"  Not much got past Charlie.

Image Source: Wikipedia
"I guess you haven't heard.  Well, in a nutshell, I was having coffee with an angel, and the next thing I know I had been manipulated into staking out her lunch date who turned out to be a member of the mob, as was her ex-boyfriend, and she was involved.  They kidnapped us, blindfolded us and took us to an abandoned building.  Since we were outnumbered and to protect the girl, I went along thinking I could gain an advantage but they jabbed us with a needle and it was lights out. While we were out, they took the flash drive and were probably going to come back and finish us off after they verified what was on the flash drive."

"After we regained our senses, it took us an hour to get the blindfolds off.  They took my gun, badge and Jenna's purse. Fortunately for us they neglected to take my phone so I dialed 911. The police traced the call and sent officers, but they were ambushed when they arrived and were pinned down in the alley.  Jenna was freaked out by the gunfire and was screaming like a crazy person."

"The officers called for reinforcements and in the meantime, I tinkered with the A/C vent to see if I could crawl out and free Jenna.  Once up there I saw that it was barely wide enough to crawl through...dang near got stuck a couple times.  I came out in a hallway about the time that SWAT arrived. Nothing like the FBI being rescued by SWAT."

"They thought I was one of the mob at first since they had taken my gun and badge.  After we got that cleared up, we were questioned, and the henchmen were carted off to await their attorneys. Did I mention my head is still throbbing?"

"Well," said Charlie, "you lived to see another day."

"You know what they say...there's got to be a morning after," Alex quipped.

"So, are you going to see her again?" grinned Charlie.




For more adventures of Charlie and Alex:

Aliens, Really?
The Colombians
The Key
Stranded
The Last Laugh


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Friday, January 9, 2015

Eli, Where Are You?

This is day five of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Invisible.  This is a continuation of my series following the life of Eli.

Eli and his friend Paul were knocking back a few beers and playing pool at the Come As You Are Saloon when in walks this stranger.  Now strangers aren't an unusual sight at the CAYAS, but this one was different. He had a ominous air about him and a crescent scar across his left cheek. His eyes were dark, almost daring someone to mess with him.

Image Source: Wikimedia
Eli and Paul watched as he worked his way to the bar. "Bartender, I'd like a pomegranate martini." 

When they heard that, Paul burst out laughing.  "A pomegranate martini?  What kind of a drink is that for a man?"  

"Shut up, Paul" urged Eli. "What kind of idiot are you, anyway?"

The stranger turned and stared at Paul.  It was a dark stare.  An evil stare. He started walking toward them, glass in hand. He stops mere inches from Paul, tosses back the martini and slams the glass on the table, sending shards of glass flying.

In a low voice that belied the intensity of the moment he remarked almost casually, "That wasn't very nice." 

By this time Eli wasn't feeling very confident about the outcome, and wishing he could suddenly become invisible. 

"My friend didn't mean anything" Eli interjected, hoping to defuse the situation. "Sometimes he can be a bit crass, but he's totally harmless. By the way, my name is Eli, what's yours?" Being friendly couldn't hurt he thought.

"Name's Rico" growled the stranger, and I don't take kindly to being laughed at," gripping the stem of the broken glass. "I ordered this for my old lady."

Paul never knew when to leave well enough alone and asked, "Then why did you drink it?"

Again that dark, evil stare.  "So I could do this" as he raised his arm. "Nobody laughs at me in front of my woman!"

At that point, Eli again wished he were invisible.  As Paul was about to feel the wrath of Rico, he called out "Eli, where are you?"

"What's the matter with you, I'm right here, but not for long. Run!" shouted Eli.

Both men turned and stared. They'd heard Eli shout, but there was no one there, and Paul asked again, "Where did you go?"

Eli reached out his hand to wave, "over here", and it was his turn to freak out. He couldn't see his hand.  He looked down, he had no legs. He looked in the mirror.  No reflection. "What the...?"

Eli, he said to himself, stay calm and don't say anything...just leave.  Gotta try and figure this out.

What do you think happened to Eli?



If you want to catch up on Eli's adventures:

Birdman
The Princess
Eli and the Redhead 
The Winged Woman

Meet Eli's Mother


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Monday, January 5, 2015

Quote of the Week

This is day one of the January writing challenge hosted by P.J. at the 'lilhoohaa blog. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery.  Today's topic is Spilled MilkSince today is Monday, it's time for my weekly quote, and most obvious is:


Don't cry over spilled milk. - Benjamin Franklin

This was also attributed earlier to 17th British historian, James Howell.  

Image Source: lunatheninjakitty
It is thought that this phrase stems from European folklore which holds that fairies like milk and will drink up any spills left behind.  I guess that's saying not to worry if milk is spilled because the fairies will clean it up.  I wonder if they had chocolate milk?

February 11, 2015 is "Don't cry over spilled milk day".  Who knew?  In celebration, let it serve as a reminder to not stress over things that have happened which we cannot change.  The past is just that...the past.  Let's not waste energy worrying about it, and look forward to a new day, and a new year, with a positive attitude.




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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Playing With Words

Rule #1 This is just for fun.

Choose a letter A-Z

Write down the first 5 words that come to mind beginning with that letter. Don't think of anything except that they start with that letter. Totally random, non-related words are better. Don't use variations of the same word such as bake, baking, baker, or groups such as food, feast, flavor.

Next write a poem or micro post of about 50 words, or up to 10 lines for a poem.

This is a fun mental exercise - not creating a masterpiece, so take about five minutes and see what you come up with.  

Rule #2 Please share your gem in the comments section.

Image Source: sweeter-than-reality


For mine I chose H.

My words were:  hollow, hump, heavy, heart, hook

Upon a hollow log
Sat a heavy frog
He jumped and jumped
Over the mossy hump
Bless his little heart
That old frog was smart
Until he landed in the brook
And he got caught
Upon an old fish hook

Friday, February 28, 2014

It's A Wrap

It is the 28th and final day of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is And then my brain exploded.  Congratulations to all the other participants.  We made it!

As the sun sets upon the 2014 30 minus 2 Days of Writing Challenge, we take a look back at the past 28 days.




We laughed, we cried, we lied, some made it, some faked it.  It was chaos, it was a dream, but it was no accident.


We ate gouda, and drank vodka and left the empty bottles all over the floor.  Hint, hint, we need a maid.  


And then she said, "damn, did you post that on Facebook"?  How did you find out? Uh...there are things best left unsaid.  


We fended off zombies, aliens and succubi which left us scatterbrained, naked and lost.  Some developed temporary insanity and played Dylan tunes endlessly.  Can you turn that down? My ears are ringing!


We took this challenge on one bite at a time, and it tasted like chicken. Some swore in their best Shakespearean English that they would participate in another challenge when Hell freezes over. Others just went incommunicado.

We shared good times, made new friends, and caught up with old friends.


But when all was said and done, mon cerveau a explosé!




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Alligator's Anonymous

It is day 19 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Tastes Like Chicken.  Now fly on over to WWFC for more tasty treats.

"Hi, my name is Albert, and I'm an alligator."

"Hi Albert!  Would you like to tell us a little about yourself and what brings you here?"

"I don't taste like chicken.  I hate it when people compare me to a such a fowl creature."  
Image Source:  toonpool.com

"You tell it Albert.  Let it all out!"

Albert continued.  

"I am strong and powerful, and I eat chickens.  I will not be compared to the likes of those scrawny-legged wimps.  They are just...well, chicken. Where do you think the phrase chicken-hearted comes from."  

Clapping and cheers errupted from the others which validated Albert's feelings. 

"Whoo...You go Albert...Yeah!"  

*******
So what else can you find when you Google "tastes like chicken"?   


Behold!  A band named Tastes Like Chicken.


Click here for the full clip.

Edit:  Sorry, they made the video private.  Too bad it was great music.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Colombians

It is day 18 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Liars.  Truth or lies?  Check out WWFC for the facts.

Agent Shore sat as his desk, a phone in one hand and a cup of strong, black coffee in the other.  This case was eating at him.  "I've questioned every man, woman and chimpanzee. I've turned over every stone from here to hell and back, and no one knows anything.  Just a bunch of liars!  Somebody knows something and I'm gonna find out."  Sometimes Charlie got a little dramatic when a case got down into his soul.

"Who you talking to Charlie" asked his partner.

"Hey Alex.  I'm still digging through the evidence from that crash, but it's just not adding up. I've got boxes of files, dozens of transcripts, including the black box.  Feel like jumping in," he asked?  "Two heads and all....  I know I'm missing something.  I'll order some lunch.  Feel like Chinese?


Image Source: Ksayer1
"Yeah, I'm in and Chinese is fine...make sure you get some of those hot peppers.  And get some extra fortune cookies too...I've got a date tonight," quipped Alex.  

"Okay, let's get down to business.  What do we know?"  Charlie got them back on track.

"Well, we've narrowed it down to two intended targets.  Tomas and the pilot, what was his name? Rafael?  Raul?  Whatever...who assigned him to this flight? Terrorist plot?

"Maybe it's a terrorist attack but I don't think the pilot was involved and I think Manuel was just plain lucky.  No, Tomas was going to work on some contracts so we need to find out who he was dealing with.  Maybe someone wanted those negotiations to fail."

"So, we're going to Colombia, huh Charlie?"  It was more of a statement than a question.

"Yep."

"What about my date?" complained Alex.

"What did the fortune cookie say?"

"Congratulations! You are on your way"


Previously:
Beyond the Window
Risky Business
Aliens, Really?


Friday, February 14, 2014

Aliens, Really?

It is day 14 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is It has to be aliens.  If your brains are still intact sail over and check out the other alien transmissions over at WWFC.

After clearing the wife, the driver and the pilot who had the good fortune to have the flu, he went to question the housekeeper.


"Good afternoon ma'am.  I am looking for Angela Perez."


"I am Mrs. Perez" replied the woman, wiping her hands on her apron.


"I'm Special Agent Charles Shore, FBI  and I am investigating the crash of Flight 0070.  I understand your employer Tomas Garza was on that flight.  Can you tell me the nature of his business in Colombia?"


"Only that he had to meet with some important people in Colombia.  It was a very important meeting.  I packed his suitcase for him."


"Do you know if he was involved in anything illegal" 


"Oh, no, Mr. Tomas would not do anything illegal" replied Angela sadly. "Mr. Tomas is...was a good man."

"Do you know who anyone who might want to harm him?" pressed Agent Shore.

Image Source:  Wikimedia















"Aliens," she said with certainty.

"Why do you say that, ma'am?"

"They are after our brains, you know.  They're out there just waiting for us...to suck out our brains."

"No ma'am, those are zombies, and I'm certain this crash was not caused by the undead.  It is for the real dead that we are trying to get justice.  Thank you for your time" replied Agent Shore, as he turned to leave.

"No, Wait!  You don't understand,"  her face pale beneath her tan.  "They make you do things.  They take over your body and make you do terrible things."

"What kind of things?" he asked, not believing her, but curious as to where she was going with this.

"They said if I tell anyone about them they will suck out my brains.  They will put this metal hat thing on my head with wires on it and flashing lights and tubes in my ears and my brains will be scrambled."  

"Ah, brains and eggs...oh forgive me.  [who said FBI agents have no sense of humor]  So, tell me why do you think they caused the plane crash?"

"Not them...ME" shrieked Angela.  "They made me do it, and now they will be coming for me."

"Why would they want to bring down an American plane?" he asked, but Angela's eyes had glazed over.

Agent Shore was pretty sure Angela was a nut case, but he wasn't ready to let her off just yet in the event that she was actually involved in some way, and this was just a ploy to avoid prosecution.

However, at the end of the day, he was no closer to finding out who was behind the crash, but had ruled out Angela and the brain-sucking aliens.






Friday, February 7, 2014

Give Me a Hint

It is day 7 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Hint, hint.  So take a hint and go check out the other participants at WWFC.

"Oh please tell me.  I'll just die, die I tell you.  Won't you even give me a hint.  I've gotta know.  Oh please, pretty please" begged Charlie.  


"Never!  Not in a million years" replied his older sister. "You'd just blab it everywhere.  Nope, not a chance."


"Patty" complained Charlie, "I'd never tell.  I promise...cross my heart.  You're so mean.  You never tell me anything."

"Charlie, you really want me to tell you something" teased Patty?


"Sure" said Charlie, all ears.


"Get lost" she responded, frustrated at her little brother's persistence.


"Gee, I can take a hint" he grumbled as he shuffled away.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Madness

It is day 3 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Temporary Insanity.

George had settled into his recliner, his dog at his feet, the remote in his hand, and beer and snacks at the ready.  Just as the game was getting underway, his wife, Deanna came in to adjust the blinds and ask if he wanted anything else.  "George" she said, "Guess what I just read on Facebook? Jeanne posted a link to an article about a woman who just flipped out and tried to strangle her husband while he was watching the Super Bowl last year, but fortunately he overpowered her and called the police.  Isn't that just crazy?"
Image Source:  Camilla

"Yeah, that's nuts", George agreed.  "Some people are real whack jobs.  I'm glad you're not like that.  You don't mind me watching the games do you?"

"Of course not, dear" she crooned, "after all a man needs to relax and feel that his home is his castle."

"By the way, what happened to the woman?" he inquired.  "That was attempted murder.  Was she convicted...is she in jail?"

"Oh my no!  On her attorney's advice she pleaded temporary insanity and was acquitted.*  She then divorced him and took the dog."

George eyed her cautiously.  The game was going on but he wasn't watching.  He just sat there staring at his wife.  Finally he spoke.  "Honey, how would you like to have lunch at Emilio's and maybe go to a movie?" he asked as he switched off the TV.

*This rarely ever happens, and most are committed to a mental institution.

Now go visit WWFC for more creative insanity. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Risky Business

It is day 2 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is It Was No Accident!

A while back I wrote Beyond the Window for Magpie Tales, which I used as an inspiration for this story.  It ended by telling us "what happens next will free them both."  I wouldn't exactly say they were "freed" but I guess it depends on how you look at it.



Big Room, 1948, by Andrew Wyeth
Maggie sat in a quaint outdoor restaurant lunching with several friends, the sun was shining and the tea was sweet.  It was the first time she had smiled in months.  The images that had penetrated her dreams and haunted every waking moment were beginning to blur as time marched forward, taking her reluctantly with it.

Six months earlier she had been coping with the day to day ups and downs of her husband's business, a business that provided well for her but at the same time left her with unanswered questions.

"I have to go to Colombia for a few days, maybe a week" said Tomas.  "There are some contracts that I must see to personally.  When I get back, we will take a trip.  Anywhere you would like to go.  I will even make the arrangements myself."

He is trying, she thought, and smiled her thanks.  "I'll think about it and let you know what I decide" Maggie responded, yet unconvinced the trip would actually take place.

Tomas packed his bag and called his driver to take him to the airport where he boarded the plane.  

"Welcome aboard sir" called the pilot.  

"Where is Manuel?" asked Tomas. 

"He came down with the flu, sir, and I am filling in until he recovers.  Enjoy your flight."

"Thank you."  Tomas proceeded to his seat, and after they were airborne, he asked the flight attendant for a scotch and soda.  His drink finished, he tipped his seat back for a nap.  He was tired and it would be a late night.

As he drifted off, his dreams turned to Maggie.  He saw tears in her eyes, and flowers.  There were so many flowers.  Where was she, and why was she crying?

About that time there was a loud boom as the plane lurched sideways, and there was a gaping hole where the forward bathroom had been.  The explosion had taken out the left engines, the wing was in flames and the pilot was dead.

NTSB investigated, and eventually the voice recorder was recovered.  There was nothing to indicate any mechanical malfunction or human error.  Further scrutiny found the remnants of an explosive device among the wreckage which was believed to have been detonated remotely.  Investigators were still trying to piece together what happened and determine who the intended target was.  Was it Tomas, the dead pilot, or Manuel who was sick with the flu?

Back in Miami, a representative of the NTSB and an FBI agent meet with Maggie.  

"Mrs. Garza, we are so sorry for your loss.  We want you to know that the crash was no accident, and we are continuing our investigation.  Is there anything you can tell us about your husband's business?"




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meet Eli's Mother

Do you remember Eli, the awkward, slightly clumsy, but well meaning guy who got a busted nose and and bruised ego when Judy punched him out?

Well, that night he had an encounter like nothing he had ever imagined.  All the strange dreams came to life and the truth was revealed.  "He will be all right now" she had said.

"What did she mean by that" he asked himself time and again.  He didn't feel any different.  He didn't look any different. When he mentioned it to Paul, he laughed and said Eli must have a short circuit. 

Now every night he goes to bed hoping for a glimpse into that other world and every morning he awakes, his questions still unanswered.  "What did she mean?"

He and Paul are heading to the bar after work.  Yes, that bar, you know, old habits and all...

They grab a couple stools, order their beers and start checking out the eye candy.  "There's a looker" said Paul as he nodded to a raven-haired beauty with scarlet lips.  

Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales
Eli said "Good luck there, friend", as Paul sauntered over.  Eli grinned, "This I've got to see" as he made his way over to where Paul was trying to gain favor with the lady.

 "Hi, my name's Paul.  What's yours?"

She replied politely, "My name is Alexandria di Ravenelli, but you may call me Princess."

"Well, I'm pleased to meet you Princess.  I must say the name fits" replied Paul smoothly.

"Oh, but you are mistaken" she responded with a royal air, "That is not my name, but my title."  

"What is that like 'Miss America'?" Paul was a bit discombobulated, and it was Eli's turn to laugh.  The tables were turned and Paul was about to get his comeuppance.

"No", she replied frostily, "I am a Princess among my people."  

As Paul stared, trying to digest this, slowly it dawned on Eli.  This wasn't just any Princess who happened into this bar.  Besides whoever heard of a Princess going bar hopping anyway.  No, this was his mother.  "Whoa" he said, "This is all wrong.  What are you doing here?"

Now Paul was really confused.  "You know her?" he squeaked.

"Why yes, as a matter of fact I do" said Eli, trying to cover his own discomfiture.

"Come Eli" called the Princess as she arose in a swirl of black silk and lace.  As they left, all eyes were on Eli and the beautiful woman on his arm.  She was right, he thought later.  He would be all right now...and from then on Eli had a date every weekend.

He never told Paul that the Princess was his mother, and that was his way of getting even for all the laughs and snide comments. 


Written for Magpie Tales #196.  Click on the links below if you would like to read Eli's adventures up to this point.

Birdman?
The Princess
Eli and the Redhead 
The Winged Woman

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Rose Garden: The Next Generation

"Gerry, it's time" shrieked Allison.

Gerald was going over some notes on his latest project in preparation for the presentation on Monday.  "What's that you said, dear?"

"I SAID IT'S TIME!"

"Oh...OH, it's THAT time.  These were the words he had both been looking forward to and dreading for the last nine months.  He had mentally rehearsed each moment and memorized every turn to the hospital, including several alternate routes in case of traffic.

Now the time had come.

"Think" he mumbled to himself.  "Grab the car, put Allison in the bag...hospital, I gotta call the hospital. No, bring the car around and wait, I'll get it...just calm down...and breathe."

"Gerry, I'm the one whose supposed to breathe.  You call the hospital and tell them we're coming, take the bag to the car and bring it around to the front.  We'll call Mom on the way."

"Sheesh, there's no one more nervous than a new father-to-be" declared Allison.  "It will be all right."

Gerald brings the car up the front drive and helps Allison into the passenger's seat.  "Let me slide the seat back for you."   "Thank God this is it" she exclaimed. 

Allison's size had been an extreme source of frustration from being unable to tie her shoes to the shapeless dresses she'd had to wear for the last three months. While she embraced the thought of motherhood, she was a fashionable gal, and did not enjoy feeling frumpy.  Even Gerald's constant reassurance that she was indeed the most beautiful woman on earth did not help when every time she walked past a mirror she saw a blimp in maternity clothes.

They reached the hospital without incident, and Gerald promptly announced "I need a doctor...We're having a baby."

"Relax" replied the nurse, calling for an orderly.  "We'll take good care of your wife.  If you would just step over here and fill out these papers.  We'll take you to her as soon as she is situated in her room."

"Is this your first?"

"My first what?  Wife?  Yes, we were married last year.  No, you mean baby.  Yes, it's my first, how can you tell?"

"Well, under reason for hospitalization, you put "we're having a baby."

24 hours later...

"She's beautiful," cooed a jubilant Gerald.  "She looks just like my mother when she was a baby.  I have her old photo album, and there is a picture of her in my grandmother's arms.  She had beautiful blond curls, too.  I'll have to show it to you sometime.  Oh, I've been going on and on, and I bet you just want to sleep.  I'll get the nurse to take the baby back to the nursery, and go make those phone calls.  Wait, I've got to get a picture to send everyone,  I know I'll just email them instead of calling. 

"Gerry, I love you, but just go...please.  It's been a really long day-all 24 hours of it.  I'll see you tomorrow.

Back at home, Gerald revels in his new fatherhood status, and prepares to send a picture of who?  She doesn't even have a name yet.  He regroups and sends a picture of his lovely new daughter...name TBA.

When Gerald arrived back at the hospital the next morning, he was so excited.  He knew what he wanted to call their daughter.  Upon entering Allison's room he blurted out "Her name is Abigail Christine!  For our mothers, that is if you like it."

"Good morning to you, too, Gerry.  Of course I like it.  It's perfect!  I just wish I could have met your mother."  She smiled a sad smile, remembering the yellow roses.  "We shall call her Abbey, and paint her room yellow - no pink for my daughter."

Gerald laughed at the thought.  For all her femininity, Allison hated pink, especially that pale, baby girl pink so many mothers dressed their little girls in.  Not for Abbey!

"The doctor said you can go home this afternoon, and everything is all ready so all you have to do is rest.  Janet even brought over a casserole and chocolate cake for our dinner."

"She's a sweetheart" replied Allison, "and such a good cook.  Oh, is my mother coming over?"

"Of course she is" said Gerald with a smile.  He truly liked his mother-in-law and welcomed her help.  He knew that most new mothers wanted their mothers nearby.  Since babies don't come with instructions, their experience is appreciated.

Once they got Allison and Abbey settled into the master bedroom where the crib had been set up, Gerald set about heating the casserole and setting the table.  He knew Allison wouldn't feel like sitting up too long, so everything was in place before he brought her to the table.  

"Put me down, please" she complained.  "Thank you for caring, but I can walk.  I just had a baby, not a broken leg."  Abbey was in a baby seat on the chair facing Allison.  Christine, Allison's mother, sat cooing at the baby, "you are such a beautiful baby.  I love that little yellow outfit.  It's perfect for you."

As they sat enjoying their dinner, they heard an odd sound coming from the side porch next to the kitchen.  Gerald went to investigate, but saw nothing and returned to the table.  There it was again.  It sounded like someone walking in the kitchen.  Again Gerald left the table.  What he saw when he walked into the kitchen filled him with great joy, and at the same time left him feeling most uneasy.  

There in her apron with her white hair neatly coiled atop her head stood his mother.  Well, not exactly in the flesh, but nevertheless, it was her, and in her hand was a bouquet of exquisite yellow roses.

"Hello Gerald" she whispered.  "These are for Allison.  I am so proud of you and your lovely family.  I loved her from the first time I saw her in the garden."

"Oh Mother, I knew you were here.  That I wasn't crazy or imagining things.  It is wonderful to see you now.  I have so many questions...like how...?"

"Would it be too much for an old woman to ask to see her grandchild?" interrupted Abigail.

Gerald was stunned, totally at a loss for words.  What would they think?  How could he possibly explain this?

"Gerry, who are you talking to", called Allison.  "Was someone at the door?"

"Be right there dear" he called back.  He was so used to talking to his mother in the garden he forgot to keep his voice down.

"Now what do I do" he whispered?

"Let me handle this.  After all it is my afterlife, right?" answered his mother with a smile.

With much trepidation, Gerald watched as his mother marched into the dining room to stand before Allison.

"Hello, I am Abigail, Gerald's mother.  I am so pleased to finally meet you."

Without blinking, Allison extended her hand toward Abigail and said "I am equally pleased to finally meet you as well."

Well, Gerald's jaw nearly dropped to the floor and Christine turned several shades of pale.  Although she believed in life beyond death, she had never actually encountered it herself.

"You mean you knew?  How..."

"First of all you spend an awful lot of time in the garden talking to yourself when you think no one notices" explained Allison.   "Then there was the appearance of the yellow rose on my plate after our first dinner together, and the brooch at our reception with no explanation for that either.  It was just too much to be a coincidence."

"At the hospital, when you told me what you wanted to name her, I almost said I wish I could meet your mother instead of I wish I could have met, your mother." 

"It helps, too, that I believe in the afterlife.  You see I had a 'visit' from my grandmother when I was about ten.  She had passed away a few years earlier."

Allison turned to her mother-in-law, "would you like to meet your granddaughter?"

She nodded. 

"Say hello to Abigail Christine."



For those of you who would like to catch up, here are the first 4 parts of the series.
The Rose Garden
The Restoration 
The Rose Garden:  Allison
The Rose Garden:  The Wedding



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