Thursday, February 2, 2017

Rebel

This week's terribleminds challenge.



Wolfeite

I went to town yesterday to get more eggs. Amber seems to like the eggs I fix her for breakfast and today I’m making an omelet with Desmine’s goat cheese. Everyone came up to me with questions about Amber. I just kept saying, “I don’t know.”

I do know she's the one who gave me and my friends this life instead of the hell that is happening. As least, that is what has been reported to us. That hell took over the streets of the cities.

It must be hell because every time I look into Amber’s eyes all I see is nothing. There used to be light, intelligence, playfulness, knowledge and maybe a little love for me. The last desperate look and knowledge I tried to gain from looking into her eyes in the city before the end, I also saw fear with a titch of rebellion. Ha, how can one see all of that in someone else’s eyes without talking to them? Her eyes spoke to me the first time I saw them. The slight quick blink and then the direct look into my eyes wrote volumes about her, her thoughts, and her knowledge.

I want to shake her to bring something of her back to me. Here she is and nothing. I ache for some sign that she is still somewhere in there.

She is sitting and staring out the window. I bring the omelet to her.

“Good morning, Amber.” I hold the plate out to her. She takes it.

“Thank you, Wolfeite. I appreciate your kindness.” This is the exact thing she says to me no matter what I give her. I sit next to her.

“Do you like goat cheese?” I want to have some kind of conversation with her.

“Yes, this is very good.”

“Why are you here, Amber?”

I wait as she takes another bite and chews. I wonder if she counts bites because it seems to take the same amount of time for each bit. She swallows, her head turns toward me and her dead eyes stare into mine.

She looks out the window again and speaks. “I rebelled.”

I wait for more words and watch her eat. Finally, I push and hope for an answer. “How, Amber? Speak to me, please. Tell me.”

I sit through two more bites.There is not much left on the plate.

The words leave her lips slowly. “I left, after. I lit fire to our work, to the papers, and to the servers. Everywhere I went, people were…. I tried to help some. Then, I looted the pharmacy and now, I’m here.”

Amber got up and took the plate to the kitchen. She ate the last bit of omelet quickly. “Wolfeite?”

“Yes?” Before I put the ‘s’ to my one-word question, I am standing in front of her. I wanted to look into her eyes. Hoping they would convey everything she hadn’t said.

“I want to rebel more.”  Her lids close slowly and open. Now, she looks at me and her eyes speak of hate and hell and fury and she lets out a breath. I glimpse determination and a little bit of love for me in her blue-green eyes.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hope




This weeks terribleminds challenge - Hope in the face of Hopelessness.  I've continued using the same world I created for the Apocalypse Now challenge.


Thorite

Beryl is where I live now. I’m not sure what’s happening in the lowlands. Sometimes there are reports of descent that a few travelers report to us. At first, over a year ago, mail carriers would deliver an official envelope with information about the change that was happening. Our Mayor, Cinnabar, would read every word of the file and then put it in a public folder so we could all read it. A cheer would go up at the end when it congratulated us on our important part in the whole plan. The plan had some number to it that I have forgotten.

Thursday evening is our gathering night. I love it. When I visited, Beryl, before the plan was enacted I would stop briefly for one more use of a flush toilet and buy packaged food before heading into the wood to camp and fish. It was on my last return trip from camping that I moved to Beryl. Actually, I didn’t move here but just didn’t go home. The store clerk informed of the plan and he’d been waiting for my return. He and his wife took me in and I live in their cabin they’d built for grandchildren to stay in when they visited. They don’t know where their kids are now.

Back to Thursday night. It was mandated that each Village of Preserve (VOP) should have a social evening and keep the collective memory. Beryl’s is a party. Everyone brings food and Wolfeite created a band. Tonight, one of the best hunters has made barbecued meat. I’ve made a pig of myself. Sipping on some kind of alcohol recently brewed, I listen to the music and enjoy the evening air which has a hint of winter in it.

“Thorite, is this seat taken?” asked Niter.

“Nope.”

“You notice the stranger?” He jerked his head to the right.

“No.” I look and can’t tell anything about the person except that the backpack was bigger than the person’s upper half.

“I think it’s a girl. Remember the last stranger told us of a woman who was rescuing people from the horrors of the lowlands? Wonder if it is her?”

“What? In Beryl? Why would such a legend be here?”

“Because that guy said that she said she was heading to VOPs. Beryl’s a VOP, remember?”

“You’re fantasizing. That guy was telling tells. His story is what people tell when they want to have some kind of hope. This is it, Niter. Enjoy this Thursday. Tomorrow there might not be one.”

Niter mumbled and took another drink. I kept looking over at her.  I wondered, did she know that she is welcome to food? To drink? Did she have information about anything beyond the mountain?

Then, I watched her and her backpack titter and fall over. Wolfeite reacted faster than all of us and in two steps, he was off the stage and kneeling next to her. “Amber, Amber,” he said and touched her cheek.

A crowd formed around them. Wolfeite starting giving commands. He was that guy who always knew what to do. Amber? Was that the name the stranger said? Could Niter actually be right and this is that woman?

“Thorite, get her some food,” Wolfeite said and I saw that her eyes were open. “Everyone move back. She’s going to be ok.” He started to get her backpack off and I went for food.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fear

This is the same world as last weeks apocalyptic story. This week's terribleminds challenge was something that scares you.





My mother, often while standing at the sink doing dishes, would ask me, “What do you fear, Wolfeite? What are you going to overcome now?”


I never ask the question in return. My mother’s fears were never known to me. This question had become part of my life and I never question why she asked it.


Today, now, at this moment, standing in front of the house that had become too crowded with its five inhabitants, I ask myself my fear. While I’m thinking on it, I see the old woman with a new load of bags all completely filled. She is hunched over and this hunch is still present when she is not loaded down with a new load.


“What momentous thing are you going to do today, Wolfeite?”


I know the voice instantly. It is Thorite.


“Today, with this blue sky, with the dirt road in front of me, with the woman walking by with her loaded bags. I think I will seek out a house that is empty.”


“A futile task then. They are filled. You know that.”


“Indeed I do.” I walk off following the woman. It has been three months since my group of friends was herded to this village. Three months since one life ended and this new one began. This time my fear wasn’t a fear of being alone. I still feared never seeing her again but now new fears had entered me. Every morning, rising from my bed, I wondered if my knees would ache as much as they did yesterday. When planting my bare feet on the floor, I mentally took note of the degree of pain in my back.


Falling in with slow measured steps of the women, I said a quick hello to just say I was there. We continued our steps in silence.


The dirt road continued and then turned down a hill. I hadn’t been down that hill since I came to Beryl. That is the name we were told but I have never found a sign to confirm the town’s name. She continues along a rocky path that rises. There is still room for me to walk next to her and we continue.


The sun is above us and the trees no longer shade the path. Sweat drips from my hair to my neck combining with trickles running down my back. The path turns into a clearing and I see a brown porch railing. The woman walks up to the door and opens it.


“Come on. I’m in need of refreshment.” She walks into the house leaving the door open.


I’m awe struck when I walk through the door and see the view through the bank of windows. The house must sit on the edge of a cliff because I’m looking at the tops of the mountains.

“It is all yours. I fear Beryl is getting too crowding and I’m not finding much to fill my bags. I leave in the morning.”

Friday, January 13, 2017

Apocalypse

terribleminds challenge - not complete but I wrote something!!!



I walk close to skyscraper with my hand reaching to touch its surface. The feel of the slightly rough cement and then the indent indicating the next slab keep me from screaming to the crowds of people going about their seemingly regular day. It will all end, this normal, it will end - is the running mantra in my head which wants to escape to warn this world the apocalypse will happen in three calculated measured days. This wonderful world will cease to exist in this trajectory and veer dramatically and it won't happen the way fiction continually predicts with disease or a dramatic catastrophic event of either manmade or natural causes but with precision, with a plan. The work that I never imagined would come to fruition is about to be played out. The lump in my throat is still there when my brain finally comprehended what was being conveyed in this morning’s meeting. Plan 5889 with amendment Q2F will be enacted at 6 am Friday, May 29, 2144.

Amendment Q2F is mine. The seduction to work with “The Group” started nine years ago. It was a slow beautiful seduction of subtle compliments that included the means for me to obtain my degree. Then, there were the dinner parties and getaways and enticements and the magic of letting one’s imagination create a world that could be better, could be magnificent, could be a utopia. The group of minds, though, knew new and brilliance started with destruction, with an end of one way before the next way could happen. How many years had some type of utopia tried to be achieved with slow measures? With a flurry of thought in this direction, plans were computed and measured. If this than that, if that then this and then the ultimate in achievement for humankind.  When the fog of seduction lifted, I scrambled to preserve a small bit of what I love about daily life. It is amendment Q2F and today, I had to play my part as were a few dozen other members of the group setting out to do the same.

I pull away from the wall and stand in the crowd to wait for the signal to cross the street. I let the conversations into my thoughts-
    “No, I can’t possible do lunch until one.”
    “George, stand still.”
    “The McEwen Case takes precedence. Stop everything else.”
    “I can’t imagine the blue in that room. I am on my way to pick up the fixture.”
    “George, hold my hand.”

The only one talking directly to a human is the mother of her child. The light changes and we walk on in our group. The lump won’t leave my throat.

Four doors down is my place of respite. While sitting at the bank of seats facing the street giving one the view of feet and legs walking by is where I sat when I overheard laughter coming from the main space which is below the bank of window seats. The circle of friends always seemed to be laughing. Some of the faces changed over the weeks and months since the first time I saw them. My life is solitary passing within the walls of the group. I’m not sure when that became the case. But because of my life which was solely that, the day I sat with them and laughed remains with me in every detail and is why I’m heading there now with lead chips.

The lead chips are tickets out of the destruction phase of the plan. They are a pass to one of nearly abandoned towns in the mountains or valleys beyond the cities. 





Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas in Haiti



Happy Holidays. Joyeux Noel.

This is our Christmas tree this year. There is a long boring tedious explanation as to why this is our Christmas tree. I do like this tree and its homemade decorations. The tree is made on the side of the road and is sticks cemented into a coffee can. The sticks or branches might be a better word are painted white with a brush. It cost us 500 gourdes or about $7 dollars. A lot of life happens on the streets of Port Au Prince, Haiti. One can buy fruits and vegetables, paintings, metal art, bread, shoe repair, and at Christmas time these "trees".

Is there the Christmas spirit in Haiti? Is there hope in Haiti? I am unsure. There is art in Haiti.

Since the November 8th election, I 'm not feeling hope nor has the Christmas spirit grabbed me. I do not have the feeling of hope that comes with a new year.  This blog hasn't been touched much in 2016.  The amount of change that happened in my life in 2016 has hindered my creative energy. The terribleminds blog has been a place that has motivated me to write and think and move forward.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2016/12/13/how-to-create-art-and-make-cool-stuff-in-a-time-of-trouble/

Peace and Make Art

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cover Reveal - Den of Antiquity


When one thinks of a den, one tends to think of comfort. A cozy room in the house—a quiet, comfortable place, a room for conversation, reading, or writing. One doesn’t tend to think of high adventure, dragons, vampires, airships, or paranormal creatures. And yet, that’s just what you’ll find in these pages. Stories of adventure and mystery! Paranormal, dark, and atmospheric tales! The fantastical and the imaginative, the dystopian and post-apocalyptic, and everything in between!

So settle into the coziest room in your house, plop down into your favorite armchair, and dive into the Den of Antiquity.

Stories:
Brass and Coal, by Jack Tyler
An Evening at the Marlon Club as Told by Dr. Horatio Boyle, by Kate Philbrick
Dragon's Breath, by E.C. Jarvis
The Reluctant Vampire, by Neale Green
The Complications of Avery Vane, by Bryce Raffle
Hark! Hark! by N.O.A. Rawle
The Jackalope Bandit, by David Lee Summers
After The Catastrophe: The Lady Of Castle Rock, by Steve Moore
When The Tomb Breaks, by William J. Jackson
All That Glitters, by Karen J Carlisle
Yggdrasil's Triumphant Return, by Alice E. Keyes
After The Crash, by B.A. Sinclair

Friday, August 12, 2016

Flash Fiction - Lily Woodrift

This the opening of a flash fiction for terribleminds flash fiction challenge. Sometimes one just has to through something on the blog. So, here is my first attempt at a mash-up between Comic Fantasy and Magical Realism genre.



Lily Woodrift looked from the picture on her phone to the cottage before her. She zoomed in on the rose bush and counted the blossoms. Seven perfect red blossoms in the picture and seven matching blossoms on the bush to the right the front door of the one-story stone cottage. She had signed the year lease on the realtor's emphatic assurance that it would be the perfect place for her. The electronic signature sealed her life for a year a mere three days after she accepted a job as a graphic designer for the newly formed archeology firm of Burl, Piper, and Dent in Stone, South Carolina.


A trickle of sweat starting to form along the spine of her back. The heat and suffocating humidity of South Carolina were definitely real. She took a breath and walked to the cottage. In the fake stone on the entry porch, she found the key. Everything seemed to be as the realtor described. Since she agreed to the position, everything fell into place and she kept wondering if it was too easy. With excitement and trepidation, she unlocked the door and stepped into her new life.


After marveling at the cottages lovely furnished interior and reading the realtor's handwritten note about the best place for groceries and other necessities, Lily paused and thought if the neighbor is a gorgeous polite guy who doesn’t talk about the latest archaeological discovery and prefers to talk about the winner of the transcontinental bicycle race then Stone, South Carolina must be her Brigadoon. The last sentence of the note said that the fridge was stocked with some first-night necessities. She opened it and marveled at its contents. Champagne, three different types of grapes, French cheeses, a steak, red potatoes, brussel sprouts, and an entire peach pie. The steak and potatoes had notes on how to cook them for her welcome to Stone meal. He’d practically apologized for not being there to cook it himself. She wondered if he was cute.


Lily bounded out of her cottage to retrieve her few belongings. As the heat enveloped, her movements went from quick joy to a drag of someone swimming in mashed potatoes. This motion took all of her pep as she lifted the first piece of luggage out of her trunk. She rested it on the lip of the trunk as a blur of red disturbed the stagnant air next to her. The idea of pedaling a bike through the swampy air was unreal to her.


The bicyclist stopped and returned to Lily’s car.


“Hi, I’m Harry.” He held out his fingerless-gloved hand. She smiled and nodded. He pulled back his hand. “That looks heavy let me help.” While setting his bike on her lawn, he continued to talk. “I live two houses down and I was informed that I would have a new neighbor moving in today. Mark asked me to drop by around four. Guess, I’m early but glad I can help with your stuff.” He took the luggage she had been balancing and placed it on the sidewalk.


Lily just stared not believing that her eyes were seeing a hunky neighbor in a full bike kit. She pulled her eyes from his biker thighs and looked into his warm brown eyes. “Hi, you know the realtor?” She extended her hand and he gave it a firm shake as she tried to remember what he’d said his name was.


“Everyone in Stone knows Mark. Don’t ask him what he’s dug up lately cause that’s a never-ending conversation.” He pulled the other two pieces of luggage out and gathered them in a way that she couldn’t imagine possible and started to walk towards the door. Lily, at a pace she thought was quick for the thick air, grabbed a box from her back seat and followed him. She wasn’t sure how it happened but there was no awkwardness getting through the door.


“Did Mark do his full meal in the fridge thing?” Harry set down her bags and took the box from her arms and set it on the kitchen counter. She nodded. “With instructions?” She nodded again. Within the next few moments, all that she had was in the cottage and she was standing there going through her few sentences of contribution to the conversation and tried to remember if she’d actually introduced herself.


Harry looked at her few boxes and smiled, “Not much for me to get a lead into my new neighbor’s likes and dislikes except for maybe she is neat and efficient.” Before them sat three pieces of black luggage that were obviously a recently purchased set and four new identical square boxes taped up without a mark on the outside.


She looked at him in his full riding gear including professional biking shoes that clinked when he stepped. “I’ve kept you from your bike ride. I can’t thank you enough for helping me.” She pulled her t-shirt sleeve to her forehead and caught the drips of sweat before they fell into her eyes.


“Am I being excused?” He winked.


All the awkwardness that is associated with a first meeting flooded over her. The spell of ease was broken. “I don’t even think I’ve introduced myself and you’ve interrupted your biking to help me. I’m starting my job tomorrow. Everything has been such a whirlwind. I...”


He held up his hand stopping her next words, “Happy to help and I look forward to getting to know my neighbor when she has settled in a bit.” He opened the door and as he stepped to the outside world he said, “Have a great first day tomorrow.”

A click echoed in her ears and she was alone. “Shit,” Lily whispered to her boxes and luggage. Opening the fridge, she pulled out the bowl of grapes and laid on the couch. The cottage’s warm interior enveloped her. Holding a grape in between her teeth she slowly bit until the skin snapped and its juices cooled her mouth. She repeated this until she was......