Thursday, August 25, 2011


My Indie Ink writing challege - "The betrayal that wasn't."

"It is done." she whispered, head bowed and silken hair falling down around her face to hide it.
He might have looked back, but she would never know, with her eyes tightly shut and hands over her face.
She had just sent her child off into the unknown in the arms of a stranger. Would he understand, in the years to come, that she had to do it if he was to grow up happy and normal? Or would he consider himself betrayed by his mother who had sent him off to a new world without her own presence?

She sighed and stood, stretching. The terminal chairs were hard and uncomfortable. She checked her watch. The time she had made in her tightly monitored schedule for this detour and hopefully rescue of her child was quickly coming to a close. She was due back at the compound in an hour. Traffic would no doubt turn the forty minute drive into at least that.

The short, well dressed woman reached into her purse and pressed a button. As she began to walk toward the doors, a child of about four with curly auburn hair like hers shimmered into being next to her. His steps mirrored her exactly as he was indeed, a projection of her. This would not last long, her deception, but it was the third stop of the day, each time she had taken her son into shops with her and commanded the driver to stay with the groundcar.

She climbed into the rear seat gracefully, the child following her every movement. Leaning back she closed her eyes, hoping the man in the front seat would leave her alone and take her grief for weariness. Very soon she knew she would suffer for what she had done, but the peace of knowing her boy was safe consoled her and she cradled the thought in her mind like a gleaming pearl.

She opened her eyes as they pulled up in front of the pillared house - just a little too small to be called a mansion - that was her personal prison. She murmured a thank you to the driver and stepped out, the image of the child in lock-step with her. They walked up the stairs, the mother and ghost of her son. Her mind whirled. How long a deception could she play out? Each passing moment brought safety for him.

In the nursery she dismissed the nanny for the day, telling her that she would take care of her son. Then the woman switched off the transmitter and her child vanished. She stood alone in the bright room and cried for her loss, finally.

I was challenged this week by Ixy and I challenged Indie Adams with "Know when to walk away."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Becoming Light

While I'm reflecting on life changes and going though old files, I came across this one. I can remember feeling this way, but this last year, away from the crushing depression and failed marriage, I didn't feel this way in February. I still hate shoveling snow and battling slush, but I'm not feeling like this. In spite of everything that is going on in my life, with a major down following almost two years of up, I still am confident that I am strong enough to weather this storm. I've come out of my chrysalis and my wings are ready to take me up and away. 

February can often seem to me like climbing up out of the abyss. The narrow crumbling steps seem to go on forever. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes you give up and sleep in a heap, your fingernails digging into the soft rock walls. Some days are wet, and treacherous, with a cold that seeps into your bones until you think it will never get warm again. A whirlpool of worries and thought sucks at your mind. There is sunshine up there, you are sure, but you no longer remember what it looks like. Just that it was warm, and good. For months you have been down here, the walls closing in on you, the tasks that seem so light to others an insurmountable effort for you. You never give up, for to do so would be to lie down to die. Just keep climbing, one step at a time. Baby-steps, painful and slow, over and over and over.... Spring is coming, you chant under your breath, and hold your temper, for to rage against the darkness in your mind is to rage out at those around you, who cannot see it. Spring is coming. The world will open out for you again, like a blossom in the sun, and sweetness will fill your nostrils and you will grow wings as you leap upwards and out of your despair...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Motherhood, and reflections.

I wrote something a while back. A long while, given that my youngest child is now six, and he wasn't even born when I wrote this thought down. It still rings true, now, and it's a good reminder to me as my eldest will be a teenager in less than six months. I still need to keep these moments in my heart, as they grow up and away from me. Like the toad in this picture, my children deign to be held for a time, but for them to be truly happy I will have to let them go free. After touching their warts and saying "ewww!" of course.

There are many signs of motherhood. Today I wore, for a while, a badge on my shoulder and reflected about other badges like it that I have worn and will wear through my life. My youngest banged her head, and as I held her in my arms and murmured to her, she buried her face in my shoulder and sobbed. A few minutes later, after I had put her down and she was playing happily, I realized she had left a patch of tears and snot on my shoulder. One more in a succession of such spots. They started with the spit-up from my babies, and will progress to lower marks of banged knees and elbows, from cuddles at an age where they are usually past such comforts. Hopefully, when my daughters are teens I will be mother enough to shoulder their tears over every little heartbreak in a way my mother never did. And when our lives have come full circle it will be spit-up again, from their babies. All my life I will be proud of my badges of motherhood, but I prefer to wear them invisibly. Pardon me while I change my shirt. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

I've lost a week…

And I don't know where it went.

Saturday my fiance twisted his knee, and Sunday morning I took him to the ER. It develops that he may have torn his ACL, and on top of previous injuries he is laid up. I am suddenly doing the work of two people, and I have gone from little time, to no time. So I apologize to my II challenger… I had a story in my head, but it never made it out. I'll be back eventually, maybe after the kids go back to school.


I'm late, I'm late! *white rabbit vanishes*

Monday, August 01, 2011

WIP Snippet

Duty was neither to be entered upon lightly, nor to be worn as a badge of honor. Yet even in her short life, Liatris had seen both. Had done the first, as a matter of fact. Which was arguably what had led her to this forgotten backwater. She liked backwaters. Had grown up in one, chosen another to spend most of her adult life in. But this one... this one gave her the shudders. She squared her shoulders yet again, heaven forbid a Voyageur of the HBC show ought less than a bold countenance. Lifting a clenched fist, she prepared to knock at the door, only to be surprised as it swung open. 
Liatris put a hand on the holster at her hip, fingering the worn leather, but not yet pulling her weapon. "Hello?" she called, pitching her voice to carry without too great a volume.
"Anyone home?"
No answer came from within, and from the scents swirling about her on the air from the house, she though no-one had lived her for quite some time. Duty bound, she stepped into the tenement hall.  The stillness in the air was almost complete, although Lia thought she saw and felt the ghostly movement of rodents feeling in each room as she wound her way through the rooms in a circle ending back at the door. 
None within. Dusty furniture and littered floors spoke of residents at some lost date. Duty had not driven Lia to inspect the food chiller. She was unwilling to inflict that on her nose. She hesitated at the threshold weighing duty. Was her long journey balanced by this empty place where her quarry ought to have been? She sighed and pulled the door closed behind her. Overhead, rain drummed on the dome and green lightning tore through the mineral-laced atmosphere that had brought humans to this planet. A whole planet, and all the men on it packed into this squalid place. Her nose wrinkled as she looked around. Narrow streets dominated with towering tenements, each floor an apartment unto itself, accessed by grav elevators. Many of them, she had been told, could only be accessed by the previous owner's DNA, a design flaw that had left landlords gnashing their teeth when renters refused to leave or to pay rent. 
Lia pulled her toque back onto her head, affixing that badge of her status and livelihood firmly. Even in this misbegotten place, the voyageur's cap would be recognized and respected. She set out for the nearest bar. She knew it wouldn't be far. Every settlement on every planet in the known galaxy had at least one bar, and her rule of thumb was that the more poor and miserable the place, the more bars there would be. Her only criteria was, where would the widow of a spaceman hang out? 


When i was nine, I was as insouciant a saucy wench as you can imagine. I had no idea I was a child - I almost never thought of myself as any age at all. This was mostly due to the fact that I was home schooled and had little contact that year with any other child but my sister. Actually, I was in my twenties before I realized that I was young, so perhaps it had nothing to do with being home schooled. But I digress - and I will probably do so frequently, so please bear with me. 
As I was saying, when I was nine we lived far out on a dirt driveway in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, where they raise grass seed for all you compulsive lawn-keeping types. Great, waving fields of grass, let go until they come to ripeness, then harvested for seed. 
We lived on a leased acre of land bordered on two sides by great, rampant hedges of blackberry vines, too thick for anything but a mouse to squeeze through. There was a small gap in the hedge near our mobile home, where you could walk through into what had once been either a road or a railway bed, and if you took a left turn and went off down it at an angle away from the house, you would come to the railroad itself, and at 8:30 every night, and 11 in the morning, a freight train would rumble its way past our house. 
On the other sides, the house was open to the great grass fields, stretching off to the highway on one side, to the distant tree-lined river on the other, and the woods bordering the wildlife sanctuary on the other. From the beginning it was the sanctuary that drew me. It had been, once upon a distant time, homesteads, and there were still thickly scattered the fruit trees and flowers that bore evidence to those intrepid people. More recently (although still forty years in the past) it had been a military training camp, so across the land were neatly laid a pattern of straight, paved roads, and a man-made lake. Also there were foundations for the long gone Quonset huts that I think must have been there, and one open basement to some grander building.
This was my playground. I was out there all the time in the spring, summer, and fall. The weather was mild enough, I had not yet heard of giardia, so I drank the clear stream water with impunity, and I ate whatever I could find, for already I knew what was good, and what was not, thanks to the tutelage of my Grandmother Kemnow and Euell Gibbons. There were cherries, in the spring, lovely yellow Queen Anne’s first, and later, dark almost black Bings. Also, in the spring, the whole place blossomed with daffodils and narcissi of every descriptions, naturalized for who knew how many years. 
I loved the beauty of it, and the freedom to roam without fear of meeting people, companioned by my dog, and sometimes a baby goat. Later, when it was summer, my sister would come with me on occasion, but she was not as happy as I to be entirely away from people, and although we had many adventures together, the sanctuary was my domain.