The dog barked, waking my husband .
“Hush,” I told the dog.
My husband rolled over, “Who are you talking to?”
Archive for October, 2010
The dog barked, waking my husband .
I was in college in Maryland. It was a Monday when I received a call from my mom. We talked about this and that and how it was going.
At the end of the call, she said, “I’ll meet you by the gate.”
At the time, I thought she meant the gate to her yard or garden.
On Wednesday, another family member called saying my Mother’s doctor had stopped treatment for her cancer six months earlier. That there was no hurry, but I should come see her.
I finished a test on Thursday and started driving back to Texas late Friday. I drove all night. When I got about thirty minutes from home, I felt it. It was like a huge rubber band connected to my gut had been pulled tight and then cut.
It snapped back and I knew my mother was no longer at the other end. I began to cry.
When I got to the house, no one had to say anything. I could see it in my sisters’ eyes.
My mother was lying in her bed, her hair had been combed. Someone had dressed her in a white cotton gown with tiny lilac flowers and a ribbon at the collar. Her hands were folded over her chest. I touched them, but they were already cold.
I knew then she hadn’t meant her garden gate, she would be meeting me somewhere else.
This is the basis for a book I’ve written, Meet Me at the Gate. Once it’s been polished a little more, perhaps it ‘ll be publishable.
I thought I would try something a little more mainstream this week, so here goes –
“Charles is having an affair,” Margo blurted out.
She glanced away, staring out the window as if she had just told me she bought a handbag that cost more than my mortgage. There was no point asking. Margo never said anything unless she was sure.
I glanced around the restaurant at the other ladies lunching. A lady at the next table was picking through a salad – no dressing, no cheese, no chicken, no onions. Onions were carbs she’d said. Her friend, just as thin, had plowed her way through a shrimp cocktail, egg rolls, and was now working her way through nachos. I noticed she went to the ladies’ room between each dish.
I love food too much to be anorexic and not enough to be bolimic, I thought, cutting into my lasagna, with cheese, meat, sauce, and extra bread.
The restaurant was filled with bored ladies politely tearing each other and their husband’s down. I was a fresh water fish in among the salt water. Margo wasn’t like these women. She met Charles in college, worked as hard as he did to make his career. Strip away the Prada and Gucci and she was just a girl from a farm in Texas somewhere no one had ever heard of.
“I’ve started my garden.” Margo was back.
“Forget the garden. What are you doing to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“Have you contacted an attorney?”
“An attorney? God no. Do you think he has?”
“You’d know if he had.”
“People are like shoes, you know. You remember when I was in college. I was a strappy pair of heels. I was cute and sassy. Men were attracted to me. I could have my pick. Then Charles and I got married. We settled down. I became what he needed me to be sensible, intelligent, hardworking – nurses shoes. You think a doctor would appreciate a good pair of nurses shoes. But no, he takes up with a pair of trampy stelletto’s.
“Men are like that, they’d rather have a pair of vinyl shoes with a little extra silicone in the toes.” I was trying to stick with the shoe metaphor, but failed.
Margo looked at me, brows wrinkled, frowning. She smiled, then laughed. Not fake laughter like that from the tables all around us, but real laughter.
Her blond curls tossed as she laughed. She was still cute, maybe not as sassy. I wish the old Margo was still in there.
“You can take the house.” I was trying to steer Margo towards reality.
“You can take the house in the country and Charles can take the apartment in the city.”
“No, I don’t want the house. I mean, I want the house. I don’t want a divorce.”
“But he’s cheating on you. You have to get a divorce. Everyone whose spouse cheats gets a divorce.”
“I don’t care. I don’t want a divorce.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t have to play by their rules. I can make up my own.”
Perhaps the old Margo was in there somewhere.
This is the last post in Necromancy Week. In honor of Suzanne’s new Kitten, I thought I’d write in the perspective of a new character, a smart talking Necromancer’s cat.This is not related to previous posts.
Buttons sat on the open window sill, his green eyes narrow slits. He calculated the amount of force it would take to propel himself through the air to the robins flitting about outside. Nevermind the two-story drop.
“Buttons, come away from there,” his mistress sternly called.
He obeyed, begrudgingly.
Mind your own bee’s wax, he thought.
“You don’t want to eat them anyway.”
No, duh, the whole cat of the undead thing.
Katherine’s eyes narrowed.
Buttons pretended to ignore her, closing his eyes. Sometimes he thought she could read his mind. She was unnerving like that and cats are hard to unnerve.
He seemed like any other cat unless you looked too closely. Other than the scraggly fur and an ear that had seen better days, he seemed quite normal. His mistress had resurrected him when she was four. She was the most powerful necromancer in a thousand years, maybe ever. People avoid someone with power like hers.
I’m christening this week Necromancy Week. This is a continuation of the last two posts. When I was a kid, I had an idea that all worlds were a combination of science and magic. So, my magical teams would be dispatched to worlds where the magic was out of balance. Only family members could combine and magnify each other’s magic, so these SWAT teams would be composed of people from the same family. This episode is when the Liza and her sisters got their first assignment.
The tapestry shimmered before Liza, a brilliant orange and red with a shimmer of royal blue. It was taking the shape of an egg, more accurately an egg-shaped box. Five more stitches to go.
Her fingers moved slowly, pulling at the threads of magick around her. Liza tore through the tangle of fibers she had gathered, pulling a bright crimson thread. She eased it free, careful not to snap it.
Magick appeared differently to different people. To her it was threads to be woven into a tapestry. She was a spell weaver after all.
She began to weave.
One. Two. Three. Almost there.
She would use the magick to gather spare matter and transform it into another form.
A box lined with crystaline. Jerl needed one to keep his newly acquired dragon egg. Her younger cousin was an animage. His powers were uncanny. In fact, their abilities were all unusually powerful.
Four, one more stitch.
Some said it was in their blood. She thought most people said that out of sympathy, knowing their family history. She had always thought it was the shared trauma of the Midsummer’s day. None of them had escaped unscathed. A few of them wore their scars on the outside. All on the inside, more easily hidden, but perhaps more troubling.
Five and the knot.
The door slammed against the wall. Aelese rushed in, waving a parchment above her head.
“It’s here.” She gulped, gasping for air as she collapsed in a chair.
The carefully woven tapestry, hours of work, collapsed into a pile of sparks slowly extinguishing like the last coals in the ashes of a fire.
This is a continuation of the last post about the team of necromancer’s in the inquisition after returning from their first mission. I’m going to try this entry in third person instead of first person.
Liza had been eight. Her and her sisters had slipped under the shed at the back of this yard, slingshots at the ready. Sarh had following them as she always did. This was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. Midsummer’s celebration was always a target rich environment. Everyone was there. Liza had just struck the first blow. Dad, back of the neck. Perfect shot. He turned, confused for a moment, eyebrow lifted.
Then he spotted us like a hungry wolf sighting its prey. Before he could act, there was a scream. Aunt Illa fell. After that everything exploded – screaming, shooting, blood, death.
Dad motioned for us to stay. What took minutes seemed to take hours. Some of her cousins, not much older than her, tried to defend their dying parents and their siblings, but they had been mowed down. They were no match. Her own brother, Kell, 12 threw himself over a pram, trying to save their younger brother. Kell had been struck down with little effort and the infant with him.
Men in long robes of the brightest blue, the royal order, walked among the bodies, killing any who managed to survive. Even the infants and toddlers. None were spared, only those few who like Liza and her sisters managed to hide.
Their leader looked straight at Liza. Before he turned and left.
“I see.” The inquisitor, Timble closed the book.
Did his face seem to soften? Perhaps.
The inquisitor to Timble’s left Baerik leaned forward. His features were sharp, hawk like. “Perhaps they were targeted?”
“Because they had no elders?” Timble asked.
“Or perhaps they have no elders because they were going to be targeted.”
“That was ten years ago.”
“Who’s to say someone hasn’t been waiting for this moment?”
“Why would destroy an entire family?”
“No one was ever charged.”
“It’s farfetched but I suppose possible.”
Baerik turned to Liza. “Did you notice anything different about that day? Something unusual? The feeling of being watched perhaps?”
“I wish I could say there was, but there wasn’t.” Liza ran a hand over her forehead. “It was just like any other morning.”
“Take us through it then.”
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