Happy Is a State of Mind

Expanding on my HAPPY post of Zero to Hero Day 19 I wonder – how do we view ourselves, our lives, our choices, our happiness quotient? Are you happy? Am I? Are any of us more so than others of us? Indulge me and take the Happiness Poll.

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Wordless Weekend – Weekly Photo Challenge

I believe I will institute a “Wordless Weekend” and post only visuals on Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes my own images, sometimes things I’ve discovered while wandering around the web.

Do let me know if you have happened across any visuals which you think should be included.

This week – my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge which was “Twisted.”

DREAMCATCHER fractal art created with the Apothesis program.
DREAMCATCHER fractal art created with the Apothesis program.

I wanted to respond to the “figurative “sense of the challenge but alas, had no suitable art on hand. Had to go with this literal translation of the challenge instead.

The above is fractal art created by Splendid Empress, all rights reserved.

Green is the Color of My True Love’s Heart

It’s a little store, on a little street, in a little town. The kind of place you can walk right by if you aren’t looking for it.

I was looking for it.

When I pushed open the door it gave reluctantly, opening only so much as was necessary to allow me to slip through to the other side. As expected, the inside of the place was dark and dusty. There were all sorts of gadgets scattered about, stacked two to three deep on the shelves and balanced on all other available surfaces. In the back was a counter and behind the counter was a row of six doors.

The doors were sort of odd because they didn’t go anywhere. A rudimentary scaffold of unfinished wood held each of them upright so you could get a good look at them. If you wanted to you could also walk around behind them to get a look at the other side. What you couldn’t do was to open one of them.

“Buy it first, then you can do whatever the hell you want with it,” the proprietor was known to say as soon as anyone even thought to lay a hand on one of the doorknobs.

I had been saving for a long time to buy the green one.

A green door in Brooklyn
A green door in Brooklyn

“You back again?” the old man behind the counter whispered when he saw me.

“Yes sir. Back again. This time I have enough money I think,” I laid the pile of bills on the counter. He eyed them and nodded at me.

“Expect you do, Miss. Which one was it now?”

“The green one,” I said.

He raised an eyebrow. “You sure? Folks who buy the purple one come out smiling.”

“I’m sure. Green.”

“Green it is, then. If I’m not here whenever it is you finish just go on ahead and let yourself out the front.” He handed me a small silver key.

The key fit perfectly into the lock. I took a deep breath and turned it. A barely audible click signaled that the lock was disengaged and the green door could now be opened.

Oddly at that exact moment I hesitated. I’ve had the feeling a couple of times in my life that after this moment – this very next moment – nothing will ever be the same. And of course it never is. So I stood there, balancing on the threshold, not sure what opening the door would reveal but knowing that whatever it was, it would be momentous.

My hand was steady as I turned the knob and pulled the door open. Inside the open door frame there was – nothing. I could look through the opening and see the back of the shop; it looked exactly as it did if you walked around the line of doors and examined it close up. I blinked. Really? All that money in exchange for experiencing the feelings of a fool duped by a wiser but meaner soul? Nothing?

With great disappointment I stepped through the doorway – and started to fall. Or at least it felt as if I were falling. My feet stayed steady on the floor and my body stayed upright but the sensation of falling engulfed me completely. And then it was gone and I was standing in my Grandmother’s attic, just where I wanted to be.

Daily Prompt – Pick Your Gadget. Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?
Image is A Green Door in Brooklyn by Anahi DeCanio @ ArtyZen Studios

A Symmetry of Cake

The room was filled with the rich color of sunset but when a cloud passed over the front lawn there came a shifting of sorts; the golden light shuffled through a few shadows before settling again. The petulant muttering of bees insinuated the room was much warmer than seemed appropriate for spring.

In the center of the far wall, directly across the room from me, stood a young man of exceptional beauty. Opposite him, a table’s width away, stood a young woman equally as beautiful. Between them, very carefully arranged on what looked like one of my grandmother’s fine china dessert plates, rested a single slice of chocolate cake. The rich, dark color almost glowed in perfection against the white porcelain, marred only by one bite carelessly removed from the nearest corner.

The two figures glared at each other across the luscious battlefield. Both held forks in their right hands but it was impossible to ascertain who had eaten the first bite or who would take the next. Their eyes were locked as if they were engaged in a duel to the death and neither seemed likely to break the impasse.

I had never seen either one of them before in my life.

Quietly I backed out of the room and retreated to the front door. Only then did I notice the portrait of my grandparents, which usually hangs above the mantel in the middle of the far wall. It was leaning at a drunken angle against the hallway console table.

“Honey?” I called, advancing bravely once again to stand in front of my fireplace. “Did you buy another new piece of art?”

“Nope,” answered my husband’s deep voice unnervingly close behind me. “I found it in the attic. A striking piece, isn’t it? I felt compelled to bring it downstairs and hang it.” He handed me a glass of red wine and clicked his own lightly against it.

“Here’s to beauty,” he said, then nodded to the painting which I still couldn’t seem to look away from. “Isn’t she beautiful?” he murmured.

“Yes, he is,” I answered, absently wondering why I had thought the couple had been holding forks in their right hands? She was, clearly enough, but his fork was gripped tightly in his left so as to symmetrically balance their hands on either side of the slice of yellow cake with its two missing corners.

“Honey?” I said. “There’s something wrong here…..” He didn’t answer and without looking I knew that he was as absorbed in the painting as I was.

The cake seemed to be disappearing; now white, now pink and finally back to rich, dark, engulfing brown. Our dark wine tasted like chocolate and when the bees stopped whispering neither one of us seemed to notice.

When they find us I wonder if they will notice the puncture marks?

Zero to Hero Day Sixteen – Make a Prompt Personal – Publish a post based on your own, personalized take on today‚Äôs Daily Prompt. The Daily Prompt: Unexpected Guests You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.