The Fade

There is no warning rattle at the door. No scent of myrtle creeps through the keyhole to signal the approach of magic or increase the wild thumping of a solitary heart. There is no dimming sense of the light going, no cloying surge of terrified spittle surging upward.

There is just The Fade.

She is tired of the struggle and finds the Fade more and more comforting each time it comes. HE tells her not to give way to it, to fight, to hope for more. But he is not here now. And the Fade is. She lies back into its grasp and exhales gratefully.

It is a very long time before she inhales again.

But finally she does, and blinks and swallows and notices for the first time the little female jaybird who peers through her window past the Valentine heart. She thinks a bird looking in the window portends bad luck. She knows that a Valentine heart does.

bird-heart-825x350He would not agree of course. Lately they never seem to agree on anything. Lately they never even seem to talk.

Is there any reason to try a bit longer? Is there even a chance of more? Or is it finally time to give way to the inevitable dance among the ruins?

She does not know. He is not here. She is listening for a rattle at the door.

Written for Zero to Hero, Day 22: Try (Another) Blog Event. I chose the Yeah Write Speakeasy Fiction Challenge from prompts provided here.

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.

Thoughts of Rain and Sunshine

Soggy lullaby
crashing slashing flashing too
the Storming of Spring

It stormed last night. Most of the night, in fact. Which is alright because I rather like the sound of a storm when I am tucked in safely.

This morning when I got up the sun was back but I was still inspired to seek out a new photo for my blog header. I love this great capture of a spring rain shower in progress which I found on http://www.scenicreflections.com.

A real-life event pulled me away from the blogosphere for the past week but I’m back now and still determined to finish Zero to Hero. Congratulations to all of you who are almost finished! What do you plan to do next?

The Liebster Award!

Image

I’ve been away for awhile and out of touch with the blogosphere due to an interruption from Real Life.  While I was gone I was nominated for a Liebster Award by four —- count ’em —- FOUR Fabulous Bloggers! I am so humbly honored, thanks to all four of you!

Click on these links to visit the awesome blogs of my Four Fab Nominators:
Life in Poetry
Maria Brinkley, artist
in the life of sara sandoval
The Odd Things

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to promote their blog and bring together a community of bloggers. The word Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. I especially like that “welcome” part as we send this award around the blogosphere to newcomers. Blogging is about building a community and this is a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about their blogs.

The rules of the award are as follows:

The nominated blogger must provide a link back to the person(s) who nominated them and also complete the following requirements:

  • Provide 11 facts about themselves
  • Answer 11 questions from the person(s) who nominated you
  • Choose 11 other bloggers to nominate and ask them 11 questions
  • Inform the new nominees they’ve won and send link!

ELEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME:  

  1. I love to read! Eventually I will be adding a “what I’m reading now” page to my blog. 
  2. I hate scary movies.  If I accidentally end up watching one I put my splayed fingers up in front of my face and peer through the gaps. 
  3. My BMI indicates that I am about a foot too short. 
  4. My favorite online gaming platform is WOW where I am a shaman, a mage, a  druid, a healer and a hunter. 
  5. One day I will own a lovely little cottage on a lake and spend the entire summer there every year. 
  6. I hate housework and I’m a lousy cook.  Somehow my family survived.
  7. I speak both Pig Latin and Parseltongue.  Depending on your age you should recognize one of them. 
  8. Favorite foods include Pizza, Spaghetti, and Lasagna.
  9. I might have been an Italian Princess in a former life….
  10. Currently trying a Paleo (and thus also gluten-free) lifestyle.  Very Sad (see number 8 above.)
  11. I saw a ghost once.  Really.  

And now for the questions from my Fab Four. Because there are so many of them I will be answering two to three questions from each nominator rather than boring you with my 44 amazing answers…….And because I am inherently lazy I will be providing answers only rather than typing out each question.  I leave it to your imagination, dear reader, to figure out what the questions were. 

  1. My least favorite subject in school was Math – any kind of math.  Because the Right hemisphere of my brain always overpowers the Left and Math is definitely buried deep within the obtuse left side. 
  2. A hobby I really enjoy is photography.  I’m saving my pocket change for a Canon EOS Rebel. It’s going to take a lot of change! 
  3. My best birthday memory is a surprise birthday party when I was 10. 
  4. Something which I’ve always owned and still have is a stuffed dog.  I suppose he was my version of a “blankie.”  All of his stuffing was long ago flattened away with hugs and he’s turned yellow with age.  He lives in a box on my closet shelf and I would never dream of getting rid of him.
  5. My favorite flowers are Hydrangeas because they remind me of my Grandmother. 
  6. I was named after my mother’s sister.  My name means “nobly born.”
  7. My favorite television show – Scandal.
  8. My most prized piece of knowledge: “However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.” 
  9.  If a woodchuck could, and would, chuck wood, a woodchuck could chuck a good chunk of wood, should and could a woodchuck go chuck wood – that’s how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood. 
  10. Least liked housework chore is Floors.  Vacuuming, sweeping, scrubbing…..you name it, I hate it! 
  11. Favorite travel destination – London.  I’ve been twice so far and would love to go back and live there for a few months. 

The Eleven Blogs I Am Nominating for a Liebster Award: 

Artfully Aspiring 

If You Are Looking for Answers

Tangent Lass  

A Country Mile 

Someday Means Never

Euphonic Charity

Making it Up As I Go Along, Trying to Think It Through

Love Happy Notes

I Am Creative by Design

Looking Glass Mama

Dragon Droppings

 

Eleven questions from me to my nominees:

  1. How long have you been blogging? 
  2. If you could be a Disney character who would you be and why?
  3. You are moving to a new house in a new town and can only take five things with you – what do you choose? (People and pets and the necessities of life like food and clothes don’t count.)
  4. Title of the last book you read?  Title of the first book you read by yourself?
  5. Favorite television show when you were a child?
  6. Do you believe in ghosts?  Why or why not?
  7. What Inspires you?
  8. Do you have pets?  Why or why not?
  9. Name three people, one living, one dead and one fictional,  whom you would like to invite to a dinner party. 
  10. Of all the days in your life you get to live one over again.  Which one do you pick and what happened on that day?
  11. The world would be a better place if____________________________.