"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream." ― Vincent Van Gogh

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January 27, 2017

20 Days of Chill Finished

{ More about the 20 Days of Chill over here }
This writing challenge did keep me writing but I guess I'm just too unmotivated to write fiction which was my goal. But I got to write a few stories that I would never have written if not for this challenge so that's good. I'm not sure I'll do this again next year but we'll see.

Read all the 20 Days of Chill posts:
January 2: Explain your blog
January 3: Little red wagon
January 4: Photograph
January 5: I found a ball…
January 9: Nicknames
January 10: Dream winter vacation
January 11: Blue
January 12: Booze and bongos
January 16: Selfie nation
January 17: Stress
January 18: Fears
January 19: The next 10 years …
January 23: Cheese
January 24: Dreams
January 25: White
January 26: Popularity

Connected story:
January 6: STORY 1: Philadelphia
January 13: STORY 2: San Francisco
January 20: STORY 3: Zurich, Switzerland
January 27: STORY 4: Sydney, Australia

January 27: STORY 4: Sydney, Australia

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Note: This is a four part series. Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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Fiction: Mae and Dash - part 4

Just before midnight before Halloween, Mae and Dash arrive at the witch's house. They couldn't find Philly anywhere but Mae is sure he would show up if they need him.

"So, here we are," Mae says looking at the wooden door.

Dash have his doubts about going in but he is sure not going to be the one to tell Mae.

Mae knocks at the door. It opens with a creak. They see nothing but darkness inside.

"Shall we?" Mae says and smiles though she feels like puking.

Dash nods his head at her. He rather run away but Mae needs him.

"Come in, my children," the voice of the witch came out of nowhere.

Mae walks inside first. She couldn't see anything. Dash bumps into her. The door closes with a loud bang behind them.

The witch appears. She claps her hands and the candles above on the chandelier lights up. "I see you brave children brought nothing with you." She looks at the wand in Dash's bag. "Nothing useful, anyway."

"Where are my parents?" Mae makes her voice loud and clear.

"Easy, darling. We have plenty of time. Why so anxious?" The witch smiles showing most of her yellow stained teeth. Her eyes spark like two diamonds.

"Witch, give Mae's parents back to her." Dash starts forward but the witch points a finger at him. He tries to lift his hand but he couldn't. "Let me go!"

"Boy, do mind your own business." The witch shows not a dash of fear.

"I want to see my parents." Mae draws her fingers into a ball at her side.

"Yes, of course, my dear. If you want to see them for one brief moment, I can yield to your request, just for a bit." She waves her hands in the air.

A green cloud appears and there stood Mae's parents - Henry and Meg Tilly. They smile at her but then they disappear.

Mae wants to cry. "Please, I want them back."

"Mae, you know what I want."

Mae turns to Dash. His eyes widen. Don't do it. Mae tightens her lips. She turns back to the witch. "Okay, I will be your apprentice but only if you let my parents and Dash free."

"Oh, the boy too, eh?" The witch takes a glance at Dash and then turns back to Mae.

Dash wants to smile but he keeps his face straight. He can't let Mae worry about him.

"Yes, Dash is my best friend." Mae smiles. Dash have been with her through all her awful schemes and knows more about her than anyone aside from her parents.

"Oh, youth, how I marvel thee. Come, we have much to do." The witch turns away.

"Wait! My parents first." Mae is not going to just go along without freeing her parents first.

"As you wish." The witch waves her hand about. A green cloud appears and then Henry and Meg Tilly reappear.

"Mom! Dad!" Mae runs toward them but they don't move. They just stare at her.

Mae turns to the witch. "Free them."

"I will soon enough. Come." The witch heads toward her kitchen. "We have much to do."

"Free them or I won't do a single thing you ask." Mae purses her lips tight.

The witch starts waving her hands.

"Dash too!" Mae hasn't forgotten about Dash. Mae looks toward Dash who hasn't move one bit by the door.

"Very well," the witch waves her hands about at Meg and Henry and then Dash. Meg is the first to speak, "Mae, what did you do?"

"I..." Mae isn't quite sure what she did either.

"Mae," Meg says as she turns toward the witch standing there looking very impatient. "Mae..."

"Mae, we must hurry. There is much that needs to be done." The witch's lips purse into a grin.

"That is enough!" Henry raises his hand at the witch.

"What have you done?" The witch, with her hands frozen in the air, looks incredulously at Henry.

"Sweetwater, don't you know who I am?" Henry smiles a small smile but a smile nonetheless.

"Don't call me that! My name is Lucinda. Who are you?" The witch's eyebrows knits together.

"I am, well, your great-grandson but don't quote me on it." Henry turns to his family. "Mae... Meg, honey, I'm sorry about all this."

"All what?" Meg turns to her husband. "What is all this?"

"Let me go!" The witch is twisting wildly.

"Hold on, Sweetwater. I need to talk to my wife first. Honey, I was going to tell you." He takes in a breath and lets it out. "I'm a warlock, a good warlock, okay, maybe there is no such thing but I am good, Honey, I was going to tell you..."

"Oh, when? After our second child is born?" Meg turns her back at Henry.

"You're pregnant?" Mae is not happy. She have never wanted a sibling. She has Dash. She looks toward him. Dash sticks his hands in his pants' pockets and shrugs his shoulders.

"Mae, we can talk about that later. Right now, your father have a lot of explaining to do, right, Henry?"

Henry shrugs his shoulders and looks toward Mae and then Dash and then Mae and then Meg. "Meg, honey, I just..."

"No one crosses me."  The witch has freed herself. She waves her hands at them but Henry is faster. She freezes again.

"Henry, can't you make her disappear or something?" Meg asks.

"She is a powerful witch, honey, I can't just..." Henry gestures his hand at the witch.

"Henry, I didn't even know you're a warklock so how should I know what you're capable of? You never told me a thing about your family."

"Honey, you know I haven't lied to you. And what I said it's true. My family, not you guys, but my other family, they can't be trusted. When I refused to practice their kind of magic, they just sent me away. And I haven't had a need to use magic at all. Please don't be angry with me."

"I am not..." Meg sighs. "I have a headache."

"Meg, honey..."

Mae rolls her eyes. "Hello, there is still a witch we need to deal with." She steps between her parents. "What are you going to do about her?" She turns to her mother who turns to her husband. Mae looks toward her dad.

"Well, Henry, what are you going to do about it?" Meg crosses her arms over her chest and stares at him.

"Ummh, hmmm." After a short pause, Henry responds with, "I don't know."

"Dad, focus!" Mae hits her dad on the arm.

"Mae, have some respect for your father, would you?"

"Sure Dad, as soon as you get rid of her." Mae points to the witch.

"Okay, first we need to... hey, those shelves are just so..." Henry walks toward the shelves and begins to rearrange the bottles.

"Henry, what are you doing?" Meg walks over to him.

"These potions are all organized wrong. That blue bottle should be next to the other blue bottles..." Henry looks up and down the shelves.

"Honey, we do not have time for that." She pulls his hands away.

Sweetwater suddenly smiles and Mae turns to her parents. They are frozen. They were not just frozen in place but covered in ice. Water begins to drip from them. Dash is frozen too with a leg lifted and looking like he is about to run. Mae could hardly made out his face. She turns from her parents to Dash and back to the witch. "What have you done to them?"

"What I have always done - stop people from doing stupid things." Sweetwater smiles at Mae showing her yellow stained teeth. "Now Mae, you know as well as I do that no matter how powerful a witch or a warlock is, I am more powerful than all of them. Now tell me, what are you going to do now?"

"I..." Mae looks back at her parents. Her mind is blank.

"Mae, is it so such a bad thing to be my apprentice?" The witch's voice is gentle and calm.

Mae turns toward her. "You are mad."

"Yes, I may be but so is every genius and every powerful being. We do not comform to other people's ideals. That is why we can succeed while others fail. Mae, I am giving you a great opportunity. You can become a very powerful witch like me."

"I don't want to be like you. You're evil. You don't care about anyone but yourself. I just want my parents and Dash back." Mae looks directly into the witch's eyes. They are beautiful and they remind her of her father's eyes - that same bright violet hue. Her father. He had told her to remember a spell. Mae begins to chant, "Blood to blood, we call to thee, blood to blood, we obey thee, Blood to blood, we release thee." She repeats it two more times. Mae isn't sure what the spell will do but she trusts her father.

"What are you doing? Are you reciting a spell?" Sweetwater moves closer toward Mae.

Mae closes her eyes and continues chanting louder.

"Stop at once! Stop!" Sweetwater is screaming but Mae cannot stop. "Stop at once! Stop! No, no, no!"

Mae opens her eyes. She is lifted off the ground. She could not move but she continues to chant in her head. Blue clouds of smoke appears and surrounds the witch.

"What is this?! How did you...?! Nooooo!!!..." Sweetwater shrieks. In a moment the smoke disappears along with Sweetwater.

The ice around her parents unfreezes and soaks them whole. Henry shakes his head, letting the water drips off him. Meg runs to Mae and wraps her arms around her. "My baby." She squeezes Mae tightly.

"Mom, I need...to...breath." Water drips onto her head. She pulls herself away from her mother's grasp. "And you're all wet." The front of her shirt is soaked.

"I'm sorry, Mae. I'm so proud of you. Let me just..." Meg pulls at her long hair and squeezes out some water.

"I knew you could do it, Mae!" Henry grins at Mae. He rushes in to hug Mae. "Oops, sorry." Henry lets Mae go. "I'm all wet." Meg just stares at him with her lips in a straight line.

Dash walks over. He is soaked but he smiles at Mae. She pulls him into a hug. Dash hardly moves. She pulls away quickly. She is mostly soaked but happy.

"Where did the witch go?" Dash asks.

Mae has no idea. She turns to her father. "Dad?"

Henry answers with, "Well, that is kind of hard to say. The spell should transported her somewhere far like Australia or maybe New Zealand."

Dash nods his head. "Wicked." He smiles at Mae who just shrugs her shoulders.

"What place were you thinking Mae when you said the spell?" Henry asks Mae.

"Thinking?" Mae hasn't been thinking at all. She just said the spell and hoped the witch would just go away.

"Nevermind, Mae. Henry, what was that spell?" Meg isn't smiling.

Henry loses his smile and replies with, "A witch's spell. It was my mother's. She used it to banish her in-laws once."

"I could have used it. Why didn't you tell me about it?" Meg shakes her head.

"I would but you can't use it on Sweetwater."

"Why not?" Meg tightens her lips together.

"Only a blood descendants can make it work. You're not related to Sweetwater."

"Dad, this witch that almost destroyed our family is your great-grandmother?" Mae doesn't really want to know but she have to ask. Meg tilts her head at him.

Henry shrugs his shoulders. "I swear I didn't know about her. My mother never said a word. Well, maybe she did said a few words but nothing worthy of mention only that she is kind of evil. And besides, she is gone now."

"But she might be back," Mae is certain of that. Sweetwater didn't seem like someone who gives up easily.

"Perhaps, perhaps not. Let's not worry about that." Henry smiles at his daughter.

Mae nods her head and smiles up at him. "But it would have been nice to learn from her even if she is a bit evil and she is, afterall, my great-great-grandmother," Mae says.

Dash nods his head.

"Now honey..." Henry begins but Meg has taken Mae's hand and heads toward the door. "Let's go home. I need to take a nap or two. Henry, you take Dash home."

"Honey, you're not still mad?"

"Henry, we are going home and I do not want to talk to you for 24 hours."

"Good luck, Dad," Mae says and grins at him. "And do you remember where Dash lives? On the east side, not the west, east side."

"Yes, I remember. But honey...?"

But Mae and Meg has already gone out the front door. Philly appears at Mae's feet. "Where have you been?" Philly just looks up at Mae with his lazy eyes. She didn't need him after all. She leans down to rub his back.

Henry turns to Dash. "Dash, have I told you about the time I fought three witches and a warlock?" Dash shakes his head. "No, Mr. Tilly." He follows Henry outside.

"Right, I didn't because no one was suppose to know I'm a warlock. Well, Dash let me tell you all about it now." They turn right. Dash looks over his shoulders at Mae who is looking back at him. She smiles and he smiles back.

"Dash, are you listening?"

Dash turns back. "Yes, Mr. Tilly."

"Well, Dash, it all starts with a maiden, well, you know all stories starts with a maiden..." Dash laughs silently inside. It is going to be a long walk home.

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January 26, 2017

January 26: Popularity

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

I don't have any real writing today, just a list > Popular topics I'll never blog about:

01/ Politics - I don't like reading about it so why would I write about it?

02/ Celebrities/Famous people - unless you have created something amazing, there is no way I'll write about you

03/ Fashion/Beauty/Home Decor - I don't care to share what I'm wearing or how I decorate my home or my (non-existence) beauty routine

04/ Video posts - you're never going to see me do videos, to be honest, I don't even watch when other people post them

05/ Recipes - can't cook to save my life so no recipes, seriously if kettles don't make noises, I won't even know if the water had boiled

06/ Advices - unless it's on blog designs or books I have read, I doubt I would be able to you give any advice

07/ Hateful/awful things - I try not to post anything that gets me mad because my blog is a haven and I don't need unnecessary anger or bad stuff, although, I will rant about certain things that needs to be said

What won't you talk about in your blog?


January 25, 2017

January 25: White

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

White Pages

White pages as in books. I only read books on paper as I have trouble reading screens. Can you name which book these characters came from?

01>
Westley, Buttercup, Prince Humperdinck, Vizzini, Fezzik, Inigo, Count Rungen

02>
Beth, Jo, Meg, Amy, Professor Bhaer, Laurie

03>
Elinor, Marianne, Edward, Willoughby, Fanny, Colonel Brandon, Lucky Steele

04>
Nobody Owens aka Bod, Silas, Scarlett, Jack, Sleer

05>
Anne, Sir Walter Elliot, Lady Russell, Elizabeth, Captain Harville, Captain Wentworth, Admiral Croft, Mr. Elliot

06>
Scout, Jem, Atticus, Dill, Calpurnia, Boo Radley

07>
Harry, Luna, Ginny, Draco, Sirius Black, Uncle Vernon, Hermione, Ron, Dudley

08>
Lockwood, Catherine, Nelly Dean, Hindley, Heathcliff, Edgar

09>
Guy Montag, Mildred Montag, Clarisse, Captain Beatty, Professor Faber

10>
Miss Trunchbull, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, Michael, Miss Honey, Amanda Thripp, Matilda, Bruce Bogtrotter

Click below for answers



January 24, 2017

January 24: Dreams

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: The Dreamer

Wandering under a starless night, a dreamer pauses on the sidewalk. He pokes with a stick he had found not two minutes ago at the fresh coat of snow. Little by little, the limbs of a tree is revealed. The tree is quite small and as it lay sideways on the pavement, the dreamer wonders whom had broken this tree's heart. He brushes the rest of the snow away and picks up the tree.

Down the moonlit streets, the dreamer walks with the tree tucked under his arm. A sweet scent much like apple pies, begin to emanate from the tree. The dreamer tries to memorize the scent and lets it soak him like rain.

At the cross street, the dreamer stops to transport the tree to the other side of his arm. His limbs has been tiring quicker these days but he still loves to wander each night. There is something about moving about while everyone is asleep that keeps him wondering - a dreamlike sensation that cannot be duplicated during the daylight hours.

At a yard that used to be a car shop with a tall wall surrounding the space, the dreamer stops at a wornout metal door with a 'No Exit' sign half covered in dirt and grime. He kicks at the door to open and after stepping inside, he pushes the door close. He walks the few steps to his home - a square cardboard box the size of three humans. He pushes a corner to open and enters. He leans the tree against a wall and slumps down in the other corner. Moonlight filters in through the trees that had grew around the place and through the small opening he had cut for a window. He swipes a drink from his flask. No alcohol for him - only tomato juice. He gets them from a friend who runs an Italian restaurant. He has found over the years, tomato juice keeps him alert.

After a time, the dreamer begins to decorate the tree with trinkets he finds on his moonlit walks - a broken glass ball, a bright red string, a doll with half a face, a cup with its handle missing - anything small that he can fit into his pockets. Every day, he adds a little bit to the tree. Every day, he starts to notice how the tree shines without light.

One cold night, the dreamer brings home a plastic star and sets it on top of the little tree. He snuggles under the three blankets that he owns and falls asleep. In a dream, he sits inside a telephone booth with the receiver in his hand. 'Hello,' he says merrily. His words seem to fly across the galaxy, crossing paths with billions of dreamers and descending down into a sunset color world where a star happens to catch the greeting. After a pause, the star sends a reply, 'Hello Dreamer!' and ends with a laugh. The dreamer laughs and wakes to find himself laughing still.

In the corner where the little tree stood, the star above it shines brightly. The dreamer smiles. 'Hello,' he says merrily, a whispered greeting only a star can hear. He lays back down and pulls the blankets over him. He closes his eyes to sleep. The laughter of the star from his dream echoes in the dark. He wonders if the star is missing the little tree.

January 23, 2017

January 23: Cheese

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: A Cloud of Desire

Hank watches the cheese melt onto the meat patty. It is 2:57 and lunch is almost over. He watches the cheese melt and let it become a puddle on the meat.

Beth the waitress calls for a new burger order. He drops down another meat patty and places two slices of cheese on top with some barbecue sauce and watches it merge with the cheese.

He has been taking orders all day and now all he wants to do is watch things melt. To Hank, cheese is like a cloud of desire - something you want but when you get it, it disappears on you or worse, it rains on you.

The kitchen is an oven most days and today is hotter than ever. After finishing two more burgers, Hank walks out the back door to take in a breather. The hot sun beams down on him making him sweat more.

Was it just yesterday he was in Hawaii eating desserts and enjoying the nomad life? But here he is. He has since quit his travel agent job and spent most of his money. Being a cook isn't so bad if not for hot days like these. If only he had listened to himself and gone north instead of south.

"Hank!" Beth calls. "Orders needs to be fill. Now!"

"Yeah, I'm coming!" Hank responds. He sighs and wonders what vacation deals he could get for fifty dollars.

Note: Hank was briefly mentioned over here.


January 20, 2017

January 20: STORY 3: Zurich, Switzerland

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Note: This will be a four part series. Read Part 1, Part 2.

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Fiction: Mae and Dash - part 3

Dash is in the last place he ever wanted to be - Zurich. When he looks down at the cobblestones sidewalks, at the already lit street lamps surrounding him and as he lifts his head toward the night sky, he finds, he didn't feel as bad as he thought he would.

As he walks down the cobblestones, he see something familiar ahead - a chocolate shop lighted by a single lamp shaped like a tear above the door. When Dash was six, Dash's father had brought him a vanilla milk shake and a slice of chocolate cake along with a small box of chocolate goods for his mother, all in this shop. Afterward, as they were walking home, his father casually mentioned he was leaving and that Dash shouldn't worry, his mother will take care of him.

Dash pushes the chocolate shop's glass door and enters the shop. He remembers the bright hue of the yellow walls and the old woman behind the glass counter. The old woman is there now and she appears to be the same age as when Dash last visited eight years ago. She looks up and says, "Guten Tag," and smiles.

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Mae stares in silence at the empty space where her best friend have been a moment ago. The spell worked! Mae turns the page to the reverse spell and surprisingly, the spell was written in reverse - the first words became the last and the last words became the first. Mae laughs. Her mother certainly has a sense of humor. She chants the spells three times but nothing happens. She tries again.

The phone rings. She heads downstairs and toward the kitchen and picks up the white telephone on the wall beside the fridge. "Hello?" she says.

"Hi Mae, this is Dash's mother. Is he there with you? He was supposed to be home by 4. It's after 5 and he's not answering the phone." She sounds causal as usual.

Mae wraps the phone cord around her forefinger. "Yes, Mrs. Herbert. Dash is with me," Mae looks around her kitchen. She wonders if lying to Dash's mother will come back to haunt her.

"Call me Hannah. Okay. Just tell Dash I won't be home tonight and that he should get himself dinner or something. And if he wants to stay over at your house, then it's fine."

"Okay, Mrs- Hannah. I'll tell Dash." Mae begins to untangle her finger from the phone cord.

"Thank you, Mae." The sound of the dial tone is heard next.

Mae hangs up the phone and walks back up the stairs and into her parents' bedroom. She closes her eyes to rest a bit.
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A little more than an hour later, Mae bolts up in bed. She has forgotten something. Her arm itches. She fights the urge to scratch. Dash's eyeglasses is in her hand.

Dash! She has to bring him back wherever he is.

She studies the reverse teleportation spell again. Her hand involuntarily scratches her arm. Then she slaps at her arm and curses herself. A bright red has already appeared. She wonders whys she always breaks out in hives. She chants the spell very carefully three times, holding tightly onto Dash's eyeglasses.

A blue cloud of smokes appears in front of her and as Mae waves at the smoke and as it clears, Dash appears. He holds a opened box of chocolate in one hand and a piece of half-bitten chocolate in the other. "Hi," he says in between a mouthful. "Have some." He puts the other half of chocolate into his mouth, wipes his hand on his pants and holds out the half empty box. He smiles at her, cheeks bulging as he continues to chew.

Mae widens her eyes at him and punches him on the shoulder. He swings slightly backward but uprights himself. "What was that for?"

"I was worried sick and you're out there eating chocolate?" She have almost broke out in hives but Dash is perfectly alright.

Mae throws his eyeglasses at him. He catches it with one hand. Dash swallows the mouthful of chocolate and licks his lips. "What? The old woman gave it me. I couldn't just refuse."

Mae walks down the stairs to the livingroom where she sits down on the couch.

"You did it. So what is the problem?" Dash says as he comes downstairs and walks over to sit beside Mae.

"The problem is I have no control over it. One moment it works, the next it doesn't." She crosses her arms over her chest.

"But you made it work. You just need more practice." Mae loves how assuring Dash can be. Mae can't help but smiles at him.

"Chocolate?" Dash holds out the box.

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Mae sends Dash home. She needs space to herself.

"Mae." It is her father Henry. He appears on the couch besides her.

"Dad? How did you..." Mae looks at her father. She could see through him.

"Mae, there is a lot I haven't told you but there is no time right now. I must tell you a spell that you will need to free us from the witch."

"But Dad, where are you? Are you and Mom alright?" Mae reaches out a him toward him but then drops her hand. She can't touch him, not like this.

"We are fine, Mae. Remember this spell and listen carefully: 'Blood to blood, we call to thee, blood to blood, we obey thee, Blood to blood, we release thee.' Did you get that, Mae?"

"Dad, what is this? Why are you giving me a spell?" And one so simple.

"Mae, just repeat the spell back to me. Now." He raises an eyebrow. He sounds more serious than usual.

Mae have always had an incredible memory but only when she pays attention which is not quite all the time. She recites the spell, "Blood to blood, we call to thee, blood to blood, we obey thee, Blood to blood, we release thee."

"Good. Now keep repeating it in your head until you can recite it by heart."

Mae nods her head. She has already memorized the spell. "Dad, are you and Mom really alright?"

"Yes, Mae. We're fine. Just remember, do nothing that will anger the witch, do you get me?"

Mae nods her head. "Dad, I miss..." Henry disappears. "...you."

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January 19, 2017

January 19: The next 10 years …

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Twitter Fiction: Later

She ponders getting an electric dog, one that doesn't require food or her best evening shoes.


January 18, 2017

January 18: Fears

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Ten Acronyms of F.E.A.R.

01>
Feeling Erratic And Rude

02>
Feed Extreme Acts with Rage

03>
Forge Earnestly Ahead Relentlessly

04>
Fear of Exercise And Running

05>
Fake Earnestness, Assemble Resistants

06>
Fear of Extroverts And Rudeness

07>
Fear of Everyone Always Reneging

08>
Fearlessly Eradicate Abusive Retorts

09>
Fake an Egregious Attitude and Rebuff

 10>
Fearing Everything is Actually Rubbish

Add your own F.E.A.R. Acronyms in comments.


January 17, 2017

January 17: Stress

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here


Twitter Fiction: Desserts

Hank was stressed peddling vacation deals he could never take. He chased after old diversions to Oahu and ended up eating desserts backward.

Note: stressed = desserts 


January 16, 2017

Waking up the stars

'waking up the stars'
closeups
This week's Creative Tuesdays' theme is Dazzle Me. When I saw the theme, all I thought of is stars so here is this piece. The white she sleeps on are clouds. For more Creative Tuesdays creations, just hop on over to Michael's CT place.

January 16: Selfie nation

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: Relish

Ana happily hit the send button. When it is done, she relishes the thought of everyone from high school looking at her selfie especially the five individuals that she had added special treatments to the emails. The selfie was taken from her left side, her better side. The side where everyone thought was too horrible to capture in a photo.

On the day of the reunion, Ana is the last to arrive. Everyone turns to stare at her as she walks toward the center of the old school gym. She ignores them. She looks for the five individuals that she especially came here to see. The three men and two women stood around like kings and queens in their expensive gowns and tuxs. Ana strides toward them.

The five are chatting about the emails they had received. They appear upset but they stop talking when they notice Ana is there. Ana compliments them on their clothes with a smile. But then she asks if they know who she is but they all shake their heads. Ana just laughs and turns to each one of them and tells them what they did to her in high school. It takes a while but the five of them soon nods their head and widens their smiles. They have all bullied Ana with all the bitterness of kings and queens but they are smiling carelessly as if any real recognition is not needed. This irks Ana more than their forgetfulness. They turn away from her when the music stops.

The police has arrived. They give Ana the attention she wants. She easily surrenders. There is no way she would deny her crime. She wants them all to know she is the culprit, she is the brain behind all those email viruses. She is the one destroying their future instead of the other way around.

As her wrists are being cuffed, Ana smooths down her long hair and lifts her head high. A spotlight falls upon her. She walks through the parting crowd with a smile on her face.

January 13, 2017

January 13: STORY 2: San Francisco

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here


Note: This will be a four part series. Read Part 1 over here.

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Fiction: Mae and Dash - part 2

Maz 'Dash' Herbert knows it is useless trying to convince his best friend Mae, she needs to wait for her parents instead of going to the witch. But as her best friend, Dash knows Mae would not be persuaded that easily, not when it is something she really wanted to do.

Dash and his mother Hannah, had moved from San Francisco all the way to Brooklyn two years ago. Hannah is always working to pay the bills as she likes to put it whenever Dash asks why they keep moving around. Whenever Hannah could not pay the bills, they would move. When they came to Brooklyn, Hannah had gotten a steady job and kept them in the same rented house. Dash is glad for once he got to stay. He met Mae and that is enough reason to stay.

It's Friday the thirteenth, seven days before Halloween, and as usual Dash waits for Mae at the school's front gate. Mae slouches toward him. Her face is pale and she moves like one without any strength but Dash knows thats the way she moves whenever she is in a bad mood.

He grins at Mae and throws an arm around her shoulders and says, "It will be okay." He is short with speech but Mae always knows what he meant. They have been friends for only two years but Dash never have to say much for her to understand him.

After school as they are walking toward Mae's house, Mae suddenly looks up and exclaims, "I know how to get my parents back without going to the witch's house."

Dash turns to her and raises an eyebrow. He half believes her. Her schemes rarely works.

"My parents were teleported away so maybe if I used a reverse spell, I could bring them back." She grins, showing more teeth than she had shown all week.

"Great! But you suck at spells." Dash says turning away from her.

Mae pauses in her step. "I know. But I have to try. This is my parents we're talking about. I can't just do nothing."

Dash nods his head in agreement.

"Come on!" She grabs his arm and starts running.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

At Mae's house, up in her parent's bedroom, after hours of studying the spell and rereading it a thousand times and trying not to freak out, Mae settles on the bed with her mother's spell book. It is large and covers most of her.

Dash sat on the floor watching Mae. He is certain Mae could do the spell but with a few tries.

"So," Mae looks up with a smile on her face. "Would you like to be my test subject?"

Dash immediately stands up and as he looks around him, he can't bring himself to run. Mae has had very bad luck with spells and they get worst when she is in a bad mood or when she is anxious about something.

"I...Mae..." he begins but as she looks up at him and furrows her eyebrows and gives him a half smile, he knows he could not say no.

"So," Mae says as she places the book on the bed with the pages opened to the teleportation spell. "I need something of yours so I can use it as a focal point so that I can get you back here." She holds out her hand. "Give me your eyeglasses."

Dash takes out his eyeglasses from his breast pocket and places it on her palm. She wraps her hand around it. "Thanks. Don't worry, I won't break them."

She returns to the book and glances at it for a moment and then she turns back to Dash. "Ready?" She smiles up at him. There is an excitement upon her face.

Dash shrugs his shoulders. He is freaked out but he won't show it, not to Mae.

Mae holds Dash's eyeglasses with both of her hands and says, "Think of a place where you want to go the most or really, any place, Switzerland or something."

Dash shrugs his shoulders. Switzerland is the last place he wants to be.

Mae begins to chants while Dash stands and stares at her. This could take a while.

In a moment, blue smoke begins to the fill the room. Dash's lung couldn't find air. He starts to cough. He hears Mae coughing but he can't see her through the blue smoke. "Mae! Mae!" "Dash, I'm here!"

When the smoke clears, Dash is no longer there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Note: This will be a four part series.


January 12, 2017

January 12: Booze and bongos

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: A Pair of Misfits

Booze is white with patches of black along the side of his face and down his front right leg. He is rather shy but genial. His companion Bongo is reddish-brown with white stripes. Together they travel from place to place looking for the perfect owner or as Bongo puts it, 'the perfect pet for them to own.'

Back then, Bongo had no name. One night while wandering the city, he happened upon a man playing bongos on the street. The crowd cheered and laughed. Bongo thought if people like bongos so much, perhaps it should be his name.

But people or rather, humans, have no taste for a reddish-brown cat with white stripes. Whenever they saw Bongo, they appeared to screw up their face as if seeing something foul. They chased Bongo away but Bongo just shrugged. He didn't need those idiots.

Booze was once a beloved kitten but when he got older, he was traded for a human baby. His owner tried to sell him without success. One day, Booze was driven toward the city and set free on the streets. He tried several times to get back home but he couldn't find the right path. For weeks, he just wandered the streets hoping for a miracle but he never saw his owner or his owner's family again.

One wet day, Booze saw a reddish-brown cat with white stripes dozing like a king on the sidewalk. Once in a while, someone would reach out and pet him, usually a child, but the cat did not stir. Booze was rather curious and so he walked up to the cat and introduced himself. His owner had name him Cottonball. But Bongo said 'Cottonball' did not fit anymore. Booze looked like discarded rubbish. Booze thought Bongo was not wrong. He did looked like he had been through the trash and came out all dirty and wet. Bongo immediately suggested the name Booze. Everyone loves booze so why not Booze? Booze didn't care, he was just glad he made a friend.

After years of searching, neither one found the perfect owner and Bongo and Booze just remained unattached except to each other.


January 11, 2017

January 11: Blue

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: Sylvia's Fiction Blues

All day, Sylvia has been polishing one of her poems. She has written it upon a piece of tore-out page from a planner notebook. She has had one of her moments where words struck her so fiercely that she have to write them down or else be forced to fidget all day until the words leave her.

When she is finished, something inside her breathes in relief. As she reread the words, she finds they don't sound as good as in her head. She reads them out loud but quietly. Her roommate is out in the hallway and there is a party going on with plenty of people just roaming about. She knows all it takes to take her out of her mind is a crack from the thin bedroom door.

But as she has already consumed two beers earlier, her head is not quite sober and her thoughts sway about. She rereads the poem again and again finds so many faults in it that she crumbles up the page and throws it onto the carpeted floor. Must she always find fault where there is none? No, she will not do this again. She picks up the crumbled paper and smooths it out on the tabletop.

She reads again what she has written. But somehow this time, it does not sound as bad. Perhaps tomorrow, she will find the words less meaningful. Tomorrow, she will see the world differently. She believes that wholeheartedly. Her roommate rushes in  and pulls her out to the hallway where she is introduced to a tall man with a terribly arrogant face.


January 10, 2017

January 10: Dream winter vacation

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

I decide to make a list instead of a story today. I made these stuff up so don't take them seriously unless you want to. And feel free to add your own vacation must in the comments.

Ten Vacations that aren't vacations but should be:
Ten Vacations that aren't vacations but should be:

01/ The Chocolate Vacation - or sweets or whatever is your favorite food is; a day or a week or even a month of eating your favorite food but you might say what about overindulging and gaining weight? you're doing that anyway whenever the holiday comes around so why not do it when you want to?

02/ The Birthday Vacation - a month off from work or from your every day day-to-day for your birthday month; people have been saying we all need to celebrate our birthdays, so why not a whole month?

03/ The Rainy Day Vacation - no more those save-for-a-rainy-day nonsense, when it rains, take a day off or if it rains a week, then a week, a month, then a month

04/ The I-Hope-I-Don't-Get-Arrested Vacation - take time off and do all the crazy and wild and unimaginable things you have always wanted to do but afraid to do them

05/ The Anything-But-Work Vacation - there are times when co-workers or customers or whomever, causes you to freak out and then instead of being destructive and pick fights with them, you can just leave the office and go somewhere where you won't want to hurt people

06/ The Nap Vacation - not necessarily to take naps but maybe slow down and relax and let your worries stray and take care of them tomorrow or next week or next year

07/ The I'm-Sorry-I-Ran-Over-Your-Cat Vacation - we all make mistakes but those mistakes keeps us worrying and so taking some time to just relax to try to get over it or even just to alleviate a bit of the worry, then why not a vacation?

08/ The I-Don't-Care Vacation - there are times that I find myself unable to care about something or someone, not because I don't care but I'm just not in the mood to care, so this might be good for me

09/ The Sunny Winter Vacation - I don't know about other people but sometimes I hate winter and all the snow and the cold and the wearing winter boots, so why not go somewhere warm?

10/ The I-have-to-have-a-vacation Vacation - some days you really just need a vacation


January 9, 2017

January 9: Nicknames

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: Forget Nick

Just an hour ago, he said his name was Nick and that he was invisible to everyone but me. But as he jumps out of the plane, a few screams are heard behind me. I hold tightly to the doorframe and watch as his parachute opens to reveal a face - his face - winking up at me. I begin to wonder how long before the plane crashes and why am I at the plane's door. Two stewardesses come and the short one gently lead me away onto a seat. Then they pull the door closed. They walk back toward me and the tall one said passengers are not allow to open the plane's door. She gives me a smile that says I have better listen to her or else. From that hour, I must go sit in my assigned seat and remain there for the rest of the flight or else they would tie me down. I nod my head and give them a small smile.

The plane lifts up. We are saved. But as I turn to survey the passengers around me, none make any moves that suggest they have witnessed a man jumping out of the plane they are on.

I know I should forget about Nick or whatever his name is. Aside from knowing him for only an hour when we started conversing just after the plane lifted, there is this dumb look he have on his face that keeps remaining me of a lost puppy, a very handsome puppy that you know will ruin your furniture and force you to take him out in the middle of the night for a peed break. But why am I there at the plane's door? And how come I can't remember how I got there?

I half ask, half beg one of the stewardesses, the short one, to check the passenger list but there is no one named Nick or Nicholas or even Nicky. But then who had been sitting in the seat beside me? The steward said that person cancelled at the last minute. There is no passenger for that seat. Why with the plane being so crowded that there is an empty seat?

I begin to believe I might have dreamt Nick up. But then I hear one of the stewardesses exclaim she have met a man named Nick just before we boarded the plane. He said he was a spy but she didn't believe him. I sat during the last hour of the flight wishing I could either remember what happened or forget every single thing about Nick.


January 6, 2017

January 6: STORY 1: Philadelphia

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: Mae and Dash - part 1

Mae Tilly drops her arm on the side of her bed to pet her cat Philadelphia, Philly for short, but Philly isn't there. She opens her eyes to check under the bed but no Philly. She has no idea where Philly goes when he is not around but she is certain he goes somewhere.
It is another Friday and Mae doesn't want to hurry. Fridays has always been her favorite day but not lately.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Six months earlier, one of Mae's schemes turned badly. Mae had this idea of offering her babysitting services for witches' cats. With her best friend Maz 'Dash' Herbert, they went from house to house with flyers and smiles though Dash refused to smile.

On one of those visits, she met an old witch. The witch lived in an rickety house just outside of town. Upon stepping on her front porch, three black cats appeared.

Mae raised a hand to pick up the metal ring but Dash put a hand on her arm and shook his head and said, "Not this house." But Mae just pushed his hand away. "I need to do this." She pulled at the metal ring and banged it three times against the wooden door. There were three echoes inside the house but no respond.

Dash turned to leave and Mae was about follow but then the door creaked open. The old woman stopped at the doorframe. "What is it you want?" The voice sounded like it came from a deep hollow. When daylight fell upon her face, Mae saw the wrinkles and beneath the crooked nose were thin lips. But it was her eyes - an odd shade of bright violet - that caught Mae's eyes. She smiled at the woman and looked her in the eye. "I am Mae Tilly. My friend and I are offering our services to watch your cats while you're away."

"I need no such service." The old woman stood hardly moving.

"Yes. Okay. I'll just leave this flyer." Mae pulled out a home-made flyer from her schoolbag and held it out to the woman.

The woman reached out with a wrinkled hand from within her black cloak. She lightly took the paper. But said nothing as she stared at Mae.

Dash had walked far from the porch and he stood watching.

"Thank you, m'am," Mae said and headed toward Dash, careful to walk around the cats.

"Wait!" It was the old woman calling.

Mae turned and speed-walked the few steps back onto the porch. "Yes?" Mae was beginning to get creeped out by the old woman's stare. She turned a little to look at Dash who had not moved from his spot. He was looking at her with a 'What the hell' expression. Mae turned back to the woman.

"I would like you to be my apprentice. As you may know, I am a witch, a very old one. There are many things I could teach you that your school could not."

Mae thought that was generous but she knew her mother would not approve. As Mae looked at the witch, she wondered if perhaps she could go to school and be an apprentice but when she turned to look at Dash, he was shaking his head. He had always had good hearing.

"Thank you for the offer, m'am, but I'm sorry, I will have to decline. My mother would not approve." Mae smiled and turned to leave.

"You may regret this. I am the best witch there ever is. Mae Tilly, you will regret this! Remember my words!"

Mae heard the witch's shouting but she did not turn around. She was freaked and she knew if she would to turn around, she would see something she does not want to remember. Dash was already walking farther down the street. When she caught up with him, he just gave her a small grin.

Afterward, when she heard nothing from the witch, Mae began to wonder if the old witch might have died.

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Last Friday, Mae woke in the middle of night and her parents were gone. All she found was a piece of paper with the witch's neat black handwriting: 

Mae Tilly, I have your parents. Come to my house just before midnight on Halloween or else you will never see your parents again.

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Note: This will be a four part series so look for the other parts on Fridays. And also, this story came about when I created this artwork.


January 5, 2017

Resolution Nots

'slept through 2016'
I've made a few 'almost-plans' over the years but I never make resolutions, at least, nothing that can't be change. This week's Top Ten Thursday is resolutions or wishes or plans for 2017 but as I said, I don't make resolutions but I will list things I might or might not do.

Things I will not do if I am so incline:

01/ I will not be rude to people even if they are rude to me - okay, this one is not hard to do but sometimes...

02/ I will not try to please other people unnecessarily - sometimes I do this without even knowing

03/ I will not seek happiness in buying books - alright, maybe once in a while because books are a necessity like water and air and those limited edition things that no one needs

04/ I will not do anything that will make my life difficult - this needs a little persuasion as I sometimes inexplicitly do things that I sort of agreed to and then sort of wanted to back out but sort of didn't (See #2)

05/ I will not pick fights with stupid people - well, actually I think this one is hard since certain people are so good at provoking you...

Things I will do if I feel like it:

06/ I will write/finish those novels even it they will take a couple of years...

07/ I will continue to draw, write and blog even if no one sees any of it and not necessary do them in order

08/ I will read books, watch tv shows and movies and pretty much be as lazy as possible - recreation is necessary, I don't care what people say

09/ I will accept failure - I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of unsuccessful tasks that I will do but I will try to accept that I can't always succeed

10/ I will say 'no' if I want to  - maybe that can't always be possible (See #2 & #4), I sort of have a tendency to do what other people wants me to do...

What resolutions or non-resolutions have you made this year?


January 5: I found a ball…

'More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: Gold Yarn

Two days ago, I found a ball of yarn in an unmarked box while cleaning the basement. The yarn was a bright shade of gold and appeared unused. I wanted to look at it more closely so I unraveled it. A voice floated through the air. "Hello," it said. I stopped unwinding the yarn to listen but no voice. Then I started again with the yarn, the voice said, "I am here, in the yarn. Can you hear me?"

I want to say yes but as I stared at the yarn in my hand, I began to doubt I've heard the voice. As I kept unraveling, the voice spoke again. "Can you hear me?"

"Yes," I said uncertain if I was dreaming.

"Really? You can hear me? Thank you! I have been in the box for ages and... but that is not important. I am Meredith and you are?"

I had been unwinding the yarn thinking the voice will go away if I don't continue. I answered, "I am Gail. Gail Wednesday." I loosened the yarn a bit more.

"Gail? Why, that is my grandmother's name. Suppose you are my great-granddaughter or granddaughter? And, you do not have to unwind the yarn anymore. As long as a piece of me is untuck, I can speak."

I rewound the yarn and leave the end strand loose. "I don't think I'm your granddaughter. But my name is Gail and I was named after my grandmother but I don't know any Meredith in my family."

"None?"

"None." I was beginning to feel a bit light headed.

"Then perhaps, you should look farther. I am certain you must be related to me or how else could you hear me?"

My mother called then. "Gail, I need you upstairs."

"I have to go, my mother needs me." I dropped the yarn back into the box and closed it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The day before, when I returned from work, I found the gold yarn with other less colorful yarns in a box among other boxes in the livingroom. There was a note among the pile: We're having a yard sale.

I picked up the yarn. For what, I had no idea.

"Gail, is that you?"

"Yes, it's me, Meredith. Did you speak to my mother?"

"I did but she could not hear me."

"Why?"

"I do not know. Perhaps only you can hear me."

"Or perhaps..." I stopped. Perhaps I am going crazy and imagined Meredith.

"Gail! Good, you're home. What do you think?" My mother spread her arms around. "A yard sale would get rid of these junk."

"Yes, Mother."

"Alright then." My mother smiled and returned to the kitchen.

"Gail, I..." Meredith began.

"What?" I was starting to get irritated by her voice.

"Are you mad at me?"

"No, I... I don't know. What do you want?"

"I am not certain, Gail. I have been stored away for a long while and I do not remember why or how I got here."

"Then tell me when you do remember." I rewinded the yarn and placed it back in the box.

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Yesterday, I sat in the front yard in the cold winter wind surrounded by the years of junk that had sat in our house. My mother had said she wanted to sell everything no matter how little people offer us.

A few people stopped and picked through the box of yarn, loosening some including the gold yarn. Whenever someone pulled a little at the tip of the yarn, Meredith would start singing.

Two an hours ago, I had accidentally dropped the gold yarn on the floor and Meredith had said, "Gail, do not sell me yet. I need time to remember." But I was certain I was going to go mad if I didn't get rid of her. I had asked Mother if she knew any Meredith but she didn't. I even gone through all the papers about our family but there was no a single person named Meredith.

The sky soon became cloudy but it was still bright enough. I had sold two chairs, a blue piggy bank, two carpets, three picture frames and a three piece tea set.

One woman wearing layers of coats, stopped by and examined every item. There wasn't that much left. She finally stopped at the box of yarn. "I'll take these." I went over to her and she held out a five dollar bill which I took. "Thank you, m'am."

The woman lifted up the box and carried it with her. When I had settled down in my chair again, the box dropped on the table in front of me. The woman with the layered coats picked up the gold yarn and said, "Take this back. It doesn't suit the colors that I want." She didn't wait for me. She dropped the yarn on the table and carried her box away. I stared at the gold yarn on the table. It had loosen. Meredith was singing 'Row, row, row your boat.'

I ran after the woman to protest but when I looked around, I could not see her.

"...merrily, merrily, life is but a dream." Meredith finished her song. "Gail, do you know any childhood melody? I will sing for you if you tell what you like."

My head began to ache and I wondered if I have a tumor or something. "You are not real," I said just above a whisper.

"Gail, I am sorry, just give me some time," Meredith pleaded.

A tall man wearing a tan coat stopped and bended over the lamp shaped into a woman's leg. "Ten dollars and that is all I'm going to pay." He said as he looked into my eyes. I nodded my head. "Yes, sir, 10 dollars it is." He smiled and handed over the money and took his lamp away with him.

Soon, all that was left is a box of comics, a faded coffee table and the gold yarn. Mother came out of the house and said, "Gail, I think, we can trash those. No one's going to buy them." She returned inside the house.

I carried the box of comic, the coffee table and placed them on the sidewalk. Tomorrow was trash day.

I picked up the yarn and Meredith began to sing 'Mary had a little lamb.' I pulled the loose strand and tucked it into the rest of the yarn. Meredith's voice faded away. But as I put my hand out to drop the yarn in the trash bin, I hesitated. It was not Meredith's fault she was this way.

An hour later, my mother and I were in the kitchen having dinner when I began to hear Meredith singing. I had placed the yarn inside a box in the hall closet. Mother sipped her tea. "Gail, will you do the dishes today? I've got to talk to Judith." She stood up.

"Yes, Mother." When my mother was gone, I pulled the closet door open and shouted, "What do you want, Meredith?" The gold yarn was on the floor where it must have fallen.

"I have not spoke to anyone in ages, Gail. It was so nice to be heard!"

I picked up the yarn. It was soft. "Please, I need my sanity."

"I am sorry, Gail. But I have to tell you something. I know how you can help me."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Today, I sat with Judith, my mother's childhood friend. My mother and I are at the nursing home visiting my mother's friends.

Moments ago, I had presented the gold knitted scarf to a lady name Samantha. She had laughed with glee and went around the room to show her friends.

I had spent the morning and then the afternoon knitting the scarf at Meredith's insistent. She wanted it to be perfect so she was giving me instructions throughout which I sort of half ignored but the result was perfect.

Meredith said she wanted to be around people her age. She has chosen Samantha because Samantha reminded her of her mother. Meredith still do not recall who she was but she had said it was not important. She was happy to be out of the box. Hopefully, Meredith is singing in someone's else's head because she is certainly not in my head.

As my mother and I are leaving the nursing home, she exclaims, "You know Gail, I just remember something. My mother used to call her grandmother 'Meredith.' I don't remember the reason but it certainly was strange. And you know what else? My mother, your grandmother, was going to name me Meredith. Hell, I was even going to name you Meredith but my mother insisted that was foolish."

I laugh and think how strange it is but then I remember I have been talking to a ball of yarn...

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Thank you for reading. To visit other bloggers participating in the 20 days of chill, go here.

January 4, 2017

January 4: Photograph

'More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: Morning commutes and traveling pandas

As Leo makes her way toward the train station, the morning rain fall from the gloomy sky in little strips of diamonds. Moments later, Leo holds the pole while squeezed between someone’s backpack, someone’s backside and someone’s elbow near her face. The train rocks with gentle shifts and causes Leo’s feet to lift off the floor now and then.

The scent of aloe mixed with rotten apples, bits of sweat and fresh soap, lace the air. Leo doesn’t mind it but she does mind that people keeps moving themselves closer to her as if she is paper thin. She shifts a little. She looks up and there is the travel ad featuring a strange photograph of a pair of pandas frolicking in the sun. She almost laughs. Do pandas even smile like that?

The sudden halt of the train jolts Leo wildly about. She bumps her head against a backpack. She mutters some curses and grips onto the pole tighter. A muffled announcer mentions something about a fire and delays in all services. Leo closes her eyes and tries to imagine she is all by herself on the train and that if she wants companions, they would have to be cuddly and friendly.

The train moves again and someone’s arm hits her cheek. She opens her eyes to glare at the person but the arm is gone. And so is everyone else.  Leo laughs lightly. She must be dreaming but somehow it doesn’t feels like a dream. The train shifts and she shifts with it.

Someone is watching her. She turns her head slowly to her right to see a pair of pandas seated there with a large, closed, white umbrella at their feet. Leo blinks and blinks but the pandas remains seated. Her eyes widen as one of the pandas begin to speak.

“Little lady, I wonder if you would be so kind as to tell me if this train goes to the Brooklyn Bridge?” His voice is thick but soft. At least she thinks it’s a he. The other panda is looking at her with her black eyes.

Leo nods her head. “Yes,” she says. “Yes, it does.” She loosens her grip on the pole and adjusts the strap of her bag.

Two stops later, the train opens its doors to the Brooklyn Bridge station. The pair of pandas stand up with their arms looped together. The male panda carries their umbrella pressed to his side. They step out of the train rather slowly. Their black and white fur shifts with each movements. Leo slowly follows them out of the train. She doesn’t know why but she wants to go with them. The train leaves the station and sends her long hair flying.
The Brooklyn Bridge, 01.04.2010

The pandas stop and turn around suddenly. Leo takes a step back. She almost cries out. Why is she following them? She have no idea.

“Little lady, would you like to join us for a walk on the bridge?” The panda’s black beaded eyes are like marbles under the yellow lights. The dark lines of his merged lips seems to grin.

Leo blinks. Does she want to? After all, she is already late for work, what’s another hour?  She nods her head. The other panda seems to be smiling at her too.

Outside and on the bridge, the rain is still falling but the sky has brightened and bits of blue can be seen between the clouds. The male panda opens their white umbrella as they walk. Leo, too, pulls out her blue umbrella out of her bag. She listens to the sound the rain makes as it hits her umbrella. It’s not every day she walks on the bridge and is definitely not every day that she walks on the bridge with a pair of pandas. The pandas are almost as tall as she. The three of them walk side by side like old friends having just seen each other again.

As they are near the center of the bridge, the male panda exclaims, “What a lovely weather to take a walk. Look.” He points to a bunny in the clouds. Leo glances up and smiles. Indeed there is a bunny with its long ears sticking up.

They continue to walk in silence. Leo doesn’t feel any need to talk and the pandas seems content to just walk silently.

A jogger wearing all indigo runs pass them but she seems not to have noticed the pandas or Leo. A man holds a camera toward his face and presses the shutter button as he turns but he too seems oblivious to the panda’s presence even when his camera lens is pointing straight at them. A few people walk pass them but they hardly glance their way. Leo shrugs. If no one notices the pandas, who is she to tell them?

Towards the end of the bridge, the pandas stop. The male panda said, “We are visiting our children today. We will not return to walk back across the bridge. We hope you have enjoy the walk with us.”

Leo is a little disappointed but she smiles and says, “Yes, I have enjoyed it very much. Thank you.”

Both pandas nod their heads. “We bid you a good day,” said the male panda.

Leo watches the the pair turn and walk away. She doesn’t know why but she already misses them. She begins her return walk. Upon seeing that the rain has become very light, she closes her umbrella. She stops at the center of the bridge and watches as the clouds move. She likes standing there and looking down at the moving cars and the water. It’s as if she is at the top of the world. She feels light and cheerful as if all the bad feelings from the days before is gone. All gone.

Leo sighs. She must get to work. She checks her wist watch to find that it is barely 8:00. How can that be? She is sure it has been 9:00 when they stepped out of the train. She speeds up her steps anyway. Better to be early than late.

Back in the station, Leo waits for the train. An almost empty train arrives and she seats herself in the center bench and thinks about the pandas. Her lips can’t help but smile. She wishes she had asked them their names or taken some photos. No one will believe her but that is just as well. She can hardly believe it herself.  She looks up and there is the photograph of the pandas but they are just standing about looking as normal as any pandas.

Later, as Leo is seated in her cubicle, thoughts of the pandas makes her smile all over again.

Thank you for reading. To visit other bloggers participating in the 20 days of chill, go here.

January 3, 2017

Creative Tuesdays: Detention

'Mae Tilly's detention' (click on image for a larger view)
painting by Nigel Van Wieck (left), Kiki's delivery service (right) & Norman Rockwell's 'shiner' (far right)
This week's Creative Tuesdays theme is the story behind this painting above at left. I saw the pink hair band and thought of Kiki from the Japanese animation 'Kiki's delivery service.'  A grown up Kiki but one that still wears pink in her hair and she is thinking back to her school days. And that led to Norman Rockwell's piece called 'Shiner' because I somehow remember it and it just continued from there. Here's the story:
closeup 01 - click on the image for a larger view
Mae Tilly's Detention

Mae Tilly is a witch in training. She is at the principal's waiting room after a flying attempt resulted in a bruised eye and a cut on her knee. Her offense was flying without permission in the school field after hours and breaking the score board. She had smashed against the board when she was unable to stop her broom. Surprisingly, her broom survived without a single break of its straws or a dent on its handle. Mae never have trouble with flying, it's the stopping that she seems unable to master. But Mae have learned her lesson - always fly higher than the tallest structure and never, ever, ask your best friend to catch you when he have trouble catching a ball.

Mae's best friend is a boy named Maz Dash. You could say he was Mae's co-conspirator as he helped her break into the field and he had his broken wand as evidence, not to mention his bruised nose and eye. He had tried to catch Mae when she fell but she landed on him instead. His talent is mostly growing roses out of thin air and dodging balls when he is supposed to catch them.

For Mae and Maz, it's just another day at the principal's office...

closeup 02 - click on the image for a larger view
closeup 03 - click on the image for a larger view
closeup 04 - click on the image for a larger view
For more Creative Tuesdays creations, just hop on over to Michael's CT place.