Half and Half

Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls. Well half a nightmare. There was nothing to do but be attentive to the child as she enjoyed herself. It was all her father’s fault. He fell asleep on the couch last night watching classic horror movies. Cass came down for water at a pivotal scene as the title character walked down a street slinging mayhem about and a new idea was borne.

Unbeknownst to us parents until the moment she came down the steps she had made a few changes to the costume. Half of the lovely white dress was runny with red food dye and corn syrup – thank you so much internet for telling my child how the original movie did it, by the way. Though the movie character did not wear pearls, Cass being Cass insisted on them for her remake. The tiara was split in two and half hung tangled in her strawberry blond hair. The pearls, tiara and her hair was also spayed with the gooey mixture down half her body. It limited where we went because I could not find enough trash bags to cover the car seats enough to drive to around other neighborhoods, but she deems it worth it – so okay.

I knew it was going to be far from a breeze to get all that goop wash off, but I have to admit she did a fantastic job of it all on her own.  Two mornings ago, she was all about the pretty princess: lovely white dress and a tiara and pearls.  Only half of that walked the misty streets now as we stepped around the tossed eggs and toilet paper draped tress of the tricksters while we go treating. My creative daughter the very pretty Cassie on one half of her body, the very terrifying Carrie from the movie on the other.

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Written for:

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | First Line Friday: October 26th, 2018
We’re given the first line, the rest is up to us. This week’s opening line: Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls.

The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 375
Eggs, Breeze, Misty, Attentive, Child, Drive, Movies, Sling, Runny, Find, Corn, Spray
Use at least ten of the words in a poem, prose or story.

For the Chaos of It

“What do you think you’re doing, young man?” Clotho sighed in annoyance as Chaos blocked the doorway. He was waiting his turn to draw on the Turbulence.

The Turbulence, a shifting, moving, swirling, oscillation that was ever twilight on a horizon that was neither day nor night, earth nor sky nor fire nor water. All of the holders gleaned some aspect of the raw energy that is the Turbulence for their respective offices. It taunted and consoled, evoked terror as well as assurance where one felt a sense of WAS and IS and WILL BE simultaneously for it was timeless as well. In a lesson learned the hard way – when Chaos first entered the Turbulence as Chaos he thought he had only been gone for a few minutes. Chronos, the only Office holder who can sense their normal earthly time there, had to come for him, for he had been gone  several hours. Long enough that each of the Gods felt the pull on their Lifeforce. For ill or good, it is a balance and non can survive without the others, for while immortal as they hold an Office, their lives still move through the Tapestry as one. When one of their lives has not moved they all feel the stagnation on their own lives after a time. Another few hours and all human lives would have felt the pull. It is said if the Tapestry is ever finished so would all existence as is known. None of the Gods were willing to test that theory.

Clotho stood holding a large distaff of bright glowing filaments. The raw energy that she will spin into the silken threads that feed into the Tapestry. She dealt with lives from on high, the giving, living and taking of them when it is time. It would supply her needs for some time.

In contrast, Chaos lofted a small orb of his own roiling mass of dark energy. In the center was an avatar of earth, dark spots where his influence reigned. Some appeared as mere pinpricks, others as craters as though dirty, rotted. Where the energy she pulled was bright and shining, his looked of dark and ominous. He dealt with lives from below, throwing the proverbial wrench in the gears of lives. The necessary chaos that appears in all lives from time to time in order to appreciate the calm.

Chaos proved to be unusually well suited to his Office.  He and Fate spent their time in constant moves and counter-moves of the mortal lives in balance between them. For the most part the good maintains the upper hand as she often has the other officers to help her. Still, there are times he gets the upper hand, and lives up to the title of Chaos with relish. That there is still fighting in Afghanistan was as much Chaos’ influence of insurgent powers-that-be as it was War’s.

Chaos knew Clotho tried to time her visits to avoid meeting up with him, but on occasion, he can get their paths to cross. He leaned at the opening of the Access, the only way in or out of the Turbulence. His dark eyes were alight with madness, but they missed little.

She’s in a nostalgic mood for her dancer days. Haven’t seen her wear that pretty little number in a while.

“And where do you think you’re going, old lady?” An amused smirk was his answer as his dark eyes raked over her.  It tickled him to no end when he met up with Fate as Clotho. Though she looked a good ten years his junior physically, she was much older mentally and thus continually addressed him in her older identities.

“Seriously Clotho, you act like I’m the enemy. Every good old fashioned fairy-tale needs a villain, yes? I’m just doing my job.” His voice slid into its natural lilt, along with a little sing-song as he took one step across the opening.

“Need you enjoy it so much?” she huffed.

While Lachesis and Atropos were immune to his charms, pay him little mind; Clotho could sometimes fall prey. It was risky, but he wanted it one be one of those times. Why? Well because he’s Chaos, why not?

He stepped back just enough so that they both straddled the opening. One foot in their reality, the other in the Turbulence.  No one knew why, but other than Chronos, the only Officer whose power works within its confines, no two office holders can be in the Turbulence simultaneously. Stripped of the powers of their office they are mortal for the time they are within the Turbulence. However, no office holder can use their power through the door, bridging the threshold between the two states as they were brought pain to both, but neither were willing to concede to the other.

Perfect. Stay right there.

“Did you not enjoy your job, then? Don’t you sometimes miss feeling that thrill of an audience captivated by your raw charm?” He leaned in a little, ran a hand over along the side in the Turbulence hovering just over the diaphanous material of her dress at her shoulder and down her bare arm, not quite touching her body, but he knew she felt the heat, by the quick change of her breath. They each accepted the demands of their office graciously, but there were certain things they all missed from their mortal lives. “You danced so well. Should I not take pride in what I do? Especially when we all know I my job so well.”

“Too well sometimes. That’s why it often falls into mine to fix it.” Clotho eyes flashed, he knew what that meant.

Chaos rolled his head, the cavitation of his neck sounded loud in the otherwise quiet space. He knew she did not like the sound and smirked when Lachesis flinched as she morphed into place, holding the distaff as Clotho had. She brushed past him and placed both feet solidly in their time. The relief from the sharp pain of straddling the entryway evident as Lachesis  took a deep solidifying breath. Her eyes narrowed. “What are you up to, Chaos?”

What a stupid question. Boring!

“What am I up to? EVERYTHING!” His face all innocence until he screamed the last word. Then the innocent expression face transformed into a primeval malevolence. His voice echoed in the arch of the Access. Lachesis eyes flashed.

Dammit, not her!

“Do NOT test me young man!” Atropos morphed into place with brandished shears and a slate thread in her hand at the ready even as she still held the distaff, the threat clear.

Chaos hissed in fury as he felt the pull of his own thread in her hand as he was still half in their reality. He fully back-stepped into the Turbulence where she could not touch him. Having made her point, she gave a nod of her head then walked away. He watched her retreating back and smiled darkly at what he saw.

Go ahead, old gal – mission accomplished, I got what I wanted.

She will not notice it until it’s too late to do anything about it.

He just had to wait now.

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The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 325
clear, taunting, body, test, fury, war, mission, lesson, dirt, slide, pay, disbelief

 

Tapestry

Chronos, War and Death stood with Fate looking on that beautiful scroll of life known as The Tapestry.

Clotho, cheeky and young, her hair pulled into a loose braid to keep it out of the way as she works, sits crossed legged  at one end of the loom feeding it threads from her skein. The threads comprised of silky glowing filaments, are a storm of commotion controlled in her lithe fingers until the moment they touch the Tapestry where they flash a color and become Someone. A new baby born into the world full of despair and hope, ease and struggle and always the potential to hate and love.

This is when the more mature Lachesis with her nimble, near sensual fingers flash her needles and hooks takes over. All the important people Someone will ever meet, know, love or hate are due to the gentle, or sometimes quite the rude shove of her fingers and tools pushing and guiding every thread into and through the ever flowing stream that is the Tapestry into its design.

At the other end of the loom sits the matron among them, Atropos. Quick to tell you “I’m not your judge.” she often comes off as somewhat feeble to many upon first meeting her. As you get to know her, you realize just how tough and ruthless she is as she lifts the threads Lachesis is done with and the ever present, ever deadly, ever gleaming shears of her bailiwick sigh mercilessly as Someone’s part of the design ends.

It always amused Death how the human myths stories have the Fates as three different women. It took him a month to realize that the three women were in fact the same female at different ages. The power of her bailiwick enabling her to display them separately to work independently as they were now. Only War figured it out faster, taking a couple of weeks.

Whenever he stood before the Tapestry it never failed to impress Death that one of those threads is His own. It took him ages to discern which one was his and those of his compatriots. It is one thing to know the mystery such as an abstract myth, it is a daunting thing to actually see your life is literally in the hands of Fate. Death felt a sudden charge thrum through him, his dark curls lifting as if his body were suddenly receiving a boost of li…

Clotho?!

He just caught the sudden glow of his thread and immediately raised a brow at Clotho. Her warm eyes glitter with mirth as she snatches her hands away in time from the whack of Lachesis’ needles. Atropos merely shook her head.

“Dammit Clotho! I told you warn me when you do that to one of us!” Chronos cringed running his hand over his face and head. The unruly silver spikes standing on end glinted in the light. He pulled the minute timer out of his pocket with the other hand expanding the hour glass to its full size. He swung it towards Death, and gave it a gentle tap. He nodded before shrinking it down again and putting it away.

“Sorry!” Clotho winced, clearly not sorry at all.

“Is.. is that allowed?” Death asked shocked.

“To extend a life, including our natural ones? She has that ability, yes.” Lachesis nods, a slight smirk lifts the corner of her lips.

“Is it allowed to be used as recklessly as she did just then? No.” Atropos glared at the girl, but was equally, if secretly pleased as she loved the dear boy after all. Only one among them loved him more. Fate senses before she sees the mist and corrects herself to make that two among them.

Gaea appears in a celadon mist and lays a light touch on Chronos’ forehead. “I felt the shift as it was one of Us and thought you would appreciate it.”

He nods his thanks as his pain eased to nothing.

“She rarely uses it because it can wreak havoc in the Design to extend our lives, not to mention it throws off Chronos and I who have to adjust Time and Nature to account for it. Though you sometimes give her, and us, no choice on the rare occasions you choose not to take a life in your list.” Gaea cups Death’s face and lays a hand on War’s arm. War’s face remains stoic, but she can feel his flush of pleasure and comfort at her touch.

“So, any headway on this?” Her luminous eyes light upon the Tapestry.

The scroll of The Tapestry covers an expanse of loom several yards wide visually.  Visually. With a touch of Fate any section of the Tapestry can become enlarged enough to fill part or all of the room as it is now.

Usually the whole of it a moving thing, flashing in swirls and whorls of colors. Suns, moon and stars flow in and out marking the passing of days.  For the moment the almost whole of it was stilled except for one small section and that is a most frightening thing. As with any tapestry minor blips and snags happened from time to time in a design, it was expected.

What they were looking at was not minor.

There was a major snarl in the very fringes of the design, something that should never happen. They were only seeing the outer edge of the dark shimmering mass, but experience told Fate this was going to be bad. Essentially, a new world war to end all wars was in the making, but not one of War’s direct doing. Set to happen within by the end of the next century, it was a very long time in human years, not so much in their godly milieu. This was why the group now stood there conferring over it trying to figure out how if formed and how to untangle it. No one, including Atropos, wanted to simply excise the mass. The repercussions of such were nearly as dire to the Tapestry as the threat itself, but they would if they had to save the Tapestry, humanity, as a whole.

“Serbia again, Brother Mine?” The pale lanky brunette peer at the scene in front of him. His mercurial eyes taking in the moving parts.

“Yes and no, Brother Mine.” War pointed at a section with his sword in one hand, while picking some microscopic thing that dared mar his impeccable armor with the other. “This new skirmish in Serbia is the end result. You’d know that if you followed these three threads that twisted here.”

“No, you’d know if you followed these two threads here and here.” Sherlock used his skull headed walking stick to point out a different set tangles.

“Boys, do not start!” Gaea clucked her tongue gently, but definitively, a tiny flare of lightening cracked in her eyes.

“Yes, Mummy.” Both men chorused. War at least looked contrite, Death simply smirked.

Chronos hid his own smirk behind with the sudden need to cough, “Anytime now. I don’t have forever.” His gravelly voice chided the group as he pulled out the Hour Glass again to its full size again.

“But why those threads, those lives?” Clotho asked looking closer at the strands “They each started off normally and then twist.”

“Why any of them?” Gaea asks shrugs “It’s just not natural.”

“Really?” War cocks a brow at the pun.

“Hush you!” Gaea waved her finger at him threateningly, even as she smiled fondly.

“You did not cause this skirmish, War, but you may have to go down there and end it. Regrettably, there’s naught to be done for the lives lost if you do – else it is going to be massive. I’d really like to avoid going down that road again. It took Death and I weeks to sort out the snarl of WWII. That was horrific enough and this looks to be much worse.” Chronos shrank the Hour Glass again.

“Oh, how I detest legwork.” War groaned. He sees Death leaning over Clotho brows knit in concentration.

“What do you see, Sherlock?”

“I don’t know it’s too nebulous yet. All of the threads you and I pointed out seem to flow back into our natural timelines.”  Death spread his long pale fingers wide over moving section,

“Your natural timeline?” Chronos squinted.

“No, all of ours. Yours, mine, Death’s War’s, even Gaea’s…” Atropos joined in “Something in our natural lives, we’re all in this. All of us…”

“STOP!” Lachesis’ voice thundered. The very walls and the Tapestry shook with the power of it. Wordlessly she held out her hands to her other selves as they coalesced into one.

“What is it?” Death felt the pull on his Lifeforce. He could tell by the reactions of others around him, she had done the same to them.

“There’s a gap.” Her voice shook as she expanded and contracted several places on the Tapestry in rapid succession.

“Martha you’re scaring me.” Gaea reached out to the middle-aged woman before her.

She turned to face them, a look of horror marked her face, as her three voices spoke as one.

We’re missing a thread.”

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Haven’t done this in a long while. Nice to be back for a visit.

The Sunday Whirl – Wordle 320

struggle, power, fringe, mystery, list, star, swirl, road, storm, sigh, lift, charge

sundaywordle320

In the Time of James

His world had been comprised of hastily constructed philosophies, which upon close examination, had failed him and promptly collapsed.

It failed James as a child whose smart mind disagreed with being limited by his scrawniness of sickly body. All were sure he would be buried before his parents would be. His mother would mash together any and every concoction anyone told her in dogged determination to prevent such. Decades later he would semi joke that he could still hear the nasal voice of his mother coaxing him to consume the shed skin of a snake, that some witch – though he usually pronounced that word with a b –  had convinced her would help.

It failed at puberty when the truth of what he was became evident. Where was sickly he becomes strong and different. Oh, so different. He is outcast by those who are terrified of what he had become. Unconditional love apparently had its conditions after all. Those early years on his own were hard.  He was not there for the passing of his progenitor. And as far off as it may be, he knew no one would be there for his passing. That which made him unique had also made him lonely.

As time passed for him, the more he rebuilt himself, the more it failed him. Logan learns to be the best there is at what he does, “…but what I do best isn’t very nice.” Coworkers came and went with jobs and time. He lives vicariously through others’ primitive view of what a normal life should be, as the pâro of his own wedged its way through any hope that friends, true relationships would ever be his lot.

Then he met a young girl named Marie. In rapid succession he then met Scott and Ororo. And Jean. And most important he met Charles.

Finally, his life started to pile up memories that were of not of just co-workers, but colleagues, not acquaintances, but friends. It took some time to get there, you don’t unlearn things taught via decades of heartache overnight, but he got there. In time he learned new philosophies that stayed. He was still unique, but not alone. He had people he knew had his back as he had theirs. If they were not of his blood, it didn’t matter, he had family.

Still, that which makes him unique has him watching as his family passes over time. Even he himself starts to feel its affects as he begins to fall victim to its ravages. He had accepted his fate his life, but Fate had one more trick up the sleeves in the form of Laura. In the dusk of his days, as even he was running out of time, he learns of his daughter. His old philosophy failed him, but this last once he could not complain for Laura was there. Her hand in his, as time caught up with him at last.

Logan Noir - Image with Wolverine and Laura holding handsImage: From Logan Noir – Wolverine (James “Logan” Howlett) and Laura holding hands.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Wordle #154

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form. Use the words in any order that you like.

Pile, Smart, Pâro, Vicarious, Mash, Nasal,
Disagree, Witch, Shed, Primitive, Wedge, Scrawny

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: First Line Friday 12.05.17

It’s that every other Friday again where Dylan gives the first line, and we all get to write the rest.

Weekly Wordle #135: Goodbye

I tug at the fabric of my blouse with impatience. All this gloss and glam really is not my thing for travelling, but a gal’s gotta do, you know?  I’m more a jackboots, jeans and t-shirt type of gal, but I can’t lie; I do look seriously good in this silky top and slacks. Yeah, I definitely learned how to dress better from all this, I’ll give it that much. I frown at my reflection turning my face at different angles in the light. It was a stroke of luck that I have my gear with me instead of having it shipped as I first wanted to do. Luck my ass! The goddesses-that-be who look over foolish gals like me knew I would need my good makeup to fix my face, so I thank you dolls! I ply on a little more foundation, to hide the discoloration trying to peek through. Sonavabitch!  The mirror in here sucks like a mutha for this, but I work with what I have. It’s an airport terminal after all, not like there is going to be a Hollywood dressing table in here.

Hollywood. L.A.

Who knew a chance meeting in the ladies’ room, a fist-fight, an emergency make-up session and some word of mouth would get me a call to go on a world tour with the crew for one of my favorite singers for an eighteen-month run. Eighteen. Months. World. Tour. I knew he was not going to like it at all, but it was an opportunity of a life time. There was no way in hell I was ever turning it down. Mama didn’t raise no fool, well, not too much of one anyway. He’s cheating on his wife with me and she knew it. I had no illusions about him faithfully waiting for my return. Still, he’s not the type of man you just walk away from. I had to make him do it.

“Baby, we knew from the beginning that I was not going to be here for a long-term thing.”

It really knifed him, my saying goodbye. He wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t expecting him to come at me like that, but he did.

“You think you can just leave me! Leave me like a, like a, a fucking rum cull! You guttersnipe bitch!”

As soon as the words left his mouth I knew he regretted it, as I would immediately regret mine. I mean, I knew my role in his life, but I was furious! He had never said anything like that to me before, so I dropped a bomb in kind.

“But that’s all you ever were to me. Didn’t you understand that?”

He fell to his knees, staring in disbelief, as if it were all something alien to him. Maybe it was, I don’t know. I guess I should not have been surprised it happened, but I was. Hell, I was stunned. We both were. I expected to hurt, but Lord knows I didn’t expect to hurt so much. Not like this!

I hear the chime sound over the PA system and listen for the message; yes, it’s my flight preparing to board. The bruise on my cheek was now a ghastly faded yellow; my eyes were still a little red-rimmed from all the crying, but the swelling had gone down and the contouring hid everything else. I check one more time to make sure I got it all covered before I grab my satchel to join the passel of travelers like me heading for the west coast.

And I try not to think of the completely crushed look on his face, as I held mine. He knew better than to try to stop me as I quietly stood and walked out.

The backhand was easier to bear than that.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #135

wordle-135

Sound, Terminal, Rum Cull (A rich fool, easily cheated, particularly by his mistress.) Knife, Gutter, Fabric, Discolor, Gloss, Jackboot, Passel (a group or lot of indeterminate number) Stroke, Impatience

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form. Use the words in any order that you like.

Weekly Wordle #132

I know all of the windows are down and locked; that the shutters are closed against the harsh wind blowing. The torrential rain that drenched so thoroughly late in the afternoon has turned to chilling huffs of air drying by force, regardless of those who of us would prefer a traditional drying via the sun’s warmth.  I know cannot actually feel its chill while safely ensconced inside, but, its howl seeps into my emotional marrow and I pull the quilt tighter around me in physical protection from its presumed frost. I imagine the wind as malevolent bellwether to the coming winter. Its simple breeze of earlier gathering a nuanced force – going from breezes, to winds, to gales that make weapons of weak branches and blow through fallen leaves causing haphazard grooves to chart our paths to the fence and beyond once the snow starts to fall.

It is late, past the witching hour, everyone has long since retired to the warmth of their beds. I am restless, so I choose to read. The soft bluish flame of the kerosene lamp on the table lights the nuanced world of words before me warmly. I pick up the lime half on the table near me to suck. Landlocked as I am, I flatter myself as the protagonist of the novel I read; lying about on a sunny beach with cool lime libation in hand.

Only to inhale and taste petrol instead.

I have been up so long I’ve become near nose blind to the gasoline scent of the lamp, never a good sign. Its scent is what reminds me of its presence and that it, like me, is not inexhaustible. I smile at my own little Faustian folly as I mark my place, put the book away and turn down the lamp.

I glance around the darkened room as I rise for my own slumber. The worries of the previous day now clutter at the bottom of a handbag to be dealt with on the morrow.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Wordle

wordle-week-132

Gasoline, Lime, Bellwether, Late, Nuance, Marrow, Flattery, Clutter, Groove, Inexhaustible, Handbag, Faustian

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form. Use the words in any order that you like.