A Cuppa Can’t Fix Everything

A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.

Words oft said by his French grandmother flittered through his mind.

Though it is surprising what a good cuppa in good china can help get you through.

Though normally a coffee drinker, sometimes grand-mere’s advice had its merits.  The aroma of the brew wafted from the bone porcelain cup he delicately held. The translucent teacup was over a century old. It had once been part of a set of twelve. Now only five complete sets, by some miracle the teapot itself and the single cup sans saucer he used now remained.

It was soothing.

But not soothing enough.

Nearly eight years: seven years, nine months and sixteen days to be exact.  

He looked at the packet of papers before him once again.

All the appropriate boxes were checked, statements filled out and signed, copies made and the original certificate and cheque made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’ attached.  

Such a cold black and white ending to something that began so red hot nearly a decade ago.

Form D8: Application for a divorce, dissolution or to apply for a (judicial) separation order

Form D80A: Statement in support of an application for divorce or (judicial) separation on the ground of adultery

Then wait for response.

Then Form D84: Apply to court for a decree nisi, conditional order or (judicial) separation decree or order

Then wait some more.

And then finally, FINALLY Form D36: Ask the court to make a decree nisi absolute, or a conditional order final

It was going to be at least another three months before all was said and done.

He just wanted it DONE!

The inherited tea set became the lesser by one unmatched teacup as it went airborne and crashed into the wall.

He cursed as he realized what he did and cleaned it up. Another thing the marriage had ruined.

The tea had been soothing, but not anymore.

He gathered what he needed, grabbed the packet and headed to the nearest divorce center.

He heeded another piece of advice and called a friend to meet at a pub later:

And when good tea in good china no longer helps, it usually means you need something stronger. Because sometimes a  perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.


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First Line Friday: May 21, 2021

Dylan gives the opening line and challenges you to create whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure are completely up to you. Feel free to modify the line as you see fit, adding punctuation, quotes, or other bits if so desired. No need to tie it to the picture, unless you want to.

Or for more of a challenge, change nothing.

The line for this week is: A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.

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.

The Last – a Tale

The words blurred into one another, every yellowed page like the one before.

Sela pulled her sweater tighter around her, the sudden chill making her teeth rattle from more than the air conditioning protecting the ancient scrolls and text. Preconceived notions now shattered under the gravity of what she has learnt.

She was not ugly, but she knew she was no raving beauty, either. She was simply layogenic, all the pieces were there, yet they did not quite seem to align up for true beauty. In school her interests were not those of the other girls her age. She was very intelligent, but she was not valedictorian. She was popular enough to be the good friend, the wing man, but never enough to keep the guy. And she had her secrets. She had spent her teenage through late twenties with a constant sense of the autophobic.  Then three years ago, just when she was truly starting to accept the single life would be her lot in life, she met Avery.

He courted her. With flowers and conversation arcane, often profound, sometimes profane. And when the granite walls she had built around her hear came down at last, she in turn courted him. With creativity and art and myths and politics. The curves to his edges. Avery with his pale fine near otherworldly features. His naturally pale blonde locks that naturally bleached to almost platinum in the summer sun. Avery never made her feel anything other than utterly beautiful inside and out. He was not perfect. She could barely get him to stay the night. And if he stayed he was always up by dawn puttering about.

It was all so transparent now, so obvious, but it was anything but several months ago.

It had started as a joke, a far-fetched notion dreamt up after the late night/early morning hours following an alcohol fused evening. They had lain nude in the sand, under the stars of Cancer. Their bare bodies, beginning to be tinged blue from the cool night outdoors, was now slowly pinking again as they greeted the warmth of dawn.

Then she saw it.

Sela had awoken on her back, Avery was laying sideways, facing away from her, his back to the burgeoning dawn of the shore. Every instinct told her do not move. So naturally Sela found herself in a rapid series of suppression as the urge to yawn, to sneeze and most of all, to reach and touch his beautiful back tried to overtake her, but she persevered.

His skin was so fair she felt she could all but see the blood flood as his flash warmed. She was admiring the fine-boned, yet nicely toned structure of his back.  It was she was looking at his back, at his shoulders, that she saw the thin curved lines that sudden marked his shoulder blades. It was just a flash of light, a bright electrified blue that appeared and was gone in a flash. She was so surprised by it she must have made some sort of sound, for Avery quickly turned to face her. His smile was beguiling and she assured herself she must have been seeing things as he pulled her in his arms.

Later that morning they sat in an outdoor café, sipping chamomile tea with honey, for him, coffee black, for her. They listened to the rising crescendo of the local birds as they woke for the day when she spied a dragonfly in the distance. Not afraid of insects she pointed out the beauty of its transparent wings. She jokingly wondered how such wings would look on him with his coloring. Avery had simply smiled at her flight of fancy and changed the subject, but that flash in the dawn popped into her head and again tried to dismiss what she thought she saw.

She tried to. She couldn’t.

She could not let it go and every single cell of her being knew she could not just ask him. At least not yet. So she didn’t. It was good fortune they both travelled for work. If she stayed an extra day overseas to research something he never batted an eye, just as she never questioned his trips if he chose to stay an extra day. She sometimes felt guilty, but not enough to stop researching. Until today.

Today she had the answers, the evidence; the truth.

She carefully closed the yellowed pages and packed away the last notes she’ll take on the matter.

Sela, the last Nyx Fairy, will trust Avery with the truth of her wings come dusk.

She has faith the Avery, the last Aeshnidae Fairy, will trust her with the truth of his come dawn.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie|First Line Friday – March 2, 2018
The words blurred into one another, every yellowed page like the one before.

Use the above as your opening line in a story or prose.

The Sunday Whirl 340
Honey, Crescendo, Gravity, Blood, Blue, Shatter, Edges, Teeth, Bare, Rattle, Birds, Electrify

Use at least ten of the words in a story or poem.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie|Wordle #186
Cancer, Fairy, Sideways, Farfetched, Chamomile, Bleach, Assure, Granite, Suppression, Layogenic, Transparent, Autophobia

Use at least ten of the words in a story or poem.

Only Time Can Tell

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry.

Relax pet. You’ll feed soon. Need to find you the right one.

He slid a careful hand down his slate sharkskin suit, tugging the gleaming cuffs links, shaped like a tangled knot against the stark white shirt, setting the lapels just right. He rubbed out an invisible scuff on his well-shined shoes. It is a crowded street, but strolled at a decent clip, his hands in trouser pockets unencumbered by the masses that seem to give him berth. Sunglasses on, hiding the ever present turmoil in his dark eyes, he casually walked the pavement, the smallest smile playing along his lips as he sniffs the air.

Sadness. No.

Anger. No.

Depression. No.

Rage. No.

Too easy – you need, you deserve something much, much better to sink your teeth in, pet.

A handsome blond man was headed towards him. A doctor by the stethoscope draped around his neck. He talking away on his mobile pleasantly distracted by the conversation.

“I love you more!” The man grins and bubbles with laughter. “No, Mary I love YOU more!”

Unbridled happiness.

Oh yes! He looks sooo happy, pet. That will do.

“Hey, do you know the time?” He lets his natural lilt come through as he touches the man on the arm stopping him. He feels the bedlam of the feeding flow within him from beneath taking a desperate hold at the contact trigger. He sees its swirl in the stunned blues eyes that were momentarily vacant, but now glittered with precious malevolence that permeates the doctor’s entire being before he lets go and walks away. It was less than two seconds of contact, but it felt like more than two eternities before his pet is sated and retreats to below.

Oh yessssss. So good. So good.

His breath hitches as he luxuriates in the emotional calamity, his knees nearly buckling in pleasure as behind him he hears the blond start to scream into his phone.

“Look you fucking bitch! I honestly don’t what the fuck I’m even doing here. Get the out of my life you raging whore!” The man continues to string vitriol in the middle of the pavement, pedestrians gawking as they scurry around him. Moments later he suddenly stops. He looks at the phone bemused and aghast. Just as quickly apologies spew forth as the poor doctor attempts to salvage the conversation abashed by the odd behavior.

No one can hear or see him as he pulls his power to double over in delighted laughter on the sidewalk, the mirth bringing tears to his eyes.

Time suddenly freezes around him.

Well almost no one.

He smirks as a midnight black suited figure brandishing a silver skull head walking stick, along with a long hooded robe in crème with silver trim appears.

“What have you DONE?” Death swung out his walking stick, the power of his profession grabbing him by the shoulder and slamming him into a wall.

“Hello? Don’t sully the suit.” He steps from the wall, brushing at his lapels where Death had grabbed him, as if covered they were covered in offal, using the insult to cover his nervousness at the surprise of Death’s attack. Death is one seemingly emotionless man to deal with, passion at this level was unusual from him and the god was MAD!

Hmmm. Now, what brought THAT on and how can I use it?

“Here to read me the Riot Act, boys?” He shifted his gaze to the robed man. “Again.”

“Really Chaos. Your timing as always is impeccable and horrid.” Chronos cringed running his hand over his face and head, the move pushing the hood of his robe back. His unruly silver spikes of hair standing on end in the time frozen light. He pulled what looked like minute timer out of his pocket with the other hand and shook it.  The hour glass he always carries expands to its traditional full size. He swung it quickly towards Death, and gave it a gentle tap. Its sands flow black for a second and Death freezes in place. He then swung it towards Chaos, giving it another tap and the sands flow slate as Chaos freezes in place as well. Chronos nods once before shrinking it down again and putting it away.

“You can come now.” Chronos called out even as a celadon mist was already coalescing into the solid form of Gaea. He smiled as he marveled in the verdant scent of summer that surrounds her always. Today she appeared in an older guise and he knows it is the Mother that prompted this intervention between Death and Chaos.

“So this is it then? When it all started to go wrong for?” He glances around at the seemingly nothing of an ordinary day in the world.

“As best as we can tell.” Trechant sea blue-green eyes flash in motherly compassion for a moment as they pass over Death. Chronos knows she is also thinking of her elder son, War who also shares the mercurial eyes of his mother and brother. Gaea generally abhors interrupting in the affairs of her children, preferring to let them pick and choose as their hearts and the constraints of their posts dictates, but this is different. Fate found an upcoming snarl in the Tapestry of Life. Atropos was had her sheers ready to excise the entire thing. Lachesis tempered the action when she pulled some of the threads and realized War and Death would be involved in proportions so far out of the normal skein even Clotho knew only someone on their side could have had a hand in it. The obvious choice was, well, obvious.

Chaos on a whim accidentally set in motion a path of destruction. No, he did not mean to, for once, but he would have done so regardless for the joyous recklessness of it given the nature he was born into, had he known. That whim happened today when he unknowingly set a reaction that ruined the engagement of the blond. Fate could not give details anymore because once threads are pulled every changes, but she knew that blond doctor would soon become someone important to Death and eventually all of them.

Gaea glanced at the blond of the doctor, staring at his phone in frozen desperation. She nods to Chronos who comes to stand beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder as he pulls out the hour glass and expands it again.  He uses his power to shake it and then tilt it slightly back. The sands turn from the matching crème color of his robes to a clear crystal as times reverses a few minutes. Everything and everyone, but the two of them reverse with it. When he sets it right and time freezes again they see Chaos and his pet down the street not having spotted the doctor yet. Death blinked out of sight. Gaea knows has return to an appointment Sumatra. She steps to where the doctor stands now, his beaming face looking up to the sky, deep blue eyes shining in tender happiness.

I am sorry my child, I have to do this to you…

Gaea places a hand over the doctor’s heart. His shoulders sag, his eyes look haunted as his entire countenance takes on a dejected stance. Satisfied she stands beside Chronos, taking his hand. He shakes the hour glass and it begins to run in normal time.

The doctor starts walking “I’m sorry, Mary darling. I lost Mackenzie and Joseph today. I’m really not in the best of moods. Can we just stay in tonight? Please?” He realizes his stethoscope is around his neck and snatches it away. The grip on it folded tubing taking the brunt of what he feels. Chaos seeing the pain the doctor is in passes him by in search of something better.

Gaea releases the breath she wasn’t aware she was holding and smiles at Chronos automatically touching his forehead as he frowns. He smiles his appreciation as she eases the headache she knows that comes to him whenever any of the gods ask him to change Time on their behalf as his mind and body also has to adjust to the new reality even as he exists in the current one until all matches. The more of them he has to adjust simultaneously the more it hurts.

When his mind settles Chronos immediately swings the hourglass towards her and its sands flow celadon for a second and Gaea freezes.

“Sorry Gaea, experience tells me the less of us that remembers this happened the better it works.” His smile is rueful as he sets her back in Time. She blinks to her new placement and he closes his eyes to let his mind adjust.

He looks down the block where Chaos has taken a different person’s happiness on which to feed his pet. He taps the hourglass feeling Time within knowing is all as it should be for the present.

For the present.

Only he himself knows what had, could have and has now happened. As for what may happen only Time can tell.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: First Line Friday -July 21st 2017

Below the city’s cobblestones it shifted, restless and hungry.

Every other Friday Dylan gives the first line, and we get to write the rest.

The Sunday Whirl: Wordle 309

Nothing, Carry, Sea, Post, Trigger, Poor, Pick, String, Mean, Beam, Shake, Born

Write a poem or short prose using some or all of the wordle words.  Forms of the words are fine.  Challenge yourself to use them all, but it is not a requirement.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Wordle #165

Shine, Clip, Abash, Read, Salvage, Celadon, Permeate, Sag, Nervous, Vacant, Offal, Trenchancy

Write a poem or short prose using at least ten of the wordle words.  Forms of the words are fine.