Of Life and Death

It was a bloody mess. There were no other words for it.

An oil tanker had jack-knifed on the bridge late last night, early this morning. Though the spill was minimal compared to its capacity, there was a spill. The bridge was temporarily closed and oh how the morning commuters loved that while a clean-up crew did its best. Still, they are only human and they were not in control of the weather, when they gave the all clear and opened the bridge again.

Several cloudbursts opened up over the city within a forty-five-minute period earlier that afternoon and a drunk driver spun out of control on slick patch of oil and rain. It caused a vicious domino effect that resulted in too many vehicles playing a deadly game of bumper cars before it was over. Emergency services from various neighborhoods were on the scene, sirens closed in from the distance with the promise of more arriving.

Ignoring the police blockade He drove directly onto the bridge and parked. He stepped out of the gleaming pale vehicle and stretched to His full height, His posture very erect as He walked away as the vehicle door slowly swung down and closed. His fair complexion and long limbs belied the strength of the nicely toned body beneath the black suit, shirt and shoes He wore. Though simply calling it a black suit was slovenly; it did not do it justice at all.  It was not simply black. A friend had once joked with Him that it was darker than midnight in hell and dubbed it hereafter. There was a certain something about it, the subtle sheen, the way it fit His form, yet it moved with His casual stride in an elegance that radiated bespoke. His dress shirt was open from the top two buttons that exposed a hint of collar-bone and chest and the expanse of His long neck. He wore an equally black fedora on his dark curls, tilted roguishly over piercing mercurial eyes, a patrician nose and full cupid bow lips. His leather shoes were near soundless, as soundless as the ever-present gleaming black walking stick with silver ferrule and skull head handle he carried.

No one noticed Him, as with a single determination, He stepped out into the middle of the tableau before Him and glanced around. His luminous eyes took in everything.

There was screaming and crying all around.

Two cars had flipped over. Three cars were on fire, a fourth was dangerously close to its own conflagration. A delivery car for Gladiola Florist crashed, flipped on its roof and landed on the roof of another vehicle that had slammed into a guard rail. The angle and weight of the car had it teetering dangerously on the sheer edge of the rail. Terror completely immured the young female driver unable to stop its slow, yet inevitable slide into the murky waters of the river below. He heard babies, children and adults crying and screaming alike. There was at least one body thrown from its vehicle in a tattered, mangled twist of bone, muscle, blood and clothing before Him. There several other vehicles in various states of damage. Those that could move on their own, slowly did, as their respective drivers settled and thanked their lucky stars.

He looked at the dust, gas, oil, carnage around Him and smiled; seventeen vehicles, thirty-nine lives.

Oh, it was a bloody mess, indeed!

With a small amused shake of His head He tapped the walking stick to the pavement.

And.

Time.

Stopped.

A quick tip of His tongue ran across his inner bottom lip. A rich baritone chuckle escaped from deep in His throat as a familiar excitement thrummed through Him.

Let’s dance.”

He grabbed the mangled body before Him first. Male, thirty-two, head chef at a restaurant, had not worn a seat belt, was thrown through the windshield and then struck by a SUV that crushed his torso, yet left him conscious. He had been a decent, if reckless, man in this life; there was no need to let him suffer that much pain.

The young female driver is the first to notice Him. Nineteen years of age, university student, late for class after making a delivery, the car was a present from her father, she had her hair recently cut at the salon. She smiled as her panic abated when He curved his hand from where He stands, yet caressed her face and eased her fear. He snatched claim of her before the car free-felled into the water.

A six-month old infant, shaken badly in the car seat from the impact, and his twenty-six-year-old mother, ribs broken that punctured her lungs in two places were next. The howls of the now childless twenty-eight-year-old widower, sat with them, his face frozen in the pain that will be his life for a long while.

An elderly couple was next. She, eighty-three, heart failure. He seventy-six, aneurysm.

Why you saucy little minx! Married a man seven years your junior. Oh, that had to be quite the tongue-wagging back in the day. I bet you were something!

They have shared fifty-seven years of married life together. In a blink of His eyes neither will know a day apart from the other.

A forty-one-year-old female was going into Insulin shock. He shook His head.

No, not this time. Next time you’re mine.

Even as He thought the words, He could see paramedics, currently frozen in time, were on their way.

He moved about the scene, laying claim to those whose time had come, noting those He sensed were close to His calling. He was moving on to another calling when a scene off to the side got His attention.

A man on the ground, tall, twenty-seven, athletic body – runner, his face frozen in a contorted scream. That was not what caught His attention. It was the man kneeling by his side. Mid-thirties, average height, solid form, blond hair streaked with silver, former military, doctor, his bloodied hands pressed on the athletic man’s abdomen.  An abdomen that was splayed to the world. There was a grim, but absolute determination on the doctor’s face.

He walked away to another scene that caught His eye. A woman, twenty-eight, average built, a nurse in the midst of falling away from the open door driver side of a car. The result of a shove from a meaty hand of the muscular built, forty-nine-year-old male driver, his grey eyes radiated hate that seemed to block out that pain he had to be feeling with the jagged shrapnel that protruded through the windshield into his chest.

Eyes narrowed He unfreezes just that scene.

The nurse hit the ground hard, then got up, and being professional attempted to get the man to see reason, but was cut off from speaking.

“Shut up you stupid bitch. I don’t want you touching me!” It was not as vicious as it could have been when only one lung functioned properly as he went into a diatribe of racist insults until the pain grasped him full on and he starts screaming.

Walk away, go help someone worthy of your kindness.

The nurse walked away to help a woman trapped in her car. Thirty-one, heavy-set, barista by day, student by night, mother of twins. The driver side door pushed in, in a way that was painful enough to render her unconscious.

No, not her; she is mine.

He took her. The nurse saw the moment she went from unconscious to gone, shook her head sadly and went to help someone else.

He looks at the man in the car, the screaming has become whimpering. The whimpering stops as He is noticed. And like the woman who spotted Him earlier, he knows it’s his time. Where she greeted Him in understanding, this one is terrified.

A life lived wrong, will do that to some.

The man belongs to Him, but He does not like ugly. And unlike the first man, He will not take this one yet, He will let him suffer in pain for a while more.

He returns to the scene with the doctor and unfreezes it.

“I promise you, it looks worse than it is.” The doctor keeps pressure on the wound, lashing material tightly around the man’s abdomen, essentially keeping his guts inside his body. “You are not dying today! You’re not!”

The doctor lifts his head looking around and for the briefest moment He is rooted to the spot with the impression of being seen as the doctor’s fathomless blue eyes appeared to look right at Him as he attempts to get the attention of paramedics. Unlike the good doctor, the athlete does see Him and starts babbling. It’s the fear and begging and galimatias of many when they see Him and know. By now He has heard it all in the final moments. He half shrugs, very much as the doctor is doing his job; He’s merely performing His. He sweeps His walking stick over the scene.

The athlete goes into cardiac arrest, becoming non-responsive.

“NO!” The doctor yells, his battlefield training kicking into high gear, applying countermeasures. “I’ve got you. Do you hear me? You’re not dying. I would fight Death himself if I have to. You are not dying on me!”

A sly twinkle appeared in His eyes at the impudence of the statement. Why is He so beguiled by this man, this doctor?

The irony of this literal fight between life and Death is not lost on Him as He watches the doctor, fascinated by his tenacity to keep his patient alive at all costs.

He remembers the other lives in the balance and collects them, including the racist, so he can return to the doctor, now working with paramedics who finally arrived by his side. The athlete is His to take, but for some reason He does not want to disappoint this doctor who has fought so hard.

He sweeps His walking stick over the athlete again whose heart immediately settles. His wounds are still what they are, he will have a harsh recovery, but no, he will not die from them.

He taps His walking stick to the ground once more and all time reasserts itself.

He’ll have to balance this with another life, but this life is His gift to the doctor. The immense relief in the doctor’s face evident, his smile genuine and warm as his patient comes around.

Oh, I will have to come visit with you again Doctor.

But works calls and He must heed. He walks to the pale car that opens to accept Him and drives away to the next site.

<>==========<>

MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie: Wordle-161
Insulin, Posture, Shake, Suffer, Cloudburst, Immure, Hereafter, Slovenly, Radiate, Gladiola, Restaurant, Galimatias
Use at least ten of the twelve words in a story or poem.

The Sunday Whirl: 305
Drunk, Snatch, Sheer, Single, Tattered, Lash, Rooted, Dust, Curve, Sly, Spun, Blink
Use at least ten of the twelve words in a story or poem.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Tale Weaver # 126 – Death
Write a story about death – from Death’s point of view.

In Dreams Come True Is This

In dreams come true, is this, yon maidens sigh
The knight so brave, a truth none can deny
His heart doth love, but just for one to see
Someone special who knows not what could be
His love he’ll give when battle’s end is nigh

And she, damsel who finds herself too shy
Doth watch her knight of dreams ride off thereby
Knows not the knight could love someone like she
In dreams come true is this

It will pain less, she knows, come by and by
For now these tears are hers alone to cry
Upon his death whispers it comes to she
To learn so late his love was hers to be
Her heart alive, with love, only to die
In dreams come true is this

<>==========<>

In Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie  – host Teresa asks us to pen a short episode in the fashion of a medieval romance tale in prose or as a Rondeau.

 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie : Saturday’s Mix – May 13th 

 

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.

<>==========<>

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.

MLMM – Saturday Mix: Dear Diary

Painting of a man, with an open umbrella, walking along a riverside promenade on a rainy day. A bridge and skyscrapers in background.

Artwork: Glenn Hunt

Is this what they mean by “I feel like a school girl”? I had no idea being with you could be this freeing, this decadent! The feel of your warm skin against mine. How your eyes glassed over as I plunged deeply into you – how messily you came apart! The feel of your disassembled body in my hands. Washing all the blood from the sheets was hard, but worth it. Angela Matthews, my angel! I thank you for the gift of your life yesterday, each time I walk along the pier, I will honor your watery grave wih all my heart.

This was dated April 22nd. Autopsy confirmed the timing is correct. He likely would have gotten away with all of them had our team not found his journal.”

The detective visibly shuddered with revulsion as he folded the copy of the journal entry, then looked to the gathered press for questions.

<>==========<>==========<>
We’re asked to write a page from a diary using the above photo as inspiration.

Mindlovemiserty's Menagerie logo

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Saturday Mix – April 22, 2017: Dear Diary

A Chance to Heal

It is necessary to watch
Far in front of ourselves
To understand that we are lost
Alex Nevsky – “Jeter in Sort” (“Put A Spell On” – English translation)

It is necessary to watch
Where healing eyes have spoken
Healing braced in the ocean of tears crying
Grateful just to know we still feel
For in sadness is a chance to heal

Far in front of ourselves
Where healing time is forever frozen
Healing in prayers for the dead and the dying
For days like these when we simply cannot deal
And give ourselves a chance to heal

To understand that we are lost
Where healing hearts are ever broken
Healing we must always keep on trying
Giving our all to make the compassion real
Perseverance of faith for a chance to heal
<>==========<>==========<>

National Poetry Writing Month (NoPoWriMo) 2017
National Poetry Writing Month 2017 – Day 8
Write a poem using repetition


The Daily Post
The Daily Post
The Daily Post | Daily Prompt – Heal


A to Z Challenge - G
A to Z Challenge – Letter G
G is for Glosa
This poem is written in a modified glosa


Mindlovemiserty's Menagerie logo
Mindlovemiserty’s Menagerie – Friday Music Prompt
“Jeter un Sort/Put A Spell On” by Alex Nevsky

MLMM – Finish off Friday #9: The Wait

 

fof-img_2017-03-03

Clementine anxiously waited for the 5:40 out of the city, wondering if he would be on board. Why she could scarcely believe the amount of time that had passed since they last saw each other! She paced while twisting her handkerchief so tightly in anxious anticipation, it was not until the pain felt in her fingers from circulation’s lack stopped her.

Oh Clem, you’re being silly, stop it this instant!! 

She chastised herself harshly as she unwrapped the material, flexing her fingers until blood flowed again. Finally, the train was here! She kept rising on her toes looking for a sign of him. As the amount of those disembarking thinned, she felt her first sense of dread. When she finally saw the face of her love as he disembarked, she knew.

He came with the porter, who was begging her forgiveness for his folly – he had only wanted to hold the pretty bird just for a moment, he didn’t expect it to take flight.  Clem only had eyes for the empty cage that once held, Rosie, her beloved parakeet.  The woe in her fiance’s eyes told her before his words could.

“She is lost and gone forever. Dreadful sorry, Clementine.”

<>==========<>==========<>

Come now, you knew someone was going to go there, right?

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie : Finish off Friday #9: The Wait 03.03.17

The Distance

I cringe at the horizon that gives me pause as I sit on a crescent ledge and stew over the possibilities. There be giant monsters here.  I only need to travel a short distance, but the terrain from when I last visited this place has changed. The comfort of the familiar, now replaced by the exotic of a new clime.  Longanimity among my kind has made me tough, but cautious. I know how dangerous it can be, but I will not let fear be the pasty jailer that holds me back. Belatedly, I remember I was out in the open while my mind filtered through various strategies when the world vibrates in sound and a rapidly approaching darkness looms over head.

I’ve been seen by one of the giants that roam here. Death is all but a certainty when afflatus strikes and I make a run across the emerald landscape for the crevice ahead. The blast of air that propels me toward my goal is only equal in terror to the noise of the impact narrowly missing where I just stood.  I skitter into the narrow space between counter and the oven, hearing the giant bellow in frustration as I drop out of reach.

swat-green

<>==========<>==========<>

Yes, this from the view of the cockroach.
I fully bless (blame?) the Wordle graphic for the inspiration.

wordle-145

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #145

Crescent, Exotic, Ledge, Longanimity, Filter, Stew, Pasty, Afflatus, Emerald, Jailer, Cringe, Noise

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

Let Me Be There

Sometimes life just isn’t good,
Nothing feels right, nothing feels like it should
Let me be the one you call
Let me be there

It’s the Tree of Life, we all get to climb
But you may feel you’re out on a weak limb
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Let me be there

Abandon the flaws, just forget it
But never give up on belief in mirabilia, let it
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
Let me be there 

When you feel the apotropaic fail
I can hold you close should you want to wail
If you need to fall apart
Let me be there 

Let me be the lucida of your soul
Should the darkness baldly enter, grow to take control
I can mend a broken heart
Let me be there 

Hey, it’s plausible that you’re only human
That there will be days when it’s just more than
If you need to crash, then crash and burn
Let me be there 

We’re all in this through tense and tender
So on the days that you feel different remember
You’re not alone
Let me be there
<>==========<>==========<>

Italicized lines from “Crash and Burn” by Savage Garden
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie| Music Prompt # 75 “Crash and Burn”

Bold words from:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #144 “February 27th, 2017″

Good, Enter, Tree, Mirabilis, Different, Abandon, Plausible, Lucida, Bald, Flaw, Apotropaic, Grow

Use at least ten in a poem or story.

Real Toads: The Tuesday Platform

MLMM: Atriocaval Shunt

Can I live without him? Unfortunately, yes.
Will I want to? No. God, No.

I sit here and listen to the beep of the heart monitor. It used to be a most gall and wormwood noise before – when it was attached to someone else. It is the most wonderful sound in my world right now. For as long as I hear that sound, that beep, I know his heart still beats, and as his beats – so does mine. Because he is my heart and no one ever wants their warm heart to be attached to a frigid heart monitor. It was so touch and go in the beginning, he coded twice in the ER. The damage to him was that massive. And I sit here by his side, again in the fruitless mental exercise of how we got here.

My bike was showing its age; I didn’t trust it enough to participate in the upcoming Annual All City Cycle so he and I were at our favorite bike shop perusing for a new one.  I was looking at a ridiculously expensive silver and carbon frameset when he called my name to check out a vintage apple red Schwinn that was on display near the showcase window facing the street. I turned just in time to see a car careening towards him at a rapid speed. A woman having a massive heart attack, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the window of the store. It was less than a heartbeat’s pause – just time for me to scream, not enough time at all for him to dive out of the way before the car jumped the curb, shattering glass panes and my world into a million fragments.

I have been here nearly every day and night for over three weeks now. Our assistant Margie has been such a godsend, showing her talents by holding down the fort at the office in a cinch, but I can see the strain is beginning to get to her. We will give her one hell of a raise once we are back at the office. I will feel so guilty if the business falls into a less lucrative position that what it was before all of this happened. However, its potential failure will not appease the guilt I will feel if he awakens and I am not here. I have only left his side to shower because it drives me more than halfway insane – the grimy feel of being in a sterile hospital 24/7, and yes, I appreciate the irony of it.

There is a difference between sympathy and empathy and you learn it at times like this. Most of our clients are sympathetic, but business is business – they want theirs taken care of, and logically, I understand that. Yet I take one look at him lying there and I could not possibly care less right now.  One of our overseas clients, who had gone through what I’m going through now, sent over a nature sound machine. When I called to thank him and ask why, he says that he had used one when his wife was in a coma a few years back.  He does not know if really worked, but what could it hurt, right? I checked with his doctors first, who also agreed it couldn’t hurt, so I have played different sounds over the past few days.

Tonight, to accompany the palinoia of the heart monitor, I chose wind and rain sounds as it reminded me of our last trip to the coast a few months back for a different race.  A really great picture of us leading a pack of cyclists had made the papers and I pulled out the folded-up copy I always carry with me and grin. I remember the moment the shot was taken, the concentration on my face was less about the race and more about me not stopping to cuss him out yet again. That day had started out with rain and a three hour long argument, but ended with sun and our engagement.

Listening to the sounds and reminiscing, I fall into an exhausted sleep. I wake with him holding my hand.

Wait…he’s holding my hand…

I slowly move my hand to be sure and feel the grip tighten more.

My head pops up to see him smiling at me and I hear the raspiest, but most wonderful sound in three weeks, outside of the heart monitor.

“It’s about time you woke up.”

mlmm-cyclists

<>==========<>==========<>

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #143

Apple, Frigid, Pane, Gall and Wormwood, Dive, Cinch, Halfway, Grime, Wind, Vintage, Palinoia, Pause

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

<>==========<>

Writing Prompt February 19th – Randomize!

For this week, we are asked to seek inspiration in random places. What does that mean?

1st  – Use the Wikipedia! Random Article button, and the article you get, is the title of your write, in my case Atriocaval Shunt.

2nd – Go to http://writingexercises.co.uk/random-image-generator.php, to receive a random image. Post this image and connect it with your written piece. I feel the Muses, especially Calliope, were being ridiculously generous to me when the bike race image came up. Thus the above story.

<>==========<>

Real Toads : Tuesday Platform

MLMM – Tale Weaver #107: Lost

We are wandering through ancient streets and hills. Well, I’m wandering, for I have no clue as to our destination, if any, she is strolling. She’s avoiding the main thoroughfares as much as possible, taking alternate paths as only one who lives and breathes these streets can. I tease that I think we’re lost, but I envy the ease of how she knows her way around, casually acknowledging points of interest. I see how every now and then she starts to go for my hand, but then stops herself. I don’t know what to do about that, so I put my hands in my pockets and try to remember to keep them there. Otherwise, she is charming, engaging and yeah I like her, but nothing more. She knows this. When she smiles at me, the corners waver a little, and it makes me feel a little bad, but what can I do?

We stop at a quaint trattoria for one of the best meals that I can remember, which is not saying much. I am enjoying the meal immensely, lost in the deliciousness of it all, but she barely touches hers. I’m watching her push the pasta from one end of the plate to the other, not really knowing what else to do. As we pass the maître de upon leaving, he gives us a hearty enough sendoff, but somehow I know he knows what is going on between she and I.

It was early afternoon when we started this impromptu tour. It was now dusk and the city was becoming a different kind of alive. There was something vaguely familiar, comforting about it that tugged at me, but I could not put a name to it. Ever watchful, she could tell it was bothering me and blatantly grabbed my arm to pull me around a block or two, turn a corner and then stop. I look up and grin.

We had been strolling around these Rome streets all afternoon, and I knew I saw it in distance earlier as we walked a part of Via dei Fori Imperiali. It seemed so far away then, I was wondering if we would get to it at all, but here we were now standing right in front of it. The Flavian Amphitheatre, or as the  name the world mostly knows it by, The Coliseum, beautifully lit up for the night.

As she had held my arm, it was only natural that she takes my hand to hold; I don’t try to retract it. Her fingers are long, her nails short, yet well-manicured, and like her soft smile, I see the tiny tremors belying her nervousness as I notice the ring on the third finger of her left hand. A ring that I know was not there a few minutes ago. I am lost for words as it all comes together. I thought she was a good friend. Yes, but no.

She is my fiancée.

This afternoon, the places we stopped, the maître de at the trattoria, this moment – all of it a rehashing of the day I proposed to her, at dusk, here in front of The Coliseum. For me this afternoon was a random, but wonderful wandering. A change of pace from the emptiness that has become my life. For her it was bittersweet reminiscing. A gentle rehashing in the hopes that it would trigger something of the life we had before the car accident wiped my memories. An urgent prayer it will trigger something. A desperate plea trigger anything.

It triggers nothing.

She knows me intimately, yet I really don’t know her from any of the other tourists milling around us. Her eyes are beseeching the words that cannot fall from my lips. I shake my head sadly, watching as tears form and start to trail down her cheeks, with neither of us doing anything to abate them, as I feel lost anew.

<>==========<>==========<>

This week, Lorraine asks us to weave a tale with the threads of lost.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver #107: Lost 16.02.17