Kindred Spirit

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Did you ever embark on a solitary adventure on a sultry summer evening?  A random, spur-of-the-moment event with your only concrete intentions a vague desire to spread your consciousness across the terrain of your choosing?  And whilst upon such an unplanned sojourn, was another unspoken goal to blend into your selected area so expertly that the surrounding mankind were only aware of your presence on the very outside periphery of their understanding?

Have you ever taken such a event in with a companion – your only communication the poetry of expressive body language?

Might you oft believe that such observational activities are an unrecognized and unconsciously highly-sought after art form?

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Did you ever pad the sidewalks or Greenspaces within your targeted territory with all your senses wide and receptive, opening the very core of your being to those communications from anything natural and wild?  Do nightly dreams tickle your sleeping self after this absorption, as your mind tirelessly works to adapt itself to these ruminations?

Have you woken to the sun caressing your face, and felt more alive than the previous years?

Might you celebrate the solidity of the rock, dance with the spirits of the wind, sing the hidden song of the stream, or bask in the wild fire of the setting sun?

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Are you a creature of deep Earth – open to the Natural, yet reside within the heart of a city?  Are contradictions such as these accepted without understanding?

Reading this – do you nod your head in solidarity…and posit questions of equal gravity in return?

Then I’d like to experience you – a kindred spirit well met.

Rocks

 

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Tuesday’s Dutch Photo Challenge

Whatinhell’s wrong with me….I’m actually on TIME for a photo challenge???

The stars must have aligned or something.

Dutch goes the Photo’s Tuesday challenge this week is steps.  Yea…I’ve got plenty of photos here at the T&T that can fit the bill.

And stories, as well.

Steps were instrumental last year, as they brought my body’s condition (or lack thereof) into sharp focus last spring.  These were an Herculean obstacle when we moved.  They’d cause my knee to complain loudly.  The knee would then rally the support (again…lack thereof?) of the back, the hips, and the heart.  All four would go into a rather hostile revolt every time this set of risers appeared within my visual field.

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Dontcha just hate it when individual body parts gang up on you?

This same set of stairs featured again in one of my flash fiction pieces…this time from the bottom up.

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Steps have been present throughout my year.  It was October when I discovered on a lark that I now had it in me to walk an entire mile without passing out due to exertion.

In February, when we had a weird warm-up – I got to don my flip-flops and walk further – I made a mile and a half…and decided this year’s goal was to walk the 1.6 mile to work.

Feet

Every good step starts with the right pair of shoes

And now, of course – I regularly walk every chance the weather permits me to…

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Puppy feet left in the frost on the footbridge

 

May (Insert Supernatural Being of your Choosing) keep your feet moving!

Hospitality

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A single foot, fur-clad against the outside elements, crossed the threshold.

The second foot, likewise insulated against the frozen ground, hesitated to cross the boundary.

Snow pressed around the bundled figure in the doorway, blowing into the hearth-room of the ancient keep.  The brutal winter wind teased the glowering flames in the fireplace, setting spidery shadows dancing along the thick stone walls, yet the gale blowing at her back was nothing compared to the dire stories being shouted at her from the dim hall.

Slowly, deliberately, she slid her recalcitrant limb through the doorway at the urging of a tiny form of indeterminate gender, waiting to slam the heavy wood door against the raging blizzard.

**THUD**

With the surcease of howling storm winds and punishing ice crystals, she stood, dripping slush, and listened to the stones of the hearth.  They spoke eloquently (as only stones can) of the recent past they had witnessed.

It sang to her ears only, using the tongues of flame burning solemnly above the grate.  As it whispered its dark tale, it highlighted the scattered bits of evidence around the room using the shadows cast –  a filament of iron embedded in the hard-backed chair.  The faint outline of a hastily-scrubbed pool of fluid on the flagstones.  Flakes of ash, not of wooden origin, scattered about the floor.  As damning as these small vignettes were – they paled in comparison to the single spot of scarlet overlooked on the hearthstone itself.

A chair, to the opposite end of the hall, it’s seat enshrouded in shadow the flames light feared to touch, took a deep breath, speaking the ancient rite in the Master’s own thin, reedy voice…

“Enter and be well by my fire on this miserable night, stranger.”

Frigg dropped her snow-covered cloak on the flagstones, preparing for her ‘work.’  The stains of false Hospitality would be cleansed by fire and blood.

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My Stuff – Flash Fiction

Greg at Almost Iowa offered up a challenge on his post the other day…pick an object, and write an essay or a bit of flash fiction about it.

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Greg…ya had me at Flash Fiction 😀

Sooooo…live and in living color, straight from my work desk to your screen…I present you with:

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The Smurf and the Wookie…

…A love story

A story by Peyton

A very long time ago, in an office far, far away, a little girl sat, eating her happy meal, trying very hard not to look at the toy.  It was brown and horrible-looking, and, worst of all…it was the toy given to the boys at McDonalds, not the girls.

But Mommy had promised to fix it after work, IF she was good…so she ruthlessly shoved a few more french fries into her mouth, and tried very hard not to look at the boring plastic shape.

 

“Maybe,” she thought, chewing through her last bite of hamburger, “the nice lady by the front phones will talk to me?”  So, looking carefully around the cubicle wall for Mommy, she darted across the hall and up to the front desk, boring brown plastic shape still clutched firmly in a fistful of ketchup-stained fries.

Today, the nice lady was in Daddy’s office with Mommy, talking about boring things.

AH!

On the nice lady’s desk, perched proudly next to the plastic cup of paper-clips, a little form in blue and white.

“Well…that Smurf is a LOT prettier than this old brown thing…”

So, up on the nice lady’s chair she went…

The Smurf and the Wookie had a glorious time that Wednesday afternoon at Mommy’s office – they danced on the nice lady’s desk, they played hide & seek in the file cabinet, they squished the french fries because they were really, REALLY big worms.  AND…the best part was when the smurf tied the Wookie in a big chain of paper clips.

After all that – the little girl decided the Wookie couldn’t go home with her and leave his best play-friend behind… (and, besides, Mommy said she’d fix it, so she was getting a new toy!)  With the logic of youth, the Wookie had to stay, happy and proud to be on the nice lady’s desk with his buddy the Smurf.

And the nice lady said she could play with the both of them anytime she had to come with Mommy to the office.

 

 

To this day, the Smurf and the Wookie hang out on my desk, smelling slightly of that epic, long ago french fry/gigantic worm ketchup-smothered battle.

They’re still best buddies.

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This Chick Walks into a Bar…

Book 2

The Arcanum Infernata says:

“Those who encounter daemon, Those scored by tooth or claw, Those fortunate enough to walk from the beast, Those burdened of stolen magics, forevermore.”

For those of you not fluent in cryptic Grimoire-speak – it means:  You survive a fight with a demon, and you get their powers.  Do not sell your soul to Satan, Do not die & work your way up the Hell Ranks…just go directly to power.  Do not pass Go…and do not collect $200.

Cool, huh?   How could a girl resist?

What the damned Arcanum failed to mention was the damned thing you stole powers from would chase you to the damned ends of the damn Earth to regain it’s damned abilities. That’s a hell of a catch there.  A rather important bit of a codicil to the ole’ contract conveniently penciled in extremely fine print in an unreadable font.

Trust me on this one…you do NOT want an extremely pissed-off demon dogging your every move.

I see you squirming on your barstool.  Rethinking that pick-up line?

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction-Pyromaniac

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I’m back to digging through some of the older Flash Fiction pieces again.  This week, I’ve been reminiscing over fire.

As it’s been cold up here in Frosty Wisconsin, is there any wonder why my thoughts were turning to extreme heat sources?

The flash piece below was my offering for Flash! Friday’s 2014 anniversary celebration…and was the 2nd piece I officially submitted to their weekly frenzy.  I have to admit – I was shocked senseless when my entry was chosen as one of the 12 semi-finalists.  Now, I don’t have access to the original photograph, but it was stunning.  A small building (think: cabin in the deep woods) fully engulfed in flame in the dead of night.   I do remember they had a strict word count on this one (150 words on the nose…no more, no less) and the usual 24 hour time period to submit.

I can’t believe I never slipped this up on the T&T – it’s one of my favorite pieces of flash.

And, accompanying the piece is not my usual flash banner – the image is one I got a mind-shot of when someone on Google+ shared a picture of a close up of the front grille of a pot-bellied stove.  I just had to create something in ‘Shop to bring that vision to life.  One of my first attempts at actual drawing in ‘shop.  I think it turned out well 🙂

 

Pyromaniac

150 words

Flame.

Orange against black. Subtle licks of cerulean, scarlet, saffron and emerald flare into being to vanish in an instant without a trace. Elongated fingers of incandescence stretch into the void to momentarily paint their essence onto the obsidian night sky.

Inferno.
It is alive with movement – sliding, shifting, waving, weaving – its hypnotic, primal dance both beautiful and terrible as it crafts a timeless, mesmerizing, elemental ballet of destruction.

Blaze.
The voice of combustion, a low, throaty growling howl of clean air transformed to sweltering luminescence, whispering secret desires into the ears of those who worship it.

Immolation.
They listen, comprehending the flare’s song in that most primitive portion of the brain. They stare, glassy-eyed and slack-jawed, into the complex twisting leap and swirl of the living flame. They are powerless to resist the compelling demands of spark, ember, pyre.

Intentional.
Some men just need to watch the world burn.

Visitations

 

First…I’d like to personally thank each and every unique visitor to the T&T – these poor scribblings from this humble scribe are a sloppy attempt at a clumsy gift for such lofty and Auguste Personages.

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I couldn’t resist borrowing (and MASSIVELY paraphrasing) those words from Taita, slave to the Lady Lostris, from the book River God by Wilbur Smith.  If you want a tale of Ancient Egypt, SET in Ancient Egypt, that really comes alive in your head – go dig this one out.

And the sentiment is genuine – if I didn’t have regular readers on this, my tiny slice of the blogosphere – I’d probably have abandoned it by now…

I’d like to think my personal blend of sarcastic whit & photography, wrapped up with a chainmaille bow & served with a slice of keto-cake is at least a “smidge” entertaining…

And…because you guys come and read and like my stuff, I get to return the favor – checking out your blogs and your words and your brand of entertainment…so thanks for writing, as well as reading…your work is appreciated!

Reading & writing – like 2 peas in a pod…

 

Unintentional Funnies attracted some unusual attention, in the form of several very Christian Bloggers.  As I visited their sites, I was flooded with a deluge of scripture and pondering of the faith.  I’ve no reason why this particular post drew in those who find comfort writing about God, as there wasn’t anything even remotely faith-like in it…

NOT that I’m complaining – everyone is welcome here at the T&T to read, share, comment, or even condemn if I’m WAAAAAAAAAAAY off base.  I try to avoid subjects that have measures of conflict built in rather like the way certain subjects were forbidden at the dinner table when I was a child.

Typed my Mom’s voice:  ‘Two things never discussed in polite company:  Religion & Politics.’

So you’ll never see the T&T fall into the political or theological pathways.  There are other, more hardened writers out there, to handle both these spectrums.

I’ll just keep observing my little bit of world, and share those with you…

You’re welcome!