What I want for Christmas

sliced boiled egg on white plate

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What I want for Christmas is ….soft foods?

Yea, sorry I missed my Wednesday’s poets post this week, I was in the hospital overnight connected to this machine that beeped and dispensed saline and antibiotics.

I didn’t even expect to find myself in the hospital this week. I had had some severe stomach pains over the weekend so I sent a note on one of those patient portals to my doctor.

Her response after reading my epistle was very short and sweet. “Go to the VA ER and ask for a  CT scan. ”

One of the reasons I talk about my medical history is that I am in a group of people who have a rare disease called “Wegener’s Granulomatosis, which was changed to Polyangiitis with Granulomatosis.” I just use the acronym WG/GPA.

A lot of my problems started when I was diagnosed with that autoimmune disease in 2003, which will be sixteen years in the first part of January. So since my diagnosis I’ve discovered that the body can fail in the most amazing ways.

So I went to the VA ER, they took blood and they did a CT scan. I thought they would just give me an antibiotic and send me home. No, they told me I had a confirmed case of diverticulitis and that I was staying overnight.

Pretty much I have lived in a flapping hospital gown with a black bra and white panties. I say again, I wasn’t expecting to stay there.

I was only allowed broth for dinner. Then I was given the paperwork. One of the nurses told me that I seemed pretty smart and on the ball. After hearing some of the delirium in the hallways of certain other sick folks, I guess that was a compliment. Anyway, she told me that I probably already knew what I could eat and what I couldn’t eat. Yep, she was right.

But if I needed to talk to a dietitian, then she would put in a consult. Since I was going home the next day– oh, yea I am determined. I said no. I did tell her I would call my dietitian when I got home– the one who knew my other diet requirements.

So yea, it is clear broth or soft foods for the next month. I’m still reeling from the antibiotics and had to take a few home for popping.

One of my nurses was kind of concerned that I was going home too soon. It wasn’t soon enough after a night of no sleep and without my little dog. It’s too noisy to sleep in a hospital.

And, I did my thing. Instead of blowing into that thingie-ma-bopper that keeps you safe from pneumonia, I asked if I could walk instead. When I got the green light, I packed up my pole that was dispensing antibiotic, and walked the hallways in my hospital ward, my hospital gown flapping as I probably showed my little world the little black bra and white panties.

I did hear one of the nurses say to another, “she is going fast.” I guess someone on those antibiotics rarely are able to even roll out of the hospital bed.

So all I get for Christmas this year is soft food and Foxy.

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Tuesday Snippet: Unlicensed Sorceress- Chapter Nine

unlicensed sorceress 2017 Koenigstadt
Davi Dracson

Davi pulled the covers off his body, and leaped out of bed. He looked across the room to see if Kayla was awake. She was already up and dressed, standing at the window.

He grabbed his clothes that were lying across a chair and opened a door to a small closet. He dressed. It was strange to share his room with a female. It was the first time after all of their adventures that he had really seen Kayla as a woman.

She was dressed in a gown that showed her budding breasts. The gown nipped into her waist and the skirts billowed out to the floor. The dress was a green that complemented her nut-brown hair. In the forest she had kept her hair braided. Now it was brushed out and hung loosely around her shoulders. Her hair was breath-taking. He wanted to touch it.

He had forgotten that she could read his mind. A thought curled around his inventory of her figure. “Stop that.”

He sighed. She was right. First of all they were of different species. Second they were magically bonded. It was comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. Since he was a dragon, there were probably books and books of rules on how a dragon and blacksmith should act towards each other. But, he thought, a grin spread across his face as he finally buttoned the last button on his shirt, he hadn’t read the rules so if he didn’t follow them, who would know?

Kayla was standing in front of the door with her arms on her hips and a disapproving look on her face. “I would know,” she said aloud so that he would get a double whammy of her disapproval — physically and mentally.

He still grinned. She reached over and straightened his shirt and made sure he was presentable to leave the room. When he was ready Kayla said, “Let’s walk in the gardens.”

His stomach growled. “After breakfast,” she amended.

They walked down the hallway arm and arm, and then he followed her down the staircase, admiring how regal she looked as she carefully navigated the stairs. He didn’t allow the thought to reach the bond because he knew she would slap him again if she read his mind. This would be hard. He was young and she was young. They would be together for a very long time.

His mouth started to water as he smelled the scents coming from the kitchen. He raised his head so that his nose could catch each smell. Bacon, ham, eggs, toast, and potatoes. He could smell real butter. His stomach started to growl loudly and he could feel Kayla radiate amusement back at him. Dammit. She was laughing at his hunger.

It seemed like a long staircase, but they finally made it down and Kayla turned the opposite direction from the kitchen. He wanted to sputter and demand that she turn back. Once again he could feel her smile in his mind. “You are so tempestuous,” she said.

“We are going to the dining room.”

The dining room had a large oak table, filled with food. Kayla took a plate, filled it with bacon, eggs, toast and potatoes. Davi did the same, but his was piled higher. “If you eat like that when you are older, you’ll be as big as a house.” Kayla laughed.

“Hey,” he smiled at her after shoveling the first spoonful into his mouth and swallowing.

“I want to be as big as a house.”

She laughed so hard that she almost choked. The food, the smells, the tastes—for just a moment they were in tune.

Then Kayla pulled away from the bond, and they ate in silence. Davi ate until the buttons on his jacket started to pull slightly. He knew Kayla wanted to laugh again, but she didn’t. When they were finished, they left their dishes on the table. Some silent servant would clear them away. It felt strange that they hadn’t seen either Hilda or Michael at the table.

They walked in the garden. There were rosebushes lining the walls–red, pink, and yellow. A sweet smell filled his nose and he sat under an arbor and patted the small garden bench. Kayla swayed over and sat down next to him.

She leaned into him and put her head on his shoulder. Then she spoke through their bond, “we aren’t safe here.”

He sent his agreement back to her, but also felt the air of her breathing feather against his neck. He felt content. If someone was watching their exchange, they would only see two young people enjoying the afternoon. Maybe just a little too close, but young people did push the boundaries when they could.

“Have you tried to use magic in our room,” he asked. His lips didn’t move. He picked up her hand and held it, sliding his fingers between hers. They were a perfect fit, he thought idly.

He felt a sharp pinch across the bond. “Listen.” Her thought was sharp and to the point. “Ouch,” he said aloud.

“I couldn’t do magic in that room. Plus we were being monitored. I think someone knows what we are.”

A flash of fear slid down from his head to his gut. For a moment, it felt like the food he had just eaten was lead in his stomach. If they were unmasked, there would be consequences.

Mages would salivate for the chance to get their hands on a real dragon. They could make potions from the scales, flesh, blood, and bone. In fact the mages could make themselves more powerful if they had one dragon to harvest. Now if they had a chance to get their hands on a dragon with a blacksmith—the thought made Davi shiver.

“Do you think they already know? Or do they suspect we might be—”

“It is safer to assume they know.” He felt Kayla’s sigh. She extricated herself from his arms and stood up. He stood up as well and took her arm. They walked the next hour in total silence, enjoying the various bushes and flowers in this small paradise.

Vignettes And Books of All Sorts

According To Hoyt

art-3569271

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts…

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Wednesdays are for poets

Monkey mind and the last poem of April

The sun shone overhead
or should I say rays or shine
maybe the sun rose
above mountains or hills

the wind rustled the leaves
did it blow, or did it whip
is rustle even an action?

chickadees nested
these birds are probably
ready to throw out the little chicks
the chirps are insane
and feeding the empty gullets?

Spring had come
to our high desert home
since this is the last poem
do I need to add smells

the skunk family poked their noses
out holes in the fence
should aroma and skunk
be in the same sentence?

would readers really like
to smell roses instead?

Erase. Start over

By Cyn Bagley
30 April 2014

Tuesday Snippet: Unlicensed Sorceress – Chapter Eight

unlicensed sorceress 2017
Koenigstadt
Hilda Brant

Hilda breathed slowly until the stitch in her side settled down. She pushed against the bricks of the building to stand upright. The brick bit into the the palm of her hand and left a temporary imprint. She stretched her back and ignored the aching muscles in her back and legs. Rooso flashed a grin and then walked down the alley way, expecting her to follow him.

That little bit of fun cost her. She groan, laughed, and then followed him more slowly. She envied his smooth gait. As she kept moving the aches smoothed out and she was able to move better. The garbage strewn across the alleyway gave off a stench that she could almost taste.

She put her hand on her nose and walked faster after Rooso. It wasn’t that much farther when Rooso opened a back door into a boarding house. He put his finger to his lips that told her to be very quiet.

They took careful steps to make sure the stairs wouldn’t creak. They carefully settled their weight on the boards and finally made it to the top of the stairs without making noise. The hallway had three doors on each side. They walked as quietly to the last door. Rooso checked to see if anyone was looking, but it was only the two of them in the hallway. She could tell by his actions that he was used to hiding. An alarm bell went off in her head.

Rooso opened the door. There wasn’t even a squeak in the hinges. He motioned her into the room. It was no different than any other room in the lower levels of the city. She had seen one just like it in Delhaven. There was a bed, a small table, a chair, and a chamber pot in the corner. On the table was a bowl for washing and a pitcher filled with water.
Hilda skirted the bed and sat down on the chair. Rooso leaned against the door and looked at her. She must have given away her suspicions because Rooso sighed. She was at a disadvantage by sitting so she decided to make the first verbal attack.

“What are you doing here instead of by my sister’s side in Delhaven?”

His face went from smiles to no expression at all. Hilda looked at the change in his face and didn’t say a word. He finally spoke, “She threw me out.”

Hilda lifted an eyebrow, waiting for him to finish his explanation. He closed his mouth.

“So what did you do?” She asked him. Rooso had always been a devil-may-care creature and general troublemaker when he was drinking at her inn. He was good for a laugh and really good for a bar fight. But when she had seen the two of them together, she had had that feeling that they were bonded for life. He was the jester to Mistress Mary Rose’s serious approach to life.

His faced switched to the smiling rogue that Hilda knew well. “She just got tired of me.”

Hilda’s suspicions didn’t just knock, they roared into her mind. “What the hell did you do?”

Then Hilda looked, really looked at him and the colors swirling around him. There was a black net that covered him. The red sparks leaped through the net. He couldn’t tell her what he was doing … she would have to guess. The black net kept him from speaking the the truth so he would have to talk around it.

“I came back to talk to you, Hilda,” he said patiently. Of course he did. She was probably the only one who could help him. “Or Michael,” he continued.

Why did he have a black net restraining him? He may have been punished for his illegal activities. This man did have a high degree in deviltry and thieving. He loved to gamble, drink, and carouse. Maybe he went awry with a mage and the mage placed that net around his aura.
She looked closer. Instead of a net, it looked like his aura had punched holes in a black shield.
She shifted a little to ease her back muscles. They tended to stiffen if she sat too long. For a moment she thought longingly of that horse liniment Davi had kept in his pack. She’d have to ask him for the ingredients.
Her attention came back to Rooso, when he said with frustration, “Are you listening to me?”
“Have you been to prison?” She asked. She watched carefully for a flinch or something that would corroborate her suspicions. He smiled at her quickly—showing his teeth. That had hit, but not the way she thought. A prison that is not a prison. And then she knew.

“You’re a spy.” She looked down at her fingers and flicked them. “For who?”

When he opened his mouth, he froze and couldn’t move or speak. Only his eyes moved and expressed his fear. The black net still had power over him. She touched it with her hand. It felt black and slimy. So it was not helpful magic.

Sassy climbed on her shoulder and looked at it. “It’s black magic.” Sassy said, and then she hid under Hilda’s hair.

Hilda touched a bit of the black net over his mouth and ripped it away with her fingers. She could see it was the blackness was in and out of this world. It was holding Rooso in such a way that he would not be able to speak or move until the mage who cast the spell released him or she did.

“I’d leave you here and get Michael.” When she said that, Rooso tried to shout. “But then I am sure someone would pick you up like a parcel. You probably wouldn’t survive.”

Hilda picked at the net. She carefully settled little sparks of fire on the net until it finally found the weak points and it broke open. Where the points of fire had eaten through the net, Rooso had little burns on his face and arms.

When he could speak, he said, “We need to get out of here. Someone is coming.”

But then it was too late. Hilda could hear the footsteps of the guards as they climbed the stairs. There was only one way out. She looked out the only window They could drop down, but she would end up with a broken leg. She pulled out a knife, said a battle prayer, and prepared to die.