Tuesday Snippet

Since it is May, it is time to turn over a new leaf– Plus now that I am starting this month with a clear head, it’s time to write.

I’m leaving you with a snippet from one of my WIPs – Unlicensed Sorceress.

Delhaven
Rooso Derne
Rooso woke, soft silk comforter wrapped around him. He reached to his left to give Mistress Mary Rose a deep kiss. The dip in the bed where she had slept beside him was already cold. The sheer pink fabric draped across the four posts shivered as he put his feet on the cold floor.

She was not standing at the window looking down at the gardens. She was not washing her face with the water left in the basin. She rose early most days to keep her little kingdom of whores and thieves in line. He pulled on his pants and went in search of her.

“You are a charming rogue,” whispered Mistress Mary Rose as he strutted into the parlor so she could appreciate his beauty. His red auburn hair flowed down his bare back. His skin was ivory and freckled. He had the slim build of a runner with enough muscles that he would be deadly with in a fight. He knew she wanted him and he wanted her.

Her words stopped him. Did she suspect? Rooso gave her a smile with all teeth and she gave him the same smile back. His hands trembled as he poured a shot of whiskey that was on the cherry liquor cabinet. He knocked it back, then turned to face her.

“You are a spy.” The tone of her voice told him that she hadn’t believed it until then. He wanted to pour another shot, but he needed to be steady for this conversation.

“Mary Rose,” he started. “I don’t know what you are so upset about. You should be used to spies by now.” And yes, she had her own spy network in Delhaven. Whether she used that intel or passed it on, he didn’t know. He did know that his masters wanted more information on her.

It was then that he noticed her burning eyes. She wasn’t as complacent about his profession as she had sounded at first. She rustled as she picked up her skirts and got off the soft couch. She walked deliberately towards him, lifted her hand, and slapped him hard across the cheek.

“Out,” she said. Her voice froze something inside of him. Her actions this morning was opposite from the night before when she had washed him and held him.

“Please,” he could hear the shock creeping into his voice. “Please listen to me.” He wanted to tell her, but all these things he wanted to tell her were locked magically in his head. It was frustrating as he tried to force words past his lips.

“You were seen with my enemies.”

The cockiness slipped out of him. “What?”

“Manny,” she called. The butler was at the door, “Make sure that Rooso is out of here today. I don’t want to see him again.”

Rooso was still in shock when Manny cocked his head and said, “Sir. Follow me?”

Rooso’s clothes were already in a large bag sitting near the front door. He had been blindsided.

Manny deftly took the shot glass out of his hand as he walked Rooso out the door. Manny handed him a cape to cover his half-nakedness. Manny watched him as he pulled on his boots. Then he politely opened the door and Rooso had his bag was on the front lawn.

He wanted to rage and kick the door. He wanted to march into the house and give Mistress Mary Rose his side of the story. But how could he? His lips were magically sealed. It would just be the same as before.

Instead he picked up the bag, swung it over his shoulder, and trudged down the carriage path that lead away from her. Grown men didn’t cry, but their eyes did get dusty.
He didn’t look back.

Instead of using stealth to get to the safe house in the middle of the city, he marched straight there. Mistress Mary, heck, maybe the entire city, knew he was a spy. She was hurt enough that she might send someone after him to kick his ass. He felt a burning in his throat and a roiling in his stomach. He ignored it.

His red hair shone in the early morning light and he didn’t care. Track me. Give me my deserved beating. He wished he had told her before. Now any trust that he had developed between them was gone. He hadn’t known that Mistress Mary would be the woman to force him into submission. He had laughed and left dozens of women. He didn’t want to leave her.

He gasped on the cold air. It seeped into his cloak and against his chest. He shivered. As his ears and nose numbed from the cold, he reached the wooden doorway leading to the safe house. He knocked loudly on the door. After a moment, the peephole opened.

Without a word from the guard, the door opened. Rooso marched through. A young man led him to a room filled with books and a hearty fire in a fireplace against the wall. He was left alone. A wooden chair made from oak and carved with magic symbols invited him to sit.

Rooso inspected the symbols. As he waved his hand over the carvings, he felt no power coming from them. Feeling a little relieved, he sat down. His bag plunked on the wooden floor. Mistress Mary Rose must have packed all of his weapons into the bag.

“Rooso,” said a voice that made his nerves jump. “For a spy, you fail spectacularly.”

Rooso tried to turn his head. It was then that the power in the carvings in the wooden chair took over. He was bound to the chair and couldn’t turn his head left or right. He stared straight ahead.

“Speak,” said the voice. The person stayed behind him so that Rooso didn’t see him.

Rooso bit his lips. He held his mouth tight. He felt an uncontrollable urge to speak, to explain why he had not fulfilled his mission. He resisted. He tried to move his arms and legs. Then he tried to move his fingers and toes. If he could just move a finger, then he could break the spell that held him.

He continued to fight, but when he tried to breathe his mouth opened. The magician behind him laughed. Rooso had failed to beat the spell.

“She knows.” Rooso finally said. He tried to stop babbling, but that one breath forced the rest out of him. “She has spies.”

He was going to speak anyway so he tried to divert the words coming out of his mouth. He wouldn’t talk about the dragon or Hilda. He wouldn’t skirt talk about the black magician who had made a Dragur. Nor could he reveal that he had helped seal the well at Hilda’s Inn.

If this magician suspected he wasn’t telling everything, he would use force. This type of force was the blackest of all magics. He could feel the waves of enjoyment coming from his captor.

Then Rooso’s voice changed and he went from babbling to placidity. He felt his eyes droop. He talked of other missions where he had been a sailor. He talked of waves, oceans and sails. He talked of the depths of the ocean and of drowning.

The magician tried to redirect him, but he was lost lost lost in the deep ocean. He fell into the depths of his unconscious and was gone.

 

 Monsters, Inc.

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Monday, Monday

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Free from Pixabay

I haven’t dared to turn on the TV this morning because I finally have a clear brain and don’t want it cluttered with angry political rhetoric. So instead of listening to the weather attached to “news,” I am listening to my writing music as my little dog, Foxy, sits at my feet.

In my last post I talked about having low blood pressure and as I changed my meds, my brain started to come back online.  At this point I am trying to break a few of my obsessive habits that formed when my mind wasn’t clear. One of those things is to sit in my over-stuffed rocking chair, and play games on my Kindle Fire. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a break after my writing routines. But, after my walk in the morning, I try to catch my breath. My brain is still foggy so I just reach for the Kindle and then turn on the TV. Then that is the end of my day.

So today and maybe the next month, I am breaking the habit of turning on the TV first thing in the morning.

Until I was sick the first time, I saw myself as three separate parts– body, mind, and spirit. I thought of myself as my mind. Then the first time, I was on a serious chemo drug I found that when my body wasn’t well, then my mind wasn’t well. Logically I knew this, but in my heart– I was my mind. It took me many months after I was taken off that chemo and put on a gentler drug to recuperate. It was hard for me to admit that I would never be the same.

The meds that I take to keep my immune system and kidneys under control feel like a huge bear paw that holds my mind down. When low blood pressure is in the mix, I’m amazed that I remember to walk, talk and eat.

My conclusion is that there is no separation of mind, body, and spirit. If any of these components are sick, then the whole becomes sick.

The scary thing is– if I could see when my body was sick enough to affect my mind, then I could stop it. But being the one in the middle of it, I cannot. I knew something was wrong because I couldn’t remember words. They slipped away from me into the void. I started to become disconnected.

It was so subtle.

I am grateful for a doctor that saw something not quite right. My kidneys cannot operate well if my blood pressure is too low. In my experience, if my kidneys are not working properly, then I lose my ability to reason and think.

I am grateful that she brought it to my attention so that I could fix it.

Lethargy and slothfulness

img_0345 The last few weeks I have been in the middle of a few doctor experiments. I was pretty stable until my endocrinologist introduced me to Zetia.

Normally when you have high cholesterol, you are offered a Statin drug. About fifteen years ago, I was put on a Statin and my liver proteins went high in 30 days. Since I also have kidney problems, the doctor backed off on “how good” a Statin would be for my health.

So I am in the 1 percent of the population that can’t use Statins. The Zetia was supposed to help. It did drop my cholesterol quickly, but it also caused some digestive problems– i.e. diarrhea with constant severe stomach pain. It appears I am also in the 1 percent when it comes to Zetia.

I think– and can’t prove– but losing that much cholesterol so quickly, my blood pressure dropped. I was on two blood pressure medications that had been keeping me stable. With this change in my body structure I dropped low enough that my nephrologist, kidney doctor, was concerned. She asked if I was dizzy. I don’t get dizzy normally– but I do get headaches and brain fog.

With the low blood pressure, I was thirsty, hurt, and cramped a lot in my legs and feet. Also I was losing interesting in everything including my writing. I just couldn’t concentrate on the screen without needing to lie down.

I knew there was something wrong with my attention span. I thought it was because I was bored and wanted to do something different.

Today, I learned an important lesson. When I am losing my interest in writing or reading, then there is something very wrong with my health. In this case, I am in the process with my doctors in adjusting my blood pressure medication.

My blood pressure was still too low when I woke up this morning. However it was higher than it has been in a few days. My dog and I took our morning walk and I was singing just a little.

A Tuesday Snippet

My muse called today. She said I hadn’t done a story in the “Green Knight Terraforming Company” for a long time. I really did my best to remind her that I had three projects that I have been procrastinating with and I didn’t need a fourth.

In a calm voice with precise inflection, I was made aware that if I didn’t write on the GKTC story that I would be in that nomad’s land of no writing for quite awhile. Dammit. I hate it when I am blackmailed like that.

And just to get me into the proper mood of writing in this world, here is a snippet from the first story that started my space traveling terraforming human tech as a troubleshooter from hell.

The Green Knight Terraforming Company

The super-white flying van with the green logo, The Green Knight Terraforming Company, zipped over the tree and landed on pavement in front of a large warehouse. I stepped out of the van, wearing my company clothes—khaki trousers, white polo shirt with a green knight logo on the pocket.

A short, dwarfish wrinkled humanoid waited for me to reach the warehouse. As soon as I reached smelling distance, a strong cheese-like smell, wafted from the humanoid. I pressed a button to turn off my smeller. At the same time the brie taste disappeared from my mouth. I coughed and little and strode toward the humanoid.

“Zrkaffv, thsst prrrtt,” the humanoid started speaking. I assumed it was male although it was fully clothed because of the low voice. Once again I adjusted a knob next to my ear so that my translator worm would work. At the end of the knob, a small hammer knocked the worm into the right dialect.

The humanoid began speaking again and I almost wished I couldn’t understand it. “You’re terraforming didn’t work,” he whined.

“What do you mean it didn’t work?” I looked around at the trees around the parking lot and warehouse. The trees were earth-like. Roses twined around trellises attached to the building, and birds were chirping in the distance. Our motto “You travel the stars; we make you feel at home” seemed to be working in this case. I checked a line on my checklist.

Just to make sure that I was right and the customer, in this case a brie-smelly humanoid was wrong, I glanced at the grass, the flowers, the trees, and the rest of the terraformed area. It looked right, it sounded right, and when my nose was on, it even smelled right so what was the problem?

“Touch the grass,” said the humanoid.

From his expression of dissatisfaction, I assumed the worst. Even so I reached down to touch the blue-green grass. Two grasses grew long, grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the ground. I tried to break away, but the grasses began to grow around my legs, my chest, and my arms. It felt like steel bands holding me there.

“That’s what’s wrong.” I wished I could shut down the humanoid’s voice. He continued, “I lost a lot of workers to that cannibal grass when they tried to trim it.” I could almost hear him smirk.

You can find the rest of this story here: The Green Knight Terraforming Company (GKTC tales)

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My lying eyes

cynnavy If you’ve read anything about me, you already know that I was in the US Navy between 1988-1994. I went to boot camp in Orlando, Florida and then went to Pensacola, Florida for my rate training as a CTM, which meant I was an electronics technician with a security clearance.

This is a me after I was frocked. Frocking means that you get the rank before you get paid. In my case it was six months later.

I was at the NTTC Corry Station, Pensacola Florida for training when the “Lee Mirecki incident” occurred. Pensacola was flooded with journalists after the incident. I was a lowly E-1 at the time (Seaman) and we were told by our leaders that someone had drowned during his rescue training. We were also told that we could be waylaid by journalists outside the base.

Our only response to the journalists would be “no comment.” If we even expressed our opinions about the incident and it was printed or broadcasted that there would be consequences. At that time we understood consequences. We had gone through classes where they told us outright the worst things that could happen to us if we let slip any classified material. It was considered just short of treason.

Luckily for me I was never cornered by a young earnest journalist, looking for the ins and outs of a good story.

 

I don’t have an opinion now. I’ve never been through that training so I don’t know if what they did to that young man was justified. I don’t know if those involved were punished. I’m sure they were. Having been in the Navy, the Uniform Code of Military Justice has a lot of ways these men could have been punished short of a Court Martial.

We live in a world that has so much information. We have to spend most of our time shifting what we see and hear on the news. Every piece of news and every piece of information is not pure, it is twisted by the person who reports or uses it.

After being in a classified area, I discount everything I see and hear going across the news. My lying eyes know that it is twisted to benefit someone else or some other cause. When I finally perceive the cause then I know a small portion of the truth.

Was this young man bullied? I don’t think Lee was bullied anymore than any shiny new recruit who was training in a difficult job. Were there mistakes made? Oh hell yes. I don’t excuse his death. And yes, it was one hell of a mistake.

My lying eyes know that this isn’t the first training mistake and death of a young man in a training incident. It won’t be the last. Just recently we lost a Thunderbird pilot to a crash in Nevada. The C.O. of that base is probably having each one of those planes checked thoroughly and the pilots and crews are going through extreme training right now. The tech who fixed his plane is probably shaking in his boots too.

The Army has had their share of training accidents as well. It is part of training for war.

I do see things differently since I was in uniform. Just so you know it is still a major part of my personality even now.

 

In the diner – an excerpt

red booth-1239002_1280

The bright chatter from nearby tables, the clanking of pans, and the sometimes crash of a plate swirled around me as I sank into a red-faux upholstered seat in the retro fifties diner.

The red and chrome jukebox in the corner playing, “Shar-reee, Shar-ar-ar-ree ba-aa-by. Sherry, baby” evoked my memories of sitting in this same seat and listening to this same song. I settled into the booth, my elbows on the table, as I breathed in the smells of sizzling bacon, eggs, and ham.

If I closed my eyes I would be home with my mother swaying in front of the stove to this very song. Her eyes bright and her lips curled into a smile as she flipped golden-brown pancakes onto a chipped china plate.

I’d hand it over to my greedy man, who would stuff cold butter between the pancakes and slather the tops with thick maple syrup. He would hum as he ate them.

One sniff and I was home.

A waitress swayed down aisle, tapping her feet to the beat of the music on the linoleum floor. A distinct chink and the music changed. The noise level surged and I drowned in it. I almost stood up and bolted from my seat, forgetting why I came here. There were too much noise and too many memories here for me.

The waitress in a ruffled apron was too young to read my panic. Her lip might have curled a bit at my torn jeans, too-large flannel shirt, and unbrushed dishwater hair.

“What are you ordering?” Her pen was posed over the order pad. The menu was next to my elbow. “Or should I come back?” Her voice was neutral as if she’d asked this question a hundred times that day.

“Give me a few,” I said after taking a deep breath. I hadn’t noticed until now that my hands were clamped onto the table and I was so, so cold. My knuckles went from white to light pink as I carefully relaxed my hands.

The waitress swayed to the next table. She asked the same questions of the small family sitting behind me.

My greedy man. I placed my phone on the metal table in front of me so that I looked busy. Then I closed my eyes and extended my awareness outward. The build-up of the energy of so many lives in this diner surged through me.

The images in my mind swirled and eddied until I could focus on one memory. It was of my greedy man when he pulled me into his arms and held me tightly at my mother’s funeral. I cried that day.

I sank into his memory once more, and smelled the fresh bread scent that seemed to come from him and only him. I needed no comfort food when he was here.

The noise, the smells, and the people faded from my awareness. I heard the deep rolling sounds of his voice, “Betty. Betty.”

I scrunched my eyes as tightly as I could. On the backs of my eyelids I saw his deep dark eyes, the same eyes that could see into my very essence. His brown silvered hair was longer than he used to wear it. I could smell him.

I opened my eyes hoping against hope that he would be sitting in front of me. Just one more time. The pain was as fresh as the day he left me, three years ago.

“Why?” I said aloud. My eyes were red and dry. The empty upholstered seat in front of me gave no answers.

He was gone. He would never come back.

He could never come back.

Sneezing to the spring hits

P1000016The rippling sound of mating calls fill my morning walks as I carefully not look into the the trees in case some poor bird the size of my hand will consider me a threat and dive bomb me.

It has happened before.

When I was in Japan, there was this tall electrical pole next to the sidewalk. We would walk this sidewalk to the cafeteria. When I was in a group, the raven would ignore me. But when I was alone, walking that same cement sidewalk, the raven would make an ugly caw and if I looked up I would see this huge ugly sharp beak aiming for my head.

So I watch the birds covertly as they sidle up to each other and talk about having nests, eggs, and eventually fledglings.

I think yesterday was the day the trees decided to release little flying sponges into the sky. It was yesterday that my eyes watered and the tears rolled down my cheeks. My nose clogged and I had to cough several times to clear my throat. Then I began the sneezing. The last sneeze started from my toes and caused my stomach muscles to clench. So yesterday I kept clutching the side of my stomach because I had a sprained muscle that tightened across my ribs.

I really like spring. It’s fun to watch. I just don’t enjoy being a part of the participation. The air is clogged with the love potions of flowers, bushes, and trees. So I’m taking another allergy pill and hoping I have less reactions to the spring hits.