Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this Tale Weaver’s Prompt based on the figure of death. Emily Dickinson’s poem “I could not stop for Death” and John Donne’s Holy Sonnet – “Death Be Not Proud” seem to say exactly what needs to be said for me on the prompt. And whatever I do, I can’t think of something I could say better than these poets due regardimg the personification of death. Please enjoy!
Leisbeth crooned to her pet dragon, Brand. She had raised him from when he was nothing but a babe, pushing his way out of his golden egg.
Brand would never be a huge dragon, but he was worth a lot of money to many people. His scales, his wings, and his teeth were valuable so Leisbeth protected him. She cared for his wounds from hunting for large animals and after locals injured him.
Despite being gentle, Leisbeth could be fierce. She knew she was fragile, but she possessed a gift, sorcery not even Brand knew she possessed.
In turn, Brand was Leisbeth’s protector. He knew she was a soft woman, her voice small and melodic. Her hands uncalloused and her long blond hair shiny and flowing. All these traits of beauty put her in danger.
She knew nothing of the cruel world, that men spilled blood, both dragon and human for small amounts of silver. Brand still remembered the screams of his dragon parents slaughtered, as he fought his way from his golden egg. He was tiny then, but he remembered their terrified roars.
However, Liesbeth had saved him so they would always be together. Brand would protect her inherit gentleness while she would guard him with her magic. Those who would hurt her intelligent companion would regret it.
To Leisbeth, Brand was her friend who in private, loved to be held and stroked. Both their abilities would keep the other alive for thousands of years.
I’m going to continue with my one of my Tale Weaver prompts with a modern rendition of Red Riding Hood with the main character, Red, who has just met Axel.J. Wolff or ‘Wolff’ in her grandmother’s house. Wolff is house-sitting for grandma Addy who is in Hawaii with Wolff’s Grandpa Reggie. Things were heating up for them at the end, I wonder what will happen when they get to the park?
She shouldn’t have run but that’s what she did. Wolff offered her his hand and invited her to keep him company and she panicked.
“The rest of the food is in the fridge,” she said ignoring Wolff’s outstretched hand. She turned towards Gran Addy’s bedroom door before Wolff could capture her hands again.
He was gorgeous with shamrock green eyes and tanned skin, probably from being out on the golf course but well, who was she to judge. She had had to learn to golf for work herself but instead of tanning her fair skin on the he course, her skinned often burned.
Red was alarmed she didn’t want to resist Wolff. He had gazed at her as if she were prey, looking her up and down as she found herself caught betweeen him and freedom through Gran’s bedroom door. He had licked his lips and stretched his arms above his head.
As if Red, wouldn’t notice his taut muscles and the pleased grin on his face. His teeth showed as he grinned as if Wolff thought she would give into him like weak prey. But Red wasn’t weak. No one had called her that for a long time. Red was strong. She was first in her class at Columbia and the best young associate at her firm.
Just the same, when Wolff asked Red to stay she backed up and tripped over her flats caught on the carpet. Then, getting up before Wolff could help her, she took off out the front door towards the safety of her red Coralla.
As she drove off, Red saw Wolff leaning against her grandmother’s front door, smiling at her. There was no doubt his gaze was predatory.
Thick lust and heat coursed through her veins as she backed up her car trying to force herself to calm down. Wolff waved and Red’s tires squeeled as she took off down the gravel road towards her family’s summer cottage and safety.
When Red walked in the cottage her mom appeared surprised to see her, “Gina? I’m surprised you’re home so early. Your Grandma called and said you were having a wonderful time with Reggie’s Grandson Wolff. I thought you’d be a while,” Anne said raising her eyebrows.
“Um, he’s fine. Wolff appreciated the food.”
Then Red got mad, “You should’ve told me Grandma Addy was in Hawaii with Reggie. Wolff scared the h*ll out of me. I didn’t know what he was doing in Gran’s bedroom.”
“Oh, Gran said she had the biggest bedroom. Reggie and she are gone for three months so she felt Wolff should have the biggest room in her house. She bought some manly bedding and packed away her old trinkets. He’s been so good to your Gran and Reggie.”
“You should have said something. I hate being surpised like that. I almost screamed bloody murder. I don’t need you or Gran to set me up like that. I’m a single girl and I like it.”
Red’s mom chuckled, “Most unattached women say that until they meet a great guy. Axel has his demons behind him and needs to settle down. Well, that’s what your Gran and Reggie said. It was their idea for you to bring him food. I thought it was a great one, ” Anne said winking.
Red stomped her foot, ” I get to choose who I want to date or meet. I mean, he was half naked in Gran’s room. Who does he think he is trying to shut me up before I tell him to get out? He shouldn’t be in there, doesn’t matter what Gran Addy thinks. Doesn’t he have a job and his own place?”
Anne chuckled again, ” He was half naked, eh? I would’ve loved to have seen that. I’ve seen Axel on the beach a few times and that man works out. Such intense green eyes, an Irish background, a hot body, and helpful to his Grandpa, sounds sexy to me. If I was a bit younger, I’d go for him.”
“Mom!” Red said shocked.
“He likes you, you know?”
“Does not. He doesn’t even know me.He just wants what ‘all ‘guys want.”
‘Did he ask you to stay?”
“Yeah, he did. But I panicked. I never panick. I’m cool under pressure. That’s why I’m good at my job,” Red said confused.
“You ran, didn’t you? Took off like Little Red Riding Hood being chased by the big bad ‘Wolff?” Anne said laughing a her joke.
“I did. Not quite like that though. How did you know?”
“You look anxious and I know you well. What did you think was going to happen?” Anne said enjoying teasing her daughter.
“Stop it, mom. I can’t handle a guy like Wolff now. Too hungry, the kind of guy who wants too much. I’ve plenty of options in the city.”
“Yet, you don’t date much,” Anne murmered.
Red stomped her food again, “I’m fine. I’m going to bed. Don’t bother with breakfast for me tomorrow. I’m going for a run in the park when I wake up, a long one.”
Anne chuckled,”I’d be careful if I were you. Axel Wolff likes to run in the park in the mornings too.”
“Well, I’ll go running tonight then. The sun’s up for a few more hours.”
“Red, don’t go. You’re all worked up for no reason and you haven’t had dinner, have you?”
“No, I’m fine. I’ll eat after I’m back.”
Red left the family cottage slamming the back door. She changed into her running clothes in her car and made a beeline for the park a few blocks away. When she was half-way down one paved trail she stopped abruptly.
Wolff was sitting on a park bench in his own running clothes. He had taken his shirt off, and Red could see his fascinating tattoos. She wondered what they were images of and what they meant.
Her eyes were glued to Wolff, wiping the sweat off his body with a towel. For some reason, her mouth was dry. She felt heat flowing through her veins again. It was an overpowering sensation.
Shaking her head, Red noticed she had stopped running entranced by Wolff’s body and shamrock green eyes. He gazed up at her and stared.
Wolff’s lips curled into a half-smile, “Surprised to see you here?”
“What are ‘you’ doing here?” Red asked instead.
“Had to wear off supper. But I’m hungry again. Did you come to help me with that?”
“Not really. But . . . ”
Wolff cut her off, “You do have big eyes, Red. They’re beautiful and so are you. Sit, talk with me.”
Red was ready to run but then Wolff was in front of her as in Gran Addy’s room. He grasped her wrist gently. Red could tell he wasn’t afraid of confrontation. For some reason he made her feel okay with backing down. No other guy did that.
She pulled and tugged but Wolff wouldn’t let her wrist go. She was disgusted with herself for not smacking his amused face.
“You, you just want to eat me up with your big teeth,” she said fumbling to find words.
Wolff laughed, “It’s not my teeth you should be worried about.”
Red tried pulled away from Wolff again. By then, Wolff had guided her to the park bench without her realizing it. Putting on his shirt back on he turned to her. He still grasped her same wrist and hand gently, “So, tell me something Red?”
Red’s eyes dilated, growing larger and bluer. Wolff stroked her cheek with his other hand.
Red was tired, worn out from helping her mother clean up the summer cottage. They had scrubbed it from top to bottom. Now that Red and her mother, Anne, were nearly done, all Red wanted to do was sit back and watch a movie with a bottle of her favourite ‘Red’ — a nice Cab-Sav or a Merlot.
Then, her mom appeared with a picnic basket, “Gina, I know you’re tired and we’ve been working all day, but I need you to take this basket of food down to your Grandma Addy’s house. She’ll be upset if one of us doesn’t at least pop by for an hour or two to visit.”
Red crossed her arms, “Mom, all I want to do is put my feet up and rest. I came out here to relax with you, Dad, and Michael, not to work even harder than I do at the firm. Besides, no one calls me Gina, just you. Call my Red that’s my name , like my hair.”
“Well who do you think your beautiful hair came from? My mother, your Gran Adeline of course. I know you’re worn out but you’re younger and have my energy than I do. I still have to change the sheets and air out the upstairs bedrooms for your father and I, and your brother’s room needs new bedding as well.”
“Make him do it.”
“Mike won’t care. I can’t have his room that way.”
Red grumbled, “Grandma’s a fantastic cook, mom. She makes amazing food for herself. She eats whatever she likes and doesn’t have diabeties even at eighty-three. How about I give her a call and tell her I’ll come by with lunch tomorrow? She’ll prefer I call before showing up,” Red reasoned.
“Err, Red, your Grandma isn’t always as healthy as she likes to think she is. I was down here earlier this year because she hadn’t been able to cook and do a lot of her usual activities. Her arthritis has been acting up. It’s not healthy for her to be too thin at her age and she refuses to take the steroids the doctor prescribed her. She needs the food tonight. I called her and she told me she’s been eating toast and jam for days.”
Red was shocked, “You should have said something earlier, I would have visited Gran Addy before now.”
Anne shrugged in apology and Red gave her mother an angry look tbefore stockng out the front door to her Camry. It was red like her hair and practical. Red was nothing if not practical. It was why she was one of the best associates at her law firm.
She drove as fast as she could down the dirt road to her Grandma’s quaint house. Red gritted her teeth as stones assaulted the sides of her car and sighed in relief when she reached her Grandmother’s front drive and bungalow.
She picked up the picnic basket from her back seat and knocked on her Grandma’s aubergine front door. “Gran, are you there? It’s Red, I have food mom made for you. It ‘s delicious and should tide you over for a few days. I can bring more when I’m over next,” she yelled through the door.
Red didn’t hear a response so she tried the door handle. When the front door opened easily Red grew cautious. She walked inside her grandmother’s front entrance, hanging up her vermillion jacket on a coat hook and putting most of the food away in her gran’s fridge. She put together a plate of chicken, potatoes, gravy, and cauliflower with cheese sauce for her grandma before heating the food in the microwave for a few minutes.
“Adeline?” Red called. “Grandma Addy? I have supper for you from my my mom. It’s Red, Grandma? Are you okay?”
She walked down the hallway and knocked on her grandma’s bedroom door holding the tray with the steaming plate of food and a cup of her gran’s favourite tea. The door swung open on its own and Red realized her Grandma Addy wasn’t in her bedroom. But who was?
Red shrieked when a half naked man came into view stretching his well defined arms and back in front of her grandma’s picture window. The man was covered with intricate tattoos, designs trailing up his well toned arms and back.
He seemed to know she was there and when he turned around Red almost drooled noticing the attractive man’s six-pack abs and mesmerizing shamrock eyes. She had to close her own cerulean eyes to gather herself and not clumsily drop the tray of food. Red felt her grip wobbling as she tried to breath.
The gorgeous tattoo covered man rushed forward to help her. Red noticed his dark hair and inhaled his fresh woodsy scent as he grasped the tray from Red’s shaking hands.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“No! No I am not. What the Hell are you doing in my Grandma’s bedroom? Where is she? My mom sent me over here to bring her food. All she’s been doing is eating toast all week. So where is she? And who are?” Red yelled.
The man tried to calm her rubbing her arms and hushing her. Red didn’t back down, “You have five seconds before I call the police and tell them you’re trespassing in my Grandma’s home. Guess what else? I’m a lawyer so I’m going to make sure we sue you for trespassing and anything else I can.”
The man sighed shaking his head at Red. She followed him to her Gran’s writing desk, tray in hand. His handsome face crinkled as he gave her a genuine smile and took the tray from her. Red started to shout again but the man placed his hand over Red’s mouth.
“Just give me five minutes. I’ll clear this all up.”
Red wrinkled her nose and grasping his hand over her mouth, threw it away from her.
Then his hand was back over her mouth, “Okay, Miss lawyer. My name is Wolff, Axel J. Wolff. But everyone calls me Wolff. Your Grandma asked me to house-sit while she and my grandpa Reggie went to Hawaii. They used to go out before both of them married their respective spouses. But now your Grandpa and my Nana have died so Addy and Reggie are both enjoying life together. I’m not trespassing and your Grandma did call your mom to tell her to send you over with food for me. I’m pretty sure she wanted us to meet.”
Wolff smiled then picked up the fork from the tray and started eating. “This is amazing. Not as good as Addy’s cooking but much better than my own. Did you make it?”
All Red could do was stare at Wolff suspiciously. Something about what he said didn’t add up. Her Grandma always told her if she was going away. She would’ve mentioned something on their twice weekly phone calls.
“Wolff,” Addy said. “If your Grandpa Reggie lives here, how come I don’t know you? My family’s summer cottage is not far from here on the lake and I remember your Grandpa and even your Dad here in the summer. But I don’t remember you?”
“All the children and grandchildren came down here in the summer for at least a few weeks. I would remember you were Reggie’s grandson. Your Grandpa always gave me twizzlers, but I don’t recall you for some reason, why is that?”
The back of Wolf’s free hand grazed Red’s cheek. He smiled at her taking in her sweet appearance with a predatoral gaze. His eyes swept her face and down her body several times. Red felt her body flush responding to the hunger in his eyes. She couldn’t help but admire his fit body and perfectly structured face. Red bit her lip and Wolff echoed her reaction to him.
” I saw you a few times growing up. You’re around ten years younger than me so that’s probably why you wouldn’t have seen me. Beside, most of the time I was away at military school and then I was in the marines for a while. We didn’t get much of a summer break.”
Wolff set the tray aside and stared into Red’s dazed eyes, “What big eyes you have, Gina. Do you believe me? About Addy and Reggie?
“My name’s Red. Has been since I was eight. I hate Gina. I believe you but how’d you know my real name?”
“Addy of course. Red, would you like to keep me company?” His eyes travelled down her body and up to her mouth, devouring her as he went.
“Whose the one with big eyes now?” Red asked.
“The better to see you with,” Wolff replied.
” I don’t know if I believe a word out of your mouth,” Red said observing Wolff with careful curiosity.
Then his shamrock eyes glimmered and he held out his hand to Red. His smile was indeed wolffish and Red’s pulse raced as he took her small hand in his own.
Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this Tale Weavers writing prompt. Today’s prompt is to write making sense of ‘Nonsense’ and use the word flamhsures in a poem or story as a verb or a noun.
Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie – Michael
“You can’t go to school with your flamhsures showing,” Mina told her young son Todd.
He looked at her and rolled his eyes. For an eight-year old he had become too cool for his parents. It seemed to Mina that kids were growing up so fast these days and that it was a shame they were.
Mina watched Todd from the front door as he walked to bus to attend third grade. She sighed knowimg how embarrassed Todd would be as his flamhsures were still visible.
She knew the other kids would make fun of Todd at school for this so Mina quickly walked to the end of her driveway yelling: “Todd come back here a moment. I need to ask you something.”
Todd turned his head a moment and rolled his eyes at Mina. She dreaded the day that lay before him. She knew Todd arrive home upset and tearful. Mina wondered if he would still let her comfort him or if he would run to his room and yell at her after his bad day.
In some ways he was no different than his father Thomas when he was in a bad mood. Mina loved her husband but when he was upset he could be cold and distant. She was afraid that their eight-year old had inherited these traits as opposed to Thomas’s better traits. He was a good Dad and a good husband but just as Mina, Thomas had his faults too.
When he dropped by home to have lunch with her Thomas excitedly told her about his newest project as an architect and she told him about the latest painting she had been commissioned to do. She also mentioned Todd and his flamhsures showing.
Thomas smiled, “Todd’s a big boy. He’s almost nine and he has to learn somethings for himself. He may have a terrible day because he didn’t listen to his mother but tomorrow he’ll know better because he’ll have learned.”
Mina sighed covering her face with her hands, “It’s difficult to think of him as more than the little guy he was such a short while ago. He is still so young and it bothers me that that kids can be so mean to others kids.”
Thomas comforted Mina holding her close and kissing her softly before heading out the door and back to work. Mina watched Thomas leave, perturbed when she saw his flamhsures were visible too. He didn’t hear her call out as he was already on his phone and back in work mode.
When Todd came home from school he ran in the door smiling. Mina approached talking to him with care, “It looks like you had a good day Todd? What did you do at school today?”
Todd rolled his eyes, “Oh the usual. Some math, some writing, gym, and recess. We played soccer at recess I like playing soccer.”
“That’s good maybe you want to play in the spring and summer again?”
“Maybe,” Todd says shrugging. “Can I have a snack? Some cookies?”
“Only if you have some fruit with your cookies. Did anything bad happen today, Todd?”
“Not really, Mom.”
“Well, I was just wondering because when I called you back from the bus it was because your flamhsures were still showing and I didn’t want you to be embarrassed at school.”
Todd giggled, “Well I didn’t really notice but then some girl pointed it out and I thought I would get made fun of but then two other boys said their flamhsures were showing too and everyone laughed. Then all the boys made their flamhsures show and we all decided to play soccer.”
Mina giggled, “Well I’m happy to hear that. Let’s hope your father has a similar good story. He came home for lunch and his flamhsures were visible too as he went back to work. Let’s hope he isn’t embarrassed either.”
Todd laughed eating his cookie, “Things like that don’t bother men, Mom. Look at me I’m a man and I survived. Dad will be good too.”
Mina tried to hold back her laughter, “So you’re a man now? Not my little guy, even at home?”
He walked through the frozen world elated. The trees were silent and still as ice coated their needles. He was satisfied with what he saw, with winter’s permanent hold on this world. He preferred the isolation and tranquility he found in blizzards that howled and the quietness of a world blanked in thickness of snow afterwards.
Every day he walked through his Winter Wonderland satisfied that it’s inhabitants remained mostly indoors, only venturing outside when they had to. Life was a vicious battle for survival here and he was proud to have been the one who initiated this struggle.
Then one morning he walked outside and heard the triumphant roar of a lion; he shivered in fear. He had not heard that roar for milannias. It was the roar that had silenced his mother, that belonged to the beast who ripped out her throat. He felt overly warm, used to frigid cold, feeling furious when he saw that overnight the pine needles of the trees had been freed from their ice cage. The lion roared again and the white prince ran.
Wonderland had been a delight for Alice. It always was, but she expected that when she returned to the real world, she would come back as herself — her correct size.
Instead, Alice stepped through the looking glass as her regular 5’7″ height and found herself the size of one her mothers miniature ornamental figurines. Moreover, when she had taken a few steps she found herself falling from a tremedous height before making a great splash in what she discovered was a tepid cup of green tea.
She didn’t recognize the face of the sullen man who was drinking from her mother’s rose china teacups. His hands surrounded the cup Alice was in and he hadn’t even realized when she landed in his tea, sloshing it all over his hands.
Alice was soaked and feeling warm, the tea wasn’t as tepid as she thought. The man sighed and she heard her mother’s booming voice talking to the man about some cause she was recruiting donations for.
She screamed shrilly as the man lifted the cup to his mouth, struggling in the water and flailing her tiny arms. The man didn’t see Alice and as she continued screaming, the cup moved closer to the man’s mouth. As tea surrounded Alice covering her head, she had no choice but to bite the man’s lip. She sunk her teeth into his flesh, biting as viciously as she could with her minature teeth.
The man gasped, suddenly in pain. Blood dripped from his lip where Alice had bit him. The tea and teacup flew out of his hand in surprise and Alice was flung out into the living room landing beside her mother on the couch.
Her mother gazed at Alice with wide blue eyes before gently stroking Alice’s soaking body with her pinky finger.