Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: The Passing Of The Pocket-Watch #amwriting #flashfiction


Thank you to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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http://www.pixebay.com

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“I haven’t seen a watch like this in years. My great-grandfather had one . . . I was only a boy of seven and I remember sitting on his lap.” Edgar said.

“That’s nice Dad. You always tell me this story. It’s your watch now Dad, remember?” Tracy interrupted.

“No, it was Great-Grandpa Vern’s watch. I sat on his lap an he said I could have it when he died. He was eighty-four which was quite old for the time .  .  .” 

“Your Great-Grandpa did die Dad. A year later, he got the flu; you told me. You inherited his watch.” Tracy said.

“He died? I don’t remember him giving me the watch . . . But I suppose, since I have it — it’s my watch now. How old am I?” 

Tracy patted her Dad’s hand, “You’re ninty-seven Dad. You lived longer than your Dad or your Grandpa or your Great-Grandpa.” 

“Ninty-seven?” Edgar said surprised.

Tracy nodded.

“Time goes fast. When I die, best give the watch to your boy; the one with all the tattoos.” Edgar remarked, peering at Tracy. He didn’t know her, only knew she was his daughter because she visited. 

Edgar was shocked to realize he was ninty-seven. The watch would have to go to his only grandson.

There had to be productivity and hard work hidden in those tattoos somewhere.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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16. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Past and Future Plans.


Read Chapter 15 here.

Chapter 16: Talise’s Past  and Future Plans.

“I’m sorry to tell you this Auntie, but Ethan had a mistress whom he had eight children with,” Edgar told Talise. The news broke Talise and she wept.

” I have always loved Ethan deeply,” Talise told her nephews, ” I never questioned his ardor and his faithfulness. I’m certain Ethan loved me as much as I had loved him.”Simon was more sympathetic to Talise’s situation.

” It had nothing to do with you Auntie, not at all. Uncle Ethan told us he did not love his mistress, only the children he had with her. He didn’t feel right not carrying on his father’s legacy. He wanted a legacy of his own, (besides us). Those children are his immortality.” Simon begged Talise to understand.

” The children of Ethan’s mistress are bastards” Talise told Simon and Edgar. Both men shrugged and appeared uncomfortable.

“It’s the 1900’s now, Auntie. Uncle Ethan’s children will have a good chance to do well in life. He made sure they inherited from his shipping company. Some of them work for us. Don’t worry Edgar and I are the one’s who Uncle Ethan passed the company down to,” Simon said to Talise trying to calm her down.

“And of course, Auntie, Uncle Ethan left a third of his fortune to you his beloved wife. You are well taken care of Auntie Talise. We will make sure you want for nothing,” Edgar said trying to placate Talise.

Ethan had resembled many men Talise had heard about from her women friend’s gossip;  he had a second family on the side. Talise was angry with her nephews. She was enraged they hadn’t told her about Ethan’s mistress sooner. Edgar had tried to hide the fact he was laughing at her. He thought she was only acting as a silly old woman. As if Auntie Talise had any say in what Uncle Ethan did, Edgar thought. As he thought about his own wife.

Simon admitted to Talise,”we didn’t want to hurt you Auntie and neither did Uncle Ethan. You were his first and only love always. Ethan wasn’t perfect Auntie, I’m sorry.” Simon looked ashen. Talise had patted and kissed her nephews as she left them for the last time. She felt mostly responsible for Ethan’s decision to have a mistress so he could have have children. Talise couldn’t bear Ethan any children, so Ethan had looked elsewhere.


 

Talise faded away from her old life as Ethan’s widow when she transformed back into a beautiful young woman. She traveled the world, returning to the Sirene, having lived a human lifetime, and another lifetime experiencing the wonders of many lands.

She viewed the world disparagingly. She had seen the poverty of children, the world’s factories where people laboured endlessly, people’s wastefulness and destruction of the environment, and she had acquired a vast knowledge of men.

Talise never felt more than a passing affection for any man, next to Ethan. Throughout her long life she valued her magic and what she could do with it. She tried her best to help people in need but so many people needed a great deal of help. Talise didn’t have the power, nor did she care for spending her life bettering the world as Coralia — her Grandmother — had hoped Talise would.

More importantly, Talise wanted to be loved again. She didn’t want to feel she wasn’t woman enough because she could not have children. Thankfully, for Talise the modern world had arrived.

It was more than a hundred years since Ethan and her life with him in the Victorian age. It was the twenty-second century and woman were not required to have children in order to be judged a good wife or to be valuable in society. Feminism had arrived in the 1960’s and it was now 2008.

The city of Adare had grown in that time. The city become a booming metropolis only next to it’s rival city in British Columbia, Vancouver. The same beach Talise had met Ethan on  still existed, belonging to the owner’s of gigantic designer houses. Talise frequented the beach on her return to Adare. To her joy and relief, she had seen John Eric one day as she lay on a towel sunbathing. Talise’s lush body was in a sea green bikini, no repulsive wool bathing dress that she loathed.

“Well what have we here? A gorgeous woman sunbathing alone on the beach. I can’t have that,” John had said to Talise grinning.

“Well you could keep me company?” Talise had flirted with John, removing her sunglasses to flutter her eyelashes and showcase her jewel green eyes. John had looked stunned for a moment.

“What’s your name, beautiful girl?” John asked Talise. “My friends call me Tia, Tia Shell” Talise said arising and posing in her swimsuit as John shook her well-manicured hand seconds too long.

“I’m John Eric” John had told Talise. “Would you like to come up to my house for lunch? I’ve got some beer, wine, or I can make us some margaritas. I have some comfy furniture we can lie out on on the porch.” Talise had smiled at John and shaking off  the sand from her towel, followed John to his designer home where they had drank margaritas all afternoon and fallen into bed together.

Talise had an apartment of her own then and a job at a clothing boutique. She had many human friends and her mermaid friends in the Sirene. Twenty-five-year old John reminded her of Ethan but she had thought John’s face more honest. Because he was younger, she had thought John more malleable than Ethan. John was also a man from a different time in history, where many men did not mind if a woman took charge.

How wrong Talise was concerning John. John was enthralled with Talise and he was generous and exuberant in bed. But John had dreams for his career and was building a business. He loved Talise but had not considered her wife material. He couldn’t admit to his own brothers that he loved Talise. She had hated John for his betrayal as she hated the part of Ethan that had betrayed her. However, this time Talise could do something about being betrayed by a man she loved — she cursed John in a brooding rage.


 

Talise had not expected John to ever break the curse. She observed his life through the looking glass in her cave. Sometimes, she followed John and was near him when awful events occurred around him. Talise ensured these events kept happening. She wanted John to live his life regretting what he had done to Talise and always wishing he’d been wiser.

However, Talise had not expected for John to find a woman who could potentially end the curse. She had planned to return to John when he had come across Nina. Talise loved John still. She didn’t know why she loved John other then that he reminded her painfully of Ethan. She had hoped John would jump at the chance to have ‘Tia’ back. She dreamed John would apologize to her after all the suffering he had endured.

Instead, Talise found John enraptured and in love with a human woman called Nina. Talise had not despised Nina at first. She had sought Nina out attempting to save an unknowing woman from John’s curse. Talise hadn’t thought John would truly care about another woman within a week. Talise wasn’t pleased John was protecting Nina from his curse’s consequences, from Talise’s powerful magic.

Nina had refused to believe Talise’s warnings about John. Nina had become the competition and ended up preventing Talise from taking John back. She was destroying eight-years of Talise’s well-laid plans.

Nina had something Talise had never had, a sweetness and a powerful connection to John Talise had always hungered for. Ethan had been the only one Talise had felt this connection with. Talise had told herself she experienced the same connection with John. But when John had seen Talise at the farmer’s market he was truly appalled. He hated Talise for the curse she had cast on him. John was drawn to and cared for Nina and was protecting her with all his might.

Talise was furious with Nina for her interference, in Talise’s dreams. Talise wanted Nina dead. Talise had hoped a strong wind and a table to Nina’s head would do the trick. It hadn’t work and Talise had faded out of John and Nina’s life while she thought about how to deal with John’s new whore.

After consulting with sea witches who were into darker more dangerous magic, Talise decided she would kill Nina and she would take John’s heart. She would keep John’s heart in her secret cave in a clam. Without his heart, John would do what Talise desired him to do. She would control John and John would be Talise’s slave. For months, Talise had been stewing in her rage.

She had let John think his curse might be broken by not having horrible events occur as they had the past eight-years. Talise had waited until Nina healed. A hurricane was most dangerous when one thought they were safe, but really they were only in the eye of the storm. This metaphor applied to Talise who hadn’t even begun to take revenge on John and Nina. Talise felt this tremendous rage which had been brewing inside her for over two-hundred years. John was going to suffer for Ethan’s sins too, and Talise felt no pity for him.

Through the looking glass Talise saw Nina and John watching TV. She heard Nina’s plan to go out next Saturday, to gather her friend Rianne, and John’s brothers, to try to stop Talise — how quaint of Nina.

Talise was tired of loving men, who couldn’t be trusted. Ethan and John were both not faithful. It was hard for Talise to hold back tears of hurt and anger when she thought about them, especially Ethan.

Talise’s reaction to John would be different then her reaction to Ethan because John was still alive. Talise transformed her magic into something increasingly dominating, dark, and destructive. Talise became exactly what Coralia, her Grandmother, would have disavowed. She became an evil sea witch who would murder Nina and control John the rest of his life.

Please Read Chapter 17 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

15. How Was Last Night For You: Talise’s Past – The Beginning


Please read Chapter 14 here.

Chapter 15: Talise’s Past – The Beginning

Talise was fuming. She had never been this infuriated in her entire life, which was more than twice as long as any human had lived. John Eric caused Talise excessive aggravation.

Talise’s Grandmother Coralia, a powerful sea witch had taught tiny Talise how to use her magic. Coralia had told Talise when she was a child:

“Talise my pearl, you need to learn to control your temper. You need to remember what is important in life: Faith in the Creator and the love of family and friends.” Talise would roll her eyes at Coralia but Talise’s Grandmother would ignore her.

“Talise you need to use your powers to help people, mermaids and humans alike. And never ever let your heart become so disturbed that you turn to the use of black magic. There is no going back from black magic Talise” Coralia warned. “It takes a sea witch over and she can never go back once she is evil.”

Talise hadn’t liked her Grandmother much. Coralia passed away after a lengthy life of five-hundred- twelve human years-old. The other sea witches had placed Coralia in an underwater cave — a mermaid tomb. Talise had become a practicing sea witch when Coralia died, having been trained to replace her Grandmother.

When Talise became a sea witch she wanted nothing to do with the life of a mermaid in Sirene Lake. She swam to the surface of the Sirene, to the cave she had found where the looking glass existed. She gazed upon the humans walking through the fascinating and compelling city of Adare. She had never walked among humans before, Coralia never would have allowed Talise to be among humans yet. Talise was only seventeen-years-old, but perceptive for her age.

Talise peered at the humans from the Sirene, bemused by Victorian women in their heavy dark dresses covering every ounce of their skin. What woman wanted to hide her skin, her enticing shoulders and cleavage, Talise wondered. She could not relate to these women, so called “angels of the house,” they were supposed to be the moral center of the Victorian family. Talise observed the Victorian men in their dark wool suits and hats, who were more often than not, immoral and deeply flawed.

The tremendously overdressed humans came to the beaches in strange bathing suites. The woman sunbathed and played in the water with their children. Strange bathing machines were brought out in the water so women could change into their bathing suits, without being seen by men. It afforded women some amount of privacy.

Talise tried to blend in, sitting in the sand on a blanket wearing an uncomfortable Victorian bathing suit. The outfit was made of wool, worn over bloomers, and had a sailor collar. But people wondered why a young girl of her age was unaccompanied, where was her chaperone?

Men made light of the situation because Talise was so plump and elegantly built. The ideal womanly shape for the era. Young men made passes at her in  eloquent language. Woman looked on her as if she was a trollope. But Talise didn’t mind. She could cause a bitter mother to tumble into the waves, or  even fall naked out of her bathing machine. Talise could cause a chaperone to embarrass themselves and the fragile girls they watched. Chaperone’s and girls in their care knew Talise was more enchanting than, any Victorian girl who lived in Adare.

Mermaids such as Talise came inland to mate and to fall in love. They needed to find a man who carried superior genes for their young. Talise was hopeful that in finding love she could find a completeness she hadn’t found in her family of mermaids or sea witches. Talise had always been called that ‘odd girl of Coralia’s’ growing up. Talise was the girl who made selfish decisions and got into trouble, despite having an adored Grandmother of a sea witch.

The beliefs of other mermaids and sea witches regarding Talise’s behaviour, injured Talise’s young heart sorely. Talise went to her cave where the looking glass was or swam into Adare as often as possible. Her goal was to have a human life on land. To live the dream girls in the Victorian age strived for — to become a wife, a mother, and have a family. Talise wandered the beach of Adare, waiting patiently for an ideal mate in various hideous bathing dresses.

Walking in the waves as the tide came in and out one day, Talise met her first love Ethan. Ethan was handsome and wildly fun. Talise hadn’t even thought twice about sleeping with him over and over again. Ethan married her and introduced Talise to society in a grand wedding ceremony. But Talise never gave birth to any children. There was no little girl (who was actually a mermaid) to pass on the skills Coralia had taught Talise. There was no boys for Ethan, to carry on his lineage.

Talise had loved Ethan with her whole-heart. She learned to be the perfect wife, hostess, and lover. When they never had any children, Ethan was sad.

“It’s not your fault, Talise. I understand. The Lord, does not care for us to have children.”

“Are you sure Ethan,” Talise asked. “I could go to a different Doctor. We could see if we are doing something wrong?”

“Nonsense.” Ethan replied.”But I have decided since my brother Simon has passed away, we should take on raising his two sons, Simon Junior and Edgar. They will be excellent heirs for my shipping business and will give you the children we aren’t able to have.” Talise kissed Ethan for his generosity and good thinking.

Talise silently employed her magic to help her family and to make their lives more comfortable. She healed the boys when they were sick and made sorry those who would harm her family through gossip or otherwise. Their debts were always mysteriously paid off and the boys wanted for nothing. Ethan’s shipping firm was absurdly successful.

But Talise did not know why she was barren. She was afraid to go back and acquire the help of a more powerful sea witch in the Sirene lake to find out why she couldn’t become pregnant. She thought Ethan might have been the reason — but of course, she would never told him what she believed.

Talise allowed her body to age with Ethan. But even at eighty, she looked mistakenly young. When Ethan died at the age of eighty-three. Talise mourned him wretchedly for years. But when the boys were in their late fifties, Talise used her increasingly powerful magic and stopped aging. She transformed her body back to her appearance as a youth. She watched in the mirror in her cave, as her beauty and juvenescence returned. When transformed, Talise appeared as if she had only aged four years, if one could tell.

But Talise had been unprepared for the information she learned from her and Ethan’s nephews after he died, before Talise had become a young woman again. Talise had discovered it was her who could not physically be a mother to a child. Ethan had had an affair throughout his life and had children.

Please Read Chapter 16 here.


 

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.