Animals/Pets, Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, History, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), My Thoughts, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Italian Sonnet – “Lies to Tempt Lies” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftW.

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Credit: Kecia Sparlin

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“So saying, her rash hand in evil hour [ 780 ]

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve [ 785 ]

Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else

Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,

In Fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fansied so, through expectation high

Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought. [ 790 ]

Greedily she ingorg’d without restraint,

And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,

And hight’nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,

Thus to her self she pleasingly began.” – Paradise Lost (XIV. 780 – 794). 

———-

“Such fruit is sweet scrumpciously divine, 

No better you’ll ever taste, dripping, 

From your most beautiful lips lick, 

Every last taste, let not on your face lie. 

Taste, devour, Lotus flower’s guided, 

To the mouths of pagan gods, and rip —

All flesh from this heavenly fruit sip.

For such knowledge it gives, opening eyes, 

Now you’ll see;” the serpent slithered past, 

Back to the thicket slunk, lies and tricks —

Enough to make dear, Eve, believe lies, 

A talking snake had ate the fruit, so she —

Ate, since the snake conversed; not seeing the facts, 

Black Serpent granted humanity dark death.  

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Free Verse, Friday Music Prompt, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Music Prompt #6: Poem – Free Verse – “Not My Defeat” #amwriting #musiccprompt #poetry 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Friday Music Prompt. This week’s song is “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons. 

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Credit: Rosemary Valadon

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“The Cave” – Mumford & Sons

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Your broken walk, your deceptive talk, 

You meat-eater, man-eater,

Frigid walls of your heart echo without beat. 

Cowardly harlot of bitter teeth,

Take all your bites, 

Leave the bones picked clean.

Starving the peasants,

In your shallow retreat. 

Malice, miscalculations, 

Your sins they visit your neighbours. 

The harvest is barren,

No fruit bursts eaten. 

Devouring the land,

You think no one knows,

But I know your shame is complete. 

And for some odd reason,

I pity the weak.

I pity your barren soul attacking, 

Then, retreating.

I’ll not be the swimmer,

Drowned by your weighted pulls, 

Clawing acrylic fingers. 

——-

So I will hold on to hope, 

No noose will scrap your delicate throat. 

I’ll find strength in pain, 

I will change my ways. 

My name will be no whisper,

You will not be my defeat. 

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My faults, my fears,

Pummeling my face.

But I am numb, 

I weather the war. 

The suffering you’ve caused, 

Tears droplets from heaven. 

You are not forgiven,

You cannot make me deaf, 

I see all your faults and all your fears,

You cannot mask wretchedness, 

Not change until it’s admitted. 

——-

So I will hold on hope, 

No noose will scrape your delicate throat.

I’ll find strength in pain,

I will change my ways.

My name will be no whisper,

You will not be my defeat. 

——

I’ll invade the darkest cave,

Find your hiding place. 

There’s no safety in your chambers, 

Come out walking on your hands.

Do you comprehend,

The nature of dependence

When you see the Creator’s plans

The makers hands? 

So much mightier than your, 

Waifish fingers wringing. 

Crawl and then arise,

I’ll ignore your Siren’s call,

Your voice a hollow sound,

Wounds my ears. 

Aches my heart, 

Heart of diamond rock.

Freedom’s a melody that calls to me,

A treble cliff in the sky, 

Floating music notes that speak of remorse. 

Your siren’s lure,

Has been escaped. 

The magician knows, 

Reality’s illusions. 

——

So I will hold on hope,

No noose will scrape your delicate throat.

I’ll find strength in pain,

I will change my ways. 

My name will be no whisper,

You will not be my defeat.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weavers: Fiction – Your Flamhsures are Showing #fiction #amwritimg #taleweavers 


To begin with I want share with you an amazing blog post from the writer Kristen Lamb. I would have rebogged,  it was not able to so here is the link to one of her latest posts called Shame, Shame, We Know Your Name — Or Do We? Shame in Fiction. If you are fiction writer it’s a great piece on how shame motivates most characters in many stories and novels. Also follow her blog: Kristen Lamb Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi for practical and honest advice on writing. 

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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. 

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie – Michael 

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“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?” 

Todd grinned, “Yep, I’m a man.” 

———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Lists, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Travel, Writing

Notable Quotes April 2017 Part One #pinterest #quotes #books 


Happy April! Here are some more quotes. I think you’ll like them, they’re book quotes again for the most part 🙂

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1.

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5.

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http://www.pinterest.com

 

 

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6.

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7.

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8.

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9

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10.

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11.

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12.

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13.

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14.

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15.

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Animals/Pets, Books, Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Rictameter – 2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2 – beg/end same, Travel, Writing, Writing Challenges

Collage Prompt: Poem – Rictameter – “Books and Cherries” #amwriting #poetry #collage


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Collage Prompt.


Collage MLMM
Credit: Shawn Van Deale the woman on the left: Johnny Palacois the woman/aloe vera plant on the right.

Humming,

As the bird who’s —

Thrumming in the air,

Struggling for each flutter so

Rapid; so utterly fast it’s blurring.

My wings in flight are haze to you,

You don’t see underneath;

Desperation,

Humming.

——

Darkness,

Arising in —

My stomach, spiraling,

To the surface out of my —

Broken soul that I mend in those worlds found,

In each and every story, novels —

Ending hiding; I’m no —

Crab in my shell’s —

Darkness.

——-

In dreams,

I writhe, I twist,

Tales of old and new —

Follow me when enters Sandman,

To calm adventures stripping me of sleep.

But just as I live in my books,

I live in nightmarish —

Tales at midnight,

In dreams.

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Awake,

Oh, sheltered one.

Let the black smoke rise, cleanse

Your body from your shattered self,

Set free your mind, let your spirit live,

Life’s the greatest adventure,

Stories read fill gaps;

Burst forth spirit,

Awake.

———

Cherries,

You’re sexy  as,

Women who curl cherry —

Stems into knots with skillful tongues.

Unafraid to bare your body,

When it’s appreciated.

With love, you expose your —

Soul; All for ripe

Cherries.

—-

As books,

Sweet red cherries,

From the Okanagan,

A valley of delicacies.

Driving through B.C. in summer, you —

Stop at every fruit stand,

Selling juicy fruit — truths;

Cherries savored,

As books.

—–

Smokescreen,

Floats up swirls as —

Papal smoke; the blackness,

Forgiven reading thousands

Of tales, every genre, every language.

Devouring ‘reads’ as cherries,

Demons gone; living with —

Wisdom taught, no —

Smokescreen.

——

Light’s glow,

In each tale read.

Nourishes souls; keeps me —

Aching to learn, wanting to know,

Of worlds, fantastic characters —

With hubris, compelling charm.

While some characters are —

Searching hard for,

Light’s glow.

—–

Writing,

It filled holes,

Torn in souls, in hearts wrecked,

The reader became author,

Discovering within her fingers lies a —

Haven, a solace of peace, rest;

Because the story grows —

In her, exposing —

Writing.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Children/YA/Family, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: A Million Times Better #3LineTales #nonfiction #amwriting 


Thanks to Sony of Only 100 Words, our gracious host of #3LineTales:

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Credit: Jennifer Pallian via UpSplash

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Everyone either loves or hates fruit bread and more often than not, this stiff and solid rock like cake which sits in your stomach as if you’ve ingested a stone, is detested by many people. No matter the tradition or reason we bake/eat fruit bread at Christmas, it is a custom many of us wonder about; I can honestly say, however, there is only one fruit bread in the world I love because it tastes wonderful and is nothing like any fruit bread I’ve ever tasted before, or will ever taste again. 

Grandma’s fruit bread wasn’t like traditional loaves of fruit bread because it was soft and tempting as I believe, any kind of bread should be; inside her bread was sugared and candied fruits much like traditional fruit bread, except my Grandma’s fruit bread was melt in your mouth and we used to toast a small slice or two for breakfast during the holidays and have it with becel; the buttery, sweet, soft bread was delicious and makes me hungry thinking about it; Grandma’s fruit bread was not traditional fruit bread — it was a million times better.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, My Thoughts, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing

Tale Weaver Fairytales: Shanna Transforming #taleweaver #fairytales #fiction #amwriting


Thanks to MindsLiveMisery’sMenageria for hosting Tale Weaver Fairytales prompt. This week we are retelling: The Ugly Duckling. 

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“Fatty fat. You’re so fat you break the ice,” the popular boys and pretty girls taunted her. Shanna ignored them, or at least tried. 

Every year at school the snow would melt  in spring and the melting snow would pool, causing small lakes of water.As the temperature dropped over night, the pools of water would freeze on top. 

The children played a mean game. The kids who were not chubby, could walk on the ice without breaking it.But the chubby kids such as Shanna, would carefully, walk on the ice, only to have the ice top break like glass; the popular boys and girls teased her endlessly. 

In the spring, the children played  another game, called spin-the-bottle, on the grassy and now dry field. 

None of the boys wanted to kiss Shanna. They only kissed the pretty girls; the thin ones. The boys insisted they only give Shanna a kiss on the cheek, which was all she was allowed to give them. No boy wanted to kiss a fat girl or have her kiss them on the lips. 

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Years later, Shanna was all grown up and finishing her History degree. Her friends and her went to their favourite pub, The Blue Whale, whenever they were able. 

One day, two of her guy friends brought a a guy named Wren with them. Shanna had admired Wren from some of her History classes. He was hot; built but appeared studious with sexy glasses he wore at times. 

Wren and Shanna easily fell into conversation. He was fun, smart, and in touch with what was going on in the world. 

When Shanna’s girl friends dared her to kiss Wren, sparks sizzled and Shanna and Wren couldn’t stop kissing. Her friends tactfully wandered off when the kissing went on longer than they wanted to see. 

At university, Wren and Shanna kept running into each other. They talked and Wren often asked where Shanna and her friends were going to dance, so he could go there with his friends at the same time. 

A smile was always on Shanna’s lips as she began to date Wren; he made her day brighter and made her happy. She felt cared for with Wren.

The boys on the university hockey team stared at Shanna as she passed their table in the cafeteria. Many of them thought she was pretty. Her large eyes were stunning and her body curvacious but athletic; she was often in the gym when they were. 

Shanna didn’t talk at the gym and she maintained a serious expression, concentrating on her weight-lifting. 

Presently, Shanna’s  lips were full-on smiling. The hockey guys who liked her, had never seen her look smile like this before. Her eyes sparkled. Shanna was all the more attractive because she was genuinly happy. 

The girls who followed the hockey team around were sick with jealousy, wondering what certain hockey players saw in Shanna. 

But when Shanna’s stunning gaze turned the hockey team’s way, she looked past them to Wren. 

He smiled at Shann softly, her placed saved at a seat beside him. Wren bought her yogurt and and cut-up fruit for lunch. He knew Shanna’s eating habits well.

Shanna thought back to the days the boys and skinny pretty girls called her fat and how the boys would only let her kiss their cheek. 

Times had changed. Shanna knew of several guys who would like more than a kiss from her now; yet she cared only for Wren. 

Shanna had wisely, claimed the best guy for herself; the one who liked her especially, when she ate as much ice cream as she wanted to eat. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Music and Performers, Music Review, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Three Line Tales, Travel, Writing

Three Line Tales: Three Views On A Train #amwriting #3linetales


Thank you to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting the 3 Line Tales challenge.

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Wilson Lau

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1. “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. . .” Da da da da da da da da, “So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you’ll wait for me, hold me like you’ll never let me go; cause I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. . .” Lydia kept singing the same parts of the popular song she knew; she was mad at her husband Dan because she had wanted to fly to their destination; Lydia was unimpressed when Dan announced they’d be travelling hours and hours by train; well since Dan didn’t ask her if she agreed with travelling by train, she was going to sing what she knew of “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” until Dan’s ears hurt, her throat was soar, and Dan remembered the message. 

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2.  Trains, planes, and automobiles, you chose the train; and I think it’s lovely we get to see the lush foil age of the countryside; trees every now and then with budding green leaves, deer and bison grazing in the wilderness; then, it began to pour and rain, the rain was loud as it hit the roof of the train car, it poured and dripped down the windows and sightseeing along the way to Vancouver became a washed out greyish-green window; I could follow the tracks of raindrops on the window and every time a drop stopped I sighed; this game was boring and I wanted to be in Vancouver already, flying was actually cheaper; I didn’t mind that there was no view, the view would come walking through the streets of the city, green everywhere and flowers and fruit blooming.

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3. “When I’m gone, when I’m gone, you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone; you’re gonna miss my by my hair, you’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh you’re going to miss me when I’m gone . ..” Darren sang the Johnny Cash tune as he stepped onto the train; adventure awaited and he could take his bike with him; he was excited, and enjoying travelling across Europe; Darren was young, barely twenty-years-old, but seeing all he’d seen, he never regretted not for one moment, dropping everything and flying to Europe, where Darren rode the train everywhere he went; in every city and country he could explore and absorb into his youthful mind.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101: Simple Acts – The Mundane Demonstrates Love. #everydayinspiration


This writing 101 prompt is to experiment with word count. I usually, don’t limit my posts unless I have to. Some of the hardest pieces I write can only be 100 words long. But since I have a choice, I’m going to write and see what comes out.

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http://www.spoonsandstilettos.com

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There is a beginning and and an end to a story. Then there is the inbetween. Often, the inbetween is the part of the story we skip over, we miss the everyday mundane details of our characters lives which would bore many readers. But it is fascinating that in real life, the simple and mundane acts in life can be the most meaningful: 

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Everyday for the past three or four-years, my Dad cuts up a bowl of fruit for me in the morning. He started to do it when a Chinese student was staying in our house to finish her last two years of highschool and later attend University where we live.

Sometimes, the student didn’t eat her fruit, so I would eat it when I woke up later in the morning. One day I ate a bowl of fruit left on the table and my Dad came back from his run:

“Did you eat the bowl of fruit on the table?” he asked me.

“Yes, I thought it was Cristina’s and she didn’t have time to eat it,” I said feeling like a little child being scolded.

“I don’t mind cutting you a bowl of fruit Amanda but that was my bowl of fruit. I cut it so it would be ready when I came home from my run.”

“I’m sorry,” I said alarmed. “I wouldn’t have eaten it if I knew it was yours.” 

“It’s no trouble; I’ll cut an extra bowl of fruit it the morning. It’s not any extra work for me.” My Dad said smiling.

——

Cristina (the student) has moved out but almost every morning when I wake up around 10:30am, there is a bowl of fruit waiting for me. 

As my Dad allows his grown-up daughter to live in his house (on cheap rent) because of her health, he cuts this same daughter fruit for breakfast. They’re both simple things, but they let me know to him even though I’m an adult, I’m still his little squirell and he loves me a great deal. They are mundane acts which demonstrates my Dad loves me more than any grander gesture could.

How many times do we go by those we love in our lives, not demonstrating our love? Yes in their hearts our loved ones know we love them. But it’s small gestures each day which truly show what we feel for our loved ones. Hugs and pats on the back; saying you love them or appreciate something they did out loud; little treats such as baking or buying them their favourite cookies or ice cream; doing something to make a loved ones life easier; or doing things they appreciate. Simple mundane tasks and moments of thought. The inbetween is where life counts.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Novel - First Draft -"How Was Last Night For You.", Relationship, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

27.How Was Last Night For You: A Stranger on an Unknown Beach


Please read Chapter 26 here.

Chapter 27. A Stranger on an Unknown Beach.

He was happy and content, floating amidst graduations of colour. He had never felt such tranquility in life.

He was awake suddenly and strolling on a picturesque beach. White sand almost burned his feet but he buried his toes down into the sand, and his feet cooled.

Gazing down at himself he saw he was only wearing swim trunks and a white T-Shirt. Sunglasses adorned his eyes and he knew it was his favourite pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses he broke some time ago he remembered. How odd they were in one piece now.

He languidly walked through the surf on the beach. Was he on vacation? He couldn’t recall. He didn’t even know what he was named. It was slipping his mind. How could he not know his own identity?

Sleep had held him in her vivid colours and luminescence for ages. His mind was foggy and he had forgotten details of his life he thought he should know.

In his mind, he kept seeing her . . . Nina. His beautiful blond haired girl smiling with pretty pink lips. He knew Nina had helped him break his curse because he loved her. He hadn’t loved anyone as much he loved her, ever.

Wait, he had been cursed? He couldn’t recall why.

But he pictured beautiful Nina in a pink bikini and grinned. He wished she was here so they could be alone and he could sip Corona and talk with her.

He’d convince her to go into one of the two cabanas where he could touch her smooth creamy skin. He’d remove the pink bikini that was the same shade of pink of the heels she worn when they first met… How had they met?

He sighed, lonely at the thought of not being able to be with Nina. He was by himself here on a fabulous beach which stretched for miles either way.

There was a cottage up some stone steps where he had been living,  but other than this cottage, and the cabanas, there were no other dwellings as far as he could see.

Fully awake and lucid (he believed), he thought of Nina. He knew had a family besides her too. Their faces were blurred images in his mind.

He recalled two rambunctious little boys laughing with him as he played with them and their construction trucks in the sand. His nephews . . .and that led him to who they looked like — Jasper his older brother. He had a younger brother too — Jordan.

She had given Jordan her soul.MHe didn’t know why she had done it or how he knew since he had been lost in colour and light then. But he could feel a darkness, a shadow when he thought of her.

Yes, she had cursed him. She had separated him from Nina. He hated her.

He knew in the end, the lake had swallowed her corpse and dying she hadn’t been darkness or light. She had been both.

So much did not make sense to him he thought struggling to think. Sitting down on a stained Adirondack chair, he leaned back, squinting into the sunlight in his sunglasses. The sun was incredibly bright. He was sweating in the heat. Could this be Mexico? The Carribean?

Not too far away from him he noticed an older man walking barefoot through the sand towards him. The man had a grey straggly beard and the man’s gate was self-assured.

How how had he not seen the man coming in the distance? He stood, a tad frightened at the thought of someone else being here where it felt he had been alone a long time.

He faced the man as he stopped at the steps and the man said: “John? Is that you? You’ve haven’t been this healthy in years. You’re well rested and I believe you’re bored of paradise.”

“I’m John?”

“Yes, you should’ve remembered your own name by now Mr. Eric. You’ve remembered Nina.” John flushed unaware the man had been privy to his inner thoughts.

“I don’t know you,” John said, his name and identity rushing back to him in torrents of thought.

“I need to see if Nina is okay. I need to check on Jordan. She did something to him. Talise or Tia, whatever or whoever she is, she put a ring on Jordan, one he can’t take off.”

“It’s an emerald with a silver band, and the emerald colour matches Talise’s eyes. Beneath the emerald her soul floats. It’s dangerous, why did she put a ring, her soul on Jordan?” John asked afraid for his brother.

“Good questions John,” the man said walking up the steps. He came up to John and shook John’s hand which John shook back without thinking.

“You have a good hand shake,” John told the man. “It doesn’t fit with the rest of you . . . You look as if you’re . . .weathered. You’ve been through tough times I think. It appears as if you live on the streets because your clothes are dirty and worn.”

“No offence, they haven’t been washed in a long time, and you need… you need a shower man.” John peered guilty at the homeless man, ashamed of what he had said.

The homeless watched him closely, his face expressionless in creases and wrinkles of acquired wisdom. Suddenly, the man smiled and let out a boisterous laugh, his deep creases becoming more pronounced.

“Yes, John. My appearance of late has been a homeless man. And if you’re offering me a shower and clean clothes, I gladly accept.” John smiled grateful the man wasn’t offended by his words.

“Come into the cottage and make yourself comfortable,” John remarked easily becoming a host. He peered in the fridge, “There’s trays of fruit and another of vegetables. Some steaks I can grill if you’re interested? There is even craft beer, AlleyKat,” John said grinning.”I don’t know how this all got here? Was it was here before I woke up?”

The homeless man only smiled at John and headed for John’s bedroom, “Where’s your closet John? Ah there.”

John followed the man to the master bedroom into a walk-in closet full of beach clothes and clothes one didn’t wear to work. “This is wonderful,” the man said, “Can I stock up for the road?”

“Of course,” John said. “I’m not sure any of this –the clothes, the cottage, and the food –even belong to me.”

The man smiled again at John, a curious light in his brown eyes.”After my shower we can sit and eat. We can talk all you want. Chill a few beer for me in the freezer will you?”

John regarded the man thoughtfully, trying to remember him.”Who are you?” John asked.

“I’m here to help” the man remarked, peaking back at John before he shut the bathroom door with a bang. John heard the sound of water streaming.

He wasn’t sure what to do. Usually, John was head strong and sure of himself. He had had to be with the curse from Talise, the sea witch who’d been his girlfriend in the past.

John felt enraged with Talise. She had  separated him from his loved ones with her cruel curse. He was afraid for both Nina and Jordan.

Perhaps, the homeless man could return John to his family, especially Nina. He would also like to know where exactly he was?

His mind made up, John decided if this homeless man was here to help him, then John should be a good host, as his mother had taught him.

After all, John was filled with so many questions he needed answering. There was much he didn’t know about current events since he died.

The old man was keeping many secrets, John was sure. Not to mention, John wondered if the man might be benevolent magic of some kind? He could use some magic now.

John set out the fruit and vegetables on a large coffee table on the patio. He got out the steaks to Barbecue (they were already in marinade) and placed six beers in the freezer.

John went back on the patio to warm the Barbeque up, and he waited for homeless man to emerge.


 

A couple of hours later, John was sitting on the patio having finished his dinner and two icy   beers. The homeless man could really put his food away and he’d had four beers as well.

“Are you hungry still? There’s extra steaks in the fridge I could bring out to Barbecue if you like? And there’s some lemon cake?”

The homeless man patted his belly, “I think I’m full now John, but thank you. By the way, you can call me Norman.” John nodded teeming with questions.

“Alright, Norman. You told me you were here to help? I thought you might be able to answer my questions such as why I’m here when I’m supposed to be dead? And who are you?” John asked.

Norman peered at John curiously. “You don’t know then? You haven’t figured it out? You’re not dead John. You’re in-between life and death, between the spaces between spaces so to speak.” John was even more confused.

“So, is the beach and cottage like purgatory? Where’s my body at if it’s not dead?”

“Your body is here and you’re not in purgatory. You’re not Catholic John, you’re Anglican,” laughed Norman.

“As for me, I’m here to help you and Nina. It’s my job, helping certain people in difficult situations. I know you want to go home, but there are some things we need to discuss first.”

“Rianne would know who I am,” Norman said.” She went to buy Chinese food and Talise’s bewitched boyfriend Malcolm, knocked her head against the wall and Rianne passed out. Which, is the reason Nina was alone when Talise kidnapped and bewitched her.” Norman explained.

“I woke Rianne up and made sure she was okay, so she could go back to Nina’s condo and call Jasper who called Jordan, to come help you and Nina.”

“They decided to bring your sailboat out at night, even though it’s impossible to see in the dark. It was windy at least. I helped them find you and they would have never seen you if I hadn’t been there.” Norman said.

“How could you help them on the Sirene at night?” John wondered and Norman smiled secretively.

“I whispered in Jordan’s ear as he sailed the boat. My form isn’t always a homeless man or a human. Sometimes I’m an extra push in someone’s mind to get them moving. Or a whisper their ear such as I was with Jordan.”

“You’re magic?” John asked, trying to understand Norman.

“Magic is as sufficient a word as any.”

“So what are you? A wizard?” John questioned and Norman laughed again.

“I’m here to help and I’m on your side,” Norman said.

John realized Norman was providing him with the only explanation he would receive. John changed his line of questioning. “I’m worried about Nina and my family. How long have I been gone?”

Norman appeared to be thinking. “You’ve been gone four-months now, nearly more. Nina she doesn’t give up hope. She convinced your family to hold the funeral off for months. She believes in her heart you’re out there somewhere. She’s right you’re here.”

“I need to get back to her. Has my family had my funeral?”

“You’re funeral is tomorrow, Saturday. Nina doesn’t think your dead, she’s only attending out of respect for your family.”

“Your nephews, Sam and Eric, don’t know you’re gone yet. You should probably get back there soon if you don’t want to break too many hearts more then you already have.” Norman said thoughtfully.

“Ok how?”

“In time,” Norman said giving John another secretive smile. His brown eyes glimmered with knowledge. “You wanted to know about Jordan and the ring Talise put on him with her soul inside?”

“Yes, absolutely. How do I help Jordan get rid of the ring?” John asked desperate.

“You can’t help Jordan, John.” Norman replied. “The ring and Talise’s soul is Jordan’s path to travel down. Just as you’ve have your pathway and responsibility regarding Nina, now Talise is Jordan’s responsibility.”

“But why?” John argued, “Isn’t Talise dead and gone. She’s evil! Just because she did the right thing by me and Nina in the end, doesn’t mean she isn’t still malovelent, does it?”

“Her soul was still in Jordan’s ring last time I checked. Talise chose Jordan. In the end, she saw something in him, she never saw in you. It was something like what she found in Ethan. But closer to what you and Nina had in each other when you first met.” Norman explained.

“She’s not gone?” John said afraid.

“No John. But Talise isn’t a sea witch anymore. A mermaid yes, but with no magical abilities. She gave them up. Talise is redeemable.”

“Are you kidding me?” John yelled.

“Don’t worry about it. You can advise your brother with her but Talise is his problem in the end. Let it go.” John was incensed but a feeling of calm washed over him as he regarded Norman. How did Norman do that?

“Why do you want to go home John. Beyond your family and being with Nina, why do you think you should be alive?”

John gasped. “I didn’t expect that question. I . . . It’s not fair. Curses are supposed to work out if you break them. They shouldn’t end in death. Talise cursed me, she told me I would have to sacrifice myself for the woman I loved, and I did.”

Norman nodded, urging John to continue. “Nina helped me, she loves me.Together we broke my curse so terrible events would stop occurring around me each day.”

” I should get to be with Nina, raise a family with her, be with my parents and brothers, and grow my business. If I die, it’s not fair. The curse was a lie because spells which are broken end happily,” John argued vehemently.

Norman peered at John from his seat around the patio table, the sun was beginning to set.”That’s not real life John, you know that. What you believe is some Disney fairytale and real life isn’t Disney believe me, I know. Do you think there would be homeless men in a world where everything was fair?” John starred at Norman confused.

“It’s not about life being fair. Or curses having a happy result.”

John stared at his hands at loss for words. “What’s life about then?” He asked feeling angry and betrayed.

“I’m glad you asked,” Norman said, brown eyes gleaming.

Please Read Chapter 28 here.


 

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