Poem: Quadrille – “The Catacombs” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse


Thanks to Paul Scribbles for hosting the ‘underground’ poem prompt theme for this week.

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Credit: Paris Trip Adviser

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In catacombs roaming, 

Creature of the dark decay. 

Sun burns flesh from bones, 

Igniting funeral pyres. 

We all must wander, 
I choose the catacombs;

Underground inhaling,

Dust of rotting flesh. 

Piercing tranquility, 

Screams of dead long past. 

Lullabys send us to bed,

Before yellow sapphire rises. 

Waiting for pitch coal;

Good becomes evil too easily. 
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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Notable Quotes May Part Two #pinterest #quotes 


Happy Month of May! We are midway through and sometimes I feel as if time passes so fast. Today was one of those days. 

On one hand it was my Great-godmother’ a funeral. She was 98 years old and passed way last Sunday from heat failure. She had pretty great health and was in her home until she was 96 and had only been in her newest care home about a year. She did finally think of it as her second home.

 I had the privilage of knowing Evelyn both as someone who was another Grandma to myself and my two brothers, probably until I was about 21 years old and she became a good friend after that. I think she did most of the talking but I never minded. I enjoyed sending her letters and she was someone I loved to share my poetry with, sometimes short stories, even some interviews I thought she would find entertaining (etc) for the past few years. Let it be said, writing letters and sending cards with a note saying your thinking of someone, is a dying art.

Her funeral was sad but also happy as she is now without pain or suffering.  After years of smoking (even though she did quit) she succumbed to lung cancer which lead to heart complications. I’m thankful for all the time I and my family had with her. 

On the other hand, today was my Dad’s 60th Birthday and my mom was gracious to cook a large meal for about twenty of us who celebrated his day. We drank lots of wine and ate all my Mom’s excellent food and had a big happy birthday cheesecake with sparklers and 60 years on the cake for my Dad (he’s gluten free so usually it’s icecream cake so cheesecake was nice change.)

I talked with some of my Dad’s colleagues and friends and spent a lot of time in the kitchen my brothers and my youngest brother’s girlfriend talking about weddings as we each have one coming up very soon for friends. And I get along very well her and like her a lot. We are different but very much the same in many ways so Nathan, better keep this one she’s amazing! 

Perks of sitting in the kitchen at the “kids table” was being near the wine, the mascoto my Mom and I love and some red Malbec that was a bit dry, but made better by adding punch ie. making a sangria mixture. 

Good conversation and house full of people, I’m glad my Dad enjoyed his birthday and hope on Mother’s Day my Mom can rest. I thought of my grandma and my friend Evelyn, thought how very much she would have enjoyed this celebration or any celebration likewise — the life of the party. 

I do know Evelyn is in Heaven  enjoying parties and celebrations that don’t leave a Mom or wife exhausted and are not subject to human frailities tiredness, stress etc. that comes with planning such an event. A big reason to appreciate mothers like mine and Evelyn who sacrifice (d) to make a loved one’s Birthdays special, 

As I close a line from a Tennyson poem “I’ll see my pilot face to face, when I have crossed the bar.” 

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Happy Mother’s Day! 

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Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


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Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


michele-interview-1
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

5.  Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


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Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-5
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Chapter 31. How Was Last Night For You: Almost Peaceful Endings


Please Read Chapter 30 here..

Chapter 31: Almost Peaceful Endings

Nina was for the most part, contented. She happily sat beside John while his family enjoyed the dinner Nina and Rianne had cooked. They sat around John’s massive rectangular table in the open concept dining room where the atmosphere was peaceful and laid back.

There was laughter and gratefulness obvious in the eyes of everyone present. Topics flowed from John’s sudden return on the day of his funeral, to explaining the situation to all John’s numerous friends and relatives who had been planning to attend the funeral, which had been called off.

“Oh, well. Will tell them something,” Edith remarked.”It’s not unheard of to have someone who’s missing, come home alive. I have to say, John’s timing was pretty perfect.” Edith and everyone laughed, imagining how certain quirky relatives would take the news.

Jasper and Jordan filled John in on what had been happening with Mergers and Robert told Jordan about his latest challenges as a professor. Robert was noticeably more animated than Nina had seen him in months.

Edith couldn’t stop the tears from leaking out of her eyes.”We should take a cruise vacation,” she remarked. ” All of us and Rianne, Nina, and that girl you’re seeing Jordan. It would so much fun and be a wonderful way to celebrate John’s new life. Our lives free of curses.”

There was silence around the table as everyone smiled at Edith. Nina could tell no one was much into the idea but she doubted anyone had much choice.

“That sounds nice Edith,” Nina said politely, “I’ve never been on a cruise before. We’re you thinking about somewhere hot like the Caribbean?”

“Oh, that would be perfect. It’s so relaxing there and Sam and Eric would have so much fun. There’s so much for kids to do there.” Jasper still had a fake smile on his face and when Edith looked at him for approval he nodded, but nothing else.

“I think boys, your mother has the right idea. I’ll look into booking a Carribean Cruise  and be in touch soon. We should do that cruise before the Christmas Season.” Robert remarked, giving finality to the idea.

Nina gazed up and John feeling trapped, he patted her hand. “It will be fine,” he whispered to her.

“I know,” Nina said. “It’s only I was hoping to go somewhere hot with you. Just the two of us.”

John considered Nina’s words glancing at his excited Mom before whispering back in Nina’s ear: “I don’t think we have much of a choice concerning the family cruise.You’re in the family so you’re stuck like the rest of us. But I think we can very much take our own vacation too. A tour of Italy?” John suggested, tucking a piece of white blond hair behind Nina’s ear.

Nina noticed how Rianne and Jasper never met each other’s eyes as they small talked beside her and encouraged John’s nephews to  eat their food.

John on the other hand, kept his hand on Nina’s back almost the entire time they were eating, smiling at her warmly and kissing her cheek when she didn’t expect it.

She glanced at Jordan. He appeared the exact opposite of John’s healthy complexion. Jordan appeared wan and sickly. She noticed dark shadows underneath his eyes. Nina also realized Jordan hadn’t brought his girlfriend Carissa, he had been seeing her for as long as Jasper had been seeing Rianne.

“Where’s your girl Carissa?” John asked Jordan. Nina smiled minutely, her and John often thought a like.

“Oh, I broke it off about a month ago. There was too much going on at work and with you missing.” Jordan’s tone was curt, almost rude.

“You haven’t been able to get the ring off?” Nina asked Jordan who scowled at his left hand.

“Doesn’t matter what I or anyone else tries, we can’t get the ring off. I had a couple of jewelers try to cut the ring but it doesn’t work. I thought the ring was merely silver but I think it must have some kind of magic spell on it because it’s impossible to remove.”

Nina knew that night in the Sirene had been difficult for Jordan to come to terms with. She hadn’t said anything to him about Talise being alive and she knew John had kept that part secret from his family.

“I wonder if Talise’s soul is really underneath that emerald she placed in the ring?” John said aloud.

Jordan glared at John darkly.”It’s a regular emerald. Talise had no soul because mermaids don’t have souls, even if she was a sea witch.”

Nina tried to tread lightly. “In the original The Little Mermaid, mermaids don’t have souls but supernatural beings in Adare as we have seen with Talise, are significantly different than how fairy tales portray them.”

“I saw Talise take out her soul in a big shiny orb and place it on your finger in the ring. I’m absolutely sure her souls in there, Jordan. I know you don’t want to believe it, but it’s true.” Nina said cautiously.

Jordan frowned at Nina.” Whatever. It’s not as if  Talise’s soul has a body.The Sirene swallowed her supernatural corpse, that magic I do believe in.”

Nina gazed up at John who was staring at the beer he held in his hand. John’s sapphire eyes met Nina’s eyes.

She leaned up to whisper in John’s ear: “You have to tell him today about her, the sooner the better.” John nodded at Nina stroking her cheek with back of his hand. Nina caught John’s hand and held it to her cheek.


When dinner was over, Edith insisted on clearing the table since Rianne and Nina had cooked. Clean-up wouldn’t be difficult as most dishes could go in the dish washer or be left to soak until tomorrow when Nina and John could get to them.

Jordan was staring at Nina and she felt out of sorts because his dark gaze was angry and festering.”What is it?” Nina asked him.

“What were you and John whispering about?”

“Just stuff. Love stuff,” Nina lied smiling at Jordan convincingly.

“I have to see what your Mom’s up to in the kitchen.” She said rising from her chair at the supper table.” I don’t want her to spend her time here cleaning. She should be enjoying herself as should you,” Nina remarked regarding Jordan pointedly.

He gave Nina a tight smile and nodded. She gazed at John encouragingly as she left him alone at the table with Jordan. John’s dining room , kitchen, and livingroom were open concept, so Nina thought she might be able to hear bits of John’s conversation with Jordan.

“Jordan we need to talk. There’s more about Talise I haven’t told you.” John said soberly. Nina heard Jordan swear and John gave her a worried glance as he came into the kitchen briefly, to grab a couple of beers chilling in the freezer.

John opened up both beers and placed one in front of Jordan at the dining table. He sat in a chair next to Jordan and turned to face him. John’s sapphire eyes bored into his brother’s dark brown eyes and he started talking too quietly for Nina to hear. She knew John was delivering Norman’s message about Talise as gently as possible.


 

Twenty-minutes later, Nina was having wine with Rianne and Edith leaning against the kitchen island. They were all laughing about something Rianne had said when Jordan strode angrily through the kitchen nearly knocking Rianne and Nina over.

Jordan appeared bitter. He shoved Nina out of his way trying to escape out the front door.

“Hey, watch where you’re going Jordan. You almost knocked Nina over.” John said sharply.

Jordan glared daggers at John and Nina.

“I mean it Jordan. Leave Nina out of this, don’t even look at her that way ever again. She’s my girl, show her some respect.” John warned.

Jordan turned around and stared at John enraged: ” You bastard. Talise was your problem and she almost killed you. You couldn’t get rid of her and know she’s my issue suddenly, because some guy named Norman said so? It’s your fault and Nina’s fault, I have to deal with Talise. I want nothing to do with Talise and with either of you. I despise that I have no choice where Talise is concerned.” Jordan shouted, slamming the front door on his way out of the house.

The front door was slammed with such force, the wine glasses on the kitchen island skittered. Robert arose carefully, from the floor where he was playing with his grandsons.

“John, he doesn’t mean it. He’s been a hurt, angry, and bitter man since he thought Talise killed you. The thought of dealing with Talise himself, is understandably troubling for him since he believes he already stabbed her through the heart with the dagger.” Robert said reasonably.

Nina peered at John. “Your Dad knows?”

“Yes,” John said turning away from his Dad,”Mom and Jasper don’t know though. Did you tell Rianne?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have.” Nina said quietly.

“I knew you would,” John said with a smirk,” But Rianne’s not going to tell Jasper right?”

“They’re not getting along right now. She doesn’t tell Jasper what I tell her in privacy. Not at this point anyways.” Nina whispered back to John.

She stroked his stubble with her hand running her hand through his long, slightly curling dark hair.

“You need a haircut John,” Nina said smiling and raising her voice to include the rest of John’s family who had gathered in the living room.

“He does, doesn’t he?” Edith said and the conversation continued to flow, despite Jordan’s abrupt departure. It was almost 9:30 pm when everyone else went home.

Sam and Eric were grumpy and needed to be put to bed so Jasper and Rianne left. Nina noticed standing at the front door, Rianne went home in her own car. She was going to stay in her condo tonight but pack a suitcase and stay at John and Nina’s house starting the next day.

John’s parents made there goodbye’s as well, smiling contentedly at both John and Nina and hugging them, before driving home.


Later, Nina lay beside John in their bed. They had made love but were too tired to move after a crazy day. John promised to make it up to her the next day. Nina fell asleep for a couple of hours, but kept waking-up.

Beside her John stirred.”So, what now?” John asked Nina groggily, in the dark of their bedroom. She was snuggled in close to John in bed.

“I don’t know. I can’t stop thinking about everything that’s happened today. My mind doesn’t want to shut itself off.”

“Mine neither,” John said his voice gravelly from sleep.”I wonder if things are going to be difficult again or if we’ll actually be able to have a normal life? I know what Norman said but I’m helping Jordan. I know Talise best, after all.”

“Jordan’s a big boy John. Maybe, you have to let him deal with it as best as he can. I’m not saying don’t help, all I’m saying is let him decide. As a youngest brother, I’m sure he  often felt he didn’t get to make the choices he wanted.”

John grunted. “I’m not likely to let him deal with Talise alone. As if she’ll ever be safe to be with magic or no magic. She’s a terrible person/mermaid whatever she is now.”

“For cursing you and for putting us and your family through all she did, I absolutely agree. But if Norman says she’ll be Jordan’s girl, like I’m yours, I’m wondering if Talise has had to significantly change.”

“In the end of that night, she did do the right thing. She didn’t go through with her evil plan. She broke your curse and let Jordan kill her. I’m not her biggest fan but we might have to give her a chance because of Norman. If she’s out their in the Sirene that is . . .” Nina whispered.

John laughed and turned over to gaze at Nina and stroke the dip of her naked waist.” You always see the best in everything, in every situation. I’m so lucky to have you Nina. I’m in love with you. Let’s begin our real normal life now.”

Nina nodded leaning on her arm stroking John’s well defined bicep and then his face. “I’m  in love with you too. Let’s start our new life now.”

Though they were both worn out, Nina and John found hidden reserves of energy as skin slid against heated skin and lips met with passion and a hum of unending connection. Hen they were blissfully content, Nina smiled softly, tranquility overcoming every ounce of worry she felt.

Even in sleep,  Nina’s hand remained on John’s cooling skin, touching his chest and covering his heart.

Fin


 

XOXO Thanks for following!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

28. How Was Last Night For You: Greater Truths


Please read Chapter 27 here.

Chapter 28: Greater Truths

John stared up at Norman speechless.”You’re glad I asked? Because  you’re making this whole process difficult for me. I want to go home and I don’t need any universal truths right now. Since I’m not dead, let me live.”

Norman’s smile got even bigger. His face crinkling and creasing from lines the sun had etched.

“It’s usually about something bigger then our lives, or even the lives of people we care about. Often, I find it’s about faith.” John was perplexed but interested in what Norman meant.

“What kind of faith? You mean spiritual? I have that. I grew up Anglican. God got me through a lot of awful situations. I mean, with being cursed for ten-years, I had to believe there was a better place out there and a reason I was enduring what I was.”

Norman’s brown eyes twinkled.”Yes, God was with you before you were cursed and during. But you’re missing something, the bigger picture.”

“What should I see?” John exclaimed frustrated. He was at the point with Norman where he wanted to punch Norman for being so mysterious.However, Norman was John’s ticket home, so he dealt with his frustration.

John rolled the muscles in his shoulders, cracking his neck trying to workout the strain spreading through his body. It was the first time he’d felt the aches of being human outside the cottage, on the beach, in-between life and death.

Norman steepled his hands on the patio table and the setting sun made his eyes seem alight with fire. “‘The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it.’ It’s John 1:5 from the New Testament. Do you remember what came before it?”

John thought back to memorizing Bible verses as a youth in church. “I believe: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.'” John shrugged looking at Norman, wondering what he meant asking John to recall these exact verses.

“You know this, I know.” Norman said seriously, ” But there’s a specific reason I’m asking you this John. Not to waste your time as you think. Many people would think this was a grand vacation place and be quite happy to remain for some time. But I’m trying to get you to understand something significant.” Norman revealed shaking his head at John’s obtuseness.

“Your girlfriend Nina believes you will come back to her because she believes in magic. She quoted Louise Carroll to Rianne recently, saying: people want magical solutions in life but then, they don’t believe in magic.”

“Trust me Norman. I believe in magic. Talise cursed me and I lived through it. I sacrificed myself and now I’m here and you yourself are a kind of magic as you’ve told me. I’m a believer. Otherwise, how else would you know something Nina and Rianne discussed not long ago? How would you know thoughts I think in my head?” John said glancing at Norman for confirmation before continuing.

“I do wish you’d stay out of my head though. Give me the privacy of my own thoughts, Norman.”

“I can’t help that John. You might as well force yourself to stop thinking and feeling, which would be the easier solution.” Norman said.

“I don’t like this, you’re grating on my nerves Norman. What is it you’re trying to tell me about magic and faith? I don’t have time to sit here having philosophical discussions.” John said grumpily.

He was feeling tired and outside an orange and pink sunset was disintegrating into ink black. John could hear the tide, reaching in farther on the shore as a shadow of a crescent moon was revealed.

“You have time John. All the time in the world. I’m here to help you learn,” Norman said in a fatherly manner.”Nina has faith in you and believes good magic will bring you back. She also believes God wouldn’t take you from her at this time, after all you two went through.”

“I can’t speak for God, but I do know if Nina has faith in you, you should have more faith in yourself and your situation. Magic is a gift from a higher power –from God. You have to have faith there is benevolent magic along with the malevolent magic you experienced with Talise. As with many things in life there is both light and darkness.” Norman explained.

“So I should have faith in God, magic, and in things working out?”

“Yes, you should. But you don’t have faith, it’s why you’re here. You didn’t believe the curse would actually give you a happy ending and you didn’t believe your prayers would be answered. You didn’t believe a girl such as Nina, could truly be yours.” Norman’s voice was soft but accusatory.

“Do you know why I asked you about John 1:5, John?”

“I think you are telling me the bad, the darkness doesn’t win. In the end light overtakes it.” John said hesitantly.

“And?”

“I have to believe it. I didn’t remain in the Sirene Lake alive with Nina because I didn’t believe in magic as a gift from a God, a good God. I didn’t even believe a God I’ve had faith in all these years I was cursed, could save my life in the end. All I saw was Talise misusing her gift, not the light.” John said understanding Norman at last.

“Nicely done John. I didn’t think you’d ever see that bigger picture I was talking about. Light always overcomes the darkness, remember that. It’s the reason I’m here, why I’m helping you. Nina is also a light in your life, you are meant to take care of her and to take care of each other.”

“That’s it?” John asked, “You’ve been building up to this for hours?” John was confused again.

“You have faith and your prayers have been answered. You get to live your life to the fullest with Nina and your family. Remember they’re blessings, gifts. Take care of that girl John.” John looked at Norman who smiled at him, his face creasing as always.

“Faith, belief? It’s that big?” John asked.

“Faith can move mountains, you know that.”

“When can I go? Can I go home now?” John asked Norman. He was agitated. The darkness of the night reminded him he needed to sleep. The ocean waves hitting the shore lulled him until John’s eyes were weighted down with exhaustion.

“I should clean-up,” John mumbled sleepily.

“It’s done.” Norman said. John opened his eyes a bit to see Norman standing before him and motioning John into the cottage through the patio door.

“I don’t often get to sleep in a warm, comfortable bed John. Tonight I’ll sleep in a guest room. I think you need to sleep too, your energy is drained from the curse yet. You need to rest up for home.”

“Home? Sleep?”

“Yes, time for bed.” Norman said pointing John towards his bedroom and heading towards a guest room.

John opened his heavy eyes for a moment to look at Norman who waved. John mumbled some indistinctive words. He felt as if he were drugged, but it was only a wave of fatigue.

With difficulty, John undressed and climbed into a warm bed. A fan blew overhead, spreading cool air across John’s torso. He slept for what felt like an eternity, immersed in fantastic and splendorous colours.

Night turned to morning while John slept.


 

Today was Saturday. Nina dreaded this day more than any day she had experienced in a long time. It was worse then the day her father her Mother and Nina when she was a preteen. She knew she wouldn’t hear from her father ever again that day. But inside her being, she believed she’d still see John.

Nina stared at her haggard, washed out appearance in the bathroom mirror. She had barely slept, thinking about having to attend John’s funeral. Couldn’t she skip it? She didn’t believe John was dead after all. But she knew how much her attendance meant  to the Eric’s.

Looking at her iPhone, Nina realized it was only 8:30 am. The funeral didn’t start until 11:00 am. Nina was relieved she could go out for a walk down the beach before she got ready  for the funeral. John had been kind when he willed her his house, Nina loved the beach that ringed the Sirene Lake.

Washing her face and applying a bit of concealer to her under eye circles, Nina put on her yoga pants, a purple yoga top, and a warm fleecy hoody. The Fall weather made the beach down by the lake colder then it had been in spring, when Nina had been forced into the Sirene by Talise. But it was still a beautiful place to walk down whatever the time of year.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the pantry, Nina made her way to beach. The morning sky was blue and pleasant. Even by the Sirene’s shores, there was merely a gentle breeze. The sun beat down on Nina as she walked through the sand, it would be a decent day for John’s funeral at least.

The sky felt too bright for Nina’s mood and she put her hand up to guard her eyes from the invading sunlight. The sunlight was glaring and Nina thought, purposefully trying to lift her dour mood.

Nina walked quickly thinking about how she would deal with the funeral. A dark thought crossed her mind, what if John actually was dead? But she immediately brushed the thought aside.

Nina couldn’t not believe, John would come home. She didn’t know when he’d arrive, but he wouldn’t leave her like this to suffer. The curse had been broken so justly, Nina should get to spend her life with John. But was life just?

John hadn’t always been a stellar guy. He had been a horrible womanizer and used many women purely for sex. He had been a playboy, which had caused his curse initially. But Nina thought, John had tried to become a better person. With Nina he was himself and he wasn’t running from the reality of his life. Together, Nina and John made a great team.

Tears of regret and from missing John, flowed down Nina’s cheek. She knelt down in the sand and jumped when she felt a cool hand on her shoulder, brushing her neck because she had put her blond hair in a ponytail for her walk.

Nina gasped and stared back at a man behind her. Her eyes lit with unashamed love. She couldn’t believe John was behind her.

Nina screamed and jumped into John’s arms. Kissing every inch of his face. Tears ran down her cheeks and she thought she saw tears on John’s face too. She shrieked in shear joy.

Finally, John stilled Nina and held her in his arms kissing her forehead. ” Is it you? Is it you John?” Nina exclaimed.

“It’s me Nina. I couldn’t stay away.” Nina backed up from John, her eyes examining every inch of him from his tanned skin to his sapphire eyes aglow with mirth. His dark hair having grown and not been cut in months, was a wavy mess.

“Where have you been?” Nina asked John, suddenly angry at him. “You made me wait so long. Four-months is forever when you think someone’s dead. How could you do that to your Mom and I?” John appeared regretful.

“I wanted to come home. I did. I don’t know how to tell you this but I was stuck. I was asleep in radiant colours of every shade and texture for a long time. Then, I was on this picturesque beach with a homeless guy named Norman. He told me I had no faith and that was why I was stuck at the beach inbetween life and death.”

Nina gasped again. “Are you okay? I don’t know if you hit your head or if what you’re saying is the truth. Given our experiences in the past I think I believe you. I remember being stuck in colours like you describe myself. You saved me from them and then you disappeared.” Nina looked heartbroken as the memory came to her.

“I know,” John said sorrowfully. “I couldn’t help being gone for four-months since Talise broke the curse with us. I had no control. I wasn’t awake for most of it, I don’t think.” John grasped Nina’s arms and held her close.

“I missed you so much. I didn’t even know my own name, but I knew you.” John whispered to Nina, his forehead against hers.

The kiss began gently, exploratory. As if they were learning each other’s lips once again. Nina sighed and John deepened the kiss, his arms pulling her against him with force. Nina let herself melt into John, kissing him back, tongues sliding against each other and sparks igniting between them. Nina pulled back, tears unknown falling from her eyes.

John kissed the tears away and made his way back to Nina’s lips, exploring her mouth again. “I missed this so much,” John said heatedly.

Nina kissed John for what felt like forever until she couldn’t any longer because reality was intruding in her thoughts. She carefully pulled away from John’s arms and mouth, feeling woozy from lust and love. She stood a moment, catching her breath, lips swollen.

“Today’s Saturday John, today’s supposed to be your funeral.” Nina said frowning. “I told them you’d come back but time passed and your family needed to move on. We have to call them now.”

“Yeah you’re right. Norman told me today was my funeral. I think I should stop it, before it gets too far,” John remarked, ” I can’t wait to see everyone.”

Nina gazed up at John. “For a dead man you look amazing. You seem so full of vitality, joyeux de vivre. Why are you’re wearing beach clothes again? It’s Autumn here you know. How exactly did you manage to find me here?”

“I came from a beautiful cottage on a beach. The beach stretched for miles and I was all alone until Norman came. I went to sleep last night and when I woke up I was walking the surf of the Sirene in Adare and I knew I was close to home when I saw you walking. It’s the only explanation I can give you truthfully.” John told Nina.

Nina smiled softly, “I was a wreck without you. At least you willed me the house and I got to stay near your things. I want to hear all about this beach you were on with Norman. I have the feeling you’re telling me half the story.”

“Would I do that?” John teased.

“Ha, I think you say as little as you can at times.”

“Only trying to stay on your good side,” John said laughing.

“I’m glad I willed you the house. It’s our home and I’ll tell you all about Norman later. He saved Rianne from Malcolm you know?”

“Yeah, Jasper got footage from the Chinese food place. It showed Malcolm knocking her out against a wall. Jasper and Rianne weren’t able to find any sign of the homeless man in Adare.” Nina remarked.

“He was with me I guess. It’s not the only form he takes he told me. I’m not sure what he means by that, but he isn’t always a homeless man.”

“I think I should call my family now,” John said stroking Nina’s cheeks. “I wish we could be alone for a while first, but I doubt that will happen.” Nina smiled holding John’s hands against her cheeks.

“You’re not cursed anymore,” she exclaimed laughing joyfully, hugging and kissing John on the lips hard.

John grinned, “So this is happily ever after I guess?”

Nina smiled. “No, it’s the beginning of real life. Of our life. No magic . . .”

John’s smile slid off his face for a second, “I’m not so sure Nina. I think there will always be magic in our lives. If not magic, Talise.” Nina looked horrified.

“Norman told me. He said Talise was Jordan’s problem now.”

“But why? How did she survive? Jordan stabbed Talise through the heart with her dagger. The dagger changed appearance and the Sirene engulfed her body. Jordan has this ring .. .”

“I know all about it Nina. Norman filled me in. He also told me it’s Jordan’s path to take. Talise sees something in him, like you saw in me when we met.” John explained.

” Jordan hates her. He’ll never forgive Talise.” Nina remarked.

“She’s redeemable, Norman said. She’s not a sea witch anymore. Talise is only a mermaid and Jordan has her soul beneath the emerald in his ring.”

“Wow,” Nina said shocked.”I didn’t see that coming. Plot twist.”

John nodded in agreement with Nina’s exclamation,  kissing her hairline.”If you have your cell, I need to call Mom and Dad. What times the funeral?”

“It’s an hour-and-a-half away John,” Nina said checking the time on her phone and handing it to him worriedly. John clasped her hand in his before taking the phone and dialling his Mom’s cell.

He stood on the beach, listening to Nina’s phone dialing for what seemed like ages.

Please Read Chapter 29 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

26. How Was Last Night For You: Magic is Real Only If You Believe It.


Please read Chapter 25 here.

Chapter 26: Magic is Real Only If You Believe It.

Nina was living in John’s house. She had been staying there since John’s disappearance, four-months ago. Nina refused to believe John was dead. Everyone else was sure he had passed on when he saved Nina’s life after Talise poisoned her.

Nina had begged John’s parents and brothers to hold off on the funeral. They had agreed for four-months, but after John or his corpse hadn’t turned up, Edith decided to visit Nina at John’s home and talk with her regarding the situation.

Nina welcomed Edith and asked her to sit down in John’s living room on a comfortable couch. She sat opposite of Edith on the same couch, feeling Edith was about to tell Nina something she’d rather not hear.

Edith clasped Nina’s cold hands between her warm ones. She appeared sad but sturdy as she had always seemed to Nina.She could see Edith had been crying. Her eyes were bloodshot from a recent bout of tears.

“Nina,” Edith said calmly, ” We can’t keep living our lives like this, searching the Sirene, and hoping John will come back to us. Jordan and you told us Talise admitted curses have a magic to them beyond the powers of the sea witch who cast them. I don’t believe Talise after casting the curse on John, would’ve been able to save him by lifting the curse that awful night. She didn’t have enough understanding of magic to do that, she said so herself.”

“I don’t blame you Nina,” Edith said gently, “You couldn’t have changed John’s mind to save you. He loved you far too much to change his mind and he did the right thing as far as I’m concerned.” Edith sniffled and wiped a tear away. She gripped Nina’s hands tighter in solidarity and to give herself strength.

“John’s death was part of the curse. If he fell in love and with love sacrificed himself for you, the woman he loved, the curse would break. John doesn’t have to live wondering what terrible event will happen around him next. It hurt John immeasurably, living with a curse which was a danger to his family and to you Nina.” Edith’s voice trembled but she put her hand up and brushed Nina’s wayward blond hair off her cheek in a motherly manner.

Nina wasn’t prepared to accept John’s fate yet.”Curses which are broken have happy endings, Edith,” Nina exclaimed for the hundredth time. “John sacrificing himself out of love was supposed to mean he got to live a normal life with me. It shouldn’t and doesn’t mean he died. I’m certain somewhere out there, John’s alive Edith. He wants to come home to us. I can feel it in here,” Nina said her fist against her heart. Edith sighed sorrowfully.

“Maybe, John’s out there somewhere. But we’ve no way to find him. We don’t know where he could be. We’ve searched his regular hangouts, John’s vacation spots, and his brothers know where he went when he needed to be alone.There’s nowhere left to search for him, we don’t even know where to begin looking.”

“I believe he’s gone Nina.” Edith affirmed.” It isn’t logical that he survived sacrificing himself, as Jordan and you explained to us after that night. John’s in heaven; he is home.” Edith said with finality.

“It isn’t easy for any of us, for me to have to say this, but we’re going to have a funeral on Saturday. We need to have peace and let John have peace. John is with God now Nina.” Edith murmured reassuringly.

Edith only frustrated Nina. “For your family’s sake,  of course I’ll attend Edith. I’ll sit through John’s funeral. But I’m not saying goodbye. The curse is a special magic and I’m confident it will bring John home to us again. I will wait for him for as long as it takes.” Nina vowed. Edith shook her head at Nina’s stubborn belief.

“I want to be wrong Nina. I really do,” tears slipped out of Edith’s sapphire eyes. They were John’s eyes.”You can wait as long as you like but one day you’re going to have to let go and move on with your life.”

“You need to find yourself a good man one day, John wouldn’t have wanted you to remain alone. He willed you his house, paid for in full. It’s your home now, dear girl.” Edith said smiling. Nina wondered when John had time to rewrite his will to include Nina in it.

“You don’t want his house?” Nina questioned Edith, ” Or the money from it?” Edith shook her head. “Too many memories here Nina, too many good and bad memories. We have enough money in retirement savings and from our boys. John knew you loved it here on the beach of the Sirene Lake. If anyone were to find John, it would be you Nina. You never gave up on him ever. Not even now.” Edith said crying.

Nina hugged Edith hard. They remained embraced for a few minutes before they both arose and Nina walked Edith to the front door. Nina would see Edith at the funeral on Saturday.

Edith turned before walking  out onto the front porch,” You’re always welcome at our house Nina. Please don’t be a stranger. You’re the closest thing to a daughter I have, both you and Rianne.” Nina felt a tear trail down her cheek.

“Okay Edith. I will visit whenever I’m can,” Nina affirmed and Edith smiled gratefully and walked to her car parked in the front driveway.


 

Not long after Edith left, Rianne stopped by John’s (now Nina’s) house, with groceries. Nina hadn’t been eating much again and Rianne knew Nina’s habits when depressed and consumed by thoughts of John.

“I bought enough food to stock your fridge for the week. After that, I’m assuming you’re going back to work at Wilus. We’ll be having our normal lunch dates when you go back to work too?” Rianne hinted to Nina.

Nina smiled, a shadow of her former smile. “Of course Rianne. We’ll go to The Chilly Burrito first day I’m back from my leave of absence.” Nina promised.

Changing the topic Nina said: “You know, in four months, you’ve never told me what happened to you that night Talise kidnapped me. All I heard was someone knocked you out and stole your ugly lime purse.” Rianne wrinkled her nose at Nina.

“I loved my lime Kate Spade purse. Jasper bought me a brand new Kate Spade purse though.” Rianne smiled lifting her arm to show Nina her candy apple red tote.

“I like it but it’s not my lime one. Your iPhone was in my purse when it was stolen as you recall. I assume you replaced it with a new Iphone since we’ve been talking on the phone a lot?” Rianne told Nina.

“Yeah, next model up. My contract was almost over so I didn’t end up paying out too much for a new phone .  . . So, what happened when you got knocked out? Who saved you from getting hurt or left for dead by the Chinese food place?” Nina said, starring Rianne down. Rianne sighed and settled on the couch opposite of Nina’s.

“There was this homeless man. He poured water on me from his water bottle and the water woke me up. I had this dream Nina. I didn’t want to tell you about it . . . Well, because, it almost happened. I dreamed you were at the beach in the shallow water but you wouldn’t come out of the water and play in the sand with Sam and Eric. I knew you had a fish tail, I don’t know how. . .”

Nina gasped. “Your dream was like a couple of nightmares John had. He mentioned them the night we were all at Edith and Robert’s for supper, I think. One nightmare, he dreamed Talise was carrying him out to see to kill him and I kept following. I couldn’t swim, so I was going to drown myself.” Nina explained.

“He dreamed Talise was going to stab me through the heart too. Either his heart or mine, she said in the dream. I’m glad your dream didn’t come true Rainne.”

“What did the homeless man say to you? It seems coincidental to me that he was there at the right time. And that someone knocked you out when I was being kidnapped by Talise.” Nina said thoughtfully.

“Well,” Rianne said. “My bag getting stolen and me getting knocked out wasn’t coincidental. Jasper and I were able to get ahold of footage from security cameras in the Chinese Food place. I guess Chau, the owner, has had a few robberies of her own occur.”

“Jasper went with me and we asked if we could look at his security tapes from around 10:00 pm to 2:00 am that night you were kidnapped. I wasn’t knocked out by some random thief or homeless man. It was Malcolm.” Nina gasped and Rianne continued talking.

“Malcolm didn’t even bother hiding his face. He bashed my head against the back wall of the Chinese food building and grabbed my purse. He pulled out your phone and he looked as if he were going to throw my purse back but read the label on the bag and decided to keep it. Some lady in Georgia now owns by lime Katespade.” Rianne recalled.

“Oh my . . . Malcolm knocked you out? The same Malcolm who almost ran me down in his red pickup truck?” Nina asked and Rianne nodded.

“We found the red pickup truck. Malcolm sold it to a car dealer in Adare and bought a new truck. I’m positive Malcolm was bewitched Nina. Jasper pulled him aside one day at the end of work and questioned Malcolm about Talise. Malcolm became nervous because Talise disappeared four-months ago and he of course, hasn’t heard from her.” Rianne said elaborating.

“It turns out, around the time before the fundraiser at Mergers, Malcolm met Talise at a bar and brought her home with him. They got along well and she was staying with him.” Rianne explained.

“Malcolm remembers going to the fundraiser with Talise. His last memory of her was her freaking out at his place and somehow causing objects to fly in the air and crash. This was after, Talise returned from the Farmer’s Market —  our special place Nina, I might add.” Rianne emphasized.

“What then?” Nina asked Rianne. “Did Talise bewitch Malcolm? Does he know what he did when he was bewitched? I remember my actions, so he must?” Nina said. Rianne shook her head.

“Malcolm told Jasper he has no memory after Talise going crazy until the morning Jasper and I brought you and Jordan back on John’s sailboat. Malcolm admitted to Jasper it was if he suddenly woke up from a deep sleep with no memory outside of what he was doing at work.” Rianne said.

“Malcolm said he wasn’t able to find his beloved red truck when he woke up, which is how we knew it was him who tried to run you down at the Eric’s house. Malcolm didn’t recall buying a white truck.”

“Doesn’t make sense,” Nina murmured to herself. “He has to have some memory of Talise before the night she died and after the Farmer’s Market?”

“Malcolm doesn’t have a clue. John showed him my picture and he had no idea who I was. He didn’t know he sold my bag on eBay either. He was alarmed by all the things Jasper said he did.” Rianne admitted.

“Jasper made up some story about Talise being in some sort of drug ring and keeping Malcolm drugged up when he wasn’t at work. I don’t think Malcolm believes Jasper but he is willing to take the ‘out’  Jasper provided him with.” Rianne said.

“There’s one thing I’m still wondering about,” Nina began. “The homeless guy being there. You said you could see him on the footage from the Chinese place?”

“Yeah, he arrived around 1:00 am and noticed me lying in the street. He took a closer look at me and swore. I guess he saw the goose egg on my head. Then he poured water on me and I woke up as I’ve said.” Rianne repeated.

“And this next part you told me.” Nina recalled.” The homeless man helped you up, told you you’d been mugged, and all he wanted was our stale Chinese food. He wouldn’t take the watch your Mom gave you and I’m glad he didn’t. But I wish we could find this man and thank him.” Nina elaborated.

“We could give him some money and maybe, Jasper could get him some kind of job at Mergers? I don’t know what, but you never know I’m sure this homeless man is smart and educated in something?” Nina mused. Rianne stretched out on John’s grey couch and sighed.

“I’m tired,” she stated bluntly.

“Sleep if you want, there’s a couple of guest bedrooms so take your pick.” Nina offered Rianne.

“Yeah, in a moment . . .We searched for this homeless guy. Jasper couldn’t find him. But that’s no surprise homeless people often move around. We hoped he could tell us something more about him finding me that night but this man hasn’t been to any local shelters or places that serve meals for the homeless. I’m so thankful he woke me up Nina.” Rianne said emotionally.

“I was scared when I walked into your condo and you weren’t there. I knew you wouldn’t go to your Mom’s out of the blue like the note indicated. And you hate Heather’s late night guests.” Nina giggled but she felt Rianne’s worry.

“I called Jasper and Jordan to come over right away that night. The guys agreed, even though it was dark, we needed to take the sail boat out and find you. Jasper thought John would be in the harbour area as well. He talked to John on his phone before John’s phone cut out. ..” Rianne said haltingly.

Nina sat at Rianne’s feet and comforted her. “John found me. Talise’s magic wasn’t strong enough to search the whole Sirene for me once I broke her bewitchment spell. I’m not sure how I broke it but you know the rest of the story . . .” Nina whispered.

“I’m suddenly tired as well. It is 10:45 pm . . .”

“Let’s sleep Nina. There are other Saturday nights to do stuff. I hear this is your place anyhow now?”

“John and Nina’s place,” Nina stated, “Not only Nina’s house. I sleep in our bed.”

“Are you sure you want to sleep there among all John’s things? It’s been four-months now. Do you actually believe John’s not dead?” Rianne said. She sounded worried.

Nina rubbed her eyes feeling extremely lethargic and frustrated.”There’s this quote in Alice and Wonderland,” Nina asserted, “it says: people want magical solutions for their problems yet people don’t believe in magic.”

“I believe in magic. I experienced it with John and Talise.” Nina argued.” I have to believe, if there’s a dark side to magic there’s also a good side. And if there’s a good side, then there has to be a happy ending to John’s curse.” Nina trembled as she spoke.

“This isn’t the end for John or for our relationship. I believe in magic and I believe in God. I have to believe God wouldn’t take John from me, after all we went through. I have to believe there’s a magic that is restorative, which makes right the darkness it causes.”

Rianne gazed at Nina assessing her. “I hope your right Nina. If you believe in magic, I believe it too. I hate that we have to attend John’s funeral Saturday. So, I hope you’re right. Sam and Eric miss their Uncle John and we haven’t told them anything yet . . .”

Nina winced. “Poor little guys. I just . . .right now I need sleep. We both do. And then I need to figure some things out. Find more information on curses or something. I can’t explain knowing something in my heart. I just know; John’s alive.”

Rianne nodded and yawned. She chose the first guest room she came to and Nina ambled to John’s bedroom. She grabbed a shirt he’d worn before he left for Talise’s cave.

Nina slept on John’s side of the bed wearing his t-shirt. She prayed to God to bring John back to her, before sleep took her under in wings of darkness, and dreams of sapphire blue eyes invaded her sleep.

Please Read Chapter 27 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner: Bowling for Retrievers


” Of all the places I thought I would end up New Year’s Eve” it wasn’t beside a blind man on a plane with his guide dog Daisy. She was a beautiful friendly golden retriever. I wasn’t supposed to pet her but I couldn’t help myself when those chocolate eyes looked at me.  

I was going to Housten to compete in a bowling competition. I know what you’ll say: “Bowling, what kind of sport is that?” Well it’s a good one. I enjoy it and it keeps me relatively fit and when you’re not bowling you get to sit and drink with your buddies.

Suddenly, Daisy began to bark and whimper at Sam who was eerily still. It appeared Sam had peacefully passed away in his sleep. 

I kept Daisy with me when they took Sam to the morge. There was a funeral and I went. I heard his wife wondering what they were going to do with the dog who was too old to go to a new blind person. 

I spoke up then, “I’ll take her,” I said. Sam loved that dog and I would love her too. “Daisy” I whisper to her while petting her ears ” you and I are going to be great bowlers.” 

Word Count: 194 words

 

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Thanks to  RogerShipp for hosting this weeks challenge with the prompt picture and beginning line: 

“Of all the places I thought I would end up on New Year’s Eve…” 

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Absolut Apeach – with Song and Dance


I don’t know what the future holds, it’s vapour and ash in the palm of my hand. I try to tell myself, time will tell, but my thoughts are a muse that inspires; the present feels like I’m singing an epicedium, a word that has meaning to mourn;

It’s so challenging to be sitting here and waiting for the funeral to end; hello, Adele, can you hear me crank up something with a beat and dancing feet will swarm. I am looking for that lamp that always guides my feet, to take me out of depressing hymns and into the feelings of the warm breath of dawn, and life, and being a part of something outside myself and my musings. 

Sing a cheerful song, grab a partner and make a connection, a reflection in the looking glass; the print of today’s paper is bigger, but so was last night’s complications, corrections, don’t be so dull or forlorn. I am waiting for such answers, a teacher marking tests, never finding the perfect words, until one student finally understands the form. And with all of this frantic writing, we need translation we need more words, slang, and hyperbolation is the night’s score;

A rhythm finally knocking, some tapping, the sound of a thousand voices humming, to the typing of a sentence, say the right words, let learning explode. Implosions are the stars delight, it implies a meaning that can be found, in the exestential crisis explained by all this science; faith is not only one word.

And you might go hopping quietly down the rabbit hole, but drink the tea and eat the cakes, now your bonkers it’s too late; in all the madness, and hats that we wear in life, to let the mouse out of the tea pot and bring peace to so much, guiless sneaks evil, in the form of mockery, and jesting — it’s just a joke that a cat can only understand.

If we pick up some beats, will slumber cease, can I find some elaboration? One time, on hellos, and goodbyes. I’m not coming back, the grass is greener here. Don’t you know that’s not always just some saying, to keep people from being escapists and running to the otherside.

Ground at our boots, lets let the melody unfold in loops, candy canes on parade, no Christmas yet; there’s snow to make us tremble, the semblance of the night is roughly raging and you can’t just go inside you need to stay and improvise; it’s a party for the roaring of the singing voices, and those that dance suggested.

I implore you listen and read into the gestures made awkwardly by the person talking; can you think for yourself, see the truth in motions, not emotion, that could be fake; no liars here, they can disappear. They are oblivious to these simple truths we hold so dear, keep the bell ringing for tonight we gain a truth; instead of lies, it’s a surprise, now appear. Bow low before the crowd you’ve enchanted with a voice so clear.

Navigating Anew – It’s Okay


Ever since I left hospital, I have felt as if I’m navigating completely new territory that I have no experience with. I don’t know if what is affecting me is the new medication I’m on or a lack of the old ones I went off. So, my health and getting through each day has become a challenge. 

Each day it is extremely difficult to get out of bed and start my day. The best description I can come up with is that there is this giant wall and I have to climb over it inch by inch to reach a point in the morning when I feel okay. It is difficult to get out of bed, shower, and do my hair and makeup. I sleep to 11:00 am almost and that is too long, but it takes me to 1:00 pm to feel somewhat myself. But still everything feels so much harder to do. Maybe I’m overmedicated I don’t know. But struggling through each day is difficult. I try to remember to take things day by day and not to worry.

But my stomach always feels upset and I’m getting aching muscles as side effects. Not to mention I learned from my dentist since about a year after I started taking medication (became ill) the enamel on my teeth has rapidly been decaying until I have none left on my lower teeth and we don’t know the exact cause. I have always taken care of my teeth well. I only ever had one cavity so this is disappointing and troublesome on top of the rest of my health problems. 

Still, I have tried to plan things and go out and do things despite feeling not so up to it. This week it was just my weekly blood test and the dentist but atleast I walked a bit around downtown and the weather was a beautiful twenty-three degrees celsius. Next week I will have my blood test and my Uncle’s funeral. I will hopefully see my friend on Wednesday night for a couple hours and then on Friday I am getting my nails done at The Beauty Lounge. I hope I can do everything I need to do. 

I have to find sometime this week to go to the Shoppers near our house to pick up some parcels, get medication, and some other things. Either tomorrow or Saturday I will do that. And sometime I need to see A. We saw Jurassic World on the weekend. It was very good. I really liked the storyline and of course the newest genetically modified (for modern time) dinosaurs. It did justice to the original Jurassic Park too, one of my favourite movies as a child. 

I’m looking forward to feeling better and doing more things. I would like to do some catch up on some beauty blogs, do some work on my novel, and read some books so I can tell you about some of those. Things will be fine I just have some kinks to work out. In medicine, nothing is ever as good as it seems. So of course, a drug that makes me sleep is going to have some consequences for my energy in the day. But things will get better, I’m positive that I can with my doctors help find solutions. Thanks, for reading.