She was out of breath, a chestnut freckled nymph, tumbling through the woods. As if she were, Diana, running, eluding a square-jawed Apollo, and his torrential bed.
Her legs were short but supple, her body toned, but his strength was so much greater; his limbs thick with muscle earned in battle; height taller, hands quick, fingers nimble — but not such as hers.
She did not tarry, she hurried through the trees; their game played once, and forever. The catch and release continued with the nymph’s harmonious melodies. Her lute trilling, protecting her and luring him, precisely where she desired.
The nymphs laughter was as bells at dawn, signalling he’d caught her, and day turned to dusk as she coyly smiled and left. Her walk triumphant, his laughter all too knowing.
He dreamt of every time he caught her, tossing her up high as their lips melded. They met perpetually in their Grecian eternity, playing catch and release; it never became boring.
“Do you think the aliens actually look like that, Mom? They aren’t like my chameleon, Greg. They’re so bright soldiers would find them and kill them.”
“That’s a good point, Patrick. If there are aliens, like this guy here, they wouldn’t be able to hide being neon green, unless they had special powers? What do you think?”
“No they’re to bright they couldn’t hid. But maybe, like Greg, they could blend in. So in the forest the aliens could becomes like trees. Dark green and brown.”
Patrick tugs on his Mom’s arm, “Why is that devil beside the alien? Does he come after aliens too?”
“I’m not really sure. I think if the alien’s are anything like humans, I think God would protect them from the devil too. Do you think so?”
Patrick crossed himself as he saw his grandparents do at church. He smiled a bit embarrassed, “I think if the aliens cross themselves and they have a soul they will be okay. The devil can’t hurt the aliens if they have Jesus too.”
Patrick’s Mom hid her face as she chuckled, “I believe if there are aliens and they are considered ‘intelligent beings,’ there is no reason they can’t have souls and believe in Jesus as well. You are right about that.”
Patrick smiled and ran over to kick the devil carving.
Welcome back to my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing Lee Ann from the blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too. As LeeAnn’s blog focus is more on helping animals through her blog, the focus of this interview will be slightly different than past interviews.
1. LeeAnne, Please Tell Us About Yourself and Your Blog?
I have always been a quiet, deep-thinking, and observational person.Through deep-thinking and my tendency to observe, I noticed a lot of aspects about animals. Watching them, and paying attention to them, I fell in love with them.
As I am a quiet person, I feel I tend to get lost in the crowd much of the time. I noticed a similar thing often occurred with animals;they were getting lost in the crowd too when people didn’t pay attention and take care of them. Intrinsically, I felt their worth, their needs, and I noticed the way some of them were not treated nicely. My passion for helping animals was born.
2. When Did You Begin Blogging ? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You?
I had taken classes for Web Design in 2013 and one of the assignments was to create a blog. My blog was my current blog: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too and I wrote on it occasionally over the next few years. However, in August 2016 I started blogging regularly. I have had different experiences with writing throughout my life.
Back in elementary school I first fell in love with poetry and writing (and my poetry teacher J). Since then, I have written several poems over the years, but only for my family and friends for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, and other special events. Currently, some of my responsibilities at work include writing newsletters and social media posts.
Blogging means everything to me because of what I write about. I adore animals and feel passionate about helping them. I have been trying to figure out my entire life how to utilize my love for animals. When the assignment came up in my course to create a blog, my teacher told me she thought I should continue with my ‘helping animal’ themed blog.
I guess you could say a light bulb went off in my head. It took me a few years to apply myself, consistently blogging. But I think I had troubles because I was burnt out from being on a computer all day between work and school. I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.
” I write because I want to help animals by spreading the word about animals who are abused, the worth of animals, and our responsibility to care for them.” – LeeAnn
3. Where Do You Find Your Motivation and Inspiration to Write? Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer To Write?
Unfortunately, there are way too many people out there harming animals and not enough laws to protect the animals. This is where my inspiration and motivation comes from. I want to make a difference and ensure fewer animals are harmed. I also feel a lot of people are unaware of how much animal abuse exists and how few laws there are to protect animals (pets).I am hoping to bring light to these issues on my blog.
I am more alert and ‘fresh’ in the late morning after I have some coffee; however, because I have a full-time job, a lot of my writing and blog posts are done in the evening after work.
4. Do You Have Any Current Pet-Related Writing Projects or Hopeful Ones? Are You Planning on Publishing Anything Related to Animals?
My blog is my current and ongoing project. I am only six months into regular blogging, so I am still new at blogging. I am working hard at ‘getting my writing out there’ on animal issues. My hope is to grow my traffic, not for my sake, but for the sake of animals and to make a difference.
So far, I’ve not published anything other than blog posts. I have considered writing a children’s book on empathy towards animals someday. I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc.) I may also turn some of my blog posts into a book someday.
” I believe since children are our future, teaching them to be considerate towards animals could make a huge difference on the way animals in the in years to come will be treated by their owners (etc).” – LeeAnn
5. What Is Your Writing Process Like When Focusing on Animals?
As I mentioned, there is so much animal abuse going on, so there is not a lack of topics to write about. If I see a story on the web about an animal that was abused, I start thinking and the writing process for a post begins.
For example, after going to the Renaissance Festival I noticed an elephant chained to a contraption which only allowed him to move around in a circle giving people rides. I started thinking and when I was home, I wrote about this event and how awful it was for the poor elephant to be so confined and probably abused.
6. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Bloggers or on Advice on How People Can Help Animals in Need?
I am not a ‘professional’ writer, but as another blogger said: “If you’re writing on a blog, you are a writer.” Writing and blogging are skills I and other writers improve on with time. I am still learning and growing as I learn more about blogging, particularly for my significant cause. As well on my blog’s About Page I wrote this about how people can aid animals:
“Supporting animal organizations is . . . one way I help animals . . . I write about a wide variety of topics and types of animals, and I usually share links so you can check out the organization/topic being discussed.
There are many ways we can all help animals. Donating items to shelters, writing letters, signing petitions, volunteering time at an animal organization, sharing my posts to spread the word, and much more.” – LeeAnn
7. Do You Have Anything Else You’d Like To Share With Readers on Helping Animals, Yourself, or Blogging?
I am attempting to give my blog real purpose (a means to an end) that my writing and blogging actually result in animals at risk or already being harmed, not being hurt anymore. I also want people to know I do have a large variety of posts on my blog.
Some of the posts I write include Pet Tales, Vegetarian Recipes, Pet Care Tips, and Serious Topics such as Animal Abuse Issues. I also use pictures from other bloggers and Facebook Page followers. I post them in my posts called ‘Tuesday Tales.’
8. Do You Have Any Favorite Bloggers You Follow?
I enjoy different kinds of blogs, but I think my favorite blogs are when someone writes about their pet(s). I think it’s fun to see all those adorable pet photos and learn about various animals and their personalities. Oddly enough, I do not necessarily like to follow blogs that are about ‘animal activism.’ I applaud them but I find these blogs usually too graphic for me to handle.
9. Please Share With Us Some of Your Animal Related Blog Posts:
The post below was written when a young follower of mine contacted me to let me know she was inspired by my blog. She wrote a poem called “Animals Are Feeling beings Too” which she published on her blog.
I have been blogging (well…serious blogging) for a few months now. I have played around with my blog, changing & adding things like the “Tuesday Tales” where I share animal stories and “Sunday Pause (Paws)” where I encourage everyone to kick back & relax. On my “Vegetarian Challenge” page I try to add recipes every now & then. There hasn’t been an actual challenge yet, but maybe in the future. Also, I have been adding my favorite cruelty-free products to the “Links” page, adding some pictures of my cat, Cino and “Pet Care Tips.”
I will continue to add to these pages and keep a variety on my blog. But one thing that will not change is where my heart is, and that is helping the fight against animal cruelty.
This means some of my posts will not be so uplifting or fun. If I were to only do “happy” posts I wouldn’t be spreading the word about animal cruelty and therefore I wouldn’t be helping animals.
Something I saw on Facebook (or somewhere) not so long ago was this sentence, “The reason I dedicate myself to helping animals so much is because there are already so many people who dedicate their lives to hurting them.” Sadly, a true statement!
There are a lot of people who tell me they can’t stand to read or see anything about animal abuse because it bothers them too much. It bothers me A LOT too, but I can not turn my back on them. I want to encourage others not to either.
I recently have received a few great compliments from fellow bloggers about my blog. This makes me feel so warm & fuzzy. I also received a message from a young follower, named Leona, that said me and my blog inspire her, and that she wrote a poem and named it “Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.” I was overjoyed by this! It makes me think maybe I AM making an impact out there for the good of animals!
Thanks to LeeAnn for the lovely interview and sharing her passion for taking care of and helping animals at home and ones who are in need. Best of luck to her in her blog and spreading the word about animal empathy and the proper way to treat your pets and animals in general. Here is a Link To LeeAnn’s blog one last time: Animals Are Feeling Beings Too.
If you would like to share your blogging or writing in my biweekly interview series, please reach out to me through mycontact page on my blog. I will see you in two weeks!
Alice was excited to be eighteen and have her coming-out party in society. The young girl who talked nonsense about Wonderland was gone — the adult had almost swallowed her fantastical self completely.
She participated in garden parties, having tea in different settings such as fashionable tea rooms with her mother and girl friends. Alice went out with friends on picnics and sometimes on a double-date with a girl friend, two gentlemen with potential, and of course a chaperone.
Part of Alice always had a difficult time letting go of Wonderland. She knew it as a world infinantly crazy. At the same time, it was a place where she felt at home and life even though hidden beneath words and rhymes, made the most sense out of any place she had visited.
Alice had been around the world. Her father and mother had taken her to Europe. She had seen art and buildings thousands of years-old. She studied countless kings, queens, poets, philisophers, and clergymen as she travelled with a tutor. She had even been to the Orient, stocking up on silk and tea for he friends. Something about having tea, always appealed to her. It wasn’t merely Victorian society’s obsession with the past-time.
Throughout her travels, Alice found herself thinking about her days in Wonderland. She would consider if her two grand adventures actually occurred. If the dreams she still had of people and creatures in Wonderland — new and old, throughout her life –were true?
Alice could picture her Wonderland friends drinking tea, eating cookies, and talking nonsense; it had all felt real. She missed her childhood, but at the same time thought she had indeed been bonkers. Her friends at school had quickly shown her how odd little girls were treated and mocked, until Alice ceased talking about Wonderland at all.
As she grew-up, she believed she caught glimpses of a furry white rabbit in a vest following her, keeping watch. The White Rabbit would turn his head and smile at Alice, purposefully checking his pocket watch and then waving it at her. She didn’t know what the White Rabbit wanted from her and she was never quite sure if he was real. Alice began to ignore the White Rabbit, but he was persistent, even invading her sleep. Her dreams became increasingly vivid and she felt wherever she went, traces of Wonderland and its inhabitants, grasped her with dreamy tendrils.
Since Alice had first returned from Wonderland as a small girl of six, a pair of intense green-eyes and an attractive smile, had haunted her dreams. She knew this man, knew he’d always been watching out for her in the stickiest of situations as she grew up, keeping her safe. Alice had never had the chance to meet this young man, only knew that he lingered in her presence often, and that when he she felt him, she was at peace.
Alice’s eigteenth birthday was a grand affair. Several young men and women attended with their families. Last night had been an opulent coming-out ball but tonight was a private affair for Alice and her closest girl friends. The best potential suitors for Alice and her friends were also invited.
She was sipping her tea when her eyes caught the eyes of a man she thought to be about five years her senior. His green-eyes were familiar and glinted knowingly at Alice. She stared at him enthralled; he seemed to know she was drawn to him. His smile was devastatingly familiar, but only in her dreams. Alice wasn’t sure she believedher dreams were genuine. Could magic still be real?
The young man was a strange creature to her, as strange as those creatures she’d met in Wonderland long ago. Perhaps more so, if the sins of the flesh the Abbot talked about were as terrible as he said they were. But Alice didn’t much care about the Abbot’s warnings. She was intrigued and had always been a curious girl; she peered at the green-eyed man considering him.
His suit was finely-made and he smiled at her boldly. He moved towards her, but Alice hid amongst her friends, not yet ready to meet him. Her heart fluttered when her eyes met the young man’s mysterious green-eyes again; he was laughing at her shyness.
Alice perturbed by his making fun of her, left her own party and went outside to ponder. She sat on a bench in the garden behind her house. She still tended the roses in the garden but had forgotten the unique song of all flowers, she had sung as a child. Her roses were wilting and dry. She stood up and bent to pick a lone surviving rose. Hearing odd noises she looked up.
She was unsure of where she was at first, the garden had disappeared and Alice stood on a large slippery brown rock in the middle of an ocean. A young man in a boat rowed towards her and the noises she heard was the water lapping against the stone.
“Oh, do hurry, this rock is so small and I think the water is rising,” Alice yelled to the man. She waved her arms until the boat was next to the rock and piercing green-eyes met her shocked blue ones. Strong hands gently held her steady as she stepped into the row boat.
Alice was grateful to the man, but then she recognized his face from the party. He pushed his short dark-brown waves from his forehead. His green-eyes knowingly studied Alice. She felt as a if she were a child again, under a teacher’s gaze, but the young man was not upset at her; he seemed curious and careful with her instead.
“Alice,” the young man said, “Please take a seat so I can row us to safer waters and neither one of us falls in the ocean.” Alice obeyed, sitting opposite of the man with her mouth gaping. The man gently closed her mouth, smoothing her skin with the back of his hand.
Alice’s face heated and she blushed,”Who are you? And why are you here with me in Wonderland? I didn’t think you were real, real enough to attend my party.”
The young man’s eyes twinkled cheerfully, “I’m Wren, Alice, and I’m here and yourhere because Wonderland needs us. It was time for you to return and time I met you in person — not only in your dreams.” Alice flushed red.
Wren chuckled, “You didn’t go easy on our friend the White Rabbit. He’s a bit peeved at you for ignoring him so long. He kept waving his prized watch at you. I’m surprised you weren’t curious enough to follow him, darling.”
“Wren, are you from Wonderland or did you come here as a child too, like me? You’ve been with me before a great deal. I remember your green-eyes and smile; you keep me safe, but you never say hello. I’ve never seen how you actually look before.”
“Dearest, I’ve always lived in Wonderland and you’re correct, I’ve been with you when you’ve visited and I take care you are safe in the outside world. I have a Cheshire Cat who watches you closely, along with my friend the White Rabbit. I haven’t always been able to be with you, but when I cannot you can be sure the Cheshire Cat or the White Rabbit are there.”
“Why do you keep me safe Wren and why do you call me dearest? I always thought you lived only in my dreams. It’s been so long since I visited through the looking glass; do you stand with the Red Queen or the White Queen?”
Wren smiled softly as he rowed the boat effortlessly, Alice peppering him with questions; he listened contentedly as he rowed. “I’m supported by the White Queen Alice, but my influence is greater than hers and so yourinfluence will be greater than any queen as well.”
Alice studied Wren. She had been staring her boots shyly, for far too long. It wasn’t like her to be shy, when she bubbled with questions. Yet, she could feel herself blush anytime she looked at Wren; his smile brightened when he caught Alice staring.
She brushed the blond hair out of her eyes and in her frilly white dress, balled her hands together on her lap, determined to have a long look at Wren. She was assured she’d seen him before in some form and felt his presence keeping her from harm. Wren was beautiful to Alice; he was handsome and lithely muscled beneath his clothes. He was from Wonderland so she was pleased not to have to hide nonsensicallogic from him; he already would understand what Wonderland was like.
She noticed his eyes peruse her and Alice blushed again. Wren reached for her small hand and squeezed it gently, as he stopped rowing the boat. “Alice, you’re beautiful. As a girl, I thought you a fascinating girl, defeating the Red Queen and deftly dealing with Time. You had such a tousled head of blond hair and you still do. You’ve the same inquisitive blue-eyes and you’ve grown into a stunning woman,” Wren told her squeezing her hand again. He seemed genuine and the compliments made Alice flustered.
“Your beauty is also an asset when one has been tasked to guard Wonderland as we have,” Wren continued.”Beauty can attract and fool people and often, at the same time,” Wren said, absently stroking circles on Alice’s hand. “It’s hard for me to explain. Especially since I’ve much more experience than you’ve in life. Humans ageslowly in Wonderland –most creatures here do. But as in any land, we have ourownways to protect and our own tyrants to fight. You have proven yourself twice against our foes.”
Wren held both her hands firmly, appearing serious, “We have always had two guardians at a time, for a thousand Wonderland years each pair, ensuring Wonderland’s survival. Our guardians are a couple; a couple is stronger than one being. I am one guardian, born in Wonderland and familiar with its ways,” Wren said.
“The second guardian is you, Alice, born of the outside world. You have learned and come to love Wonderland — though lately you pretend otherwise. You are the second guardian Alice and I’ve waited forever for you, my other half. You know forever can be a very long time.”
Alice blushed and then upon realizing the great responsibility she now had, her face went white, “Why me? Is this why I have never been able to forget Wonderland all these years ? Am I to marry you, a man I don’t really know?
Wren grinned at Alice tugging gently on her hands as she tried to free herself from his touch; he chuckled, playfully. Alice began to smile too and as she peered up from their joined hands, she saw the row boat resting on a beach. They stepped over the side of the boat and the vivacity and colour of Wonderland surrounded her as they walked into the forest. The flowers greeted Alice immediately, so happy she had returned.
Wren stopped walking a moment, turning to face Alice. He was heads above her and tilted her chin up to look at him. “My Alice,” he began, “Magic is a curious thing. It can find the right people and draw them together. It has always driven me to you. I have loved you since I first saw you.”
“That makes no sense.”
“But it does Alice. You believe in magic, yes?” Alice nodded.
“Then you know. If you want magical things to happen, you must believe in them. We must believe in each other. And what’s knowing? People are together fifty-years in your world and they don’t know each other. Often, they’ve forgotten the magic — the love, between them. Here the world is magic and I will not forget you or our love.”
“Wren, I’m particularly fond of you. I’ve never felt this way, except about you, ever — only in dreams when you visited, when I felt you near somehow. Is that love and is it enough? And I’m only eighteen-years-old, how can I guard Wonderland?
Wren smiled and he gently pecked Alice’s lips.”We have forever. Forever is a thousand Wonderland years. All your old friends are here. Not those girls who were cruel to you for being you at school. Wonderland needs us both and you will soon know me as I know you. We will even know each other better than most people ever know each other. What you feel for me, I’m so thankful for. And yes it is enough, it is the beginning of love.”
“I’m not sure couples should always know each other better. Sometimes secrets are better kept,” Alice said thoughtfully.
“Dearest, we cannot have secrets. We have a responsibility but we have a haven in each other and perhaps much later, a child to carry on as guardian with another girl or boy from your world, when forever comes,” Wren stated stroking Alice’s cheek.
“I can trust you, Wren? I’d rather have the truth in a nonsensical way than an outright lie,” Alice said firmly staring at Wren.
He blushed this time, “I will be truthful to you —nonsensically and sensically.”
Alice smiled and kissed Wren’s cheek before saying,”You never said Wren, who do we guard Wonderland from?”
“From reality, Alice. From those who do not believe in magic. For those who would tell people love is not real and everything has to be logical and makesense. Though our world is much nonsense, we make moresense than the real world. There are always monsters in the midst and as you know, timehimself is often one of them. So are Queens and many tyrants, there is always a badguy somewhere I’m afraid,” Wren said a bit tiredly.
Alice stared at Wren, standing on her tippy-toes, and stroking his stumbled cheeks in comfort. She felt drawn to Wren, as if she were in a pleasant fog. Gently her lips met Wren’s for a kiss. He kissed her back more intensely and she could feel what she knew was passion between them; it was Alice’s first real kiss. They lingered a while, walking and teasing each other, stealing more kisses which were more difficult for Alice to step away from each time.
A stray thought occurrred to her as they walked, “Won’t my mother miss me?” Alice asked, “How can I leave her alone?”
“She will believe you married a wealthy heir and will be pleased, as that will be the truth; we can visit her often, though she will be gone for most of your lifetime.”
Alice nodded feeling sad, but realizing her duty with Wren. She wasn’t afraid, knowing he was with her. She knew their relationship was blossoming and would flourish, perhaps, with ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ as couples had — but perhaps, better. Their connection had been built her entire life.
Taking Wren’s hand, Alice walked off into Wonderland. How curious her home would be here with Wren and his green–eyes gazing at her with love, and the White Rabbit out of no where, jumping beside them.
Ah! My apologies this is so late! I’ve never written any continuous thrillers, it’s hard!
“Chad, off the medical table and on the floor!” Uncle Sam yelled as gunfire grew closer.
“I don’t know how he found us Sam.” Marrion said.
“I need to know the truth about my tattoo,” Chad yelled frustrated.
“Secrets are dangerous Chad. They can expose you, crush you like a flower.” Marrion said, gazing between Chad and Sam.”Chad might be safer if . . .”
Sam squeezed Marrion’s hand, “Please, tell Chad what you know.”
“Tom isn’t dead. He wasn’t undercover; he is and was the enemy, has been for nineteen-years.”
“Tom isn’t your Dad; Sam’s your Dad, Chad. Sam and Mona had a drunken night after they thought Tom died.” Marrion admitted.
She peered at Sam, “You should’ve told Chad you were his real Dad. Your name is hidden within Chad’s cartoon seal tattoo. You gave Chad the tattoo as a baby to keep track of him and keep him safe. Chad should also know, you’ve been running from Tom recently, not Garig; Garig is Tom’s lackey.”
Sam sighed, hands shaking. “I kept it secret because if Tom thinks Chad’s his son, he won’t kill him.”
“I was the reason Tom disappeared. My twin brother almost ended up in military prison, sentenced to death.”Sam said regretfully. “What choice did I have? Tom was a traitor and wasn’t the onlyone undercover; I was undercover to bring him down.”
“There’s more Sam,” Marrion said.”Chad’s tattoo has twomore codes. Tom added his own code to track Chad along with a trigger code. I had to be careful when I scanned Chad’s tattoo because of the trigger code.”
“Why?” Sam said afraid.
“Chad is a walking weapon of mass destruction. If anything reads a special encrypted trigger code on his tattoo — Chad explodes. This boat explodes and the water for miles and miles in the ocean will be full of radiation, which will cycle into oceans around the world. There will be great casualties.”
Chad was about to speak. He felt sick again.
Then, a stray bullet bit him; he felt a sharp stinging pain.
A familiar voice shouted loudly, in Russian, as Chad passed-out.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today’s prompt comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who also suggested our prompt for Day Seven. Today, Gloria challenges us all to write a poem in honor of Earth Day. This could be about your own backyard, a national park, or anything from a maple tree to a humpback whale. Happy writing!
For more information please see NaPoWriMo. The poem form is Etherees, repeated, and turned upside down, and written as they are.
Calling her Mother, created in beginning,
Adoration is hers, our provider,
Gods hands formed, but yet she falters,
He said be her caregiver,
Taking more then we’re meant,
Using her until she —
Is broken, torn,
Forgetting our place,
Nurture her as she,
Nurtures her caretakers,
Ignorance destroys beauty,
Creator so lovingly beheld and,
Let us name earth’s creatures — disappearing.
Don’t forget, protect earth, greed consumes her.
Through thousands, perhaps, millions of years past,
Nina counted to ten in her head before telling Talise what she had already told her about John before; he wasn’t the same person he used to be.
” Talise,” Nina said, “people change. John is repentant for his past. He doesn’t use woman anymore. He has only dated women who want to date him and he likes, in the past few years.Some relationships aren’t meant to be. He loved and lost his first girlfriend when he was twenty-five. John said the wrong words, as he sometimes does. He lost Tia forever and she disappeared. But he has paid for his mistakes with Tia everyday of his life.” Nina smiled meaningfully at Talise. “John and I make each other happy Talise. Every person deserves to be happy at least some of their life. All humans make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Better to enjoy life while we are able.”
Talise laughed darkly.” You think you and John are meant to be? Malcolm tells me you’ve only known each other not even a week at best.”
” I’m taking my relationship with John day by day. Our relationship has blossomed quickly. It’s none of your business actually. I’ve told you way more then I should have, but I feel bad for you because your stuck at a place in your life which was obviously a difficult time for you. But I believe it would be best for you to move on.” Nina cautioned Talise.
“I feel something life changing with John. I have never felt like this for any guy I’ve dated before, even when the relationship lasted a year or more. John feels the same as I do for him, for me.”
Talise flushed in anger. She was frustrated with Nina and upset Nina was ignoring her heartfelt advice.” Just leave,” Talise shouted at Nina. The people around Nina looked at Talise curiously when she shouted. Talise’s eyes were a stormy green and she looked murderous.
Nina glanced at the large door of the warehouse which remained open when the weather wasn’t too cold at the market. She smelled the distinctive scent of rain before it began to drop outside. It was noisy and harsh against the warehouse made from metal sheeting.
Nina moved away from Talise and closer to the entrance to see outside. The sky was taking on a blackish- purple hue. The wind was blowing against the building with bursts of intense noise and outside a storm awoke. Hard pebbles of hail clanged against the warehouse of the market. A few men struggled to close the metal doors to keep out the wind, hail, and rain.
Nina searched for John amidst the dismayed crowd. She spotted John and he was yelling at Talise. ” Tia is that you?” he asked with surprise and distress. “After all these years? You’ve finally come back to see me? To ruin my life more!” John loathed Tia for what she had done to him. Living a life where everyday something dreadful or sad happened was harsh.
John was a meter away from Nina in the crowded market but she could see he was transfixed by Talise. He was staring at Talise with a mixture of emotions on his face, his hands gripping his hair. She could see the expressions on John’s face as he went through the emotions of regret, pain, anger, and abborance.
Talise sauntered around her table of scarves to John and whispered something in John’s ear. Her actions were flirtatious and she touched John as a lover who knew him well. Nina felt the first stings of jealousy beginning to threaten but John’s manner towards Tia was stone cold. John wasn’t about to forgive Tia for all the suffering he, his family, and old girlfriends had endured. John backed up from Tia with revulsion and he looked for Nina fearful for her safety. When he saw Nina he realized she had observed his reunion with Tia, short for Talise.
“Stay away from that woman Nina,” John said rushing to Nina and sternly gripping her upper arms.”She’s a witch, a sea witch. I can’t believe it. After all this time . . .Tia is back, and you’re wearing one of her scarves!” John’s words were incensed and loud. He had to be loud to be heard over the storm battering the warehouse. John’s temper was making it difficult for him not to be irritated with Nina. The words flew out of Nina’s mouth as she tried to explain to John she was on his side.
” I didn’t know Talise was Tia. I meant her at the fundraiser yesterday. Talise told me she’s dating Malcolm, an editor at Mergers. It’s her friends scarves and she’s only filling in. I hope the vendor of the scarves booth is actually a friend. I hope Tia didn’t hurt the woman so she could be here to tell me to stop seeing you.” Nina said fervently.
“Tia keeps warning me away from you John. She told me bits about her relationship with you. She said you threw her away. I didn’t understand why I saw her at the fundraiser and here today, but I do now. If Talise is Tia, she hates you John. Time has only made her deteste you more.”Nina was talking so fast she had hardly breathed.
“You saw her at the fundraiser?” John said horrified. ” I knew she was there. But whenever I tried to get a look at her she turned away. She’s trying to reach me through you. Please don’t speak or be with her again alone Nina. Never, she’s cunning and desperate.” John warned.
“She hates you John. But at the same time, I think she wants you back. She is jealous of me, I can tell.”
“Of course Tia is jealous,” John raged. “She only wants for me to suffer. To live without another woman’s love until I die. I’m not going to do that. You and I, we have something together. Leave Talise or Tia to her schemes.” John was passionate as he spoke. Nina glanced behind her to see the beautiful Talise waving at Nina with a smirk on her face. Talise was probably gloating because Nina hadn’t figured out she was John’s first love Tia. Nina had even told Talise about Talise’s own past. Tia disappeared eerily into the crowd.
“What did Tia say to you John, when she was whispering. I saw her talking to you?” John grimaced and looked at his feet. He started to talk but couldn’t complete his words. He tried again with a look of frustration and sorrow in his bright blue eyes:
“She says my heart or yours, Nina. I don’t know what she means yet, but I think Tia has a violent streak. She wants revenge and she wants me back. Errrr….last night I had a nightmare. Tia was in it and she said to me the same phrase she whispered to me a few moments ago.” Nina gasped.
“Why is she still so angry at you John. You’ve suffered so much. How can she be so malevolent? Does she literally want my heart out of my chest?”
John nodded grimacing. He held Nina in his arms and stood behind her. He kissed the crown of her head. “I won’t let her hurt you,” John murmured over and over again, soothing Nina and himself. The storm raged on outside.
Without warning, the roof of the aluminum warehouse started to lift with a powerful gust of wind. The wind was blowing produce, goods, booths, and tables around the inside of the warehouse. The people at the market were left to huddle low to the ground and attempt to avoid debris the wind had picked-up. Many people sported cuts, bruises, and even broken bones. Nina glanced at John as smaller objects streamed around them. John had been gripping a couple of their bags full of produce in his hands, his knuckles white with anger as they crouched on the floor.
Abruptly, the table of scarves blew over. Scarves fluttered everywhere like displaced butterflies and the table was caught in another giant gust of wind. Everyone caught in the warehouse crouched low, their hands shielding their faces. Nina dove with her bags to the ground with John, when they were almost hit by a former fruit booth.
Nina looked around her hoping the worst was over. With fear in her pale blue eyes, she observed the table from the scarves making a pathway right for her before she could think to move. The table bashed Nina in the side of her head and landed on the cement floor. Nina was stunned and felt blood oozing from an open wound. She felt a searing pain as she lay on the floor miserably, her hand trying to stop the bleeding in her blond hair.
The storm passed away as fast as it had arrived. The roof sat awkwardly half-back in place on walls of the warehouse. Nina lay on the floor beneath her bags including John’s apple pie. She tried not to cry and held her head as she sat up feeling nauseous and sick. She felt dizzy as she attempted to locate John. This time, he hadn’t been able to protect her. But Nina had a feeling this event was more a product of Tia’s rage and not a product of John’s curse. Nina hurt everywhere and her eyes kept closing without her being able to stop them. Nina felt herself sliding back to the floor. She faded into unconsciousness.
John played with the thin silver chain around his neck nervously. He appeared to be preparing himself to say what he needed to Nina:
” When I was twenty-five ” said John, ” I was stupid, reckless, and I didn’t care for anyone but myself and what I wanted. What I wanted was girls and to pursue my dream of owning a publishing company with my two brothers. I had a trust fund from my Grandpa, he was well off. I didn’t worry about where I would find the money. But for entertainment and fun I slept with too… too many girl to count.” John sputtered.
“I slept with strippers, I slept with hookers. I slept with girls I liked and I slept with girls I didn’t like. It didn’t matter I only wanted sex. It felt good, still does. I didn’t want the responsibility of girlfriend, I had enough on my plate.” John’s looked ashamed.
“I was working a lot and celebrating life when I wasn’t. I couldn’t tell you the number of women a wealthy man like me has been with. I haven’t completely improved but I’m better, since my experiences with Tia. She was my first serious girlfriend. My brothers and I, we used to party so hard. I would drink until I passed out — happens now and then still. But I don’t spend all my free time getting laid.” John looked imploringly at Nina still fidgeting with his neck chain.
“I’m careful with the woman I date now. I can’t ever date any woman too long or she starts to notice all the bad situations occurring around us are more then a coincidence. Sometimes, I have dated a woman and she gets hurt. O-one or two, women I saw ended up in hospital for broken bones. But Nina you’re different. I care about you. . . I can protect you. I think.”
Nina almost choked on her green tea. She had expected that John was a womanizer, had been trying not to care. But she felt perturbed John had told her that he slept with so many women. Some of these woman thought he cared about them. But he never cared. Thinking back to the night they slept together, Nina was glad they were safe. She looked at John his face was ashen and he was fiddling with his neck chain again. John’s eyes still appeared to have dark circles around them. He perceived all the terrible thoughts Nina might think of him.
John lifted his hand haltingly as if to touch Nina then placed it gently on her knee. ” I’m sorry” he whispered ” I wasn’t a good guy. I’m still not. But I’m getting better. But you need to know this part of me good or bad. Please . . . ” Nina nodded and John continued his tale of woe .
“O-one day I met this girl, Tia. She was beautiful, an angel. Absolutely lovely. I was into her right away. She looked something like you with beautiful blond hair. But her hair was wavy and her eyes green. She had your gorgeous figure and had the best laugh in the whole world. . . We had so much fun being together. She was barely twenty-years-old when I met her. We were together for two years. I -I wanted to marry her but the whole business of Mergers got in the way of Tia and I.” John paused. He appeared sad to Nina and regretful.
” I loved Tia. But she was needy, always wanted to be with me, and do everything with me. My brothers and I had meetings and were acquiring companies. Magazines, newspapers, smaller publishing companies for Mergers. Tia didn’t understand why I couldn’t spend more time with her. I had to work it was important to me. I wasn’t going to only rely on my Trust Fund. I couldn’t let my brother’s down or myself.”
“One day Tia walks into Jordan’s penthouse. I told her to come and chill with us. Jasper’s wife Jennifer was still alive then and was making snacks in Jordan’s kitchen. Tia overheard Jordan say to me, ‘ so are you actually serious about this Tia chick. I mean she’s hot but she’s so young, do you really think she can represent you at business functions? She never came across to me as the right type for the public eye. She’s more of a free-spirit, not a wife.’
“Tia was a party girl. Her and I were well suited that way. But I knew she could be serious too. She could play the part of a businessmen’s wife. I had no doubt. She would have made a fun and impish little wife. But Jasper agreed with Jordan. ‘She has a lot of growing up to do. She’s only twenty -one or two right? We can’t party as much as we used to we have to be professionals and be more discreet who we’re seen with. Tia’s beautiful but didn’t you say you were only with her because she was good in bed and hot?’
“It was what I had told my brothers stupidly even though it wasn’t the truth. And I didn’t know Tia heard all this until she tells me to come and meet her on my boat that evening. I didn’t think she’d even come over to Jordan’s penthouse.”
“Tia and I went downstairs to the cabin of my boat that night and made love all night. I felt guilty about what I let my brothers believe. Tia was an angel. And I felt something was up with her. I didn’t know what but even though she was fierce and passionate with me in bed, when I tried to talk to her she was distant with me.”
” In the morning I awoke and Tia was standing at the end of the bed looking at me with sorrow in her eyes. I asked her if she was okay and she became furious. ‘l loved you, you know.’ she screamed. I told her I love her too. But Tia looked heartbroken and I knew somehow she was their when my brothers and I were talking. The room began to glow brightly:
” ‘ I heard everything Jasper said you told them about me. You were using me for sex.’ Tia shrieks. The cabin bedroom is so bright now I can barely see anything but Tia’s eyes glowing fluorescent green and her beautiful blond hair flowing out behind her. Her voice sounded malicious.
“Tia said: ‘ I curse you. I curse you until the day you find true love and sacrifice yourself for the woman you love. It won’t be easy for a woman to love you. I curse you to have horrible events occur all around you. Events which will hurt woman you try to be with. If you care for a woman again you can protect her, but only then. Caring for a woman will not break the curse only you sacrificing yourself for true love will undo the horrible events you will have to live through each day. I wan’t you to feel how I feel know, ashamed and guilty.”
” ‘How can you curse me?’ I asked her. She told me she was a powerful sea witch.”
” ‘I’ll be watching you closely, John’ she shrieked ‘ I hope you fail and never love again. I hope you die heartbroken like me.'”
” Tia ran up the stairs out of the cabin bedroom and above deck. I chased her but she dived into the sea and swam away. You know, I swear I could see her in the distance swimming away a bright green tail flipping in the water as she swam farther and farther away.” John admitted this last part about Tia with trepidation. He kept glancing at Nina waiting for her to laugh at him. But Nina saw how seriously he believed what he said.
” Tia is a sea, is a sea witch,” John stuttered. “My own family barely believe me but they experience all the unusual events happening around me often. Jasper and Jordan blame themselves for their part. They know the events that occur around me are a result of Tia.”
” I went looking for her. Perhaps, that is why I love sailing so much. But I have never seen or heard from Tia again. It’s as if she never existed. Her friends don’t know what happened to her and they say she didn’t have any family they knew of. I never meant her family. Tia wouldn’t talk about them. She said she’ll be watching me. Tia said she hopes I never fall in love and only suffer. She’s out there still . . .”
“I loved her. And all the sufferring and bad events those are my punishment for not standing up to my brothers and telling them I loved her. Now, no women can be around me long without noticing accidents happening often, or suffering through these accidents. I’m cursed Nina and that is the truth. John’s sapphire eyes looked haunted.
“But you could be different Nina. The chandelier this afternoon, a piece of flying debris was going to hurt you and I stopped it from happening. I said in my head: ‘you’re not going to hurt her’ and you were fine. It has never worked like that before. Usually, I suddenly see what’s going to occur and it happens. I can’t stop it.
” And the first night we met, the woman at the harbor was going to pull you into the water. You were going to drown because you can’t swim well. I knew it in an instant, so I intervened so you wouldn’t fall in. I can stop bad things from happening to you Nina. I think; I know it means I care for you. You and I could be different. We could break the curse. Maybe, you would try to be with me and get to know me more. Maybe, one day, you’ll love me?”
John hung is head appearing worn out from his explanation. Nina ran her fingers through his soft brown hair as one might do with a child. She looked at John with determination. From the first time she saw John, she had felt electricity between them. Now she felt affection as well. Curse or no curse. She would not give up on John.
Perhaps, Nina could break the spell and free John. If his explanation was real — his story of Tia as a sea witch –then he was living one giant horrible Grimm’s fairy tale. However, Nina was afraid Tia might come back. What would happen then? She said she’d be watching John. Nina thought a woman whose heart was broken would as Tia’s was, would want to start again. But maybe she was still vengeful eight-years later?
Nina had seen the horrible incidents that occurred around John and it made sense to her in an odd way, that John was cursed. And if he could protect her, because he cared enough for her, maybe one day Nina could love John? She didn’t understand how he could sacrifice for her but maybe they’d get there…
Nina put her arms around John and gently kissed his neck. Even though he was probably a womanizer, had been an even worse womanizer, she ached for him and his lost love all because he could not admit to his own brothers that he loved Tia. All because Tia had overheard the wrong conversation.
Nina nuzzled into John’s neck. He smelt wonderful. She identified the scent as ‘Light Blue’ for men, a fresh scent of sea breeze. John’s breathing was quickening and Nina knew he needed her when he lifted his head up and looked into her eyes with desire. She knew his arms lifting her into him were no dream. Nina’s eyelashes fell against John’s cheek. Lips exploring her face and kissing her the same place she’d kissed his neck were welcome. Nina’s skin flushed as his lips meant hers and his tongue caressed hers. She held onto John. Nina was his lifeline.
Water can have great symbolism in many religions and cultures. Water is life, we could not survive without it. Think about it, there is nothing else man has produced that can take waters place when you are thirsty.And there are different kinds of thirst.
In Christianity, water has a big significance with Baptism. Water and Gods Word (the Bible) combine to baptize a baby (often older people too) to bring them into God`s family and protect them so that they know God. I know that this isn`t actually a fiction story but I lost my Uncle Darvin last night. Sadly, I never saw him when he was sick with cancer or before that for a long time. I haven`t been able to go to church lately with my sleeping medications. I wish just once or twice I’d made more of an effort on my better days.
But I miss my Uncle Darvin just the same. I always imagined him at my wedding someday. He always called me beautiful and he gave the best hugs. I have memories of going to his and my Aunt Shirley`s house when I was little girl and playing in a back yard he was terracing and getting all dirty. There are memories of going to `The Donut Shop` with him, my parents, and Uncle Barrie and Aunt Josie after many church services. I remember when we did the reconstruction of our church and helping him, I was maybe ten years old.
Yesterday, he passed away. But I`m glad he has gone to Heaven, here he was in so much pain from the cancer. How do I know he is heaven? Well it started when he was Baptized, with some water. And that water made him grow and nourished him in God and quenched his spiritual and physical thirst in life. It nourished him to the end.
In his poem Crossing the Bar Lord Alfred Tennyson compares death to going out to sea. He writes, ” [m]ay there be no moaning at the bar, / when I put out to sea, . . . I hope to see my Pilot face to face / When I have crossed the bar. (3-4, 15-16). The sea is salt water and indeed, a fitting use for water and passing on, taking your last journey on a ship into the ocean and this time your captain is God.