NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (28)

Tboi hadn’t spoken or paid much attention to Terra after their disagreement.  Now she reflected upon how nice it felt to have been stuck in the same awkward plight with him.  She smiled her recognition of this when she caught his eyes.  His face, a pleasant mix of relief and contentment, now shifted to one of hurt and disdain.  He looked away and she was bruised by his disgust.

 

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Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

 

 

 

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The Speaking Tree: NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (27)

NEEDANAME was a seventh generation folk-teller.  His stories, when he told them, made young and old sit still and stay quiet.  In the early mornings, when most were stretching their muscles, scratching their itches, and hustling to and fro, there was one story he especially liked to tell.  He called it, “The Speaking Tree.”

“When the moon races slower and the Cimarron week is nearly at an end,” he would say, his raspy voice so quiet you had to stop moving in order to hear over the hustle, “there is a MOGUL that lives in a particular tree.”  He would would stand tall and stretch his arms and hands, then freeze, to imitate a tree.  “If you find this tree, you may still never know of this MOGUL, because for one hundred twenty-one days, it never makes a sound.  But if you find it, or happen to be sitting beneath its dwelling tree, you will hear a song and a word or two, and never will you ever be the same again.”

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Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

 

 

 

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (26)

 

“Was there a question somewhere, Bishop?” The Maiden’s voice, less mundane than before and with a bite of disgust, sent ice water through Terra’s veins.

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Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

 

 

Tboi: NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (25)

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Tboi.  She liked the sound of his name when she said it.  He’d said her name too.  His words leading up to it had been angry, but not when he said her name.  She closed her eyes, could still hear it, “That’s why we don’t touch the ground, Terra.”  She shortened it.  “That’s why, Terra.”  His voice had softened at her name, had been gentle.  He’d asked her what she was thinking.  She wondered, in the silence that divided them after angry words subsided, what was he thinking.


 

Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

 

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (14) – Interrogation

“If you are questioned by a Wilkesist, keep your answers as short as possible and tell them no information they do not specifically ask you to tell.  Do not admit to breaking the Ordinance.   No matter how they press you.  Let them count only on what sources they may have that say otherwise.  There are not many, and I do not think the boy would speak ill of you.  Participant-2014-Square-ButtonIf a Bishop questions you, with exception of a few, they will not used skilled word tricks like the agents.  They will use other, painful methods.  If that happens, remember the carbon subnitride damage.  It was painful, but mendable.  You may not yet understand, but believe me Terra, physical pain is nothing compared to lasting emotional pain.”


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (13) – Bishop Patel

“Well now, I’d say you’ve just about answered every last question I had on this here matter, Maiden Hassium.  How ‘bout that?  You like to think you can stick t’ a plan in not sayin’ much and,” both Maiden Hassium and Terra jumped when he clapped his hands together on his next word, “POW – just like that, you end up with a Bishop who actually knows how t’ interrogate.  Participant-2014-Square-ButtonDon’t that just twizzle yer tendrils.”  With that he took Terra’s arm and began walking with her toward the portal.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (12)

It was a rather simple theocracy, this system established 500 years earlier when the Ancesterians arrived.  Every two years caucuses gathered and drew lots for the  Rooks who would organize the government for the Pawns and the people.  Every four years the people voted for the Pawns that would represent them in the forum.  Each Pawn had a number of “Reachers” that Participant-2014-Square-Buttonadvised them, called “cabinets”, especially full of Wilkesists, who labored long hours and worked on large mathematical formulas or studying stellar charts another other science, to provide them the data they needed for their decisions.  As far as anyone could tell, the Wilkesists had the least desirable job of any, even lower preferentially than the Travelers who were tasked with searching the galaxy for other places, peoples, and things that could be of benefit to Kepler-Z.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  WARNING:  editing has not taken place.

yliaD eht fo tseB oMirWoNaNNaNoWriMo Best of the Daily

     The same momentary silence occurred, then the taps, a different sequence this time.  Terra noticed Ingrid’s frightened expression, but before she could question it, Ingrid spoke in a lower pitched voice into the microphone.  “Maintenance channel.  Requesting supplies in segment K, Northern Ed Complex Corridor-West.”  Speechless, Terra watched as the Maiden continued to stare at the console.  There was an even longer pause then before, then static, then another pause.  Participant-2014-Square-ButtonThe words that issued from the speaker moments later made goose bumps bristle the hairs on the back of Terra’s neck. 

“Abort.  They know.”  More static, followed by a click, and the call ended.  Ingrid’s head, weighted down by the heavy dose of fear and uncertainty that had just been transmitted, lowered in defeat until her forehead was propped on the corridor wall.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (10)

     Maiden Abbot was true to her word and had stood like a raptdactyl ready to dive into a dead carcass, overseeing Terra’s washing of the floor, her shoes, and gathering of her soiled garments.  Pointing to the portal, the furious woman had ordered her to her quarters after confiscating her dinner token.  Terra wasn’t upset over that punishment, since she couldn’t have eaten a bite anyway.  She stood in her child sized zero-gravity mist chamber and let the crystallized water droplets moisten and exfoliate her skin.  Participant-2014-Square-ButtonIn her grief, she stood there so long that the operating system engaged the helpdesk, who asked if she was in need of assistance.  Pressing the “bake button,” as most Ancestrians referred to the radiant ionizer that dried any residual moistness remaining after a wash cycle, she’d donned a robe and curled up in her bunk.  There she’d remained, fetal position, until the following morning when the alarm woke her, and she lifted her wet face from the pillow.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (9)

Participant-2014-Square-Button     Terra opened her eyes instinctively, but saw only the byzantium pool still holding her body lithe and graceful.  She closed them again and remembered the lighted strings that had formed chords as their ends became absorbed into her body.  But they were not here now, at least she did not see them – with her eyes.  She focused on her thoughts and feelings, her history and experience.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

NaNoWriMo Best of the Daily (8)

. . . they advanced on the raging crowds as they surrounded them, protecting the allies as they allowed the enemy to flank their defenses.  When the first line of attack was within sight, they used optical links to form a single connection with each, used this as leverage to quickly form a deeper bond, and sought the next line to repeat the tactic.  The rebellious Spindellite dwellers had long since let their knowledge of the kindred connection fade; Participant-2014-Square-Buttonthey had dismissed it into a category they could explain away as superstition.  They did not know how to defend themselves, nor did they understand there was even a need for protection from the eyes of the Lorgose, and each new wave continued the attacked.  When linked with the largest number each could manage, the Lorgose used the volumes they had snared to magnify the bond’s effects.  I cannot describe the scene in great detail, except to say that entire nations, clans, and squads (as their chosen hierarchies had defined) were hit by the consuming voltage at once, and fell to the ground as if a switch had been turned.


Tune in for quick reads of the best (or least despicable) selections from the previous day’s word count, by virtue of my daily writing regimen for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Building God

There’s a god in a building, just down from where I used to live.  He is going to get worshiped about twenty minutes from now.  I’m pretty sure he’s in there, because I see his people come and go, but they never let him out, at least not when I’m around.  Those people are a little different from me, so I figure that god  has a specific “type.”  Then there’s those folks at that other place; they did their building thing yesterday.  They like to take their god everywhere, so I’ve met that one.  He’s pretty old – the cranky kind – and he likes to talk about things we shouldn’t do all the time.  I don’t think he REALLY gets out much, because if he met other kinds of people in this world, he might like to discuss some other topics and, y’know – sort of mix it up a bit.

I met God in a bar once.  He told me a funny joke – clean and hilarious.  Later he told me I should really take better care of myself, and do more things that would make me the good kind of proud.  That was after we’d talked about life in general for a while.  I had to agree with him at that point.  Next morning I had such a hangover.  But instead of cursing myself for being an idiot, I rolled over and hugged my Bible.  I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.

He’s not always in the bars though, in case you go looking.  I’m sure he can be found in other buildings with the various names for God.  Just don’t pin him to a time or people.  He likes to spread out and get real close.  I enjoy our talks much more when I’m clear headed and healthy.  He likes to smile though good-hearted people, and (for real) He likes long walks, and just sitting and being quiet together.  I especially like it when he writes to me in all kind of ways.  Just the other day I read something that make me smile at another aspect of His kind of love.  Better than rocket-fuel that stuff.

I think people get afraid of different ideas about God and that’s why they stay in their buildings at specific times on specific days.  “IT IS WRITTEN, PERIOD EXCLAMATION POINT.”  I get that in a variety of ways from the building people.  Reminds me of those teachers who didn’t like us to interpret poetry differently from the most commonly held traditions.  I mean, I understand that red is red, like apples.  Except there are some that are green, y’know?  I don’t claim those “grapples” where some people developed a way to infuse apples with grape taste.  What – did they mess with the fruit DNA or something?  I’m not in favor of that with God’s character.  Shouldn’t try and mix too many human traits and opinions with a Creator like mixing fruit DNA or something.  Grapes and apples don’t even grow on the same kind of thing.  I wonder if there’s a lab in some of those buildings.

I should backtrack a little here and explain that I don’t tell this stuff to many people either.  Plus there’s the fact that we humans have a hard time describing living, sentient beings without using human terms.  We do it with our pets.  I even did it with God in this same essay.  So I’m really not much different from those building folks.  In fact, some of my favorite pals are building people – and sometimes, when the timing is right, I can see we share a little piece of His character in something we say or more usually – something we do.  That’s like finding a twenty in the pages of a book for my attitude and demeanor when it happens.  God is such a poet.

Estate Sale

The house smelled like cat urine and mildew.  The estate sale had been picked through pretty thoroughly.  She could tell they might have found something of a treasure … a steal … if only they’d come to this one first.  But it wasn’t a video game, she reminded herself, and there was no level up or missed easter egg.
She found an old pencil sharpener like what she remembered from grade school – the kind that had a rubber bottom and a lever so you could “seal” it to the flat surface.  One dollar – it was marked.  And the wall map of the continental united states rolled up next to it was only a quarter.  “What are the odds of that?” she thought.  She found Grady and rambled around behind her, keeping her finds well in sight of whomever might be in charge of sales.  She didn’t know why, but she always felt worried about that – like someone was going to run after her and firmly say, “Excuse me – but you have to pay for that.”  She’d had people crowd around her half naked body with flashlights before, but somehow this scenario seemed even more mortifying than that.  Ironic.”Look at this.  I love this…” Grady said.  She motioned to a appalling rendition of an upturned hand.  The sculpture was done in white mortar or plaster and was grossly disproportionate.  She didn’t respond, didn’t make a face.  “Only I think it would be nice if it were your hand.”  Grady smiled sweetly and reached to stroke her arm.  A wave of emotion rolled from Malone’s gut and prickled the hair on her head.  Damn, she loved this woman.

Lavie

Love Liebe 1You – who take me into the wilds of life and show me sunlight on a tree-hidden lake.  You – who reads me tiny of your conflicted soul and shares me tears from your tender love.  You – with your pillow swept hair and hard-earned freckles.  I love you.

I drifted in near wakefulness while still nestled in your lingering warmth.  And you came to me, curled up to me, and asked me.  Such tingles traveled from my ear to my neck, where you kissed me and planted your wet eyes.  It traveled to my muscles and rolled round my heart, electrified my back and legs and I had to stretch that morning stretch.

You – who bandage my fiscals and cover my scars, you water my passions and snip my anger, and you cook me sustenance and talk to me of spiritual things – the question was answered before it was asked.

Yes, Lavie.  I will marry you.

 


Photo by böhringer friedrich (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

A History in Woods

Griffy Woods - squirrel - P1100479
In 1928, when Nila was born, the woods had been there, surrounded by more forrest on all three sides. A dirt road drew it’s contour on the east, and a creek ran it’s southern side. When hayfields and corn started dividing the countryside, they’d stopped at the creek, and at the sudden rise in elevation on the north and west sides, and the woods had remained a remnant of what used to be. These and the paved country road where the dirt road had been, clearly defined the boundaries to the property when Nila and Jim eventually purchased it.

Nila and Jim married when she was twenty in the summer of 1948. They acquired the woods twenty years later in hopes they might one day build a house there, but the little town of Menden had grown up around the first and only house they would ever live in for their 62 years together. The woods had instead became something of a family member, almost mystical and later, perhaps a bit haunted.

Mushrooms grew in some places (if you knew where to look). A nice morel flanked dinner was your reward, and folks in those parts had a hankering for that.  In warmer months, the creek bed, it’s silky-soft mud lacing through your toes as it cradled your feet, was host to children and adults alike. The family spent time in the summers trimming and mowing the meadow that served as a huge welcome mat with the creek off to your left, the hill to your right, and a peaceful upsweeping trail on back behind.

The meadow had seen many tents, many campfires, and heard many ghost stories. Many a child had woke screaming in their beds, their mothers calling Nila exasperated and angry, after Nila had scared them the night before at a campfire. The creek wasn’t any good for fishing, but that didn’t stop some of the children from tying strings to the end of sticks and dropping pieces of kneaded bread balls into the water. They’d giggle and scream as baby smallies would nibble at the bait, then gulp it down and give their little makeshift rods a tug as they swam away.

Nights in the woods were unpredictable. If there wasn’t a group camping, if it had been still and untouched for a time, one of the family teens might park a car just outside the meadow. Still under the canopy of trees and out of sight to passersby, some tried to lay blankets out for their attempts at passion. The more experienced simply cracked the windows and used the back seat, too many creepy crawlies on the damp ground. This went on until Nila’s brother and his wife bought a spread of land next to the woods and built a home there. Nila threatened several grandkids in the late 80’s when reports of their scandalous activities made it to her ears.

In the winter, the hill north of the meadow was perfect for sleds. The deer that frequented the woods would keep a low profile when sounds of children whooping and laughing would begin wafting through the trees, magnified by the silence the snow cover promulgated by filtering out other sound.

In time, Nila decided to leave the woods wild, and thought of it as a nature preserve. The hill and trails became overgrown, and even the meadow became more and more neglected as the pair grew older and the younger members of the family moved away or had other priorities. A chain link fence, complete with “Private Property” and “No poaching” signs made the boundaries clear at that point. And if family wanted to go for a walk or sit by the creek, they had to retrieve the key to the padlocked gate from the hiding place in Nila and Jim’s pool house.

Jim died in 1992, and Nila held on to the woods. When she passed away ten years later it was January. The leafless trees draped over patches of snow and mud, and in its wintery silence, the creek’s trickling of tears and the black and white imagery adjoining it, the woods displayed its profound sorrow and loss.


This is semi-biographical and was inspired by the “Landscape and Time” exercise in Brian Kitely’s book The 3 A.M. Epiphany. If I had written in response to this exercise for a class I would have failed, because as usual – I cheated. Alas, I am not writing for a grade. This piece still bugs me for some minor touch-ups in language and direction. I wanted to detail what kinds of trees grow there but, much like a person’s shirt color, I couldn’t recall all of that.  Funny.  I would appreciate any ideas you have for what works, what doesn’t, etc. Also, feel free to share where you would have written about and why.

[Photo above:By User:Vmenkov (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]