What I See: Escorting in Twilight

Inspired by Charles’ post: From the Vault, Man of Verse or Volume, I found myself drawn to one of my favorite trios. (Yes, three steps back when I’m supposed to plan on going forward – what else is new).


The Smoke-Filled Soul

Gray chokes orange-yellow as raids rip through their serenity

Siblings sworn to protect, attacks deflect, gone – improbability

Repose now lost, pure instability.

Quinton the Quintessential paves the way towards new family

Parents with talents, knowledge of secrets bring sweet harmony

Of balance, new live, and discovery.

Monsters in the mist appear, suns’ rise ‘til twilight, taunt and jest

Cursed memories, longings, and questions about those once thought blest

Now stir up ashes, bring out death, unrest

High hopes these phantoms’ terrors, senseless murders finally crest

While he and the others hiding in view continue to wrest

Control, freedom for all before they rest.


Missing, Gone

Don’t take for granted what you see before you.

Time and Pain can change your view

What you see fit to dismiss and to put down

Will throw you up, undo you

Don’t assume I will stand and repeat your lies.

You, deaf to all of the cries

While those pierced, un-mended, in red rivers drown

While the Lake of Kindness dries

Behind this façade of reason, so-called calm

Urgently applying balm

Laughing, screaming, I’m with ever present frown

How do you hold out your palm?

No mistake, I will die for what I believe-

Others suffering relieve

Within the confines of this idyllic town

Where still more families grieve.

Don’t take for granted what you see this time,

What’s buried beneath grime

Thrown about because many fools want the crown

Claiming justice, this vast crime.

Desmon, too


Call me what you will – your words cannot kill

Love’s boundless cloak of calm, within, without

Even the duality of my being gives you no reason

Alleviating the wounds where the sword will pierce

Voiceless ones now shouting, a loud voice you think your

Ever faithful fools would abide – Curse your soul!


Courtesy of Old Design Shop

Courtesy of Old Design Shop

Thankful Favors

Federico Fasano finished setting the fresh flowers on the table just as his friend, Abigail Stearn, let herself in; her son right behind her.

Federico embraced them both, impressed with how quickly the young man had grown. “I will not be surprised if you follow your siblings’ steps and go into service, though I pray you don’t.”

“That makes three of us,” Abigail said, ruffling her son’s hair. “Do you think they’ll come, or is she too proud?”

Federico shrugged. “What do you say, Julian? Does the instructor intend to stay and wait for your magnum opus, or arm herself for yet another battle?”

The boy shook his head, fingers tracing the patterns on the table cloth. “She’s at peace when we meet in the park. I don’t think either of you could scare her away.”

“We’ll find out.” Abigail grabbed a drink from the sidebar. “All’s quiet tonight.”

Federico forced himself to not go to the window, hoping that the lost little family would pass under the streetlamp soon. “Jenny and the children are at a movie. Nonna’s here. Maybe she’ll be able to still his soul. You sure your brother won’t mind the boarder-?”

“Too bad, I own half the rental. If all else fails-.”

Federico waved a hand at her. “Tsk! Hope for the best; pray protection from the worst.”


tft1aFor You

She looked up in time to see the merchant take away the cup of tea she had saved up for. “What do you-?”

His stern expression didn’t change as he set down a tray complete with tea pot, matching cup and a small plate of sweets. “Better brew for you,” he said.

The svelte man dumped the contents down the sink, removed his apron, and returned with a teapot/cup set of his own. “You don’t sleep, even when you sleep,” he began. “How do you expect to study when you are busy fighting yourself?”

“I already heard this lecture from my professor,” she said, fingernails tracing the elegant pattern on the pot. “No disrespect, but you’re not my father, so-.”

“You take good care of him. He tries to care for you, too. But you won’t do either of you any favors if you end up in hospital.” He pushed the cup towards her. “My own decoction – peach, ginger and mint. Better than that bagged crap you buy.”

She shook her head, tempted to argue the point, but reached for one of the sweets instead.

“Cat paws,” he said smiling. She saw a row of perfect teeth, not a stain, chip, crown or denture present.

He grunted. “If the cat had thumbs,and I know mine does, don’t you agree he would be a wonderful confectioner? Knocked over a bag of wheat germ into the brown sugar mix. Trusted me with the rest of his secrets, too.”

She gave him a wry smile. “I don’t have enough money to pay you, for any of this.”

He slammed his hand on the table, startling her. “You aren’t to pay me back! You are to relax. You are too old for someone so young. Your father, he knows how to do dishes?”

She sipped the tea slowly, the steam warming her as the blend had a calming effect on her. Oh how her father could benefit from this, she thought. She nodded.

“Good. Tea for you, job for him, company for me. We are set! Tonight, we celebrate. Dinner, here when you find him.” She opened her mouth only for him to put a finger to her lips. “Sometimes, some of us see secrets and know when they can become nooses.”

She leaned away from him, torn between rage and ranting, between sleep and studying.

He pushed himself up from the table, went to the bakery display case, and filled a bag with a half dozen hand-pies. “In case you decide to say ‘no,'” he said, giving her that along with a burlap bag filled with a tea set  for two and a canister of homemade tea.

(Today’s snippet inspired by this word and  this list of holidays)


PawnedContinuing the writing routine, a continuance of sorts from the SatSnip segment.

Same ol’ Cerebral Routine

They made their way along the store fronts, the most affordable way for them pass the time and maintain the meager monetary balance they had. The pawn shop window showcased many personal mementos that desperate people traded for money. She would know, having hocked some of her jewelry there.

It wasn’t until she found herself in front of an art gallery that she noticed he stopped.

Through the wire-framed glasses, he stared at something in the window. She approached him, worried.

His voice was barely louder than the harmonica player nearby. “Pawns in a pawn shop.”

She kept her focus on him, relieved to hear the hint of a long-forgotten laugh at the poor pun. Inwardly, she smiled.

“Behind bars where they belong,” he added. She frowned.

“Remember how we played checkers with the chess pieces,” she asked him, determined to steer him away from the darkness. “Remember how you’d hold the queen and king back until it came time for a pawn to be crowned?”

He nodded. “I kept the knights back from you, too.”

“Because the horses were so pretty,” they said in unison.

He picked up a coin from the sidewalk. “Now I can’t even get you a ride on the merry-go-round.”

“What’s the point of going around in circles?”

He responded with a thin smile. “Touche.”

She took his hand. “Library’s open by now. Want to go play a game of chess?” He shrugged, following her lead.

How long they’d continue with the games played within and without, she couldn’t say. As often as some things went their way, other things held them back, she wasn’t about to admit defeat – not now, not ever.


Bocca Della Verita ArcadeTime to get back to writing….

The goal this month: taking the holidays from Holiday Insight and pairing them with M-W.com’s Word of the Day.

So, a day late, here’s the first short:

Of Peanut Butter and Plaintiffs

The weekend routine was the same – keep warm, keep moving, keep him distracted, keep her sanity.

It began with the simplest of lunches – peanut butter sandwiches. She had a twelve-year-old to thank for the treat. He saved his sacked lunch from Friday and offered them for sketching lessons on Saturday. They’d meet in the park, in the open, by the library that had yet to open.

She suspected that the boy’s mother knew what was going on; the new insulated and reusable bag had lunch enough for two, complete with apples and juice boxes this time. The boy simply smiled.

The art hour done, she rushed back to where she left her father, hoping he hadn’t wandered off. He was where she left him – on a bench staring out over the water, oblivious to the sounds of life behind him on the boardwalk.

She hoped that a stroll through the arcade would distract him from the demons in his darkness. She hoped seeing some of the fun games and automated carnival scenes would spark memories of a joyful childhood – his or hers.

Pausing in front of the Bocca Della Verita, she reflected on the snowy sinday morning in December (her mother called any skipped Sunday of church service ‘sinday’). With a bowl of popcorn between them, the small family watched “Roman Holiday.”

One hand fed two quarters into the side while the other hand slipped into the open mouth. She had his attention while she did this. The ‘results’ spat out of the other side of the Bocca.When she reached for it, she let out a playful scream, her hand tucked inside her sleeve.

His expression didn’t change.

‘Handless sleeve’ falling to her side, she remembered the last time she saw that lost expression of defeat. Her grandparents were plaintiffs in the wrongful death case of their only daughter, his wife, her mother.

The case lasted as long as her junior year at college, pursuing a degree in art therapy. The loss of the case doubled the loss within the family – or families once the gavel fell.

That was then. Now, she had the challenge of bringing her father back to this side of the living, to help him find the spark that had made their marriage survive so many years.

Losing the battle, but not the war, she led him towards the food court tables on the other side of the arcade where they shared a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches.

Saturday Straying…



Charles Yallowitz has a great collection of questions to ponder:

“So, I’ve been thinking and talking about genre.  That led me to this post where I’m going to ask a few questions and answer then.  Other authors or readers can join in the fun within the comments or on their own blog.  Maybe we can turn this into an optional chain post where nobody is tagged.  Totally volunteer, but I’m curious about people’s opinions…”

Great questions, so I figure I’ll dare to ponder/answer them.

1. What made you choose the genre that you write in? If not working within a genre, why did you go that route?

I thought I was going to begin and remain in the world of mysteries, plotting murders and going the way of Agatha Christie. Most of the NaNo projects have been either suspense or literary fiction. Granted, first book printed (as will be the second) consist of poetry. Either way, I tend to travel wherever characters take me.

2. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of working within a genre?

Strengths: in the way of literary fiction or fantasy – the wondrous world of the characters. Weaknesses: being aware of the ‘rules’ of mystery or fantasy.

3. Do you think genres crossover a lot more often than we realize?

I suppose so. Granted, most of the books I’ve been reading have been biographies and others that fit cleaning in their ‘categories.’ It may help if I read more fiction to be sure.

4. Would you try another genre or are you locked into your area as a specialist? Do you believe this hurts you as an author?

Since I’m comfortable in fantasy, literary fiction and suspense, I don’t see a need now to try another genre. It wouldn’t hurt to challenge myself (going beyond photos and poetry), but it would be a long shot before taking a bold leap into the realms of romance or sphere of science fiction.

5. Would you write within a genre that you don’t like, but is currently popular in order to get your foot in the door of the business?

No – If I can get my foot into the door of agent-sponsored publishing, it would be in a genre I can do well.