Betwixt the pages of the book most brown
Perdita Hermione Denke’s thoughts can be found
Of the dragon eggs meant to be
And of many more a mystery.
Though not entirely obsessed
She is easily distressed
By the bombardment, bashing boldness of snags
That bully from her sleep and drags
Her in pursuit of the meaning
Of whatever fragment she once was dreaming.
Arrows, Boffins, Castles, and Digits
Elves, Fairies, Gnomes and Hobbits.
In the chaos, there is order
In the maze that is before her.
“Care to explain to me why we’re going twenty blocks for dinner,” Cole asked as they waited for the light to change. “The hotel has-.”
Yvonne took to a sprinter’s start once the white figurine across the way appeared. “I know what the hotel has and it isn’t what I want. You owe me your trust with regards to food. This film festival-.”
He stopped in front of a mom-and-pop Italian restaurant and pretended to read the menu. “What’s wrong with the film festival? There’s a little bit of everything and-.”
Yvonne dragged him by the arm. “And it’s how you define a vacation! Honestly, when you said let’s get out of town, I was hoping it would be for something fun and adventurous! Skiing, rafting, sky diving or zip lining!”
He smiled as they came to a halt at yet another light. “I prefer not to watch my life flash before my eyes, thank you. Von, tell me you haven’t found some ultra-healthy, extremely obscure place where I’m supposed to guess the green food.”
She made a face. “I can think of faster ways to kill you. Shut up and no more complaints until after the full course – deal?”
“Only if it also applies from reel to reel,” he countered.
Jacob pulled down the fine china. “That isn’t your mother’s recipe is it,” he asked.
“No, it’s my grandmother’s,” Deborah said, adding a bit more salt. “Can’t have a holiday without it.”
“This may be our first Thanksgiving and all, but we may want to consider our own traditions.”
She kissed him on the cheek. “We can begin with the plates. Don’t those belong in a museum?”
He laughed. “These have been in my family as long as that recipe has been in yours.”
“Are you sure you want to start that discussion?” Deborah pointed to the camera atop the bookcase. “Want to set the timer on that? I say our tradition starts now.”
Jacob raised an eyebrow. “A photo?”
“Yes, for every meaningful meal we share during our marriage.”
“I’m not one telling you how to spend your evenings, my boy,” Ivan began, “but I must protest your continuous, contagious obsession that-.”
“They’re missing,” Paul said. “Doesn’t that worry you?”
The older man swirled the contents in his wine glass before answering. “That’s what runaways do – they run. You can’t save them all and it kills me watching you push yourself to a limit without end. You are not their parent, their guardian, their keeper.”
Paul sighed, shoulders falling forward as he folded himself into the empty armchair across from his friend. “You sound like Leigh Myriam.”
Ivan laughed. “Only because she sounds like me. I just wish you’d listen to one of us if not both of us.”
Kai Addison stared at the latest postcard from her brother, conflicting emotions a perfect fit to the playful fighting between two of her children outside.
She chose to teach her children at home, all of the topics that were deemed ‘unnecessary’ in school – music, art, physical education (dodge ball included!), and penmanship. She missed her own school days when there was time for the non-tested topics and plenty of time for play. Now…
And where was Tennyson? This time in Rome, fixing his Italian as broken as the Coliseum; helping students strengthen their English better than the Leaning Tower. It wouldn’t be long before he probably wandered on to some place new.
Kai Addison taught to offer her children the stars. Their uncle seemed fit to travel just as far.
Their love of language, of words, kept them together. For that, she knew she hadn’t lost her brother. Yet.
“We don’t have to make this a competition, you know,” Thomas said, swiping the bill before Amelia could. “Takes all the fun from a day out.”
“Only because you’re such a sore loser,” she said.
“I’d look in a mirror while saying that if I were you.”
Amelia’s fingers curled around the napkin. “And you call yourself a gentleman!”
“Tired’s more like it. Going out to brunch shouldn’t be seen as World War Three against independence or liberation or-.”
She snapped the napkin his direction only for him to lean casually to his left. “Anyone ever call you a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical idiot?”
“Don’t believe I’ve ever been mistaken for Mr. Franklin Hart, no. Sexist? For beating you to the bill four out of six times? Hardily. Egotistical? Because I won’t tell you where I work or what I make? I know I make a difference in what I do. Lying? When have I ever lied to you? Hypo-?”
Amelia did her best imitation of Thomas. “We don’t have to make this a competition, you know.’ Four out of six times with the bill.”
“I would have gone six for six if you didn’t throw your shoe at me the first time or ‘dropped’ my glasses to the floor the second time. Idiot? Yes. I’m a fool madly in love with you.”
Amelia leaned back in the booth. “What was that?”
Thomas shrugged. “I plead the fifth item as being truthful. Why do you think I’ve been leaving flowers for you in your in box all this time like some bumbling sixth-grader?”
She pondered her response. “My grandparents had a garden full of those flowers. How did you know those were my favorite?”
“I won’t reveal my sources. But, I will give you a lift home – with your permission of course.”
Rita looked at the framed photograph propped against the bookcase. She was unsure whether to be amazed, angry or annoyed. She missed the days when Jared’s best work happened spontaneously. To see something staged, someone suffering in the cold, in a thin veil of spring… It was inevitable that he would sell out.
“You’re looking at it wrong,” her fiancé said, wrapping his arm about her waist. “You’re thinking that’s red snow from the soles of her feet.”
Rita shook her head. “I’m thinking, this is the first time your broke your rules, and I don’t like it. I prefer your impulsive or impressionable shots that capture an instant once imagined.”
Jared pulled her closer to the print, pointing to a larger patch of red. “See? Red roses, crushed underfoot. She’s planting the petals of love just beneath a layer of coldness. There’s also some of the larger blooms in the hints of shadows.”
“Still think it hints of misogyny.”
“Look at the base of the tree. Are you seeing bark or the flowers spreading out? Think of it as a botanical shadow on ice.”
Rita looked at him for a long time. “Dare I ask?”
He gave an impish grin. “Blame Jesse.” Jared gave her a kiss on the cheek. “He asked me to take some promotional photos for an upcoming film – ‘Wordly Women – War of Warmth.’ This is one of the main characters, Vetur Blume.”
“You’re not going to tell me the rest of this story, are you,” she asked.
“And spoil opening night? Jesse would kill me. The director would kill me.”
Rita shrugged. “Not if I kill you first.” With that, she kissed him goodnight.
Danny was sick and tired of being in the middle. Not that he had any choice in one decision. The other choice removed from him before he found a voice. It wasn’t fair, but he hadn’t the might, to start let alone continue not one but two fights.
One relished chaos, the other fought for peace. And here he was, in the middle, of the two surviving members of his family he saw the least.
He regretted not being able to go to war, but Royce insisted words served better than bullets. He regretted not being able to save any money, but Gail insisted on going from a seat at the bars to a place behind bars.
Was it wrong to want to lose a sibling, while fearing the other one dead? Why, in heaven’s name, couldn’t either use their heads?
Then again, they were, and so was he. So Dale Evan Roberts continued his way to university.
Today’s snippet is from somewhere in the Atkinson’s Chronicles, or not – who knows… And, again, inspired by the One-Minute Writer one-word Wednesday prompt and Daily Prompt. Translation, no idea where this will lead.
“Don’t argue with me,” Desmon said, tugging the material his way.
“Who said I was arguing with you?” Jalem searched for the one word to tie it all together. Once that was located, she would feel fine. “Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean that I am arguing with you.”
She dropped the needle on the floor, its weight taking the stitches with it, dividing the fabric once more. Muttering a curse, she tried to save the few starter strands that remained. The last thing she had time for was to start over.
“See what happens when you lose your focus? Everything falls apart.” He tried to keep a stern face, but failed.
Jalem glared at him. “I wasn’t the one who wrecked the tapestry in the first place. The least you can do is help.”
Desmon took the needle out of her hand. “At least we’re not testing for Healer right now. The sutures would be-.”
The face he made had her laughing so hard, it was all she could do to steady her hands.
“Hey!” He doubled over, hands clenching the pieces together, as he tried to hold back a laugh. “Let’s get this done before the dance begins. Agreed.”
“Agreed,” she said and then added, “What were we arguing about again?”