Category Archives: Writing

It’s a Matter of Time

It’s a Matter of Time

Aubrey made one final sweep with the piece of chalk she had in her hand, then smooched back and leaned against the tree and looked at her brother.

“Is it finished?”  he asked.

“What do you think?” Aubrey asked.  “Doesn’t it look finished to you?”

“I think most of them look finished many times before you say they are done.  So, I ask.”  He tossed one of her rags at her head, barely missing it.

“Well, we shall see how I did shortly.”  She replied.  

“You really don’t think they will notice?  I don’t see how they can’t.”

“People see what they want to see.  They’ll see everything else.  So no.  I don’t think they will see.  Now, let’s go back by those trees over there and watch.”

The street was always a busy one.  Today was no different.  The clouds in the sky didn’t affect it in the least.  But, the people did slow.  They slowed, many stopped, all stepped around the amazing chalk painting on the ground.  Large, luminous clouds covered the area, the buildings poking through and parting them in fits and bursts, the clock tower standing out taller than all the rest.  On the ground were people, hundreds of them.  Fleeing and screaming as the clouds unleashed a hellfire volley of lightening and rain at a velocity that pinned them to the ground.  

The pedestrians began to start in horror as they saw themselves in the figures in the chalk.  Some tried to wipe their image off.  But, the chalk held.  More terror rose in their throats at the discovery of this.  They began to swarm around the scene like hornets to a nest.  An elderly lady began laughing at them and their behavior.  A few people stopped and glared at her.

“Look at you all!” She said between giggles. “Afraid of a little paint on the ground.  Thinking that some brightly colored chalk will usher in the Armageddon. Such Nonsense.”  She laughed a couple more minutes, then opened her umbrella, pointed its tip at a spot in the painting that made her snicker, then lifted it over her head after giving a quick glance at the skies and wandered on her way.

Some of the other people began laughing as well.  Pretty soon, almost all of them were in peals of laughter at their silliness.  In the lightening of the spirit, they made note of the images they thought looked so like themselves.  Most began taking pictures and all began talking about the incident.

The bell on the clock tower began to toll 11 PM.  As it reached the last bell, the clouds overhead erupted into a barrage of lightening, hail and rain, driving all below to the ground.  A few tried to make a break from the storm, but a bolt of lightning stopped them in their path.  The storm ravaged for a few moments, just long enough to put an end to those below.  

“I told you someone would notice.”  He said before taking a bite out of the apple in his hand.

“But, no one took note of her.  So, in the end it is the same.”  She said as she began packing her chalks into their case. 

“Doesn’t it ever bother you?  All those people dying?”  he asked

“No.  They don’t have to.  They just need to look and really see.  Had they noticed, they would have left the area and gone somewhere safe.  Maybe not all of them, but at least some of them.”  She snapped the lid shut on her case and stood up.  “Its the job.  We need to cull those that lack the sense for them to survive.  Besides, this one was too easy for you to feel sorry for them.”

“I suppose you’re right.”  He took the last bite of the apple then tossed the core behind him.

They walked off, skirting around the painting, streaked and fading, but still intact.  Aubrey glanced once more at it, the clock tower looming high above the clouds.  Its hands read 11:00.  

What Lovely Roses you have

What Lovely Roses You Have

How long was he going to stare out the window like that?  Sadie wondered.  He had asked about Nathan.  She hadn’t thought about Nathan in years.  It was all a closed or cold case file, she thought.  And isn’t he ever going to speak?

Suddenly, he turned and faced her sideways.  “What lovely roses you have?  My wife would be so envious.  Whatever do you use to fertilize them to get them to grow so full and lush?”

She stared at him, bewildered.  “Huh?”  she asked.  “I’m sorry.  I thought we were talking about Nathan.”

“Ah yes.”  The man reached into his pocket and pulled out a small notebook.  “I just wanted to ask you a few questions if you don’t mind.”

“Of course.”  She said softly.  “But, I think I told them everything before.  Has something new come up?  Have you found Nathan?”

“Oh, no no no, nothing like that.  I just wanted to go over what you remember about the last time you saw him.  Can you go over the details again?”

She told him what she had told the detectives the last time.  The man nodded as she laid out the details, his gaze frequently turning to the window again.  What was his fascination with her roses?  Finally, she finished and he flipped the notebook shut, then slipped it back into his pocket.

“I think I have it all” he said.  “Thank you again for your time and patience.”

“But, of course.”  She replied  “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No.  I should be on my way.”  He stated flatly and turned towards the door.  As he opened the door, he paused and looked again at the garden, then turned back at her.  “The roses, Sadie.  Please tell me what you do to grow such beautiful roses.”

She stood there a moment, confused at the man, then she smiled brightly.  “But, of course.” She responded.  “Its just a simple blood and bone meal mixture my mother gave me the recipe for.”

“Any chance you could be persuaded to share that?”

“Alas, no.  Its been a tightly held secret in my family for generations.  We have actually won numerous awards for our roses.  But, I am sure you could find something similar if you did a search.”

“Of course, I understand.  That’s too bad though.  My wife will be so disappointed. Thank you again for your time.”  And with that, he walked down the path to his car and drove away.

Sadie walked out and strode over to her roses, her hand gently petting one of the luxurious blooms.  She leaned over and took a deep whiff of its intoxicating scent, then a smile formed on her lips.  Mother always said the only thing husbands were good for were fertilizing the roses.

“Good night, Nathan.”  Sadie called behind her as she walked back into the house.  “Sleep well.”

Before Alice

It was quite a warm day for so early in the year.  Extra care needed to be taken as the eggs were hidden so they were not in the direct heat of the sun where they might spoil before being found and turning the festivities into a tragedy.

I sat fanning myself under one of the brightly colored umbrellas and sipping slowly on an ice cold julip while watching the mass scatterings of small people rushing about on the lawn and through the bushes, gaskets waving from their little arms, voices rising in squeals of laughter and colliding words that could make jibberish make sense.  I half expected to see a white rabbit emerge at any moment, pocket watch in hand exclaiming fear of tardiness for a royal event.

Instead, my eyes spied a lone figure emerge from a near bush.  She looked to be about 6 or 7, but what struck me was her clothing.  For she looked to be dressed out of a Dickenson play.  She could easily have been one of Oliver’s gang, if he allowed girls.

She walked right up to me and took the seat across. “What’s that you’re drinking sir?” she asked.

“It’s a mint julip.  Would you like one”

“Oh, no thank you.  But is there any chance there is any ice cream?”

I reached over to the cooler and pulled a small container out with a little wooden spoon and pushed it across the table to her. “There is only vanilla left.  I hope that is okay.”

“My very favorite!” she exclaimed, reaching quick and had the lid off and the entire container consumed in no time.  “Thank you, kind sir. I was so very hungry.”

“There is more food over there.” I pointed to the barbeque area.

“That’s okay.  I only come for the ice cream.”

“Only the ice cream?”

Yes sir. Twas the last thing I ate and the only thing I hunger for.”

“What do you mean, the last thing you ate?” confusion overtaking me.

“Why yes sir. Afore I did battle with the Jabberwocky and lost” she ran her fingers around the inside of the container then pushed it back my way and stood up.  “I suppose I should get back now.  They shall be expecting me.”

“But wait!” I called, but she was already entering the bush.

She turned just before, entering and smiled. “It’s fine sir.  Alice will be next and I hear she is a much better warrior than I>”

Her form turned to mist as the leaves closed behind her.

But wait. Alice wasn’t the first?

Copyright – Sephi PiderWitch March 31, 2019

(Prompt:  A hungry ghost, a holiday, ice cream)

I Will Speak No Evil. Well, Maybe.

The First Amendment of the Constitution reads:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Many people, myself included, think this is one of the most important amendments in our constitution (besides the ones that enfranchised blacks and women, which should not have been necessary to define them as people with rights)  The impact of this freedom cannot be overstated in my opinion.  When you have a country that allows the free expression of opinion, the ability to petition the government for change, freedom of the press to explore the truth when it is found, you have the foundation for a free society.  There will still be abuses, power controls, etc.  There always are. 

There are, and should be, some exceptions to this freedom of speech.  You do not have the right to incite violence.  You do not have the right to spread knowingly false statements.  Other than those, there are few limitations. 

Which brings me to the bug up my butt right now. 

It started with a white supremacist march a couple of months ago.  Now, I have absolutely zero use for white supremacists or klansmen.  I have no use for hate purveyors of any kind.  I would like to believe that we should have evolved beyond such things by this time.  It is obvious that we have not.  But, so long as they are engaging in a non-violent demonstration, they have the right to speak their words of hate.  And as offensive as I find their words, I will defend their right to speak them.  Many people don’t agree with me on this, and that is also their right. 

One of the things that followed this demonstration was people posting pictures of people who were part of this demonstration.  They identified many of these people and searched out where they worked and lived.  Then they demonstrated and protested to their employers, neighbors, schools.  Many of these people were fired, their homes put in danger, etc.  And many will say they got what they deserve.  I am not sure I agree with that.  I believe all that was accomplished in this was creating even more anger, hatred and increasing the numbers of the haters who had been hiding in the shadows.  By targeting a few, they gave the numbers a greater cause to raise a flag to.  Hate is not solved by creating more anger and hostility.

There was recently a woman who was riding her bike and flipped off what she believed to be Trump’s motorcade.  Whether it was or not is irrelevant .  When she was identified, she was subsequently fired from her job.  Even though she was on her own time and simply gave a visual comment to a figure she didn’t like.  Because the image of her (from the back) went viral online.  She was fired.

A dear friend of mine almost lost her job of many years for speaking her mind after the presidential election.  The social media and in person campaign waged against her and her partner was horrific, invasive and reprehensible.  I believe the only thing that saved her was the equally strong forces that stood behind her while she fought the attempted character assassination. 

Women are stepping out from all corners about sexual abuse in their workplaces.  Not that this is an issue that we don’t all know is a commonplace occurance.  And no matter how powerful some of these women are, they are still in a battle of their lives for their character.  They are made the victims all over again and accused of false accusations, Ulterior motives.  Calls for them to be dismissed from their roles. 

Freedom of speech is so very powerful.  And it is also so very vulnerable.  All freedoms are.  We want to step on the moral high ground and say “But, they are speaking hate.  It has to stop.”  But, they are saying things I don’t like, it has to stop.  They aren’t saying it the way I want to hear it.  It has to stop. 

When you seek to silence the klan, the supremacists, you weaken everyone’s right to speak.  Because they will take what you did to them and apply it to everything you do or say.  As they did with the woman on the bike.  As they are trying to do with the women coming forward.  As they try to do with anyone that has something to say that they don’t like.  As you try to do with anyone that has something to say that you don’t like. 

I do, however, believe an exception is a person in political power.  They are public servants and sworn to serve all the people.  And first responders and medical people.  We need to trust that these people will serve all the people equally.  To not sever the rights of any of the citizens because of their hate stance or affiliation or religious conviction.  The minute they leave that arena, they can do what they want, say what they want, so long as they are not bringing harm on others.

I do boycott companies whose practices go against what I believe in.  I do not tell others not to buy from them.  I do tell they why I don’t.  They have to make their own choices.  If after I tell them my reasons they don’t feel those reasons work for them, that is their choice.  I will join in protests if their practices take away or limit the rights of other, such as Hobby Lobby and Walmart.  But, herein lies the truth.  They still exist.  They still prosper. 

This is not to say that you should not counter protest.  Of course you should.  We should all make sure our voices are heard on matters that have meaning to us.  We worry about Big Brother.  But the truth is that WE are Big Brother.  There are many groups whose speech I despise.  Westboro, the klan, the supremacists, many of the hate preachers like Pat Roberston, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jim Bakker and his pasty food.  But, I will defend their right to speak their words.  I won’t silence them.   Because I don’t want to be silenced.  I don’t want the people I respect and love to be silenced.  And I want to know who the haters are as well.  I can’t fight what I can’t see.  I need to know where the shadows are.

The reality we need to understand is that if any one of us is silenced, even the most base of us, then we all are silenced.  We don’t win by silencing.  We win by speaking.  We win by talking and listening and understanding.  We don’t win with hatred.  We win with connection.  Walls only separate.  Even walls of silence. 

SephiPiderWitch
11/14/2017

Ode To Strangers

Prompt Week 05/15/2017 – Shadow, Photograph, Darkness, Ode to Strangers, Swinging & Sliding

Ode To Strangers

I see you.  I have watched you from near and far.  You have not seen me though.  I would have known if you had by the startle in your eyes, the slight stiffening in your shoulders, the tightening at your lips or the little tremble in your fingertips.  None of you, in all the places I have watched, have spied, have studied, have ever had the slightest hint of my presence.  Or, at least of my focus on you.  I have not always been obscured by the darkness, though it generally began there.  The shadows are my friend and co-conspirator, veiling me whilst I learn and watch, making notes in my book of you.  The places you like most, the foods you order most often, the things you dislike that make your scowl.  I also bring my camera with me.  Just the little one most of the time.  I do need the big one if I am a distance away.  But, I keep it in the car behind the seat always, just in case.  But, the little one fits nicely in my pocket, almost silent when I click the button to take photographs to go with my writings.  I print them at home and watch with anticipation as they slide out of the printer.  Full color, glossy memories of my day with you.  I add them to the rest on the lines over my bed.  This is so I can look on your faces as I close my eyes to sleep at night.  I just lay there, tapping gently on the newest pictures and watch them swinging and sliding along the lines.  A dancing mobile of all of you.  Often, I smile, needing just a little bit more and I reach for the box next to the bed and spread out the contents across my lap on the blanket.  The presents.  One from each of you.  Grandma’s ring.  Father’s cufflink.  Mother’s necklace.  Sister’s bracelet.  All wrapped up in a soft piece of velvet in the box.  And in a little jar next to them, a tooth from each of you.  The blood has dried almost black on them and I have to be very careful so it doesn’t flake off.  They just wouldn’t be the same if they didn’t have that part of you as well.

This room, this place, these treasures are all an Ode to you, once strangers.  But now you are all mine.  Strangers no more.  And fear not.  I will find others to join you.  The family will grow.  Yes, the family has only just begun.

Sephi PiderWitch
05/16/2017

April 2 – How I spent my day

How I spent my day today.

  1. Washed linen
  2. Made bed
  3. Made weeks worth of fruity/veggie cups for morning shakes
  4. Played with Cassie
  5. Cleaned kitchen
  6. Played with Cassie
  7. Cleaned laundry room and took bags of clothes out to garage to go to thrift store
  8. Played with Cassie (she thinks everytime I get done with something, its playtime)
  9. Put pot of eggs on to boil
  10. Went outside to look at yard and started talking to neighbor.
  11. Checked status of decomposition of vole.
  12. Had nice conversation before realizing eggs were still on stove and squealed and ran back inside
  13. Brushed debris off patio table
  14. Collected pot fragments from exploded planter from freeze (made some really neat swirls!)
  15. Moved makeshift bench from behind shed to by fire pit.
  16. Made bath water for birds.
  17. Argued with birds over giving them new cake when there was still some of last cake in feeder.
  18. Took hay forky thing to move brush and cuttings needing burning to different location few feet away.
  19. Moved makeshift bench to where brush was before moving.
  20. Arranged long sleeve tops in closet by color.
  21. Played with Cassie
  22. Watched episode of Grace and Frankie while doing little work on hot pink spider pussy hat.
  23. Played on computer for a while.

And just realized I should probably find a few minutes to wander out tomorrow and take a few pictures of what I did today.

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

“What’s in there?”

“Just spare parts.” I replied.

“Spare parts?”

“Yeah, you know? Just bits and pieces and remnants that people discard as unneeded.”

“Okay, and what do you want with other people’s discarded junk?”

“Oh, you would be amazed at what can be done with spare parts. It really is quite fascinating some of the things one can acquire because someone sees no use for it. They say that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Those words could not be more true. I can spend hours in that room studying and tinkering with the things I have collected through the years.”

“Well, can I have a look at your ‘treasure room’ then?”

“Sorry, no one goes in there but me. It’s kind of my private little sanctuary.”

“You can be an odd one sometimes! Fine. Have it your way. Are you ready for dinner?”

“Just let me grab my coat.” I said as I headed toward the door.

We sat in the quaint little restaurant down the street and chatted over the hearty meal. He had been depressed for some time now and needed someone to talk to. I listened intently as my friend spoke of all the unrequited dreams and desires of his life. I reached in my pocket and pulled out the small box and set it on the table. He glanced at it for only a second, a fleeting moment of curiosity passing across his face before continuing.

On and on we talked into the evening. He poured his heart and soul out to me through the meal, on through dessert, then coffee and a few drinks after. The tension slowly slipping from his shoulders and lines beginning to smooth across his brow. By the end of the evening, he was smiling gently, his heart feeling eased, as if a weight had been lifted from him.

“Thank you, my friend” he said as we stood at my door. “I can’t tell you what this evening has done for me.”

“My pleasure.” I replied. “It was just as beneficial to me and I thank you.”

He gave me a questioning look and shrugged his shoulders before turning to head to his car. As I walked through the front door, I reached in my pocket and drew out the box, a shimmer of excitement passing through me as I made my way to the door to the room and opened it. Gently, I lifted the lid of the box and the whisps floated out.

I sat in my overstuffed chair and watched as my friend’s lost dreams joined the play with the others. Such joy to watch dreams freed to expand and create and weave themselves into the dreampestry in this room. Yes, this room was mine, private. There was no guilt to feel for what I had made here. I took only what was resented, not wanted. How sad for them, how lucky for me that they felt their dreams were only spare parts.

SephiPiderWitch
copyright 05/27/2011

Oh Look!

 

Oh Look!

Oh look!Yes you!Come here!Just a quick peek beyond the curtain and the world will never be the same again.Come closer!Just one more wee step.Here, let me help you.I’ll part the veil just the slightest bit.Oh look!Can you glimpse what is beyond?Just one step closer and more shall be revealed.You do want to see more, don’t you?Oh look!That flash of a

unicorn galloping past!Did you see her?Like a flash of starlight streaking across the land.And there.Right over there!A field of fairies at play. Aren’t they just lovely to behold?More to see there is if you but move a bit closer.Oh look!A Phoenix bursting into the air from the flames!His colours so bright they almost make your eyes ache.Watch as he soars up into the heavens, his magnificent tail trailing ribbons of flames behind him.Wasn’t that just glorious?There is so much more to see, but you are still too far away.Won’t you come just a little closer?Oh look!Off in the corner, did you see the galaxies collide?Watch as their remains cascade across the heavens and look deeply into the blackness of the void they leave behind.There are universes beyond imagination just past this curtain.Would you miss a moment of it?I see you still hesitate.Come now, you are almost there.Oh look!A griffin making off with a beaste of the fields, a dragon rending its prey.Spirits and demons and fantastickal creatures to inspire and terrify your soul!Oh no!Don’t step back!They are but dreams and cannot hurt you!Come back!Oh look again!Beauty beyond compare!Lands of swirling colors, blooms of intoxicating scent!See?There is no need to fear!That’s it!Come closer.Oh look!A beauty that fantasies are envious of!Her skin so perfect, her face so fair.Her eyes look on you with the desires of lifetimes of searching.Look how she reaches to you!Can you resist her look and the chance to touch her hand?Oh look!She is calling you, drawing you, imploring you.Can you still refuse?Oh good!Go with her.How does it feel within?What?!You say she has talons and smells of death?She has pierced your flesh and is chaining you!What?You are afraid?You feel pain?You feel darkness closing in?You have changed your mind and want to leave now?
No need to worry, it shall pass.

Psst!!You over there!Come here!
Oh look!Just a quick peek beyond the curtain and the world will never be the same again . . . . . . . . .

Sephi’PiderWitch
copyright  2009