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Monday, October 31, 2011

Silence lay as thick as death. Happy Halloween 2011 :0

This was a prompt last year with our writers group. Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd add it (and not part of a women's fiction novel I'm working on).

Prompt: Silence lay as thick as death.

     Scattered rays of yellow light penetrated in patches through the fog. The owl above turned its head 180 degrees and hooted. Its claws rested calmly on the old oak's branch as it shook dew from soft feathers.

    "Did you hear that, Stanley?"


    Marcus grabbed Stanley's rain jacket and slipped.

    Stanley's flashlight went out and darkness came in to surround the two boys.

    "The owl, Stanley. It wasn't a regular hoot like usual. It was drawn out, like a warning or something. Just like in the story... Beware of the owl with the calm hooot," Marcus whispered.

     Stanley hit the flashlight a couple times. "Old flashlight...Marcus, forget that story. It's just an owl that hoots that way."

     Suddenly a thud came from behind them.
     "Stanley!" Marcus screamed.
     Stanley grabbed Marcus's flashlight. He shined it behind them, over a moss-covered, long branch with dead leaves, lying in the path they walked moments ago.  "It's only a branch. Probably old and gave way in the earlier storm."

     "And now it falls?"

     "Marcus, do you want to go home empty handed, or get what we're looking for?"

     "I don't know."

     Stanley thought to himself, I really don't know either. Instead of letting Marcus know this, he answered strongly. "Well I know. we've got to get it back and get it back tonight before dad comes home."

     The wind swirled around the boys as they stood still. Stanley was waiting for his gut to point the way.  Where were we the other night?  He began to shine light on the concrete tombstones around them.

     John Harrision...Beloved Father and Husband  1873-1938, R.I.P.

     The boys moved past the plotted family section to the next headstone. Hilary Dyer. 1894-1923. May You Dance in the Hereafter.
     "Here we go. I remember this," Stanley said. "We laughed thinking she probably loved jazz and wore frilly outfits and red lipstick. Would have liked to have met you Hilary."

     "Stop kidding, Stanley."

     A crack of lightning lit the sky. A raven, large and blacker than midnight, flew in front of the boys. Marcus yelled hearing the wings flapping. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

     "Six seconds...the storm's going away, Marcus. We're fine."

     Marcus wondered. He still felt dampness brushing his face within heavy swipes of wind. Damp moss came down on his head. He yelled, quickly pulling it off and looked up into the full moon. It was momentarily exposed as the winds had moved the clouds across. "Let's just get dad's lantern and get home." Marcus whispered.

     "It's up there, probably five more grave sites. A couple more minutes, and we'll be out of here."
Stanley stopped. He thought he saw a reflection on glass ahead. It looked like the lantern. He remembered he set it on the oldest grave. He saw a shadow near it. It was the raven. It looked oddly perched on the tombstone... above the lantern.

     " you hear that?"

     "What Marcus? I don't hear anything."

     Surrounding the boys, silence lay, as thick as death.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

my novice sewing experience (not story, true in life :) )

Okay, so last weekend, I'm in a local fabric store, feeling the fabrics... this is almost as good as tasting wines ...well, no, ...maybe.... Yet when a nice fabric is felt, it can be sensuous. 

Background: I've discovered the delight of buying a pattern, material, etc and sewing dresses. I've made two. Semi-wearable. I have a couple more patterns and material.

Anyho, on my recent trip into town, I bought an inexpensive, on sale linen, for a simple black dress. --Let's try again and get better at it, I thought ;)
I also found a pattern for a winter dress, so I was looking at the materials and feeling around (not even looking to see if anyone was watching---of course not, I'm in a fabric store, EVERY woman feeelssss her way around, right?)
I found this great deep brown color and it felt great. It was on sale... I'm there, this is it.

After getting my zippers, (not the more expensive, tactfully hidden ones, just regular ones---I'm thinking I have 2 value deals on the material. Both are noted on sale remember) I went to check out. 
The first material, lightweight linen, black, I bought under 2 yards, and don't freak, the material was under $10 (with sale and coupon).
I saw its price and then ignored the register, looking idly around. I've made over a dozen lap quilts; I know the general total my ears will hear. Then she tells me my purchase was $90. What? I had two inexpensive zippers, 1 pattern (17.95 on sale for .99 ) and a light for my rose quartz lamp.
"What??"  (I forgot to politely say, "Excuse me?")
Oh, the 2 3/4 yards.... it was ears didn't hear...somewhere around 50.   "What?  Wasn't it on sale?" 
"It's 100% wool," she said.
"Do you want it?" she asked.

Of course I wanted it. It FELT good to me, and I liked the color. I already imagined making the dress.
So I bought it. Only thinking, I better make the other dresses I have patterns/material/etc for and practice, practice, practic, before I make this one---and maybe I should get a better zipper.
My pits sweated. I'm only a novice.

So later, I wrote a girlfriend who is a wonderfully talented designer. She's in Amsterdam.
She suggested, since I'm in FL, to line the armpits to protect the wool.
She also noted more info about material, like cashmere can sell for 150 euros per meter, ...200 American dollars per yard (approximately). 

Hm. I'm happy about my purchase. The price was okay in comparison to that. And if I sew it right, I'll be able to drink many glasses of wines while wearing it.  
:) Imagine, being out for a glass of wine, with someone special, listening, laughing, and able to feel the material too under the table. Haha! It is a wonderful world.

Friday, October 7, 2011

1 for Halloween (quite mellow)

05-26-11 Prompt: Her eyes took on a faraway look. “I’ve always wanted more,” she said.

  The hairy beast crouched over its prey, as blood dripped from its fangs.
  Lily stood straight as she could, sticking to the side of the tall pine she hid behind.
  The monster looked once her way. Lily couldn’t see it, but she sensed it. She sensed his low growl rumbling through the air, rippling through the oxygen until it met her ears.
  She felt the breeze blow strands toward her face. “Thank God,” she whispered. She knew she’d be dead if she were down wind from the form she saw at the edge of the old boathouse, and now only yards away.
  She heard a flap of material and knew it was the old windsock on top the roof. If she could hear that, she knew she had to plan a delicate escape. But how to be that quiet, she wondered.
  She paused and heard nothing. No growl. No more tearing of flesh. No more breaking of bones. “Stay together.” She hoped she thought and didn’t say. Nothing. Not a crunch underfoot either. Where is it? Not knowing whether to look, she waited.
  Her eyes took on a faraway look for a moment. I’ve always wanted more, she thought. Never again. Not after this time. … If I get out of here.
  She heard a distant engine on the lake and knew it was Charles. He and Steve were going to pick up her and Margaret at midnight. … If they made it to midnight.  They may have been kidding, but Lily found out tonight the creature of Elton Island was not a myth. It was true. And if they come soon, they may be killed. 
  Lily didn’t know what to do. It was as if her legs were frozen.
  Where’s Margaret, she wondered. Did she make it?
  And where’s the beast?
  Then she heard it. Three clinks. That was the signal. Lily knew Margaret had made it back to the old boathouse.
  But had she seen the beast? The killer in the night… the stalker of prey larger than man, who kills and leaves the bones mangled, looking as if they are stirred dominos of a child’s game.
  “Margaret--” Lily didn’t know what to do. If she ran from her cover, certainly she may run into her death.
  Lily stayed, and still heard nothing. Anger irrationally lifted, thinking she couldn’t listen for the animal over the louder approaching boat engine.
  Lily heard the chains. They were on the deck, around the backside of the boathouse.
  Margaret—the monster! Lily thought.
  She peered around the pine feeling shivers as the moon cast rays of evidence on death nearby.
  It smells Margaret, Lily thought.
  Lily saw a spotlight from the boat going back and forth—along the shore, over the boathouse. It stopped at the other side of the boathouse. It jerked up, down, scattered, then stayed. Lily could make out forms in the boat.
  The boys were almost to shore. She felt her legs strengthen. Her heart beat within her chest stronger than she had ever felt it.
  “HEYY!” She heard Chuck scream. 
  She couldn’t tell the tone.
  What did he see? Lily wondered. Did he see the monster?
  HEY! Again, then laughs.
  Lily was confused. She heard something strange from the boathouse. Wood was being broken. Then glass.
  The boys’ laughter stopped and the spot light danced erratically.
  Lily heard a scream and saw Margaret run to the side. Behind her, Lily saw the monster lounging.
  A flash of light from the boat’s flare gun screamed over the land past the boathouse and into the back of the monster…. Skin, hair, bones and blood dispersed onto the back of Margaret as she fell forward.
  Lily watched the windsock whipping erratically now, and the boys jump off the boat and run toward Margaret. She couldn’t hear anything, except for Margaret’s screams.