Dusk started to fill the room. It was quiet. It hadn't been this quiet in many years. The surrounding mahogany walls made it feel darker than it was. I was alone. I could finally breathe in the sound of nothing. No kids running a muck, no significant other calling my name and no animal scurrying about. No staff, no phone calls and no appliances running. I picked up my sweaty glass of bourbon and listened to the melting ice cubes clink against the glass. It was almost empty. I reached forward, grabbing the full bottle sliding it towards me. The dragging sound of the thick glass searing a deep scuff into the wood would have normally sent me into a freefall. But now, it felt good. I pushed and pulled it a bit harder to deepen the wound. Steadying my barely full glass, I recklessly began to pour. Sprits of bourbon splashed down on the wood, surely causing more damage. I took a big swig and slammed my glass down on the table breeding a fleet of armed droplets.
My breathing paced as I swallowed the vastness of the room. I couldn't believe I'd done it. Accomplished all this. The arched floor to ceiling windows stole the show. They gave a birds eye view of the never ending manicured lawn. Their solid gold hinges diverted the last flashes of daylight. I watched as small bursts of yellow light blazed against the walls. I hadn't noticed how magical it had looked before.
Placing my hands on the table, I pushed back to stand up, causing the chair to buckle back and hit the ground. I picked up my glass and walked over to the colossal curio cabinet against the far wall. It was full of treasures I've collected from around the world. I creaked open the glass door and chose the the prestige hand painted floral vase I curated from France. Neglintely, I spun it around in my singular hand to get a better look at it. Pretty, I thought as I let it slip from my grasp. It so delicately shattered into unfixable pieces. The tiny chips crunched as I aimlessly walked through them choosing another seat at the table. This time I opted for a better view of the effervescent terrace.
I swigged back the remainder of my drink in its entirety, proceeding to chuck the empty one of kind crystal against the wall. Dark filled the room and the imploding buzz of fractured glass surged through me inducing a brief moment of happiness. It was quiet funny, I thought as my belly stirred with laughter. How had I so quickly forgotten what that felt like?
Have you ever fantasized about having the whole world, but being too daft to notice?
I fantasised that I rescued him after he shot himself. He had gone around the pond and found a muddy part, which he got stuck in. The gun went off when he tried to extricate himself and quickly discovered he was in quicksand.
The mist was thick and penetrated the foggy pond. The wood was a tangle of hanging branches and broken trees, bent over by their own weight until they collapsed into themselves. I heard a scream from across the meadow, as I entered a clearing.
He was there, naked from the waist up. Perspiration and tears covered his face. I noticed the lack of calm on his face. His early morning anticipation had disappeared. A look of anguish came over him. So I reached out to him and pulled.
The struggle went on for a while. Finally, with a big yank, he freed his right foot from the quicksand. He had mistaken the area for a muddy area that was soaked with rain. He held onto me, breathing heavily, as I pulled him out. Thankful, he collapsed in my arms and tried to catch his breath.
by Jane Elizabeth Smith
I fantasize for a cottage on the side of a warm, sunlit path with rocky cobble and gravel lining the way. A windowsill covered in sparkling rocks and gently swaying flowers. A lilypad-filled pond for ducks with velvet feathers. I fantasize for buttered bread that melts in your mouth but doesn't crumble in your hands; I fantasize for cotton gowns that have lace down at my knees. The way the wind blows through the long grass I used to be scared of, like my father warned me to be. My hands soft and cold from the dip and ripple they make in simple creeks with silver fish small enough to slip through my fingers; the taste of sweet lemons sprinkled with borrowed sugar. I fantasize for long hair that curls daintily at the tips, tied back with a gold clip or bow. I fantasize for homemade cookies and scones, white leather heels I won't wobble in, glass chess sets that reflect colors around my cluttered kitchen. But I fantasize truly for the way she looks at me with her curved lips and twinkling, bronze eyes. The freckles from lazy days in the sun trace constellations on her cheeks, her brow, her lips: she's my Cassiopeia, my little dipper. I fantasize for her love, her comfort, our home. I fantasize for her. For us.
Random topics IIXIILMCC
It was a big day for Bob, as he suited up for the interview for the lamp lighting job. Busied with last minute preparations, his final task was to choose the right suspenders. Suddenly he felt overwhelmed as he stared down at the colorful elastic jumble before him, and so quickly he realized the interview was doomed. Next to the suspenders lay an untouched copy of "Common Mistakes Made by Lamplighters and How to Avoid Them". What a fool he was! He'd been so lost in the moment listening to the Turkish March that he'd forgotten to prepare for the interview. But then it hit Bob.
"The salamanders are taking over the biz, and the winner goes to the spores!" Bob had seen that sign on the road every day, and at first he thought it was only vandalism. How wrong he'd been. Every day there was something to hide, and though Bob knew not what those things were, he knew they existed. Such a complex conundrum it is to wonder if it is better to know or not to know. Knowledge is power, and ignorance is bliss. To be unaware frustrated Bob, yet to know certain information was to carry a heavy and inescapable burden. Bob knew this well from his time on set for the filming of "The Tragic Story Behind the Triangle Headed Bolts on Escalators." Seeing the truth behind that small part of the giant machine that was called an escalator really put things into perspective for Bob. Not that there was anything to do about any of it, thought Bob and he picked at his modest breakfast, infused with bacon flavored saccharin. What a world it had become. Had it always been this bad? Alone in his tiny kitchen, Bob sat with that copy of "Common Mistakes Made by Lamplighters and How to Avoid Them." A few days ago, that book had been a symbol of hope. Now it was just another reminder of how he'd failed.
Maybe he should've payed more attention in school. Even as a boy, Bob had never taken an interest in anything related to that awful place. At recess, Bob sat alone, shaded by an old brick wall that closed the schoolyard from the street beyond. "Into the woods we went" he mused to the ants, who ignored him as dutifully as any human. That's how all of Bob's stories started back then. Come to think of it, he'd spent more time with those ants and that brick wall than anyone at that school. Only now did he realize that a brick wall is not a good role model. Is that where he'd gone wrong? Was it that early? All this time, Bob had thought he'd messed up in that public speech he'd attempted so long ago, but maybe he'd been a failure since day one.
"We'll run out of food long before we run out of oxygen", bellowed Bob from his soap box pedestal. "It won't be long now, and none of you people care. All you can think of is what the man on the radio told you to think. All you can talk about is the racy things you do in the lighthouse bathroom." To prove his point, Bob made to remove his clothes to publicly demonstrate exactly what those lighthouse gossips beheld. Instead, two policemen grabbed poor Bob by the elbows and dragged him away. Drowning in a sea of laughter and sirens, Bob didn't remember much else of that day.
Stiff, Bob shifted in the small chair in the small kitchen of his small house. How many hours he'd lost to thought, he did not know. He simply stared and pondered, banishing the past, contemplating the present and wondering if the future would ever be anything different. Perhaps he had no purpose at all.
if we had met in december
To get away from the pouring rain, with leaking coats and squishy shoes, you two bolted inside laughing after tripping over the stairs.
You tiptoed at the door, rubbing your hands together for some heat as he rushed to turn the lights on. To keep you from freezing, he fetched you a towel, straight from the dryer.
“Towel?” As he extended his arm to you.
Your shuddery tremble could shake the water beads off the leaves. Still dripping over the kitchen floor, he offered to remove your sweater before offering to hug you warm. The fluffy towel smelled like ambers and lilies of the valley in a room already dispersing what seemed like cinnamon and vanilla. All the scents sounded too heavy, but they made you feel right at home.
You enjoyed the quiet hug for a while, that was until he breathed against your neck and buried his face in your hair. The tulip was opening and the urges slept on his lips — those beautiful, red lips. The sensations were explosive, melting into each other. You two had agreed to keep the urges to a minimum, but when your hearts found bliss, colliding souls with just one kiss as it poured outside, it was a promise you had to forget.
The Enchanted Owl
The owl always came at night, when the moon filled the endlessness that floated in on the breeze and rippled through the tall trees. Its feathers nearly completely white except for the streaks of amber brown, it perched on the branch closest to her bedroom window and shrieked its eerie call, beckoning her from the solitude of her bed. Thus each night, Luna rose and tread on bare feet to the open window to search the barn owl’s piercing golden eyes, as if therein lay some deep-seated and powerful omen that would bring her fulfillment of desires for which she did yearn.
Tonight was no different; the owl was there, calling to her yet again. His echoing screech reverberated through Luna as she watched him from where she leaned against the windowsill, the sheer curtain a whimsy film that fell behind her, silhouetting her slim figure in the dim light. In amusement, the faintest smile flickering upon her lips, Luna whispered the word ‘hello’. The owl twisted his head completely sideways as if attempting to return her greeting and sweet smile. In response, Luna’s smile grew, and she watched as the massive bird straightened and plumped his feathers, seemingly immensely pleased by her warm welcome. With one loud shriek of apparent joy, the owl spread his wings wide, lifted from the branch, and flew off into the night. She followed the owl’s beautiful image against the backdrop of the full moon until she lost sight of his flight. This owl was undoubtedly exceptional, both in appearance and apparent intellect, and Luna had to admit that the bird made her feel quite special when he returned night after night as if eager to visit her in the stillness of the moonlight.
Slowly, she retraced her footsteps to the bed and lay upon its softness, pulling the covers to her chin to ward off the chill that had crept into her slender frame. It had been a rather strange day, and she had not felt herself in many ways. It was unusual for her to leave dishes on the table from a scarce eaten dinner, but she had done so, telling herself that she would clear them in the morning. Next to the dishes lay an array of colorful flowers she had picked from her spring garden that afternoon but had not managed to place in the antique porcelain vase on the table’s center. Her strength had waned, and despite the desire to do much, Luna had instead sought the comfort of her bed earlier than usual this warm spring evening.
Immensely tired, she drifted off to sleep again, thoughts unbidden of the mysterious owl filling her dreamlike state. Was he indeed truly a bird, she wondered? A fierce predator of the night? To her, he seemed to be much more like a mythical creature of endearing beauty and affection that Morpheus sent to her window each night to fill her aching soul and need for love in her less than satisfying, solitary world. Luna released a sigh through tender lips and hugged the pillow. Instinctively, she knew that the owl had returned and watched her from his perch on the branch outside, as if to guard her as she slept. A soft smile upon her lips, contentment filled her as sleep invaded, and she dreamt a dream that arose from long held, deep desires.
Luna was walking barefoot through the forest as the brilliance of a full moon rose in the sky and lit her way in the stillness of the warm night. It was as though her name had foretold of the promise of such a magical time. With each step, she could feel the coolness of the earth beneath her feet, her toes sinking into the blades of grass. A colorful plethora of flowers spread across the ground and shrubbery, into the woods as far as the eye could see. Her fingers lightly trailed the tops of the foxgloves and ferns that grew all about as she wandered. It was such a beautiful, mythological world of enchantment that her heart swelled with a peace she had long forgotten. She did not know where she was, but she knew she had no desire to return to her former abode. There was no doubt that this was heaven, and she was well pleased to remain here in the cradle of nature’s welcoming hand. She had never felt more at peace or more at home in her twenty-four years.
She came upon a clearing in the splendor and quiet of the forest, the moon shimmering to reveal a multitude of freshly bloomed bleeding hearts and sweet woodruff blossoms. She inhaled deeply of their fragrance and spun about in elation, her sheer and filmy dress mimicking her movements in a dance of visual delight. Growing a bit light-headed, she paused in her celestial dance and became suddenly alert as instinct and nothing more told her she was no longer alone. She saw no one and nothing, but nonetheless, she knew someone watched her. Her breathing escalated as she continued to peruse her surroundings in search of whomever it might be.
In silence, she stood for several long minutes, the sound of her rapid heartbeat the only thing that filled her ears. Then, of a sudden, an eerie sound abruptly broke the stillness of the moonlit night; a screeching echo, a foretelling of promises not yet fulfilled. Her heart beat faster still as she continued to search, but to no avail for who or what had made the high-pitched noise.
Suddenly, the leaves behind her rustled, and she pivoted swiftly to watch as a perfectly formed, beautiful creature appeared to leap from the trees high above to land only a mere foot before her. He was tall and lean although he gave an overall appearance of being massive at first glance. He was fair in color with hair the shade of fine-spun gold interspersed with streaks of amber, and aquiline features in a face that was quite appealing to any observer. His eyes, a deeper gold in the night, watched her with an unabashed intensity that made her breathing labored and her heart beat faster still. His stare seemed to pierce her with an all-knowing awareness, and she shivered beneath his intense regard despite the warmth of the evening.
The quiet hung betwixt them for long moments as the moonlight hovered all around, swirling and whispering echoes of greeting in the night. Eventually, Luna managed a faint nod and the hint of a smile. “Hello,” she whispered, her voice softly lyrical as it floated across the dew-filled air.
The stranger seemed to straighten to an even more impressive height at her lightly spoken greeting, as if immensely pleased by the timbre of her voice. He stepped nearer still, the intensity of his gaze never faltering as he turned his head to the side as if to gage her all the better. Oh, but he was a handsome creature, as though derived in golden beauty from the Gods above!
He stood only mere inches before her and continued to watch her without interruption. His lips eventually curved in a broad smile as he straightened his head and returned her greeting. “Hello, Luna,” he murmured with a deep voice that was as silky as the most expensive woven fabric. “I have been awaiting your arrival.” He swept his arm from his broad chest as if to welcome her to his forest.
Luna managed a small laugh at his words. “You’ve been awaiting my arrival? How so when even I did not know I would be arriving?”
He smiled again – that ever glorious smile that only served to enlighten his already appealing visage. “My dear, time foretells all things, and your arrival has long since been foretold.”
Not giving her a chance to fully understand the words he spoke, he began to move past her, lightly touching her hand to encourage her to follow. “Come, my child of the moon. You must meet Aurelia and all the others. They, too, have been anxious for your arrival.”
Without a doubt, she was mesmerized. Mesmerized by this man’s appearance, his words, and even his lithe movements. Without hesitation, she quickly followed, noticing his stealthy gait as he moved swiftly through the brush and forest. It was nearly as though his feet hardly touched the ground, so precipitous were his movements. He seemed to be flying unlike her whose feet crossed the earth to move. It was a struggle at best to keep up with his steady gait.
Questions surfaced in the back of her mind. Where was she and where was he taking her? Here she was, blindly following someone she did not know to a place about which she knew absolutely nothing. Had she lost her senses? No, she did not think she’d lost all reason. Instead, she felt a pull beyond understanding to accompany this beautiful nymph of a man through the forest to wherever he might lead. He had mentioned someone else. What was that person’s name? Aurelia? Who could Aurelia be and why was she awaiting her arrival?
“Sir,” she called after him. He paused in his pursuit only slightly and cocked his head to peer back at her as he continued on his path.
“Yes?” he inquired without stopping.
“Whom might Aurelia be?”
He smiled back at her. “She is one with the forest and with nature. You will be most pleased to make her acquaintance, as will Aurelia be to make yours.” He gave her a small wink with his words, as if there was a promise of more secrets yet to be divulged. Or perhaps more so to assure her that there was nothing to fear. “Come, we must hurry, Luna.”
He continued to call her Luna. How on earth did this beautiful creature know her name?
“Sir, might I impose upon you to ask yet another question?” Luna’s breath was labored now in her efforts to keep up with his quick pace.
At this point, the man stopped, so suddenly that Luna nearly collided with his broad chest as he turned about to face her. He cocked his head to the side again, his amber eyes alert, to emphasize his word. “Yes?”
Luna rocked back on her heals and attempted to steady herself, gather her thoughts, and catch her breath all at once. “Good sir, you know my name, but I fear I do not know yours,” she finally managed, keenly aware of his continued and intense perusal.
“Indeed, you are correct,” he said with a bit of humor now lacing his words. “We have not been officially introduced. My name is Strix for I am a creature that inhabits the moon filled night. Yet, my dear, are you quite certain you do not know me?”
Luna observed the golden creature of a man before her as he continued to watch her as if to further gage her reaction to the words he spoke. She studied him closely, peering into his amber colored eyes, overcome by the darkness in their golden depths. Suddenly, she gasped aloud. Yes, she did know him. Here and now, before her in the flesh of a man’s body, stood her nocturnal visitor, the beautiful barn owl. “You?” she managed to whisper, her voice filled with wonder and delight at the realization of who this beautiful creature actually was.
At her recognition, the smile on his face grew, and Strix broadened his chest to its full breath and scope. He was obviously quite pleased by her realization of the truth.
“Come, we must go,” he said after only a moment, taking her hand before he turned back about, beginning to move without delay toward his destination again. There was no doubt that this was his home, and he knew exactly to where he was going even if she did not.
Luna could not diminish the smile that filled her face as she continued to follow behind her owl, Strix. Sheer delight filled her to the brink until she thought she might burst. Her special owl was here in the moonlight, with her, and he was embodied in the guise of a man. And such a beautiful specimen he was! It was nigh unbelievable. She had always known that there was something incredibly special about the barn owl that visited her each night, but little had she known that he was a mythological creature who lived in a forest of enchantment. Nor had she realized that one day she would be introduced to his wonderful world and be able to converse with him as she would any other.
After walking a good distance, they reached a large clearing. The moonlight was bright in this spot and easily filled its perimeter. Strix halted and pulled Luna a bit closer to his side. “Do not be frightened,” he said reassuringly as he watched her survey her surroundings. She nodded. She felt his nearness and felt secure, unafraid. His touch was an oxymoron; firm and yet silky soft, offering the reassurance he intended.
Looking around, Strix made a small sound, much like the familiar shrieks she had heard before, but this time, it was much softer than she'd ever known it to be. Within mere seconds, the leaves began to rustle and the branches of the trees and shrubbery moved to reveal more than a dozen woodland creatures emerging from their hidden depths. Leading them, was the most illuminating, beautiful woman Luna had ever seen. She wore a sheer, creamy gown that gleamed bright white in the moonlight. Her hair fell to her knees and was nearly white as well, and she shimmered with a silver aura. Flowers filled the woman’s hair and also created a wreath about the top of her head. She moved with a delicacy born of woodland nymphs and fairies that flutter about the flower strewn English gardens. Luna was transfixed and could look at none other save this beautiful enchantress of a creature emerging from the depths of the forest. This must be Aurelia, their queen. She was most certainly one with the forest and the earth, and she was thoroughly divine and utterly enchanting.
Aurelia smiled a brilliant smile as she walked toward Luna, stopping before her and leaning to press a kiss upon Luna's cheek in greeting. The sensation from her lips moved through Luna’s body and warmed her as much as any sun-drenched afternoon in the throes of summer.
“Hello, Luna, you are most welcome. We are delighted that you have at long last joined us in our enchanted world. Our home shall always be your home, my dear.” As she spoke, Aurelia placed a wreath of lily white flowers upon Luna’s head. “You are so lovely, my child,” she said as she stepped back to survey the fruits of her handiwork.
Luna was transfixed, nearly forgetting to breathe. “Thank you,” she managed to say, her words feeling strangely inadequate in the midst of such beauty. She had never met the queen of the forest before, after all. Here was someone and something so unreal and unimaginable that she wanted to pinch herself to assure she was not dreaming. She had thought herself beyond further surprise after meeting Strix, but she could not have been more mistaken.
Aurelia smiled at her. “You are not dreaming, Luna. We are all quite real and present in this very moment of time. Come. You must meet our friends for they are your friends, too.”
Luna realized her thoughts were no longer solely her own and that here, everything was known to all, or at least to Aurelia. Still, she eagerly accepted the hand that Aurelia extended, and they moved to meet the woodland friends that filled the flower filled clearing.
Aurelia took her to a multi-colored creature. The creature was lovely and appeared light as a feather; she was unlike any other. “Here is Flutter, one of your garden’s loveliest butterflies. She speaks so fondly of your gentleness, Luna. And this is Quodora," she continued, pointing at another multi-colored creature. "She is the sweet little hummingbird that flits about your garden and drinks of its flowers’ nectar nearly every spring day.”
Wide eyed, Luna could only stare in abject wonder as Aurelia continued to move with ease about the clearing and woodland creatures, introducing all those that she known in different forms at her previous home. They were now well-suited to their humanlike forms, living deep in this forest, and Luna recognized each and every one of them. More surprisingly, they were all welcoming her to their enchanted playground. She also met Lepus, the little brown rabbit that she had watched hop through the fields day after day. He was famous for eating her garden’s vegetables on a regular basis. There was also Equis, her beautiful black stallion that loved to roam the meadows. As she met him, he bowed his head in a bid for an affectionate touch. And there, upon the clearing’s edge, was Luce, the grey wolf that she always saw in the far distance across the fields. The wolf was still just as imposing in his new form, but there was no fear of anything or anyone here in this wonderful place. It was a world ripe for newly discovered pleasures and creatures, and there was nothing but love, joy, and accord amongst them all.
While there was a vast array of woodland creatures, there were also those creatures that were mostly composed of the earth’s elements and features. There was Peony, Fleur, Bumble, Estrelita, Ripple, and Lumina, whose sheer radiance embodied the glow of the sun. There were other owls in addition to Strix with names like Tuto, Ule, and Otos, but none was as handsome as her special one. Strix was without a doubt more breathtakingly beautiful than the fairest bird or any other creature she’d ever seen.
After speaking with many of her woodland friends, Luna helped herself to a cup of aromatic wine and turned to wander about in search of Strix. She found him at last, lounging nonchalantly by a massive tree on the edge of the clearing, staring at her as he had done since he’d first come across her in the midst of her celestial dance. Indeed, she wondered if he ever paused in his reflection of her, so intense was the look he gave her each time she spotted him from afar. She smiled a bit shyly and moved to stand beside him. He cocked his head in that now very familiar way and returned her smile. She searched her mind for the right words to say to him. There was so much within her heart.
“I wish you’d brought me here sooner,” she finally spoke before sipping of her wine, her nerves aflutter with something akin to exultation as she stood so close beside him.
“You weren’t ready,” Strix replied without elaboration, still watching her in the way he always did.
Luna nodded. “You may be right, but I am ready now. I am so very ready,” she said with an astute awareness as she returned the intensity of his amber gaze.
Luna knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the world she’d left behind no longer held an appeal for her. No, she could not leave this incredulous woodland family now that she’d come to know them - they were simply too wonderful. It would prove to be sheer devastation to return to her previous life for it held nothing of importance any longer. She could not begin to think upon it, so great was her fear that tonight would end and tomorrow she would find herself back in the grasp of reality, alone again in her former, solitary life. No, it would not do. She could not – would not – leave this enchanted world. Here was the family that she craved with her entire soul and that she felt she’d always known. Here was heaven and it was perfection personified. Peace filled her and a contentment she’d never experienced rose up inside, sufficing her face with a new, brilliant light.
At her words, Strix reached out a long, lean finger to lightly touch Luna’s chin, lifting it ever so slightly as he watched the light that filled her eyes and covered her face with a new brilliancy. She was glowing, and at long last, truly a child of the moon. His golden eyes shone with a deeper intensity and undying affection. “Yes, my sweet child of moonlight. I believe you are at long last ready.”
With those words, he pulled her into the crook of his arm, as if covering her with his widespread pinions, and Luna knew she was home at last and precisely where she longed to be. Here was her beautiful and unique owl who would always protect her, never leave her, and reside fiercely by her side forevermore.
It was late in the afternoon, on the brink of Twilight, the following day when Luna’s sister, Moira, happened by her sister’s cottage to visit for a short while. It had been weeks since she’d heard from or seen Luna, and the sister was beginning to worry that Luna was not well. It was not unusual for her sister, a dreamer, to stick to herself, but nonetheless, it worried Moira when she did not have any interaction with her sister over extended periods of time. After all, Luna had not seemed herself since her husband’s passing two years earlier, and Moira was repeatedly concerned for her sister’s well-being. Thus, this day, she had imposed upon her kind neighbor to watch her young children for a brief period while she checked on Luna, Moira hurried along to the cottage in hopes of reassuring herself that Luna was well and simply enjoying her solitary life in contentment as she usually did.
As Moira entered the cottage, she noticed that there was an assortment of dishes and food upon the table. It was evident that Luna had not finished her meal nor had she tidied up after partaking of the little she’d eaten. There were dying flowers lying on the table as well. Lightly Moira touched the flowers, aware that they had been plucked from the garden only a brief day or so before. The place had a look of being nearly forsaken. Worriedly, Moira made her way up the steep, narrow staircase, calling her sister’s name all the while. Her eyes were full of concern as she continued her search, hoping to locate her missing sister and find that all was well.
Moira came upon Luna’s bedroom and found the door slightly ajar. With increasing trepidation, she eased the creaking door open and then gasped. There upon the bed, in the beginning rays of twilight, lay Luna, a smile upon her still and lifeless face. Moira hurried to her sister's side and lightly touched her cold forehead, unable to believe her eyes. She stood thus for long minutes until, from outside the open window, she was suddenly startled by a shriek of seeming dismay, Moira went over to the window and found a handsome (the only word that came to her mind as she spied him) owl perched just outside on the tall tree’s branch. The owl peered at Moira with a look of inquisitive curiosity and continued to shriek his eerie cries, as if echoing the sorrow he saw reflected upon Moira’s face.
At last, with one final shriek, the bird turned his head sideways before it abruptly lifted and took off in flight. Moira watched the bird, transfixed by its majestic beauty despite the dismal situation she had just uncovered. The owl flew high in the sky creating a silhouette against the fullness of the rising moon. The moon, the beautiful full moon. Luna's mother had named her child for the moon, and Moira was sure that her sister was now at peace and one with the moon’s everlasting glow.
Moira quietly leaned out of the window, tears streaming down her cheeks and whispered, “Fly away my beautiful, Luna, with your handsome owl. Fly across the meadows and fields. Fly high above the trees with your precious friend to the enchantment of what lies ahead. I pray you will find eternal love.”
Eventually, Moira lost sight of the owl as it disappeared in the far distance, Moira gave a final glance at the fullness of the bright moon and then gently pulled the window shut and closed the curtains. Instinct told her the owl would not return. Moira wiped at her tears. It wouldn’t do to linger here or to wish for things beyond her ken. She had to trust that Luna was now in a place that would bring her much deserved joy and peace. Thus, with surety of purpose, she began to do what must be done.
Ice Cream Machine.
I found myself standing beside someone I don't know. He's handsome, but not familiar in the slightest. Tall, built nicely with a friendly smile.
"We need to go," he said looking to me for a response. I wasn't sure what to do or where I was. Go where? I thought. I nodded without saying a word and unintentionally reached for his hand to guide me. He pulled me through a crowd of people, again all unfamiliar. There was young and old people crowding to get past one another.
"We need to pick one," he said nudging my glance ahead.
I looked forward, just as we broke through the crowd there was a set of elevators ahead, about seven. They were opening and closing as people pushed on. The layout was set in a U formation. I had no idea which one to choose. My body quivered as anxiety built up. This was too much. I was thinking of just running back into the crowd. That was now the most familiar thing I had. I looked to him with worry splayed on my face.
"It's okay. Take a minute, but make it quick. We need to keep moving," he said looking behind us, keeping my hand tight.
I took a deep breath and noticed an older woman with white hair waiting for the third elevator from the right. She seemed innocent enough. I lifted my my unlinked hand and pointed to that elevator.
"Okay," I said, "that one."
He smiled and quickly pulled me to the line in front of my chosen elevator. We were four people behind the woman with white hair. That should put us on the elevator with her at the same time. I felt relieved, but I didn't know why. I held on tightly to the hand of this man I didn't know, nervously taking in my surroundings as the line slowly moved. The other elevators continued to open, fill, close and build lines. No one was talking. All I could hear was heavy breaths and whispers.
Our elevator arrived, but there was too many ahead of us to enter this round. We shuffled forward. I looked to the man and he smiled with reassurance. I was growing more confident with my choice. It was a good idea to follow this woman. Our elevator arrived again. It was now our time to file in. A young man went in first. He was short with chocolate brown hair and chubby red cheeks. He entered with no hesitation. Next, was the woman with white hair, she looked around first before entering cautiously. A woman with a young child went in after her. As we got closer, I could see there were men at the entrances of the elevator directing passengers one by one. No one was being stopped from entering. Finally, two young women ahead of us entered and it was our turn. The man at the entrance had on olive green jump suit. He nodded acknowledging our entry.
Once we were in, the doors closed abruptly. There was a total of eight of us on the elevator. Just moments later the elevator doors disappeared. I was assuming they had turned into some type of glass. I jutted forward as the elevator move backwards. The man I was with stabilized me and smiled again, reassuring me that this was supposed to happen. He and I were against the left wall, snuggled in. The women with white hair was in the front, close to the glass, nonexistent doors. The eight of us had room in the elevator. We weren't jammed, we were comfortable. As the elevator continued to move, we began to see things forming below us. I leaned forward slightly for a closer look, but the man shook his head no. Unsure of what the consequences would be, I stopped. Staying put, I tried to see what I could. The ground looked far away from us. It was filled with tiny open suitcases. I was taken back. The suitcases looked to be filled with some type of gel substances that was thick and oozing out from the sides. I squinted, focusing on the substance inside and it looked like it was filled with people frozen among the goo. I sucked in a breath. Where were we? My body stiffened as I was beginning to feel uncomfortable again.
I looked around the elevator. The other passenger's expressions were blank and uninviting. The man stood strong beside me, looking ready for anything. One of the young women that was standing against the back began inching forward. I didn't think anything of it. I had assumed she wanted a better visual like me.
I gasped as I watched her push the old woman with white hair out of the front of the elevator. She plummeted down, falling into the goo of one of the suitcases. I began fidgeting. I didn't know what to do. My eyes began to tear. I needed to get out of here. The man squeezed my hand and shook his hand no. No one responded to the loss of the woman with white hair but me. Moments later the elevator docked causing us all to sway. The doors suddenly reappeared and opened. It looks like we have arrived to the floor below where the suitcases lie.
Everyone filed off of the elevator, pushing past us without hesitation. The man pulled me along into the room. It was huge, like the size of small country. There was no end in sight. How could this be? The man allowed me to stand there for a moment. I watched as small bodies tumbled from above, dropping into the goo of the open suitcases. The fall was light, like a feather falling to the ground. Once a body hit the goo it was frozen in there, time stood still.
"What is this?" I said looking to man for any input. He smiled softly.
"Meet me at the ice cream machine, okay?" He said letting go of my hand.
"What?" I said frantically.
"The ice cream machine," he said again, "in fifteen minutes."
I just stared at him, with my mouth hanging open. I didn't understand.
"You can do this," he said putting his hands on my shoulders, "ice cream machine," he said again, "fifteen minutes."
His hands dropped from my shoulders and he smiled at me once more, before turning and disappearing into the crowd ahead of us.
That's when I woke up.
My Long Distance Friend
My Long Distance friend asked what would you do? "If you woke up and saw me lying right next to you? I kindly advised. That wouldn't be wise, I can say for sure I would be surprised but I probably will not believe my eyes. I'll pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming and if you're still here I’ll probably start screaming. I'll stab you to see if you're just a ghost. But that just might be doing the most, I'll check my pulse, scratch my head then look for Ashton Kutcher under my bed. And If it turns out to be true that it is really you. I’ll sincerely apologize for all the trauma I put you through. I'll welcome you with open arms, that's if you're still alive, if not I'll weep then burry you deep and take my ass right back to sleep. I'm just kidding so have no fear it will be my pleasure having you near. I'll give you a hug and a kiss my dear we’ll have a stimulating conversation. I'll make breakfast in bed and while you’re waiting, you can use your imagination.
The Fantasy of Love
This is not a fantasy with magic--not one with dragons soaring through the sky. There are no happy endings, and there is no good or bad. No, I can only wish to learn magic or cause seasons to change.
Ever since I was young, I used to dream of those fantasies. Wondering aimlessly, I would get lost in my own head-- escapism from a dull life would be what some may call it. Even as I try to better myself, remove myself from those fantasies, I find myself falling into the escapism again. Novel after novel devours me, making me feel like I have escaped the escape that was trying to conquer my life, but it was a disguise of the monster, lurking in the corner in a cute, welcoming, deceiving form. The temptation to run away into my head can't be all bad. It feels so innocent, so natural. Yet, I have to ask myself; is this really what I want? Do I wish to live my life or simply imagine it? I think not. The truth is I am using these fake fantasies to cover up my real dream-- my real fantasy: to be loved.
The Story is at the end...
***I kid you not this is a true story.
Growing up, if we woke up in the middle of the night, we ere allowed to go out into the family room and watch TV so long as we were quiet. This ensured my parents got to sleep through the night.
One night, I had a dream that I woke up, took my little whine-the-pooh blanket out to go curl up on the couch to either watch midnight infomercials (we only had 2 channels), or to put on a movie.
But as I came into the kitchen and looked into the family room...i saw a HUGE T-Rex sitting on the couch, chewing on the remote, the TV spazzing out.
I backed up slowly and went to fetch my two older sisters.
Of course they didn't believe me until they saw the T-Rex themselves, and then the T-Rex started to chase us!
In our house the kitchen, family room, hallway, and living room are all connected in a circle, so around and around the T-Rex chased us! I was little and was wearing my purple footie pajamas and slipped...even though I was sure the floor was carpet.
Somehow I was able to get up and run.
Then I was tugged under the table and one of my older sisters gave me a bag of tea leaves. the T-Rex stomped by us, sniffing for us, and then went into the other room.
My sister said the tea leaves will mask our sent as we sneak by and get papa.
We ran into the back of the house, jumped into our parents bed, shaking them awake.
My dad sighed, told us in his gruff and tired yet protective "stay here" commanding way, and then he left. I heard him banging on my older brothers doors, waking them up. My sisters were crying and my mom was trying to calm them down.
Curious, I crept out and down the hall.
peaking around the corner, into the kitchen...I saw my father and my two older brother fighting the T-Rex with lightsabers. They fought and killed it.
Then I woke up.
I didn't tell anyone because, let's face it, five older siblings, no one wants to hear about my dreams anyway.
Years later I had the same dream AGAIN. It really kind of creeped me out, but I still didn't tell any of the family. I told a few friends, because my dad really is awesome. My dad can totally beat up your dad.
And then one Christmas, when the family was all together, we were talking and just doing dumb stuff, and my older sister tells the story about a dream she had when she was a kid...about a T-Rex chasing us and how we got away using tea leaves and how dad and our brothers killed it with lightsabers.