Sudden shifting energy
Violent chaos erupts
A slow-fading glow
Because you see...
Stars-- they collapse
Into the heat of themselves
I was so wrong to think
My end would be any different
I thought this world was a miserable
place where the
were coming for me
I saw her
raw and magical
of what humanity
to see her
come into the world
at the doctor's
can be made
keep my niece safe
“Hey Babe? HEY BABE?” FUCK OFF…how dare you have the audacity to call me after ignoring my calls and texts for hours.
“SORRY?!! SERIOUSLY. It’s not that hard to send a simple text, even if you didn’t want to talk”
“My phone died and I charged it as soon as I got down from the tree stand”
“After nine years, I will always be second the the woods and the deer”
“Ellerie, I need you to know that you’re number one. You always have been.”
“Yeah right, Nick.”
“Elle, I mean it. I’ve messed up so many things I’m my life, but you are the one thing that makes my heart sing.”
“Awww babe. How can I stay mad at you?”
“You can’t. I wish I could see your face one last time.”
“Whaddya mean…I’ll see you in 15 min.”
“No, Elle, you won’t, I fell. And my rifle accidentally went off when I landed on the ground.
“Elle, I’m shot. And I’m bleeding. And I’m not going to make it back to you.”
“Nick! Where are you? I’ll send help…omg I’m so sorry. I love you. Where are you?”
“Ellerie. I love you with all of my heart and soul. And you were right, we should name the baby after you mother. I love you both so…”
“Nick?!! NICK!!!!!!! Noooooooooo!!!!”
*sirens coming through the open line fill Ellerie’s ears, but she’s knows it’s too late. He’s gone*
The winter sun, as cold as it is, brings warmth and joy into my heart.
Raised on the skiing slopes and frozen forests, the cold, sharp winter sun overlooks the peaks of frozen mountains and sleeping trees. As hostile as the frozen waters and ice reflections might seem, the air feels free and the silence brings peace. The sun graces us with its presence and watches over us for fleeting hours of the winter days. It reminds us that there is still light in these dark days and lights up the snowy trees with an unnatural air of magic. It is in moments such as those that I feel so lost in the awe of nature's beauty that I forget all the bad in the world. Because, how could evil exist in this world when nature can look like this? When every step you take feels magical and when the snow on your fingertips feels unreal?
And I know that this might not be a shared experience, but the freedom and peace that comes with the frozen world, the snowflakes falling, the skis and ski poles, as well as the reassurance of the piercing winter sun truly makes everything worth it .
Snow. It flickered around him, purity upon purity like the reflection of her unpolluted heart. Snow. They've killed you, Snow. They've taken you from me and the rest of this undeserving world.
The snowfall pattered against the ground; it caressed his face, soft yet cold, as her hands had always been in his.
"Why are you always so frozen?" he teased her.
"I was born in the winter. The wise women said I took the curse from the land," she would laugh back, trying to pull away in that shy way she had.
"Like snow. You're like snow. Cold and beautiful and pure."
"That's why they call me Snow White."
She never knew how beautiful she was. The Queen would keep her locked away, the castle mirrorless, the staff silenced if they dared breathe a word about the princess's beauty. For the strength of a kingdom is marked by the fairness of its ruler, and the fairness of a ruler is marked by the fairness in her heart, and the Queen's heart was diseased and decrepit, like an apple polished red on the outside and rotting with worms within. Conrad, even in his early days fostering with the mysterious bayerische royalty, had sensed the darkness within. He remembered as a boy watching the Queen with suspicion, draw to her for her beauty, yet repelled by the malice beneath her entrancing ice-blue eyes, golden hair, and goddess-like figure. And with Snow—Princess Lisbeth—he could never see beyond her perfection to the shadow of her stepmother. Yet it was a shadow that loomed over both of them as the years drew on and Snow's beauty increased.
Some said the young princess was an immortal, blessed by the moss folk, the creatures that lived in the woods, for her mother was greatly favored by them. Conrad had certainly though much the same when he had met Lisbeth, all those years ago as children. The Queen would have never allowed the meeting, had she known. Lisbeth was supposed to have been shut away, like the flowers and things of beauty sacrificed on the Queen's altar to the dark goddess of fertility Éostre. But somehow that day, she had escaped from her hidden rooms, and the young fosterling Conrad had found her in the woods, lying in the snow with her head against a tree.
He had thought her an immortal too. After all, who but an elf herself could possess skin as white and flawless as new snow, eyes green like fresh spring sprouts, hair dark as the coals from a dying midsummer fire, and lips scarlet as the vibrant leaves of autumn? He was in love immediately, even if he wouldn't admit it for years.
And now it was too late. Snow. I will find you. I will bring you back, even if I weep every step of the way that I must carry your body instead of have you walking beside me in your winter. His steps seemed to falter, as his heart did, at the thought of what he would find in the Black Forest. Already the shadows seemed to draw long, the playful snow deepening into the menacing blizzard so far from Snow's laughter filled winter glade where they often met. Why did I never tell her?
How could he have told her he loved her? Snow herself was never allowed love. Every year the Queen watched her with growing antipathy, watched the princess thrive and laugh and love and give her heart to everyone she met despite the agony of her own hidden existence, while the Queen shriveled and snarled and loathed and let her heart shrivel with every heart of her enemies she ate to preserve her allure and power. It seemed Éostre was a dark master indeed, for every evil ritual the Queen performed seemed to grant her little beauty and much torment to her chained soul. And yet still Snow lived, a reminder of innocence and love and a heart true and noble.
A heart she gave me. A heart I should never have been trusted with. Snow herself had hardly trusted him with it.
"I don't know if I've ever loved," she'd told him, days before she was sent away with the huntsman.
"What do you mean? Everyone who meets you, you love," he'd replied, for it was true.
"That's different. That, I cannot help, and it is not the same at all," she'd laughed. "Love that I could speak; love that I could know was love and recognize as good and beautiful. That is hard to find. Papa didn't love me because I was a girl, and the Queen certainly doesn't because I threaten her. The only one I know might have loved me is Mama, and she is dead."
"Maybe it's something you don't know you have," he'd said, pleading desperately, earnestly with his mind that she would show something—anything—that she returned his feelings. And yet fearing if she did, for the Queen had forbidden love to her as well. It was only politics, after all. Should Princess Lisbeth take a husband, the Queen's rule would end. Should—God forbid—Snow marry him, his uncle would finally have his excuse to seize Bayern from "that usurping whore of a Queen." If he even got his armies within Bayern's borders, long ensnared by the dark creatures of the forest, of the Queen. And if the Queen let either of them live long enough for the wedding to even take place. No, it was safer to deny himself his feelings and protect Snow. It was always about protecting Snow, after all, because she mattered most, more to him than his own life.
If only he had been there. She had been taken by the huntsman in the night, and Conrad hadn't heard about it till the morning. And then he had nearly been killed himself after storming into the Queen's rooms, sword in hand.
"You deny us our rest. It is very precious to us. It is hard to sleep these cold nights," said the Queen, still in her shift. But even in her shift her skin shone supple and perfect, and Conrad felt the unpleasant sensation of wanting her, except he didn't want her, he couldn't want her, because she was not Snow and she was everything he detested. He tried to imagine her as a goblin, or a gargoyle, but every moment he looked at her it became harder to imagine.
The Queen saw, and she smiled, dismissing the maid combing her hair and approaching him, lips parted. She leaned close, so close, and for a moment Conrad thought she would kiss him, and he wasn't wholly averse to the thought, especially as her thumb brushed his face, ever-so-softly... But then he saw Snow in the wintry glade, Snow so close to him as they watched the birds singing to each other, and he remembered how then he had taken her hand and smiled at her, and she had smiled back, and he had promised himself that should he ever kiss a woman, it would be Snow and Snow only. And suddenly the Queen seemed to shrivel in his eyes. Her breath, puffing against his face, made him recoil with its dragon stench; her eyes sank in her face and the pupils narrowed to reptilian pinpricks; her hair dried up into thin strands on a diseased, tumorous head, and her body, seductively turned towards him, bent as if with a thousand years of death weighing her back and dissolved to bones and thinly-stretched flesh. At first he was afraid, and then angry, and then he remembered Snow and the watery well of pity surged in him. The Queen was dying. She who had lived for centuries off the hearts of her enemies and Éostre's dark power of malice could not stop the destruction of her corrupted soul.
And then he was back to the present, staring at a woman who saw what he saw and who was angry that he saw it.
"Éostre desired her blood to drink last night," she replied coldly, pushing him away and stalking to sit upon her bed of pillows—a bed that many bayerische soldiers had shared in return for their loyalty. "She threatened to destroy the kingdom in fire and darkness if we did not offer our best—our very best. To our dismay, that meant the offer of our own dearly beloved stepdaughter—the Princess Lisbeth. She was taken to the Black Forest at midnight and left. The dark creatures have taken her and left nothing. We are very sorry."
Except she had lied. The huntsman told him that very day that Snow lived—as if her beautiful soul could ever die!—and Conrad rode that very day to the Black Forest, where he found her.
And she was safe and she lived and when he saw her Conrad wrapped her in his arms before his sense could conquer his love. He would never forget that day, when she had died and lived all at once in his mind. If only it would be so now. If only I would find her and she would be alive. If only it was not true. But he knew with the darkness swallowing the kingdom that it was true, that Snow White, the life and love of the land was truly dead and the Queen had finally triumphed. And just as the land was dying, so his heart died too.
He told her that he loved her, that day, when he clasped her in his arms, tears streaming down both of their faces. He couldn't wait any longer; if this would be their last day together he had to tell her.
"I thought you were dead. I thought she killed you," he said, leaning his chin upon her head, breathing in the scent of the fir trees in her hair. "I love you too much to lose you, Snow. You are more precious to me than anything in this world."
She stiffened, sucking in a deep breath, like she would before diving into an icy river. Conrad pulled away, looking deep into her eyes as the tears froze on both of their cheeks. She could break his heart, but he cared not, so long as she lived. He could die every day of her not loving him, and yet he did not care, so long as he could know she still breathed and the Queen had not taken her from him—from Bayern.
But she was smiling, smiling and crying all at once, and she squeezed him ever tighter. "Conrad," she whispered, pressing her face into his chest. "Conrad, I love you. I love you, and it is good, and it is beautiful and more wonderful than I ever imagined."
And they stood there, each holding the other, and Conrad never wanted the moment to end.
But it did end. Everything must end, as the beauty of spring becomes the darkness of winter and the flower fades and the darkness grows ever greater as the kingdom becomes the realm of the dark goddess Éostre.
Snow couldn't stay within the bounds of civilized Bayern; the moss folk living in the forest took her in, for the sake of her mother's goodness to them. Conrad rode whenever he could to see her, even as his uncle threatened war and he was often sent himself to spy out the borders of Bayern and send back coded missives to Preusa. The Queen detested him every moment he was in her walls, but she knew she needed him for his position—for negotiation and to keep his uncle from declaring war in haste. Conrad knew the King of Preusa, however; his uncle would not lose the wealth of Bayern to save a useless nephew who was not even his heir. But even as the shadow of evil encircled the kingdom, hope still existed for Conrad, because Snow existed.
And now she was gone. The trees seemed to taunt him with their dark branches clawing at his face, so different from Snow's gentle touch. He would cry, but his face seemed frozen in a mask of cold—or pain. My Snow. My beauty. The hope of the kingdom. The light against the Queen's darkness. Gone like the sun at end of days. Gone like the smoldering fields at Éostre's wrath. Gone like the beating hearts of the hundreds who had faced the Queen—and fallen.
Up ahead a clearing broke the darkness, and a circle of light seemed a haven for the last glimpse of brightness in Bayern. The moss folk. Conrad knew them little, but he respected their arts and their hatred of the Queen and their love for the good—for Snow White, their princess.
The eldest of the folk, a small wizened man, his face expressionless, nodded at Conrad as he approached. Some of the tree spirits seemed to weep, their bodies rocking as if with the cold winter wind. The elves watched the casket in the center of the clearing, and Conrad's breath caught as he spotted the pale face within. The casket was exquisite work, to be sure; jewels and inlaid silver adorned the structure, which was made from a strange crystal known only to the moss folk. But the woman inside outshone the casket like the sun outshone the moon. Even in death, Snow's face was tranquil, bearing always the quiet strength of her life and laughter. Conrad fought the tears rising in his soul. I was too late, my love. I didn't protect you. I should have been there. I should have killed her before she could hurt you. You never deserved this. You are fairest in heart, fairest in mind, fairest in appearance. You are perfect in every way and she's killed you—she and her dark goddess and her sniveling lackeys.
The moss folk let him be as he knelt beside the casket, taking Snow's hand, colder in death than it ever was in life. One by one they drifted away, yet the light in the clearing stayed and the blizzard began to dim.
"You're beautiful, Snow," he had told her one of the first days they knew each other. "You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen."
"Thank you," she had replied. "I don't know what that means, but thank you."
How could he explain it? How could he explain what beauty was to one who had never been allowed to hear the word, who had never been allowed to look in a mirror and see her own face or attend a ball and hear the compliments men gave women when they loved them?
He took her to the forest. She loved the flowers. Snow always loved nature more than the foreboding walls of the castle. "It lives and it breathes and it feels," she would say. "It was given us to tend; why would we not love it?"
"This," he told her, brushing a crocus coming from the damp soil, "this is beauty. It is pleasant to look upon and pleasing to be around and wonderful to experience. It shows us light and makes us wish for something greater."
Snow smiled, and, damp and all, laid on the ground, her dark hair sprawling around her as she pressed her face to the crocuses. "It is all of these things," she agreed. "But am I? The Queen thinks I am unpleasant to be around. I must be so, or else she would not keep me in this castle far from everyone, in the midst of nowhere."
"No, it is not so," he'd told her, lying beside her. "Because you are all of these things, so you are beauty, you are fairest, and someday you will show the entire kingdom that what I say is true."
"And the Queen will be gone and the shadows will disappear and all of my kingdom will be beautiful," she'd laughed, as if she'd never expected it to happen.
But he'd made a promise in his heart that someday it would happen. Because if anybody could reverse the darkness that had been descending upon Bayern from centuries of greed and depravity, it was Snow.
The snow had stilled by dawn. Conrad had wept and watched and wept again. It was over. It took merely an apple, a fruit of the forest, to steal from him his love and from the kingdom its life. Snow must have thought she was helping a poor old woman when she bought the fruit. She knew enough of her subjects' poverty. Loving even in death, he thought, gazing upon her still face. Smile. Please. Smile and wake up and tell me it was all a dream or a lie, that you're alive.
"My lord," a voice murmured from behind him—it was the wizened man. "My lord, the Queen's men have been pillaging the towns nearby. They're looking for you. It may be best if you take the secret paths out of Bayern to Preusa."
"A moment more," he whispered, rubbing a finger over Snow's small hand, as if she could feel it and respond.
"Watching her and wishing will not change the past," the moss man said. "She is gone, and you are the only one who can fight for us, Prince Conrad."
Conrad knew he was right. I will do this for you, my love, he thought as he released her hand and stood. Even if I should die facing the Queen's dark magic, I will do this for the kingdom you loved. He looked upon her face once more. We could have been married. Entwined for life, two trunks of one tree, man and wife in perfect unity. Snow would have adored children. She loved all things innocent and good, and her light would have made them good. We cannot change the past. She is gone. Hope had died with her.
He looked down at her face, and on an urge bent to kiss her—their first and last kiss. I will love you even in death. And perhaps soon I will join you and we will be together at last in the Halls of the Mighty King, where there is no dark Éostre or Queen to harm you.
Her lips were soft against his, and a tear dropped against her cheek. She won't wake up. She won't sit up and put her arms around you and kiss you back. She's gone. It is time to go forth and fight the last battle for her.
He pulled away, squeezing his eyes shut, steeling himself with a ragged breath for the war that must be fought, the war he would not return from. But as he looked at her face for the last time, it almost seemed as if life returned to it. The cheeks seemed to grow rosy, the eyelids to flutter, the breast to rise with air. His tears were deceiving him—but no! A flash of green appeared under her long lashes—the green of spring and life and hope. Suddenly he was by her side, and she was coughing, and he was cradling her in his arms and holding her as the last wedge of the poisoned apple left her throat and she leaned against him—cold, gasping, and weak, yet alive!
"Conrad—Conrad," she whispered when she'd caught her breath. "Conrad, the Queen—"
"I know," he said, now tears streaming down his face in earnest. "You're all right. Somehow—I know not how—you're alive."
"The kiss of true love," whispered the wizened man, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "A long-ago legend proved true. It seems there is light left in Bayern."
"Snow, Snow," Conrad said into her hair. "I love you. I love you more than my life itself."
"And I love you," she replied. "And our love will vanquish the darkness of the Queen and sent Éostre to the underworld and bring back the beauty of my kingdom."
For indeed, love is the greatest beauty left in this dark world, and the only thing that can restore what was lost to us.
*Tea with my Ghost*
I turn the tiny ear
of the china cup
and saucer upon a
lazy heirloom dolly:
a splash of bitters
in the invite rings
like an ambered
I mop the console
and suggest, myself
another go round..?
Chin chin, porcelain,
Do, dearie really--
No, I must insist:
and turn the trolley,
just a single drop
of Life's rust is left
in this old carafe
I'm a-sharing, here in
the drawing room
where the curtains
will be closing
I know I've had
the better half
of the pairing,
on the rise with
in the mist, as I--
I fade away into
pallor of my
Tea With Your host Challenge
The house was quiet. A few more hours and the kids would be up. I pushed myself further into the green velvet couch my husband and I picked together. It was comfortable. Fluffy, yet stiff. The fabric was exhilarating against my fingers. We bought this couch three years after trying to conceive with no luck. We hadn't given up, but when the couch arrived we were definitely more consumed with it. We'd had sex on it for five nights in a row. A few weeks later, the nausea I had was so intense I decided to take a pregnancy test. Positive. The only thing that helped my nausea was peppermint tea. My life was filled with peppermint tea.
The fireplace flickered in my eyes and I pushed my back deeper into the couch. We had three children now. Only God knows why kids two and three came so quickly. My husband and I agreed that was it. Three and done. Five of us on this planet was enough. My chest rattle and an unintentional breath escaped me as I took a big swig of warm peppermint tea.
Precious time you passed so fast. Lord, thank you for being with me from start to finish, for your love and forgiveness. My journey home begins.
When you’ve lived decades of your existence free and open.
pouring selflessly to the point of internal drought.
And finally. You learn and set healthy boundaries.
only the foundations aren't structurally strong.
and assaults are breaching from every angle.
And you run from weak spot to weak spot to reinforce and stabilize.
But it’s more than you even want to sustain.
Because there is peace in balance.
Balance comes with boundaries.
Let the breaches breach.
Let the walls break down.
Because, while that’s happening, your boundaries are building you steps.
Rise up and take your place as the best version of yourself.
and without haste.
Ok so I’m seriously considering and looking into buying land and a custom build tiny house.
that being said, I’m not looking for 50 acres or anything that big. I simply want two or three acres enough to be apart from other people and I can support a donkey and a goat.
I’m still researching, but bills will be much cheaper and so far they are made much more efficient.
After all why heat or cool spaces that you don’t use?
You can work with a designer and design your own tiny space, there are so many options to explore it’s almost limitless.
The only problem I keep running into are HOA’s. Many of them want to tell you what size of house, if it’s built on a mobile frame then that classifies it as a mobile home and many don’t want those or manufactured homes in their area. I understand why, trust me I’ve seen enough trailer trash so I get the reason. However not everyone is that way and I’ve seen wealthy people have trashy yards and houses!
Also, I don’t want mine to look like a rectangular box. So I like the A-Frame cabin look or the round stucco Earth house. I just love nature so much, that I need to be part of it and in it and have it all around me. I love the feeling of a dirt floor, however for a home, wood floors or brick are my favorite.
I want a huge wood burning fireplace in between the kitchen and the living space and a antique stove and refrigerator with and antique sink.
I want the outside to blend in with the surrounding environment so that it doesn’t take away from the natural beauty of nature.
So we will see if this dream comes true.