Friday, September 26, 2014

The Dame From The Painting (Part 2)

During the next year, the painter said his words and as he was promised, what he painted came into existence.  He was never hungry and had enough supplies to fix his shop.  It became noticed by art collectors all over who were drawn to the shop’s fabulous atmosphere, but none of them knew how he managed to keep it going. Never the less, he sold tons of paintings and had enough money to buy a small cottage that he filled with whatever he wanted…..or should I say whatever he painted.

As time went on, he grew more lonely. With work that kept him in solitude, it was impossible for him to find a companion.  Even with what the gentleman said in the back of his mind, the temptation to disobey grew too strong.

Over the next month, he worked to paint a beautiful, perfect woman to fill the loneliness in his heart. Her gave her long auburn hair and made her eyes as blue as the sea.  Having to paint her full frame of course,  he chose to make her tall and thin. Upon finishing, he said the words and she came alive.

He looked at her with some disappointment at first. She looked too thin to the point where if someone tried to hold her, she’d break. Plus she looked more pale than intended. He called her Ira. However, there was something strange about her. She would not eat or sleep and she never said a word. She could barely walk at first, but after a few days, she adjusted and seemed to love roaming about the cottage. When she didn’t walk around the house, she stayed by the painter’s side just staring at him. He’d smile at her and she smiled back.

Every so often, he’d wake up in the middle of the night coughing and there she’d be standing over him. Staring in the dark with her head tilted. It must have been a habit she learned from him since he’d tilt his head when he was thinking.  She couldn’t learn habits from anyone else because Hirito kept guests away from the cottage. He didn’t want anyone questioning him about the mysterious woman in his house or where she came from.

Over the next few weeks, she started to look more alive. Despite never leaving home, her face was full of color and despite never eating, she looked completely healthy. She still didn’t speak, but remained entertained. By the end of the month, she miraculously painted a beautiful, sparkling ocean with waves smacking against stone cliffs. Given no training at all, he was impressed by her talent and put her lovely painting on display in the entryway for all those guests who never came to admire.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Dame From The Painting (Part 1)

Hirito was a starving artist. Literally. He couldn’t afford to put food on the table.  He was a great painter, but others were greater. He sat in his shop, day after day. People came to browse his work but never bought a thing. Except once…

A young gentleman in a black suit jacket came into the store one day and admired his painting of red sun setting behind white mountains. The painter spotted him admiring his work.

“That’s $100,” he told the man.

The man looked up.

“I haven’t any money.  Never carry it,” he replied.

Hirito let out a slight sigh of disappointment.

“How about something else?”

“Like what?” Hirito asked as he lifted his eyebrow.

“Forgive me, but from the state of this place, it looks like you’re struggling. Am I right?”

“That’s no concern of yours.”

“What if I could help you?”

Hirito walked out from behind the counter.

“How?” he asked.

“Give me this painting and I’ll give you a gift. What you paint will come into being.”

Hirito laughed and told the gentleman to get out.

“It’s the truth,” he exclaimed.

“So, what? I can paint money and be rich? A mansion to live in?”

“Eh, I wouldn’t.  Too detailed. Houses are difficult because there is too much detail on the inside that’s unseen. What you paint is always empty on the inside. Buy one and fill it. And money, well, is difficult. I’ve tried it, but no matter how good I am, I can’t get it even close to being acceptable and no one will ever take it. Stick to objects. Food, supplies, things like that. Objects. It can only be what you paint, no one else.”

“That sounds like nonsense, all of it. Even if it is true, why do this for me?”

The gentleman turned away and stared outside, like he was thinking about something that was weighing heavy on his mind.  He fiddled with an old key around his neck.

“Because I want your painting.”

“That bad? Why? You said you’re a painter, just paint something yourself.”

He turned back to look at Hirito and let out a chuckle.
           “I would. It’s for my wife. She loves landscapes and she wants work of new artists. We collect.   There is not an empty spot on any wall in the house. Just random art from all over the place.”

“You’re really serious?”

“Yes. Once you’ve finished what you’re painting, all you have to do is say “Let what I paint rumble and shake, now come awake.”

“This isn’t some sort of trick is it? Like if it rains, I’ll lose whatever I have?”

“Ha-ha, no. It’ll stay. Don’t worry.”

“And how do you do this?”

The gentleman let out a smirk.

“Well, I’m not exactly sure. Let’s just say I was born with it. What do you say?” he said and put his     hand forward.

Hirito looked around at the poor condition of his shop and shrugged.

“It’s not like anyone’s going to buy it anyway,” he said hesitantly and shook the gentleman’s hand.

“Excellent!” he exclaimed. He then took out his pocket watch.

“I must be off.  The wife will love this! Just remember, stick to the simple things and don’t ever paint a living thing and make it real. Never a person, don’t do it.”

“Why can’t I….,” he started to say but the gentleman was already gone.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Maiden Among The Trees

Most myths come from something real, but the true story has been forgotten. Either that or no one ever knew the real truth and filled in the missing parts with their wild fantasies. This is one of those stories.

A girl was born to one of the proudest and wealthiest houses of the north. Sadly, her childhood was not as well-lived as it should have been. The houses of the north were always at war with invaders. There were screams in the night as she slept, screams of men dying. It wasn’t safe for her to venture outside much at all, so she lived in shadow and fear. No place for a child. Many enemies never wanted the northern children to grow up because the children would one day carry out the north’s future.

Despite her surroundings, she grew up to be a lovely, kind-hearted maiden. One who would soon hopefully start a life of her own. But war grew worse every year and her family knew that she could never have a full life there. It struck them with great sadness to move her out of capital city and into a lovely home in the forest where no one knew her real name. It was close to some small, friendly villages filled with people she could become acquainted with.

She took her treasures and moved into her wood cabin. Some say it had a tower, but that might just be an exaggeration. Her mother and father told her to be careful who she trusted. They indeed put her in a safe place, but the world was cruel and wicked.

The maiden stayed in her cabin most of the time. Sometimes she’d venture out with the ladies from the villages. They’d talk of happiness, love, and marriage. Most of them had many suitors, but she had none. Not because she wasn’t beautiful, but because she knew nothing but loneliness.

One windy evening, a traveling merchant from the east came across her home. He seemed a good man of thought and philosophy. Of course, she knew to be careful. The merchant seemed quite content in the nearest village and after a year of them chatting in her garden, she invited him into her home. They’d spend hours there, just talking and laughing. He said he cared about her deeply just as much as she cared for him.
One morning, she woke up and realized that her treasures were missing. Her jewelry, the silver silverware, the fine tapestries. Gone. Above the open window, there was a note. It read:

“I lied.”

She was heartbroken and wept for months. She sent her letter to her family asking for a new home made of brick and no windows. It was built quickly and she remained inside alone in the candlelight. The merchant traveled far away and her treasures were sold for a high price. He became a very rich man with a healthy, happy wife. So they say. Most stories have such a character falling off a cliff somewhere or being torn apart by wolves. But not this story. He got away and fate served him well.

A long time after that on a snowy evening, a solider from the west came across her sitting on her doorstep in the cold. She was staring out at the fresh snow; she couldn’t see anything inside because the windows were gone. He asked where the tavern was and she pointed him in the direction of the village.
A few days later he came back and wanted to see her. They talked of his adventures across the land. He was strong and brave. She finally let him in her home after he took her to see the ice cliffs that were miles away. They’d talk of the adventures they’d have together, of the places they’d go and of the wonders she would see. She looked forward to it. That day would hopefully come, but for now she was still somewhat wary of any traveler.

One day, he said to her that he must go away soon to fight in the north. He’d still visit from time to time and brighten her day, but then the visits stopped. He’d write, but then the letters stopped. He was gone and she grieved. She sent word to her family for a new home made of stone. It was quickly built and she kept one burning lamp at her side for light.

The solider was spotted moving from tavern to tavern on his way to the north. Some say he never made it there and enjoyed the company of many tavern mates and wenches as he kept traveling along. Others say he truly did go to the north and died in battle.

Soon after that on a rainy night, a man from the south appeared at her door. He was well dressed for someone traveling, but his profession is not known. She pointed him to the way of the town, but he asked if he could spend the night. She refused, but then he pulled something out of his knapsack that intrigued her. The earrings her mother gave her, ones the merchant stole. He offered to give them to her in return for shelter. She asked how he came to own something so nice. He said he had been on many adventures, met many people, and came to own many things.

She wanted those earrings back badly, so she went against her worry and let him inside.

I suppose you think that’s the end for her right then and there. But no. He just told her of his adventures, but no one has ever been clear as to what they were about. They must have been good though because she fell asleep listening to him. She awoke the next morning alive and healthy.

As they were about to part ways, he handed her the earrings and started to walk away. She grasped them in her hand and asked the man to stop. She asked to go with him and have a different life. He smiled and told her to keep up. With that, she left her home of stone behind her and she was on to see new things.

As they were walking through the wilderness, he suddenly dashed ahead at an incredible speed. She ran to keep up with him, but he was gone and she was lost. She stayed lost.

Days later, friends from the village came to visit her and found her home smashed to rumble.

Who was the man? 
Some say he was with a band of enemies of the north who’d been tracking her and anyone she knew from the day she left home, hoping to one day lure her away and give her a false sense of security. 
Some say he was a ghost, perhaps one from the battlefield whom screams she listened to as she lay in bed when she was a child and he wanted to destroy her home as his was destroyed by the northern families. Perhaps a bit of both? Who knows. But if you asked anyone in the nearby villages, they denied ever seeing such a man.

What happened to the maiden? 

Once news of her disappearance reached the north, they say her family sent 100 soldiers to search the wilderness. Only one solider thinks he may have seen her, or something that looked like her. When he was scouting an area, he saw a woman high up in a tree looking down at him. He climbed up the tree to get her, but just when he about reached the top, she moved to the next tree. He told her to come down, but she said nothing and jumped from tree branch to tree branch at lightning speed until she was out of sight.

His sighting was dismissed and forgotten.

As years went by, more people claimed to see her in the treetops looking the same as the day she disappeared. Always in the treetops, her feet never touch the ground. She never comes down. Perhaps in the trees was the last safe place for her to hide. If you ever hear a rustling at night in the tree above you and realize there’s no wind, that’s her. It’s always been her.

It somewhat ends as it began, her hiding in the shadows.

And that is the end of the maiden’s tale. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prologue to "The Witch Of Amender"

“There was once a land called Amender. A very long time ago, it was filled with witches and warlocks, but they began to die out. Battles and wars over time took their lives. The last king of the land was a warlock.  He was given the choice by his council to marry one of the last five witches in the land.  Greta, Oda, Maya, Sadie, or Janna.   He could not choose between them, so he choose to wed them all. Upon their union, he placed a powerful spell of his love on a stone that fell from the first full moon of their land. The spell weakened him greatly, he could never be the powerful warlock he once was, but he made the choice to keep all the women he loved close to him. He broke the stone into 5 pieces, giving each wife a piece so they may always have his love with them.  His love gave them strength and decades of happiness, but one witch wanted more love. She wished to share it no longer.  One night, Maya followed Oda into the wilderness and slit her throat. Upon taking her stone,  she felt a surge of power. Intoxicating power.  A few nights later, she poisoned Greta and she died in her sleep. Her stone was taken.  The king grew weary with his loss of Oda and Greta; he fell weak.  Like the death of each wife was sucking the life out of him. Maya stayed by his side, but secretly, her love for the king had faded. She no longer desired it. If she could own all 5 pieces, she would have enough strength to rule the kingdom by herself, she knew it. Sadie and Janna grew wise to what Maya was doing and decided to hide their stones. Sadie hid hers far away in a cave beneath the falls. Janna, however, did not want to keep her stone in the land.  She created a portal to this world, a portal that would continue to exist to anyone who possessed a moonstone of the king. It is said she placed a powerful spell on it, a secret.  She placed it in the pocket of a young merchant and returned back to her world. She felt it would be unsafe for her to return to the kingdom, for she was weary and already drained by creating such a portal to make another come into a world. She decided to spend the rest of her life alone in solitude, hiding. Sadie returned to the kingdom, where Maya had imprisoned the weak king. She questioned Sadie about her stone, ordering her to tell her where it was. Upon being tortured she gave in and told her the location, but she was still murdered by Maya. Since then, Maya has ruled the kingdom under darkness and Janna was never found. Maya searched for the one remaining stone, but never found it and she never reached her full power.“

Odd Town (dream sequence, transfer from fb note)

I went away to a house for some kind of fix-up town project. The town had begun to fall apart due to a tornado, hurricane, storm, some disaster. i don't know. I for some crazy reason volunteered to go with 2 bad people. The house belonged to someone else that was letting us stay there alone. And surprisingly, our stay there was going good, a little too good. Then things in the house started to break by them goofing off and someone showing up to break things. We didn't know what to do, how to explain it to the owners when they came back. I said we should leave a note and money to pay for damages, but they disagreed. We took the town transport to where we were supposed to help, but then they disappeared and did not show up again. People on the transport were friendly, just in the town to fix up just like i was. They invited me to another neighbors house that was away while the town was in repair because they had a pool. I went along, beautiful people everywhere like it was Beverly Hills. Bad problems began with the guys and girls at the party, the police came and was gonna take one of the guys away. I told them not to, but he told me "It's fine". As he was being taken away, he took out his lighter. When he lighted it, half of the residence we were at went up in a blast of flames that were spreading quickly. A bunch of us ran upstairs and man who was on fire melting was following us, it was like he was made of steel and dripping. We continued to run. Myself and the others that remained alive headed towards the roof to escape and climbed down to the ground. When I got to the ground, everyone took off running. I looked around me, it was night and people looked strange and the town had changed. People that were odd roamed about, some were oddly large and others were short like midgets. When you got too close to them, they'd follow you or start to circle you. I couldn't find my way back, so I went to the help booth in front of town. People there were scurrying around with their valuables, groceries, what not. I could not remember the address, I knew some of it, not all of it. So I wandered from street to street, each one being crowded. A giant or a midget would be hidden somewhere among them in costume, like a white clown costume. But you knew it was them by their eyes and they way they'd giggle and growl. Each house looked strangely different from when i left, like no one had been there for years. The houses almost looked Victorian, bot how they were before. I continued to wander, but never found my way. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reality Ballroom

My hand stayed steady on the gold-trimmed banister. The sight from the top revealed the English manor in all its radiance, aglow with light and crystal as if we all were inside the heart of a burning star. The faces below were hidden from sight, masked with wonder and uncertainty. No one seemed to mind the masks as the men continued to twirl their stunning, delicate women about the floor to a slightly upbeat piano tune. Gold, white, silver, and black became entwined in the endless movement of the dancers. As the music slowed, I adjusted my mask and began my decent. My silk gloves slipped so gently on the banister as if it were aligned with stardust beckoning me to come faster. Upon reaching the floor, I was offered caviar on a cracker and graciously accepted. While nibbling on it gently, a man in golden linen made his way towards me. With a smile, he complimented my appearance saying my dress of silver sparkles shined brighter than the Milky Way itself. He offered me his hand and whisked me away into a slow dance. With care, he removed my mask to reveal my gentle face. I raised my hand to his face slowly in an effort to remove his. The clock struck 11. DONG. DONG. DONG. DONG. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP! BEEP!

I opened one eye and turned my alarm off. My cat was lying by my head and purring heavily.

“What?” I asked him.

He tilted his head.

“At least my dreams don’t involve a day of carnage at Joe’s Fish Emporium. I don’t know who you’re judging.”

I turned my head back to clock, revealing it to be 8:30 am. That would have been just fine, but then it just occurred to me I had to be at work early today to go over yesterday’s files.

Rushing out of my bed, I hit the “play” button on my answering machine as I ran for the closet in search of clothes.

“You have one new message……Hey Ally, its Josh from Ollie’s the other night. Listen, I’m sorry I had one too many and puked on your dress, that’s not gonna happen again, okay? You’re very well put together, ya know? Like uh, I don’t know. Something nice. Give me a call. End of message.”

A trip to the laundry mat was clearly overdue. Grabbed the clothes from the top of the hamper and gave them a quick whiff. Smelled clean. Hated to do it, but maybe no one would notice and threw them on.
As the search for my other shoe continued, I turned on the radio to check the weather.

“Freezing cold out there today! Reaching about 20 degrees. Some snow possible this morning. But now back to CoolJaz In The Morning bringing you an oldie from the years gone. SexyBack by Justin…”

Turned it off. Every single song on the radio about sex, how is that tasteful music? Found my shoe by the lamp.

Something was ruffling around in the kitchen. Max was on top of the garbage can again.

“Again, you damn old thing? What’s a matter with you? Identity crisis? DOGS go though the trash, not CATS! Get off!”

He jumped down and ran past his empty food bowl.

“Oh, I’m sorry baby. I forgot your food. I’ll pick some up tonight after work, that tuna flavor you love so much, okay?”

Bare cupboards, but half a pop tart left on the counter. Stuffed it in my mouth and walked to the door. 

Picked up my gloves, but upon putting them on noticed they were ripped and tossed them in the garbage.

“Where’s my coat?”

I saw it laying upon the chair with Max needing his claws into it.

“MAX! You’re gonna get hair all over it!”

He saw me approaching and jumped back to the bed.

Upon grabbing my coat, I walked to the door while saying, “Max, you’re getting old. Keep this up, I’m sending you to some farm upstate. I’ll do it!”

I took another bite of my pop tart and wished it was something else. Perhaps some french toast with some powdered sugar, with a side of eggs and bacon accompanied by a delicious mimosa that awaited me after I awoke in my silk nightgown from a deep slumber.


Max looked at me and tilted his head again as if he knew what I was thinking.

“Don’t look at me like that. I live in reality.”

He tilted his neck back. I let out a sigh, walked over to him and stroked his fur.

“I’m just kidding; I’d never send you away. Just wish there was something more than this for me I guess, ya know?”

He purred heavily as I scratched behind his ears.

“I’ll bring you back some kitty chow tonight handsome”, I said as I got up and walked back to the door.

“Don’t tell anyone about our talks Max, people will think I’m nuts or too lonely or something. I know I can count on you buddy cause well, ya know, you don’t talk. Later.”

When I opened the door, my heart jumped because Marcus was standing right there.

“What the hell is the matter with you Marcus!? Are you some kinda weirdo standing outside my door to scare the bejesus outta me!?”

He smiled, let out a slight giggle and replied, “Was just about to knock. They gave me some of your mail”. 

He handed me a few bills.

“Oh, well, then thanks”, I said. Took the bills and tossed them inside before I locked the door.

“Don’t mention it. I heard you talking to your cat inside so I figured I’d just drop by.”

“I wasn’t talking to my cat; I was talking to a friend on the phone”.

“So, you’re going to buy your handsome friend some kitty chow?”

“Um, yes? What’s wrong with that?” I asked awkwardly.

“I talk to Shaggy all the time, Ally.”

We got in the elevator.

“Well, that’s because you’re a lonely miser.”

“Uhuh, and I know a fellow one when I see them.”

“Where are you going this early anyway?” I asked.

“Gym. Then work.”

The elevator opened and we proceeded outside.

“Enjoy you’re manly time with the fellow muscle heads.”

“We’re not muscle heads, cat whisperer.”

“I was on the phone!”

“Sure you were,” he said as he walked away.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Touch Of Fall

I was taking a walk through those summer fields of green when I came across the man again. The pale one with the warm smile and cold eyes. This old man drifts along quickly and quietly thinking no one sees him. But I see him throughout the years and know what he brings. His presence brings about such a change; I can hardly bare it and rushed to stop him in his tracks.

“You’re here to take it, aren’t you?” I asked.

“Take what?” He replied.

“The warmth of summer days to replace them with your cold touch.” I said sadly.

He stared me down.

“Must it be such a terrible thing my love?”

I started back at his cold gaze and replied,

“I don’t want it. Must you be so cruel?”

He let out a heavy sigh and adjusted his glasses.

“I take no pleasure in your unhappiness lovely girl.”

“Then spare me such an unhappy change.”

He shook his head.

“I cannot. See the beauty in a world so changed”.

He then waved his hand and I felt the familiar chill overcome me. His face became young and full of healthy color again until the next change of season I suppose. He continued on saying;

“The beauty is different for everyone. Go enjoy the gifts of this new season my dear. The pumpkins, the leaves, all are my gifts to you”.

I stared back at him and said sharply, “So I can get used to it and have you change it?”

He let out a slight smile.

“Indeed, it is my job. Take pleasure in my gifts as I depart.”

His presence faded into nothing but I knew he’d be back soon, pale and yearning for his color he’d take once again. The greedy, gluttonous, Indian giver. Yet my greatest gift giver and my dearest love.