Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This week's RemembeRED prompt was to write about a time something seemingly terrible happened, but looking back, it brought something wonderful.

"We're pregnant," she whispered. It was only three weeks and she didn't want to spread the news yet. But she was so excited, they were ready to add to their family. 

I smiled with her, asked all the appropriate questions, answered a few she had for me. 

Yet, I could feel little excitement. What felt was loss. My daughter had made that final step away from me. 
No more spontaneous lunches. No more just dropping by randomly. 

I was not ready to be a Grandmother. I wasn't old enough. I had little patience for babies and young children. It's the way I was made. 

As my daughter grew, we had become friends. Now, my friend wouldn't have time for me anymore. 

As she made plans and picked names and furniture and baby clothes, I kept my sadness hidden. 

Delivery came, I was proud of her. She did well. She had a healthy baby boy. 

Time passed, I saw little of her for several weeks. She called for advice now and then. She called to cry her frustrations. 

Then, she needed a babysitter. And I got to spend my first alone time with the baby. The first of many times. 

Now, I have a two year old grandson. A bundle of hugs and energy. Gramma's boy. And he is all boy. Trucks and fire engines. Running and giggling. 

There is a granddaughter now as well. It took some time for me to see the gifts I was receiving. I have two new little people to fill my life.  

And I still have my daughter, my friend. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Care of the Grim Reaper

The prompt: "write a formal complaint letter to your deepest, darkest fear."

Dear Death,

You don't know me. You never will. I'm an Elemental you see.  Immortal.

I know you have issues with my kind. You feel cheated.  I understand, I think. You have a job to do, and my kind don't contribute to your cause.

Nevertheless, I'm writing to ask a favor of you.

I have chosen to take a human husband. I know you will come for him one day. I have accepted that.

However, we have had two children. Beautiful babies of mixed heritage. They are growing up so quickly. I cherish each new milestone. Yet, I tremble at every new step.

Because they are half mortal, half human.  I fear you will try to take them one day.

You will come to call them away from me. It makes no difference how "old" they will be.  They will still be my babies.

However, they are also half immortal. I believe that should be enough to remove them from whatever list it is you keep.

If you do come for them, be aware, I will be there. I will fight you with every ounce of my energy. As an Element of Air, that energy is rather formidable.
It would be much better for both of us if you simply bypass my children.


Monday, April 18, 2011


“Give me a memory of the color red. Do not write the word 'red' but use words that engender the color red when you hear them. For example: a ruby, a tomato, fire, blood.

Iridescent in the sunlight. Zipping about on emerald wings. 
Flashing a throat patch of ruby sequins.
When he hovered in shadows, his patch sparkled still, so dark it was almost black.  Like patent leather, the lack of direct light not hampering his glow.
Then a stray sunbeam would strike him, igniting his candy apple calling card.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Prompt: "This week, we're giving you a photo to take you back in time."

It's late June.  The spring rains have come and gone. The heat and humidity feel more like late July. The yard is scarred with cracked earth.

The flowers and vegetables, planted with hopes of summer color and fall bounty, are withering. The new fruit trees are trying desperately to force young roots deep enough to find water.

Every day, in the late afternoon, he pulls the hose behind him. He goes from garden to garden, sapling to sapling, soaking the soil.   Leaves that have sagged under the midday sun begin to rise with tentative hope.

He waters the new grass, but most of the precious liquid runs into deep fissures, never touching the young roots.  The only thing that keeps this spot green are old, established shade trees.

As the sun lowers in the sky I join him. We walk each garden together, assessing each plant.  We wish it would rain. We wish the stifling heat would ease. We wish for winter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another Path

The prompt:Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?

This is about Beth/Lyabet. First introduced here

Beth rounded the last corner before home and was confronted by half a dozen squad cars.  Squad cars parked in front of her house.

An officer stopped her as she leapt from her car, asking who she was, did she belong here. She replied to the questions, panic rising in her with each answer

"What's  going on? What's wrong? Are my kids OK? Where's my husband? What is happening?" her voice became louder, shriller as images flashed through her mind, each more frightening than the one before.

Finally a detective walked her to the door. Chuck was waiting inside, the panic in his eyes, mirroring her own. "Barry is missing," was all he could get out.

She felt like she was choking.  "Barry?  My baby?" she thought, "he's only two. Where could he go?  Where is Darren?"

The detective began to explain. "Your sons were in your backyard. The older boy," he flipped through a notebook, "Darren, he's five, right?"
Beth nodded automatically.
"Yes, Darren said a woman came into the yard and talked to them. Then she took Barry's hand and walked by the tree out there. And were gone."

She felt, what?  Faint?  A strange feeling, something she'd never experienced. The droning of the police. Question after question. The same ones, over and over and over.

"Catch her! She's passing out."
"Give her time. We can get more info later. Not much to do now but put out an alert."
"We'll be in touch. Call if you think of anything"


"Beth?  Honey, are you OK?"

"What?  OK?  No, no, I am not OK. Where is my baby?" she looked at her husband. Saw the fear, for Barry. For her.  "Please, Chuck, please. What happened to Barry?  Where is he?  Where is Darren?"

Chuck took a breath, let it out slowly. " The boys were playing out back. Darren came in crying, because the pretty lady took Barry, but wouldn't take him"

"What?  Darren wanted to go?"

"Talk to him, Beth, the cops didn't think he knew what was going on. Maybe you can get more from him."

Beth climbed the stairs and found Darren in his room. She wrapped her arms around him, afraid to let go. Afraid he'd disappear too.

"Mommy?  Are you mad at me? 'Cause I let Barry go by himself" his brown eyes, so like his father's, were filled with guilt. "I wanted to go, but the lady said I couldn't. It was a special place. Only Barry could go into the tree."

Tears filled his eyes, "I'm not as special as Barry. I can't hear you like he does,"

Beth's heart broke for him. She wanted to reassure him, let him know how special he was. But, one word stuck in her head.

Into. Into the tree. Not by the tree. Into the tree.

"Darren. What did this pretty lady look like?  It's important. Tell me what she looked like."  As Darren described the mystery woman, Beth's anguish turned to anger.

Beth went downstairs where she found Chuck was slumped on the sofa. He looked beaten.
"Chuck, I know where he is. I'm going to go get him."

He looked at her blankly for a moment, then understanding replaced the confusion. "You know where he is. Are you saying he was taken by your...people, other elementals?"

"Yes." The look in her eyes alarmed him. As well as the way her hair had begun to writhe and float of it's own accord. He was no longer looking at Beth, his wife. He was looking at Lyabet, an element of the air. A force of nature.

"I'm going to go get him."

"Beth," he wasn't sure she would hear him right now, but he spoke anyway, "just come back. Come back with our son."


Lyabet was of air and wind. The old oak in the backyard was of the earth. She had travelled that way before. But it had been a long time. Letting go of her human flesh, she passed through the outer shell of the old tree, reaching its heart, becoming one. She followed the trunk down. Into the roots, into the earth.

It was slower going than she liked. But as she travelled she began to recognize traces of her son. From root to taproot to rock she followed the spark of his passage. Finally to another trunk, in a farther place, she returned to the air.

In front her was a familiar circle of seven ancient trees. As she approached them, a woman stepped from between two huge trunks.

"'Bet you came to see me!  It's been so long!  I've missed you." The woman threw her arms out in welcome.  Lyabet sidestepped the proffered embrace.

She gave one simple command.

"Give him back, Mother."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Summer Song

This week, your memoir prompt assignment is to think of a sound or a smell the reminds you of something from your past and write a post about that memory.  Don't forget to incorporate the sound/smell of your choosing!

Yellowed photos, a half century old. I look at the pictures of times long gone.
The memories faded as the photographs by growing, moving, hustling.
Life goes on, gets in the way.

Until summer.

When I hear the song of locusts. Beginning hesitantly, then gaining confidence and volume. Overwhelming the other evening sounds. Tapering off to start again.

Wave after wave.

I close my eyes. And catch a wave.  Fifty years drop away, and clarity returns.

I can smell the heat of summer evening. Feel the humid air that is August holding me in its damp embrace.

My dusty bare feet are rinsed clean by the arrival of dew on the grass. It's cold is a surprise against my toes.

My brothers and I climb about the old front porch. Standing atop the brick bases that hold wooden support posts . Hugging those posts while moths play daredevil with the dim outdoor porch light.

Across the old gravel road, lightning bugs arise in a cloud from the corn field. Winking yellow in the dusk.  Too many to count. But we count anyway.

A memory recalled with each hesitant beginning.
Coming now, in wave after wave.

Hear the song:  summer song