Tag Archives: Folk Tale

BirdSong: The Walkabout Man


Illustration by Tahira Lubrano

Birdsong: The Walkabout Man

“…and that was what Altjira, the lord of the Dreamtime, meant by the music of language,” Otium cooed to her Mukel. The great branch of the Great Tree was crowded by her seven: Penerimaan, Benevolentia, Teremto, Devotio, Vergaeven, tiny Empatia and even smaller Venia. The rest were out in Miogaror, with Serenite, her mate. They were out too long. Too long.

The Mukel nodded and twoked their approval. Devotio, a little louder then the rest, quieted quickly, nuzzling Vergaeven.

Teremto asked “May we have another story, Otium? We..” noticing the others looking her way, “…um..I’m not tired, yet. Please, Otium? Please?”

“Yes, yes..please Otium…” they all chattered on. All except Venia.

Otium smiled, gave Venia, who nestled in her palm, a light kiss, and asked “And you, Venia..do you want to hear one more story tonight?”

She nodded, “Yes, please Otium.” Pausing for a moment. “Could we hear the story about The Walkabout Man?”

The nightdusk sounds around the Great Tree, and on the branch the Mukel perched, went stone silent. Mother Otium looked from one to the other, eyes averting as met, until she returned her attention to Venia.

“Where did you hear about The Walkabout Man, little one? I have never mentioned him, here, before.”

Penerimaan spoke up. “I told them, all,  Otium. What little I knew. It was a late night tale, you were off listening to the Honey Ants Dreaming. I didn’t mean..”

“Hush. It’s done,” she lilted. “Come closer. This is a story that was meant to be heard, at another time, and another place, but… it’s been recognized. It is time, this is the place. Unless,” she grinned, “..are you sure you wouldn’t want to hear about how the Birds Got Their Colors?”

“No,” they all said, in a very quick fashion.

“Or the Dream of the Shark?”

“No,” quite emphatic from all.

“How about why we should Never Avert Our Eyes?,” twinkled Otium.

“NO!” laughing, bouncing and crowing together the Mukel answered.

“Settle, then.. his is not always a happy tale….,” and so, she began.

“The Walkabout Man had come a long way, leaving all he had loved behind. Once he was known as Alejandro, but no one has called him that for a very long time, and he has not accepted that name for even longer. He wore a hat of the night, a coat made of sand and of pebbles. His robe went from neck to ankle, in blackest grey, and made of cloth that both itched and soothed, depending on how it lay. The Walkabout Man’s feet were shod in a cushion of wind, so his feet never touched the land.

Some say he is Alchera, the Spirit Creator, but the truth is much simpler than that. He came from the waking lands. He had a wife and a child that he adored. More then any of you can imagine. His love was so powerful, so complete and encompassing. But..” she sat, thinking. “But…are you sure you want me to continue?”

yes,” they went.

“Yes. But, a sickness took both, first his wife, then his daughter. Alejandro cursed everything and everyone, but mostly himself. He sat vigil for twelve days and nights, neither eating or sleeping. Instead, his mind went away. It entered the Dreamtime and traveled. I do know he met, and wept with, the Man of Beads, on the Flower Isles.  His essence seeped through the song-lines. Discordant, it came to the attention of Altjira.

Altjira pulled Alejandro out, laid him to rest, and felt his story through. On the mortal walking plain, on the twelfth night, at the twelfth hour, Altjira sent the spirit back to its vessel.  There was no more Alejandro. The Walkabout Man arrived.

Since then, he has visited all of the Seven Realms, helping where he could, observing more times than not, for sometimes… sometimes, it is not meant for everyone to get involved with the destiny of another. The Walkabout Man learned that lesson the hard way.”

Otium, head bowed, sighed. Looking up, she continued.

“The Walkabout Man brought his suffering with him everywhere he went, but it was wrapped up and hidden in layers and layers of The Virtues. These were placed upon him by Altjira as he, tending the wounded and sick spirit, took pity. The Walkabout man left a widow with renewed hope, many children with a sense of wonderment, helped lift despair off of lovers…oh, so many other wondrous things…

…and some very painful tales as well.


The crowd of “awwwwsss” were tamped down by “Enough for this. It is time all to rest, time to all greet the lord of the Dreamtime, and let him wend you safely through your night thoughts.”

Otium noticed that Teremto was going to say something, but Benevolentia and Empatia brushed her down, in a gentle manner. Settled, one by two they closed apart, and down.

“Yes, enough. The Walkabout Man will come, soon. You’ll know more. Soon.” Turning her head to the darkening, beyond the Great Tree, she whispered, “Serenite. Too long. Please, be safe.” Otium, herself, closed apart and went down, meeting Altjira above the great branch.

X(eriscape): A to Z Challenge


To read the whole story thus far…

Part 22: Xeriscape

They drove for hours more in silence, the only time they stopped was for a massive pit stop (Gas and go) that Winston had to, finally, acknowledge. Out of the cities and towns, out of most human habitation, with only the stray house here, ranch there, and then nothing. Nothing except the beginning of a dessert like…nothingness. They left everything behind.

They still had one hour and forty-nine minutes before the sun rose. Winston’s watch was accurate, he knew that for certain. They were almost there, but all the interruptions (if the deaths of a limo driver and a squirrel and a massive pit stop taking in and letting out can qualify as interruptions)…he silently berated him for waiting so long to take Daniel. He thought, first, she would never take him into her house. Then he thought she would throw him out after taking care of his head. He waited until he could not wait any longer, knowing he was losing precious precise time. What started out pure and simple became a circus, and Winston hated the circus.

Ten minutes later, Ms. Hemple pulled over to the side of the road at Winston’s demand. There was nothing to be seen. The headlights of the car only illuminated so far, but with the skies clear and full of stars and a brightly waning moon,  with the oncoming morning light just hazing off in the distance, she could see enough. Of practically nothing.  It was an arid dusty setting, with plant life.

With plant life? She looked around, but did not see anything that was giving them water. These weren’t just cacti. There were lush leaved plants in groups. She counted nine such groupings just in the light from the car. Jennifer Rose put her hand on her hips and frowned a puzzled “huh?”

ZsaZsa got out at Winston’s demand, helping Elora out of the car as best she could, with her hands the way they were. Elora was flinching a bit, but her back was overall numb, and she felt a bit sick. They were both glad to finally be out of the car, and held onto each other a bit more as they made their way over to where Jennifer Rose was planted.

A bustle in her bosom area brought ZsaZsa attention to her chest. She wasn’t fast enough-the squirrel had wrestled his way out, up, stared at the car perched on her shoulder (just as Winston and Daniel were getting out), made a very rude noise (especially for a squirrel) and jumped off into the darkness. ZsaZsa mewed a “noooooo” and tried to chase after it, but Winston’s yell that he would shoot stopped her dead..well..stopped her.

Slamming the car door behind him, Daniel tried to walk over to Elora, but Winston just waved the gun in a “no-no” fashion. Waiting for Winston,  they waited where they were.

Elora was looking down and around, noticing slight ridges in the dusty land. The ridges, what she could see in this light, ran from one of the clusters of plants to the other. The plants were what drew her attention at first. They were the same type of plants she had lain in, with dark green glossy leaves, so soft, naked under the stars, not that long ago. The night “someone, hmph” sneaked a peek and most likely took her bra. She turned her head to look for Daniel…

He was heading her way, well, their way, with Winston right behind. “We’re moving forward,” Daniel said, semi under his breath, not wanting to alarm Elora, or the others. ZsaZsa was still looking off into the night; Jennifer Rose came over, put her arm around her, and led the two of them behind Elora and Daniel.

“Walk about ten more feet. Then stop. The entrance to the labyrinth will be there.”

They looked and saw nothing but outlines of flatness and far away hills/mountains. They stepped on and over and around more bunches of the plant clusters. Daniel tripped over a couple of them, only falling one time. His entire attention was on Elora.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

She quietly said: “shhh..it’s not your fault. This is just unreal in every sense. Just don’t get him mad until we can figure out how to get out of this.”

“I’ll do my best. I still don’t see what I…”

“Stop, Now.” Winston barked out, but regained his negative calm. “Daniel, do you see that large rock to your left? Go to it, and place both hands on it, and push. Now, Daniel.”

Daniel, with a nod from Elora, left her with the other two women, and walked over to the rock. From what he could see, it looked like a Metamorphic rock, but that was gonzo to Daniel, as there wasn’t anything around that could cause such a thing to happen. Something like this would have needed great heat and pressure, and…”oooopsawllahhhhhh”

Tripping over one of the base rocks, Daniel fell on the large-ish Metamorphic rock, throwing both hands out to prevent harm to his face or chest. His hands landed on the rock, hard, and his falling momentum pushed the rock ever so much.

It was enough. A whirling winding sound arose from beneath the rock, and then slid it and Daniel to the left. Where there was darkness now came a smattering of lights, dancing in the air in front of them. It sound died down, but the lights coalesced into one large pinpoint that grew. Grew some more. And…well, it grew until it outlined a tunnel, the inside of it which could only be seen by looking at it head on. Elora and Jennifer Rose (with ZsaZsa still glued to her) tried to look, but around the “edge” it was the same as before: lifeless dessert, except for the plant clusters.

Winston’s constant smile reflected the glow. “The Ratiocination Labyrinth. It is all true. Time for us to enter. Daniel, you must lead the way.”

He did, the women followed, with Winston behind them. They had not walked far in, when a horrible moan bolted into them. All but Winston were shaken.

“Daniel, prepare yourself. The Limbus Come are approaching.” he chortled, so unlike him, not.

Elora tried to reach out to Daniel, but the other two held her back as something wicked their way came.


Outside, Bob The Squirrel had been following them, waiting for an opportunity to get the big human back. He kept on eye on his charge as well, and was glad the other one was protecting her. That gave him more of a chance.

Daniel’s falling, and the opening of sound and lights, happened all too fast for Bob to do much of anything. As the others walked in, they did not look back to see the lights start to fade and the “entrance” start to close. Jumping with all his squirrel jumping powers, Bob made it into the tunnel as it sealed shut behind him.

Bob followed, and did not like what he was smelling.

W(onderment): A to Z Challenge


To read the whole story thus far…

Part 21: Wonderment

The blathering in the front of the car crawled to a halt as Ms. Hemple sped on. Daniel, still holding the dead rodent in his blood caked lap and hands, just stared at him. “Good. He is finally focused.” Winston thought. “He needs to stay that way.”

Why had he bothered to explain anything to these cretins? The anticipation, the moments ticking away in such a dull way, surrounded by these..these.. Winston realized  he let them get the better of him. He just stared back, his constant smile again in place, and his hand throbbed a bit from the bites. It was not enough to cause him to lose his concentration again.

What would he say to them that they would understand, that they would not judge as drivel? That The Clock of the Long Ago Now is the epitome of cosmic precision? That his research did lead him to the truth: that aliens do exist, that the Celestial Zafeiropoulou have been here, have guided us and thwarted us, and that humans in secret conclaves know of this and support them? That the Zafeiropoulou are as close to time incarnate as one can get, that they are the personification of precision timing on a cosmic scale? That they really rule us all? They would laugh and ridicule him if he was not holding the gun.

He knew that this treasure is his way to ascend to a state of time bliss and to join them. If the Ratiocination Labyrinth is breached, the Clock will give him everything he’s wanted. His dream, forever along the time line of the universe, always perfect, always constant and precise. His dream, and he is putting all of it on a world class dreamer of a dolt.

Winston stared at Daniel through the corner of his left eye, while keeping the rest of his attention looking for that other rodent. He heard ZsaZsa making soothing and shushing sounds to the damned thing. “Just wait. All of you,” he threatened inside his head.

Looking at Daniel, he wondered, and in wondering, began to doubt,  if this head-in-the-clouds intelligent fool would really be the one to break through all the logic barriers the Zafeiropoulou put in to guard the Ratiocination Labyrinth and what it hides.

Forget the other incredible weapons and baubles that are supposedly to be found inside: Dropa Stones, Ica Crystals, The Cosovisto Artifact, the  Siribhoovalaya translation (numbers, in precise mathematical order, describing the universe), and so much more. Forget them. Daniel need to get me the clock. The clock is all that mattered.

He’d have to go through the sections, one by one: the Limbus Come; The Lewd Ones; the Tanuki; the desires of Kamadeva; the Emoticon Curtain; the Minim Five; the Numbing Nukekubi;  the Proposition of Mudd; and finally…he came across a blank wall on this one. There was one more section to pass, one last hurdle. There was no information on it. No clues. Nothing.

Winston settled into his thoughts, running through everything he knew about each sections passage to be gained. He needed an illogical thinker to make this work. He read all the secret supposedly destroyed and erased files on all the “intelligent” ones who tried to get through. All the ones who failed, and they all had. Only their companions survived, one at a time, and bit by bit Winston put all the information together. They had all approached this from the wrong angle, and all made the same mistake, time and time again. Linear thinkers, one and all.

Daniel was his key to success.

And…once he had the Clock….

Winston in real time smiled a little broader. Daniel clutched the body in his lap a little harder. Jennifer Rose stepped on the gas, making the care to a little bit faster, which caused Elora to flinch against the seat and made her back hurt and she gasped a little bit louder, and ZsaZsa soothed the squirrel a little bit needier…

The squirrel? He got a whole lot more angrier.

V(ersecular): A to Z Challenge


To read the whole story thus far…

Part 20: Versecular

Above, the starry night
The car of screams did penetrate it’s shine;
Alone along the barren road, no travelers did they see.
“He’s dead, he’s dead!” she keened and wailed,
Over his small broken body, his blooded tail.

The copper tinted smell in the air inside the cabin, closed,
took o’er the senses,some shut down.
Daniel, in red drenched lap, wonder looked
To see the patterns forming there, the stiffness
settling in. He saw the horseman braying ‘Come’
Wondering if this was for he as well.

“Oh, what have you done? What have you done?
All for the sake of Time and the unknown?
So many other ways, so many chance to take,
And this is the road we’ve traveled on?”

Winston stared, and tried to erase the unpleasant noise
That filtered from around
He worshiped not this, but silence, no sound.
The cacophony of decibels, the sone bursting through
He drew his weapon upon them all
“Shut up!” he bellowed, “Go to hell!”
The whimpering subsided, but the tears inside die not
One thought went through the others, alive,
And if Winston had an ounce of empathy,
One shred of deeper understanding beyond his miscast precision,
He’d quiver and sink so much lower then he had
With the unswerving blows upon his head
They all felt he deserved…and more.

“Let us bury him” they cried as one.
“No.” he said, as he lifted his leg to adjust.
“Let us bury him” they wailed this time.
“No.” was all he said, with his gun raised
And his constant smile so strained
“We must go on, and waste no more time
On such foolishness again.
If you don’t watch that other beast
That bit me and tried to gouge me
I WILL show it the same, you’ll see
Then who will be next, do you think?”
Sitting back, he said no more.

Jennifer Rose, gas pedaling hit the floor
And like a streak of light the car
Continued on it’s path through
Underneath the starry starry stars.

To the one left
Quivering in his charge’s bosom,
Came a vision, it did appear
Inside this woman’s brassiere
“Calloo, Callay, you’re here to stay?”
He asked of his old compadre
But, alas, he shook his head
And his tail did sag and droop
For Jack came back to give him the poop:

“I’ve been to a wondrous place, old Bob,
And seen our cousin, George
Of Nut-Haven, he is one, and so too I am bound.
Bob shared a tear
“Tut Tut, none of that.
I am happy as I can be.
I did what I could for our lady charge.
Now it is up to thee.”

“What the heck? Did dying make you a poet?
It’s me, Jack, ME” he said,
As a tear ran down a breast.

“Watch over her, and in your time
You will know what you must do.
Try to be stalwart and true
and Nut-Haven will also be for you.”
With that old Jack did swim away
O’er a lake of cashews and cream
And fading fast from his sight
Old Bob thought it was a..

“Nah..I’m just sad. Damn that man.
I aim to take out one of his eyes for this!”

And so a plan was set!

U(nderstanding and ululations) AtoZ Challenge


To read the whole story thus far…

Part 19: Understanding and ululations

Inside the car, it was dead silence. Winston gave the main directions all at once, and it was pretty straightforward, very few right or lefts. He was not a GPS system, but he acted like one; only when, with uncanny precision, would he speak to Jennifer Rose..Ms. Hemple… to take the next turn. For the first forty-seven point thirty-four minutes.

Daniel, slumped in the farthest corner away from Winston,  had been dazed, more so than usual, as he was worried about the bleeding and pain-in-the-side that Elora had. She was between the other two women up front, and from time to time it looked like one of them or the other was propping her upright. His head throbbed a little, easing as time went by….”HAH!” he thought out wickedly loud, “Take THAT Windrip! Time is ticking away the moments that are making up this very much not dull day.”…first from the bump-bleed to the back of his head, then the roll roll roll of the limo..clang clang clang went his head.

“She’s in pain,” he said, nodding (“ow”) in Elora’s direction.

Winston, using soft focus peripheral vision, was aware of all that was around him in the car. “Daniel,” he said softly, “I am aware of that. And of your pain; it’s all over your face. Not good at hiding what you feel, eh? The knight gallant, the fool be-smitten.  You repulse me with your inexact ways, your fuzzy chaos driven thinking..but, that is also why you are needed right now. You’ve squandered the mental gifts you were given, but I am going to put that right, for the first time in your non-linear ramblings of an existence. Concentrate on the task that is ahead of you instead, stay focused for once in your life.”

Elora heard the sharp slicing mandoline edge in Winston’s grating voice. “Daniel, I’m ok.” She added: “How is your head?”

“I’m ok. You sure you’re all right?”

“Yes, I’m ok. ”


Elora couldn’t take the silence. “You told us only so much in the limo. Maybe Daniel would be a better slave for you if he knew more about what a Ratiocination Labyrinth is, and why this ‘The Clock of the Long Ago Now’ is so damned important. To you. Why is it SO damned important to you?”

Winston didn’t answer her for 12 seconds flat. He, too, was bored with the silence and the monotony of the drive. No keyboard to send him throughout a world he’d rather be in, one of connections that lead him into real time, with fast bytes of information for him to swallow. This was mundane, this waiting, and he disliked the mundane. His elitist upbringing led him here, and this “carousing” with the inferior was so beneath him. He only put up with Ms. Hemple,  in his presence, at his office, truth be told, for her looks. They were a distraction to anyone who came to him for his research skills. He knew all about her sexual proclivities (“animal,” he thought) and she suited him well in her administrative duties..when she was there. On time. Obviously, he could not put up with ZsaZsa at all.

On the 13th second, Winston began to answer…


[The squirrels had been “listening” all the while under the front passenger side of the bench seat. A little squished down, but roomy enough, they had burrowed underneath when the guy with the bad juju vibes came to the car.

*A little known fact: squirrels possess VIBE-DAR; they know when a human is “ok, they’re just feeding us” approachable or when it’s “ruh roh, high tail it outta here!”. End of that little known fact about squirrels.*

They had skittered to the front of the car where they got a bit tangled in a mess of feet. Their charge, as put on them by George of Nut-Haven, cousin of spirit, was waving at them with her frozen gnarled hands. ZsaZsa gently nudged them with a foot to get them back into hiding. They were not stupid. They went.

Bad JuJu Vibe had the thing that could hurt and kill you in his hand. It was steady and constant, and they were afraid, but they could not allow any harm come to ZsaZsa.

They waited,  sneaking peeks out. They bared their incisors.]

On the 13th second, Winston began to answer…

“The Clock of the Long Ago Now has been thought to have been a myth, legend only, going back at least 2,000 years. An exquisite piece of work with it’s roots in something that was found off the coast of a Greek island: the Antikythera Mechanism. There has been a lot of research and hypotheses abounded, most of them leading along false trails. The most obvious one was denounced and discarded too easily, which is the way many truths in our world are obfuscated, leading people away from what is real.

I’ve done the research, checked the data, rechecked it, and there are too many shadows overlaying the truth for the common man to find, let alone comprehend and believe in. Many of the “secret power cults” are there, in place, waiting for civilization to move along on the road they have built and continue to build. All for their own good, not humanity. I’ve seen the truth, and it’s led me to this fact: The Clock of The Long Ago Now is real, and the Antikythera Mechanism IS part of it.

This was way beyond what mankind could even dream about then. The Clock not only gives the most precise timing this world has ever seen, but the timing of Celestial events. The machine tracks complicated interactions between heavenly bodies, such as eclipses and novas and births of stars,  all through precise timing! Everything is pre..”

“precision. Everything is precision! What is it with you, anyway? Got locked in a closet too long as a kid and counted your time like a prisoner to be let go?” sneered Jennifer Rose Ms. Hemple.

Without knowing it, she came too close to the truth, and that delve into his past was not to be taken lightly. Winston’s grip on his gun changed, and he began to raise his arm.

The squirrels leaped up and around, sinking their teeth into his gun hand (one at a time), and then they ran up opposite arms, trying to get at his eyes.

Winston did not drop the gun on the floor, but he did move his arm up to deflect the..the.. attack from what he knew what, for it was but a blur of teeth and tails and fur. Without warning, the gun went off.

EVERYONE (well, Winston’s was more for the squirrels) screamed in the car. Jennifer Rose almost lost control, her heart beating like a good night of..well, beating really really fast, but she knew she wasn’t hit, so she got herself back together very fast, and saved all their lives.

All but one. ZsaZsa screamed louder then all of them put together. “No…no…” she said. One of the squirrels had jumped on her shoulder and then burrowed it’s way into the front of her blouse, hiding in her cleavage. “NOoOOoooooOOOOOOOOOOooooooo……”

The other squirrel was bleeding profusely, laying across Daniel’s lap.

A to Z Challenge: O(or else!)


To read the whole story thus far:

Part 13: Or Else!

Sitting on the floor and talking till dawn, Elora and Daniel connected. She had brought him inside, because he, in quite natural klutz fugue state that he often found himself in, had banged the back of his head on a rock on the lawn, that was outside the window to her place, and bled just enough for Elora to be concerned enough to bring Daniel in.

They had discussed a lot in those hours, laughed with each other, she laughing at him once or twice over his clumsy persona, holding hands when she teared up in retelling about the betrayals done to her, sat in comfortable silences…and Daniel banished Captain Chickenshit during one of those silences forevermore. Or, well..you know. CC doesn’t go away without a fight!

“I’m really in like with you,” he blurted out during one of those silences, his face turning a glowing pulsating heat red that reached up behind his ears.

Elora looked at him. REALLY looked at him, deeper then she had been doing all awhile. She thought about everything they had just shared: his awkward life, his non-acceptance by those around him, his thinking so way out of the box, spiraling  around that box in Ecsher like ways that she was astonished at how his mind clicked. She liked it. She had held back from blasting him on spying on her (just saying, “ya know, not a good thing to do.”), and from accusing him of taking her bra, as she first tended his head wound, and they tended each others inner wounds.

Daniel waited for her response. ANY RESPONSE. He gulped in desperation, running very quickly over the last couple of hours of discussions, the discoveries he made, the warmth he felt, the “stalking” her (“yes, I know..not a good thing to do.”), and all of her bits and pieces that she shared with him. The Captain was just about to resurface and make him flee when..

“Thank you. I like you, too. Just..be in the open with me, ok? I can’t take anymore crap behind my back. I….”

Just then, there was a loud banging on the door. Elora got up, looked through the peephole, and saw this guy. He was tall, balding, wearing glasses, and  had a chubbyish nonthreatening constant smile on his face.

“Yes?,” she said to the door.

“Hi, my name is Winston. I’m a friend of Daniels, and I was hoping you’d know where he is. We’ve been looking for him.”

She turned her head and gave Daniel a questioning look. Daniel sat there, cross-legged and hands splayed on the floor, tilted his head an shrugged a noncommittal shrug.  Elora unlocked the door and started to open it.

“He’s right in he….”

The door slammed open. Winston had put all his weight behind the push, sending Elora bouncing to the floor, just about into Daniels lap. “This is undignified,” he thought, as he pulled out his gun.

Elora and Daniel first started to yell “hey, who the hell do you think you are” (or words to that effect) until they saw the gun. They both quieted down very quickly. Elora scooched back, onto Daniel, and Daniel put his arms around her protectively.

Winston closed the door and locked it, never taking his eyes or the aimed gun off of them. His smile still constant, he walked over to her comfy looking upholstered swivel rocking chair and sat down, pulling up his pants legs one at a time.

Daniel squeaked out: “Hey, what are you doing? I don’t know you.”

Elora, staring straight ahead at the gun, which was aimed RIGHT at her chest, and said out of the side of her mouth: “Why the hell didn’t you say that BEFORE I started to open the door?” She felt him shrugging the same visual shrug he gave her before.

“Shhhh, both of you. NOW!” Winston, who seldom raised his voice, raised his voice. He was on the verge of frustration, and that was not acceptable right now. He looked at his watch.  This had already exceeded his time plan by nine minutes and fifty-one seconds. “The two of you will get up, hold each others hands, and leave with me. My car is outside. We have someplace to go.”

“Why the hell should we go with you anywhere?” Elora sneered.

“Yeah..why?” Daniel chimed in.

Winston sat for three point zero seconds before answering.

“You do as I say. Or Else!”

A to Z Challenge: K(illing with kindness)


Part One Part Two
Part Three Part Four
Part Five Part Six
Part Seven Part Eight

Part Nine: Killing with kindness

Winston sat as far away as he could, on the opposite side of the table, as he could get without actually sitting at another table. Which, in all ways, he would have prepared to..this. ZsaZsa (lazily pronounced ZahZah, not like the way it should, ala Ms. Gabor) munched gerbil like on her salad, but swilled her lemon water with gusto. Winston shivered with every bite she took.

He had scoured the internet that week, pouring over files, reports, statements, blogs, comments on blogs, and links upon links. Four people met his extreme criteria. Two he already dismissed, as one was already dead (the same day he found him, indeed) and the other was overseas at the moment, visiting  a relative who she hoped, from his reading, was going to die soon and leave her a great chunk of a hefty estate. She could wait, if ZsaZsa and Daniel did not pan out as he hoped.

And his hope in ZsaZsa was dashed with every sentence she uttered. She was attitude on the hoof, mean spirited, petty, garish, and moronic. Everything in her life was wrong, and it was wrong because of someone else. She didn’t read, watched only reality TV, listened to bands Winston has never heard of (all DeathRock bands, she squeed), and the most interesting thing she even mentioned was that she had run over a squirrel one time, stopped to see if it was ok, saw it was in pain and sobbing, and then got back in the car, reversed it and backed over the squirrel, finishing the job. At this, she smiled quite brightly.

Winston was not going to pat her on the head and give her a treat. Well, not the one she was hoping for. She got up from the table with a grunt, said “I have to go take a whiz”, and waltzed off, smiling at every cute guy..every guy on the way.

Careful not to touch anything, Winston, ignored by everyone in the restaurant, as usual, reached across and added a little something into ZsaZsa’s water glass. It settled and dissolved quickly, which was a good thing as ZsaZsa was not long in returning.

Sitting down, Winston spoke up. “ZsaZsa, it has been a pleasure meeting you,” he said, adjusting his street disarming smile in a way that made her at ease. “I do hate to cut this short, but while you were indisposed, I had a call. One I must attend to immediately. Please, finish your lunch, and your water. I’ll pay the bill, and we shall talk another time.”

“Ok, shure,” she said, taking a big swallow from the glass, getting the lemon wheel stuck in her teeth as she said it. ZsaZsa reached her hand out to shake Winston’s, but he was already zagging away around this and that table, getting to the waiter to pay, and OUT. “Putz,” she thought, as she slugged down the water and grazed through the rest of her salad.

An hour later, ZsaZsa was removed from her bent around a tree car.  They had to struggle to remove the steering wheel from her grasp. “That’s some death grip she had. Doesn’t look like she’d be that strong” said one of the rescue workers. They got her body into the ambulance finally, after a lot of hard work.

Two squirrels sat back on their haunches, tails in the air, and munched on some nuts as they surveyed the happenings. Cousin George would have been pleased, they both thought.



A to Z Blog Challenge: J(aywalking away)


Part One Part Two
Part Three Part Four
Part Five Part Six
Part Seven

Part Eight: Jaywalking Away

Elora in the light of day differed from the Elora in the dark of the night. She had expunged  quite of bit of heavy aura burden from herself when she deleted her email account. Setting up a new one with a new dot com gave her a sense of well being. Elora knew she was not facing up to things (Mom Speak), running away from her responsibilities (Dad Speak), being a total bitch (Sis Speak), and…well, she really didn’t care for anything Jay Speak said or thought. Elora Speak said: “go out and conquer this new land!”

In her sparkly new sandals, blue skirt swirling around her shins, a rose red form fitting tee, and a future so bright you have to wear shades eye wear, Elora trod on this new town of hers with a delicate balance between knowing where she was going and the awe of seeing new things for the first time. She smiled at everyone who passed by, saying “Hello” and “Hi” and “Nice Day” as it suited her. Most smiled back at her, a few adding a slight nod. Others scurried away, afraid she was selling something, had something wrong with her and she’d bite their nose off, or just distrustful (read: dislike) of strangers. Elora took it all in stride. Smiling stride.

Elora was also looking for one person in particular. She knew he was following her, in a sad puppy type of way. Asking at the coffee shop the other morning, she found out his name was Daniel. A local, and according to the barrister, loony but harmless. Deirdre (coffee nymph) said he had a crush on her, asked her out once after standing at the counter for well over twenty minutes, but never bothered her again once she said “Thanks, but no, sorry. Well,” she added, “he does come in for coffee, looks away, and leaves like a good puppy.”

“Don’t look behind you, but…”

Glancing in the mirror behind Deirdre, Elora saw Daniel pass by. Then again. Then turn around and pass by again, looking but not looking into the shop. Elora brushed back her shoulder length raven hair and smiled into her hand. “He’s cute. Harmless?”


When she went outside, he was no where to be seen.

That was a few days ago. The day she felt good to have someone have a crush on her. The night that she lay under the stars naked. The night someone, SOMEONE, ruined her privacy and “TOOK MY BRA!”

“Bad puppy. I’m pretty sure it was you.” Elora continued walking along, looking for Daniel as much as..

he was following her. At a very safe distance.

Captain Chickenshit rose to the occasion. He turned and went home.

A to Z Blog Challenge: G(obsmacked)


Part 4: Freak

Part 5: Gobsmacked

It was 9:06, and Ms. Hemple still had not arrived. “Later then usual,” he harrumphed, a trilling mumble under his precise breath. His fingers were dancing around the IO Gear Wireless 5.8 GHz Keyboard. The Viewsonic VX2250wm 24.5 LED monitor was ablaze with activity, and Winston’s eyes never left the screen. The monitor time stamp byte it’s way to 9:07 when the door to the office opened, and in rushed Ms. Hemple. Winston gritted his finely honed brushed teeth and bit back a scathing remark.

“Everything is precision, Ms. Hemple,” he said in his crisp disciplined way that Ms. Hemple so hated.

“Yes, Mr. Wynne. I know” she said, while thinking “I know I know I know because I’ve heard it too often you f…”It was out of my hands,” she answered to his question of why she was late. “The bus just stopped. The driver had no clue what was wrong, so we waited until another bus came along.”

Winston had already begun to ignore her, not really caring for any of her excuses. Tuning her out, he tuned out the rest of everything that did not exist beyond the data he was linking into his Thinkstation E50. He sat like this, ignoring any remarks Ms. Hemple made, for the next 68.8 minutes. A file appeared, with multiple folders and notes and photos that left Winston struck dumb. His eyes bulged just a tiny fraction, but it was enough to know he was truly struck speechless, if he had intended to speak.

“Oh, yes,” he inwardly smiled as one piece, one huge piece fell finally into place. This was his win-win scenario. He could hook this fool to do as he needed, he would not have to worry about sullying any part of himself, let alone his hands, and this..this Daniel would only be the first. “He’s perfect. My perfect fool.”

Winston chuckled, and the sound not only made Ms. Hemple’s  skin crawl, but her stomach, which had been filled with that lovely breakfast Don..Dan..Dave..last night’s and this morning interlude made for her, roiled in disgust.

If Winston’s hands were not glued to the keyboard as his eyes were glued to the monitor screen, he would have clenched them, in an out of character ecstatic glee, raising them to the heavens.


From A to Z: E(lora, of light)


Part 2: Dumb, Founded

Part 3: Elora, of light

Elora lay, naked, underneath the waning gibbous phase of the moon. Stretched out among plants with dark green glossy leaves, she felt more at peace then she had in…well, she just couldn’t remember when that was. Elora had left her clothing strewn along the shrubs that encircled her, like a crown of green that proclaimed victory.

Heaving sobs had given away to this calm, this peaceful state, that she found herself adoring. The stars twinkled as they should, and every attempt to count them brought a fit of giggles that ended with a deep sigh that came from her toes all the way up.

“Free,” she sighed to the sky. “Free.” Elora wiped away the last lingering tear that glistened on her cheek, feeling (hoping) that that was the last tear she would shed for the life she left behind.  She left them all behind: her folks, her sister, her job, her town, her 1.2 friends…her supposed love of her life.  Getting off the train at this lovely area, far enough away from THERE, in the hopes she can start over, this HERE already gave her more then she could have wanted. New job, new place to live, new sky.

The partial moon moved along on its path, and in it’s wake the air grew cooler. Goose-pimpled on every area imaginable, Elora shivered and sat up. She started to get up, to look for her clothes, to go back to her new place, when she noticed some shape moving very fast away from her. Not wanting to be noticed as she was, she reached around for her clothing.

She found everything but her bra.

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