Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ability For Dragons to Kick Ass

"Look, Irfan, you're not taking the Game of Thrones seriously enough."
"Why, what's happening? Is anyone dying or anything?"
"Drogon, you bastard!", she said, "You make me weep."
Drogon pulled an Immelman maneuver (something genetically coded into dragons) and then ate his own left wing (something not genetically coded into dragons).
He landed and freed his siblings, then turned to face the Mother.
"I heard that you were roasting some sweet meats lately."
Drogon raised an eyebrow, Kramer-style, at her. "You know it, young lady," he said.
She shouted at him a long, very painful shout. And she walked over, and tried to put one of the clasps upon him. "Why did you have to kill the baby girl?" asked the Khaleesi. "A human."
Already Drogon could sense how painfully pained she felt. He considered his next words very carefully, and then proceeded with them.
"I've been on a long flight," he said. "And I am a little older than the baby dragon you once knew me as." His voice was like fountains of lava.
Daenyrs looked cockily back at him. "Yet you are returned, to me, your mother."
Flames dangled from the wyrm's nostrils and he suddenly picked her up and brought her very close to his face. "You wot?" he rumbled.
"You went and ate a baby, a baby girl!" she yelled. "Last week it was a goat, and I thought, sure, ok. But now you're eating humans!"
He let out a puff, put her gently back on the floor, as polite dragons do, and then raised another eyebrow at her. "Are you calling me a cannibal?"
It made her weep even more. That this...creature considered himself part of the human society, and would be this surprised with her.
She began to shake her head. "You didn't kill shit, did you?" she smiled.
Dogon's eyebrow rose yet again, and from the eyebrow, his voice emanated: "Someone burned that poor little girl, but it was not me," he promised. "I've heard that there are places in the world that when they feel very pressured, they will go ahead and burn their baby girls."
"Are you still my baby?" asked Daenyrs, making Dogon roll his massive eyes.
"Yes, yes," he said.

Stepmother, family, etcetera etcetera sarah <--wait who is sarah? que sera sera?

Even the gray November morning sky spelled uneasy, with dull clouds churning around the tops of the tall condominiums that mostly made up Lisa's neighborhood. As she bent over to secure Theo in his stroller, fumbling somewhat with the straps against his wriggling and gurgling little body, a flock of children danced and swung by, exuding their typical noisy merriment on their way to the school around the corner of her street. Theo, excited by the children, kept trying to reach out and call at them, as though a desperate kidnappee, making it that much harder to secure him. Finally the clasps snapped into place snuggly. She would have loudly cursed those children (not that she was a horrid witch of a person, but out of being flat out tired), but, in fact, 'Good,' she thought, of the children. At least here was a fortunate sign. It meant she should make it for the next bus just in time. 

"But why granny dies?" asked the toddler as she snapped the last buckle in place. He was very excited, partly because the whole idea of "granny" was entirely new to him, and probably partly because they were going out on a trip, and he absolutely loved the outside.

"Step-granny, sweetie" she said, doing some final tuck-ins, "she was your step-granny, remember, not your granny." 

His brown eyes had lit up when she'd first told him of her stepmother's passing. She'd rather have kept it all to herself, but he'd overheard her on the speaker-phone when the solicitor called last Tuesday to let her know. Immediately the questions had come pouring out of him, like little challenges, and admittedly, the news had unsettled her enough that she had not, perhaps, explained everything to him as carefully as she would have liked to. He had just started learning about the idea of death, and also, somehow about grandmothers, and where he came from--though she had no idea where these questions came from. Television, probably. She'd never talked to him about grandmothers at any rate. Never had to, so far. And of course, she didn't really expect the concept of a 'step-granny' to register with his baby mind. It was simply that it made her feel better to reiterate the fact. She had asked him several nights since then, lying on her bed before his bed time, and lifting him up and down, "Do you know who your real granny really was?", but he would just let out a funny gleeful coo and try to poke back at her nose again.

Theo now a happy camper in his seat, she opened the small, creaking gate that led away from her small apartment building, checked in her coat pocket for the postal service package notification slip, and finding it there, stepped out. The solicitor, who'd introduced himself as a Mr. A. E. Blakely over the phone, had told her to expect the delivery, which would contain documents pertaining to her inheritance. He also very specifically told her that she would have to pick them up in person--for some reason this was emphasized several times--"in accordance to the late widow Wetherell's last recorded wishes". This was extremely inconvenient as it meant she had to take the morning off from work, but completely in line with Olivia's legacy of doing things. Self-serving and without an ounce of consideration for the difficulties of others, and Blakely insisted upon it. The thought had occurred to Lisa to completely ignore this grand 'summons', and get on with life as usual, but in the end the curiosity of it won her over. Now, Lisa caught herself shivering slightly, and stopped at the edge of the sidewalk to bring her collar up and pull her coat closer around her. Then she realized that it wasn't really that cold outside this morning. Rather, it was an unpleasant nervousness that started freezing in her belly and rode across her body, to her neck. She noticed her hands tremble slightly as she placed them back upon the stroller's handle. What on Earth could the imposing Mrs. Olivia Wetherell, widow of the great Jonathan Wetherell, Esquire have left her estranged stepdaughter as an inheritance? She rolled her eyes at the thought of the intrigue, and pressed on to the bus stop.

Of course, some extra money coming in would be nice. Things weren't particularly bad, especially as a single mother fresh out of medical college. The internship at the forensics lab could be stressful at times (certainly, having to figure out what to do with the baby when called in during the middle of the night could prove a challenge), but it provided enough to keep the two of them pretty comfortable. But you never know, and a little more money would add just that much more padding to their lives. As she pushed the stroller down the street, she could hear the mumbles of Theo talking to himself, accented by the occasional cheerful "Hi!" as they went by others. It started to drizzle lightly, and Lisa was torn from her thoughts in a hurry to get them to the bus stop shelter, which was only a couple of streets away.

They made it before the drizzle turned any heavier. Lisa checked to see if Theo had kept dry, and finding that he had, praised him for it. "That's a good baby," she said, tickling his belly, and he smiled back happily, beaming and nodding that, yes, he was indeed. Catching her breath and allowing a little smile herself, she got up and looked down the street for the dim lights, and just then, the bus had already pulled by. Lisa found herself letting out a sigh of relief, and realized how tense she had been all morning. But here it was, the bus. Despite the trouble of having to take the time off of work, despite the rain, and despite her uneasiness with the task at hand this morning, things were finally afoot. Thank heavens for the bus!

As the would-be passengers formed their line and slowly began boarding, Lisa pulled Theo up, and with him snug under one arm, folded her stroller. She tried to place herself last, since she had the stroller and baby with her. The line took a good couple of minutes to get moving along. Probably due to the rain, there were more people than usual getting on this time, but she didn't mind at all. In fact it was somewhat soothing--she had always found the process of being in line to get somewhere or do something to be very peaceful and relaxing. Whether at airports, grocery stores, or even carnival rides, there was something sure and certain about it. Now, as she moved along with the line, a soft and rather warm (for November) gust of wind blew up from behind her, up against her neck, as though gently goading her forward.

Finally, it was her turn. As the older lady in front of her swiped her Metro Pass, Lisa brought herself to the bus door, the stroller in front of her leaning back against her thigh, and picked around for her Metro Pass from her bag. That in hand, she was just about to climb, when something black and wet whooshed in front of her, leapt over the front of the stroller's slanted front, and right into the bus. Lisa froze in place as drops of cold water that had splashed her on the face began to register their chill, all the calmness she had attained moments ago flushing straight out of her body. And somewhere in that state of shock, her baby started crying.

It seemed like minutes before she came back to the world at large, but in truth it was probably just a few moments. Now, at the doorway of the bus, what sounded like an argument was unfolding. As further chunks of reality settled lazily in, she began to make out that the bus driver was refusing to grant entry to the creature that had slammed past her just moments ago. 

She could barely make any words out, but the bus driver was shaking his head as though saying "No, no, no," and creature--or tall man, she could see, now--was attempting to defuse the situation and gain entry to the bus. The bus driver, not giving in, pointed with an adamant straight hand, "Get the hell out of my bus." The tall man, adorned in a wet black fedora and below that, a dripping, full-length black raincoat (no doubt the source of the drops of water that had splashed her) appeared to seem surprised. "Why? What have I done?" The bus driver then pointed down at Lisa, who for a moment looked away a little uncomfortably, but then, realizing how angry she really was, stared back at them.

The tall man turned, somewhat quizzically, to look back at her. He put his hand up to his dark sunglasses, as though checking to make certain she was really there, and then continued to look at her for a few seconds. Lisa returned the gaze, unflinching, and instead furrowed her brow at him. He seemed to be staring a little longer than necessary, but why? He was a dark skinned man, possibly African-American, although she could not tell for certain, as most of his face was hidden by the dark glasses and a full gray mustache, under which his mouth was a straight, unchanging line. He did not show any expression of surprise or befuddlement, just a blank stare (*through sunglasses). He was an elderly gent.

Finally the tall man turned back to the bus driver, hands outstretched in some last plea, but he seemed to be entirely out of luck. Shrugging and shaking his head, he leapt quickly from the bus doorway and past Lisa as quickly as he had appeared without so much as a glance her way. As he vanished into the city horizon and behind the neighborhood diner, Lisa heard a murmur of applause sounding from the front of the bus, and the bus driver calmly motioned with his hand for her to climb aboard. Still shaking, she climbed the stairs and, hand still trembling, swiped her Metro Pass in and out of the machine. It didn't seem to work. Then she looked at her hand and saw there was no Metro Pass between her fingers. The thing had somehow vanished! Terrified, she looked at the bus driver, but he raised a calm hand. Lisa frantically turned and looked back, and saw her Metro Pass floating in a small puddle inches from where she had stood a few moments ago. Somehow she had dropped it. She turned only thinking to plea with the bus driver, but he just smiled calmly at her, and waved her on, into the bus.

The baby under her arm, who had been crying, let out a little cackle of relief, tears seemingly wiped away by the cheering passengers.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Slow Dark Currant

Slow Dark Currant
Weather stormy or 
whether just making jam, 
that taste on your tongue 
when the toaster sends its slams.

Waking up in the middle of the kitchen 
unable to move all but your vision. 
Feet are visible, toes immobile. 
A spark shooe's away the light.

Never thought it'd be so obscure, 
that spoon of dangerous summer confiture. 
Now you can see beyond your knees and feet,

a flame erupt and the rubber slippers crackle, pop and wheeze