Nov 4, 2010

Hobnobbing

   

               The Hob was three and a half feet tall, sturdy, and suitably attired in a red plaid shirt and overalls. Sporting a straw hat and whistling, he stopped what he was doing when he saw the children approaching.
     “Howdy! I fig-urred I’d start in the barn,” he greeted them in an overly affected drawl.
     “Hi. Who’re you?” Eleanor asked.
     “I’m Floyd,” he announced. Proudly, as if she should have heard of him.
     “And what brings you here?” Rob asked.
     “Wa-l-l-l,” Floyd began, “there’s life here again. Y’all need a Hob to keep the place tiptop.” He waggled his eyebrows, smiled a salesman’s smile, and jerked his thumb at his own chest.      “I’m your Hob. I’ll have this place sparkling faster than you kin shake a stick. Then I’ll hit the house. Hobs, see, are better ‘n Goblins, Tomtes, or Brownies. Tomte’s are prickly, peevish types. They’re all hairy, too. And Brownies are housebound. I can work inside or out. House, barn, makes no nevermind to me.”
     “We have a Goblin,” Patters informed him. “And Brownies.”
     “We do?” The kids all asked at the same time, surprised.
     “Yes. In the house where they belong. This barn is already being looked after. By me. Your services are not needed,” she dismissed the Hob.
     “Now, now. Let’s not be too hasty. I think you’ll find my comp’ny to yer likin’,” he said.
     “And knock off that ridiculous accent,” Patters snapped. “I know you speak properly. No, we’re fine here. You may move along.”
     “Too late, honey. I did the ritual.”
     Patter’s eyes narrowed and she hissed. “You stay out of my way. And be discreet—we have Humans who aren’t aware,” she said.
     “Wait. What ritual?” Rob asked.
     “The Hob ritual. When we take a new residence, we perform a ritual pledging our service and fealty. We choose a stone from the property and swear allegiance, and we must carry the stone at all times. I have mine here on my watch fob.” He lifted a pocket watch from the front of his overalls and showed it to the kids. “It also renews our magic. A Hob with no home has faulty magic. But the rule is clear. One Hob family per residence. If a ritual has already been performed by a residing Hob, the squatter Hob gets their fingers singed when he or she tries to perform the ritual. Smarts, too,” he added, rubbing his fingers with a frown. He gave Patters a triumphant look. “So it’s a done deal. I’m here to stay.”
     Patters turned to the kids and said, “You’ll regret this. You’ll see. Before you know it, he’ll be Lord of The Manor.” She stomped off, tail stiff in the air. 









Sep 3, 2010

The Promise

Her old hand stroked the sleeping child's smooth cheek. So much time, so many years gone. It made the heart heavy.

All full circle. An ending connecting with a beginning. This child had everything ahead of her. It should have alleviated the woman's sorrow, but it did not. Would she find true happiness, or would she, too, someday stand beside a future of hopes and dreams with regrets and worries.

Two generations separated them. Two generations of wrong choices and sadness, and it came back on her shoulders. That this child did not have her mother was the old woman's burden to bear. Oh, yes, society played a role. There was some consolation in that, on a cheap day, but cheap days were the reason she stood alone beside the sleeping child.

This child, this beautiful child, was her chance to right those wrongs. Her chance to do the things she should have done fifty years ago. She sensed it was her last chance. She would not fail. She owed the child that.







In homes where domestic violence occurs, children are at risk. Regardless of whether children are physically abused or not, the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse. Each year, an estimated minimum of 3.3 million children witness domestic violence.

Aug 18, 2010

Maybe, Maybe Not

Constable Hebert Maybe left his home each morning with the silent, desperate prayer he wouldn’t have to talk to anyone.

Hebert's true calling in life was not from the constabulary. Constables are jovial men who lean on diner counters, stirring coffee and shooting the breeze. Constables help Mrs. Billing’s get her cat out of the tree. Hebert was petrified of Mrs. Billings (although, in all fairness to Hebert, most people were).

Hebert had mastered one thing in life: not being noticed. His hair wasn't even a definable color. It wasn't brown, and it wasn't blond. Most of it wasn't there. What was there his wife Mildred's whistle sharp scissors kept just long enough to comb over his dull scalp.

So off he went each day in his beige polyester uniform, praying he wouldn’t be drawn into conversation, needed, or kids wouldn't stuff a potato in the exhaust pipe of the town cruiser. But for the efforts of Mildred he might have known real success. Of course it would have been easier for Mildred to be the Constable; she would’ve preferred it (as would’ve Hebert), but it simply wasn’t done in a small New England town, so Mildred managed best she could. She was Constable De Facto. She sent Hebert out each morning while she answered the phone, made the decisions, and called Hebert on his car radio and told him what to do.

This system worked well, and the town of Flatsford (pronounced Flatsfud) enjoyed a peaceful run for most of Hebert’s career. The only tangible threat to his comfort zone was the annual town meeting. As Constable, his presence was required at the door of the school gymnasium, and the one day a year gave him anxiety-induced acid reflux. The year the budget included a controversial expenditure for dog waste receptacles at the park still tightened his chest and made his palms sweat. Most years, though, attendance was low, and he managed to avoid conversation, except for Mrs. Billings who snapped at him to stand up straight as she passed.

But all good things come to an end, and his life was about to change.

Jul 1, 2010

Chairman of the Abhorred II

Mick had a paunch and an attitude. It's hard to say which people noticed first.

He strutted into the ballroom with a three martini skip in his step. God, he loved this. Who said money couldn't buy happiness?

He back-slapped his way toward the front of the room, to the table of honor. His guests awaited him, having arrived ahead as ordered - his bitchy wife, his useless son and his bitchy wife, and his lawyer and his bitchy wife.

As he drew nearer he saw the empty table and cursed. Where the hell were they? He gritted his teeth behind his insincere smile, and made a show of looking for his dinner guests.

"Do we have enough chairs for all your friends, Mick?" some blowhard called.

He HaHa-ed loudly. Stupid cow, where were they? Didn't she realize ....
"Excuse me, Mick, I think you have my seat," someone said.

That voice. That crusty, faggoty voice. No. Couldn't be.

But it was. Marshall Anderson, III. Navy blazer useless, disdaining (and keeping from membership at the Country Club) of anyone in trade.

Mick looked down at the place card on the table. Anderson Party. Chicken 5, Sole 3.

"I think your table is over there," Marshall pointed to the far wall, giving Mick a smug smirk.

Mick's eyes followed, and his wife was waving to him as if she were bringing in a plane. He forced himself to smile, but the congratulatory slap he gave Marshall's bony shoulder was harder than it appeared.

Bile filled his mouth as it hit him. They'd picked someone else as Citizen of the Year.




Chairman of the Abhorred
Chairman of the Abhorred III
Chairman of the Abhorred IV

May 11, 2010

Tragic Magic II

The bunny twitched his nose again and cocked an ear. To the left. Her eyes followed, but she knew to what even before her eyes rested on the object.

Nope, not that. Things would have to get much worse before Harriet resorted to that.

The bunny's ears sagged.

She looked around the old kitchen again, searching for inspiration. Resources might be low, but she still had her talent, and there had to be something here. Then she saw it. The mouse hole in the mop board! A summoning charm for a tomte, or maybe a hob. It would ruin her last copper pot, but if it went well she could certainly afford a new one. Charms to summon the little folk fetched a pretty penny these days.

Tomte ~hob~tomte~hob. A hob, she supposed, if she had what she needed. Tomtes had easier dispositions, being eager to please, but hobs were more powerful and weren't bound within the house they were summoned to serve. They were worth more.

She went to the store cupboard with the book. Milk thistle, a bit of cat's claw, penny royal, salt from the dead sea, a blue candle (it was a birthday candle but it would work) and stones from the crop of a dentulous fowl. By Hecate's good graces she found all the necessary materials - she could still pull this off.

The bunny wrinkled his nose.


Tragic Magic
Tragic Magic III

Apr 25, 2010

Rebecca Hamilton, author of The Forever Girl, and Sara's Child, made this trailer for The Keeper and the Rune Stone. Obviously writing is not her only talent. Thanks, Rebecca!


I am having a hard time uploading this video - but the trailer can be viewed on YouTube. Amazing! Click title below.


Apr 4, 2010

Mar 7, 2010

I'd Turn Back If I Were You

Know All Ye
Who Enter Here
To Tread This Stone
Without Fear

Ye Must Accomplish
A Humble Quest
Revealing Thy Honor
And Truth Possessed

If Ye Prevail
Ye May Pass
If Ye Fail
Take Heed
And Alas

The Heavens Will Darken
Thunder Will Roll
The Bowels Of Earth
Will Claim Your Soul

Feb 8, 2010

Packing My Bags

The world is just an amazing and wondrous place. Different regions host a spectrum of unique species among plants, animals. Mineral combinations from natural resources flavor water. Every region is a miraculous mix of chemistry that gives birth to things which are entirely unique. It is brimming with diversity on every level, all breathtakingly beautiful, and shaping exciting cultures.

Where am I headed with this? The dinner table. Silly.

I consider myself very well traveled - in a palatal sort of way.

Stepping offshore into cold, fast waters of the Northern Atlantic we find succulent fish and shellfish. Pass the lemon, please.

And look, there's Switzerland, hard ahead. Must be fate, so maybe some chocolate. While we're right here. Yep, good. A little pick me up to scamper around Northern Europe on a merry chase, picking up meats and cheeses. France, Germany, Austria, Hungary - one can go round and round in gastronomic circles in Europe, but make no mistake - I am making my way to the Mediterranean. Italy, Spain, Greece. Some fresh pasta, more lemons, maybe some tomatoes and artichokes for a sauce for the fish. And more wine to compare to what I got in France.

Huh. I missed England. Oh, well. Probably should've plotted a course .... eating some chocolate .... perhaps Turkey, and then north to Russia to work my way towards the Pacific. Many undiscovered regional delights between here and there.....swallow.....this may take a while......

Jan 23, 2010

Authonomy

A source for terrific reads :

I placed The Keeper and the Rune Stone on the site two days ago. It is doing very well, but I am also enjoying the other work on there. So much talent ~


Jan 20, 2010






Is this the coolest thing you've ever seen?


Cheryl Fallon created this piece. It captivated me the second I saw it.


Her art may be viewed at:

http://www.CherylFallon.com
http://www.MoxieMamaStudios.etsy.co



Thank you, Cheryl, for allowing me to use Murderous Silhouette for The Keeper and the Rune Stone.



Jan 2, 2010

Noctivagus II


The wind whipped up again making it impossible to hear the noises of the night. Or maybe it wasn't the wind. The old ones in the area discussed it in low tones. Children whispered about it at night, trying to frighten each other. Some said it devoured flesh. Some said it consumed souls. All were wrong.

She sidled out of the light, pressing her back to the wall of the house so hard the edges of the shingles dug into her skin.

Edging along, slowly, listening, her eyes strained through the darkness for any indication she should reverse direction and flee back.

She eyed the truck. A chasm of vulnerability stretched between her and it.

Crouching low into the shadow of a bush, she took a deep breath, ready to
bolt, when a hand gripped her shoulder, fingers digging in painfully to stop her, to warn her. Her heart almost exploded. She struggled to fight, but the hand restrained her with an unbelievable strength. Forcing herself to look up, her eyes met an old face.

"Watch!" He hissed.