#FinishThatThought 43 : Adventures In Food

Adventure was always my favorite word, followed closely by food. Which left me wondering why it had taken so many years for me to learn a simple way to blend both of them. The adventure of something new and untried, and food.

It started simply (doesn’t everything?) in an International Foods grocery store, on the cookies and snacks aisle. There they were. Sugar Wafer cookies. Not the ones you find in American grocery stores. Not the chocolate, vanilla and pink ones. The pink ones say they’re Strawberry flavored, but I’ve never noticed any difference between them and the vanilla ones. Except they’re pink. Well, on that cookie row I found chocolate, and vanilla. But I also found Mango, Guava, Caramel, and Pineapple.

I added one of each to my basket, and went on an adventure suitable to a gourmand. I pigged out on sugar wafers. Oh, the joy, the taste, the excitement of new flavors! It took me three days to walk off the cookies. Three days! And I never once regretted them. Instead, I planned another adventure to the same store.

That second adventure I purchased more sugar wafers, and I grew my food adventure. I raided the soda aisle. I felt young again, like I did when I discovered my first toy store. I found sodas I never knew existed, in sizes I never knew existed. Coconut, Mango, Guava, Peach, and Pear. I found soda brands I’d never known of, Jamaican, Jarritos, Goya, and others. It was a soda heaven! I bought a dozen single cans and bottles, all in different flavors and brands.

I discovered, over the following days, I liked coconut water, and Tamarind and Apple sodas. Of course, I discovered I did not like Cola Champagne, or Lychee drinks. But, that was the point of the adventure. To find new things to eat.

I hit the jackpot in the produce department, when I discovered Kiwi Fruit, Mangoes, Papayas, Yellow Honeydew, and Galia melons. I discovered there were more than two kinds of plums. I discovered Star Fruit, Dragon Fruit, and Rambutan. Asian pears looked just like apples, but with pear skins.

I ate fruit three times a day for a week, before I ran out.

I visit different grocery stores all the time these days. Because two of my favorite words have always been adventure and food. And what could be better than having them both at one time.

I can’t wait to try Salmonberry. Bring on the adventure, and the food!

417 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 43 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

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#ThursThreads Week 116 : Be Right There

“Honey! I’m waiting!”

“Be right there!”

I didn’t want to lie to her, but I didn’t really have a choice. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d have loved to zipped up the stairs, slipped into our room, got naked, and hopped into bed with her. It was what I wanted to do. It was what I couldn’t do.

I turned off the downstairs lights, ending at the front door. I quietly opened it, stepped outside, and pulled the door too behind me, making sure it locked before getting in my car, and driving away.

She’d figure out I didn’t have my phone with me. She’d hear it ring on the sofa. I knew she’d get upset. I imagined she’d scream. Then she’d get angry. Eventually she’d cry, then call her friends. She’d stay awake, waiting for me. Waiting to ask me where I’d gone.

“I’m sorry, my love. I’m sorry.”

I drove to the Great Dismal Swamp wildlife refuge, parked at the Washington Ditch, and walked the 4.5 miles to Lake Drummond. I pointed my penlight at the north star and waited for the ship to pick me up.

It was time for me to return to my people. My 15 year mission was complete. My people would live. The antibodies in my blood guaranteed that. Human antibodies she’d passed to me. Antibodies my people needed to survive the deadliest virus we’d ever been infected with. The human influenza.

237 words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 117. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#FinishThatThought 42 : Sleep Is A Marvelous Thing

Sleep is a marvelous thing. For when I sleep, I dream, and when I dream, I am free from this world, and my pain wracked, broken, crippled body. When I sleep, I leave this world. That night I put my head on my pillow, closed my eyes, and let go of the world that tortured me.

There was no ground, no sky, no up or down, no left or right. Perhaps I was falling. Perhaps I was floating. Perhaps I was motionless, and the universe moved past me.

I heard her voice in the nothing, Come back to me, my love.” I felt her fingers laced between mine, her lips on mine. “Come back to me, my love.” I opened my eyes in Terres Fae, wrapped my arms around my love, and kept her lips on mine.

“Welcome back, my love.”

“How long was I gone?”

“One day.” She smiled. “Perhaps the time is near, and you will be free to stay?”

“No one knows what tomorrow brings, my love.” I took a deep breath, feeling the warm, moist air of Terras Fae fill my lungs, relishing the lack of agony and pain.

“Is the agony of life now gone?” She knew I was a helpless cripple from Earth’s past. knew I was from Earth. She knew I was a helpless cripple on my world.

“Yes.”

“Then, it’s time for us to fly.” She stepped back, spread the gold, orange and black butterfly wings on her back and with a flick them, launching herself into the sky. I followed, my blue, green and silver wings lifting me easily into the sky.

I was free once more. Free to help my Cheris, and the fairies of Terres Fae stand against the humans from Earth in a time yet to come. Free to help save a living world from certain death.

In my life on Terres Fae, I was free to live the story of life the universe had granted me.

329 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 42 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#ThursThreads Week 116 : We’ll See About That

Mystica watched the white flames play across the surface of the lake. She saw the Angels attack Merlin, and the dragons. She saw villages of fairies and humans burned to the ground. She spoke to the machines, “Are they coming here?”

“Yes.”

“Will you stop them?”

“No.”

“So, you will allow this war?”

“Yes.”

The flames shifted, showing her the Angels enter the Great Northern Forest. She knew they’d arrive any moment. She used white magic to float above the center of the lake, where she waited for the Angels to arrive.

She watched them float above the trees, surrounding the clearing, and the lake. A single Angel silently flew across the clearing, to the center of the lake. “Witch of white! For your use of magic, and protection of those cursed with wild magic, you shall die.”

“We’ll see about that.”

The Angel swung his arms, as if he had two swords, and was trying to cut Mystica to pieces. The white magic protected her. The Angel didn’t understand. “How are you still alive?”

She stared at him. “Burn.”

White fire leaped from the lake, grabbing the Angel’s ankles, yanking him from the sky, dragging him under the water. The trees around the lake and clearing launched their branches up, like spears, into the Angels by the lake.

That quickly, the Angels were gone.

Mystica shook her head. “The White Magic protects this world,” she declared, “And I am the White Magic.

242 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 116. It’s another little tale from the world of Cylinders. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

The Old Guy Sat At The Bar

Jason pulled back the bar stool, and had a seat. The bartender quickly found him, and asked what he wanted to drink.

“Seven and Seven,” Jason quietly, politely asked.

The bartender wandered off to mix his drink, and the old man sitting at the bar, in the chair next to Jason smacked his empty glass on the shiny hardwood surface. “Oh, yeah! That’s good stuff.”

Jason thought of moving. He didn’t want to sit next to anyone loud, or anyone in a group. Before he could, the bartender returned with his drink, “Seven and Seven,” he placed the drink on a tiny napkin in front of Jason, then turned to the old man, “You want another round?”

The old man didn’t speak, he smiled and nodded yes, and the bartender wandered off again.

The old man looked through Jason. He had those kind of eyes, the ones that see past all the lies, the games, the masks people put on every day. The ones that see your soul, and know the truth of who and what you are.

“Had a fight with your girl, did you?” Jason started to get up, but the old man kept talking, “Nobody won, did they?”

Jason stayed on his stool, and stared back at the old man. He’d always thought he was a good judge of character, but when he looked at the old guy, he saw no lies, no masks. He saw the face and eyes of someone who’d lived live. Someone who’d seen life. Someone who knew.

“Yeah. We had a fight.”

The old guy took a deep breath. “Money?”

Jason nodded.

“Yeah. It’s always money, ain’t it?” Jason picked up his drink, and chugged half of it down. “So, you’re gonna drown it all, ain’t ya?”

Jason let his drink glass reconnect to the bar with a loud smack. “Yep. We just broke up.” He picked up his drink, and drained it, then smacked the glass down again. “And I’m gonna forget all about her!”

The old guy laughed. “Gonna let a fight about money destroy love and happiness?” He shook his head. “Yep. You’re an idiot.”

Jason, jaw dropped and he stood up, “What!”

“Sit down, and shut up. And maybe I can talk you out of making the same stupid mistake I made when I was young and full of hormones, and emotions, and pride, just like you are now.”

Jason couldn’t help himself. He sat down.

The bartender plunked new drinks in front of them both. The old man stared at his. “See,” he took a long chug. “I was in love once.”

“Hasn’t everyone?”

“Yeah.” The old guy finished his drink. “Yeah, everyone has.” He laughed. “But the smart ones stay in love.”

Jason shook his head. “You don’t know what she said, what she did.”

“I don’t need to.” He didn’t smile. There was something in his eyes, some memory, some regret, and perhaps a wish he could go back in time. “I was in love once.”

“What happened?”

“We had a fight.” He waved at the bartender, “Another round for us, Bill.” Then he shook his head, and stared at the reflections of light in the polished wood of the bar. “We had a stupid fight.”

Both men sat, waiting for their drinks. When they arrived, the old guy wrapped a hand around his glass, but didn’t lift it. Jason watched him stare into the liquid swirling in the glass. “I was too young, too stubborn, too idealistic.” Jason stared at his own glass. “I hadn’t figured out the truth. And I didn’t want to know the truth.”

“The truth?” Jason stared at his drink, picked it up, and took a swallow. He felt the familiar burn of the alcohol in his throat, and the warmth in his stomach.

The old man told him the truth, “She said a lot of things about you, didn’t she.” Jason nodded. “She called you irresponsible. She called you immature. She told you to grow up.”

Jason nodded, “Yeah. Something like that.”

“Hurt, didn’t it.”

“Hell yeah.” Jason took another swallow. “And she knew it. She let me have it with both barrels.” He looked at the old guy, “Why should I put up with that? That’s it, you know. We’re done.”

Jason thought the old man wanted to cry, but maybe the old guy had forgotten how. “What do you know about fights? About couples?” He looked around the bar, Jason did the same. “You know how many couples break up these days?”

Jason shook his head.

“Damn near all of ‘em.” The old guy took a chug of his drink. “Damn near all of ‘em.” He stared into his drink again, “And nobody stays married forever anymore.” Jason stared at his drink, and the old guy asked, “How long were your parents married?”

“Still are.”

“How long?”

Jason shrugged. “Twenty-five, twenty-six years? I don’t really know.”

“Have you ever wondered how they stay married?”

“No.” Jason took another swallow. “Never thought about that?”

“So. How do you think they stay married?” Jason sat silently. He didn’t have an answer. He’d never really thought about it. “Did they ever fight?”

Jason remembered the nights he heard them screaming at each other. The nights he heard the front door slam as his father left. The night his mother cried herself to sleep, and his father came home, and slept on the sofa. “Yeah. They did.”

“Why did they stay together?”

He didn’t have an answer. He’d never thought about it.

“You like music, right?”

“Yeah. A good band is good. But they always break up.”

“All of them?”

“No. Not all of them.”

“Why not?”

“It’s not the same thing, you know. It’s not.”

The old man finished off his drink. “Bill. I’m gonna need another.”

“You’re gonna need a cab.”

“Yeah. That too.”

“Let me know when, and I’ll call one.”

The old guy nodded, and resumed his conversation with Jason. “Why isn’t it the same?”

“Bands and couples. They’re not the same.”

“Now you just think about that a bit. And then think about how they are the same.” Jason shook his head. “Don’t band members fight?”

“Yeah, but it’s over a band. It’s not like when a couple has a fight.”

“You saying the band members aren’t family?” Jason stared into his drink. His mind struggled to make sense of the old guy’s words. “You saying families don’t have fights and break up, just like bands do? You saying they stick together for fame and money, and not because they’re a family?”

The old guy shook his head, and tipped his drink again. “I was just like you. Thought fights weren’t supposed to happen to people in love. To friends.” He gently placed his glass on the bar. “I was so fuckin’ stupid.”

He leaned toward Jason, “Dude. Fights happen. You put two people together, and sooner or later, fights happen.” He put his hand on Jason’s shoulder. “The smart ones figure that out, and learn to get past the fights.”

He remembered his parents, the morning after the fights. They didn’t act like nothing happened. They talked. Quietly. They apologized to each other. And their lives went on. Together.

“Fights happen. It’s not an ideal world. Not a dream world.” The old guy stared at his empty glass. “I used to love her. Probably still do. Had a fight with her. About money.” He took a deep breath, then slowly let it out. “I’ve been alone since then.” He looked at Jason. “She was my girl. My one chance at love. My one chance at being happy.” They guy looked at the floor. “And I fucked it up. Me, and my pride. She’d hurt me in that fight. And I couldn’t get over it.” He took another deep breath. “I couldn’t let it go.”

Jason said nothing. What was there to say?

The old guy smiled. “If you’ve got any brain cells in that head of yours, well. You’ll figure the rest out.”

Jason excused himself. He went to the quiet hallway outside the restrooms, where the pay phones were, pulled out his smart phone, swallowed his pride, and called her.

The old guy sat at the bar, and smiled. “I’m gonna need another one, Bill.”

#FinishThatThought 40 : A War Begins

Merlin stood in the cave entrance, unable to believe what he saw. Angels soared above the trees, up the mountainside, toward his home. He did not want to fight them, but they were leaving him no choice.

The Angels had taken up arms, hunting and killing fairies and dragons gifted with magic. They’d destroyed entire villages and towns to rid the world of magic.

Merlin was the Black Magic Dragon, The dragon of legend that nearly destroyed the fairies. The ancient dragon, from the Northern Ice. He’d known the Angels would come for him someday, but their audacity surprised him. He walked into the clearing outside his cave. “If they want a war, then they shall have one.”

Merlin screamed, filling the sky with the sound of sheets of metal being torn apart. He flexed his wings, and took to the sky, leaving his cave behind. Upon spotting him, the Angels left the mountain, heading into the sky, chasing him, exactly as he knew they would.

Merlin’s black magic was useless against the Angels, they were immune to it. But they were not immune to his talons and his teeth. He changed direction, racing toward the sun. The Angels followed. Merlin accelerated. He possessed speed the Angels could not match. He could have easily escaped them. But they would find him again. They’d given him no choice but to stop them.

He plunged toward the ground, directly at the Angels, with talons fully extended and teeth barred. He sliced through the Angels, his talons stronger than the finest steel, sharp enough to slice through rock, cleaving Angels in half. Dead Angels rained from the sky.

Merlin screamed, the sound of metal rent asunder echoed through the sky.

Thus began the war between the Dragons and the Angels.

296 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 40 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.