The Fairies : Roses At Christmas

Rose had always visited Fauna’s site in the small cemetery, each year. It was in a town she didn’t know the name of. She didn’t really know if it had a name, so many towns didn’t. It was the town Flora and Fauna had defended when the invaders from space had arrived, and tried to conquer the planet.

That’s when Rose, Mystica, and all of Mystica’s adopted daughters, had learned of the machines. Tiny, invisible machines, everywhere, in the air, the water, the ground. They’d explained all the magic. Black, White, and Wild. It was them. The machines. The magic was her way of talking with the machines, of letting them know what she imagined. The machines, being ubiquitous, and being so advanced, so developed, the things they did were, to her, like magic, made what she imagined happen.

With a few exceptions. Like how not even the machines could bring Fauna back.

She rode her crescent moon to the town. Everyone knew she didn’t have to. She could have flown using her wings, and that stone moon that stood so much taller than she did, weighed several tons. But, the machines moved it through the air, effortlessly. She’d asked them how that worked, how they could move such a heavy stone, so easily. They’d explained it was done through constantly adjusting the gravity around the stone, to make it float. But, Rose didn’t really understand. It was a technology the machines had developed long after they’d left their human parents behind, on Earth.

Her stone crescent moon floated down from the sky, and hovered, just above the ground, barely touching the blades of grass. It waited there, floating, for Rose to return.

Rose walked through the entrance of the cemetery, to Fauna’s site. A simple tombstone rested there. The townspeople kept it clean, and kept the ground where Fauna rested well trimmed, and cared for. They thought of her as a hero, one of the town’s saviors. Rose felt the town would never forget what Fauna had done for them.

Each year at this time, the townspeople brought bouquets of flowers, and placed them around Fauna’s grave. It took several years for Rose to see the flowers, and not cry. Even then, seeing the flowers touched her heart, and once more, she missed her dear sister, Fauna. As she had since that awful day.

Rose knelt beside the tombstone, and ran her fingers across the carefully etched letters of Fauna’s name. “This year, I have something for you, dear sister.” Then, she closed her eyes.

Slowly, two rose bushes grew from the ground. They started as tiny twigs, but grew, until they became full sized bushes. One on each side of Fauna’s tombstone. Somehow, magically, the bushes grew right up to the stone, but never touched it. Instead, they grew next to it. When they’d grown enough to be taller than the stone, they grew over it, as if held in an archway.

Once the rose bushes had reached their full height, they began to bloom. Candy Cane red and white blooms. They had been Fauna’s favorite. The bushes filled with blooms, hundreds of them.

Rose knew the blooms would always be there. When one bloom died, another would take its place. The bushes would remain, for centuries, perhaps forever, in full bloom. In rain, or snow, or wind. Rose imagined it. Rose dreamed it. Rose knew the machines would make her dream come true.

“For you, dear sister. So you will always know, wherever you are, beyond this veil of life, that you are remembered here. And loved here.”

Rose gently traced the stone etching of Fauna’s name once more. “May your heart always know joy, dear sister.” She wished once more she could hug Fauna, and cry on her shoulder, and say good-bye, though she knew she never could.

In time, the sun set, and Rose sat once more in her crescent moon, which floated into the night time sky, and took her home, to her place among the trees, beside the forest lake.

“May you always know the joy, and the beauty, of the roses you so loved, sister. May they always bloom for you.”

 

#AtoZ2016 : I Is For Illuminate

On Sunday night, just after sunset, I heard Timmy in his backyard screaming, “Illuminate!” Being ever curious, I decided to investigate. I started by peeking out of the window, and watching him. He was running around his backyard with a flashlight. Every so often he stopped, pointed the flashlight at something, screamed, “Illuminate!” and turned the flashlight on. Then, he turned it off, and repeated the whole process.

I watched him shine the flashlight on the swing-set. Then on the tool-shed. Then on the grill.

I decided to visit.

As I approached the fence between our yards, I called out, “Hi, Timmy!”

“Hi, Mr. William!” I heard him on the other side of the fence. “What cha doing outside?”

“I heard you, and was wondering what you’re doing.”

“Oh! Did I disturb you? Was I that loud? I’m sorry!”

“No, no, you didn’t disturb me. But I am curious.”

“About what I’m doing?”

“Yes.”

He backed away from the fence so he could see the top of my head better, and I could peek over at him. “I’m pretending I a great wizard. Like Harry Potter.”

“Oh?”

He waved the flashlight, and switched it on and off. “This is my magic wand. I point it at something in the dark. Something I want to see in the dark. Then I say the magic word, Illuminate! And my magic wand shows me that thing.”

“Oh. That sounds like fun.”

“It is! Wanna watch! I’ll show you.” He ran to the back gate of his yard, pointed his flashlight at it, and belted out, “Illuminate!” as he turned on the flashlight. He looked back at me. “See? It works!”

I watched Tommy for a bit as he illuminated everything in his backyard, then I wished him a good night, and went back inside.

And I wished I was able to find so much fun in such simple things in life, and wondered where and when I’d lost that ability to see the magic all around me, and the wonder of our world.

I wished I was more like Little Tommy.


It’s April 11th, the 9th day of the A to Z Challenge for 2016. Only 17 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.

#FlashMobWrites 1×12 : Breathe You In My Dreams

Merlin flexed his wings as he soared through the black sky, a black dragon on a black sky. He knew he was nearly invisible. Beneath him was the Kingdom of the Fairies, ruled by Queen Eyela, and King Stephan.

The kingdom was under siege, surrounded by Angels. Angels bent on destroying wild magic. Bent on destroying the fairies, and their magic, the dragons, and their magic. Bent on ridding the world of magic. Magic that brought wars, and death.

The fairies, though skilled fliers, and well-trained warriors, were no physical match for the Angels. The Angels were faster and stronger. They could fly higher, turn tighter. Angels were masters of the skies. And masters of war.

Merlin knew something the Angels didn’t. The magic didn’t exist. It was technology, a gift from the children of the human race. The intelligent machines.

Merlin was a dragon. Genetically, he was a modified human, created by the machines. He could use the machines, they did his bidding. On his world, the world named Cylinders, the machines were everywhere. In the air, the dirt, the water, the food. They flowed in his blood.

He waited for the darkest part of night. When the moon sank beneath the horizon, and only the stars were left. When that time came, he would deal with the Angels.

“Are you ready, machines?”

“We have always been ready.”

He almost laughed. “I breathe you in. I breathe you out. I imagine what I want. And you give it to me.”

“You know how the technology works. You know how we work.

“And yet, you do nothing to stop the Angels.” Merlin knew the machines would not interfere. They would only act when he, and others with magic wished them to act. They would on do what those with magic wished them to do.

And the magic wasn’t really magic. It was communication with the machines. The ability to talk directly to them, in their language. “You know what I will do when the time comes.”

“Yes.”

When it was time, Merlin tucked his wings close to his body. He plunged from the sky, sword like claws fully extended. He sliced into the Angels outside the kingdom’s walls. He placed himself between the angels and the walls, then called on the machines. He hovered in the air. As he pushed his wings forward, toward the angels, the machines did as he asked. His wings spawned the wind. The wind grew into a storm. It howled. It blew everything in its path away.

The Angels were helpless before the storm, blown to the ground, blown into the trees, into the sky. Their wings broken, shattered, useless in the wind.

Merlin settled to the ground. He screamed, the wound of metal sheets being torn in half. He knew Mystica heard. He knew, soon the war with the Angels would be over. And he wondered if any of the Angels would survive.

490 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into #FlashMobWrites 1×12, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×12. You might find something you like. But if you don’t try, how will you ever know?

Rose

Rose knew she could have asked Sword for protection in his kingdom under the ocean. It was a place the Angels couldn’t reach. Rose also knew she didn’t need protection from the Angels, the needed protection from her.

It had taken time for her to understand the world she lived in. The world called Cylinders. The world of humanity’s children, the machines. Nanotechnology, they called it. Microscopic machines, in the air, the water, the dirt, the trees, the flowers.

They were in her too. Thousands of them. Millions. Maybe trillions. She had no way to know. They’d created her. They’d created all the fairies on Cylinders. The dragons and Angels too. One dragon knew how the machines worked. Merlin. The 20,000 year old Black Magic master. He’d taught Mystica, the White Witch, and her daughters, the Wild Magic fairies, of the machines. The machines had done the rest, showing them the story of their world.

During the war with the invading human empire, Rose learned the extent her ability to talk with the machines, to interact with them. Her “magic”, which wasn’t really magic but an ability to talk with the machines, and work with them, let her manipulate the sky, the dirt, the water. She knew how to use the machines to move matter. To make it do what she wanted it to do. The machines used their technology to bring her actions to life.

Rose rested in her favorite rose garden. She’d started growing it when she was a child, when Mystica first adopted her, and gave her a home. She’d asked the wolves where a good place for a rose garden was. They’d brought her to this place, filled with wild roses. She’d loved. It was her place of peace. Where her soul, her heart, could rest. After Fauna’s death in the war, her garden had been where she’d healed her broken heart.

Today, the Angels would come. The Angels had declared war against Wild Magic. They were immune to magic, “As should be.” But Rose knew the truth. They were not immune to the machines. “I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to kill.” She asked the roses if there was another way to deal with the Angels. A way of stopping them without killing them.

The roses knew what to do. That meant the machines knew what to do.

Rose waited.

The Angels arrived in the hour before sunset. They flew above the trees, their feathered wings nearly silent. They held swords, shields, bows and arrows. Rose sat among the roses, and waited as the Angels surrounded her garden. Then, she waited as one Angel spoke, “The time has come to purge the world of magic!” The Angel drew an arrow, aimed at Rose.

Rose stood. “Do as you would, Angels.”

Dozens of arrows flew, directly at Rose. Roses from the garden intercepted them, as if they’d come to life. The Roses protected Rose. No arrow got through them. Seeing the failure of the arrows, the Angels drew their swords, and flew at Rose. The ground of her garden opened up, and swallowed her. The angels attacked the ground, cutting roses down, hacking them to bits.

The pieces of roses that fell to the swords moved on their own, severed limbs connected themselves, becoming whole, with no scars. Petals and blooms magically pulled themselves back together, returning to their full beauty.

“The magic of the machines, of nanotechnology, and quantum mechanics.” Rose knew how the roses healed. She knew the machines put the back together. It wasn’t magic at all. It was technology so advanced it appeared as magic.

She remained safe, in the ground, protected from the Angels. She waited for them to stop fighting. It took a while, but eventually the Angels realized they were accomplishing nothing. After a time, they gave up and left. “We’ll try again, on another day, witch!”

When they were gone, the ground moved as it returned Rose to the surface.

“I know they will be back. Today was only the first day of this. Sooner, or later, I will have no choice. Sooner or later, I will have to fight back.”

She listened to the roses, “It is the way humans are.”

Rose wondered if her people, the human race, the makers of the machines, would ever learn, or if humans would always kill each other, in their senseless wars. As she wondered, she sat among the roses of her garden.

Rose cried.

She didn’t want to fight. “It’s like all we understand is violence and destruction.”

The roses surrounded her, “It’s why we came to Cylinders. To help our parents change.”

She smiled. “To help us break free of the cycle we’ve lived in for thousands of centuries.”

“Sleep now, friend. We will keep you safe.”

Rose laid on the ground, The ground shifted, became soft as any bed, grew a pillow beneath her head. The roses rearranged their limbs, formed a blanket to cover her.

“Sleep now, friend. We will keep you safe.”


It’s April 21st, the 17th day of the A to Z Challenge 2015. This is the 17th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April for the challenge. This one’s for the letter R. Tomorrow brings the letter S. I have no idea what I’ll write for that.

The Adept

Timmy sat at the desk. He looked at the computer screen. It was black, with no windows, no text. Just an arrow which was apparently the mouse cursor. He shook his head, “What the heck did you download?” He sighed.

Franklin growled, “I didn’t do anything! It just went black!”

Timmy nodded, “Of course.” He pressed the control, alt, and delete keys at the same time. The screen changed to a blue background, with a menu on it. He moved the mouse cursor over the menu option that read, “Task Manager”, and clicked the mouse on it.

The screen turned black again, and a few seconds later, the Windows Task Manager window opened.

“How’d you do that?” Franklin leaned over Timmy’s shoulder. “I couldn’t get it to do anything. I tried everything.”

Timmy didn’t say anything. He looked through the list of Windows Processes, “Yep. There it is.” He clicked on a process named “ClientSvc”, then clicked on the End Task button. A few seconds later, the screen came back, windows and all. “Yep.”

“Oh, thank God! What did you do?”

“Your computer has Conduit Search Protect on it. It’s a virus. Comes in when you download something else. It’s a piggyback.”

“What?”

“We’ll need to pull your computer off the net for a few hours, and run the removal process. You won’t lose any of your documents.”

Franklin shook his head, “But. But. How am I supposed to work?”

“That’s not my problem. We’ll get the machine back to you soon as we can.” Timmy shutdown the computer, disconnected it from the office network, the keyboard, the mouse, and the display. Then, he unlocked the steel safety cable holding it to Franklin’s desk. “Until then, make do.”

Franklin sat in his chair as he stared at his display. Timmy thought he looked completely lost, and helpless. “You’ll get it back to me today?”

“Yes. In a few hours. Conduit’s not so bad.” Timmy put on a fake smile, “Why don’t you take a few hours off, eat a lunch somewhere, take a walk over at the park?”

He headed toward the computer repair lab. As he did, he heard Franklin pick up the phone, and call his boss to explain what was going on. “The adept from IT said it’ll only take a few hours to fix. Should I go to lunch now?”

The adept. Yep. That’s what they called him, and the others on the repair team. Adepts. Full blown wizards, filled with magic. Timmy looked at the computer he carried, “What else did that idiot do to you?”

He knew, if a few minutes, the computer would tell him what happened. And like any adept wizard, he’d have to adjust the computer settings to prevent Franklin from being an idiot in that same way again.


It’s April 1st, the first day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. As a participant in the challenge I’ll be writing twenty six peices in April, one for each letter of the alphabet. Days off from the challenge are Sundays. As the month progresses, I’ll be posting a few clips from Heartsong, my work in progress. As for a single theme for the challenge, no. I don’t have one. I don’t like planning ahead. This is the first of the twenty six peices for the month, for the letter A. Tune in tomorrow and we’ll both find out what I’m writing for the letter B.

Remember The Magic

I wrote these words last night, after I got home. I wrote them for a friend. The math told me I needed to share these words with her. And being who I am, I did. She wrote back, a brief little note, and said I should share these words with everyone.

Well, this afternoon, I just got home. And the math told me second friend could use a note from me. So, I’m sharing what I wrote last night. I’ve modified it as little as possible to keep names out of it. Otherwise, this is what I shared with a wounded friend last night.

Just because that’s what’s friends do in the world that ought to be.

Mark.


IMG_2796Oh, dear.

My friend. You make me wish I could give you a big hug, and take you on a long outing at the Botanical Garden. I’d do it. In a heartbeat.

I am not “physically” disabled. I have a 100% functional body. I can walk most people into the ground. Even at my age. I can hold a camera still long enough to take pictures at 35X optical zoom without a tripod. I can mow my own lawn. I can stand on my feet all day at Geek Squad.

I am, however, “disabled.” There are parts of life I simply don’t understand. I’ve told my doc, it’s like I’m deaf. It’s like I can’t hear that part of life that is “social”. I’ve explained to people, “It’s not that I do anything special. It’s not that I’m caring. Or tender. Or any of that stuff. It’s that I don’t have the social constraints most people have. So, for me, it’s all “math”. It’s all observation, and appropriate response. If I’m hurting, don’t I want attention, and help? Or at least someone to say, “I know.” So if someone I see is hurting, what’s the appropriate thing for me to do?”

And somehow, this gets people to call me, “caring, kind, and tender-hearted.”

I’ve told my Doc, “Isn’t this how things are supposed to be?”

So, when I see you write about how you are still getting used to your disabilities, and the reality that you can’t do certain things, my heart tells me I should take time, and say, “Hi!” and make sure you’re OK.

I have never, in this life, been understood. I’m married to a wonderful lady. I’ll never change that. I love her too much. But there are many “features” of me she does not understand. In her words, “I’ve grown used to them.”

One thing I’ve learned in the past 3 years. One truth that’s been hammered into me over, and over, and over.

People are blind to life. They are. Every morning, driving to work, they don’t see the flowers growing by the side of the road. They don’t see the clouds in the sky, or the way the sun reflects off of them. They don’t see the rays of sunlight shining through the clouds. They don’t see the birds flying just above the trees. They don’t see that occasional deer in the field.

They are blind. They don’t see the gifts we are all given, every day. Every day.

They never stop, walking across the parking lot at work, to feel the breeze flowing through their fingers. To feel the sun on their faces. To hear the birds singing, or the leaves of the trees rustling as the breeze passes through them.

They are blind.

They never walk through the flowers of the Botanical Garden. Without time constraints. Taking however long it takes. They don’t stop, and watch the butterflies. They never watch the bees moving from one flower to the next, pollinating the trees. They never watch the ducks, or geese, as they lazily swim around on the lakes.

They are blind.

Did you know, if you really try, if you sit quietly, close your eyes, and just listen, and you keep listening long enough, you can hear yourself breathe. I do that all the time. Did you know, if you practice, and you learn to listen to the things your body tells you, you can feel your own pulse. Your own heartbeat.

I know these things. I see them every day. I know the magic that is life. The magic of watching a 5-year-old cat sleep on your lap. Of watching the clouds as they slowly move, and change, in the sky. Of watching the neighbors dog chase a butterfly, not wanting to catch it, or kill it. Just wanting to chase it, and play with it. Of watching a wild rabbit carefully pick the best weeds growing in the yard, and eat them. Of watching a baby bunny grow through summer, becoming a rabbit able to survive on its own. Of watching a momma duck lead her tiny little ducklings to a lake.

I know the magic of seeing Camellia trees in full bloom in January, in the snow. When people tell me, “It’s cold. And there’s nothing out there to see.”

I know the magic of stretching out on my sofa, with the window curtains pulled aside, and the sun shining through them, on to me. Of taking a nap in that sunshine.

The magic is there. Every day. All I have to do is stop. And look. I don’t have to look for it. All I have to do is look around. It’s there. Everywhere.

People are blind. They can’t see that. They don’t know the magic’s there. They think I’m crazy. Or strange. Or broken in some way.

I’m not.

If I were there, I’d give you a great big hug. Then, even if I had to sit you in a wheelchair, and carry a 2 liter bottle of water with me, I’d take you on a long walk through the roses, the butterflies, and the flower gardens at the botanical garden. I’d stop any time you wanted. I’d let you look all you wanted. I’d let you feel the sun. The breeze.

I’d just appreciate the gift you are, my friend.

We are all different. We are all unique.

Smile, you. That’s the greatest gift of all. The gift of a smile.

#MWBB 18 : Tinta

“There is magic in this forest.”

I laughed at the old man, sitting on an old wooden stool on the stone porch of his small cabin. “Yeah, right. Magic.”

The old man smiled. “You are young, with the brashness, and arrogance of youth.” He looked pas me, to the forest surrounding his home. “You will see.” His eyes gleamed a brilliant blue, “You will see.”

I thanked him for the water, and the meal, and took my leave of him, heading north, into the forest. I was following someone. A girl. I’d seen her in the village, south of the forest, two days ago. I’d called out to her, tried to get her attention, but she didn’t hear me. When she left the village, she headed north. Into the forest. I followed her.

I don’t know why. I’d asked why I was following her for the past two days. Was it because she was pretty? Was it because I was curious? Perhaps I wanted to make sure her journey through the forest went well, and she arrived wherever she was going safely.

The old man at the cabin had just smiled. “She went north,” he’d said.

“Who?”

“Tinta.” He watched my reaction, saw my hesitation to answer him, to ask him questions. “She knows you’re following her.” He’d smiled again, “Why don’t you stop for a bit, have lunch, and a drink. Then continue your journey.”

“I don’t want to be a bother.”

“Oh, son. You are no bother. I get few visitors here. Let me practice my hospitality.”

He’d fixed sandwiches, more than we’d eaten. He’d put the rest in a bag, and handed it to me. “For Tinta.”

Tinta kept going north. I kept following her trail. It wasn’t hard. Her footprints were easy to spot in the snow. It was easy to see the tree branches she’d brushed against.

“There is magic in the forest.” I kept hearing the words of the old man, as the sun set on the second day, and I found a small alcove in the trees to camp for the night. I was glad the old man had given me the sandwiches, as I ate one that night.

Some say I never woke up. And I do remember looking at myself, sleeping on the ground under the trees. But it wasn’t really me. It was must an image. A mirage. As I looked down on myself, she walked into the alcove and stood next to me. She took my hand. She kissed me.

“I’m Tinta.”

“I’m Raven.”

“I know.” She led me into the forest, heading north. As we walked, the snow faded, and the forest filled with colors, the sounds of birds, the music of leaves being played by soft breezes, and the magic of the sun’s beams painting patterns of light as it shined through the forests canopy.

It was beautiful. So was Tinta.

“There is one thing,” she said to me. “Now that you’re here, you know, don’t you.”

“I can never leave.”

I have never missed the world I left behind.

There was indeed magic in the forest. The old man had been right. It was the magic of dreams. I’d always dreamed of finding her. I’d always known when I did, she’d bring color to my world. I’d always known I’d never return to the world I’d always known. That I’d stay with my true love. Walking hand-in-hand, through the trees. In a world where winter never came.

581 Words
@LurchMunster


My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 18 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.