All Other Ground

My hope is built on nothing less than

My hope is built on nothing

My hope is built

 

Fragile as a snowflake melting in my hands

my faith against the blizzard

the onslaught of the Righteous

whose righteousness swirls in angry wind

pushing

pushing out

 

I stand

I stand on this rock

the angry wind causes me to stumble

How solid is this rock

if I can still fall?

 

My hope is built on nothing less than

My hope is built on nothing

My hope is built on

My hope.

 

Picked Last

Twenty five in a line up. I have a feeling, deep in my belly that this time we are going to use the parachute. Slowly, we march and the teacher is at the front. The doors open and there is no parachute. Just big empty space. I stare down at my feet, following the black lines on the floor. One foot in front of the other. Tightrope walker. The black line touches a green line and a red line. Green or red? Red is best. We read a book like that this morning. Read red. Red read. Read is best. Better than gym. The words turn themselves over in my head. Head read red. I step onto the red line and follow it, head down.

 

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Hallowe’en 1967: The Evening Post

James MacInnis picked up the thin folder his editor had given him. Someone had phoned in a scoop that a New England Town  had what seemed to be a very small-scale plague of insanity. James didn’t understand why his editor hadn’t brushed it off, and had no idea how he was going to turn it into a story.

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Hallowe’en 2001: The Last Night

   This was their last Halloween together, but none of them knew it yet. Mel knew they were getting old for trick-or-treating, but she wanted to do this one last group costume idea. Over the summer, Anna had introduced the group to her favourite show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’d taped a bunch of episodes onto VHS and they’d spent the hot summer days camped out in her basement watching her parents big TV.

  Mel was obsessed – quickly surpassing Anna’s obsession. She’d borrowed the tapes to watch some of her favourite moments again and again. She cast the four of them as the characters in the show;  Anna, of course, was the perfect Willow, Vic would be Xander, Samantha, despite being a girl, was kinda stuffy, so she was Giles and Mel was the only blond, so unsurprisingly, she was Buffy.

 

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Rise and Descent

 

Fifteen stories above the street, here I am.

One story for each year it’s been since the accident.

I stand near the edge, looking down, thinking of the experiences that led me to this place. A year ago, I decided to be bold. But it’s not that experience that led me here. No, this goes back fifteen years. To the cold steel on steel that battered my body and crushed my soul. It left me unable to take risks, paralyzed with fear.

 

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Belinda

Belinda arrived in London at the end of August, telling her parents it was just for a fun trip abroad before college started. She knew there would be others heading to King’s Cross on September 1st. It had become a pilgrimage of sorts for fans – and this year was special. This year was the “Nineteen years later” date J.K. Rowling had written about.  She knew when she showed up, there would be people she knew there, if not by face, then by screen name.

She wasn’t even the biggest fan, it had been William who drove her crazy with Potter facts and showing her what he’d found online everyday, it was William who brought her into this online community. William who wouldn’t be with her.

 

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Dr. Paris: In Conversation with Cupid

Read Part 1 & Part 2

“Testing, 1, 2, 3,  I am Dr. Andy Paris, this is February 15th at 2pm. My next client, has a standing appointment once a year on this date.”

“Hello, Dr. Paris.”

“Good afternoon. Would you like some chocolate? I have plenty leftover from yesterday.”

“Is that a joke?”

“I’m so sorry, that was quite insensitive of me. I’ll put these away. Can you tell me about your week?”

“It’s not just a week now. It’s the entire month. It’s almost two months! Two months of fat diapered babies with bow-and-arrows. Do I look like a fat diapered baby to you?”

“Of course not.”

“Plus it’s not even about love anymore. It used to be about love. Now it’s every kid at every school in the whole damn continent. They don’t love each other, some of them don’t even like each other. Why do they keep it up? Is it just to torture me?”

“I’m sure it’s not.”

“And what do mutated turtles and large eyed women have to do with me anyway? They’re almost worse than the fat babies. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Am I the god of Disney and Star Wars? Am I the god of cinnamon and chalk?”

“…Chalk?”

“Those tiny hearts with writing on them. Are they not chalk?”

“Those are actually supposed to be candy.”

“Really? Well that’s just a slap in the face.”

“Getting back to yesterday, did you do what I suggested last year?”

“I’m trying. I tried to do what you said, but I don’t want to be by myself for two whole months.”

“Did you at least get to a secluded spot yesterday?”

“I…. attempted that.”

“And what happened?”

“I booked this cabin in the woods, this cute little exclusive resort, away from everything.”

“Oh no.”

“It turned out to be a couple’s resort! Cabin after cabin of blissful couples, all there for..for…”

“It’s okay to say it, saying it won’t hurt you.”

“VALENTINE’S DAY!”

“I’m so sorry that happened to you.”

“I was surrounded by them! Flowers and chocolates and stupid fat babies. I had to fly from cabin to cabin. I witnessed three proposals!”

“That must have been very frustrating.”

“I can’t get away from it. When love is near, I have to obey. I have to go and fire my stupid magical arrows all day. It’s exhausting. It’s un-ending. AND IT’S EVERY DAMN YEAR!”

“I know, Mr. Cupid, I know.”

[muffled sobs]

“Same.” [sob] “time” [sob] “next year?” [sob]

“Yes, of course. And more often if you’d like. You cry for as long as you need to.”

 

[end recording]

Motherhood

                  

001Motherhood

I dreamed

that you drowned.

Your little head

beneath water

and no matter

how hard I tried

I couldn’t reach you

in time.

I felt your small body

limp in my arms.

 

I awoke to your cries

alive, awake

seeking milk and comfort

not knowing my fear

only my love.

 

 

artwork by Paul Moffett

Fanfic Friday: Devotion

She wakes him up every morning by placing her paws on his chest. He rises, groaning, pours his tea and eats kippers and toast. He puts half his breakfast in a saucer for her. She worries he’s getting too old for this, but it has been their routine for so many years. She watches, he mops. She prowls, he scrubs. There is not a soul in this castle who fully understands their connection. It began so many years ago; her abilities were so strong and he had none.

She worries that maybe he’s forgotten who she used to be, before the change, before the punishment. Once, she was human, a witch so powerful it almost made up for the fact that he was powerless. But she left him when they were still children, she fell in with the wrong sort.

She worries he doesn’t remember the time she showed up on his doorstep. It was the last time he saw her as a human. She begged him, pleaded that he take care of her. He was the only one left alive that loved her. Her punishment would become bearable if she came with him. He agreed, and that was the last she’d heard him speak of it.

The next time they met she was confined to a cat’s body, punished to live the rest of her days in feline form. Her task was now protecting the school she’d once attended. He took a job as caretaker and now so many years had passed them by.

She worries that he’s bitter, that he truly does hate all the children and the teachers and the entire castle. She worried that one day he’ll leave her.

But still he stays, eternally devoted to a cat with lamp-like eyes.