Sunday, May 14, 2017

I’m not good with words, or with songs, or with paint and pencils. I can’t write you a poem that will move your heart and make you smile. I can’t shape a melody into something beautiful that you can remember forever. I will never be able to paint you a picture that would do what need to say justice.

But I can sit here and thank God that he gave you to me. You are everything I would have chosen if God had sat me down and asked “What should your mom be like?”

Strength. Physical, mental, emotional and most importantly, spiritual. I know that no matter what I need you are strong enough to stand with me, or for me if I’ve fallen already.

Wisdom. The ways you are wise are more than I know how to describe. You know when to plant and what, you know how to raise children, even those who are not your own. You pray, and teach, and read the Bible. You are frugal, you are diligent, you are careful.

Love. You love with your whole being. You bring people into your fold and make them feel cared for. You have loved me through the good and bad, and you taught me how to love in return. You love God with so much fervor that I am frequently awed by your devotion.

Fun. You laugh with so much honest joy. When you smile you warm the room… and my heart. You make jokes, you tease, you bring fun into a house that by any right could be gloomy. Even in the sad, or hard times, your love of fun has been a bright ray of hope.

Faith. Faith in people. Faith in God. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Hope. Even when the times were hard, you always gave me hope. Hope in God, hope for a future, hope for the little things. My optimism comes from you.

Involvement. In everything. Whether it’s internet games you can’t watch because you get motion sick, horses you can’t ride, or relationships that aren’t yours, you know what I am doing. You care enough to be involved; remembering the names of people you don’t know; asking about a game I love to play; learning the words for horse things you have no need to know; giving me advice for my hard relationships. I have never known a mother so involved in her children’s lives.

Even now, if by some miracle God were to take me and sit me down and ask “What should your mom be like?”
Even with all the failures, hard times, and pain that we’ve had together. I wouldn’t choose another mom. I’d go right back to the facts.

You are the mother I would have asked for if I could have. I love you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Prompt Drabbles #10

Prompt: A cold wind carries the whispers of scarecrows.

Just because it was winter didn’t mean the Crows had left. You could still see them, at night in the dark, hovering over our fields. Right now we’re all just thankful Javed had finished the scarecrows before the crows showed up. Who knows what we would have done without our crops of Berber Berries.

The physical aspect of the scarecrows was pretty easy to figure out. They just needed to look vaguely like us; so torso, legs, arms, head. Simple. The difficult part of it was fooling the Crows sensitive auditory canals. See, when the first Crow scouts started showing up, we yelled and threw stones at them. We as a race seem to do that with things we don’t understand. We start out frightened and defensive.

Maybe if we had been a little more welcoming we wouldn’t be in the middle of this war right now. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20 and what ifs can’t change the present. Also the one about wishes and horses and beggars but that doesn’t apply as much. But, I digress…

When the Crows first appeared what they encountered was loud, frightened, flailing people who threw things. So that was the report they took back. Then came the first wave of them. We none of us knew what exactly they came for, as we had never seen them before or even heard of them. So for the first wave, we were silent. We stood back and watched. And they came so fast and in such great numbers that we were understandably shaken. We watched as they flew past our cities, towns, storage facilities. They knew where they were headed. Straight to the fields where the Berber Berries had only just begun to sprout.

We were as confused as we could be. The Berber Berries were nothing special. Our main export because of our rich soil and damp climate, but not something the Crows would want. At least so we thought. But towards the fields they went and landed in huge black and gray clouds. But then, instead of gathering the tiny sprouts they just began… wreaking havoc. They pulled the sproutlings up and piled them in the center of the fields. The ground which was freshly plowed and recently watered was torn up and left in clumps. All the wire fences around the fields were pulled into the plots and mixed into the dirt. The Crows left their waste lying in mounds and when they were finishing razing the fields, they left. They just. Left. As my small town looked on in horror the Crows took to the sky and sped away.

That was our lives. Our livelihood. Everything to us. And it was destroyed. But we would not be dismayed, no, because our lives had never been easy and we were prepared to fight for our future. So the farmers took their families and headed to the fields. It was still early enough to replant. It was hard, grueling work, however, many of the townspeople who were not farmers by trade volunteered their help to get the fields clean and empty for the new Berber Berry seedlings. The scientists, researchers, and analysts did their parts by taking the waste the Crows had left and looking for weaknesses.

And that was where Javed had come into the story. He was known around town as the crazy tech dude who rarely spoke to anyone. But as we came to find out, he is one of the greatest technological minds of the century. Once the scientists had found out what exactly the Crows were, Javed took the information and ran with it. Immediately he began running experiments, night and day. He was the one who came up with the name too. Many of us had begun calling them Locusts, because of the devastation they brought with them. Javed called them crows, because from that first wave, we only ever saw them in large, black, roiling flocks. Javed analysed the waste they had left and was able to build a very rough model of what they looked like and how they functioned.

The next wave came while Javed was still working on defensive measures. We were more prepared that time. Since the scouts didn’t stay when we yelled and threw things we decided to try to do the same for the next wave. Maybe it would scare them and maybe it wouldn’t, but we weren’t going to stand by and let them destroy our crops again. So we as a town surrounded and filled the fields when we saw them coming. And it worked, to a degree. Random noises didn’t seem to deter them, and the rocks were completely ineffective. But screaming words at them appeared to confuse the Crows. To anyone who didn’t know our entire story, we would have looked insane, standing in our fields screaming lyrics, poems, book excerpts, and complete nonsense at floating black machines. But it worked for the time. Eventually they retreated but we knew they would be back.

We still had no idea why they were after our Berber Berries, and really, we had no idea where they even came from. But we were fighting back and making progress. The head scientist on the project, Azaria, eventually came to the conclusion that words confused them because they had no communication system, or if they did it was completely unlike ours. She and Javed worked together on the mock up he had made, slowly making it look more and more like the actual Crows. With pictures the townspeople had taken, interviews with those of us who were eyewitnesses, and Javed’s findings, they made the model Crow frighteningly realistic. However, they had no way of discovering what powered the Crows, or whether they had some sort of controller somewhere.

We made do with what we had though. The town set up a rotation of lookouts and outposts around our crops. When they saw Crows coming, they alerted the town and we trooped to the fields to protect the Berber Berries. It was an exhausting and trying few months. The doctors were continuously producing new and better sore throat remedies. The scientists worked on ways to protect us from the elements. And Javed labored to invent speakers and computer systems that accurately replicated the sound and intelligence of real people.

Like I said, the physical part was easy. Just the typical scarecrow shape, although they had to be fairly eclectic and randomised. We were trying so hard to find a solution before the hard freeze hit. See, Berber Berries have to germinate over the winter in order to be edible. If they don’t get the cold of at least one winter, the berries are incredibly poisonous. But the people can’t be outside in the winter here. Certainly not in the fields and even the outposts will probably be too frigid to stay in. There are good reasons many of our roads are underground. Easier to heat. But if the Crows got to our crops that close to winter, well… Let’s just say our town wouldn’t be much of a town by this time next year.

Just as the season began to turn, Javed hesitantly said he might have something. He and Azaria had made six different prototypes. Just in case. Even though we had to wait for the next attack, the town was joyful. We believed in Javed. The six prototypes were set up in six different fields, and the people assigned to those fields were given strict instructions. They were not to make any sort of defensive movements unless the prototype failed. When the Crows came next, no one could have told you what number it was. There had been too many and this war had been going on for so long. They came though. They came and two of the prototypes worked. Each working in completely different ways, the two prototypes kept the Crows different distances away. One worked for about thirty feet and one for more like eighty.

So here we are, days away from the first hard freeze, and the wind carries the whispers of the scarecrows to the town. Our Berber Berry crops are safe. Our people will be safe underground during the winter. And the Crows hover, outwitted by the human language.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Prompt Drabble #9

Prompt: Celtic mythology says that leaving a graveyard a different way than you entered means spirits will leave with you. A fugitive sprints through a graveyard.

You know, they say leaving a graveyard a different way than you entered would release spirits to follow you. I wonder if how many spirits are released depends on how fast you’re going. If it does… I’m screwed.
The thoughts that go through my head when I am running away from the police always intrigue me. This one is definitely worth looking into. I mean, I don’t think I had twenty-five really weird guardian angels before I ran through that graveyard last night. Not that I’m complaining, honestly, they’ve already saved my life twice today. But the one that only has half a head is a little disconcerting.
I don’t know if all of them like me. As far as I can tell, only three can appear at any given time. Which means I’ve only met nine of them so far. But the one dressed like a baker said that there were twenty-four others hanging around me. The first nine were ok I guess. The first three stopped me from falling out of the tree I was hiding in. The next three pulled me back onto the sidewalk right before a bus would have hit me. Right after they saved my life both times the next set appears. Maybe that’s what they need to do to return to the graveyard. Save my life in return for eternal rest. Sounds like a good plan to me. Here’s hoping they don’t have to almost kill me in order to save me.

Prompt Drabble #8

Prompt: There’s an odd little town out in the desert where the length of your shadow has nothing to do with the height of the sun.

People talked about a time when the shadows followed the people and the people followed the sun. These stories are spoken in whispers in back rooms of iffy establishments. The town hadn’t seen a shadow follow a person in hundreds of years. They say the shadows used to be cast by the sun. Tkhey say that the shadows never left the person or thing they belonged with. Honestly, we’ve never believed them. Not until today.
Today, an old man walked into town with a shadow attached to his heels. The shadow moved when he did and didn’t when he was still. All of the townspeople gathered to watch him walk down the street. The town’s shadow population did too. We could all hear the rough scratchy sound of the shadows talking amongst themselves.
None of us knew how to approach this man with a shadow. Was he dangerous? Was his shadow? His shadow. What an odd thing to say. “his shadow” Shadow’s didn’t belong to people and people didn’t belong to shadows.
Finally, the mayor decided to talk to him. So, taking the sheriff of the shadows and the guard of the people he moved into the street, hoping the man wasn’t here to harm any of us. “Hello Sir Human, and hello Sir Shadow. I welcome you to our town, and wish to ask you what your business is.”
The man looked confused for a moment, watching our mayor and the sheriff of shadows. “My name is Philip. Why isn’t your shadow following you?” We all gasped and the shadows rattled angrily. How politically incorrect of him!

Prompt Drabble #7

Prompt: Write a story from the point of view of a character who happens to be a powerful cosmic creature. The catch? This character failed their mission, and thus they have been punished by their elders. Double catch? The punishment is to be bound in a human body.

“Oh my ME!” I yelled, pushing myself to my feet and brushing off my bright purple suit. “You could have gone with a slightly less horrifying color you know!” I shouted at the sky. “uh, are you ok?” a young lady asked as she walked past me. “Yes, yes, I’m fine now go on about your tiny mortal existence.” She huffed as she walked away, but I didn’t care about human emotions right now.
I walked into the closest building and found a bathroom. I had to see what they had done to me this time. Looking into the mirror I saw a thin faced, scrawny looking young man looking back at me. I had kind of expected the human part, but being so slight I couldn’t even protect myself? “HEY!” I yelled skyward “at least make me a strong human!!!” I didn’t expect an answer so when I heard a voice from the mirror I might have jumped but I certainly didn’t scream.
“You failed. You have had so many missions, and you failed every single one, but this time. This time you had to be punished. You made those creatures defenseless. They are going to have to rely on their allies from now on to be safe. So, in order to teach you a lesson, you have been put in a nearly defenseless human body. Once you have either learned to defend yourself, or made an ally who will defend you and give up their life for yours, you can have your cosmic body back.”
I was amazed. “You can’t do this to me! Do you know who I am!?!?!” I screamed at the sky.
“Not yet. But we know who you were, and we didn’t like it. Change it.”
And then I could tell they were gone. For good.

Prompt Drabble #6

Prompt: At your job, you have one task. Every day you go in, sit at your desk and wait for a red light to turn on. When it does, you push a button. You repeat this process until the end of your shift. One day, you find out what the button does.

My job you ask? I just push buttons. I mean, I know a lot of people can say that, like, pretty much everyone who works with computers. And like… uh… telemarketers. But really, all I do is push buttons. I don’t make any choices or talk to anyone. We aren’t really allowed to talk at work. I go in to work, sit down in my very uncomfortable chair at my completely boring desk and I wait. Oh, my desk it’s sort of an L shape and on the left side are bunch of little red lights. On the right there four buttons.
My job is to watch those lights, and when they flash, I push one of the buttons. If it flashes once I push the first button and if it flashes twice I push the second button and so on.
Today, when I was there, one of the lights flashed six times. I didn’t know what to do. I went to the manager’s office and told him but when I did he said I could go home. EARLY! In the ten years I’ve worked there, I’ve never been sent home early. As I walked out, I saw there was absolute chaos around my desk.
So I decided to investigate. I followed the cords from the back of the building to this warehouse. And these tiny houses. It looks like… this is my town. Every house in my town is here. And the cords turn into wires and the wires go into the houses. This is my house over here. The wire coming out is shining red hot. I bet it’s the one that flashed six times.
Oh. Oh no. Every in my town has four people living in it. But I have six other than me. Six. Six flashes. Six people. I have to get home, I need to leave right now. Those buttons I push are the disposal lasers! My family is dead.

Prompt Drabble #5

Prompt: In a world where kids are scared of the monsters under the bed, you tame them.

Walking across the darkened lawn, I made my way to the window I knew belonged to the youngest child in the house. I peeked into the window and saw the shadow move to the side of the bed. I took the flashlight out of my bag and shined it onto the bed, making sure the kid was still there. Slowly pushing the window open, I quietly stepped into the room.
I know you might be thinking that I’m a creep, or someone who should be stopped, but I promise, I’m the only thing between this child and what resides under her bed. You see, they are called The Scry, and they feast on the low-level fear that all young children harbor at night. The Scry very rarely hurt the kids physically, but they do put terrifying thoughts and ideas in their minds. They’re only a little bit telepathic. Just enough to plant the ideas, and then, being children with active imaginations the kids make and think the very worst. And they work the ideas into nightmares. That is what The Scry feed on. The fear.
But don’t worry about little Abigail in here. I know how to tame them. See, they may feed on fear, but I am fear. I was born from the nightmare of a world weary five year old boy. His mother, she was human… but his father was one of the Scry. He followed the boy’s mother until he fell in love. But having one of The Scry as one of your parents isn’t easy, and little Timmy had quickly grown tired of the squabbles. He dreamed me up to save him from the rest of The Scry, who wanted to take him as an experiment.
After saving Timmy, he sent me to do the same for the rest of the kids. The ones who just wanted to sleep.