Of The Doctor’s Garden

Genre: Mystery/ Fantasy

He rather liked his garden, it was calming, to sit in the leafy shade, watching the breeze sway tree branches, it was calming, in exactly the way a storm calmed just before. This, he imagined is how it must have felt for the pilots who flew high in the skies and had the vantage point to see the earth in all its glory and then drop nuclear bombs on it. The swaying branches dropped leaves as if in commiseration;

“Wounded by the wind the trees wept dead leaves”

Yes, a storm was coming and he was brewing it. He plugged in a pair of headphones, they fit snugly over his ears and music trickled into his head as if he had sub-woofers directly in his brain. Rock music no less, no wonder they called it the devil’s own, the beat seemed to invade your very chore and take over you. He closed his eyes and gave himself to the music, nodding to the infectious rhythm. Everybody wants to be a rock star, or at least live like one.

He must have dozed off, because when he opened his eyes the sun was much lower in the sky and the temperature had noticeably dropped. Were he a lesser mortal he would have shivered but he was cut from a different cloth, and there had been no left over fabric. It could be said they had broken the loom, and executed the seamstress after he had been sewn. He chuckled silently to himself as he visualized himself as an all-encompassing fabric cloaking the entire world in darkness. He had never been one to be moderate, he operated in the realm of the extreme, because otherwise what was the point.

He got up from his reverie and carelessly brushed away the leaves from his coat, with hands that left smudges of dirt; gardening was dirty business one really had to get down to earth and dig deep; from the dirt you were born to the dirt you will return, to bloom again. He looked at the freshly covered patches he had dug earlier, he had dug twelve, but two were still yet to be filled; he would leave it a task for another day. At this rate he would need a bigger backyard soon, he had already helped himself to his neighbour’s  dog and garden plot, after all his neighbour no longer needed it. What’s his name, the neighbour, could not even remember his name, had been like that pesky ubiquitous mosquito, buzzing in your ear;

“Oh you want to sleep let me sing you a lullaby, oh, you want to just relax let me sing you a soothing symphony, are you just gazing at the moon, let me serenade you with the beautiful fruit of my vocals; Oh you are gardening let me____”

And that was how he had become the first to be planted, the first to sprout and soon he would be the first to bloom. That was the thing with mortals they were resilient, they bloomed where they were planted, even in the harshest environment you would find a plant blooming; defying all reason and logic; it was beautiful. Its pity a flower’s beauty is lost on it, it has no eyes, it cannot see itself and no one is kind enough to hold a mirror next to their favourite flowers, nothing blooms faster than a flower admired.

Mortals have such a toxic admiration they see a beautiful flower and they pluck it so they could admire it in a favourite vase and yet just succeed in watching it wither and die. Couldn’t they have just admired it from the garden, or a pot plant? Some things he could never understand, just like their need to possess things in order to be happy.

The possession he understood was of a different sort though, he had possessed a few souls careless enough to dabble in realms they did not understand. Would you reduce your lifespan for possessions and status? The answer should be a clear no, because life is precious, but believe it or not, quite the number are willing to trade their life for fortune and fame, to be rock stars.

He had recruited a number of people to help him distribute flyers for his business, he called himself; The Doctor.

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The front part of his house had been converted into a waiting area like a doctor’s waiting room and there would be a receptionist soon, business was booming; he could not keep up with the increased volume of calls and consultations. His latest recruit X had been quite the catch, he was influential and came from a royal lineage, a shame they had paid more heed to wealth than to their heritage and now X was indebted to him; when he would have been one to save the world; he would help brew the storm that was coming. After the storm, all this world would be a beautiful garden once again like it had been, in the beginning.

Without realizing it he had walked round to the front of the house and was now gazing at the street, watching a young couple arms linked; walking past his gate, he marveled at the purity of young love, and was about to turn back and walk into his house; until that is, he noticed that the young man’s lady friend; in her left hand, she held a single red rose delicately by the stem…

He waved at them and cheerfully accosted the young lad;

Hi there young man, what a rare beauty you have there; if you would like I can show you a flower that’s more worthy of her radiance, a purple rose, it’s in my garden…

The young lad hesitated, although his lady had taken a step towards the gate.

Oh do come in and I will even give you a vase for your rose you don’t want it wilting before you get home now do you?..”

He opened the gate for them and they hesitantly followed him down the path to the garden, again like sheep; to where two new garden patches lay; dug open____

That would make today 12, the magic number, a wizard’s dozen, not a bad day’s gardening……

He whistled to himself a nursery rhyme he once heard from an old friend;

Reaper Reaper Quite the creeper How does your garden grow?

With neighbors, strangers stopping by And pea pods all in a row

The End

~B

My BlogBattle Entry for this week.

Continues the story The Doctor if you want to play catch up you can read;

Of Needful Garden

Of Needful Things

The rhyme at the end of the story is from  Sarah in comment to a twitter thread which the character in this story is based.

Of Coming Home

He sat at his executive desk with all the trimmings of success trying to think of a polite way of saying he would not be coming home for the holidays. He had promised to visit his father for Christmas but then something came up, something always did but the Easter break was rather long, he couldn’t possibly be evasive all five days of it…. Maybe if he said he was going away on a business trip____

A soft knock at the door broke him out of his reverie.
Yes?” he inquired.

The frosted glass door slid slightly, opening a fraction. He could make out the silhouette of his PA behind the door; they all knew to never just enter his office, and when he said yes, he meant state your business and then go away unless invited.

Sir, I was just about to leave, for the holiday, will there be anything?

Thank you that will be all” he dismissed her and then as an afterthought “What will you be doing this Easter?

Sir?” she responded, slightly puzzled, he was never one make personal conversation.

Family, Sir, will be with family… that’s all we ever truly have” she finished.

You, know what? You are so right. Alrighty then; get my father on the phone for me. Have a happy Easter.

Thank you Sir, see you on Wednesday.

The door slid shut silently followed by a faint click. He rubbed his temples as if that could ease the turmoil inside, if they could see him, the shark in a suit, ruthless in the boardroom dreading a conversation with his father. The telephone on his mahogany desk beeped once and then a light started flashing, indicating a call on hold. He took a deep breath, to steady himself and picked it up.

Hello baba, yes, I will be coming for Easter.”

Once he made the decision, everything else, was simply logistics; this is how he got to be where he was, single-minded objectivity. He phoned his sons, and informed them they would be going to the country, to their roots, he made it clear, he was not offering them a choice, it was an order.  That’s what his own father should have done, given him orders instead of giving him choices maybe things would have turned up differently.

A few short hours later they were on the winding road leading them back home. The ride was a bit bumpy, he had opted to use his old faithful pick-up truck and not any of his new sleek status symbols with low ground clearance and low tolerance for pothole ridden roads. The roads were terrible indeed potholes the sizes of small graves, you would think a massacre had been done on the tarmac, and then later the road would become a strip road and then finally a dirt track.

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It was a logical decision taking his trusty truck he told himself, but deep down he knew it was also superstition, he remembered stories of how people got bewitched or cursed by jealous folk for flaunting their wealth. He did not believe in witchcraft, but he certainly did not want to put it to the test.

They had been making good time being fortunate to not get stopped by any of the roadblocks that seemed to be around every bend but then luck ran out. After requesting to see driver’s licence the police officer went on to ask to for a whole lot of other things and finding fault with everything

One of his tyres had low pressure; he spare wheel was not the regulated size, the red warning triangle was not the standard issue one, the safety reflective vest was the wrong colour shade, the red reflectors at the back of the truck were not the new hologrammed ones, the fire extinguisher was an aerosol fire retardant and not a fire extinguisher, and what had finally set him off, that the car as dirty…

But officer I had the car taken to a car-wash before I left the city_” he tried to argue

There are dead bugs on your windscreen….Dirt” The officer pointed and while he was saying that a bird flying past decided then to drop its business on the truck’s bonnet.

X sitting in the back seat snickered “I bet that bird is his and he trained it do that”

Shut up son, I am handling this” he said as he lowered the volume on the stereo which up till now had been belting out beats, as his son called them, after all it was X’s phone connected to the auxiliary port.

Ah and I did not see a valid listener’s licence for your stereo” The police observed

There was no use arguing, he knew it, you had to pay the radio licence whether you listened to local radio or not, he even wanted to ask do you want to see the licence for my Phone has well it has a radio on it but instead said;

“Ok just write me up the ticket Officer”

“Well, you have multiple traffic offences, you see, and the law states that we impound your vehicle pending a court case and tomorrow being the start of a holiday… that will only be next week Wednesday__”

He started cursing and ranting.

“Calm down father__” but of course never in the history of calming down has anyone calm down by being told to calm down, you can imagine how everything escalated and father and sons ended up handcuffed to a tree restrained ‘for their own protection that is’ and the car was being hitched to an impound tow truck.

“Dad..” X whispered to his father “ this is not the time to be all self-righteous offer the guy a bribe, that’s what you should have done from the start, how did you become such a shrewd business man if you cant grease a few palms”

“but he is the police__”

“Exactly! They are the most corrupt of them all, let me handle this, dad give me your wallet.” X requested “Officer, please step into my office!” He yelled from beneath the tree they were handcuffed to.

Not long after that they were merrily on their way, plus an extra passenger, turns out the officer was just finishing his shift and was headed in the same direction, so he was now riding shotgun and they didn’t get troubled by any other roadblocks as their passenger with a quick wave gesture got them waved through.

They got to the country just before midnight, a bonfire lit one of the thatched gazebos where, his father waited, years had passed since he left for the city, never once had he returned but now, now he was back… He hugged his father, no other words, none were necessary. They sat in silence of the crackling fire, all the unsaid words between them reflected in the tears that sparkled red in the firelight. Wood smoke does sting the eyes does it not?

“Tomorrow my son, I will show you your goats, we can slaughter a couple and you can take some meat with you, and when the police stop you next time, just offer them some goat….”

They laughed, sometimes you need to take the winding road ever leading you back home, to see how you never really left….

The End

~B

BlogBattle Entry themed bribery… again the story continues you can catch up HERE

Of The The Thing In The Ceiling

Genre: Realistic Fiction

The sounds usually start when darkness comes, when I switch off the lantern and close my eyes to sleep. Night after night I lay awake listening to sounds in the darkness. It starts with a faint scratching noise as if a feral beast is marking its territory drawing lines that must not crossed except with those who have abandoned all hope. Then there’s the footsteps, footsteps; slow, cautious, and deliberate; pacing, as would a beast stalking prey. Finally comes the scurrying and squealing sounds of a chase….. I always reach for the lights at this point and flip on the switch for the bedside lamp, nothing happens, it is funny how for an instant I forget the lights have not been working ever since a storm took out power lines.

There is something otherworldly that lives in my ceiling, I hear it every night when I try to sleep “It’s only a rat” I whisper to myself. At least I hope it’s a rat and not the thing from paranormal activity….

Eventually sleep comes, the sandman takes me suddenly, pouncing, tumbling my restless mind away and down, spitting it out like a mangled rat in to a deep dark dreamless sleep.

Are they nocturnal animals, ghosts? Because when the sun comes up the sounds stop, without a trace…. I wake up in the morning and everything is exactly as I left it nothing to indicate the eventful nocturnal visitors. The ceiling looks pristine and white, freshly painted to cover the water stains left by the leaky roof from when it last rained. The brown stain looked somewhat like a cowboy riding a bull trying to lasso a sheep that looks suspiciously like an overgrown cat. Not many people could see this natural art, but then it’s not a precise art seeing figures in stains on the ceiling or shapes in clouds.

The met department just issued a flood alert, a tropical cyclone is coming, Dineo. Its curious how the most cyclones wind up with feminine names, guys it would appear don’t have scorn whose fury hell hath none.

A pet cat would be an interesting addition to the family, they catch rats, mice and stare at ghosts so that would be a win win situation, to deal with unexpected visitors… I need a hungry cat, a skinny one hungry for a meal, a fat cat does not chase rats, profound and simple.

The day always passes and I wonder where the times go, what happens to the time we discard into the past? Night always comes and with it, the sound.

I lay in my bed and I hear it scratching, nibbling away at important things in the woodwork of my ceiling structures. It has been growing the thing in the ceiling, I don’t know what it been eating but its footsteps are heavier and louder. What if it is expecting and soon there will be a rat infestation. The other day I think they invited friends for a sleep over, I could hear them scurrying around like twin toddlers on a sugar rush wreaking havoc and running amok. It was not a dream, a nightmare does not crawl along your leg in the dark while you are sleeping, neither does a ghost. There are rats in the ceiling, only rats and nothing more, except more rats if I let them.

I wake up in the morning, I look at the floor, and it’s got rat droppings that need sweeping. They chewed up my favourite bathroom rug, and doing unspeakable things on the sofa, they must go.

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I have been looking up ways of getting rid of rodents, they cannot burp so if you lace bait with bicarbonate of soda and they ingest it they get bloated and die, if you sprinkle some on the floor, it will stick on to their feet and when they lick it off, well, history. I even bought a rat trap, it looks like a book full of glue and then you leave it open, rats will walk on the glued surface and get stuck, seems simple enough, until you have to pry a rat off or stomp on it with cowboy boots.

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Lastly I bought some rat poison, the bottle says to mix with peanut butter, how do they even know rats even like peanut butter, but for the money they charged me they better know what they were talking about. I spent the whole day baiting every nook and cranny, tomorrow, its bye bye rats, if that does not work then its not rats I am dealing with its something else and might need to call…. an exorcist

I woke up in the morning and armed with a broom and my cowboy boots in search of rat causalities.  I wish I had a gun, but imagine trying to shoot one, not to mention the ricochet. There are tiny footprints on the places I dusted with the bicarbonate of soda.

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I will have to search for bodies no body wants a dead rodent decomposing in their house, I have seen this before its horrible. The only place left I haven’t checked is the attic, broom in one hand, and a flashlight I am going hunting. The rats are probably more scared of me than me of them but I fear the attic more, its dark and my imagination is ungovernable.

I found them, two dead rats in the attic after a bit of song and dance I managed to scoop them up and bury them in a shallow grave next to a rose bush in the garden; End of story, well not quiet the I also found a diary it has been around for almost century The Diary of a Freedom Fighter….

I lay in my bed and tonight there is only silence…..

The End

~B

BlogBattle Entry for this week prompt cowboy; Inspired by a literal rat in the ceiling while I was trying to sleep and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and somewhat a continuation of the last story here….

 

Of The Freedom Fighter’s Diary 

Genre: Historical Fiction


Preface


This Diary is a gift to Joshua Levi on day of his deliverance witnessed by Church and God on this 8th Sunday of January the year of our Lord 1889

Adore the Lord always
Sister in Christ

Val

Sunday 8 January 1888
GoT sAveD

jOSH

Monday 9 January 1888
My nEW nAmE IS JOSHUA

SIStEr VAL tEACH ME WrItE
Tuesday 10 January 1889
JEsUs sAVE

Wednesday 11  January  1888

JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA JOSHUA  JOSHUA JOSHUA

Thursday 12 January 1888
VAL Is NICE

Friday 13.January 1888
THE QUICKs BrOWnE FOxs

Sat 14 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx

Sunday 15 January 1888
SIN bAD

Monday 16 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx  jUMP oVER LAZE DOGs

Tuesday 17 January 1888
THE QUICK BrOWn FOx  jUMPs oVER LAZy DOG

Wednesday 18 January 1888
I AdOrE God and sis VAL

19 January 1888
Sis VAL Cry I WrITE

Friday 20 January1888
I MAKEs VAL cry I sTop WriTe till beta

Monday 5 March 1888
I lEArninG MysELf

Tuesday 6 March 1888
My Christian nAme is JoshuA my other nAme cAn not spelled

Wednesday 7 March 1888

Fatha Bruno come give sweets

Sunday 25 March 1888

Fatha Bruno say Sin is Black and so are we till we are washed by the blood of Jesu. I must have invite others to be saved on Easter Service

Thursday 29 March

My Papa say must stop with white man crazy talk

Friday 30 March

Good Friday
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begot son

Sunday 1 April
Easter Sunday

fatha Bruno gave us communication

Papa say eating Jesu body and drink his blood witchcraft. Papa say The Man With No Knees come to our village and learn our ways we must learn theirs so tomorrow he send me his only son to learn.

Monday 2 April

Today is my first day at the Mission Society school. The missionaries come from far away to bring light to our darkness. To educate us from our savage way.

Today my father cry when I left the village he said Do not forget myself but how can I forget myself when I take myself everywhere I go.

My name is Joshua Levi and I am a student.

Friday  20 April 1888

I have been busy learning new and exciting things, I have not had time to write. I miss the village sometime.

Sister Valerie, she misses her home too, in England. She can’t wait until she goes back and that makes me sad and  I don’t know why.

Sunday 22 April 1888
Reverend Charles Helm visited the Mission Society Parish today. He brought gifts and medicines for the new clinic. He gave me my own mirror, a comb and a razor he said I must be groomed. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. We must strive to be like  God and learn his word and fear him,  that’s wisdom.

Monday 23 April 1888

I cut myself shaving. Rev Helm said he would teach me but he left early to go see King Lobengula.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, sin is dirty and black.

No matter how many times I bath I can not wash away the sin I was born with.

My name is Joshua Levi and I am ashamed of my skin.

Tuesday 24 April 1888

Today is Sister Valerie’s birthday I said I did not have a present for her but she said the best present I can give her is to learn all I can and to spread The Word and be a teacher at the mission.

I wish I had a birthday too I don’t know when I was born my parents were uncivilized in the ways of the world.

Father Bruno told me dont need my old birthday I have a new one just like my new name I am no longer what I was. I was washed of my sins when I accepted Jesu as my personal saviour
My name is Joshua Levi and I was born on 8 January 1888

Wednesday 25 April

Rev Charles Helm says my grasp of English surpasses his expectations. If he closes his eyes he can almost imagine he is chatting with a carcass of Euopean descent.

A carcass a dead body of animal

A Caucasian is a white man.

The good reverend has asked me to go to my papa bearing gifts and supplies and tell him a company of miners want to be his friends they will give him vast wealth and power. Even King Lobengula is friends with them all he has to do is sign a simple treaty of agreement.
I am Joshua Levi and tomorrow I am going home.

Thursday 26 April 1888

The welcome I got is not the welcome I expected. My father said I have become a white man, I dress like him and I even talk like him.

“Son, you have forgotten yourself” that’s the last words he spoke directly to me. He refused the gifts, tore up the memorandum of agreement and spit on the bottle of skotch whiskie.

Malume said to me if I return to the missionaries my pa says I’ll be dead to him. But how can I not go When I go back I will be a teacher of a class of my own.

Friday 27 April 1888

Today I returned to the Mission Society.

I have informed Rev Helm of my father’s disposition. He says my father is a fool because only a fool refuses blessings.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

I am Joshua Levi and I am the son of a fool.
Monday 30 April 1888

I am Joshua Levi and I am a teacher at the Mission Society school.
Monday 1 October 1888
“I am dying”

my father’s first words to me after five months of silence.

His hut smells like dung and herbals the sangoma says there’s nothing they can do.

“Do you accept Jesus as your personal saviour?”

Yes

“Take my father to the clinic”

He is given the miracle of penicillin

I am Joshua Levi and I just saved my father.

Tuesday 30 October 1888

Lobengula signed the Rudd Conscession with  Charles Rudd, James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, witnessed and translated  by Reverend Charles Helm

My father signed his trade memorandum with the BSAC

Tuesday 8 January 1889

I am one year old today I picked the name Joshua because I wanted to be a savior too, Joshua means Jesus in Greek. Levi is because they couldn’t pronounce my name

Ndzivalelano which means reconciliation.

Valerie is going back to England today, her year here is done, I’ll miss her but we are from two different worlds her and I.

I have just learnt that Rev Charles Helm misrepresented the contents of the concession but its a binding contract and this land is no longer ours, it was not mining rights alone we conceded it was All Our Rights .

John Smith Moffat says he will help us revoke it and fight for our freedom……

13 September 1890

“….the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race…”

Cecil John Rhodes

The Pioneer Column raises The Union Jack on the kopje over looking Fort Salisbury

“Blessed are the meek…. They shall inherit the ashes, ashes, of dreams long dead”

I am Ndzivalelano and my bones won’t rest until what was mine is mine again

I am Ndzivalelano freedom fighter and war begins….

~the diary has no further entries only blank pages.
~B

This is a work of fiction, centered around key historic events in the history of Zimbabwe

Blogbattle entry

Of The Ghosts Of Hogwarts Past

Genre: Fan fiction

Of The Ghost of Hogwarts Past

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“Are you afraid of the dark?”

That is the question I ask first years on their first night at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Oh what fun it is to hear them squeal in fear as they run away from dear old me. No surprise at all because you see I am one of the ghosts that you could say haunt the halls of Hogwarts. I am mostly harmless and besides that, the whole school grounds have wards, spells and such that prevent malevolent beings from reeking just that malevolence. Dumbledore done did a right proper job at fixing them rest is soul. He too is here, not haunting corridors like us but in a painting in the headmaster’s office together with the rest of the past headmasters and mistresses of Hogwarts. When you go in there you can feel the weight of their disapproving eyes starring deep into your soul, judging you; it is downright creepy mind you. They don’t talk much, matter of fact, they don’t talk at all only sleep but it’s rumoured they counsel the current headmaster, but between you and me I think the new head is a bit batty, who wouldn’t be, everyone at Hogwarts is.

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You are a brave one aint ya? You haven’t run away like the rest of your little first year friends. Oh how great it must feel to be so curious as to seem brave, I could tell you stories that would make you never want to sleep again. Funny though I don’t remember what sleeping feels like. Ghosts don’t sleep. I have been a ghost for so long I don’t remember being alive but I am sure I was as curious as you, I guess that is why I am a ghost now. I dare say I have been a ghost longer than Moaning Myrtle, crying in one of them bathrooms up there somewhere; but Nearly Headless Nick he been dead much longer, head hanging all precarious like.

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Which house are you in? Your eyes are rather shifty and far too close together and you hold yourself with a certain, erm serpentine regard you must be in house Slytherin. I didn’t have a lot of smarts but I had heart, I was in House Hufflepuff. The boy who lived well he is certainly not a boy any longer, he is a man now, wife and three kids. I must say I always hoped that he would end up with that Hermione girl, but well Ginny Weasely, he could have done far worse, couldn’t he? Imagine if he had been charmed by Romilda Vane’s love portion. You wouldn’t know anything about portions would you?  Thats second year students classes. You haven’t even started class yet, have ya? Just you wait till you meet Mr Longbottom in Herbology Class

mandrakeOne never forgets their first Portions Class especially if you accidentally bite off a piece of baby mandrake root and swallow it, while trying to get it to stop screaming.They scream ever so loudly like tiny constipated babies; they are really bothersome little buggers and off to the sick ward I was rushed. Do you know who I met there? Of course you wouldn’t know, there is no one to tell ya, good thing I’m here ain’t it?

When I was sick as a dog….., ever seen a sick dog? Not a pretty sight I tell ya. This one time during the Care of Magical Creatures Class they made us take turns taking care of a sick dog that had been poisoned by Thorn. Thorn is a pure blood Elient. That just means he is a dragon of some royal line and once upon a time they could shapeshift into peoples like you and me, well mostly you since I am dearly departed.

Not so dearly departed as You-Know-Who must not be named. I met him once, before he was all evil bent on world domination and the like. He was house Slytherin, just like you. Eyes just like yours and curiosity, just like yours, you see here I am going with this? Evil walks and talks just like the next regular bloke until they start calling themselves Death Eaters. But when I met him he was just a little older than I was, we shared a room in the infirmary wing, when I was sick in hospital on account of the mandrake root.

We talked, he was still named Tom Riddle then and his name could be spoken. Tom had a fascination with the purity of one’s bloodlines, and immortality he didn’t want to die but then who does? He had a very morbid liking to that dragon, he probably fed it and although no one could prove it, all the owls that went missing, I can bet you the Quidditch World Cup Snitch that him and Thorn happened. You know why we was in hospital together, he didn’t do anything as silly as bite a screaming mandrake he was far too clever to make a mistake like that, instead he had drank the blood of the Elient, he didn’t tell anyone else though, only me so that I could witness.

The thing about Elient dragons is they do not die unless you kill them, they are infernal or is it eternal I forget, same difference though, nobody wants everlasting nightmares. He drank its blood and he fed it his which made it a part of him. Do you understand? They think they got rid of all them Horcruxes right?  But no one knew the very first one he did with no help from nobody, almost by instinct and I was witness to it. He said to me do you want to see something cool, I said yes, and out we went to the forbidden forest, we passed by Hagrid’s cabin while he slept like a rock, a giant hairy rock that snores.

He pulled off thorn that hung on a leather thong around Thorn’s massive neck and used it scratch a symbol on my hand, the Deathly Hallows. After that everything pretty much gets foggy. I remember him though, whispering to me as I died I guess, that “on the first night of the red moon after the Deathly hallows have been mastered but never used, a boy too curious for his own good will wander into this part of the Hogwarts and he will be a descendant of the Tom Marvolo Riddle bloodline and he will awaken Thorn the Elient and bring back Lord Voldermort.” I was compelled to haunt these grounds and to witness until such a time came to pass.

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“That night is tonight and that boy is you, Lord Voldemort will return and you are going to summon……….All is not well.

The End

~B

My BlogBattle entry this week. A  fan fiction story, if you are not PotterHead enough to figure out based on Harry Potter novels, I wasam a great fan of JK Rawling.

Photo credits: harrypotter.wikia.com

Of The Flame Keeper’s Tale

Of The Flame Keeper’s Tale

The night was dark. The night would have been dark still had the moon shone bright and stars long since dead just the dreams wished upon them twinkled. The night was dark and the only light was from the dying embers of a once great bonfire.

“Gather around.” The old man spoke “Gather around and let us witness the dying of the fire, gather around and I will tell you one last story” he spoke, in a voice above a whisper but less than a shout yet it carried past, over and through you, it surrounded you. You drew closer as you would to the warmth of a fire or someone about to tell you a secret or maybe both, someone by the fireside telling you a story most rare.

He idly reaches into his pockets, pulls out a snuff box, polished bone that reflects a dull red in the embers. He tips it gently into his palm, takes a pinch of the snuff to his nose and snorts it deeply, first in one nostril and then the other. He sneezes three times and flicks the remainder into the embers and they burst into flames with an orange and faint blue glow. He begun to speak, as he tapped at the glowing embers rekindling them to a crackling warm blaze.

“Fire the most primal need of man, from the time we stole from the Goods, it has been a basic representation of our basic desires, hunger and need. Feeding greedily on everything we give and still taking more until it consumes us leaving nothing but cold ash and darkness.

I remember the day The Thief of Fire returned. It was a day of great jubilation when he brought the First Flame to our village, we called it liberty, we called it many names and we proclaimed it the Eternal Flame. As for The Thief, well we made him Chief. Remember when we would sit by the fire on nights quite unlike this and he would recount tales of how he found fire and tamed it, how he outsmarted Gods and stole their fire. Each time he told the tale, it grew taller than the last until no one knew exactly what the truth had been; but it didn’t matter. He spoke with such conviction that he believed himself and we believed in him.

I have never seen a dragon but he saw it, a fearsome fire breathing God that can burn you to a crisp and then swallow you up in one gulp. Looking it in the eye instantly blinds you and its ferocious roar will make you go deaf, and he faced it and stole from it, fire for us. We didn’t ask him to but he did it anyway, and well there was nothing else we could do but say, you are welcome. We made him Chief and looked up to him with almost God like adoration.

His homestead became the Royal House, and in the middle of it that’s where we lit the Eternal Flame. We took turns tending to the fire to make sure it never went out, we cooked for him cleaned for him and he in turn bestowed upon his wisdom and amusing tales each night while we sat round the fire. Some older folks much older folks than myself mumbled something about tyrants but one by one they got silenced or disappeared, no one noticed or we chose not to.

Life was great. A large barn was built at the Chief’s homestead we called it the Reserve Barn and everyone would collect firewood and store it there, safe from the elements. When you wanted some fire for you own use you would go to the Barn and get some wood and have it lit at the Eternal Flame then take it back to your household. It was perfectly simple but when you were done you had to extinguish it to preserve firewood. We chopped trees down and put them in the Reserve Barn because that way, or so we thought, when the trees ran out we would have an endless supply of wood, as it was trees we getting harder to find you had to journey a bit further each day.

They say perhaps we angered the Gods by stealing their fire and they sanctioned us by stopped the rain from falling and scattered the herds we used to hunt into the plains and made the trees stop growing, and turned the landscape into a desert but that was alright we had our barns.

You have young eyes I have seen much more than you, there was a time this land didn’t look quite as bleak, the were mighty trees that grew tall as giants and little streams trickling around them and if you threw a spear into the bush you would startle game to hunt, but now, your young eyes see are yet to see and mine have seen enough to know what comes, I long for the peace of endless sleep.

I have watched firewood became such a precious commodity that people became that people killed for it or died protecting. Guards were posted at the Royal Barn and it was always locked so no one could get in. The Chief told us that because the wood was “depleted” that each one could only get a ration of a single half piece of wood each day because of the wood shortage. It was barely enough and some of the villagers did not understand how this was possible since they had been bringing in cartloads each day, where had the wood gone? How come the Chief and his Council Of Elders enjoyed lavish bonfires each night? The Chief said he was entitled to it since he had after all fought Gods for it. Some young overzealous clansmen tried to challenge him to return the Royal Flame to the Gods so they could go and try their luck in getting it back but he said they were possessed by demons bent on sowing seeds of discontent into their village and had them exiled or executed same thing because they were never heard of again.
I have watched over this flame ever since the first day it was brought here, I have kept its secrets and I have seen it consume everything leaving nothing but ash, and today I managed to take a look in the Royal Barn there is no more wood left. This is the last of it. Tonight we sit by this fire and tell stories but tomorrow night, if nothing gets resolved the darkness comes. Tonight we witness the dying of the fire, sit with me and let’s watch embers turn to ash.” The last words were almost a whisper, he spoke them as he prodded at the embers again rekindling into flames. The night would have been silent, had it not been for the crackling of the fire.

The End
~B
This a blogbattle entry Themed: A Tall Tale. This is a work of fiction any resemblance to characters and incidences real, implied or imaginary is purely coincidental.

 

Of Bathtub Memoirs

Genre: contemporary

To look in the bathroom mirror of your old bathroom and not recognise the grownup stranger looking back at you…. That’s what it feels like going back to your childhood home and a stranger lives there now. The mirror used to be so high up I needed ninja skills to climb up the bathroom sink so I could see myself in it (I even fell from high up there once upon a time and my parents were sure I had broken something important, probably because I was crying up a storm and lay there all limb, as if I had broken all 206 bones in my body… Twice.. and that was also the first time I got my x-ray taken and surprisingly enough had not as much as a fracture, someone say miracle bone regeneration.) The sink is only knee-high to me now and the perspective gives me vertigo I feel like Alice through the looking glass.fuzzy.jpg

The bathtub seems so much smaller than I remember it. I remember being afraid of the bathtub after watching a late nite Friday the 13th horror show, I was convinced I could get sucked out by the drain plug then winding up drowning in some sewer but now it seems harmless enough and I cannot imagine how I even entertained such notions.

So allow me to soak myself in the tub and reminisce because going back to where you started is different from never having left, and the only way you can truly appreciate where you have been is to simply go back home and remember.

Everything seems out of place from the arrangement of the sofas in the lounge (the setup feels wrong, the orientation the colours) to the positioning of the beds in the bedrooms (I always had my head to where the sun rose,  because good feng shui to see saw the sun rise first thing when I opened my eyes when I woke up early enough that is) and the windows seem naked without the layers of frilly lace drapes (that I learnt my first lesson about fire and candles. Horrible experience taught me, one must never get too close to lace with a lit candle or look for objects under the bed with a candle for light.)

The rooms seem so much smaller now and there is a blank space where the once were shelves of books (A house without a library *shudders* )

I feel like a giant, I could spread my hands and touch all the walls in places I ran endless circles in, spaces I crawled into to hide from chores or punishment or afternoon meals (they were both a chore and a punishment and one could not watch cartoons on the telly until done with eating and homework)

Even the “great outdoors” that used to be our backyard, the trees are all gone,cut down maybe twas for firewood, maybe uprooted in a storm, maybe the roots threatened the foundation of the house I will never know. The trees are gone, except for the one I once caught my brother cutting up vigorously with his shiny red Swiss Army knife as if in target practise for the some zombie tree apocalypse, he said it was so that if thieves ever broke in and stole it he would recognize it as ours (I was so gullible I bought that story for years and he doesn’t even remember making up that silly story) My brother the cooler older sibling who “kept” a large pet spider and fed it insects he’d catch insects pull their wings or legs off then toss them onto the web and step back and watch….  (He always threatened to feed me to the spider when I snitched on him, as lil brothers are known to do) I wonder what happened to that spider, it really made a tangled mess in the backyard (which reminds me who cleans up all the webs Spiderman throws around??? )

The whole backyard is now a range less than the reach of my stone’s throw (I can throw further now ooops and might have heard a neighbor’s window breaking *tiptoes back into the house*)

Today I took a walk in my old neighborhood.

The dent on the gate is still there from when I went for my first joyride with a “borrowed” red Datsun 120Y (it was also the day I learnt to drive and got into my first high-speed police car chase which I managed to evade Grand Theft Auto style (you know how in learning to swim like pro: for dummies; you are thrown into a shark  infested pond, you either swim or sink and be eaten, well twas sorta like that, drive, drive like you stole it or be busted) with nothing more than a tiny dent  when I turned a little too fast into the driveway. ( I thank whoever invented red nail polish its a life hack for covering up scratches on a red paint job)

My favorite house by the corner at the end of the drive looking picture perfect, manicured green lawn and cosy as I remember it, and yes I still want to live in a house that looks just like that but with Wi-Fi signal and minus the chocolate fountain I am over that I might consider a champagne fountain or beer on tap 🙂

The old playground is still where it used to be (not that I expected it to move or anything) but it’s now broken,  how do you break a playground you ask?

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I guess you let drunk teens (at least I hope it was teens and drunk ones too ) hangout there and now it’s filled with bottles, broken bottles, beer bottles, some look like prescription cough syrup bottles and so many used condoms you would think an end of world orgy has been going on here

And every surface and wall is covered with graffiti, badly spelt graffiti, swear words and “was here’ affirmations (I am pretty sure that’s not what they meant when they said leave a mark in the world ) obscene anatomically incorrect stick figures.

Look at me now King of the jungle gym standing on top of it.

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Facing fears

A trip down memory lane and yes I am still afraid of crossing the same train bridge I was afraid of when I was only this high *makes height gestures* but in my defence it is really a scary narrow bridge even now ( there is a sign that warns Danger Narrow Bridge we thought that was the name of the bridge : Danger Narrow) The courage it took for me to run across and pretend to that my heart was not beating in my mouth from fear that I would fall to my death.

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Danger Narrow Bridge

Looking in the mirror and a stranger looks back at me, but in many ways familiar

Visiting my childhood house and a stranger lives here now but yes it still feels familiar and comfortable and yes it feels like home…

Home is where the memories live.

~B

 

#Blogbattle Entry Theme this week is memory lane trip, prompt Bathtub

Of The Pink Band

Genre: Inspirational

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His hair was an untidy affair held in a pony tail by a bright pink band. That is the first thing you noticed about him, the pink band, followed by the faded army jacket. He sat by himself on a two-seater in a crowded bus with a couple of standing passengers. It’s not that he had refused to share but no one had been brave enough to approach him, an aura of barely contained hostility rose from him, the flavor ripe of aggression.

He was not a small man, you could tell that beneath his camouflage jacket he had muscle, granted he might have gotten a bit soft round the edges. It had been awhile since he last went to the gym, he used to practically live there and could bench press three times his weight in solid gold. But now, now he was out of shape; the fact that he had taken the bus when he could have just walked was testament to how far he had let himself go.

In a dusty old shoe box under his bed were two gold medals from the Comrades marathon and a medal for Valor. Gold of medals has such a heady flavour, something about it makes you stand up straight.

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He didn’t care; he had stopped caring about anything a long time ago, the day he was relieved of his duties as an elite commando soldier. Dishonorably discharged, the word left a bad flavour in his mouth. A decorated veteran, dishonorably discharged, it was a stain on his honour he could barely bear and he carried it like a weight, shoulders slightly hunched.

He sat close to the window, gazing out with a far away look that saw nothing but the past, back to a time when he stood taller and men looked up to him. Lost in the past, he absent-mindedly scratched his beard, it was mildly itchy, he had stopped shaving and a fuzzy fur covered his lower jaw.

A loud bang startled him out of his reverie, old instincts took over as he shifted into a defensive posture, and adrenalin flooded his system as he readied to spring to action; identify and neutralize the enemy, it was in the basic training manual.

We hit that pot hole hard” a passenger behind him commented.

I thought the wheel had burst..” someone else added, followed by random passengers grumbling at the driver to slow down as he was not ferrying sacks of hay.

He realised that there was no immediate danger, well not unless the driver was recklessly speeding through a road filled with potholes.Slowly he flexed his fingers,it was only now that he was noticing he had clenched his hands it fists so tightly that his fingernails drew blood from his palms. He reacted to sudden noises in the same way like a beast about to pounce, in the world that felt a lifetime ago, if you were slow to react fatally bad things happened to you.

Bad things had happened to his men. He took out a faded photograph from his wallet it was a photo of a group of men hard to recognize because yellow berets covered half their faces leaving only smiles which were mostly teeth. The picture must have been taken either just before or after a parade inspection because the uniforms were neat, the boots were polished even the buttons were shiny. It was the only picture he had of his brother in arms, but he carried their memories with him.He remembered their names and he remembered their deaths, meaningless just like the war they fought in.

They had managed to roust the rebels only to discover the rebel forces were just slightly grown boys playing at war, they hardly had any weaponry armed  with machetes, scythes and probably a misguided sense of liberation. The ranking officer in his outfit had ordered that they execute the treasonous troops. Execute was just fancy dressing the murder that was to follow. He had snapped and dragged his superior by the collar to reprimand him. It turns out the rebels were not quite as harmless as they seemed because while he was busy arguing with his superior, one of the captured lads detonated an explosive device, everything went blindingly white as everyone was flung like rag dolls and only two people walked away from that encounter.

They had been out of the blast zone by stupid blind luck. The first thing he did, ears still ringing from the percussive blast, was to punch the major square in the face, broke his nose too and that was why he was court-martialed  and discharged from the army, he never stopped blaming himself he should have seen it coming, he should have___

The bus stopped with a sudden lurch that scattered his thoughts.

There was the sound of breaking glass as a stone went through the windscreen narrowly missing the driver. The road ahead was blocked with stones and burning tyres, ropes of thick black smoke rising skywards and an unruly horde of protestors chanting revolutionary war songs.Riot police had tried to quell the mob, wielding their batons and throwing tear gas but this had only had the effect of poking the hornet’s nest and now they buzzed angrily throwing rocks at everything crazy enough to get close.

A revolution starts with the distinct flavour of tear gas and burning rubber.

The police had fled and at the head of this mob, stood a man poised with his foot on a police helmet, as would a conquering hero.

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He held a bottle, with a rag sticking out and the end bit of it was lit. He waved it at the bus shouting

“If you all don’t get out you will burn along with the bus”

The ex-military man was the first person out of the bus and walked straight to the ring leader.

“Hold it there son, let’s not get carried away, no one wants to burn anything or anyone.”

“I’ll start with you ol’ man” the lad growled as he tried to punch him but was easily grabbed and held in an arm lock.

“listen son, I could break every bone in your body twice, even your own mother would not recognize the mess they would have to scrap up from here as her son…  now what’s all this about?”

“Don’t you watch the news, man, today we shut down the country, a massive stay away, we have had enough of lying down, letting the government mess with us, we are showing the government, we lay down no more…”

“and how will burning this bus and stoning all these cars help are they the government?”

The lad remained quiet

“You do realise the riot police will come back in full force, you might be able to hold out but that only makes them more brutal it’s all they know. Violence is like a fire that once you start, burns leaving nothing but ashes… There are ways of getting your messages heard, so there is a strike today, fine can you let this bus turn around and all these people go home?”

“Sure Boss, that’s all we was saying.”

As he boarded back into the bus the passengers started clapping.

….meanwhile someone had been filming the whole encounter and within a few minutes the clip was viral and making breaking news.

When he got to his stop the driver thanked him again and again saying if the bus had been torched his life would have been over, jobs are such hard things to get.

Walking up to the gate of home, his daughter rushed to greet him

“Daddy,daddy I saw you TV they are saying you are a hero,but I knew that already.”

He scooped her up in his arms “silly daddy” She said“you are still wearing my pink hair scrunch.”

That’s when he remembered way earlier his daughter had asked if she could style his hair; so he had spent the day with a bright pink thing in his hair and was probably going viral on the net, some things have a flavour all of their own; he begun to laugh as he twirled his daughter in the air….

 

~B

#BlogBattle theme: flavour

Of The Surfer

Genre: Mystery 

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I am Soul Surfer.

That’s what I tell people who are not only curious but brave enough to ask.

I sit on a mat with my eyes closed and slow down my breathing till almost imperceptible, because you see every time you breathe out, you breathe away a little bit of your life away, until you exhale for the last time and then never again.

That is where I come in, when I breathe out I leave myself behind but by sheer will power alone I maintain my consciousness and can so travel far and wide and find a host whose body I will enter when they take a sudden deep breath, be careful next time you find yourself taking a deep breath, that just might be me. Later when I am done I return back to my own body back on that mat my eyes open and they are filled with that look of one who knows more than they are telling.

I open my eyes and I tell stories of places on whose shores I have never walked, where water turns to rock when it is cold and the sky bleeds white fluffy pebbles that fall on your lashes and they tickle, they are cool on the tongue but do not eat the yellow coloured ones. I tell stories of people whom I have never met with strange names and eyes the colour of gas flames that sizzle.

I stare searchingly into the distant sky and suddenly proclaim, “Today it will be cloudy with a chance of rain, carry an umbrella. It is a wonderful day to have a birthday today, your favourite team won the Champions league last night”; I see the awe in your eyes as you wonder how I know all these things I know or where I make them up from, “Stare into my eyes at your own peril I am a Soul Surfer.” I dare.

I am a Soul Surfer, at least that’s what I tell people. I am a Surfer indeed but neither of souls or oceans but of the information super highway. I surf vast streams of the internet, I catch high speed waves of bits and bytes; I surf the vast internet ocean that separates us at the click of a button.

The answers to almost any question you can think of are there, well at least what someone somewhere thinks is the answer, all the things man was meant to know available on a search engine.

Without taking a step I share cups of coffee with friends I have never met across the globe in sunny Ireland one instant, Tokyo the next, watching the sunrise of cold winter’s morning in Cape Town and spend a summer’s evening in California.Across time zones and seasons so different, they might as well as be from made up places, with made up people of made up names and handles, with a screen for a face, a keyboard for hands typing, always typing words, or maybe that’s what I am; simply a display photo and a user name. Never believe anything you read on the internet, ironically I read that on the internet.

There is a law that states:

 Sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I am a Soul Surfer, that’s what I tell people, brave enough to stare into my eyes and ask me how I know all the things I know.

~B

#Blogbattle theme Surfer

P.S never believe all I tell it just might be true.

 

Of A Shark In A Suit

Genre: Suspense

Duplicitous; the word left a bitter taste in his mouth that all the finest whiskey in the world could not wash out. He was not duplicitous, he was a businessman, an entrepreneur he thought to himself as he calmly folded the business section of the newspaper and slid it across the solid mahogany table; to land in the chrome-plated trash basket. Papers should stick to what they know best, reporting the news and not feature articles about business reviews, calling he him a shark in a suit. He smiled at that image well the corporate world was an unruly ocean and he was a shark, a shark in a suit.

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His leather executive chair creaked slightly as he reached with a well-manicured hand for a button on the intercom that signaled his P.A.

“Sir?” A female voice inquired.

“Can you find out for me how much the Resonance Times is worth, annual profit projections, and readership numbers…..oh! And its key board members.”

Sir it will take a mome__

“I will have a file on Resonance Times with my morning coffee, thank you very much.” He said dismissing his P.A. He would teach them, calling him a duplicitous businessman, oh they would learn he could be far worse than duplicitous, he was a shark in suit, their words, well little fishes musn’t swim with sharks.

He hadn’t gotten to where he was by letting people write bad reviews about him. He had the president’s private number on speed dial, considering he had almost single-handedly bankrolled the president’s campaign; the least the president could do was pick up when he called him; that was power.

Growing up his father constantly said to him “One cannot earn respect by standing around with one’s hands in one’s pockets” and each word was punctuated with a smack to the back of the head. It didn’t hurt much, physically, but the humiliation of it brought a sting of hot tears to the eyes, and boys were never supposed to cry. He learnt his lesson and he learnt it well, after several chastising.

Respect is earned not by standing with your hands in your pockets but by being able to put your hands in other people’s pockets. No, nothing as crass as  being a common pickpocket even if you were skilled like the Artful Dodger, oh no, they dipped they own hands into their pockets and gave you all they and even called you “Sir” while they were doing it. That was respect.

His father the sentimental old fool, had given him the best education money could buy, and an exposure to the modern world of luxury that he had no longer been content to go back and settle in the countryside, to live the simple communal village life. His father was the chief and being his father’s only son he was heir to the chieftaincy, but how could he, with his modern overseas education, waste his business acumen sitting on a leopard skin throne, that reeked of cow dung, addressing people whose language he could no longer speak fluently, though he could speak perfect English. An old English teacher once had said to him, “If I close my eyes, I can almost imagine, I am speaking to a native European” the whole class clapped because the teacher gave out compliments as would a miser who carefully counted from his hoard, before picking the least valued coin, to give away.

The day he came back from his studies abroad and told his father that he no longer wanted to succeed him as chief was the day he broke his father’s heart. But his heart was set, he wanted to live in the big city where the bright lights shone brighter than dreams, turning night into day and no one ever seemed to sleep because money just like power never sleeps.

He had two sons now, hopefully X with a little tough love and mentoring could one day takeover his empire, and the other one could follow the footsteps of his grandfather and take over a different empire all together, that would be perfect and perhaps his father would forgive him finally for walking away from culture.

After a soft knock the frosted glass door to his office swung open silently on well-oiled hinges and his PA walked in carrying a silver tray with a single china mug of steaming hot coffee. She placed the tray on his desk and as if by magic conjured a folder marked The Resonance Times from beneath the tray and placed it squarely beside the tray.

He smiled like a benign shark, all teeth, a shark in a suit.

“That will be all thanks”

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~The End

My #Blogbattle themed Duplicitous

~B

This is a continuation of an ongoing series of stories which are linked in various sometimes not so obvious ways, I recommend you catch up by reading giving feedback if you would be so kind:

Of The Summoning

Of Building Homes

Of dreadful intentions