Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Season of Solitude

Season of Solitude
For Heather and Darryl

Ivy on the garden wall.
Old stones, if only they could talk.
Last Autumn’s leaves
still beneath the snow.
Branches bare, basic in their nudity.
My thoughts are yet of thee.

Snow covered walks,
pristine, unspoiled.
The shaded tool shed
cloaked in white.
Silence, like a blanket, covers
the sins of yesterday.

Spring rains that cleanse and chase away
the musty smells of winter.
Closed doors and shuttered windows.
A hint of warmth, and then
shoots of daffodils and crocus
bring smiles instead of tears.

Leaves were falling when you left—
Erratic flight in Autumn’s fickle breezes.
I faced the long darkened nights
and shortened days alone
with many tears shed.

The sun is high this glorious morn,
its light, spring’s promise
of hope renewed,.
I see a shadow and there you are
just like you used to be—
I cannot touch but I can love,
what more is there to say,
until we meet again
upon that other sunny shore.

Vi Jones
©January 24, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Come With Me Now

Come With Me Now—

My mind is at peace as I lay here in the sun,
my back on the grass in a meadow of gold.
So high in the mountains and near to the Gods,
belonging to Nature and life all around.
The orchestra plays,
the music is sweet.

The forest below in green every hue
is home to only a specialized few—
the deer and the elk, the wildcat, the hawk.
They’re companions of mine as I rest from a walk.
Tiny flowers around look so terribly frail
but they’re stronger by far
and stand many a gale.

Come with me now
to soothe tortured minds
and heal life’s deep scars.
Come join me, my friends,
on mountains so fresh.
Come smell the wild flowers
and reach for a star.
Make true your dreams
of peace, love, and care,
so precious a gift
that today is so rare.

Come with me now—

Vi Jones
©January 9, 2007

Friday, August 25, 2006


By Anita Marie Moscoso

From The Soul Food Alphabet Project

“F” is for Fire Filled Forge

When Morgan Gamble was 12 he pushed a classmate over a railing when she was trying to collect leaves on a class field trip for a project. The Project was a little booklet of local native plants and the little girl- Ona Crocata, fell to her death to the rocks below the bluffs.

In the spirit of true American Justice the police talked to Darren Marks, the bad kid who lit fire crackers in the bathrooms and smoked his dad’s cigarettes during recess behind the gym, they talked to Crystal Barker who’s Father was in jail and they talked to the Simon Ledbetter, one of the Park Maintenance staff who spent his weekends at Peace Rallies at the University in Feverfew.

The Police were about to resort to using a Ouija Board if need be to talk to a few of the executed criminals who took their last breath up at the Prison in Fallen (the next town over) because that made more sense then to even think about questioning Morgan Gamble, who was not only seen walking up the path to the cliff tops with Ona, people actually saw him running down the path after Ona hit the rocks below.

Morgan Gamble played baseball and was a Boy Scout and his older brother was a first year Med Student and his high school age sister a cheerleader. His Mom’s name was Betsy and his Dad was named Skip and they had two cars and one of the biggest, newest houses built in the newest and best new town of Ransomville.

Why on Earth would you spend time talking to a boy like Morgan who came from a family like the Gambles about the Murder of a little girl with perpetually tangled hair and socks that didn’t match and clothes that her Mother bought at the Neighbors In Need Charity Shops?

In the end a lot of people thought that, so Ona Crocata’s death was ruled a suicide.

After all, it was decided what else could it have been?

The stars that filled the sky lined up for Morgan Gamble: he got to grow up and get married and have a wife and a home of his own while Ona Crocata, wrapped in a simple white sheet and dressed (the dress had actually been carefully draped and pinned around the little girls smashed and ruined body) in her Mother’s best Easter dress turned to dust and bone in her simple pine casket at the Leaning Birches Cemetery in Larkspear.

Despite the fact the Sun and the Heavens smiled down on Morgan his eyes were closed to all of it. He didn’t see it; you don’t need to have open eyes to look into yourself 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Ona Crocata eyes were always opened.

And they were always looking out.

Morgan’s wife was named Ginny and the only difference between Ginny and his Mother were their voices. Betsy Gamble talked high and fast and Ginny Leonard-Gamble talked high and ultra fast so listening to the two of them at the same time was sort of like listening to a table saw running none stop for hours on end.

Morgan didn’t care as long as that high pitched whine wasn’t heading in his direction.

Only last Monday not only did that high pitched intolerable whine head his way it ran down his throat and he almost choked on it. The Whine was magnified a hundred times over and the sound levels could only be compared to standing next to a jet when it takes off.

God, what was that noise?

Then he remembered- Monday night was The Book of The Month Club night.

On book club night Ginny and her friends sat around in their living room and talked about plot lines and drank some wine, they talked about character motivation and then they drank more wine by the time they got around to talking about what the book meant they were all blasted which was good because the only thing worse then listening his wife’s book club talk was listening to them talk sober.

At least this way they were sort of amusing.

It made up for the screaming headache Morgan got when they were around.

Morgan managed to make it from their indoor garage with minimum pain when two little words drifted up from the living room to the entrance way as he closed the living room door.

“Dog Girl”

His face turned red and he looked up and around to make sure he wasn’t the one who had said those words out loud.

Then he heard it again only much louder this time, “Dog Girl”

He followed those two words into his living room and smiled his best toothpaste ad type smile to his wife and her friends and said, “You all sound like Junior High school girls…what’s this Dog Girl talk?”

“It’s our book of the month “Ginny tried to say “it’s a ghost story.”

“About a Dog Girl? What is that some kind of New Age Hippy Chick in search of her inner animal or something?”

They all laughed like they were suppose to and Morgan preened like he was suppose to and then Mr. Good Humor Man left the room, “No really, what kind of story is it?”

Ginny saw her husband’s face turn to a cold hard mask right in front of her friends for Pete’s Sake, how could he? So she tried to focus her eyes and get serious so she could get him out of the room.

“ It’s about this little girl who was murdered, when she comes back as a ghost she doesn’t know she’s dead and when she figures it out she kills her murderer.”

“Really.” Morgan held his hand out for the book. “Why is it called Dog Girl” was she ugly or something?

Ginny shook her head and the motion almost made her get sick. “No, that’s what he called her before he shoved her over the railing…Dog Girl.”

Morgan looked at the book and on the cover was a Walnut Tree growing over the edge of a cliff. “ No one could’ve known that, what it felt like to put his hand against the small of her back and feel that little push… no one except for Dog Girl and …”

“Morgan!” Ginny shirked as Morgan quoted the book “you’ve done it, you actually read a book!”

“How does she kill him?”

“He starts to see her everywhere, at the Park, playing with his children, in the Mall. She becomes as real to him as anybody and it makes him crazy.”

“Sees her?” he asked

One of Ginny’s friends chimed in, “He sees her everywhere. So he goes out to the Cemetery to find her grave and dig her up and it’s gone. Dog Girl is gone and so are her grave and tombstone and all.”

“ So, “ a high pitched voice grated against Morgan’s brittle nerves “ he goes out to his garage closes the windows and puts rags under the doors and such and starts his car and dies from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

“And just when he thinks he’s finally free of Dog Girl he sees her through the exhaust just outside of the driver’s window and he knows just as he dies it’s only the beginning. Dog Girl is never going to leave him…ever.”

Morgan nodded and for the first time in years, maybe for the first time in his life he looked outside of himself and all he saw was Ona “Dog Girl “Crocata.

He decided it would be best if he got use to it now because he had the feeling that was all he would be looking at for a very long time.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Auffer the Children- finale


He felt the first ticklings of the girl’s Change arriving, and began to send a matching response. Every moment he was awake he kept thoughts of her in his mind’s eye.

As he was out and about of an autumnal day he stumbled across her scent, ripe and compelling, he began to follow this to the source. At last he saw her, from the way she held herself he could see the worry and doubt in every line of her.

She looked at her latest meal, she had enjoyed every drop, without thought of the younglings. Agitated to the point she was unaware of her actions, she involuntarily hissed at the secrets within the shadows.

The urge rose in him, primal and insatiable, and he fought it down with great effort. He truly enjoyed his time with every female who had accepted his advances, and he was determined to make their time something to be savoured.

There was a quality of childhood games in the suit, advance and retreat, innocent touches. While all clan members could witness the courtship, the consummation would be private and remain so.

But, he must gain her acceptance, and trust, in time for the Change. Her scent grew stronger, and his own desire led him to her Home.

She stood in an open space, alone and aloof, her head tipped back. There were three other men in attendance already, yet two hissed before leaving in frustration.

The one that was left, locked eyes with him, it was perhaps two breaths and the third looked away in defeat, then slid into the shadows.

She turned to him, her eyes were as intense as an Elder’s and an air of distraction swirled around her. “How did they, and you, find me, and…”

“It can’t be that Time yet, I still have younglings to feed!!” Her voice was desperate, the cry of the hunted.

“I want to help.” He offered proof in food, good and fresh, enough to feed them for days.

They were gaze locked, and motionless, then she turned her hands palm up, as the Laws prescribe.

“I accept your Suit.” She would now be with him until her first birthing was survived, and she had enough help without his presence.

Then she would have the option to accept or refuse his suit again. After three acceptances they were legally an accepted pairing.

“Now, my dear, give me nibbles then let us feed the younglings until they fall asleep feeding.” The traditional nibbles were barely hard enough to draw blood. Their blood was mingled, and they were now engaged in the fashion of their People.

He began to feed the younglings with the confidence of experience.

She looked at the younglings, slurping their food greedily. With a sigh of relief she buried her fangs in her scarred wrist and then offered it to the nearest mouth in the writhing cluster of youngling Vampyrs, in the thicker larval sacs their only truly recognisable feature was their gleaming fangs.

Suffer the Children-Part 5


Brother was maturing too quickly, mastering things he should not have for years yet, and he thrived on it. He grew, seemingly, every day. He had flawless taste, and a daring sense of theatrics.

Tonight he looked his ragged best, every inch the lost child he was. She knew where he was going, the truck stop at the far border of the area they could search in one day.

Always, always sneaking, and making do, they were slowly fading towards extinction. Sister was weaker all the time, and as the younglings grew they needed food in distressing quantities.

Already the rumours were spreading, tales of ghosts, and curses were roused and settled into everyone’s thoughts. They would be found out too soon. And that would be the end of everything that they knew.

He carefully faded into the background while he was searching for food. There were less and less chances for good food, and he lived with a grippe of fear niggling at him every second.

Often he let food pass by for one of many reasons, not the least of which was safety. Sister played the Laws almost every time they slept and had them answer questions about them that she tossed at them randomly.

One man watched him every night, noting every detail, his sun blonde hair, sleepy violet eyes, and a dimple clinging to the corner of his full-lipped pout. He had skin the colour of gold dust in the wind, the texture seemed to be burnished, yet he was still pale and delicate of frame.

He wore clothes in shades of butterscotch, cocoa brown, antique gold, and creams. When he wasn’t playing the pitiful stray child, he dressed like a miniature executive, impeccable and immaculate clothes draped elegantly from his shoulders.

His clothes were a camouflage; no one really noticed a well-dressed, polite young man slipping quietly through a crowded restaurant.

Occasionally, someone would feel his presence, and rarely, know, that was when he would put into practice the ways and whys of distraction.

Finally, second Brother was old enough to start looking and he stuck by Sister’s side for as little time as they dared. First brother was free to seek another territory and start his own life. But, he took a share of the younglings with him, to ease Sister’s burden.

Even with the drop in hungry mouths to feed there was still a struggle to stay barely alive. When he could, first Brother brought food to Sister’s brood.

At the same time he worried. He could see the beginnings of The Change coming upon her.

Soon she would have no choice but to seek a mate and who would want her?

She still had so many hungry younglings, and was nearly ready to start on her own clan. First Brother embarked on a Quest, to find a fit mate for Sister.

It seemed that everywhere he went, he could find no one, just hints and half-perceived intuitings. The Moon waxed and waned, then waxed and waned again and no one had appeared that he deemed worthy of Sister.

It was now becoming imperative that a mate be found, the Signs of Imminent Change were clear. Sister began to solidify, despite the denials she had forced on her system. Her figure had bloomed and now she was becoming provocative in her mannerisms.

She was embarrassed, and at the same time sorrowful. She too, knew what was happening. Soon she would have to send out the call. She didn’t want to, she wasn’t guaranteed of finding a fit mate in all this lonesome, or even a poor one.

(Tomorrow, my dears, will be the ending of my tale. I hope that you have enjoyed it. Thank you for sticking with me.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Suffer the Children- Part 4


He knew they were out there, the orphans, and he knew he must find them before any more younglings were lost. Who would have thought someone that young could have accomplished what the girl was doing?

He reached out, seeking a connexion with her, a way to channel strength in her direction. All he sensed was the sleeping patterns of the orphans.

He sighed in frustration then slowed his mind until he was in a conscious Alpha State. He tasted the restfulness she had created and gifted to her charges.

The rift had gone on far too long, children were never meant to bear this much responsibility. She should be dreaming of the first time she is allowed to be out with a young man, not struggling to feed that many rapacious mouths.

Knowing it futile to rue the past, and practicing it are two very different things. As he walked the streets his thoughts remained on the girl; what she could become, given the chance.

He insinuated himself in the rhythms of her dreams, and sent thoughts of acceptance, and the desire to help. Still, he was kept from knowing where they were.

His own sister had run away with her lover when Father had forbid them to court. As a consequence, the first time his sister had birthed she died of the effort, leaving a mate prostrated in grief.

The loss was felt through all the Clans, so much hope had been focussed on his sister. She had the chance to help secure peace with the Western Clans, she wedded a Western Clansman, aye, but it was a serf, not the heir apparent.

Now, another rebellious woman’s passion, had orphaned her first birthing, it was her eldest, a daughter, that Shone, she had the Gift of the Blood. She should be pampered, and protected; not shivering on shadowed byways struggling to be an entire family through her slight form.

He knew her Blood ran true, he had felt her Dance, and the energy she could harness. For all those years he had always thought no one could outshine their Mother, until he felt the touch of that lovely lass.

“Ah, Damn!!” He scowled at the night and a cat snarled his way up a tree, every hair rigid with fright. A gleam of feral eye and flash of teeth meant to kill, then the cat was gone, fled to another portion of its territory.

His restless wanderings took him to quiet, affluent neighbourhood. Behind doors so quick to open was where that girl should be going.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Suffer the Children- Chapter 2 & 3


Brother was almost shaking in excitement, anticipating his first time along with Sister, He thought she had taught them well, even the slower children understood what she teaching. This would be the test of her skills, if he succeeded, she would be more comfortable with taking the ones that were old enough to go out and search along with her on a regular basis.

He had so many ideas to help in their unusual situation, yet many rules held them fast in this draining state. How wonderful it would be to see the young ones go to bed with full tummies every night! Ah!!! To finally be able to see them growing, and maturing as they ought!!

Everything he had learned spun in his head, while his pores contracted in excitement, his pale skin appeared to have been polished like marble. At last he would start to help, as he had dreamed of doing for longer than Sister would ever know.

As soon as he would be able to search on his own, the next oldest Brother wanted to go out. That would surely turn the tide, and then they would be able to move to the city. They would have so many opportunities there, far more than here in the middle of nowhere.

Before he was truly aware of it, he and Sister were on their way, moving so easily that he felt as if he were floating a few inches off the ground. A wave of euphoria shook him until he was getting light headed and couldn’t help a giggle of delight.

Sister kept a portion of her attention on her sibling, it couldn’t be predicted how someone would react to their first taste of adulthood. She felt that her brother would take to it so easily that she would soon be taking another sib along.

After they had spent weeks polishing his attention to detail and sense of timing, before they went looking for food. He was pleased that everything he had pointed out was a possibility, surely he would settle into his role fast.

Having both of them working as a team, they were able to find more food, not always what they wished, but there was no more going to bed with empty tummies. At last the younger ones began to grow, still too slowly, but they were growing.

It wasn’t two full months before he was allowed to go out on his own. Determined to prove himself capable of being a provider, he carefully selected the food he knew would be best for everyone. The first time he found good food, he showed up at home with all pomp and circumstance, and found that the smallest of the younglings had Passed Over.

While the others fed messily, and talked between bites, with food smeared on their faces, Brother took the tiny girl and prepared her to be interred. He styled the honey blonde hair, and thought of the times she had look up to him so trustingly, full of confidence in her oldest brother.

When Sister returned she wept openly, bidding her farewell to the child curled in a foetal shape. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy as she rocked the child, crooning broken snatches of song between her sniffles.

Finally, Brother was able to wrest the body away from her, and carry it to the place reserved for those who had Passed Over. As Sister wept softly, with too many young ones crying for her, he placed the Traditional Cover on the Resting Place and whispered a sad prayer.

The clan walked slowly back to their home, and tried to rest, despite the sadness staining the air. Sister heard many restless sounds as she was begging for sleep.

It didn’t take long for her to accept that it was going to be one of those nights. Sighing slowly, she slid, snake silent, from her bed and stole her way to the stereo in the dark. She tapped the speaker button off, and plugged in the headphones.

Part 3

Rapt in velvet darkness she joined with the music, swaying and posturing shamelessly, in the womb of sound she sought surcease. She felt as though she were floating above the floor, and was but feathers away from flight.

A faint, reminiscent smile hovered in her cheeks, and her cheeks were modelled by the shadow of eyelashes, even her head moved with the music.

With her mouth parted a whisper and her hips swaying in smoky counterpoint, the hemline of the faded thin nightshirt began to move as if alive. Were anyone to see her she would seem a vision, something perhaps elfin and fey.

Her big toe and a sliver of sole were all that was connecting with the soft carpet. When she leaned back her hair spread like ice shards on the carpet.

At last, the song arrived; it called to her restless spirit and drew the most sensuous motions from her heart. She slowed, breathing through her open mouth.

She seemed to be rocking herself in the shadows, until the guitar cried through her.
She went from provocative to pleading with a tilt of her hair, and her arms uncrossed. Her hands moved with the sway of warning cobras, slowly moving Heavenward.

“Darkness, darkness,
Be my pillow…”

Robert Plant’s evocative treatment of the lyrics unclenched her heart and she was lost between the notes, begging the presence of each one, moving in a glory of understanding.

“Take my head
And let me sleep.”

Her face was highlighted with tears, and her fragile hands were beseeching blurs of pallor. She looked the ghost of some danseuse, dead of broken dreams.

Limber and utterly focussed, she slid into the harmonics of Plant’s “Little By Little”. Her mind went into deep Alpha state, and the relaxation spread outward to soothe everyone into gentle sleep.

When every breath was slow and even, she began to change her movements until she swayed almost imperceptibly. At last the sweet sag of sleepiness coiled through her muscles, she crawled gratefully into her bed and closed her eyes.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Suffer the Children


She hadn’t known a moment without worry since the last of the adults had Passed Over. She alone was responsible for two-dozen hungry mouths, there was never enough to go around, and often she went without so the children wouldn’t be hungry. Food was hard to come by in the middle of nowhere, until she got old enough to move the whole clan closer to a big city they would have to make do.

Food was searched for as often and as much as could be dared; always, always with the fear of getting caught nagging at her and disturbing her concentration. Without her all the children would die, and that was unthinkable, she would die before letting the little ones wither away from constant hunger. With as little food as she was able to find there was never enough to fill everyone’s bellies.

She pictured herself, her translucent skin, depthless black eyes and cloud of silver blonde, wavy hair suited the cast of her features. She closed her eyes; they were what ancient Oriental cultures call ‘Dragon’s Eyes’; long, slanting, heavily lashed, and seeming to be half-lidded all the time. . Her eyes were the sort that compels you to lock gazes and listen. Pursing her lush mouth briefly, the lips startlingly red, teetering on the edge of a smile at all times, with a small frown between her eyebrows she checked every youngling tenderly.

All her clothes were carefully chosen to play off the striking colouring she had, black, deep blues and greens, occasionally crisp white or the shade of a blood ruby. She chose styles that were flowing and made of light, soft materials accentuating the ethereal, almost incorporeal quality to her appearance.

A trick of light could have her looking old far beyond her years, as though she had already seen how ugly mankind could be. Her habit of ducking her head when she began to smile loaned her an air of old fashioned shyness. Blessed with a soft, sweet voice, her words fell like flower petals to drift slowly into your consciousness.

Tonight it was bitterly cold, and sleet fell, sharp blades of frozen rain that slapped against her cheeks; standing in the night air, feeling numb and woozy from hunger; she looked up at the sliver of a waning moon, distant and uninterested in her situation. There had to be food out here somewhere, there just had to!!

Knowing that she was far too tired, and battered by the elements, she listened, and searched the darkness with desperate eyes. There! She’d located some food; the children wouldn’t be as hungry tonight. Her search was always brief, and carefully orchestrated to avoid damage to the food. It was not enough, but it was all she could get on her own.

Tonight, however, there were problems actually getting her hands on the food; by the time she had it in her hands she knew she would have to hurry to get it home in time for them to go to bed at a decent hour.

Back home, she patiently fed all the younglings while they cried in hunger and desperation. There was barely a mouthful, maybe two, for her when their hunger was muted. As late as it had grown, there was barely time to settle all the littlest ones to sleep, and send the middle third, before she and the three oldest ones bid sweet dreams to one another.

Disturbing her restless sleep, the voice of hunger resonated through her, straining all joy from her dreams, and leaving bitter whey in her memory. Her own voice was slurred, falling upon deaf walls and soundless bed. Over and over she awakened, then, hissing in frustration, struggle to return to her rest.

Another night, the same as any other, except for expanding their search areas, hoping to have the efforts pay off quickly. By accident, she had discovered the diner, and marked it mentally as a place to get food for the younglings. Tonight, everyone had fed well, and she had even managed to soften the hunger-cries in her bones.

The little ones had drifted off with the rosy cheeks of good sleep, still snuggling with the older children. Everyone felt the glow from a truly good meal there had even been laughter, so rarely heard recently.

All the clan had been able to bed down comfortably and drift into restful, healing sleep. She even noted a soft flush in her cheeks, “Now that is better, we’re supposed to look like this all the time.”

”I’m old enough to help Sister, It will get better then.” The next oldest, a tall, lean boy with wavy masses of nearly black hair, and catlike golden brown eyes, already marked by their struggles.
“Not yet love, you’ve still more to learn. If you don’t learn it, you will never be able to make it in this world.” Her voice was soft, pitched low enough to not disturb the young ones.

“Please, you’re always so tired, and pale. I get afraid that you won’t come back some morning. I need to help.” Already the young man knew how to get his older sister to let him do what he wanted to.

“All right, you can come with me, there are things that you can’t understand until you have seen them firsthand” She sighed, and tossed a smile to him. “You must give me your Blood Oath that you will do exactly what I say, without questions.”

He paused for a long moment, he could hear the hum of the power lines overhead. “I give my Blood Oath, I will do as you say.”

Sister sighed, knowing what a shock her brother was in for. Everything he had gotten drilled into him from the very beginning had best be clearly understood. When they were in the middle of looking for food was not the time for him to become rebellious, or worse, impatient.

{Don't worry my dears, I wrote the whole tale before I posted a word...}