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She went out onto the porch and sat wearily down in the porch swing and began swinging back and forth, creating a breeze for herself in the stifling summer air.
Sonny came up the walk and paused at the steps.
“Well, he finally asked, his voice so low and quiet she almost didn’t hear it. Well, did you do it? Is it gone?”
He stared down at the gray wooden steps as he talked.
She kept swinging.
The sun had begun, she looked dark and brooding in the red light.
"Well? he glanced up at last, is it dead?”
"I want to just sit here and be left alone, she said.
I don't want to talk right yet."
He fiddled nervously with the brim of his work hat that he held in his two grimy hands.
His clothing and skin was permanently stained with burnt motor oil and smelled of gasoline. He'd been working on the tractor since daybreak, mostly to keep away from the house. Mostly to keep away from his sister.
"I need to know, he muttered, his lips barely moving, I have to know."
He looked pained and stricken and squinted against the sun, and waited.
She stood staring out the kitchen window at the darkening fields that stretched up over the distant hills. The shadows, black, the sky red and orange and insane shades of pinks and purples. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes trying to steady her nerves.
Her brother had just managed to push every button she had, she wished again that she lived alone. She'd have been so much happier, and he knew it, that's why he wouldn't leave.
She turned away from the window, a bit calmer now, and picked up the dinner dishes and sat them in the sink.
This morning, there was a beautiful snow. It was that kind that is big heavy flakes of snow and they stuck to everything outside! all the tree limbs and twigs, every blade of grass, everything.
the sky was gray and the light was dim, everything was so still.
I took hub's phone out and took pictures. I guess they turned out ok.
I have a lot that I just don't want to talk about right now, so I won't.
I'll think about it though and that will be bad enough. The less I talk about it, the louder it gets.
It's been hard to write regularly since I quit smoking last week. It's like part of the ritual is missing and the magic doesn't work now.
I guess I'll have to find something else to substitute for my little murderous cigarette friends.
I've tried celery sticks. Nope
A pencil to chew on, didn't work.
I've eaten chocolate mints by the box full, bags of apples, grapes and oranges.
Grapes work better than the other things as far as the physical hand to mouth thing goes, but, not the ritual magic part. Not the part where you get your ready to write.
continuing the stop smoking campaign that I don't really want to be a part of but am doing it anyway.
I have a couple smokes squirreled away, I got one out and put it in my cigarette saver. It's like a hollow ink pen the end screws off of. You smoke a little, put it in the cigarette saver and keep the rest for later. I've been nursing this one cigarette all day now.
God, it's delicious! LOL
I'm happy to have these patches which are cheaper. Maybe I could go with the patches and maybe one cigarette a day?
Good God, the sun came out today! I could see bands of it shining between the gaps in the old siding.
It was like seeing an old friend that had gone missing.
there's more snow supposed to be headed this way. Yippee!
(that was sarcasm) I've been trapped in this room now for weeks.
I need to get outside and just stand around or something.
Went out earlier and fed the chickens and the wind tore right through me. It is so cold out there right now my fingers were aching from it by the time I got back inside.
It's late now. Outside it's so cold it makes the tips of your ears ache and your fingers feel like they're burning.
I stepped out earlier to see if it was still snowing. It was. The wind was blowing the flakes like tiny shards of glass.
I didn't stay out long, all the neighbors houses were dark. The one outside light was swathed in flying banners of snow, it almost looked like fog the air was so full of white.
I closed the big door and ran back in here to hover over this little heater and pray for spring.
I heard about what happened in Tuscon.
Being a mother, the death of the little girl grieves me especially bad as I'm sure it does most people. What a terrible thing. She was one of the 911 faces of hope babies. Did you know that? Born on September 11, 2001, killed by a deranged young man who thought he was dreaming.
As a nation, we have lost our way, we have become nightmarish things. But, we will have an opportunity to wake up and stop dreaming, one last chance to become human beings. Will we take it?
Time will tell.
Did you hear that the sun came up 2 days early in Greenland? that they believe it could be caused by a lowering of the horizon? Lowered by melting of the ice?
Did you hear about all the birds falling dead from the sky in countries around the world, in several states here in the US?
Did you hear about all the fishes dying and washing ashore on rivers and lakes and at the coast? did you hear about magnetic north moving towards Siberia?
times they are a changin' indeed.
Do take time to love you friends and your families.
The sky turns inside out, the snow piles high, the winds scrapes at the windows and tries to squeeze in between the cracks. Little gusts of ice drift in and down and along the frigid floor. Frost rims the water dish for the cats. The cats are long gone, hopefully headed for sunnier climes.
One day the sky filled up with steel and charcoal colors and waves of silent smothering snow draped the ridges and hills. Little houses puffed their smokes in blue thin hazes above the trees.
I hope the cats made it out, I hope they are warm.
Time slips between cracks in the walls.
Time creeps along the cold boards of the floor. It lays in shadows with bits of spider web, it cradles with the husks of drained insects there.
Time takes what it needs.
It pulls to itself all it desires and leaves behind only imprints, only lines.
Time peers with black eyes and waits for us to pause. It waits for moments when we are distracted, and pulls from us what's needed. Time invents us, one instant at a time then leaves us hollowed out.
Time kills us in it's own, stealthy, silent way.
She was sitting in an old rocking chair, trying to hurry and smoke her forbidden cigarette before he came home. She had to hurry so she could air out the room and give the smell time to die down. She leaned back, closed her eyes and tried to think of a time when she'd been calm, think of a time when the burden of life had not so completely entombed her.
Slowly finishing the cigarette, she put it out in her empty coffee cup then hid the butt in a wad of paper and stuffed it into the trash.
He used to love to brush my hair. He'd run his fingers through it and sometimes lean his face into it, breathing deeply.
He loved doing that.
Now, he sits quietly in his chair and reads, or watches shows on tv or sleeps. He doesn't brush my hair anymore or inhale my fragrance as though it meant life to him.
Now, he just nods and smiles and sips his tea, his feet propped up the stockings peeking out sometimes from under his lap quilt.
Now his hands shake and he looks at me and tries hard to remember my name.
Overhead, rain drummed sharply on the tin roof. Thunder boomed like some great voice and lightning cracked and sparked along the ridge. It backlit the wind tossed trees and made them look alive.
Finally she pulled the drapes closes against the night and sat in her rocking chair, pulled up close to the fireplace where a small fire tugged at the blackening logs and cast wriggling lights over the walls.
Her shadow, a grotesque hunched thing stretched across the floor and up the wall opposite.
How, she had come to be alone here? Alone with the shadows and the night.
She was standing in the hall out front, paused for a moment beside the ornate mirror when she caught some movement out of the corner of her eye. It was accompanied by the creaking sound of weight upon floorboards.
She turned to look. The front door was closed but not locked, and through the window she saw the man. He was standing on the porch, staring through the glass.
She felt a shiver crawl up her spine and took a step back.
He was slouched over, His hair hung in ropes over his eyes.
He didn't knock.
He only smiled.
She was packed and ready to go. It was late, everyone was sleeping. She'd put everything she thought she would need into her backpack and had it hidden underneath the bed.
Looking around the room she satisfied herself that she was not forgetting anything important and gently pulled the heavy pack from under the bed. She paused by the door to listen.
Nothing. It had been a couple hours now since her foster parents had gone to bed and they would be sound asleep.
She walked silently through the living room to the front door, opened it and stepped outside.
Nothing to say that hasn't been said. I'm having a lot of trouble finding 100 words to say absolutely nothing with.
Nothing going on, not here at least and maybe I should be thankful for that. Could be living in one of those God forsaken hell holes like Haiti, or Gaza, or someplace like that.
My biggest fear is that we'll end up like one of those places where people live in constant terror and hunger is as familiar to them as their own face in the mirror.
That's what's coming here I'm afraid.
Then, something will be going on.
Oh great. Supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow night.
This is a bit crazy actually. I don't think I ever remember having this damned much snow in my life.
Well, not here anyway, I guess if we lived up north somewhere it would be normal, but not here.
Do you ever wonder if we've screwed up the weather so bad that we're heading into an ice age?
I wonder about that. Especially this winter. Wonder if this summer will be all messed up like the winter has been?
Oh well, we'll go out tomorrow and get snow supplies. AGAIN!
She dreams of the sun.
and the sky pure and vacant.
there are no trails or vapors, there are no arching vaulted meanderings, no airships or kites, no birds or insects.
only the daring sun glazing the unmarked blue.
She dreams of rain.
Clouds low and charcoal etched
like pictures she has seen where the silver beads of water hang on strings of air.
Rain. Clean, cool, steadily pulsing.
She dreams of hills.
Crowned with fringes of trees, heavy with leaves and the sounds of birds.
She dreams of grasses and fluttering petals.
She dreams and dreams of days gone by.
there once was a woman made of glass,
she was small and decidedly fragile.
her hands were crystal and she could see the sky through them
when she held them up and looked through them with her shimmering eyes.
she spoke with a voice that sounded like a hollow reed when the wind blows across it,
she walked softly and her feet tapped on the ground in a funny way.
she lived in a house surrounded by great stones that shook mightily when the earth moved beneath them.
the woman made of glass knew that one day the stones would fall.
She sits in a cold room with her feet crossed up underneath her. She sips hot tea and runs her tongue over her slippery teeth.
There is no more food but the tea lasts and lasts, it can be re-used.
Outside, not a sound is heard now, not a movement save for the pawing of the wind against the parched hills.
The dust whizzes and sizzles between the gaps in the walls and
forms into little mountains against the shadows.
she sips hot tea and waits for the night.
waits for the brittle empty sky to fall at last.
In the dream, the sky was dark and swollen, the rain drove down against the house in sheets as the wind pricked and howled and blasted.
In the dream there were children in the room, watching together as the storm threw first one flash of lightning and then another, again and again.
The deep sound rattled the panes and they huddled together as the rumble pulsed through the floor. The sitter, came and pulled the drapes shut against the raging storm but not until the children saw what flew in the storm, not until they saw the great winged things.
There was a thud as though something heavy had hit and was oddly dragged up the roof and a familiar but terrifyingly out of place sound echoed...
it was the mooing of what sounded like cows, far in the distance and again up close, up close and above them, above the house.
There was another thud scrape and another. Something was hitting the roof and being dragged along.
Suddenly a window in the front of the house seemed to explode, a rain of glass skipped and tinkled across the living room floor.
"Stay here, the sitter told them. Don't move."
The house was plunged suddenly into darkness as a bolt of lightning struck close by. The children screamed. "quiet, the sitter whispered hoarsely. You must be quiet, you must." She wiped the palms of her hands down the legs of her jeans. "Just stay here and don't make a sound.
She didn't know why it seemed so important to her that they should be quiet, but it did. She edged against the wall down the hall towards the living room where the wind was now blowing in gusts. She could see the bright curtains dancing wildly in the dark.
The full force of the storm seemed to be hitting the front of the house. the wind and the strange thumping, dragging sound was louder there than in the back of the house where the children were.
She leaned her shoulder against the doorway and looked around the corner into the living room. The big plate windows were gone, laying across the hardwood floor sparkling in the flashes of lightning like fallen stars.
The crazed, frantic mooing was louder, she could hear the wind and a strange whirring, so loud it almost drowned out the sound of the storm.
Perched high above, she looks down.
the dust hangs stationary
the dust hangs stationary
she clings to the window ledge,
her hands ache
her hands ache.
off in the distance the sky is on fire.
it blazes like a star
it blazes like a star
down below the people run,
and look for a way to escape
and look for a way to escape
pity the beasts and flowers on the hills,
they didn't deserve it
they didn't deserve it.
tic toc the fire approaches
the dust starts falling
the dust starts falling.
she clings to the window with hands turned bloody
and lets loose her soul
she lets loose her soul.
Out front over the hills, the darkness hangs like a curtain.
It is approaching slowly, on a molecular level so slowly that no one notices as it eats and deletes the world.
I see it, I see it everyday.
Wavering sometimes it casts shadows upon itself and moans like wind.
It is the great undoing of the world slipping along the sky like time it is slow and deliberate and final.
One by one, the people disappear, they slip behind the curtain and never were.
They slip behind the curtain and are forgotten.
Count with me the dark days.
He, was reflected in puddles in the road, red like clay, muddy and brown, he wavered without detail and disappeared in Os when the rain began to fall again.
Across the road, arms of vine looped and stretched, reaching for the rain, their awkward genes manipulated by peculiar pollen generations ago. Man-made monsters squirming in the rain with leaves twitching and twittering back and forth, looking now for food.
The man paused, gauged the distance they could quickly reach and stepped back to bare and muddy ground. He would have to wait, wait for the plants to sleep.
the wind is blowing so hard, I can hear it lifting sections of tin roof and slapping it down, over and over, it's like fake thunder.
It's dark out and I'm worried about what the damage will be come morning. I hope that the green house holds up ok. It's pretty strong but damn, this wind is almost unreal.
Now it's sounding like a train coming, there's a door somewhere in the building slamming, I feel it hissing through the cracks in the wall here and around the window.
Wind in the night, blowing the sky bare, scouring the hills.
The last of January. I'm glad to see it go. It's been cold and such a hardship here.
I know that the roof is rotting under it's leaky load of snow, and my bones creak and snap and ache under their load of cold and arthritis.
I dream everyday of moving away, just leaving this mess behind me and wandering off somewhere.
it's not as easy to disappear as it once was. Not many places to go, and I have no way to get there anyway.
I think about it though. Think about just wandering away and never looking back.
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