Pythian Games

put on your track shoes and write the miles

Archive for the ‘Mnemosyne Stream Memories’ Category

The Red Typewriter

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Ocean girl dives for poetry dreams.
She looks for words out windows.

umbrellagirlubushwalks

Her red typewriter tapped away in her imagination. It was an old typewriter, like one you see in those mystery movies when the secretary is typing and then her boss enters with a request for a file, or a phone call she must make. Her fingers pressed the keys hard to get each one to mark the page.

As a young girl she would lie flat on her stomach on her bed to write in her diary. It was thick blank paged book, light blue in colour with a dark blue binding. She spent so many hours filling it with words: words of frustration about her mother, vivid description of foods as she was always hungry due to their relative poverty, and sometimes words from the news. She spilled them out, and changed her pen colours every now and then to make the page look more interesting. The pages if you could have eaten them would have tasted of rainbows. Sometimes she even had those scented pens and the pages reeked of the perfume of letters. She saved her pocket money and went to a special store to buy them.

There were words of secret loves and calculations of how many times a certain boy had looked at her, and what colour his eyes really were if you looked closely enough. Hazel eyes, green eyes, blue eyes? Sometimes she wrote about stories her friends told her, especially a girl named Leesa.

Leesa was the storyteller legend she followed around and asked again and again to tell her stories. Lessa was from Mornington Island, and her skin was a wonderful scorched brown just like her Papua New Guinean Mum’s. Leesa was her first Aboriginal Friend.

umbrellagirlubushwalks

Ah there were many diaries and many words. She had boxes of them by the time she left home. It may surprise you that she burnt all the words when she left home. Or maybe it won’t. She worried that some of her words might hurt someone somewhere, most especially her mother. She didn’t want her secret diaries to ever make it into print after all they were the immature words of a teenager trying to find her way. She wanted her words to only be somewhere inside her ready for her to retrieve but no one else. She had not really considered the limitations of memory to retrieve those words. The words could not sit in the red typewriter. Or could they?

She read The Diary of Ann Frank and was amazed at Anne’s openness within her diary. She cried when she read that diary and thought of Anne locked up in a cupboard, dreaming, frustrated and wanting to make it out into the bright world where the rainbows waited. She felt her own efforts were nothing compared to this girl who poured even more than she could ever imagine onto a page. Did she know that her fate would be to be that series of precious moments of life seized and lived and written of and that she would be a powerful testimony to catastrophe? What was Ann’s significance when she began to write the diary and what was her own significance when her diary outlived her fate and she too became part of history- ‘Oh the power of voice.’ She wondered about the power of voice. She imagined herself in conversation with Anne Frank, like many other girls across the world. “I am no Anne Frank, history like that will not be repeated. Although watching the news one couldn’t be sure.”

umbrellagirlubushwalks

She knew that she had always wanted to be a writer. She had gone through an over use of adjective phase. She had searched for her identity voice and spoken of cultural issues of being a second generation migrant. She had been TS Eliot with her smoky alleyways of thought poem and had searched for a lost albatross like Coleridge.

The red typewriter was from her European grandparents. They had lived in Geneva. Every year her grandmother sent her two cards. The letters were always rather formal. Sometimes though she made homemade cards, and pictured on the front were bunny rabbits with purple aprons and winged seeds that made their ears. There was a sense of fun to the covers that was at odds with the inner formal tone. Maybe her grandmother did care for her in her own way.

Her European grandparents were remote figures who she met only three times in her life that she could remember. Her father was particularly distant from them because they had not accepted his Papua New Guinean “coloured” wife. Nor for that matter had they accepted her uncle’s first wife, a Jewish Lady. Yet, it was these same grandparents who were pleased to hear she wanted to write, and who when she visited them a few years later gave her the red typewriter.

She wondered what they expected her to write of them. She remembered breakfast at their beach house. It was a boiled egg with runny insides that you dipped finger toast into, followed by some hot Milo. She remembered her uncle taking a big boxer dog for a walk and feeling kind of strange to be the child chosen to be the visiting grandchild. Perhaps though it was because she had become the family scribe and dutifully wrote her grandmother letters. She could not remember for the life of her what she specifically wrote about- maybe school, the weather, what her brothers were up to, at least what was okay to put in a letter as one brother in particular was getting himself regularly into strife.

However their red typewriter had some competition. It was the songs of her bubu, her Papua New Guinean grandmother who she heard might be coming to live with them. She was always on her way but never with them. She was a song rising from a village many miles away. She was a chant on a tape deck and there was no photograph, nothing to picture her but to imagine maybe she looked like her mother.

Her European grandmother although remote was more tangible to her. She was not highly educated. Her Dad said she spoke French with a gutter accent, and her grandfather by contrast spoke it at university level.

Her bubu (grandfather) was a carver excommunicated from the church for his heathen art- all these stories, all these words they were not hers but her parents. Their memories were singing out from the memory of the red typewriter asking to be written. They wanted to have their own voice.
She looked for her own story ‘is my story their story.’ Sometimes there were experiences that came straight out of books, like meeting an anthropologist who had studied her bubu’s village and who had actually met her grandfather, old Malolo. It felt so strange to her to finally see a photograph of a relative and to see an image of an Aunty just like her mother! She would have known. She would have run to her and hugged her.

She remembered her European grandfather learning Maori every week, and taking her to meet his teacher. Why, as her Dad’s stories had it, did they not accept her mother? Why did they now accept her? She remembered looking at the carvings with him but she did not think of her other bubu for she had never met him. She was the discarded wife. He was so far away and would be dead before she would ever meet him.

None of this was in those diaries she burnt, because all this knowledge and experience came later. She wished she could say to that young girl and her red typewriter, notice everything, plants, people, food, colour, aromas, tastes, everything that happens as you travel. Remember because this is your story, your testimony.

She pressed the keys harder and harder and stories began to flow. Once she began to get them down it was impossible to stop.

Extract from Island Rock Girl
(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved

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Written by pearlz

July 20, 2009 at 5:26 am

It begins with ….

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believe in the possibility - dream

It starts with the lap top, the voice of a girl and the rain. It begins with no distraction, a desk, a window, and ends up following the distraction of imagination. It beats down like the water from the boats travelling in the sky and cuts up the clouds.

The memory rains down and says, ‘they will give you a red typewriter and you will never stop writing. You are the girl with the red smiley stories.’ It says ‘Your life was a fairytale,’ to which you say, ‘I don’t know what you mean. How can that be so?’

Yet, looking back you see, the witches, the fairies, the birth of a dragon from the rainforest and you know there is a fairytale to be told. You still resist and in contempt fire back: ‘I haven’t done anything heroic, I haven’t survived a tragedy, climbed a super tall mountain, become a movie star, who would want to read my stories.’

‘Look again,’ says the memory rain. Now you see it, the mother who lets go of her children to send them out into the world with a shell song, the sister who hears messages from the soul garden as the Willy Wagtail comes to visit, the mother who must make sense of death and recover from an attempted home invasion, and a woman who has left the South to live in the North and in her attempt to leave is haunted by ghosts from the north who hide in her boot.

You can hear story ghosts singing out in the cane, smell pumpkin pie, transform rusty tin into gold coins- because you are a storyteller’s Godmother, you are memory and imagination dancing hand, in hand with constant change.

People can change, can transform, can write everyday just like breathing and they can change what they understand the past as I cannot cry for what I cannot predict, rather I hope for what I dream into being.
Is this your real life, or your past re-imagined- is it fiction, faction, myth or fantasy? Is this a dream from which the story is woken? Now you are off to be a ‘story catcher’ as Christina Baldwin describes.
It ends with the lap top, the woman, the rain and the opening of tub after tub of honey full of story.

believe in the possibility - dream

Image: believe in the possibility dream – by gumbootspearlz
(c) June Perkins all rights reserved —Excerpt from Work in progress Island Rock Girl

More of June’s work is at Unity’s garden

Written by pearlz

July 16, 2009 at 1:59 am

The Wild Hunt

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(A memory from the Chocolate Box)

The recent storms brought back memories of my childhood in Ireland, when I was told that the thunder and lightning were made by the Wild Hunt. To me, there was nothing more exciting or terrifying than to imagine the black horses and their dark riders loose on a stormy night.

The Wild Hunt

On stormy nights, when the Wild Hunt Rides,
And there is no balm that soothes,
I watch the sky for the flash of their swords
And the thunder of their hooves.

Their horses black as the leaden clouds
Buck and charge the sky.
The mountains shake as they raise their heads
And echo a warrior’s cry.

What prey do they seek on these stormy nights,
What leaves the scent of blood?
What cowers in fear before the Ride
That comes in a raging flood?

It is man that they hunt through the dark of night.
It is we that cower and pray.
Yet, how the heart leaps at their warrior cries
As they thunder on their way.

On stormy nights, when the Wild Hunt rides,
There is no balm that soothes.
But we watch the sky for the flash of their swords
And the thunder of their hooves.

Gail

Written by Gail Kavanagh

May 28, 2009 at 8:49 am

The Portal In My Front Yard- Pt. II

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The Portal In My Front Yard- Pt. II

 

As we sat over dinner, the conversation fell to everyday things; when to hunt, was the stream drying up, would the harvest hold them through the winter.  It was after this that the Shaman rose and motioned me to follow him along a rough, dim passageway deeper into the mountain.

 

We passed lovely cave paintings, deer rendered with consummate grace, the wolfdogs were chasing a herd of shaggy buffalo closer to hunters, whose every line was taut with waiting.

 

A group of women bent to the harvest with love and gratitude to the Great Mother.  A startlingly real lion snarled from a shadow, so alive I had to pause and admire it further.

 

“Oh this is beautifully rendered!!”  I couldn’t help but follow the lines with a wondering fingertip.

 

There were small bowls, painstakingly chipped and rubbed smooth from stone, each with a different earth-toned paint in them.  I dipped a fingertip in one and drew the eyes of an owl, and then I added the beak, the sleek form of a perched owl, and a sturdy branch for him to perch on.

 

“Yes, your ancestress painted some of these, and her mothers before her.  I see you know of your Spirit Guides.”

 

“Yes, Owl came to me when I was born.”

 

“Come with me, I have much to show you before morning.  Your familiars have caught up with us, and now they will not get lost.”

 

I followed him to a small room carved into the stone, just large enough for the two of us to sit cross-legged on the floor with a tiny fire between us.  Pye and Skye each claimed a portion of my lap and settled for a snooze.

 

He began to hum, forcing the air to resonate on his sinuses, I joined in; when my cats felt my humming they began to purr to the rhythm of the Shaman.

 

I could feel myself slipping into a light trance and I let it happen; the Shaman spoke without words: “For you to continue, you must know how your kind came to be.”

 

I began to see images, slowly focussing and growing closer.  I was on a lovely, large tropical island, and there were two distinct forms of humanoids, there were the cavemen-type, standing straight and proud.

 

 I was closer to the second kind, tall, smooth skinned, and clothed in flowers, grey-blue tattoos and a woven skirt in the shades of a tropical sunset.  I wore necklaces, bracelets and anklets made of shells and coral, with pearls scattered amongst them.  As I moved through the throngs of people the shells clinked together making a quiet tune to my movements.  

 

We were on the shore, where enormous canoes of tree trunks, woven lashings and tar rode the waves with comfortable grace.  They were decorated with garlands of flowers, woven so closely together that the petals of one blossom crowded the next.  Their sails were painted with sigils of protection and signs of peace large enough to be seen from a great distance.

 

I was handed into the largest canoe, with a mixed crew of the cavemen types sitting on either side of me.  A great portion of the canoe was taken up by foodstuffs, both for the coming journey and as gifts for the people where we going to. There were living animals tethered in another canoe, and a third was heavy with the handiwork of the people.

 

Carvings, painted wooden plaques, shell and stone jewellery were neatly stacked along with woven platters, bowls and colourful screens.  Piles of brightly dyed, soft, woven cloth painted rainbows in the belly of another canoe.  There were some bowls, cups and mortars with pestles smoothed from stone in yet another canoe. 

 

The journey was begun; the crew and I sang songs to the stars as we rowed across an ocean of impossibly blue depths, and lazy swells were pushing us toward our goal.  More often than not, the wind was in our favour and we could hoist sail and tend the canoes themselves.

 

Gradually the weather became rougher, and the water coldly green; we passed a headland and breathed a sigh of relief for we knew the most dangerous part of our journey had been passed.  The skies cleared and the water changed again, now a lovely deep green, warm and beckoning.

 

Soon a smudge appeared on the horizon, after three days of rowing we could see the island, surrounded by an almost impenetrable brackish marsh.  We were met by one of the tall, smooth-skinned humanoids, a handsome, passionate man commanding a seemingly gigantic craft of his own.  The sturdy wooden sides were carved and painted with complex symbols and the Matrons of the ship were carved, painted and set onto the prow of every ship.

 

He and I spoke at some length, about the time being short and this would be the last chance for ‘them’ to stay.  Those that had come to love the cavemen and their world as I had, didn’t want to leave this world and travel to one we did not know, not even though we had been assured that we would be welcomed.

 

He agreed, and said that he would gather those that did not want to leave, and they would follow us to the island I called ‘home’.  Within two days there was a fleet of some dozen boats, all dwarfing my beloved flotilla of canoes.  At last the man that I had spoken with reappeared, with the final two craft.

 

We spoke again in length, and at last agreed that if the commanders and crew of the other vessels took some of the natives of ‘my’ island to wife or husband, their acceptance would come more easily to his people, by my people.

 

I agreed, and the men of his people asked how they would need to take my people to wife; I explained that they would need to pay a bride-price to her family and then ‘steal’ her in a ritual that culminated with their wedding feast.

 

The women asked how they could tell a man of my people that they desired to be taken as his bride.  I explained about how a bride’s value was determined by what she could bring into the marriage.  A woman showed a man the many things she could bring to the marriage, all of them made by her hand.  She showed these to the man she desired, and then, if he desired her, he would speak to her family about the bride-price.

 

Most women’s’ bride-prices were in goods, servants, and property; a very, very few were valuable enough to merit not only the usual price, but an additional price to be paid to the bride herself in precious stones, metals, and such.

 

I watched happily through the return journey as my men took the other women to wife, and the women of my people promised to show their goods to one man or another of the shining ones.  Soon, the crews were no longer separate peoples, but one crew spanning many vessels.

 

Through all of this I desired the commander of the fleet I led to my home, the first man that had met us at his island.  I did not offer to show him my goods, for I was sure he desired another woman, one both lovelier and younger than I.

 

Each day I expected to be asked to arbitrate their marriage, which I would do gladly for the love of them and of our people.  We were counting the days until we would see my home shining in the sweet seas; the shining ones had nearly ceased to think of themselves as different, and were gradually becoming native in their lifestyle and values.

 

The first time a shining one was swimming and was greeted joyously by a dolphin was perhaps my happiest day.  It was the first time I had seen wonder on an shining one’s face, and the joy on all of their faces as an enormous pod, almost 200 strong, of dolphins led our fleet across the blue waters, were like a heady drug for me and I stood in my canoe, singing to the dolphins in the natives’ language.  The dolphins’ easy acceptance of the shining ones augured well for the success of this journey.

 

My home was a cloud on the horizon when we saw the flames of the shining ones’ people that were returning home, their airships rose impossibly high and then joined the stars in the heavens.  Everyone sang a song of farewell as the airships disappeared.

 

After this we were impatient to reach our home and feel solid ground beneath our feet again.    The crew was impatient, and redoubled their efforts to gain the shore soon.  As I sat in my canoe, and read the skies for direction the commander of the fleet sidled his personal vessel close to mine and bade me join him in his quarters.

 

After I had boarded his vessel, and greeted many of the crew, we wthdrew to his quarters; he bade me sit upon his hammock and he sat beside me.  He started speaking slowly, with a few false starts;  “I hope this will not offend you…” He ran shaking fingers through his hair.

 

“I have been watching you through this voyage, and now I must ask this of you.  Would you tell me your bride-price, that I may win you as my own.”

 

He opened a small, ornate chest and held a handful of shimmering golden chains, bracelets and suchlike out to me.  “This I will pay to you, and everything I have I will offer to your family when we have arrived home.”

 

My heart sang so that I could not speak for a moment, and I had to swallow many times before I could force any words out.  “I am shocked, I had long ago expected you to ask for someone else.”

 

“Am I not offering enough?”  He sounded genuinely hurt.

 

“It is not that.  I have no bride-price, for I have no family to ask it of.  I have been an orphan since I was born, and was raised by everyone.”  I covered my face to hide my shame.

 

“I knew your sire, he was the first of us to take a native to wife.  He was driven out of the shining ones’ for this, and sought shelter among the natives.”  He lifted my face and smiled.  “Among shining ones, your bride-price would be one of the highest, for your father was founder of both the shining ones’ island and your island.  I only dared ask your bride price because my father also founded the shining ones’ island.”

 

“I will be honoured to show you my goods when we reach Lemuria.”  I kissed both of his cheeks and smiled back at him.  We returned to the deck and as soon as the crew saw the chain around my neck they began shouting and cheering.

 

The next evening we arrived at Lemuria, and everyone poured onto the beach to welcome us.  Fathers greeted new sons-in-law and mothers clasped new daughters-in-law to their chest, all of this done with noisy laughter, a great deal of embracing, and more than a few tears of happiness.

 

I stood on the beach of home and watched my ‘family’ grow larger by the second and I felt I should glow with happiness.  When everyone was beckoned towards a feast that was cooking in giant pits of glowing coals and in kettles on the edges of the fire I joined them, laughing, dancing and singing along the path to the village.

 

The feast lasted until almost dawn, with stories of the Journey being shared and performed around the fire-pit.  As many of the people retired to their homes I approached the Matron of our people.

 

I asked her permission to show my beloved my many goods.  I also showed her the golden chain I wore around my neck and told her of the chest full of such things he had offered to me.

 

“Tell your young man that your bride price will be this:  I ask him to send his ships around the world to seed oour people everywhere, but.”  She held up a hand to silence me.

 

“He must remain here, with you, to become the leaders of our people.  Together, man and woman as it is meant to be.  With you as the next Matron I can go easily to the stars, knowing that my family will be cared for with love and honour.  Now. Show your mate your goods, as I saw you come from his quarters on his ship, I could tell that he has already taken you to wife.”

 

In the years that followed my mate and I watched the population of our island grow great enough for seeding many times.  Each time we sent another boat filled with those to seed our world with the children of the shining ones we did so with joyous songs and days long celebrations.

 

Although I never brought a child to our union my mate and I were happy in the knowledge that we were doing the best for our combined peoples, and our adopted world.  We would never know if our ‘seeding’ flourished or no, we could only pray that it was so.

 

After many years my mate returned to the stars and as I sang his body to the deeps my spirit knew that he and I would meet again one day, and that we would know the joy of our bond once again.

 

I came back to the little stone room, and felt the tears soaking my face, yet I did not feel sad, but blessed to know my beginnings on our world.

 

“I need not ask if you saw what you needed to, I can see that you did.”  The Shaman reached out, caught one teardrop on a fingertip and kissed it reverently.

To be continued:

 

 

Fairy Floss

with 11 comments

*This little fragment is something I wrote out of my own experiences of making and selling fairy floss with my husband years ago. For our friends in the US, fairy floss is the Australian name for Cotton Candy.

Sideshow Alley was in full swing. A long queue snaked down from the fairy floss stall, waiting with money in hand for a fluffy pink stick.

Imelda brushed stray wisps of hair out of her eyes, remembering too late that her hands were covered in fairy floss. A fine film of pick sugar extended up her arms and was now stuck to her forehead.

“I gotta wash this off,” she said to Jake, He was manning the other fairy floss machine, standing over the spinning bowl, catching the mist of spun sugar on a stick.

“Wait ‘til we got these people served,” he said. He leaned so close to the bowl that his face and hair were covered in fairy floss too.

Imelda handed her customer the stick of candy, slipped the money into her apron pocket and grabbed another stick. The smell of hot sugar was overpowering on this hot February night.

When the queue finally thinned out, Imelda lunged her arms up to their elbows in the bucket of water at the back of the stall. She swished her hands luxuriously, watching the water turn pink. Jake refilled the sugar bins, mixing a few grains of red coloring powder with the bags of sugar and stirring with a stick until the sugar turned the required light pink. Then he filled the containers in the middle of the fairy floss machines, ready for the next customers.

“Hey, we’re doing great,” he said, dipping his hands in the bucket.

Imelda splashed him playfully. “I’d be happy if I never saw another stick of fairy floss,” she said.

“You’ll be even happier when we have enough money for a proper eats joint,” he said. “Hot dogs, Dagwood dogs, hot chips – I can’t wait for that.”

Imelda smiled. Jake was a dreamer – when he got his eats stand, he would be dreaming about getting a set of dodgems, or a tiltawhirl, or even a roller coaster. He wouldn’t stop dreaming until he had his own carnival, right on the seafront, and a beautiful house overlooking the beach – she smiled, and shook her head. No, that was her dream. No more traveling, no more dusty country shows. No more fairy floss.

At closing time, Imelda washed the sticky residue off the machinery and the counter. The crowd was drifting away now, even the dodgem cars were silent. A family passed on their way home, a couple with their arms around each other and two poorly dressed kids at their heels.

Imelda called them over.

“Hey,” she said. “I got a couple of sticks left over. OK if I give ‘em to your kids?”

The kids were delighted and the parents smiled their thanks as Imelda gave them the fairy floss. Jake would have put it in a plastic bag to sell next day. But Imelda had known enough hardship to know a random piece of good fortune could really make a difference.

When the family had gone, she locked up the stall and made her way back through the carnival to the trailer. After a day spent with sugar, she longed for something salty and savory. Jake was cooking chops tonight.

She hugged her dreams as she walked back to the trailer. Dreams were like fairy floss, they were made of air and melted away too quickly. But the taste was so sweet.

Written by Gail Kavanagh

May 31, 2008 at 1:10 am

On The Third Day

with 10 comments

by

a.m. moscoso

It started snowing here , just north of Seattle, Washington on Friday so when I sat down to write today I thought maybe I’d revisit a story I wrote back in December.

It fits.

Enjoy!

amm

On the Third Day

We Toss Out The Left Overs 

halloween_food_-_witches_brew.jpg

A few years ago my bus got caught in a snow storm and the going was slow.

S-L-O-W

So me and my friends told jokes, we told stories, we ate the Christmas Candy and food some of us had brought home from work parties that day.

Somebody busted into the wine bottle I had in my backpack (a gift from an oh-so generous Secret Santa) and someone else made a game out of the five of us drinking it without the other passengers catching on.

Oh Sure.

Nobody did.

Anyway.

Seeing that the other passengers were nervous about being stranded on the freeway and were openly worried about having to walk home or other such real and uncomfortable options me and my friends decided to cheer everybody up by telling stories at the top of our lungs

– about –

THAT TIME WE GOT STUCK ON THE BUS

The worst time was when there was a shooting, the gunman was loose on I-5 or was near it ( I forget the particulars ) so law enforcement shut the freeway down.

It was warm that day.

One of my bus friends decided after an hour or so to start talking about lakes and oceans and water fountains and Italian Sodas.

By the time he was done- (we remembered with hysterics) half the bus had to go to the bathroom, and we bet that the other half would have drank it.

AND THEN THERE WAS THAT OTHER TIME

The bus broke down and they promised that another bus was going to stop and get us…of course it didn’t and we watched it speed on by- but hurray! There was a  second bus that came right up behind it about 15 minutes later and we thought it was going to pull in front of us so we could all get on.

Instead it stopped right along side of our bus.

I could see what was happening.

My brain locked.

” No.” I started to pound on the window like that kid in the horror film” Audrey Rose ” and I start yelling over and over ” No! For the love of God No!”

What is it? Everyone is asking me.

” It’s broken down…our rescue bus is BROKEN DOWN!”

AND WHAT ABOUT THAT TIME

We were stuck on the freeway because the Driver had called in and requested that someone come out and put chains on the bus because when the pavement is black and twinkling and big fluffy flakes are starting to fall, it’s safe to say that unless you’re a Polar Bear you probably shouldn’t  be out there driving around without a little traction.

 So thinking that no one was really listening except for my usual bus pals I told the story about that time me my friends and sneaked into this graveyard and built a massive snow fort  and snow-people all around the grounds and how we even decorated one of the trees and how we later called the Funeral Home and blamed the entire mess on the college students who thought it was cool to hold seances and burn black candles on the headstones and things like that.

” Wow, you and your friends were evil little kids ” someone told me

and I said

” You know, like we did that two weeks ago. “

 

Written by Anita Marie

April 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm

Has The Cat Got Your Tongue?

with 6 comments

a somewhat autobiographical

tongue in cheek tale

by anita marie moscoso 

Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt

The Flies

butterfly_girl.jpg

Daisy Cutting was not normal- her parents knew it, her brothers and sisters knew it and her dog knew it too.

That’s why Tarzan lived under the porch instead of above it and if they could have the rest of Daisy Cutting’s family would have followed Tarzan under the porch too- but there wasn’t enough room for all of them.

So the rest of the family was forced to deal with their world with Daisy in it in their own way. The Cutting Family learned to be invisible- which was easy when all anyone really noticed was Daisy.

She was very hard to ignore no matter how much you tried.

butterfly_girl.jpg

On the day her parents found out they were expecting a baby their house burned down, on the day Daisy was born the sky above the hospital turned black.

Not from thunderclouds- from birds.

The noise they made was deafening and the smell was bad and then while they were in  mid-flight they died  and fell with soft wet thuds for miles around.

Mrs Cutting saw the rain of dead birds from her hospital window and she  raised her baby to her lips and whispered into Daisy’s ear, “what have you done Daisy? “

Of course Daisy couldn’t answer because she wasn’t even an hour old but she did laugh and that’s when Mrs. Cutting saw Daisy already had teeth.

” Well, ” Mrs. Cutting said ” at least you don’t have horns too.”

Then Daisy laughed some more.

The funny thing about Daisy is that she never really laughed again after that day- she just smiled.

A lot.

butterfly_girl.jpg

Daisy Cutting had a normal life- she had her own room, she had her own toys and she got two full grown black cats from her family on her 12th birthday.

Her cats, Potato and Chips didn’t hide under the porch when they saw her. Everyone including Daisy figured they hung around just to see what sort of odd thing she would come up with next but that was in the nature of cats and the Cutting Family understood that.

That’s why they got them for her.

So at least now Daisy had a couple of friends- which is what her family wanted. Daisy, if they had asked, would have told them she busy for a social life because Daisy was always busy working on her collections.

-like her Bug Collection.

To be specific Daisy had a  Bug Zoo in her bedroom.

Her bugs were in jars and plastic containers and in front of each little cage was a card with their proper scientific names and dietary habits.

Daisy also collected yo-yos that she displayed on her bookshelf and under her bed was Daisy’s Grave Collection- it wasn’t as organized as her bug zoo or her yo-yo collection.

Daisy collected those little candy boxes- the ones that 6 different pieces of chocolate come in. She’d buy a box or two a month, toss the pieces to Tarzan under the porch ( he buried them ) and then she’d take the empty boxes to her bedroom.

What Daisy liked about the boxes were the little pictures of smiling cherubs on the lids.

 It worked for what Daisy put in them.

At least once a month Daisy took the bus to Morning Ridge Cemetery in Duwamish Bay and she’d go from grave to grave snapping petals and leaves from the Grave Flowers.

She always did it in a way that didn’t disturb the arrangements- then she’d take the flowers home, dry them and put them in the little boxes.

Each box was numbered- Daisy had a map of the cemetery in her desk and when she got home she took the numbers and not the names from the Cemetery Map and copied them onto the inside lid of the boxes.

Daisy’s room was full of her collections.

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One Summer Mrs Cutting was in her kitchen reading the paper and drinking some juice when she looked down into her glass and saw two drowning flies in her lemonade

She took a deep breath because she was about to yell for Daisy- and how fair was that? There were two black blowflies in her juice and the first words out of Mrs. Cutting’s mouth weren’t going to be “yuck”.

She was about to scream, ” Daisy!”

Instead she took the glass outside and threw the entire mess into the garbage can.

The next day Mrs Cutting found four blowflies in the refrigerator, two in the toilet and instead of yelling ” Daisy” she went to the store and bought some No Pest Traps.

It didn’t work.

In fact, it got worse.

Much worse.

By the third day there was family meeting in the Cutting home that didn’t include Daisy or her cats but did include Tarzan the Dog.

The result of that meeting was Mrs Cutting was sent up to Daisy’s room to see if the newest members of the Cutting Family had something  to do with Daisy’s Collections.

Mrs Cutting took a deep breath and before she knocked she her her daughter-sounding flustered and a little angry- which was something Daisy never did. Daisy never got rattled- so Instead of knocking she put her ear to the door.

” Hey you guys…give those back this minute…I’ve got you …let go of that Potato! Chips you’re next hand it over….come out from under there you two- I mean it.

You guys are in so much trouble”

Mrs. Cutting looked back down the hall and almost called for somebody- anybody to go with her into Daisy’s room.

But this was her daughter- and Mrs Cutting wasn’t about to forget that. To be honest, Daisy wasn’t the type of person you could forget even if you wanted to.

So Mrs Cutting took a deep breath and knocked on Daisy’s door.

From inside of the room came a meow, a couple of hisses and a lot of growling and then she heard a door slam.

Daisy called, ” come on in Mom.”

Daisy’s room didn’t have a few flies buzzing around the way they were in the rest of the house.

There were hundreds of them and when one landed on Daisy’s face and crawled around and flew off without Daisy flinching even once or trying to brush it away Mrs Cutting lost her temper.

” Flies Daisy? You’re collecting flies now? That’s…that’s… Daisy that’s not interesting, that’s just stupid. What were you thinking? Look at your room…look at the rest of the house. Young lady you are in so much trouble!”

Daisy was standing next to her closet door and from the inside Potato and Chips had started to shove their paws out from under the door and were trying to pull it open.

” Let them out Daisy…and answer me, what were you thinking?”

Daisy bit her lip and shrugged.

” What were you thinking Daisy? Answer me or did your cats get your tongue?

” No Mommy, ” Daisy said ” they don’t have my tongue…”

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Written by Anita Marie

April 9, 2008 at 12:55 pm