Write As Rea

The happy intersection between what I want to write and what people want to read.

It spun only for a moment as the gears engaged in a flash of mechanical brilliance. Beautiful. Useful. Temporary. It was followed just as quickly by a sharp bang and a painful grinding noise as the starter struck the teeth of the flywheel and scraped into position.

Both the patient and the mechanic flinched. One in pain and the other in sympathy until the sound faded off and the parts whirred smoothly in place once more.

“You’re not going to last more than a year if you keep giving pieces of yourself to people who don’t give back,” he said. His tone was pragmatic. They’d had this conversation many times before.

“It’s just the way I’m built Rags. You know that.” Her smile was sweet but her eyes were discouraged.

“I know. I know! This stupid, ancient design is full of flaws! It’s going to kill you if you can’t fix the timing. There’s only so much I can do. It’s only going to get worse. The edges are already so damaged…the teeth are bent from the hammering they’re taking and I can only adjust the angle so much!” His voice rose in frustration and he turned his back on her, flinging one of his trademark red rags onto the workbench.

She replaced the compartment over her chest and adjusted her clothing and when he turned to face her again she looked like any other woman. No one would ever know that a piece of machinery was keeping her alive.

“I had no idea my heart would interfere with the system this way so how could you?” she asked as she touched his arm. “It’s not your fault Rags. I won’t be the first person to die of a broken heart.”

Rags ran his hand over his eyes and when he drew them back she could see his fingers were damp. Her heart skipped again and she felt a sharp, tearing pain in her chest and gasped. Her right hand rose to rub her breastbone as tears filled her own eyes.

“Not because of me, you idiot!” He was angry now. “Don’t you dare go to pieces because of me!”

“You know I can’t control it. I’ve tried. That stutter my heart feels when I see someone in pain? That rush when I fall in love? Or that slow painful pounding when they say goodbye for the last time? The worst is that dull, heavy misery that happens when someone you considered a friend doesn’t hold you in the same regard.” Her eyes were hard now but filled with pain. “You should have told me the truth. Did you think you were protecting me? That I wouldn’t find out?”

He was silent. “Who told you?”

“What difference does it make? You lied to me! I know! I know I don’t have a year! I might not even have six minutes! And you don’t deserve to share any of them with me. You shouldn’t have lied.” She stood up and strode toward the door. She could hear the tide coming in and see the sun going down in the distance. He didn’t follow her. She was glad. She didn’t want to spend the last moments of her life angry. She was tired.

She slipped off her shoes and struggled up the dunes. The loose sand caved beneath her feet and she was breathing hard when she finally took a seat. The sun was lowering and it shone upon the ocean in bright, beautiful colors and her heart gave a final, sharp crack.

“It’s beautiful,” she whispered, and tears streamed down her cheeks. She felt a momentary pang of guilt for picking a fight with him. She was as capable of telling lies as anyone else, though, and he didn’t need to see this. She could feel the grinding pain bloom in her heart. “I only wish I’d had a friend to share it with.”

Rags waited to follow her. She was angry. It would pass. It always did. Her heart was just that big. He found her there, on the high dunes, her head resting in her hand, eyes closed with still damp cheeks. And when he tried to rouse her she wouldn’t stir.

 

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Some hearts are guarded by dragons.

Others by doors.

Many are fenced high…to prevent escape once inside.

A small number are open and flung wide.

A maze leads to mine. Mazes have hearts you know.

Treasure buried in brambles that no one cares to brave.

Dragons are easier to fight than thorns.

You can solve the puzzle if you have the key,

But you have to love and tend to the maze to find it.

Adventurous gardener wanted.

Only the avid and devoted

Need apply.

I miss my friends.

It’s been so long since someone understood my heart without an explanation.

My arm is getting tired,

throwing starfish back into the deep.

Am I making a difference?

It’s lonely being left behind on the shore,

when the waves are crashing,

Sea-salt breeze brining my hair.

Eyes fixed on the horizon,

with my feet buried firmly in the sand.

I’m just a little tired.

Maybe when the tide goes out in the morning it will take my melancholy with it.

Hope doesn’t always need feathers to fly.

So, I was having some trouble coming up with any resolutions for myself for the new year when Shakespeare whispered in my ear this evening.

‘In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.’

‘Yea, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care.’

-Much Ado About Nothing

There was a time when I thought my heart would never be merry again. I’m so grateful that I was wrong. And that I can say that I have a merry heart once more. That I can smile. And laugh. And attempt to make others merry so their burdens are a little lighter. I can’t think of a more worthy goal for myself for 2018 than having a merry heart.

Thanks, poor fool.

I often think in metaphor

Which is difficult to translate into semaphore

Signals and visuals and waving hands

Awkward exchanges no one seems to understand…

…Unless you count memes from abbreviated personality land.

Where everyone seems to know just how I feel

Except that in reality it’s not really real.

I and N and F and J

And Y? does it even mean anything? I have my doubts.

I spend a lot of time alone

In a lonely solace that’s more like a comfortable home

Seldom hosting visitors

I linger outside my circle of dearly loved friends

Belonging but not exactly fitting in

As a dreamer and realist

An obnoxious savant

who could predict your future

But that’s not what you want

You won’t hear the truth but I will tell you no lies

Instead I stay silent and pretend that I’m wise

It keeps the peace and peace I adore

It reminds me of libraries and the world could use more.

Still I sit, waiting for someone to ask

I try. I do. I wish I knew.

But I don’t have all the answers.

 

Lately, surfing the web has been reminding me of when I am rummaging through the fridge looking for something tasty…and not finding it. I open it up and…

Politics? Heartburn and depression. Big pass.

News? Not very balanced and highly inflammatory. Can’t be good for me. Another big pass.

Health website? Maybe that science experiment in the back will cure what ails me…or not. Pass.

Idea board? Hmm. I’ll binge and feel sick later after I waste too much time. Pass.

Social media? Empty emotional calories. Don’t I have any actual friends anymore? Pass.

Celebrity news? Zachary Levi is tempting but…well, maybe a nibble wouldn’t hurt. (Heh)

Maybe it’s okay to turn it off. Shut the door. I could go for a walk. Visit a friend. Read a book. Volunteer. Take a break and do something positive. At least for a little while.

It would probably be healthier for me… and maybe you too. It’ll still be there when we get back.

 

The history books call me things like ‘brave’ and ‘hero.’ The history books are wrong. I was only the owner of a home with large trees in a quiet neighborhood. A home that became the nexus of an interplanetary war.

On a busy street in a quiet neighborhood there stood an unquiet house. Not in the same category as those unquiet houses called haunts. No, this house was restless for other reasons. It was old enough that it should have been considered charming but it wasn’t. And although modern in style, it lacked it. It was simply a house made bitter with age and neglect. As the owner, I was starting to feel the same.

Like two roommates, we tolerated each other, but there was no love lost between us. The house was determined to drive out its unwelcome tenant and I was just as determined to stay put. I was the ‘queen’ of this castle ‘thank you very much’.

And so, much like roommates everywhere, we refused to budge and made each other miserable. Each of us successfully managing to be as intolerable as possible in order to force the other to give in.

It may come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the idea, but inanimate objects are actually alive. Simple things such as sewing needles have spirits of their own, and if you aren’t respectful? Well, let’s just say that at least pricks of conscience won’t leave you bleeding from your thumbs.

Most object spirits are benign, friendly even, as long as you treat them with kindness and keep them in good repair. Some object spirits are different, though, and that’s where I come in. They call me a rehabilitator. A fixer, if you will. When an object has been abused or neglected and becomes vengeful, they bring in someone like me to make peace. Once the spirit has been appeased, I can move on to the next job and the spirit can return to its natural benevolent state. My latest project was proving difficult, however.

Burst pipes going to the water heater, rotting timbers in the patio, leaking lateral water line, the furnace not igniting, the stove, the dishwasher, the lawn catching on fire (don’t play with matches kids), the tornado that just missed it by a block, the shower valve, the venomous spiders, and the branch the size of a tree through the roof were seriously causing me to contemplate a change of occupation.

Yes, folks, the Sentient House of Doom was especially nasty, but I refused to quit. Still, the house was old and it could afford to wait out its occupant. It’s not like it was going anywhere. I never considered that it might be a cry for help. I blame myself. Mutant tree roots growing through an interstellar portal in my sewer lines should have been my first thought.

Instead, the plumbing backed up for a week and I had to call in the experts. The logo on their van said, Mutant Tree Specialists since 2017: We’ll get to the root of your problem or die trying. Needless to say, I was concerned. Turns out I was right to be. An hour later, only one of them stumbled out of my front door with a look of horror on his face.

“What happened?” I asked, shocked.

“Home maintenance. It’s a killer,” he choked out before he left his co-worker behind and sped away, leaving his equipment behind. By this time, there was a horrifying miasma threatening to engulf my home and I could hear the cries of terror coming from the remaining plumber.

I could walk away right now, I thought. No one would blame me. My house had never liked me, despite my best efforts to soothe the savage beast. Still, I had a mortgage and the crotchety thing had started to grow on me, and I didn’t spring for life insurance for the plumber. Damn. So, I suited up and went in.

I won’t traumatize you with the details, but when we emerged (victorious, I might add), I would never be the same. I had managed to rescue the plumber and the free world with the help of my Sentient House of Doom. It look a while to disinfect the walls, though.

It’s been thirty years since the day my home and I joined forces. When the government determined that the vortex was the largest ever seen and that we had closed it before the root infestation managed to spread into world domination, I became famous overnight. I never planned on being part of the historical record. All that mattered to me was that my house had somehow become a home. I started calling it S.H.O.D. for short. I wouldn’t say we’re friends exactly, but the malevolence has receded. I think we have an understanding now. Maybe there’s hope for us yet.

But I wasn’t brave and I’m no hero. The history books are wrong.

(Inspired by my own Sentient House of Doom (Why are you so mean to me? Why?), a Goodreads prompt for Science Fiction and Fantasy week, and my own twisted imagination. It’s weird but I hope you enjoyed it.)

 

I can’t take it anymore,

I’m well aware that I should mop the floor,

But I get tired so I lay down

And before I know it evening rolls around.

The TV beckons but I know,

I’ll lose the day to that black hole.

So many things call for my attention,

Oops, another distraction ruined all my good intentions.

Still I get up

When life gets me down

Even after the snooze button wins one more round.

Because I never know what life has in store.

I’ve missed enough.

I won’t miss more.

I guess there’s no justice anymore,

It’s all about settling scores.

I am not perfect and so you’ll blame,

‘Cause that makes you better to cause me pain.

No margin for error, no quarter given

Shame

Tearing down instead of building up

No such thing as being grown up

Anymore

And I am angry but what can I do?

Perhaps I’m powerless because I don’t treat people like you.

Maybe I’m okay with that.

Because maybe it matters how we treat the least among us.

I still believe it matters.

So I’m a little bit older, a little bit chubbier, and not entirely wiser than I was when I started writing my blog a few years ago, but I’m still here and I hope I’m still writing things that make my readers glad they stopped by for a visit. Things have been busy with the release of my book in April and I’m a pretty private person when it comes to sharing on the internet, but I thought for those interested I would include the link to my recent author interview with Cindy Jones of Glass Spider Publishing.

I’m still planning on delivering content to my blog readers so no need to fear I’ll forget (although I’m a slacker who only posts about once a month) and I hope to keep it up. I’m still battling with the Sentient House of Doom (branches in the roof this time) so not much has changed but the future is always just one step ahead. I’ll keep chasing it. Thanks for your support along the way!