The Hunt

The doorbell rang a third time and Eloise picked up her pace as she rushed to greet whoever it was who was calling so early in the morning.  The heel of her shoe caught on a sang in

the rug and she stumbled forward. Catching herself she yelled at the door. “Coming! Just one moment!” Her brow creased. Where in the world was Margaret?! As soon as she reached the door, Margaret was at her side.

Eloise gave her an exasperated glare as she hissed at her, “Where have you been?!”

Margaret pointed towards the back office. “Its Wednesday. The hun–”

Eloise cut her off. “I know what day it is! You are supposed to get the door!”

“Yes ma’am.”

“What in the world am I paying you for?!” The maid curtseyed and reached for the doorknob. Eloise shooed her away before painting on a calm face and pulling the door open.

“Hello, how may I help–” Her words caught in her throat and the color of her face drained down as if sinking into the soles of her shoes.

“Hello, Mother.”

Eloise’s jaw bobbed, no words managed to come. What could she possibly say? It had been 13 years, years that were never supposed to come back and haunt her. Not like this.

Finally gaining her mental equilibrium, Eloise attempted to shut the door in the face of the child, the face that now, full grown at 18, looked exactly like hers.  The girls arm came up like a bar and blocked the large door from slamming closed, her mouth drawn in hard line and her eyes fierce upon Eloise.

Eloise let out a started gasp and took a step backward, her heel catching on the snag on the rug. She fell down hard. The young woman let herself in. There was something ominous about the way she stood over Eloise. Even the darkness of her shadow made Eloise cower.

“I-I am not your mother.” She managed to choke out.  The young woman’s head tilted at an odd angle. Was that confusion or just bottled rage brewing in her face? “I am none of your mothers. Haven’t,” She looked around. Were was her help? It was 7 in the morning. There was only Margaret near the front of the house. By the time anyone heard her scream it would be too late. She brought her eyes back to the young woman. “Haven’t you noticed that you age quite fast, that you look exactly like each other? You look exactly like me?!” Eloise shook her head. “I am not your mother.”

The young woman shook her head and closed the door behind her. “There are no others, Mother.  Only me…now.”

“I am not your mother! You are not my child, you,”  Her nostrils flared. No one was supposed to know. The project was over, the samples were supposed to have been destroyed. “You are a copy.”

Eloise scooted backward but her heel was still caught. She kicked off the shoe, willing to spare it to the young, confused woman’s wrath than have her body destroyed. The woman leaned forward and yanked the heel free. She squeezed the leather in her hands with such angry force that the show seemed to squeal in surrender. Then she positioned it just right, just as if it were a weapon.

Eloise’s breath caught in her lungs. Why didn’t she just get up and run?! And when she ran, where would she go? If the young woman had found her she would find her again. “What are  you going to do?”

The young woman’s mouth dipped down as if she were a toddler on the verge of crying or throwing the worlds worst temper tantrum. Eloise had seen others, like her, go into fits. They never ended well.

The young woman stepped closer, the heel of the shoe raised high in her white knuckles. She was going to kill her. “I am going to put you away then, just like the others. If you are not my mother then you must be a mistake.”

Eloise took in a deep breath preparing to scream bloody murder right before she heard the crack of the double barreled rifle rip through the foyer and the the body of the copy smash against the door in a crimson heap. Her life completely expired.

Eloise froze still. Her ice blue eyes stared hard at the body slumped against the door. She screamed when Margaret’s hand touched her shoulder, the barrel of the gun still smoking.  “Margaret!” She yelled thankfully. “How-how did you know?”

“Today is Wednesday.” She said. “Its the Hunt. I was cleaning the rifles this morning for the occasion.” She tucked the gun under her arm and  helped Eloise to stand. “But in answer to your early question, what do you pay me for, ma’am? You pay me to get the door.”

THE END

So, I didn’t see that coming. Actually the only thing that I did see when I began this freewrite was a woman walking down a hallway with a lovely pair of heels on. This is definitly a shift in creative gears in comparison to the previous freewrites that I have done. The others have leaned towards light and romance (which is NOT my main genre). This however is very dark and far from romantic. I think the feel of it comes from the fact that I am feeling rushed these days. My 15min blocks of creativity are being swamped and washed away by family emergencies and needs. No I am not married nor do I have children (yet )but I do have a large family and things come up and well when one of us needs help, we help.

Sometimes that help comes at the sacrifice of our creative time. I think the copy at the door is my creative voice screaming “ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! GET BACK TO REGULAR BLOGGING AND WRITING AND PAINTING AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU HAVE NEGLECTED!!!!!!!”

I get it. I hear you. My prayer is that come this Saturday evening I will be able to refocus and begin to produce without any further interruptions. I hope you enjoyed reading this story.

Cheers!

On the Mend

“I got something for you.” Milly smiled in the door frame before walking towards Garnet’s bedside box in hand. Garnet studied her curiously, mouth slightly agape. Milly’s smile only brightened. “May I?” She asked, pointing towards the bed.

“Certainly! Have a seat, Milly.” Garnet tried to offer her a smile in return but he just couldn’t get his face to work that way. He was still too astonished by her being there…on his bed…in his room. Technically it was their room but he had used it alone for so long that he had forgotten how to let her in. He had forgotten how to let her into his heart as well.

Milly had been guilty of that as well.

The box made a hollow sound as Milly moved it about in her hands. She wanted to be comfortable but no so much that she bumped Garnet’s leg. He had broken and broken it good. His femur bone was split right in two! It was going to take a while for it to fuse back together properly. Sure Garnet was in excellent shape for a man of 40, didn’t look a day over 28. Others had told him so, most of them were women, but his bones, they were indeed 40 and the ache that he felt from the split reminded him of that.

It was a curious thing how one could be so loved and praised when they are perfect, but let one thing go wrong, the well dry up, the fame diminish, and soon the only things that will crowd your life are shadows of memories past. That is what happened to Garnet. He was broken and alone…but Milly.

He had not expected her to come back especially not after the ugliness of their divorce. They had gotten so caught up and mud slinging that the mess was too deep to even tell who was at fault anymore. Had there been infidelity, he would not have forgotten, but there wasn’t any. They had just…grown apart, split apart in a messy, painful break just like his thigh bone. Yet after the accident Milly was the first face he saw at the hospital, she was the only one willing to care for him. She was always the only one.

“What is that you have?” He finally managed to ask her. He had to be honest, her kindness still rocked him to the core. Weeks had gone by with her tending to him and still it left him speechless. She left him speechless, both in deed and beauty. Not even the touches of grey that peaked out from her chestnut crown could tarnish that. Milly was just plan beautiful.

She finally showed her teeth and shifted on the side of the bed, her green eyes sparkling as she placed the box on his stomach. “Open it.”

Garnet’s large hands rubbed across the dusty top. His brow pulled together and for some reason his heart began to flutter. He recognized this box. It had to have been 18 years old. He sucked in a breath and forced himself to pull away the lid, all the while flexing his jaw to keep the tears from coming.

In her excitement, Milly pulled the picture frame from the box and placed it on the side table. Garnet could hardly see the image through the veil of tears in his eyes.

“It’s us!” She said. “Remember when we took this? It was so long ago and yet you still look the same. Me, I am turning grey.” She touched her head and sighed. The smile and the spark lingered on her face and in her eyes.

Finally able to see clearly, he picked the frame up from the side table and ran his fingers down the front of it. “You’re beautiful.” His voiced cracked at his said it.

Milly leaned closer, stealing another look at the image. “I was, back then. That’s how I stole your heart. Remember?” She patted his stomach.

Garnet caught her hand and held it so tightly that it stilled Milly. “What is it?” She asked, tucking fallen strands of hair behind her ear.

Finally, Garnet was able to smile even at the risk of the welled tears escaping his eyes. “You are still beautiful, Milly.”

Milly squeezed his hand in return. Leaning even closer, she placed a kiss on his forehead. Garnet’s breath caught in his chest. Her lips were so tender. How had he ever let them go. He touched her check with his hand as she pulled away, the picture pressing against his heart. For several moments they just stared quietly at one another, an air of familiar curiosity floating between them, before she rose from the bed, her smile returning but this time with a touch of bashful color to her cheeks.

“On the mend,” She said breaking the silence. Her statement seemed more a question.

“On the mend,” He repeated and for so many reasons he knew they both meant more than just his leg.

THE END

For the last few days the opening lines of this story kept fluttering in my mind, and for several reasons (being super busy with other things while being exhausted) I kept putting off writing it. I am glad I finally got around to it. As with all freewrites, I have no direction of where the tales will go so I was surprised to find this story to be about a 40 year old divorced couple learning how to care for one another again.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Cheers!

 

Nude in Red and Blue

I have decided to go it again with doing 15 to 20min drawings in ball point pen. This one was done in medium point Blue and Red ball point pen…The frame is totally fake but I think framing my drawings gives them a little something extra. I am not sure how long I will continue adding frames. (I am still working on the whole “Branding” thing.) I am totally open for suggestions. To frame or not to frame?

20 min drawing done in red and blue medium point ballpoint pen.

20 min drawing done in red and blue medium point ballpoint pen.

Building Bridges…Burning Brands

People are quite funny creatures. We eat with our eyes first when its our stomachs and tongues that will actually get the flavor of the food. We even fall in love with our eyes when it is actually the persons character, something we cannot “see” physically, that keeps us with them.

Character is something that we experience and the reality is that experience goes far beyond physical sight.

TM original art done by Candice Coates

TM original art done by Candice Coates

Just like with food and love and just about every other thing that is part of the human experience, we tend to first base our initial decisions and choices off of sight. The reality is visual perception is often very deceitful. It gives us the appearance of one thing when it is actually another.

Prime example, a person could look at the waters in a swimming pool and say, based off of there “perception” that the water is not deep. It is when they jump in and find the water swallowing them whole that they realize their perception led them astray.

Let’s take an adventure and play in the light of our fresh creative voices!”

With building a blog brand (something I am very new at) I am finding I too need to keep this in mind. First impressions are everything, even if they are wrong impressions. The first impression that one gleans from my blog and the blogs of others come from that lovely Header we all have floating above the words we have so lovingly typed out for the world to read.

But the “eye gate” may look at your Header (assuming they did not found your blog in the news feed of WordPress, or another search engine) and think, “This blog isn’t what I am looking for.” Why? Because of how the Header has presented itself.

cropped-icfts-banner5.jpg

Clarity as my Brand header

Killing one’s darlings is a concept that I am not only using in my writing but in my art and…Branding. For me, I like Clarity (my current header and the image in this blog.) I drew her up on a napkin some six years ago. She has a place but I don’t think that place is as the face of my blog, even though she is modeled after me (when I choose not to flatiron my hair)

The truth is when I think of this blog, there is another “me” that I see representing the “soup.” I am certain I will keep Clarity around for postings for Quotes and Questions and even Daily Words (I actually think I am going to change the title of that Tab in the menu soon anyway.)

But over all I think Clarity misrepresents my blog. She doesn’t encompass the entirety of the message I am actually presenting and that is “Let’s take an adventure and play in the light of our fresh creative voices!”

When our first image of the blog speaks clearly of our brand Bridges are built, people not only see the connection but they feel it through their “eye gate” as well. When there is a disconnect between written content and visual content I feel like there is a small seed of distrust that is born.

It makes the reader wonder “Who are you, really?” Thus the Brand needs to be burned…for lack of a better phrase.

I intend to change out my header soon as I have my graphic art done and ready. I have an image in my head, a picture that comes every time I think of this blog and this journey. Clarity is a darling of mine that I have loved and wanted to give a place…her being the face of this brand is not that place.

Til later Soup Seekers!

P.S If you have any thoughts about branding or suggestions and tips, I am all ears…and eyes ;)

Moment of Clarity

I have already used this quote, but I figure since I am putting this in the “Quote” section of the blog, I have the green light to blog it again…that and the first time I used the quote there were no graphics to go along with it.

I call her Clarity. You will find her on my main banner. She is my avatar for lack of a better word. Above her head, or my head, is a dove. The dove is the image of the Holy Spirit, God with me. It is through Him that I truly find Clarity.

 

Clarity Art Moment Banner

His Lady, His Lover, His Friend.

He watched her, his lady, from a distance.  Smiled at the way the warm rays of the sun, soon to set on the horizon, highlighted the golden flecks of the waves of her hair. The light upon her looked like a hallow. She was beautiful to him. Her loveliness was unlike any other, for she did not captivate him with words or with the usual trappings. No, hers was a way with her eyes, perfect and deep brown, sincere in every since of the way. 1386126628n26qk

Twelve years had she dedicated to him, living with him faithfully in the city all the while desiring what was true, what was pure, what was nature, and it wasn’t until then, now, in the decrescendo of her existence that he able to give her what she had truly longed for…a home in the country, under the brilliant moons and stars, bathed in the glow of  setting suns.

He let her sit moments longer, watching as his face warmed into a doting smile. Her ears perked  with each fresh sound as nature prepared its evening tune.

His lover, only having been his for half as long as his lady, ran her hand across his chest. The glint of her ring shining in the sun, the hardness of her belly, swollen with new life pressed against his side. She whispered in his ear, her face so close to his, he could feel the smile growing upon it. Her words were the sweetest nectar.

His insides churned with effervescent joy and delight. Happiness was not a sufficient word to describe what he was feeling. It warmed him, it calmed him, it excited him and made him feel as if he were soaring clear into the heavens, right into the arms of his Friend.

His Friend…the One who had given him all of these things, each and every silent moment full of choruses too pure to be heard beyond the walls of his soul. His Friend…the Creator of each kiss and every tear, every waking moment of hope, and every full glass of mirth that he had had the pleasure to be sated with.

He looked up and felt the heat of  a salted tear crest the corner of his eye and with his hand upon his heart he thanked his Father and God, he thanked his beloved Friend. Then he  called upon his lady, wrapped his arm securely upon his lover, and with a heart welling with contentment he guided them back home in the love of his Friend.

THE END

This story came quite by accident, listening to “I Dream of You” by JJ Heller and glancing at the image shown in the story. It seems today I am stumbling upon many happy accidents. I don’t know about you, but this story warmed me. Being the author/artist of a piece does not mean that I have the chance to garner some level of pride for the work I do. More than anything (although I am proud to have done what I have done) I have a sense of humble appreciation. I always get a front row seat to creative moments, no matter the tone or expression. This moment I count as a gift from my Friend. I was not looking for it. Actually I was ready to put my hand to my sketchbook and draw, but instead I wrote and I am grateful for it. I hope you enjoyed what you have read. And do take a listen to the song that sparked my inspiration. ;)

Cheers Fellow Soup Seekers!

 

Beautiful B’s

Accidental B's on my way to drawing a Horse with Blinders...That will make sense in a later, unrelated post.

Accidental B’s on my way to drawing a Horse with Blinders…That will make sense in a later, unrelated post.

 

I did these lovely B’s by accident, on my way to drawing a horse with blinders (which has yet to be done…who doesn’t like happy accidents?) I used my 6.0mm Pilot Parallel Pen on Borden and Riley #234 Paris Bleedproof Paper.

It has been too long since I have practiced lettering. The start of spring came with a punch to my head and knocked me off of my creative axis. I am regaining focus.

Cheers!

Man from Imagination

 

Framed Man

I decided to put it in a frame…don’t you think he looks better? I do.

Its been a while in my own life since I have just sat down and drawn from imagination. This is something that I used to do on a regular basis. I would often sketch from my imagination and do so without physical reference of any kind. I look at this sketch and I realize that I can/could take it further than what is here. But I think just attempting the old habit just on a whim was a successful venture.

As far as my artist voice goes, I still feel very disjointed. But its a new month and new goals to set and hit or miss.

Let’s see what happens.

 

Oh yeah, this is a sketch done in purple ball point ink pen on regular old printer paper.

Cheers!

Is It Ever REALLY Worth It?

You know that scene in the Matrix movie where Lawrence Fishburne is offering Keanu Reeves the choice between taking the red pill or the blue pill, and we all know the obvious choice is to take the pill that opens him (Keanu Reeves) up to reality, right?file8321273697614

Well today, especially I have had this thought about pills (being that I have been unlucky enough…not that I believe in luck, to come out of winter free from illness only to get bronchitis) since I had the misfortune of having to take MANY.  And in light of that I am wondering is the dosage ever worth it.

Now before you start thinking I am anti-medicine…don’t. This is about a wee bit more than that. When thinking about the blue pill vs the red pill in the Matrix, I realize that being a creative adult, balancing on the tight rope between platforms “must-do” and “desire-to-do,” I have chosen to take both pills. We all have actually.

In my mind I think I can just do the “I Dream of Jeannie ” head bob thing and I will be made 100% well. No pill needed. The reality of this is that many antibiotics (not all) give me stomach cramps from HELL. I mean yeah I will be on a swifter road to recover but at the cost of spending most of the day in a fetal position whimpering like a dehydrated infant. Red pill vs blue pill, dream vs reality.

Today I chose to take the pill…it sucked but I am much better.

Being consciously creative, we are always taking both the red pill and the blue pill at the same time. We are always wanting to wake up but stay in a state of sleep whereas we can continue to live within the world of our dreams. Waking up is often the painful part. If your dreams are vivid enough, you understand what I mean.  You don’t want to leave that place where you can fly without wings or an airplane.

And yes, the pain of waking up IS often times, worth it just as much as the pain of taking cramping antibiotics  (I am sure there is something out there that won’t give me crippling pain in order to help me heal faster but since I can go a REALLY long time without getting sick I never really have the chance to find out. Praise Yeshua for that!)

It puts me in the mind of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I have a Dream” speech. Really more so the title than anything. With the one pill he could have stayed asleep and lived within the surreal platform of what the world within reality could one day be, but instead he chose to wake up, asses the world around him, the pain within it and then see what it would take to make his dream INTO reality. He too took the red and the blue pill all at once, he dreamed within the pain of reality.

Alas it is indeed worth it, the pain to the pleasure, the dream to reality, the journey to discovery. It is always worth it.

 

Cheers!

Painted Red

Mosely, woke with a start. She dragged her hand roughly across her closed eyelids, brushing the sleep from them as she peered across the room through her open window. The sky was almost completely painted red.

She stood up and rushed towards the window, the palm of her bed-warmed hand pressed against the chilly glass leaving a clouded outline of her fingers and palm. She had all but overslept and the sky was throbbing now. Streaks of ominous gold, almost like lava pulsed against the clouded face, peaking through the intense vermillion hue. Yes, the sky was almost painted red but not completely. She still had time before it began to bleed again.Painted REd

She tripped over the clutter in her room. Darkness still dominated and sleep still plagued her mind. Stubbing her baby toe against the desk cleared out the fog before her. She was definitely up now.

She stifled several expletives  and gritted her teeth as the pain ebbed away. She certainly couldn’t linger any longer. She had to medicate the atmosphere.

“Get your act together, Mosely.” She chastised herself openly. She worked alone, lived alone, and all but existed at her post alone. The only voice she ever had the pleasure of hearing was her own. If she stayed in the silence and the red too long she would lose her mind completely. Often times she wondered if it had already gone. The only person she had contact with came only but once a month and he was not big on words.

She called him  Garrison. Mosely thought his name was nearly as dreadful as hers. Sometimes she wanted to tell him so…again Maybe then he would open his mouth and say something…again. She hardly remembered his voice now. She thought it lingered between tenor and baritone.

It had been nearly a full year since she had taken this post within the West Tower of Atmospheric Medication. Garrison or Harrison, as was his real name, had corrected her then and only then about what he was called and never again afterward did he say a single word to her. Instead he wordlessly brought her her monthly rations, nodded and left without a single sound.

He would be making a delivery sometime that day.

She supposed the conditions of the world had done that to him, taken his desire to speak.  Utter shock and the aftermath of indescrible terror had that way with people at times. For Mosely, it made her sleep a whole lot more. The sky was still a perfect shade of blue in her dreams and there wasn’t a flimsy, dying membrane that hovered in between the heavens and earth to protect those who had survived the war from the blood-like matter that always wanted to rain down upon them.

Sure it really wasn’t blood but still…

Mosely finished pulling on her gear. She took the steps to the crows nest three at a time. By the time she reached the injection room she could see the sky beginning to tear open. Her heart pounded in her throat and with the quickest and most careful of hands she loaded the dosage into the injector and sent it reeling into to the dusty vermillion sky. She watched with baited breath as the capsule broke through the membrane of the barrier and released its formula within it.

The point of contact sagged and darkened before tightening up again. The threatening vermillion sky began to lighten to a sallow orange with touches of pink. Mosely let out a breath but startled at the sound of his voice.

“That was close.” Garrion said, his voice was a buttery baritone. The sound of it made Mosely’s insides quake.  Garrison stepped closer to her and pointed towards the sky. “Almost too close.” A single line of browning red slid down the face of the sky.

Mosely swallowed down her heart, the sound of Garrison’s voice and his sudden proximity took her breath away. “Yes, almost too close.”

THE END

This story has been beating against my imagination for the last few days. It came as a result of me, like Mosely, waking up to an open window and peering out into a sky that was threatening shades of red and pink. Of  course there was a storm on the horizon and the clouds in their color were nothing but its telltale signs. Nevertheless, my imagination quickly sprung into action with the thoughts of a bleeding sky and a woman responsible for keeping it from doing so.

There is another story that I wrote some 7 years ago that revolves around a sky with personality…actually its the Sun that has the emotion. It is a throw back tale that I feel inclined to post. I hope you enjoy it when it comes.

 

Cheers Fellow Soup Seekers!