Tag Archives: whimsy

Trick or Treat

Juan’s hand gently caressed her cheek until his hand cupped her chin.

“I love you my darling Persephone.”

She closed her eyes, her lips pursed in anticipation.

Juan’s mouth hovered over Persephone’s; his breath warm on her cheeks.

“My darling,” he whispered as he placed his full, quivering lips against hers. In that moment the world ceased to exist. Her breath caught in her throat, her arms encircled his neck and she . . . “

“Penny, sorry to disturb you but I have got to have that report on the boss’s desk by noon and I still don’t have your numbers.  Wake up girl friend; you can’t daydream all day, work to do, work to do!”

Penny blinked rapidly.  She couldn’t quite grasp that what she had just experienced was a dream.  The reality was that she was sitting in an office in a cramped cubicle with a four-inch pile of work in front of her that needed to be completed by the end of the day.

“I’ll, I’ll get right at it.  I’m almost finished, I promise.”  She stammered her words as she tried to make sense of things.

Penny Elizabeth Foster was an ordinary woman, in an ordinary job, in an ordinary world.  What was extraordinary was her imagination.  As she went about the rest of her day Penny smiled at a secret memory.  Her Don Juan had taken her in his arms and made mad passionate love to her. The fact that that memory was actually only a dream was immaterial. To Penny her fantasy life was just as vibrant and vital as the real world.

So, the rest of the day Ms. Foster did as was expected of her.  She collated, she typed, she filed.  She filled the endless minutes with minutia and with deadlines.  Eventually the magical hour approached: the end of her day.

“Happy Halloween Penny!  Are you getting dressed up to give out candies tonight?”

“Yes, Eddy and no you can’t come over.  Besides you would scare the neighbourhood children. Say hi to your wife, Eddy.”

The last thing Penny wanted was to get involved with the office romancer. Or at least that’s how he saw himself. She packed up her purse and coat and made her way to her car.  It wasn’t a long drive home but it’s one she enjoyed because she didn’t have to listen to anybody else talk.  She could continue her fantasies as she wished.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a special treat today: Ms. Persephone Foster is in the front line up for today’s race.  She is a world-renowned stock car driver. She has won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. Her mentor was the legendary Don Juan of car racing.  The let’s sit back and enjoy today’s race.  Gentleman and lady, start your engines!”

“Hey lady, the light’s green, move!”

With a grin Penny realized that she was still sitting at a green light.  She chuckled and continued on her way home.

She had always enjoyed Halloween.  It was a time when every one could indulge in their secret fantasies without being seen to be odd. Yes, there were the ghosts and goblins and the scary monsters but there were also characters from history and whimsical creatures.  That was the part Penny enjoyed most.  Besides who couldn’t resist a child dressed up like a bunny?  Yes, she loved this day in the year.

So, with her usual efficiency Penny set about getting the candy ready to be handed out to the children, or more specifically the ‘trick or treaters’. After all, the indulgence in fantasies or whimsy is not just for the children.

She had spent a great deal of time preparing her own costume.  It wouldn’t do to answer the door in jeans.  No, Penny was going to be prepared in a costume that was appropriate to her frame of mind at just this time. She had always liked the concept of a damsel in distress so she dressed herself in flowing garments reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty. If only her Prince Charming could come by tonight.

“Trick or treat!  Trick-or-treat!”

The first of the ghosts and goblins had made their appearance and Penny was ready.

“Oh, my goodness what very scary ghosts and goblins you are!”

As she handed out the candy to the multitude of children at her door Penny was reminded of her own costumes as a child.  There was the cat with the long tail that kept dragging in puddles, or the space alien with the javex bottle for a helmet that was spray-painted gold. There was even a gypsy one year with all of her mother’s costume jewellery draped around her neck and her arms.  Her mother had become quite adept at making costumes.  It was something new every year.

Each year saw its share of ghosts and goblins, bunnies, squirrels and cats.  It was exciting to see the wonder in the eyes of the children and the quiet fatigue in the eyes of their parents as they shepherded their children from door to door.  But this year everything changed.

No one had rung her doorbell or cried “trick-or-treat” for about twenty minutes so Penny was starting to clean everything up.  Another Halloween was over.  There was something very sad about that.  But then it just meant that one looked forward to next year.

BBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRRINGGG

“Trick or Treat.”

The doorbell immediately got Penny’s attention but the quiet little voice that was saying ‘trick-or-treat’ was far more compelling.  When she opened the door Penny saw an adorable little brown bunny or more specifically a very small child in an oversized bunny costume.  As she leaned down, she could see incredibly huge pleading eyes that were almost in tears.

“Well, hello little bunny, here is some candy, but are you okay?”

Sniff, “I think I lost my dad. He doesn’t like to be lost in the dark.  Can you help me find him?”

Penny immediately looked up to see if she could find this errant father.  How dare he allow this small child to wander the streets without him!  She was not going to allow this youngster to stay out here alone any longer.

“You come inside little bunny.  My name is Penny what’s yours?”

“Miranda.”

Do you want me to call your mother?

“It’s only my dad and me.” As she spoke Miranda put her tiny little hand in Penny’s.  This small child needed comfort and she was going to take it from whatever adult was handy. Penny was touched.  She knelt down on one knee and embraced her.

“We’ll find your dad don’t you worry.”

Penny was trying to be comforting but inside she was angry.  What could possibly cause a father to lose sight of this precious child! When she found this man, she was going to give him a piece of her mind!  But first Miranda had to be reassured.

Within a few moments Penny was sure that her new charge was okay.  She was sitting at the kitchen table with glass of milk and a cookie.  Penny was preparing to call the police but she was hesitant.  She had heard stories about children going into foster care and essentially disappearing into a system that was not conducive to proper childcare.  So, she hesitated.

As she looked across the room to this lonely child, she felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility.  In this day and age, we are all responsible for our actions and we should never shirk that responsibility.  Sitting across the kitchen table was someone who was asking for her help.  She just could not drop that responsibility on someone else.

Penny was about to take the child out again into the dark.  She would find this man, the father of this child.

BBBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG

Once again, the door unexpectedly demanded attention.  When it wasn’t immediately opened, insistent knocking followed.  Penny approached the door hesitantly; someone was anxious to get in. A moment ago, she had been anxious to track down an errant father on a dark Halloween night.  But now?  Who knows what Spirits are walking in the dusky light?  Now she was afraid to open the door.  The knocking continued louder, and louder.  They say that on one night of the year ghosts are capable of taking form and interacting with the living. They say that on one night of the year evil lurks within reach of the innocent.

The knocking continued, louder.  A voice was added to the banging; “Miranda, I know you’re in there, Miranda!”

With a relieved sigh Penny realized who was at the door: Miranda’s father.

With no further hesitation she threw open the door and then stopped.  In front of her was the man that she had been dreaming about earlier this day, a man of strength, of character and a father.  Upon hearing her father’s voice Miranda ran to him.

“I’m sorry daddy, I’m sorry I ran away!  I’m sorry, I’m sorry!  But this nice lady took care of me and she doesn’t have a husband.”

For just a moment no one said a word. And then the man spoke,

“I’m terribly sorry for what my daughter has done.  She has caused both of us undo concern.  I would like to make it up to you, my name is Don.”

Penny opened her mouth to respond but found that she was tongue-tied.  In the doorway of her home was the man she had been dreaming about.  She would have to say something witty and intelligent, but for the moment her mind was a blank.

“Oh, geez did I disturb you?  The boss won’t like ya sleeping on the job! Look a bunch of us are going over to the pub after work, it’s been a rough day.  Why don’t you join us?  Nobody hands out candy anymore, the kids all go to each other’s homes for parties; parents are too afraid of serial rapists and poisoned candy. Penny are you okay?  You look like you’ve seen a ghost! If you want to come to the pub, we’re leaving in twenty minutes.

Penny blinked her eyes repeatedly. She was still at her desk; she was still filing and she was still single.  Trick-or-treat?

 

 

 

The end

Beware

The witching night,

Will soon be here,

When the wise ones,

Know to fear.

 

The moon is full,

And the spirits walk,

Doing mischief,

They will not balk.

 

Near at hand,

Too close to breathe,

Evil spirits,

Begin to seethe.

 

Stay inside,

Your doors locked tight.

Draperies drawn,

Against the night.

 

Just in time,

The dawn will rise,

And all is safe,

Before our eyes.

 

But please remember,

In one year’s time,

On the witching night,

The ghosts will rhyme

 

 

The photograph of the moon that I used was with the permission of Dale over at adelectablelife.com. She has quite an interesting blog if you want to check it out. I would recommend it. The witch just popped on by.

 

OLi’s Tale

Some stories begin at the beginning. That is the natural way of things. But some stories begin before the beginning. And that can be the most interesting of tales.

 

Lizzy had just moved to New York City; she had needed a change and she thought she could find anonymity here. She wanted to wander silently through the crowds and soak up the beauty that was New York but she didn’t want anyone to rely on her or for her to rely on anyone else. Maybe just for a little while. And that is how Lizzy found herself in a small art shop buying a few supplies. She like to sketch what she saw but she didn’t have what she needed.  And of course, she needed something to carry all the supplies she would use. The shop offered perfectly sized canvas bags. It was great and it was, well, boring. But the shopkeeper had a plan. She supplied the paints so anyone could paint what they wanted onto the bag. Lizzy loved the thought but had no idea what to paint. So, she looked around the room and saw a book with a fierce picture of a dragon on the front and the words “MYSTICAL CREATURES”. She thought the idea of a dragon was great but he had to be a little less menacing so she put her head down and started to paint. Eventually she was happy with what she had done and she was just finishing off the tail when a small child approached her cautiously.

“I think he would like to have a purple ribbon around his tail.”

Startled, Lizzy looked up and then immediately looked down. After all, the voice had come from almost below the table from a beautiful little girl dressed in purple.

“I like your dragon but I think he needs a purple ribbon.”

The voice spoke with the confidence of innocence. Lizzy smiled and answered her.

“I agree.  And what is your name?”

“Olivia,” she said. And then with a sudden burst of shyness, she turned and ran from the store, her father in tow. He smiled a tired smile at Lizzy and followed his daughter.

Lizzy grinned. She wanted to credit the little girl with giving her the idea so she started to print her name on the ribbon. O L and then she thought maybe she shouldn’t because she didn’t have permission. She wondered what to do. And then a thought came to her. She already painted an O and an L and she would add an I but in lowercase to acknowledge the small child. And OLi was born.

*******************************************

In a time very long ago and in a place very far away, lived a tribe of dragons and a tribe of people.  The dragons lived on top of a mountain while the people lived in the valley far below. It was an uneasy truce but it had lasted for hundreds of years. And it was expected to last for hundreds more.

But what is expected and what actually happens is very often the exact opposite. In a nest on the edge of the cliff were several eggs. They were quite large. One of them was restless. It seemed to shake and roll about the nest. It really was disturbing the other eggs. Eventually the egg rolled to the edge of the nest and over it. At that point gravity took over and the egg began to roll down the mountain. Now dragons’ eggs are quite strong, they are tough creatures. But it was a very long way down the mountain. There were fields and forests and streams that had to be navigated and it all seemed to happened as if by magic. No harm came to the egg. In time it reached the valley and it started to slow down. Eventually it came to rest at the edge of a red barn at the outer edge of a farm. It wasn’t there very long before a young boy named Christian found it.

Now, Christian had never seen a dragon before but he knew exactly what the egg was. He had grown up learning about the mystical beasts.  They had been taught that they were fierce warriors and would eat little children if they misbehaved. Christian believed they were really just tall tales to keep the children from being naughty. The dragons had never ventured into the valley as long as he had been alive. But there were stories . . . .

Christian looked at the very large egg at his feet. He wondered what to do about it. He knew he couldn’t tell his Father because of course he would just destroy it. As he was looking intently at his latest dilemma, he noticed it start to shiver. It was cold. Without thinking Christian picked it up and took it into the barn.  At the very least he would keep it warm until he decided what to do. It was an old barn that was rarely used but it still had remnants of hay and it was protection from the wind. The egg would be safe here. Christian made a little hollow in a bale of hay and placed the egg in it.  He then wrapped an old blanket around it. He also wanted to make sure no one else could find it. Goodness only knows what would happen if he was found harbouring a dragon! It didn’t bear thinking about.

As he was eating dinner that night Christian was distracted. What did baby dragons eat? The tales never told you that. But he was enjoying his mashed potatoes and peas and he wondered if maybe he would just try to feed it whatever he was having for dinner. He figured he could sneak something into the barn. But of course, it all depended on when the egg hatched. That was something he was looking forward to.

Several days went by and Christian was very diligent about making sure he was in the barn as many times as possible. He found it gave him great pleasure to hold the egg and feel the life inside. It seemed to move, gently at first and then more vigorously. It was also warm, calm under his hand. And then one day it happened. It cracked. Christian wasn’t in the barn but he noticed it as soon as he did come in and he sat down on his hands and knees, face inches from the shell and watched.

Slowly, oh so slowly, the crack started to get bigger. Eventually a piece fell off and Christian looked in wonder and saw an eye. It blinked. He almost couldn’t contain his joy. But he knew that too much excitement might scare the new life so he clapped one hand over his mouth and hugged himself with the other. For a while nothing seemed to happen and then everything happened. A little face poked its way through the shell and shook furiously. A shoulder showed and then two small hands. Ah! Quietly whispered Christian… and then, Wings! Before too long the shell was gone. Or rather bits of it were strewn around a very small, miniature dragon.

Barely daring to breathe Christian put his hands out to the small creature in a gesture of friendship. The tiny dragon burped. Christian smiled. And then it made a noise that sounded a little like “Olly”! It really wasn’t much more than a squeak but now Christian knew his name. He put his hand on the forehead of the small creature and smiled. In return he seemed to purr and when he put his head in Christian’s hands, a friendship was born.

Christian knew he had to keep his young charge out of sight of the others. He was after all a dragon, albeit a very small one. They developed a routine that seemed to work for both of them. First thing in the morning Christian would arrive with fruit and nuts which the young dragon seemed to love. They would play for a while and Christian did bear a few scars from OLi’s teeth but he didn’t mind. The dragon was fed again after Christian’s dinner. Basically, whatever Christian ate, so did OLi. It was interesting to discover that the young dragon’s favourite food, was mashed potatoes.

One day Christian noticed that his little sister had put ribbons on her dolls. They looked pretty and helped her identify which one was which. So, without thinking he pinched one. It was a beautiful purple and he thought it might look good on OLi’s tail.  OLi didn’t agree. If you weren’t a young dragon snapping at a ribbon that is now dangling from your tail, you might find the whole situation quite funny. Christian did. OLi performed some quite amazing aerobatics trying to get away from this purple thing and from another’s perspective it was quite spectacular. Maybe he was learning something. When he finally came down to the ground, he sniffed at this purple thing hanging from his tail and he seemed to have a change of heart. This was his.

Unfortunately, time does not stand still. Even for young boys and their young friends. OLi was growing. He had learned to fly all by himself and while his takeoff wasn’t the best, he was pretty good in the air. He also hasn’t figured out the fine art of fire breathing, which, given that there was a lot of hay around, that was a good thing.  He rarely left the barn but it was pretty big so that was OK. Something else Christian noticed: there were no barn mice or rats. He thought he probably shouldn’t think too hard about it. OLi was in this barn all by himself a lot and he never seemed to be hungry.

The days and nights blurred for Christian. He loved his new friend desperately but he also knew that the valley was no place for a dragon. OLi was becoming quite big, although nowhere near as big as a full-grown dragon he was still becoming more than Christian shoulders could handle. It was time. The young boy had a plan. He would tell his family he was going to stay with a friend for a few days and he and his dragon would climb the mountain. OLi would go home.

It took it several days but Christian and OLi made it to the summit of the mountain. Christian dared not go over the top but he encouraged his young friend to seek his own kind. It’s almost as if the dragon didn’t want to leave. He butted his head into Christian’s arm and wrapped his wings around his hands, his version of an embrace. But he was intrigued by the sounds coming from the top of the mountain and the glimpses he could see of the full-grown dragons. Eventually he did go. And Christian stumbled down the mountain barely able to see with the tears in his eyes. He knew he had done the right thing and he also knew that he would never forget his friend.

As the years went by, Christian often thought of OLi. He wondered if he had been accepted by his tribe and how big he had grown. He would look up towards the mountain top and think of his friend looking back. He never forgot.

Over time memories change. Truths become myths and myths often distort the truth.  People remembered that once upon a time there were dragons. But the general belief was that they had died or left. No one had seen one in so very long. Except of course for Christian but had he kept his secret carefully hidden. The valley grew prosperous. People had time to indulge. And with that indulgence came complacency. Never a good combination. Young men started to wonder about the dragons that no longer existed. Eventually they wondered too much and decided that they would find out for themselves. They decided to climb the mountain. They didn’t make any preparations because they didn’t think there was anything dangerous at the top. They were wrong.

Seven young men in their prime left the valley that morning. No one knows for sure what happened because the four that made it back three days later were so filled with terror that they would not speak of it. But there was a growing concern that the myths were true. A gloom entered the valley. People looked to the skies more often and with trepidation. The air seemed to quiver with anticipation and it wasn’t a good kind.

Christian looked at the pitchfork in his hand. What was he thinking? How could you fight off angry, fire breathing dragons with a pitchfork? The minutes ticked by. He ran a hand over his eyes, shaking his head. He didn’t understand why it hadn’t happened. They had heard the dragons coming. The sky was black with them and red.  Fire. The children ran to the wells to get buckets of water. The adults ran for tools, weapons, anything to protect themselves. But at the last minute one dragon had broken free. He came straight at Christian’s farm. When the others turned to follow him, he took a stand. He breathed fire on his own kind! He protected Christian’s farm, his family!  Why?

The other dragons took flight. Perhaps they had grown tired of their sport and returned to the mountain. All except one. The one that had protected Christian landed in his field and stood there. He wasn’t menacing. He looked almost sad. Could it be? Is it at all possible? Christian put down his pitchfork and moved slowly towards the dragon. He heard the gasps behind him but he ignored them.

“OLi?”  He whispered, “Is it you?”

The dragon put his big head down just the way he had when he was small.  He used to invite Christian to rub his forehead. And now he did it again.

“OLi!”  Christian cried and he ran to his dear friend. It had been so long but he had never forgotten. And apparently neither had OLi. The dragon wrapped his huge wings around his friend in such a tender embrace that people wept. For a few moments they held each other. Christian felt something warm touch his hand and he instinctively grasped it.  Then OLi backed slowly away and with one more nod he took to the sky.  He glanced back just once and then was gone.

Tears streamed down Christian’s face.  “Goodbye my friend,” he whispered to the wind. He glanced down at his clenched fist and slowly opened it. There nestled gently in the palm of his hand was a faded and slightly scorched purple ribbon.

Puddle Jumper

I can leap tall buildings,

With a single bound.

All the while keeping,

My feet on the ground.

 

With a switch and a swirl,

The world disappears.

Wait just a moment,

And it all reappears.

 

Trusty old rain boots,

Keep my feet warm and dry.

As this silly old girl,

Likes to stomp on the sky.

 

The rain leaves a world,

Just at my feet.

Another dimension,

New marvels to meet.

 

A child’s imagination,

Is a joy to behold.

In a simple old puddle,

More wonders unfold.

 

When the rain leaves a gift,

Don’t ever walk by.

Take just a moment,

And let logic defy.

 

 

The accompanying photograph was provided by Dan over at nofacilities.com. He and Maddie are most generous with the fruits of their walks. Thanks Dan!

 

 

 

Turtle Eyes

There’s a turtle sitting on my desk,

He staring right at me!

He makes me start to wonder,

Of a life that is carefree.

 

My little turtle is not real,

He’s made of stone you see.

But he reminds me of the ocean,

And of life there being free.

 

To race the waves without care,

To play beneath the kelp.

Prey and predator have a place,

They really need no help.

 

If only we could understand,

The synchronicity of life.

Then perhaps we’d have a chance,

To mend our world of strife.

 

To live in peace would be the dream.

When all would be as one.

Reach your hand out to another,

And then my work is done.

 

There’s a turtle sitting on my desk,

He staring right at me!

I think he likes what I have said,

I’m sure he does agree.

 

Two Bison

Two bison ran me down,

I swear it’s really true.

Walking down the street,

What was I to do?

 

Minding my own business,

My face towards the sun.

Nothing really on my mind,

But looking for some fun.

 

The land began to rumble,

And then a growling sound.

Barely seconds passed,

And I was on the ground!

 

I heard a raucous laughter,

Coming from those beasts!

But I am kissing pavement,

And praying for some priests!

 

I raised my head a tiny bit,

To see what I could see.

Imagine my surprise,

When there was really three!

 

Juvenile delinquents,

Racing without a care.

Prepubescent miscreants,

On skateboards for a dare.

 

I raised my fist in anger,

At the injustice of it all.

I’m too old to ride a board,

But damn, I can recall!

 

 

(the image is from hww.ca)

 

Walk With Pride

 

 

They can’t really see me

They don’t know that I’m here.

Then why all the fuss

The hysterical fear?

 

This Halloween craze

Is really bizarre.

People pretending

To be what we are.

 

They wear their costumes

And go out for a lark.

Then I and my kind

Can wander the park.

 

I know you’re pretending

But I’m certainly not.

And once in a while

It ok to get caught.

 

I hide from your view

The rest of the year.

But today I’m quite close

Inhaling your fear.

 

Over your shoulder

Just by your side,

Are others like me

The dead walk with pride.

 

All Hallows Eve

 

 

It’s a dark quiet night,

The mist seems so slow.

The sounds that you hear,

They are deep and they’re low.

 

Something’s alive,

Like the hairs on your neck.

So very determined,

They creep slowly erect.

 

A touch on your shoulder,

A hand out of sight.

You skin starts to quiver,

You’ve taken a fright.

 

Look not behind you,

Breathe deeply and pray.

They’re moving so closely,

You hope they don’t stay.

 

There are goblins and witches,

A vampire or three.

They’re starting their haunt night,

So dangerously free.

 

Evil surrounds you,

It must be remembered.

Nothing is sacred,

You could be dismembered.

 

Of spectres and ghouls,

It’s one day a year.

Zombies and trolls,

There is so much to fear.

 

Take care you don’t anger,

Those near in your sight.

Membership is optional,

Except for tonight.

Conversations with Myself

I was washing my dishes the other day and trying to think of something to write about for my Sunday post. I was remembering conversations I have had with people, articles in the news I had seen or heard.  I even started listening closely to the construction banter outside my window.  It is annoying but necessary and the inconveniences experienced today mean that this small section of our lives will be better in the future.  Hmmm, Progressive Thought or Subversive Rhetoric?

As I was trolling through the flotsam and jetsam that meander through my mind it suddenly dawned on me:   I was talking to myself!  Not a conversation that one would have with a companion. Or maybe I am my own companion. Hum.  That does bear thinking about. I was not having a conversation like I would with a friend, a human or animal one. It wasn’t out loud. But when you make a decision aren’t you actually talking to yourself about whether or not to go right or left, up or down?

Don’t judge me but sometimes I think I split infinities with myself! This is what happens when I am left unattended. I turn inward and stroll through the corridors in my mind.  And I have over six decades of passageways in there with a whole lot of side tracks and cubby holes.  I am starting to sound like a Star Trek episode! But think about it . . . who are you trying to convince when you want that second piece of pie?  (Or the first one!)

I like my mind. Mostly. I can sometimes go off on a tangent or become so hyper-focussed that I see absolutely nothing around me. For example. I draw the little icons that you see on my Daily Quips and Shady Quips. Every year I draw new ones because I get bored. This year I spent hours hunched over my Paint Program deciding what I wanted to draw. I’m a couple of months early. I don’t need it until January but it had popped into my mind and I couldn’t let it go.

Having a good focus is always positive but a hyper-focus can be a little disconcerting. I will honestly say that I now have several choices and I like them all. So now I have to do the other thing I’m not always fond of doing: making a choice between two or three. But I have a couple of months to do that so there is no rush. I do like to be prepared.

And isn’t that what life is all about: preparing for it? We cannot plan for every eventuality but we can be aware of the possibility of the unforeseen.  Rather tantalizing don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

 

A Lizard Smiled

 

A little lizard smiled at me,

I don’t know what to say.

He looked back and then he winked,

It took my breath away!

 

He flicked his tail above his head,

As if in brisk salute.

And then he turned away from me,

He was so very cute!

 

He winked again and then he smiled,

And I knew our time was brief.

I thanked him kindly in my way,

Then watched in disbelief!

 

He seemed to stand upon his toes,

A ballet dance in motion.

Then I blinked and he was gone,

Was he just a notion?