How To Find What You Came Here For

Welcome to the worlds that populate my brain!
The short stories you find here are the product
of a vastly overactive imagination
powered by coffee and M&Ms.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

All Cooped Up!

As you may remember, a while back I posted that we were getting ready to get chickens.  If you missed it, or need a refresher, just click HERE !

At any rate, we spent last weekend finishing up the chicken coop.  Foolishly, I thought the hardest part was done: making the base and the basic structure of the coop.  I had completely underestimated the aggravation involved in attaching doors that weren't square to a structure that wasn't square.

I also completely underestimated a reciprocating saw's usefulness as a dental tool.

Specifically, it can rattle the fillings right out of your teeth.  Good to know.

Also, when attempting to use a reciprocating saw to cut plywood that's balanced on two milk crates, if you have not braced it appropriately it will bounce all over, cut the crap out of everything EXCEPT what you intended to cut, and threaten to remove several of your hubby's digits.  Which he won't appreciate, by the way.

We've got a few little housekeeping details we need to take care of (like nesting boxes, for one), but we are basically ready for chickens!  Between now and the end of March we're going to finish up those little details, and then...we're buying chickens!

Here it is - the ugliest chicken coop in North Carolina!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Persephone's Hope

This post is a continuation of Persephone's Tears - you may want to pop back and read that story first!

Anise climbed out of the shaft carefully, pulling the heavy skid up behind her.  The water beginning to flow in through the opening helped the skid glide more easily over the loose rock.  If she’d taken any longer in the shaft, she would have been forced to leave it behind.

Once she was clear of the rocky coast, the skid moved freely on the ever-present red sand that covered most of Persephone.  She made a wide circle to approach the mining camp from the south.  It wasn’t likely that any of her fellow miners would be interested in the natural shafts that dotted the coast, but there was no sense in taking that chance.

Anise could feel the small packet she’d placed those three precious Tears in pressing against the underside of her breast as she walked.  She needed to get into town, to give the stones directly to the government assayer. The assayer was a construct—a robot designed to look enough like a human to make people comfortable dealing with it.  It was incapable of cheating or giving short value to a find, and the credit was uploaded to the government network immediately.  Her indenture would be paid the moment the transaction was completed.

“Hey girlie!  You gonna skip getting’ paid today?”  The rough voice sounded in her ear, and Anise had to fight to keep her hand from checking the hidden packet.

“Not a chance, Piggen.  I figure I got enough for a bowl of soup,” she replied calmly, turning toward the assayer’s tent.  The man lounging inside would have tested the four-hundred pound weight limit on her skid.  Bathing facilities were in short supply out in the mining camps, but Piggen was filthy even by their standards.

“Ha!  We’ll see about that!”  His thick hands made quick work of the haul in the skid, sorting the contents by relative value according to the current market.

Anise struggled to hold her tongue when she saw him place several stones of moderate value in the lower value bins. Unlike the miners, Piggen wasn’t there to work off a debt.  Rumor had it he’d been given a life sentence (for what wasn’t known), and he was serving it out on Persephone.  One thing was certain, if he wasn’t getting off Persephone, neither was anyone else.  Not one miner in their camp had ever managed to earn enough to go home on Piggen’s assays.

When he handed her just enough credits to buy a ration bar—the cheapest food option offered to the miners, and despised for its awful taste—the look in his eye dared her to complain about the short value he’d given her find.

“Thanks, Piggen!” she chirped with false cheer, and had the pleasure of seeing a flash of confusion cross his flushed face.

No doubt about it,” she thought as she dragged the skid to her tiny tent at the edge of camp.  Gotta find a way into town if I want to go home.”

This post is in response to a prompt from Write On Edge to write about an Anti-Hero.  I liked Anise when I wrote about her the first time, and I decided that she really needed an Anti-Hero.  Thanks for stopping in to read, and please leave a comment below!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Devil With A Blue Dress

Picasso - Girl In The Mirror
One of my best friends was getting married, and I needed a dress, so I bundled up my baby boy and went down to K-Mart to find one.

I'd been pregnant for approximately forever, and I still had the extra roundness from that in addition to the excess weight I typically carried.  My body felt alien...squishy and lumpy and ugly.  I loved being pregnant, and I loved being a mother, but I hated my body with a passion.

I browsed through the racks of dresses with the baby snoozing quietly in the car seat.  I wanted something pretty.  I wanted something flattering.

I wanted something that would make me skinny.

A blue dress with tiny white flowers caught my eye and I carried it and the car seat into the dressing room. The dress was had tiny white buttons that ran down the front, and the back laced up to tighten the bodice without emphasizing the pooch my tummy still sported.  I was sold.

Getting dressed for the wedding, I felt good about what I saw in the mirror for the first time in a very long time.  Hubby and I loaded the ourselves and the baby into the car and headed over to meet a couple we were friends with.  They knew where the church was, and we didn't, so we were going to follow them.

I stayed in the car while hubby went to the door to let them know we were ready to go.  The baby was talking cheerfully in the back seat, bubbling and giggling about the toy swinging from the arm of his car seat.  I fussed with the buttons on the dress a little, pleased with that little detail.

Then the door to the house opened, and the couple came out.  The hubby, looking dashing in a gray suit, and the wife—the skinny wife with the perfect body—in my dress.  Only sixteen sizes smaller, and without the leftover baby pooch and big ass and flabby arms and flat hair and washed out complexion and bitten nails.

It was like a horrible before and after shot for one of those makeover shows...and I was the "before."

When we got to the church, I couldn’t make myself go into the sanctuary.  I couldn’t stand the thought of being compared to perfection when I was so far from it.

I missed the wedding.

This post is my response to a prompt from Write On Edge to write about a time when we compared ourselves unfavorably with someone else.  This is, unfortunately, something I know a lot about.  If it were an Olympic sport, I'm pretty sure I'd take the gold...or at least the silver.

I loved that blue dress, right up until I saw it on someone who was a size 2.  I never wore it again.  It didn't matter how many times I told myself it was stupid, every time I tried to put it on I got an image of that size 2 and compared it to my size 18 and took it right back off again.