Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘22’

The Magical Apothecary…22

“You spent how much on plants?” asked Diana.

“I think the plants will add a LOT to the shop and clean the air at the same time,” said Joey.  “They’re being delivered tomorrow afternoon, at one-thirty.  Lacy, the woman who owns the place, is going to check on them once a month, to make sure they’re healthy.  She’s also going to set them in place so they look their best.  And there’s a Jade plant…”

“…to put by the register so it attracts money,” sighed Diana, shaking her head.  “Fine.  You’re probably right.  It will brighten up the place and make it more…”

“Homey.”

“Okay,” laughed Diana.  “That too.”

“Did you talk Cormick out of going back in time?”

“What do you think?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Once he makes up his mind…”

“He’s dedicated and passionate,” said Joey.  “He feels that way about you as well.”

“Ack,” she said.

“It’s obvious to all of us that you two love each other.  Why don’t you just admit it and go with it?”

“It’s not that simple,” she said.  “We need a new window display.  Something more fallish.”

“Okay, but you’re wasting valuable time by not being together.”

“Just do the window,” she groaned, and leave my love life alone.

“I’m just saying…”

“I’ve been swamped with orders for potions and spells, lately.  I finished quite a few from last week.  They’re all under the counter and on the shelf.  I’ve called the customers, so they’ll be in to pick them up over the next few days.  I made one for Ms. Western’s dog Mabel.  She’s been off her food and the vet said that he’s not sure what’s wrong with her.  I think she’s depressed and grieving, since her poodle friend, Cooper passed away.  I’m hoping the potion will cheer Mabel up a bit.”

Joey put his hand on Diana’s shoulder. “I can see how much your heart hurts, when it comes to the animals.”

“They’re so innocent,” she muttered.

“I know,” he said, hugging her.  “I’m sure she’ll feel better.”

Diana nodded and started walkking back to the lab when Cormick burst through the front door again.

Joey said, “What happened?” and rushed to his side.

“I…I…don’t know,” he said, looking down at his hands.  “I’m in black and white.”

“I can see that.  Did you go back in time?”

“Yes, but…”

“Oh, Cormick,” said Diana.  “You…”

“Now’s not the time for name calling,” he said.  “Help me.”

“What did you do?”

“Just a practice run,”  he said, “but I found out something, important.”

Joey started at him.  “Well, don’t just stand there looking like a photo from the thirties, tell us what you found out.”

“I found out that people from the future are here…changing our reality.  Beings have been going back in time and changing things since the beginning, and it’s not always done to make things better.”

Diana shook her head and continued to cast a spell over him to bring back his color.  “Drink this,” she said, handing him a tiny blue bottle.”

He didn’t ask what it was, he just downed it in one.  “Thank you.  Diana, you wouldn’t believe how many beings are here from different time periods, trying to manipulate what happens right now.”

“Well,  the good news is that YOUR STILL ALIVE YOU IDIOT.”

“Name calling,” said Joey.  “Not helpful.”

“It’s helpful TO ME,” she snapped.

“She gets like this when she thinks I almost killed myself again.  But I don’t have to go into the past now.  I’d just be one of thousands, maybe millions, so thee’s no real point in doing it.”

Color was crawling up his arms and his ears, working it’s way over his body.

“Is the past in black and white?” asked Joey.

“No.  Not really,” said Cormick, grinning.  “It’s a wild ride though.  Whatever time you’re actually from, you can’t recognize the beings who don’t belong there, but if you’re a time traveller, you can see the others, those who don’t belong there, because they stand out like neon lights.”

“Cool,” said Joey.

“It’s not cool,” said Diana, “but that is valuable information.”

“Will you PLEASE just marry me,” asked Cormick.  “I’m so tired of pretending that we aren’t meant to be together.”

“Fine,” she said.  “When?”

“What?” said Joey and Cormick.

“I said, yes.”

“Really?”

“We’ve already lived together for years, then been apart, and together is better than apart, so we might as well get married and get it over with.”

“Not very romantic,” said Joey.

“How about this?” she asked, jumping into Cormick’s arms and wrapping her legs around his waist as she kissed him.”

“Yeah,” laughed Joey.  “That’s a lot better.”

***

The next day, around one-fifteen the flower van pulled up out in front.  The owner hopped out and started pulling plants out of the back.  Joey rushed to help her.

When all the pants were inside, Lacy started putting them around the shop, by windows, in corners and on the counter.  When she was finished, Diana and Joey just stared.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Diana.  “Absolutely gorgeous.  It makes all the difference in the world.”

“People don’t realize how much plants add to their space and to their lives.”

“It’s wonderful,” said Joey, walking around.

Diana thanked Lacy and wrote out a check.

“I’ll be back to look in on them at the end of the month.  Thank you for your business and, if you have any trouble with them, call me immediately.  If you decide you want more, you know my number.”

“Thank you,” said Diana, walking her to the door.  “I’m so very happy with what you’ve done.”

Chester sidled up to Lacy for a few pets.  Then he went back to his bed and Midnight joined him.

“I like the huge fern,” said Joey.  “I didn’t see that onwyesterday.”

“The whole shop feels happy,” said Diana.  “Sometimes we don’t realize what’s lacking until we get it.”

“You mean like Cormick?” he asked.

Taylor stopped by at closing time and said the same things everything everyone else had been saying all day.  “The store looks and feels great.”

“I’m going to do the window,” said Joey, climbing over the counter.  “I have a couple of ideas.”

“I’m sure you do,” laughed Diana.

“What did you ever do without him?” asked Taylor.

“Truthfully, I don’t know.  I can barely remember a time when he wasn’t here.  And, by the way.  Cormick and I are getting married this in two days.  I hope you’ll be my fairy of honor.”

 

Starting over…22

“Well, gather ’round children.  You too Jerry,” said Kit.  “I talked to the Draknotues.  They never realized they were being played by the universe.  They weren’t happy about it, which was good.  I told them that your side wants a truce, so you won’t have to fight and kill each other for the amusement of a third party.”

“And what did they say?” asked, Lilly.

“They are open to negotiations.”

“What kind of negotiations?” asked Jimmy.

“They want Utah, Nevada and parts of Texas.  They said Vegas will remain neutral territory, of course, but the rest of the state will belong to them.  They said your side can have the rest, as long as you keep D.C. away from them.  If the government gives them trouble they’ll eat them.  I told them they could do that now and if they did, we would give them part of California for their trouble.  They’re thinking about it”

“Wait,” said Lilly.  “They want to live here?”

“Some of them do, yes,” said Kit.  “Openly.”

“Why Utah?” asked Jimmy.

“They’ve always been fascinated by mormons,” said Jerry.  “I think they want to study them.”

“And you think we should let them?” asked Lilly.

“Well, seems a small price to pay, when you consider the alternative.  Full out war.  There will be a lot of causalities across the board.”

“I don’t get it,” said Jimmy.  “Once they’re here won’t they expand?  What if they eat the humans around them?”

“Always a possibility,” said Kit.  “None of them can be trusted, but humans kill each other all the time, so it’s just a matter of semantics.”

“Is there room for more negotiation?” asked Lilly.

“A little wiggle room, I suppose,” said Kit.  “Why?  What do you propose?”

“I don’t know,” said Lilly.  “What do you think we should do?”

“I guess you could offer them parts of New Mexico.  Some of them love dry, open spaces.  And there’s always Washington, since it rains a lot and the wet ones would like it there.  Maybe they’d give up Nevada for those places.  it’s good to keep them on the coasts, as much as possible.  Having them in the center of any country could be a problem.  I told them they couldn’t have France, but they wanted Germany and India.  They said we can keep Sweden and Norway but they are interested in Australia.  Africa is quite hot, and many of them melt, so that’s off the board.  I told them Australia can get boiling hot as well, so they were thinking the arctic area might be another place.”

“No.” said Jimmy, standing up.  “They can’t have any of it.”

“Excuse me,” said Kit.

“I said, NO.”

“But why?” she asked, brushing lint off of her blue robes.

“Because it’s ours.”

“That’s not really a reason, darling.”

“It kind of is,” said Lilly.

“Well, sweeties, if you don’t give them something, they won’t agree to a truce.  You can’t expect them to just stop playing, if they can’t take home a goodie bag.”

“They lost last time.  They agreed to a one time deal and they are not going to make demands because they’re sore losers,” said Jimmy.  “Go back and tell them no deal.  Tell them that if they don’t honor the contracts they signed last time, they have no honor and they will bring disgrace upon themselves,”

“Wow,” said Lilly, smiling at him.  “Way to go Jimmy.”

“Yes, yes, darling,” said Kit, “very nice speech, but they really don’t care about things like honor or disgrace.  If you don’t give them something, the war is on.”

“Then the war is on,” said Jimmy.

“Wait,” said Lilly. “Do they have females?”

“They do,” smiled Kit.  “What do they have to say about all of this?”

“The females of most species think males are insane. None of the females want war. With the exception of PNOWKYYTR’S, a species where the males give birth, anyone who carries and gives birth to offspring, don’t want them dead, or wounded.  It’s jut men, who aren’t physically involved, who don’t seem to understand that part.  They’ll kill anything.  Keep in mind that females are vicious fighters, but they mostly fight to save their offspring.  Men will fight just to fight.

“Do you think if all the females of all the species got together, we could stop this from happening?”

“I seriously doubt it, sweetie,” said Kit.  “Males like to kill things, and there doesn’t seem to be anyway to stop them, no matter where they’re from, including here.  The losers don’t actually care about a rematch, they just want war.”

“Well,” said Jimmy, “if it’s war they want, then that’s what we’ll give them, but they can’t live here and they can’t…”

“They already live here,” sighed Jerry.

“What?” said Jimmy and Lilly, at the same time.

“You’d be surprised how many different species live or vacation here.”

“He’s right,” said Kit.  “They’ve been here since the beginning.  They just don’t have any say in how things are done, because their side lost the war.  They want to come out of the universal closet and be seen.  They want you to know they’re living here, by showing their true selves.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” asked Jimmy.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Kit.

“I can’t believe they actually live here,” sighed Lilly.

“Oh, my tiny darlings,” laughed Kit.  “If you only knew the things that lurk and live around you.”

“That’s enough, Kit,” said Jerry. “No need to…”

“Scare the children?” she laughed.

“Yes,” he said.  “Besides, it’s bad business.”

“You’re right,” she said, turning toward Jimmy.  “So war, then?”

“Can we win?”

She smiled at him.  “Let’s just say that it will be a bloody mess, like it was last time, but I think enough fighters will return to help you, and there are so many more of you humans nowadays, and you’re mean as….”

“I get it,” said Jimmy.  “How about you Jerry?  Do you think we can win?”

“No idea,” he said, honestly.  “Many of them have advanced weapons, they all know more than you do and some of them are just plain killers.  The nice species won’t leave their planets, or galaxies.  They don’t believe in fighting.  Then there are those who will pretend that wha’t happening isn’t happening, so they’re useless, and then there will be those who think that by thinking good thoughts and worshiping their gods, that will make a difference, while people and others are dying to save the world for those who are actually doing nothing at all.”

“It’s always that way,” sighed Lilly.

“Yes, darling,” said Kit. “It is always that way.”

“There has to be a way to stop this from happening,” said Jimmy, pacing back and forth.

“Well, you don’t have much time,” said Kit.  “The troops are preparing, so let me know what you decide asap.  Meanwhile, since I’m already here, I’m going to get my nails done.  Would you like to join me Lilly?  My treat.”

“No. But thank you,” she answered, smiling.

“Okay, darlings.  See you in a bit.”  And she was gone.

“What are we going to do?” asked Jimmy.

Lilly shrugged.  “No idea.”

 

 

 

 

Annie…Short story…22

“ANNIE,” shouted Lucifer.

Cats ran into the room and piled on top of her.  They were howling and meowing at the top of their lungs. Lucifer tried to push them off, but Clark grabbed his shoulders and said, “Let them help her.”

“What have I done?” he gasped.

Lucifer reached through the pile of cats and placed his hand on Annie’s forehead.  He closed his eyes and started channeling healing energy into her, ignoring the scratching and biting the cats were inflicting upon him, in order to get him out of the way.  He was careful not to give her too much.  He was all-powerful and had to forced himself to hold back.

Matthew began to stir.  “What’s going on?” he asked.  “Im thirsty.”

Clark told him what Annie did and Matthew groaned, rolled off the bed, onto the floor, dug through the writhing cats, put his hand on Annie’s arm and started giving his energy to her.  Adeline pecked her way through the sea of cats until she made it to Annie’s side, where she leaned into her and sent her love.  The hounds came in, and threw themselves down next to the cats.

“I think she’s gone,” muttered Clark.  “I can’t fell her any longer.”

“If that’s your attitude, leave the room!” said Lucifer sharply.

“Dad, you didn’t know this would happen.”

“Get out,” he said, in a controlled, flat, terrifying voice.

“You’re right,” said Clark.  “I’m sorry,” and he added his hands to the pile.

“Lucifer,” said Silver.  “It’s time to stop.”

“I’ll stop when I’m ready,” he hissed.

Some of the cats had fallen asleep on top of Annie, others were bathing and stretching.

“Dad, look at the cats.”

He did.  “What about them?”

“They’re fine.”

“So?”

“If Annie was dead, the cats wouldn’t BE fine.”

The cats allowed Lucifer to push them off of Annie’s body.  He gathered her in his arms and spoke to her in soft whispers, rocking her back and forth.

Annie rubbed her nose, sat up and said,  “Wow!  Who’s Michael?”

“You’re okay?” asked Lucifer, is eyes wide.”

“Who’s Michael?”

“He’s a white-winged angel, why?”

“I’m going to kill him,” she said.  “I just had the weirdest dream and you look a lot better Matthew. I saw my mother and she told me to tell you that she’ll always love you, Lucifer and she’s so happy that we found each other.  I’m really hungry for cake.  Anyone else?” she asked pushing herself to her feet?

The cats, the puppies and the hen followed Annie into the kitchen. The angels stayed where they were.

“I have no idea what just happened,” said Lucifer.

“She healed me,” said Matthew.

“I think she was dead,” said Clark.

“Let’s have some cake,” said Silver, waving everyone into the other room.

“I LOVE this cake,” said Annie, eating her third piece.  It’s seriously delicious.”

“Annie, tell us about your dream,” said Lucifer.

“Okay,” she said, taking another mouthful of cake.  “I saw my mom and we were in this place where angels go after they aren’t really alive any longer, but they kind of seem as if they are because they aren’t really dead either.  Anyway, she smiled and told me that she loved you, Lucifer.  She said that I was doing a great job with the cats and that I should always follow my heart, which is easy, because it’s a cat’s heart and cats always know the right thing to do.  She said she loved me and was happy to see me but that I was only there for a visit.  She said that another war is coming and it’s going to be worse than the last one.  She said that she was murdered.”

Murdered?” shouted Lucifer.

“Yes, she said that they were fighting in the angel war and they were pushing the angels back but someone she trusted, killed her.  His name was Michael”

Michael killed her?”

Annie nodded.  He did.  She said you would know who he was and that once you found out what he did you would want to kill him but she told me to tell you that it was my job, so to stay out of my way.”

The color drained from Lucifer’s face.  Silver put her hand on his arm.  “You need to take a step back, just for a minute or two.”

“Annie,” said Clark.  “Michael is an archangel.”

“And?”

You can’t kill an archangel,” said Clark.

“Sure I can.  My mom told me how to do it,” said Annie smiling. “More cake, anyone?”

 

 

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