Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘Tilly’


This is Tilly. She’s a mouse who lives at The Coop. She’s having her babies and everyone is very excited to have more mice living with them. She’s going to the nesting cottage and the chicklets are planning to read to her and they are making tiny blankets for the babies.


Dog, Pug, Bitch, Pet, Animal, Obedient

When the new cat came home, Tilly decided to leave.  She packed her chew toys, many cans of her favorite food, plus her blue blanket and her winter coat.  Then she walked out of her house and went to make her way in the world.  The problem was, she had no idea how to actually carry a suitcase.  After dragging it for twenty minutes, getting through the backyard to the train tacks, she was worn out and thirsty.  So, she decided to wait for the train where she was, hoping a good hearted person might help her with her bag.

After waiting for quite some time, Tilly decided that the cat wasn’t all that bad, after all.  It was late and she was hungry and tired, so she left her bag, next to the tracks, and headed home, where her human asked her if she had had a nice day.   She barked and said that she did.  It was her first solo trip and she had learned a lot.

Edith Olive O’Connor and the Book Lovers Emporium…21

“I told you not to drink Blue Moon,” sighed Edith, watching Tilly stagger into the room.

“What gave it away?” whispered Tilly, squinting, trying to hold her head on with her hands.

“Your lips are blue.”

“Oh.  Oh, yeah.”

“Did you have fun?” asked Edith, merrily.

“I can’t believe Jimi dedicated the Star Spangled Banner, to YOU.”

“Why not?”

“Is there anyone you DON’T know?

Edith thought for a minute and then said, “No, I don’t think so.”

“Greatest concert EVER,” said Tilly, lowering herself to the floor.  “No doubt about it.”

“Yes, it was wonderful,” agreed Edith, a far away look in her eyes.

“You can really sing.  You rocked the house,” smiled Tilly.  “I thought Keith was going to take a bite out of you.”

“Oh, no.  We don’t do that anymore,” said Edith, warmly.

“You and Keith? When do you have the time?  You’re always HERE!”

“I Hop dear.  I Hop,” she snickered, putting books into the White Dog’s basket.  “Please take these to room 309,” said Edith, to the Dog.  “Tell the recipient that I’ll send tea up in a moment.”

The White Dog nodded and toddled away, pulling his wicker cart behind him.

“Who’s in 309?” asked Tilly ”

“You’ll find out tonight.”

“Last night I saw Miss Marple in the hallway leading to the Room of Mysteries.  It’s possible that I just drank too much Blue Moon, however, so don’t take my word for it.”

“She’s here.  She’s working on a case and needed some information,” said Edith.  “Sir Gawain is here as well.  His steed is in the barn.”

“He brought his horse?”

“He rode his horse,” said Edith.

“Old school?” asked Tilly.

“Definitely,” nodded Edith.

“Merlin certainly had the crowd’s attention when he spoke about the war,” sighed Tilly.  “No one wants to go to war.”

“Some do, that’s the problem.”

“Can’t we all just live together peacefully?  Why can’t the faerie folk live with us in this reality, they seem very nice.”

“They can’t live with us for several reasons,” said Edith.  “They have too much power for one thing.   They could use their magic on humans and no one would even know.  They feel that we are far less than they are, and if you consider their magick, they’re right.  But humans have things they don’t have.”

“Such as?”

“We can lie,” laughed Edith.  “They can’t.  But they can twist words and make you believe they are saying something they aren’t.  We don’t have Rulers we must answer to but they are gorgeous, graceful and faster than you can imagine.  They don’t like humans except as prey or to use in their games.”

“Ah,” smirked Tilly, “the good the bad and the beautiful.”

“Very beautiful.  Amazingly beautiful,” said Edith. “But more than that, they could take over, use us for procreation, and turn us into their servants and make us like it.  The faeries you have met are under a geas that prohibits them from using magick on humans, or tricking them in any way.”

“So, if there’s war and the faeries win….”

“Yes, Tilly, things will go badly for humans.

You have no idea how badly,” hissed the Cheshire Cat, his smile appearing over the end of the counter.   “I’m hoping they win,” he purred.

Edith placed a pinch of Nip under the smile and watched it disappear.

Edith, my love,” said the cat, coming in to view, rolling in the Nip.  “You spoil me.”

“I spoil everyone Ches,” said Edith, rubbing his ears.”

Did you see the invisible trio last night?” he asked, flopping on to his side.  “I was one of the only ones who could see them.”

Edith and Tilly snickered.  “Of corse you were,” said Edith.

They’re here, you know,” said the Cat, lazily.  “More Nip, pleeeezzzzee,” he begged, his eyes starting to close.

Edith gave him another pinch and said, “Who’s here?”

The Cat looked around and waved her closer with his front paw.  “The Fae.  I saw three of them at the party last night.”

“Free Fae?” asked Edith.

The cat nodded and fell asleep.

“They’re here,” said Edith.  “They got into the Bookstore.  That means they got through the Wards, through the Magick.”

“That’s not possible,” said Tilly, grinning.  “No one can do that, right?”

“MERLIN,” screamed Edith.


Edith O’Connor and The Book Lovers Emporium…19

“Tilly this is…”

“Yeah, I know who it is,” she said.  “How’s it hangin’ Sid?”

“I haven’t used the name Siddhartha in a very long time,” said the smiling man.  “But I’m fine, thank you.”

“Whatever,” snapped Tilly, taking in his bald head, slim form, beat up sandals and worn jeans.  “I have questions.”


“Yes, Prince.  I mean you were a Prince, right?”

“At one time, yes.”

“You were a Prince when it all started, when you found out that the people outside of your compound didn’t have what you had.”

“Yes, that’s when it all began,” he said quietly.

“Okay, now here’s the thing.  You had a wife and two kids, if I’m not mistaken.”

“I did.”

“And you deserted them so that you could do YOUR own thing.  You left them and never looked back.  I doubt that’s what your wife had in mind when she said, “I do,” or whatever you guys say.”

“Tilly,” said Edith.  “He’s our guest.”

“So?  This is a BOOKSTORE, a place of learning and I’m trying to learn.”

“You’re absolutely correct,” said Edith.  “Please continue.”

“You left your wife without a husband and you left your children without a father, so you could sit under a bodhi tree and feed your own ego.  That’s what it was, of course,  because you simply forgot about the commitments you made to the people you gave your word to, those who depended upon you, those you said you loved.  You turned your back on them them, so you could do your OWN THING.”

“Uh…” he stammered.

“Then you picked up followers along the way…all males, of course, because your generosity and awakening didn’t INCLUDED FEMALES.  And aren’t real leaders supposed to shun followers?  Followers are not the sign of a leader they are the sign of an egomaniac.”

“I must agree,” said Edith.

“You spent the rest of your life being waited on, meditating, hanging out with your home boys, who surrounded you and hung on your every word.  They cried when you finally died.  You’re not a leader Sid,  but I’ve learned that people will believe anything and simply look the other way when things become uncomfortable.”

“Eh, er….”

“You never even saw your children again.  You allowed men to follow you, men who left THEIR families to starve and be abused and you didn’t care, after all the only ones left behind were women and children.  I think you’re a bad person Sid.  You twisted things around for your own benefit and no matter what you say, the life you lived was the real truth.   You were selfish and thoughtless and, by the way, you should let your hair grow back.  Some men look great bald, you’re not one of them.”

With that Tilly turned and walked away.

“I agree with her one-hundred percent,” said Edith.  “Now, how may I help you?”

“I don’t feel welcome here,” said Sid, looking down.

“Yes, well, I can understand that.  The truth does hurt sometimes, doesn’t it,” she sighed.

“I was only trying to…”

“Find yourself?  Make a name for yourself?  Help others, with the exception of your own family, I mean?  Something like that?”

“Yes, something like that,” he said.  “You have a statue of me in the other room.”

“We do, but you’re wearing a party hat and a fake nose with a mustache” said Edith merrily.  “Now that that’s all out of the way, would you like some breakfast?”

“Just tell Merlin I stopped by.”

“He’ll be sorry to have missed you, I’m sure,” said Edith, already looking down at her notes.

“Good riddance,” said Chicago, walking into the room.  “I never liked that guy.  He acts humble but underneath….”

“I know what you mean, but he’s gone now, so we can get on with things,” said Edith brightly.

“Tilly was great,” smiled Chicago.

Edith laughed.  “She was fabulous.”

“I finished Sigmund’s readings.”


“Well, you know about ‘client privilege,’  and all that, but let me tell you, he’s another one who fell for his own garbage.  The guy’s a loon and yet, people followed him and like Sid, even now there are those who can’t let go of what they once said.”

“Sad,” said Edith, shaking her head.

“Destructive,” said Chicago

“That too.”

“Is there any of that great coffee cake left in the kitchen?”

“There is,” nodded Edith.  “Shall we have some at the counter?”

“Absolutely,” said Chicago happily.

Edith Olive O’Connor and the Book Lovers Emporium…8

“Where can I get really good pizza?” asked Tilly.  “Thin crust, crispy, cheese, mushrooms, spinach and scalding hot?”

“In the kitchen,” said Edith, not looking up from her work.  “You can get whatever you like.”

“Can’t I just order out?”

“Just think about what you want and the kitchen will have it ready for you.”

“Did I die?” asked Tilly suddenly, staring at her hands.

“No.  I would have noticed, believe me.”

“But this has to be heaven.”

“I suppose it might seem that way to you,” said Edith, checking things off one of her many lists,  “if getting pizza is your idea of heaven.”

“Jerry’s drawing up plans for the room Chicago asked him to paint.  I’m taking pictures from start to finish, so it will be documented.  I took quite a few photographs of Hemingway and Fitzgerald together, before they started fighting.  Hemingway can be mean.  I don’t know why Scott hangs around with him.”

“They’re friends,” said Edith flatly.

“You’re not really interested in much are you Edith?”

Edith put down her pencil and looked at Tilly.  “I am responsible for the running of this shop.  Caring for The Book Lovers Emporium is a task bigger than you can imagine.  It’s a job that crosses time and space and then some.  I can’t afford to spend hours bouncing around.”

“I’m sorry,” said Tilly, patting Edith’s hand.  “No wonder you’re no fun.”

“Excuse me?”  barked Edith.  “I certainly AM fun.  I can be a lot of fun.”

“If you say so,” said Tilly, looking skeptical.

“I can be,” said Edith, once again, but the energy she had previously put into her words had faded.

“Can we have a dance?”

“This is a bookstore, not a dancehall.”

Please, can we have a dance?”

Edith actually laid her head on the counter.  “Fine.  You can have a dance when Jerry finishes painting the room.  We can celebrate then.”

“You’re the best Edith,” said Tilly, leaning across the counter, her arms outstretched.

“I don’t do hugs,” said Edith, pushing Tilly away.

“Why not?”

Edith shrugged.  “Go get your pizza.”

“Are you happy here?”

“I am,” said Edith, smiling a little.  “It’s just that there’s always so much to do.”

“I can help,” said Tilly. ” Tell me what you want me to do.”

“I’ll think about it,” said Edith softly.  “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“What’s that?” asked Edith, pointing at Tilly’s arm.

“Smoke,” she laughed.  “My dragon tattoo started breathing a little fire last night.”

“Yeah,” hissed Gray.  “Almost singed my tail.”

“She did not,” said Tilly. “Not even close.

“INCOMING,” yelled Edith, as two large books flew through the air and landed on the counter with thuds.  Their covers sprang open and the pages started fluttering and flipping back and forth until suddenly, they just stopped.

Tilly pulled one of the books toward her. “Look at these dragons, Edith.  Jerry was stuck on a main magical creature for the largest wall in the room and this just might be it.”

“It’s beautiful,” whispered Edith, running her hand over the page.  Smoke came out of the dragons nose and Edith pulled her hand away.

At that moment, Tilly’s tattoo started wiggling on her arm.  “Whoa, where do you think you’re going?” she asked, in amazement.

“Hold on,” spit the dragon.”

“Amanda?” gasped Tilly, staring at her arm.

“Do you have another dragon who answers to that name?”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m becoming real, Tilly,” sighed the dragon.  “Get with the program will you!”


“Yes, real, as opposed to NOT real,” said Amanda, in a voice that made it quite clear that she was talking to a two-year old.  “Now hold still.”

Tilly did as she was told and looked at Edith.  Edith looked back and watched as Amanda, using her front arms for leverage, pushed off of Tilly, dragging the rest of her body with her.  Once she was free she shook, flapped her wings and then stretched.  “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.  You have no idea what it’s like to live on someone’s skin.”  With that, Amanda flew to Tilly’s shoulder, walked around her neck three times, curled around her throat, said, “If you need me just yell,” and went to sleep.


“Yes, Tilly.”

“What just happened?”

“I think your dragon tattoo isn’t on your arm any longer.”

Tilly looked down and saw that the spot Amanda had once occupied was now empty.  “There’s a real dragon on my neck,” said Tilly, her eyes wide.

“I can see her.”

“OMG HOW COOL IS THAT????” she yelled, waving her hands in the air.  “I’m going to go show Jerry,”  she said, taking off at a run.  The she stopped, turned, and ran back to the counter.  She grabbed the books, kissed the cat and was gone.

“I love it here,” said the gray cat.”

“I do too,” said Edith, scratching his chin.

“What do you think is going to happen next?”

“Next  I’ll send pizza to the Artist’s Room.  I’ll send some fries, a couple of drinks  and maybe some ice cream as well.”

“You’re starting to like her Edith.  Admit it,” purred the gray cat.

“What’s not to like?” asked the White cat, leaping rom the railing behind the counter to the blotter in front of Edith.  “Right Edith?”

“I guess she’s not that bad,” smiled Edith, and the two cats  chuckled softly and began to wash up for dinner.  “Truthfully,” she sighed, “I don’t know why Scott hangs around with Earnest either,”





Edith Olive O’Connor…The Book Lovers Emporium 6

“What did Jerry say about the room?” asked Edith.

“He’s looking at the ceiling,” said Chicago. “I think he’s intrigued but wary.”

“Oh Scott,” said Edith brightly, “Hemingway is looking for you. How’s Zelda?”

“She’s fine,” he said. “She’s dancing in a ballet this evening. Is Hemingway in the Writer’s Room?”

“He is,” said Edith.

“Chicago, Edith,” said Scott politely. “Always a pleasure.”

“He’s such a sweet man,” sighed Chicago. “I like Zelda too, when she’s not drinking.”

“So true,” agreed Edith. “By the way you have two appointments tonight, a Mr. Ian Backster and a Ms. Mary Bell Moore.”

“I’ve read for both of them before,” said Chicago, nodding. “Nice people, difficult lives.”

“Yes, well, living can be difficult,” sighed Edith.

“Jerry is asking a lot of questions,” said Chicago.

“I don’t blame him. He floating in time, never knowing who he’s going to see or where he’s going to be.  It’s exciting, once you get used to it, but it can be a little disconcerting in the beginning.  I wonder if he has a girlfriend.”

“He did but they broke up three months ago. It was mutual but I think it was more mutual for her than for him, if you know what I mean.”

The door flew open and a young woman with short bleached white hair and tattoos running up her right arm, fell through the doorway. “Wow, what was that !” she shouted, getting to her feet.

“Can I help you?” asked Edith?

“How should I know?  I was walking down the street and something threw me through the door.  “I’m Tilly, by the way,” she said holding out her hand.

Edith made the introductions then she and Chicago watched as Tilly turned in circles, looking around.

“This is a totally cool place,” she said, rubbing her arm.  “I feel like I just came home.”

Chicago and Edith looked at each other.

“Do you know anyone named Jerry?” asked Edith

“Uh, no, should I?”

“No of course not, I was just wondering,” laughed Edith. “What is it that you do?”

“I’m a photographer of strange places,” she muttered, reaching for the gray cat, who was busy shredding her tights.  “You are a beautiful cat,” she said, kissing his face.  “I bet you have a lot of stories to tell.”

“You have no idea,” said the cat.

“Hey, your cat talks,” laughed Tilly.  “How cool is that?”

“Pretty cool,” said Edith, rather taken back by Tilly’s easy acceptance of the things that were going on at the moment.

“Why do you think I’m here?” asked Tilly, looking at Edith and Chicago.  “This can’t be an accident.  So what’s up?”

“They don’t always know what’s going on,” said the cat.  “Sometimes not until the last minute.”

“That’s only true some of the time,” huffed Edith.

“So this is a strange and fantastic bookstore.  I love it here and I’m ready to do whatever it is I’m supposed to do, we just need to figure out what that is,” she said, pulling a camera from her back pocket while putting the cat on the floor.

“You can’t just start taking pictures in here,” said Edith sternly.

“Why not?” asked Tilly, snapping away.  “Oh this is great,” she whispered.  “Wow! Look at that.”

“Ms. Tilly,” said Edith, moving to stand in front of her.  “Until we know the reason you are here I wish you would stop taking photographs.”


“Yes, Why?” asked Chicago.

“Fine,” said Edith, going back behind the counter.

“Oh look, Jim Butcher,” said Tilly, jumping up and down.  I love him,” she squealed, taking more pictures.

“It’s Urban Fantasy night,” sighed Edith, “Simon Green will be here shortly, along with a slew of other writers.”

“OMG, are you kidding me?” whispered Tilly.  “I think I know why I’m here.”

“You do?” asked Chicago, Edith and the Gray cat all at the same time.”

“I’m going to archive your clientele.  I’m going to organize the data you probably don’t even know you have and I’m going to publish a book of all the writers, painters, poets, well, basically everyone who comes in here, so they will be remembered forever, or until the sun turns into a Red Giant and everything’s destroyed.”

“You are?” asked Edith. “Red Giant?”

“I am,” said Tilly, ”  I already started.  I need a printer, and everything that I’ll put on the list I’m going to make.  Where can I crash and put my stuff?”

“Follow me,” said the gray cat.  “I might sleep with you some nights, but that’s okay,” he said, as they walked away.  “I’ll just lay on your pillow, snuggle up next to you and purr.  No big deal.”

“Sounds go to me,” said Tilly happily.  “I’m a cat person.”

“Spotted you a mile away,” nodded the cat.  “I can always see it in the eyes.”


“Our family is growing,” said Chicago.

“Who was that?” asked Edith.

“Someone who knows who she is and what she wants to do.”

“She didn’t even look surprised when the cat started talking to her.”

“She seems open to everything that comes her way,” laughed Chicago.  “I was like that when  I was young.”

“I’ll be interested to see how she gets along with Jerry,” smiled Edith.

“Poor Jerry,” snickered Chicago.

“Poor Jerry, indeed,” laughed Edith.

“I like her,” said the white cat.  “We should keep her.  Now will someone please feed me?”



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