Monday, December 22, 2014

Adventure Log 1: Rats on a sinking ship

Adventure log 1: Rats on a sinking ship

Our adventuring party meets at the the Rusty Goblet a well respected, if not somewhat roudy tavern on the waterfront of the City State of Murr.  The 11th spring had arrived. An event that was both cause for celebration and fear for the intrepid citizens of Murr. Had they built enough in the off seasons of fall, and winter to subvert the coming floods. For five years now the springs brought rain which caused Lake Korr to swell. Then the summers gave cause for more flooding as the ice sheets melted and the waters of Murr swelled ever more. Unfortunately the waters once risen never went away. As the waters rose, the streets would flood and  rats, spiders and dark things would shelter in the shadows of the dryer streets, the people of Murr would talk of abandoning the the City. For most though that was a dream. Murr was situated on an island far from the shore line of the Great lake of Korr. Boats were few. Wood for building them were precious. The shores of Lake  Murr were treacherous. The territorial Kuo-Toa made their homes there on the swampy shores. Wintery expeditions had been sent out over the last 5 years, never to heard from again.
So it was that three companions huddle in the Dampness sharing the hearth in the Rusty Goblet. Argus a Gnome Cleric of Gorum the God of Battle. He came to Murr a missionary eager to convert the citizens of Murr to the ways of Gorrum. He was a battle chaplain of the AirShip Corsairus. When the ship ported in Murr to trade for Essentialtanium, a base material that assisted in the flight of the Gnome fleet. Gorum came to Argus in a dream. The citizens of Murr did not know it but they needed Argus. Having not the funds to establish a proper temple he plans to establish a flock and train them in the arts of combat. he is hoping to be ready for the  next winter expedition to the the shores of Lake Korr to battle the fearsome Kuo-Toa. He is newly arrived and is staying at the Rusty Goblet. Currently he is sharing a drink with a young Noble of the city named Roya’al Brizbin a self proclaimed Sorcerer who follows the  God Nethys. While normally the two enjoy a hearty theological discussion. Today the mood is sullen. Roya’al Brizbin  speaks of his Lineage, and how his parents came to serve on the City council after an Illustrious adventuring career in the Northern Waste. “I would like to go back there in the wild lands of my conception, I’m ready, you know. I am. If I had been part of the last expedition I know I would have made it back.” Roya’al was saying when Orchid Lilly Star Blossom sits down next to the duo and pipes in which one of you gentlemen will I bestow upon the honor of buying this laddy a drink. The two of them look upon the Elven Minstrel their somber moods immediately lifting. Roya’al motions to the the waitress, “A honey mead for our little flower here.” Orchid smiles at Roya’al,” My thanks Roy.” Orchid flowed into  Murr on foot in the dead of winter. She has been working the Rusty Goblet ever since. Quick with a song, and a story accentuated with the music from her strange iron wood guitar. She is the only one to have arrived in Murr on foot for the better part of 8 years. Roya’al and Argus were enamored by this mysterious elvish woman. For her part she would tell tales of the North. It seems she was well traveled. The three of them had become fast friends. They knew that they had the makings of a chartered adventuring company, they planned on leading an expedition north when Korr froze over once more in the long awaited winter.
The three of them fell deep into the comfort of the conversation of friends. Several people burst into the Rusty Goblet wide eyed and terrified. Screams could be heard from the streets quickly stifled by the closing doors. “The rats” one of the the new patrons yelled they are swarming. The three friends got up in unison and headed towards the door. Fools cried on of the newcomers, don’t go out there it is dangerous. Argus laughed. If there is a battle to be had then I will not shame myself by hiding here while lesser men fight it. Argus lit a torch and headed out while Roy and Orchid with their longer gate were first out into the street.
Orchid took stock of the scene, seeing a woman trying to protect herself and the child from the swarm with one hand while holding a child to her breast with the other, she was screaming with terror. Orchid went straight to this woman brandishing her Iron wood guitar like a club. She swatted at the swarm sending parts of rats flying about.
Roya’al seeing a halfling boldly fighting off the rats, stomping on one here and kicking another there to ill affect, Roya’al startect conjuring bolts of lightning damaging several rats in the swarm, who decided to leave off the halfling and attack the new threat.
Argus seeing his friends engaged with the rats spotted a man rolling on the ground covered in the swarm and his own blood, Argus charged the rats batting them away from the man with the flat edge of his great sword.the rats flowed from the prone man and swarmed Argus.
Orchid after having saved the woman and child saw them dart into the Rusty Goblet. All around her the Citizens of Murr were fighting off the rat swarm. Orchid saw another man battling the the rats with a broom. The rats were on his back, his broom flowing up the handle onto his arms. Orchid put her guitar away and drew two daggers expertly skewering slicing and dicing the rats from his back, and off the broom.
Roya’al  was attacked by the swarm that had been confronting the halfling and was bleeding from several bites when suddenly the rats burst around him burst with an electrical charge. Smoking furs and burnt meat filled the air as the swarm that was attacking him fell dead all around him.
Argus was now rolling upon the ground. The rats had gotten into his clothing and was biting and scratching him as they got under his armour. The gnome was rolling around squishing the now trapped rats. He could hear their bodies crack and feel the bodies burst under his weight.
Orchid watched the man she had just saved go running into the alley.

Then in an instant the rats were no longer a swarm. They ran back to the the dark places and alleyways forsaking the light once more. All around, a moment of silence descended upon the city, cut short by a hysterical cry from the Alley the panicked man had just fled into. Like a well oiled machine the the trio of heroes bolted together towards the dark alley the barrowtone screams were coming from. Orchid, and Roya’al stopped short noticing that the screaming man was held fast in a giant web his feet frozen in a running motion. Argus not realizing the situation found himself stuck in the same web. Roya’al back tracked picking up Argus’s dropped torch while Orchid got the giant spiders attention by grazing it with a dagger. Royal went to his friends aids burning the the web around him then helped the terrorized man in the same manner. The man fled from the alley. The spider attacked Argus who now was brandishing his great sword targeting the spider. The spider lunged at Argus with its dripping mandibles and got a mouth full of nothing as they scraped off his armour. Then Argus maneuvered in for a good swing missing the spider. Orcha threw another dagger which got caught in the web. Roya’al burned away more of the web. The spider lunged at Argus again but was off balance by a now unstable web. Argus swung again slicing open the spider's abdomen. Orchid watched, on gaining empathy for the giant arachnid. The spider not liking the pain gave up its will to fight and fled to the rooftop of the building as Argus sliced at it again. “Stop it is hurt yelled Orchid” The gnome called out torch to Roya’al who tossed him the torch. Argus clenched the torch with his teeth, and still  full of battle lust climbed up after the spider. The rooftop being slate was slick with spider blood and rain  almost slipped on the roof but regained his footing and watched the spider disappear down the chimney. Argus ran to the chimney and tossed the torch down after the spider. A barely audible scream came out of the chimney. Argus made haste off the roof and burst into the house whose occupants had just fled, and found the spider still smoldering in the fireplace. A man popped his head into the doorway while asking if it was safe. “Indeed it is blessed be to Goram”. The man thanked Argus for his heroic deed.

Back in the street a small crowd of people surrounded the trio cheering their selfless deeds. Orchid looked at  Argus a sad smile on her face, “You did not have to kill the spider” Argus looked at her seriously, Like fun I didn’t. At which point their voices were drowned out by the crowd. “What shall we call you, heroes of the Storm”. Roya’al looked to his companions who nodded for him to speak. “We be the Pathfinders” A cheer went up all around them. Thank the gods for the Pathfinders, the Heroes of the Storm. Slowly the crowd calmed. Then murmurs started going up as the the citizens went from elated to be saved to angry that they had to be. Soon the crowd swelled into a mob seeking answers. Too the Korrum they shouted. What will the Prince and Council do to protect us. The Angry mob headed to the Korrum.

Wondering how this would turn out the Pathfinders flowed with the crowd sludging through the water logged street, into the Korrum a large open spaced  area outside the cities seat of law. The crowd got ugly. We are trapped here. We must leave the city. The watch cannot protect us. We can’t leave, there are not enough boats. Kuo-Toa patrol the shores.  What will be done. What will be done. A fanfare broke out over their voices four city guardsmen and a herald made their way through the mob to a central podium. From all around the fanfare burst forth again.The mob settled down anxious to hear the heralds pronouncement. The  Herald announces that Prince Gailem and his council will be issuing charters to those of the right armament and metal to go forth and explore and or clear the ruins of 3 nearby cities of fell inhabitants, thus paving the way to expand the influence of Murr and rekindle the Greatness of the Gailem Empire. Applicants will be received In the Korru. On the morrow after breaking our night fast. Further more we will also be accepting the name of people wishing to settle the cleared cities thus starting a new life within the empire on the shores of Lake Korr. The way forward will not be an easy one. How ever we sincerely believe the the great people of Murr will be up the task. The crown wishes to further incentivise the good people of Murr by further offering all who embark fourth as settlers  including those who inhabit the dungeons of Murr a clean slate. Debts shall be baught up by the crown and forgiven. A cheer rose up from the Mob. Hope was once more in the air. More than a few Dwarves stomped their feet and stalked off.

Later on back at the Rusty Goblet the Pathfinders found themselves discussing their Immediate future. “We must get a charter” Argus was saying again. The sooner the better. “We don’t even know which cities they want explored yet”, piped in Orchid. “What if the inhabitants are peaceful?” “You heard the Herald, we are to clear the ruins of fel inhabitants, you know, if any”, Argus countered back  he continued,. “ When you thought it was just the Kuo-Tao you had no problem with it Orchid” That was different Argus, and you know it. You know the trouble I had with them on my way through.” Roya’al had been strangely quiet. A harold walked into the the Rusty Goblet and ordered a drink. Argus got up and stood to one side of him while Orchid stood on the other side. “Tymone” Argus says to the bar keep. Argus nods to the Harold, “His drinks are on me.” Argus climbs up on the stool next to the Herald the Herald thanks him. “Hello stranger, my name is Harry.” he extends his hand to Argus. Hello I am Argus cleric of Gorum, and these are my friends”, he nods over to Orchid, “Orchid then he points to, and Roya’al Brizban, we are the Pathfinder’s Heroes of the storm.” Harry looks closer at Roya’al, My lord s? It is an honor to drink with such fine men. Argus says, The honor is mine good sir” say I was wondering .What more do you know about the Ruined cities that are to be cleared and the charters.” The Herald  looks at the three of them. “Well there are two Potential sites on the North bank. Then there is one site to the south that is a definite must,  that one is called Durham once the Gateway to the south. Many charters will be issued to companies of the right caliber. I’ve heard far and wide of the exploits of the Pathfinder”s deeds today. This should put your company far and ahead of the competition. The Pathfinder’s should have choice of assignments though being that Lord Roya’al is one of your number. I would act quickly,  for boats are in short supply.  I’m sure our lords will send many companies out. After exchanging a few more pleasantries Argus and Orchid bid Harry the Harold farewell and rejoined Roya’al back at the hearth.
“Talk about picking the right friends” Argus proclaimed directing his comment at Roya’al, “did you hear Harry he said we were in” Roy you got to introduce us to your parents.” Roya’al broke his silence, “I know, but it is not that easy.” My parents are good people, but they can be” sigh “difficult” I will meet you back here later.” Roya’al got up and disappeared through the Rusty Goblets doorway.
Roya’al was excited about the proclamation, however he was nervous about seeing his parents about this. Last time they discussed his leaving on the winter expedition his parents had forbidden it. They had told him that he was not ready, and that  they had prepared him for bigger and better things. Throwing his life away on the annual winter expedition was a foolish waste of his talent. Since then Roya’al had trained very hard. he knew he was ready, he just needed the chance. He would take this one if his parents agreed or not. The family had a little skiff, one of the few private boats in Murr, and Roya’al was prepared to steal it if necesary. He decided he was going to Durham no matter what they said.
With his new resolve Roya’al entered his family home. There he was met by their manservant Jeeves. Who greeted Roya’al politely, “are my parents about Jeeves?” “Yes my lord they are. They sent word to me to have you brought to the silver room as soon as you arrived. Indeed we thought to send Timmy out to find you.” “Well Jeeves I am here, I will go to the Silver room wish me luck Jeeves” “I assure you my lord you do not need it”
The silver room was just that silver. The walls were a translucent pearl color, while the furnishings the  frames of wall hangings, and  the candle holders were all silver. Roya’als parent stood in unison when they saw him enter and beconed him closer. There was a map on the silver table before them. His mother smiled at him and stated his name “Roya’al” His father in his uncanny way finished his mother statement with a proclamation, “It is time” “Roya’al’s heart leapt. How do you mean.?” He asked. His mother started, we heard about your heroic exploits on the water front” his father finished, “and we are pleased” His father starts “We wish to” his mother finishes “sponsor the pathfinders on an” they both speak in unison “expedition to the ruins of Durham.” His mother starts, “We have spoken to Prince Gailem” his father continues “and he agrees that you and your pathfinders would be the perfect candidates for this expedition.” They both speak, We are having Jorrum drawing up the contract as we speak. What do you think?” Roya’al was near speechless. This was his hope his wish. He had longed for adventure for so long. He did not believe his parents would ever deem him worthy and suddenly he was. “This is good”, Roya’al said,”I will bring the Pathfinders to you.”” No need” said his mother, “we will send Timmy” said his father, “In the meantime we would like for you to review this map” Roya’al’s mother rang a bell and Jeeves arrived, and was asked to have Timmy sent to collect the pathfinders from the Rusty Goblet.
Back at the Rusty Goblet Arugus and Orchid had met up with the bold Halfling they had assisted earlier and recruited him as the newest member of the Pathfinders. They were drinking a round of ails when this Man Boy, but not a Halfling thing came up to them introducing himself as Timmy a Brizbin runner/ messenger, and that he had been charged with the task of bringing the Pathfinders to the Brizbin house. After answering a few questions Argus, Orchid and Stiles followed Timmy. Whose long gate belied his tiny stature. As the party walked up hill to the Bribin Manor the streets dried up.
At the Brizbin house the Pathfinders were reunited in the Silver room. Introductions were made. An offer rendered to the Pathfinders. The Lords Brizbin would sponsor the company's charter In exchange the Pathfinders would exploring, the Durham site, and clear it for safe settlement. As part of the charter the company and the sponsors would recieve a 26,000 acre land grant and the titles there in. The land grant would be subject to a 50/50 split with the sponsors. The Pathfinders split would be subject to division amongst the companies charter as they saw fit. This offer would be extended up until Lake Korr froze over. If settlement of Durham is not possible by then then the offer would be revoked. Any treasure gained within the timeframe afore mentioned would be subject to a 50/50 split with the sponsors.  The Pathfinders split would be subject to division amongst the companies charter as they saw fit The sponsors will provide a means of transport,. Supplies, and essential gear and other essential yet reasonable resources, including additional personnel needed to complete the objectives of the charter.
The four members of the company. Discussed the terms, then signed the charter after concerns as to what type of creatures would be cleared from the Durham site were expressed and agreed upon by Orchid.” I will not be a part of exterminating peaceful creatures.”  Each member received gifts from the Brizbin sponsors as a show of good faith. Argus received a cloak of fiery vanishing. Roya’al received a staff of Ghost Touch. Orchid received goggles of decipher languages. Stiles received the ownership of the vessel they would use to reach Durham. They all received Ion Torches. The Bizbin Lords informed the Pathfinders that other parties had been interested in exploring the Durham site, and might pose a problem. One in particular another member of the Princes council a lord Aldelphus Ironforge of the Bartertongue Dwarves. Was angry that the charter had been awarded to the Brizbin Lords. He swore that their pup of a boy did not possess the skill or the metal to get the job done. Prince Gailem was not swayed though. The truth though is the Durham site was too far away from Murr, and they suspect that Prince Gailem does not trust the Dwarves to settle Durham under the Gailem banner.

The rest of the evening merchants and craftsmen came and went from the Brizbin manor. By morning the party was ready to depart to the former southern Gateway of the former Gailem empire. Stiles proved to be adept at his craft. The sail barge made a swift and uneventful 5 day voyage. At one point in the journey they had lost sight of land for 2 and a half days. Then in the distance the southern shores of Korr could be seen in the distance. At first is was the Distant aspect of land. Then as they got closer two ice caped mountain ranges could be made out one to the north, and one too the south. Then a structure could be made out connecting the two shores between the mountain. At this point Stiles started to show signs of nervousness. “Something is wrong, their should be a current. He checked his compass and his map repeatedly. That night he checked and rechecked the stars. The next morning he informed the party that they were on course. That day the  structure got bigger and bigger, and yet bigger sill. Then it was Orchid who realized that the massive structure they were approaching was some sort of a Dam. As they continued onward Distant islands were spotted by Argus. Stiles said there are not supposed to be islands here, then Roya’al said those look like beaver lodges. Stile’s eyes lit up. with recognition. “They are.beaver lodges, and that massive structure to the south is a beavers dam. Where did the lumber come from asked Roya’al. I don’t know said Stiles maybe the ruins of the Durhams..Orchid stared off into the foothills of the mountains in Awe, Look old growth forests. True as the day is long there were forests on either bank of the lake. Something to see the from this distance meant the trees were huge. Roya’al whispered there is a fortune in lumber alone to be had here. Stiles whistled in agreement. I am going to give the lodges a wide birth stiles said and try to get closer to the the dam. As they approached the dam whole trees could be seen plastered into the dam. The Dam was rose at least 100 feet above the water. Roya’al said now we know why the waters keep rising. yeah, There was a huge water fall here where the dam is.5 years ago said Stiles. In the waters to the West towers of the old city of Durham jutted out of the water. On the East bank there were ruins on the shore that ran up the sides of the snow capped mountains. On the West bank there was a glacier melting out of the West side glaciers were yet more towers. As they got closer to the Dam Argus shouted look and pointed to toward the dam. Up on the very top was a very large beaver dragging a tree with his powerful head in to place. It stopped to look at the little boat and sent out an alarm type noise that could be heard echoing across the waters. Stiles said “Close enough.”  Argus said “I’ve fended off dragons from the airship Corsairus, I know what it takes to take care of these beasts, and I am telling you we don’t have what it takes.” Orchid argued, “we need to get to the East shore and set up a base camp.” Stiles said no way we don’t have the time. Off in the distance Three of the large mammals dove into the water at the base of the dam. Roya’al said, “By Nethys are they fast.” “Guys we got to get out of here while we still have a good lead. We must let the council know the cause of the flooding. If we can make it back we will be heroes.” Stiles was already turning the boat around. The Dire beaver 3 of them were gaining on them fast. By the time the barge was turned around the beavers had closed half the distance again. Yet now that they were heading north the beavers were gaining on them much more slowly. The party worked hard under the command of Stiles to get every ounce of speed the could out of the barge. Eventually the Dire Beavers gave up pursuit. On the long uneventful Journey the Pathfinders discussed their next course of action, and plans for their return. To the Lost cities of East and West Durham.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Purge- Everything bad must go!

It is time. Every so often I take a introspective look at myself. I take measure of, the who I am with the who or what I would like to be. It does not surprise me that I often find the who I am comeing up short.

This time the measure has been no less pressing? I not only take measure of myself but also I take measure of the time that may be left to me in this form. On this easrth.  if I keep eating the way I do. I have logged onto this life nearly fourty years now. Truth be said there have been many great moments. Then the flip side many not so great. I could and have made a case for both within the pages of tthis blog.

Truth be said it has been a short 40  years. In my youth there had never been an end in site. I took and burned up many years just trying to get through them. Mission acomplished. Now though it has dawned on me that just maybe I should have taken the time to enjoy the journey just a bit more.

I can only hope I ave 40 more good years to enjoy. If I play my cards right I will. My first 40 years were a gift. A gft that I had taken for granted. Of course I am alive. In what other state should I be in. Now though I know every day thet I plan to live on this earth must be fought for and thus appreciated.

With what currency do I plan to purchase the next 40 with? The currency of healthy choices. maybe, just maybe if I start now. If I start today It will have been soon enough. It is with this hope that I begin the purge.

I will no longer be the carnivore. The glory days of the empire are over. No more expansion. It is time for the long decline. This decline can be good. If it is done with grace? The Empire does not have to suffer cataclysmic colapse.

Why is it that we are iether growing or dieing. It seems to be the proper nature od things. In truth though we are all dieing from the moment of conception. So what state of decay am I in. The state where I must realize that expansion will not make me stronger, but begin to weight me down. Break me down and destroy me. I am in the age of less is more. I`m no longer into expansion mode. So I will no longer eat like I am a growing boy.

Over the next few days my body will be going through the great purge as it adjusts to a no meat no caffene diet. For now I will play at being a vegetarian for a while. Maybe I will like it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Working on my million words of crap.

It has been a while since updating this blog. For good reason. I've been working on my million words of crap. I found a story to tell and am pursuing this story with a vengeance. I won't let it go this time. All my writing energy is going into it. After the first write up I will share. I promise.  So I guess I am riding my muse pretty hard. She is happy.

This should be a good time for me. It is not. I feel like a fake. Like I am pretending to tell a story. Every thing is wrong. I am tumbling into a dark pit. The only brief moments of clarity or happiness lately is when and only when actually writing. This is not how it has worked for me in the past; I am anxious, so I write. I am elated at having written. I settle down content and smug. Now; I am anxious. I write I am at peace. I stop writing and  I am immediately anxious again. It is like my biggest coping mechanism is broke. I am broke and no one really gives a dam. Well I do, I care. Maybe that will be enough this time.

Wish me luck all. I will keep you posted.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Exercise "Panhandling can be fun"by Marlene Leach. Exercise completed by Shad

Yeah, Panhandling could be fun I suppose. I would have to step out side myself to realize the potential. Could you imagine me begging? Once upon a time I was a panhandler of sorts. I will tell you about it if you got the time.

Yeah time, we have to go back to elementary school. We are in the school lunch room. There I am. The little boy with too long hair and the birth control glasses, thick frames, soda bottle lenses.  I bet he thinks he dresses smart. No one ever told him that button down shirts with big collars and cordoroy pants weren't cool. I don't know if he would understand if anyone had. His parents are frugal. Very frugal. He doesn't know what that means either. Just that his lunch sucks when compared to everyone elses. He wants a pop tart a twinky. Anything from hostess. Maybe even something fried like one of those tatter tots. Oh yeah tatter tots. He is amazed at how many of his piers don't eat their tatter tots. He ate his lunch already. Now he swings into action. First to the kids at his table. His friends?

He looks across the table points at some untouched tots. "you going to eat those." He knew they weren't. He waited patiently for confirmation. His question though suddenly assigned value to the uneaten portion of food. "Yeah, I'm going to eat them." Dejected he asks another.  He gets some tots. He devours them happily greedily. Then scans the cafeteria.

 There are many uneaten portions of tots. He gets up and wanders over to another table and sits down confidently between two girls. "Eww" One gets up. His mere presence at the table grosses out the girl. He smiles, moves closer to the other girl, who reacts in similar fashion. The girls on the other side of the table look at him with disgust. He smiles at them. It is obvious to them that he has cooties or some such catchy ailment. It is not long before the table is cleared. He calls after them, "I guess you don't want to finish your lunches. I will take care of your treys." The girls walk off upset and don't come back. The boy, oblivious to the insults he just received proceed to consolidate his gains. Lots of tatter tots. Some fruit cock tail, the half cherry is still in it, and a partialy eaten chicken patty. Con-tent, he eats oblivious of the social taboos he has just violated. He never wonders why people don't like him. He just uses it to his advantage. He scans the cafeteria once more. He still has time.

I guess pan handling can be fun. That day how ever, stuck, with that young man. He thought about it later. The light came on in his head. I guess it affected him on some internal level. The events played out in his soul over and over again. It can be fun. You get what you want. I always did. But what was the cost?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Marlene's writing exercises

"You meet a man in a bar in a strange town. He has a cat on his lap, and he orders a cup of coffee, slowly spoons sugar into it. He strokes the cat's black fur and says, "This contact is illusory. The cat and I are separated as though by a pane of glass, because man lives in time, in successiveness, while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant." What do you say back to him? And he to you? What does the cat do? What happened to this man before he came into the bar?"  Marlene Leach

I had been walking for days now without stopping. Edgeing  ever closer to the coordinates. What is a few days?, when measured against the year I had been traveling. A normal life was long past. What was the point? This was my normal now. I walked until exhausted. Found shelter, collapse exhausted. Woke up exhausted check my GPS for bearings and begin walking again. During my long trek I often thought about the why, and the how I had come to this ragged bare foot state. My feet are hard as leathery shoes now. I remember when I forsook my shoes. I had worn through my 3rd pair, and just didn't bother with a fourth. My feet bled and blistered. That had not deterred me. Eventually that hurt went away. My life had become one of simple needs. I needed to walk. I needed batteries for my GPS. I needed food.

 I was closing in on my destination. With stoic determination I picked up my pace. Once there I would rest triumphant. With one goal completed, I would rest.   My heart no longer ached for my losses. Like the blisters and bleeding of my feet. My heart ache went away. It was now hard and leathery like my feet. I was a walking dead man. All joy in life, gone.

 I still don't know why it happened. She moved back home to New England with the kids. I was to follow as soon as the business of selling the old house was finished. Everything was well., until the sale fell through. No other buyers came forward. I missed her and the kids so much. I remember our last conversation. She told me not to bother. She would be fine. She did not want to see me again, ever.

I was so lost. I flipped out. Showed up at her mothers where she was staying. Drove 8 hours to learn she had found another. Heart broken, and alone. I sought purpose in an old hobby of mine, Geo Cacheing, with a twist. I put a random set of coordinates into my GPS, and started walking.

 Walking as I was now. In the dark. Save I was much closer to my destination now. Time and perseverance had worn away the distance. 

The sun had set. Fog had rolled in. My clothes absorbed the heavy fog,  weighing me down with its dampness. Every foot fall seemed to take an eternity. I shivered uncontrollably. I was not well. As I walked on, muffled sounds came to me through  the murky darkness. Unseen things lurked out of sight. I saw a light illuminating the fog in the distance. I was approaching a town. The fog gave way to the out line of structures. In the town. The counter on my GPS changed. Three miles. Two miles. One mile. 900 feet. Five hundred. I am on the sidewalk of lighted street. Fog consumes the light. A building looms in the darkness. Most of its structure hidden by the damp fog. I watch the building as my feet draw me nearer. I sigh with relief. Seeing a flickering neon Budweiser sign illuminating a large window, I realize that the building is a bar. I am less then 20 feet away from the coordinates I have been pursuing for so long. If there is a cache here I will be shocked. Still rut around. If there was no cache here. This would be a great place for my? What, epitaph. The world did not deserve it. I look around the front of the building. To my surprise  I find a loose brick.  I am shocked. I pull the brick out. It is fake. Very clever. What are the odds? I open it. The log note says come in side I am waiting for you. Now I am spooked. I take the note and enter the bar.

In contrast to fog thickened night the bar, dimly lit, seems bright. The room seems large. I had not been inside many buildings since I set out to find this place. I had been in a few buildings over the coarse of my travels. Each time amazed at the size of the indoor spaces.  The bar was long. There were more empty barstools than occupied.

 One  occupied bar stool in particular caught my eye. Upon it sat a man, who had on his lap a cat. He was slowly spooning sugar into a cup of coffee he must have ordered. If it had not been for the cat in his lap the man would not have caught my eye.. That cat though? I had seen before. Or at least one very much like it.

 My journey had been full of peril. Several times I had found myself in a tight spot Each time it would seem a black cat, very much like this one, would be a part of that peril. I associated its appearance with danger. Some times the cat was helpful.  Some times no. The cat would always seem to vanish as quickly as it appeared. I was weary. Then to, now and again I would dream of black cats while I slept. Not all of my dreams were pleasant. This cat looked up at me. Then started cleaning itself. As the cat seemed to loose interest,  the man with the cat took notice of me, as did the bar keep.

"Hey mister we are not a charity here. soup kitchen is that a way."   He wavered his thumb directing me the vicinity of the local soup chicken.

"No... I have money. I can pay. "

He lookked at me suspiciously. "All right then, you pay as you go, no tab." I ordered a beer. I handed him my bank card. When the deal was done. I found a booth in a corner where I intended to sit alone hoping to to dispel some of the damp and cold I had gathered from the fog. As I passed the man with the cat on the way to my chosen seat. The man grabbed my arm. All the while stroking the cat with the his other hand,   "This contact is illusory", he nods down at his cat, "The cat and I are separated as though by a pane of glass, because man lives in time, in successiveness, while this magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant." I pull my arm away with just enough force to break his grip.  He was talking to me. I shrug, Why me? I mumble a noncommittal sound avoiding  eye contact, and look down into the the mug of deep  golden amber liquid bar keep had given me. I move on towards my chosen seat. 

I hear the man with the black cat voice trail after me.  "You don't believe me?"" Touch it, touch the cat." I look over towards the man with the black cat, he has risen from his seat and is walking towards me. He gently cradles the cat as he walks. He has left his coffee on the bar. The man limps slightly. 

I don't need this,  bull. I look up from my table, booth actually. I don't do bar stools. I need my space. As a general rule I don't drink in public. I don't go any where that is public. I don't like uncontrollable environments.  Mainly because I hate situations like these. The crazies. They are every where, and they loved me. Even before I took this hike. Now though I knew. I looked like one myself.  I am determined not to escalate this into a whacked out conversation. I'm not going to let it happen, not this time.  I'm ready to leave. My thirst unquenched. Dam. I got to get out of here, but the crazy man with the cat is in my path. Dam Dam Dam. I don't want to have to brush pass him. I don't want to give him the opportunity to grab at my arm again.. He has taken the initiative though. He made the first move. Check.

"The cat is not here" Stroke..."Touch it see. Touch it." No place to go, I hesitate then sit back down. I am a captive audience. I empty my mug buying time. While the man with the cat cradled in his arm limps over towards the booth seat opposite. He will come past where I am sitting. Clearing my path towards the exit. I am waiting for this opportunity. But no. The man stops in front of my booth seat check mate. 

I sigh with resolve I can get through this. I put on my best game face. I look up at him, he smiles at me. The cat is disinterested. "As I was saying This contact is illusory. The cat and I are separated as though by a pane of glass, because man lives in time, in successiveness, while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant.' Touch it you will see.

I smile up at him, "Sure thing. Magical Cat, um how bout that. Well sir", I always try and speak to the crazies with respect, they sometimes really go off on you if they feel you are making small of them. "I uh wouldn't mind touching your... magic cat. I really wouldn't, but you see I am allergic to cats. 

The man interrupts me. "Sir?, huh. How bout that. Don't worry about your allergies, I assure you that the cat is separate from us. In a way he is not here. You cannot truly touch this cat, your allergies in this case do not exist. This in part is my point." He scritches the cat between the ears. The cat purrs with contentment. Obviously feeling the contact. "I urge you to see for yourself." he says 

I shake my head back and forth slowly knowing that I am on the loosing end of this conversation. Why don't I just touch the friggen cat. What harm can it do. It might even end this most uncomfortable conversation. But no. I decide not to be man handled. Pressured into touching that strangely familiar animal. I wanted nothing to do with it. I knew that you shouldn't argue with  crazies. It never works out. They are always right. Not because they have truth on their side, no, they got something a little more potent then truth, they have the conviction of their own reality. I knew this. Yet I still did not want anything to do with that animal. Presently the animal took interest in me. Looked at the man, then at me  and hopped from the mans cradeling arms onto the table surface. 

This cat knew no boundaries of etiquette. I tried not to think of its paws on the table. The very paws that I knew inevitably had at one time or another dugg through sand somewhere making potty holes. The dirty paws. Don't think of the dirty paws. It did no good.

 The man stood there looking at me expectantly. "It likes you." he stated as a matter of fact. "It may like you more then it likes me." He sighs as if rejected. Mind if I take the seet opposite you?" The cat walked along the tables surface with its dirty paws. It walked towards me. I edged away from it uncomfortably. It took no notice of my discomforture and continued towards my hand which held my empty beer mug. "If you must sir." The man smiled as if he had just found a friend. "Thank you." he said sitting down across from me. His dejection from the cat all but forgotten by him. The cat though was not forgotten, not by me. As the man sat down across from me, the cat made contact. It rubbed against my knuckles which gripped the empty mug . Or did it rub against me? It was the strangest of sensations. As the noncontact of its fir rubbed against my knuckles. I should have felt the hardness of its skull under soft fir beneath skin. I knew that. Because, this is what I expected. I sort of did feel this, but I didn't. It was not there. I felt what I thought I should, but I knew it was a trick of my mind. I looked at the cat then the man surprised. The man nodded approvingly, "I told you."

I sat in astonishment as the cat pushed against my knuckles first its head then the rest of the non existent body rubbed against my knuckles. I mouthed out "how?" I must admit I was freaked out by the cat. I knew if crazy was catchy I would have caught it long ago. That said the cat really wasn't there, oh and yes now I was convinced that it was the same black cat that had haunted me through out the trip. Save it was real, but it wasn't.

  The man looked at me with gratitude, "It has been a long time I have waited for another who could accept the truth. Thank you!" I just looked at the man dumbly, when I noticed something odd about him. He was fading as if maybe he had not been there either. Was it the dim ligh in the bar. No I didn't think so. He was fading. He nodded again, "I have searched for you a long time. Please take care of my cat, he really does like you." The man was flickering in and out of existence now." I looked at him dumbly my mouth opening even wider. I must have been  pale. I think I stuttered slightly, "Who.. who are you." He looked at me sadly, "I am just a man who had but one love," He looked at the cat with sorrowful affection. "When I died a part of me could not help but worry about my cat. "I could not rest until I found you." "He is a great companion, he really is, take care of h.." With that the man vanished. The cat though, he did not notice the dissapearance. He continued to rub him self against my knuckles. I continued to feel nothing, save for what I thought I should of the contact. It was then I heard the bartender. "Hey you?" I looked around bewildered. I glanced away from the cat and looked at the bartender. Who stood near the still steaming cup of coffee the man with the cat had added sugar to. The Bar keep looked at me and then at the black cat in disgust. "No pets in here mister." I sighed scooped up the cat, and walked out into the night.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

The procrastination monster must feed.

Today is about procrastination. How do I procrastinate? Why do I procrastinate? Well recently I have committed my self to writing daily and to working on the house a little bit every day. Today both projects seem less than appealing. What have I done in lue   of those projects? Lets see. First I have organized my Kindle. That took a bit of time. Then of course I found a friend on FB to chat with.  Score, looks like I will be recieving a phone call in a bit. Oh yeah the procrastination engine is in full gear.

Well, one 48 minute conversation with a good friend later. She is a published author, and is always fun to converse with. She also teaches a writing class, and has offered to send some of her assignments my way. :)  Then another 40 minutes in conversation with a good neighbor. The last one sorta just happened. He was coming over to see if I wanted a table. I didn't but we shared pointers on home maintenance. After that it was about 11:45. Well I figured I should make lunch for the kids before heading up to the attic.

Ha ha. I did it. I spent about two hours up in the attic. Oh and I'm finishing writing this, just after taking a bath. Um, I am finishing this post. After wards I hang out my grungy attic clothes. Oh and I want to put away the dishes  before heading to work.  Well time to go... and get the rest of my list done...

Yep, I think I put the procrastination monster to sleep. Not be for I fed him though. Lets hope tomorrow goes better. Maybe I won't even give him a chance next time. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

After #trust30, Whats next, by Shad

I really really enjoyed the #trust 30 prompts. I choose to move on though. To work on the many projects that I have started, and yes to start a few new ones.

I am still performing triage on my house. Her name is Corliss by they way. She is a beautiful old house who has seen much better days. Currently I am performing weatherization projects. I've been in the attic for what seems like for ever now. Removing insulation, and vacuuming. I don't think the attic has ever been cleaned. I don't really know why I am going as far as cleaning it, accept for the fact that in it s current state it is unacceptable. Once I have finished cleaning I will use great stuff and seal the drafty areas that lead throughout the rest of the house. Then the insulation all blown off goes back up.

When I moved into Corliss my bu-die and I rewired her, bringing her up to code. This was necessary in order to have the power company install a new meter. While rewiring Corliss I had ripped up insulation half hazardously and never laid the insulation back down properly. Well, I am now, and I think the electric savings on our heating bill will be pay off enough to justify the sweat equity.

As if this project is not enough, I am attempting to write a romance story about a man and his house. LOL. Seriously I am. I figured yesterday while sweating up in that hot attic that the only reason a person would put the kind of labor into something as I have, and am, is for the sheer love of  the item in question. I have long romanticized the owning of real estate. Yearned for it. Given up on it. Then watched that hope become a reality. I have read often that one should write about what ones knows. I intend to...

If any one wants to be in my sharing circle. Help critique my story as it develops. I would sure appreciate it. Drop me a line or something. Who knows this could be fun. For now though it is time to head up to the attic. I hope to hear from you.