Currently Reading: City of Ashes

This is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series. I quite enjoyed the first book City of Bones. It is YA, my kids were reading it for the book club they’re in and I read along. I haven’t gotten far into the second book yet, so I can’t really review it but if you haven’t heard of this series, I would recommend it. It’s by Cassandra Clare and the action moves along at a satisfyingly quick pace. The main character is a shadow hunters (aka demon hunter) which is something you are born to. The catch is, she didn’t know. She was raised in our world so is now playing catch up learning about being a shadow hunter and about downworlders (other supernatural creatures such as vampires). Of course there is a thwarted romance going on. Got to have one of those.

 

 

The Tree

There was a door in a tree. In the middle of the woods, amongst all the normal looking trees, stood a tall oak with a door in the middle of the trunk and a light hanging off the side. You know, so you could see the door if it was dark.

Why on Earth it was there and what it could possibly lead to was another issue entirely. She stood staring up at it in contemplation. Should she go in? There was very little chance that she wasn’t going to go in, to be honest. She had to know where it went.

Drawing in a deep breath, she made her way up the little path that seemed to open up in front of her. There wasn’t a path as such, no sidewalk or anything to mark an actual path, just less undergrowth, an absence of obstacles to get there.

Reaching the door, she turned the knob and it swung open with a slight screech. Peering in to the dim interior, dust floated by and there was a slightly musty smell.

“Anybody here?” She called.

No answer.

Stepping inside, the air seemed to brighten a little, sunlight filtering in from a small window, up high, that hadn’t been visible from the outside. The door squealed again as it swung shut. She jumped a little, but really, what had she expected?

As she made her way further in, the room seemed to widen and lengthen. The brightness grew incrementally as she walked tentatively forward. Warmth filled the air from a fire that crackled comfortingly in the corner of the room. A plush chair was situated just in front of the fire.

Well, why not? She perched in the chair, suddenly aware of a robe draped across it. Snuggling into it, she found it soft, warm and just her size. She looked to her right and noticed a staircase twisting it’s way up and up, it seemed to go on forever.

“What is this place?” She whispered out loud.

“It is whatever you want it to be.” Came the reply.

She jumped and looked around for the source of the voice. There was a little man, with huge ears and feet, no taller than a five year old but obviously aged. He gave a slight bow.

“Who are you?” She inquired.

“I am your guide, should you choose to explore.” He answered as he handed her a fluted champagne glass. “Drink and this world shall open up to you, but I must warn you, time moves differently here. Be very sure this is what you really want.”

She reflected for a few minutes on her life. The job that wasn’t going anywhere, her lack of a love life, her insatiable desire for knowledge and adventure. It was the easiest decision she had ever made in her life.

She took the champagne glass and drank deeply.

The Truck

The truck hummed suspiciously in her driveway. Clara regarded it thoughtfully. It was a rather large truck, white, with lights on top. But how had it gotten here?

Clara didn’t own a truck and she had never seen this one until it appeared in her driveway a moment ago. The hum was suspicious mostly because trucks didn’t really hum. They rumbled or purred or something more apropos of an engine. This sounded more like something electric.

The truck looked mostly normal, with blue lights pulsating from under it. The windows were tinted so dark that she couldn’t see inside, even the front windshield. That was certainly odd.

She reflected that she should probably be afraid, or some other normal emotion that one might have if an unearthly sounding truck appeared in your driveway out of nowhere. But then again, she really wasn’t a normal person.

She became aware of her oddness at a very early age. When she knew what people were thinking without them having to speak, when people she wanted just showed up at the door, because they felt compelled to and when toys she saw on TV and wished for just appeared. But she hadn’t wished for this truck so what was up with it? Why was it here?

There was a soft click as the door swung open. An inhumanly tall man with a bluish tint to his skin stepped out. He wore a suit of soft, glittery silver, all one piece. Those were definitely antennas coming out of the top of his head.

“Hello Clara.” She heard in her head, though he had not spoken out loud.

“Hello.” She thought back at him, still far more curious than afraid.

“My name is Alto and I’m here to take you to the induction ceremony.” He sounded so matter of fact, as if she had been expecting him.

“Induction ceremony?” She probed.

Was that a sigh she heard inside her head?

“You are being inducted into The Intergalactic Society for Gifted Beings,” he thought at her, “you didn’t receive the welcome packet?”

“Uh…no.”

There was another sigh, this one distinct and thoroughly long suffering.

“So hard to get good help these days.” She heard him thinking.

“Well, get in or we’re going to be late,” He told her, “I’ll explain on the way.”

The Fray

The world is full of pain

The world is so unfair

To those who are different

The world doesn’t care

 

Women, minorities

The poor

The downtrodden, the weak

What’s the score

 

Screaming silently it seems

No one seems to hear

Or at least to respond

To the pain and fear

 

Trying in vain to fix it

But others deny it’s broken

How can you fix it

If it’s not broken

 

Frustration, anger

That’s how it Plays out

Then it’s their fault

Not allowed to shout

 

Silently scream

in pain and frustration

Deny the reality

of your station

 

That is what

The world wants

But screw the world

Ignore the taunts

 

Be a warrior, speak out

It’s the only way

to make the world better

wade into the fray

 

 

 

 

 

Epiphany

Stillness. Quiet. Nothing stirs.

This is a memory, sublime;

struggle to see it clearly,

through the swirling mists of time.

 

Standing over a boiling pot

of water, in a trance, caught,

steam rising, water roiling,

with what danger is the past fraught?

 

Gazing back in time and space

In the water you can scry.

Into many other worlds

You now can happily spy.

 

Stuck, standing still, falling in,

crossing the veil, with the sight.

Struggling to understand,

Remember with all your might.

 

What we really are, and why

In a flash, through a rip in time,

you finally catch it, see it

the epiphany you find.

 

Creation makes perfect sense

Your soul begins to rise up,

but in an instant, instead,

you fall, the loss is abrupt.

 

For a split second you saw,

you understood everything.

Then in a flash it was gone,

A memory of nothing.

 

You can’t forget it, ever

But you’ll never have it back.

You know that you once knew it,

You will always feel its lack.

 

 

 

 

Adventure

I watched the sun sink down below the horizon.  It was gorgeous, majestic! The blues and reds mingling as the sun grew huge and sank slowly behind the mountain range.

I inhaled the smell of the impending night deeply; this was my favorite time of day. The heat dissipating quickly as the sounds of night overcame the sounds of day. Chirping of birds and the calling of children ceased as the crickets and frogs took over.

Would I ever see my homeland again? By morning we should be well into our journey. The herds were on the move and so were we. For the first time in my memory, food was scare. Packed and ready to go, we set out, traveling by night to avoid the scorching heat.

I gave one longing backwards glance to my childhood home then turned and joined the others as we set out on our adventure.

Dirty

I have a friend that I trade writing prompts with and I really enjoyed this take on a poem about getting dirty. With permission, I am sharing it with all of you:

 

Jack walked along the country road

Humming along the way

He tripped and fell

And said, “oh hell.”

As he landed

To his dismay

 

In a pile of mud

Filthy mud

Oozing, wet, and sticky

All over his hands

All over his clothes

Now soggy, mired and drippy

 

Jack sighed

Wanted to cry

But got back up instead

And continued down the country road

Squishing the mud as he tread

 

by JN Quigley

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