Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I am really excited to begin work on the Inspiration Gallery, which is a seperate page dedicated to the art work of my friends at DevArt, who's work I really admire!
I hope you will find that your own creative energies are enhanced as you watch these guys progress in their art.
I am testing out the gallery options that James (Aquila) set me up with oh-so-long-ago which I completely forgot about until a few days ago when I was monkeying around with the site.
"Whaddya know? Lookee what we got here, " says I to myself.
So maybe I can say goodbye to the deviousness of DeviantART - though I love my friends there I utterly detest the pornography being presented as "artistic nudes."
I am sorry, but a "Fetish Gallery" is not fine art.
So I am happy to find a cheap way to move the bulk of my gallery out of there - although I will keep my old submissions and continue to chekc in on my friends art - I must say that they are most inspiring lot and I will be building a "favorites" list that will link to the amazing works of my friends still at DevART.
So if you have links to the Blog Biscuit, you can get around to changing them to:
mettleworks.blogspot at your convenience.
While house warming gifts are unnecessary, House Warming Comments and Visits are always welcome.
See you there soon!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Cones and Converse
Post No Bills
Abstract with Acrylics and Marshmallow Creme
Clouds O'er Fields of May (Lo Res)
Trading Spaces - Sisters Edition
So I am walking around the kitchen, looking for something to have for lunch.
I open the cupboard...cup -o- soup?
No the kids like those for after school, I better not.
I open the fridge...Cheese quesadilla?
No the kids like those too much too.
No, should save it for Scout, its her favorite.
Chips and salsa?
No Stu likes those for a snack.
No,I could use it in a sandwich for the kids tomorrow.
My eyes light on a brand new tube of Goat cheese.
Mmmmm, yummmm, I can have that on a piece of bagette!
I don't want to open a brand new package just for myself, when I could save it and share it with my friend Amber.
And then I had to stop...
What the heck is wrong with you girl?!
Don't you matter?
Open the frikkin cheese and have some.
That's what its there for, and nobody else in the house likes it except you.
(And Amber when she visits.)
And what? Like I can't have any of the food unless its something that nobody else likes or will eat? What is up with that? What is in yer head woman??!!)
So pushing guilt aside, (And what guilt? Guilt for existing? Guilt for not being everything to everybody at every time they think they need it? I don't know - what is that? Approval Addiction? ) I did indeed delve into the brand new package of cheese.
O thou sinful creature!
How dare you take food that could be eaten by some one else.
Man! How I can be too dang fat and not eat is a mystery to me!
Eating and its psycological relationship to being valuable.
To being a viable life form.
What is up with that?
(Millions of people on this planet, and millions of perspectives on that question right there.)
To eat is to acknowledge that I exist?
And to exist is ...what? Bad?
I haven't quite figured out what within me finds something bad about that.
That I might interfere with some one elses plans just by my mere presence?
(Hmmm, there went an internal lightbulb.)
Where the heck did that thought come from, anyway?
Hmmmm...maybe there is food for thought there.
Maybe there is a terrible banquet set, that the rest of you can easily view with disgust, that I can barely make out as though looking into a smeared and dirty mirror.
I still can't see it all yet.
But I think there might be something there.
The fathomable yet unattainable flip-side to all of this, is that I know that if there be any sin,
it is in that I know that I am a creation of God Almighty, and yet I harbor this odd mindset that denies the value of His Workmanship. (Namely, me and my existence.)
I am sure there must be some form of arrogance there, on my part.
Not sure yet how that works in, though.
Pieces to puzzles.
Floating all around and yet when I reach for them they disappear like quicksilver from my hand, and I awaken from the fleeting thought as from a dream.
Friday, May 26, 2006
-"Throw in a pot"
-"Dump in a bowl"
-"Just throw some in, it doesn't matter how much."
So, for todays recipe, here is what you will need:
-1 can of chowder. (Condensed or Heat and Serve - it doesn't matter.)
-1 can of Cream of Something Else soup. (cream of mushroom, cream of broccoli, cream of chicken - it doen'st matter.)
-1 can of tuna or salmon or both.
-half packet (or whole, depending upon how much tuna/salmon you have on hand) of crab, or imitation crab.
-some butter or margarine or cooking oil or Pam. (who cares)
-Wine is good in here too - preferably white.
-some garlic or garlic powder.
-1 pinch of dried dill (if you have it on hand, if not, it doesn't matter.)
-1 or 2 stalks of chopped celery
-maybe a cup of corn?
Here is what you do with this stuff:
-open the chowder and dump in a pan.
-open the cream of something and dump in a pan.
-using one of the empty soup cans, add 1 can water and 1 can milk.
-dump in the wine - not too much!
-fry chopped onion in butter/margarine/Pam/oil until soft.
-dump the onion in with the soup mixture.
-add cans of Tuna, Salmon and packet of imitation crab.
-Add celery (and corn if you decide to go that route.)
-Heat it on low or medium - but DO NOT let it boil. Ever.
-Cook for a long time on low heat, preferably at least 30 minutes, checking and stirring often.
-You could probably do this in the microwave if you had to.
Serve with some crusty bread.
Before serving, sprinkle maybe some grated cheese or sesame seeds or something and pepper.
Do not add salt.
It is already going to be salty enough to make you want to suck down an entire 6-pack by yourself in order to slake your thirst.
Heck you could even add half a beer to this recipe instead of the wine and I bet it would be good too.
There it is.
Eat fish on Friday.
That's what we do, cuz that's what we do.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Blake and Andrews "Pizza Rocket" won for best animated short film!
While S.W.A.T was nominated for 2 sewperate categories, it didn't win either, but the audience was chanting the name of the film and was bummed when it didn't win. The winner was actually VERY worthy and took a lot of awards. It was a dark film based upon a murderous ghost named "Bloody Mary." Despite the dark nature of it, it was WELL written, and the editing was fabulous, and two actresses were nominated for best actress and one of them won.
I think SWAT had a following because of one of the cast members who passed away on last Memorial Day, one year ago. If you have been hanging aroudn the Blog Biscuit for over a year, you might remember a post I did about the passing of a young man I called "David." He was at lake Shasta and he fell from the upper deck of a houseboat, hit his head and drowned. Well "David" was none other than our own dear Joel Meyer. I dared not share his real name at the time out fo respect for his family. But as time goes on we are able to more joyously celebrate the amazing person that Joel was. Anyway, When Joel passed, it rocked our town. He was a goofball freindly kid who loved and gave his all to anyone and everyone. He treated every one with love and every one who met him loved him. Joel had the gift of creating team spirit. Of creating comaraderie and the spirit of equality in every group he was apart of. he inspired and encouraged. He instructed in his own secretly charming way,. those younger than him and they looked up to him. He never lorded it over them. Anyway...Joel had ahuge part in S.W.A.T. I thank my God in heaven, that all theboys got to do that project with him. They will have it, and what they learned form him, forever intheir hearts.
It is for this reason that I think the entire audience wanted SWAT to win - because it was Joel was in it - and every body loved him. Joel's family was there tonight. Joels little brother is one of my sons best friends since 5th grade. his parents are dear freinds of ours. It was good to see them there. Joel was instrumental in conducting the Film Festival before he graduated and went off to college. It was good to see them there and especially so close to the one year mark.
So SWAT did not win out over "BLoody Mary" but it did the community good to see Joel again and remember him a year after his passing.
I think it was a healthy thing.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The first selection is the one currently in use for this week.
Feel free to plagiarize - if you dare.
Dan Brown has OTHER books.
To hear people talk, you would think that his DaVinci Code was the only book he had ever written?
It's not as if The DaVinci Code was the result of some *mission* he was on to discredit the God of the Universe...dude is an author...he writes stories.
He has other ones.
What's funny though, is how many people actually don't get the fact that The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction.
I mean...just becuase you watch Star Trek or The Simpsons (or the Kennedy's), doesn't mean you believe everything you see/read?
(I know. Some of you needed a moment to think abou that "Star Trek part", get over it.)
Same with Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code.
Its an imaginatively told story based on an old myth, and written by a great author.
I guess even Dan Browm himself kinda forgets though too, so how can we blame the general populace for forgetting the difference between fact and fiction?
I mean, when his book first came out, he was on the road doing interviews to promo the book and he was very clear on the fact that this was purely a work of fiction, nothing more.
Then along comes Little Ronnie Howard and starts to make a movie, and Mr. browm goes back out on the interview circuit. Suddenly he is saying that his book, The DaVinci Code, was based upon facts gleaned from his own research?
(Hmmm...someone has certainly has had a significant lapse of memory...I *think* that both sets of interviews either took place on the Today show,
or a combination of Regis and Kelly and the Today Show.)
My own brother is just such a person.
When he first read The DaVinci Code a few years back ,he was all excited, saying ,
"Wow! This is really important research," even though at that time Dan Brown himself was pointing out the fact that it was a work of fiction.
As for me, I find it much easier to believe that The Lady of The Lake herself will pop up out of a stream during my next hike, or that Merlin or King Arthur will come trotting out from behind some massive old Oak, bearing the Grail themselves.
Sorry, as much I adore Celtic Folklore, it ain't true.
And neither is there an invisible map on the back of the Declaraton of Independence.
Anyway, Dan Brown is a terrific fiction writer.
Rather than fixate on one of his works, people should be inspired to read his other books.
Isn't that the usual pattern when we read an exciting and well written story?
We want to read the others too?
There are many stories in the world.
Some are worth incorporating some of the tenets into our lives to make the world a better place.
Some are not worth incorporating because they don't enhance our lives or anybody elses.
Stories are stories.
Thats why we love them.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
According to the Mechanical Contrivium :
- Mihshehl can use only about ten percent of her brain.
- Mihshehl invented the wheel in the fourth millennium BC.
- Mihshehl can only be destroyed by intense heat, and is impermeable even to acid.
- Mihshehl is the world's largest rodent!
- Baskin Robbins once made Mihshehl flavoured ice cream!
- Mihshehl will often glow under UV light.
- Mihshehl has a memory span of three seconds.
- Finding Mihshehl on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.
- Mihshehl is only six percent water.
- It takes 8 minutes for light to travel from the Sun's surface to Mihshehl.
For other amusing ways to utterly waste time visit The Surrealist.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
First off: New Art by me, here, here and here.
The next tirade is not for the faint-of-heart, for it deals with things that only a parent might stoop to, in dire times in the hours of the middle of the night. Rushing and Blue Max will have a special identification with this I think.
Ever since Thursday I have been cleaning up after a steady onslought of barf.
First Kenz got the dreaded 36 hour stomach flu, with sudden onset in the form of projectile vomiting, and complete emptying of stomach contents. Of course, this occurred on the hallway carpet. I refuse to go into detailed description of what I had to hand pick out of my carpet fibres, but you get the idea.
Next it was Scout at 4am this morning.
Why these kids can't get to a suitable puking place I will never know!
So I am picking "stuff" out of the sink drain at 4-frikkin-a.m.
I completely scour the kitchen and disinfect all doorknobs and computer keyboards and mouses and telephones and remote controls etc and am preparing to go back to bed at 7am.
I sleep for 1hour and awake to a phone call from my son who has gone on a trip 150+ miles away.
Before he even says it, I already know.
So there went a 6 hour trip to bring him home, cutting his 2day road trip short.
So far, the only ongoing malady at this late satruday night hour seems to be Scout. She cannot seem to shake the virus but remains feverish, and uncomfortable.
You may call me a ninny.
I care not one wit.
I am the mom who prefers to sleep on the floor of the kids bedroom when the kid is sick so that can hear their every breath. Even at the ripe old age of 16.
I am the mom who will "get a grip" and shove down her own sense of the hideously grotesque in order to pick barf out of the carpet in the middle of the night, and not harbor any lasting ill-will toward the child who created the debacle.
Now all you kids out there...(kids= anyone under the age of 25)...odds are most of you....
(and I am pretty sure I know who you are) need to turn your head around and look at your own mom(and/or dad), and realise that she (he) probably does/has done the same for you.
And she (he) would do it again in a heart beat.
To all of you who don't yet have kids...listen up:
This is what you have to look forward to.
But actually, it is a small thing compared to the joy your own little freaky kids will bring you.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Sunday, May 7, 2006
I had another form of these over in the DevArt Scraps pile a few months ago to jump start my creativity. I find that parking something online sometimes helps - kinda like re-arranging the furniture helps one to be inspired to vaccuum more efficiently.
At the moment, the time spans over 1000 years. K'lolius is possibly a couple thousand years old at the time of Morwynn's birth. Morwynn's mother is nearly immortal.
Morwynn's father and brothers and many other characters maintain a normal life span of approximately 100 years. Jidan's own birth came a few hundered years before Morwynn's, but through use of the grids he has managed to move ahead a few centuries in order to achieve a goal.
THESE ARE DISJOINTED SNIPPETS.
Character Setup : Jidan. (Jee-DAHN)
He stared at the console, scanning each of the faces as they rapidly flashed through the Grid panels. He hoped that it would hold up to this pace after all these years out of service. He was waiting for a glimpse of any one he might recognize before he began slowing down the rate of replay. He saw the early Masters (working phrase), the first members of his order, laboring at their tasks. He saw the eagerness in their eyes as they began their journey exploring the pathways of knowledge and wisdom. He smiled. He too understood that joy of discovery. He remembered when he had found the ancient sheets of vellum which his great-great-great grandsire Hemji had stored for one of his students.
Then he saw the Woman.
He focused all his attention now on the console. She fit the profile – tall, elegant, beautiful beyond description. But there was a sadness about her.
As the Grid advanced he saw her sadness deepen into anguish. Suddenly, she was gone.
He shut down the Grid, restarted it and reversed it slowly to a point just for she had disappeared.
He let the panels roll slowly forward again, this time panel by panel – day by day. Here she is reading. Her gaze placidly going over the pages. She lifts her head and looks across the great room and stares a long time. She discerns that some one is watching her and her movements become very planned and controlled from here on out. She eventually stands. Removing the mantle that hangs from her shoulders, she folds it neatly and lays it upon the throne. She goes to her wardrobe and chooses a dull grey hooded cloak. She also takes up an opaque white veil and wraps it around her head covering her face from the eyes down. She opens the door and leaves the room. She walks slowly down the Corridor, her eyes lovingly caress each of the enormous carved doors that line its smooth stone walls. Perhaps she is thinking of their occupants? She appears melancholy and wistful. She reaches the end of the Corridor, and steps into the stairwell. A shaft of light beams radiantly down on her face as she looks up toward it. She begins to climb the spiraling stone staircase which opens out into broad daylight. It takes a moment for Jidans eyes to adjust to the brightness. The woman has walked out into a vast grassy meadow beneath a cloudless sky. Jidan can see that this meadow is located on the side of a broad knoll. He breathlessly waits for her to reach the top, hoping that he will be able to get an idea of where she is. As she gains the summit, she is greeted by a tree of enormous proportions. There is not one single leaf upon the tree and its branches stretch out, up lifted, toward the sky as if to consume the heavens in their embrace. As Jidan watches, The Woman reaches beneath her robe and she pulls out a neck lace holding a key whos handle is carved in the image of the tree. She looks long and contemplatively at the key in her hand.
The woman begins to walk in a circle around the tree. It is indeed a marvel and unlike any tree that Jidan has ever seen. The bark is grey and twisted. She passes by a large knothole which grins foolishly back at Jidan through the console. He flinches momentarily.
The woman continues her walk around the base of the Tree. It is approximately 20 ft. in diameter. She circumvents the tree a 3rd time, climbing up over each of the gigantic roots as they leave the trunk, like grasping fingers, toward the life giving soil below. She leans against the tree as she goes along, her fingers searching for a hand hold to balance her as she climbs over and around the roots. Her hand disappears from view, into a niche in the Tree bark. She removes her hand and replaces it with the toe of her boot. She hops up and catches one of the lower branches in her hands, swinging herself up and continues to climb into the uppermost branchs of the tree. She rests momentarily, and as Jidan watches, it appears that the woman is sitting in the opened palm of a giant hand. She looks at the sky above and then scans the horizon slowly. She looks directly at him, not sure if she is looking at someone but sensing it. The hair stands up on his neck and he knows that she senses him. She looks down and then disappears from his sight.
The console goes dim.
He rubs his eyes and sits back in his chair.
Character Setup : Confidante
(Chamberlain/Over-seer-type servant to Mordan.)
Confidante lay beneath the twinkling stars.
They danced across the night sky, beckoning him to follow, and he was of a mind to do just that.
He thought of all the events that had brought him to this moment. He remembered the day that Fuday had come to him. The nurse stood upon the doorstep with the sniveling child of his dead sister in hand.
How could she possibly expect him to take the child?
It was ludicrous!
Confidante remembered that day, and the ones that followed as he watched the child grow from blubbering toddler into a cunning charmer - beguiling teacher and peer alike.
Confidante, fearing that the introduction of a child would jeopardize his station within the household, tried vainly to dismiss the woman and child, closing the door upon them.
Mordan, Confidantes employer and a well respected council member, came upon the scene and inquired after the visitors. Confidante reluctantly explained the presence of the Nurse and Child.
To his shock and dismay, Mordan was most encouraging of Fudays adoption by Confidant. He even stood up for Fuday before the Advisors for the Master Program,(working phrase), getting Fuday enrolled in the finest school.
A few months of "strenuous" discipline brought forth the expected, pleasing results; Fuday became a model student and citizen.
At least according to appearances.
The discipline which Fuday recieved via Confidante and the Schoolmasters only served to hone his deceptive traits.
Fuday became a master of deception.
He managed, after time, to effectively display the character qualities of innocence and propriety. He learned to cleverly conceal his "small crimes", and in time, effectively frame his schoolmates for the infractions.
He was adept.
Confidante took note of Fuday's "special gifts" with a secret sense of pride.
These images passed quickly through the mind of Confidante as his life seeped out of him, staining the desert sand.
Character Set up: Morwynn & Dalen (MOR-win, DAH-len)
I suppose that I should have been more compliant as a young child.
But I found life in my Father’s compound exceedingly boring and the activities my brothers participated in were far more interesting to me than music lessons, instruction in courtly poise and all of the other gentle activities that the women of our family have been trained in for generations.
I remember sneaking into the Council Chamber, which was used by father when informal meetings were held in the residences of council members. I would climb through the east window and out on to the wall that encompasses the entire compound. At this location the council chamber overlooked the paddocks and stables. After what would have equaled approximately 400 paces, the wall narrowed and it became necessary for me to crawl along the top more carefully. It was also at this point that the wall crossed out of the paddocks and along the edge of the Field Yard. In this place, the trees were thick enough that I could observe the training sessions of the young warriors, with out being noticed.
At least for a while.
I watched my brothers and their friends learn the arts of battle, and being the competitive athletic child that I was, I longed to join them. This longing became an obsession and distraction and at every chance I could glean, I endeavored to study them at length.
I also became very interested in the tools of war, and namely the Roti; a compact oval device that concealed within its body, a set of 4 gleaming, razor sharp arms that, at the touch of a tiny lever would extend as the warrior flung it, spinning and slicing through the air, toward its intended victim. But the Roti was not like other weapons of war craft, like a sword, dagger, axe or mallet, for there were no more craftsmen living who were able to manufacture the Roti’s. The Master Order (working phrase) were the inventors of the Roti in the long ago times and that art had been lost to them. Though a man made device, the Roti was able to develop “a relationship” of sorts with its user. As long as the Warrior wielding the Roti had his target firmly in mind and heart, when the Roti released from his hand, it would meet its mark or return to the hand of its user for another throw.
To be awarded a Roti was a high honour.
My eldest brother, Mordal, was given such a treasure, and the minute it came into his possession I pestered him daily with question after question about it and its use.
I came in possession of this very same Roti via thievery.
When Mordal discovered my theft, and confronted me, I confessed.
That was the honourable thing to do.
Thief that I was, I was no liar, and was honest to a fault.
My next brother, Dalen, who was nearest in age to me, observed the confrontation with poorly veiled amusement. After Mordal extracted the priceless treasure back from me, he dismissed us both by slamming the door to his chamber in our faces leaving us in the hallway.
As Dalen and I walked down the hall together, we discussed his observations of Mordal and the other Warriors training sessions with the Roti.
He told me I was foolish to take something that was so dangerous and that I didn’t understand. He told me that the other disciplines must be fully mastered before one could be considered for such a high honour.
I began to ask him about these disciplines.
He spoke softly as he explained, and while I was thoroughly absorbed with his discourse, he parked the but of his staff between my feet, mid-stride and tumbled me straight to the ground. He extended his hand to me, to help me rise with his palm facing upward. I reached out to grasp it, and he flicked his hand over at the last second, and poked me in the forehead effortlessly, and sent me sprawling backward again. It was a stupid trick and yet he relished his dominance over me.
I smiled, concealing my hurt and anger. I clambered to my feet and stuck my tongue out at him and proceeded down the hallway.
“Come on, “ I called back to him. “We aren’t supposed to running around the house while guests are arriving.”
“Guests?” he called trotting to catch up with me.
As he caught up with my, I threw myself to one side and down, delivering my elbow to his crotch.
This move “impressed” him.
I sat down on the cool stones of the hallway an waited for him to stop rolling around and moaning on the floor. We sat quietly for a long while, until we heard the chimes sound, calling us to the evening meal.
The next day, after Field Training, Dalen sought me out. He carried a long, slender bundle and beckoned me to come with him outside of the compound wall where the land sloped down toward the river, off in the distance. It was quiet here. He began to un-wrap the bundle and withdrew two staves. One I recognized as his own. The second he presented to me. It was on this day that my brother became my mentor.
Character Set up: Dalva (DAHL-vuh)
(Mordal, Dalen and Morwynn's mother.)
Mist hovered across the lake.
The willow leaned out over the surface of the water, its branches drooping their dampened leaves, dripping tiny beads of water back down into the pool, only to be sucked back in through the trees roots, completing and beginning an endless cycle. The woman was entranced by the idea and she deeply inhaled the fragrance of the flowers growing along the banks in the shade cast by the willow. This was her refuge from the steady march of time, which never seemed to take a rest. It was her place to compose her thoughts, and to ponder the guilt which sometimes threatened to over take her. Peace and tranquility was in the mist. It was in the tree and its relationship to the water, which was also representative of the terrible cycle she had set in to motion eons ago. How could something she loved and was drawn to, condemn her presence each time she sought its shelter? How is it that she alone was allowed to make that final decision on her own, bearing the secret knowledge alone all this long time? Where had been intervention for her? Would there ever be intervention for her?
She straightened her back resolutely and thought purposefully to herself, “Yes. I left.”
She did leave the Atenuites, but she was no longer as certain now as she was then, if it had been the right choice. It certainly hadn’t solved any of the restlessness and disappointment, nor any of the other things she had hoped it would.
Character Set Up : The Atenuites
The Atenuites were a unique Order that served the populace of their world.
The Atenuites were the healers, and through the Grid, they became the Muses of the artisans and the Angels of their world.
The served quietly, keeping themselves apart from the hussle and bussle of the population of the world and its people,as best they could.
Through the Grids, they worked as intermediaries, promoting the practice of learning and good will. They pursued, as part of their service, understanding of creativity, instinct and intuition, compassion and empathy, and the application of spiritual and relational knowledge which, eventually and ideally, would result in wisdom and balance and successful guidance of the Grid.
They were the watchers. (she who watches?)
Waiting for those in need or crisis to show up in the panels of the Grid Console. Compassionately and lovingly arranging the grid so that events would occur in such a way as to open the individual up to direct intervention from the Creator Will.
Things did not always line up, however, due to circumstances that seemed beyond their abilities to influence or encourage.
These cases were extremely difficult for Dalva to reconcile in her own mind.
She was tender hearted and forgiving, looking beyond the individual’s own poor choices that often brought them to the brink of their catastrophe, she faithfully poured her heart into every person that showed up on the Grid, and was devastated if they decided against, or missed their chance for interaction with the Creator Will.
Until she left the Atenuites, Dalva was their High Guardian over the Order. She interceded on their behalf before the Creator Will. She counseled them in their Grid arrangements when ever necessary.
There had only ever been 3 High Guardians, in all the millennia of their world’s existence. For what ever reason, The Guardians were different genetically from the other members of the Atenuite order. They experienced unusually long life spans and it was rumoured that they were immortal. This was not true. As the Passing Time for an Atenuite Guardian drew nearer, there would be a birth in that same lineage, which would provide the Atenuite Order with their new Guardian. Such children were often given to strange visions, a unique birthmark and (Insert some other bizarre attributes here, later.)
Morwynn sat beneath the twinkling stars.
They danced across the night sky, beckoning her to follow, and she was of a mind to do just that. The Caravan had stopped for the night to camp, and the Wagon Captain was taking his shift as night watcher. She thought of her young carefree days, carousing with her brother Dalen. Here, in the dark, before the crackling fire, she is free to reminisce and permit her tears to come forth.
“You need to watch your back, silly girl,” called Dalen as they exited the pub after yet another night’s brawl.
“I don’t know what you think you’re up to, but picking a fight with a great bruising idiot like Bramus is not one of your best ideas.”
“Bramus poses about as big a threat to me as you do,” she replied.
Dalen retaliated by taking a swing at her, but it was poorly executed and she easily avoided the blow and ran off, laughing back in his direction.
“At least admit that you got yourself in a bit over your head this evening.”
“No no no. Bramus is a big idiot, and he was dead drunk to boot. He was ready to pitch over any second, I merely assessed his condition and used it to my advantage.” she explained.
“Oh, so you just decided to use the opportunity to elevate your mediocre skills in battle, making you appear more adept than you really are? Oh that is wise indeed. Were you hoping to invite one of the councils own champions to come looking for you next?”
He catches up with her, and she stops, looking dumbly at him.
“Yes, you didn’t think about that part did you?”
They walked the rest of the way back to the compound in silence.
Morwynn sat wide awake on the edge of her bed.
Something Dalen had said that evening would not leave her mind.
He was right.
She was arrogant and foolish.
She would have to take steps to make sure that she did not err in these ways in the future.
She walked through the compound and out to the gardens, to the pool, and stripping off her nightwear she slipped into the cool water. Propping her head against the rim, she gazed thoughtfully up into the starry sky and took stock of her character, while the gaze of Confidante rested on her, from his vantage point across the courtyard.
(Segue back to campfire. The camera orbits around to her other side, cue tear, and wide shot out to reveal desert sands where she is sitting at a small distance from a campfire?)
Character Set up : K’liam and K’lolius
(k –LEE-uhm, k-LOW-lee-uhss)
The “k” is pronounced hard, with a puff of air behind it.)
In his dimly lit chamber, K’liam paced to and fro like a caged animal. The dissention he could sense among the members of The Order was palpable.
He had seen the rift growing. His twin sister, K’lolius had come to him with her visions of impending disaster for them all. She saw the world of their people, and as she watched, its shape changed. The northern pole descended into the southern, creating a hollow, bowl-shaped depression. She heard a voice above her and looked up. Words fell from the sky and filled the depression, and the world-bowl warmed. The voice spoke to her in the vision; “take up the vessel.”
She obediently reached for her world and gingerly lifted it. As she did, more words fell into the world-bowl, filling it, threatening to overflow. “Drink and be filled,” said the voice. She lifted the rim to her lips and drank deeply. Sweet and sour both, filled her mouth and burned her tongue. When she had drained the world bowl, it was taken up, through the ceiling and disappeared. She watched it go, and when she looked back down, her brother was standing before her, smiling. The ground beneath their feet began to tremble and a great chasm opened between them, separating them. His smile became a look of despair and longing. She felt tears running down her face.
When she awoke, she sought out her brother, to tell him.
These things took place in the before time. Before The Order was split and the One became Two: The Masters and The Atenuites.
Morwynn Speaks 3 :
Sand! It permeates every pore.
I see up ahead the entrance to the mountain city.
The City of Refuge.
At last, I will be able to take a breath of air in peace and safety. Now if only I could get out from behind this wretched vegetable wagon!
It bustles and bounces along and with each rut it dances into, it spews more sand upon me which, combined with the insufferable afternoon sun, has begun to chafe and grind beneath my heavy, winter cloak. The neck lace which hangs beneath my tunic, feels like a noose and a branding iron simultaneously.
I am a walking sauna.
Within the hour I will be at the home of my friend K’lolius.
I know she will have the windows all thrown open. The fine linen drapes, having been soaked in chilled waters infused with spices and flowers from her rooftop garden, cool the hot winds that blow in off the desert and fill the rooms with a delicate scent.
The stench of the wagon beasts fills my head and I am seized by fits of coughing.
Passing through the gorge which marks the entrance to the city, I look up and see the insignia of the First Ones, “The Masters” they had called themselves. Carved into the rock face is their three petaled flower. Its elaborate details have been subdued over time, by the blowing sands which assault it daily. I long for the day when its image no longer clouds the minds of the people.
The city was carved into the surrounding mountains and the only access was via the narrow trail through the gorge.
It was a long and tortuous journey to make.
The first inhabitants, who’s origins have long past out of memory, carved the elaborate cave systems which opened out into the small valley. As time passed, the generations following lost the art of tunneling and drilling and built the rest of the city above ground surrounding it with a high wall as protection from invaders, who might foolishly attempt to penetrate the well protected gorge entrance.
The wall, being built into the mountain- sides on the south and west, also served as residential space for the cities 2500+ inhabitants.
The neighborhoods of the wall were divided into four sections ; Near Wall being in the south and closest to the gorge entrance, East Wall, West Wall and at the north end of the city, Far Wall.
The city centre was primarily used for commerce and religious buildings. As our caravan passed through the cleft and into the city proper, I managed to escape from behind the vegetable wagon by darting into the first alley that crossed my path. It was quiet here and cool, being enclosed on both sides by the tall city wall on my left, and some merchant buildings on my right. This peace was short lived, however, as the alley soon opened up into a busy market place. I passed by a clothiers booth and managed to trade my heavy winter cloak for one of the light weight, brightly coloured ones worn by the local people.
I made my way through the rest of the market, purchasing a hunk of roasted bull meat, and then a jar of ale along the way. I stopped to look at some boots at a tattered but tidy little booth and purchased a lovely pair of soft buff coloured boots.
**********(Insert Vanishing Woman segment)
I made my way south through town to Far Wall and came to the home of K’lolius, my friend who greeted me at the door.
She bustled me in, fussing all the way, as would a mother hen. Truthfully, I let her, as it had been a very long time since anyone had made much over me. I permitted myself the luxury of being mothered for a change.
The children crowded about calling,
“Nantie! Nantie’s come! Oh Nantie tell us a story!”
“Children! Let Nantie be until after supper!”
At which point she shooed them all out into the courtyard with their friends. K’lolius retrieved one of the large baskets stashed beneath the stairwell and began to gather an assortment of items. She set the basket next to a large water jar poised between two tunnels leading back into the mountainside from which her home was chiseled. The homes of Far Wall were entered through the man made city wall, but extended far back into the adjacent mountainsides and were often a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers.
K’Lolius passed to me, a stone tumbler filled with cold water infused with an astringent herb of some sort. She motioned for me to follow her up the winding stone staircase. As she did she spoke to me in the sing-song accent of her people.
“Oh it’s been long I’ve waited to see you my friend!
I am so pleased that you have chosen to visit me! The day has been hot, and the evening is nearly upon us. Come, my friend, up to the rooftop. Let us sit in the cool of the evening and listen to the neighborhood chatter as the Wall Dwellers come to life beneath the rising moon. Can you not already smell the roasting meat as the aroma rises upon the breeze this evening?”
We were interrupted by a small voice from behind.
“Mata, there is some one wants a room.”
“Very well Lena, bring them inside and I will come quickly.”
She patted my arm and said, “ I must go and attend a guest. You are family to us. Come and go as you please. My home is yours. Go now, and choose for yourself a pod in which to stay while you are here. When you have settled yourself in, please join us for refreshments up here on the rooftop.”
I followed her back down the stairs.
Sitting on a stool inside the doorway was K’Lolius’ newest guest. A tall, bearded man, he wore his dark hair in a single thick braid which hung down past the middle of his back. He sat leaning against the cool stonewall, his long legs outstretched in front of him, eyes closed as if in sleep. A heavy sword clanked against the stool when, startled by our entrance, he leapt to his feet. He quickly regained his composure and greeted K’lolius in her native language, all the while his great green eyes settled on me. I nodded in his direction, turned and made my way down one of corridors.
As the light from the main entry began to fade I took one of the navi-lumes from a niche, which had been carved into the tunnel wall by some long dead artisan. I briskly rubbed the tiny orb until it came to life and continued my investigation of the corridor.
I made my way along its length as it veered to the right and then opened into another larger tunnel. Along the length of it and evenly spaced at exact intervals were 3 doors, which were inset into the smooth, glistening walls. There were two on the left side and one at the farthest end.
The first one I encounter has a landscape carved into its face. There is a great meadow with a stream flowing through it and above the meadow is a mountain range with a cluster of jewels inset into the carving about 1/3 of the way up the mountainside. There are animals of every kind carved into the doorjambs.
The key grows hotter and blazes in my hand.
The Corridor walls fade from view and are replaced by confusing images of people I have never seen and places I have never visited:
A woman and a man sit in a darkened room.
The woman’s back is toward me, but I can see the man.
Between their feet is a small crack in the floor.
They are talking together as he rhythmically tears pages out of a book sitting on his lap. My head is now pounding and I lean against a wall for support. I can feel sweat run down my forehead, stinging my eyes. I close them. I slide down the wall into a sitting position. The key in my hand begins to cool. I open my eyes once more, to find the darkened hallway and the great door looming before me.
JIDAN AND K'LOLIUS:
“Master Jidan you have been a stranger to my doorstep,” K’lolius chided him. “Surely your studies do not keep you so occupied that you can not share a tumbler of tea and plate of scones with me?” She raised an eyebrow in mock frustration.
Jidan laughed and embraced K’lolius, swinging her round and round.
“Your dwelling place is as a second home to me K’lolius, and this you well know!”
“Well it’s pleased I am to have you beneath my roof. Will you remain with us, and take up your regular pod?”
“I would like to stay for a few days at least if it is not too much trouble for you, K’lolius” he grinned.
“Trouble? Trouble he asks??” She clucked to herself. “Of course you are always welcome! And it is not always that I am blessed with two such dear friends within my wall at the very same time!”
He was quiet for a moment.
K’lolius poured him a tumbler of water and handed it to him.
“Yes, I see you have another visitor. It is the woman, you speak of?”
K’lolius paused, feeling the hair stand up on her neck.
“Yes,” she answered. “Please excuse me Master Jidan, I must see to the evening meal preparations. Lena is growing in her skills but still requires my supervision from time to time. You will find your pod ready for you, and I will leave you to find your way there.” She smiled weakly.
“Yes K’lolius, thank you. Do not let me be a hindrance. I’m sure I can find my way,” he replied.
She hastily excused herself and taking her basket, hurried off down one of the tunnels.
A cloud crossed Jidans face as he pondered K’lolius odd and sudden departure.
He picked up his rucksack and walked into the tunnel on the far left.
MORWYNN FINDS A BOOK:
I can feel sweat run down my forehead, stinging my eyes. I close them. I slide down the wall into a sitting position.
The wall feels cool against my back as I lean against it catching my breath. I let go of the key, which hangs around my neck and the visions fade. I am weak but no longer reeling.
Rising, I go to the door and lift the latch. The wooden door gives off a delicate scent which reminds me of wild oranges. It swings open to reveal a sparsely appointed room. There is a fireplace carved into the wall on my left and a basin and pitcher of water on my right. A tapestry hangs from the ceiling in the center of the room, nearly touching the floor. I enter and study the tapestry. ( Blah blah blah tapestry meaningful description…..)
I step around the tapestry and behind it is a large chair and a pedestal. The pedestal is empty. Its surface is covered in a fine layer of dust, except in the center where it appears an object once rested. There is a dust free space in the shape of a circle. On the seat of the chair is a book with a length of cloth draped across it. Like everything else in the room they are covered with dust. I shake the dust out and swing the length of fabric around my neck, as though it were a shawl, and taking up the book, make my way back across the room. Though I would love to delve into the musty smelling pages, I should probably go and find my room. I can study the book later.
MORWYNN AND JIDAN MEET:
Jidan looked for the navi-lume which typically rested in a niche carved into the tunnel wall.
Unable to locate it, he returned to the entry way, and poked around beneath the stairwell until he found a basket of spare navi-lumes. He briskly rubbed the tiny orb until it came to life.
He walked through the smaller tunnel and turned right into the main passage tunnel.
He stopped and turned, looking at each of the doors. He thought to himself, “Surely I have not been gone so long that I could have forgotten which pod I use?” He considered each of the doors. Trying the nearest one, he found it locked. Retracing his steps, he tried the door he had previously passed by. The latch will not turn for him. A strong sense of having been here before, settled over his mind, distracting him.
Lost in thought, Jidan released the handle, the door suddenly swung open and he found himself confronted by a pair of steely grey eyes. He forced himself to look beyond those eyes into the interior of the room.
“I'm sorry…I was just leaving,” she blurted, quickly pulling the door closed behind her.
“No, please it’s my mistake. I thought this was my room,” he said, hoping to explain why he was caught trying to enter the room.
Just then K’lolius came bustling up out of the darkness.
“Oh I am so pleased to see you two have met!” Morwynn your room is two doors down on this side,” she motioned toward the same side of the corridor as the room she just exited from.
“Yes. Thank you,” Morwynn replied. She suddenly felt exposed in front of this man.
“Jidan, yours is on the opposite side.”
K’lolius went on, “I trust that the both of you can unlock your doors?
And with that she twirled around and strode briskly down the hall.
“Morwynn,” she added without turning around, “I will see you on the roof top?”
“Yes of course, I will freshen up and join you soon.”
“Dinner, Master Jidan, will be at dusk” called K’lolius to him, “join us, if it pleases you.”
K’lolius disappeared around a bend in the tunnel, still humming the bouncy tune that matched her gait.
An awkward moment passed as they faced each other and then a slow grin spread across Jidans face and his eyebrows raised slightly, as he looked questioningly at Morwynn. She pursed her lips and looked away. Jidan chuckled.
They walked side by side down the hall without speaking. Jidan’s room was first with Morwynns about 6 paces farther. He entered his pod and closing the door behind him, he leaned against it and wondered to himself.
“Who is she?”
Where did she come from”
What is her relationship to K’lolius.”
I have not felt such inner turmoil since the night of Fuday’s murder!
I closed the door quickly behind me and leaned up against it as I reached beneath my tunic for the key.
I am so glad he didn’t see it.
Who was he?
And what was he doing entering a room that did not belong to him?
And why do I care, knowing full well that the room does not belong to me?
I open my eyes and removes the scrap of cloth from around the book, tossing them both onto the large canopy bed in the centre of the room.
I would love to sprawl out on it but I dare not for even a minute as I know it would claim
me for the rest of the evening and into the night.
Opening my rucksack I unrolled and spread out my garments.
I went to the basin and took the pitcher of lavender water and the sponge. Pouring the water into the large bowl, fashioned from some metal mined out of the adjacent hills, I wondered further about the identity of the stranger. His circumstances of our meeting bothered me greatly and I could not fathom the reasons why.
If the other room was not his, as K’lolius had pointed out, then why was he attempting to enter it? Was he truly confused, or was there some other reason he wanted in there. I think I must have been the last thing he expected to emerge from that room, for he craned his neck to look past me for something else. I wonder what he was expecting?