Friday, November 28, 2014
1. Right after it comes out of the oven. Freshly baked cookies are the best.
2. At the end of a meal. A yummy cookie is a perfect way to finish eating.
3. While with others. Sure, eating cookies alone means that you get more, but eating them with others means that you are able to share something you like.
4. Before someone else gets to it first. Little kids are especially sneaky cookie thieves.
5. When celebrating. There are many things you could celebrate, and many types of cookies that could be eaten with each one.
6. At a party. Cookies are excellent snacks to have at parties.
7. When you are feeling down. Cookies are a sple thing that can help turn a frown back into a smile.
8. Late at night. When you're tired but need just a little more energy to finish your project, just eat a cookie.
9. While playing a game. One of the great things about cookies is that you only need one hand to eat them.
10. After a successful endeavor. After something goes right, cookies can make that good thing even better.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The river was full of cranberry sauce.
Brown gravy overflowed in the bay.
Mashed potato hills sang songs in the night.
Of the apple pie caves that were hidden from sight.
Stuffing carpeted the ground in the glen.
When yams fought with sweet potatoes in the fens.
Corn frolicked in the field, whilst green bean casseroles spied.
The carrots in a parade, having built floats to ride.
Butternut squash sought the pumpkin pie with a frown.
When it saw the pecan pie and rolls dancing uptown.
Hams flew in the sky with cries of delight.
While the turkey sat down for a thanksgiving bite.
Friday, November 21, 2014
1. It means you can snuggle on couch with a blanket.
2. Your cat is more likely to want to sit on your lap.
3. You can drink hot chocolate without receiving funny looks.
4. Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches are often served for dinner.
5. It provides an opportunity to wear those winter hats that are too hot the rest of the year.
6. It usually gets darker earlier.
7. There are more clouds in the sky.
8. You can build a fire in the fireplace.
9. It means you can wear a coat and mittens.
10. Families usually gather together when the year grows old and it gets cold.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
It was simple.
All I needed to do was close the door.
A wooden door, so plain that it would have gone unnoticed if not for one unique detail.
It was standing on a cliff that jutted out of the center of a waterfall.
My team was ready, anxious even.
I crossed the newly constructed rope bridge to the door's cliff, barely aware of my team's chatter in my earpiece.
"... by aliens-"
"It was magic!"
"... is a prank, obviously."
"That perfectly coincides with our strange readings?"
Upon reaching the door's cliff, static filled my earpiece. Grumbling, I plucked it out. Tucking it into my shirt pocket, I studied the open door as I approached.
It was completely dry, despite the cliff itself being slick with water. I could see the surrounding forest through the opening, though that fact brought an odd sense of disappointment. Shaking my head as a laugh escaped, I scolded myself for harboring such a ridiculous notion that I might have seen anything else. As team leader, I couldn't indulge in such flights of fancy as my team did.
This was an unusual door, but until I had actual evidence, it was nothing more.
My foot slipped on the wet stone, and I stumbled. Catching the bronze handle of the door, I managed to avoid falling.
Footing stable once more, I let go of the handle.
Or rather, I tried to.
A strange tingling pricked at my palm, and all effort to release my grip on the handle only made that tingling increase.
Jaw tensing, I pulled my earpiece out with my free hand. Returning it to my ear, there was nothing but static.
A creak brought my attention back to the door.
It was closing.
And my hand was stuck to the inner handle.
Increasing my effort, I tugged harder. I pushed against the door to stop its advance. My hand remained fixed to the handle, and in defiance to all logic, the door continued to close.
I had a decision to make.
A quick glance confirmed that the lip of the cliff continued a bit beyond the door. Another revealed that Julliard was halfway across the rope bridge.
I could go through the door, and wait for her to reach the cliff.
"It's just a door." I said, as though speaking would ease the sudden unease in my gut.
Shifting, I backed up as the handle pressed against my tingling hand.
My foot crossed the threshold, and my hand was ripped from the handle as a whirlwind caught hold of me.
Around and around I was spun, unable to see anything through my tear-filled eyes.
The roaring wind died, and I plummeted.
Pain coursed through my side as I hit something hard.
Despite having landed, the ground seemed to be rocking.
"Eh, he's a bit scrawny." A shrill voice sounded, and something prodded me.
"We take what the door gives, Knack." This voice was deeper, and held a tone with commanded my attention.
Wiping my eyes, I had to blink a few times before the blurry shapes took form.
A band of ruffians leered down at me, their clothes mismatched and crude weapons angled toward me.
"Welcome to Beyore, matey." The deep voice belonged to the best dressed fellow, who held a curved blade in one hand and a bandana in the other. "Here's your choice: join my crew or be run through."
Swallowing, I shifted slowly to my feet.
"I- I'll join your crew."
The Captain smirked and tossed me the bandana. "That's what they all say."
Friday, November 14, 2014
1. As a pick me up. A fresh doughnut can bring a smile to a formerly frowny face.
2. As enticement to go to a meeting. When it is early in the morning, sometimes the promise of a doughnut can help you get moving when you would otherwise stay at home.
3. As a quick date. When going on a date, it doesn't always have to be to dinner. Sometimes getting a doughnut and conversing while you eat it is enough.
4. As a practice dish. After getting a deep fryer, it could be helpful to practice cooking the same thing over and over. Doughnuts could be a good dish to try making first.
5. For an edible game. Doughnuts usually have holes in the center, which makes them the perfect food for edible ring toss.
6. For a diverse snack. There are many different types of doughnuts, so you could try something new each time you get one.
7. As a simple gift. Forgot your friend's birthday? Take them out for doughnuts and have a pleasant conversation with them.
8. As a sample platter. Get a dozen different doughnuts, then cut them into small pieces. You now have an appetizer plate to serve at a party.
9. As a way to experiment. Doughnuts can be very simple, which makes them a good blank canvas to test out culinary ideas with.
10. As a dessert. Small, simple doughnuts go well with different dessert sauces, and could be a simple dessert to serve at the end of a meal.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
In the calm waters of spring, the hippocami come to shore.
Majestic creatures, they lounge in the sand and survey the waters from which they rose like rulers overlooking their kingdom.
I've come to the cliff to watch their arrival for the past three years. Each year, I watch as the mares care for their young, while the stallions spar amongst themselves and ward off merlions.
I've learned much about these spawn of sea serpents and horses. The most important fact being that despite appearing like horses with the hindquarters of a sea serpent, their temperament is nothing like that of a horse.
At least, not while they have a connection to the sea.
My target slithered away from the herd. Its serpentine body moved like a snake, the two forelegs barely touching the ground. The foal was smaller then the others frolicking through the herd, and its dam was distracted by the foal's larger twin venturing too far into the water.
Hippocampi young at this age have yet to fully develop their gills, and so the possibility of being swept out to sea was a constant threat to those overly drawn to the water.
The mare gave a call, and moved through the herd toward the sea. The smaller twin slithered past the gnarled bush that marked the path to my cliff.
I waited with baited breath as the hippocampus drew nearer the trap I had laid the week before, when the beach had yet to be overrun with the herd.
Glancing back to the herd and scanning for a stallions nearby, I moved my hand to the trigger. Three steps, two...
The foal entered the trap.
Pressing the trigger down, the rope went slack. Below, the net rose into the air, and the frightened foal gave released a keening cry.
Immediately, stallions raced toward the distressed foal. Coiling their serpentine bodies, they shot up like springs in an attempt to reach the still rising net.
But I had been watching the hippocampi for years, and knew how high they could jump.
I also knew they wouldn't venture far from the beach, and certainly wouldn't take the rocky path up to the top of my cliff for one little foal.
At least, I hoped they wouldn't, at least not until the foal's net reached me and I could move inland.
I wanted to prove that the monsters could be trained, and this foal could be my only chance.
Friday, November 7, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
What do you do when offered something you don't want?
Staring down at the hand of the most powerful warlock in town, I couldn't seem to focus on what he held. It was box, that much I was certain of. The slender object within glinted in the firelight, capturing so many colors in its facets.
He couldn't possibly mean what this suggested. I was a nobody. That I was even sitting in the best restaurant in town was mere happenstance brought about by him.
For how could anyone refuse when Benedict Crane requested that they join him for dinner?
"Yes." The word slipped from my tongue against my will, as a familiar buzz in my head warned of magic being used.
"Excellent," Benedict Crane gave his famous smile, the one that caused all of the other women in the restaurant to swoon.
I wanted to rip my hand away, but whatever magic he was using seemed to have destroyed my control.
The ring was like a coal, radiating its heat through my finger until it would finally consume me.
As the meal ended, my vision blurred as he took my hand. Blackness crept in, and my eyes closed.
Head pounding, I struggled to open my eyes.
"You'll feel a little disoriented, but that should soon pass." Benedict Crane's voice was as smooth as ice, and brought a similar chill. The strange room spun as I blinked and sat up. Lit by a source I couldn't locate, the room had a azure glow and held only the fainting couch I occupied and the high-backed chair where Benedict Crane sat.
"What did you do to me?" My voice came out in a rasp, and the ring still burned on my hand.
"Nothing, other then insure that you would come with me." The warlock replied, utterly still except for the tapping of one finger against another. "I was quite startled to find you alone and within the center of a human town."
Clenching my jaw, I fumbled to grip the ring. My fingers kept slipping off it, and when I did get hold, my fingers burned as if I had stuck them in a candle flame. "Plenty of women walk main street alone, and why should it matter that I live among my own kind?"
His finger froze, and for a moment the warlock simply stared.
Then he laughed.
Though I had never heard him laugh, I had heard stories of it. How it was like the gurgling of a stream, which drew you in until it was all you heard.
Obviously, the stories were wrong. This laugh had more in common with the clash of thunder, or the warning rattle of a rattlesnake.
"You believe yourself to be human?" Benedict Crane asked after his laughter ceased. Despite the burn, I clawed at the ring.
"What else would I be?" My irritation masked the growing unease I felt as the ring remained firmly in place on my finger. It had to be an enchantment, though why he had placed it on me was beyond my understanding.
Benedict Crane blinked twice, then leaned forward. "You really don't know?"
The utter disbelief in his tone struck a nerve. I shot to my feet, stumbling slightly as the room skewed. "I know exactly who I am! I am Ardelle Maris, sole daughter of the fishmonger and quite possibly the only women in town not utterly be-smitten by your supposed charms!"
The room continued its unnatural tilt, and I felt myself following. Strong, cold hands caught me, and the warlock released a sigh.
"That may be what you believe, but it is a lie." Benedict Crane lifted my hand with his burning ring on it. "Otherwise, this ring would not cause you such pain. You, Ardelle Maris, are a changeling."