Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Fireworks and balloons, with streamers in the air.
Friends gathered round, laughing about confetti in their hair.
Celebrations taking place in cities far and wide.
Even in the smallest of places, excitement is hard to hide.
Children fight fatigue as they watch the clock.
Counting down each second with a tick-tock.
The year's final hours seem to slip away.
As the new year rises in the coming day.
Friday, December 25, 2015
2. A shirt. Because some dogs love wearing them.
3. Squeaky toys.
4. Moist food. If your dog is normally on a dry food diet, then moist food could be a wonderful treat.
5. A new collar or harness.
6. A long walk around the block. If your dog loves exercise, then going on an extra walk could make them very happy.
7. Their favorite treat. Who doesn't love getting something they already love?
8. A new blanket or bed. Something comfy to sleep on is very important for your pup. Plus, you might get to be able to sit in your chair this way!
9. A good rub. Your pet is sure to love the attention, and that you can reach those hard to itch places.
10. Extra playtime. Spending more time playing with your pet is an excellent way to show your love for them.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
It was getting late, but the children were still awake.
"You three must go to sleep." Their mother urged softly, fatigue hidden beneath a gentle smile.
"But we're not tired!"
"I'm so excited!"
Seeing the bright expectation in their faces, their mother's heart nearly broke. How disappointed would they be when no presents appeared under the tree?
Oh, they'd tried to get gifts, but the bills from Jonathon's accident had emptied their savings.
"Could you please try to sleep?" Her soft request was met with groans, but the children slipped back into their beds. Turning off the light as they settled in, their mother stepped into the hall and closed the door.
Walking back to the living room, she sat in her husband's chair and buried her face in her hands. Perhaps the children would enjoy visiting their father tomorrow. It was a long walk to the hospital, but maybe seeing Jonathon would brighten everyone's spirits.
No. The children should have at least one gift to open in the morning. Even a candy cane would do!
But she had nothing.
She glanced at the clock. 10:30 P.M.
Who could it be at this hour?
Slowly getting to her feet, the woman walked toward the door. wrapping her hand around the handle of Jonathon's worn baseball bat, She peered through the peephole.
There was no one in sight. Only a box.
She waited, counting the minutes under her breath.
Still no one.
Cautious, she opened the door and quickly brought the box inside.
Then after the door was secure, she turned to the box.
It was a simple brown box, like someone would use for moving. A note on the top read, "Merry Christmas", but bore no name.
Taking a breath, the woman opened the box.
Hand flying to her mouth, she stifled a gasp at the sight of wrapped presents.
As she pulled each out, she found that all had a blank name tag and a sticky note that described what it was.
Setting down the last present, he woman covered her face and cried.
For her children would have gifts in the morning.
Friday, December 18, 2015
1. Macaroni and cheese. Because without the cheese, it would just be macaroni.
2. Fondue. Because dunking others foods in melted cheese is fun.
3. Alfredo. It's basically pasta, cheese, butter, and cream.
4. Au gratin potatoes. They're delicious!
5. T.C.T.'s. Just take a tortilla, and add melted cheese.
6. Stuffed crust cheese pizza. Kids love it!
7. Omelets. They're best made with lots of cheese and meat!
8. Cheese curd. They squeak!
9. Chicken cor don bleu. It has cheese on the inside and the outside!
10. Mozzarella sticks. It is fried cheese!
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The trip was long, the road rugged. Deadly creatures lurked around every bend.
So if you were willing to risk life and limb, the pay was excellent.
"I requested a dozen guards!" The woman's voice was a shrill shriek, a lot like a harpy's. She was a soft sort, this noblewoman.
"A smaller escort will attract less attention." Jared said, in that calm tone he always used with our customers.
"I should cut your pay in half." Her lip twisted in an unladylike snarl, further solidifying her resemblance to a harpy. Jared gave a polite smile, and motioned to the rest of us.
"Rupert and Steven are excellent scouts, while Thomas, Maria, Audrey, and myself are capable of protecting you from nearly everything the road could bring."
"Nearly everything?" The woman did a good job hiding most of her fear. It was a good skill to have on the road. Jared nodded, his smile fading.
"There are some things that even a hundred guards couldn't stand against. We simply do our best to get everyone through safely." The woman frowned, then turned and climbed into her carriage. Turning to us, Jared shook his head. "Alright, you all know what to do."
We moved into position. Rupert moved ahead, scouting for any dangers, while Thomas and Maria took the carriage's left. Jared and I took the right, and Steven fell back to watch for dangers from behind.
If all went well, we'd only have a few harpies and perhaps an ogre.
The carriage moved slowly. It had it, with all the potholes and ruts in the road. No portion of the road was ever smooth for more than a day, despite all that the royal family has tried to do. Most people went along the southern road, which although it was a longer trip, had a smooth road and fewer dangers.
But then there were those like this noblewoman. Inpatient to reach the capital, or ignorant of how dangerous this road was, or simply looking for a thrill. I'd seen all kinds of crazy.
Of course, they only took this road once.
So maybe I was the crazy one.
About half an hour in, Rupert appeared from the brush ahead. "Two harpies, about five minutes down the road." Jared nodded, and gave a twittering whistle.
Taking an arrow from my quiver, I moved ahead of the carriage, catching sight of Thomas moving up as well.
We'd only have one chance before they call for the flock.
Turning cautiously around the bend, I lifted my bow and aimed. My target was an old bird, with ratty feathers and barely any hair. I counted down, then drew and released.
My arrow flew true, and the harpy fell, and its companion fell to Thomas's arrow.
It was then that I noticed what had drawn the harpies to the ground.
"Wyrm!" I shouted, drawing an arrow. These wingless dragons were horrible, ravenous monsters. Preying on nearly everything but harpies, a wyrm would easily crush the carriage.
Aiming for the eyes, I loosed.
And ran into the brush.
A grating hiss and the crashing of foliage signaled that the wyrm had taken the bait.
Now I just had to lead it away from the carriage. Then kill it before it ate me.
And then find my way back to the others and collect a bonus.
I paced myself, since wyrms are not very fast. Persistent, and with a bite that would sap my energy faster than a siren's song. But not fast.
I needed something better than my bow and belt knife.
A rushing roar sounded ahead, and I grinned.
When traveling around the road, you never went near any flowing water.
Because it always held some sort of creature.
I slowed, allowing the wyrm to get closer as the sound of water grew louder.
When it came into view, I almost stopped.
The river vanished into a misty waterfall, and far below I could see a huge lake. Best of all, a conveniently-placed bridge began a short ways upriver. It was probably a trap, but I'd take it.
Moving toward the bridge, I heard the wyrm crash into the open behind me. I didn't have to look back to know it followed, but the urge was hard to resist.
It was certainly an ugly brute. Mottled green scales and stout, knobbly legs. Though its head was the worse, looking like it had been crushed by a carriage wheel. My arrow stuck out of the thick skin at the corner of the eye.
I reached the bridge, and waited.
I leaped onto the bridge as the wyrm lunged at me. Racing along slick boards, I stumbled as the entire bridge dipped down.
"Congratulations Audrey, you got a wyrm on the bridge. Now what?"
Shocking cold enveloped me. Gripped by the current, I gasped for a breath as my head broke the surface. Something large and scaly slammed into me.
Reaching, I pushed away from the creature.
And suddenly, we were free.
Falling, with water and mist all around.
Between the water's roar and the mist, I couldn't tell when I'd hit the lake.
There was a sound like a whinny, and something furry hit me.
And I fainted.
Friday, December 11, 2015
1. It can make for a tasty drink, whether hot or cold.
2. It can improve your mood.
3. Giving it to another can make them smile.
4. It can be drizzled on a plate to make it fancy.
5. Because what is a cookie without chocolate chips?
6. It can be made into edible game pieces.
7. Because it makes a wonderful gift for almost any holiday.
8. It makes for some yummy ice cream.
9. Many foods can be dipped in it.
10. It can help you to stay awake.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
I went into the closet to find a hat,
but ended up at the laundromat.
The next time I went to find a dress.
By the time I got out, my hair was a mess!
The third expedition was in search of some socks.
I found them by disturbing a sparrow flock.
A messenger delivered bad news,
when I went searching for my shoes.
In my closet I got lost for three days.
Guess that is what happens when it's in such disarray.
Friday, December 4, 2015
2. Gathering together with family.
3. Baking cookies.
4. Going Christmas caroling.
5. Preparing the gifts you will give.
6. Sitting around the fireplace.
7. Decorating the house, both inside and out.
8. Eating soup.
9. Celebrating with those you love.
10. Playing in the snow.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
The sky was dark, and the warren was empty.
For the colony was on the move.
They darted across the field, long ears pressed back as they ran.
From the edges of the field, the canids watched their prey. This time, there would be no escape.
At the end of the colony, a young buck stopped and leaned back on his hind legs to look around. Long ears erect, they shifted slightly as he tried to pinpoint what he'd heard.
Falling back to all fours, the buck broke from the colony.
At the edge of the field, a canid broke from his pack to give chase.
The alpha gave a grow of frustration as the colony noticed the rogue canid chase the young buck. With a harsh bark to the others, the alpha led the hunt into the field.
The colony ran faster, hearts pounding as fast as their feet.
The bucks at the head of the colony reached a flat, smooth stone as pale as milk, and encircled it.
Does moved onto the stone, with their kits in tow.
Once the stone was full, the bucks began thumping their large hind feet against the edges.
Thump thump thump thump.
A break in the clouds formed, and a beam of moonlight hit the stone. The stone flashed once, and those upon it vanished.
Others filled the stone, and the bucks pounded their hind feet.
Meanwhile, the canids picked off as many of the colony as they could catch.
The young buck raced beneath a bramble, and the rogue canid gave a yelp as thorns bit into its snout.
As the alpha closed in on the stone, the bucks joined the stragglers upon it and gave a final thump.
And the colony was gone.
Growling, the alpha glared up at the moon and howled.
His prey had escaped, and taunted him still with their light.
Beneath the bramble, the young buck shivered in the dark.
He was on his own. Alone, he could never hope to summon a moonbeam.
Without the moonbeam, he couldn't rejoin the lunar colony.
Still shivering, he listened to the alpha's howls.