Humans

Humans (4)

Sunday, 26 December 2021 17:30

Abigail – The House of the Orchids

Written by


A thick reddish black fluid ingulfed Abigail. She was compelled to contend with the awful ruddy trim before she would be able to sleep or emerge to full consciousness. Much to Abigail’s chagrin, her slumber was tormented by the essence of the harsh curtain, but once up, she would “will” herself to think of other things besides the unrelenting anguish she experienced trying to rest. Each morning she gasped for breath, nearly smothered by the drape.

Such a terrible price to pay every night, she thought as she choked for air.

Abigail scarcely survived her close encounter with “The Knowledge,” over two years ago. She would carry forever or until her death, the torment of coming so close to the terrible insight which had taken countless souls before her. The coldness of complete comprehension was absolute, and the endless screaming and writhing faces held in the drape left Abigail screaming and clammy every night since the encounter. Abigail was broken.

Shortly after her hellish experience the Clique voted in many stalemated rounds whether to retain the new and not so improved Abigail. Eventually, she won the honor to remain with the Clique by one vote. Abigail showed her enthusiasm by passively thanking her sisters and hastily retiring to her elaborate suite of rooms. Keeping her as a member of the Clique spoke to the character of these most beautiful belles, as Abigail’s nightly travails were spiritually shared at various levels by all Clique members. No matter the proximity to Abigail, they all felt her tortured essence, and each suffered in her own way. So, the Clique vowed an unbreakable commitment to be together in the same dwelling every night until Abigail’s recovery. They shared Abigail’s burden without complaint or whimper. Abigail’s nightmares lessened; her tortured mind still passing through the black cold curtain, but it did so faster. It was months before Abigail could hear the thoughts of the other Clique members without the vail of poison from her encounter with The Knowledge.

It was on a bright Thursday morning when Abigail opened her eyes and looked around her bedchamber in pure wonderment. She awakened without passing through the reddish black shroud which ripped life from the living, or, gave life back to the dead, changing a woman forever. Downstairs the other Clique members had already left for their beauty assignments.

Today, her assignment was to head over to Studio A for a series of photographs. She arrived early and changed into her first outfit, graciously offered by Prada. The chief photographer and his team were enraptured by Abigail’s beauty, they stumbled over each over as they took hundreds of photos, instant images displayed on the HVSs gliding through the room. Reluctantly, the lead photographer brought the session to a close. He then allowed his team and pre-programmed HDs to complete the final three hours of the eight-hour session. Abigail’s pictures displayed magnificently on the HVSs.

“My dear, please come by tomorrow to review the selected photos with us.” He spoke dreamlike, transfixed by Abigail’s glamour.

“Sure.” Abigail said, she was happy, but not pleased with the session. I could have done better, allowed more of myself to be shared in the shoot. She thought. But she knew she needed to hold on to a piece of herself; a powerful, unexplored part, unhealed from the knowledge.

That night she and the rest of her sisters slept restlessly. The black curtain had come back and this time it was more vivid. Familiar faces and strangers screamed in agony as they attempted to bite their way through the dark fluid fabric. Abigail could feel the frosty threads pulling on her, refusing to let go. The dreadful thing coiled around her limbs. It then wrapped around her neck and covered her mouth; a corner of the dense cloth began to stretch towards her nostrils. She craned her head backwards. The thick heavy drape covered her eyes from the top of her head. It then began to make its way up between her legs gathered in a hard, black braid that grew stiffer as it approached her sex. She awoke with a start and lie in her bed shaking, the stench of sweat from fear. Her bed linen in knots around her limbs and between her legs.

“Shit! That fucking curtain is back again!! Damn CE for playing such a stupid game with such a powerful force,” she yelled as she jumped out of bed. Her nose was bleeding, and her muscles ached. Abigail ran to the bathroom and washed; the waterfall shower felt wonderful. She had sustained bruising, from what, or whom, she could not, or did not, want to conjecture. By the time she left the bathroom she felt herself again...well, at least half herself.

Abigail arrived at the photographer’s studio a little late. The studio looked closed at first. She pulled on the ornate glass door half expecting it not to open, however, the door opened without resistance and bounced against the stopper with a thud, followed by the throaty vibration of thick glass.

“Shit! I nearly broke the door!” Abigail said as she stopped the vibration of the door by touching it.

In an unintentional act of contrition, she slowly guided the door back to its closed position, and the door came to a perfect stop as it was intended, confirming forgiveness for her over physical exertion. She looked around the room and glimpsed a figure from the side of her eye. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, she could see that he was not alone, but stood in the center of a group of eclectically dressed individuals.

“Come in.” He said as he stared at her.

“Who are you?” She asked as she walked across the room. Suddenly, all her muscles began to hurt something fierce. As she neared the group she came to a stop.

“Barrett of the Blueblood.” Abigail half whispered with recognition. No retort was provided by the powerful Elder Immortal. The only sounds were the mechanized clicks of the hovering financial calculators; the bizarre one, that only subtracts worth. The calculator that added value, hovered silently with no clicks, nor blinking lights. None of the others spoke, they only stared at the emotionally and physically bruised beauty.

The worlds of beauty and money are seldom apart. Abigail and Mr. Blueblood knew one another. During all of their prior wonderful social exchanges, the hideous counting machine to his left had never so much as uttered a single click or flashed an intruding light. Back then, only the refined calculator to his right clicked and glowed unceasingly as it tallied the immeasurable assets of this Clique member. However, something about Abigail’s intrinsic worth had been altered. Barrett’s hard unmoving eyes reflected the clicking of the gruesome calculator.

“Your beauty is undeniable, but it is somewhat changed.” Barrett said.

True to form, neither calculator clicked, ticked, shined, or flashed when Barrett spoke or moved. Barrett sauntered toward Abigail reducing the others to silhouettes.

“Your luster has been diminished for some time. Initially, I was unaware as your sisters’ extreme beauty hid your depreciation in the margins. But the numbers of the Clique have not balanced as they always have. So, I figured I needed to review this investment for myself,” Barrett continued. As he approached closer, the calculators remained mute.

“Tell me, how did you come to this place?” he asked.

“What place Mr. Blueblood?” Abagail asked, slightly taken aback.

“It is Mr. Blueblood, Sir, or Barrett of the Blueblood to you little one…you’re diminished. How did you come to this place?” Barrett repeated the query, his tone even.

“CE played a game with a creature of immense power called “The Knowledge.” The game cost CE her life and placed me here, bruised, and tormented. But I am alive gratefully.”

“Are you? Are you truly alive like you were prior to this ‘Knowledge’? My calculators say no, or maybe, at best.”

“Bare…Mr. Blueblood, Sir, I’m getting better, I have been for some time.”

“No, you really haven’t,” an unknown voice spoke. The silhouetted people partially surrounded Abigail and Barrett in a horseshoe shape.

From out of the group, a voice boomed out rudely, “This message is being recorded in an attempt to collect a debt.”

The silhouetted people began to ask questions.

“Are you Abigail?”

“Yes, I’m Abigail, Abigail of the House of Orchids!” Abigail answered annoyed, how dare these ugly beings question me. She thought.

Another asked. “Has your residence changed?”

“No, it has not.”

And another spoke. “Are you still employed by the Clique?”

“Yes, I am, are you really that common?” Abigail angrily replied.

And another, “What other debt do you possess, or have you acquired any new debt, above the obvious?”

“No, I have not, you hideous beast.” Abigail hissed.

“When will you be whole again?”

“I don’t’ know! Maybe when you’re more attractive!” Abigail screamed.

Another voice demanded, “When can we expect you to pay at the Clique levels?”

“Don’t expect it!!” Abigail answered.

“Can we call you tomorrow?” Another asked.

It was then Abigail noticed the frantic clicks and flashes from the left calculator.

Before Abigail could speak another word, Mr. Blueblood whispered.

“Maybe you should stop talking little one, your worth is critical. I would run to see Isa and never leave her side.” Blueblood said, as his cane moved seemingly on its own, given animation by the glee of the Epi, they sensed a reclamation.

Abigail ran, screaming.

 

 

 

Credit for artist’s rendering I found on the web. This drawing comes close to the essence of Abigail I would like to offer the artist an opportunity to create a rendering of Abigail or of another one of my characters.

Saturday, 18 December 2021 16:51

Emma of the House of Violets

Written by

On the wall of every Clique Beauty Embassy hangs a “bright picture”. Each picture is unquestionably the centerpiece of each embassy. The original “Bright Picture” resides exclusively at Isa’s Beauty Embassy, and before that, it resided at the Beauty Embassy of CE, before that, and at one time or another, it existed in every coveted place of all ethnicities of the powerful coven.

The subject matter of the masterpiece is of course The Clique - every member dressed in their native garb and bedecked with jewels beyond recognition or cost. Next to each supreme seductress resides a substantial white candle holder at least two meters tall and a half meter in circumference at the base. Perched atop the candle holders, rests an ornate colored candle made of an ancient unknown wax. The enchanted flames from each range in hue; from the purest white to the perfect black.

Every virgo intacta stood proudly, without the blemish of maleness; staring beautifully defiant at someone or something. No sister of the Clique reclines in this masterpiece. In the hair of each beauty resides a single flower in perfect bloom. Behind them, a hideous black backdrop of mysterious cloth with reddish hues. The infinite folds of this alien textile appear to move. If you stare long enough you will see misery. Oddly, the ugly drape only adds to the beauty of the ancient painting.

Emma, as all Clique sisters, was immediately enraptured by the rendering of the masterpiece. Eight of the largest Amazonian women she had ever seen lovingly mounted her own magnum opus. The women sang in ancient tongues, ancient songs, while they delicately placed, by pulley and hemp, the huge masterpiece. Why use such an archaic method to hang such consolidated beauty? She momentarily thought.

Emma immediately noticed that her rendering was different from the one she saw at CE’s Beauty Embassy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana two days ago. For one thing, she held a place closer to the center in her painting. However, CE’s rendering had her standing closer to the edge of the group.

Incredulously, Emma video dialed Olivia on her cell phone and begged Olivia to show her Olivia’s bright picture exquisitely displayed in Olivia’s Beauty Embassy in Paris, France. Emma was astonished to see that the masterpieces were identical down to the brush strokes, but the positions of the members were again in different places; however, Emma’s likeness was extraordinarily captured by the master’s hand.

How could this be done so beautifully in so little time, and who did it? Emma thought as she excitedly talked with Olivia.

The two hung up after an hour of discussion singularly focused on their artwork. Olivia patiently answered all of Emma’s questions as best she could; but the more Emma asked, the more questions she had. For twenty-four hours Emma did not sleep; instead she was content to recline in a chair nearest the picture, where she held all her meetings and took her meals.

The following morning CE called and gently admonished Emma about not getting the proper amount of sleep.

“Sleep and beauty go hand and hand Darlin, they are two sides of the same coin.” CE concluded.

“Yes ma-am.” Emma responded, she knew CE was right, but the painting’s magnificence was beyond comprehension or words…why the change of position in each painting?

The next night Emma retired to her bed chamber mentally exhausted, but in a good way. The day had been great, and she accomplished many of the tasks she listed at breakfast. As she slept, Emma dreamt of the Bright Picture. Her mind perused the various subjects painted; each Clique member, the dreadful drape, and the elaborate candles on their substantial sticks. The ancient songs sang sweetly in her mind as she dreamt.
Emma awoke with a start and a realization; the songs the Amazonian women sang described the women in the painting! Some songs were ones of peace and love, others of sacrifice and pain, and a few of salvation and damnation. But the chorus, that dreadful chorus, was always the same, and it was about blood. Emma rose from her bed, grabbed her silk robe, and ran from her bed chamber suite. Down the stairs she went, the songs echoing in her head. She pushed through the door into the vast entryway of the Beauty Embassy where her Bright Picture resided.

Emma gazed upon her likeness and smiled as she remembered the songs, she quietly sang. The words were sweet, the sound hopeful, but Emma’s candle within the masterpiece, suddenly slipped from its perch, and tumbled to the floor. The brilliant violet flame flickered as it nearly extinguished itself. The gruesome black drape recoiled from the candle.

Emma heard terrible shrieks from the dreadful black curtain as it unexpectedly changed direction and moved toward her broken candle, prone on the floor, only its wick holding it together as its flame sputtered. The Clique members panicked eyes stared down at her fallen candle, none moved, except for one, her motion unnatural; she stared deeply into at Emma’s eyes and spoke…

Emma fainted…

 

 

 

Credit to the artist Vornacchia’s compelling rendering I found on the web.  This drawing comes close to the essence of Emma of the House of Violets.  I would like to offer Vornacchia an opportunity to create a rendering of Emma or of another one of my characters.

Friday, 14 December 2018 09:45

Captain Theodore Caster

Written by

Starched and pressed

The rarest of heroes metals of honor visible to the eyes

And above them golden wings

Chiseled chin raised high, and a stiff upper lip pronounced

Nothing but charisma and confidence

Before my presence, my ego splits the air itself

Without hesitation or question, exclusive ramps and cockpits open only to me

Yes, sirs abound

I am the Captain

And time moves on

 

I am the master of motion

Thrust and G Forces are the world I was born of and meant to rule

Terra firma is just a place to lay my head as I dream of blissful escape

The thinner the metal of my craft, the happier I am

The higher I go, the more I don’t want to land

Brilliant blues surrounded by glorious white clouds

Nothing but sun above

And time moves on

 

Master of even faster machines

Joystick vibrating into sudden stillness

Losing my breath in excitement as I look at her curves that only a few see

The slight blues and whites beneath me now

Nothing but the celestial bodies above

And time moves on

 

Limitless velocity in limitless expanse

My breath again taken away, as I move through the power of the near vacuum of space

The silent roar of the engines

Surrounded by vivid darkness

The term higher replaced by farther

And time moves on

 

Leaping into infinite vastness with no safety net

Looking into eternity with eyes of a child

Feeling a slave to boundless freedom

Hoping there is a pit stop but praying for no end

And time moves on

 

Dark rivers that my eyes now see, and within them things that move faster than me

The desire to join the faster herds

Predators’ eyes upon me, but the rivers snatch me away

Drenched in timeless time, only to emerge in silken fashion

And when I look back to the origins of my bones, all I see is a larger star that I once called the sun

And time moves on

 

Darkness ahead and an unseen stop sign

Warnings to go back, but I am the master of momentum, forward I must go

My own kind anchors me, stuck in this circular place called a solar system

I can’t stay long

And time moves on

 

Into a smaller dark river with faster flow, down the falls I go

Acceleration beyond the light of my own propulsion units

Drunk with acceleration until another snatches the yoke from my delirious hand

I and my team without permission, cross the lines, run through the celestial stop signs, and crash through the universal

warning signs

Snapping, breaking, twisting, careening, ripping, screaming, and finally stopping

And time moves on

 

Eyes see us, but we are blind

Ears hear us, but we are deaf

Noses smell us, but we cannot smell

Hands grab us, but we can’t grab back

Voices speak to us, but we don’t understand the words

The darkness pulls us in

I croak, “Help us.”

Our souls huddle in a mass of fear...

Insignificant

And time moves on

 

 

Footnote from the author.

Description of Captain Ted Castor - Pilot, well renowned, living legend. 

Captain Ted Castor, a human, is the pilot of pilots.  From the time he was a little boy, raptors fascinated him, and it was a short jump into the land of aviation.  He is the best of the best, and has sacrificed the tradition of family, hearth, and home, for his career.    He left the boring combat flying scene with the most aerial kills ever recorded in pursuit of the esteemed career of test pilot.  It is said among the best pilots, "If Captain Ted Castor has not flown it, it's not worth flying."  Of late, Ted has found a love interest other then aviation; Miss Mita Trend, but now space calls.

Read more, Origins - Testament of the One

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Friday, 14 December 2018 09:37

Rosa

Written by

Unlike her Clique sisters, Ms. Rosa Antonia Medina hated technology. Every time she got into that ghastly hover limousine her heart dropped as if someone had locked her in some elaborate well-appointed prison cell. As a Clique member, Rosa had put Venezuela firmly back on the map of beauty and fashion. She stood with utter command upon the highest stratus of feminine splendor. And for three hundred years, she carried that mantle with humility, poise, and grace, all encased within her fiery personality. Looking at her, one would find it very difficult to believe that Rosa came from humble beginnings, from the small town of Camatagua, Venezuela.

 

Before she was discovered by the Clique, Rosa spent her time working with her father on their burgeoning farm, which produced some of the fastest horses that the world had seen from that region in sometime. So Rosa, like fledgling stallions, grew with unbridled freedom, strength, and spirit. Her father told her that no horse should ever be forced to carry any man or woman. In fact, Rosa and her father would take a month trip annually to a very isolated area of their ranch, it was there far from civilization, that a horse would choose them, if they were lucky.  During one of these trips, Rosa and her father Rodolfo were interrupted by the panic of one of the ranch’s chief field hands, Posito.

 

Posito told them between panicked breaths, that Rosa’s younger sister Miss Ximena Olivia Medina was badly hurt at her food service company in America. Ximena had put her all into winning a contract to serve food at the largest US Military show of the year, “The Military Expo.” Rosa looked back and forth, between her father and Posito as they received the terrible news, her heart already telling her what she must do. She must go to America and fulfill the promise of her younger sister. Rosa would have to leave the peace of Camatagua. So, selflessly she left her father alone in the field waiting to meet the next great stallion prodigy.

                                                                                                                                   ~

After seven hours of flight time, Rosa landed in San Diego, miles from the peaceful glades of her ranch and her beloved father. Rosa went straight to the hospital to see her sister. The sounds and the sights of the city agitated her from the first, but she pushed those feelings aside, she had to help Ximena. Every hover cab driver stood at full attention when they saw her exit the airport, they were enraptured beyond reason by her magnificence. So, she picked a female driver to take her to the hospital and then to the San Diego Convention Hall where the Military Expo was to be held.

Her sister’s team was a wreck. The Convention Center Manager, Mr. Thomas, had berated the team lead to the point she had run from the convention center and could not be found, leaving two assistants in further disarray.  Mr. Thomas was well on his way to bringing another of Ximena’s team members to tears when Rosa entered the hall with the Convention Center’s Assistant Manager, Mr. Trist in gleeful tow. Mr. Trist was all too happy to assist such a beautiful woman.

Upon seeing Rosa, Mr. Thomas came to a faded stop, his yelling dwindling down to a whisper, as he adroitly studied the beauty before him.

“Who are you? And where did you come from? Some farm?” Mr. Thomas asked in a normal tone as he looked at Rosa.

“As a matter of fact, I did come from a farm, I came from the Equus de La Hacienda, my ranch, the ranch of Equine Majesty in Camatagua, Venezuela. Who are you? And where are you from? Some basement condominium in this dreadful city no doubt.” Rosa retorted without hesitation. This man irritated her, and she didn’t care who heard her insults. Her father would not have approved of such thoughtless outward anger.

“Why you little foreign...”

“Mr. Thomas, she is co-owner of the food company Ximena Foods.” Mr. Trist interrupted with a stupid smile on his face.

“Oh, is she? Then you better be ready for tomorrow young lady, get this food station organized or we will seek recompense from you so fast it will make your head spin. You have no idea how...”

“We will be ready. Now go rude man... Go!!!” Rosa’s raven hair tumbled from beneath her Stetson as she removed it in frustration.

An astute observer of people, Mr. Thomas made a hasty yet threatening exit.

“I’ll leave you to this mess,” he said over his shoulder as he strode away with Mr. Trist hesitantly following, looking more behind at Rosa than ahead.

“Gooo!!!” Rosa screamed with such fury that all the other vendors, including her own disheveled team, stood and watched Mr. Thomas pick up his pace from her single command.

The Ximena Foods team worked throughout the night, in the restaurant’s well organized and stocked kitchen, and as each meal was prepared, the all too familiar aroma of Rosa’s mother and grandmothers’ well renowned meals filled the hungry air; Rosa smiled as the boisterous aromas conjured up Camatagua.

“This is home!” Rosa exclaimed to her sister’s kitchen staff as they joyfully completed dish after dish.

She could feel the presence of her mother and grandmothers. Rosa smiled as she remembered the many splendid conversations between her mother and grandmothers, as to whose recipe was the best. She could see the men of her family being dragged into the kitchen to sample the food, smiles on their faces as they eagerly participated in multiple taste tests.

So splendid were those memories, Rosa thought.

Meanwhile, the restaurant’s HDs delivered the piping hot food to the teams at the huge serving stations of the convention hall; there the food was properly prepped for their prospective patrons. And when the sun rose above the horizon it was met with the perfection of Latin cuisine.

Mr. Trist was promptly sent to the food court, and reported back to the manager that all stations to include Ximena Food’s station, stood ready.

When the Expo participants saw Rosa, they lined up to taste the food that this beauty prepared. The draw of the audience was such that the Expo guest star Miss Aditi Noa Ashima, the reigning Miss Universe, was told of this most beautiful woman serving food at this Latin food station. And the food was great too.

Miss Aditi Noa Ashima arrived at the food station; when she saw Rosa, she gasped at Rosa’s beauty, inclined her head in deference to Rosa, removed her Miss Universe crown and placed it upon Rosa’s head to the applause of the crowd.

Aditi voiced a command to her HD commutations link and a southern voice sweet with desire answered.

“Hello Aditi, how you doing sugar?” A lilting southern voice spoke, silencing the crowd.

“CE, you must see this woman, she is absolutely striking!” Aditi replied...

 

 

Footnote from the author.

Image description of Rosa:

Ms. Medina, a human, is seen here enjoying a moment away from the coven of powerful females known as the "Clique." She is always looking for ways to get outdoors for a breath of fresh air, which annoys some of the Clique members.  Here she strolls down the street untethered from the group's ghastly hover limousine.  

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Visit Rosa in my novel, Origins - Testament of the One.