This book contains short stories
|This is a collection of 100 short stories|
So Be It
I didn't have to come to church today, this isn't the place to have a private argument: Rick is going to have a hissy fit when I reveal my decision. I don't want our relationship to end, but I don't want it to be based on a lie either. Damn, why does he have to be so financial in his religious beliefs? Why can't he simply accept that I have questions, and let it drop at that. Just because I'm a bit skeptical when it comes to orthodoxy and dogma, doesn't mean I don't believe in God or that I reject Christ. Why can't he let me find my own answers? Am I being unreasonable? How can I expect him to take me seriously when all I have to go on are a few dreams?
No, it's more than a few dream. The dreams are only a manifestation of my certainty that God exists and that my soul is immortal. The image of Christ returned in the Father's glory is a symbol. It could either symbolize my soul's longing to see the Lord, or it could symbolize the fact that Christ has already returned. Why can't Rick let me find the answer for myself? Why does he get so angry when I go to a Mosque or a Kingdom Hall? Why does he yell when I read the Book of Mormon or the Qur'an? What is it about my search that intimidates him? Am I the one who's wrong? May be I should just follow Rick's lead and accept without question. Maybe I should rethink my decision. Maybe I should walk into that little church and say: Rick you're right and I'm wrong. Let's get married. Maybe this is an indication that neither Rick nor I are ready for marriage; at least not to each other. And maybe the problem is that Rick doesn't take me seriously.
How can I expect Rick, or anybody else, to take me seriously if I don't take myself seriously. If I don't have faith in my own dreams, no one else will. If I don't stand up for myself, and my right to question both dogma and orthodoxy, both religion and science then who else will. Am I being unreasonable to expect the man, who claims to love me, to listen to me without ridiculing and condemning me? Am I being unreasonable to expect to have a simple conversation with the man I love concerning religion without being told I'm going to hell because my view differs from his? No, I AM NOT being unreasonable!
Well I can't remain in my car forever. I'm going to have to get and and go in. I'm going to have to face Rick and from the looks of the line at the door, the whole congregation as well. That's another thing that irritates me! He can't keep his mouth shut about anything. I swear that man is the worst gossip I've ever met. I wonder what he told the reverend this time. Am I going to walk in there and have the entire congregation ty to cast the devil out of me? Are they all here for the Easter Service? If that's the case, which it probably is, I'm being a teeny bit paranoid and self-centered--normal stress reaction.
I suppose I could just drive off without a word. No! Stress or not I have to give Rick the benefit of the doubt. I love him too much just to drive off without saying anything, without knowing whether or not we can over come our differences, whether or not he can forgive me for searching out truth for myself. Perhaps our love is strong enough to survive our theological differences. Maybe the fanatic and the skeptic can live under the same roof, and maybe pigs fly. When I refuse to participate in the Communion Service, Rick will find someone else; someone will to give him responsibility for her salvation. So be it.
Author's Note: ▼
The broken veins caused her alabaster legs to resmelbe find marble. The types of Terrain marble, which Morgan liked to sculpt. At l east when he was sober and his patron could afford it.
Odd, she thought stroking her right leg. It's been centuries since I though of him. Morgan was her only regret. The only man she had every willingly freed. The only man she had not completely consumed.
Getting up from the stone cot, she walked to the door of her cell. And stopped exactly one foot from the iron bars that blocked it. Any closer and the radiation given o ff by the pure Terrain iron would harm the fetus she carried.
The corridor outside her cell was dark, indicating that the other prisoners in this cell block were in the sleep phase. That was a relief. The one thing she didn't want right now as to hear their incessant bitching and complaining. They were either bitching about the quality of the food, or complaining that their sentences were unjust.
According to her fellow prisoners they were all innocent. She on the other had had no such complaint. She was guilty and deserved every century they gave her. Nor was the food that bad. It was the best quality her captures could provide, under the circumstances. In fact it was better than anything she had gotten on her home world or any place else in the galaxy.
That was why she chose to become pregnant. The length of time she was sentenced to meant that she could produce her whole quota of offspring while she was here. And the quality of the food insured that at least seventy-five percent would be male. That would make the high council happy. Indeed they might even reconsider her banishment.
Author's Note: ▼
The Cottonwood Tree
Spring came suddenly to the plank-fenced yard of the white wood frame house. Over night the pastel green buds of the ancient cottonwood burst into bright green leaves. Leaves whose slick shiny top surface reflected the light of the noonday sun at odd angles across both the front and back yards. The wind blew, across the yard, as random flashes of light escorted the white cottonwood seeds to the ground.
The cottonwood marked each season with a different mood. Its bent trunk and twisted limbs took on a new personality each season. Slowly the joy of spring gave way to the lathery of summer and then to the sadness of autumn.
The misshapen cottonwood, its leaves turned yellow by the first frost, cast a twisted dark shadow across the front yard. The tree's shadow seemed to transform the rutted dirt driveway and sickly pale grass into rich fertile soil. Outside the shadow, brown dirt and dying grass framed the dark silhouette.
Author's Note: ▼
The clouds gathered behind the mountains, their snow-white columns building up layer by layer. In the valley, the temperature and humidity rose driving the entire population into the cool caverns beneath the crumbling walls of the ancient castle. The drought had gone on so long that even the sacred fountain, the only object remaining in the castle's subterranean chapel, had stopped following. The water left in the fountain's amethyst basin glowed like a star in the night sky.
One by one peasants and nobles filed past the fountain. Each person paused only long enough to lay an object on the edge of the fountain's basin. Prince Jarin removed the crown from his head and laid it on the basin. Princess Celeste removed the diamond broach from above her heart and placed it next to the crown. The beggar woman, Noreen stopped and studied the items left by those who had passed the fountain before her. She had nothing of value, not even a copper coin, to place on the sacred rim. Yet both tradition and faith dictated that every believe who passed it must leave something of value on the fountain's edge.
Indeed Noreen had only on thing of value, only one thing she would give her life to protect, and that was Kayla. Kayla, the baby she had found ten years ago playing in the mud flat of the Whispering River. Noreen had picked up the child, cleaned her off, as best she could and taken the baby back to her own hovel. Since then, she had raised Kayla as her own, telling anyone who asked that the child's father was a wandering knight who had passed through the valley looking for work. They did not believe her, any more then the believed that Kayla was Noreen's child, or even that Kayla was human.
Kayla was two feet tall with sparkling acqua eyes and slightly pointed ears. Moreover, she was thirsty all the time. The child could not get enough to drink. She would drink almost anything, except the stagnate water remaining in the valley's ancient wells. The entire population of the valley had to drink that water on a daily basis, but Kayla refused to take even a sip of it. No matter what Noreen did to the water before she offered it to Kayla, the child would not drink it.
Picking up Kayla and setting her on the edge of the fountain, Noreen walked out of the chapel, with tears rolling down her cheeks. Kayla leaned into the basin and took a sip of the water. At that precise moment, the roof of the chapel collapsed and it began to rain.
A few days later, Noreen found Kayla setting in the flowing fountain playing with Prince Jarin's crown.
Author's Note: ▼
The Power of the Rose
Morpheous stared intently at the carved black crystal rose. It was an exquisite piece of art. Its petals and leaves were as thin and smooth as those of a living rose, but as hard and sharp as coral. The legends about it told nothing of its origins, only of the power that its owner could command, and the curse its owner would awaken. The curse meant nothing to him a man, for man he once had been, condemned to live the fleshless existence of a skeleton.
It was the power of the rose that had attracted him. To acquire it, he had spent the wealth accumulated in the ten millennia of his existence. He had sent three hundred million men and daemons to their deaths at the battle of Skull Mountain. He had exhausted the magic learned from the witches of Gray Moor and the sorcerers of Shadow Crest, both dead for five millennia. Now he had the rose and the power to rule the world.
Author's Note: ▼
|Wyte savored the energy surging through the interstellar medium and penetrating into subspace. The energy left a familiar aftertaste on her palate: an aftertaste that aroused an ancient urge in her lions. The compulsion to breed rose from her groin to enslave her whole being. Releasing her song into subspace, Wyte set her course to intercept the source of the energy.
She sensed the presence of two males near her. To her left Jav, her escort from the Andromeda Galaxy, serenaded her. His well-known song reverberated through her mind. To her right a stranger, his unfamiliar song beckoning seductively.
The Light Song Phoenix pod, a group of newly associated individuals, savored the energy surging through interstellar medium and penetrating into subspace. The energy left a familiar after taste on their palates; a savor that aroused an ancient urge in their loins. The compulsion to breed rose from the groin of each individual pushing the entire flock toward the energy source. Releasing her song into subspace, Wyte, the group's leader, set the pod's course to intercept the energy.
She felt the presence of other pods, males and females racing to the source of the energy: each pair attempting to be the first to drop out of subspace. She felt the presence of other pods, males and females, speeding through subspace; each pod attempting to be the first to drop into normal space, and be the first to copulate in the energy of, what they thought, was an exploding star. Ahead in normal space an interstellar battle ragged.
Wyte sensed the presence of a male on either side of her. To her left Jav, her escort from the Milky Way Galaxy serenaded her, his familiar song reverberating through her mind. To her right, was the newest member of the pod, Triad's unfamiliar melody permeated the core of her being. She did not doubt that with him, she could create a new song that would echo throughout the cosmos.
Jav, Wyte reached out with her thoughts to her old friend, We are not compatible, find a harmonious mate.
Triad, she moved beneath the larger male, I chose you!
Author's Note: ▼