the clock

Here’s another story inspired by a prompt. “Begin a story with, ‘the clock winked’.” So I did.

The clock winked. Margaret stared at it. She had been sitting in the old winged armchair with the smelly antimacassar, swinging her feet a few inches off the floor. Now she got up, padding in her stockinged feet across the oriental rugs to the mantle where the clock reposed. She peered at it. It looked rather snobbishly back, the hands ticking obstinately around its face. It was on old, worn clock, once shiny and brassy, but dim and dulled with age. She picked it up. It tocked in an annoyed fashion and stared up at her. She turned it over and around, looking for anything odd. It just seemed a bit wriggly, that was all. She looked at it closely. Perhaps it was bored with sitting on the shelf all day, ticking away its life.

“Well, sir, I don’t blame you one bit.” She said understandingly. “I feel quite the same. Just going to lessons with horrid Miss Pratchett, and playing with stupid dolls and things. It’s a terrible life, isn’t it?”

The clock ticked morosely in agreement. Laughing at her new friend, Margaret turned and headed for the French doors on the far end of the room. The lace panels were blowing about, and the overcast sky looked blearily in when she had wrestled the heavy doors ajar.

“So, what say, we go out for a bit of an adventure?” Margaret whispered conspiratorially to the old clock. “Mama will make an awful fuss when she sees my dirty dress and stockings, but I haven’t been out in ages. I hope it doesn’t rain again.”

She eyed the sky warily, but it was only a light, dull grey, and looked harmless enough.

Holding the clock fast to her chest, she rocketed towards the trees, her shoeless feet slapping the wet grass. Once safely secreted within the trunks of the old elms, Margaret turned the clock to face out and settled down against the wood.

“When I was younger,” she began in a very old voice, “I used to come out here all the time to play. But once I turned eleven, well…it’s all work work work now. No time for anything. The adults think it’s so very fine to keep me locked up with books and papers, learning my life away. I don’t think so. Everyone needs to be taken off the shelf once in a while and dusted off, don’t you think?”

The clock ticked on, ignoring her monologue, enjoying the damp breeze.

Margaret grew silent as well, her breath crystalizing in the chilly October air. Thoughts too aged and grand swirled in her head, barely registering there, but she knew the import of them. She knew she was growing up, and she wasn’t sure if she liked it. Her child’s brain still balked at the ideas she glimpsed in the vague recesses of the misty forest.

The clock buzzed slightly, disturbing Margaret from her thoughts. She glanced down, feeling the slight drizzle descending between the leaves. Her feet were soaked, and she was started to feel cold.

“Alright then. I guess we had better go back.”

She turned, closing her arms over the clock so its face would not get damp, and headed back to the house, her sopping feet leaving muddy prints all over the cobblestone path.

theclock

AE

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bits 1

bits1

These are some bits out of my sketchbook; I’ve been working more with my pen drawings. I’m attempting to figure out a new header for my blog, and it’s going well, I just have to buckle down and decide on a design.

bits2

I just hope it all comes together.

AE

scumbling around

penandink

I’ve taken up pen drawing. I’m already excited. What says vintage, childish, eccentric art form more than pen?

I’ll post more sketches as I finish them. I’m off to the local craft store tomorrow to get me some large, wonderfully smelly sketchbooks. Oh the sight of blank paper. A true artist and writer will see that and feel his blood burn with energy.

AE

grid lines part 3

Part Three. Enjoy, my friends.

 

He pulled her to her feet and marched briskly in the direction of the silos.

“B-but,” Aurelia stuttered, hurrying to keep up, “but what are they? Buildings? Houses? Grain storage?”

“You need to stop thinking so familiarly,” he replied severely. “Broaden your mind, youngin.”

She huffed. “Fine. If you won’t answer my question, at least tell me your name.”

He paused in his strident march. “Oh right. I’d forgotten that. George.”

“Beg pardon?”

“What? It’s George. G-E-O…”

“Yes, but really?”

“Well, why not?”

“In a place like this,” she began, waving around at the scenery, “with you haranguing me about broadening my mind, I should expect a common name like that? My name’s more interesting than that.”

She wanted to make him angry, partly because he really was insufferable, and partly because she was so angry.

George merely chuckled, which only further maddened her.

“In a land where uncommon things are common to uncommon folk, my common name is quite uncommon.”

She blinked at him. The ridiculousness of that argument just bowled her over. George didn’t notice. He was already several paces ahead, still swinging his arms energetically towards the silos.

Resigned to her unknown fate, Aurelia trundled along after him, dragging her feet in the grass. It wasn’t all childishness on her part to do so, because the grass was apparently actually phosphorescent. It trailed bits of glowy green stuff when you stepped on it, and hovered around your shoes. Charmed, Aurelia kept her eyes on the ground until she ran into George, who had halted by a pool of water. She met his amused eyes and glared.

“What now?” She asked impatiently, irritated at his constant mocking look. She was nearing the end of her rope with all this. After all, she was in another dimension, for all she knew, where physics laws were uprooted and people who lived in your mind talked to you. For real.

He flicked his eyes at the pool. “Thought you might like to see this. Only, watch where you’re going, otherwise you would have really seen what was down there.”

Still eyeing him suspiciously, she edged over to the pool and peered into its depths. At first, all she saw was bits of what looked like white coral glowing and shifting a bit. But then the water cleared enough so she could see what was moving. She gasped in shock.

AE

love life

“…An instant’s knowledge of a feeling greater than happiness, the feeling of one’s blessing upon the whole of the earth, the feeling of being in love with the fact that one exists and in this kind of world.” – Atlas Shrugged

This might seem a very selfish view of the world, but stop and think for a moment. (Warning; personal opinions ahead. Tread carefully!)

We were given our talents, passions, and desires. If we are talented at something, why on earth should we lie and say we’re not? I am convinced that humility has nothing to do with discrediting yourself.

As that brilliant man, C. S. Lewis once said: “The great thing is to make him value an opinion for some quality other than truth, thus introducing an element of dishonesty and make-believe into the heart of what otherwise threatens to become a virtue. By this method thousands of humans have been brought to think that humility means pretty women trying to believe they are ugly and clever men trying to believe they are fools. And since what they are trying to believe may, in some cases, be manifest nonsense, they cannot succeed in believing it and we have the chance of keeping their minds endlessly revolving on themselves in an effort to achieve the impossible” (The Screwtape Letters).

Of course, this was written by a demon trying to blight a man’s existence, but it reveals a very apt description of how a lot of people view humility.

Forgive me for this, but there’s another quote I just had to include. No idea where it’s from. “Humility is like underwear. Necessary, but indecent if it shows.”

Going back to what Clive said, being clever is wonderful, and being pretty is grand; but no one will like you if you try and say you’re not. More than likely, they’ll just assume you’re fishing for compliments or showing off how actually pretty or clever you are. Best course; just don’t mention how this or that you are. Keep a lid on it and let it speak for itself, and when someone notices, great. Accept it with dignity and let it be. Stop refusing compliments. It isn’t graceful.

As I was riding home from work, I had a euphoric occurrence of pure and unspoiled bliss. Joy that I was alive, that I could enjoy this world and be wise to enjoying it. Such freedom, to be able to love life. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing in delight. Ideas, philosophy, creativity, love, laughter, good times, thoughts, words; all these things rose in a cacophony of bright colors in my head until it spun. What on earth do we get so dragged down about? What is there on this earth so bad that all the good and beautiful things can’t outweigh it?

Food for thought.

AE