Friday, May 22, 2015

Ariel says she Could Die Part Eight

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"We're done Grandfather," said Daniel.
Bede on his deathbed completing his translation of St. John’s Gospel, by James Doyle Penrose (1902)

"So I see." he said, fitting his spectacles onto his face.
"How did we do?" said Ariel as she and Daniel sat beside him.
"A question like that has been nothing but a respectful formality for some time, my dear," he said.
"Perfect then?" said Daniel.
"Absolutely," he said with a deep nod. "And this completes anything which I might contribute until Neron has worked with you for a time and we get you ready to go study with Meri Greenwood. And it is he who will prepare you for your staves and take you to see Longbark in Mount Bed."
"And then?" said Ariel. "Are we...?"
"Oh," he said with a smile. "I expect we'll have you back here again for one final inspection and a little practice."
"And then we get her..." said Daniel.
"When the moment falls exactly right," said Razzmorten as everyone went silent, listening to the swallows and the trickling water and the river pounding in the deep reaches, drawing away the echoes from the sink.
Daniel dug at the rocks with a twig.
"Abaddon ought to be back with Toast, directly," said Razzmorten, looking at Ariel withmasonjanettewoodruff sudden innocence.
"Great-Grandfather Razzmorten is naught but a matchmaker," said Arial, giving him a peck on his cheek.
"Not at all. You've had your heart bond for all these years."
"Are we done?" said Daniel.
"With magic, anyway. Go enjoy the day."
"Thanks Grandfather," he said, tossing aside his twig.
"Father keeps saying that in spite of the bond, I might eventually be safer away from Abby," said Ariel.
"Yea? Is that what you want?"
1e97d87cfb68e52a666665bdc0f45198"Maybe it's best for Abby. I mean I could die..."
"No you're not. And worse than that, you're guessing. How's that fit for a young and powerful sorceress? What do you want to do with your guesses, anyway, break his heart and then go die? Maybe you'd better do what your heart wants."
"You're right as usual," she said as she stood and brushed the seat of her skirt. "I shall indeed follow my heart."
"And you're not going to say another word about dieing," he called out after her as she stepped into the lava tube. "Ye hear?"

Ch 2, Doom
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ariel and Abaddon have a Heart Bond Part Seven

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Lukus paused to listen to the rain of clicks and squawks from the oilbirds in the countless chinks and ledges throughout the gargantuan vault of cave ceiling over Gerddi Teg, kept daylight bright by glow lichens. He threw his panniers across Starfire's rump, checked Shimmer's girth and went back inside the cottage he and Soraya had spent the summer in.
"Your bags ready?" he said, hefting Soraya's tightly packed panniers."
"Tied tight and buckled," she said from the next room.
"I guess I'm asking if we're forgetting anything," he said.
"We can't be," she said, walking in. "We're still here, and nothing's ever forgot until you get down the road and remember."
"Yea. like one of the kids, or something."
"No worry then," she said with her serious face. "Grandfather would send us right back."
"And not wait for us to catch up again."
"Nope!" she said, erupting with laughter. "Not after we forget our own babaí."
"You are the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen when you laugh," he said, scooping her into a sound hug. "And you've been mighty sober lately."
"Yea," she said, standing arm in arm with him as they looked out the open door. "It's kind of hard to leave a peaceful place after what we've been through. And the thought of being out in the open with Daniel and Ariel makes me feel, well, exposed."
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Lukus watched Abaddon in the yard, playing dragon and giving rides to Daniel and Ariel. "You know, they could really get hurt," he said.
"From piggyback rides?" she said. "His piggyback rides? He is the gentlest boy I ever saw play with little kids, especially with Ariel."
"They could still get hurt."
"What is this?" she said. "The worst that would happen from some unlikely stupidity of his would be nothing more than a scrape or a knot on the head of one of them. And you're not stupid, so why is this bothering you?"  
"I know he has been good with them, but he is Spitemorta's son..."
"And King James's. And I've not heard you say anything but good about James."
"And Abaddon is very magically gifted. He's been good all summer, but what if he surprises us and turns out like the rest of his line back through Demonica? That's a dark lineage."
"Daniel and Ariel trust him..."
"So what?" he said, as he quietly pushed the door most of the way closed. "Children don't have the experience and judgment to keep from being taken in by some..."
"Human children. And ours are half Elf, actually better than half, since you have Elf behind you..."
"But lately he finds a way to be here every single day. For a boy his age, isn't that...?"
Soraya put her finger to his lips, kissed him on the cheek and closed the door. "I just became certain of something this very day," she said, turning back to him.
"My word, what?"
"Ariel and Abaddon have a heart bond."
"Fates! What if he's evil?"
"I suppose it's possible, but I've never ever heard of a heart bond between Elf and an evil..."
"When did it happen? Are you certain?"
"No one knows when a heart bond actually begins, Lukus," she said as she took his hand. "I mean, when did ours begin? But it is completely out of anyone's control, as you well know. And I'm so very sorry you're troubled by this. I think Abaddon's simply wonderful and I can't imagine that he would ever harm either one of them."
"I hope you are right. Because if he ever does, I swear I'll fix him."
"And with my help, dear," she said.
"There goes Arwr," said Lukus.
Abaddon shot to his feet at once, whistling and waving his arms.
Arwr came to a springy halt some distance away and jogged back.
Abaddon wheeled about and scooped Ariel off the ground, giving her a grand giggly hug before setting her back down. "Bye Ariel!" he cried before dashing through the gate. "Bye Daniel!"
"Abaddon!" cried Ariel, trotting to the gate.
Abaddon stopped and turned back. "We'll be together before the day's over!" he hollered with a wave.
"See you!" she cried with a great bounce of her curls as he dashed away and sprang astride Arwr. She stood waving until Abaddon and Arwr had vanished between the cottages across the common.   
Soraya squeezed Lukus's arm as she put her head against his shoulder.
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Last Time I Saw Mom


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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Mom was a little girl growing up in Moonshine Prairie, her folks would stop the buggy on the way home from church to let her pick sweet williams. And from the time I heard her tell the story when I was a kid, I made sure that she had a nice big bouquet of the phlox she called sweet williams, every single Mother's Day.
When the day came that Carol and I had to go west to spend our5970678010_27968bcfe6_m time teaching on the reservations, I was no longer able to give Mom her flowers. We climbed Peacock Peak one Mother's Day, and near the top in a grove of Piñon Pine, we found some kind of white phlox growing which was much smaller than sweet williams. I wanted to pick them and somehow send them to Mom, but there was no way we would ever have been able to climb back down the mountain with them.
One summer when we were back home, Mom's hip broke and she fell. After a spell in the hospital, we took her out to my sister Joan's in North Carolina and got teaching jobs. The teaching jobs didn't work very well. My school decided to teach all year, which would have crippled our writing, and Carol had a childish buffoon for a principal who was determined to nursing home falls-thumb-300x199-40655make life hell for anyone with the nerve to come from Arizona. We made it until December and then found jobs on the Navajo res in New Mexico.
We had just announced our decision to move back west, and were going to leave in the morning. Joan and I were sitting at the kitchen table, playing our fiddles. Mom announced that it was her bedtime and began shuffling out with her walker. Just after she had navigated between Joan and the refrigerator, she paused and turned to me. "Well, I guess this the last I'll ever see you," she said serenely.DSC_0348
"Mom!" I said. "Don't be ridiculous. We'll be back this next summer."
We had just gotten moved when Joan rang us with the news that Mom was gone. The thing that came to mind when I hung up the phone was remembering Mom taking the time out of her hectic spring day to walk a mile down into the woods with me to see an ovenbird's nest. This May will be the first chance I've had in all these years to go to the woods for sweet williams. I reckon I'll leave a handful on her grave.SweetWilliam1024

Tom Phipps