Silently Watching At Eostre – part eight

dark angel

Spring was perhaps the dark angel’s favourite time of year. There were plenty of young animals in the fields to provide easy succulent meals for her. If she was careful, she could disguise her lamb kills as dog attacks, easily diverting attention towards any number of local pets who were allowed to roam off their leads. While the fresh lamb’s blood was a delicacy, it didn’t satiate her hunger the way that human blood did.

Meals since the Winter Solstice had been lean. She had risked only one human kill. During a January gale, she had snatched an unsuspecting passenger from the deck of the ferry that traversed the river every hour.  Now, after months of rabbits, deer and, more recently, lambs, she was truly ravenous.

At this time of year, she preferred to seek young blood to rejuvenate her. It had crossed her mind many times over the years to snatch a child but, even in her transformed state, that was a moral step too far. When she had been reborn over two hundred years earlier, her creator had laid down three basic rules to survival.  

1 Never kill a child prior to it reaching sexual maturity

2 Never kill an expectant mother

3 Never drink from the bloodline of your creator. 

The first rule remained the only one unbroken. 

She ran her tongue over her broken fang and allowed her thoughts to linger on the runner. Oh, what she’d give to be able to savour that exotic, rich, ferrous blood of his! If she closed her eyes, she could see him in her mind’s eye and still taste him. Forbidden fruit indeed but what was she to do with him?

 

After a large family dinner to celebrate Easter and several stolen pieces of his children’s chocolate Easter eggs, he knew he needed to set off for a long run to burn off the calories. Time was marching on. Easter already! ..and he was  acutely aware that he hadn’t been following his desired training schedule. The Bank Holiday Monday offered the ideal opportunity to set out for a longer run. Not wanting to miss out on too much quality family time, he’d set his alarm early, leaving the house just before seven as the sun rose over the horizon.

With open countryside surrounding him and his favourite playlist playing in his ears, he ran at a respectable pace towards the local reservoirs. At such an early hour, he passed no one. Everywhere was still. The birds were singing in the hedgerows and trees. The water of the reservoirs was glassy still. It was an idyllic setting for his morning run.

After a few miles, something off to the left in one of the fields caught his eye. Several crows were gathered round it and, as he slowed his pace to focus his vision on it, he realised that it was two dead lambs, their throats freshly ripped out. Initially, he thought that they must have met their deaths at the fangs of a dog but, as he ran on, he wondered……

Subconsciously his hand went to his neck, touching the very spot where those deadly fangs had pierced his skin. He hadn’t allowed himself to think about the dark angel for a while. In fact, he’d gone out of his way to avoid her and avoided even driving through the village, opting instead whenever possible to take the narrow country road out onto the main dual carriageway. She fascinated him but terrified him at the same time. The thought that she still wanted to talk with him made his blood run cold. “Forbidden fruit,” she had said to him the last time their paths had crossed. He knew she intended to talk to him at some point but he wasn’t convinced it was a conversation he wanted to be party to.

 

Warm spring sunshine was bathing the still graveyard but the angel sat in the cool of the shadows, picking pieces of sinew from between her teeth with her long, pointed fingernails. Lamb for breakfast had been fine but she still craved human blood.

A familiar scent on the air caught her attention before she heard the rhythmic thud, thud, thud of the runner’s feet as he ran hard up the steep hill past the church. Soundlessly, she got to her feet, crossed the small cemetery and stepped out into the road at precisely the same moment that the runner reached the rusty gates at the entrance.

“Good morning, son of Perran,” she said with a smile.

“Hey,” he gasped breathlessly.

“Come,” she instructed, beckoning him to follow her into the cemetery. “Time to talk.”

“I don’t have much time,” he replied, desperately trying to think of something to stall her.

“You have sufficient time. Come!”

Obediently, he followed her up the stone steps then left along the gravel path towards a bench that remained in the shade.

“Sit,” she commanded bluntly as she herself sat carefully on the wooden bench, mindful of her majestic wings.

Choosing a spot as far along the seat from her as possible, he sat down.

“I need to tell you a story,” she began quietly. “No need to look so scared. You’re perfectly safe from me….well… for now.”

“I am?”

“Yes. We share the same bloodline,” revealed the angel, gazing into his dark eyes as if searching for his very soul. “If I were to try to drink from you, I’d die within a few hours. One of the golden rules. Never drink from the bloodline of your creator or his descendants.  You, son of Perran, are a descendant of the man who made me who I am.”

“I am?”

The dark angel nodded, “The wound I inflicted on your neck proved that. Those few delicious drops of blood poisoned me. Were nearly enough to end it all but, as you can see, I am quite recovered. Well almost.”

She bared her fangs to him. Immediately, he noted the broken tip of one of them.

“The tip is embedded in your neck,” explained the angel, reaching out to touch the spot.

His neck had begun to throb as soon as he had approached the church and the toothache had returned when the stone walls of the cemetery had come into sight. Now, for the first time in weeks, he felt warm, fresh blood trickling down his neck.

“How? Why?”

“How? Because I attempted to drink from you. Those few poisonous drops were divine,” she replied, savouring the bittersweet memory. “Why? That’s what I am trying to figure out. Minor injuries like a broken tooth usually regenerate and heal within a day or so. This has been over nine months and there is nothing I can do to heal it.”

“The place on my neck won’t heal either,” he acknowledged, reaching up to wipe away the fresh blood.

“In over two hundred years, I’ve never experienced this,” she stated looking almost insulted. “However, it means we are connected by more than bloodline. So, I’m going to offer you a choice.”

“A choice?” he echoed a little anxiously, edging forward on the seat ready to escape if need be.

“Yes. A choice,” she repeated, her green eyes boring into him. “The choice to either become like me or the choice to kill me.”

“Why?”

Smiling at his puzzled expression, the angel said, “To kill me would end the loneliness, the suffering, save the lives of the innocent. To become like me, then…. well, who knows what our futures would hold, son of Perran.”

“Why would I want to live a life like yours?”

“You wouldn’t have to live as I choose to,” she countered calmly. “There can be a partial transformation first. You can live your life as normal, watch your family grow up and grow old. You, however, will age at a far slower rate. You will remain fit and healthy. Able to run for more years than you would otherwise. Then, once your family are gone, together we can seek answers to why we’ve been bound together like this.”

He stared at her, struggling to comprehend what she was saying.

Effortlessly, the angel got to her feet, spread her wings and prepared to depart.

“So, I wouldn’t need the wings if I can live my normal life?” Once spoken the question sounded ridiculous and he flushed in embarrassment.

“Reach a decision first, son of Perran, then we can discuss the finer points,” she suggested with a mischievous smile. “Its not a decision to be taken lightly. Not one to be rushed.”

He looked up but the mid-morning sun was shining straight into his eyes. He blinked and looked again.

The angel was gone.

A single black, purple tipped feather lay on the ground at his feet.

 

(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

 

 

 

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The Not So Humble Polo Mint….RnFnR

To any of you who follow my regular musings here, you won’t be surprised to learn that I escaped last week to attend a couple of live shows.

(You can read about who I was seeing and what I got up to here –  https://the525toglasgow.wordpress.com )

To any of you who have ever attended a gig with me, what I’m about to write about won’t be unfamiliar to you.

Previously I’ve written about the various things that attend every show with me. There’s my Kipling “gig” bag complete with Cherry, the furry monkey. She’s heard SO much good music over the years!There are my beloved purple tie dye Converse that have served me faithfully. I must admit that they have seen better days and are now reserved for gigs when the weather outside is dry.

There’s one other item though that has been to every show with me.

No, it’s not my phone nor my camera.

It’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Polo mints!

Polo Mints

A long time ago when I was preparing to take my son to one of his first shows I expressed a little anxiety over it to my mother. Her response, and I paraphrase, “If you’ve got a packet of Polo mints with you, you can do anything.”

It made me laugh and it put the anxieties into context.

Her unwavering faith in the powers of the humble Polo mint date back many years to an occasion when, while visiting Fort William, my dad took her a “walk” up Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Scotland. Plenty of hillwalkers take rucksacks, survival kits and emergency supplies. My mother took a small bottle of water and a packet of Polo mints!

Ever since, my “gig” bag has had a supply of Polo mints  stashed in the small front pocket.

OK, I can hear your sniggers from here but hear me out.

The Polo mint really is, as the Americans would say, a Lifesaver.

lifesaver

These small round mints are sweet enough to give you a much needed sugar boost if you energy starts to wane.

Sucking them helps to relieve thirst pangs at shows where security are lax about handing back cups of water.

The paper and foil wrapper can be easily torn back to allow you to share the mints with your friends and fellow music fan thus encouraging camaraderie in a crowd.

They quickly freshen your breath when meet and greet opportunities arise. 😉

So, let’s hear it for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Polo mint!

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(images sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

Nap time…..

If I was a cat right now, this would be me……  ha ha

Normal blog nonsense will resume next week once I’ve caught up with myself 😉

 

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A Mouse’s Tale….

mouse

When I set off for my lunchtime meander today, I was lost in my own thoughts. The ear buds were in, my music was playing and I was over thinking and over analysing just about everything in my world. With every step, I was withdrawing further and further into myself and was truly living up to the Introvert aspect of my INFJ personality type.

Instead of my usual waterfront route, I decided to head towards the nearby marina. The sun was shining. There was even some warmth to it. The major drawback of that particular lunchtime route is that it runs along the main road and the traffic is horrendous. Not really a problem as there are no roads to cross. It just means I need to crank up the volume on the iPod and enjoy breathing in exhaust fumes for a few minutes.

I was halfway to the marina when something flew onto the pavement to my right then ran across my path. It then stopped and looked at me. I stopped and looked at it. Ok, confession, I spoke to it too.

It was a tiny mouse.

I expected it to vanish as quickly as it had appeared but it didn’t.

It stayed beside me, keeping close to the brick wall to my left.

Watching it scurry along, stopping every few metres to glance back, almost as if it was checking I was keeping up, made me forget all the “junk” that had been clogging my mind.

The mouse was moving too fast for me to get its photo. I tried and failed. I did catch a couple of seconds of video though.

 https://youtu.be/2EItC00KDQU  

For over a hundred metres it ran along beside me and I found myself wondering where it was going. Was there a wee mouse family waiting for it somewhere nearby? Was it on the run from a predator? Was this a fitness freak mouse out for some exercise?

My mind gradually drifted away from the thoughts that had been troubling me as I recalled my mum reading to me when I was a wee girl, reading one of my favourite storybooks, Timmy Mouse.

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Timmy Mouse tells the tale of Timmy’s attempts to find someone to adopt his baby sister and care for her after their parents failed to return from a foraging expedition. He realises that its too much responsibility for him to look after himself and the baby but he wants to make sure she is safe and cared for. I’ll not spoil the story but let’s say all ends well.

An incoming message on my phone distracted me for a few seconds – just long enough for Timmy Mouse to vanish. I assume he disappeared through a crack in the wall to safety.

With my own mood now somewhat lighter, I continued on my merry way, wondering where he had gone to and what adventures awaited him on the far side of the wall.

 

Snow Stopped Play…..or did it?

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I hate snow! I hate being cold!

Love it or hate it, Mother Nature dumped  more snow than I have ever seen on the area a few days ago. In the end, a whopping 16inches fell on our garden.

The world ground to a halt instantly…. well the road had disappeared for a start (it’s in the background behind the metre stick in the photo…honest!)

Cue furious digging to excavate the cars in the hope that a snow plough would rediscover the road. Hours and hours of digging – and at that point we didn’t own a snow shovel. Boy Child worked tirelessly for most of the day digging with the garden spade, the garden fork and the giant outdoor brush. I couldn’t watch him struggle on his own so for several hours I joined him in his excavation efforts.

snow collage

This prompted a debate about the correct way to hold a fork or a spade. We were both holding it differently and it appears that I dig left handed, much to his amusement. Does it matter as long as it works? ha ha

The road still hadn’t been cleared and there was no way I was attempting to drive on the packed rutted snow.

Friday morning came….. there had been more snow overnight and the driveway we had cleared was white again. NO!!! We still couldn’t get out.

Cue more furious digging to excavate the car again and to clear the driveway in the hope the snow plough would clear a safe path out.

Eventually the snow plough arrived. We were free!!!!

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Saturday morning came….. a light dusting of snow overnight but we were still clear to escape. Thankful to be out of the house and the street I headed off to do the weekly supermarket shop. That turned out to be mission impossible due to empty shelves in the local supermarket thanks to panic buying and lack of deliveries due to the weather. I did my best. We weren’t about to starve. I failed on the bread mission but hey ho who needs toast!  I reached the conclusion though that some locals seemed intent on a diet of chocolate Easter Eggs judging by the number in their shopping trolleys!

Next on the shopping list was a snow shovel! Boy Child had only cleared two thirds of the driveway and we still had a fair amount of snow to dig out. Snow shovels were almost as rare a commodity as bread!

Feeling optimistic Girl Child and I headed to the local garden centre in search of a snow shovel.

Now the garden centre is across the road from the beach…..I couldn’t resist the lure of a snowy beach walk. The bay was virtually deserted. There was one lone fisherman in his waders up to his waist in the river and one dog walker. I didn’t venture far along the beach. It was knee deep in snow and too uneven to walk safely on. The small area of woodland wasn’t much safer underfoot.

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The picnic area was largely untouched snow. It was just begging for someone to leave a “snow angel” on it.

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I couldn’t resist. 🙂

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Sometimes you have to just channel that inner child and play in the snow!

We did  manage to purchase a snow shovel (once I’d figured out how to stand up without ruining my snow angel!)

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I’m still on a mission for that loaf of bread ……

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Happy World Book Day 2018

world book day

 

Happy World Book Day 2018

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”

CS Lewis

Support an Indie Author – buy a book and settle down today with a big mug of tea/coffee and enjoy escaping into another world.

Happy Reading, folks 🙂

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Amazon.co.uk links  –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

I’ll Take That As A Parenting Success….

I ventured into Boy Child’s bedroom earlier to collect his laundry basket. The sun was shining in and the wall above his desk caught my eye.

Now, I’ve been in the room countless times but I hadn’t really given this spot on the wall much thought before today. I paused to look and to read.

It made me smile.

This is what I was looking at.

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Every ticket, except his Alter Bridge ticket from SSE Hydro in Glasgow on 1 Dec 2016 as the venue staff insisted on collecting them in, for every show he’s been to. There are three up there that I wasn’t with him for – I’ll not point them out.

As I read though them I could remember highlights from each of them.

From nudging him and telling him it was ok to laugh out loud at comedian Daniel Sloss’ risqué jokes to the first rock show we attended on 23 May 2009. The very first band to take to the stage that night in the SECC were Black Stone Cherry and so began his love (and mine) of those boys from Kentucky.

There’s the ticket from the first rock show he stood at – Iron Maiden on 20 July 2011. I remember vividly keeping a close eye on him in the densely packed crowd. (He was only 13 at the time) There’s the tiny ticket stub from 16 May 2017 when we saw Iron Maiden again. I remember all too clearly Boy Child keeping an eye on me in one of the roughest crowds I’ve been in. We’d come full circle.

There’s the MTV EMA World Stage show with Slash and Biffy Clyro from 7 Nov 2014. Still can’t believe we got those tickets. It was a fan only event. Best value for £10 ever!

Then, less than a month later, we saw Slash live again and, thanks to Miss Janette, got after show passes to meet The Conspirators and were lucky enough to meet Myles Kennedy for the first time. The kind of night that dreams are made of.

A ticket from the Black Stone Cherry Nordoff Robbins charity show in The Cathouse (tiny venue) on 18 Nov 2016 also holds precious memories. That was an incredible show!

There are wrist bands from Tremonti shows where we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a quick meet and greet after the set. They really are lovely guys.

A few picks don the wall too including a Myles Kennedy pick.

There are even some Ghost dollars.

Parenting is never an easy task. Kids don’t come with a rule book or a user guide. I wish they had!

What struck me in the sunlit room was that this wall represented parenting successes…lots of them! The simple fact that each of these tickets has earned a place on the wall is evidence of that.

I left the room with the laundry basket, a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

 

A short while later there was a cry of “Mum, where’s the Blu Tack?”

As I handed over a small blue/gray cube of sticky stuff, I asked what he needed it for.

“To stick my Brian Fallon ticket up.”

Another moment of parenting success.

Ticket collage